We are God’s children, and He loves to talk with us. He delights in answering prayers as a good father delights in giving his children gifts. If even earthly fathers can give good gifts to their children, how much more so a perfect Heavenly Father?
But God also hates selfishness because it hurts us and it hurts others. He does not hate us, but He hates it when we only think of ourselves. He calls it sin.
I love my children, but I hate it when they only think of themselves and are unkind or act like bullies. I want to give my children gifts. I want them to have privileges, but it is more important to me that they develop good character than they have exactly what they want at every second. God feels the same.
You might not be aware that God has laid out some clear guidelines in the Bible of what can hinder or block our prayers. These are not the only reasons that prayers are delayed, but they might be!
Here’s 3 things that can hinder our prayers from being answered: Continue reading
A few weeks ago, Tyndale Publishers sent me a copy of Dirty Glory* by Peter Greig to review. I am definitely interested in growing in prayer, but I didn’t know if a book that tells the story of the 24/7 prayer movement throughout the world would be exactly what I was looking for. This book has rocked my world! It is truly one of the most inspirational books that I have read for awhile.
A couple of years ago, we moved from East Asia, a place where we had called home for over 10 years. We came back to the US to continue on in missions, but from this side of the fence, for a season. For the past 2 years, I think I would have been crushed if God called us to go back into a developing nation. But after reading this book, I think I could hear that call again. Now, I’m not saying that God is calling us to go back out. I’m just saying that I would be willing if He did.
So many things spoke to me from Dirty Glory. I could fill up a whole page with impactful quotes, but I’ll highlight here Greig’s chapter about Base Camp 20. Continue reading
I’ve been guilty of trying to “soften” some of the truths in Scripture so that they sound more acceptable to whomever I am speaking (or to myself!) Lord, have mercy! It can be tempting in our western, post-modern, culture (where tolerance is the sacred cow) to want to try to accommodate everyone so that no one walks away offended, but sometimes, that’s the point.
Jesus offended a lot of people. He was not afraid to offend people. He cared more about people than He did about people liking Him. He loved people enough to give it to them straight. Always with total love and acceptance of the person, but always with utmost sincerity. He did not mince His words.
Recently, I’ve been convicted of this again as I launched a new project that I’ve been working on. I’ve been uploading daily, 2-minute videos on YouTube and Facebook for children that follow the text in The One Year Bible for Children. And some of these Bible stories are uncomfortable. I’ve wondered if maybe I should tone it down a little. I mean, after all, they are only children.
Maybe I should be a little more “sensitive” or try to be a little “wiser” with my words than…say…um…the Creator of the Universe? Lord, have mercy again. I think the most intelligent, most compassionate Being in the universe would know how to get His point across in the best way possible. Continue reading
I’ve been involved in some form of Christian, non-profit missions work since 1996, when I went on my first short-term trip. Since 2004, the title “missionary” has been my vocation, my livelihood. I have heard a lot of different opinions about how missionaries are meant to earn a living. Some is very helpful and Biblically sound, some merely a reflection of secular, cultural views.
It’s taken years to sift through all of the different viewpoints out there, and years to find the confidence to say, “Yes, this is the way that I will walk. And I am a workman worthy of my keep!” Because in reality, the Bible is full of multiple ways in which full-time ministers received the necessary funds to sustain themselves.
It’s true, Paul was a tent-maker. But not everyone was. Continue reading