Friday, January 05, 2007

Extra! Extra! Read All About Us!

Get ready for the shortest post you'll ever get from me... :-D

A few weeks ago we were very blessed to have Roanoke Times reporter Jessica Marcy take several hours to interview Pastor Eddie, Chris, Debbie, and myself regarding, not only the upcoming Uganda trip, but also about the church's vision for worldwide ministry and our individual callings. You can read all about it on their website in the article that came out December 29, 2006 in the Neighbor's section of the Roanoke Times. Here is a link to the article: Church reaches out in Uganda - If for some reason the link becomes inactive, please e-mail me and I can send you a scanned copy of the print article, complete with the photos that the printed article included.

That Faith Thing...

Wow! The day is quickly approaching that we've been awaiting for so long. In 41 days from the moment that I'm writing this post we'll be on an airliner somewhere over the Atlantic Ocean! God is SOOOO FAITHFUL and SOOOO AWESOME! We are all in varying stages of getting our immunizations, waiting for passports to be delivered, and RAISING the REST of our FINANCES.

It has always been amazing to me as I have watched God work throughout my life. We as Christians, especially those of us who label ourselves "Word of Faith" people, are such a funny group. Let me explain what I mean. We sense a call of God on our lives to do something. We determine to do it. Then we try to "figure out" how God is going to make it happen. We have our own ideas of when finances should come in and how finances should come in. (I know...for you English majors...dangling prepositions...) When it doesn't happen the way we think it should happen we start to get a little nervous...BUT, we're "WORD" people, so we can't say we're nervous :-D. We might even begin to doubt that we heard the Lord clearly when we felt the call to do something--in this case that something would be going on this mission trip.

But the funny thing about doing something by faith is that...well, it requires stepping out in faith! The writer of Hebrews says it like this in Hebrews 11:6, "But without faith it is impossible to please and be satisfactory to Him..." (AMP) Throughout the Bible we're given examples of people who stepped out in faith and accomplished great things. As we read Hebrews 11 in it's entirety we see what is commonly referred to as the Great Hall of Faith in our Word circle. Starting with Abel we are reminded of those great men and women of God who trusted God even when the circumstances didn't look favorable.

When the Lord gave Joshua the command to cross the Jordan river to "attack" Jericho the river was in its flood stage. Let's look at the story. It's in Joshua 3:

13When the soles of the feet of the priests who bear the ark of the Lord of all the earth shall rest in the Jordan, the waters of the Jordan coming down from above shall be cut off and they shall stand in one heap.
14So when the people set out from their tents to pass over the Jordan, with the priests bearing the ark of the covenant before the people,
15And when those who bore the ark had come to the Jordan and the feet of the priests bearing the ark were in the brink of the water--for the Jordan overflows all its banks throughout the time of harvest-- (AMP)

I want to point something out that most of you have already seen or been taught, but sometimes we need to be reminded. The Lord didn't promise that He'd part the Jordan BEFORE they stepped foot into it. In fact, He'd told Joshua, "When the soles of the feet of the priests...shall rest in the Jordan, the waters...shall be cut off..." They had to, by faith, step into a FLOOD-SWOLLEN river before they saw the promise of God manifest.

Sometimes when we step out in faith it may feel like we're stepping into flood waters. And sometimes it doesn't look like the waters are parting very quickly...But He is faithful who has promised! Hebrews 6:12 tells us that those who inherit the promises of God only do so "through faith and patience." Verse 11 says that we are to "shew the same diligence to the full assurance of hope unto the end."

I have to admit, there have been times over the last several months that my faith has been stretched. It's had to go through a growth process...and one day I am believing that my Father will be able to look at me and say, "you of GREAT FAITH." But in the meantime, I'll endure the "growing pains" that sometimes accompany growth of any kind.

I want to encourage all of my readers, those who are part of our mission team and those who are working on "Faith Projects" of another kind. 2 Chronicles 16:9 tells us, "For the eyes of the LORD run to and fro throughout the whole earth, to shew himself strong in the behalf of them whose heart is perfect toward him." God wants to prove himself strong on your behalf!

Now don't get all nervous about the word perfect. It is translated from the Hebrew word shalem (Strong's #8003) which has several definitions. The one that I like is this: "complete (of keeping covenant relation)." Those of you who are Valley Word family know all about covenant relationship, because we are covenant people. What the writer of 2 Chronicles was saying is that the Lord wants to prove himself strong on the behalf of those who have and keep a covenant relationship with him. I know that includes me!

So, all you covenant people...BE ENCOURAGED! God isn't late, broke, or forgetful! "But let patience [Remember Hebrews 6:11?] have her perfect work, that ye may be perfect and entire, wanting nothing." ~James 1:4 (Perfect here is the Greek word teleios (Strong's #5046), which means "wanting nothing necessary to completeness.") The prophets have declared 2007 to be The Year of the Open Door. Get ready to walk through it and inherit all of the covenant promises of God!

It may seem to some that I've rambled a bit, but I have to believe that I've written what the Holy Spirit was leading me to write. Grace and Peace to all (and to all a good night!)

~ Sandi