From Poverty to Pastor

Here is another excellent story from Compassion. Some of our sponsored children aspire to be pastors like the one that has helped them in their own Child Development Center. This is true of my sponsored boy in Kenya — Muuo — and I really hope he accomplishes his goal. It’s been on his heart for many years; his brother is a pastor already and now he wants to do the same. Please enjoy this video about a formerly sponsored child that is now a pastor, and who has a huge impact on many children today.

Breaking the Cycle of Poverty

This film features what a difference vocational training makes for our sponsored children. This includes a variety of skills — plumbing, carpentry, cooking, sewing, welding, auto mechanics and technology — to name a few. Please enjoy hearing the wonderful story shared here.

The Least of These

Here is a new video from Compassion featuring four formerly sponsored children.  I met one of them — David — in Colorado Springs last year, and also met Olive earlier.  They’re certainly impressive in what they have already accomplished in their young lives. I’m sure you’ll find their stories to be very moving and powerful in many ways.

Casting Lots

Here is another interesting quote using the word “Cast” from one of my favorite authors, Jerry Bridges:

Proverbs 16:33 says, “The lot is cast into the lap, but its every decision is from the LORD.”  The practice of casting lots was often used to determine important matters of state.  Officials were chosen, tasks determined, dates selected, and disputes were settled by casting lots (see I Chronicles 24:5; Esther 3:7; Proverbs 18:18; Luke 1:9).  The King of Babylon determined military strategy by casting lots (see Ezekiel 21:18-22).  Solomon tells us that every decision from casting lots was from God, that is, God controlled the decision that kings and government officials made through this method.  –Jerry Bridges, Trusting God, pg. 85

When my children were in grade school teachers were chosen by a sort of “casting lots” method.  The names of the children were drawn out of a hat and connected with teachers.  However, many Christian parents would request the teacher they felt their child should have.  I wanted so badly to choose the teachers for my kids, but felt it would compromise my trust in the Lord to make the decision.  One time (and one time only) I suggested one teacher not be my child’s teacher (only because I didn’t know her at all).  When they went to draw names, I was told later, that was the first name chosen for my child.  They put the names back in the hat and drew again with the same result and told me we needed to stay with that draw.  I accepted it, and I’m glad I did, because she ended up being the best teacher ever for my child.  It really is safe and wise to trust the Lord (rather than yourself), especially for such important decisions.

Cast Off

This week I’m sharing quotes from my “Word of the Year” — “Cast.”  What a strange word, but it has such deep meaning when you consider really casting something away from you with great energy.

God grant that we may each of us cast off our own works of darkness, whatever they are, however we can, and put upon ourselves the armor of something at least like light as we wait for the truth of Christ to come finally and fully true at last.  — Frederick Buechner, Secrets in the Dark, pg. 285

Our preparation and coming into His presence has to do with cultivating the simplicity of our lives.  That is, getting rid of (casting off) everything in our lives that hinders our sincere devotion to the Lord Jesus Christ.  — A. W. Tozer, My Daily Pursuit, pg. 37

…for verily I say to you that whoever may say to this mount, be taken up, and be cast into the sea, and may not doubt in his heart, but may believe that the things that he saith do come to pass, it shall be to him whatever he may say.  –Mark 11:23 (YLT)

We often are in danger of casting off the wrong things.  Take this scripture to heart and you will not be disappointed.

So do not throw away (cast off) this confident trust in the Lord.  Remember the great reward it brings you!  Patient endurance is what you need now, so that you will continue to do God’s will.  Then you will receive all that he has promised.  — Hebrews 10:35-36 (NLT)

Imagine

Here is an excellent quote from Beth Moore that uses my “Word of the Year” — “Cast.”  Can you imagine the scene?  In this crazy world of uncertainties and division, this is real and pure–no negativity, pain, criticism or pride.  This other world is real, and will certainly win the day.

Think of some of your greatest challenges.  Picture them then go back and stamp the words “before the throne” in front of each of these challenges.  The heart of prayer is moving these very kinds of tests and trials from the insecurities and uncertainties of earth to the throne of God.  Only then can they be viewed with dependable accuracy and boundless hope.  Close your eyes and do your best to picture the glorious seraphim never ceasing to cry, “Holy, Holy, Holy!”  Imagine the lightning emitting from the throne, and hear the rumblings and the thunder.  Picture the elders overwhelmed by God’s worthiness, casting their crowns before the throne.  Approach the throne of grace with confidence, with eyes on Him, not on yourself.  Our God is huge!  Our God is able!  –Beth Moore, Portraits of Devotion, pg. 496

My favorite hymn is “Holy, Holy, Holy,” although, sadly, it isn’t sung much any more.  I still love playing this hymn on the piano in various arrangements and styles, just alone in worship and wonder.

  1. Holy, holy, holy! Lord God Almighty!
    Early in the morning our song shall rise to Thee;
    Holy, holy, holy, merciful and mighty!
    God in three Persons, blessed Trinity!
  2. Holy, holy, holy! All the saints adore Thee,
    Casting down their golden crowns around the glassy sea;
    Cherubim and seraphim falling down before Thee,
    Who was, and is, and evermore shall be.
  3. Holy, holy, holy! Though the darkness hide Thee,
    Though the eye of sinful man Thy glory may not see;
    Only Thou art holy; there is none beside Thee,
    Perfect in pow’r, in love, and purity.
  4. Holy, holy, holy! Lord God Almighty!
    All Thy works shall praise Thy Name, in earth, and sky, and sea;
    Holy, holy, holy; merciful and mighty!
    God in three Persons, blessed Trinity!                              –Reginald Heber, 1826