Sunday, April 20, 2008

Unconditional Love - His or Mine

I realized a very scary thought last night. I do not love my Lord, Creator and Father unconditionally.

A couple of months ago, I asked the Lord what commandment I wasn't keeping at the time, immediately I heard Him say "You are not loving the Lord Your God with all your heart, with all your mind and with all your strength."

I knew that was true. How do you fall in love with an unseen God? Yes, I see His beauty in His creation around me. I see His glorious works in the starry night. I see His awesome wonders in the ocean. And I believe His Word to be true.

I have seen miracles of healing, and people being delivered. I have heard His voice within me, and felt His awesome peace and comfort.
My boys know His voice and try to obey as they learn to discern it.
He brought my husband to me in the most amazing way, and we know He placed us together miraculously.
He has provided when we were at our lowest. He has healed me when I was in agony in my neck, and healed a tooth infection that reached all the way to the back of my throat.

So I know that I know that I know there is a God. One Whose presence is ever around us all the time. Who knows our thoughts, who knew us before conception. Who directs our paths when we surrender all to Him.

But what if He chose to take away His provision, His promises of healing, His promises of life more abundantly?
What if He gave me abundance and chose to take it all away (sound a little like Job?), or gave me a son and promised me I would be the Mother of many Nations, and then asked me to kill that very same son as a sacrifice, that He just gave me?

How strong is my love for Him? I can tell it is so weak. This week was a tough week. That same toothache that He Himself healed is back with a vengeance. My sons allergies that we've been believing for a stronger immune system, are getting worse!! Shandon (my oldest), with tears in his eyes said, "but mommy, I've prayed and asked Him to heal me... why doesn't He?"
My heart broke because inside I was asking exactly the same question.

I have to admit, I was so angry at God. I was almost spitting fire because my faith can't take much more knocking. But it dawned on me, my love for Him faltered because He was not answering my prayers, or at the very least answering my son's prayers.
If He chooses not to heal me, would I still love Him no matter what He allows?

It's Unconditional Love. Why should He love me with an Unconditional Love, but I don't return that Love?

Oh Lord teach me to Love You no matter what comes my way. To rejoice in the Trials, to discern what is a test of my love for You, or simply needs warfare on my part. I want to walk in the Spirit. I can only Love You more, if I have more of Jesus in me, and less of me. How can I pray for Your people, for the lost if I don't really Trust You, Love You? How can I show others Your light, if I don't let it shine especially when I'm down? Show me how, please teach me Lord.

Sunday, April 13, 2008

Missionaries in Africa

My biggest dream since giving my life to the Lord, was to go into the deepest darkest Africa. I wanted to be the next David Livingston and lay my life down for the unreached, the uneducated, the lost souls of Africa.

I kept pleading and praying and asking Him to open doors to send us “out there”. To be in “full service” for Him. But, financially we have never been able to “go out”. The Lord took us out of the Church last year, so there goes that support. Why? Why would the Lord not open the door to do His work in the unreached areas? What’s wrong with us anyway? Here we are, ready to do anything for Him, go anywhere He would send us. But when we asked, we got silence.

Well, here’s the catch…. We are already Missionaries in Africa!! Duhhh! I am surrounded by dear friends from the US living here in South Africa as Missionaries. So, why are they here? I read their blogs, and they are here, sent by their Church to reach the lost in Africa. Mmm…. So why am I here? Why has the Lord put us here in South Africa? Ahh, maybe it’s because He wants us to BE missionaries in Africa!!!

Maybe, just maybe, since we were born here, been living here all our lives, know the culture, know some of the languages (there are 11 official languages in SA!!), well, maybe we are already in our calling!!

There are desperate people all around us. We have little villages built up, just 10 minutes away from our comfortable brick houses, living in shacks. We call them Squatter Camps. The homeless, jobless, living souls, living in shacks made out of bits & pieces of corrugated iron, cardboard and plastic…. whatever treasures they can find in our garbage bins.

We have retirement villages full of lonely forgotten Widows desperate for a light of hope.

We have millions of children that have been orphaned because of the killer disease; Aids. Children that are as young as 8, looking after their siblings – more than 1 or 2 little brothers and sisters.

Once, I was on my face before the Lord, begging Him to show me His Face.

2Ch 7:14 If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land.

Psa 27:8 When thou saidst, Seek ye my face; my heart said unto thee, Thy face, LORD, will I seek.

The gentle answer I received from Him was: “You will find My Face in the Widows and the Orphans” That blew me away!!

Oh Dear Heavenly Father! I am so sorry for wasting so much time, trying to go “out there”! Lord, please break me, and shine through my cracks to reach the lost, the lonely! The work is overwhelming, so much, that I just keep putting off doing ANYTHING!

Thursday, March 13, 2008

Why Homeschool?

This is not going to become a blog about Homeschooling, unless the Lord leads it that way, because I feel there is just so much support, resource information, and testimonies to keep us busy for a lifetime!

But this is about my journey in Him, and I've found another step in the path that He is leading me.

My deepest prayer has been "Less of me, Lord, More of You". There is still so much of ME. There is so much that I still hold on to, that I think I've surrendered, but I find myself still holding on to, and it's sooo heavy.

I have a little bookmark made with a string and a couple of beads. On one end is a transparent bead, and inside are little flecks, like bubbles that glow in the dark. These flecks don't stop glowing the whole night! Every time I see this bead (it's in my Bible as a bookmark), I cry out in my heart to Him, to make me so transparent, that only Jesus through the Holy Spirit in me will shine through. That there will be no more Jenni in the way, just Him - and people can see Him, and He gets all the glory! I want to be just like that bead!

So what has this got to do with Homeschooling? Well, my husband (Dion) and I know the Lord has called us to do this since Shandon (now 10) was 4 years old. But I knew there was just no way I was willing to give up my "freedom" and have my children around me 24/7. I was just too selfish to even consider more than just a passing thought that maybe this is His Perfect Plan for us and for our boys.

So the Lord quit calling, and I quit asking.
Until now.

Now that I am getting deeper into Him, wanting more of Him, and telling Him that no matter what it takes to get there, I will be obedient because I am so desperate for Him.

So here's my next step in my journey with Him. To be obedient to His Call.
Yes, this is the best option for our boys, but why would He specifically direct me to do homeschooling? I'm sure I'm going to mess up big time, unless I keep my hand firmly tucked in His, and stay on my knees pretty much most of the time!

Well, last night, through one of my Homeschooling forums, I discovered a website by one of the members called Revived Christian Women which has answered so many of my questions!
What a perfect way to learn to die to self! I really encourage any woman (even men!) to get into Linda's teachings on her site. It is not only for homeschooling, but has some really deep insight to our walk with Him as our Heavenly Father, and the Perfect Parent.

Father, may You be the One to teach me, to guide me, to direct my path. May You become more in me, and me become less, that You may be glorified, that You would be able to use me for Your Kingdom. I love You Lord. Teach me to love You More.

In Love

Saturday, February 23, 2008

I surrender all?

Oh, this journey seems to be changing directions every time I think I've got it all figured out!

Have you ever prayed those really hard prayers... like the song we sang in church, "I surrender all"... have we ever really considered what we're praying? I mean REALLY thought about it..

I Surrender All
(written by Judson W. Van DeVenter - all red added by Jenni!)

Verse 1:
All (except my husband) to Jesus, I surrender;
all (except my children) to Him I freely give.
I will ever (except when the money runs out) love and trust Him,
in His presence daily (except those days when I'm living for self) live.

I surrender all (except my reality shows on t.v.), I surrender all (except my book club).
All (except my addiction to chocolate and coffee) to Thee, my blessed Savior,
I surrender all (except all my "good" works at the church).

Verse 2:
All (except my pride) to Jesus I surrender;
humbly (except when I'm feeling really self-righteous) at His feet I bow.
Worldly pleasures (except the ones that really make me "feel" good!) all forsaken;
take me, Jesus, take me now (I just need to take my afternoon nap first).


Verse 3:
All to Jesus, I surrender;
make me, Savior, wholly Thine.
Let me feel the Holy Spirit (Just don't ask me to give up all the above),
truly know that Thou art mine.

Okay, I really don't want to offend anyone, but I do sincerely hope that by some strange chance you came across this blog because you too are feeling the call to Hear His Voice, to give up anything that is standing in the way of knowing the Father's Perfect will. To have that burning fire of revival lit up inside you like the revivalists of old. No matter how strange it will look to your family, no matter what the cost, or how painful it will get, you know deep down inside it really is the only way to embrace the Cross. To know His Presence fully.
I'm not there yet. I have such a long way to go because there are still so many things that I am holding on to.

We have surrendered each other (Hubby & I), surrendered our children, our business, our lifestyle, our addictions. It's an on going process, but we can't do it in our own strength, we can only do it with Jesus.
But slowly, ever so slowly, I am hearing Him more. and I when I dare to ask Him," Lord, what else do I need to give up to get closer to You? What am I putting first before You?"
I pretty much do get an answer, and the answer is not always an easy one.
Like giving up my book club membership. Why? Surely there is nothing wrong with belonging to a Christian book club? Well, I have learned, we serve a Jealous God, and even our Christian clubs or friends or works in the Church or Christian novels can be an abomination to Him if it sidetracks our time with Him.

I read the most amazing sermon by Charles Spurgeon called "Jealous God" you can read it here
Give it a try, I encourage you, it really challenged me.