Saturday, July 12, 2014

Sweet Blessings

Acteens is the missions education organization for junior high and high school girls in the Baptist church.  A few months ago, one of the senior high leaders asked if I would be willing to read through, edit, and critique the work for the three girls who have reached the highest level of Acteens, Texas State Citation.  This is the final step, after completing and passing 6 other years of work.  This year, their work is sent to the State Office to determine if the work passes the criteria that have been set.  With all that in mind, the closer the day came to begin reading through their notebooks, the more I started to question whether I would be the best person to do that.  I even had the name of a very qualified person to recommend.  The more I thought through and prayed about it, it was very clear that all God asked of me was to be available and He would take care of the ability part of the process.  So the past two weeks I have had the privilege of reading through and editing the three Acteens’ Texas State Citation notebooks and have been blessed in the process as I read their testimonies of how they accepted Jesus as their Savior; read detailed papers on “What Baptists Believe” as well as research on another religion and the comparison of the two; saw the reports to mission sites they visited; read 3 Bible stories they wrote for a children’s book, along with activities, songs, and Bible verses to help the children understand the Bible truths; read about the worship service they planned and led at the Wednesday night prayer service, read through the devotional and prayer guide that the girls wrote for the Week of Prayer for Home Missions that was distributed on Sunday morning; as well as noting other projects throughout the year.  This year as the young women are recognized, I will again thank God for the blessing of reading and seeing how He is at work in and through their lives and for reminding me, once again, that there are blessings when I am willing to say, “Yes” to His plan.

Another unexpected blessing came Friday afternoon while we were exercising at the gym.  A lady and her grown daughter came over to speak to us as they were about to leave.  The mother reminded Larry that 18 years ago she and her daughter went to his office and he led the daughter to accept Jesus as her Savior.  As the daughter smiled, the mother said, “And she’s still following Him.”  What a precious reminder of the gift of sharing and being available.

The past few weeks, I have been reading through the book of Job for my Bible reading each day.  Job is one of the books that I usually persevere through when it comes time to read it, but this year was different.  Aaron Jeoffrey, in his song “He Is,” sings about God being the “Timeless Redeemer” in the book of Job.  Even in the midst of Job’s losses, hurts, and frustrations, God proved Himself faithful as the Timeless Redeemer and I know He will be the same for me. 

A few of the verses that blessed, challenged and encouraged me in Job:

Shall we accept good from God, and not trouble?”
In all this, Job did not sin in what he said. 
Job 2:10b

I know that my redeemer lives,
    and that in the end he will stand on the earth.

 Job 19:25

And he said to the human race,
    “The fear of the Lord—that is wisdom,
    and to shun evil is understanding.”

Job 28:28

Then the Lord spoke to Job out of the storm. 
Job 38:1

So I am continuing to learn that…
* God desires a willing heart that is available to do whatever He asks. 
* Obedience brings blessings.
* Whatever my circumstances, state of health, or concerns, God is and always will be my Timeless Redeemer.
* When God speaks, sometimes He calms the storm and sometimes He calms His child.

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