Abiding in Him

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At the close of the year I am meditating on what it really means to ABIDE in Him. Here is the definition of the word abide according to the dictionary

abide

verb \ə-ˈbīd\

: to accept or bear (someone or something bad, unpleasant, etc.)

: to stay or live somewhere

: to remain or continue

abode  or abid·edabid·ing

Full Definition of ABIDE

transitive verb
1
:  to wait for :  await
2
:  to endure without yielding :  withstand

:  to bear patiently :  tolerate <cannot abide such bigots>

3
:  to accept without objection <will abide your decision>
intransitive verb
1
:  to remain stable or fixed in a state
2
:  to continue in a place :  sojourn
— abid·er noun
— abide by

1
:  to conform to <abide by the rules>
2
:  to acquiesce in <will abide by your decision
In the scripture the word abide is used many times and here are some of my favorite verses:
Psalm 91:4 He who dwells in the secret place of the Most High shall ABIDE under the shadow of the Almighty. I will say of the Lord He is my refuge and my fortress, My God in Him I will trust.
John 8: 31-32 The Jesus said to those Jews who believed Him, ” If you  ABIDE in my word you are my disciples indeed. And you shall know the truth and truth shall make you free.
John 15:5 I am the vine and you are the branches. He who ABIDES in Me and I in him bears much fruit for without me you can do nothing.
John 15:7 If you ABIDE  in Me and I in you, you will ask what you desire and it shall be done for you.
John 15:9 As the Father loved me, I also have loved you, ABIDE in my love.
1 John 2:15-17 Do not love the world or the things of the world. If anyone loves the world- the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes and the pride of life is not of the Father but is of the world. And the world is passing away and the lust of it but he who does the will of God ABIDES forever.
1 John 2:24-29 Therefore let that ABIDE in you which you heard from the beginning. If what  you heard from the beginning abides in you, you will also abide in the Son and in the Father. And this is the promise that He has promised us – eternal life. These things I have written to you concerning those who try to deceive you. But the anointing which you have received from Him ABIDES in you and you do not need that anyone teach you, but as the same anointing teaches concerning all things and is true and is not a lie just as it has taught you, you will ABIDE in Him. And now little children ABIDE in Him in that when He appears we may have confidence, and not ashamed before Him at His coming. If you know that He is righteous you know that everyone who practices righteousness is born of Him.
As we enter this time of year with one year ending and another before us it always helps me to spend time with the Lord looking back at what He has taught me this past year and asking for His guidance for the year ahead. In this special time before Him I only heard this one word – ABIDE. So I began by looking up the different verses and writing them down because that always helps me personally to understand what He is saying in His word  and I can have a record of this special time with Him  and something  to look back at  next year.
2013 was a difficult year for me and for a lot of people. I have missed my family in the United States with a deeper intensity and I have loved my family here with a deeper intensity. It was time of great changes in my life, I now have a 21-year-old who woman living with me that needs a lot of help and it  was unexpected and has changed everything for me  but the Lord has given the wisdom and all of the resources necessary to guide this precious daughter of His on her way to freedom from her past and looking forward to the future she has in Him. Ministry opportunities also increased for me this year gobbling up any free time I had in the past which is why I haven’t been able to focus on writing on this blog or even keeping up with my personal relationships with each of you the way I should. The business of life sometimes robs us  of special  moments with those we love the most. Sometimes I am just plain tired and feeling burned out and long for a day of doing nothing.
The attacks of the enemy have been hard and painful on me as well and I know the same is true in the lives of many of you. I don’t see things getting any easier in the year ahead. I see more change, stronger attacks and some of us may be permanently departing. I  helped to take care of two wonderful women who have since gone home to be with the Lord these past two months and I know many of you have faced similar losses in your lives. Broken relationships, children lost to drugs, infidelity, loss of jobs, and all the things that can quickly bring us to our knees. All of this reminds me of the words in 1 John – do not love the things of this world because this world and the things in it are passing away. We are meant to enjoy the things in this world and all of the people that God has placed in our lives but when we let the things and people here take the place in our heart that belongs to Him and Him alone that is when we get into trouble because all of these things are passing away including us and all of those we cherish!
So what is our hope?  How are we going to hang on? Our hope is in the soon appearing of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ to come and rule and reign and restore the earth to what it was designed to be and to rid it of all evil. How are we going to make it until then? By abiding under the shadow of the Almighty. By tucking ourselves under the shelter of His wings and letting the storms role by safely abiding in His love and His care for us no matter what comes even if He choses to take us home. We are going to have to await, withstand, remain, continue, tolerate, to accept without objection, to remain stable in a fixed position until He comes and we can do it friends. With the help of the Holy Spirit and the power of Christ we can do it! Dig in and settle yourself for the ride ahead without fear and with the glorious hope ahead! And if we abide we will not be ashamed before Him when He appears because really – we can do ALL things in Christ who strengthens us!
I wish the best for all of you in 2014 and I want to share the joy I have  because we are one year closer to the return of our Lord! Happy New Year!
Abiding under the shelter of the Almighty,
Linda
Posted in Uncategorized | 3 Comments

Dry and Thirsty Land

We are in the last month of the hot and dry season here in El Salvador. Having had some time off this week and able to spend some time at home for the first time in about 6 weeks  I noticed some of the trees in my neighborhood and I really wondered how can these huge trees produce such big fruits and still have so many lush leaves on them without any rain since October of last year? So I did some research but it also brought some scriptures to mind too! First lets look at the mango tree.  This tree is right out in front of my neighbor’s house  next door and is loaded with mangoes:

ImageMango trees are long-lived, as some specimens still bear fruit after 300 years. In deep soil, the tap-root descends to a depth of 6 m (20 ft), with profuse, wide-spreading feeder roots; the tree also sends down many anchor roots, which penetrate several feet of soil.

So we can see that the mango tree gets all the water it needs to remain green and produce fruit from its tap-root deep within the earth and it is never affected by the surface conditions of hot days and lack of rain.

The bible tells us to be like this type of tree:

Jeremiah 17:7-8  “But blessed is the one who trusts in the Lord, whose confidence is in him. 8 They will be like a tree planted by the water that sends out its roots by the stream. It does not fear when heat comes; its leaves are always green. It has no worries in a year of drought and never fails to bear fruit.”

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Next we’ll look at the avocado tree planted in one of my neighbor’s back yard. I have never seen one so full of avocados. Here is what I found out about that type of tree: The shallow nature of the root system of the avocado tree makes the it susceptible to damage from flooding. If the roots stay wet, nutrients are lost and growth stunted. In prolonged flooding or saturated soil, the tree dies. The avocado is related to the olive tree and the cultivation is similar. It needs to be placed in well-drained soil.

The bible tells us in  Psalm 1: 1-3  Blessed is the one who does not walk in step with the wicked or stand in the way that sinners take or sit in the company of mockers, 2but whose delight is in the law of the Lord, and who meditates on his law day and night. 3That person is like a tree planted by streams of water which yields its fruit in season and whose leaf does not wither—whatever they do prospers.

Image……..and then there is the half dead tree that I can see looking out the terrace from the back of my home. This poor tree has withered,  has no fruit or leaves and it just longing for the time of the rainy season to come before it can spring back to life.

Joel 1:12 The vine is dried up, and the fig tree languishes; the pomegranate tree, the palm tree also, and the apple tree, even all the trees of the field, are withered: because joy has withered away from the sons of men.

So we can see some examples of how our attitudes can cause us to be similar to the trees – when our joy has withered we lose our ability to bear fruit. In Nehemiah 8:10 it says  “Do not grieve, for the joy of the LORD is your strength.” So the loss of Joy leads to the Loss of our strength which is in the Lord.  Jesus used another  example this time of a vine in John Chapter 15.  He said:  5 “I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing. 6 If you do not remain in me, you are like a branch that is thrown away and withers; such branches are picked up, thrown into the fire and burned. 7 If you remain in me and my words remain in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you. 8 This is to my Father’s glory, that you bear much fruit, showing yourselves to be my disciples.

He also promised the Helper, the Holy Spirit  would provide us with an unlimited supply of living water that would flow from our heart: in John 7 37 In the last day, that great day of the feast, Jesus stood and cried, saying, If any man thirst, let him come unto me, and drink. 38 He that believes on me, as the scripture has said, out of his heart shall flow rivers of living water. 39 (But this spoke he of the Spirit, whom they that believe on him should receive: for the Holy Spirit was not yet given; because that Jesus was not yet glorified.)

We as believers and followers of Christ are in a dry and thirsty time where many are abandoning or compromising their faith and it is becoming harder and harder to take a stand for the truths found in the bible but in the end the Word of God will be left standing and all that comes against it will be destroyed. Isaiah 40:8 The grass withers and the flowers fall, but the word of our God endures forever.” God warned us there would be a famine for His word  in the end days in Amos Chapter 8: 11 Behold, the days come, says the Lord GOD, that I will send a famine in the land, not a famine of bread, nor a thirst for water, but of hearing the words of the LORD:12And they shall wander from sea to sea, and from the north even to the east, they shall run to and fro to seek the word of the LORD, and shall not find it.

So in the midst of this dry and thirsty time let your roots grow broader and deeper,  get into the word of God and remain  in Him without compromise. We will make it through and we will bear much fruit for His glory and for His kingdom!

Under His wings,

Linda

Posted in Creation, El Salvador, End Times, God's Blessings | Tagged | 3 Comments

Merry Christmas!

2012 – The year in review.

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The women of the Word of Life team when we went to a conference in Guatemala 

A number of years ago a bible teacher that I had encouraged us to spend the end of the year talking with God about the year passing and to pray and ask Him about His plan for us in the coming year. So I began a tradition in my life to spend the last days of the year closed in with my Lord in prayer, bible reading and just talking to Him about the year passing and the year ahead. He has been faithful to guide me to scriptures each year to prepare me for the things He has for me in the New Year and I am always amazed at remembering the places He has led me through the year going by! Last year I was led to a scripture in Isaiah:

Isaiah 62:10-11 – I will greatly rejoice in the Lord, My soul shall be joyful in my God. For He has clothed me with the garments of salvation, He has covered me with the robe of righteousness, as a bridegroom decks himself with ornaments and as a bride adorns herself with jewels. For as the earth brings forth its bud, as the garden causes things that are grown in it to spring forth,  so the Lord God will cause righteousness and praise to spring forth before all the nations.

The description of this passage in my bible says “The people were encouraged to prepare a highway for the Lord who would bring salvation to His people.” My only desire for many years now is to tell everyone who will listen about Jesus, the forgiveness and pardon found only in Him and to prepare the way for His soon coming. In my own country that is looked upon as weird and a little crazy when all you want to talk about is God and I was becoming more and more unhappy  because I just didn’t fit in and really not too many people wanted to hear about God, the bible or Jesus returning. He  makes us uncomfortable where we are at sometimes to prepare us to bring us to the place He has prepared for us  to serve Him. So God lifted me up out of my despair, gave me an opportunity to go out and serve Him  in a place where we are free and encouraged to talk about Jesus and salvation with others.  I have been here in El Salvador as a missionary volunteer for 2 years and 6 months. It has been hard to be away from children and grandchildren friends and family in the United States but God has filled the hole with more of His presence and many more sons and daughters, grandchildren, family and friends and more blessings than one life can hold. He gives us this promise  in His word:

Mark 10:29-30 – So Jesus answered and said, “Ässuredly, I say to you, there is no one who has left house or brothers or sisters or father or mother or wife or children or lands, for My sake and the gospels who shall not receive a hundredfold now in this time – houses and brothers and sisters and mothers and children and lands with persecutions-and in the age to come eternal life. But many who are first will be last, and the last first.

Part of our awesome evangelism team performing Colors of Life in one of many schools we were able to visit this year

And this word has been lived out  in my life in this past year. He has put me in a new home, introduced me to more and more friends, family,  placed me in a part of His body in a new church family,  provided me with a position in a medical clinic to serve His precious people here as well as permitting me to continue to help at Word of Life El Salvador.  Considering I couldn’t speak more than three words in Spanish when I arrived here in June 2010 at 59 years old it is pretty remarkable that the Lord can use me in all of these places and has given me a small part in so many wonderful people’s lives and has given me the ability to understand and to speak another language at my age. It is beyond my ability to understand. But the Lord tells us His ways are higher than our ways and beyond knowing! So true!!!! He has added so much to my life some times I feel  like  I have lived more than one life – it is truly too much to contain! When we give Him our everything He is faithful and gives us more than we could ever dream or think possible. Great is the Lord our God!

Sharing the story of Christ and how He changed my life with a group of young women 

My prayer for this year is that He will continue to allow me to serve Him with JOY in a place I have come to love as much as my own country until He comes which I feel with all my heart will be very soon looking at the rapidly deteriorating conditions in this world! Have you had your talk with Jesus? Have you asked Him to take away your sin and give you eternal life? If not today is your day! Don’t waste another minute of your precious life without Him in your life! If you don’t know Him ask Him to make Himself real to you – this is a prayer that He will always answer because He is real, He loves you and He paid the price for your sins on the cross and He longs for you to receive forgiveness and to make your home in Him today and for all of eternity.

I will be leaving to go to the United States on December 12th to visit with my family and friends for one month and to continue to seek and wait and hear from the Lord for His plans for me for the coming year. I look forward to spend time with some of you to tell you more about all of the wonderful things God is doing here in El Salvador.

The ministry team and families from Joni and Friends family retreat El Salvador

May you be blessed beyond measure this Christmas and New Year. Thank you for your love, support and prayers for me – they mean more to me than you could ever know.

Under His wing with JOY

Linda

Posted in Bible, El Salvador, God's Blessings, Jesus, Missions | Tagged , , | 6 Comments

Storms!

There are some things that are for certain in our lives and storms are one of those things. All of us are going to face times in our lives when things are not sunny and calm! Here is one example from God’s word that talks about a storm:

Psalm107:23 Others went out on the sea in ships; they were merchants on the mighty waters. 24 They saw the works of the Lord, His wonderful deeds in the deep. 25 For He spoke and stirred up a tempest that lifted high the waves. 26 They mounted up to the heavens and went down to the depths; in their peril their courage melted away. 27 They reeled and staggered like drunken men; they were at their wits’ end. 28 Then they cried out to the Lord in their trouble, and He brought them out of their distress. 29 He stilled the storm to a whisper; the waves of the sea were hushed. 30 They were glad when it grew calm, and He guided them to their desired haven. 31 Let them give thanks to the Lord for His unfailing love and his wonderful deeds for men. 32 Let them exalt Him in the assembly of the people and praise Him in the council of the elders.

These men were merchants they set out to sea like any other day to look for goods to sell and they found themselves in the middle of a great storm. How many times in our lives does it start out like any other day and then suddenly we find ourselves in the midst of a storm.

One thing I noticed in this story this morning is in verse 25 – “For He spoke and lifted up a tempest and lifted high the waves”. So we can clearly see that God himself organized this tempest! And how did the men react even though it says they saw His wonderful deeds? Just like I do many times………. they reeled and staggered like drunken men, they were at their wit’s end! When  things appear suddenly in my life this has often been my reaction. I feel sick to my stomach, my thoughts become full of dread and panic and I feel small and helpless and tossed by the waves of my thoughts this way and that. It is a horrible and helpless feeling but we need to remember  God is ALWAYS in control. I want this   to be my first reaction and thought in a storm! God is always in control!  Let’s look what the men did next after staggering around and being very afraid….. 28 Then they cried out to the Lord in their trouble, and He brought them out of their distress. 29 He stilled the storm to a whisper; the waves of the sea were hushed.  Pretty impressive – in an instant He can create a storm and in an instant He can calm it.

Why would the God of the universe allow storms to come into our lives? One of the reasons is that many times we go our way with little thought of God , without being thankful, intent on doing what we want, pretty much ignoring Him and His blessings in our lives. Just like the men in the story we get into our own little boat and go looking for the things we think are going to fulfill  us and make us happy. The storm got the men’s attention quickly and brought them back to reality and they quickly cried out to God and He heard them and answered instantly in this case. Sometimes the storms last a little longer and they need to. It gives us a chance to look inside and see the things we have put in our lives that give us a feeling of security in the place of trusting God – our jobs, houses, family, friends, health, money etc. – our own little idols,  things that can easily be taken, tossed and shaken!

Here is another story of a time God used a storm in the lives of the disciples:

Jesus Calms the Storm

Matthew 8:23 Then He got into the boat and His disciples followed Him. 24 Without warning, a furious storm came up on the lake, so that the waves swept over the boat. But Jesus was sleeping. 25 The disciples went and woke him, saying, “Lord, save us! We’re going to drown!” 26 He replied, “You of little faith, why are you so afraid?” Then He got up and rebuked the winds and the waves, and it was completely calm. 27 The men were amazed and asked, “What kind of man is this? Even the winds and the waves obey Him!”

We can see in this story that the disciples were very afraid in the storm but what was Jesus doing? He was sleeping – He wasn’t the least bit bothered or disturbed. When the disciples woke Him up they were filled with fear and panic thinking this was going to be their last day on earth and they were about to drown. How quickly our thoughts turn to our own mortality in the midst of a crisis or trial in our lives. And Jesus response? 26 He replied, “You of little faith, why are you so afraid?” Then He got up and rebuked the winds and the waves, and it was completely calm.

Jesus was fully God and fully man and He was able to instantly calm the storm. And the eyes of the disciples were opened and they were amazed and asked “what kind of man is this? Even the winds and waves obey Him.” Only God is capable of such a great feat!!!!

I heard a sermon based on this portion of scripture many years ago and I never forgot it. It basically said that when Jesus is in your boat and you find yourself in the midst of a storm there are three things to remember:

1. The boat will not sink

2. The storm will not last

3. You will reach the other side

Is Jesus in your boat today? Or  are you going to wait for the next storm to cry out to Him? Think about inviting Him into your life  or reacquainting yourself with Him today! It is so much better in the storms of life to know He is nearby and only a whisper away because He is only one who can bring calm and peace  to whatever storm you may be facing!  Things on this earth have never been stormier and it is only going to get darker and as we can see God will use storms to bring us closer to Him and to be dependent on Him and to trust Him and not in our own strength which vanishes pretty rapidly when a storm hits!

Psalm 107:39 Then their numbers decreased, and they were humbled by oppression, calamity and sorrow40 He who pours contempt on nobles made them wander in a trackless waste. 41 But he lifted the needy out of their affliction and increased their families like flocks. 42 The upright see and rejoice, but all the wicked shut their mouths. 43 Whoever is wise, let him heed these things and consider the great love of the Lord.

Be wise!

 

Under His wing,

Linda

Posted in Christianity, End Times, God's Blessings, Jesus | Tagged | 2 Comments

The Door!

John 10:9 I am the door: by Me if any man enter in, he shall be saved, and shall go in and out and find pasture.

The boy in the blue shirt became my little brother in Christ yesterday. His name is Roberto and he followed me around the whole time we were at his school yesterday afternoon and kept dragging other people over to meet me. He asked me how to say many many words in English and would laugh and giggle when I pronounced them for him. We had so much fun in the brief time we had together and I may never see him again in this world but I will see him again one day in heaven……  Jesus came knocking on the door to his heart yesterday and He invited Him in! Revelation 3:20 Behold, I stand at the door, and knock: if any man hear my voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with me.

So we see by these scriptures that Jesus IS the door that leads to eternal life, Jesus KNOCKS on the door to our heart to open our lives to Him and invite Him in and in Colossians it tells us that God OPENED the door and allowed us to go and share His word – Colossians 4:3 And pray for us, too, that God may open a door for our message, so that we may proclaim the mystery of Christ, for which I am in chains.

God also describes the entryway into heaven as a narrow door in Matthew 7:13-14

Matthew 7:13 Go in by the narrow door; for wide is the door and open is the way which goes to destruction, and great numbers go in by it. (BBE)

Matthew 7:14 For narrow is the door and hard the road to life, and only a small number make discovery of it.

Yesterday was the chance God gave these boys and girls to enter into that door and to continue walking all their days in the narrow way that leads to life. No, it is not the popular way and many people reject it and continue on the broad path that leads to death. This makes my heart so sad but then again I look into the faces of the ones who say yes and I can see the life of God enter into them and be reflected in their eyes and know their lives have been forever changed – this is what I choose to focus on and leave the rest to our precious Lord and pray He gives the ones who reject Him another opportunity!

Here you can see the reaction of the kids when we offered then a pamphlet with God’s word to read about their decision and to share with others! They were so hungry and happy  for the things of God and this is a perfect example of how He tells us we must enter His kingdom as little children – hungry for Him and for His word and the things He has for us.

None of our activities are possible without Him. He tells us in Revelation 3:8 I know your works, See, I have set before you an open door, and no one can shut it; for you have a little strength, have kept my word, and have not denied My name.

First we must have a little strength, have kept His word and not denied His name and then we have the practical things to deal with… we must call schools to see which doors He will open. On this trip we had 6 presentations in 4 different school in 2 days. Then we need to pray for His provision which in this case was provided by a brother in Christ who gave an offering of $100 for outreach. Taking 14 people in a big van three hours away costs about $70.00 in gas to go and return home. Gas is about $4.50 per gallon here now. That left us with about $30.00 to cover food expenses for 14 for  two days. And by the grace of God we were never hungry! He provided for us in many different ways and we came home still having a bag of sweet bread that never seemed to get empty! He also provided a place for us to sleep out of the weather which is rainy these days. We slept on the floor on mattresses we brought along in a church that we visited. Dry, warm and safe. Last but not least we pray for open hearts to receive the word. God granted all of our requests and this outing was a wonderful trip for us and over 2400 young people and teachers heard His word. Over 1000 claimed to receive Christ as their savior and a little over 400 rededicated their lives to His service. For the others it was an opportunity to hear the Gospel and we pray that God will be merciful and give them another chance to open the door of their heart.

He is the Door, He knocks on the Door and He opens the Door! This is the God we serve and there is no other!!!!

Luke 11:10 For every one who asks, receives; and he who seeks, finds; and to him who knocks, the door shall be opened.

Praising God today for doors!

Under His wing,

Linda

Posted in Christianity, El Salvador, Jesus, Salvation | 6 Comments

The Family God gives us!

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This is a picture of my friend Lorraine and her foster daughter Jenny. Lorraine is a missionary here and is the director of the ministry Hannah’s Hands http://hannahshands.org. One day when Lorraine was working in  a government building here in El Salvador, little Jenny came up to her and called her mama. After picking up the child and asking a few questions she learned that the girl was being held by the state because her mother was picked up trying to traffic the child using false documents. By the end of the day the little girl was going home with Lorraine and Lorraine was her new foster-mother. After living with and loving this child for two years ( there is no such thing as foster love – it is the same love as if this child was born to her) the government made a phone call and presented a few documents  to her and in 4 days the child was gone again, supposedly back to the birth mother and headed for Guatemala. Lorraine has had no peace about the removal of her child from her home so abruptly and without a lot of her questions being answered. The people who gave the child to her so readily took her away just as quickly and she has not been able to get answers since.

So tomorrow Lorraine and I are leaving for Guatemala. We are going to be looking for information on  Jenny’s  whereabouts and hopefully Lorraine will have some answers after months of hearing nothing. Please keep us in your prayers and pray especially for little Jenny. For her safety, well-being and spiritual growth. She is only 3 1/2 years old and has had a pretty traumatic life so far. She was a gift to Lorraine from God and God doesn’t make mistakes so we can trust that He is in control of this and every situation in our lives. Please pray that He would give us direction, peace and some answers for Lorraine. He is the only one that can open doors no one can shut and close doors that no one can open. Our family is not just the family we are born into. When we are born again we enter into the family of God which encompasses many more relationships and some of them are a little hard to understand but He has His purposes.

Jesus’ Mother and Brothers

Matthew 12:46 While Jesus was still talking to the crowd, his mother and brothers stood outside, wanting to speak to him. 47Someone told him, “Your mother and brothers are standing outside, wanting to speak to you.”g 48He replied to him, “Who is my mother, and who are my brothers?” 49Pointing to his disciples, he said, “Here are my mother and my brothers. 50For whoever does the will of my Father in heaven is my brother and sister and mother.”

With Mother’s Day coming up in the United States this weekend, please spend some time thinking about your own Mom and those other special “moms” God has given you and pray for them and give God thanks for them. I know I am grateful for my mom  and I am especially grateful that He allowed me to have her in my life for 47 years and for how she loved us and took excellent care of the family God committed to her care.

Thank you for your prayers and Happy Mothers Day!

Under His wing,

Linda

Posted in Christianity, God's Blessings, Motherhood | Tagged , | 6 Comments

The Cost of Freedom = Love

Freedom……. What does it really mean to be free?

Forgiveness and eternal life are not free – it cost God something very precious to offer us a pardon and a new life with Him – His only and precious Son and it cost Jesus His life in exchange for ours! And even though there was a huge cost it is a free GIFT to us! Will you receive that gift today?

If not why not? What is holding you back? Are we afraid of losing our freedom? Freedom to sin and not feel guilty about it? Freedom to live our lives our own way? It might feel free now but one day there will be a price to pay! Your eternal life separated from God forever. You think there is still plenty of time? We don’t even know if we  will still be here 5 minutes from now – don’t waste any more time – please come to Him!

Close your eyes and take a moment and come to the foot of that cross. Take a look at Him hanging there bleeding and not holding anything back for Himself. Paying the price for us so that we can truly be made free. Free in Him because He took the penalty for our sin. Be free today – the price has been paid – give Him your sin, your doubt, your guilt, your shame. You can be free from all that here and with Him forever!

Why? Why did He do it? Because He loves us that much! John 15:12- 13 “This is My commandment that you love one another as I have loved you. Greater love has no one than this, than to lay down one’s life for his friends.” Can we even imagine loving someone that much that we would pay for their freedom with our life like that?

As we celebrate this time please make sure you go to  the foot of the cross and say thank you to Jesus that He was willing to pay for us and remember what it cost! And if you haven’t received your free pardon please give Him your life and your sin today! You don’t have to pay for what He has already paid for but it is your choice, He never forces us He just prays that we will come and receive that gift!

God bless you during this season of remembering!

Under His wing,

Linda

Posted in Christianity, Jesus | Tagged , , | 3 Comments

Jesus Loves the Little Children

Luke 18:16 But Jesus called the children to him and said, “Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of God belongs to such as these.

How beautiful it is to experience the innocence and wonder of a little child and what a great privilege it is to lead one of these little ones to the feet of the Lord. The kingdom of God belongs to such as these! We were in many schools, parks and churches over the past few weeks with groups visiting us from the United States and we never get tired of seeing the kids, talking with them and also watching the lives of people who are able to  share the Gospel with the children for the first time be changed forever! Thank you God for being so  gracious to  allow us to work with You in sharing the story of Your great love for us. Please Lord keep these children safe and help them to grow in their love for you and to walk  in Your ways all the days of their lives. Give them the strength and the courage to keep their childlike faith and trust in You and help us to be faithful pray for them!

And thank you for the wonderful brothers and sisters in Christ from Cave Spring Baptist Church who came and shared their lives with us this past week! We love you and we will miss you and hope you come back again soon!

Under His wing,

Linda

Posted in Christianity, Jesus, Missions | Tagged , | 2 Comments

Refreshed!

Connecticut Team with us

Philemon 1:4-7 I thank my God, making mention of you always in my prayers,  Hearing of your love and faith, which you have toward the Lord Jesus, and toward all saints; That the sharing of your faith may become effective by the acknowledging of every good thing which is in you in Christ Jesus. For we have great joy and consolation in your love, because the hearts of the saints are refreshed by you, brother.

A group of 16 people from my home church United Baptist church of Ashford,  a group from Eastford Baptist Church,  one man from Nehemiah Network from New York state,  and another gentleman from Georgia came to be with us for 9 days. During this time they worked on putting up a new ceiling in the main dining hall and painting other building in the camp in mornings and then in the afternoons a group of us went out to do evangelism in the schools and door to door. Our hearts are really refreshed and we enjoyed this time so much! The memories and the laughter will last for a long time and we are greatly encouraged to continue to fight the good fight of faith!

From the bottom of my heart I want to thank Pastor Pat, Ashley, Luis, Jennifer, Erik (Jeff), Amanda, Chris, Diane, Paul, Chris, John, Joan, Kaitlin, Sarah, Charlie, and Terry for your love and the sacrifices you made to come here and encourage us! You rose early in the morning, worked hard and then participated in many evangelism activities without giving a thought to yourselves – always looking to encourage others. We love you, we will miss you and look forward to the next time we can be together – either here in El Salvador or with our Lord Jesus when He calls us home. You are an incredible bunch of people and I pray the Lord will bless and refresh you in ways that only He can.  And also to the many people back home who supported you in prayer, financially and with their love – thank you!

Proverbs 11:24 One man gives freely, yet gains even more; another withholds unduly, but comes to poverty. 25 A generous man will prosper; he who refreshes others will himself be refreshed.

Refreshed and under His wing!

Linda

Posted in Christianity, El Salvador, God's Blessings, Jesus | 3 Comments

The Perfect Gift!

James 1:17 Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows.

I just came through another really stressful and frustrating time with immigration and after three days of going from office to office including the American Embassy all of my papers were once again in order and we headed to the camp to have lunch and a relaxing day with Marcello and Cecilia and the kids.

Just as we were getting ready to eat a beautiful green parrot that was up in the tree above us flew down and I extended my arm out to him and he landed on me!

Everyone was a little startled except me! I don’t know why but I just knew this was a precious gift from God that He sent down to show me that He cares for me just like He cares for the birds of the air. He really does and there is never a need to worry or to doubt  His care or the plans He has for us and as the scripture says we can trust Him because He never changes like the shifting shadows!  Pretty soon every one was laughing at the antics of this obviously very tame little gift.

He was very content to sit on the back of the truck and eat the bread we gave him while we finished our lunch.

The kids were very anxious to hold him too so I explained to them that  first they needed to win his confidence by talking softly to him and making very slow movements towards him with their finger or arm. It only took a minute or two for Danny to get him to perch on his hand and you can see he was very pleased.

The only one that was not happy was Esteban! He got really scared when this bird flew out of no where and landed on me and was even less thrilled when mom Raquel decided to let him sit on her finger! He loves birds but never saw one behave like this one!

Our buddy really had a good time with Mauricio and couldn’t decide which sholder he liked bestand after he tried them both…..he settled for the top of his head!After she was sure nobody was going to get hurt,  Ana decided to take a turn and he loved the banana she fed him.

 The kids named the bird Adcock after me and thanked me for leaving them  with the gift that God gave to me! What a perfect gift! What a perfect God! Happy New Year  from El Salvador!

Under His wing with a new friend,

Linda

Posted in Creation, El Salvador, God's Blessings | 6 Comments