Hope.

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All throughout the winter, I have been driving past this tree on my way to and from work.

Always captures my attention…

This tree has a lesson. So does this empty fruit basket.

It’s been speaking to my soul. And yes, trees can speak.

We read about Jesus speaking to the fig tree in Mark 11… it spoke back to Him, in obedience. It heard what He said, and did what He said.

Regarding THIS tree-and THIS empty basket…

Most specifically the little fruit basket sitting as if it’s waiting. It has been speaking to me.

A lot.

It is a symbol of hope and of new life.

When we look at things that seem lifeless and hopeless, the more we let our gaze dwell there unchecked, we grew weary and depressed.

This image paints a different picture to focus on-if only we have eyes to see and ears to hear…

The tree branches are empty.. there’s no sign of life…

There’s a hint of life however on the bottom, of the green grass starting to grow… but the symbol of hope here is in the empty bucket waiting at the bottom… it’s a sign that good things will come in the future.

I believe this is a message to encourage somebody.

Are you facing a hopeless situation?

Anyone feeling as if life will never come again the way you want it to?

God has different seasons in our life for a reason.

While we learn to wait on God, let’s purpose to trust Him!

“Faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see” (Hebrew 11:1),

Based on the true uncompromised Word of God!

We need to learn to be obedient and to do what God says to do, in order to get the results God says we can have.

“call those things that are not as though they are!” (Romans 4:17)

God is a speaking Spirit!

He spoke everything into existence and to this day there are new galaxies still being created based on His original command to exist!

“Words are powerful! Words can be our salvation and words can be our damnation.” (Matthew 12:33 MSG)

“Death and life are in the power of the tongue!” (Proverbs 18:21)

What are we saying?

What are we declaring?

What are we confessing?

We need to learn to look adversity directly into its face and declare our victory!

Like this little basket sitting at the foot of this barren tree, waiting for the right season of fruit to come-anticipating…

let’s “trust in the Lord with all our heart and lean not on to our own understanding- in all our ways acknowledge Him and let Him direct our steps!” (Proverbs 3:5-6)

Lets look with eyes of faith! And speak into our future right now the expected end!

Be encouraged, dear loved ones- hope never disappoints!

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Little Children’s Imaginary ‘Friends’ Have Spiritual Purpose

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Often times, little children have imaginary ‘friends’.

To them, they ‘see’ their ‘friends’ as real people. They confide in them. They are content for hours spending time with them.

They talk with them, eat with them, play with them- as if they are REAL people.

Little children are given great imaginations by God! They love to sit on the floor and pretend real life situations and act them out.

They make up stories, acting out with dolls, or toy cars, or they ‘play’ house or doctor, policeman, cowboy etc.

Many times when my children were little, they’d say “Mommy, come play with me!”

And quickly they’d assign me a position-a role to act out “You be the mommy, I’ll be the baby.”

Without effort on their part, they’d come up with the most natural conversations as they play-acted. But for me, it was not as easy to ‘pretend’ anymore as a grown up.

I loved watching my children play alone content with their ‘imaginary friends.’

They’d be oblivious to me standing in the doorway,observing their conversations, lost in play as if I was the invisible one and their ‘friend’ was more real than me.

I believe God gave little children the gift of imagination, and especially imagination friends for a reason.

It teaches them at a young age to be comfortable with themselves talking out loud to an ‘invisible’ yet very important figure in their life they believe to be real.

Colossians 1:15 (NLT) “Christ is the visible image of the invisible God. He existed before anything was created and is supreme over all creation”

The gift of a childlike imagination is from God. Children have innate unquestionable faith. They ‘see’ with the pure, undefiled eyes of faith.

Playtime for a little child with an unseen ‘real’ friend, is prayer preparation time with an unseen REAL God!

I believe God gave little children the gift of imaginary friends to allow them to grow comfortable talking out loud to their unseen friend/s, so that without question they will be able to ‘see’ Jesus, and talk with God whom they can’t see, but know is there.

When we ‘see’ Jesus as our real, personal living friend- when we become comfortable as as child talking with Him openly and anything and everything- we will ‘become as a child.’

“And he said: “Truly I tell you, unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven.” (Matthew 18:3)

Her smile was worth waiting for…

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Doesn’t matter how many times I see pictures like this… my heart stirs every time with love for the incredible people of Africa, and longing to be back… and soon I will be back! I return this year, the end of August.

My ❤ is for Africa … and her smile was worth waiting for..  Her name is Malaika, or, ‘Angel’ in English.  She was ‘dirt poor’ but ‘heart rich.’   Her tummy wasn’t full of food, but her heart was full of love.  Her stick & mud hut with a thatch roof wasn’t full of toys, but it was full of joy.  One thing that I’ve witnessed about these precious people, they have a deep sense of family bonding, and community.

Malaika is only 9 years old, but she was a ‘mother’ to this little one on her back.  She was devoted to the care of her brother, and did a great job of it.

While I was in Gulu, Uganda February 2017, with the Joyce Meyer’s Ministries “Hand of Hope”, she caught my eye.  Primarily because the first few times I was drawn to her, she kept her distance, and did NOT smile, not even a hint.  Several days there, she’d come by the ministry tent I was serving in, and hover around, listening.  I always smiled at her, hoping to engage her.

Finally, on the third day, she was still there, (a local whose family lived in the bush in neighboring village), when I had my camera in hand, she paused.  I held the camera out to her, saying ‘kamera?  Picha?’  Which in English is, Camera, Picture. Or Photo.   So, she nodded her head, stopped and posed.

But didn’t smile.  Not at first.  Like the previous days, she just starred at me.  (Later I was told by my interpreter that I was the first ‘white’ person she’s ever seen.) So, I made a face back at her, similar to the expression she had on hers, which is just like the one of her baby brother on her back’s face, and then stuck out my tongue, and laughed…and that’s when she smiled at me!

She followed me over to the ministry tent, cause I asked her if she wanted a ‘treat.’   While there, I had my interpreter help me in finding out if she had received Jesus as her Lord and Savior, and she hadn’t.  Praise God!  She was open, and since she had heard me preach the gospel multiple times before, and because she heard me sharing my testimony many times before, she was ready.  Faith came to her in the hearing of the Word!  (Romans 10:17 ‘Now, faith comes by hearing, and hearing of the Word of God.’ I enjoyed thoroughly praying with her after taking her picture,  and then was successful in leading her to Jesus!!!   Oh, how I enjoyed that!  That, and giving her sweets …though Jesus is the sweetest sweet ever!

I can’t tell you all enough how THANKFUL I am to you all who support our ministries, because without your help, people like Malaika may never get to hear the gospel, or have opportunity to receive Jesus as their Lord and Savior!    THANK YOU for helping to send me to Gulu, Uganda!  THANK YOU for your faithful prayers!  THANK YOU for your caring and partnering with us!  YOU MATTER!  Your support matters!  Thank you so much!

 

Love,

 

Wendy

 

 

Faith…we all have it. Don’t we?

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Make up your mind!

Make up your mind!

We ALL have faith in something.

And, there’s two types of faith:

“Natural Faith”, and “God-kind of Faith.”

Truth is, we CHOOSE what we have faith in by what we put our attention to, and the more attention we give to something, the more faith comes…

“Natural Faith” comes by our 5 senses, what we see, feel, touch, hear and smell.

“God-kind of Faith” comes by the Word of God, by hearing and hearing and hearing, and by meditating on the Word. (Romans 10:17, Joshua 1:8).

When problems come, (and they will. The Word of God tells us they will) the devil uses them to distract us, to trap us, and to lure our minds into worry, anxiety, panic, fear. IF WE LET HIM. IT IS OUR CHOICE WHERE WE PUT OUR ATTENTION TO.

God tells us to ‘hold every thought captive and bring the into the obedience of Christ’ (2 Corinthians 10:5). BUT HE WON’T DO IT FOR US.

But do we?

God also tells us ‘NOT to worry, NOT to fret, NOT to have anxiety over anything’ (Philippians 4:6-7) but to ‘cast ALL our cares to Him, for He cares for you effectually’ (1 Peter 5:7)…

But do we?

God also tells us WHAT to think upon “whatever us TRUE, whatever is worthy of reverence and is honorable and seemly, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely and lovable, whatever is kind and winsome and gracious, if there is any virtue and excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, THINK ON and weigh and take account of these things (FIX YOUR MINDS ON THEM)” (Philippians 4:8 AMP)… BUT HE WON’T DO IT FOR US.

But do we?

And, what is “US?” What is “WE?” The REAL us? What is REAL?

We are a 3 part being, made in the image of God. We ARE a Spirit, we live in a temporary, physical body, and we possess a soul (our mind, reasoning, emotions, intellect, memory.)

We can never meditate on this truth long enough-

When we are born again, we become a new creation, with a BRAND NEW SPIRIT. “Therefore, if any man is in Christ, he is a new creation, the old things are passed away; behold, the new have come.” (2 Corinthians 5:17 NIV)

Our SPIRIT is made new, but our flesh is the same, and our mind is the same-they weren’t born again-and they are where we get entangled in the web of lies and sin with the devil…

God tells US that WE have to guard our heart (Proverbs 4:23), to avoid ‘ungodliness and worldly, sinful lusts of the flesh’ (Titus 2:11-13) and to ‘not conform to the pattern of the world, but to be transformed by the renewing of our minds’ (Romans 12:2).

I have to remind myself often that when I got born-again, I lost my mind! (And gained the Mind of Christ!)

And, we are told to do this DAILY.

Because, you see…we ALL have faith in something…
And, there’s two types of faith:

“Natural Faith”, and “God-kind of Faith.”

Truth is, we CHOOSE what we have faith in by what we put our attention to, and the more attention we give to something, the more faith comes…

So, what ARE you thinking on? Where has your mind wandered to? What are you ALLOWING your thoughts to linger on, to dwell on? Are they bringing you peace, or are they bringing you havoc? (this is a good self-check to see which faith you are in-and we ALL waver between the two…)

Faith ACTS!