Intersecting Life and Faith

Tag: Dusty Women (Page 2 of 5)

Interviews of women who follow Jesus, clinging to the hem of his garment.

Not Your Typical Monday Musings

Several weeks ago I threw up my hands in despair. What could I do? was the only thing going through my mind.

The 9th or 10th planned parenthood videos had been released from The Center for Medical Progress. What I had seen and forced myself to watch left me speechless. Was the butchering of babies and then selling their body parts really happening in our civilized nation? And what could I do? Should I remain silent? Did I dare turn the other way and pretend I had not seen? Would I just throw my hands up in futility?

Rather than curse the darkness, I believed God was asking me to proclaim the light in the work of New Hope Family Services.

new hope

Off I trotted to their office with questions ready to ask Martha, the director, and Stephanie, a friend who works alongside Martha. After a brief tour of a very busy office, we sat down together. I felt like I had known Martha all my life. Our meeting of three in Martha’s office was God-filled and Spirit led. I posed the following questions to them both.

What words come to mind when you think of the work of New Hope?

Love, hope, warm, loving environment, peace refuge. I can attest to these words as I had never been in their office. My husband and I have been avid supporters of this agency, but I had not visited. When I stepped into the reception area there was a calming peace as I waited for my appointment. A peace I knew was from God. A friendly face greeted me when I walked in. Martha also commented that there are 13 women on staff and you know what happens when a group of women get together?!! Their staff meetings are grace filled and unified, even if disagreements come up. Everyone wants to have the mind of Christ and do his will and that sense is conveyed the minute you walk into the office or begin chatting with the staff.

How does the Word of God tell the work of New Hope?

The staff prays everyday, praying for and with our clients,  offering  the plan of salvation if the client is receptive. Spot praying has also been implemented as we know all of our help comes from God and we cannot do any of this on our own. The Word of God is lived out everyday by loving God first and then loving our neighbor. Several comments encouraged me to press on in the fight of abortion and valuing all life from the beginning to the last breath breathed. I was helped by the statement that “abortion is not an issue, but a reality” and we must not become de-sensitized to what is happening.

What can we do to help and encourage New Hope Family Services?

As an agency we must have the help of local churches. We depend on them for not only financial help, but we need their fervent prayers. Practically, we need diapers, formula and clothes up to 2T. New Hope sees those who have an unplanned pregnancy not just through the birth of the baby, but offer practical help once the baby is born.

Our visit was too soon over. I was encouraged to not throw up my hands and not do anything. The work of New Hope and any crisis pregnancy center in your area, first needs our prayers. They cannot do this important work without the prayers of God’s people. Secondly, volunteers are needed. I was asked to fill three positions while I was there. Martha kept saying she was kidding…but I think she was half kidding. And who knows what the future holds? I do know I will soon be an empty nester.

There is no brilliant way to end this post. The reality of valuing all of life is not going away. May we value the life God has given us and protect the life of those not yet born.

 

 

 

Dusty Women-Lori

9-24-2015 Lori and I had to have been first friends. You can read all about that below. She also helped me with the initial beginnings of Dusty Women, which you can read about below too. Lori recently returned from a trip to Uganda. Not a missions trip per se, but a vision trip of what God is doing in that part of the world. Please read about her travels here, this is a story you don’t want to miss. She is a woman of God who inspires me on almost a daily basis. We mostly text a few times a week, or an occasional email. And a fellow coffee drinker when we get to see one another. She brought me something all the way from Africa.  She inspires me in so many ways in her walk with Jesus. She has a way with words but her text to me this morning was one of her best. 

I knew you would savor every drop as you savor our living Lord! Lori 

coffee

2014 Several months ago I came across Titus 2 Tuesday blog posts. Inspired to do the same thing I set out to make a list of my own questions. Women who have encouraged me to be a radical follower of Jesus. Radical in the sense they love God with all the heart, mind and soul and their neighbor as themselves. They are ordinary women who love and serve an Extraordinary God. Women I want to be like so the Word of God will not be dishonored. Titus 2:5

I wanted a catchy title other than God’s Women, so I asked a friend for help and she said

what is something that defines us? Maybe not where we’re from but where we’re going?

I always love the analogy of following Jesus so closely that you get the dust of your shepherd on you. Following in the footsteps of your Shepherd.  So you could call us Dusty Women.

I love the fact that she said we need to be defined by where we’re going not where we’ve been. As Paul says in Philippians 3:12-13…

forget what is behind.

Lori Somers is my next interview in the series of Dusty Women.

206491_205490752807805_3098552_nI don’t even know where to begin with my friend Lori. We’ve known each other…forever. Her mom and mine have been friends since 5th grade and they are in their 70’s. In fact, Lori’s arrival changed my mom’s wedding…kind of. Her mom Sharon was to be in my mom’s wedding on July 30 and Lori was born a week prior to that. My mom went to plan B. Now that she and I are in our 50’s our story together is very…long. But this post is about her journey not mine or ours, I will save that for another time. When looking for a picture of her there weren’t too many to choose from that were just of Lori. Most of the time she is surrounded by 5 grandchildren or walking the dusty roads of Africa. In her spare time she works full time to take care of business, love on her grandchildren and feed her passion to love the least of these. Wouldn’t you agree her smile is contagious? The interview follows this picture.

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Lori, would you describe yourself in 5-7 words?

L=Loving  O=Organized  R=Resourceful  I=Intelligent  How about four words? Eli made this for me when he was little and I think it fits pretty well.

Would you briefly describe how and when you were rescued from the domain of darkness and transferred in the Kingdom of God? (Colossians 1:13)

At the time God’s saving grace wrapped me in righteousness I was 14 years old. I really didn’t understand or know the depths of God’s mercy and grace at that time. But I have lived through the depths and seen God’s glory reveal itself over and over again. God never changes. His love never fails. I am rescued from the domain of darkness every single day. God’s Kingdom awaits me, and He is preparing a place for me. He wrestles me in the valley so that I can proclaim victory in areas of my life that would never produce fruit. Praise God!

What do you enjoy about being a mother and grandmother?

Being a mother tests your resolve and makes you decide what is important. The best part of being a mother is the love. It changes who you are. The best part of being a Grandma is the freedom to play and enjoy every moment without an agenda.

What advice would you give to a young mother struggling to just get through the day?

You have to set aside what the world thinks is important and focus your mind and energy on the attributes of Christ. Phil 4:8 will get you through rough conversations, rough emotions and raw days where nothing goes right. See your family and children as God sees them. Pray for the eyes and heart of Christ to serve your family. The world tells you that if your feelings are intact and it feels good, do it. But wisdom tells us that “right thinking leads to right behavior which leads to right feelings”. You can get into trouble if you start out with getting your feelings in order.

What does God’s Word mean to you?

God’s Word is truth. It makes me alive. It challenges me to have a clear mind and heart in order to speak truth into others.

What does the body of Christ mean to you?

The Family of God is the way God wraps his arms around you when you are hurting, distraught, or when you need someone to make you accountable. The body of believers also rejoices with you in truth and victory!

Coffee or Tea? Coffee

Vanilla or Chocolate? Vanilla Cake; everything else chocolate

In addition I asked Lori one more question regarding her life in Christ. She has clung to her Savior’s hem getting a lot of dust on her as she seeks to follow Him in everything.

Lori, what do you mean when you say

Letting freedom and redemption flood my heart and soul. Not just saying it but believing it.

Its one thing to know in my head I am free. Free from past sin, guilt, chains that bound me to a marriage that was over long before my pride would allow me to acknowledge it was over. I told myself I was free from that, but I kept my windows and doors locked, curtains pulled. That is not freedom. You have to live like you’re free and let it flood your mornings, your afternoons and your bedtime. God’s redeeming grace tells me its okay, you don’t have to look back. And you don’t ever have to go through that again. I wanted you to learn to depend on me fully. And I’m redeeming your life, your heart and your service for greater things. I have delivered you from oppression and unlove. God is saying “move with me, lean into me, and let my grace pour over your heart and your life.” And I have to be obedient to those words, and those actions. We want logical and black and white words. But Jesus tells us that is no solution at all. He beckons me to come to Him, weary and heavy-laden and He will give me salvation rest, away from my self-made decisions, to trust Him.  I’ve moved from saying those words to believing that freedom and redemption ARE mine as I follow Him down a new road.

Dusty Women~~Amanda

Months ago I came across Titus 2 Tuesday blog posts. Inspired to do the same thing I set out to make a list of my own questions. Women who have encouraged me to be a radical follower of Jesus. Radical in the sense they love God with all the heart, mind and soul and their neighbor as themselves. They are ordinary women who love and serve an Extraordinary God. Women I want model so the Word of God will not be dishonored. Titus 2:5

I wanted a catchy title other than God’s Women, so I asked a friend for help and she said what is something that defines us? Maybe not where we’re from but where we’re going?

I always love the analogy of following Jesus so closely that you get the dust of your shepherd on you. Following in the footsteps of your Shepherd.  So you could call us Dusty Women.

I caught up with Amanda earlier this summer drinking lattes’ with great conversation. She returned last December from a two year commitment with SIM and I wanted to hear all about it. We didn’t get around to my Dusty Women questions because I wanted to hear her back story of her faith walk and how she ended up in Kenya. One question I did ask which she didn’t hesitate in answering.

“What would you say to your 16 year old self? to which she replied…

“You’re not getting married tomorrow, so boys don’t matter.”

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Describe yourself in 5-7 words.

Christ-following, loyal, compassionate, silly, baker, photographer, dreamer     

Amanda, briefly describe your walk of faith.

I grew up in a Christian home and placed my trust in Jesus when I was just four years old. Unfortunately, as passionate as I was in the beginning, my faith soon wavered under the stress of trying to fit in. I tried to live both worlds, the good little Christian girl at home and at church, and the “cool” kid at school. It didn’t work so well. Because of these problems at school, I was home-schooled for a few years in high school. Best decision ever. God really met me at my low point, and re-dedicating my life to Him, I found the strength I needed to face the every day, to realize that I cannot live for both God and man (Galatians 1:10). Although I have since had many moments of people-pleasing, God has shown me time and again that He is all-sufficient, and all-surpassing in worth. And because of the great love that He has shown me, even in all my sin, I now have the opportunity to serve Him and testify to His goodness in Kenya.

What does God’s Word mean to you?

God’s Word is life: it is the very breath in me, my daily bread, strength for my weary soul, water in a dry and thirsty land, an ever-present help in times of trouble, joy and peace in the midst of chaos, the greatest Love Story ever written.


Briefly explain your work as a short-term missionary.

Since my job was to capture and tell the stories in Kenya, it is hard to pick just one. One of my favorites, though, is the time we had the opportunity to interview a woman who had taken in over eighty IDPs (Internally Displace Peoples from the conflict near the coast of Kenya). She and her family provided shelter, food, clothes and school fees at the expense of their own comfort, their own bills to pay, trusting that God would provide. I was so encouraged by her, her faith and willingness to give it all away for the sake of the gospel. After recounting how they had completely depleted their savings and watched God provide for their needs, she said it reminded her that “If I take care of God’s business, he takes care of mine.” And then she said “I will never get tired of serving Jesus, even when it hurts.” What a great reminder! No matter what we face, God is in control, and since “Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above…” (James 1:17), everything we have is God’s anyway, so why not give it back to Him willingly. Besides, if we are more valuable than the birds of the air and the lilies of the field, whom God has fed and clothed, how much more will He do so for us! (Matthew 6) “But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness and all these things will be added unto you.” (Matthew 6:33)                                 

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