Wednesday, February 27, 2019

Let Him Reign

"The Lord reigns, let the earth be glad:" (Psalm 97:1 NIV) 

Don't you love a Spring shower? Refreshing. Relaxing. Rejuvenating. But, what happens when it doesn't stop raining. Flooding. Only one kind of flooding refreshes, relaxes, and rejuvenates––the reign of God flooding our heart. How do we know He reigns in our heart?

1. When He reigns in our heart, His praise flows from our lips.

"The Lord reigns, let the earth be glad:" (Psalm 97:1 NIV). Our great God overflows from his creation. How are you doing at telling about God's greatness? We can see His greatness through his creation. We are His creation. If He reigns in us, He flows through us. Not only do we experience refreshment, but others also feel refreshed by our testimony––what we say about Him. Everyone should praise God's great and awesome name because it symbolizes His persona and His nature. Our best witnessing happens when our hearts overflow with appreciation for what He has done. God has chosen us to declare his marvelous works.

 2. When He reigns in our heart, we want to evangelize the whole world.

"...let the distant shores rejoice" (NIV 97:1b). How will His Word spread to distant shores so others too can rejoice in His presence?" Only if God's ambassadors take His Word to those distant shores will they know of Him and rejoice with us.

 3. When God reigns in our heart, we worship Him and respect His name. We give Him praise by both our words and our life.

"The Lord reigns, let the nations tremble; he sits enthroned between the cherubim, let the earth shake" (Psalm 99:1 NIV). God's holiness is frightening for sinners but a wonderful comfort for believers. God can not tolerate sin. But for believers, God's holiness gives comfort. And, because we worship him, we are lifted from the mire of sin. When we believe in Him, we are made holy.

 Have you seen these three examples flowing from your heart, soul, and lips?

You will if you let Him reign!

Sunday, February 24, 2019

Possessions and Pity

"If anyone has material possessions and sees his brother in need but has no pity on him, 
how can the love of God be in him?" (1 John 3:16–17, NIV).

Saturday morning proved to be a fast-paced trip to the city for us. Our primary objective and first stop landed us at the Mac store where our friend and tech guy waited for his frequent visitors. Yes, we now have a Mac store in Bolivia. My computer decided to go on strike the previous night. It messaged me that I had no more space to download files. How could that be whenever in another location it told me I had plenty of space. If only I could talk back to this "smart" companion––smarter than I am.

Two hours later, the problem was solved and the download safely in my files. Ahhh! Any writer will tell you how valuable the files of their books are to them––even though we have backups and more backups. Next, we took advantage of the trip to town and set out to do some needed shopping, mostly groceries. I've been in Bolivia 38 years and grocery shopping now in 2019 is a day out for me. Why?

For many years in the past, our shopping was anything but a day out. It was a day of exhaustion and frustration. There were no supermarkets, so we trekked from one location to another to find our needed items. First, we walked to a street where we bought meat at dawn before it sold out. Then to buy bread on a corner from a lady who made the best bread around, and so on through the day. Did I mention flies, smells, and thieves lurking around waiting for a chance to steal our wallet or purse? And, of course, Americans were their prime targets of the day. 

Now you see why it's a day out for me to go to the supermarket––it's clean and safe and most things are available in one place for the necessities of life. Oh sure, we have specialty shops or favorite other places we like to go, but on the whole, the super gives us the main necessities for cooking, cleaning, and goodies to enjoy and even some clothing items. 

On our last trip home to the States, I remembered mentioning in an email that we had a supermarket somewhat like Walmart now in Bolivia. Arriving in the States one of our first stops––you guessed it––Wally World. We step inside, and our eyes almost bugged out from the vast view––and they stung from the bright lights. We stood there, mouths opened and yes, eyes widened, just like I can imagine a foreigner looks like the first time he experiences the overwhelming availability of products in the United States of America and the beauty and cleanliness of it all. Lest I should forget to mention the humongous building. Indeed the USA has material possessions unlike anywhere in the world. If you doubt me, step outside the USA. BTW, our "Walmart Not" could fit inside a real Walmart many times over.

Ahh, but what do we do with our "possessions"? 

On this day of leisure for us, we decided to stop at a new fast-food chicken place for lunch. We chose to sit outside in a corner spot and watch the traffic and the scenery––mostly traffic and people hurrying by on their Saturday quest for weekly necessities. Smoke from the outdoor "kitchen" engulfed us, but the aroma pleasantly filled our nostrils. At this quaint locale, big glass windows separate the eating area from the street to block the traffic noise and prevent unwanted intruders. But, what we saw through those windows pierced our hearts and challenged us, even more, to do what God has put on our hearts for the building of His Kingdom through Worthy Words Press to gift children's books. 

Sitting in that outdoor section, eating our chicken possessions, we soon saw necessities--sad necessities of a developing country––where we live so we can share the gospel to the unreached and especially children. And, there in those windows leaned three children watching us eat. Not just any children, but poor, ragged and hungry children.

I had hardly touched my food––chicken, rice and french fries, I had passed on the noodles that came with the meal not wanting to waste food. But now, I regretted that decision. The children appeared to range from six to ten years of age. Many times the mother is hiding somewhere waiting for the children to bring any food they can gather, but restaurant owners discourage these little ones from hanging around. The oldest boy showed me a plastic bag, and I motioned for him to come--we paid for that food so what could the owners say to us? We filled the bag with food, and they ran off. 

Yes, we fed them lunch but no time to tell them of Jesus. Soon we can do more. How I wished we had my books already printed so we could have given them books. Books to read about the One who is the Bread of Life to fill their hungry souls. Since God put this idea in our hearts, He daily shows us it is of Him, and that Worthy Words Press is a tool He will use to reach kids for Him. He has promised to guide us and provide for what He wants done––for His will.

Since our first days in Bolivia, we asked God never to allow us to grow cold or insensitive to the needs around us. How exciting for us to see God working to put children's books in Spanish into the hands of little ones like these three precious, hungry children. What a joy for me to see my books being translated into Spanish and used to tell children about Jesus.

We know what He calls us to do, He will do it––He'll provide all we need. And, He is doing that daily. We have professional help, we have the first monetary gifts to begin, we have faithful friends and supporters who pray and give to God's work, and we have the One who keeps His promises. What an awesome God we serve and love! 

With the love of God who fills us with pity for these little ones––and even their parents too––we can use our possessions to do His will!

Friday, February 15, 2019

Enlarge Your Tent

"Enlarge the place of your tent, stretch your tent curtains wide, do not hold back; 
lengthen your cords, strengthen your cords" (Isaiah 54:2 NIV).

Do you like change? I cringe at the word change, but yet, my life continues to change with each new year that God gives me to continue serving Him. I should embrace change when God says, "Enlarge your place of your tent,"––it means He is enlarging my ministry that I might expand His kingdom with Him. I should live as though I have it all––because I do. I have God, His power, and all I need to do His will. I have a tent (my place of service) but, it's up to me to stretch and not hold back because I am comfortable in my smaller tent. Still, I'm bunkered in––comfortable in my smaller tent and holding back. Stretching my tent curtains wide is hard with my narrow vision. Then, I reflect on my first night in a tent.

My experience with tents is limited to one camping adventure with our Sunday School class many years ago. A member of the class had an enormous army tent and offered it for the trip. Let me say this––we were young. We were energetic, and our group had a unique bond. We did fun things together and always enjoyed food together––lots of scrumptious food. But regardless of the sweet fellowship and great food, this trip would prove I had no missionary blood in my veins––zilch. Comfortable doesn't describe my first and last tent experience. The word glamper didn't exist in the dictionary at that time. 

After our group spent hours assembling the humongous beast, we all placed our cots in family sections and then gathered around the bonfire munching on hotdogs and marshmallows. Before bedding down for the first night of our memorable trip, we had a time of prayer and praise. Sweet voices joined in campfire songs that filled the fresh night air. Toasty and sleepy, we bedded down in our prepared areas. Everything quiet, with crickets rubbing their legs in the distance and a hooting owl hovering near, the night sounds lulled me to sleep. Until in the dark, a shill scream woke everyone. It was me screaming. "There's a snake over there in the corner." 

The campers leaped from their comfy blankets and flashlights beamed everywhere in the tent. Looking for the snake, one man asked, "How could you have seen a snake in the dark?" I didn't. I was dreaming--of snakes! More like a nightmare but oh so real. Of all the memories of that camping trip, which one do you think everyone remembers? A few years later when God called us to the mission field, what story do you think surfaced? Snakes in the tent! In that tent, on that night I couldn't have imagined the snake stories to come––a coral snake in my kitchen in Bolivia–– that I almost stepped on in my bare feet (among other snake stories). My tent stretched to Bolivia where God enlarged our ministry many times. And, now once more through Worthy Words Press to print books in Spanish for underprivileged kids I feel the stretch.

So why not stay where I am––comfortable with a ministry with more than enough avenues of outreach? But, what if I had never ventured from the first tent with the "snake" that didn't exist? The "snakes" in our tents sometimes keep us from strengthening our cords by trusting God to enlarge our vision and outreach. Oh, the blessings I would have missed and the opportunities to expand God's kingdom with Him. God has a bigger vision and more blessings waiting when we stretch beyond our abilities and trust Him who is able to do all things outside our comfortable tent zone.

Do you find yourself stagnant and desiring to stretch your "tent" to do more for God, but you are holding back? Most of us find ourselves in that comfortable zone and like being inside our small tents. But, outside it waits the extraordinary things we never dreamed we could do--and apart from God, we can't. But, when we stretch our tents, we find the joy zone, knowing it's not anything we can do but everything God can do through us. And, God gets the glory.

I know God will get the glory when Worthy Words Press reaches underprivileged kids for Him through books with worthy words that tell of Jesus. I'm enlarging my tent of ministry, and it's not easy and a bit scary, but oh, so exciting too.

When stretching our tents results in God being glorified, that is God's will! Let's not hold back.
Go ahead, enlarge the place of your tent and let God get the glory.

Thursday, February 14, 2019

Valentine's Day Views

“And I thank Christ Jesus our Lord 
who has enabled me, because He counted me faithful,
  putting me into the ministry,” 
 (I Timothy 1:12 NIV)

Early on the morning of February 14, 1981, Valentine's Day, we touched down for the first time in Cochabamba, Bolivia. The view of the Andes Mountains from the plane's windows was breathtaking; they made Pennsylvania mountains look like molehills in comparison. Tucked into the mountainside and throughout the valley, we saw little mud huts; that also was a view that made us realize we were in a foreign land.

   We were met at the airport by a mission representative, then climbed into the back of a truck and headed to the mission home. This was Cochabamba, the second largest city in Bolivia, but to call it a big city was a stretch. We felt the dust from dirt streets on our tired faces, and bounced around when an occasional pig or cow darted in front of the truck. Our kids, then ages four and 12, were taking it all in and loving every minute. I was wondering why we were told Cochabamba was a big city, it looked more like a town in the movie Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid. I had no idea this trip would seem like a "kiddie ride" compared to our next few weeks.

   Our first bus trip to the mission school eight hours from the "city" confirmed that Bolivia had some of the most dangerous roads in the world. I tried not to look over the cliffs; they had no guardrails and a view of 1000 feet drop-offs. And I can't forget to mention the drunk bus driver who drove as if he were in the Indy 500. 

   In our first month in Bolivia, Chuck was arrested in the market place for not having ID (his passport was in the capital city with our visa applications), a bomb went off down the street from the mission home where we were staying, and the president of the country threatened to cut the fingers off all missionaries in the country. Before having to be evacuated, there was a government overthrow, and a new president was chosen who was more sympathetic to missionaries. We still have all our fingers.

   Our life has continued to have the same thrills for 38 years, and we have no plans of retirement yet, (only God knows our future). So why do we stay here? There can only be one answer; God put us in the ministry. And, in fact, God has opened a new ministry for us through Worthy Words Press : printing books in Bolivia to gift my children's books in Spanish with Bible principles for underprivileged kids––kids with no resources to buy books and who live in remote areas of Bolivia, many who have yet to hear of Jesus.

   For God so loved the world... Someday we'll have a view in heaven of those we came to serve and accepted God's free gift, Jesus. 

   Happy Valentine's Day
We're thankful God enabled us and put us in the ministry, 
so we can share the
 Greatest Love Story of all time. 

Tuesday, February 12, 2019

Dreams and Determination

"...if you utter worthy, not worthless words, 
you will be my spokesman" (Jeremiah 15:19 NIV).


It has been my dream for many years to print my traditionally published books and self-published books in Bolivia. Printing can be done at a much lower cost than first buying books from the publisher in the USA, then the added cost of shipping and customs would make the cost out of reach to gift books to kids in the mountains and in our churches and Rumi Rancho, our ministry base. Now, with the rights to my books returned to me, I can move towards fulfilling that dream. I’m thankful God's been in the details and orchestrated this one thing I hadn’t completed yet for Him––together with my husband and Rumi Rancho, we move towards this goal with the new imprint of Worthy Words Press.


“Pray that our God will make you fit for what he's called you to be, pray that he'll fill your good ideas and acts of faith with his own energy so that it all amounts to something.” (2 Thess. 1:11 MSG)

Fit: After eight years of being published in many avenues, I believe God continues to make me fit to write for Him and trust Him as I step out in this new adventure. He's prepared me for the next step. In the past eight years, God has led for me to be published through many avenues: 12 books traditionally published and 14 self-published, mostly children's books. Writing for adults, I've had two devotional books published, contributed to seven anthologies, some with major publishers as Bethany House, contributor to devotional sites, and been published in Christian magazines, including Focus on the Family, and many online publications. 

Fill: God continues to guide and direct and give me good ideas but time has been holding me back. With this new direction, I hope to continue writing for kids and write more devotional books and contribute to devotional sites. All the while, I will be dedicating time with my husband to see kids in Bolivia get books I’ve written that include Bible messages and entertaining contents. But, not only to bring them a bit of fun in their difficult circumstances but much more to introduce them to Jesus who loves them more than anyone.

FaithI pray that God will fill me with faith so I will leap to do His will with His own energy so that it all amounts to something for Him--for eternity.

My husband, Chuck is totally supporting me and will provide help in every area of this endeavor for God. He will work closely with the Christian printer here in Bolivia—we are in this together to see God enable us to gift books to children and adults who have no resources to buy books and who have little opportunity to hear of Jesus. Along with my books, we hope to raise funds to give Bibles also. Pray with us as we step out in faith from our comfort zone to follow God in this new journey through Worthy Words Press under the umbrella of Rumi Rancho Ministries.

We desire to be God's spokesmen through Worthy Words Press.