Friday, May 25, 2018

Delayed: Going Forward

To my readers:  Even though I have not posted much this year, I remain committed to sharing here about Jesus and helping you learn and grow in your faith.  I encourage you to check out (and like) Faith Journey with Kim: Growing in Christ Jesus on Facebook; join in the occasional discussion on the posts there.  I plan to post in the future on a topic that the Lord placed on my heart several weeks ago.

What does it mean to be delayed?  What is the role of delays in life?  How does God work in and through the times of what seems be quiet and absence of seeing God at work or hearing His voice?  These are good questions to ponder when we struggle to see and to understand God’s will and way for us.   The Scriptures are full of delays—delays that God uses to bring about glory to His name and to show His incredible power and authority.

Time is an interesting commodity—there are 24 hours in a day for each person—however, our view of time and God’s view of time are completely different.  When God is silent we wonder what is going on; we can rest assured that God is present during the silent times.  Delays in our minds are not delays to God—He is there and still at work in us and around us.

And Terah took Abram his son, and Lot the son of Haran his son's son, and Sarai his daughter in law, his son Abram's wife; and they went forth with them from Ur of the Chaldees, to go into the land of Canaan; and they came unto Haran, and dwelt there.  And the days of Terah were two hundred and five years: and Terah died in Haran.  
(Genesis 11:31-32 KJV)

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Now the Lord had said unto Abram, Get thee out of thy country, and from thy kindred, and from thy father's house, unto a land that I will shew thee:  And I will make of thee a great nation, and I will bless thee, and make thy name great; and thou shalt be a blessing:  And I will bless them that bless thee, and curse him that curseth thee: and in thee shall all families of the earth be blessed.  
(Genesis 12:1-3 KJV)

In Genesis 11-12 we read about the beginning of Abram/Abraham’s journey with God.  God called Abram, an idol worshiper, to become the father of a great nation—Israel (and all who come to faith in Christ).  Abram listened to God, however, he did not leave all behind as he was commanded.  Abram’s father, Terah and his nephew Lot journeyed with him and his wife, Sarai/Sarah.  This was not a good idea.  Abram’s journey to Canaan (the Promised Land) was delayed in Haran until his father, Terah, died.  Interestingly, Terah’s name means “delayed”.

In the New Testament, delay is seen in Jesus’ ministry.  In John 11 we read about Jesus delaying a visit to His friends—Mary, Martha, and Lazarus—Lazarus was very ill and needed Jesus.  Yet Jesus chooses to delay His trip, so God would be glorified.  The delay allowed Lazarus to die.  While Mary, Martha, and their friends grieved this tragic loss, God was at work.  When Jesus and His disciples arrived Lazarus had been buried for four days; yet Jesus did not see this as a hindrance.  When Jesus called Lazarus back to life and out of the tomb, God got all the glory!

Likewise, after the Apostle Paul’s dramatic conversion on the road to Damascus, he spent three years in Arabia before going to Jerusalem and meeting the Apostle Peter and James, the Lord’s brother.

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Neither went I up to Jerusalem to them which were apostles before me; but I went into Arabia, and returned again unto Damascus.  Then after three years I went up to Jerusalem to see Peter, and abode with him fifteen days.  But other of the apostles saw I none, save James the Lord's brother.  
(Galatians 1:17-19)

Similar to Abram’s journey to Canaan—the Promised Land, the story of Jesus and Mary, Martha, and Lazarus, and the Apostle Paul’s time in Arabia, entries on this blog have seen many delays this year.  However, that does not mean a lack of God working in my life.  During this rather unplanned hiatus I have been learning, growing, developing in my faith and actively serving the Lord.  Moreover, I am sensing some gentle, easy to miss/ignore nudges to grow and expand in ministry.  This will take time—time in prayer to discern God’s desire, to vision, and to dream.  Please watch, wait, and pray with me during this season of discernment. 

In the meantime, take comfort in knowing that God is always in control and during those seemingly interminable times of delay, God is still there and still working for you!

Please stay tuned for posts that will come in God’s time—God is at work and has plans for this blog and more!

When have you experienced delays in your walk with the Lord?

Please join with me in prayer:

Lord of Time, Thank You for the story of Abraham and others clearly showing us how delays are not the end of the story, but are simply part of the greater story You are writing with our lives.  It is clear that You use delays to work in the lives of Your children.  Help us to not fear and to simply obey Your clear word to us and wait on You to provide direction at just the right time.  Thank You for using delays to grow us into the person You desire us to become.  In Jesus’ Name, we pray.  Amen.

From My Heart to Yours,


Friday, May 11, 2018

Happy Mother's Day 2018

“But continue thou in the things which thou hast learned and hast been assured of, knowing of whom thou hast learned them; And that from a child thou hast known the holy scriptures, which are able to make thee wise unto salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus.”
(2 Timothy 3:14-15 KJV)

*Note:  I shared this post in 2015, 2016, and 2017—the message is still timely, in my opinion.  I have edited it slightly for this year.

To my readers:  Even though I have not posted much this year, I remain committed to sharing here about Jesus and helping you learn and grow in your faith.  I encourage you to check out (and like) Faith Journey with Kim: Growing in Christ Jesus on Facebook; join in the occasional discussion on the posts there.  I plan to post soon on a topic that the Lord placed on my heart several weeks ago.

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This Sunday, May 13, we celebrate Mother’s Day. Therefore, it is a great time to reflect on the special women (our mom and others) in our lives who nurtured us; perhaps, they still nurture us, even if from afar.  There are so many different types of mothers:  those who give birth to and raise their child/children, those who are brave and allow their child to be adopted, there are adoptive mothers, foster mothers, and spiritual mothers.  So many different ways to be a mom to many—great is the impact of moms on the lives of those they nurture.

At the outset, I realize some reading this post will have had a challenging relationship with their mom, or perhaps a dear mom has passed away, or a mom is no longer mom due to a variety of health issues and/or dementia.  My prayer for you is that you will experience God’s comforting, healing presence in the days ahead.

Likewise, some women reading this post will struggle due to their longing to be a mom.  My heart goes out to you, so many of us with “mommy hearts” (this includes me) know we are to nurture another person.  In my case, I have found contentment in being a nurturing presence in the lives of my friends.  As my mentor and spiritual dad reminded me this morning, I am a spiritual mom to many—being reminded of this warmed my heart.

My mom and me--taken May 2006 at FUMC Knoxville, IA, for Mother's Day tribute. Photo Credit A. Furney

In thinking about some of the ladies, who have nurtured me spiritually I recall a couple of dear ladies (Ruby and Clara) from my earliest years (pre-school through second grade)—both were apart of my life due to Sunday school and church attendance. Ruby and Clara taught my peers and me a lot about Jesus and His love for us.  

Many times, if it were not for our mom we would not be in church.  It seems spiritual nurture, many times, is dependent on mom.  As a little girl, I attended Sunday school and church faithfully, thanks to my mother.  In fact, some of my earliest memories are of church and Sunday school.

For many of us, Sunday school and Vacation Bible school teachers have a huge impact on us and how we grew in our faith.  What sort of impact did your Sunday school and Vacation Bible school teachers have on you?

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How have you been nurtured by your mom or your spiritual mothers (teachers, aunts, cousins, friends of the family)?

How can you nurture someone in need?  Look at how Paul encouraged Timothy regarding his faith that he learned from Lois and Eunice (his grandmother and mother) (see 2 Timothy 1:5). 

Therefore, in reflecting on this special day let us think about everything that moms do for their off-spring (this includes spiritual moms too!).

Moms do a lot for us.

They care for us when we are ill.

They comfort us after bad dreams.  

They encourage us on difficult days.

They generally remain our staunchest supporters even when we make not so good decisions.

It is clear that moms everywhere deserve this special day of remembrance.

How can we thank our moms (birth and spiritual) at this special time?

Please join with me in prayer:

Dear Lord of All, thank You for our mothers who gave us life and nurture.  Thank You for the spiritual mothers in our lives who taught us about Jesus and His love for us and who influenced our growth in the faith and faithfully prayed for us—giving us encouragement at just the right time.  For those who long to be a mommy grant them a special sense of Your comforting presence.  Bless our mothers today and always.  In Jesus’ name, we pray.  Amen.

From My Heart to Yours,


Happy Mother’s Day!!