Pushing The Elephant

It was an evening of blessing and inspiration, beauty and tears, with God’s touch all over it . . .

Thank you, Rose Mapendo, for sharing your deeply moving story with LIFT at our first meeting of 2014.  You touched the hearts of women in life-changing ways, and God was honored by your words and music.

Here are several comments that were shared by women who were in attendance.

From days after the event . . . “I am still soaking in Rose’s story and how God was and still is being glorified through her life. Wow! As I drove home I felt speechless, tearful and so deeply moved. I was trying to think of a way to describe the evening, and I couldn’t.  The only thing that came to mind was that it was more than a meeting…it was an experience.”

“Rose is a beautiful picture of what forgiveness and humility can look like when a person is completely yielded to Him – did you notice that even in the midst, she has the joy of the Lord? Amazing and Awesome! I will not ever be the same . . .”

“Rose’s reliance on the spirit of God was so evident. . . . I know I am changed because of the night.”

“It was really great to hear all The Lord has done in Rose’ life! Truly amazing! So great to hear how her faith in The Lord got her through such hard times. The Lord is good!”

“Rose’s story . . .  Her wrestling with God was so honest, clearly showing the power of prayer.  Her willingness to forgive her captors in such a terrible place was inspiring.  How can I not forgive the “pinpricks” I receive from others?   It was a beautiful experience. ”

If you were at the event I’m sure you were blessed as well.  If you missed it, you can read a synopsis of her story on the Rose Mapendo Foundation website.  It’s a harrowing story of imprisonment and loss during a period of ethnic violence in the Congo.  But it doesn’t end there.  By God’s grace Rose lived out her faith and experienced God’s hand of protection upon her.  You can also see a clip of her documentary, Pushing the Elephant.

Thank You, Lord, for Your goodness, and for showing us Your faithfulness to Your children–even in the worst possible circumstances.  And thank You for blessing LIFT with an incredible first event for 2014.

Uncharted Territory

Thank you, Glenna Salsbury, for sharing your heart with us so eloquently at our LIFT meeting on September 13.  And what a delight it was that you chose to spend your birthday with us!  Many blessings, Glenna.Balloons and Lavender Field

The topic of our day was “Following the Holy Spirit Into Uncharted Territory.”  Here’s a reprint of a devotional we shared with those in attendance.

UNCHARTED TERRITORY

“By faith Abraham, when called to go to a place he would later receive as his inheritance, obeyed and went, even though he did not know where he was going.”  Hebrews 11:8

Oh, Lord, thank You for the inspiring examples of faith that You have revealed in Your Word.  Of Abraham, who left home and country to follow You to a new land—without the benefit of maps or charts, or even a known destination.

Of Moses, who led the Israelites into the desert in obedience to Your instructions, trusting You to show the way.  And Joshua, who faced the enemies in a new land and obeyed Your specific directions—marching faithfully around Jericho even though it could not have made logical sense to him.

You even set the example Yourself, leaving Your place of privilege and honor in Heaven to become a man.  King of the Universe, yet choosing to experience the vulnerability of human life—for us.  Walking into the unknown to show us how it’s done.

And now, Lord, You call me, too, to walk in faith and obedience with You—into new and unfamiliar places.  I know it’s not just me, but each one of us who claim You as Lord.  You have made it so easy for us. . . .  At least it seems like it should be easy.

You bless us with the precious gift of Your presence—the Holy Spirit living inside us to guide and counsel and teach us Your ways.

You promise to hold us by the hand—and that we will never fall, even if we stumble on occasion, because You are holding us up.  You promise to direct our steps and show us the path if we will only trust You.

So why do I find it so difficult to follow You into uncharted territory, Lord?  Why do I keep insisting on knowing the way, seeing where the path goes before I can follow it?  Why do I think I need a map?

The truth is—I don’t.  Thank You, Lord, for reminding me of Your faithfulness.  You already know the way.  You are in control.  You are with me and for me.

In obedience and faith I place my hand in Yours yet again, Lord.  I’m ready to go forward—with You.

The Gate of the Year, by Minnie Haskins 1908

“I said to the man who stood at the gate of the year
‘Give me a light that I may tread safely into the unknown.’

And he replied, ‘Go out into the darkness and put your hand into the hand of God.
That shall be to you better than light and safer than a known way!’ . . .”

(Devotional by Deborah Barber)

Ahhhhh, YES!

Oh, yes!  It truly was refreshing!

Just as promised, LIFT’s Summer Refresher on August 2 was a time to be renewed and restored and to gain fresh insight into God’s Word.  In the way Jesus invited us to do in Matthew 11:28-30, we put life on hold for a few hours to  rest in Him and become better acquainted with His “unforced rhythms of grace.”

Joan Webb did an awesome job of leading us, sharing her story of God’s grace as it drew her away from the tyranny of “perfection” and into His freedom and rest.  If you haven’t yet checked out Joan’s ministry you can do so here:  JoanCWebb.com.  You’ll also find the beautiful poem Joan promised to share with us–it’s on her blog.

From the moment I walked into the room that morning I felt like I was exactly where God wanted me to be for the day, hearing just what I was supposed to hear.  I came away encouraged in my faith, inspired for ministry, and ready to move forward in His strength.

If you were there I would love to hear your comments on the day.  Were you as blessed as I was?

Mark your calendars–next LIFT meeting is September 13 at The Church at Arrowhead.  More info coming soon.

Blessings–

Deborah

 

 

 

REFRESHMENT WILL COME!

Dear Friends of Lift,

Have you been enjoying these wonderful, refreshing days of summer monsoons?  In the mountains of Arizona where I live the summer rains have been showing up nearly every afternoon–washing the trees, cooling the air, refreshing us with the moisture and breezes that are a delightful respite to an Arizona summer.

And next week we have an opportunity for spiritual refreshment as well.  I hope you’ve made plans to attend LIFT’s annual Summer Refresher.

Acts 3:19 talks about the “times of refreshment” that will come from the presence of the Lord.  I promise you, there will also be times of refreshment that come from the gathering of women who join together next week to encourage and LIFT each other up in ministry.

Will you be there to enjoy the cool breezes Joan Webb and the LIFT team have planned to refresh your spirit?  Check it out here.  Summer Refresher  Today is the last day to register.

Blessings–

Deborah