Haiti, A Place Void of God
Malcolm and Joy Henderson were all set for “the American dream.” He had graduated from Medical School and she had a good job in the financial world.
While overlooking a large city in Haiti on a short term mission trip. Malcolm saw “a place void of God.” He asked God a simple question, “God, where are you here?” The reply he heard changed his entire life’s goals.
For more information about Malcolm and Joy and their ministry go to www.charis4haiti.com
Keys to the Kingdom
As believers, we are on mission in this world with the Holy Spirit. We have access to His power to accomplish tasks for God that He desires for us to do. We have been given keys to the Kingdom that will open doors that we otherwise could not open in our own abilities. This week I would like to share a story of employing one of these keys in order to get someone’s needs met. Which key am I speaking of? Prayer!
A neighbor, and good friend of our family, was recently diagnosed with cancer. She has been undergoing chemotherapy and standing strong in prayer with friends and family against this disease. A few weeks ago, I asked her if she would stop by my house so that I could give her some things to help in her fight, and so that I could pray with her.
When she arrived, we sat and talked for some time before praying, and she shared with me the other struggles her household was facing. She explained the severe financial troubles they were facing, and that on top of this, all their vehicles had broken down except one, including her husband’s work van. She asked me to pray that this one vehicle would stay running and that another vehicle would come available. I began praying, and hit every area of need that they were facing, especially the area of transportation.
A few days later however, I received a disturbing text message from this same friend that read as follows, “I need some serious prayers right now. As of 5 minutes ago my car quit running. We have no vehicles now. I don’t know how my husband is going to work. Please say a prayer for us. I don’t know how much more we can take of this.”
Instead of losing hope or thinking, “well I guess that prayer didn’t work” as soon as I got that text, I began to employ one of the powerful keys to the kingdom; I began to pray, and would not give up in prayer!
Listen to this weeks broadcast to hear how prayer turned this difficult situation around!
Adapted from a sixteenth-century folktale
There was once a man who had been traveling for a long time. Having run out of food, he was weary and hungry from his journey. When he came upon a small village, he thought, “Maybe someone could share some food.”
When the man knocked at the first house, he asked the woman who answered the door, “Could you spare a bit of food? I’ve traveled a long way and am very hungry.” The woman replied, “I’m sorry, but I have nothing to give you.”
So the traveler went to the next door and asked again. The answer was the same. He went from door to door and each time he was turned away. Each of the villagers had good reasons.
But then one villager said, “I have some water.” “Oh, good,” said the traveler. “We can make stone soup.”
He then went to the center of the village and started building a small fire. From his backpack, he pulled out a small pot and his magic stone and placed them in the pot. As the water started boiling, a passing villager stopped and asked him what he was doing. “I’m making stone soup,” the traveler replied.
“What does it taste like?” the man asked curiously. “Well, it would be better with a few onions,” the traveler admitted. “Oh, I have some onions,” he replied, heading off to his home.
People from the village heard about this strange man who was making soup from a stone. They started gathering around the fire. One of the villagers offered, “I have a few carrots from last year’s harvest.” Someone else said, “I’ll get some potatoes from my garden.
One by one, each villager brought something special to add to the pot. Pretty soon, right before their eyes there was a delicious soup—enough to feed the whole village.They all sat down together to enjoy their soup—and the miracle they’d help to create.
This story reminds us that when we each give something, we can feed both the hungry of the world and the hunger in our souls. In this simple story, a hungry traveler makes soup from just a stone and invites each poor villager to give something to the pot. Together they cook up a feast, more than enough to feed the entire village.
Marianne, author of the book Stone Soup for the World asks, “Have you ever wondered if just one person can really make a difference? Sometimes the problems around us can seem overwhelming. But think about it: one person first walked on the moon. One person discovered electricity.”
Marianne continues, “There are thousands of ways each of us can make a difference:
A helping hand extended to a neighbor or stranger creates a more caring world.
Reading to children enriches their present and opens up their future.
A gift to a church or a charity helps those helping others.
One kind word or a thoughtful deed can change someone’s day—or make history.”
It is amazing what one person can do! You and I can make a difference.
The book Stone Soup for the World is filled with stories about how ordinary people become heroes with acts of human kindness. For more ideas on how you can make a positive difference in our world, please go to my website www.wisdomofthewounded.com and search Little Things Mean A Lot.
Somewhere on this planet, someone has a solution to each of the world’s problems. It just might be you! What can you do today, tomorrow, next week, next year to build a better world?
Remember the Stone Soup Folktale: When we each give a little, we can feed the whole world!
Faith and Courage
As you know I believe the greatest fear is the fear of the unknown, and that the answer to this uncertainty is faith. Today I will talk about the relationship between faith and courage.
Now my simple definition of faith is “belief.” When I believe in someone, I have faith in that person. When I believe in something, like my car, I have faith in it. Faith that it will do what I expect it to do, that it will come through for me. When I believe in God and believe God does what he promises, I have faith in God.
Conversely, when I don’t believe in someone, I lack faith in that person. So what does it look like to lack faith? When I lack faith, I tend to worry more. I have anxiety. I become more controlling, because I’m not confident in the outcome and feel that I have to fill in that gap.
I believe there are two categories of belief (or faith): preferred and actual. My words reveal my preferred beliefs, while my actions and behavior reveal my actual beliefs. These don’t always match up. When I show fear, I show that my actual beliefs have not yet caught up with my preferred beliefs. My faith is not yet deeply embedded in me.
This is where courage comes in. Courage is when I don’t really have faith in something or someone, and yet I act as if I do because I want to have that faith. Courage can bridge the gap between my actual beliefs and my preferred beliefs. I have a friend who climbs mountain faces, something most of us would consider crazy, scary stuff. He says it’s not scary for him anymore because he learns what he needs to know before climbing a cliff and practices enough to know he can do it without failure. It’s not scary to him because he has faith in his ability to do it, but I bet it took some courage the first few times he scaled those mountains.
Let’s take driving across a bridge as another example of courage. When I drive across a bridge every day on my way to work and don’t think twice about it, that shows that I have faith in that bridge—that the structure is sound, that the designers knew what they were doing, that the bridge has been well maintained. But let’s say I’m off in the countryside, and I come across a rickety, old covered bridge that creaks and groans when I start to drive across it. That’s a different story from the bridge I cross every day going to work. I realize that the covered bridge has worked fine for decades, but it sends me signals that says maybe it’s going to fail. Choosing to trust the people who built and maintained the bridge and to drive across it in spite of my fears takes courage.
Remember the quote I shared with you in the last few posts:
Feed your faith and starve your fear to death.
Acting courageously, based on your preferred faith, will feed your real faith and starve your fears to death.
When I say God has me in his hands and I have nothing to worry about, but I worry about many things in life, I’m demonstrating a preferred faith, one that is not quite real for me yet. Have you ever met someone that has such deep faith that nothing seems to cause him or her fear? Maybe you’re one of those people. What a gift to have such faith. Most of us are still working on it.
So is courage a good thing? Yes, because we often lack faith.
How could you feed your faith this week more than you normally do?
Spend more time with God?
Act more courageously when you know what should be done?
Decided to trust God, to trust others, and to trust yourself, with God’s help, and take a step forward in courage?