31 July 2009

Good Hard Work

Bethany, Rachael, and I working on moving gravel. Nothing better then some good hard work!

29 July 2009

When The Road Is Rough

Following Christ brings inexpressible joy to my heart, but at times the road is rough that leads heavenward. Of course God never promised to give us comfort and ease by becoming His children, but rather He promised that we would face persecution and hardships of various kinds. Oh, how easy it is to grow weary and lose heart when we take our eyes off of Christ and forget that our citizenship is in heaven. I long to press onward on the path God has placed me, but sometimes my heart is so weary, the way seems so hard, and God seems so far away. However, I must not listen to my feelings but remind my self of the truth and align my life with the cross.

The past year, I have been challenged to look at my life circumstances through the truth of God's Word. Whenever I am faced with a situation I do not wish to be in, God has challenged me to do four things.

First, rest in His will. So many times when I am facing challenging circumstances in my life, my first thought is to jump, flee, run, and do anything to get out of it; but that is not how we should respond. Rather we should remind ourselves that God is in control, He will not forsake us, He's the one who has brought the challenge into our lives, and He has a reason. Let us not let fears and discomfort rob us of the joy of resting in our Father's hands.

Second, rejoice in God's plan. As we rest in God's hands knowing that He is in charge of our lives, we should also respond to the challenges we face with rejoicing. We should rejoice that God is at work in our lives, that He is holding us, and leading us through our struggles. Let us turn our anxious, fearful hearts into rejoicing hearts that are trusting in God.

Third, remember the cross of Christ. When darkness and struggles cloud our view of God's love and care we must flee to the cross. Remember the sacrifice Christ made on our behalf and do not forget His wounds. He was crushed for our transgression, He bore God's wrath for our sin, and He poured Himself out to death that we might know true life. Let us draw near to the cross momentarily and find comfort and assurance in Christ who has made a way for us to have peace with God.

Fourth, reach out to others. Whenever we are struggling and facing difficult situations we should not separate ourselves from people, but rather reach out to others. What better way to take our eyes off of ourselves and our troubles than to help someone else who is struggling too. Not only will we be able to help others, but we will also find help from others. Let us reach out to others who are struggling and not wallow in our own problems.

Rest, rejoice, remember, and reach---four very important actions to remember when facing difficult circumstances---or any circumstances. As lovers of Christ, the road will be rough; but we are not walking this road by ourselves. The Holy Spirit is our constant companion who strengthens us daily and we should surround ourselves with fellow Believers who will walk beside us encouraging us on as we encourage them on. So let us press on heavenward and not grow weary, but fix our gaze upon Christ who awaits our arrival HOME.

27 July 2009

Roses and Thorns

As I think of what God has in store for me in the future, excitement pulses through me. He has provided a way for me to receive training for missions through the Coast Guard, He has filled my heart with a burden for unreached, remote people groups, and I cannot wait to see where He ends up placing me. Hard work and difficult days lay ahead of me, but is any mountain peak worth climbing if it does not demand every ounce of strength you have and then some?

So I stand on this side of the mission field, admiring the view and eagerly anticipating the day that God brings my dreams to fruition. Very much like someone admiring rose bushes from afar, enjoying their beauty and fragrance but not knowing the pain of tending such bushes---observing the beauty but not experiencing the thorns. I know and see how rewarding missionary work can be---sharing Christ and watching lives be transformed---but I also know that such work is not without pain, loss, and hardship; following after Christ does not come without a cost. Right now I can see the "roses" but not the "thorns".

As I think through these reflections, I wonder if I'll be able to make it and endure the hardships God sends into my life or will I just crumble to pieces? How can I know when I don't know? I suppose I cannot know until I am there, but this I do know that God's grace is sufficient. Now I do not know the hardships---thorns--- that lay ahead, but I do know the One who does; the same One who holds me in His hand.

So I see the roses from here and know the thorns lay ahead, and I follow on confident---not that I have the strength and endurance to remain steadfast in trying times---but confident that the One who has planned the trying times is also my precious Savior who makes me stand, who holds me in His hand, and who will provide me with the strength and endurance I need to face any trial that He gives me.

I am not strong, but I am to fix my eyes on the One who is.

Consider Him who endured such opposition from sinful men so that you will not grow weary and lose heart (Hebrews 12:3).

26 July 2009

Operation Cape May

(Click the Picture to Enlarge)

23 July 2009

A Walk Around the Loop

Here are some pics I took of us Waite kids taking a walk around a loop near our house. Peter's favorite part of the outing is riding his bike and squishing Stink Bugs!

Luke is trying out Peter's bike...maybe a little on the small side(:

Here I am on the way home all worn out, but happy.

Our faithful driver!

The rest of the crew.

Savoring the Memories

Here are some memories I enjoyed making this week with my siblings. Esther, Peter, and I all had a wonderful tea party this afternoon. Esther prepared everything just right

Earlier all of us siblings worked on filming one of our movies. The goats enjoyed watching us hard at work, wondering what in the world we were up to.

Esther and I (along with Peter on occasion) have been practicing our bread making skills. We have so much fun pretending we are back in the "olden days" making bread.

Peter needed to burn off some of his endless energy so I sent him outside to play in the mud. There is nothing quite so fun as getting all muddy! He was making mud cakes and just having a good, old time.

20 July 2009

3x5 Cards

"Your word I have treasured in my heart, that I May not sin against You."
Psalm 119:11

What am I treasuring? How am I spending the moments God has given me today?

Lately, I have been convicted by how easily my mind wanders to worthless thoughts that take my eyes off Christ. I spend far too much time listening to myself rather than talking to myself and reminding myself of the cross. Sin subtly sneaks into my mind when I am not constantly filling my thoughts with things that please God. The battle rages, and at times I feel overwhelmed and hopeless; but God has not left me alone and without help. He is always with me and will never forsake me, and He has given me His Word as a sword to destroy my sin.

I know I am not the only one struggling with such a spiritual battle. Do not give up if the fight is fierce (take courage---it is supposed to be fierce), but keep fighting. Here is what God has challenged me to do in my battle in order to capture my wandering thoughts. I take 3x5 cards and copy down verses (I especially enjoy the Psalms) and try to carry them around with me everywhere I go. Then when I find my thoughts wandering from Christ, I pull out one of my cards and meditate upon God's Word. By treasuring God's Word in this way, I capture my wayward thoughts and fix my wandering eyes upon Christ.

Treasure God's Word today and meditate upon His promises. Do not lose sight of the cross amidst your battle against sin or you will grow weary and lose heart (Hebrews 12:3). Fight hard!

17 July 2009

Making the Memories!

Well, I am down to about thirty-three more days with my family before I head off for Cape May, New Jersey. So I am trying to make as many memories as I can to take along with me. Today I had some special time with my younger siblings.

First we enjoyed a wonderful McDonald's breakfast at a playground, and then played on the slide, monkey bars, and swings.

Next was quite the adventure: Playdough making!!!

We then decided to make homemade fruit roll ups...yum!

God has truly blessed me with an amazing family. I want to enjoy every minute with them that I possibly can and make as many memories as possible. As I think about it, I would want my little siblings to look back a remember me as a big sister who loved God and loved having fun with them. Here is a good question we all should reflect upon: How will you be remembered??? It definitely will impact the way you will live out your day today.

06 July 2009

Deep Discussions, Lemon Tea & The Cross

After Bible study, Sunday evening does not get much better than hanging out with my old, college roommate. Last night we delved into "deep theological discussions", topping the evening off with a cup of hot lemon tea (my favorite...yum!).

One of the topics we threw around stuck with me as I mulled it over in my mind later that night. Here is the question she posed: What is the problem of our generation? The context of the question being brought up from our observations of Christians today (ourselves included). Why are Christians of our day and age so passionless about God, unconcerned for lost souls, lazy in spiritual disciplines, devotionless to the Savior of their souls, seeking worldly comforts and pleasures, ignorant of the spiritual battle that rages constantly, and afraid to be the witnesses of the living God? Why is it that in a world ever turning away from God that Christians are following along; backing down when they should be standing up, silencing their convictions when they should be speaking out, and joining in when they should be set apart unto God? I see these struggles in my own life and wonder why I fall into the trap of conforming to the world around me.

After thinking the question through, I do not think that our generation is really any different from any other generation---the problem is the same. True, the problem is manifested in different ways but the heart of the matter is the same. When Christians are not living cross centered lives, everything else in their lives falls out of place. We can never even begin to comprehend the depth of the Father's love, the Holy Spirit's power, or the Son's sacrifice until we draw near to the cross. True followers of Christ believe that they are saved by grace, but many do not live as though their salvation depends upon God's grace. When we are far from the cross of Christ our heart's passion and love for God will grow cold, our joy and contentment in Christ will be turned into discouragement and restlessness of heart, and our salvation---which is a gift of God's grace---will become distorted in our minds as we think we play some part in keeping ourselves acceptable before God. The cross of Christ must ever be before our eyes; it is the very reason we have peace with God. Our acceptance with God has nothing to do with us and everything to do with Christ.

I have been challenged to capture every drifting thought and fix it on my precious Savior who died for me. When I do not remind myself of the cross and the grace that flows from my Savior's wounds, I am discouraged and miserable in my soul because my life is "me centered". However when by God's grace I preach the Gospel to my soul, reminding myself of my suffering Savior, and the forgiveness He has given me, I am filled with inexpressible joy that is not determined by my circumstances or feelings. Mercy and grace flow from the cross, and we must draw near to Christ's blazing passion so our hearts are kindled with holy zeal to glorify God by making much of Christ by making much of the Gospel.

01 July 2009

The Climax

A couple weekends ago, I had the great privilege of attending the 2009 Resolved Conference in Palm Springs, California. It was definitely an opportunity I would not have wanted to miss. I thoroughly enjoyed listening and learning from the preaching of God's Word and the worship time was incredible---just imagine 4,000 people raising their voices to praise the Almighty God...and that was only a tiny taste of what heaven shall be like! God used this conference to refresh my soul and rekindle my passion for the Gospel. He opened my eyes to sin in my life that I had been harboring and nurturing instead of destroying. I came away convicted, challenged, encouraged, strengthened, motivated, refreshed, recharged, and perhaps most importantly refocused upon the cross of Christ.

The climax of my weekend came during the last day when we gathered together to hear C. J. Mahaney speak. He took his message from Psalm 42. The sincerity and intensity of his heart flowed out as he opened God's Word. Entitling His message The Troubled Soul, Mahaney pointed out that all Christians have experienced a troubled soul just like the Psalmist describes, but not all are prepared for such an experience. More often then not, we rely upon our feelings instead of God's truth and give in to despair because God appears absent from our lives. Mahaney's plea was for Believers not to trust in their troubled souls, but to trust in God. Never let your troubled soul pull you down into the depths, but rather rebuke your soul to trust in God---turn your troubled soul into a hopeful soul. Mahaney spoke of the Believers greatest problems and quoted Martin Loyd Jones: "Most of the unhappiness in your life is derived from listening to yourself instead of talking to yourself." If we would talk and remind ourselves of God's promises in His Word our lives would take on a new focus---the correct focus---a cross centered focus. We must preach the Gospel to ourselves or we will succumb to sin and despair.

My heart was greatly challenged as well as encouraged after hearing this message. God knew what I needed and graciously gave it to me. I realized that so often (every day) instead of fixing my eyes on the cross and the Lamb who died, I fix my eyes on on other things. Instead of having a cross centered life, my life has been "me centered". I come away in awe of God's mercy and grace and am amazed that He forgives and loves a wretch like me because of Christ. I need-must preach the Gospel to myself daily in the Lord's strength and power. With my eyes fixed on Christ, my troubled soul is turned into a hopeful soul, rejoicing in the risen Lamb of God who
saved me.

Click on the Title of This Post and It Will Take You to the Resolved Conference Site with MP3 Downloads of the Messages

Destroying Our Idols

God's Will or Your Own?



Written for my family as they move to Cameroon, Africa to share Jesus love with the people there.

Rejoicing in all God has done.
In your lives, I see Him displayed
As your greatest treasure of all;
Your mission: to proclaim His name.

Fix Your eyes on Christ…Run hard to the goal.
Consider the work He has done, He has saved your souls!

Press on, HOPE IN GOD…IN HIS HANDS you are safe. UNDER HIS WINGS…you are held---
you are HELD BY GRACE.
Take up your cross, follow Christ, let His praises resound.
as you journey HOMEWARD BOUND.

Cheering you on as you go
As you make much of Jesus today,
Considering all else as loss
Compared to the Savior’s name.

Fight the battle of faith…stand firm in Christ.
Trust Him with all of your heart, give Him your life.

Press on, HOPE IN GOD…IN HIS HANDS you are safe. UNDER HIS WINGS…you are held---
you are HELD BY GRACE.
Take up your cross, follow Christ, let His praises resound.
as you journey HOMEWARD BOUND.

Praying for you in my heart.
May God’s sustaining grace push you on
To follow Christ outside of the camp,
Calling the nations to join the song!

Jesus is mighty to save
For while yet sinners He died in our place.
Shout---shout His praise For He has given us grace!

Press on, HOPE IN GOD…IN HIS HANDS you are safe. UNDER HIS WINGS…you are held---
Take up your cross, follow Christ, let His praises resound.
as you journey HOMEWARD BOUND.

Take the Adventure

Waite Memories

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