Faith

On Mission In Kenya

On Mission In Kenya

On Mission In Kenya

It’s actually happening. I’m actually in Kenya on a mission trip with my daughter Molly. It didn’t get to happen last summer, which was a story in its own right. So naturally there was a little concern that the enemy would try and find a way to steal, kill, or destroy the dream this year. Praise be to God, we are here.

The time to travel here took 40 hours worth of clock time. We left the house early Thursday morning to meet the team at the Charlotte airport. A flight to Cincinnati was followed by a 6-hour lay-over. Then a long 8-hour flight across the pond to Paris, a relatively short lay-over, and one more long 8-hour flight to Nairobi. After making our way through customs, we still had a long, bumpy, and dusty ride through the middle of nowhere to Bomet, the location of Tenwek hospital where we will serve this week.

As my kids were growing up, I read many biographies of missionaries. The stories were typically amazing and heroic. I honestly can’t imagine the kind of travel they had to endure. They would be on the open seas for three or more months, watch people die along the way (sometimes their own loved ones), then hike for miles in strange new lands, persevere through personal illness, and eventually find a humble dwelling to call home. That’s the kind of sacrifice that makes our “long” travel time seem like a walk in the park. I guess I better count my many blessings.

Thank you in advance for your prayers on our behalf. There is real work to be done here in Bomet at the Tenwek hospital. Death is a common occurrence here. They simply don’t have the basics that we take for granted—things like soap and clean water for example. The OB/GYN doctors deliver many stillborn babies because the mother never had any kind of pre-natal care. This makes work in the labor and delivery section of the hospital a little more sobering and less joyous compared to a similar wing in the USA. However, the heart and mission of this hospital and the people serving here is beautiful. I’m sure we will help with a wide variety of health issues. I can’t wait to tell you the details when we return.

Yes, we will get to go on safari while we are here. I’ve been before, and you never can tell what a day will hold. I can tell you this much—it isn’t like a visit to the zoo in America. There are no fences, no separation pits, no zookeepers keeping close watch. This is nature at its wildest and most unpredictable.

I spent a few years of my own childhood in South Africa, so my heart goes out to this land. I love this country. I love this continent, and I hope and pray we can make a difference in the physical and spiritual health of the people we meet and serve this week. Thanks for joining us in prayer. Ask the Father of all Creation to do a marvelous work, to show Himself strong and mighty, and to let His love and grace and truth be known far and wide in Africa, Kenya, Nairobi, and Bomet.

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C.H.I.L.L. O.U.T. – Week 6 – Outline Your Objectives

Attention Obsessive-Compulsive, Perfectionist, Control-Freaks - C.H.I.L.L. O.U.T. Week 6

Attention:

Obsessive-Compulsive, Perfectionist,Control-Freaks

C.H.I.L.L. O.U.T. – Outline Your Objectives

2 Peter 1:3

“…His divine power has given us everything we need for life and godliness, through our knowledge of Him who called us by His own glory and goodness.”

Chilling out can be difficult, if not impossible, when we are off focus. When we have forgotten why we are doing what we are doing, what the bigger picture is, what we are aiming for, we can be easily distracted by the unimportant, the trivial, the little stuff.

Stephen Covey wrote about the importance of focus in his best-selling book, 7 Habits of Highly Effective People. The first three habits his outlines center around having a target. The first habit is “Be Proactive.” This means that we don’t wait for life to happen to us, but rather we set our course, engage in life, initiate, and participate. Second, Covey suggests that we should “Begin with the end in Mind.” We cannot start a journey until we have chosen a destination. And the third habit of the seven is “Put First Things First.” Again, we cannot know what the first things are until we have determined our objectives. Then we can know what the priorities should be.

As this applies to CHILL OUT, outlining our objectives is the next key step in our journey to being able to live life open-handed. What are we trying to accomplish in our roles as mothers? What should be our primary focus? This passage gives us help in answering those questions.

Our verse comes from the book of second Peter. This was written by the comeback kid: Peter. Yes, that Peter. The one who dared to walk on water towards the Master, but became distracted by the waves. The one who didn’t want Jesus to wash just his feet but his whole body. The one who denied Christ three times. The one who ran into the tomb. The one who was instructed by the Lord to, “Feed My sheep.” That Peter.

This verse emphasizes Peters reckless abandon and obedience to Jesus. Peter got Who He was. Here, Peter boldly declares what is available to us in the Lord. Here, he challenges us about our focus. Second Peter’s theme is Christian maturity. Peter’s book title would have been, “One Habit of Highly Effective Christians.” What’s the one habit? Knowing Him (John 17:3; Philippians 3:8).

For further consideration and study download your free study guide for Week 6 – dare to dig deeper!

 

In His Grace,

Rachael Carman

 

C.H.I.L.L. O.U.T. – Week 4 – Listen To God

Attention Obsessive-Compulsive, Perfectionist, Control-Freaks - C.H.I.L.L. O.U.T. Week 4

Attention:

Obsessive-Compulsive, Perfectionist,Control-Freaks

C.H.I.L.L. O.U.T.  – Listen To God

 

With all of the world constantly screaming at us, listening to any one voice is a challenge. Advertisements visually assault us, televisions blare from their perches, our phones ring, vibrate, and chirp. The chaos drowns the bird’s song, the child’s laughter, the buzz of the bee. And the still small voice of the Master goes unheard.

Listening. Before we listen to anyone or any thing else, we must listen to God. I’m not talking about an audible voice, but rather the affirmation through Bible study, the prompting in your spirit, the words from a friend. He still speaks. God is in the business of communicating with His children. But like our own children we are often distracted, not paying attention.

What might He say if we turned the world off and tuned in to Him?

“Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge Him and He will make your paths straight.”  – Proverbs 3:5-6

The path that God marks out for each of us will take us straight to Him if we follow Him. It’s directness to the Father is only apparent on the other side of this life.

For further consideration and study download your free study guide for Week 4 – dare to dig deeper!

 

In His Grace,

Rachael Carman

 

So, You Want To Hear From God

So, You Want To Hear From God?

So, You Want To Hear From God?

Here is an inventory of question for you to pray through. You might want to journal through some of these questions. Go through them slowly and be honest as you consider them. Be quiet! I have taken the cues for the questions from Bible stories and noted the characters. Let Him speak to your heart through these stories from scripture. His Holy Spirit will lead you to the Father’s heart.

Perk your ears! If you find that He is silent, do not mistake that for disinterest on His part. He is listening. He knows and He cares. And He is in control. He may be waiting for you to ‘get it all out’, to work it through, to submit to Him. Let Him prepare the soil of your heart for His seed. His timing is perfect.

Do you really want to hear from Him or have you predetermined what you want Him to say?

Like Noah – Are you prepared to build a ‘boat’ to save yourself and your family? Are you prepared to witness to those around you even when all they seem to want to do is criticize and question you? Are you prepared to stay in the boat until He tells you go get off and not act rashly when the coast looks ‘clear’ to you?

Like Abraham – Are you willing to go wherever He asks you to go? Are you insisting on a map? Will you trust Him along the way? What is it that your heart has longed for that you sense He is asking you to sacrifice? Will you build the altar? Or are you trying to find a substitute when there isn’t one? Will you trust Him to keep His promises even in light of the required sacrifice?

Like Moses – Are you willing to ‘speak’ for God? Do you have excuses why you can’t instead of praising Him because He can? Are you arguing with the great I Am? What ‘Pharaoh’ has God asked you to approach on behalf of His people? Who is captive, waiting on you to speak up?

Like Job – Do you feel as though you have be stripped of everything? Do you wonder where God is? Do you find yourself surrounded by friends who are questioning God’s sovereignty? Or His fairness? Or His ‘right’? Are you praising God in the midst of your losses or have you chosen to curse your own life?

Like Esther – Are you in a position of influence? Have you forgotten by Whose mighty hand you have been placed there? Is there some issue or person you need to speak up on behalf of? Why are you hesitating? Do you fear God or man?

Like Gideon – Is God calling you to a battle field? What is the battle for? Where have you been? How are you arming yourself? Have you asked Him for help by way of His Holy Spirit?

Like Samuel – Have you ignored His call in the night? In your marriage? With your children? With your in-laws? In your neighborhood? At your church? Is He trying to call you ‘out’ but you’ve gotten comfortable ‘in’? Does being different scare you? Intimidate you? Is it beneath you? Whose voice are you listening to? Friends? The enemy? The TV? The magazines? Would you recognize His voice? When was the last time you heard it? What did He say to your heart? Do you really want to hear from Him? Why?

Like Jonah – Has God simply asked you to do something you just do not want to do? What is it? Why don’t you want to do it? Does it seem silly?  Or too much? Or unnecessary? Or a waste?

Like Ananias – Has God asked you to pray or share with some one who is too lost or too mean or too difficult? Do you resent the idea that He would care about them after the way they have acted? Or treated you? Do you wish they would just get what is coming to them?

Father God, Give us ears to hear Your voice. Perk our ears to hear from You, to discern Your whisper, to distinguish Your promptings. You are the Good Shepherd and I am one of Your sheep. I am listening for Your voice so that I might walk in Your ways. Grant me the desire to follow only after You, the strength to obey Your commands, the perseverance to persist. You are my Master and My Lord. You are Worthy of my worship. You are Faithful in all circumstances. You are Sovereign over all. I pray that You would grant me opportunities to be still, know and listen. Speak Lord, for Your servant is listening.

In Jesus name, Amen

Rachael Carman

 

C.H.I.L.L. O.U.T. – Week 3 – Ignore the Competition and the Opposition

Attention Obsessive-Compulsive, Perfectionist, Control-Freaks - C.H.I.L.L. O.U.T. Week 3

Attention:

Obsessive-Compulsive, Perfectionist,Control-Freaks

C.H.I.L.L. O.U.T.  –  Ignore the Competition and the Opposition

Hebrews 12:1-3

So we discussed our need to change the way we think and to hit the brakes. Those are two things that we must do day by day, decision by decision, thought by thought. Our next point in our journey is related to both of the first two because it means that we are intentional about our thoughts. It means that we “take every thought captive and make it obedient to Christ” (2 Corinthians 10:5).

We cannot do this passively. We must be active and purposeful in our thinking. Many of our thoughts are a result of what we expose ourselves to, what we listen to, watch, read, participate in. It matters. When we saturate our minds with bad news, unfaithfulness, immorality, and hatred, we introduce thoughts lacking the fruits of the Spirit. Our imaginations are no longer consumed with the things of God, serving Him, worshiping Him and enjoying Him forever. But rather we find our thoughts drifting to scenarios unbecoming of our calling, our blessed redemption.

The competition can look good, even godly, but when it becomes an issue of jealously or feelings of resentment or judgment or anger, we have been led astray. When we see someone doing something well, we should be thrilled to see them use their God-given talents to glorify Him. Their actions might inspire us to service or ministry, but it need not become a point of contention. Instead of comparing we should share with each other, sharing what God is teaching us, sharing about His faithfulness, and sharing our need for Him.

Similarly, we must practice identifying the whispers of the enemy and ignoring his whispers. He is the father of lies. Jesus said that when he, Satan, speaks he can only speak in lies because lies are his native language. Any whisper of condemnation is not of God, but of the enemy. He seeks to kill, steal and destroy. He is not a friend but an enemy. The Bible tells us clearly that he is a loser. But he wants each of us to be losers too. He is constantly trying to plant seeds of doubt and discouragement, resentment and rebellion, slothfulness and sin. He is to be ignored.

“Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles and let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us. Let us fix our eyes on Jesus the Author and Perfecter of our faith, Who for the joy set before Him endured the cross scoring its shame and sat down a the right hand of God. Consider Him…so that you do not grow weary and lose heart.”

Hebrews 12:1-3

For further consideration and study download your free study guide for Week 3 – dare to dig deeper!

 

In His Grace,

Rachael Carman

 

C.H.I.L.L. O.U.T. – Week 2 – Hit The Brakes!

Attention Obsessive-Compulsive, Perfectionist, Control-Freaks - C.H.I.L.L. O.U.T. Week 2

Attention:

Obsessive-Compulsive, Perfectionist,Control-Freaks

C.H.I.L.L. O.U.T.  –  Hit The Brakes!

Mark 6:31

Our next stop on our CHILL OUT journey is “H”. This one is totally counter culture. Busy is the standard today. Running here and there, barely stopping to eat, must less relax, we rush from activity to activity, responsibility to responsibility, amusement to amusement. We just don’t stop. In the process of this break-neck pace, we normalize busy. All they know is dashing here and there. All they know is exhaustion. All they know is hectic.

So what if we stopped? What if we took a break, slowed down, and relaxed. What if we didn’t have an activity every night of the week? What if we didn’t have every moment scheduled? What if we had less screen time and more face to face time? What if we unplugged and instead connected with our friends and family in real live conversations? What if we traded in our restlessness and He became our rest?

That’s what hitting the brakes is all about-pulling back. Our ability to rest instead of  run is directly related to our understanding of Him. Hang with me here. We run and run and run to try to keep up with an ever speeding and changing standard. We commit to a myriad of responsibilities and activities. We chase after doing enough, learning enough, involving enough, leading enough, preparing enough. But this is not God’s pace for His people, this is the world’s.

Our over commitment resulting in overwhelming exhaustion is a reflecting of what we believe about Him. We miss the importance of resting in Him. We overlook it’s refreshing and refocusing powers. We ignore His enoughness. We chase after the wind. We try to do, do, do in an effort to be our own enough. The world says we can be, should be our own enough. But it’s a lie. We can’t. We need Him and the rest from the chaos only He can provide.

Are you tired? I don’t mean the good tired from spending your time serving your family and friends in the strength God provides. I mean are you weary from trying to do it all yourself without God. There is a huge difference. Your body, mind, and spirit know the difference. Let’s look and see.

Our verse this time is from Mark. Mark was not an eyewitness to the events of Christ. He learned them from Peter and wrote them down. One of the unique characteristics of his writing is his use of the word ‘immediately’. But that is a study for another day. This passage is taken from the passage right after the twelve had been sent out in His name, right after John the Baptist was beheaded and right before the feeding of the 5000. They had just participated in the ministry with Him. They had just received word that His cousin had been killed. They were about to see Him feed 5000 and walk on water. This was prep-time. They weren’t in a desperate place, but they were tired and needed to refuel for the days ahead. He knew.

Join me in this 10 Week study as we prepare ourselves to C.H.I.L.L. O.U.T.!  Download your free study guide for Week 2 – dare to dig deeper!

In His Grace,

Rachael Carman

 

What Is God Up To?

What Is God Up To?

What Is God Up To?

Loneliness.

Betrayal.

Loss.

False accusation.

Forgotten.

If you have ever asked this question, you’re in good company. Though not expressly included in the Bible, there are indications that many had this same question. What is God going to do? Where is He in this? Why me? How long? When will this end? What good can possibly come of this situation?

We serve the Great Redeemer. That means that He is able to take all of the negatives in our lives and turn them into praise of His name. All of the disappointment, the hurts, the death, the failures, the regret, the tragedies, the adversities, the devastations, the attacks, the confusion, are no surprise to Him. There is nothing in our lives that He is unaware of, nothing He doesn’t care about. You can rest assured that He knows, He cares and He is working through it.

God is always in the process of doing two things: Glorifying Himself and Growing us. Always. How does He do these things through our difficulties and challenges? Why does He work this way? What should be our response? Keep reading.

In our celebrations, victories, successes, and accomplishments we often forget God. We don’t remember Him and His grace, love and faithfulness. We’re often so anxious to forget the trial and it’s challenges, so anxious to forget what’s been lost, that we also forget the hours we labored in prayer, how desperate we were to hear His voice, how anxious we were for His provision, His intervention, His direction.

When it happens, the break-though, the dawn of a new day, we move forward with great excitement. We want out of the desperate place. We don’t ever want to see that place again, with all of its hollowness, endlessness, and isolation. We step out into the light and try to forget. We just want to go forward.

But there are things in that dark and lonely place of solitude and desolation that need to be remembered. As much as we welcome the escape and the hope that accompanies it, we must not forget our profound need for God. In spite of our abilities and talents, our character and integrity, our dreams and aspirations, we need Him. We know we need Him when things aren’t going well, when we’ve been broadsided, when we’re “down on our luck.” But the reality is we need Him all the time, not just in the rough spots.

Often in our lonely places we don’t feel His presence, we don’t hear His voice. It is then when He wants us to lean in. He wants us to long to hear His voice, to tune our ears and our hearts. He wants us to want to hear from Him. When everything falls apart, when we realize that we can’t fix ourselves or our situation, when we finally turn off everything else and tune in exclusively to Him, He finally has our attention. In the silence He is preparing our hearts for what He has to say, making us ready, eager to obey. Then when He speaks not only are we listening, not only can we hear, but we are enthusiastic to act.

In this He is glorified in two ways: when we trust Him with our circumstances and when He does what only He can do, when He brings beauty from ashes. When we acknowledge our inability and our need for Him we are actually praising Him for who He is. He alone is Able and Worthy. When we are trying to work our lives without Him our actions say that He is unnecessary, irrelevant. It reflects a low view of God—that we don’t get who He is.

The more we understand who God is—His eternal nature, His power, His faithfulness, His grace, His mercy, His love—the more we trust Him. It really is that simple. When you get who He is, you can sing, “because He lives, I can face tomorrow; Because He lives, all fear is gone; Because I know, I know, He holds the future. And life is worth the living, just because He lives.”

As we face the trials and trust Him with them, others see Him in us. As we rest in Him, His sovereignty, His will, His love, others see us struggle well, they see us grieve with hope, they see us peaceful in the storm. And in this He is glorified. Through this He draws others to Himself. Beauty from ashes. Redemption.

The second thing God is always up to is growing us. God isn’t content with where we are today. He is constantly desiring our conformity with the image of His Son, Jesus Christ. His life here is the example we are to follow as we face each day.  In Philippians 2, Paul reiterates the selfless, sacrificial life of Jesus that we are called to follow.

Our life’s path is one of sanctification. That is just a big word that means becoming more and more like Christ. Every person, every situation, every trial, every obstacle is meant to bring us closer in line with His life. As we lean into God and allow these circumstances to mold us, God is glorified. This is the purpose of our lives to glorify Him as we trust Him and as we are changed into the image of Christ.

When we can frame every life issue with these two truths we can face them, resolve to glorify God, and grow into the image of His Son. He wastes nothing. Nothing. There is no circumstance, no relationship, no problem, no dilemma, nothing that He cannot glorify Himself through and use to grow us. When we remember these are His objectives for our lives, we can stand firm, be strong and courageous, pray in all circumstances and let our lights shine.

For further reading:

The Knowledge of the Holy, by A.W. Tozer

If you don’t know God, this is the book for you. Tozer writes about the attributes of the Almighty. If you think your circumstances are too big or difficult for God, read this book. If you struggle with doubt, get a copy. It makes a great gift to anyone who is in a tough place, for yourself or for someone you love. It is in short sections perfect for discussion with friends or family, or even your kids.

Streams in the Desert

This book was given to me when we were in the middle of unemployment. It dragged on for 22 months and this book ministered to my soul through the whole ordeal. Again it makes a great gift for yourself or someone you know is in a desperate place. It has daily readings of encouragement through the hard times.

When God Allows Rape, Joy Tan Chi-Mendoza (available for Kindle)

I met Joy this summer in the Philippines. She is married to the director of TMA, the home school organization there. She is one of the most joyful people I’ve ever met. I would have never guessed her story. If you’ve wondered about God’s ability to bring redemption, read her story. God glorified Himself through it and He not only grew her, but many others. The bottom line – she trusted Him who alone is able.

Rachael Carman

 

C.H.I.L.L. O.U.T. – Week 1 Change The Way You Think

Attention Obsessive-Compulsive, Perfectionist, Control-Freaks - C.H.I.L.L. O.U.T. Week 1

Attention:

Obsessive-Compulsive, Perfectionist,Control-Freaks

C.H.I.L.L. O.U.T.  –  C: Change The Way You Think

The challenge to CHILL OUT doesn’t have a soft start. This isn’t an easy change to make so the things we need to change to turn the boat around aren’t easy either. For the first point on the acrostic, we must focus on changing the way we think. In Proverbs it says, “As a man thinks, so he is.” Those things that we choose to allow our minds to ponder and even ruminate on define who we are. Do we constantly think about the things of the world or the things of God? It’s really that simple. It’s not complicated, what we think about matters. In fact it charts our life’s course.

Our enemy is the master of distraction. He knows that our thoughts impact our behavior, our decisions. He knows. He knows that when we think on the Truth of God’s word, His faithfulness, goodness and grace, we walk in peace and love. In contrast, when we think on the worries of the world, the priorities of the world, the temptations of the world, he knows that we are vulnerable and open to stress and anxiety, bitterness, resentment and even hatred.

Here in Romans 12, the apostle Paul admonishes us to change the way we think. Remember the Romans outline, its author’s challenge comes in light of the his earlier discussion of sin, salvation, and sanctification. Here in the last part of the book, Paul is offering us the opportunity to respond to God’s mercy and grace, not with an attitude of ‘have to’ but ‘get to’.

Join me in this 10 Week study as we prepare ourselves to C.H.I.L.L. O.U.T.!  Download your free study guide for Week 1 – dare to dig deeper!

 

In His Grace,

Rachael Carman

C.H.I.L.L. O.U.T. – A 10 Week Series

Attention: Obsessive-Compulsive, Perfectionist, Control-Freaks - C.H.I.L.L. O.U.T.

Attention: Obsessive-Compulsive, Perfectionist,Control-Freaks

C.H.I.L.L. O.U.T.!

Which one are you?

Before you dive into the questions and self-assessment below, just let me say that I couldn’t have written this if I didn’t suffer from all three! In the past I could have answered “yes” to every question below. And for what it’s worth, I didn’t see a problem with it at the time. At that time, the problem was clear: it was everyone else.

But God.

Yes, this is one example in my life where God graciously and powerfully interjected Himself into my circumstances. He was not willing that I continue in my selfish pattern. He loved me enough to allow circumstances and situations to happen which not only shined the light into the darkness of my selfishness, but He walked me into the Light.

This discussion about CHILL OUT is huge. It’s important. It’s timely. It’s liberating. It’s a journey back to joy, back to hope, back to peace. Learning to CHILL OUT is about walking in the Light as He is in the Light. It’s about letting your light shine, about being salt and light about being filled with the Spirit.

If you make the decision to CHILL OUT, you are choosing to put aside lists and image and being right. It means that you are choosing instead to focus on Him who alone is worthy. It means that you lean into Him, His will, His plan, His timing. It means you begin the journey of resting in Him.

It doesn’t mean you become lazy or inefficient or careless. The enemy wants you to fear that if you and don’t maintain the list, the image, and the ‘right’, that everything will fall apart. It won’t. REALLY, it won’t. But I’ll tell you what will happen. Lots more smiles and laughter, more relaxing and resting, more of Him and less of me.

Are you willing to live by faith and let God hold it all together?

You might be Obsessive-Compulsive if…

You like to make lists all the time about everything

A lost list is a serious issue

Marking things off your list gives you great pleasure

Not marking things off your list makes you feel unproductive, no matter how many

Diapers you changed or books read snuggled on the couch, those weren’t on the list

Efficiency is extremely important to you

You equate relaxing with being lazy

Relaxing is actually difficult for you

Relaxing isn’t a priority; it never makes the ‘list’

You are drawn to formulas for parenting and other relationships

You might be a Perfectionist if…

You think about what others will think as the key issue in a situation

Your actions are motivated by what others will think

You are aware of your image and seek to maintain it

You are easily aggravated when others don’t ‘fall in line’ with your plans

Your kids’ behavior (including how they dress and perform) is all part of your image

You expect your kids to play their part well

Others feel incompetent around you and you don’t mind

Much of your happiness is wrapped up in what others think about you

Most all of your actions are careful and intentionally planned, not much spontaneity

You don’t enjoy much peace because other people don’t cooperate

You are not generally aware of other’s feelings, just their contribution to the image

You might be a Control Freak if…

You believe that your way is the best way in every circumstance

In just about all circumstances, you would just rather do it yourself

You often think, “Other people just don’t get it”

Others feel unnecessary around you, like you don’t need them

What other do doesn’t matter to you

You avoid dependence on others

Flexibility is not a virtue you aspire to

You re-do work others have done, not because the task isn’t complete, but because the task wasn’t completed like you would have done it

No matter how you answered the questions, don’t despair! Help is on the way. It is God’s will for each of us to be conformed into the image of His one and only Son Jesus Christ. He is the answer to what is ailing us. We can, by the power of God, overcome these issues and become the woman He has planned for us to be.

Join me next week for the first letter in our acrostic, “C”. Each week there will be a vlog post and a PDF downloadable study to accompany it. Let’s not shy away from these issues and give the common excuse of: “That’s just the way I am.” No, let’s dare to submit to the Potter’s hands and allow Him to mold us into the image of His Son.

 Rachael Carman

Twelve Baskets Full

Twelve Baskets Full - A Page From My Journal

Twelve Baskets Full

A Page From My Journal

It is my prayer that this post finds you walking in the joy of our Lord and Savior.

Dear sisters in ministry,

Once again I had the privilege to minister and encourage a group of women over this past weekend. And once again, He came and spoke to my heart.

My “appointed time” was on Saturday but we arrived on the scene two days earlier on Thursday. I was already excited about sharing with other women who share my passion for motherhood. I already had a spring in my step, I was already going over and over my outline in my head.

Early Friday morning He called me out of bed. I had not been sleeping very well and I was really hoping that I would be able to drift off for a couple of hours, why did he need me out now? Couldn’t it wait until I had to get up and I was in the shower? Apparently not. He persisted, and sleep evaded, and 30 minutes later, I was up.

I decided to take a bath and try to just listen to what He wanted to tell me. And wow, did He speak to me. The key verse for the first talk I was to give on Saturday was the subject. There were two verbs in the verse and I had missed the first because I had focused on the second. The first verb, of course! How did I miss it all this time.

After this insight, I was singing His praises the rest of the day. I shared how He had come and given more! During the day I even joked about how I was looking forward to Saturday morning to hear what He had for me then. “I can’t imagine!” I said, “I am so full now; He is so good!”

Well the next morning He was right on time, 5 am. By His grace I had slept better than the night before and was much more easily roused. After the day before, I was anxious to hear from my Master again. I gathered my things and slipped out of our hotel room leaving the boys in my life in the middle of a tight snoring contest.

The hotel was freezing and I tried to find a quiet and warm corner. I ended up in the closed lounge downstairs. What an interesting setting. As I pulled out my notes and prepared to review, He started pouring again. I got on my knees, trying to take it all in. I got up occasionally to write something down on my outline, then I was back down again. I kept getting lower and lower trying to make sure I did not not miss anything. It was so humbling and overwhelming and awesome. I did not want Him to stop pouring so I just cried as He continued to speak.

I startled the person at the front desk when I finally got up. I don’t suppose she was used to seeing someone pour over God’s word on their knees in the bar. Praise God!

Well if I had had a spring in my step earlier, now I was almost flying! At breakfast I was sharing with my husband all that God had shown me. I was so excited about His insight and grace. My oldest son commented, “Dad, we’re going to have to put a lid on Mom. She doesn’t speak until 11!”

He was right! I could not sit down. I walked and paced and prayed for God’s will and God’s audience to show up. Wow! That hour of sharing was probably the most powerful I have had the privilege of sharing. I do not know how to describe it other than to say that His spirit came and ministered in a mighty way and I was humbled to be a part of it.

Sunday morning I was sharing this experience with a man who has the gift of teaching God’s word. We share the same passion. He could tell I was still flying high and he too was encouraged. Our text for our study of the word that morning was John 6, the feeding of the 5,000. After listening to my description of my experience, he shared this insight. “Its like the story in our text today. When you get to share the truths of God’s word everyone in the audience gets fed. In fact the Bible says that they all got all they wanted. And then after everyone is fed, you still have 12 baskets full. That is His special gift of grace to you.”

Wow! What an honor to have so many opportunities to share Him and His truths with others. Thank you God for your plentiful  and overflowing provision as we seek to obey your leading and proclaiming of your Son.

So, what are you doing with your 12 baskets?

In His Grace,

Rachael Carman