Keep Calm & Carry On

Morning tea

Morning tea

I took this photo as I sat for my morning time with the Lord. I was reaching for the sun/Son light. This is currently my favorite mug. I like the lip that curves out. I like the weight. It holds 16oz. That is just enough to drink without chugging when it gets to the best drinking temperature.

Then there is the phrase on the rim. “Keep Calm & Carry On” Complete with a crown between the two parts. I’m royalty. That’s what the bible tells me. I’m a daughter of the King of Kings. The word says I am a Son, a Priest, a King a Bride, a Child and more.

Isaiah 54 says: [emphasis mine]

Fear not, for you will not be ashamed;
be not confounded, for you will not be disgraced;
for you will forget the shame of your youth,
and the reproach of your widowhood you will remember no more.
For your Maker is your husband,
the Lord of hosts is his name;
and the Holy One of Israel is your Redeemer,
    the God of the whole earth he is called.
For the Lord has called you
    like a wife deserted and grieved in spirit,
like a wife of youth when she is cast off,
says your God.
For a brief moment I deserted you,
 but with great compassion I will gather you.
In overflowing anger for a moment
I hid my face from you,
but with everlasting love I will have compassion on you,”
    says the Lord, your Redeemer.

“This is like the days of Noah  to me:
as I swore that the waters of Noah
should no more go over the earth,
so I have sworn that I will not be angry with you,
and will not rebuke you.
10 For the mountains may depart
and the hills be removed,
but my steadfast love shall not depart from you,
    and my covenant of peace shall not be removed,”
    says the Lord, who has compassion on you.

“Fear not” or BE CALM!

“‘but my steadfast love shall not depart from you,
and my covenant of peace shall not be removed,’
says the Lord, who has compassion on you.”

Be at peace, and carry on.

Our lives are full of ways and reasons to not be calm. But God promises us He is with us. He will not let us be put to shame. He loves us. Yes, we may be disciplined for a time, but he promises his covenant of peace will not leave us. I love to take time in the morning to sit with my tea and the promises of God to orient my day.

So let the rays of the sun [Son] splash over you. Like my morning tea that warms me to the core, His promises are sure and trustworthy.

The New England Alliance

When Brothers Dwell in Unity

A Song of Ascents. Of David. Psalm 133

 Behold, how good and pleasant it is
when brothers dwell in unity!
It is like the precious oil on the head,
running down on the beard,
on the beard of Aaron,
running down on the collar of his robes!
It is like the dew of Hermon,
which falls on the mountains of Zion!
For there the Lord has commanded the blessing,
life forevermore.

The New England Alliance is one of the prayer initiatives I am involved with. I began praying with these leaders over a decade ago. It is a “New England wide relational network of believers and church leaders laboring for authentic unity and encouraging sustainable movements of prayer in order to see long-term revival and awakening in the New England Church. “In Jesus, you too are being built together to become a dwelling in which God lives by His Spirit.” (Eph. 2:22)” It has been a blessing to see it morph and grow both deeper and broader.

2014-02-19 12.04.00 The photo is of forty Christian leaders (I’m behind the camera taking the photo) in worship and prayer. (Yes there is a baby in the middle!) We currently meet three times a year to worship, pray and strategize how to continue to strengthen ties across denominational and ministry lines. The Weather this winter moved our dates and brought our numbers down to 40 from six states instead of the more normal 50 from Connecticut, Rhode Island, Massachusetts, Vermont, New Hampshire and Maine. As  it was I had to wipe two inches of snow off my car this Wednesday afternoon before I could drive over 90 minutes home in slush. It was worth it for the encouragement, watching God work in and through our unity.

It is a privilege to worship and pray with these leaders. Jonathan Friz of Wisdom Way helps spearhead this. There are nearly as many denominations or ministries as people. We have Anglican, Hispanic, Congregational, independent, houses of prayer and more. And this time we met at the Southern Baptist New England headquarters.

The Alliance Statement of Faith is simple:

“We are committed to the teachings of historic Christianity as found in the Apostle’s and Nicene Creeds and to the Scriptures.  We are deeply committed to upholding all biblical values, among them traditional marriage, the value of life in all stages, and serving the poor in Christ’s name.  We embrace believers from every stream of Christianity that continue to hold to these simple and foundational things.  We add no other burden to these things “except the continual debt to love one another.”

This time one of the topics we talked and prayed about was how to educate each other about what each does and how best to refer to each other if needs arise. For example, the issue of human trafficking came up. Besides prayer,  a friend was there who works in that area through the ministry of the Emmanuel Gospel Center. It was fun to watch the Holy Spirit weave the conversation though several people, “piggy backing” one on the other. Through prayer and conversation the consensus is we need to begin to establish an Internet-based network that we can all access as a resource. Something like this exists already for the immediate Boston area, but it is too much for one person to undertake. So, each geographical area will begin to build their own networks that can be linked to the others. Truly multifaceted!

Through these meetings and the initiatives spawned by those present, we enjoy watching God move in New England. It is a breath of fresh air to see beyond the local setting. The relationships and prayer I have with these leaders is a regional example of our North Shore Pastors Prayer. I will save that for another time….

Who is Henrietta Mears? And Why is She Important?

HCM & BG

Henrietta Mears to the left and Billy Graham to the right.

Who is Henrietta Mears? And Why is She Important?

Billy Graham said she was one of the greatest Christians he had ever known.
Bill Bright, Founder of Campus Crusade often said that the three most influential people in his life were his mother, his wife Vonette and Henrietta Mears.
Others who credit Miss Mears with great influence in their lives and ministries are:
-Former US Senate Chaplin, Richard Halverson
-Author and bible translator J. B. Phillips
-Actors Roy Rogers, Dale Evans and Colleen Townsend Evans
-Jim Rayburn, the founder of Young Life
-Dawson Trotman, the founder of Navigators
-Radio Host and Seminary founder Charles E. Fuller

Her other accomplishments include but are not limited to:
-Within 3 years of taking the lead of Christian Education at Hollywood First Presbyterian church in California in 1928, the enrollment expanded from 400 to 4,500.
-She founded Gospel Light publishers to print the new Sunday School materials she wrote because they were in demand well beyond Hollywood!
-Gospel Light International or GLint was founded to meet the international need for Sunday School materials.
-Revel publishers also finds its origins in Henrietta Mears.
-She founded Forest Home Christian Camp. It continues to flourish as a camp to touch people’s lives for the Kingdom.

In all her endeavors she trained others to do the work of the Kingdom. In the 500 strong college class she lectured, prayed and raised up leaders who in turn raised up others through evangelism and discipleship. Over 400 men and women went into vocational ministry in the US and as foreign missionaries as a direct result of Miss Mears.

Oh, and did I mention prayer?=} One short example: She had weekly leadership meetings at 6 AM on Saturdays. Those who attended said she had always had her personal extended time in the word and prayer before the meeting began. Bill Greig II, her cousin who traveled with her for years and presided over Revel & Gospel Light told me Miss Mears considered prayer paramount and never acted without depending on God first in prayer.

WHY IS HENRIETTA MEARS IMPORTANT TODAY?
Putting aside the things I have already mentioned, Miss Mears, or “Teacher” as she was best known, tapped into a bunch of eternal principles. The depth of her personal relationship with God flowed into ministry. She had an intimate relationship with and dependence on God. That relationship coupled with the biblical principles she mined from the word and others are just a valid today as they were in the last century. The ministries spawned from hers, using these biblical principles continue to be fruitful for the Kingdom.

SO, WHY AM I TELLING YOU THIS?
By the grace of God, I will be writing an accessible book about Miss Mears. This woman who lived from 1890 to 1963 has much to say to us today. I intend to acquaint you with her from time to time over the next few months. All prayers welcome. =}

 

Signs in the Sky

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I took this photo in Florida last year. It is a sun rise. I really like the way the sun is coming up, yet it’s light has not yet reached the lower clouds. It has reached the crossed wisps of higher clouds in the center. The white cross above the dark clouds, above the blood-red sky and the white rising sun. Through His shed blood on The Cross we are made clean. We have fellowship with the one who loves us beyond all we can ask or imagine!