Monthly Archives: June 2015

Traveling Light…

IMG_9377I am notorious for overpacking.

First there is just the basic’s for hair and face; which doubles if I am staying more than one night and a shampoo will be required.

Then there is the issue of the appropriate shoes to go with the clothes, and the added insurance of figuring in an extra outfit or two in case of spilled coffee (it happens), change of plans or unexpected weather patterns.

Then there are accessories, comforts, snacks…well…let’s just say I may be in some small way responsible for the new baggage charges.

The first time we went to Kenya, I waaaaaaaay overpacked…and I found out that all I needed were a couple of skirts…a clean t shirt for each day…2010 09 05_0420a sweater or two…

2010 09 08_0261and a hat to keep the sun off…IMG_3578oh…and flip flops…IMG_3630When I have gone on a mission trip, life is pared down to the essentials…dress decently and appropriately and get moving each day. Not much time to fuss on checking yourself in the mirror…on account of…no mirrors…

Sometimes it is easy to forget that I am on mission back here at home.

Distractions of abundance can pull me away from being concerned about reaching people for Christ. Trying to figure out what I am going to wear; checking out what others are wearing and maintaining and replenishing all this can completely sidetrack me from what I am supposed to be wardrobing myself in each and every day…

Things like…

Put on the full armor of God..for our struggle is not against flesh and blood...the belt of truth, the breastplate of righteousness, the shoes of the gospel of peace, the helmet of salvation, the shield of faith and the sword of the Spirit which is the word of God            Ephesians 6:10-17

Put on the new nature…tenderhearted mercy, kindness, patience, gentleness and humility, and above all…..love                                                                  Colossians 3:10,12 and 14

And most importantly….Christ Himself….

But clothe yourself with the Lord Jesus Christ and make no provision for the flesh.         Romans 13:14

So let’s get dressed and get going…we have a lot to do <3

On mission…

Our church is continuing in a teaching series called “Go”; about sharing what God has done, for us and in us, with others along the daily paths that make up our life.DSCN1442

Yesterday Pastor BJ challenged us…one of those sermons where phrases just jumped out and I was so impacted that I could remember the whole quote before it disappeared from the screen….=0)

The first one I want to share is ….

“How are we personally on mission to reach people for Christ?”

Or as I keep asking myself…

How am I, Laura Reimer, on mission….to reach people….for Christ?

I have been blessed to go on a number of organized mission trips here in the U.S., Mexico and Kenya. As I mulled over that question yesterday, it actually resonated with some thoughts that have been sparked by this whole series.

One of the first things we did for every one of these trips was to attend meetings to learn about the culture we were going in to, to learn about the expectations of the ministry we would be serving, and to pray.

My prayer for mission trips is pretty simple…”Lord, prepare the way for us and prepare us for the way.”

Because when we answer the call to go on mission, we need to be intentional in setting out…IMG_3192

and flexible for what  lies ahead…

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So how am I personally preparing to be on mission to reach people for Christ?IMG_8824There is a world of hurt, lost, deceived, dying people out there…God loves each and every one of them and is not willing that any should perish but that all should come to Him.

So I prepare myself by studying His word so I can know Him. I study His word so I can understand His ways, which are relevant in every age and culture. In His Word, I find direction and strength to not shrink back from the culture where my ministry is lived out, but instead I am encouraged by the promises of God and His character. I pray so that He can impart to me: His perspective, His heart, His wisdom, His compassion, His words. I set aside my preferences and take up His.

He laid down His life for me. So daily, I surrender mine, and I take up the life of Christ and follow Him.

What matters to Him, matters to me…and so the course of mission is set…

and I ask you…because it is good to be asked…

How are YOU personally on mission to reach people for Christ?

God bless you as we journey together along the way <3

 

So much to share…so little time…

IMG_3140I have so many thoughts swirling around in my head this morning and have been away from home for various things all week…so here are some “pictures worth a thousand words” and, of course, a few words to share….just to wrap up the week and, hopefully, make you smile!

IMG_3168We graduated to the actual T of Tball last night……woot!!!!

He made contact and began his trek around the bases….eventually making it home…

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Meanwhile, we tried to keep this one busy…IMG_3177 (1)So Lola took him to the playground, where I was reminded of one of those little things you forget when you think how easy kids have it….the burn on your skin when you are going down a slide and your arm gets stuck on the side as you make your descent…ouch…

In other news, apparently someone’s grandson has a penchant for the tragic and dramatic as well…case being this is a picture of me drawn by Graham

IMG_3127In the words of the artist…”This is the time your leg fell off Lola. But don’t worry, it grew back.”

 

And for inspiration, while I wait for my leg to return….Version 2Yesterday as I was driving home, I spent the time attempting to just BE in God’s presence without asking Him any questions or doing any intercession type requests; concentrating any straying thoughts back to Him…which is quite a mental and spiritual workout for me to …. BE ….. STILL….and …. KNOW…..

As I quieted my own thoughts, a phrase from the Psalm I offer up each morning for our grandchildren, but also our children, came gently to my mind….

I started praying Psalm 139:13-18 the morning after we learned we would be grandparents the first time. I wanted to stand in the gap for our unborn grandchild to praise God until his or her own lips could do so, but over the years I have just gathered us all into this great Psalm of praise.

As the miles rolled me closer to home, these words that I have now hidden in my heart through daily repetition came to mind….

How precious also are Your thoughts to me, O God! How great is the sum of them! If I should count them, they would be more in number than the sand; when I awake, I am still with You. Psalm 139:17 and 18

I always say it like ..the things that YOU think, God, are precious to me…but last night I saw it from a different angle….as in…how precious are Your thoughts that you are thinking TOWARD me….that God is thinking about me with more thoughts than I could even begin to count.

I don’t mean that in an egocentric way…I just think that God wanted me to know that in the midst of what I consider to be a huge number of concerning thoughts and pondering’s overtaking my brain at times and making up my thoughts….HIS thoughts that are thought TOWARDS me are sooooo many, I couldn’t possibly count them all.

Do we take time to stop our own thinking and just marvel at the one truth that matters? He thinks about us….with more thoughts than the grains of sands on all the beaches in all the world….and His thoughts are always good and pure and right and true….

Take Him at His Word, beloved children of the Father…we are never out of His thoughts..IMG_3145or reach <3

When love is the motive

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Today’s post is just a gift dropped into my lap through a friend who has given me permission to share.

I was texting with her this week as she was cleaning out her kitchen cabinets. She has been my knitting coach and thanks to her I have ventured out beyond knitting squares and even have attempted cables…I know!

So at one point, she sent me a picture of what I thought was a knitted wrap around skirt for a doll. Or the outline of South Dakota.

But no.

When I read the accompanying explanation, I discovered it is actually a wash cloth. It was her sister’s first knitting project, and I can tell you it very much looked like a first knitting project.IMG_3088

She also said that  it was painful for her sister to make because, while she is a gifted cook, gardener and canner, she has always struggled with sewing and needlework.

Yet she had labored over this project that turned out far from desirable….while my friend was undergoing chemotherapy.

A gift of love made, during a difficult time, by hands gifted to do other things. And that fact adds to the preciousness of this item for my friend. She keeps it in the towel drawer and she smiles every time she sees it.

As I read her text, I thought…perhaps that is how God smiles when you and I go ahead and do things that we aren’t so good at, just because we love Him.

So often when we sign up to serve, or volunteer, or labor over something…we choose things we consider ourselves to be skilled in.

I know that He gave us our gifts and talents to be used for His glory.

But I wonder if it is as precious to Him as this misshaped wash cloth when we do things like: help in the nursery, even if kids aren’t our thing; or we visit the hospital room even though we faint at the sight of …you know… ; or we are a bit shy by nature, but we make the effort to greet people and introduce ourselves to them with a smile; or we go ahead and sing along with the Happy Birthday song around the table even though we know we can’t carry a tune.

Maybe “labors of love” sometimes mean that our gift costs us to relinquish our pride and our comfort to show we love enough to give our best to something we just really aren’t very good at….

God bless you all as you respond to His prompts based on your love for Him…not your abilities…

Love and rules

Somebody got a bike for his birthday…IMG_3072and he wanted to ride it to the bookmobile several blocks from home last night…while his mom pushed the double stroller with Emmett and two bags of books.

But on the return…someone decided he didn’t want to ride his bike anymore. Papi and Lola were there, so it seemed doable to make an exception…

Too bad.

Cause the rule is…you start out on it…you return on it…and it has to be that way because…

IMG_3070she’s awesome…but she’s only got two hands and they are kinda full and …she said so….

Is she mean?

no

Are mommy and daddy unfair or unloving when they tell them not to run in the street or nix eating ice cream instead of dinner? Too hard on them when they insist on follow through with obedience?

no

Are the rules just there to take away fun and make them miserable?

no

And when they break them, do their parents love them less?

no

The rules keep them safe and healthy; those do’s and don’ts  teach the boys to make good decisions and grow into responsible men.

Like every parent, it breaks their heart when they have to discipline those two cuties. That’s why they remind them often and warn them when it looks like things are headed downhill.

Because they love their children.

And love; honest and true parental love, doesn’t change the rules to make the child happy.

Love holds the standard…stands firm in the consequences…wipes the tears and accepts the apology ….then holds the child in the aftermath.

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Just a small picture of our heavenly Father’s love for us <3