Going to Haiti

Next week, I will be in Haiti celebrating with brothers and sisters in Christ as they prepare to launch a gospel-preaching, Jesus-proclaiming church in a very dark place.

I have camped out in Ephesians 6:11-18 this week, reminding myself what I must do to prepare for this trip. Would you join me in these prayers?

armor

I must fasten the belt of truth and believe the truth of the gospel has the power to transform lives. I must believe the truth of Scripture that promises my God is everywhere – in Canada with our children and in Haiti with me. I must believe the truth that God has gone before me, will stand beside me, and fight for me. I must believe that I cannot do anything of value or significance on my own strength. Without truth, I am hopelessly lost and susceptible to the lies and schemes of the enemy.

Pray that I fasten the breastplate of righteousness, firmly trusting in the righteousness Jesus purchased for me at salvation. Only Jesus can protect my heart and soul from the enemy.

Pray that I am ready to share the gospel of peace, that I firmly plant my feet in the truth of the Word of God and boldly go where the Lord leads preaching the good news.

Pray that I take up the shield of faith, believing my God can extinguish ALL the fiery darts of the evil one. I am justified by faith, and my faith in the Word of God is my defense against the enemy. It protects me from attack and is also what goes before me as I charge into enemy territory.

Pray that I put on the helmet of salvation, trusting fully in Jesus for His complete work done on my behalf. Pray that I do not fear the one who can only harm the body, but that I fear the One who can destroy both body and soul. May my reverent fear of the Lord be what drives me, not tempory circumstances, no matter how fearsome they may be.

Pray that the living and active weapon that is sharper than any two-edged sword penetrates deeply into my heart. The sword of the Spirit, which is the Word of God, is my defense. Pray that I wield it with power.

I would love to know that you are praying for my husband and I as we set off January 15th for five days. Please pray for our team of six adults. I can’t wait to update you all upon our return.

Go, Lord!

 

How a Writer Writes a Bio

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Every writer needs a short bio for introductions and a longer bio for that dreaded “about me” tab on the website. At the bottom of this post is a link that will help you create a personal and easy-to-read bio. I had LOADS of fun creating mine.

About Stacey

I am from the play-until-the-streetlights-turn-on and come-when-your-father-whistles generation. I’m a cool-off-in-the-sprinkler, drink-straight-from-the-hose, and fish-off-the-pier kind of girl. I’m loyal even when others are not.

I’ve wrestled with brothers, played Barbie with neighbors, and stayed up too late reading just one more chapter. I’m from BIG Sunday dinners, steaming hot tea, and Saturday morning coin-sized pancakes. I grew up with Tupperware, paper bag lunches, Yorkshire pudding, and mashed potatoes.

Lots of mashed potatoes.

My family is a finish-what-you-start, bargain shopping, home cooking, and respect-your-elders kind of family. I am one of four children framed in memories on a wall. I jumped off docks, endured eight-hour trips that took twelve, and sat in the middle bench seat of the family sedan.

I am a wait until you enter the house before driving away kind of mom. I boil the kettle in a crisis, and I know that a job worth doing is worth doing right.

I am a fixer of old things, painter of everything, cleansed and forgiven child of God. I believe that nothing matters more than the Lord Jesus Christ and who I believe He is.

Who are you?

Visit this link and use the template to write your own bio. Every writer needs an ‘about me’ page on their website. http://www.swva.net/fred1st/wif.htm

The Christmas List That Matters

Who is on your

In December my purse fills with lists. But tonight I couldn’t help compare my lists with a more significant list.

I have a grocery list: Christmas dinner doesn’t cook itself. It requires an organized shopper.

I have three wishlists: This is probably the list most important to my children. One techy daughter even ‘shared’ her list via iPod note and updates it frequently.

I’ve heard of a nice and naughty list: I’ve never done this, but I have overheard parents threaten their kids that one call to the Big Man in RED will move them onto the naughty list and guarantee them a stocking of coal.

Last night, I faced a different list. It was a list that made my heart swell. A hundred plus people from our church gathered around lists of love, lists of 1100 names. These were not just random names. These were the names of people we love who need Jesus. Family, friends, neighbors, co-workers, real people with real hurts and real needs.

Every Christmas we pray over this growing list, and one by one we lift each person by name before the Lord. We ask for God to do what He does best: a Christmas miracle. We ask the Lord to open eyes of the blind, soften hearts that are hard, heal wounds that are fresh, cure those who are hurt. We ask Him to do what we cannot: save souls.

As we move closer to Christmas, consider what names you would add to this list and don’t wait for our next church prayer meeting, start praying now. Our God is mighty to save. Believe He can transform the life of every name on the list because in the end, only one list matters. It is the list of names written in the Lambs Book of Life.

18 Days. Are You Ready?

CUPCAKE

Yes, it’s that time of year. Parents are cleaning, baking, and working hard to ensure their children experience a magical Christmas. But maybe this year, instead of the perfect tree, we can pour our efforts into figuring out how to keep Christmas real. Maybe this year, we can reclaim Christmas with a Christmas prayer deeper than pretty ideas of snow and sleigh bells. This prayer doesn’t involve Santa slipping down the chimney or leaving out cookies and milk. This is a prayer for a white Christmas where my loved ones and yours might wake to discover a covering of white sent to erase a lifetime of stain.

The miracle isn’t on 34th Street, the miracle is how God made it possible for every weary soul to rejoice, truly making this the most wonderful time of the year. As you strive to find that perfect gift to give your loved one, ask yourself: Have you received the perfect gift that God gives you at Christmas? Because He loved us first, God came for us. God’s love is from everlasting to everlasting. Chosen before the foundations of the earth, before one day came to be, He chose His people. God gloriously displayed His love that first Christmas when He rent open the skies and a multitude of angels spilled over the edge of heaven proclaiming, “Glory to God in the highest!”

This Christmas, listen to the greatest love story ever told by the God-child who came to pursue you. He came to reach you. He is greater than any Grinch or Santa Claus, and He left his kingdom in Heaven to pursue you on Earth. He came to dwell with you in your loneliness and alienation and give you the courage to reach out and take God’s hand.

 

On Dark Days Remember the Ram

This day is hard. Correction. This life is hard. Life is hard enough that it is tempting to doubt the goodness of God and fall into despair. But the Lord is our refuge and strength. He is our help in times of trouble. I don’t understand, but I don’t need to understand. I need to believe that his ways and thoughts are higher than mine and that He loves his children.

On the hard days we pray: Lord, give me eyes that see beyond now. Give me feet that walk the hard road of obedience. Give me a heart in beat with Yours. Give me the faith to believe that my ram is coming.

“It had to have been the darkest day of Abraham’s life as he trudged up the mountain, with firewood strapped to his son’s back. Every step took Abraham closer to what he believed to be the sad ending of a hopeless situation – the death of his son. Yet in spite of his sorrow, Abraham trusted God. His heart wasn’t soaring with joy. He wasn’t dancing up the mountain. But he put one foot in front of the other. Walking through the darkness of the situation; obeying His God’s commands.
Unbeknownst to Abraham, something else was walking up that mountain. Quietly. Out of sight. On the other side of the mountain. Something else was putting one foot in front of the other. Only Abraham couldn’t see it.
For every step Abraham took, a ram on the other side of the mountain took a step.”
– See more at: Proverbs 31 Ministries Devotions

Much like Abraham, we cannot see the other side of our mountains. All we see is the difficult path the Lord has put before us, and all we feel is the impossibility of the task. If you are walking through your own darkness, putting one foot in front of the other in faithful obedience, take heart. Your ram is coming.

We cannot see God’s future provision, but with every heartbeat, we must believe that God’s response to our need is climbing up the other side of the mountain. We will meet God’s perfect provision at the peak where we will fall to our knees worshipping with Abraham at the place named, The Lord Will Provide.

 

*From the archives

What do you want to be when you grow up?

I remember always having to answer that age-old question. The implication was that if I found the right career, life’s “calling” would follow. It resounded deeply in my generation. A career, a job, an occupation should be—will be—your passion. I transitioned from a psychologist to an economist to an engineer, but they all lacked that “passion.” I pursued and excelled in each, waiting patiently for the promised feeling to blossom.

Then Bella, my eldest daughter, was born. No one warned me that maybe, just maybe, my passion would not be a college major, wouldn’t have a syllabus, and wouldn’t require a degree. No one warned me that changing the world might mean neglecting my home and trying to find balance would be a daily struggle because excelling in one comes at the expense of the other.

Clarification Needed

No one clarified that my career might be the bread on the table, but it wouldn’t be my life calling. No one told me to expect to find joy in the simple things and in the people I get to share them with; the gentle breeze, a home cooked meal, and cuddles under the sheets. It was never hinted at that not owning a luxury car and not traveling around the world would be OK.

“Dream Big,” they said, failing to acknowledge the mesmerizing beauty of the small things, the small people that would tug on my clothes and give butterfly kisses. No one warned me that on most days I could be depleted but blessed, or that I could live weeks without 5 minutes to myself and still love every minute of it.

A Different Choice

I never imagined a life like this because it was rarely modeled and poorly advertised. Yet, an age-old book held this passion in high esteem and revealed to me the beauty that my previous worldview hid. It gave me the strength to pursue it with all my might and the will to make changes to my lifestyle and my wants. Tomorrow marks the beginning of a new season, new challenges, and new opportunities. Not everyone shares my journey, but oh, so many do. Many women, like me, were sold a life-calling very far from divine. Biblical motherhood is not a distraction to changing the world; it is the very catalyst that will bring forth the peace our society craves. It is my passion and my calling.

 

Marby Iglesias is a pastor’s wife in South Florida. You will find her on most days trying to keep up with her energetic toddler and baby. Her favourite pastime is sitting down for a good theology book with a cup of coffee.

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