The Obscurity of God's Will

It has been so long since I have written, perhaps I have forgotten how. Perhaps the lapse is an indication that something else has grasped my mind and attention and writing my blog has taken second place to it. It is interesting that when I completed the series on storms, and the skies cleared, and the rains subsided, with the dawning of the sun, came that something that grasped my attention from writing.

God's will. I thought I had it in the bag; understood the very factions of this concept. I searched it, thought I found it, followed it earnestly, held tight to it and would not let it go. And now 30 years later, I haven't the foggiest what it means. Can I say this new something is God's will? I don't know. For who can know the infinite mind of God? How does one take the step of faith that is in complete murky darkness? How can one know the future? Haw can one know if a venture will succeed or fail? How can one risk hundreds of thousands of dollars when success means a viable livelihood and where failure means utter ruin?

People call me a risk taker. Yet, I have been cautious in all my endeavors. I have taken care to be sure I follow the correct path to get me where I have thought God's will stood. Yet, to take a family to a nation where the people were not only cannibals but headhunters too would seem a bit risky. To climb aboard some of the means of transportation we have clung to, would seem heady; like the barge in Africa tied to small trees by a thin cord, the swinging bridge, laying down two 8 inch planks where the bridge should have been, and driving a truck across it, the very small planes we boarded, ski lifts high in the Alps, leaking dugout canoes where we had to bail the whole trip, two babies and a man on one bicycle and mom and another baby on another, two market baskets held on either side of the motorcycle for balance as we jumped washed out roads, ran over pigs and threw roosting chickens off our handlebars. Scares me just to write it.

So do I make the next venture that is foremost in my thoughts these days?

The Storm Ceases

The truth is God has already determined how long your trials will last. Your painful circumstance will not last one moment longer than God knows is necessary to acheive His purpose in your life. Trials are like a tunnel, not like a cave: you will come through it. And one day all pain, suffering and tears will be removed forever.

The storm subsides ... The sun shines again!

God's Rainbow of Promise

He is the sunshine after the Shower!

Hi is the calm after the Storm!

He is the stillness in the Tornado!

He is the Frozen Shower of Blessing in Life's El Nino's!

He is the Eye in the Hurricane!

He is the Ray of Hope after the Squall

He is the Zephyr in the Gale!

Monsoons of Anguish

Monsoons of Anguish

Monsoons. These are the big storms that last a while, maybe even permanently. When one of our families in Africa sold their daughter to a Muslim in marriage, that was a monsoon. When the husband beat her and she ran away - that was a monsoon. When he found her and cut her hand off for running away - that was a monsoon. When she ran away again because he cut her hand off -- that was a monsoon. When he cut her other hand off for running away again - that was a monsoon. When he told her if she ran away again, he would cut off her foot - that was a monsoon. When there was no civil government to appeal to for help and since she is his property, he can do what he wants to his property - that was a monsoon. Her situation would not change - she would live in it. How dreadfully sad to see her in the marketplace selling her tomatoes with only stubs. Beggars would steal her money and she would chase them down beating them with her stubs trying to get her money back. Yet, she loved the Lord and was faithful to Him.

Countless others we have worked with face their monsoons everyday. Going home for a break is supposed to be a joyous occasion to most students, but one faced a murder, and another was dropped off while her mother went off on her own vacation. It was three days before an uncle dropped by with some groceries. One lady's husband fell into sin and she contracted AIDS. One couple was told by their village that if they persisted in going to Bible School, the village would pray to their gods that their children would die. We buried two of those children that next year.

What are your monsoons? Monsoons unusually reveal themselves in losses; losing a loved one, a home, a ministry, a marriage, your child to sin or sickness, your health, your reputation, or your financial stability. How do you survive the monsoons in your life? How did others, like the Apostle Paul?

How could Paul:

  • Sing hymns from the belly of a dungeon?
  • Stay faithful while being stoned?
  • Keep confident while being shipwrecked?
  • Remain steadfast while being lied about?
  • Rejoice while being rejected by friends?
  • Continue when tired and hungry?

Paul was not living to please himself.

He had one burning passion.

That passion was to live for the glory of God and the Pleasure of God.

"For to me to live is Christ, and to die is gain." Philippians 1:21

We function as our Creator designed us to live when we are

Living all of life

In the presence of God

Under the authority of God

And to the glory of God.

Squalls of Derision

Squalls of Derision

A squall is defined as a sudden, violent wind accompanied by rain or snow. Derision is the use of ridicule of scorn to show contempt.


Joseph's trials seemed characteristic of abrupt storms caused by those who scorned him. His story is typified as one who's life events went from bad to worse.

  • Joseph's brothers were jealous
  • He is sold into slavery
  • Bought by Potiphar
  • Potipher's wife lied about him
  • Went to prison
  • Joseph interpreted dreams accurately
  • Man freed
  • Joseph asked him to remember him
  • Man forgot him
  • 3 years passed with Joseph still in prison
  • King needed a dream interpreted
  • Joseph was remembered
  • Joseph interpreted the king's dream
  • His was freed from jail
  • Joseph became second in command
  • Forgave his brothers


God has determined how long the trial will last. My painful circumstance will not last one moment longer than God knows is necessary to achieve His purpose in and through my life. It is a lie to believe -- "My circumstance will never change --This will go on forever". Your difficulties are not like a cave you will wander and stumble around forever. They are a tunnel you will pass through and come out safely on the other side. One day, all pain, suffering and tears will be removed forever. Joseph came to this realization: "But as for you [his brothers], ye thought evil against me; but God meant it unto good, to bring to pass, as it is this day, to save many people alive." Genesis 50:20.


As suddenly as the squalls appear and empty their tears upon the sea, they are gone.

Hurricanes of Injustice

Hurricanes of Injustice

Though we never personally went through a hurricane, one struck our home in the Caribbean while we were in the States. It picked up our heavy gas grill, flipped it over the railing on our veranda, and tossed it down the mountainside. A missions team was on campus at the time and diligently rescued the grill that had torn into many, many pieces and painstakingly put it back together so we could use it one more year. Hurricanes damage, destroy and defile. Powerful winds of injustice swirl our lives into a frenzy of unanswered questions. Innocence is always baffled by injustice for it has only known integrity and cannot fathom anyone serving anything less than truth. Injustice tears one into many, many pieces.


To you injustice may involve your children's struggle with what is fair, unfair treatment on the job, a court decision against what you hoped for, that bill you had to pay for which you never received services or merchandise, or the politics that cost you that job and the evil men who welded that political power.


On a national level, injustice may involve government corruption, widespread drug marketing, high rate of murder, economic crisis, or exploitation of young girls, all of which we have experienced firsthand in our travels.


When we are mistreated,when we look for integrity and are granted injustice, when we expect exoneration and are given censorship, when we look to live in honor and others seek to shame us . . . then we must call on the Lord Who not only knows the truth, but is, in very essence, Truth Himself.


This storm dovetails perfectly with the storm we will talk about tomorrow. So, until tomorrow, Goodnight.

El Nino of Disaster

El Nino of Disaster

El Nino hit at the end of the 90's and was the cause of vicious ice storms across America and mudslides that pushed houses off mountains. I know because we moved from Pennsylvania to San Francisco between Christmas and New Year's during one of El Nino's most passionate onslaughts on America. We traveled, Tim driving a 24-ft U-haul truck with me following in a 250 Ford Lariat puling a 12-ft trailer with 2 children and a German Shepherd. The five-day trip took us 10 days of white knuckle, hold-your-breath, scream-praying, where did my husband go?, Why do the kids want to ride with Tim?, and Why won't this CB radio work? driving. The most terrifying moments of the trip occurred when we hit a 6 mile ice patch coming down from Flagstaff. I lost control and zigzagged down the wide, steep road. We had lost radio contact. About half-way down, we spotted a 24-foot U-haul on its side. Suddenly the radio worked again and I heard Tim's voice say, "That U-haul on its side is not us!" I shouted, "I've lost control and am all over the road." He informed me if we made it down the hill, we should take the first exit to a rest area. We continued sliding and I tried to regain control of the vehicle. We finally hit some dry ground and regained control. I pulled into the rest area and sobbed for 15 minutes.


What are the El Nino's of your life? The bigger issues: the broken friendship, the failed business, the accident that takes life or health, serious illness, flunking out of school or having to move away from friends and family. These would threaten to undo us, seek destruction or a fall. But even the most terrifying circumstances are laced with Grace. Grace we often cannot see for the ferocity of the storm. Icy blasts grip our hearts in fear, rendering us unmovable, frozen in terror, petrified.


God's Frozen Showers of Blessing

Incredible Beauty

Intricate Design

The Zephyr comes like a glory. The thaw occurs. The ice melts. And God refines us.

Where is the Capitol?


America, Land of opportunity! Where else but in America do we have such opportunity for an excellent education? The amazing intelligence of Americans was blatantly brought to light on Saturday, when my family decided to take a day trip to Washington, DC.

We arrived in Washington to find there are many helpful people who are willing to give directions. I am happy to be married to a man not afraid to ask. Much to our joy after several inquiries and several turns around many blocks, we were able to find parking. An even greater benefit was due to the Cherry Blossom Parade, we were able to park at event parking prices.

We parked in a large parking lot, affixed our parking stub in the appropriate place, donned our hats, sunglasses, sack lunches, cameras and we were off ... but in which direction? We were new to the city. How were we supposed to know where the capitol building was? Well, the three parking attendants live here; surely they would know. So we asked, "Which direction do we go to find the Capitol building?"

"I don't know" said the three attendants, who should know where it was.

Next, we passed a business man dressed to the hilt in suit and carrying an expensive attache case.

"Could you please direct us to the Capitol Building?" we inquired.

"I don't know where it is," he also responded.

A truck driver, a couple locking their car and a group of people who looked like they were waiting for a parade were too far away to ask.

Then we saw a woman with two small children. "I'm asking her. She looks like she knows where she is going." I ran across the parking lot and flagged her down. "Do you know where the Capitol building is?" I asked her in my perfect Yankee accent. "Oui." she said. You just go down that road for about 5 block and you will see the Capitol on your left." Her French accent was unmistakable. I spoke to her in French, asking her where she was from and telling her that I had lived in Toulouse, France for a year. She repeated her directions to the Capitol in French and said that she and her family lived just outside of Paris. I thanked her, again in French and we headed for the Capitol.

Isn't it interesting that so many Americans could not find their way around their own country, and the only person who could correctly direct us to our nation's capitol, was from France! In defence of France at a time when that nation is rather unpopular ... Viva la France!!!