Friday, February 5, 2016

How to Find a Girlfriend When You're on the Mission Field



Everyone’s ministry goes through stages. I arrived on the field with a baby. A few years later, we had another baby and were in charge of a youth group that was growing and thriving. We started a new church with our co-workers, did evangelism together, tried things that worked (and some that didn’t), saw some people saved, witnessed, and started a Sunday school. We kept on, and our kids grew.  I became “taxi service” for two active teens: music lessons, playing with friends, and orchestra practices. Our weeks were full. Plus, I homeschooled, and in high school it was a challenge to keep ahead of my students! Now, our children are grown, married, and live in other points on the globe. The church ministry has changed over the years—multiple times—and so have we.

And, during all of these years, there was a void. It was a need I didn’t even feel sometimes, but other times it gnawed at my heart with a vengeance. It was the need for female spiritual fellowship.

To be fair, there were very few missionaries around, especially when we first arrived. So, there weren’t a lot of believers near us. Our co-workers were great. (They’ve retired, now.) I would take advantage of a few precious minutes with our kids’ piano teacher after their lessons. Those times were special.

Everyone needs a friend.

Everyone needs not only a girlfriend, but also a spiritual iron-sharpeneth-iron kind of friendship. We need encouraging in the faith, personally, and prayer support for our families. We really need a friend.

“Oh,” you may say, “That sounds great in theory, but how do I make that kind of a friend, when there’s no one nearby?” I’m glad you asked!

Let me share a few ideas. See if one (or more) of them works for you.
  1. Pray specifically for God to give you an encouraging girlfriend. It may not happen right away, but it will happen in God’s time. And this is the confidence that we have in him, that, if we ask any thing according to his will, he heareth us: And if we know that he hear us, whatsoever we ask, we know that we have the petitions that we desired of him (1 John 5:14-15).
  2. Consider all of your friends—those back in your home country and those on your field. Is there one of them that will pray for you and uplift you? Is there one (possibly your home pastor’s wife) that you can rely on to be a spiritual friend? Do you know someone through an online community—like this one!—who will encourage, challenge, and be there for you? (Don’t rule people out because of age differences. One of my closest friends is young enough to be my daughter.)
  3. Is there someone you can minister to, wherever you are? Do you see a “Ms. Opportunity” waiting for friendship? Ask God to help you to be perceptive. Do you know a single missionary? Do you know a widow? Do you know someone who’s introverted and doesn’t get noticed?

Let’s assume you’ve found a potential encouraging Christian girlfriend. What can you do together? (Here, we’re assuming she’s on the same mission field you are. Later, we’ll address long-distance friends.)
  • Coffee, tea, juice, etc.—I’m amazed how much can get done over a simple refreshing drink. I met with a friend just this morning. We did some grocery shopping and then sat down to visit. We laughed, prayed, talked about families and animals—a chicken on her neighbor’s balcony (in town!)—and it was a great time. We did practical things plus some precious, genuine fellowship.
  • Bible study—I’ve never done this because of busy schedules, but it might work for you. You could do a simple Bible study with another missionary woman—or all the women on your team. It could be amazing if you can carve out the time once a week to share what you’re learning in the Word.
  • Sharing—Another friend and I bounce ideas and women’s studies off of each other once a month. She has some awesome perspectives!
  • Caring—Why is it that we’re so private with our needs? I don’t know if it’s pride or not wanting to bother someone else. But, we need to be aware of others’ needs. (I’m preaching to myself, here. I can be so blissfully blind.) Does your friend have a physical need? Help in a concrete way: a meal, do her laundry, take care of her kids, feed her dog . . . . Does she indicate that she’s having a hard time emotionally? Be a listening ear. Offer a shoulder and a hug. Pray with her. Is your friend going through a financially tight time? What can you share? Money? Food? Carpooling? Look for opportunities to be a blessing.
  • Exchanging—Especially if you’re on a non-English speaking field, it’s great to share magazines and books. You can even exchange decorations, recipes, and Pinterest ideas. Help enrich each other!
  • Asking and giving—I don’t know why it’s so hard to do this, but we often fail to find out what the other woman likes. Why not make a list of her favorites: flower, food, dessert, kinds of books, colors, etc.? When you visit her home, look around. Could she use a new kitchen towel? Did you notice the colors in her bathroom? (Soaps, towels, etc.) Do you know what style/colors she uses in decorating? (Candles, dishes, placemats, etc.) Could you buy her something she will love?
  • Encouraging—Nothing helps me more than someone who says, “Keep on keeping on.” Everyone needs that from time to time. Bless your friend with encouraging words, and graciously accept her sincere compliments.

For your far-away friend:
  • Pray for each other daily. Make sure both of you keep your prayer requests and news up-to-date. Pray for each other’s families. A great time to pray for your special friend is first thing every morning, before your feet hit the floor.
  • Write encouraging e-mails, tweets, or messages. Share Bible verses. Help her understand your field and your ministry. It’s great if you can Skype or Face-time with your friend.
  • Give small, thoughtful gifts, when you can. Everyone loves something pretty from another country. When you go back home, take something special for your friend.


A man (missionary woman) that hath friends must shew himself (herself) friendly: and there is a friend that sticketh closer than a brother (Proverbs 18:24).

A friend loveth at all times, and a brother (sister) is born for adversity (Proverbs 17:17).

Iron sharpeneth iron; so a man (missionary woman) sharpeneth the countenance of his (her) friend (Proverbs 27:17).


Thursday, February 4, 2016

It's Coming! MK Spirit Week 2016


March 7 - 11, 2016

Usually MK stands for Missionary Kid,


But in March it stands for...





Attention, MK agents all over the world. It's time to put on those disguises.



Should you choose to accept this mission, your assignments are as follows...

Monday, March 7th
Sports Day

Don't worry if your dribbling is so bad you need a bib. Grab that basketball. Take hold of that cricket bat. Time to put on those sports jerseys. Paint your face in honor of your favorite team. Take a picture and send it to us! And we will help you put your game face on!


Tuesday, March 8th
Book Character Day

Calling all book characters!!! Time to come alive! Dress like a favorite book character, take a picture, and send it in.


Wednesday, March 9th
Twin/Triplet Day

Have you ever wondered what it would be like to have a twin? Imagine the jokes you could pull on people! So here's your challenge: Find a fellow MK or a friend and dress alike. Snap a picture and show the world your secret look-alike. Feeling bold? Try for triplets!


Thursday, March 10th
Hero Day

It's a bird! It's a plane! Um... no... even better! It's an MK! Throw on that cape and dazzle us with your best superhero look. Dress up like your favorite hero and send us a picture.
(We are not responsible for broken capes that do not make you fly. Please do not jump from high places to test your superhero skills. And no laser fast rolled up sock bomb throwing at your little sister, either.)


Friday, March 11th
Idiom/Pun Day

Time to let the cat out of the bag! We are spilling the beans! A picture is really worth a thousand words, so send in those idiom pictures! Dress up as your favorite idiom or pun and send us the picture. We will see if we can figure out your punny puzzle disguise!


Monday - Friday, March 7 - 11
Each day we will also have...
Ask the MK!
A chance for your voice to be heard... and we certainly want to hear from you!

(And we may even have a little something up our sleeves for Mom!)

AND if that isn't enough...
Each day we will also host
"Picture This!"
A chance for our MKs to show off their photography skills by taking a picture of a different topic each day.



That's right! This year you have a chance to win prizes for participating in MK Spirit Week.

Some fabulous people who just LOVE MKs have jumped at the opportunity to love on MKs. They are sponsoring the giveaways for each day. What's in store? Amazon gift cards! Good for Kindle books, movie and music downloads, and if you have access to Amazon shipping... the options are endless!

Must be a verifiable, legitimate, honest to goodness BMW MK.

To enter, submit a photo of you dressed for the MK Spirit Theme for the day. Also, those MKs responding to "Ask the MK" will have more opportunities to win. AND those submitting photos for "Picture This" will have another opportunity to win! Email photo submissions to woonstonepal@yahoo.com . Include the name of each child in the picture. Also include the country or field of service OR the geographic region if security is a concern. Photos will be posted on the BMW Blog at the discretion of the BMW Blog Team.




Winners will be randomly selected from entries.


Winners announced Monday, March 14, 2016, on BMW Blog.


Tuesday, February 2, 2016

Homemade Onion Soup Mix

I stumbled upon this recipe as I was searching for something else the other day and was glad to find a new recipe for a pantry staple that we use in many recipes. I hope it is a help to you!




Ingredients:

1/4 cup dry onion flakes (also called dehydrated onion)
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. thyme
1 tsp. paprika
1 tsp. dry mustard
1 tsp. garlic powder
1/4 tsp. black pepper

Instructions:

In a small mixing bowl, combine all the ingredients.
Store in an airtight container
To use, stir into recipes as you would commercial onion soup mix (about 1 to 2 tablespoons per 1/2 cup sour cream for dip.)

Monday, February 1, 2016

On Spiritual Growth {Guest Post}


Left to right: Blake, Hosanna, Eden, Elijah, Suzy, Mordecai, Chris, Ariella, Nathanael



Before I begin, I guess I should introduce myself. My name is Suzy Crocket. I am the eldest of 5 sisters. I have been a child of my earthly parents for nearly 38 years and a child of my Heavenly Father for 31. I am so thankful that the Lord saved me all those years ago and never left me once since that moment! He has been so faithful to me, even when I was not faithful to Him. He has given me so much…a loving husband, 7 beautiful children, a purpose and a calling…a truly wonderful life! It has been almost 9 years since we were sent out of our local church, Nepean Baptist Church in Sydney, Australia, to be church planters in Romania. Romania is where I feel most at home. God has given me a deep love for the Romanian people, and I hope I’ll spend all of my days here. I have never written a blog post before…so bear with me! Writing is one of my very favourite things to do, though, especially if I get to write about what the Lord has been teaching me! Speaking of teaching, that’s another one of my favourite things. I love studying the Bible and getting to share what I’ve learned with others, especially young ladies and women. I am addicted to journaling, and I think everyone should do it. I collect Christian quotes, so you’re bound to see some in my blog posts from time to time. I also enjoy cooking, reading, playing the flute, and just hanging out with my favourite people: my family. So that’s me in a nut shell! I hope and pray that my passion for studying God’s Word and sharing it with others will make up for my lack of talent, and that God will use my posts to be a blessing, encouragement and challenge to you!


On Spiritual Growth

January is the month when many of us make resolutions that we hope will either improve our situation or ourselves. I hope that at least one of your resolutions for 2016 is to grow spiritually. Unfortunately, many of the resolutions that we begin the year with are never realised, and that is mostly because we don’t have a plan of attack, or we lose our motivation. So here are some inspiring facts about spiritual growth that help me to stay motivated:

1. In the beginning God created man in His image. It wasn’t long before God’s image in man was marred by sin… but guess what! God is still working to create men and women in His image today! Eph. 2:10 says, “For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them.”

2. When God made the first man, all three Persons of the Godhead - Father, Son and Holy Spirit - were involved in that special creation, “And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness:” (Gen.1:26a). God is equally invested in your and my spiritual growth today. All three Persons of the Trinity are working in our sanctification or spiritual growth. (See Jude vs. 1; I Cor.1:2; I Pet.1:2). That’s how important our spiritual growth is to God!

3. Jesus Christ Himself shows personal interest in our spiritual growth. Listen to what He told the pastor of the church in Thyatira in Rev. 2:19, “I know thy works, and charity and service, and faith, and thy patience, and thy works; and the last to be more than the first.” Clearly Jesus observed their walk from start to finish, and we can be assured that He is definitely watching our growth with interest as well!

God’s investment and interest in our spiritual growth really ought to be enough to motivate us to be proactive in our own sanctification, but just in case you need more reasons:

4. Our spiritual growth can and should be observed by others. In I Tim. 4, the Apostle Paul exhorts Timothy to be an example, and to “give attendance to reading, to exhortation, to doctrine,” to use his spiritual gifts and to meditate on and obey the Scriptures. Why? That his “profiting (or progress) may appear to all.” (I Tim. 4:15). At least a part of the strength of our witness or testimony in the world around us lies in our spiritual growth. 

5. Our daily pursuit of Christlikeness, according to the Apostle Peter, ensures that we will have a fruitful, purposeful life, “And beside this, giving all diligence (that means effort on our part), add (that’s growth) to your faith virtue; and to virtue knowledge; And to knowledge temperance; and to temperance patience; and to patience godliness; And to godliness brotherly kindness; and to brotherly kindness charity. For if these be in you, and abound, they make you that ye shall neither be barren nor unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ.” (II Pet. 1:5-8).

6. Immediately after these words of the Apostle Peter, he goes on to give us yet another motivation for growing, that being the kind of entrance we wish to have into Heaven, “For so an entrance shall be ministered unto you abundantly into the everlasting kingdom of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ.” (II Pet. 1:11). Do you ever daydream about what kind of welcoming you’ll get when you walk through those pearly gates? What kind of grand entrance do you wish for? Let that be your motivation to give due diligence to your spiritual growth.

7. As born-again believers, children of God, our eternal destiny is to be like Jesus, “Beloved, now are we the sons of God, and it doth not yet appear what we shall be: but we know that, when he shall appear, we shall be like him; for we shall see him as he is. And every man that hath this hope in him purifieth himself, even as he is pure.”  (I John 3:2-3). Commentator Matthew Henry said, “It ought to be the business of every day to prepare for our final day.” 

8. If your success in life and your physical health were directly linked to the prosperity of your soul, would you do anything differently? Listen to how the Apostle John greeted Gaius in III John vs. 2, “Beloved, I wish above all things that thou mayest prosper and be in health, even as thy soul prospereth.” I was personally very convicted by this thought last year when I read this verse and studied it more closely. That phrase, "as thy soul prospereth," is so interesting. 'Prosper' means to grow vigorously. It is true that the process of sanctification is a life-long process, but that doesn’t mean that there can’t be times in our Christian life of vigorous growth! I’m sure you’ve seen it in the lives of some new believers…I know I have. There’s no reason that we can’t have that kind of growth later in our Christian lives as well, as long as we’re willing to put in some effort!

There are certainly many more reasons that can motivate us to pursue Christlikeness, but I want to stop there so that I can share with you some steps that you can take to make sure that your resolution to grow spiritually this year won’t end up unrealised.

1. Take responsibility for your own spiritual growth. Believe it or not, I even know of people who left their very good, very doctrinally sound, very active church, because they were not growing spiritually! As if it was the pastor’s responsibility, or the youth leader’s responsibility, to make them grow! Wrong! The pastor and youth leaders certainly have their role to play, and it is an important one, but in the end, the buck stops with you! Even the best preacher in the world cannot make you grow if you aren’t putting the work in yourself.  Think of it like this. Your body needs to eat 3 times a day, 7 days a week. Skipping meals makes your body weak and tired, and skipping meals repeatedly can cause sickness and even death. Your soul needs to be fed with spiritual food. Every day. If the only “meals” your soul is getting are the ones it gets from church on Sunday, that may be enough to keep it alive, but it won’t be enough for it to grow! So take responsibility today for your own spiritual growth. Don’t depend on your pastor, youth leader, husband, or anyone else to feed you. Decide to feed yourself!

2. Realise that spiritual growth is about more than simply reading your Bible, praying and going to church. These are basic essentials, but it isn’t enough to read - you must obey. It isn’t enough to pray - you must believe. It isn’t enough to go to church - you must be involved, you must exercise your spiritual gifts, you must listen to the preaching and let God change you through it! 

3. Realise that sanctification has two parts to it according to Rom. 6:4-6: Mortification and vivification. 'Mortification' is when “our old man is crucified” with Christ, that is, when we deny our sinful nature of its fleshly desires. It is a necessary part of our pursuit of Christlikeness to remove from our lives those things that are either sinful, unhelpful or hindering spiritual growth in our lives. 'Vivification' is what this passage in Romans refers to as walking “in newness of life.” It is the daily decision to choose to walk in the ways of righteousness and truth. Without mortification and vivification, you can read and pray as much as you like, and you will see no change. 

4. Be disciplined. Remember that verse in II Peter? “Giving all diligence.” That means make a concerted effort! Make a list of those things that the Lord wants you to mortify, and make the decision to do it. Flee from temptation. Avoid those places or people that tempt you in these areas. Be disciplined in your Bible reading and study. Schedule the time in each day, and stick to it. Don’t make any exceptions. Using a Bible reading plan can be very helpful. Be disciplined in your prayer time as well. Use a list. Be committed to church attendance - for every service. Make exceptions only for very objective reasons, like if you’re REALLY sick. Minor ailments like headaches, menstrual cycles, etc. shouldn’t stop you from being at church. 

5. Journal your devotional times. Not only will it help you to remember and assimilate what you have read, but it will give you a yard-stick with which to measure your growth. At the end of each month or year, you can go back and read how much the Lord has taught you. Trust me, it is so encouraging! It is also a wonderful legacy for your children to inherit after you die - a way that they can keep you with them after you are gone and continue to learn from you. Journal how the Lord has answered your prayers, too. Re-reading these will grow your faith in an amazing way!

6. Especially in the beginning, it is very helpful to make yourself accountable to someone. You could choose your husband, a parent, your pastor’s wife, or a good friend - someone you know you will be able to be truthful with, and who will be faithful to rebuke you if you need it! Have them call you every day, or every week, and check up on how you are keeping up with your reading, prayer and church attendance, and even how you are going with mortifying the desires of the flesh. It may be uncomfortable at first, but the rewards are definitely worth it!

7. Finally, dedicate some time each day to Scripture memorisation. Remember, in Ps.119:11 the Bible says, “Thy word have I hid in mine heart, that I might not sin against thee.”

May your soul and mine prosper in 2016!




Sunday, January 31, 2016

Her Story Silhouettes by Shari

Hey there, I'm Shari. One of my favorite things to do is read about or study the lives of those who have gone before us or who are walking beside us in this endeavor of being a missionary lady.* 

Their stories challenge me, encourage me, and teach me. My hope is that these "silhouettes" or glimpses of their lives will do the same for you.  

Each silhouette contains a small synopsis of a lady’s missionary service, a particular story from her everyday life that resonated with my own, and a short Bible study about a truth that I learned from it.  I hope that as you read these posts you might be challenged to find out more about these great ladies, that you might find something that speaks to your heart or helps you in your own ministry, and that ultimately you will be encouraged to remain faithful to your calling.

So grab a cup of tea, sit back and enjoy, and let me tell you about her story.



Silhouette: Joy Ridderhof went to Columbia Bible College at the age of 20. While there she learned two important truths that would stay with her for the rest of her life. (1) To worry was a sin. (2) Rejoicing was always God’s will no matter what.

At the age of 27 Joy went to Honduras as a missionary. While there many villagers came to know Christ through her faithful witness. As with most missionaries she had planned to spend her life there, but God had other plans. While on the field her body was battered from bouts of flu, malaria, and small pox. After six short years, during one particular time of illness, she came back to the States in hopes that she might have a quicker recovery. When the illness would not go away, she realized she would not be able to return. In her own words, “I returned from Honduras ill in body, disqualified for future missionary service and without financial support. It was a dark picture indeed…Then God’s Word spoke to my heart, ‘Rejoice, Joy, Rejoice’...And I answered, ‘Lord, I will believe…’” Confined to her bed, Joy still desired to encourage those she had left behind. Wanting desperately to communicate with her converts but knowing that many of them could not read, she thought to herself, “If only I could have left my voice behind to repeat the verses again and again.”

With that thought, the Lord called her to a new ministry. In 1938 at the age of 35, she made her first recording of the Gospel in Spanish on a record that used the thin box it was sent in as the player. Soon requests began coming in from missionaries in other countries for recordings in their native languages. Two women, Ann Sherwood and Sanna Barlow, joined her in her endeavor, and by 1941 Gospel Recordings had been well established as they told and retold the Gospel story of salvation. Eventually Joy was able to leave her sick bed and began traveling all over the world “catching” the voices of native speakers telling the Gospel story. 

Over the next 40 years she remained faithful to God’s calling ever pushing the bounds of technology to reach more and more people groups who had no written language and had never heard the Gospel. Joy’s intense desire to be used by God to see that everyone in the world had a chance to hear the Gospel and her unwillingness to believe that that feat was impossible can be seen by her statement, “The need of those lost millions breaks my heart, but we don’t have to stand and weep, but believe that God has put in our hand that which when blessed and used by Him can ‘thresh the mountains and beat them small…’ For what period of history is God referring to when He speaks of the great things He will accomplish in the earth? If it is not for now, for when is it?

Her tenacity, to go where the Gospel had never been, served to spur other missionaries to reach out to unreached tribes. To her testament Dr. George Cowan of Wycliffe said, “It was Joy, specifically Joy who coming back from her trip to the Philippines, challenged us--the Wycliffe Bible Translators--to go to the Pacific part of the world.” Another report tells of a missionary couple in Africa who were assigned to go to an unreached tribe in Upper Volta (now Burkina Faso). When they arrived they were amazed to find that this “unevangelized” tribe already knew about Jesus. Fifteen years before, they had been given the recordings in their native tongue. The people had memorized all the stories they had listened to and had known about the way of salvation for years before any missionary arrived.


By the time Joy died in 1984 at the age of 81 Gospel Recordings had records in over 4,000 languages. They currently have over 60 recordists and 30 distribution centers around the world with over 150 workers. To date Gospel Recordings has enabled nearly 6,000 ethnic groups to be reached with the Gospel of Christ, and it all began with one lady’s desire to serve the Lord and save the lost. 

She is a true example of a lady of whom it can be said, “She hath done what she could”!

Story & Study: Joy felt sure God’s plan for her was to go into missions, but upon completion of her college course, He had not opened any doors for the mission field.  While serving in a ministry in Miami, she received the shocking news that her mother had passed away. As all of her other sisters were married, she felt God’s plan was clear for her to return home to care for her widowed father. Upon arriving home she discovered that an old beau of hers, Francis, had not yet married either and was still interested in her. He began paying her visits, and on one particular visit, he spoke to her about marriage. Whatever exchange happened between the two, Francis left thinking Joy was refusing him, and Joy was left not understanding that he wanted to marry her or, at the very least, not being sure he meant it.  She decided that she did love him and wanted to marry him, and that she would tell him the next time he brought it up. A short time later they both attended a Christian camp, and Joy anxiously waited for Francis to approach her. To her dismay he spent the entire weekend avoiding her and keeping company with another girl. She was devastated and confused. Around the same time her father announced that he was remarrying. Reeling from the shock, Joy found that what she thought had been God’s plan for her life, being a wife to Francis and a nursemaid to her father, was not His plan at all.

I don’t know about you, but I am a planner. I live by the creed, “Plan your work and work your plan.” Being able to plan and break things down into bite-sized pieces has served me well in my years of ministry. I remember one particular banquet where we had everything planned to the “nth” degree and some of our college girls were helping me set everything up. I can’t remember the exact details, but something wasn’t working, and at the last minute, I had to make some changes on the spot and started dictating orders for this girl to do this and that one to switch that. One of the girls said to me, “How can you do that?” I said, “Do what?” She said, “Have to change everything without a moment’s notice and not be freaking out?” My response was that I’m a problem solver. I look at a situation, consider the tools and resources I have available to me, determine what the best possible outcome is with what is available, and then plan the steps that need to happen to get me from point A to point B. Although this trait works great for most instances, I have found it has not been of service to me in my personal life.

I have been guilty of this thought more than I care to admit, “If such and such is in fact God’s will, then surely this, this, and this is what He will do to accomplish His plan.” More often than not, my plan includes steps that are good things and easy ways to accomplish the plan. In reality God’s steps often include hardship, frustration, and sometimes even disappointment to accomplish the plan. These changes in the steps can make it seem sometimes like God is changing the “Game Plan.” Like most people, I don’t do well with change. When change is in the air I feel insecure and apprehensive, and it is easy to begin worrying. To illustrate this point, here is a journal entry from quite a few years ago when I was home on furlough, between ministries, and was under the impression that God was directing me to possibly marry someone I had met and had had some correspondence with. A few weeks before I was to return to the field I found out he had proposed to someone else.

“Lord, I can’t believe I have to go back to the field without a job, a husband to be, or a plan.  It seems as though all is lost. Lord, I know You have either planned this or at the least allowed it. Help me to accept my circumstances and find happiness in the joy of my salvation. Joy is never gone, but happiness seems to elude me right now…..Lord, I feel my world crumbling around me, although I know that it isn’t because You are my world....” 

Sometimes I read my journal entries and have to shake my head at how “in the depths of despair” I can get. At that time it surely felt like God was changing the plan I thought He had laid out, but little did I know what He had right around the corner for me. In less than a month from that writing the Lord placed me in a ministry that for years brought me great fulfillment and joy beyond what I thought was possible as a single lady missionary.

You know, it is funny how we don’t mind the drama in story books because we know the plot will clear up in the end, but when it comes to our own stories, we hate the drama and the feeling of being out of control. I try to remind myself that a book without twists is indeed boring and not one that will be a classic. 

I have found that when a little drama or turmoil comes into my life, it is best not to worry and despair but to instead focus on four things the psalmist teaches us in Psalms 27:3-7. 

vs. 3 - “Trust in the LORD...”

 · The word “trust” in this verse means “to helplessly lay face down.” Have you ever tried to do anything while laying face down? It is quite difficult to do anything in this position with your face on the ground. At the first sign of worry we need to “lay face down” and silence our thoughts and plans on the matter.

vs. 4 - “Delight thyself also in the LORD...”

 · The word “delight” in this verse means “being pliable or sensitive” or “being dependent upon God/deriving one’s pleasure from Him.” In times of turmoil we need to find our security in Him before we find it elsewhere. This means getting alone with Him, reading His word, praying, etc. This takes time and the ability to still our thoughts. I’m afraid, more often than not, we seek instant gratification to calm us. How many of you have ever said, “’I just need to talk to friend’ or ‘I just need a hug from my husband’ or ‘I just need a coke’ and then I’ll be able to make sense of the situation and deal with it.”? God has given us many good things in our life like husbands, children, friends, food, shelter, etc., but it is not good when we run to them before we run to God to calm and still us and gain strength for the trial.

vs. 5 - “Commit thy way unto the LORD...”

 · The word “commit” in this verse means “to roll something away.” I often think of the word "commit" as a forward action like “I commit to make something happen.” But this idea of rolling something away leans more towards the action of letting go. When we begin to worry about something, we must commit it to the Lord and let it roll off of us and onto Him.

vs. 7 - “Rest in the LORD…”

 · The word “rest” in this verse means “to be silent” - the fourth and final step is to rest in the Lord. Even in music we know that a rest means to be silent. We need to hush our spirit and wait in holy patience for the Lord to reveal His will in the matter. I love the statement, “A silent tongue not only shows a wise head but a holy heart.”

Since I like acronyms I thought a catchy statement might help me to remember these four steps the next time I found myself upset or beginning to worry. My first thought was that I could tell myself, “The Deed Can Roll.” My next thought was, “The Day Can Ride.” Having not yet come to grips completely with the fact that I was not going to be getting married to this man, I’m afraid my next thought was, “The Dog Can Roast!” Hahaha. I decided maybe I should just remember these four steps by their words - Trust, Delight, Commit, and Rest. 

Next time you find yourself getting upset or worrying about something or feeling like God is changing the “Game Plan,” just say to yourself, “Trust, Delight, Commit, and Rest.” 




About Shari:



I’m single. I’m 45. I’m tall. I like the color red, flying kites, and Peanut Butter M & M’s.  I love playing squash, scrapbooking, and playing games. I enjoy being a little “cheeky,” and I love a good Kakuro puzzle. This is starting to sound like a dating ad, and I am not looking.  No really, I’m not looking. 

I’m just a girl who dreams of doing something great for the Lord with her life.  I’ve had a few extraordinary days in my years of being a missionary, but mostly life is filled with ordinary days and mundane tasks and the desire to remain faithful where the Lord has placed me until He calls me home...heaven that is, not America...or maybe New Zealand if I happen to be in Thailand...or Thailand if I happen to be in America....real-life missionary struggles - where exactly is home?

I’ve been a missionary for the past 22 years.  I served in Nigeria, West Africa for 2+ years, New Zealand for 10+ years, and now in Thailand for almost 8 years.  And, yes, if you do add up those numbers they don’t add up to 22, but I always include my year and a half of deputation in my total number.  (Why on earth people don’t claim their deputation time as part of their missionary ministry is beyond me.  I surely wasn’t driving all over the country for my own health and pleasure.  I was doing mission work, promoting the work of missions, raising awareness, challenging others, etc., and so I count it!) 

Anyway, I love the Lord, and I love that He allows me to use my life for His service.  I count it a privilege and a challenge daily.  

If you’d like to know more about me or my ministry, please visit my website. 
http://sharihousethailand.wix.com/servingjoyfully

I'd love to hear about your story, too. Feel free to leave a comment, or friend me on Facebook, or visit me in Thailand.  I have a great guest room.  :)



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*Disclaimer:


I have chosen to highlight the life of these ladies because of what they have accomplished for the Lord not because I agree with their doctrinal beliefs.  As with all study of man, our focus should be on the character traits they bestowed in their lives that allowed the Lord to use them, how the Lord used them, the methods of ministry they incorporated that allowed them to be effective, etc.  We  do not study man to get our doctrine.  Our doctrinal beliefs should only come from the Bible.  

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Resources:

Video link to hear Joy speaking about her own testimony -  http://globalrecordings.net/en/history

Joy Ridderhof: Voice Catcher Around the World, Rebecca Davis, 2015

Count it All Joy (pamphlet), Joy Riderhof, 1978

Catching Their Talk in a Box: The Life-Story of Joy Ridderhof, Becky M. Hockett, 1987

Global Recordings Network (formerly Gospel Recordings) website:  www.globalrecordings.net