October 26, 2014               HEART TO HEART      … PASTOR’S HELP – MATE

October 26, 2014            HEART TO HEART      … PASTOR’S HELP – MATE

Pastor Saeed Abedini wrote this letter to his daughter for her 8th birthday, which was on September 12. This is the third birthday of Rebekka’s that Pastor Saeed has missed while he languishes in an Iranian prison for his faith.

My Dearest Rebekka Grace,    HAPPY 8th BIRTHDAY!

You are growing so fast and becoming more beautiful every day. I praise God for His faithfulness to me every day as I watch from a distance through the prison walls and see pictures and hear stories of how you are growing both spiritually and physically.

Oh how I long to see you.  I know that you question why you have prayed so many times for my return and yet I am not home yet. Now there is a big WHY In your mind you are asking: WHY Jesus isn’t answering your prayers and the prayers of all of the people around the world praying for my release and for me to be home with you and our family.     The answer to the WHY is WHO. WHO is in control? The LORD JESUS CHRIST is in control.  I desire for you to learn important lessons during these trying times. Lessons that you carry now and for the rest of your life. The answer to the WHY is WHO. The confusion of “WHY has all of this happened?” and “WHY your prayers are not answered yet” is resolved with understanding WHO is in control…LORD JESUS CHRIST, our GOD!

God is in control of the whole world and everything that is happening in it is for His good purpose, for His glory, and will be worked out for our good (Romans 8:28). Jesus allows me to be kept here for His glory. He is doing something inside each of us and also outside in the world. People die and suffer for their Christian faith all over the world and some may wonder why? But you should know the answer of WHY is WHO. It is for Jesus. He is worth the price and His  plan to be glorified through our lives.

Please read the book of Habakkuk. He had the same question as you. But see that the Lord answered him in Habakkuk 2:3, “for the vision is yet for the appointed time, wait for it.”   Mommy and I always had big desires to serve Jesus and had great vision to be used for His Kingdom and for His Glory. So today we pay a cost because God, who created us, called us to that, so I want you to know that the answer to all of your prayers is that God is in control, and He knows better than us what He is doing in our lives and all around the world.  Therefore declare as Daniel and his friends Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-­‐Nego did in Daniel 3: 17-­‐18!…” If that is the case, our God whom we serve is able to deliver us from the burning fiery furnace, and He will deliver us from your hand, O king. 18 But if not, let it be known to you, O king, that we do not serve your gods, nor will we worship the gold image which you have set up.”…  learn and declare as Habakkuk did that even if we do not get the result that we are looking for, God is still good and we WILL praise His Holy Name.  Then my dear beloved daughter Rebekka Grace, I pray God will bring me back home soon. But if not, we will still sing together as Habakkuk did, HALLELUJAH, either separated by prison walls or together at home.

So, let Daddy hear you sing a loud Hallelujah that I can hear all the way here in the prison!  I am so proud of you my sweet courageous daughter. Glory to God forever,

Amen.        Kisses and Blessings,      Daddy

PART 10: Psalm 23:5b ” You anoint my head with oil.”

June 29, 2014    JANE’s HEART TO HEART    …. The Pastor’s Helpmate

Psalm 23:5b  “..You anoint my head with oil.”

When I was  about eight years old I loved to read the dictionary.  I would look through and find words, read the definition and then I would try to think of ways to use them in a sentence and ask my family a question using that word.  One I especially remember is when I would sit with my head on my hand and elbow on my knee and ask, “What am I doing?   They would try to guess and then I would say, “I am meditating”. Often when we had visitors my parents would have me try to stump our company.  

As we meditate on this magnificent poem of Ps. 23 it is helpful to keep in mind that the poet, David, is recounting the events of the full year in a sheep’s life. He takes us with him from the home ranch where every need is so carefully supplied by the owner, out into the green pastures, along the still waters, up through the mountains valleys to the high tablelands of summer.

Here now when it would seem that the sheep are in a perfect setting on the high meadows; where there are clear running springs and fresh tender forage we suddenly find “a fly in the anointment” so to speak. (Keller)  There  are many different insects that reek havoc among livestock. The shepherd anoints his sheep to protect them from the nasal flies which land on the sheep’s nose and lay their eggs. The eggs hatch into tiny worms that burrow up the sheep’s nose into its head. These wriggling worms cause the sheep to panic, toss its head and run wild trying to rid itself  of the pain even beating its head against a rock or tree often hurting itself. Right away the shepherd will rub a mixture of oil and herbs over every sheep’s head and nose. This keeps the flies away and calms the sheep.

Meditate on this:

What is it that upsets you?  What frustrates you and causes you to panic? Who irritates or “bugs” you? When things go wrong and upset you, ask Jesus to anoint you with His love and peace., Just as oil calms the sheep, Jesus wants to calm our upset minds and hearts with the Holy Spirit. Ask the Holy Spirit to take control of your life. 

Romans 15:13 says: “May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.” Jesus also said, “You shall receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you…”

Psalm 23:5b  “..You anoint my head with oil.”

"I Guess the Only Thing We Can Do Now is Pray.."

parsonage

So often we who know the Lord try to do everything we can to fix things and change things and then as I heard on the news yesterday some one said. “I guess the only thing we can do now is pray..”

Prayer is not a good luck charm nor a rabbit’s foot…..

Lord, help us to seek YOUR face without ceasing and stay in YOUR WORD in obedience with right heart attitude.

Help us to call out to YOU first for guidance to make right choices and allow You to guide us.

As a young person I learned this Scripture and it has blessed me so much. I have to remind myself of this when ever I try to fix things myself.

Memorize Ps. 100. Repeat it over and over… think about it’s meaning.

The following is my capsulized version… REJOICE IN THE LORD… SERVE HIM WITH GLADNESS… COME BEFORE HIS PRESENCE… KNOW HE I S GOD… HE MADE US… WE ARE THE SHEEP… HE IS THE SHEPHERD… GIVE THANKS DAILY… PRAISE HIM… BE THANKFUL… BLESS HIS NAME… THE LORD IS GOOD… HIS MERCY IS EVERY LASTING… HIS TRUTH ENDURES THROUGH ALL GENERATIONS….

Shout this out to the Lord today… And everyday. Then when trials come you can just lift your hands and heart to HIM and say humbly “I’m here Lord, direct my path and hold out your hand to him like a small child would do.”

GOD is faithful. He will lead you through that trail sweetly.