Saturday, January 30, 2010

Dare to be great!


Today I’ll share with you a message from our pastor, Sid Tiller, about The Parable of the Talents (Matthew 25:14-30). His words challenge me to take a closer look at my life.

Here are notes I took during his sermon, “Dare to be great!” on January 17:

How daring are you?

The God we see in Scripture doesn’t want us to be conservative in our use of our money, time, talents, and skills.

Stewardship is something we manage that is not our own. Like the three men in The Parable of the Talents, God has entrusted each of us with “talents” that are not all our own (money, time, talents, skills, and experience) and that we manage for a purpose: to make an impact for God’s Kingdom.

Sid asked, “With one life to live, how much do you invest for God?”

In the Parable of the Talents, a man gave one of his servants five talents of money, another of his servants two talents, and another servant one talent. Then he left town.

When the man returned, the five-talent and the two-talent servants had doubled their holdings, but the man with only one talent, instead of investing it, buried it—because, he said, he was afraid.

“What did two of them do,” Sid asked, “to double their five and two talents? They didn’t play it safe. However, the one dominated by fear buried his talent. Today we don’t dare to be great because we fear God won’t live up to His end of the bargain.”

Sid said that the degree of safety that we invest in our lives indicates a lack of faith.

Sid left us with questions and challenges:

Are you playing it safe with what God has given you of time, skills, past experience, and money?

How much do you trust God? Let go. Invest.

Do you have God-sized dreams and investments?

Or is it too risky? Too scary?

It’s tempting, Sid observed, to play it safe and take it easy. He compared life to a ship in the harbor—it’s safe there, but that is not what ships are for. What is your life for?

And, here’s Sid’s final challenge: Do great things for God. Trust God and don’t play it safe.

What could God do if every person who has a relationship with Him dared to be great?

Thursday, January 28, 2010

January is NATIONAL HOT TEA MONTH


Oh, what I’d give to hold a mug of hot Kenya tea in my hands right now.

These nippy days in North America remind me of Nairobi’s cool season.Yes, Kenya lies on the equator, but because of Nairobi’s elevation (6,000 feet), in May through September temperatures drop to the low 50s overnight and reach only the low 70s for daytime highs.

Perhaps that sounds like perfect springtime weather—and it is—but homes there have no heat sources. Both offices and homes are built of stone and cement (floors, walls, and ceilings) and those materials hold in the cold. At home and in my office, the temperature reached no higher than 64 degrees during cool season. And that’s too chilly for me!

In Grandma’s Letters from Africa, I wrote this on July 31, 1995:

“This is our cool season and I struggle with the chill that permeates our offices, our home, and even my bones. By four in the afternoon, I’m not only cold, I’m tuckered out.… I’ve learned to fix myself a steaming cup of strong tea—I’ve acquired a taste for Kenya tea—with a squirt of milk in it. Besides warming me, it has become, for me, what some people call a comfort food.”

Ah, yes, Kenya tea is definitely one of my comfort foods.

There’s a richness to Kenya tea. It’s bracing. It has body. It’s smooth. Oh, the memories I have of enjoying a mug of hot Kenya tea.

I’m still searching for something in the States to take its place. (If you have any leads, please let me know ASAP!)

Some of you reading this blog live overseas. What are your comfort foods there?

Others reading this blog used to live overseas. What foods or beverages do you miss the most?

Feel free to leave a comment below, or on Facebook (see above, left column), or e-mail me at grandmaletters [at] aol [dot] com.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Of Goats and God’s Grace


I don’t want to diminish the sacrifices and valiant efforts of the volunteers helping in Haiti, but neither can I forget that tens of thousands of people reach out to the world’s neediest populations every day, year after year—with no cameramen, no prominent international correspondents, no drama.

Today I think of the selfless, courageous helpers working in Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC).

In my December 12 blog post, I told you about the horrific ongoing conditions in eastern DRC. I wrote:

In a CNN Opinion piece on October 24, Eve Ensler wrote:

“In 12 years, there have been 6 million dead men and women in Congo and 1.4 million people displaced. Hundreds and thousands of women and girls have been raped and tortured. Babies as young as 6 months, women as old as 80, their insides torn apart. What I witnessed in Congo has shattered and changed me forever. I will never be the same. None of us should ever be the same.” (
Click here to read the entirety of Ensler’s “War on Women of Congo.)”

Chelsie Frank is one of those who, like Eve Ensler, saw the men, women, and children in DRC—and changed forever.

For the past year and a half, Chelsie has lent help to those devastated by the unthinkable brutality inflicted upon them in eastern DRC. In a variety of ways, she and her colleagues bring healing and hope to such women, women who need to rebuild their lives and support themselves and their families.

Goats of Grace

Chelsie explained in her January 20 blog post that small animals “provide income, security,
enhanced nutrition, and opportunity; hence our project: Goats of Grace. Through livestock education and the granting of goats to vulnerable women, our community hopes to show the grace of our loving God in the Congo.”

“Show the grace of our loving God in Congo.” I like that.

Chelsie said 55 women showed up for what they thought would be a free seminar on raising goats—and it was, but the event turned out to be so much more.

After a full day of instruction on animal husbandry, gardening, and composting, each participant received a goat of her own to take home. What a lovely surprise!

This is Chelsie’s way of bringing good news to the poor, binding up the brokenhearted, proclaiming freedom to the captives, releasing the oppressed, and comforting those who mourn.

“Well done, good and faithful servant!”

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Well done, good and faithful servant!

How many millions of people do you guesstimate have responded in one way or another to Haitian citizens since their 7.0 earthquake eleven days ago?

Only God knows, but the outpouring of practical help and prayers—from around the globe!—must warm His heart. This is the most generous human response I have witnessed during my lifetime—and I’ve been around a while.

I suspect that each person who has helped—with money, supplies, prayers, encouragement, and even traveling to Haiti—has experienced a deep assurance that he or she has done the right thing. Something in our hearts sing, “Yes!” when we help people in need.

Jesus came to preach good news to the poor, proclaim freedom for the prisoners, heal the brokenhearted, help the blind to see, release the oppressed, and comfort those who mourn. (See Isaiah 61:1-2 and Luke 4:18-19.)

Jesus said that we, too, have similar responsibilities: to give food to the hungry, drink to the thirsty, shelter to strangers, clothes to the naked, care to the sick, and visits to those in prison (Matthew 25:31-46).

For the past eleven days—in every newspaper and on every TV station, 24/7—we’ve witnessed countless examples of good-hearted people doing those very things for our Haitian neighbors. Certainly you, like me, have wiped more than a few tears off your cheeks.

Together, we can sense God’s voice saying, “Well done, good and faithful servant!”

Thursday, January 21, 2010

MID-LIFERS, EMPTY-NESTERS, and BABY BOOMERS: I’d like you to meet THE FINISHERS PROJECT

Significance …

Making a difference, a difference that counts …

Living my life to the fullest, so as to have no regrets at the end …

Investing my life in something lasting …

Do you hear such words shuffling around in your mind? If so, here’s important news.


The Finishers Project

The Finishers Project offers information, inspiration, and practical help to mid-lifers looking for a way to make a difference, a way to invest their lives in something significant and lasting—
- through either short-term opportunities or second-half career changes
- by bringing people together with more than 80 organizations that can use their skills here at home or overseas.

Here is an excerpt from The Finishers’ June 2009 newsletter:

“When we hear the words ‘missions’ or ‘missionary’ most of us immediately think of … people who had Bible training, church ministry experience and were dedicated to full-time ministry somewhere overseas. So when someone talks to us about a ‘missions’ or ‘ministry’ role in our latter years, we logically wonder how we might ‘fit….’

“But that is all changing! … It may be that God is about to open the door to a whole new phase of significance for you.…

“… The training and work experience you have developed over the years may be what will open the door for you to move to another area…."


Finishers Forum, January 30-31, Tyler, Texas

“Finishers has developed a high-quality weekend resource called the Finishers Forum. [We] … bring together mid-life adults who are thinking about the same things regarding their future...how can I make a difference...how do I really want to invest the time and energy I have in the coming years...is there really a good fit for me in a ministry role, right here at home or even abroad?”

I encourage you to check out the upcoming FINISHERS FORUM, January 30-31, in Tyler, Texas (and others later this year around the U.S.) —a safe place to explore your options and learn where you might put your unique skills and passions to work—

… doing something of significance…

… making a difference, a difference that counts…

… living life to the fullest, so as to have no regrets at the end…

… investing your life in something lasting.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

I don’t WANT to leave Port Angeles!


Sometimes people give me a funny look when they learn I worked in Africa with Wycliffe Bible Translators.

Usually I sense they have questions but are too polite to ask. Questions like, “Why would you do such a thing?” and “Weren’t you scared to go to Africa?”

Many, I suspect, think to themselves, “There’s no way I’D move to Africa!”

My sentiments exactly! But both God and my husband had grinned and hollered, “Africa!” I struggled SO hard to become willing to move there.

Perhaps you remember the song, “Please Don’t Send Me To Africa.” The lyrics include, “Please don’t make me do something weird,” and “Please don’t make me do what I fear.… I was thinking of retiring here.”

Back then I didn’t know about that song, but I could have written those words.

Below is an excerpt from Grandma’s Letters from Africa: Quaint I Ain’t that shows you a part—only a teeny-tiny part—of my struggle:

“… For some reason … I couldn’t fill out the application. I tried several times. I placed my pen on the application, but I couldn’t fill in the blanks.

“Finally, I figured out my problem. I didn’t want to apply to Wycliffe. I didn’t want to get rid of our furniture, our treasures, or our possessions. I didn’t want to dismantle our home.… I didn’t want to say goodbye to friends. I didn’t want to leave Port Angeles, with its forests, mountains, and sea.…”

Every time I howled at God, “I don’t want…” I stomped my foot.

“I don’t WANT to apply…!” Stomp!

“I don’t WANT to get rid of our furniture…!” Stomp!

“I don’t WANT to dismantle our home…!” Stomp!

“I don’t WANT to say goodbye to friends!” Stomp!

“I don’t WANT to leave Port Angeles, with its forests, mountains, and sea…!” Stomp!

I took today’s picture in Port Angeles about three weeks ago, on the morning of December 24. We couldn’t stay longer than half an hour, and even though it was an overcast winter morning, I’m sure you’ll agree: God’s handiwork is breathtaking!

Now you can better understand why I didn’t want to leave Port Angeles.

But I did leave Port Angeles. God seemed to whisper, “You don’t want to leave the beauty of Port Angeles, but wait until I show you Africa’s splendor!”

And He did. Oh, yes, He did!

How about you? Maybe you recall a time when you stomped your foot and howled at God, “I don’t WANT to…!”

Did you do it anyway? How did it turn out?

Please let me know. You can leave a comment below, or on Facebook (see above, left column), or e-mail me at grandmaletters [at] aol [dot] com.

Monday, January 18, 2010

Wisdom from Martin Luther King, Jr.


"He who accepts evil without protesting against it is really cooperating with it." – Martin Luther King, Jr.

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Am I not responsible to do something?

The Internet amazes me. Since my first day of blogging, November 30, I’ve “met” numerous exceptional people. Their hearts and mine resonate with similar concerns.

First, I “met” Candie Jones at
Amani Ya Juu’s Facebook group.

Candie started her blog,
Stitchable Sisters, on the same day I started my blog, and from Candie I learned about, and bought, Elisa Morgan’s book, She Did What She Could: Five Words of Jesus That Will Change Your Life.

As a result, I learned about Elisa’s role as publisher of the digital magazine,
FullFill, and about the blog for FullFill/She Did What She Could (SDWSC).

In reading FullFill/SDWSC’s
December 14 blog, I “met” Jennifer Grant, who introduced me to Kay Warren’s book, Dangerous Surrender: What Happens When You Say Yes to God.


(Whew! Did you follow me?)

I’ve finished Elisa’s book, and now I’m getting started on Kay’s book. Day after day I’m reading Candie’s impassioned blogs, I’m praying for Dr. Jo Lusi and
HEAL Africa’s work, following Compassion International’s “Help Haiti” page on Facebook, and watching the TV news about Haiti’s unfathomable earthquake damage—and all this information is going “boin-n-n-ng!” inside my heart. It’s all crashing together, clanging inside my mind and spirit.

Jennifer acknowledged something we all do but seldom admit. When seeing the desperate needs around her, “Like [Kay] Warren, I sometimes held my fingers over my eyes as I looked.…”

How many times do I look for a split-second—
... look at the dying Haitian child on my TV screen,
... at the homeless man asking for a job,
... at the AIDS orphan in Africa,
... at the frail refugee propped against a downtown Nairobi building—

and then quickly turn away, as if trying to hold my fingers over my eyes, as if the person’s plight would not really exist if I didn’t look.

But you and I both know that turning away or covering our eyes doesn’t work.

I saw. From that moment on, I knew.

Ever since I moved to Africa and saw what I saw there, I’ve been talking to myself:

Now that I know about…

… rape as a weapon of war in Democratic Republic of Congo…

… children sold into slavery and prostitution…

… the crippling effects of illiteracy and corruption…

Burmese forces waging war against their own people, slaughtering and torturing specific ethnic groups, year after year after year…


… AIDS orphans…

… the incomprehensible suffering of hundreds of thousands of Haitians…


…Now that I know…

…am I not responsible to do something?


“She did what she could,” Jesus said in Mark 14:3.

Elisa asks, because God asks, “What is my ‘what’?” And, “What is your ‘what’?”

Thursday, January 14, 2010

The importance of friendships

Tomorrow I’m speaking on the topic of friendship at a MOPS meeting (Mothers of Preschoolers). Friendships are important for each of us, but especially for mothers of young children. I recall those days when my kids were little—they were busy, busy days. Looking back now, it’s all a blur.

I don’t know if it was just me, or if back then we didn’t socialize as much as young mothers do now. I don’t recall those years as unhappy, yet I suspect my life might have been cheerier if I’d had more contact with friends.

That’s because friends are good for us!

A number of young mothers in my area are Air Force wives. Their families move frequently and their husbands deploy overseas—too often, I’m sure they’d tell you. Friendships fill extra-important roles for such women when separated from not only their husbands, but from extended families, too.

At such times, friends stand in for family: they help each other through loneliness, worry, fear, sick kids, long days—and especially that numbness that can take over during stressful times. Friends help each other when they want to talk, long for a hug, and need to laugh.

On the mission field, too, friends are of the utmost importance. I recall many a time when friends in Africa stood in for family.

For example, in Grandma’s Letters from Africa, I wrote about living on the far side of the world on my daughter Karen’s 21st birthday. Dave and I had just arrived in Maasai territory for the second phase of our orientation course, and a twenty-something gal in our group, Sue, had a birthday within a day or two of Karen’s birthday.

I wrote:

“I felt heartsick—I wanted to see my Karen on her special day. Then I thought of Sue’s mother. No doubt she longed to be with her daughter. That’s when it occurred to me that, in a small way, I could stand in for Sue’s mom, so I gave Sue a birthday hug and told her it was from her mother. I prayed that someone would do the same for my Karen Anne. As the Maasai say, a child is not owned by one person.”

I was on the giving end in that situation, but I was on the receiving end often.

In Grandma’s Letters I wrote about an event a couple of years later:

“ … I heard a slight noise at my office door. I turned and there stood Sam and Ben Caston and their sweet mother, Jenny.… Sam and Ben, about seven and ten years of age, reached out and handed me a warm buttery scone right out of the oven. Oh, my heart melted! The four of us had a dear little visit, and I felt so blessed by their thoughtfulness, their visit, and that delicious scone.

“When the boys headed for the door, Jenny whispered to me in her delightful New Zealand accent, ‘Sam said to me today, “Mummy, David and Linda are sort of like our grandparents, aren’t they? Just different from our grandparents in New Zealand.”’

“My heart melted all over again. I wanted to cry—tears of love for the Castons and tears of sadness because I missed my children and granddaughter. After the three left, I reminded myself that everyone here experiences the same longing for loved ones and, like the Maasai say, “A child is not owned by one person.” Similarly, a mother, grandmother, or grandchild is not owned by one family. Here on the mission field, we stand in for family in each other’s lives. The Castons and I had shared a family visit that afternoon.”

My heart still overflows with gratitude toward those dear ones.

Friends are special gifts from God. When He created us in His image, He fashioned us to need one another, sometimes to be on the receiving end and sometimes on the giving end.

Many of you reading this blog have worked overseas.

What do you remember about the importance of friendships during that time? How did friends help you through difficult days? How did they share and multiply your joys?

How have you cheered others along the way and kept them going?


Feel free to comment below, or click on Facebook (top left), or e-mail me at GrandmaLetters [at] aol [dot] com.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Would we hear the “pad, pad, pad” of their paws outside our tent?


“In Tsavo, we wondered if we would hear lions outside our tent at night. At the turn of the last century during the railroad’s construction from Mombasa to Nairobi, lions killed dozens of people in their tents at night in the Tsavo area. With that in mind, we wondered if we could sleep well. Would we hear lions roaring in the distance? Or, even scarier, would we hear the soft pad, pad, pad of their enormous paws outside our tent?” Grandma’s Letters from Africa: Quaint I Ain’t. ©2010 Linda Thomas

Saturday, January 9, 2010

If you're 40, or moving that direction, listen up!


Today I want you to meet Grace Fox, a new friend I met on the Internet. I’ve received her e-newsletters for several months and I’m delighted to learn that Grace’s heart and mine share common interests.

In British Columbia this weekend, Grace is speaking at Missions Fest Vancouver. Her talk is entitled “Over the Hill and Headin’ Out!” The program reads, “If you’ve retired or are moving that direction, then you’re an ideal candidate for missions. Share from your skills, wisdom, and experience and set a legacy of fearless faith. Learn how to overcome common fears that hinder folks from heading out, and discover specific ways to get involved.”

Wow! That’s the identical message I hope Grandma’s Letters from Africa and this blog will send to readers! Do you see what I mean about Grace’s heart and mine sharing common interests?

If YOU are nearing 40, listen up!

What will you be doing ten years from now? Fifteen years from now? Twenty years from now?

You need to plan ahead!

It’s never too soon to start investigating your options—believe me, you’ll have an empty nest sooner than you might imagine.

You’ll still be young and energetic, and you’ll have accumulated a wealth of experience and wisdom. How might you share all that with others?

I hope you’ll check out Missions Fest International at its Web site. Its vision is “to see the ‘ordinary people’ in cities around the world become inspired to participate in bringing freedom, healing and justice to the peoples of the world.… Jesus described his mandate that we, too, can follow: to bring good news to the poor, to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim freedom to the captives, recovery of sight to the blind, to release the oppressed, comfort to those who mourn and proclaim God’s favour on those who follow Him.”

I also encourage you to check out Grace’s Web site and her blog. Grace is an accomplished author and international speaker. She appears often on TV and radio, represents World Vision, and serves as co-director (with her husband) of International Messengers Canada. I’m sure you’ll be as inspired by Grace as I am.

And I do hope that, whether through a Missions Fest conference or some other method, you’ll sense where and how God can best use your skills and interests to help others around the world.

Remember, you need to plan ahead! Please let me know if I can be of help.

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Should we judge a book by its cover?


A few days ago, I got my first look at the cover design for Grandma’s Letters from Africa: Quaint I Ain’t. I anticipated that I’d like the cover. After all, the publisher asked me what colors I wanted, asked me to submit photos for the front and back covers, and asked me to write the back cover text.

However, when I saw the cover for the first time, it was not what I’d envisioned. A mostly-dead tree dominated the cover, and the designer had used none of the colors I requested. It was awful.

And the designer forgot to put the subtitle on the front cover and the spine!

And someone had re-written the back cover text and made significant errors.

The front cover picture appeared on the back, and the picture I sent for the back simply was nowhere.

I was heartsick.

The manuscript had received the “Editor’s Choice” and “Rising Star” awards—so if the inside stuff achieves high standards, shouldn’t the cover be of high quality, too?

I mentioned my shock and disappointment to Facebook friends.

And thanks to advice from Mary Van Korlaar, Leanna R. Doran, Esther Moneysmith Gross, and my niece Sarah Jordan, I gathered up my courage and put my foot down!

I e-mailed the publisher and said, “About 98 percent of the time, I’m a mild-mannered, flexible, accommodating person, but that cover design has set off the other 2 percent of me!” I sent a long list of changes I want to see.

At least two people at the publishing company must be unhappy with me because no doubt they thought they were doing their best but, honestly, that cover was unsightly!

These changes will probably push the publication date into February but, like Mary VK said, that’s better than living with a disappointing cover.

What do YOU think the cover of Grandma’s Letters from Africa: Quaint I Ain’t should look like? What colors would you select? Would you choose a tree for the cover? A grandma-type woman? A lion? A map?

You can reply in one of three ways: Click below to comment, click here to post a comment on Grandma’s Letters’ Facebook page, or send me an e-mail at GrandmaLetters [at] aol [dot] com.

Sunday, January 3, 2010

You have never been this way before


I still remember the flood of encouragement I felt back in 1994, on this date, January 3, by reading Mrs. Charles E. Cowman’s devotional, Streams in the Desert. For more than 30 years now, Mrs. Cowman and her book have strengthened my often-wobbly faith. (Thanks, Nory, for loaning me your book in South America! Your generosity changed my life!)


In Nairobi, early in the morning on today’s date in 1994, I sat in my living room alone with God, my Bible, Streams in the Desert, and a cup of coffee. I felt more than a little apprehensive about a trip Dave and I would soon take to several African nations.


I worried about the trip: Would our French be adequate? Would we get malaria? Would we stay safe? Would we have the stamina, flexibility, and spiritual maturity needed for more than five weeks of business travel across Africa? Like I said in my last blog post, “Who can tell what we shall find? What new experiences … what new needs shall arise?…” (Mrs. Charles E. Cowman, Streams in the Desert, January 1 selection)


Mrs. Cowman quoted Jacob in Genesis 33:14, “I will lead on softly, according as the cattle … and the children be able to endure.” Then she quoted Frances Ridley Havergal, who spoke of Jacob’s thoughtfulness extended toward the cattle and the children:


“He would not lead on according to what a strong man like Esau could do and expected them to do, but only according to what they were able to endure. He knew exactly how far they could go in a day.… He had gone the same wilderness journey years before, and knew all about its roughness and heat and length, by personal experience. And so he said, ‘I will lead on softly.’”


Havergal then quoted Joshua 3:4, “ … You have never been this way before. ”


And on that early morning in 1994, nervous about our upcoming trip, my heart responded, That’s right, I have never been this way before!


I read on. Havergal wrote:


“We have not passed this way heretofore, but the Lord Jesus has. It is all untrodden and unknown ground to us, but He knows it all by personal experience. The steep bits that take away our breath, the stony bits that make our feet ache so, the hot shadeless stretches that make us feel so exhausted, the rushing rivers that we have to pass through—Jesus has gone through it all before us.… ‘He knoweth our frame; he remembereth that we are dust.’ Think of that when you are tempted to question the gentleness of His leading.… Not one step will He make you take beyond what your foot is able to endure.… Either He will so strengthen it that it shall be able, or He will call a sudden halt, and you shall not have to take it all.”


Oh, how those words touched my heart! God knew that neither Dave nor I had traveled across Africa before. He knew about figurative steep climbs that could take away our breath, stones that could hurt our feet, hot shadeless stretches, the potential for exhaustion. Yes, He did, and He also knew our human frailties.


I suspect I’ll always remember the comfort and relief I felt in pondering Havergal’s reminder that I could count on God to lead on softly, according to my ability to endure.


How has God led you gently in the past, according to your ability to endure? I’d love to hear your story!


And what about your future? Have God’s words, and those of Frances Ridley Havergal, encouraged you to step out today—or this month, or this year—into a scary ministry? Let me know!


You can either click on “comments” below, or e-mail me at GrandmaLetters [at] aol [dot] com.

Friday, January 1, 2010

Standing upon the verge of the unknown


“Today, dear friends, we stand upon the verge of the unknown. There lies before us the new year and we are going forth to possess it. Who can tell what we shall find? What new experiences, what changes shall come, what new needs shall arise?…” (Mrs. Charles E. Cowman, Streams in the Desert, January 1 selection)


“Ask God to help you clarify His goals for you. If you threw caution to the wind, what would you dare to attempt for His glory.…?” (Lloyd John Ogilvie, Silent Strength for My Life, December 31 selection)


In this new year, is God asking you to reach out to His children in the neediest parts of the world?


You might ask, “What types of things could I do to help them?”


Well, you could pray, you could send money, or you could help finance someone moving to or already working on the mission field.


Or, you could go to the mission field yourself, whether for a few weeks or a few years.


I know going to the mission field is scary. I know.

I know that knot in the stomach in anticipation of the unknown. I remember the questions that prevented sleep at night. I remember the doubts and fears.


But in Africa I learned that God is bigger than our fears. Someone once claimed that the words “fear not” (or their equivalent) appear 366 times in the Bible—that’s one for each day of the year, even in Leap Year!

In Africa, I learned that God is stronger than our weaknesses. With Him, nothing is impossible. He “is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine…” (Ephesians 3:20).


God’s Word calls upon us to loose chains of injustice, free the oppressed, feed the hungry, shelter the homeless, and clothe the naked (see Isaiah 58:6-7).


Think about it. Pray about it. In 2010, what is God nudging you to attempt for His glory?