A Risky July//Brooke

What if you lived this month braver, riskier than last month?

What if this month was a month you looked back on the rest of your life?
What if you said YES to the whispers that seem like they just really could be God?
What if this was the month.
the month where you took a step in that direction you have been wanting to go.
It doesn’t have to be anything fancy, huge, or flashy.  Just the little daily quiet yes. 
Yes to praying more. to opening your home to your neighbor. to listening. to starting the application. to s-l-o-wing down. to making the call. to focusing on others. to asking for help. to sharing the gospel. to capturing anxious thoughts.
Saying YES(not out of duty but) because:
God is good, gracious, & worthy.
Life is short. 
& Eternity matters.  
“If you lower the ambient noise of your life and listen expectantly for those whispers of God, your ears will hear them. And when you follow their lead, your world will be rocked.”Bill Hybels 
Proverbs 3:5//Message//
Trust God from the bottom of your heart;
don’t try to figure out everything on your own.
Listen for God’s voice in everything you do,
everywhere you go;
he’s the one who will keep you on track.
This is my prayer for the month:To walk full of faith and take risks for the Lord. Amen.
Why not?

Stay Awake Monday//Thank You for Sowing//Brooke

Around mid-April I got supper giddy and began to dream about having a vegetable garden this summer. Just a little one, nothing fancy–one tomato plant, one cucumber plant and one bell pepper plant.  I spent one morning in April digging around and creating a bed for these new plants.  I bought good, rich soil and tucked these plants into it.  And that was about it.

And then yesterday. I saw something. a little bell pepper. and a little tiny cucumber.  It worked. I could not believe it.  

All this got me thinking about the things, the seeds that you have been sowing.  The things you are trusting God for.  Don’t give up.
Part of me wonders if one of the reasons God gave us seeds and plants was to remind us. everywhere. all the time (we can’t get away from plants!) that what we plant in faith will produce.  
Keep up the good, good, work of “sowing to the Spirit” as Galatians 6:8 says.  The daily, moment by moment sowing that may seem insignificant is producing a HARVEST (Galatians 6). 
The daily:
Choosing kindness towards your parents.
Choosing joy in a weary season.
Walking/running away from those tempting situations.
Praying over and over again for that friend of yours. 
Renewing your mind with Scripture. 
Choosing love over judgement.
Caring for your neighbor.
Sharing the Gospel.
Honoring others with your speech.
Putting others needs before yours.
Choosing faithfulness to your spouse.
Listening for and obeying God’s promptings.

And let us not lose heart & grow weary and faint in acting nobly and doing right, for in due time and at the appointed season we shall reap, if we do not loosen and relax our courage. Galatians 6:9 AMP

Thank you for sowing. You are making a world of difference. You will see.

Stay Awake.

A Simple YES//Jessi//Missionary to Zambia

Once, there was a girl who was afraid. She was afraid to share her faith. She loved people and loved when they loved her and she was very afraid that disagreeing with anyone would make them hate her. 

She was also afraid of bugs. And snakes. And all creepy-crawly creatures. She was afraid to fly on airplanes and spent the whole flight imagining the moment when the plane would surely go crashing into the ocean.

She was afraid of being poor and afraid of being uncomfortable and afraid of being a mom someday. She was afraid of failing and of looking stupid, and worst of all, of failing and looking stupid in front of people she loved.

Doesn’t sound like the perfect personality assessment of a missionary sent to the middle of the African bush, does it?

Spoiler alert: The girl is ME.

When God got ahold of my life He began to take off the layers of fear that swaddled me in a protective cocoon. He didn’t SIMPLY take my fear away, but he began to allow me to see past it. He spoke to my heart about something that would make me continue to stand in spite of the ungainly garments of fear that kept me from moving freely. He impressed on me the importance of OBEDIENCE.

“By faith, Abraham, when called to go to a place he would later receive as his inheritance, obeyed and went, even though he did not know where he was going.”
-Hebrews 11:8

I am still amazed that God uses a simple yes to break down walls and barriers and to establish His name in the nations. I have seen Him do it. I have spent the last 9 years in the bush of Africa with a yes on my lips. Sometimes, when I am singing, dancing and clapping in a tribal language with the indigenous Zambian people that I love, I am shouting that “YES” in freedom. Sometimes, when the electricity goes out again, and the water is hauled in buckets, and the bugs are overwhelming, and the money is not enough, my “yes” is spoken through clenched teeth. There are also the times when the baby is sick, or there is a snake on my path, or a witchdoctor with a threat. Those are the moments when that same ‘yes” is whispered in fear. There are seasons where I am unsure of myself. Unclear about my assignment.  Unimpressed with my own vision.

But I KNOW that I know that when we walk in simple obedience to the Lord, He makes a way for us that is more beautiful than we could have imagined. And that knowing encourages me to say YES. More. And with greater confidence [in Him].

We are once saved, once justified, once redeemed. But we have the opportunity every day to say yes to His leading in our lives. Getting out of practice will quickly leave us in a place of doubt and confusion. Too much hesitation will begin to bind us back up in those garments of fear that have no place on our shoulders.

So my encouragement to you today is this: Let us, together, obey and GO.
Even when we don’t quite know where we will end up. Go to your friends. Go to your neighbors. Go to the nations. The fruit will be more abundant than you could ever imagine. And your fears will begin to crumble at your feet.