Monday, November 23, 2009

"Little is Much..."

One of my favorite hymns is "Little is Much When God Is in It." It is a good reminder to me that the little we have can become much in God's hands.

The song was written by Kitty Louise Suffield, circa 1924. Here is some of the history behind it, taken from the book "Then Sings My Soul" by Robert J. Morgan.

"One snow-blanketed night, Canadian Fred Suffield awoke to an urgent pounding on his door. A half-frozen man reported that a train had stalled in the blizzard, and the passengers were in danger of freezing to death. Lighting a lantern, Fred followed the man to the site and led the travelers back to his house. Later one of the passengers, Kittie, wrote a thank you note. Fred replied, and Kittie wrote back. Their correspondence led to courtship and to marriage.

"Some time later, Fred and Kittie attended a church in Ottawa pastored by Rev. A. J. Shea, and there they gave their lives to the Lord. As the couple grew in Christ, they entered the ministry of evangelism. One summer they invited Shea's teenage son, George Beverly, to spend a month with them in Westport, Ontario, holding evangelistic meetings. One night, accompanied by Kittie on the piano, Bev attempted to sing, but his voice cracked on the high notes, and he sat down mortified, vowing never to sing again.

"Kittie wouldn't hear of it, suggesting he sing in a lower key. He did, and he kept on singing, and singing and singing.

"Many years passed, and in June of 2000, Billy Graham came to Nashville, Tennessee, for a four-night mission. My wife and I were privileged to attend a reception for the Graham team just before the meetings began, and George Beverly Shea, 92 at the time, rose to sing. His rich baritone voice broke into a song that had been written 73 years before by Fred and Kittie: 'Little is Much When God Is in It.'

"I thought it a strange choice of hymn. We were on the verge of the greatest evangelistic effort in Nashville's history, headlined by the most famous evangelist in the world. And Bev Shea's song was about the littleness of our efforts. But later I realized how perfectly the song fit. Compared to this great mission to untold multitudes, our own individual ministries seemed small and insignificant. But God uses little things in great ways. A tiny acorn may produce a forest. A spark may ignite a revival. A small church might produce the next far-famed evangelist.

"Don't be discouraged if your place seems small. You're doing more good than you know."

I was reminded of this great hymn a week ago Sunday when it was featured on the back of our church bulletin. I thought it was very timely since that Sunday we were praying over and dedicating the shoeboxes we had collected for Operation Christmas Child, to be delivered to children around the world. I helped head up the effort at church and was amazed and so blessed as we gathered 49 boxes - more than quadruple last year's effort. Boxes were packed by children, families, individuals, grandmas, and others, all sharing of themselves to bless someone across the world, whom they will never meet. A shoebox of gifts may seem insignificant, but God has changed hearts and lives, transformed families and started churches through this outreach.

With the shoeboxes for Operation Christmas Child.

Filling the back of the van.

In Sunday School that morning I taught about the boy who shared his meager meal of five barley loaves and two fish, which Jesus used to miraculously feed thousands. Do you know that although this great story is told in all four Gospels, the boy is only mentioned in the book of John? This remarkable young man had a lot of faith. He wasn't deterred by the insignifance of his gift compared to the multitudes of hungry people. He willingly offered what he had. I can only imagine the joy that filled his heart as he watched Jesus turn his little offering into something that fed and satisfied thousands and thousands of people. This young boy probably floated home and his life was likely never the same!

Last night I had the privilege of sharing at my home church, Westport Community Church. I spoke of the millions of people in Uganda and the some 2.3 million orphans in this east African country. Yet, God is not daunted by large numbers or statistics. He is in the business of saving souls, one person at a time.

I shared that, "We serve a powerful, providing God and He is seeking people whom He can pour His blessings through to a hurting and lost world. It is not so important the wealth of our personal resources but our willingness to allow God to use the little we have and multiply it beyond what we could even imagine."

"Little is Much When God Is in It"

Verse 1: In the harvest field now ripened,
There's a work for all to do,
Hark, the voice of God is calling,
To the harvest calling you.

Verse 2: Does the place you're called to labor
Seems so small and little known?
It is great if God is in it
And He'll not forget His own.

Verse 3: When the conflict here is ended
And our race on earth is run
He will say if we are faithful,
Welcome home, My child well done.

Chorus: Little is much when God is in it,
Labor not for wealth or fame;
There's a crown and you can win it,
If you go in Jesus' name.


What is in your hand? Are you willing to share it? May God bless your "little" by His power for the furthering of His kingdom.


Saturday, November 21, 2009

Uganda Videos

I was going through my Ugandan pictures today and ran across some videos that I took on my camera while I was there. They're not the best quality, but hopefully will give you a taste of life there. Enjoy!

The first two are of a little tour I did of the YWAM (Youth With a Mission) base on Lingira Island, Uganda. This is where I lived from Oct. 2006-March 2007.





The following is a little video interview of Habbakuk, who also lived on the base for awhile. This was taken shortly before Habakkuk returned to school, after 11 years of being out of class. He had to quit school to support himself, but was excited to be returning. A very neat man - a "gentle giant." : )

Thursday, November 12, 2009

"Remember,...

...the very time for faith to work is when our sight begins to fail. And the greater the difficulties, the easier it is for faith to work, for as long as we can see certain natural solutions to our problems, we will not have faith. Faith never works as easily as when our natural prospects fail." - George Mueller

Monday, November 9, 2009

I've Been Tagged...And You May Be Next ; )

It has been awhile since I was involved in a game of tag. Since I am pushing 30 I don't play such active games as I am trying to conserve energy. : ) Nowadays I tend to enjoy such docile games as Scrabble and Cribbage. Anyway, where was I? (That's another reason to not play tag when you get older, you might stray too far and get lost.) I do, however, like a good game of virtual tag. I was recently tagged by good friends Lauren and Mikaela Cash with the "Honest Scrap Award," which means I have to tell 10 honest things about myself. Number one could be that I am a procrastinator, since I was tagged two weeks ago. (You tend to slow down in your old age.) But, since most of you probably already know that I am a procrastinator (I'd rather talk about it later anyway), I will choose 10 other things that may be less well known.

1. I never finished high school. I was partially through 11th grade and I was tired of school, and so was my mom, so we stopped. I did later obtain my GED.

2. I am obssessive compulsive in certain ways, like having things straight and having doors and cupboards closed.

3. I used to really dislike talking on the phone and was afraid to even answer the home phone. That was before I started working at the newspaper and now I am more accustomed to talking on the phone and occasionally enjoy it.

4. I have a large callous on my right middle finger because I tend to write hard. It has been there for years. (Am I only on number four?)

5. Up until about four years ago, I would have never in my wildest dreams thought of going to Africa. It was not on my places-to-visit list. But God had other plans. : )

6. I used to dislike the sound of a solo violin - that is until I started playing one. Now I think it is is a very beautiful instrument, especially when played by a talented musician.

7. I used to love reading Nancy Drew mysteries!

8. Of all housework, I really dislike dusting. Hence the fact that you could probably write your name on that shelf over there. Yes, I intend to tackle the dusting in my room sometime in the near future. But, like I said, I am a procrastinator.

9. I don't know how to properly type. I use about three or four fingers instead of 10. : )

10. I pretty much enjoy all vegetables (those that I have tried that is), though I can only tolerate so many lima beans.

Well, there you go, 10 honest things about me. And, as you know, a game of tag can only continue as long as people continue to be tagged. Along with receiving this honor from Lauren and Mikaela, I was also instructed to tag seven other bloggers. Unfortunately, I don't follow seven blogs. So, if you are reading this, have a blog and haven't already been tagged, consider yourself "it." Go for it, 'cause I can't run much further. ; )

P.S. Leave me a comment if you do take on the challenge and write 10 things about yourself on your blog (or you can do it on the comments here). I would love to learn more about those who visit here!

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Beyond Me

"When David kept his eyes on the giant, he stumbled. But, when he kept his eyes on God, he was victorious."

This was evidenced throughout David's life. There were many times when he faced an opponent or obstacle far greater than his strength, his skills, his wit or his experience. Yet, over and over again, as he lifted his eyes to God, he found that victory was there, within his grasp.

I heard this wisdom earlier this week on a podcast and thought it went along well with something that has been on my heart and mind. As I think and make plans for Uganda, it is so easy for me to become overwhelmed. There seems to be a lot to do, and some of it pushes me far out of my comfort zone. : )

I just finished putting together a contact list. Global Outreach asked for a minimum of 200 names. In my mind, this seemed nearly impossible since I come from two small churches and a small town. But, I was thrilled earlier this week as I sat with my family and God seemed to generate names out of thin air. While this may seem small to some of you, it was such a blessing to me to see God provide in this way.

I am beginning to come to a greater and greater realization that this trip is beyond me. I don't have the faith, the skills, the funds, the love, the courage, the experience, etc. It is simply beyond me. Which is why it must be all of God. I believe that if He has called me, He will provide everything that is needed - even the names. : )

Today's selection in "Streams in the Desert" was so very good.

"'Is anything too hard for the Lord? (Genesis 18:14)'

"This is God's loving challenge to you and me each day. He wants us to think of the deepest, highest, and worthiest desires and longings of our hearts. He wants us to think of those things that perhaps were desires for ourselves or someone dear to us, yet have gone unfulfilled for so long that we now see them as simply lost desires. And God urges us to think of even the one thing that we once saw as possible but have given up all hope of seeing fulfilled in this life.

"That very thing, as long as it aligns with what we know be His expressed will - as a son was to Abraham and Sarah - God intends to do for us. Yes, if we will let Him, God will do that very thing, even if we know it is such an utter impossibility that we would simply laugh at the absurdity of anyone ever suggesting it could come to pass.

"'Is anything too hard for the Lord?' No, nothing is too difficult when we believe in Him enough to go forward, doing His will and letting Him do the impossible for us. Even Abraham and Sarah could have blocked God's plan if they had continued to disbelieve.

"The only thing 'too hard for the Lord' is our deliberate and continual disbelief in his love and power, and our ultimate rejection of His plans for us. Nothing is impossible for Jehovah to do for those who trust Him. from Messages for the Morning Watch"
So, is there anything too hard for the Lord in your life? I think you would have to join with me in saying, "No, there is nothing too hard for the Lord."