Thursday, March 16, 2017

Oh, boy - I'm not a very good blogger!  I last blogged in December - yikes!  

Since then (oh dear!) Happy New Year! ...Happy Valentine's Day! ...and soon Happy Spring!  ...except that it was 25 in GA this morning!  Ugh... don't like it... this 'converted Yankee' has grown unaccustomed to such cold weather these past 47 years. 

But Ash and I have not been idle ministry-wise: Trinidad & Mexico teams the first 2 months of this year... mentoring new team leaders, too, for their teams to Bulgaria & El Salvador.   Message me with your email address if you'd like my post-mission newsletters.

We are both so encouraged, and challenged, by John Piper's "Solid Joys" - an app with pastor Piper's daily devotions well-worth having on your fone.  There's always something I want to share with sweet co-servants on my assigned medical-evangelism teams, like the following two from yesterday & today:

Subversive for the Savior March 15  When Jesus met the man filled with demons at Gadara, the demons cried out, “What have you to do with us, O Son of God? Have you come here to torment us before the time?” (Matthew 8:29)
Demons learned a mystery here. They knew they were doomed. They knew the Son of God would be the Victor. But they didn’t know until it happened that Christ was coming before the time of final defeat. 
Christ is not going to wait until the atom bomb drops to end the war. He has begun to lead a subversive force into the territory of Satan. He has trained a “life-squad” to perform daring rescue operations. Christ has plotted many tactical victories before the time of the final strategic victory.  The resulting wartime mentality is this: Since Satan’s doom is sure, and he knows it, we can always remind him of it when he tempts us to follow him. We can laugh and say, “You’re out of your mind. Who wants to join forces with a loser?!”
The church is the liberated enemy of “the god of this world” (2 Corinthians 4:4). We are the guerrillas and the gadflies. We are the insurgency in the rebel kingdom of “the prince of the power of the air” (Ephesians 2:2). 
It is not safe. But it is thrilling. Many lives are lost. Satan’s forces are ever on the lookout for our subversive activity. Christ has guaranteed resurrection for all who fight to the death. But he has not guaranteed comfort, or acceptance from the world, or prosperity in enemy territory. Many have gladly given their lives behind the lines running errands for the Commander. I can think of no better way to live — or die!
And then...                                                                                                                                 Jesus Will Finish the Mission March 16  “This gospel of the kingdom will be proclaimed throughout the whole world as a testimony to all nations, and then the end will come.” (Matthew 24:14)
I don’t know any more inspiring missionary promise than this word from Jesus.
Not: This gospel should be preached.
Not: This gospel might be preached.
But: This gospel will be preached.
This is not a great commission, nor a great commandment. It is a great certainty, a great confidence.
Who can dare talk like that? How does he know it will? How can he be sure the church will not fail in its missionary task?
Answer: The grace of missionary service is as irresistible as the grace of regeneration. Christ can promise universal proclamation because he is sovereign. He knows the future success of missions because he makes the future. All the nations will hear!
A “nation” is not a modern “country.” When the Old Testament spoke of nations, it referred to groups like Jebusites, Perizites, Hivites, Amorites, Moabites, Canaanites and Philistines. “Nations” are ethnic groups with their own peculiar culture. Psalm 117:1: “Praise the Lord, all nations!  Extol him, all peoples!” 
As the sovereign Son of God and Lord of the church, Jesus simply took up this divine purpose and stated as an absolute certainty: “This gospel of the kingdom will be proclaimed throughout the whole world as a testimony to all nations” (Matthew 24:14).
The cause of world missions is absolutely assured of success. It cannot fail.  Is it not reasonable, then, that we pray with great faith, that we invest with great confidence, and that we go with a sense of sure triumph? 

Aren't you encouraged and challenged, too!!!

Lastly, would you please be in prayer for my assigned teams to Costa Rica, April 29-May 6, and Dominican Republic, September 22-29?  We still need providers (MDs, PAs, NPs) and nurses in September.  
Thank you and bless you!

Wednesday, December 28, 2016

Christmas and New Year's Greetings!

Dear friends, family, prayer & financial partners and teammates,
A belated Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!
Ash and I so grateful for all of you, without whom our ministry of medical-evangelism for the glory of God and the hope of nations would not take place!

There’s no joy without longing, C.S. Lewis shared, “All Joy reminds.  It is never a possession, always a desire for something longer ago or further away or still ‘about to be’.” 
And from John Piper (2015) …for the day, the season.  (Ash and I were struck with “indictment preceding delight” …a wonderful indictment though, filled with hope as only the gospel is, yes?!)
              Prepare the Way
He will turn many of the children of Israel to the Lord their God, and he will go before him in the spirit and power of Elijah, to turn the hearts of the fathers to the children, and the disobedient to the wisdom of the just, to make ready for the Lord a people prepared.” (Luke 1:16–17)
What John the Baptist did for Israel, Advent can do for us.  Don’t let Christmas find you unprepared.  I mean spiritually unprepared. Its joy and impact will be so much greater if you are ready!

That you might be prepared…
First, meditate on the fact that we need a Savior.  Christmas is an indictment before it becomes a delight.  It will not have its intended effect until we feel desperately the bittersweet need for a Savior. 

Second, engage in sober self-examination.  Advent is to Christmas what Lent is to Easter.  “Search me, O God, and know my heart!  Try me and know my thoughts!  And see if there be any wicked way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting!”  Let every heart prepare him room…  by cleaning house.

Third, build God-centered anticipation,  expectancy and excitement into your home — especially for the children.  If you are excited about Christ, they will be too.  If you can only make Christmas exciting with material things, how will the children get a thirst for God?  Bend the efforts of your imagination to make the wonder of the King’s arrival visible for the children.

Fourth, be much in the Scriptures, and memorize the great passages!  “Is not my word like fire, says the Lord!”  Gather ‘round that fire this Advent season.  It is warm.  It is sparkling with colors of grace.  It is healing for a thousand hurts.  It is light for dark nights.”

May God bless you richly - in return for your intercessions, sacrifices and service - with all that counts for eternity! 
And may He bless us richly with His Spirit that we might look to Christ, have a white-hot fire for Him, share Him and long for His ultimate coming all through 2017.
Betsy & Ash
PS... Would you please see the below 9-day Prayer Calendar (starts January 14th, if you’d tuck it away til next month!) to guide you in our needs for our upcoming ministry in Trinidad?!  Thank you!

Prayer Calendar - TRINIDAD Medical-Evangelism Team - January 14-22, 2017 
 The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much.  James 5:16b

Sat. Jan. 14 Pray for safe travel, connections & arrival of all luggage with personal & medical supplies.  Pray for favor getting through customs & that we’d be the sweet aroma of Christ to any agent we meet.
The greatest impact any of us can ever have on the missionary movement is to saturate it with prayer
and lead other Christians to pray with us.  David Bryant

Sun. Sept. 12 Pray for bi-cultural team unity all week, as in Romans 15:5-7, but especially today as we worship with our Trini brothers & sisters in Christ.  Pray for Ash as he teaches Sunday School, for pastor Ricky as he preaches & for our team of 28 as we prepare to share the Gospel & provide medical care for 4½ days.  Pray for team health, humility, mutual encouragement & perseverance …as well as for lots of laughter!  
May the God Who gives endurance and encouragement give [us] a spirit of unity among [our]selves
as [we] follow Christ Jesus, so that with one heart and one mouth
[we] may glorify the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ.  Romans 15:5-6

Mon. Jan. 16 Pray for day #1 of clinic: 1. smooth organization, but that I personally would focus on relationships above team-leading tasks; 2. we’d be encouragements to Ricky & IATF (local police force); 3. we’d see those whom Holy Spirit calls to our clinic through God’s eyes; 4. correct diagnoses & compassionate treatments.  Lift up our providers: Dan, Frank, Gary, Mike & Reatha; therapists Brooke & Steve; dentist Wendy.

Tues. Jan. 17 Pray for boldness in Christ in clinic-day #2: 1. Jesus would do miracles as we pray & seek His healing for our patients; 2. know protection against very real spiritual warfare with Jesus keeping back the darkness blinding souls to Gospel Truth; 3. grace to respond to anything God brings our way; 4. our focus be on lifting up Christ; 5. we’d not wane with tiredness.  Pray for these servants: ultrasound tech Laci, pharmacist Lynette, nurses Adanna, Anita, Betsy, Connie, Danielle, Debbie, Geneva & Joe.
For this [we] toil, striving with all the energy He mightily inspires within [us].  Colossians 1:29

Wed. Jan. 18 Pray God will work in myriads of ways: 1. meaningful morning devotions & evening debriefs; 2. making Christ known to our patients; 3. emotional, physical & spiritual healings; 4. encouraging national brothers & sisters in Christ.  Pray for non-medical servants in children’s evangelism, counseling, prayer, reading glasses, videography & patient flow: Annelise, Ash, Barbara, Cheryl, David, Diane, Jeff, Jessie, Ken, Marty & Mike.

Thurs. Jan. 19 Pray for our work today: 1. God to bring increased credibility & visibility to Ricky’s church;  2. we might  be ‘midwives’ at births of new believers as Holy Spirit deigns to move in hearts of those who come for care; 3. any conflicts be lovingly resolved with humility & compassion.  Pray for pastor Ricky, wife Denise & sons Jonathan (at GA Tech) & Josiah (high school senior).
                   I will make them strong in the LORD, and they shall glory in His name, says the LORD. Zechariah 10:12

Fri. Jan. 20 Pray for a restful day-off with further-team-building, fellowship & yes… laughter & play in the beauty of God’s creation on the northern coast of Trinidad.

Sat. Jan. 21 Pray for our final day of ministry at National Police Headquarters: 1. continued encouragement for Christians-in-minority on the force as we care for all officers & their families; 2. team relationships made during the week to deepen in Christ; 3. an evening of bi-cultural thankfulness at a dinner hosted by the Ministry of National Security; 4. blessings on our U.S. churches & families at home who’ve sacrificed so much for us to serve.
He that believeth in me, out of him shall flow rivers of living water. John 7:38

Sun. Sun. 22 Pray for safe travel as we return to the States; for us to be challenged for a lifetime by what God has shown us this past week; for open doors to witness in congregational presentations or through our newsletters.  Pray God alone be glorified as we share.  Pray He’d continue to use what He has taught week so that we might experience deeper walks with Him.  Pray for Ricky & congregation to follow up effectively with those seen in clinics.  Pray for our hearts & those of our prayer-partners to remain burdened for the needs in the Trinidad.  Only the Gospel changes lives and countries!
If anyone speaks, he should do it as one speaking the very words of God. 
If anyone serves, he should do it with the strength God provides,
so that in all things God may be praised through Jesus Christ. 
To Him be the glory and the power for ever and ever. Amen. 1 Peter 4:11

Tuesday, November 29, 2016

Advent Thanksgivings

Thanksgiving week is behind us with Advent upon us... Christmas soon and then New Year close behind!  2016 in some ways feels like a fast blur!  Ash and I have paused to remember the Reason for the Season: our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.  Because of Him, we have much for which to be thankful.

We want to say how VERY THANKFUL we are for our 
families & friends, prayer & financial partners and our teammates.  Your huge & varied involvements in this call to medical-evangelism are priceless: intercessions & financial gifts; letters, emails & calls; Dr Krackers, Evange-cubes & gospel bracelets; OTC meds & reading glasses; haircuts, IT help & financial advice; etc., etc.!   You're all priceless blessings, and without you we cannot go to the nations.

Indulge us as we list barely an eyelash-full of His blessings… perhaps you have been equally blessed by similar of the Lord’s Providence and will join with us in praise!

We’re thankful…
…that the Father loved us before the foundation of the earth and gave His only Son for us to redeem our lives from the pit, to give us new hearts, to renew our minds, to call us His children, to fill us with His Spirit, to make us a son and a daughter of the King & joint heirs to His Kingdom!

…that by grace we live, breathe and have our being; that we’re being sanctified daily; and, that He forgives our many sins!  He not only forgives them but forgets them "as far as the east is from the west!" 

...for our 6 children and 17 "grands" who love us and grant us grace as we continue to navigate parenting and grand-parenting;

…for our Parkview Church family in Lilburn GA, for Betsy’s ‘old’ Sunday School class, Acts 29, at Westminster Pres. in Snellville GA who care for and support us.

…for countless individuals, families, churches and our presbytery who faithfully pray for Ash and me and who sacrificially good-steward their finances to support us, thus serving as Christ’s hands & feet with us, allowing us to literally 'walk out their prayers'!

…for the passion He’s given us for the gospel and for missions, for leading disciples from many churches to come alongside our front-line soldiers: church-planters, national pastors & doctors …to share the Truth in Word & compassionate deed.

….that our teammates return home with a greater vision for what God is doing in the world and a desire to be an ongoing part of His Kingdom work.

…for healthcare professionals, servant-hearted laity and missionary colleagues who serve with us sacrificially to enlarge the Kingdom.

…that many who come to our clinics are being redeemed and transformed by God's grace, so that the Bride of Christ is ready to meet her Groom!

…for Mission to the World leaders who mentor & challenge us, hold us accountable, encourage us, help & guide us.

…for food in our kitchen & clothes to wear; for a home that is God’s place of covenant marriage, Christian hospitality and missions preparation; and, for neighbors who watch over things when we’re out-of-town or -country.

…for improved health and wise & caring physicians who by God’s grace keep our chronic health conditions stable or improving!

…Betsy: for my late-in-life gift of Ash; for his 4 children (Missy, Libby, Rich & Rachel) and 9 ‘grands’ on his side; for my daughters Karin & Jenny and 8 ‘grands’ on my side; for sons-in-law Michael, John, Will, Scott & David; for my siblings Jeff & Wendy; for nieces & nephews; for the time we get to spend with them between assigned missions.

Make a joyful noise to the Lord, all ye lands!  Serve the Lord with gladness!
Come into His presence with singing!  Know that the Lord is God!
It is He that made us and not ourselves; we are His people and the sheep of His pasture.
Enter His gates with thanksgiving and into His courts with praise!
Give thanks to Him and bless His name!
For the Lord is good; His steadfast love endures forever, and His faithfulness to all generations.  Psalm 100

Have a blessed Advent Season with all that cunts for eternity!
With love in Christ,  

Betsy & Ash
PS… Winter 2017 teams for which to pray: Trinidad (Jan. 14-22); Mexico (Feb. 18-25) - thank you!

Sunday, October 9, 2016

Jesus changing hearts... only answer to hate.

     I've not processed all that God was doing through (and in!) our team of 18 in the Dominican Republic, coming alongside an even greater number of precious nationals, but one thing i know... my heart is burdened for the hatred in the world... words of prejudice coming even from young mouths... you know they've had to hear them in their homes or schools!  My teammate Elizabeth Sablon, born in Columbia but now an American citizen, shared this story with us in team prayer-time one evening... please grieve and intercede with me as you read it.  And watch for my newsletter, About the Father's Business in the Dominican Republic, in another week by email.  

                        "We'd met as a team to discuss our need for a 'Release of Rights', based on Philippians 2, when our mission began, but I did not know I would have to give up this particular one as I am not a medical provider.   Instead, I gave up the right to sleep peacefully through the night because there were 8 other women in my dorm-room! 

"On September 28 we were in Batey Bienvenido, one of the many poor communities served by The Luke Society and local pastors.  I was getting another patient for rheumatologist Dr Beverly Byrd, for whom I interpreted, when I saw a 10 year old boy holding a New Testament inside a Ziploc®.  

"Drawn to him I said, 'You know you are supposed to read that book.  Don’t just keep it and not read it!' Later when we were preparing to leave, I saw him again, still holding his Bible.  Franklin, a Luke Society leader, and Spanish-Creole interpreter Angie were talking to him.  I joined in the conversation.  

"This young boy expressed much hatred towards Haitians.  Franklin, Angie and I quickly and lovingly told him we were all created by a God who loved us all equally.  I also shared the words of our Creole patient Petite who had felt the rejection of others, 'We all have the same red blood under our different colors of skin.  In the eyes of the Lord, we are the same.'

"After we sang The Doxology and prayed as a team to thank God for the day, I saw this young boy a final time and felt compelled by the Spirit to say, 'You know, the Lord has chosen you to do something special.' He looked at me and left.  I realized then that I was giving up the right to see results… and trusting God for unseen fruit in His timing.

"Medical mission trips not only bring healing to the suffering body, but also to the suffering souls of patients, within and without the body of Christ.  As missionaries we sow seeds and may never get to watch them sprout. However, I rest in Isaiah 55:11 '…so is my word that goes out from my mouth; it will not return to me empty, but will accomplish what I desire and achieve the purpose for which I sent it'."

Thursday, September 15, 2016

10 Spurgeon Quotes for Wounded Christians - 'Songs in the Night'

Our family is going through some hard times right now.  I don't pretend to even know what to say to the ones who are in the midst of great burdens, but I like what Spurgeon wrote in the excerpts below.  He himself suffered from depression as well as physical maladies.  I can relate to depression and the deep dark pit that calls.  God has brought me out of that pit, and I praise Him.  But many I know struggle with emotional burdens and physical challenges as well as the impending loss of a loved one from cancer.... pray for my 2nd son-in-love and his parents, please.  It's been a very hard week.  Carl F. H. Henry was right to call Charles Spurgeon “one of evangelical Christianity’s immortals” (in the foreword to Lewis Drummond, Spurgeon: Prince of Preachers).

In his twenties, Spurgeon pastored the largest mega-church in Protestant Christendom. London’s most cavernous buildings could hardly accommodate his crowds – and one of them even collapsed. American tourists returning from England were greeted with two questions: “Did you see the Queen?’ and ‘Did you hear Spurgeon?’” (AP Peabody, “Spurgeon,” North American Review 86 [1858], 275).  Truly, the memory of his ministry has become immortal.

But Spurgeon himself was very much mortal.  The preacher was anything but bulletproof. In fact, for most of his life Spurgeon nursed deep wounds and struggled to cope with a myriad of emotional and physical maladies.  In 1867 Spurgeon suffered his first attack of chronic nephritis, or Bright’s Disease (kidney inflammation similar to Lupus).   At 35 he was diagnosed with gout, an inflammation of the joints.  In 1886 he said, “When I am suffering very greatly from gout, if anybody walks heavily and noisily across the room, it gives me pain” (MTP 49:234).  In a letter to his brother he wrote, “I thought a cobra had bitten me and filled my veins with poison” (Autobiography3:134).   So much medicine arrived from friends and family that Spurgeon said he “would have been dead long ago if we had tried half of them” (ST 4, February 1875).

Spurgeon also suffered from depression.  “I do not suppose there is any person in this assembly who ever has stronger fits of depression of spirits than I have myself personally” (MTP 15:640).  After witnessing seven people trampled to death he said, “The very sight of the Bible made me cry” (MTP 37:383-84).

On October 22, 2009, Dr. Anil Den, a London-based psychiatrist, reviewed Spurgeon’s symptoms and concluded: “Spurgeon was suffering from a form of endogenous depression and that, if he had presented with such symptoms today he would certainly have been treated with a mixture of medication and therapy” (Peter J. Morden, Communion with Christ and His People, 262). 

One thing is certain: Spurgeon lived in the spotlight and the shadow.  In a moving sermon “Songs in the Night” Spurgeon revealed the struggle of the Christian trying to praise God in the dark:  It is easy to sing when we can read the notes by daylight; but he is the skillful singer who can sing when there is not a ray of light by which to read — who sings from his heart, and not from a book that he can see, because he has no means of reading, save from that inward book of his own living spirit, whence notes of gratitude pour forth in songs of praise. (MTP 44:98-99).

Spurgeon’s ministry sparked a wildfire throughout the world because it was forged, to be sure, in the fire.  “I think it would have been less painful to have been burned alive at the stake than to have passed through those horrors and depressions of spirit” (MTP 53:137-38).  Yet even in the heat of public criticism, character assassination, physical setbacks, and emotional challenges, Spurgeon experienced the warm kindness of God.

Spurgeon never suffered from having never suffered. He saw hardships as God’s hammer, shaping sinners into holiness and channeled his suffering into his sermons.  Small wonder the hard working class were magnetized to him. “You must go through the fire,” he said, “if you would have sympathy with others who tread the glowing coals” (MTP 32:590).
Here are ten quotes with their contexts, forged on the anvil of Spurgeon’s own affliction:

1. The storm has a bit in its mouth.  “Perhaps at this very moment, down in some cabin, or amidst the noise and tumult, and the raging of the ocean, when many are alarmed, there are Christians with calm faces, patiently waiting their Father’s will, whether it shall be to reach the port of heaven, or to be spared to come again to land, into the midst of life’s trials and struggles once more.  They feel that they are well-cared for, they know that the storm has a bit in its mouth, and that God holds it in, and nothing can hurt them; nothing can happen to them but what God permits.”                                     “Safe Shelter” (MTP 15, Sermon 902, p. 650).

2. The greatest earthly blessing that God can give to any of us is health, with the exception of sickness“Health is set before us as if it were the great thing to be desired above all other things.  It is so?  I would venture to say that the greatest blessing that God can give to any of us is health, with the exception of sickness.  Sickness has frequently been of more use to the saints of God than health has.  If some men that I know of could only be favoured with a month of rheumatism, it would, by God’s grace, mellow them marvelously.”                                                                                                     C. H. Spurgeon, “The Minister in These Times” in An All-Round Ministry (Banner of Truth, 2000), p. 384..

3. Men will never become great in divinity until they become great in suffering.  “Men will never become great in divinity until they become great in suffering.  ‘Ah!’ said Luther, ‘affliction is the best book in my library;’ and let me add, the best leaf in the book of affliction is that blackest of all the leaves, the leaf called heaviness, when the spirit sinks within us, and we cannot endure as we could wish.  And yet again; this heaviness is of essential use to a Christian, if he would do good to others.  There are none so tender as those who have been skinned themselves.  Those who have been in the chamber of affliction know how to comfort those who are there.  Do not believe that any man will become a physician unless he walks the hospitals; and I am sure that no one will become a divine, or become a comforter, unless he lies in the hospital as well as walks through it, and has to suffer himself.”                                                                                            “The Christian’s Heaviness and Rejoicing” (NPSP 4, Sermon 222, p. 461).

4. Better to be taught by suffering than to be taught by sin!  “Perhaps there may be no way of teaching us so thoroughly the baseness of our heart as by leaving us to its devices; perhaps we shall never know our folly, unless suffered to play the fool, but oh prevent it, Lord! …prevent it by thy grace!  Better to be taught by suffering than to be taught by sin! Better to lie in God’s dungeon than to revel in the devil’s palace.”                                                                            “Hezekiah and the Ambassadors, Or Vainglory Rebuked” (MTP 12, Sermon 704, p.438).

5. Our infirmities become the black velvet on which the diamond of God’s love glitters all the more brightly.  “Grace is given to keep us from sin, which is a great blessing; but what is the good of grace except it is in the time when the trial comes?  Certainly, the grace that will not stand in the hour of temptation or affliction, is a very spurious sort of grace; and we had better get rid of it, if we have it.  When a godly woman’s child dies, the infidel husband sees the mother’s faith.  When the ship goes down, and is lost in the sea, the ungodly merchant understands the resignation of his fellow-man.  When pangs shoot through our body, and ghastly death appears in view, people see the patience of the dying Christian.  Our infirmities become the black velvet on which the diamond of God’s love glitters all the more brightly. Thank God I can suffer, thank God I can be made the object of shame and contempt; for, in this way, God shall be glorified.”                            "A Wafer of Honey” (MTP 52, Sermon 2974, p. 80).

6. Mark then, Christian, Jesus does not suffer so as to exclude your suffering.  “Mark then, Christian, Jesus does not suffer so as to exclude your suffering.  He bears a cross, not that you may escape it, but that you may endure it. Christ exempts you from sin, but not from sorrow.  Remember that, and expect to suffer.”                                                                     C. H. Spurgeon, Morning and Morning (New York: Sheldon and Company, 1865), April 5, p. 96.

7. There is no University for a Christian like that of sorrow and trial.  “Israel gained by education.  The Lord was not going to lead a mob of slaves into Canaan, to go and behave like slaves there.  They had to be tutored.  The wilderness was the Oxford and Cambridge for God’s students.  There they went to the University, and he taught and trained them, and they took their degree before they entered into the promised land.  There is no University for a Christian like that of sorrow and trial.”                                                                                                                                                                               “Marah Better Than Elim” (MTP 39, Sermon 2301, p.151).

8. There are times when we cannot cry at all, and then he cries in us.  “Is it not ourselves that cry?  Yes, assuredly; and yet the Spirit cries also.  The expressions are both correct.  The Holy Spirit prompts and inspires the cry.  He puts the cry into the heart and mouth of the believer.  It is his cry because he suggests it, approves of it, and educates us to it. We should never have cried thus if he had not first taught us the way.  There are times when we cannot cry at all, and then he cries in us.  There are seasons when doubts and fears abound, and so suffocate us with their fumes that we cannot even raise a cry, and then the indwelling Spirit represents us, and speaks for us, and makes intercession for us, crying in our name.”                                                                                                                                                                                             “Adoption –The Spirit and the Cry” (MTP 24, Sermon 1435, p. 537, italics in the original).

9. O dear friend, when thy grief presses thee to the very dust, worship there!  “O dear friend, when thy grief presses thee to the very dust, worship there! If that spot has come to be thy Gethsemane, then present there thy ‘strong crying and tears’ unto thy God.  Remember David’s words, ‘Ye people, pour out your hearts,’ — but do not stop there, finish the quotation, — ‘Ye people, pour out your hearts before him.’  Turn the vessel upside down; it is a good thing to empty it, for this grief may ferment into something more sour.  Turn the vessel upside down, and let every drop run out; but let it be before the Lord.  ‘Ye people, pour out your hearts before him: God is a refuge for us.’  When you are bowed down beneath a heavy burden of sorrow, then take to worshiping the Lord, and especially to that kind of worshiping which lies in adoring God, and in making a full surrender of yourself to the divine will.”                                                                        “Job’s Resignation” (MTP 42, Sermon 2457, p. 134).

10. Fear not the storm, it brings healing in its wings, and when Jesus is with you in the vessel the tempest only hastens the ship to its desired haven.  “I, the preacher of this hour, beg to bear my witness that the worst days I have ever had have turned out to be my best days, and when God has seemed most cruel to me, he has then been most kind.  If there is anything in this world for which I would bless him more than for anything else, it is for pain and affliction.  I am sure that in these things the richest, tenderest love has been manifested to me.  Our Father’s wagons rumble most heavily when they are bringing us the richest freight of the bullion of his grace.  Love letters from heaven are often sent in black-edged envelopes.  The cloud that is black with horror is big with mercy.  Fear not the storm, it brings healing in its wings, and when Jesus is with you in the vessel the tempest only hastens the ship to its desired haven.”                          “Ziklag; Or, David Encouraging Himself in God” (MTP 27, Sermon 1606, p. 373).

Blessings to you and yours, with love in Christ, 
Betsy and for Ahs