Archive for August, 2010

On the Doorstep to Quebec

August 27, 2010

We have safely arrived within 50 miles of Quebec! Much more news tomorrow. For now, we are about to eat a celebrative dinner made by an in-house cook.

Thank-you for your prayers.

Arrival of the Mail

August 25, 2010

The mail was greeted joyously yesterday afternoon with all gathering around for the reading of the letters. There was enough support in this mail drop to put gas in the vehicle for the long stretch ahead of us today. Please pray for our safety as we are on the road, for Todd’s prayer time as he drives, for my curriculum planning, and for the children as they work. We had hoped to be on our way earlier, but this morning’s appointment will set us back to a noon departure so we may be driving late tonight. Pray also that the trailer and taxed hitch will hold out on this last leg of a very long journey. No known appointments ahead until Quebec.

It’s still birthday week for the third-born.

Spiritual Warfare

August 24, 2010

Only God knew the conversation Todd and I had this morning — the one in which Todd said, “the spiritual oppression has already begun” — and only God knew how low we all felt as a few hours earlier the family sat around the breakfast table mulling over the events of the last three days and the prospect of what lay before us. Then this email dropped into our inbox with nothing but a text from Spurgeon:

“The breaker is come up before them.”—Micah 2:13.
INASMUCH as Jesus has gone before us, things remain not as they would have been had He never passed that way. He has conquered every foe that obstructed the way. Cheer up now thou faint-hearted warrior. Not only has Christ travelled the road, but He has slain thine enemies. Dost thou dread sin? He has nailed it to His cross. Dost thou fear death? He has been the death of Death. Art thou afraid of hell? He has barred it against the advent of any of His children; they shall never see the gulf of perdition. Whatever foes may be before the Christian, they are all overcome. There are lions, but their teeth are broken; there are serpents, but their fangs are extracted; there are rivers, but they are bridged or fordable; there are flames, but we wear that matchless garment which renders us invulnerable to fire. The sword that has been forged against us is already blunted; the instruments of war which the enemy is preparing have already lost their point. God has taken away in the person of Christ all the power that anything can have to hurt us. Well then, the army may safely march on, and you may go joyously along your journey, for all your enemies are conquered beforehand. What shall you do but march on to take the prey? They are beaten, they are vanquished; all you have to do is to divide the spoil. You shall, it is true, often engage in combat; but your fight shall be with a vanquished foe. His head is broken; he may attempt to injure you, but his strength shall not be sufficient for his malicious design. Your victory shall be easy, and your treasure shall be beyond all count.

“Proclaim aloud the Saviour’s fame,
Who bears the Breaker’s wond’rous name;
Sweet name; and it becomes him well,
Who breaks down earth, sin, death, and hell.”

“Ever in the Fore”

August 23, 2010

Our third son turned 19 today. The boys are now 21, 20, and 19. We are striving to bring each of them up with the same strengths as the others, yet with enjoyably unique personalities. This one is like one of our favourite characters, “ever in the fore”, enjoying close relationship with each of his brothers and sisters, providing an abiding desire for harmony and inclusiveness. He is a joy to parent.

In mission news, we’ve decided to take an extra day in northern Indiana, as we have a pile of work to complete (work which cannot happen when we are driving a 400 mile day). Tomorrow night, Todd meets with a group of elders, and Wednesday morning, we have an appointment, but then the driving begins in earnest, as we are hoping to make it to northern Pennsylvania or upstate New York by evening. Please continue to pray for safety as we travel, and for focus as we squish a week’s worth of tasks into a single day.

Road to Quebec

August 21, 2010

We are getting a late start, and should be in northeastern Indiana by nightfall. Please pray for safety as we travel, and for perseverance for the older boys who have research assignments to work on in the vehicle and then submit online when we arrive at our destination.

10 Days to Quebec

August 17, 2010

We are in St. Louis, where the weather is cool. The guys are getting ready to go to a men’s meeting tonight, and the girls are still writing and studying (since we didn’t get much done en route this morning). We will be here until early Friday.

Heading North and East

August 12, 2010

Graduation for our oldest son is this weekend, and then we will leave Oklahoma on Monday morning, heading north and east. Todd has been accepted as a student at French language school, and we are due to be in Quebec the weekend of the 27th!

The Importance of an All-Absorbing Desire for God

August 7, 2010

By A.W. Tozer:

“After a man is convinced that he can be filled with the Spirit he must desire to be. To the interested inquirer I ask these questions: Are you sure that you want to be possessed by a Spirit Who, while He is pure and gentle and wise and loving, will yet insist upon being Lord of your life? Are you sure you want your personality to be taken over by One who will require obedience to the written Word? Who will not tolerate any of the self-sins in your life: self-love, self-indulgence? Who will not permit you to strut or boast or show off? Who will take the direction of your life away from you and will reserve the sovereign right to test you and discipline you? Who will strip away from you many loved objects which secretly harm your soul? Unless you can answer an eager “Yes” to these questions you do not want to be filled. You may want the thrill or the victory or the power, but you do not really want to be filled with the Spirit. Your desire is little more than a feeble wish, and is not pure enough to please God, Who demands all or nothing.

If on the other hand, your soul cries out for God, for the living God, and your dry and empty heart despairs of living a normal Christian life without a further anointing, then I ask you: Is your desire all-absorbing? Is it the biggest thing in your life? Does it crowd out every common religious activity and fill you with an acute longing that can only be described as the pain of desire? If your heart cries “Yes” to these questions you may be on your way to a spiritual breakthrough that will transform your whole life.” 

Today we leave the Ozarks of Arkansas and head for Northeastern Oklahoma. God has been good to us; though this is a season of hurdles as we prepare for Quebec, He has given us grace and strength to take the next step day by day.

There are many logistical tasks to be done during the next few weeks. And it is so easy to be caught up in the hustle and bustle of a noisy life such that we fail to hear God’s still, small voice. Many of us need the “stripping away” of the “many loved objects which harm [our souls].” Please pray that God will give us the all-absorbing desire for Him that is the key to a life of radical commitment and radical devotion to Christ.

Les Iles:

Tuesday in Arkansas

August 3, 2010

We celebrated our 24th anniversary yesterday!  God has been so very good to us.  The drive to Arkansas from the Mississippi River was a full day, but one with thought-provoking reading and conversation, and definitely one to remember.  Around dinner, while in a grocery store parking lot, we fixed another flat tire on the trailer.

We are increasingly aware that God doesn’t work through planned events only;  we are learning to listen, to be aware, and to act on what He brings our way.

Please pray for wisdom as we seek to divide our time over the next two days between Quebec planning, nonprofit administrative work and correspondence.

Sunday Reading

August 3, 2010

I am in the midst of reading Forgotten God by Francis Chan.  This book has convicted and encouraged me about my walk with God.  Here’s an excerpt:

“What if you could hear the voice of the Holy Spirit and He asked you to literally give everything you owned? What if He asked you to sell all your possessions and give the money to the poor? Could you do it? Before you start explaining why He would never ask that of you, take a moment and answer the question honestly.  It’s not out of His character to ask for everything.”

“I don’t know about you, but that challenges me like crazy. I say I want to give it all to God, to truly submit myself to the leading of the Holy Spirit. But I won’t lie: sometimes the reality of what that means leaves me wanting to hold back a little. There are things on this earth that I really enjoy, like surfing, golfing, eating out…I know what you’re thinking: that those things are not sinful. And you are right. But that doesn’t mean the Spirit will not lead me to forgo those things occasionally or maybe even permanently for His prurpose and the glory of the Father.”

“I struggle to always and actually keep in step with the Spirit moment by moment. To submit and give up everything truly is radical and terrifying. However, when I think deeply about it, walking in my own wisdom, contrary to the Spirit’s leading, is even more frightful. Though I struggle, I know that ultimately I want nothing more than to live in total surrender and abandonment to the Spirit every moment I have left on this earth.”