Monday, April 18, 2016

Devotional Reading for Tuesday, April 19, 2016

The team has landed in Narita and will be resting until tonight's flight.  They arrive tomorrow morning (their today all over again!) at 9:25AM.

Today's reading is 1 Samuel 22; Psalms 17,35; and Matthew 6

“Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothes? Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? Can any one of you by worrying add a single hour to your life? —Matthew 6:25-27

God is in control.  He loves us. We only need to put our trust in Him, and he will take care of us.

Welcome back home.  It is great that you have had this wonderful experience together.  I pray that you are all closer to God and to one another.  Continue to pray for one another and lean on God.  Don’t let the worries of this world zap your energy or forget how God’s provision on this trip will continue on in your everyday life.  Live differently by seeking after God daily and knowing that His miracles never cease.

Lord, bless my brothers and sisters.  Heal those needing healing. Refresh everyone as they return to their homes and families.  Fill them with your love and your peace.  May they live according to your will and cooperate daily in it.  Let them see the world through your eyes and live differently.  In Jesus name I pray.  Amen.


Sunday, April 17, 2016

Devotional Reading for Monday, April 18, 2016 (the journey home begins)

Omigosh! It's time to go home!! Morning with the boys, then down the mountain... so sad :(

Today's reading is 1 Samuel 20,21; Psalm 34; and Matthew 5,17 (Croxford edit...)

After six days Jesus took with him Peter, James and John the brother of James, and led them up a high mountain by themselves. There he was transfigured before them... —Matthew 17:1ff

Today marks a very new point in all of your lives. For some, the experience of leaving India after a short-term mission is like a revered custom.  You have completed one or two, or ten or twelve trips, and the journey home to Hawaii is a familiar trek, accompanied by sighs of satisfaction, knowing that you’ve given your all during the past 10 or 12 days and in the time leading up to the mission.  For some, this entire experience is a new one, and the incredible sense of happiness at completing a God-given task is an amazing high.  For everyone, this journey has brought new experiences.  Witnessing the power of God in a different country.  Recognizing that God is no respecter of persons and provides the Holy Spirit for anyone who will hear His voice.

Matthew 17:1-9 details the transfiguration of our Lord.  Jesus took Peter, James and John up a high mountain by themselves and there allowed them to witness a conversation with Moses and Elijah.
Peter, ever bold, speaks and asks Jesus for permission to erect three shelters: one for Jesus, one for Elijah and one for Moses. While he is asking, God shows up in the form of a bright, light cloud that surrounds them, and they hear the voice of God affirming Jesus as the Son of God. The three fall face down in fear and for a few seconds are probably scared witless, wondering if they would survive.

If we ponder this event for a moment, we begin to see that Peter wanted to relish the moment on the mountain top.  His request to build shelters seems to be a request to linger in the spot where something unique and special was taking place.

Today as you journey home, it wouldn’t surprise me one bit that some of you are saying quietly, can we just stay a little longer? We have seen God do amazing things; can we just linger here on the mountain; can we indeed build shelters and stay?

There is a phenomenal response that Jesus gives while the three are prone before him. Verse 7 says that Jesus came and touched them, tells them to get up, and they begin their journey down the mountain.  As they go, Jesus gives them their task.  Tell no one until I have been raised from the dead.

With every mountaintop experience, we are given that same task. We are to recognize the meaning of Jesus’ resurrection and then share our mountain top experiences. The Resurrection gives perspective to life. Because Jesus rose from the dead, we no longer live in fear of death but can share the promise of eternity with God. But in order to do that effectively, we cannot linger in the moments at the mountaintops in our lives. Every mountaintop experience is given to us within the economy of God.  He wants us to share those experiences, and to do that requires our entrance back in to the world of Normal.

Your journey home to Hawaii begins today. Your journey off this mountain top has begun, and we are excited to hear of the amazing things that God accomplished, in you and through the team while you were there.

God bless and God speed as you travel together.

From Janean...

When it started hailing, the Hawaii team played it it was no big deal  #not #alohaindiainitiative #abbottsinindia