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God is moving, can you see it?
August 25, 2013 2:22 am
Published in: On the Field Tags: , ,

Here’s a few videos and articles that have stirred up my little heart lately.  I love feeling stirred.  At first it’s a little panicky, like “whooooooa wait I was so comfortable”, but then its that satisfying feeling of a whirring brain and a pondering heart.  So here yah go…

 

Judah Smith, of The City Church in Seattle, talks about Jesus encountering us and making everything new.  He uses the event of healing the lame man at the pool as a BEAUTIFUL in John 5.  It made me cry.

 

Jamie the Very Worst Missionary

Jamie’s writing always makes me laugh, cringe, and most importantly THINK deeply about my life and my faith.  This is one blog post that I loved recently, but really her whole archive is FULL of gems.  This one is entitled “Fortune Cookie Faith.” In our culture of Tweets and short attention spans, we have less and less patience and attention for things that require immense time and effort… like reading our Bibles.  Here is a little excerpt from the post.

I’m pretty sure I’ve never read a life changing tweet. Not one. And I’m certain I’ve never written one. That’s because the fullness of the Gospel will never be captured in a single sentence. Or a paragraph. Or a clever blog post. Or even a tacky three page Bible tract. Instead, it lays itself out over a lifetime; threading its way between morning and night, quietly abiding our self created chaos and gently bearing our indiscretions. It seeps into our bones over time. It nurtures us slowly, whispering light into our dark places and shoring up our weak spots. Grace doesn’t fit in a fortune cookie.”

 

Happy Sunday.

August 12, 2011 10:25 pm
Published in: Pre-Field Tags: , ,

“How do we read the Bible?”

Frequently, and thoroughly.”

This wonderful man has put into words, the very thing that has been heavy on my heart lately… to read and know the Bible as a whole.


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bTYzUc-ezUc&feature=player_embedded

 

Mmmm, scripture.

July 25, 2011 1:19 pm
Published in: Pre-Field Tags: , , ,

DRY (adjective)

1. free from moisture or excess moisture; not moist; not wet

2. having or characterized by little or no rain

3. characterized by absence, deficiency, or failure of natural ordinary moisture.


Yep.  That is how I feel…like my soul is flaking, my heart is parched, and my frame is withering.  Dry.

 

 

Is it this arid, hot, Montana summer?  Have I failed to drink enough liquids?  No… this is dehydration of the spirit, and I need a long cool drink out of God’s fountain, before I turn to dust.

Have you ever gotten to this place?  Where you go and go and GO, until you find that, whoa, I actually do have a end to my rope… and here are the frays to prove it.  Preparing for Africa is so… involved.  I never expected it to be so hard. Being a big picture kind of gal, I tend to not consider the weight of the details, the amount of work that is attached to one big adventure. Or the amount of feeling.

Everyday I find myself stopping and staring at people and things that I will miss.  Just this morning I looked at a picture of my mom and sister dancing in our family kitchen, lit by morning light, and had a mound of sadness well up in my chest.

 

 

I will miss the sound the coffee maker gurgling, the dogs’ fingernails clicking across the wood floor, and my dad talking to Lidia Bastianich on PBS as they make the same Italian dish… continents away.  Soon I will be continents away.  Whew.

Turns out the process of support-raising is more involved than I ever dreamed too.  I feel like I have hit a wall.  After hundreds of letters, copious phone calls, relentless calculating, endless spreadsheets and paperwork, I still have miles to go… and I am spiritually on empty with the pedal pushed to the floor.

I am at the famous junction… the place where I have mustered all of my humanly efforts and come up short, and God has to show up and divinely finish this thing.  Moses was here, not to mention David, Ruth, Daniel, Elijah and countless others.  It was God who parted the sea and provided an escape for the captives of Egypt, not Moses.  It was God who led the king to victory and saved him from his enemies, not David.  It was God who delivered a poor foreigner and her mother-in-law back home and saved them from destitution, not Ruth or Naomi.  It was God who stayed the lions’ jaws and gave a man the wisdom interpret dreams and to navigate the royal courts, not Daniel.  It was God who sent a fire ball from Heaven to consume a soggy offering in front of hundreds of people on Mount Carmel and prove His power, not Elijah.  And on and on.  It is God who accomplishes, not me.

Lately I have been letting my failures and lackings determine my worth.  After my dear friend Kim prayed for me this Sunday, she looked at me and said, “Bess, it is God who tells you your worth.”  ZING, that one went right to the heart.  Nothing else has the right or authority to tell me my value, and I am closing my ears to God when I allow anyone or anything else to tell me what I am worth.

 

“All this is evidence that God’s judgment is right, and as a result you will be counted worthy of the kingdom of God, for which you are suffering.  God is just: He will pay back trouble to those who trouble you and give relief to you who are troubled, and to us as well.”

2 Thessalonians 1:5-7

 

Trying to do all of this on my own (and failing), compounded with the ache of impending transition, separation, and raw newness has sucked all the moisture out of my soul.  I looked up dry in the back of my bible, and God brought me to tears as I read this passage in Ezekiel…

 

The Valley of Dry Bones

1 The hand of the LORD was on me, and he brought me out by the Spirit of the LORD and set me in the middle of a valley; it was full of bones. 2 He led me back and forth among them, and I saw a great many bones on the floor of the valley, bones that were very dry. 3 He asked me, “Son of man, can these bones live?”

I said, “Sovereign LORD, you alone know.”

4 Then he said to me, “Prophesy to these bones and say to them, ‘Dry bones, hear the word of the LORD! 5 This is what the Sovereign LORD says to these bones: I will make breath enter you, and you will come to life. 6 I will attach tendons to you and make flesh come upon you and cover you with skin;

I will put breath in you, and you will come to life. Then you will know that I am the LORD.’”

7 So I prophesied as I was commanded. And as I was prophesying, there was a noise, a rattling sound, and the bones came together, bone to bone. 8 I looked, and tendons and flesh appeared on them and skin covered them, but there was no breath in them.

9 Then he said to me, “Prophesy to the breath; prophesy, son of man, and say to it, ‘This is what the Sovereign LORD says: Come, breath, from the four winds and breathe into these slain, that they may live.’” 10 So I prophesied as he commanded me, and breath entered them; they came to life and stood up on their feet—a vast army.

11 Then he said to me: “Son of man, these bones are the people of Israel. They say, ‘Our bones are dried up and our hope is gone; we are cut off.’ 12 Therefore prophesy and say to them: ‘This is what the Sovereign LORD says: My people, I am going to open your graves and bring you up from them; I will bring you back to the land of Israel. 13 Then you, my people, will know that I am the LORD, when I open your graves and bring you up from them. 14 I will put my Spirit in you and you will live, and I will settle you in your own land.

Then you will know that I the LORD have spoken, and I have done it, declares the LORD.’”

Ezekiel 37

 

I need the breath of God to enter these bones again.  I need to know the sheer power of Your might, because I have none left.  I am as useless as a pile of bones on the desert floor.  I need to know that it is You who will do it, that You won’t leave me in a heap on the cracked earth.

 

The Spirit of God has made me;
the breath of the Almighty gives me life.

Job 33:4

 

Breathe on me Lord, and I will inhale deeply.  Bring me to life again, and in your time, bring me to Africa.

 

 

February 15, 2011 11:04 pm
Published in: Pre-Field Tags: , , ,

I just going to be honest with you, John Piper gives me headaches… and I LOVE it!

It’s a good kind of headache, you see, the kind you get when your brain and heart are so overwhelmed with new revelations that they actually hurt.

I have been trying to read John Piper’s book Let the Nations Be Glad since July, and I am only half way through the first chapter.  Now don’t get me wrong, I looooooove me some books, and usually I whip right through all kinds of lovely literature, but with him… it is different.

This writing is heavy!  JP has a way of packing the pages with scripture and ideas about God that are so simple and astounding at the same time that you want to smack yourself repeatedly on the forehead for not seeing all this before.

Exhibit A… from the FIRST page.

“Missions is not the ultimate goal of the church.  Worship is.  Missions exist because worship does not.  Worship is ultimate, not missions, because God is ultimate, not man.   When this age is over, and the countless millions of the redeemed fall on their faces before the throne of God, missions will be no more.  It is a temorary necessity.  But worship abides forever.

Holy guacamole, John Piper… I think I just had an aneurysm.

There will be a day when missions don’t exist.   On that day the heavens will be rent with the glory of the Lord, and the praise will NEVER end.  Oh my.

This is such a needed and refreshing perspective for me.  I have been so focused on the goal… getting to Africa to do MISSIONS, support raising so that I can go do MISSIONS, getting shots and medical clearance so that I can go and do MISSIONS, finding a dang detailed map of Nairobi so that I don’t get lost when I go to Africa to do MISSIONS… and on and on.  In all the bustley-bustle of getting ready for Africa, I easily lose sight of the main goal…

Worship.  White hot, pure, unabashed, unrelenting, uncontainable worship.   Letting that worship of the Lord characterize my life in every way.    Worship must come before missions, because it is the FUEL of missions.  How am I supposed to invite the nations into worship if my life doesn’t reflect His all comsuming glory within me?

“Passion for God in worship precedes the offer of God in preaching.  You can’t commend what you don’t cherish.  Where passion for God is weak, zeal for missions will be weak.  Even outsiders feel the disparity between the boldness of our claim upon the nations and the blandness of our engagement with God.”

I’m going to take some Tylenol and turn out the lights,  my head and heart are aching with sweet, sweet overwhelming truth… thank you Jesus and John Piper.

Consume me Lord, like fire and wind and a great flood.  Knock me over with the weight of your glory.  Let me just but touch your hem and feel my heart burn.

“My heart rejoices in the LORD;
in the LORD my horn is lifted high.

There is no one holy like the LORD;
there is no one besides you;
there is no Rock like our God.”

1 Samuel 2:1

“Give praise to the LORD, proclaim his name;
make known among the nations what he has done.
Sing to him, sing praise to him;
tell of all his wonderful acts.
Glory in his holy name;
let the hearts of those who seek the LORD rejoice.
Look to the LORD and his strength;
seek his face always.”

1 Chronicles 16:8-11