Here we are in India celebrating 29 anniversaries spent watching the AFL Grand Final.
I am always reminded of how my chauffeur, John O’Donnell was so late in getting me to the church that you thought I had changed my mind about the wedding.
An avid Essendon supporter, John washed and rewashed the car wheels totally mesmerised as his team clawed back from a 23-point deficit to take out Hawthorn.
Neither of our families attended (second marriages don’t count, do they? 🙂 ) except for your dear brother David and most of our church celebrated with happy tears and shouts of Hallelujah!. The minister talked of two shipwrecked lives brought together by God’s grace and made whole by His Holy Spirit.
We drove off into the sunset in our VW bug festooned with wedding ribbons and a picnic basket in the back seat.
It has not been a ‘happy ever after’ marriage but it has been genuine: full of joy, passion, grief, frustration and love.
What I have always told you is that the best is yet to come and much of that is happening right now here in India.
One of my very favourite praise songs is Give Thanks (With a Grateful Heart) especially the line..
‘for what the Lord has done for us’
I found this version-accompanied by sitar and it melts my heart..
It is amazing what God has done for us!
Happy Anniversary, my darling
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7cYhjpljMFE (with sitar)
Give Thanks ( With A Grateful Heart ) – YouTube. (with lyrics)
Some times we just need to put this life into perspective.
When you start getting bitter or lazy about your faith, when sickness or woes overtake you, read the story of Job in the Bible and watch this video.
Stretch out your hands, stretch them heavenward.
Your Father is here to lift you up.
I received this in my in box today and it is timely for all of us who struggle in our faith, finding this Christian life a tough act.
I confess that there have been days in my life where I have harboured the thought that following Jesus is just too hard – why not just take it easy and enjoy life ”normally” like the majority around me. It is exactly when these thoughts come that I remember I gave up my life at the Cross and that God chose me for His everlasting purpose.
Like Keith Green sang, “I want to be a pleasing child until that final day.”
So get out that rusty Sword of the Spirit, put on your helmet of salvation – the whole armour of God and get back into the battle.
Keep going; the end is in sight!
- The Cast Down Pilgrim (calledworkman.wordpress.com)
Back in 1985 while earnestly praying and fasting for the next step in our life, Bill and I individually received the same word from God. That word was India. Eagerly we sell all our possessions and make our way to attend a missionary conference in Katoomba, NSW and attend interviews for admission to Bible College. In the interview Bill is asked which church we plan to attend. He tells the interviewer that we are between churches as we have not yet decided exactly where we will be worshiping. The interviewer looks at Bill and says, “So you are in limbo?” Now, to Bill, raised a Catholic, this sounds like somewhere near purgatory so he insists we pack up our bags and return home. Meanwhile I have just finished having lunch and sharing our story with the wife of the conference’s guest speaker. She happens to be Reinhard Bonnke’s sister. She places two $50 notes in my hand and says, ”This is to continue your journey of faith.” Bill can not be persuaded to keep going forward so we turn back and go home to our church. After several years of faithful service we once again sell everything and this time go to Missionary College in Tasmania. For countless reasons we fail there too (eviction, miscarriage, zero finances, college policy etc) and come home. Our marriage runs into crisis several times over the preceding two decades but what keeps me going is the promise of India. I turn 50 and the devil scolds me, “So much for your call to India!” I tell him to shut up and remind him that God is not like Man who lies, He is sovereign and I know we heard Him loud and clear calling us to to India.
Now over the years, Bill and I have come on short mission trips to India but when it came time to get on that plane home I would think to myself, “Ginnie, one day you will get to stay.”
The years rolled by, our children marry and we become grandparents. I begin to understand how Abraham’s wife Sarah must have felt about having a baby in her old age! God made what seemed to be a ridiculous promise to her and Abraham.
Along the way, Bill works in various countries: Indonesia, Qatar, U.A.E and Saudi Arabia. Indonesia was a good start as it means, “islands of India” and in Arabia it seemed that I was surrounded by a vast number of Indians so I felt we were heading in the right direction.
Last year a colleague rang Bill asking if he would consider returning to Abu Dhabi to work and we both thought, why not? Two months later we receive word that the project in Abu Dhabi has stalled. Meekly, the colleague then asks, “Would you consider going to India?”
On the 7th November 2012, we presented our passports at the Foreigners Registration Office where we received resident status in India. This allows us to stay for 12 months. Our visa is currently being prepared for the next 12 month stint.
For the past 10 months, as Bill drives, I look out the car window and remark, “We’re in India!” A remarkable healing is taking place here between Bill and I. We have received a fresh Word (Isaiah 43:18) to forget the past. Now we look ahead.
No matter what tomorrow holds, together we have been obedient to the vision.
We are here.
All our tomorrows are now a bonus.
Keep waiting for your vision to come to pass.
Early morning, I drank my coffee while looking at a photo of my youngest son and I taken back in 1986. Instinctively I reached out and started stroking his cheek. “My little boy,” I sighed and tears came as I remembered the delights of motherhood and how soon the years of our life pass.
As I sat and prayed, the tears continued as I thanked God for His favor towards me all these years. I recalled a conversation with a young married Christian woman last night. This life is fleeting, I told her, live your life now with eternity in mind.
Just now I came across this article.
May it remind us all of the big picture.