Walk Like a Pilgrim


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!

Walk Like a Pilgrim | Challies Dot Com.

 


Never Ever Ever Ever Give Up Your Vision


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.

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Never Ever Ever Give Up Your Call


It is my habit to get up early (sometimes even before the birds) to sit still and wait for God to speak with me.

For several long weeks I have been waiting to find out whether Bill is going to get a job in India and whether we will finally get to live there. Bill and I have had a call to India since 1985 and we have tried all sorts of ways of getting to live there. First it was through our own Mission Board who offered us no encouragement, then to a Missionary College who said we weren’t suitable candidates, another organisation  questioned how we would meet the needs of our five children, while another was only interested in missions to Papua New Guinea. Throw in three miscarriages and a decade of marital crises and you begin to sense the sorrow and failure we felt. Salt was added to our wounds as we saw our peers seamlessly go to their particular mission field. Have I also mentioned that while I was focused on trying to keep my marriage together our children decided to backslide?

 

Did God forget Bill and Ginnie Tucker? Was India all in our imagination or are we just a couple of try- hards who don’t know when to quit?  OK, so we had some bad times and Bill got to the point where he remarked, “Do you know what India stands for?”

I – I’ll

N Never

D – Do

I – It

A – Again!

He was adamant and that was at the end of 2008. For three years India was a dirty word around here and I felt nothing short of God forsaken.

By the beginning of 2011 God started tugging at my heart and I see how easy it could have been for me to say, “Back off God, following You only brings suffering  – go find another sucker – You ain’t getting another piece of me!” I  actually thought that but I can’t stay angry with God. My catch cry through 28 years of following Him has been, like Job, ”though He slay me yet I will hope in Him.” (Job 13:15) Come on dear friends, once you have met the creator of the universe there is nowhere left to hide and after all a dead man has no rights (Gal 2:20) and let’s throw in Isaiah 45:9 about the clay quarreling with the potter about what he is fashioning. God does not lie (Num 23:19) but sometimes His promises can take a long time to come to pass.  Joseph had a glorious dream that was not fulfilled until he had spent 17 years in prison. Abraham was promised a son who was born 13 years later and Moses spent 40 years in the wilderness tending sheep before parting the Red Sea.

God is not governed by our puny time frame so wait and wait and never ever let go of any one of His promises!

Have you had to wait a long time for a dream to be fulfilled?

 

 

 

 


The Art of Waiting


I like pregnancies.

They have a definite start and finish.

Within 40 weeks (give or take a week or two) you are guaranteed of an outcome.

Not so when one is applying for a job overseas.

There is the initial contact, the interview and the promise that, ‘We’ll get back to you as soon as possible.”

This is where the art of waiting kicks in.

”We’ll get back to you as soon as possible” offers no timeframe.

You may hear that a decision will be made next week – don’t believe them!

Nobody is in a hurry to give you an answer, nobody understands what it is like for you to put your life on hold until you know that answer.

I have had to wait for many things in my life and most of them have had a deadline: a date that I can circle on a calendar and know that’s the day I find out the answer. 

Right now I want to know whether Bill has got the job in India. 

It has been 21 days since he was interviewed and I need to know whether I should be building up my veggie patch or culling all my possessions. Do I renew my registration or sell my car? Will I be here to catch  that musical or will I have to forfeit my tickets? What about Christmas??

We started our expat life when Bill was offered a job in Indonesia back in 1995. It took the foreign client three months to make up their mind and when they did they wanted Bill there within the week.

For three months we had fantasised about life in Indonesia but all we could say to our family and friends was that we might be moving there. Eventually, I was left behind to pull three children out of school, pack the house and deal with all the stress that involves but living in Indonesia was worth the wait.

Life has a way of teaching us how to wait: we wait our turn, wait in queues, wait in the waiting room, wait for our spouse, wait to be served and wait to find out.

The art of waiting is to keep on living the day to day stuff. Get out of bed, get dressed and get on with the day at hand.