Works of God

We are thankful that God is always at work causing team members to look more like Jesus. We desire to testify of the grace of God in our lives, and that through the working of Christ in us, you will be encouraged in your relationship with Jesus.

Forget or Remember?

coffeyfambw.jpg Isn’t it easy to forget things? It seems like my brain tends to selectively “forget” things at times. Ella and I have been memorizing Psalm 103 and the phrase in verse 2 “and forget not all his benefits” caught my attention. How quickly do I forget His blessings and kindnesses to me in the midst of failure, questions about the future, trials, and daily life situations?

Aaron and I have five big prayer requests that we have been constantly bringing before the Lord. It is tempting at times to doubt God’s knowledge of each need and desire as we continue to wait for His answer. A few weeks ago, I was listening to a friend recount all the ways that God had blessed their family in the midst of a hard circumstance. As I listened to her confidence in God’s past faithfulness, I was reminded to “remember”. Remembering what God has done in the past gives me greater faith to believe what He will do in the future. Great is His faithfulness!

A few days ago, this passage came across my path: Psalm 105:3-4 Seek the LORD, and his strength: seek his face evermore. Remember his marvellous works that he hath done; his wonders, and the judgments of his mouth;

As I seek God’s face and remember his work on my behalf, I will grow in my trust of His wisdom for my life. He is a good Father who loves me and wants what is best for me. He is always up to something good in my life and I can’t wait to see how He intervenes in our requests for our good and His greatest glory!

-Stephanie Coffey

 

Idolatry - Reba Snyder

worshipidols.jpg  Many times we think of idolatry as bowing down to or worshiping an object. I’ve never really thought of myself as an idol worshipper. Over the last few weeks though, the Lord has shown me I am an idolater and do indeed worship other gods. These idols appear slowly and subtly. I don’t begin my day consciously thinking, “I’m going to worship and pursue something other than God today.” Anything that steals my joy from Jesus is an idol in my life.

  Recently, the idol of comfort has robbed my joy. I began confusing desires in my life with needs and let these desires be something I thought about a lot. I began thinking about ways I could make life on the road a little easier. I began to struggle in my heart with asking the Lord for these desires I had. After all, He said to delight yourself in the Lord and He will give you the desires of your heart. God wants us to ask Him for things, right? This is truth, and God does want to answer our prayers and give good things to us, however, in my life God wanted to reveal my sin of idolatry. 

  One morning, I was praying for our upcoming meetings that the Lord would fill the people’s hearts with Jesus. As I was praying these words, the Holy Spirit immediately convicted me of the hypocrisy of my own heart being filled with Jesus. I knew I had allowed these desires to have a wrong place in my heart. I knew God wanted me to give up everything to follow Him. If I loved Jesus as I ought, giving Him my life wouldn’t be a difficult task. If I loved Jesus as I ought, I would joyfully give Him everything because of my abundant love for Him.  I knew this was not where I was at in my heart. God showed me my wickedness in allowing my desires to steal my joy and affection. He is teaching me each day that nothing is more important than the gospel. I must strive each day to let Christ own my affections.

  -Reba Snyder

   

Raising Up Parents - Aaron Coffey

aaronella.jpg   Psalm 127:3 says, “Lo, children are an heritage of the Lord: and the fruit of the womb in his reward.”

   One of the biggest breakings going on in my life right now is over my daughter Ella. She is full of life, full of personality and fills our little family with so much fun. In the midst of it all, however, I can’t explain how deficient I feel in trying to properly train and raise my daughter. Our lives are so exposed and everyone sees so much of our parenting. We find ourselves constantly second guessing our decisions or anxious about how we are going to handle this situation or that. We are being tempted to make choices based on the fear of people and what they think of our children and our parenting. What this has all produced in Stephanie and me is a renewed dependence on our Heavenly Father. WE NEED HELP! We don’t know how to be good parents. We don’t know the perfect choice in every given situation. We don’t always know when to come down heavy or when to show mercy. We need God! We need God to raise our children through us. He actually loves Ella more than I do, and He is actually concerned for her soul more than I am. He actually knows the perfect blend of justice and mercy. He’s the only one who can help my little Ella. She doesn’t need me to fix her, she needs Jesus to fix her. Our prayer is a continual plea for mercy. Mercy for Ella’s soul (and Asher’s). Mercy for Ella’s future. Mercy for me that I can show my daughter the love of Jesus. Mercy for me and Steph that we will be God dependent parents instead of control-freaks who force our children into conformity without ever shepherding their hearts to love Jesus. It has been so comforting to see Ella’s spirit changing just in the last few months as we continue to work with her. But what is more encouraging is the way that my spirit is changing through all of this. Because God isn’t just helping us raise Ella - He’s still raising me!

 

-Aaron Coffey

 

Thoughts on Speech - Elise Lafferty

covermouth.jpg I have a speech problem, and I am not talking about a speech impediment.

If you are anything like me, you struggle with your tongue. It gets me into so much trouble! And for the life of me, I can’t seem to control it. I am always quick to make a snide remark, or tear someone down. As God convicts me over my sin, I try so hard to control my tongue, however, its not just about saying the wrong things, but about saying the right things. This is so hard!

Over the past week, I’ve been studying Ephesians. Chapters 4-5 discuss our Christian walk, and they mention the tongue often. This passage has given me guidance in my struggle. The culmination for me was in Ephesians 5:1-2 “Be ye therefore followers of God, as dear children; and walk in love,” My speech will correct itself as I pursue God, and walk in His love. This means that I no longer have to worry about saying the right thing at the right time, I just have to focus on my relationship with my Father.

 

-Elise Lafferty

   

The Idol of Self - Jared Mitchell

jared_cola_war.jpg When I started traveling with the Galkin team in September, I had no idea what God was planning on teaching me this year. Before I came on the team I knew I would be in an intense spiritual atmosphere and have incredible opportunities to minister to people with the gospel. In many ways I felt I was spiritual enough for the challenge. I soon found out that the Lord wanted to break me and show me how much I wasn’t spiritual so that my eyes would be off myself and on Jesus. I realized how much I needed God to change me.

Over and over the Lord has been breaking me over the idol of myself. Idolatry shows itself in my life in different areas: the fear of man, lack of discernment, lack of brotherly love, and many other ways. While traveling, the Lord has graciously humbled me by allowing me to stumble in each of these areas numerous times. I’ve realized how much I worship the “Jared idol” and how much I desperately need God to change me.

A few weeks ago I was talking with one of the team members about an area in which the Lord was chastening me. My friend looked at me and said, “Jared, you need to embrace what God is doing in your life and ask Him to keep doing the same thing over and over so you will change!” My prayer is that I would dare not run from the Lord when He is refining me, but run to Him and seek for Him to change me.

-Jared Mitchell

 

Fear of man - Stephen

micpeople.jpg  

   This semester has already felt more intense than all of last semester. Don't ask me why, maybe just being on the east coast does something to your blood. Tighter spaces, less sky, sulfur water, and the winter weather all seem to play a small role. Our time here in southern Florida has been fast, but God has already done so much, not only in the churches that we have been in but also in my own heart. The team has been going through a book for team devotions on the topic of fear. From the first page to last chapter that I read this book has been an honest description of how I live the majority of life. Walking around thinking fearful thoughts, feeling fearful, and then speaking fearful words. This could make it sound like I'm living timidly, sure sometimes I'm not too confident and I do get nervous when I have to play music in front of people, but for me living in fear comes out in my life when I turn flippant and speak carelessly. It is easy for me to speak quick and sarcastically with my friends when I'm choosing fear over perfect love, or just choosing little effort in case of failure. One point from the book that has stuck with me is the idea that whatever you are fearing has control over you. To hear that is a bit scary for me. I don't like the idea that I would put myself in the place of letting something control me. Lately it has been difficult for me to know exactly how to conquer this sin when so much of my life is filled with it. One thought that I have had recently is that if I actually fear the Lord I can be controlled by him, instead of my fears. It is an encouraging thing when a phrase used so many times in the Bible is brought to a place of greater understanding. I still have much fear in my life, but through God's grace I don't have to be controlled by my fears if I choose to love and fear the Lord.

 

-Stephen Pettit

   

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