Captive Thoughts

 

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Have you ever tried to change the position in which you sleep…after fifty years?

I am in the process of transitioning from “stomach sleeper” to “back sleeper.” Why? The way that I have been sleeping—spending over 35% of my life, has created pain in my body. This physical posture has caught up with me, and I need to make a change.

This transition reminds me of the mental and emotional challenge of “taking every thought captive to the obedience of Christ.” [2 Cor 10:5] I’d first read this verse shortly after I joined my women’s Bible study in 1996. But, I could not comprehend what it “looked like.” Friends would say, “focus on what is true … noble … right … pure … lovely … admirable—“ (Phil 4:8) This clearly required action from me. No one else was responsible for how my mind processed situations, entertained thoughts, or how I responded. And, these habits began at birth. I needed this change, but the instructions seemed vague to me. Continue reading

Passing the Canary Test– Lavender

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Ever hear the phrase, “The Canary in the Mine,” and wondered what it meant?

Before technology allowed for proper ventilation and created sensors to detect harmful levels of toxic gas in coal mines, miners would depend on a canary. Yes, a bird.

A canary is sensitive to carbon monoxide and methane gas. If the canary died, this signaled imminent danger for the miners. They would vacate the mine immediately.

People with chemical sensitivities are the canary for the rest of the world regarding household and hygiene products, artificial fragrances, make-up, foods, and more. Our bodies can’t process artificial stuff, and it causes a back-up in the liver, our whole detoxification system, making us very sick. This has recently been connected to a genetic mutation in PONS1 and MTHFR, causing us to become Non-methylators.

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Catch the Little Foxes

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Resist the devil and he will flee. [James 4:7]

Many Christians can easily spot when the devil presents a trap that we need to flee while clinging to the power of Christ to overcome.

A seductive scene on TV, a party where alcohol flows as you battle addictions, your favorite dessert passes in front of you at a dinner party when you want to lose some pounds, or an alluring comment from the opposite sex just when your ego needs a boost.

If we are spiritually aware, we can almost see a little red man sticking his pitch-fork across our path trying to make us stumble into sin, which eventually leads to despair.

But there are more subtle tactics that the enemy uses to steal your joy, peace and hope. These are the little foxes that sneak into our lives, running under the radar, yet wrecking havoc on our lives. [Song 2:15]

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From Comfort Zone to EXTRAVAGANT FAVOR

The milky way showed off amid the darkness of the Mozambique sky. Drums pulsed from the hillside across the street from the Stauber’s house. Witchdoctors from across Africa gather in the Gaza Providence to harness powers from the Indian Ocean. The spiritual battle the Stauber’s face in Xai-Xai [shy-shy] rose up in the night as we gazed into the sky.

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Xai Xai Ocean Front

Four of us had driven from Swaziland to visit Pastor Mel and Diane Stauber and their two children for Easter. We learned that when Mel first traveled to Xai-Xai for Celebration Church, he had no intention of moving his family from Austin, Texas to a third world country. He’d simply went there to facilitate a church plant and set up Children’s CupCarePoints to feed and educate children, while seeking a pastor who speaks Portuguese. Instead, he faced a crisis of faith. Before moving his family to Africa in June 2010, Mel found contentment going for missions, yet living in the States. Diane had recently purchased a hair salon with a friend, and her clientele kept her busy. Their children, Rachel and Matthew, attended some of the finest schools in America. Life was good, but Diane could see that her husband left pieces of his heart behind each time he returned from Africa.
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7 Things to Fast for More of God

Search me, O God, and know my heart! Try me and know my anxious thoughts! And see if there be any offensive way in me, and lead me in your way everlasting. Ps 139:23-24

DSCN0948David cried this out to God, knowing the trap of sin and guilt from his past choices. By God’s own account, David chased after His heart through notable victories, yet he also experienced the misery of defeat when following his own. And, even still, he knew where to turn when he found himself in the depths of despair. Continue reading

Finding Gcinile in “Africa”

Gcinile's gogo's homestead

Gcinile’s gogo’s homestead

“I have been sponsoring a child in Africa for years. I still sponsor her … through Mission of Mercy. Is that now Children’s Cup? Her name is Gcinile N__. See if you can find her.”—This message came via text message from my friend, Patty, back in America. She’d just gone through some papers and found the most recent picture of Gcinile, and had that “ah ha” moment.

Swaziland, Africa had been my temporary home for a month at that point. I’d traveled there for Children’s Cup [CC] to serve for a few months. God had opened a way for me to experience the work that Children’s Cup is doing for the vulnerable and oppressed children in a land overwhelmed by HIV/AIDS orphans and poverty. It was at this perfect time that Patty made this connection. Continue reading

Rachel’s Hope

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Tongogara Refuge Camp–Clothing Distribution in Zimbabwe

By Jennifer L Griffith

Rachel looked down into a valley from her sister’s house. Living on a hillside in Zimbabwe, she could see the Tongogara Refuge Camp about a mile away. The Mozambicans sought a safe haven as civil war raged through their own country. But at age eleven, Rachel fought a war of her own. She’d left her father’s home of neglect only to find herself in another. Her older sister promised to take care of her and let her attend school. Instead, Rachel was secluded, hungry, and responsible for keeping the baboons out of their food. The camp had captured Rachel’s curiosity, but her sister forbade her to go because it was for Mozambicans. Not people of her own. Continue reading

Millie’s Walk Through Cambodia

B&W Cambodia children

First posted on Inspire a Fire Mar 29, 2012. Update follows…

The thought of going to Cambodia had never crossed Millie Carson’s mind. While seeking God’s will for her life in January 2011, a friend suggested that she go to this third world kingdom in Southeast Asia for a few months. Millie had recently finished several semesters of Calvary Chapel Bible College in her homeland of York, United Kingdom, and also in California in the USA. Being more inclined toward traveling, mountains, cowboys, rodeos, snowboarding, a great cup of coffee, and forests, the thought of going to the jungles of Cambodia made her laugh. Yet Millie remained open to God’s purpose on her life. She promised her friend that she would pray about it. Continue reading

Captain Harry’s Daily Bread

By Jennifer L Griffith

Captain-Arie-193x300The first time I’d heard the name Arie Dirk Bestebreurtje, JD came from his beloved sister, Hendrika “Hennie” Cantwell, MD. I’d met Hennie and her husband Bill while on a ski vacation in 1998. After I moved to Teton Valley two years later, the Cantwells became cherished friends and my surrogate parents. During one of my numerous stays with them, Hennie shared coffee, something sweet, and stories of her brother, who ironically died doing something he loved—ice skating.

The irony of how “Captain Harry” died comes from how he lived. Especially during his time in World War II. During the war he served multiple allied governments as a Dutchman. Through the Office of Strategic Services (OSS), Arie was assigned to the American command unit called the 82nd Airborne in Operation Market Garden. Under British Command he was part of the Special Operations Executive (SOE) for the Special Forces Head  Quarters. And he received orders from Prince Bernhard and Dutch Intelligence where he served as “Captain Harry.” Arie’s importance to the Allied Forces cannot be overstated, and by the end of the war, Arie had received eighteen international decorations—second only to General Dwight D Eisenhower. This meant he took risks and saved many lives. Continue reading