Molding a lump of clay

Molding a lump of clay
I am a work in progress, molded by my Maker, refined by His fire, shaped with His love. Walk the journey with me.

Saturday, January 30, 2010

God or the world? Choosing integrity over compromise

Last year God started calling me more and more into YWAM Communications, much to my delight as writing is one of my favorite things.

But this new calling came with a warning...I strongly felt God saying, "No compromises, no must be blameless in all areas of communication and have the highest integrity."

And then the Holy Spirit started convicting me of the areas where I HAD taken short-cuts, or compromised....

the pirated DVDs we bought here in Arua (you can't buy original dvds here so I convinced myself this was acceptable)

the free copy of Adobe Photoshop someone had downloaded onto my computer (my other free copy of Photoshop that I had received legitimately through YWAM as a communicator had seized up and I couldn't get it to work anymore, so again, I convinced myself that this other one was just a replacement)

the movies on my computer copied from a friends.

God said something like, "I don't care if that's all that's available, I don't care if it's easier and cheaper, I don't care how you justify it...don't go there."

And I knew in that deep place where you JUST KNOW that my integrity in this area would have a direct effect on my impact in communications. Someone said, "You can't take any ground from the enemy if the enemy has ground in you."

So I determined that I would not give the enemy any ground. I deleted everything on my computer that I hadn't paid for or been given legitimately. I threw away my pirated dvds. I said, 'No thanks' to the offer of someone to give me many copies of different movies and nature dvds.

I told God I'd rather be without all of those things and be close to Him, than to have those useless things of the world and forfeit my walk with Christ.

Since then I've come up against the temptation over and over and over, and most of it's been from other Christians. I'm surprised at how many Christians think it's ok to copy programs, music, movies, etc from friends. My challenge in it all is I don't have a good handle on the legal side of it all...when IS it ok, and when is it definitely NOT?

So just recently I faced this dilemma again...I started a Beth Moore bible study with a friend, having brought back the workbooks with me from the States last year. Quickly we realized that this particular study was very session-led...meaning we really needed at least the audio cds to be able to get the most out of the study.

It just so happens that another friend had done the study last year and had the audio cds downloaded from iTunes on her computer. She offered to copy them to cd, lend them to us, and then we give them back. It sounded ok...after all, there's no rule against borrowing movies or music from friends and returning them, as long as you don't copy least that's what we all thought.

But I had no peace about it. And the first week of the study, Beth Moore was talking about integrity, and how critical it is, and it reminded me of this whole issue and I thought, "I HAVE to know whether it's ok to borrow those cds, because if not, I'm gonna have problems."

I searched on-line, I asked people I thought might know...everyone said the same thing: as long as you don't copy them, it should be fine to just borrow, listen and return.

But I still didn't have peace.

I finally emailed LifeWay (who produce Beth Moore's books and studies) and asked them about it. They said, "unfortunately, the cds are meant for individual use."

So, there you have it. It may sound too strict, it may sound controlling, but that's what they said.

I am now in the process of trying to download the study sessions with a PAINFULLY slow internet connection (it took me six hours to get one session yesterday). But I'd rather be patient now and do it right, then take that tempting short-cut and seriously regret it later.

God knows why He puts limits on us and boundaries around us...we may not all have the same limits and boundaries, but if we know what ours are, we better stick to them.

I want to be holy because God is holy, and I believe He enables us to walk in righteousness even if the road is narrow and seriously bushy because few others pass that way. But I'd rather get my arms and face scratched up pushing my way through the overgrowth, then be swept along with the masses on the highway of compromise.

I'm not trying to exalt myself here...I know the wickedness of my heart. I'm just sharing my particular challenge of following Jesus, and hoping to encourage any of you in a similar position. If you feel you are alone in your convictions, know that there's at least One other with you, and He is worth it.

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Devotions with Aidan

What a blessing technology can be!

I'm home with Aidan, both of us still recovering from sickness (I slept through the night for the first time in 3 weeks last night...yay!!). John's taken Noah and Kezi to church.

Since we're missing church, I was thinking of what kind of devotions I could do with Aidan, and then I remembered the audio Bible cds our Care Group from Foothills Community Church sent us for Christmas. They also sent a portable DVD player which also plays cds.

So now we're sitting here, a light rain falling outside, comfy and cozy in our living room, listening to the Word of God through this Little Kids Adventure audio Bible on the dvd player. What a blessing to still be fed by the Word, even when we're home sick.

Thanks again, care group friends! We appreciate you so much!

Saturday, January 23, 2010

A light at the top of the pit

Had a lot of time over the last couple of weeks to think about my sickness, other people’s sicknesses, where is God when it hurts…that kind of thing.

It’s funny in an ironic-kind of way that just when I feel God is speaking to me about doing this hospital ministry and being a vessel of healing and hope for these people in the TB ward, I get sick. And not just kind of sick, but really sick. I’m talking about coughing so hard that I vomit, and being so weak that I can hardly walk across the room. I know there are a lot worse illnesses, but I felt pretty beat up. Not exactly the kind of vessel of healing and hope that I had in mind.

But that’s just it, isn’t it. We often have in mind some kind of glorified role where we swoop in to save the day (or maybe I’m alone in these kinds of daydreams). God speaks about some new ministry opportunity, and in my head it’s all healings and salvations and the world coming to Christ. And I do believe those things are there, but most of it is a lot messier than that.

In fact, most of the mess is the one God chooses to use…in this case, me.

I just listened to an amazing sermon by Graham Cooke who was talking about wounded people used by God. He made an interesting point about being in a pit…and if you read the previous blog post you’ll see I identified myself as being in a pit of sickness.

Graham said, “Pit stands for ‘people in transformation’, and although it’s distressing to be there, that very pit becomes a well as the Holy Spirit fills you with the Truth of God.”

Graham went on to talk about the process God takes us through in terms of transformation, and how those pits and hard times can be used by God to work out the junk in us if we will respond to the situation like Jesus did. When faced with the biggest sacrifice of His ministry, the sacrifice of His own life, Jesus asked if the cup could be taken from Him, but if not, He said, let Your name be glorified.

And that, says Graham, is where many of us get it wrong. In the distress, we cry out for rescue…”God, get me out of this pit!” But what we should be saying is, “Father, let your name be glorified.” When the work is done, God will deliver us.

Graham said, “God doesn’t measure time; He measures growth.” I can stay in that pit for a long time moaning and whining and throwing lots of pity parties, or I can submit to God’s work in my life and say, “Let your will be done, Lord.” And perhaps my stay in that tough place will be shortened because God will be able to work out all the hindrances in me that stop me from being used by Him.

He has to train us up to do what He wants us to do. And that training is hard work and can be very painful.

So is God at work in this pit of sickness? Is He training me up for something, like this hospital ministry?

Honestly, I would have to say, “Yes.” I never wanted to do the hospital ministry. I’m the last person who wants to be around sick people. I can barely care for my own family when they’re sick.

And yet here I am sick, my husband gets malaria, my son gets malaria AND my cough…God speaks to me about healing and hope in the hospital, and the next thing I know I’m surrounded by sickness.

But interestingly, I find myself thinking about how horrible I feel, and then thinking about these people in the TB ward, much sicker than me, with no one to bring them meals, no comfy room to rest in, no money to buy helpful medicines. And I just started praying for them. And I felt God gave me a little peek into their world…just a little one, but enough to see that these people really do need prayer and hope and compassion and the love of God.

And it changed my heart about the hospital ministry.

And I guess that was what God was doing…working out the junk in me so He could use me to demonstrate His love to these people.

I’m not 100% there, yet. It’s a process. But I don’t want to miss what God’s doing in my life, even when it’s scary. I don’t want to sit here whining and moaning when I should be saying, “Father, be glorified in my life.” I want to be used by God, I want Him to work out His will in my life.

Even if it means coughing so hard I retch, He is worthy.

Friday, January 15, 2010

Hate to admit it, but I'm in a pit

Thank God for books that come just at the right time.

Our women's Bible study has just started Beth Moore's "Get Out of that Pit." Unfortunately I missed the first session 'cuz I'm still sick (after about 3 weeks). A kind friend sent home a copy for me and last night, between bouts of coughing, I read the first 3 chapters.

It struck me when she said: "You know you're in a pit when...

1. You feel stuck.
Yep...stuck in this pit of sickness, that's for sure.

2. You can't stand up.
Literally...I've been so wracked from the coughing even moving around's been a problem.

3. You've lost vision.
It's hard to stay focused on the goal when all I can see is my own agony.

Each of those descriptions has various levels to it, physical, spiritual, emotional, but the bottom line've reached a point where you've lost the joy and you're not fighting the good fight anymore. That's pretty much where I am right now. I'm tired. I'm sick of being sick. I'm tired of not having any energy to play with my kids. I'm starting to question the value of what I do.

Now my husband's sick with malaria. My daughter's just come crying that she has an ear ache. We're a house full of sickies. This is not fun.'s definitely a pit.

And Beth reminds us that satan loves to dig and camouflage pits right in front of us so we get tangled up, ineffective, self-pitying and unable to stand against him.

Well, this mama's not gonna let that pit become my home. I want the fire back, the vision, the joy of the Lord.

Pray for me (us!) as we walk through yet another trial. Let God be glorified in this, because He alone, the Lamb that was slain, is worthy.

Saturday, January 9, 2010

Belated Christmas pics

I know, it's nearly the middle of January, but I seem to be lagging behind already this year. I'm not sure how to catch up...but I'm hoping it happens soon. Maybe getting this post up will finish off last year for me and enable me to get back into the present.

So here goes....

<-- Our Christmas tree was quite large and wild this year, but the kids had fun decorating it and we enjoyed watching the lights twinkle at night for the few minutes we had before the solar system started beeping annoyingly at us.

Thanks to Christy and the care group
from Foothills Community Church,
the boys had new shirts to wear... -->

<-- ...and Kezi had a new dress! Rachel and Faidha also had new dresses (I don't think Kezi could have pulled off that lime green like they did!)

In proper British style,
we pulled crackers before dinner.
The kids needed some help
getting their arms in position. -->

<-- Guests Osobi, Fatu and John enjoyed wearing their crowns and playing with the toys inside the crackers...

...although John needed a little help
with his crown. -->

<-- The manly men carved up the turkey (bought from the Social Welfare Officer at the main men's prison in town).

And then it was time for the
big people to pull their crackers.
Munduru and Betty couldn't stop laughing. -->

<-- It was a wonderful time of fellowship
and friends as we celebrated our King's

After the meal
we attempted to work it off
with a bit of Wii hula hooping...
Betty was absolutely hilarious! -->

<-- Katie and Jeff took the exercise up a level
with Wii boxing and some snow boarding.

After all the fun and games, we pretty much collapsed. Even our hound Toffee
was worn out.

Now I really understand the term
'dog-tired'. -->

Friday, January 1, 2010

Our new house on the YWAM base!!

How many people does it take to move the Wright family from their rental house in town to their newly built house on the YWAM base?


Starting to load the Wright truck

Benjamin and Adam take apart shelves

William, Bosco and Mario load up the Diguna lorry

Maria sweeps the bedroom

Eric is ready...the lorry is full

Jeff opens the gate for the lorry to set out from the Wrights' rental house

Yolam and team follow the lorry to the YWAM base

The Wright family leaves their rental property for the last time

The Diguna lorry enters the YWAM compound

The lorry and the Wrights drive through the YWAM base to the farthest corner where the new house is waiting

'thar she blows!'

Most of the team that helped with the move in many different ways

Even putting in the lightbulbs was a team effort!

The ladies did an awesome job cleaning the new house so all we had to do was unpack and move in!

The little ladies cheered us on from the sidelines and did a great job staying out of the way

Now, a couple weeks later, here's what the inside looks like, starting with the view from the kitchen towards the dining room and front doors,

looking from the sitting room through the dining room towards the kitchen,

looking towards the dining room from the sitting room

Kezi, Noah and friends in the sitting room playing with play-do,

Looking into the sitting room from the back door with John's study in background

The kids' bathroom

Aidan's first night in his OWN room

Noah and Kezi's first night in their new room

Kezi and Noah's room by day

Vikki's favorite room in the whole house...her study!

It was a lot of work, but we did it!!!

Many thanks to all who pitched in and made the move
fun, quick and somewhat 'easy'.

We couldn't have done it without you guys!

Aidan's 8th Birthday

Aidan wanted a Star Wars theme for his 8th birthday, so we came up with this R2D2 cake...

Friends from Aidan's school, the YWAM base and the expat community helped Aidan celebrate his special day.

They loved the 'trick' candles that keep relighting
themselves, and joined in to help Aidan
blow them out once and for all.

Following tradition, the guys hefted Aidan up high in the air 8 times, and then his daddy prayed a prayer of blessing over him. It was a great day.

Happy Birthday, Aidan bo-baidan. We love you!