Category Archives: Comfort

Our Great God (A Letter from Heather Abernathy)

Here is a recent letter (dated September 1, 2011) from Heather Abernathy, who is serving as an international worker for the Christian & Missionary Alliance in Phnom Penh, Cambodia.  The testimony is an encouragement to all of us to trust in God and His timing in everything:

Dear friends,

So you know that God has challenged me to be more like George Mueller and not necessarily share when there is a financial need.  You know God has challenged me to walk on the water with Him.  You also know I have been struggling in it, just not sure if I could really not share my financial needs.  One day last week, I was going through my tuk tuk expense calendar and adding everything up.  I discovered that while I have budgeted $100, the actual cost has been closer to $150 each month 😦  I was amazed to see the numbers added up and in print, and wondered how I have been able to keep going.  The numbers just don’t add up; it doesn’t make sense, but each month it has worked.  I knew my money was once again getting low, BUT, I knew the 25th was coming.
See, each month, on the 25th, I get my deposit from the CMA, from all those who partner with me, through them.  Usually, it is that deposit that pays my rent, utilities and internet and then have a little left over to apply toward food, tuk tuk, or phone card.  The 25th was Thursday, but did not get to check my account til Friday night.  In that deposit, I was expecting it to be enough to cover those things needed for the first and low and behold, it was a deposit of under $200.  OK, so I know I did not respond well; it sort of knocked the breathe out of me and I broke into tears and cried myself to sleep that night.  It had already been a REALLY HARD week, and then I open my account to see not even enough to pay rent…I had no clue where the money was going to come from. So from the 26th on, I have been stressing about money.  And yes, I know, in my head, that God promises to provide, but I really struggled!  I mean, how in the world was I going to come up with the money to pay for my three “big” bills?!?  I had gone to visit the school, where the preschool position is, and basically, the job is mine for the taking.  But, as I have prayed through this, I have had no peace at all about accepting, so…Sunday, I sent an e-mail to the principal and told him that I had to decline the job.  It terrified me to do so.  I mean, here I am with rent coming due and not enough in my accounts to cover it.  Monday, Tuesday Wednesday…all days in which I wondered how I was going to pay my rent and utilities today…Thursday.  Actually, had to pay interent on Tuesday and wondered, “Do I pay with my credit card, or with the little bit of cash I have?!?!”.  A friend challenged me to pay it with cash and to keep trusting.  I paid with cash…  Another friend reminded me that God ALWAYS comes through, right on time and never a minute sooner 🙂  Wednesday, I knew it was too late for anyone in the States to even send through paypal for me to get in time to pay rent today, the first.  So, as I am still thinking how in the world is this going to happen, I am thinking of all the things I might possibly be able to do, but have no clue…  Then, I come home from school and my crown (on my tooth) falls out 😦  ugh…just one more thing that I don’t have money for 😦  I told my friend, the one who every day comes into school all peppy asking, “So had God provided yet?!”, that I felt like I was drowning and I just couldn’t seem to reach Jesus’ hand as He was reaching out for me.  Oh my goodness, the last couple of weeks have been hard!
BUT THEN…I get home from running errands with her, and before I left for the dentist, I checked my e-mail…you know where I am going, don’t you?!?!  I had an e-mail from someone offering me a lump sum of money (but not an amount) to help cover my greatest need right at the moment.  Oh, my goodness, did the tears roll.  Even as I write, I am awed at our great Provider!  When I actually received the money, it was more than enough to cover the rent, so I got home from school and paid my rent and utilities and have a bit of money left over!  God truly does work above and beyond anything we can ever imagine!!  He has provided in a way that I NEVER would have thought.  This has been huge for me, and actually huge for my one friend, too.  When I told her, she shared that every day she just wanted to hand me money, but kept sensing God telling her “NO”, it was His job to provide for me, not hers…(ok, so not in those exact words, but still…).
OH, and the dentist…yep, I went and got things taken care of.  Thankful to have one friend to come and watch the girls for me and another to actually go with me…hehe 🙂  Glad she was with me, too, since I was $20 short and she was able to cover me.  Today, I have it to pay her back…God is so great!  It has definitely been a test of my faith…  It has been a challenge to trust Him to provide, but He did provide, right on time and not a minute before 🙂  He promised to meet and supply all our needs…maybe next time I will not stress quite so much 🙂
Serving our Provider,

Heather

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Sunday School Today: What Really Matters To God

In the book of Luke in chapter 15, Jesus heard the complaints of the scribes and the Pharisees when He took the time to speak to and fellowship with the known sinners of the town and the tax collectors. “This man welcomes sinners and eats with them! (v. 2)” In response to their comments, Jesus wanted to make it very clear that, unlike the religious leaders of the day, He does not play favorites over those who follow the Lord and those who do not. The three parables of lost sheep, the lost coin, and the lost son (the prodigal son) show that it is God’s desire is for everyone–every human being that He created–to have a relationship with God through Jesus Christ (1 Timothy 2:3-4). The three parables go beyond expressing God’s love and concern for the lost (those who do not know the Lord Jesus Christ). God not only pursues the lost, but He also desires a loving relationship with believers that have fallen away from Him even though they know the truth. The parable of the prodigal son reflects a young man who was raised with the knowledge of who God was because, when things turned badly for himself, he immediately asked for God’s forgiveness and mercy (Luke 15:18-19). To ask for forgiveness while declaring yourself to be “no longer worthy to be called your son (v. 19)” implies that there was already a place of standing and fellowship within the family. God graciously forgives us once He sees a change of heart and a spirit of remorse when we ask for forgiveness. God is so loving and gracious that He gives us the peace that we seek almost immediately when our heart and mind turns from sin and focuses on Him. Yes, heaven rejoices for the return of the believer who had fallen away. A changed heart for Jesus means that, once again, God can use that individual for the Kingdom of God! That’s a good reason to celebrate, and it is reassuring to know that God loves us so much that He will seek us out until we finally acknowledge His presence.


Importance of prayer in our lives

In Matthew 17:1-13 (also Mark 9:2-13 and Luke 9:28-36) Jesus and the disciples went up on the mountain to pray. At that moment Jesus was transformed before the eyes of the disciples and was accompanied by Moses and Elijah. Jesus had not long before this shared with his disciples that he would soon have to die. The important thing to remember is that, before the transfiguration took place, Jesus made it a point to get away from the crowds and pray. We cannot begin to know how God is working in our life if we are not consistently praying. Even Jesus looked to His heavenly Father for guidance and encouragement. Shouldn’t we do the same?