Tuesday, September 1, 2009


This morning as i sat down for my never quiet "quiet time", i cried out to the Lord to speak to me regarding my emptiness. Yes, i know you may find it shocking but for me, I ever so often experience times when I just feel empty; like every last drop of Jesus has been sucked out of me and i feel like giving up (note the number of times feel comes up). It is like when i am sharing a soda with the kids and they will not stop until every last dropperful is gone. "No mom there is still more!"

Papa being the every faithful father heard my cry and though his word again reminding me of the truth. Feelings are deceitful but His word is always right. So as is my habit i picked up my bible to continue in my chapter a day study finding myself in Luke chapter 17. Verses 7-10 are as follows:

"Suppose one of you had a servant plowing or looking after the sheep. Would he say to the servant when he comes in from the field, 'Come along now and sit down to eat'? Would he not rather say, 'Prepare my supper, get yourself ready and wait on me while I eat and drink; after that you may eat and drink'? Would he thank the servant because he did what he was told to do? So you also, when you have done everything you were told to do, should say, 'We are unworthy servants; we have only done our duty.' "

All to often i feel empty because i am looking to man for appreciation only to find disappointment. But as Luke states giving, serving, loving, forgiving, being poured out is just my duty. It is what the Lord has called me to do as a christian and a follower of Him. In an easy to read version of the bible the last sentence reads "We are not worthy of any special thanks. We have only done the work we should do." Ouch! I don't know about you but i do not like hearing that. But whether or not it "feels" good i know the bible speaks only truth.

One of the only areas of my life that this seemed natural is in relation to is mothering. Mothering is NOT an easy task or does it ever seem appreciated by the kids. They ever want more - more time, more grace, more food, more cartoons etc but as much as they suck everything out of me i never once consider not being their mother. The idea has never entered my mind to not feed them, not read to them, not teach them, not clothe them....those things are my given duty as their mother. So why is it so difficult to joyfully fulfill my duties as Christan without looking for special thanks?

Needless to say it reminds me of how truly wicked i am and totally incapable i am of pleasing him on my own. i don't know where you are today but if you are tired of being poured out, whether at the work place, at home, among friends, in ministry, in marriage, wherever you may find yourself let me remind you that as Christians it is merely our duty to be loving, forgiving, humble, kind, long suffering, patient, to stand for truth, to be bold, be above reproach ..... to be salt and light. And NO you cant do it, not alone...cry out to Him to fill you again with the Helper, to bring to remembrance the joy of your salvation, to help your unbelief, that we maybe workers in the harvest pleasing unto him. It will all be worth it when we finally standing in our masters very presence hear the words "Well done, good and faithful servant!".

Friday, July 24, 2009

Too Close

Since mom's return a few weeks ago we have again started our weekly bible study with the "Ladies" (Susan from Kenya, our worker, and Kelen a Ugandan neighbor). We decided to go deeper with the ladies and begin a discipline of a daily bible reading of a chapter a day with ONE application that the Lord puts on your heart. This is a real stretch for the ladies but are very excited to see how the Lord will work. We began in the book of Mark. You begin by praying then read the chapter, then read it again and mark it and then pray for God to show you one thing (the Navigators program). Often the hard part for me is narrowing down the rebuke and correction to just one things.

It has been really amazing how God is using the unusual portions of scripture to speak truth to me. Having a good bit of familiarity with the gospels I have been so blessed to see the deep truths in the small phrases. The Bible is truly living and applicable to EVERY situation of our lives.

Anyhow... one of the things the Lord really impressed on my heart was the passage in Mark 3:2 which says "And they [being the Pharisees] watched them closely whether he would heal him [man with a withered hand] on the Sabbath, so that they might accuse him." So here the religious are carefully watching to see what Jesus is going to do but the really important part is WHY! There are so many that are watching us a Christians whether they are Christians or not to see what we are going to do. They examine our lives, our families, our marriages and even more so here where you can can't help but be under the microscope. The interesting part to me was the motivation behind the examination. The were not looking at him to learn or even to consider him with and open mind but only to find a point to accuse him.

This has really been a point of struggle for me lately. I find myself constantly looking even examining the lives of those around me whether family, friends, fellow missionaries, or even our workers. But what is MY motive? That is where I all too quickly find myself in the shoes of the Pharisees. It is not to encourage or lift up but to criticize. It is believing the worst and looking to see it confirmed instead of believing and hoping in the best. How quickly I become so self-righteous and forget the way of Jesus is love. The motivation is EVERYTHING. Please pray for me as I seek the Lord to change my criticism to compassion, my examining to exalting, and my judging to rejoicing.

So my question to you is what is God saying to you? What area of your life is God wanting to correct? What personality trait is He wanting to speak to you about? Let me encourage you get in the word and listen. He so desires to speak to you. Just one chapter a day. Pray and listen for just ONE thing that he would have you hear.

"Come and hear, all you who fear God, And I will declare what He has done for my soul" Psalm 66:16

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

The Love Dare

I just finished reading the book Fireproof and watching the associated movie (the latest production from Kendrick brothers of Facing the Giants). If you have not seen it then i would highly recommend them both more so the book (books are always better than the movie).

The gist of the story is about a marriage that is heading for divorce and in an attempt to help his son and daughter-in-law reconcile the husbands father gives him a book called the Love Dare. (There is an actual book published called the Love Dare from the movie producers). Anywho the book is a 40 day challenge to show your spouse love. Day 1 begins with the challenge to not saying anything unkind (if you don't have something nice to say, say nothing at all) and each day continues with another task to show love. I wont spoil the ending for you just in case you have not seen it.

The really neat part is that it got me thinking about how much love do i show my husband. It just seems that those we love the most and are privy to our real self are also those we mistreat the most. I so easily take for granted the awesome man of God that my heavenly Father created me for. We are selfish my nature and often begin just focusing on what our spouse is not doing instead of focusing on serving them. Often times our desire to serve one another is based on how we feel and whether or not they deserve it. The reality is that none of us deserve love, none of us are worthy enough or righteousness enough... love is a gift given by an act of the will by our heavenly father as shown through the cross.

One of my favorite lines of the movie is that we can not let our hearts lead us but we need to lead our hearts. I have decided to take up my own love dare. I am not privy to run out to Barnes and Nobles and purchase the real book or hop online and have it sent to my house (which kinda bummed me out)... but then God spoke to my heart and said "clea, you don't need some book to figure out how to show love to those you claim to love, just sit down with me." So that is my plan to have a brain storm session with the one who IS love and come up with ways to show both isaac and my mom love.

I know for some of you more romantic types it may seem too structured but the thing that i have found in my very few years of marriage is that love really is more a thing of the will then the heart so having a plan is not a bad thing. it takes some work to actually put your love into action at least for this overly logically, highly selfish, engineer and mother of 4.

My prayer is that today you also would take a moment to show those you care for the most your love for them by your works... and i double dog dare you to make your own love dare...

James 2:22 "You see that his faith (love) and his actions were working together, and his faith (love) was made complete by what he did." (refocus my me)

Wednesday, June 17, 2009


So Isaac is out on a 10 day outreach with the School of Ministry and since the computer is free and the kids are asleep i figured would blog (i know it has been too long -- you must forgive).

Anywho i had to just sit down and right about what happened with Nemo tonight. This afternoon we went over to some friends for a birthday party and one of the child's gifts was the new movie (not sure if new but i had never even heard of it -- i know that does not mean much) called Bolt. I thought the two older boys would be way blessed to see a new cartoon movie so even though it was getting late i arranged for the boys to be dropped off at the house later once the movie was over and i walked home with the two young ones to start dinner.

All seemed to be well, i got dinner ready and did some of the prep for the bed time routine. The boys were dropped off and we sat down for dinner when i noticed that Nemo seemed kinda aloof. I asked him if he was tired figuring that must be the explanation of the attitude. Much to my surprise he almost started crying and began saying how he should not have watched that movie and it was scary and he was going to have bad dreams.

Ok so granted i probably should have screened the movie but it was Walt Disney and we were at another missionaries house so i figured it could not be all that bad. Hindsight is 20/20 and i should have known better epically given Nemo's very sensitive nature and his struggles of late with scary dreams.

So that is all the back ground but the really cool part is how God arranges these "discipleship moments" in our lives. Isaac may have his SOM disciples but God has entrusted me with four precious souls that He desires to be trained and equipped and it is my job (by this grace of course) to do it.

So over dinner we talked about what was it that scared him and what was going on in the movie. We talked about how in those scary moments God provides an escape or how sometimes what appears to be a bad situation God uses for good and how it is often in those moments of trouble that you seek God. I could tell he was listening but still emotionally upset. I explained to him about how God does not remove all the scary times or the times of trouble but helps us to trust in him through them to which Nemo responds "Yeah like how Paul was thrown in prison. God could have kept him out of prison and didn't but God was with him."

We continued with our bedtime routine and Nemo asked me to pray that he would not have scary dreams so we did. When we finished Lulu's and Yahoo's bible story on David Nemo asked "Mom if David had all these guys and Saul had all these guys why did David not just fight Saul and become king?" Once again i was able to pour such truth into his heart about how God is the one who raises up kings and David knew that God alone should take them down and about how during Davids running from King Saul God was teaching him lessons that would make David to be a king that God wanted. The idea again of God using our trials to refine us for His purposes.

By the time we had finished the bible stories and praying i could sense Nemo was still upset so i decided to put the other three kids in bed and spend a little bit of one on one time with my first born. I really felt that God was giving him another opportunity to grow in the area of his emotions and i told him that. I explained how in our physical lives we don't always get to choose what happens to us but we do get to choose what we think about (hold every thought captive, think on whatever is lovely). I got out a cup and filled it half full with water and asked him the age old question "Is it half empty or half full?" to which he responded, "both". "Your right, it depends on the way you look at it." And how true. Are we focused on the blessings in our lives or are we looking and longing for more? Are we recognizing the God moments, the answered prayers, the angels around us or just the disappointments, frustrations, and discouragements?

By the end of our conversation, the light countenance and smile returned to his face and we held hands as we walked down the hall to the bedroom. I tucked my not so little boy in bed, kissed his forehead and told him that i loved him. As i turned and quietly closed the door i could not help but be overcome with thanksgiving to my God for those four blessings in my life.

Moms out there, let me encourage you, don't let those discipleship moments pass you by. Take the time. Be filled that you may have the words, the examples to pour into them. There is truly no greater joy or calling.

1 Timothy 4:8 "For physical training is of some value, but godliness has value for all things, holding promise for both the present life and the life to come."

Friday, April 24, 2009


Most of you know but in case you don’t the ministry that the Lord has called us too is that of discipleship here in Uganda, Africa. I somewhat include myself but really it is Isaac’s ministry (my discipleship consists mainly to the 4 kidos He has given us but they go with us no matter where we are located). This is a difficult situation for me to be in especially given my bulldog personality that just wants to “fix” the situation. Ok on with the story.

We have just finished the first term at the School of Ministry. It has been a busy time. Isaac is usually at the church 5-6 days a week and then most of the time remaining is spent studying and preparing for classes. Needless to say he really gives 110% to the ministry for which I am very proud of him. The hard part for me comes when I don’t see that type of return commitment from those who he is investing in. I think it is like when a child is sick, it is hard to watch them suffer you wish you could just make it stop. That is the way I feel often but Isaac is not my child but my husband.

So in many ways I have allowed the reality of the results for this term get me down. It is like a roller coaster. You have glimpses that the students are really getting it but then just a few days later you find yourself just shaking your head in disbelief. I struggle with bitterness since the man I love has given up everything and puts his whole heart into the ministry which is seemly taken for granted. Isaac on the other hand continues steadfast in his commitment to the Lord it as unto Him and Him ALONE.

Ok so that is all the ME part of the story ….. Now for God. He of course know my every expectation and is not mad at me when I get disappointed but like always when he speaks it changes EVERYTHING! All he did was remind me that I see things dimly while he sees it all. From my perspective I can not believe that these students don’t seem to be getting it. That they are not meeting my expectation of what their lives should look like. But for me I only see a glimpse where God has known them from their creation. He says to me, “But clea, if you only knew where they have come from.”

For those of you who are in ministry (whatever type it may be) and are not seeing the results you would like myself included, remember, not to become so focused on where they are NOT that you loose site of where they have come from.

Philippians 1:6 “being confident of this very thing, that He who has begun a good work in you [and them as well] will complete it until the day of Jesus Christ”

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Mountain moving Faith

Romans 4:20-21 "He staggered not at the promise of God through unbelief; but was strong in faith, giving glory to God; And being fully persuaded that, what he had promised, he was able also to perform."

This verse speaks of Abraham. Most of us know the story ... Abe and his wife are childless and old and the Lord tells him he is going to make his decedents as numerous as the stars. All the physical circumstances indicates that this is clearly impossible but yet Abe according to Romans did not stagger at what God promised. Other versions state that he did not waver or doubt. As i meditated on that verse i began to ask myself .... How is it actually possible to not waver, to not doubt, to not stagger?

One of my weaknesses is that i am very logical and i struggle in fully embracing things that i can not totally comprehend. I know in my head that God is very able to work miracles and but my faith in Him actually doing it is far from the place of not doubting. I am like the father with the sick son in Mark 9:24 constantly crying out that i believe but for the Lord to help my unbelief.

Then He speaks to me and it all makes sense. That kind of unwavering faith is NOT possible of my own. It is a gift that HE gives to me. It is not a place that i alone can reach. I am weak, poor, wretched and fully and utterly incapable of doing it on my own. When HE speaks to you and you know that it is him and him alone then the faith that was not there before is now fully present in such abundance that even you are amazed. The important part is not gaining the faith but hearing from the very heart of your heavenly father.

So now my prayers are not so much for the faith but just to hear very clearly and to be persistent to not move until i know that i know that i know He has spoken. Don't settle for anything less. "But without faith it is impossible to please him; for he that cometh to God must believe that he is [I am, that I am] and that he is a rewarder of them who diligently seek Him."
(Hebrews 11:6)

Begin TODAY!

Monday, March 30, 2009


OK so amazing 2 post in one day but i have been meaning to post this story for a month and now finally have a window (hubby out of the country so the computer is free) and am taking advantage of it.

So in February we had our very first visitor since we have lived in Africa. She is such a super awesome women and truly our life line to the states. We desired so much to really make her stay enjoyable and for her to get to experience some of the jewels of this area. We especially wanted to be able to take her to one of the game parks as it might be a once in a lifetime trip. Since she booked her tickets we had been each month saving up a small amount of our monthly support to have "vacation money". Unfortunately when the time came to make reservations we did not have enough to financially be able to go as a family. We just prayed about it and even thought that maybe Isaac would just stay with the kids while the three ladies went. The morning before we were to leave Isaac and I decided to "bite the bullet" and just do it. We were never going to find a time that we would spend the money for ourselves so if we did not do it now we might just never.

Anyway that very morning only hours after we had made the decision another missionary here in Fort Portal called and asked if she could stop by. Of course my reply was sure and a half an hour later i was letting her in the gate. As i closed the gate behind me, she handed me a wad of cash and says that it is a gift from a couple from the states that just finished visiting them. The couple said that the Lord had provided the finances for their trip to Uganda and they did not feel right about returning with any money so to bless us with it.

It was such an answer to prayer and totally a God things since we had really only briefly met this couple. With Gods unexpected gift were able to all go to the game park as a family and have a wonderful time. But wait there is more....

Not only did we get blessed but the cycle of giving did not end there... right before our visitor left she blessed us with some additional funds which we turned right around and blessed another missionary couple in Entebbee that was going through a rough time. I just kept remembering how much Gods unexpected gift blessed us and so although it was difficult to release it (I could think of a million things i could use that money for) I knew it was the right thing to do.

The totally God part of this story is that just a few weeks later God again used another totally unexpected avenue to financially bless us again! It is so cool how just a simple act of obedience (both by the original givers and us as well) allows the amazingness of the God that we serve to be seen. It was such a testimony to me of how it is truly impossible to out give the giver of all.

Walking Away

How it happens and why it happens i am not sure but the reality is that it does. Last week was our vacation week from school (we do 8 week terms, then a review week and an off week). As some of you homeschoolers can relate i was more then way ready for a break from the daily schedule and I decided to really just do nothing (as much as a mom with 4 kidos 5 years and under can) and enjoy myself. Now this sounds all great but the only problem with throwing the program aside was that one of the most important parts of my daily schedule is getting up at 6am for my hour with the Lord before the kids wake. Of course me in my not so infinite wisdom decided that since we were not doing school i would be able to make it up some other time during the day. This of course never happened.

I am starting to see a pattern... things are going well. I am committed and really growing as the Lord chastens, convicts and reveals things to me in our morning tea time and then all of a sudden my flesh somehow convinces me that i just need a little break and that it is OK i will be able to just pick up right were i left off. This is such a lie from the pit of hell. At the end of the week i found myself spiritually empty less refreshed then when the break began and now facing the once again battle to get back into the routine. OK i will start tomorrow and then that tomorrow turns around and continues to be tomorrow. The spirit is willing but the flesh is weak.

The bible is always true (imagine that) ... the manna must be collected daily; the vessel must be continuously be filled with the living water. Don't ever be fooled into thinking that anything BUT time with the Lord is what will give you real rest. I think for me i have learned my lesson -- a get away from my schedule is fine but never from my Lord.

Sunday, February 8, 2009

Count the Cost

Just recently i received some very exciting news. Many of you may already know but my older sister is pregnant with her first child. Since my family has returned back to Africa she has both gotten married and now is expecting. We of course are very happy and excited for her but i must in all honesty say that my joy is somewhat diminished. For the first time since excepting the call to come to Africa, i have had the opportunity to really count the cost of being totally sold out for the Lord.

For me personally the physical sacrifices of living in a third world country have never really even phased me. I quickly adapt and adjust to leaving with less amenities. I have not for one minute felt that i was missing out. In fact in many ways i enjoy the ability to have more control over the influences in my children's lives. I am finding pleasure working in the garden and being able to enjoy the fruits and vegetable of my labor. For all this I am thankful.

But now for the first time i find myself mourning for what will never be. The Lord is now asking me to sacrifice something very valuable. I was not there to see my sister get married; not there to share in her joy or excitement. And now i am missing out on the memories of her growing bigger, her ultrasounds, feeling the baby move and welcoming in a beautiful child into this world. It is especially difficult since we are so close. She played such a important role in the birthing of all my four children that the idea of not really being able to be there for her makes my heart sad. This is a cost i had not really expected or at least not anticipated.

What has following Christ cost you?

For me up until now not much. I am only now beginning to experience the price that can be required in forsaking it all and following Him. Living in a culture that does not live by biblical standards,means that for many the decision to follow Christ cost them dearly. For a Muslim it means being disowned by family and friends, possibly loosing a job or business associates. For a new believer to stand for the truth may cost them a marriage or a family. We take for granted all the freedoms we have as Americans to live in a world without persecution of religion. Be thankful and say a prayer for all those who don't have such freedoms.

1Peter 5:9 "Resist him (Satan), steadfast in the faith, knowing that the same sufferings are experienced by your brotherhood in the world."

Thursday, January 15, 2009


I hope that you all had a wonderful holiday season and are now looking forward to the freshness of a new year. At this time one can not help but do the self evaluation of the previous year, where I find myself now and what does the year ahead hold. I am reading a book by Greg Laurie and in the introduction he states that when a life (or in our case a year) is coming to an end one of the things he hears people say the most is that “they wished they had spent more time walking closely with God. At the end of their lives, they have come to recognize the fact that they will stand before Almighty God…. Sadly we will spend so much time on that which does not really matter and in the process, we neglect that which really does matter.”

When I read this I became so very convicted. What you say….”Clea, you have given up everything to serve the Lord!” It is true that I have given up many physical luxuries but the thing that I have not given the Lord is priority. I like so many others all too easily get caught up in “doing”; putting so much emphasis on my daily physical schedule that I schedule out the Lord. How I get to such a state is hard to determine. I look back on seasons of my life where I was committed to my quiet walks with the Lord, to my personal journal time, of just needing time in the stillness. Like any new resolution it takes time and commitment to make it routine. Like pastor Laurie reminded me I am never going to look back and care if dinner was on time or if I got the chores done on time but I will regret allowing my flesh to rob me of the blessing of time with my Father.

I don’t know about you but the kind of person that I want to be can’t happen without daily refreshment from the Lord. I don’t want to be a complainer; I don’t want to get frustrated with my kids just being kids; I don’t want to get stress out just trying to get the family out the door for church. To me that is not the victorious Christian life that Jesus has made available to me.

For me, my once again new year resolution is to get up early and start my day before the kids wake (yes I realize this may mean getting up at 5 in the morning) in the bible and prayer. I need no I must begin with Him, not rushed, not squeezed, but still. If I don’t how can I ever be that person that reflects Christ to my husband and children yet alone to a lost and dying world. Without spending time being filled, it will not happen no matter how much I want it.

So now that you know my resolution... anybody up to calling Africa daily to get my lazy butt out of bed… Just kidding. I know even this too is accomplished by prayer and He will give me the ability to overcome. But how about you…what is the Lord putting on your heart? What is He calling you to do or not do? Please I beg you, I implore you, no matter how impossible it may seem or how silly or how hard, COMMIT. Don’t come to the end of next year with the same regrets or what ifs. Lets be overcomers!

1John 4:4 “Little children, you are of God [you belong to Him] and have [already] defeated and overcome them [the agents of the antichrist], because He Who lives in you is greater (mightier) than he who is in the world.” (AMP)