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ZMI Family Ministries International > Articles by: Brenda Lancaster

STANDING STRONG

Introduction:

As many of our readers already know, Nicaragua is going great turmoil these days. The people are under attack in their own neighborhoods. Hundreds have died at the hands of government officials for peacefully standing for their beliefs. I do not preach or teach politics. I do teach a Biblical message of hope found in and through Jesus Christ. Many people who we have worked with and ministered to for the last nine years are in crisis. This message is written to them, and to anyone else now going through a crisis of their own,

because with Christ,

HOPE IS ALIVE!

For my precious friends in Nicaragua

There are times in our lives when everything seems to be falling apart…when we don’t know what to do next…when it seems like we’ve lost our way, and our strength. When everything is dark it is hard to see, hard to remember. But during those times it is also easy to forget that we have hope. We have hope because the promises of our God never fail! Never. It may feel that way…but the truth is – God Never Fails His Children.

“When you don’t understand what God is doing, you can Trust His heart! “  Jake Thornhill

In a time of deep trial God told Jeremiah in 29:11

11 For I know the plans I have for you,” says the Lord. “They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope.

BELIEVE HIM THIS DAY!

This time of upheaval in your country has been a DARK time. But darkness always has to flee when the light appears! And Never forget that our Jesus is the Light of the World. He sees what His children are going through. He is with us in the valley. He will calm the storm. Some storms last longer than others. But the storm always ends! And when it does, and the sun starts to shine again, it is a new day. A bright day, a day of recovery and rebuilding, a day of Bright Hope for tomorrow.

“For his anger lasts only a moment,
but his favor lasts a lifetime!
Weeping may last through the night,
but joy comes with the morning”
Psalm 30:5

Tonight, as you read this message from my heart to yours, you can know that thousands here and across the world are praying for you. We believe that our God will prevail and your country and your people will be restored. We believe in a bright, hope filled tomorrow for Nicaragua. And we look forward to the day that we can be with you again!

 We stand strong with you, ready to help right now in prayer, and tomorrow when the rebuilding begins. So, you stand strong too! In Ephesians 6:10-11 Paul says;

 10 A final word: Be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. 11 Put on all of God’s armor so that you will be able to stand firm against all strategies of the devil.

 

Paul points out 5 things to us in these two short verses:

  1. It is his final word to the people.
  2. To be Strong by depending on God’s power in you – through the Holy Spirit who lives in you if you have given your life to Him.
  3. Put on His Armor – not our own fleshly armor
  4. His Promise – you WILL be able to stand firm if you do these things!
  5. Flesh and blood – people – are not our enemy. Our real enemy is the forces of evil in the unseen world. Satan.

 

Therefore, let us come together in unity – using the armor that God supplies – and defeat the real enemy of our souls! We can trust our God and His Mighty Power to bring victory to His people!

God in Peace my friends. God is watching!

Blessings,

Brenda Lancaster

 

 

photo credit: https://www.freeimages.com/photographer/thiagofest-60126

I WILL TRUST IN YOU

“Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.”
Philippians 4:6-7 NKJV

2017 was a year of milestone blessings in some ways. Tom and I celebrated our 50th wedding anniversary and went on the vacation of a lifetime to Greece and Rome. They were the good times. But, 2017 was also a tough year for the Lancaster household. We both faced a few health challenges, Tom had knee replacement surgery, and like you, we experienced a hoard of everyday challenges.

During it all the Lord reminded us that when life gets tough, He just wants us to trust in Him. As humans, we often forget that the Lord is sovereign. He knows our beginning from the end. He gives us promises that will lessen the stress of our load if we will just remember to trust in Him. He challenges us in Philippians 4:6-7 NKJV:

“6 Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; 7 and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus”

I love it when the Lord gives me an answer in the form of a list! These verses do just that! He pointed out exactly what I needed to hear. Listen in on our conversation as I broke down those verses in prayer.

  1. God:Be anxious for nothing”

Brenda: OK Lord. Now that’s just impossible for us humans. How do I do that? God: “Keep reading Brenda”.

  1. God: but in everything by prayer and supplication” or as it says in the NLT, “Instead of being anxious or worried pray about everything.”

Brenda: “Pray. Just pray? That’s what people say when there is no other hope, isn’t it Lord? And what does that big word supplication mean? So, I proceed to look it up and see that it means “urgently requesting”. Oh, ok Lord. I can do that. I’m urgently requesting…

  1. God: “Tell God what you need”.

Brenda: Oh. But, You already know! But because you asked, I urgently need…

  1. God:Thank Him for what He has already done.”

Brenda: Oh yeah…I remember all those times before when You heard and answered my prayers. You will again, won’t you Lord? You will because you are faithful even when I am not. You can be trusted to do the best thing even though I may not recognize it at the moment. It will be the best thing in the long run.

  1. God: “Then you will experience peace which will exceed anything you can understand”

Brenda: Then when?  Oh Ok. I get it. After I’ve done as you asked above. I desperately need that peace, so, I’ll pray and urgently request until you answer. And I’ll trust in You until that time. Don’t let me forget Ephesians 3:20 Lord. You really can, and will, do exceedingly, abundantly; above all, I can even think to ask of you!

  1. God: “then I will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus”.

Brenda: Ok then. You – Jesus – who is in my heart – You will guard my heart and my mind. You’ll guard it against the constant thoughts of what might happen. You’ll guard it against stress as I – as we as a couple – keep urgently requesting and praying about. You will guard our hearts from fear and stress as we communicate our feelings, fears and problems to you Lord. As we trust in you to bring the answers and solutions we need, in your timing, believing that you want the best for us.

Brenda: “Ok. Now Lord, please give me the memory and strength to keep on doing what you ask. The problem may not go away but I’ll be able to handle the stress that goes with it. And I’ll be able to wait on Your answer, Your wisdom and Your solution.”

Then He brought the powerful song back to my memory (pictured above).

That song is now my life’s theme verse. Thank you Lord!

Until Next Time,

Your Traveling Companion,

Brenda

 

LESSONS LEARNED FROM SANDY, OUR GOLDEN RETRIEVER

“All we like sheep have gone astray; We have turned, every one, to his own way; And the LORD has laid on Him the iniquity of us all. “

Isaiah 53:6

I Want to Do Right, But…

I recently shared with you that our beloved Golden Retriever, Sandy, is now permanently asleep.  We still grieve him, but we still have the memories – and some are lessons the Lord taught us through the sweet dog’s life.

One day we were walking on the beach and Sandy ran on ahead of us, as usual. He always came back when we called, and this time was no exception. The first time he came as soon as we called but was obviously not too happy about it. A second time he took off but only came back after much kicking and screaming on our part. The third time was the clincher –  he took off again after spotting a pretty little thing down the beach a-ways. This time we had to chase him down and leash him and haul him away from his new girlfriend. He wasn’t happy. His facial expression went square-nosed and angry. Rebellious he was.

Straight home we went. We marched him right up on the deck – put him in the corner and locked the gate behind us – or so we thought. A while later we went to free him from his misery only to find he had flown the coop. Gone.

We walked and called for him. No Sandy. Called the neighbors, no Sandy. Finally, we called the Beach Dog Pound, which was at the police department (little southern beach town) and lo and behold, they had Sandy in lock-up. We had to leave our beautiful vacation house to physically go and rescue him and pay the penalty for his escape – $200.00. He had done the wrong, but we had to pay the price because he belonged to us.

Sandy was so glad to see us! His tendency to wander – like a sheep – had gotten him into trouble. The consequences were not pleasant.

Jesus calls you and me sheep – did you know that? We, somewhat like Sandy, tend to wander off the path God has placed us on and we, too, get into trouble.  Isaiah 53:6 states:

“All we like sheep have gone astray; We have turned, every one, to his own way; And the LORD has laid on Him the iniquity of us all. “

Jesus made us. It says so in Genesis and the first chapter of John. We wandered away. We rebelled and didn’t come when He called. So, He left his beautiful home and came to get us.

Jesus came to rescue us from the bondage brought on by our sin. He did nothing wrong, yet He paid the price of our rebellion, and it wasn’t $200. It cost Him His very life. All He asks is that we turn from our wanderings – get over our madness – and “come home” to Him. Why? So that one day, when this earthly suit we live in wears out, we can spend the rest of eternity with him in His beautiful Home by the Crystal Sea.

Now, that’s one offer I can’t refuse. How about you? If you have decided to turn from your rebellion and return home to Daddy God, click here for the road map.  

https://www.zmiinternational.org/peace-god/

God bless you dear one.

Until next time,

Brenda