When “Yes, Lord” Means A Trial

*Today, we are pleased to publish a guest post by another one of our good friends!*

Natalie! Please! Make it stop, it hurts too much!” my phone read as the screen illuminated, thus throwing shadows against my wall and near my bed. Still awake, my eyes struggled to focus on the text notification in my blackened bedroom. After a few minutes of talking to my friend, I had given the best encouragement I could and was virtually holding her until my body crashed for the night and I had fallen asleep. Never before had I felt heart break over my friend…..“Why her? God, what is your plan with this pain she’s in?” As these questions repeated themselves in my mind, I was hit with one answer…..”Why not?”

After waking up a few hours later and rereading our conversation, I sat there. Pondering on that answer, I thought back over the “Series of Unfortunate Events” that have happened in my life in the past few years. Now, I know that my life is far from perfect and is not free of struggles by any means…from the loss of two grandparents back to back, to my own health struggles, there was always something every year that my family was hit with. And at times, these events made me wonder where I stood in my faith. But I was reminded of James’ letter to the early church. Consider it all joy, my brethren, when you encounter various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces endurance. And let endurance have its perfect result, so that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing.” (James 1:2-4 NASB)

Joy? I gave Jesus my life in total surrender to Him in order to share the good news of His coming, not to be affected by trials. Joy?

Yes. Joy. You see, when Jesus first gave the Great Commission to the disciples, he also told them that the servant wouldn’t be greater than his master. Therefore, if Jesus was tested and tried during his three year ministry, so would we for our Christian faith. The difference between us and the rest of the world is that we know the trials or “tests” that we find ourselves in are temporary. Therefore, there’s an end to them at some point. But we also need to let God work with us and through us while we are in those trials because they are the only ones that we personally can bear. I think of the Wall of Faith in Hebrews 11: yes, God used those men and women because they were ordinary, but He also used them because of their faith in God and in what He had planned.

And let endurance have its perfect result, so that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing.  Or as my friend and I both know, when “Yes, Lord” means a trial.

~Natalie

Puzzle Pieces to the Plagues

Hello! This is another guest post, this time done by one of our good friends, Molly. Enjoy! 

“But I will harden Pharaoh’s heart, and though I multiply my miraculous signs and wonders in Egypt, he will not listen to you. Then I will lay my hand on Egypt and with mighty acts of judgement I will bring out my divisions, my people the Israelites.” -Exodus 7:3-4

Have you ever wondered why God chose the certain plagues He did to send upon Egypt? I recently finished a book entitled A Cry from Egypt by Hope Auer.  It was very interesting and helped me understand the plagues in Exodus from a new light.  I thought it must have been awful having your land infested by frogs and locust, but why was it such a big deal?

The first plague happened when the Nile River turned into blood. The Nile River was the main source of water in Egypt. The Egyptians believed it was sacred and worshiped it as a source of provision. They also had many gods who “protected” the Nile.

During the second plague, frogs invaded the land. The Egyptians held frogs as sacred, mainly because one of their gods, Heqet, had the head of a frog.

For the third plague, God sent gnats across the desert. The Egyptian’s god of the desert was called Set and they believed that he would have saved them from the gnats.

Flies infested the land of Egypt. The Egyptians held flies sacred. They had a god who was possibly pictured as a fly.

Then, all the Egyptians livestock got diseases and died. Cattle were also sacred to the Egyptians (probably more sacred than any other animal), which is why later, when the Hebrews disobeyed Yahweh and made an idol in the desert, it was in the form of a golden calf.

Yahweh brought boils upon the Egyptian people. The Egyptians were probably very confused at this point as to why their gods were not healing and protecting them. The Egyptians had many gods of healing and protection.

Hail rained down and brought utter destruction upon Egypt. The Egyptians again had gods that they believe would protect them from such a thing.

Locusts then came down and ate everything that the hail left. The Egyptians held locusts as sacred animals. They could not think of killing any animals that they held sacred.

Then, the land of Egypt became black, and darkness resided there. The Egyptians feared the darkness. In fact, their main god was the sun god, Ra, who they believed gave them their light.

With the last plague, Yahweh brought the worst punishment of all. Every Egyptian firstborn male, human and cattle, died. They worshipped Pharaoh’s firstborn son, who died in the plague. He was considered a god.

Here’s the thing I’d never thought of before: The Egyptians probably believed there was something wrong with their gods. Many believed that it was not Yahweh who was bringing the plagues upon them, but their own gods who were angry for unknown reasons. I would encourage you to search your life for your own ‘gods’. A ‘god’ in your life means anything that goes before Yahweh. I’m not simply talking about other gods, but anything. Maybe it’s your family, a pet, a sport, or even choosing to read a pleasure book instead of the bible, when you are supposed to be having your quiet time. As I studied Exodus, I realized God set apart the first two commandments to be about having no other gods.

I always used to wonder why the plagues would have been such a big deal and why God chose those ten things. Now I realize that it was a big deal because they were a direct attack on what the Egyptians held sacred. Yahweh was proving that their gods were powerless. I hope this helps you put together the puzzle pieces of the plagues.

In Christ,

Molly

We Are His Sheep

by Lillie

“And He shall stand and feed His flock in the strength of the Lord in the majesty of the name of the Lord his God; and they shall abide: for now He shall be great unto the ends of the earth.” –Micah 5:4

John 10:11 says, “I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd gives His life for the sheep.”

In Scripture, Christians are often referred to as sheep. Sheep are docile and Continue reading

Happy Thanksgiving, and a Couple Cool Links!

“Give thanks to the LORD, for he is good; his love endures forever.” -Psalm 107:1

In His Word, God tells us frequently to give thanks and to be thankful, and tomorrow is a whole day set apart for that! There are so many things to be thankful for. Take some time in your prayer time to thank the Lord for all He has done for you. Continue reading

Exclusive Interview with David and Jason Benham- Part 2

Here’s Part 2 of our interview with David and Jason Benham!

FWIA: What are some action points that Christians need to take that you don’t see them generally doing?

BB: 1. Heart – be broken before God. Walk in Biblical repentance and brokenness over our own sin, then we can stand boldly for Christ.
2. Head – have the mind of Christ. Spend time daily in God’s Word, and commit to living by it.
3. Mouth – enter the conversation. When you have the heart and mind of Christ then you can lovingly enter the conversation for truth. Speaking the truth is what leads to the captives being set free.
4. Hands – do something for or with someone with which you disagree. Start mixing in with the world like chocolate chips in cookie dough. They don’t blend in, but they mix in – nothing about their form changes.

FWIA: What’s your challenge to Christian teens?

BB: READ THE BIBLE AND SPEND TIME ALONE WITH JESUS

FWIA: You recently wrote a book, “Whatever the Cost.” What’s the message behind it?

BB: We must lay our lives down to live powerfully for Jesus. In America that simply means to die to our reputations or brand in order to speak truth in a culture that is aggressively suppressing it.

We really appreciate that they took the time to do the interview. You can buy their book over at www.benhambrothers.com. That’s it!

In Christ,

-The Found Who I Am Team

 

Exclusive Interview with David and Jason Benham- Part 1

Back in March, we had the privilege of meeting David and Jason Benham and doing an interview with them a couple of weeks later. We are so excited to bring this to you now!

 

Found Who I Am (FWIA): Thanks so much for doing this interview! Could you please provide some brief background about yourselves?

Benham Brothers (BB): We are identical twins and former professional baseball players. We are serial entrepreneurs and international business leaders, having created & developed several profitable businesses around the world. We were recently signed a straight-to-series reality show with HGTV to host a new show called “Flip It Forward” in the fall of 2014. Yet, the show was abruptly cancelled due to our commitment to traditional marriage values. David is married to Lori, and they have five children. Jason is married to Tori, and they have four children. We are still highly competitive, but in this case Jason has conceded the loss!

FWIA: Our culture has an approach of closing the mouths of people who stand for Biblical truth. From your experience, how do we combat this?

BB: The same way Christians combatted it in the first century and throughout history: be willing to lovingly speak the truth whatever the cost. This is a tenant of our Christian faith, and for the first time in our history being a vocal Christian just may cost us something.

FWIA: Why is it so important to stand strong on your beliefs in the midst of difficulty and persecution?

BB: Jesus told us that we would be persecuted (Matthew 5:11) and that we were blessed when it happened. Embracing persecution allows us to be loving examples of truth in the midst of a generation that desperately needs it.

FWIA: In your book, you talk about “dying to your dreams” and holding what God has given you with an open hand. What does that mean?

BB: We all have dreams and goals in life. We did too – and that was to make it to the Major Leagues. But we never made it. So we learned that when God gives us a dream we have to hold it with an open hand, so that if He chooses to remove it He doesn’t have to pry our fingers back. In other words, we need to stay dead to our dreams in our heart while we move toward them with our feet.

 

Part 2 is coming on Friday! Be sure to catch the rest, including action points for Christians and their challenge to Christian teens.

-The Found Who I Am Team

 

Cool Happenings!

Hello everyone!

Back in March, several of us attended the Teach Them Diligently homeschool convention in Nashville, TN. While there, we heard David and Jason Benham speak. Their message is phenomenal, and we wanted you to have a chance to hear it! So, we did an interview with them shortly thereafter…and now, we’re thrilled to announce that Part 1 will come out on Wednesday and Part 2 will come out on Friday.

Please tell everyone you know about it so that many people can read their story and be inspired to live for Christ.

Thanks so much!

In Christ,

-FWIA Team