When I was going to school, this title, “Friend or Foe,” was used for teaching as it relates to fire. The assignment was trying to impress our young minds that fire was not to be played with until we were mature enough to handle it properly. There were pictures on both sides of the page. One was about how fire could be our friend. On the other side, there was a picture about how fire could be our foe.
Jesus said, “Enter ye in at the strait gate: for wide is the gate, and broad is the way, that leadeth to destruction, and many there be which go in thereat: Because strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it” (Matt. 7:13-14).
I would like to leave my testimony and an encouragement to us brethren in one area of service that the Lord has opened up for us. This service concerns the open door in Christian Disaster Relief work. Recently, while giving some time in the cleanup work in New Orleans after hurricane Isaac, I received an impression from the Lord that He has asked me to share.
“And the Philistine said, I defy the armies of Israel this day; give me a man, that we may fight together. When Saul and all Israel heard those words of the Philistine, they were dismayed, and greatly afraid” (1 Sam. 17:10,11). “Then said David to the Philistine, Thou comest to me with a sword, and with a spear, and with a shield: but I come to thee in the name of the Lord of hosts, the God of the armies of Israel, whom thou hast defied” (v. 45).
As we make our way along this journey through life, what is our state of mind? Are we courageous? Do we carry in our hearts a love for the things of God? Does the way we are living point those around us to a brighter way? Are we humble enough to be useful to God?
The Lord has been speaking to me about my place as a woman, a wife, and a mother. There is also a little feeling that I should write these impressions and share them with you.
Modern women are encouraged to push for success. They are told to be self-confident, assertive, and bold. To stay home and assume the responsibility of keeping house and caring for children is considered weak, unfair, and a wasting of talent.
When Almighty God created the heavens and the earth, He made them to operate in an orderly and predictable way. To assure this order, He made His creation subject to natural and physical laws. He established the law of gravity, the law of day and night, and the law of the seasons. These rules, and many others, are built into the very nature of the universe. Indeed, our world could not operate without them. In everything we do, we acknowledge these laws; we order our work according to their forces.
In a recent conversation with what one might call a concerned, but disenchanted Anabaptist (or Mennonite, if you wish), the current state of affairs among the collective Anabaptist scene in North America was discussed. He made a rather disquieting and thought-provoking comment. He said, “Materialism has taken over.” What do you think—has it? Does this friend have a talking point? What about us—how do we rate?
“Jesus loves me, this I know, for the Bible tells me so.” I remember the first time when the words of this song deeply impressed me. I was sitting in church with our first little newborn baby while we sang this little chorus. Suddenly I was struck with an overwhelming sense of awe at the vastness of God’s love for my baby and me. That God can have such a deep love for my baby and for us imperfect people is hard to grasp.