Tuesday, January 23, 2007

Rebecca's Journey - 82

Greetings Friends!

It has been a blustery few days here in Europe - hurricane force winds across Belgium and many other European countries. But Rebecca's trees have survived, though well pruned of dead branches, still lying on the grass, ready to be collected. Today is one of those dreary Belgium winter days - a delight to be inside.

Judy and Jessica arrived safely - a blessing to have them back. Susannah and I both leave later this week for North America. We'll both be gone for 2 weeks, so please pray for the ladies here (Rebecca, Judy, Annie, and Jessica) during our absence.

From Rebecca: "I'm continuing in John 15: 9: 'As the Father has loved me, so have I loved you. Abide in My love.' To fathom the love of God - how do we mortals get our minds around it? Paul says in Philippians: 'That you would know the love of God...'

"When I was in Intensive Care the Lord kept speaking to me: 'It is all about my love!' I thought He meant that it was about loving others. But I now think it was more about my comprehending His love for me more deeply. Surely it is unfathomable! And yet He wants to reveal some small part.

"The other morning I was in my quiet time, and the Lord said again: 'As the Father loves Me, so have I loved you. I want you to live in that love!' Right at that time our children were home for the holidays. Three of them, one evening, were sitting together with us. I was so stuck with the amazing love I have for them. Could that be just a small sample of the love the Father has for me? Then this past weekend I was reminded of it again through my husband's love for me. As we sat together at a Chinese Restaurant near our home (it is no small thing taking a handicapped lady to lunch!) our conversation covered a wide range of topics - I sometime call it 'wandering' conversation. It's the kind of sharing that to me is the best.

"All of this love is but a weak reflection of His great love. And we are to continue in that love.
"Then in John 15: 11 He says: '?that your joy might be full.' Could that be what the Father is after? His desire is for us to be full of joy. Isn't that the result of being loved? Being loved is a joyful state! Loving is a joyful state! As the Father has loved Jesus, so Jesus loves us."

As we send this out I pray that the Lord will quicken to you His great love for you. May it come through your loved ones, or through a beautiful sunset! He speaks to us in so many different ways."

Is there a greater reality, or need, than His love comprehended and experienced? May we know Him better and better.

Our love to all,


Wednesday, January 03, 2007

Rebecca's Journey - 81

Rebecca has a new video available. Go to www.rebeccasjourney.com to view or download the video, find photos, other videos, an archive, and more information.
3 January, 2007

Greetings All, and a very Happy and blessed New Year!

Rebecca and I want to send our wishes for a grace-fill new year, one in which we will all know Him better.

Susannah, Phillip & Josie, and Stephen were all home for Christmas. Matt and Stephanie were unable to come this year. Annie was with us as well. What a wonderful time!

Phillip & Josie flew to Sweden the day after Christmas to be with her family there, and arrived back here just yesterday. Today we de-decorated. (Bill and Susan Hightower and Dennis Coll helped us decorate nearly a month ago!) Phillip, Josie, and Stephen will all return to the States this week.

Judy arrives next week, as does Jessica Camenish, who will be here for another 3 months. We're anxious to see them!

From Rebecca: Our Christmas is passed, and we have been so blessed by these precious days. It has been an expression of the fullness of His life and our life together. We are blessed!

You may remember that at the New Year I always ask the Lord for His perspective and for a word for the coming year. In my Bible reading, I turned to John 15, the Vine and the branches. I always get excited at this place in John, knowing the riches that lie ahead. As I began to read, I realized that this would be my perspective for 2007.

Right at this time Susannah came in to bring me something. Having a rather full day ahead of her, she was moving quickly (as she is often prone to do). "Susannah," I said, "go slowly sweet heart." She smiled and said, "Momma, you know I don't believe in doing anything slowly." I realized that is exactly how I have gone though most of my life.

I flashed to a time when Susannah was about 6 years old. We had gotten into the car on our way to buy a pumpkin. We had planned a very special outing together. She looked at me with a horrified expression on her little face. "Oh Mommy, I have to go to the bathroom. I will hurry really fast!" With that, she jumped out of the car and ran into the house. I watcher her going, her little pig-tails flying behind her. I shall never forget it. The Lord said to me: "You must not rush through life." I'm afraid it was just the first of many such words spoken to me. Could it be that, forty years later, I'm beginning to rest in Him?

Hebrews 4 says: "There is therefore a rest for the children of God." John 15:5: "I am the Vine. You are the branches. He who abides in Me bears much fruit."

One of the biggest changes in me through the process of the last years is that I often find conversation difficult. My voice is not strong, so when there is a large group of people communicating in a lively manner, I can't seem to get into the conversation. I have to be careful or I withdraw and am just quiet.

This happened to me on Christmas day around the table. My dear family was all gathered and having a wonderful time together. I was at the end of the table and began to feel insecure and isolated. I found myself withdrawing. I knew it wasn't right and it was the last thing that they would want. But I didn't want to hinder their conversation and joy, so I smiled and, I'm afraid, withdrew.

Later I talked with Paul and Susannah about it. But when I read John 15:5, I felt it resolve. I understood! Somehow in that kind of situation, my soul gets scattered. I saw a picture of the branches scattered and then I saw the Lord gather the branches together and tuck them securely into the Vine. In that gathering, I found a settledness and quietness. I could almost feel myself drawing all that I needed for the situation from the Vine. As I approach the New Year - and sometimes my soul is scattered - I shall gather it together into the Vine and rest in that place.

Isn't it amazing! What Father wants of us is to be quiet, to be in faith and to draw from Him - allowing Him to "be" all that we need Him to be.

So my new word for this year is an old word with fresh life: rest! Let Him grant us to gather our scattered souls into Him and rest in quietness as we go about our business.

Paul and I wish for you a most blessed and abundant New Year. May it be filled with great grace and may you discover new wonders of His Person at every turn. What an adventure we have together in Him!

With our love,

Paul & Rebecca