Tuesday, November 5, 2019

The One who Makes the Darkness Tremble

I am seriously tempted to put up our Christmas tree early this year.  I partially blame the cold temperatures and daylight savings on my attitude.   However,  it seems like many people are feeling like they want to decorate early.  I've seen outdoor Christmas lights up even before Halloween this year!  In my cynicism, (which I am seriously working on), I partially blame that article that came out in social media that claims people are happier when they decorate early for Christmas as the probable cause for this phenomenon.

But I also wonder and can't shake the fact that the atmosphere feels metaphorically darker than normal.  The news...the negativity...the anger.  Perhaps we are all craving the light and hope that Christmas brings just a little bit more than usual.  But, we know that early Christmas lights and gifts are only an attempt at a placebo that will briefly take away the pain.  We desperately long for the hope that the darkness won't win.

Which brings me, rather wordily, to one of my favorite Akina stories from camp.  We sang a song with the kids at chapel that very simply goes like this:  "Jesus, Jesus, you make the darkness tremble.  Jesus, Jesus you conquer fear.."  The kids LOVED it.  They asked to listen to it again, and again, at night when they were going to bed, in the morning when they were getting ready.

The best part was one little girl who seemed to really "GET" it.  One day she pulled her leader aside and asked, "Does Jesus really make the darkness tremble?"

     "Yes," her leader replied confidently.  "The name of Jesus makes the darkness leave!"

     "Wow!" said the girl.  "We usually have to do so many things to try and make the darkness leave at my house, and even THEN it doesn't always work."

This same little girl has been coming to Akina regularly now, loving to learn about God and asking to read in the Bible about how Jesus loves her!

SO, in this time, when darkness seems like it is winning, we can know: it isn't.  It won't.  But as for us, we know "that our Redeemer lives, and he will stand upon the earth in the end."  Job 19:25

We who place our trust in Jesus, who have come to know our Savior, believe the darkness trembles at the name of Jesus because it knows it has already lost.

So, decorate early, be happier, but also remember that the true light who gives light to every man has come into the world!  Yay!  (John 1:9)

Wednesday, October 23, 2019

Sweet Dreams

There are always honest, inquisitive questions that are asked by the sweetest little people at Kid's Club.  I love it, because these kids are finding their way to Jesus.  This week we were learning about God's Omnipresence.  A fantastic second grader raised his hand and asked, "Does that mean God can be in our dreams?"

The answer, I believe, according to Acts 2:17 is yes, as long as we remember Hebrews 4:12, making sure God's Word is the truth we measure any dream or vision with.

What I didn't realize was that this same little boy had reached out last week to one of our awesome volunteers.  He needed prayer.  He had been having nightmares every night and was afraid to sleep.  Of course, she prayed for him, and had then checked in him that evening.

The result?  His nightmares had stopped and been replaced with dreams of God beating up the bad guys.


Our God is the victor, even when we don't see it or feel it.  He is our place of safety, and when we are afraid, we ask him, and he gives us peace.

This little guy knew who to trust: Jesus.  He knew, and his God was faithful to answer him.

These kids are world changers!  I say that often and I am constantly reminded of it.  Our leaders at Akina are world changers too.  They repeatedly step into difficult places and help kids seek the Lord. I'm so blessed that this amazing kiddo didn't hesitate to ask for prayer, and that our amazing volunteer so willingly prayed!

As always, be encouraged to seek Jesus.  Read His Word as the standard for truth, and ask questions. He will meet you and give His peace, even when you don't understand.

Tuesday, August 6, 2019

That Seeds May Grow!

When I see the two pictures of the Akina garden, I am reminded of how amazing seeds are.  They seem so small, but grow into something bigger and better.  Remarkably, our lives are kinda like that too.  We start out empty, but when God's word is planted in our hearts, it begins to bloom with glorious results.  That's one of the things we pray for at Akina:  That God will grow his word in the hearts of the kids and families who come!  He brings vibrant life to empty spaces.

One of the most anticipated Akina events is happening in exactly one week.  Kids Camp! It's life changing every year, but we need your prayers! Pray for us and the volunteers going.  Pray for safety, fun,

peace, and an incredible time of meeting with the Lord.  This year, our theme verse is John 10:10, and the Gospel is being taught using CS Lewis' story "The Lion, The Witch, and The Wardrobe."

Please pray that the students can clearly see the difference between the full and satisfying life God has planned for them, and the brokenness of the enemy.  God still heals hearts!  We believe that great things will happen as life and truth is spoken into campers next week!  Thanks for your powerful prayers!