Posts Tagged ‘Christian’

4
Jun

The Taste of Grace

   Posted by: Ron & Stephanie Kenaston    in Our Mission

One of my required reads for mission preparation is Philip Yancey’s ‘What’s So Amazing About Grace’.

I am an avid reader.  The #2 definition of avid being: Marked by active interest and enthusiasm.  I love to read and taste new things with my mind.  I love to learn and feel so blessed when it is something that changes my heart to see Jesus just a little better.  I often feel like a I walk through life knowing full well that I only get a tiny speck of what the Lord is trying to convey to me, but I press on and thank Him for what he does allow me to “get”.

Back to the book.  I am loving it.  But in a bitter sweet way.  Like you take a bite of something sweet and delicious to only discover it has gone bad and taste horrible in your mouth.  You still love the dessert, but that particular piece was not the taste you expected.  I find this to be true of this subject and book because it speaks the truth that we often don’t want to recognize, but feel all the same.  We have been given the gift of grace, by God, and yet we are poor conduits of this in our own Christian walk.  We see a homeless person on the side of the road and we frown and think, ‘go get a job’.  We see a mom yell at her kids in the store and we think, ‘get a grip’.  We see our spouses or children make silly mistakes or forget things and we get angry and irritated, ‘Can’t you do anything right?’  Yet, God sees all our sins, hurts, and mistakes and he offers us grace.  Grace for us to give would be looking through God’s eyes at our world.  Looking at that homeless person and giving them a sincere smile and wave or hello and saying a prayer.  Helping if we can.  Looking at the mom in the store and realizing that we all have breaking points and do things we wish we would not have.  Praying for her and maybe offering a helping hand or a look of understanding.  Seeing our children’s silly mistakes or our spouse’s forgetfulness and applying the grace we received that made us realize God’s love when we did not deserve it.  “Oh honey, it’s ok.  We all make mistakes.” or maybe holding our temper at the forgetfulness and just repeating it for the 10th time out of love for them.  I don’t know.  But I know that I am not good at it and God is giving me a bitter bite of something good so that I can remember what it is suppose to taste like without taking it for granted.  Back to reading…

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14
Jan

Praying how to give out of a tax refund

   Posted by: Ron & Stephanie Kenaston    in Our Mission

56586779Are you like most Americans that would love to support charities, but you never seem to have the funds available?  This may be the year for you!  Most people are afraid of some new tax laws actually costing them more taxes, but many people will get refunds that will feel like a relief.  Before you start spending on the stuff you always wanted make sure you give to God what he deserves out of it.  I am not going to name a percentage.  I have watched many people debating that lately.  But I will say that God has laid an amount on your heart and, unless you are ignoring him, you are feeling prompted to give.  I am not talking about just to us, though that would be nice :), but I am talking about what ever ministry God lays on your heart also.  It may be just a bonus tithe to your church, over what you can usually give.  But let’s give as graciously back to God as he has given to us.

We are a 5th of the way there on our monthly support and only starting on our outgoing.  But when you give monthly it will go into the outgoing expenses until we are in Peru.  And all of it goes to missionary expenses.  Ron still works and still supports us in our daily needs while we are here.  All that you give is stored up for use for the mission God has us preparing for.  Which a portion of what you give actually goes towards the ministries we will be doing in the  form of supplies, repairs, and other things that are required to fulfill the ministry needs.

We want to thank you all.  Whether you are just starting to give our have been giving for most of the year.  it is a blessing to see your faithfulness and it makes us work even harder on our end to prepare.

Blessings to all,

Stephanie

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19
Sep

My heart is aching…

   Posted by: Ron & Stephanie Kenaston    in Our Mission

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It would be easier to figure out what is causing a person to hurt emotionally if it was as obvious as smashing your thumb with a hammer.  With emotional hurting you don’t know where to apply the metaphoric “ice” and it is pretty hard to treat what you cannot see, with the swollen black and blue thumb you have a clue where the pain is coming from.  But with experience you start to pick up on the symptoms.

God has been bringing into my life so many people with spiritual, emotional and physical pain.  Everything from loneliness, depression, dysfunction, disorders, disillusionment, other’s treatment or abuse, disease, and just plain attacks from Satan.  I think it is because I have suffered most of this in my life that God places people in my life that are suffering.  It is not an easy thing to have happen.  It takes much prayer, and giving it to God to not absorb some of these things from others.  But this is where God wants me and I am sure that along with being a way he can utilize me today it is also preparation for tomorrow.  I have been in prayer so much with so many requests and realize that more people are hurting in so many of the same ways and no one knows it.  Many people have the same pasted on happy face that says. “I am not having the same problems as you” and in self protection mode avoid the pain of others on a heart level.

The fact is that those of us who have been through it, what ever it is, and are on the other side have to be there for others that are suffering.  It takes being beyond healing sometimes and being stable too, but I want to explain why.  God has purpose in all things, it says so in Ecclesiastes 3:1 To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven.  The following sentences pretty much sum up life.  Everything is intertwined and works together for the good of God’s purpose.  I know that there are many in the world who cannot understand how a loving God could allow so much hurting in the world, but there is so much more to it than that. 

Believe it or not the dysfunction in this world started with Love.  How in the world, you may say.  Well, it was the purpose for which God created humans with the ability to make their own choices, free will.  In this day and age when there are computer games that simulate people and pets that you can care for everyone eventually finds out that there is no love in a robot/computer.  Once you get bored controlling them they fall by the way side.  Now anyone who has fallen in love, had a baby, has a pet knows that when you love someone who chooses to love you back it is the best thing in the world.  We also know that when that someone chooses to not love us, to hurt us, to leave us it is also the deepest pain.  Now read Genesis 1-3.  Read it from this truth and prospective.  What do you see?  A creator that desired true love with people.  And he was turned away from.  There is so much more to the story.  It is a long story.  It is all of human history.  But the premise for all healing is found in this story too.  Because after much pain, suffering, and separation God made a way for us to return to our first love through a Savior, a sacrifice, mercy, forgiveness, and grace.  This fallen world still sucks a lot of the time, and it is still filled with pain and suffering, but that is because of the choices humanity made to turn their own way and we all suffer the ramifications of that. 

Now our part in restoring our relationship with God is to have a heart for what God has a heart for.  I cannot explain how it happens.  I can only say that when you conciensously choose to follow God, accept Christ as savior, and follow with love being the most important thing in life you realize that everything matters for that purpose.  All the pain gives you an education to love the hurting, unlike others who have not experienced it can’t.  And we all have different experiences and people that God will place in our lives.  So when us weird Christians, (non-christian definition, not mine)  actually love a God who allows pain and suffering in the world it is because we understand the importance of free will in love.  And we know he did what would allow that, even if we made a painful choice with it.

Can you love others, even when it is hard? When it means suffering with them, going places that are uncomfortable or even painful?  Are you willing to love God that much…to love others as he did and sacrifice everything to restore love?  If you are then maybe you are ready to be a missionary.  At home or across the world.  It doesn’t matter.  But choosing to do that with your free will is the first step.  May you choose God.

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