Category Archives: Wycliffe Bible Translators
I lifted the side flap on the canvas lunch bag. The pocket was empty. I had stashed my phone, car keys and watch in there when we went to the beach. I unpacked the trunk of the car. Soggy, sandy towels, sandy beach toys, and sandy half-eaten lunches rounded out the contents. Where was my watch? I know I had put it carefully in this pouch, but now it was no longer there and no where to be found.
I dumped out my entire purse and pawed through wallet, receipts, gum wrappers and warm lip sticks. No watch! I guess it’s possible I put it somewhere else….but I knew I hadn’t.
We all showered the salt water off of our bodies, wrung out our bathing suits and got dressed for dinner. When I told my family about the missing watch, everyone jumped up and helped me search through the car trunk and under the seats, several times asking about the last time I had seen the watch. The watch had been given to me as a graduation gift from my family for finishing my degree just last year. It was special to ALL of us. My eyes filled with tears thinking that it might be gone forever.
The tide had been coming in when we had left the beach a few hours earlier. Upon arriving to the beach we had placed our towels about 100 feet from the edge of the water. By the time we left, it was a mere 5 feet away from our gear. No one remembered anything being left on the sandy beach. If it was on the beach, it was now under the salty water and undoubtedly ruined.
The only place it could be was the parking lot where we had left our car. “Let’s drive back before getting dinner. It’s only 15 minutes away,” my husband said. I was relieved that he had suggested it knowing how hungry everyone was and not wanting to delay our dinner any more.
We drove the 15 minutes in silence. I was silently praying for a miracle. When we arrived at the parking lot, three people on bicycles were resting at the entrance of the parking lot where we had recently parked. All three were in our way, in the exact spot where we needed to stop. Ken courteously waved them by and two of them moved on. The third person waved us through. Ken pulled in to the left of where we had parked our car. The parking lot was nearly empty. We all anxiously jumped out of the car, heads down, frantically scouring the ground for the watch.
At the same time, the woman on the bicycle came driving over toward us. “Are you looking for…..” Her sentence was cut off as I pounced on my watch, its gleaming silver edge protruding from the sandy driveway. The watch had been run over and was on level with the soil which was, thankfully, sand! I couldn’t even speak! I just held it out in disbelief and joy!! “I saw it just as you arrived“, the woman shouted, joyful as well that we found my prize possession! We yelled our thanks as she drove off.
Our eight-year-old grandson was so pleased and surprised. Unbeknownst to me, he and his Papa had prayed together that the Lord would lead us to the watch minutes before we departed on our search. He was able to see the answer to his prayer in 15 short minutes.
We prayed AND we looked! Two actions. What would have happened if we had only prayed? What if we had just looked? I’m not sure what the results would have been. Had we delayed even 30 seconds later the watch would have been innocently picked up by one of the bicyclists and carried home. We would never had known its story.
This reminds me about the woman in the Bible who had 10 coins and loses one. She lights a lamp, searches for the coin, then rejoices when she finds it. We don’t read that she prayed, but she looked and she celebrated as we did. Luke 15:10 says “In the same way, I tell you, there is rejoicing in the presence of the angels of God over one sinner who repents.”
Every month several people groups receive the Bible, newly translated, in their own language. It may not previously been prayed over by the people, since they didn’t know what they were missing, but someone prayed over that language. Someone worked and gave them the ability to find out the way of salvation. It is theirs for the choosing. And when they find it, there is rejoicing in the presence of angels.
Thank you for making that possible. You do it month after month. Your prayers, your gifts, your hope, your action.
On Friday morning, 33 AD, the Roman governor of Judea, Pontius Pilate, set known terrorist Barabbas free from prison. Barabbas, an insurrectionist of the Zealots and a murderer, had been due to be crucified by local Roman authorities, but after a strange turn of events, was allowed to leave prison after having his sentence commuted.
Barabbas, known only by his first name, means Son of the Father. When asked about his freedom upon leaving the filthy prison, Barabbas, looking gaunt and dirty, had a surprised smirk on his face. “I have no idea why I was let go. But who cares! I’m ready to go and meet up with my friends and celebrate!”
When told that a man name Jesus was set to be crucified instead of him, Barabbas asked, “So, what did HE do?”
After hearing that Jesus had claimed to be the king of the Jews, Barabbas said, “It’s strange. The name Jesus means ‘Savior’. Man, I wish I’d known Him! We could have worked well together!” Jesus, a former carpenter from the little town of Bethlehem, had made statements such as, “I am the Way, the Truth and the Life” as well as, “No one can see the kingdom of God unless he is born again.” Barabbas had been convicted of killing several Roman citizens and causing riots in the city in order to overthrow the Roman government.
“Oh well,” he replied. “Better him than me!”
No word was given as to Barabbas’ future plans other than a statement of “back to my previous work” said with a wink. Jesus is set to be crucified later this day.
References: Matthew 27:15-26; Mark 15:7-15; Luke 23: 18-25; John 18:39-40; John 3:3, 14:6
Everyone parent and every child knows “the Look.” You know, when the child is fidgeting in church and you turn to them and “look” at them? Or maybe it’s at the dinner table! Everyone is holding hands so you can pray and then two kids start arguing because one is squeezing the hand of the other too hard? They get “the Look” from the parent.
Cut. It. Out.
It might look like this:
When my dad gave me “the Look” or when my husband gave our girls “the Look” they usually stopped what they were doing immediately and settled down. While each of us love our children immensely, sometimes we don’t love their behavior. “The Look” gets them back on track.
In John 18, we read the account of Peter who denies Jesus three times when asked if he was a follower of Jesus. The book of Luke (22:61-62) records that Jesus “looked straight at Peter” after he refused to admit three times to others that he was a follower of Jesus.
The difference between my parenting look and this look of Jesus was that this was not a gesture of condemnation. Instead, it was one of complete love and of one who knew Peter’s heart. He knew that Peter loved Him deeply, he knew that Peter would deny Him (he had warned him), yet he still loved him.
What struck me again was the difference between Peter’s remorse over his sin and Judas’ actions after he had turned Jesus in. While Judas immediately ran out and hung himself, Peter didn’t. He wept bitterly, but he still came to the place where Jesus was hung on a cross. We know from later chapters and church history that Peter went on to be a great leader and writer in the church.
Why the difference?
Because one had a relationship with Jesus and the other didn’t. Judas hung out with Jesus and looked like he was a disciple of Him, but his heart had never really changed. He was the same sinful Judas, whereas Peter spent the same amount of time with Jesus and had a changed life. Yes, he was loud and impulsive (sounds like me) but little by little, he turned different areas over to the Lordship of his Savior.
We don’t have the privilege of physically walking and talking with Jesus, but we do have the Holy Spirit with us here on earth who guides us as we have a relationship with the entire Trinity.
We have been given God’s very words to read and study so we can learn from people like Judas, Peter, and even Jesus Himself. That’s why we are committed to getting God’s Word in to the hands of the Bibleless people of the world!
Who will you be today? Choose to be a Peter…a follower…a sojourner. Then when you get “the Look” you’ll know it is one full of love, not condemnation, and you too can look forward to the day when you see Jesus face to face.
Here is a short video from Wycliffe Bible Translators, USA president Bob Creson. This is the progress we made in giving everyone God’s Word in their mother tongue in 2016. Your prayers and support made it possible! Let’s praise God together!
Attending someone else’s wedding is good for my marriage. It reminds me of all of the vows I once made publicly 33 years ago.
Attending someone else’s funeral is good for me too. It reminds me to think of how I want to be remembered after I die.
This week we went to a neighbor’s funeral who, along with her husband, was also a long time Bible Translator with Wycliffe Bible Translators. We listened as her daughters, sons-in-grace (not “sons-in-law!), and grandchildren regaled us with stories of her crazy antics and her love for her family and God. She was a nurse, a Bible translator, and an author later in life. A prominent speaker, she and her husband had many stories of how God had worked in their village with the Awa people of Papua New Guinea.
What resonated with me were phrases such as, “She didn’t worry about offending people, but about offending God” and “She told everyone she met about the love of God.” There were no conversations about how clean her house was, whether she was a good cook, or what her favorite TV shows were.
God and family.
Stephen Covey, author of the popular book, The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, suggests to his readers to imagine their own funeral. Think about who will attend it. What will they say about your life? What did you stand for? Who were you as an individual?
The older I get, the more I see the importance about being intentional about my time. While I have a vague “bucket list” that I want to complete, what is paramount is serving God and family. Doing that well takes conversations with all involved. Using my gifts to do something that lasts beyond my own short life is most important.
So if you ask, “What are you doing this year?” my answer is “Supporting my family and serving God.” Being available for my extended family is intermingled with my service to Wycliffe Bible Translators, Bible Study Fellowship and volunteering at my church, Forest Hill. Hopefully, by the grace of God, that will come out at my own funeral.
Just came across this photo from 1997. We had just moved into our newly built home in North Carolina three months prior and now we were packing to return to Indonesia. Some of our stuff was staying in the house for renters, some was being stored off site and the rest I was trying to fit in our bags. Each item was a decision making moment and it was EXHAUSTING! We knew it would be three or four years until we looked at everything again. Upon the advise of my husband, I called a friend with years of experience and she helped me decide what we needed and what we could live without. I really don’t miss doing this!