Friday, April 13, 2012

Helping Jeannie Throw Off Everything that Hinders

God’s been teaching me (Tammy) lately about the importance of “running the race” without hindrances. In 1 Corinthians 9, Paul explains the need for discipline and focus in living for Christ. He says, “Do you not know that in a race all the runners run, but only one gets the prize? Run in such a way as to get the prize. Everyone who competes in the games goes into strict training. They do it to get a crown that will not last, but we do it to get a crown that will last forever.

In Hebrews 12, it says, “let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us, fixing our eyes on Jesus.” That’s a description of someone letting go of things that slow you down. It might be sin, or it might be the concerns of life. Jesus talks about this in the parable of the sower. The seed that fell in the “thorny soil” was “choked by life’s worries, riches and pleasures” and did not produce a crop.

It’s been my joy to share what I’ve been learning with Jeannie, a missionary serving with the Jesus Film Project. She was feeling overwhelmed with too many things to do and not enough time to do them all. So she asked me to help coach her in the area of time management. I’m glad she did, because God used me to help her be more effective in her ministry … which means more people will hear the Good News of Christ! I was able to help her think about those things God uniquely called her to do. It struck me how clear her calling from God was. She soon realized that she had to say “No” to some the “good” things that were taking time away from the “best” things God had called her to. Several days later I got a phone call from her. With enthusiasm she shared, “This frees me to be wholeheartedly doing what God has called me to do today, and I can now actually accomplish more for the kingdom!” What a joy to be able to help her move forward in her ministry!

Thank you for praying for my friend who recently came to Christ! I have met with her several times since we last wrote to follow up with her and let her know more about what it means to be a child of Christ. She has really been grasping the key principles of following Christ, such as complete forgiveness by grace. This is especially encouraging to see as she has a background in a works-based religion. Please continue to pray for her as she grows in her new faith!

Many of you have been asking about my heart condition and how it affects my day to day life. Right now, I’m not experiencing any symptoms from the condition. At this point, the doctor wants to monitor it every 6 months with an echocardiogram. At the point when I do begin to experience fatigue after exercise, that will be a significant determining factor for when the surgery will happen. Thank you so much for your prayers. We appreciate you so much!

On Good Friday we visited the Holy Land Experience. 
Rachel is in front of the temple portion of the world’s
largest indoor scale model of Jerusalem
around the time of Christ.