Author Archives: Principles for Life

Halloween: Are You Frightened?

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Today is Halloween, the only holiday I know of that is dedicated to celebrating fear. Both children and adults dress up in scary costumes to trick or treat us at our doors. Are you frightened?
I hope not, for you no longer need to fear anything if you love Jesus and trust Him to love you. David, the boy who faced the giant, wrote: “I sought the Lord, and He answered me, and delivered me from all my fears.” How does God do that? By giving us a new spirit. As Paul encouraged his timid son in the faith, “God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and love and discipline.” 2 Timothy 1:7. So choose faith over fear and trust over trembling.
 
I have to admit I used to fight a lot of fears! But the more life I live and the more sources of anxiety I overcome, the more my fears subside. Isaiah 51 is now my sword in battling the lies of the evil one. There the Lord says, “I, even I, am He who comforts you. Who are you that you are afraid of man who dies and of the son of man who is made like grass, that you have forgotten the Lord your Maker, who stretched out the heavens and laid the foundations of the earth, that you fear continually all day long because of the fury of the oppressor.” In other words, fear is the act of forgetting God and believing our problems are greater than His strength. I don’t want to make that mistake. Do you?
 
Of course, this broken world gives the devil a multitude of tools to trick us. The greatest one is found in Hebrews 2:14-15 – Therefore, since the children share in flesh and blood, He Himself likewise also partook of the same, that through death He might render powerless him who had the power of death, that is, the devil, and might free those who through fear of death were subject to slavery all their lives.” Fear of death and dying have long been the enemy’s greatest weapons for crushing our faith. But believing that Jesus died to forgive our sins and rose again to give us new life renders those weapons ineffective. For no one but the Lord Himself decides when we are born and when we will die.
 
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This past year I have been the recipient of several unwanted diagnoses. Type 2 diabetes, Parkinson’s Disease, spinal stenosis, and leukemia are among a few of them. But instead of fear, I find myself enjoying a deep sense of peace knowing that since I gave my life to Jesus, He has promised to carry me through every trial. Isaiah 46:4 holds the promise, “Even to your old age, I am He, and even to gray hairs I will carry you! I have made, and I will bear; Even I will carry, and will deliver you.”

This coming Monday, November 6, I will undergo my second operation this fall. My neurosurgeon will perform spinal surgery in an attempt to free the nerves that are being pinched at four different levels, with the hope that I can walk normally again. Right now I can walk about a block without being crippled with pain. So please pray for me. That is one means of grace that God has given us for dealing with the devil’s devices – “Pray for one another that you may be healed.” James 5:16
 
Let me add that I’m sorry for failing to keep in close contact with you. But the pain of sitting in this chair and trying to type has made it difficult. But you can be sure that if this surgery is successful, I will be in contact very soon.

By the way, if you know someone else who is struggling with fear and anxiety, be sure to pray and encourage them too. Did you know that Galatians 6:1 says you can do for them spiritually what my neurosurgeon plans to for me medically. It prescribes, “Brethren, if a man is  overtaken in any trespass, you who are spiritual restore such a one in a spirit of gentleness, considering yourself lest you also be tempted.” The word “restore” was a Greek medical term used to describe the resetting of a broken bone or dislocated tendon. That is to say, just as a doctor would put a bone back in its proper position, we are to restore one another to a place of faith and faithfulness. How? Paul says that our bedside manner is to be one of “gentleness.”
 
So no matter what the anxiety, let not your heart be troubled. Jesus said, These things I have spoken to you, that in Me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation; but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world.” John 16:33

Our love, thanks, and prayers in Jesus,
 
Gary, Cheryl, and family
 
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“God Answers All My Prayers – Both Big and Small!” by Rebecca Schwarz Schnabel

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The living, breathing God gave me a Rebecca-specific miracle, not long after reading Romans 8 this morning. It says, “In the same way, the Spirit helps us in our weakness. We do not know what we ought to pray for, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us through wordless groans.”

Sunday, my compassionate friend asked how things are, and I just started crying. (It’s one of those life seasons.) She asked how she could bless me, and I told her I didn’t even know what to ask for. (“We do not know what we ought to pray for.”)

Last night, I told Aaron and God I was so overwhelmed. I didn’t know how I was going to handle this week.

A friend of my sister’s (I’ve only met her 4 or 5 times) brought her son for some landscaping work we’re having him do. She texted after dropping him and asked if she could come to help me with my business or anything, housework, etc. for the hours she wanted and needed to fill until her appointment because of the not wanting to go home to Vancouver in between.
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She spent not only those 3 hours helping me but also forewent her afternoon plans to help me finish my laundry, interact with my kids, and finish sanding my magnets for me while I wrapped up various little jobs, fed the kids lunch, put away my laundry (IN DRAWERS, EVEN!). Plus, she took time to encourage me and help build me up spiritually.

You can’t say to me that the God of the universe doesn’t hear prayers when He literally sent a woman I barely know to my front door to ask if I could give her work to do around my house and for my business when since the weekend I have been in agony asking Him how I was to accomplish so many household chores, watch kids, and work endlessly until my festival this Saturday, for Him to just help me know what to do and how to do it.

I may not know a lot of things, but I know this is not how life usually works out. I didn’t know how or what to ask for or from whom to ask it, but He knew I literally needed someone sent to my front door to ask ME if I could let THEM do some of MY work.

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Praise Jesus is all I know to say. The LORD be glorified. Because, “We do not know what we ought to pray for, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us through wordless groans…No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.” Amen!

Romans 8 from https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/…

 

Missionary Update: Danger in Nicaragua

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Added Note: Last week I was able to meet with Rigoberto face-to-face in Vancouver, WA. Thanks to Mark Olander who gave Rigo a ride down from Olympia and to my son-in-law, Ben Sadler, who drove me to Vancouver for the meeting. The most recent update is that Rigoberto and his son, Juan Carlos, are leaving their families in Olympia for reasons of safety and are now traveling back to Managua to check on the condition of their home and see if conditions have improved in Nicaragua. Please pray for their safety and their wisdom as they plan to continue the work there and in Central America. And please pray for the political climate in Central America to settle down and return to peace, so that they can continue to preach the Gospel and plant new churches.

As 1 Timothy 2:1-4 commands us, “First of all, then, I urge that entreaties and prayers, petitions and thanksgivings, be made on behalf of all men, for kings and all who are in authority (this includes Daniel Ortega and the Sandinista party of Nicaragua), so that we may lead a tranquil and quiet life in all godliness and dignity. This is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Savior,  who desires all men to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth.” 

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Missionary Update from Papua New Guinea

 

And then there were three….

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As the Goheens and we have prayed and evaluated the church planting work ahead of us, our own capabilities and weaknesses, and the future needs of the future Kaje church… we have felt the need to add on another family to our team.  So after months of prayer and emails we finally had two weeks of long discussions about theology, church planting strategy, philosophy of ministry, parenting, gifting and abilities, personalities and more (Basically speed dating), and now we are excited to introduce you to the newest members of our team! The picture below is the Meyer family (not to be mistaken with the Myers family).  They are Christopher, Lillie, Linda, and Silas.  They are Germans, but we try not to hold that against them :).  We love them and can’t wait to get them moved into Kaje so they can begin learning the Kaje Language and culture.  Be praying for them as they prepare to begin purchasing solar equipment, lumber milling equipment, plywood for floors, screen for windows, corrugated roofing iron, water filtration, water storage tank or bladder, pipes, a stove etc.  They have a lot of planning and transition ahead of them!

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Meeting Solo…

After an hour flight over dense jungle the chopper finally set down in our village of Andarum.  With the rotors still turning, we stepped out of the chopper into the blazing sun and were met by almost the entirety of our village and then some.  The Kaje have been waiting eagerly for over 3 months to meet Solo.  And as hundreds of smiling faces and hands reached out for him, I surveyed the crowd and saw people with skaby skin, pink swollen eyes, dirty hands, and snotty faces.  And knowing these poor people have little to no concept of germs and sickness…. I felt emotions rise up within me to guard and protect Solo’s fragile life from them… But what could I do? Run him up into our house and hide him from them?  Imagine what that would communicate.  Jen and I talked about it before we arrived, but in that moment we had to choose again to trust God with Solo’s health as he was introduced to the Kaje people for the 1st time.  Pray for us as we continue to choose to trust God with Solo’s health in an area with malaria, tuberculosis, skin diseases, and more.  In this way we show our love for the Kaje people as they love on Solo. And they can’t get enough of him!

Here are some question we were asked by the Kaje upon our arrival:
Does he nurse like our babies?
Does he cry like our babies?
Does he poop and pee like our babies?
Can he Speak?
Does he understand your language?

 

bPlease Pray For Us As:

  • We are having our first literacy class’s graduation in a week.
  • Class 2 of literacy starts up two days later with 16 new students.
  • Abby prepares a post literacy class to encourage the 1st16 students to keep growing in their ability to read and write.
  • A Bible translation consultant is coming in on July 6th to check the comprehensions and accuracy of the Bible portions Taylor has been faithfully translating these last months without us.
  • The Meyer family is coming in for a few days on July 13thto be introduced to the Kaje and to begin planning how and where to build their house.
  • Continue trusting Jesus for the health of baby Solomon.

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