Day 1 — Who Am I and Why Am I Here?

Puget SoundOne of my goals for 2014 is to blog more consistently….and to accomplish this goal, I have joined a 30-day training session to learn more about this blog posting site, what’s available on it, how to use it, etc.  As today is actually training day four, I will be busy today getting caught up.

I am relatively new to blogging, having published 3-4 blog posts last year and the reason I am blogging instead of journaling privately is because another of my goals for 2014 is to share more and to be open to the possibility of connecting with others.  I would love to connect with other bloggers who are experiencing some of the same goals that I am and find new friends to be inspired by and in that share my life in new and fun ways.  One of my other goal categories for 2014 will be “fun”….so this will assist in meeting more than one goal at the same time.  By the end of the year, if I blog successfully, I will have taken my life to a new level in sharing and having fun in connecting with others.
All of my 2014 goals will be listed in a subsequent blog posting.

If you would like to join in this training, the site is dailypost.wordpress.com.

Thank you WordPress!

For such a time as this…

Two weeks from today, a journey takes me to flight…Seattle-Detroit-Amsterdam-Nairobi-Mombasa.  I’m busy with shopping, packing, checking my list, planning, prioritizing, ordering Kenyan schillings, and watching for emails from Michelle, our liaison and team member.  When I take a minute to sit and be quiet, I come to tears at the thought that this is actually happening.  That I get to be a messenger for God, that I get to be on this team that He has assembled, that I get to put my feet into the “end of the earth” soil, that I get to witness Him in action as He transforms lives, that I get to be honored, lowly me, for such a time as this.  It’s beyond what I can comprehend and the tears well up from my humble heart.

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We will be in Mariakani, about an hour outside of Mombasa, staying in an apartment.  “It’s primitive” was the answer we received when we asked about electricity, debit cards, computer access.  There is no refrigeration….and I am so ready for this.  Because.  It’s not about the computer access.  It’s about the access to God…which is readily available.  It’s not about electricity.   It’s about what happens when the “light” goes on in someone’s heart as God enters that person’s life.  It’s not about refrigeration.  It’s about the warmth that is always available through Christ.  It’s not about debit cards.   It’s about the debit side of our accounts that have been paid for us through His son.  Yes, we will be in a remote area; however, we will not be disadvantaged, even “remotely”.  Where we are going in Africa is “primitive”.  Where we are going in HIM, is anything but primitive.

LIFE International is sending this team of five to Kenya.  There will be six days of training…three on abstinence and three on abortion-recovery and how to talk with an abortion-minded person.  Please pray with us as three leaders train church leaders to lead others.  LIFE International is out of Grand Rapids MI and their mission is to multiply life-giving ministries around the world where abortions are performed.  With over 40 million abortions performed each year around the globe, think of this as the most unreached people group.  This is the language of LIFE International.  http://www.lifeinternational.com

Our host is Bramuel Musya, CEO of Straight Path Resources, and also known as the African Story Teller.  Just to be in his audience, is going to be life changing.   http://www.bramuelmusya.org.

Just to be traveling with this team is going to be pivotal and momentous.  My role as journalist will be to capture the moment/s as they happen during the six days of training on the sanctity of human life.  Truly a mission.  Truly an honor.  Truly about love.  Truly about changed hearts.  Truly about what’s possible when we allow Jesus to rule our hearts.

Two weeks from today….

God is my new boss

Something happened when I turned my life over to God. I don’t remember the day, but I do remember the conversation. “Okay God, take my life, my thoughts, my heart, my all. I’ll do whatever you say. I’ll go wherever you send me. However I can serve you Lord.” That began a quiet journey of paying attention, studying, waiting and getting ready. At that time, it was just between me and God. I surrendered. Totally.

Today, flights are confirmed, tickets are purchased, immunizations are complete, and plans are underway for my first short-term missions trip….to Kenya. Actually, it’s not my trip. It’s God’s trip and I’m going with Him. God is my new boss….and He’s called me out of retirement. Actually, He never calls us to retirement. He calls us to be productive our whole lives. So, it’s with a humble heart that I get to go to work…what an awesome honor to go to work for my new boss. And I didn’t even have to apply or interview. He already knew all about me. When I was filling out the application to become an International Training Specialist with LIFE International over two years ago, I could see how God had been training me all along. It was eye opening. OH! That’s why I had foreign exchange students living with me. OH! That’s why I flew for the airlines for Pan Am and Northwest Orient, visiting different cultures and lands. OH! That’s why I took that test to learn that my strengths were centered around compassion and teaching. OH! That’s why I had recently spent a month in India. Hmmmm….it was a course in LIFE….and God was my instructor all along. Little did I know at the time that I was “in training” for His greater purposes.

Now that I’ve “signed on”, it seems so simple. It’s kind of like this….an apple tree doesn’t struggle to grow apples, it only struggles when it tries to grow a pear. All those times of struggling, of “trying” to fit in, of wondering where I belong, of forging my own path, could have been simplified had I just surrendered long ago. For some reason, though, I didn’t accept Jesus into my life until I was fifty-two….on February 2, 2000…and I didn’t fully surrender for another eight years. There was a lot of bitterness that had to be worked through. There was a lot of learning that had to happen on the heart level. It was an “inside job”. God is the master of “inside jobs”….He wanted my heart and He worked hard and waited a long time to receive it. Today, He has my heart, simply and completely. I love my new boss. And He loves me. It’s not usually okay to fall in love with your boss…but in this case, it’s essential!

Today, my outlook, my overview, my environment, my platform, my life is different. It’s all forward thinking, forward moving, forward bound. Here’s an analogy. I purchased a new laptop recently and had to call the tech support office to assist me with set up. I gave the technician “remote access” to my computer and as I sat back and watched her move the cursor around to accomplish the tasks, I loved it! She had just taken total control of my whole computer and it was so simple! As I sat and watched, for many hours, I was reminded that this is how God is working in my life too. Just take total control of my whole life, God. I’ll just submit and watch you perform miracles in my life and in the lives of those around me. Here’s an example….I am currently co-leading the Forgiven and Set Free Bible Study for post-abortive women. A friend of mine summed it up beautifully….”we have been invited to have a front row seat to watch and help foster the transformation that happens when people allow Jesus to rule their hearts”. It’s not me…it’s God…who works in the lives of His people. The Bible is FULL of these stories. I get to be His assistant, His student, His trainee. I get to be on His staff, in His Department, in His company, in His organization, in His forward-moving enterprise.

This new job is the best job I’ve ever had….and my new boss is the best boss I could ever imagine. Thank you Lord for hiring me, for training me, for preparing me to be in your service. I accept. I obey. I submit.

For Greater Good

It’s 61 degrees in Nairobi right now….it’s 7:45 p.m Monday evening…and cloudy and overcast.  My mind is in Nairobi getting ready to go to Mombasa….where it is 75 degrees and overcast as well.

The five-member team met this morning via Skype and phone and this was my first meeting with them.  It was 6:30 a.m. PDT here in Richland and 4:30 p.m. in Nairobi.  Our host was on the call, as well as the four other team members and another staff member from LIFE International.  Just to hear their voices was humbling to know that this team is “connected” and meeting and working toward God’s greater good. 

Coming from a background in corporate America, where I served mostly in a support role, or client services manager, I didn’t have people working under me, nor did I supervise others, or manage a department.

My first job out of the corporate world was with Goodwill Industries in Tacoma, serving as Exec. Assistant.  I was struck by the vast difference between corporate America and this, my first job, in the not-for-profit industry.  The “mission” made all the difference.  And what a difference it was.  The people at Goodwill are all working for the greater good of people, citizens, members of life, the disadvantaged and the disabled.  People come in disadvantaged, and leave advantaged.  They come in disabled, and leave abled.  It was striking to be in the environment, still in a support role, but working toward a greater good, a greater mission, a greater purpose, with a greater goal:  for people to become employed.

I hadn’t even started working for Goodwill yet, when someone said to me, “Oh, Goodwill!  They made my brother feel normal!!”  At that time, I knew this organization called Goodwill was blessing the lives of others.

This morning as I sat in on the meeting to discuss the planning, the intended outcomes, the participants, the training, etc., I was again struck by the overriding, underlying, all consuming “mission” of LIFE International and God’s intended outcomes for His people, His children, His work in the world. Still in a support role, there was a major difference in my heart that was felt while I was listening to the trainers and leaders as they continue doing His work. To be part of this journey is just too exciting. I noticed my heart was pumping a little faster, my pulse was noticeably beating at a higher rate and this all happened 30 minutes before the scheduled call! I always know that when I get that little bit of blood pumping and excitement, it’s a good bit of impetus to keep going in that same direction….God is on the move. And I know I am on the right track when I’m going where He is going.

As I was praying before the call this morning, I asked God specifically for His intended outcome. The message I received was “open hearts”. The word “open” can be used an adjective or a verb. In this case, I believe He wants to do both. He wants to “open” hearts, so that hearts may remain “open”. My favorite verse in the Bible is Ezekiel 36:26. “I will remove from you your heart of stone and give you a heart of flesh.” He wants our hearts to be alive, fleshy, pumping, vibrant, excited, growing, expanding, jumping around in our chests! This is for His greater good.

Our destination in September is Mombasa; however, the greater destination will always be love. Thank you for joining me on this journey toward love. Please visit http://www.LIFEInternational.com for more information on this amazing organization.

First Missions Trip

Hi Friends and Family…

This is to let you know of my first missions trip scheduled for this fall, September 13th-23rd. 

I cannot be more excited to share with you my journey and invite you to travel along with me as I post about my preparations, the team, the travel, the experiences and the amazing outcomes that God has in store for “us” as we join together to support His purposes. 

I have been invited to travel to Kenya on behalf of LIFE International out of Grand Rapids, Michigan, with a team of four others.  The mission of LIFE International is to multiply life-giving ministries around the world where attacks on human life are performed.  Here is their site:

http://www.LIFEinternational.com

Right now I am raising awareness, raising funds and raising prayer support….much is needed in all areas.

Have you been wondering what God is up to in the area of abortion?  Think of this….with over 40 million abortions performed around the globe every year, think of them as the most unreached people group.  If this moves you or stirs you to action, please know that is God working in you to nudge you to get involved, of which there are many ways.  I invite you to spend some time on the site for LIFE International and pray about it.  I recently finished a book by Henry Blackaby and Claude King entitled, Experiencing God.  One of the main themes of the book is to find out what God is doing, where He is going, and go with Him!

Well, God is going to Kenya in September and “we” are going with him.  You may support Him by becoming aware of what He is up to through LIFE International and travel along with me and an amazing team of four others.  Just being with this team for ten days will be an amazing experience in itself.  I am indeed honored and blessed to be included. 

The funds needed for my trip are approx. $5,300.  My husband and I are donating 25%, leaving a balance of $4,000.  My church has donated $500, leaving a balance of $3,500. 

Here are a few ways to contribute financially. 

(1) Checks/tax deductible donations may be made payable to LIFE International, and mailed to LIFE International, 72 Ransom Avenue NE, Grand Rapids, Michigan 49503-3217.  Please note in the memo line:  Linda Moore, Kenya, 2013. 

(2) Funds may be sent directly to me.  Please send an email to TogetherForGreatness@gmail.com for my address and contact information. 

(3) Another way is to donate your Delta Airline Miles.  We can work together on that option.  Please contact me at TogetherForGreatness@gmail.com.

(4)  100% of my income from my health and wellness business are going towards my trip.  Here is my website if you’d like to donate by shopping:  http://www.nikken.com/wellnessiscontagious.   

Another vast area of support will be through prayer.  If you would like to be on my prayer team and receive prayer requests and praises, much prayer will be needed for this trip and all of LIFE International.  The six days of training in Kenya will consist of three days on abstinence training and three days on post-abortion recovery training.  The training team is currently meeting on curriculum and using a new learning philosophy and methodology.

Our host is Bramuel Musya and his blog is brammiesupdates.blogspot.com.  Be sure to read his post on The 72 Ransom Avenue Convenant, created during the 2012 Global Leaders’ Life Summit. 

The training will be entirely in English, the destination will be Nairobi, the team has been confirmed and tickets will be purchased very soon.  I am working on immunizations, fund raising, prayer support, visas, packing and generally being just plain excited.  People are asking me if I am scared.  I am not.  Even though what I am reading is pretty scary, I am surprisingly not scared.  One of my mentors recently confirmed that God will go with me, that He will never leave me nor forsake me.  I am definitely excited, but not fearful. 

The following was taken from the Spring 2013 Life International Newsletter:

How To Impact the World for Life

1.  Pray.  The most powerful way to engage in this mission and to effect change in our world is to begin on our knees before God.

2.  Sow.  Every gift given generously toward God–no matter the size–makes a difference!

3.  Go.  You can employ your expertise and skills to equip others around the world for life-giving ministry. 

Blessings.  Always.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I like Fridays…

I like Fridays….it gives me a chance to say TGIF..or Thank God I’m Forgiven…and to remember how much God has forgiven me for.

Today was the perfect Friday to spend a quiet day with the Lord and pray and listen to His promptings.  It was also the perfect day to hike up to the top of Badger Mountain here in the Tri-Cities.  The sun was shining, it would be hot later on and there was a cool breeze.

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I headed to the trail head about 9:30 with my water bottle and began a slow uphill stroll.  Usually I am going all out to get to the top more quickly than my last effort, always timing myself against myself.  This day was for going slowly and enjoying each step.

As I was walking up the well manicured path this day I noticed more trash along the trail than usual…tissues, dog poop, bags of dog poop, etc.   Usually I pick up trash along my walks; however, I hadn’t planned for that today….and usually the trail is spotless of trash…and didn’t have a garbage sack with me.  As I came upon a baggie of dog poop, I felt the “prompting” to “pick it up”…I kept walking, but after a few steps did turn around to pick it up.  It was tied in a knot, so I picked it up with my first finger and thumb and only grabbed on to about 1/4 inch of the top of the bag….the very least I could get away with and still hold it.  I had a two-fingered vice grip on it, held it away from my body, could smell something from it every so often, and kept thinking, uh, this is not good.  There are no trash bins on the mountain which meant I was going to have to hang on to it all the way up and all the way down.  Plus, it must have been a rather large dog, as it was a rather large weight.

At first it was quite annoying.  I was very aware of what  I was holding onto and it was, UH!  and very hard to ignore.  It had its own “presence” and it was right next to me.  I kept thinking about it and realized I was doing the right thing, but it was “uh”!   So, I kept walking with the dog poop in my left hand and my water bottle in my right.  Sometimes it would smell and sometimes it wouldn’t.  But it was always, uh!   I came to a rest area with the bench made out of large rocks.  I sat down, put the dog poop on my left and my water bottle on my right.   I sat and meditated for a few moments, checked my emails and texts, had a sip of water and started up the mountain again.

After a little bit of walking, I realized I hadn’t thought one bit about what was in my left hand.  It was just me walking up the mountain with the dog poop in my left hand, my water bottle in my right hand, and all was well with the world.  Dare I say, it had become a part of me!?   I didn’t notice it, I didn’t smell it, I didn’t feel the weight of it, my fingers were fine holding it, and it was now again a nice walk up the mountain.

I started to think…isn’t this the way life is?  At first something happens in our lives and it’s heavy and it stinks and it looks bad and it feels bad and without question, it’s bad!   And we know it.  Then after a while, it becomes a part of us…it’s still there, but we don’t know it, it doesn’t smell, we can’t see it, it doesn’t feel so bad and it’s not quite so heavy.   Dare I say it becomes a part of us…uh!

As I came to the top of the mountain, I took a different path down the back side than usual.  It was a beautiful day, I had no time constraints, I was open to a new path so off I went….still hanging onto my doggie bag and my water bottle.  I started to notice there were fewer people on the trail today; in fact, most of the walk I had been alone with my thoughts.  Soon, I realized it was because it was such a HOT day….most folks had finished their walk and were down the mountain.  I kept walking and walking and walking and came to realize that this way down the mountain was not going to get me back to my car. I looked around and I was walking AWAY from the trail head and there was no one in sight.   At last, another  hiker came along going in the opposite direction, so I did ask her where this trail came out….back by the trail head where we park our cars?  She said, “No, this comes out on the other side of the mountain”.  She asked me where I had joined the trail and I told her.  She gave me a couple options for getting back, including one that was shorter, but more challenging.  I was now realizing that I was going to have to walk all the way back up to the top of the mountain, it was getting quite HOT and I had to make a choice.  I chose the more challenging but shorter route to the top of the mountain.

While walking back up, interestingly,  I again became aware of my bag of doggie poop.  I was now walking with more intention, I was hungry, I was a little bit lost, it was VERY hot, the sun was beating down, there was no one around, I was now wanting to get back and my stroll became a fast walk.  And the dog poop reappeared into my consciousness.  And isn’t that the way life is…..when we are stressed,  hungry, angry, lonely or tired, struggling, upset, etc., that little invisible bag of poop that we have been carrying around begins to smell, seems heavy, looks bad, and feels bad….all of that is still there!  It didn’t go away, it just disappeared for awhile.

So, with my doggie bag and my bottle, “we” made it to the top of the mountain….and now I’m having trouble hanging onto the plastic doggie bag with my two sweaty fingers and it’s difficult to unscrew the top of my water bottle to take a drink of water without the doggie bag getting in my way.  I’m now holding my water bottle lid in the same hand as the dog poop and screwing it back on too.  Uh!   I’m realizing I probably have a bit of a sunburn and I’m wanting to get down the mountain as quickly as possible.  I start to use my water bottle to protect the back of my neck from the sun, holding it with my right hand.  The dog poop is getting heavier and sweat is rolling down my face.  I am intent of going back down the mountain the way I’m familiar with.  I start down one way, passing a sign and then start questioning if this really is the correct way down?  So I go back to the sign and check it out.  I’m starting to question if I know how to get down, at all?!  My mind is playing tricks on me.  This happens again and I double check again, wanting to make no more assumptions.  My feet are starting to slip on the gravel a bit because  I’ve been on the mountain for three hours instead of one and I’m a bit tired.  Flies are now starting to land on my hand holding the doggie bag, my wrist by the doggie back and my left arm.  Of course they are, I’m sweating and I’m carrying a bag of now very warm, if not hot, dog poop.  Uh!!!!

At last, at one very welcome point down the mountain, I recognize where I am, that the trail head is in sight, my car is in sight, and the very best is in sight….a garbage bin!!!!

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As I dropped the baggie into the bin…I had a revelation… I realized that through all the personal growth work and healing that God has done in my life, I am no longer carrying around that little bag of doggie poop…..figuratively or literally!!!  To no longer be emotionally fragile is true freedom.  To no longer be easily offended is true freedom.  To no longer be carrying around that little doggie bag (of debt, unforgivingness, bitterness, hard heartedness, etc) is true freedom.

I like Fridays….it gives me a chance to say TGIF…or Thank God I’m Free…and to remember how much I have to be thankful for.