18 October 2011

...You never know what you will see in Africa...

Vicky and I found this creature in our front yard of FRM Guest House in Uganda...

...you can see it's eyes...

...This is very brave of me...

In Him

17 October 2011

Sticky Fingers

It started out as a normal day, I was sitting eating lunch with Eunice when out of the corner of my eye I saw something move in the kitchen.  I at first thought it was a cat, but as we turned to see what had entered through the back door, there it was............a monkey.
Yes a monkey had not only walked into our house, but was sitting there quite content on the countertop eating my bananas. After yelling at it and chasing it back outside it sat at the top of the back fence finishing the banana it had stolen.  When I went back in the kitchen I saw the bunch of bananas left and there were holes in them where his fingers grabbed the banana.  So of course I was not going to eat them, so I fed the rest to it so the bananas at least would not be wasted.
Lesson learned that even though there is an electric fence around the compound when the power goes out frequently this allows for all sorts of animals to make themselves at home in my backyard and apparently in my kitchen. (That is Eunice's voice in the Video)    Hope this made you smile.                           Blessings~   Jamie
My Unexpected Lunch Guest

13 October 2011

Seeing the Creator in the Creation By Jamie McKinley

Through Him all things were made; without Him nothing was made that has been made. ~John 1:3
Through Him all things were made; without Him nothing was made that has been made. ~John 1:3

For the Lord is the great God, the great King above all gods. In His hand are the depths of the earth, and the mountain peaks belong to Him. The sea is His, for He made it, and His hands formed the dry land.  ~Psalm 95:3-5
For the Lord is the great God, the great King above all gods. In His hand are the depths of the earth, and the mountain peaks belong to Him. The sea is His, for He made it, and His hands formed the dry land. ~Psalm 95:3-5

Yours, O Lord, is the greatness and the power and the glory and the majesty and the splendor, for everything in heaven and earth is Yours.  ~1 Chronicles 29:11
Yours, O Lord, is the greatness and the power and the glory and the majesty and the splendor, for everything in heaven and earth is Yours. ~1 Chronicles 29:11

So why do you worry about clothing? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow: they neither toil nor spin; and yet I say to you that even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these. Now if God so clothes the grass of the field, which today is, and tomorrow is thrown into the oven, will He not much more clothe you, O you of little faith? ~Matthew 6:28-30

How great it is to just sit and watch a sunrise or sunset and see and soak in the vivid colors of the sky.  How treasured are those moments when I can just meditate on His Word and look out on a land or part of God’s creation.  To see a stream, a field of flowers, a few birds who eat from the crumbs I leave on the wall, the animals on safari, or even the stars; it is impossible not to praise the Creator.

Everything was created for God’s glory to speak and show His power and His majesty.  I love to find beauty in the secret streets or corners no one might look, like the small pots and gardens in the midst or a trash filled slum.  To see the child at play with a toy made of scraps and things thrown away.  The Lord uses and makes beauty from the ashes in our own lives and hearts (Isaiah 61:3).

I had the amazing opportunity to go with the Zavala family on a road trip to Kijabe.  The trip was to go for fellowship and to see the ministry and work of the mission hospital there.  I had never been and was a little curious to see what it looked like and know where it was located.  The blessing was that God did a mighty work in His creation and as we traveled we were blessed with views of fields, trees, mountains, and rivers.

The earth speaks of God’s beauty and power and yet I often do not take the time to meditate on it.  I find on days when I wake up with things to do or try to work things out without being still and resting in Him I forget He holds the Earth together in His hand (Psalm 46:10).  Everything, not just some, but everything is for His glory.  The hard times and the good, the beauty and the disregarded all can and will be used to display His glory. My prayer is that I would trust Him in every aspect of my life as He cares for the flowers He cares more for His children (Matthew 6:25-34).  When I fully yield to Him I can be that vessel that shines and displays His glory.

Here is a little poem I read that just shows a man who saw in his seminary the beauty that surrounds drives us to praise the Creator.

Pied Beauty, Gerard Manley Hopkins

Glory be to God for dappled things—
For skies of couple-colour as a brinded cow;
For rose-moles all in stipple upon trout that swim;
Fresh-firecoal chestnut-falls; finches’ wings;
Landscape plotted and pieced—fold, fallow, and plough;

And áll trádes, their gear and tackle and trim.
All things counter, original, spare, strange;

Whatever is fickle, freckled (who knows how?)
With swift, slow; sweet, sour; adazzle, dim;
He fathers-forth whose beauty is past change:

I am so encouraged how the Lord works and shows me His glory and hand in life.

In Him,

07 October 2011

Come Away With Me My Beloved

My beloved spoke, and said to me:
“ Rise up, my love, my fair one, and come away. For lo, the winter is past, The rain is over and gone. The flowers appear on the earth; The time of singing has come, and the voice of the turtledove is heard in our land. The fig tree puts forth her green figs, and the vines with the tender grapes give a good smell.
Rise up, my love, my fair one, And come away!”
~Song of Solomon 2:10-13

My November newsletter will talk a lot of the work God is doing in my heart.  Yet I still can’t help but share just a small piece of what God has shown me just today.  These last few months have been a true refining time for me and I feel the Lord sifting through my heart and cleaning it out so that He can fill every area.  Needless to say it is still a work in progress, but the Lord is faithful to continue to cleanse me and make me into His pure bride (Ephesians 5:25-27).  I am humbled as the Lord reveals things in my heart and life that He desires to purify.

Yet as I have discovered in my Christian walk whenever the Lord is working and trying to shape me into a vessel that will shine more of His glory the devil is waiting and lurking to see if he can destroy any progress.  As I have seen God’s hand and His changes have been seen in my heart and His glory shown in it, this last week I have also seen the devil trying to distract.  This is nothing unexpected, but definitely a thing that brings me to my knees in prayer.

For it is in prayer that victory is found, for we are not fighting physical powers but spiritual battles.  As I have been setting aside more time and trying to be more diligent in growing in my relationship with God and giving Him my whole heart the world tries to come in between.  I know we face the battle everywhere not just in the mission field, but I see how technology, entertainment, activities, and people can draw the focus off the eternal things and off Him and steal time.  As I study Revelation with our youth group and dig into it, and look at the lost around me I feel an urgency to reach as many as possible for His Kingdom since the end is near and life is a vapor.  Yet how often time is wasted on distracted thoughts, pointless entertainment, and technology.  Even ministry can become so busy and demanding that something good can cause me to loose focus on why I am serving and Who I am serving.

However, today as I woke up I just felt that desire to not make plans but listen to His voice the calling me to “Come away with Him.”  These days are always nice to just read His Word, pray, listen to a teaching, read a study, and just sit and hear from Him.  Today I was so blessed, so refreshed and encouraged.  After a week that seemed to have different and odd distraction, I was able to drive, not face traffic, not get caught up in work, and just set aside time to refocus and be refilled by His Spirit.  God will not relent until He has all of my heart and by responding to His voice today I am just overwhelmed with peace and joy.  For it is not by my own strength I can live day by day but by His Spirit! (Zechariah 4:6)  I encourage you answer His call and come away with Him, you don’t need a whole day like I had today; but just time that is dedicated to Him alone, He is a jealous God!

Please continue to pray that my focus would be on God and His glory and that these distractions would fade and be at a distance.  Thank you so much for your prayers, you are truly a blessing!

In Him,  Jamie

03 October 2011

Update: from Natasha!

Dear friends and family,

I’ve been reading the book “Love, a Holy Command” by Oswald Chambers… and I really want to share a few thoughts with you. “Whenever God has given you a blessing, take time to meditate beside the blessing and offer it back to God in a deliberate ecstasy of worship. God will never allow you to hold a spiritual blessing for yourself; it has to be given back to Him that He may make it a blessing to others. If you hoard it, it will turn to spiritual dry rot. If God has blessed you, erect an altar and give the blessing back to God as a love-gift.”

Do I stop and meditate over spiritual blessings that God gives to me? Am I ready to give them back to God or I am trying to hold them for myself? These are the real questions that I am asking myself…

The Lord brought me to a place in my life where I am like Mary sitting at the feet of Jesus and learning from Him…and honestly, I am telling you that it’s not easy for me… I am more like Martha… I like to be busy about my Father’s business…and I understand that there are different seasons in our walk with Jesus, and there is nothing wrong about being busy in the ministry…I am just saying that I am in a season in my life right now when God wants me to be quiet and listen… so I can embrace everything that Jesus has for me…It’s amazing how deep He can take me if only I am ready to receive…I hope it all makes sense to you and encourages you to get on your knees and let the Lord draw you closer to His Heart full of Love…

The warfare is so strong that it is hard even to explain…I read again and again Matthew 17 and see the warfare that the disciples faced after their experience on the mountain…We are all fighting; not against flesh and blood but our fight is in the spiritual realm…I cannot forget about it, you cannot forget about it…It does not matter how hard it might be…Jesus is my Victory, His Precious Blood covers me…His Love covers me…I can rest in Him, it gives me strength to move further...It makes me want to yield to my Beloved even more…to let Him do whatever it takes to make me like gold for His glory, for His pleasure…

I know that Jesus is writing His story through my life and it’s an amazing story of His Love and Faithfulness…

“Set me as a seal upon your heart, as a seal upon your arm; for love is as strong as death, jealousy as cruel as the grave; it’s flames are flames of fire,…many waters cannot quench this love…” Song of Solomon 8:6

in Him,