Category Archives: prayer

Just A Glance

Photo: Bob Ybarra, Crested Pool, Yellowstone

Photo: Bob Ybarra, Crested Pool, Yellowstone

O LORD God of hosts, hear my prayer;

Give ear, O God of Jacob!  Selah

O God, behold our shield,

And look upon the face of Your anointed.

For a day in Your courts

is better than a thousand.

I would rather be a doorkeeper

in the house of my God

Than dwell in the tents of wickedness.

For the LORD God is a sun and shield;

The LORD will give grace and glory;

No good thing will He withhold

From those who walk uprightly.

Psalm 84:8-11

In a time of heartache King David longed to be in God’s presence crying out to God with a plea of desperation,

“O hear me, turn your ear, look, please, just look upon me.”

This was a most humble prayer.  He didn’t ask for much.  It was a simple prayer just to be acknowledged with the glance of God, even if for only a moment, for even a glance from God is enough. It is sufficient to satisfy the deepest longings of man.  God rewarded David by prospering his kingdom, honoring him in the written word and by granting him the desire of his heart… to be in His presence forever.  David’s prayer was rewarded with abundant grace!

O Lord, look upon us for your glance is enough

to satisfy our souls for eternity.  Amen

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Worship Leader on a Mission~ Sri Lanka and Back

ggtr

Sri Lanka isn’t a big country, about 25,332 sq mi compared to California at about 163,696 sq mi.  The population about 21,128,773 with less than 10% Christian according to Gospel For Asia.  My husband and I were guests of friends, Rob and Heidi Douglass, who live in Colombo, the Capital City.  They were gracious and made us feel very welcome and comfortable in between our jaunts into the jungle and across country .

Rob and Heidi Douglass

Rob, Heidi and little Lilah Douglass

After arriving in Colombo on March 21, and treated to some cool air and sweet fellowship we settled in and prepared for some serious ministry.  My husband, Bob, would visit the Gospel For Asia Bible College in Colombo with Dan Finfrock to teach the Inductive Bible Study Method.  I, on the other hand, was scheduled to travel to, Habarana, a small village in the jungle about 4-1/2 hours into the Sri Lanka interior, north-east of Colombo to teach at a Gospel for Asia satellite bible campus for two days.  My pre-visit impressions were a quaint little campus in a small town but I got a big surprise. (travel tip I: reset your expectations, study the culture, climate and living conditions)

I arrived in Habarana after an early start and a long, bumpy ride.  We discovered that the satellite campus was a short drive, about 1/2 mi. on a dirt road, into the jungle after which we completed the distance on foot for another 1/4 mi. (travel tip II: heels in the jungle…. NOT!)

It’s a jungle out there! Habarana is a favorite elephant safari spot for tourists.  I saw monkeys and heard wild peacocks in between all the other unusual sounds of animals and birds.  It was dense and beautiful and I couldn’t see into it more than a few feet.

We passed a communications building hidden behind a wall and a few simple dwellings along the road as we walked…. and there we were, Habarana GFA Satellite Campus.  A small compound really, which seemed to consist of two or three small brick and block buildings, tin roofs with bare windows and fabric hung in door openings for shade and privacy.

Students sat on grass mats on the rough concrete floor in the chapel which was swept clean with walls white washed all over to catch the light coming in the glass-less windows that allowed flies to stumble in and out lazily.

The main building housed the chapel/classroom and the pastors residence, consisting of what looked like two rooms.  I met the pastors wife, a young woman with a sweet, tender spirit.  She was noticeably concerned as she reported that her husband had been quite ill, unable to eat or drink.  He would be transported to a hospital later the next day. (good reports trickled in later that week)

Satellite buildings in Habarana

Satellite buildings in Habarana

satellite interior Habarana

satellite chapel interior, Habarana

I wish I could have gotten some pics of the students but my phone/camera went dead so I only got the few I’ll share here.  I  apologize for the lousy quality.

translator-and-student-habarana

a student with her son and my GFA translator, Tusi

more students, Habarana

Tusi in the doorway with more students, Habarana. notice the international gesture of friendship? yep, they get phone reception even in the jungle.... amazing!

Habarana was my first experience ministering in a jungle setting.  With no electricity, fans or air-conditioning, and no running water…. it was very hot and humid, which at first was a distraction, but once I got busy teaching from His Word things were as they should be.

God is so good and had been preparing me and the students long before He sent me there to share what I have learned about worshipping Him.  Around mid day we broke for a lunch of white rice, a lentil paste with a bit of egg and other simple foods.  Later in the afternoon, our hosts were gracious and served very hot, very sweet, cream tea which would have been more welcome had it been cooler weather but it was a nice treat even in the heat if the day.

These students were so genuine and hungry to hear and learn.  They recieved the Word with gladness and we shared the common bond of fellowship in spite of language and culture barriers.

two wonderful little "guitar students" I spent some time bonding with

two wonderful little "guitar students" we learned chords and spent some time bonding... precious!

An unusual thing happened on this trip.  At least it was unusual for me.  On the long drive down I had time to ponder, pray and get to know my translator, Tusi.  During one of our quiet stretches, she had fallen asleep.  I distinctly heard the Lord speak to my heart that I would be praying for someone demon possessed.  I promptly thanked the Lord for the fore-warning seeing as how I’d never been in that situation before and began to pray for His Spirit to empower me and Tusi and go before us.

I had no idea what would occur but what could I do?  Just go with it and trust my Jesus.  🙂    At the end of the first day of teaching I asked the students if any of them wanted prayer.  Tusi and I prayed for several, maybe 20, students.  It was a sweet time and I discovered that their prayer requests were much the same as those I hear in the states; “please pray for my sick mother,” Please pray for my unsaved family,” one needed healing, another needed a place to stay.  All the usual requests except for a common request to pray for restoration of families as Buddhist and Hindu parents will disown their children for becoming Christians.

Then a young man, maybe in his late teens, was brought to us by some friends or family members, I wasn’t sure which.  I found out that he was not a student at the bible college.

It was explained that “he was possessed with a demon.”  I declared to Tusi that this had been what the Spirit had foretold me.   We set our hearts to pray and all the students began praying out loud in their own language.

I wont go into detail except to note that he displayed biblical demonic possession behavior as we prayed for him.  After about 10 minutes he began to call out to the Lord and fell quiet and was delivered.  The next day he was sitting with the students studying the Word and smiling from ear to ear.  Later that day I saw him running with the other boys and so full of life.  It was glorious!

We returned to the Douglass home in Colombo and I was reunited with my husband and Dan who shared their own adventures, enjoyed a cool night in air-conditioned luxury with a new assignment ahead.

That mostly describes my first 3 days in Sri Lanka….. The balance of the trip included teaching at another GFA campus.  I praise my Lord for His mercy and grace to fulfill what He had given me to do and for glorifying Himself in my life.

Peace in Jesus Christ!

Cosima

PS  Thanks to all those who were praying for this trip.  Your prayers were felt and much appreciated.

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Worship Leader on a Mission

ggtr

I was talking with some folks tonite after service about being in the mission field.  Our discussion included some stories about spiritual warfare and oppression.  The enemy works you overtime when you are on his territory.

I’ve done a few mission trips in my years of ministry.  My first over-seas was China.  Wow, what an experience.  Before that I’d gone to Mexico and some local stuff.  Since then, Japan on several occasions and in between those my husband, two daughters and I did a year there.  I loved the people, the culture and the intensity of the mission field.  We really have it easy here in the US.  Yes, our enemy seeks to devour us but, honestly, it’s nothing like what I experienced in Japan.

On March 21 my husband and I will be traveling to Sri Lanka, returning to the US on April 3.  Rob Douglass and his family who are serving at Calvary Chapel Colombo have invited us to come and minister.  I’m so honored to be able to teach on worship at the Calvary Chapel Bible College there as well as minister to the women on Serving as Women.  My husband will teach Inductive Bible Study with Dan Finfrock of Intensive Care Ministries.

It would be a great blessing to me if I could have a few of you praying for this trip.  The national Christians are hungry for the Word and I feel a deep responsibility to be well prepared and represent Christ as best as possible, but to the enemy, “This means war!”

Please, leave me a comment to let me know you will partner with me for this trip.  I’ll be posting updates and more info periodically.

Thank you and God bless!

 

sdg

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Worship Leaders Speak: Brushing-up on Devotion

There are several pictures I get in my mind when I think of someone who has a devotional life.  Someone who rises early (before the sun and the kids) to pray and read from a little book that has each day prepared with a scripture reading and a commentary on the reading. (A devotional)

Someone who reads through his or her Bible every year.  Someone with stacks of Devotionals on their nightstand.  Someone who always has an open bible on his or her coffee or dining table.

The question I ask myself is, “do these descriptions define what it means to have a devotional life?”  And,  “Can we have a wrong perception of what it means to have a devotional life?”

Devotion defined: de·vo·tion   noun

  1.  deep love and commitment
  2.  great dedication and loyalty
  3.  strong enthusiasm and admiration for somebody or something
  4.  fervent religious or spiritual feeling (formal)
  5.  the act of devoting something or being devoted to a particular purpose
  6.  prayers or other religious observances, especially somebody’s private prayers or observances

 

I would like to answer a few questions in the next few paragraphs.  Questions like: What does it mean to have a devotional life?  Do all Christians have a devotional life?  Who in Scripture exemplified someone with a devotional life?  How can you/I have a successful devotional life?

1.)  What does it mean to have a devotional life?  

 Matthew 22:36-40 Jesus recounts the greatest commandment:

Love the Lord your God with all your heart, 

  • All your emotions given to God
  • All your affections given to God

with all your soul, 

  • All your being
  • All your life; breath; physical being.

and with all your mind

  • All your way of thinking
  • All your understanding
  • All your intellect
  • All your imagination

2.) Do all Christians have a devotional life?

2Co 11:3*  But I fear, lest somehow, as the serpent deceived Eve by his craftiness, so your minds may be corrupted from the simplicity that is in Christ.

It is possible to believe that doing acts of devotion are in and of themselves the devotional life.  Many have gotten caught up in thinking that reading their bibles or devotionals and praying at a certain time in the day makes devoted Christians.  On the contrary, it is because we are devoted to Christ that we read our Bibles and pray.

3.) Who in Scripture exemplified someone with a devotional life?

2Ki 20:3*  “Remember now, O LORD, I pray, how I have walked before You in truth   (mind)  and with a loyal heart, and have done what was good in Your sight (soul or being).” And Hezekiah wept bitterly.

1Ch 29:3  King David   “Moreover, because I have set my affection  (heart)  on the house of my God, I have given to the house of my God, over and above all that I have prepared for the holy house, my own special treasure of gold and silver: (being)

If we examine the lives of persons in scripture we will find either those who followed the Greatest Commandment or didn’t follow it.

Adam and Eve, Noah, Abraham and the patriarchs, Joshua, Rahab, Ruth, Joseph and his brothers, Jonah and The prophets, Job, Samson, The disciples, Judas Iscariot, Mary the mother of Jesus, Mary and Martha and Lazarus, Paul and the Apostles, Titus and Timothy, James the brother of Jesus, And the list goes on and on……

In each case these were either successful in their walk with God or not.  Those that were devoted experienced a close walk with God and the peace that comes with it.  Those that struggled in their devotion were markedly either failures or just squeezed by.

4.) How can you / I have a successful devotional life?

1Ch 28:9  “As for you, my son Solomon, know the God of your father, and serve Him with a loyal heart and with a willing mind; for the LORD searches all hearts and understands all the intent of the thoughts. If you seek Him, He will be found by you; but if you forsake Him, He will cast you off forever.

1Ti 4:13* Till I come, give attention to reading, to exhortation, to doctrine.  Do not neglect the gift that is in you, which was given to you by prophecy with the laying on of the hands of the eldership. Meditate on these things; give yourself entirely to them, that your progress may be evident to all.  Take heed to yourself and to the doctrine. Continue in them, for in doing this you will save both yourself and those who hear you.

Here’s a few things that will help strengthen devotion to God.

  • Devote yourself to Know God
  • Know God’s character and attributes
  • Know God’s voice
  • By prayer and reading 
  • Devote yourself to Serve God
  • Give yourself to God
  • Keep God’s Words
  • Devote yourself to Seek God
  • Study God’s Words

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Filed under Devotion, integrity, prayer, Worship Leaders, Worship Leaders Speak