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Inspired to Action blog posts by Rebecca Pratt
|Posted on June 29, 2013 at 2:30 PM||comments (107)|
As a Jesus follower we have been given EVERYTHING we need to live a victorious and beautiful life in partnership with Christ.
We have not been promised an easy life by any means, but we HAVE been given all the tools we need to overcome every hardship and difficult thing that comes our way. God made sure, we as His children were given every spiritual gift to be able to live free, redeemed, restored and healed in every area of our life. As we embrace how God has destined us to live, we in turn are able to help usher others into this same victorious way of living.
In the bible, in the book of Ephesians, Paul was trying to get the church of Ephesus to understand the kind of life they could live if they would just embrace what God had already given them once they accepted Christ into their lives. These were Christians who were living like spiritual beggars, yet had a rich spiritual bank account that God was waiting for them to embrace. Paul let them know that they had no excuse to live in a defeated manner.
As Christians we have it all, adoption, acceptance, redemption, forgiveness, wisdom, inheritance, the seal of the Holy Spirit, life, grace, and citizenship. We are rich beyond measure.
I love how Pastor Tobin Wilson from the Lake Burien Presbyterian Church put it in one of the church newsletters.
Simple but powerful. Based off of Psalms 23.
The Lord is my Shepherd ----- that's a Relationship!
I shall not want ----- that's Supply!
He maketh me to lie down in green pastures ----that's Rest!
He leadeth me beside the still waters -----that's Refreshment!
He restoreth my soul ----- that's Healing!
He leadeth me in the paths of righteousness --that's Guidance!
For His name sake ----- that's Purpose!
Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death--that's Testing!
I will fear no evil ----- that's Protection!
For Thou art with me ----- that's Faithfulness!
Thy rod and Thy staff comfort me -----that's Discipline!
Thou preparest a table before me in the presence of mine enemies------that's Hope!
Thou annointest my head with oil -----that's Consecration!
My cup runneth over ----- that's Abundance!
Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life----that's Blessing!
And I will dwell in the house of the Lord -----that's Security!
Forever ----- that's Eternity!
God has given us EVERYTHING we need through His great love for us, to live VICTORIOUSLY.
|Posted on April 10, 2013 at 8:17 AM||comments (227)|
During my one on one meetings with the children at our orphanage/safe home, something very unexpected happened.
I asked the little 11 year old girl in front of me, how she was doing. I asked her if she felt safe and protected here at the home, and at her school, due to my knowledge that she had watched her parents be brutally murdered in front of her,
I had to be very careful not to try to make this a big emotional ordeal, but wanted to see how she was doing in her heart. I told her I knew about her parents, and wanted her to know that we want to make sure she is doing okay, not just physicaly, but also emotionally.
She said she does feel safe here. I asked her if she still has nightmare’s about her parents death. She said, "yes, I will never forget". We talked about what to do when she has those nightmares. I told her how proud I was in watching her as a big sister to her younger brother and sister. I told her that her mother and father would be so proud of her as their daughter.
Then God did something I did not expect. God gave me a glimpse of this being my own biological child, and me being the one brutally murdered looking down at this conversation, with a caring woman speaking to my child. I felt like God spoke to my heart these word, “if you were dead, what would you want this woman to tell your child for you?" Oh my goodness, I immediately said in my mind to the Lord, “I would want her to grab my child in her arms and hold her, and rock her, and kiss her, and tell her how proud I was of her, and how much I love her, and that she is not forgotten or alone.
Then I felt like God spoke to me and said, “Then do this”. So I looked at this precious little girl, and asked her if I could represent her mother and rock her and hold her like her mother would have. She shyly said yes, and climbed into my lap, put her head into my chest and allowed me to rock her and kiss her as I told her how much her mother loved her and how she will always love her into all of eternity.
Without her being aware, tears were flowing down my face in deep emotion, as this precious girl stayed nuzzled into my chest. My translator started talking to me in English so this little one could not understand, and began to tell me to stop the tears, because this would not be good for her to see, I told her I was trying, but God was completely breaking my heart for this little one. She then also became emotional, and for the next few minutes we both worked hard to get our composure, with this sweet girl unaware of what was transpiring above her, as she was lost in this embrace of love.
This was just a fleeting moment in time, yet for the rest of the day, this precious girl clung to me every moment she could.
God re-reminded me the need for every child to be recognized as an individual. In the masses of children and need. Each child has a name, a dream, a destiny, and a story. Each child needs a special touch from God through our life.
|Posted on April 9, 2013 at 1:00 PM||comments (17)|
|Posted on April 8, 2013 at 7:28 AM||comments (28)|
Late Friday night the house mother of our orphanage/safe home in Benin, came to me with her bible in hand, and asked if she could talk and process some things with me. With a stack of sponsorship letters I needed to finish writing for the 19 of our 59 kids who did not receive a letter from their sponsors, I realized what stood before me needed to take priority. I stopped what i was doing and committed to be the listener she needed in that moment. Knowing I had a deadline for the letters to be given out in the morning, along with my translator who was coming at 10 am, I had to intentionally switch my mind to this precious lady who has devoted the last 3 and a half years to being a mother to our 59 children.
In her broken English and lots of hand motions, she shared with me some of her struggles for about an hour. We then prayed and handed it all over to God, I shared some thoughts with her that I felt God was asking me to tell her. This brought her to sweet tears, as she felt like these things were exactly what God was trying to speak to her about, yet she just needed confirmation. She then took my two hands in hers, with tears dripping down her eyes, and thanked me for listening and praying and speaking life into her.
I then got back to my letter writing, grateful for that beautiful God moment, having a keen sense of awareness that I almost missed God in that moment through being in my focused work mode.
I am reminded that through the mundane tasks we have to accomplish, there are spiritual moments intertwined in and through it all, as God is so eager in every circumstance to bring a touch of Himself to others, through our lives.
May we never get too busy to miss these beautiful moments in which God intends to bring healing to those in our path.
|Posted on April 5, 2013 at 12:25 PM||comments (5)|
As I hit Paris on my layover to Benin, my social encounters come to an end, as I said hello to the French speaking Countries I would be in for the next 12 days. Rarely do I find anyone speaking English at this point in my travels.
When I boarded the plane I asked the woman next to me in my few known French words, if she spoke English, she said no. So my next seven hours were spent in silence.
This has become a common occurrence in my travels to Benin. This never get’s any easier. I listened to my French lessons on my earphones, and used the rest of the flight to sleep, as I had lost one full night’s sleep, and was quite exhausted.
The discomfort of not knowing the language, and my questioning again of why God asks me to work in a country where nothing is personally comfortable, rose to my mind. I fought these negative thoughts, and told the Lord, I am His. I will continue to do whatever He asks, even if I am completely out of my element and comfort zone. I committed once again my hands, my feet, and my mouth piece, however He wants to use them. I am making myself available to whatever He wants to do through my life.
My friend, and Director of the orphanage/safe home we have brought into existence, picked me up at the airport and we had a wonderful time catching up, as English is her first language.
The next day we took the long, hot and bumpy road up country to where our kids were waiting for us, and where my friend dropped me off for the rest of my trip, as she does not live at the orphanage, I then had my translator meet me the following day to begin the work part of the trip with child profiles and updates, sponsorship letters, and all my Government meetings. Which brings me to today. (Friday).
As I arrived, the hugs and kisses crossed all barriers of language, even though it was initially awkward to find adequate words to say except hello, and how are you.
After Eating and taking a much needed nap that first evening with the kids, I went outside my room to face the awkward language barrier again. I was immediately embraced and mobbed by children who wanted hugs and love. That is the one thing I could do.
They pulled up a chair for me, as they stroked my arms and put their hands through my hair and fought for my lap. We did our usual practicing of French words for me, and English words for them, and had fun just hanging out together into the night hours.
I began to thank God for each life rescued in front of me. 56 of the 59 kids in this home have no parents alive. The little 5 year old girl who was standing in front of me had watched both parents be brutally murdered in front of her. The 15 year old girl who stroked my hair was rescued from being married off at the age of 13 to a Muslim man who had many other wives.
One redemption story after the next flooded my mind, and all I could do in that moment was to thank God for this incredible privilege of allowing me to be apart of this work.
This morning I awoke to kids singing praises to God in their morning devotions at 6 am, In my own quiet time, I listened to the worship song called, “Dance with me.” The words hit home as God reminds me that He wants to dance with me even when it is uncomfortable. He will lead, and He wants me to follow in this beautiful dance with Him.
The words to the song echo in my mind “Won’t you Dance with me, oh lover of my soul, to the song of all songs. By your love you have captured my heart. Won’t you dance with me.”
God is echoing these words to each of us every day. “Won’t you dance with me?”
May my answer always be, “Yes, I will dance with you, my Lord.”
Where you lead, I will follow, even when it is uncomfortable.
Psm: 143:8 NIV: Let the morning bring me word of your unfailing love, for I have put my trust in you.
|Posted on March 24, 2013 at 1:09 AM||comments (85)|
Are you living in fear that is crippling you from living your destiny?
Many of us self sabotage our lives over and over by not dealing with the many fears in our life.
Fear of financial failure, fear of rejection or hurt, fear of the unknown, fear of the end of the world, fear of loss, fear of God not coming through, fear of death, fear of losing a loved one...... The list goes on. You name it, we can fear it.
I have realized that most fear in my life ultimately comes from lack of faith in God, and a lack of really understanding God’s character. It can also come because I am unwilling to deal with the issues God has asked me to deal with in my life.
If I am walking humbly before God and seeking God with all my heart, and loving all those in my path and doing what God asks of me each day, then I should never be walking in fear. I can walk free and walk forward in all that God asks of me.
One of the classic stories in the Bible where fear crippled God’s people from coming into their destiny, was in Deuteronomy chapter 1. God freed the Israelites from slavery in Egypt showing His power and favor on them. God wanted to give them the promised land flowing with milk and honey as a fulfilled promise to their forefathers, Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. When the Israelite men scouted out the land, they were crippled in fear after they saw the people were like giants in the promised land. They came back from their scout out trip, and put the fear in all the Israelites minds, saying they could not conquer them due to their size. Only Joshua and Caleb had faith, but this faith almost got these two men stoned by all the ones who were living in fear.
Because of their fear and lack of faith in God, God did not allow that entire generation to step into the promised land. They had to wander in the desert for 40 years. That whole generation had to die off before God would give them the land. Joshua and Caleb were the only ones of that original group that were spared and given a long life so they could inherit the land with the next generation.
For me, different fears rise up regularly. When the fears come, I have to seize them and take my thoughts captive, as it says in 2 Corinthians 10:5: “We are destroying speculations and every lofty thing raised up against the knowledge of God, and we are taking every thought captive to the obedience of Christ,”
Next week I leave for Benin, West Africa. This is the voodoo Capital of the world. The area I stay in is not an easy place to be. Oppression sits in as soon as I hit the ground. I instantly feel depressed and overwhelmed with a spirit of inability to affect change. I feel a hopelessness that comes on me. This is a complete lie, because God is doing crazy and beautiful things in the kids lives whom we have helped rescue. who are living in our orphanage/safe home. Yet when I am there, these feeling seem very real. It is hard to explain.
I also get fearful that I am going to die, the spirit of death is all around, and the death rate is huge with murders, accidents and all around unknown causes of deaths.
I have to stay real close to God and not give attention to these fears at all, or I would not be able to function once I arrive in the country.
Instead, I choose to, moment by moment cast all my cares on Him, like it says to do in 1 Peter 5:7 Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you. I have to choose to trust God for my life and for the lives of those in front of me.
I also have to come to a place of surrendering my life over and over to God. If I die, what is the worst thing that could happen? I go to heaven. That really is not such a bad thought. As I have full confidence I will go to heaven.
I choose daily to give my life and my everything to God. He is the boss, and If I choose to trust Him. even unto death. Then I become free.
My dad has a saying “until you are ready to die, you are never really ready to live.” Once we deal with the ultimate worst thing that our minds go to, and that is death, then if we have no fear of death, then there is nothing to fear in this world. Whatever God asks of us, we can walk freely to do it without the ultimate fear of dying.
That does not mean we do stupid and careless stuff, on the contrary We make sure everything we are doing counts, and that our time is not wasted on what does not really matter. We live each day as if it were the last, and then we never waste our days on superficial things. We also kick the fear right out of our lives, and fully with 100 percent trust, hand our lives over to God.
Then we are truly able to partner with God in whatever He asks, without walking in crippling fear. We are then ready to live how God destined us to live. Free and walking in whatever He asks us to walk in. As we walk free of these fears, we are able to help others come into this freedom through Christ, as well.
I refuse to allow fear to cripple me from living my destiny.
Are you living free and living your life as God destined you to live?
|Posted on March 18, 2013 at 12:46 AM||comments (97)|
Through life, we are sometimes faced with having to submit to leaders we would rather not have to submit ourselves to. These could turn into incredible testing times for us.
For me, it has been having to submit to different leaders in Africa that are not easy to work under. I know that if I want to affect positive change for the kids we are rescuing on a regular basis, then I have to walk a very careful road for their sakes. I am also keenly aware that I am a direct representative for Christ, and I may be the only true Jesus some of these officials will see. To my incredible surprise, my relationship with these different ones, have been full of favor, and I am seeing God work through these relationships to be able to help many more children.
When unGodly leaders are all around us and we are forced to serve those who are not making good choices, or who may be doing terrible or unjust things, how do we react? Do we pray and ask God for opportunities to allow God to reveal who he is through our life and our actions?
When we see leaders walk in corruption, How do we respond? Do we gossip and try to figure out how to ruin their life? Or do we show value to them and pray each day for opportunities to allow God to have his way in every circumstance in front of us, and to show himself strong through our lives?
2nd Chronicles 16:9 (KJV) says this: “The eyes of the Lord run to and fro throughout the whole earth to show himself strong on behalf of those whose heart are perfect towards him.”
Is your heart perfect towards Him? Can He show himself strong through your life and actions?
All through the Bible we are given incredible examples of Godly men who chose to stand strong in the Lord and to be honorable, even when their leaders were corrupt and were completely unjust. These are just a few.
Daniel is a man who submitted himself to unGodly leadership, yet never compromised his faith and walk with God. In Babylon, where Daniel was a slave, the King had the highest respect for Daniel. His whole kingdom was able to witness the power of God, and came to believe and serve God through the miracles they witnessed through Daniels life. In Daniel 2:48, after interpreting a dream, that only God could have given him wisdom to do, the king promoted Daniel, and made him ruler over the whole province of Babylon, and chief administrator over all the wise men of Babylon.
His actions and prayer life was also noted in the Book of Daniel to be what God used in the spirit realm to set the Israelites free after 70 years of captivity, through his fasting and praying. Daniel was not intimidated by unGodly leadership.
In Genesis 39-50 we see how Joseph was treated very unjust by many, yet still found favor in all the unGodly leaders that were before him. In Egypt, Joseph was able to interpret the Pharaoh’s dream, and was given all power over Egypt. This gave Joseph the ability to save the whole world from starvation during the 7 years of famine, by storing up grain in the 7 years of plenty. In spite of all the hardship he endured at the hands of others, he never lost faith in God. He showed value and respect to every leader who was over him, and was given favor with each one.
In 1 Kings 18:4 Obediah was a Godly man who was in charge of King Ahab’s household. It says in 1 Kings 16:33 that Ahab did more to provoke the Lord to Anger than all of the kings of Israel before him. Yet while Ahab’s wife Jezebel was killing all the Godly prophets, Obediah was able to hide 100 prophets from her, thus saving their life. He kept his faith in God and continued to use His life for God’s purposes, even when his leaders were so terrible. He had all the connections needed to secretly rescue these prophets.
These are just a few incredible examples of how ordinary men were forced to serve unGodly men, and yet were honorable, loving and respectful to their leaders, and allowed God to show Himself strong through their life. Whole kingdoms, and thousands of people turned their hearts towards God through their faithfulness and unwavering faith in God.
Let’s choose to be honorable to whomever is in leadership over us, so God can show Himself strong through our life.
|Posted on March 10, 2013 at 8:17 PM||comments (9)|
|Posted on January 26, 2013 at 7:38 PM||comments (24)|
The mob of kids swarmed me as I tried to get myself out of my vehicle. Little bodies were plastered to me the minute I opened the door, and hugs came from every direction. The excitement of my arrival never gets old for these precious kids who have stolen a huge chunk of my heart.
I brought new faces with me, and the kids instantly swarmed them as well, asking them their names. The newcomers did not know quite how to react with all this instant attention, but they quickly warmed up to all the affection.
On this trip, Tim and I brought 5 people with us. One doctor, three men from Idaho and one woman from Washington. To read some neat stories of their experiences, you can check out our Orphan Relief and Rescue blog this week, and read our Jan. newsletter. Just go to www.orphanreliefanrescue.org
With each visit back to Liberia, I am checking on current projects going on. Meeting with Government officials to help them in these efforts to help all orphans in distress in their Country. Checking on our Staff, Orphanage Directors and Children, and planning for the next projects coming up.
Our big focus this year is to get a transition/safe home up and running for the children who are in horrible orphanages that need to be closed down, or are currently displaced with no home after being plopped in a full orphanage.
Sitting next to displaced orphans who were taken from closed down orphanages and put into full ones is getting old. On each of my visits, I zero in on the new kids, the ones who have a hard time looking me in the eye. The ones who do not hardly talk. The ones who start to follow me around the orphanages, as if to say in their silence, please fight for me. Please find me a home. Someone to love and care for me.
They are not wanted by the over capacitated orphanages, and were plopped down with promises by the government they would come back for them and place them somewhere permanent. Months go by and nothing happens. The good directors do not know what to do with them. They already have their hands full. These displaced children are the extras that do not belong there.
As I walked into the social welfare office this last week, they asked “Do you have good news for us yet”. Can you open a transition center yet? I saw their anticipation for my answer, and my answer once again was; “We are still praying and believing for the finances for this to come to pass. God know’s these kids need this and you need this for your country.”
As I leave their office, I once again breath my prayers up to the Lord. “Only you can make this happen. In your timing let it be.”
Over the next few days, Our field director and myself come up with a plan to involve the government with ownership of this project by strongly encouraging them to find a place for us. Work on our behalf. get others involved who could possibly pitch in. Use their influence as a partnership with us.
So in our next meeting, we present it, and it was received well as their desperation has reached an all time high. Now we will see what God will do with all this.
Please pray with us on this matter. We will need around 100,000 dollars to run something like this per year. We need some real God miracles for these precious children. If God lays it on your heart to give or to fundraise on behalf of these children. WE WOULD LOVE IT!
I look back at all that God has already done for so many, and my faith rises as I contemplate the fact that God loves these children more than we do. They are His, and we just walk forward in obedience to allow Him to do his rescue missions through our availability. I am excited to see what God is going to do with all this.
|Posted on January 5, 2013 at 12:20 PM||comments (3)|
Through the hustle and bustle of life, most of my day is spent on paying attention to all the exterior things in life that tug at my time. There never seems to be enough hours to do all that life demands of me as a mom, wife, friend, writer, speaker, leader, frequent traveler etc.
Through each day, God is working hard to get my attention. He is asking me to look around me and to never forget that my life is His. All that I am and all that I hope to be in the future is His. My every breath and all my days are in His hands not my own.
He is constantly reminding and encouraging me to nurture my heart. To not neglect the most important thing I will do in life, and that is to nurture my heart in connection with my relationship with Him.
He reminds me of my inadequacies without Him. My success is Him.
The quote by Oswald Chambers comes to mind that says, My public worth is determined by my private time with God.
Through my time with God each morning and evening, God gently pours his love into me, as well as gently convicts me of the things He wants me to address in my life that are holding me back from greater intimacy with Him and possible broken relationship with others. This is a guidance time, listening to my leader and friend.
As I have given God full reign over my heart and life, and am choosing daily to deal with issues that hold me back from greater intimacy with Christ, I have actually found who I am, and what i was meant to do in this world. My life has become very clear and all my inadequacies have begun to fade away. Life is no longer about me, which has become a beautiful thing.
Brennan Manning sums this up in his book Abba’s Child.
The recovery of passion begins with the recovery of my true self as the beloved. If I find Christ I find myself, and if I find my true self, I will find Him. This is the goal and purpose of our lives. John did not believe that Jesus was the most important thing; he believed that Jesus was the only thing. For “the disciple Jesus loved”, anything less was not genuine faith.
Are you ready to find your true self as Christ’s beloved?
As you walk through each day, keep in mind that your public worth is fully determined by your private time with God.