October 2012 Update
Kurt & Barb Matthews (1990)
OPPORTUNITIES TO SHARE
Since we moved into this house in Ephrata, we have had several opportunities to share about what God is doing in Ghana and in our lives personally. Just this weekend, I had the privilege of speaking at the DelMarVa ladies retreat, which was held only ten minutes from where we are living.
The theme for the conference was "A Word Fitly Spoken" from Proverbs 25:11 and my topic was on communication in the home. I shared about what I have been learning from lots of different sources, but focused on one source in particular which you could find at http://ati.iblp.org/ati/family/articles/concepts/courageousconversations/. This is an outline which walks you through ten critical questions that you can use to resolve conflicts. It focuses on listening to one another to create a safe environment for sharing your heart. It's an excellent tool.
The other sources that I referred to are three books. Kurt led our family in a study of The Young Peacemaker by Corlette Sande. That is an excellent book, especially for the elementary and middle school aged kids as it has worksheets that you can copy for them to do and lots of good stories to illustrate what they are learning. The other two sources focus on our teens and I have been working through them personally. They are both written by Kevin Huggins. Making Peace With Your Teenager is the one that I would recommend first as it is very easy to read and has lots of practical advice that is Biblically based. Then Parenting Adolescents is the other one. I haven't gotten all the way through that book yet because I have to stop often to ponder over what he is saying, but it's also filled with lots of biblically based advice for parents of teens.
We have also had some specific times to share about Ghana. One time was at our neighbor's son's preschool. That was fun! It was a good group of three to five year-olds and they all sat so well while we showed them pictures and videos of Ghana.
But I think that their favorite part was when Leah and Moriah sang and danced Ghanaian style to some Ewe songs. Hannah was asked to write up an article about our visit for the local paper and a few weeks later, there it was in The Ephrata Review. How exciting!
Another opportunity we had to share about Ghana was to the kids' club at Highland Baptist Church. The children listened attentively while we shared about what God is doing in Ghana. Afterward, we enjoyed some Mango milkshakes that our friend made and our kids quickly made friends while playing on the playground with the church kids. They begged us to go back there the next week.
We love sharing about Ghana and especially about what God is doing in us and through us. He is faithful to patiently teach us and then turn around and use us for His work. We feel grateful to be used by Him.
For the Mathews' clan,
October 8 Update
IT'S NOT ALL ABOUT YOU . . .
. . . or about me.
It's all about the One who made you and me.
I would love to put that phrase on a t-shirt. It seems like most people in the world today are thinking that life is all about their own personal story. Each person is working to manipulate others to fit into their plan. And when others block our goals a conflict arises.
But if each of us were working for the One, the Creator, Father God, Jesus Christ, our maker, then life would go well for each of us. Because God "knows the plans that He has for us. Plans to prosper (Shalom) us and not to harm us; plans to give us a hope and a future." (Jer. 29:11) Life is not about us, but about HE who wants to do things through us.
Yesterday Hannah, Sarah and I had the privilege to hear Dr. Del Tackett speak in Mechanicsburg, PA. I felt like his message was intended just for me. He focused on God's character and answered a lot of questions that I have been asking myself for years. For example, Why did Christ have to leave after his resurrection? Christ said that when He left, He would send the Holy Spirit to indwell each believer. So those of us who believe have His Spirit in us, so we can do "greater works" for His glory. If Christ were still on the earth, we would all just sit back and say "let Christ do the work". God loves to delegate power and create fruitful sons and daughters to Shalom (to flourish or prosper). I love that God is like that. I can trust that everything that He allows me to go through is for my ultimate good, so that I can flourish and ultimately bring Him the glory.
God has been so good to allow me to hear messages recently and to find specific verses in His Word that teach me more about His character. I am discovering that for most of my Christian life I haven't seen God for who He really is. Even though I went to Bible college and I have been a believer in Christ since I was 15 years old, I still have SO MUCH to learn about my Creator God.
I believe that many of you have been praying for me, especially during this time of healing from the deep wounds of my past. It is because of your faithful prayers that God is revealing Himself to me in many ways. Thank you!!! This morning someone came up to me after church and said that my eyes look brighter and I look a lot healthier than I did when we first came here. So, it's even outwardly visible. I love it!
Thank God, along with me, for having a perfect plan for my life and for using the hard things in life to encourage me to depend on Him. I love you all!!
Barb (for the Matthews clan)
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