08 March, 2018


I decided early in January to ponder and write about the commands given to Joshua at the start of his ministry as the leader of Israel, as recorded in the first chapter of the book bearing his name. Verse nine, especially. But February has come and gone and I've not done it. Of course I've been distracted by some significant life events. But how easily distracted we are from pondering God and his Word! I need to do some refocusing.

Be strong and courageous.
Do not be terrified
Do not be discouraged

Why? Because "the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go."

Today I'm at a women's retreat, specifically a women-in-ministry retreat. It's always a much anticipated event on my calendar, this is the ninth time I've attended in the last 11 years. But I have to admit that last week, when I looked ahead to this week's calendar, l groaned. I was already feeling pressured with my To Do list, but a week where I was at home for only a day and a bit? (I spent Monday at our mission's monthly prayer and fellowship day.) so I think that if it hadn't been already booked and paid for and such a fixture in my year, I might have demurred.

Actually it's part of my "strategy" to remain long-term in Japan. Really, an element that helps me to remain afloat amidst the challenges that are part of this life and calling of being a missionary. So cheating on that really wasn't the best long-term option.

I was also tempted to bring my computer, as I would to a workshop or conference, but I decided that my retreat would just be hindered if I allowed work to intrude.

So here I am. Waiting to see what God will do. Seeking to be his servant by taking time out.

Back to Joshua. I have to say I am a bit terrified of what this year holds. That's not quite the right word...more like overwhelmed. And worried that I'll "drop a ball".

My husband will tell you I've been bouncing from topic to topic recently as I've tried to deal with "balls" as they come to mind. Scared to let them be for now lest I forget. Things like:
• booking plane flights for April, July, August, September (yes, I'm flying in all those months, also in October and November!)
• registering for a conference in October
• booking church meeting for August, September, etc.
• accommodation during our transition to Australia in July (holiday in the Sydney area)
• transport between Sydney and Canberra at the start of September

As you can tell, there's a lot to organise. And I'm not being very organised about organising it all!

So back to what God might be wanting me to hear during this retreat, during this break from my regular life. These things came up this morning:

* Jeremiah 17:7-8 "Blessed is the man who trusts in the Lord, whose trust is the Lord. He is like a tree planted by water, that sends out its roots by the stream, and does not fear when heat comes, for its leaves remain green, and is not anxious in the year of drought, for it does not cease to bear fruit" (ESV).

* People are watching you as you deal with the challenges in your life.

* Do you trust that God will equip you, enable you to do what he has for you to do?

*Build up your faith. Take care of yourself. Build a firm foundation

Yes, all good things to hear and ponder. And keep pondering.


Be strong and courageous.
Do not be terrified
Do not be discouraged

Why? Because "the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go."

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