Wednesday, May 4, 2016

Grapes from the Vineyard, Wool from the Flock


May 1, 2016

The kindness and wisdom of Our Lord Jesus be with you all Heartdwellers. I'm going into prayer after I post this so there maybe a message later today. Please forgive my delays, I'm not quite 100% yet, but I do so appreciate your prayers and kind words to me. I have the most loving and kindly audience I have ever seen on a YouTube channel and I am profoundly grateful for each one of you. Thank you so much for your prayers.

Lately, I've been a little complaining...poor Jesus. I ask for crosses and then when He allows them, I complain. Lord, teach me to be thankful even in adversity. I want this with all my heart.

Gratefulness opens the door to God's blessings in our lives. When we are grateful, mountains of problems are levelled, doors that were slammed shut begin to open, relationships that were frozen cold begin to thaw, heart's desires begin to be manifested through God's intervention. I've seen that over and over again, so the last thing I want to do, even on a practical level, is complain!

I believe the most hurtful thing I have done to the Lord, has been my ungratefulness, complaining and impatience. I believe we all get tunnel vision and forget the many benefits that sustain us every day of our lives, things that we have not earned, things that God has protected and blessed us with.

For instance, I take for granted the blessings others have labored over and forget to really engage those who have helped me with substantial signs of gratefulness. A phone call, a card, special prayers, perhaps a gift, mean so much to those who have supported us, prayed for us, carried our burdens along with their own heavy crosses. But now, our channel has grown so big, we do not have the staff to do that any longer the way we would like to.

I find it interesting that ministries like Voice of the Martyrs also do not acknowledge gifts. They are spending money in the mission field on Bibles, food, tents and blankets, for the destitute. They're really, really living on the raw edge out there. We have a missionary couple who are in Belgium right now, or...gone to Greece, actually. To serve in the camps there for the displaced persons and the refugees. Those people are desperately poor. I really have to give Voice of the Martyrs credit, because they're not doing all kinds of programs to raise money. They simply take care of their people, and they don't get involved with all of that. I may not get a thank you card from them, but I know what they're spending their money on. That makes it all worthwhile.

I believe God's servants and ministers are the most overlooked group of people who work selflessly to help others. They are not the 'hired hands' who run when the wolf attacks the flock. They day after day lay down their lives, their comforts and their agendas to protect those who have looked to them for encouragement in the drought, comfort in an uncaring and callous world, the truth of Jesus and His teachings in a confused and misinformed world. Their work reaches into the very heart of our lives and helps to keep us connected and healthy to the wellspring of life, Jesus Our Lord.
I believe that how we feel about the Lord is reflected in the way we treat His servants. Are they last on the list in our lives, or first? Do we show our gratefulness by seeing to their basic needs or do we just take them for granted and assume they are independently wealthy.
This is very funny and couldn't be further from the truth in our case. We used to live on less than 1/3 of the national poverty level for the United States. In other words, think of the poorest people you know and consider what life on only one third of their income would be like - and that was us. But kind listeners have helped us and now we are even able to help the desperately poor on occasions.

Our expenses have gone up because we have volunteers that have given freely of their time and we have tried, when possible, to help them along since they, too, live on a very small income. Why? Because we love the Lord with all our hearts, all our strength and our life. Our only love and concern is to feed the flock and bring the Bride into the Bridal chamber. We don't charge for our music, our books or our videos. We do not want anyone to go without the teachings and music God has given us. Freely we have received, freely we give.

The Lord has asked us not to receive any government funding. Come on, guys - don't write into me and say you feel guilty because you're getting government help. Do do that! Because everyone's a different situation. Since we work for the Lord fulltime, He wants us to rely on Him. I can't speak for those of you who are on disability or that kind of thing. I only know what He has told us to do and not to do. So, please don't get scrupulous about this ahead of time, I'm just mentioning it, 'cause I know someone is going to get all upset and worried, "Am I sinning??" So, I'm not going to go there. I just want to say that this was for us in a particular way. Actually, we've lived on His providence for about 30 years now.

He's asked us not to receive any government funding, not Medicare or Medicaid or any other form of income support (accepting nothing from the Gentiles). He has told us that we are a blessing to the Body in that we give her the opportunity to show her love and concern for Him and an opportunity to exercise charity which covers a multitude of sins. Aside from the preaching of the Word, believe it or not, the opportunity we give others to give is one of the greatest blessings we offer.

"Beloved, it is a faithful thing you do in all your efforts for these brothers, strangers as they are. ...You will do well to send them on their journey in a manner worthy of God. For they have gone out for the sake of the Name, accepting nothing from the Gentiles. Therefore we ought to support people like these, that we may be fellow workers for the truth." 3 John 1:5-8

We have gone to war at our own expense, we have planted a vineyard and not demanded our share of the grapes. We have tended a flock and not asked for its milk, so I ask you dear ones to remember us and the poor we serve here in Taos, some of those go without firewood and food even as we speak. We offer you everything without charge, because it is our heart's desire to see you prosper in the Lord. And I think one of the hardest things for us, when we were in need of ministry materials was not being able to afford them. That was really hard, it really left and impression and I promised the Lord, I will NEVER make materials unavailable to the poor. If they need something, all they have to do is write and we'll take care of it. And as you've noticed on Amazon, we've got the lowest prices possible on our books and things.

Isn't it a truth that your abundance can cover for our lack, and our abundance covers for your lack, and when one in the Body suffers, do we not all suffer? So please, consider the needs we have just to maintain our ministry, so we can continue to love you with His Words, and help the truly impoverished that are right around us.

Thank you, guys, for all your prayers and kind hearts. We are so blessed to have you as our family. And hopefully there will be a message later on today.

Now we ask you, brothers and sisters, to acknowledge those who work hard among you, who care for you in the Lord and who admonish you. Hold them in the highest regard in love because of their work. Live in peace with each other. I Thess.5:12-13

Source: Heartdwellers