Curses. We kind of know what they are.

In the back of my mind, I know well the maxim, especially in the Old Testament, that blessings follow obedience and curses follow disobedience. I am also aware of the many “if” conditions that accompany most of the biblical blessings and promises we like to recite and claim. But, reading Deuteronomy 27-29 aloud today really drove home the terrifying devastation that results from disobedience. I actually was feeling embarrassed to keep reading these verses through the public address system! Being so accustomed to guarding my tongue and trying to speak positively, that was quite a contrast. Lord, have mercy!

Oh—the tremendous, glorious gift of Jesus, who carried the curse for us!

Today’s trivia: Joshua held a Read-a-Thon (of the entire Law of Moses) when the Israelites renewed the covenant at Mount Ebal. (I guess Read-a-Thon was not our original idea, after all.)

I hope you will enjoy following our daily journey through God’s written Word.

~ Diane

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Word for word through Exodus, Leviticus and Numbers has the potential to be a tedious read. But, on the contrary, this was an exciting day of our Bible Read-a-Thon.

After the children of Israel escaped from ruthless slavery under the hand of the Pharaoh who “did not know Joseph,” God gave Moses instructions about how to set up the Tent of Meeting, Tabernacle and priesthood. Exodus chapters 25-31 set out the details of God’s instructions, and chapters 33-39, in precisely the same detail, explain how these instructions were followed.

Chapter 29 explains what will happen if the conditions are met:

“There I will meet you and speak to you. . .  and the place will be consecrated by my glory.”

Then chapter 40 tells what did happen when the conditions were met:

“Moses could not enter the Tent of Meeting because the cloud had settled upon it, and the glory of the Lord filled the tabernacle.”

Do you, as I do, long to see such a display of God’s glory? Do you yearn for the day when we will not be able to enter “church”–or will be knocked flat on our faces–because of the majestic force of His presence?

If yes, then one crucial question remains. Am I ready to sacrifice as Moses did, spending 40 days on a mountain without food, to seek God’s instructions? And then, am I willing to obey them to the letter? Am I ready to pay that price?

~ Diane

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And It Was So

We started our two-week journey through the entire Bible today. This is our 5th annual Bible Read-a-Thon here in DOVE Nairobi. Every time, there is so much more to learn!

The books of Genesis, Job and Exodus, our readings today, are abundantly rich. Starting at the very beginning, I noticed “And it was so” repeated six timesfor the six days of creation as everything God decrees is done. It is like, “case closed;” God says “Let there be”, . . . and that is all it takes. The same decisive sovereignty is seen in Exodus where God pronounces His intention to bring certain plagues, and they manifest every time. It was always done as God declared it would be.”

God’s purposes do prevail!

In a world where evil is so evident and things often feel off balance, that is a powerful truth to absorb and believe.

~ Diane

  1. Genesis 1:3 “And there was light,” is a different wording but similar concept to “And it was so.”
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The Ocean and the sand

Last week, we had the privilege of visiting DOVE church planters in Tanga, Tanzania. It was great to pray at specific sites and encourage Mark and Rachel in their work. We were encouraged by what the Lord is doing and by seeing the impact DOVE has in Tanzania!

As part of the prayer walks and prophetic action, we traveled to a hotel inside Saandani Game Reserve, the only wildlife sanctuary in East Africa that has an ocean beachfront. What an amazing place!

  • We waded in the very tippity-tip of the ocean—a vast and immense world of its own, the power and glory of which I cannot even begin to comprehend.
  • We walked barefoot in the sand—tiny particles, barely visible to the human eye if left alone as one grain, yet gathered in an embodiment of splendor and unity.
  • We surveyed the beach—there the ocean and sand meet. Gentle waves massage the sandy shore.

I saw God in the waters of the sea. He IS, obviously, infinitely greater than the Indian Ocean, yet to my limited mind, that ocean represents infinity and omnipotence. I saw humanity in the sand. As descendants of Abraham, we are “sand on the seashore” in God’s created world.

This immense, unfathomable power approaches us in all tenderness. God comes to meet us right where we ‘sit,’ in our frailty and weakness. The water shapes, or could wash away, those grains of sand at will. Yet the powerful waves keep coming back – keep reaching out – keep making contact – keep bringing life – keep interacting with what would otherwise be dry and barren.

The resulting beauty awes and inspires. God, how you love us!

~ Diane

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We are all rejoicing with the phenomenal finding and courageous rescue of 12 young men and their coach in Thailand. I must admit that when seven days of being trapped in the cave turned to eight and then nine, I was doubtful whether they would be found alive. But the world came together in efforts and prayers, and the victory is sweetly tangible — even from a whole continent away.

I am led to consider others who are trapped, millions of others, in need of rescue. Trapped in modern-day slavery, trapped in poverty, trapped in life-threatening addictions that they long to be free from, trapped by abuse, trapped as refugees, trapped by injustice.I wish the world could come together and work out their rescue. I wish the world could come together and decide that these things should not be happening on our watch.

Yes, we will need a good strategy (many strategies, actually). Everyone’s expertise will be needed. Yes, it will require teamwork. And it might cost some of us our lives.

Lord, whichever specific rescue mission you want to put me on, I am ready. Use me as You will.

~ Diane

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Where is the “enemy”?

At a Crossing Cultures consultation in Mombasa recently, one of the speakers noted that the biggest threats to the Kingdom advance in our day are materialism, individualism and Islamic extremism.

We can get very “worked up” about Islam, especially when violent attacks and ruthless oppression seem to abound. Just near home, DOVE missionaries are in a region of northeastern Kenya where religious killings have suddenly increased. This week, Kenya’s intelligence agency warned Christians in the area that a certain extremist group, Al Shabaab, has sent out a threat: “we are coming.” Yes, this threat is real and we are intensifying prayer for their protection.

But please notice the other -isms in the same sentence above. We are being told these equally threaten genuine Christianity and the spread of the Kingdom.

So I must ask: Is my lifestyle materialistic? Does my worldview reflect an individualistic mentality?

“Enemies” without, and “enemies” within. Is that where we have reached? We need to be careful, checking ourselves and challenging each other toward the simple lifestyle of Jesus and a worldview that reflects true koininia community.

~ Diane

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Healing for Kenya

Kenya’s 16th Prayer Breakfast in Nairobi on Thursday was an historic event. Kenya’s President and his deputy (Uhuru Kenyatta and William Ruto) publicly asked for forgiveness from the opposition leaders, Raila Odinga and Kalonzo Musyoka. Relief and excitement were bursting forth!

This is an answer to a lot of prayer. Over fifty years ago our national patriarchs, Jomo Kenyatta and Oginga Odinga, started a rivalry that has been passed on through generations. But their two sons declared at the Prayer Breakfast that they would stop that rivalry, unite the country and trust God to heal the land and people of Kenya.

When Cain killed his brother, Abel’s blood cried to God from the ground. In response, God sentenced Cain. “The ground has rejected you; you will not eat from it. You will be a vagabond.”

The wandering spirit along with unproductive land is common in Africa. Too much blood has been shed and the sentence seems to be the same. The land is spewing out, as it were. Many are running from their villages, cities and nations, looking for something better “out there” — many times in the West. There is a rising restlessness that can no longer be ignored.

It is time to change the narrative. Time to repent of our brothers’ and sisters’ blood that has been shed, cry to God for forgiveness and allow the blood of Jesus to speak in our lives and our land.

I believe that God is beginning to heal Kenya. When church and national leaders take responsibility and  Kenyans follow the example to own up to our sins and repent, we will experience healing. People of different tribes and races will reconcile. The economy will recover. As the land is restored it will stop vomiting us out and exiles will return to Africa. I believe we will then see true transformation.

~ Ibrahim

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