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Thursday, December 31, 2009

Listening to HIM in 2010!

First and foremost I want to Thank the Lord for this past year in my life. I have learned somethings about my Savior that I have known in my head but now I know in my heart.

Jesus is such a loving and compassionate friend to me. I do believe that we serve a God that hates sin, and does judge sin, I believe he is the God of correction and that when his child messes up that he will spank them, but I have learned that his correction is not always the type of correction that we know or use as parents here on this earth. (We should definitely be more like him with our children) You know the goodness of God bringeth a man to repentance.

Romans 2 : 4 Or despisest thou the riches of his goodness and forbearance and longsuffering; not knowing that the goodness of God leadeth thee to repentance?


I believe if he has to he will get rough, but I do know that he is a longsuffering God and a very loving God. To many times in my life I have been quick to pass judgement, I have been quick to respond to what I think God ought to do in a situation or how God ought to handle a situation, (because you know.....I have been saved for years and I know a little about God and who he is, so I think I know how he should handle things.) WOW! Have I been wrong! With all the many times I have messed up this past year, God has continually shown me his grace and his forgiveness. I have often had this mind set that God is up there just waiting for us to mess up so he can pull the hammer down on us, but I have learned that he is full of compassion, full of forgiveness, and full of love towards me. Oh, if I could be more like him.

This past year we have been totally at the mercy of our Lord. We have depended on him for our every need. We have been in his watchful care for this entire year. You say,,,We'll, yea, we all are!" Yes, I agree but so many times when we are working for a paycheck it is easy to think we can work things out for ourselves. We have the ability decide a few things on our own, for instance when that paycheck comes on Friday (because you know it is coming) you can kinda determine in your mind what you are going to pay and you can kinda plan ahead or budget if you will. It is easy to leave God out of that part of our lives, because we think we have the smarts to do so. Well, when you do not know when the next check is coming, it is hard to plan ahead, so you just have to lean on the Lord day by day (and check the mailbox). Which has been an awesome experience to see God supply your every need.

FOR EXAMPLE:
A couple of months ago we had a husband and wife family come through and visit our church, they are truck drivers and they travel the whole U.S. As most of you know me, I do not know a stranger and I enjoyed getting to know these Kindred Spirits. They were both so sweet and we just hit it off. The husband asked me that night if he could have our email so they could keep up on Mike's case and so they could pray for us. What a blessing! We started corresponding through email. I was thrilled to have people with a heart like them praying about Mike's case and about his health. It is nice to know people are really praying for you.
The week before Thanksgiving this blessed lady sent me an email asking me for my address and said she wanted to send me something. A week later while we were in Kansas she sent us a card with a $150.00 in it for a Thanksgiving feast but since the Lord had already supplied our feast in Kansas, I was thrilled to be able to pay our November car payment.
Last night after being out of town for the holidays our pastor's wife gave us another Christmas card from this precious couple. When we got home it had $100.00 check in it for Christmas.
WOW! Do you know why I say WOW? Cause Zac has to be in Bowling Greene this next week and we just paid the rest of the months bills and we were out of money and did not know where the gas money was going to come from to get him there for his ride back to college. Once again the Lord supplied the need just when we needed it.
God has shown us that he does not need to use people we know, he does not need to use the wealthy people of this world, he uses the way that brings him the most Glory.
We are closing this year out and can say that He has once again met our bills for the month of December and we had a great Christmas to boot! TO GOD BE THE GLORY GREAT THINGS HE HAS DONE!

As I enter into this new year, I want to be more like Christ, I want to be more understanding with people, I want to be more tolerable, I want to be full of love toward the lost world, I want people to see Jesus in me and most of all I want to allow my ear to be tuned toward my Father's voice so that when he wants to use me like he has used so many people over this past year that I too may be used to help meet someone else's need. Isn't that what our call is? How can God reach the lost or help someone in need, if he cannot use us?

Can you imagine if each of us were just sensitive to the Lord's voice?..............
"Hand them a tract."
"Tell them about me."
"Give them $20.00."
"Give that person a hug."
"Ask them to forgive you."

You may never know what need you may fulfill in someone's life by just listening for his voice.

DO YOU HEAR WHAT I HEAR?

Bless each and everyone of you for being a blessing to us this year and thank you so much for following me through this journey of learning about my Savior.

We are Forever His,

Rebecca

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Borrowed Devotional

A friend shared this devotional with me and as she is beginning a new avenue or direction in her life, she felt the Lord had a sense of humor with allowing this mornings devotion to be so directed to her life.
I am so thankful that God speaks to the hearts of his children and allows us to be comforted, encouraged, and gives us the strength to continue on when we just do not understand what he is doing in our lives.
I am thankful she sent this devotional to me this morning, I am hoping that maybe this is a hint that things are getting ready to change for us. That the end of a thing is going to be better than the beginning. Praise the Lord! He has begun a good work in us all!

http://www.blueletterbible.org/devotionals/me/view.cfm?Date=12/30&Time=am


Charles Haddon Spurgeon
December 30th
Morning Reading

"Better is the end of a thing than the beginning thereof." — Ecclesiastes 7:8

Look at David's Lord and Master; see His beginning. He was despised and rejected of men; a man of sorrows and acquainted with grief. Would you see the end? He sits at His Father's right hand, expecting until His enemies be made his footstool. "As He is, so are we also in this world." You must bear the cross, or you shall never wear the crown; you must wade through the mire, or you shall never walk the golden pavement. Cheer up, then, poor Christian. "Better is the end of a thing than the beginning thereof." See that creeping worm, how contemptible its appearance! It is the beginning of a thing. Mark that insect with gorgeous wings, playing in the sunbeams, sipping at the flower bells, full of happiness and life; that is the end thereof. That caterpillar is yourself, until you are wrapped up in the chrysalis of death; but when Christ shall appear you shall be like Him, for you shall see Him as He is. Be content to be like Him, a worm and no man, that like Him you may be satisfied when you wake up in His likeness. That rough-looking diamond is put upon the wheel of the lapidary. He cuts it on all sides. It loses much—much that seemed costly to itself. The king is crowned; the diadem is put upon the monarch's head with trumpet's joyful sound. A glittering ray flashes from that coronet, and it beams from that very diamond which was just now so sorely vexed by the lapidary. You may venture to compare yourself to such a diamond, for you are one of God's people; and this is the time of the cutting process. Let faith and patience have their perfect work, for in the day when the crown shall be set upon the head of the King, Eternal, Immortal, Invisible, one ray of glory shall stream from you. "They shall be Mine," saith the Lord, "in the day when I make up My jewels." "Better is the end of a thing than the beginning thereof."

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Our Christmas letter 2009






We have been Refined in 2009



Merry Christmas! December 2009


This past year in the life of the Estep’s


As most of you know Mike has had to file for disability and it has now been approx. 14 months since we have had any income. We would have to say that this year has been a hard year along with the most rewarding year of our lives.

God has proven himself to us in ways that we could have never imagined. (A red Sea if you will). Beginning in November of 2008 the Lord began to prove that he was going to take care of us. Each month that past He was faithful to provide our needs, whether through tax returns, the sale of our vehicle or just the kindness of a fellow brother or family member lending a hand. God has given us free wood both winters so far and has supplied every toiletry need that we have had….Now you think why would you put that in there? Have you ever gone without an income? Have you ever considered the thought of going without toilet paper? Well, just so you know, we didn’t have to. Praise the Lord! God has taught us to trust him with our every need.


Ending this year out and as we reflect back, We stand amazed at what God has done for us. He has not only supplied our every need but also on top of that he has given us an all expense paid trip to Gatlinburg for 3 days, an all expense paid trip to Kansas for Thanksgiving. (paid for by 7 or 8 young students) and several trips to Ohio to spend time with family.


Besides all of the material things that God has done for us, The thing that we appreciate the most that the Lord has done for us is that Sarah, Jordan and Seth have all grown so much in their walk with the Lord. Sarah and Seth have each began to play the guitar and base this year and the three of them sing together as a group now. They long to be at church to be involved in their ministry.


Corey and Zac have been attending Heartland Bible Baptist College and we thank God for their desire to pursue God’s will and direction in their lives. Each of the boys were able to travel all summer. Corey traveled with GloryBound (singing group from Heartland) and Zac traveled with the VBS team and was able to see over 100 children come to know the Lord. Praise the Lord.


God has taken us to the backside of a mountain in Southern Kentucky and put us out in the country in the cutest little house that we have ever lived in and has loved on us the whole year long. We thank God for the way he has revealed himself to us this year and the work he has done in each of our hearts.

Mike has the third phase of his disability coming up in Feb. 2010, We ask each of you to pray that it will be settled and we can rejoice that this phase of our life is over. Please pray that we will hold strong the faith, as we think about all the many miracles that God has done for us, our hearts still seem to reflect the same attitude at times as the Israelites did after the huge miracles that God did for them.


We pray that this past year has been as rewarding for you, as it has been for us.

Please visit Becky's blog link below for further information as to how the Lord has

taken care of us through this past year.



We are Forever His,


Mike, Becky,
Corey, Zac, Sarah, Seth and Jordan
It is me,
Mrs. E.
Come Visit my blog
http://thelifeofachristianfamily.blogspot.com/

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Am I a Mary or a Martha?

This morning as I was reading my devotions in John Chapter 11, I really asked the Lord to speak to my heart as I read. I put myself into the story and began to think about the scene and how each of the people must have felt in the story, when I began to ponder how Mary and Martha must have felt when they called for Jesus to come and he didn't come and their brother died. I thought they must have felt like Jesus didn't care enough to come when they called.
I read in Vs 20 how that when Jesus finally did come that Mary sat still in the house. Vs 20 Then Martha, as soon as she heard that Jesus was coming went and met him: but Mary sat still in the house.
I read how when he did come Martha ran to Jesus and even spoke those words. Vs. 21 Then said Martha unto Jesus, Lord, if thou hadst been here, my brother had not died.
Each one responded differently when Jesus finally did come. Then I began to ponder my own actions when things do not go as I think they should. Do I run to the Lord and ask him why?, or do I just sit and ponder how things should have been?
Martha went to the Lord and spoke to him and told him that she knew if he hadst been there her brother would not have died, she also told him that whatsoever thou wilt ask of God, God will give it thee. Even through all the adversity Martha was still claiming truth and in the next couple of verses Christ spoke more truth to her about him being her Savior. Oh when we get a good glimpse of who our Savior really is, it will help us to go on and also encourage others to go on.
I believe our lack of faith keeps us from running to the Lord. We get defeated and we think what is the use, the situtation is too big or to far gone. (Lazarus was dead for goodness sake!)
I thought as I read on when Martha ran back to the house, she told Mary that The Master is come and calleth for her. No where did I read that Jesus told Martha that he wanted to see Mary, but I believe Martha got some help by just hearing the Lord that she knew Mary needed to hear him too.
Maybe Mary felt like the Lord didn't care about her, maybe she felt angry that he didn't come when they called for him, maybe she had lost some of her faith in him since he didn't come when he called, I do not know why Mary stayed in the house and didn't run to Jesus like Martha did, but once Martha told Mary that Jesus calleth for her, Vs 29.. she arose quickly, and came unto him.
Sometimes we just need to be reminded that the Lord wants us to come to him.
In verse 32, as soon as Mary saw him, she fell down at his feet, saying unto him, Lord, if thou hadst been here, my brother had not died.
Maybe one of the reasons Mary did not come to Jesus is that she was ashamed at what was truly in her heart, but we see here that as soon as she came to him, her heart was revealed. Do we not go to the Lord, because we are ashamed? I think I have been guilty.

You know as I read about how Jesus responded to Mary, He didn't rebuke her for her feelings, He didn't condemn her, He had compassion on her situation, then He fixed it.
How many times do we carry our burdens without taking them to the one that can fix them. He is moved with compassion, he understands our situations of not understanding, and he wants to help us with those burdens.

Are you a Martha, that runs to Jesus even when you do not understand the situation, and claim scripture?
Are you a Mary that sits and ponders what could have been, or what should have been?

In the next Chapter verse 3 Then took Mary a pound of ointment of spikenard, very costly, and anointed the feet of Jesus, and wiped his feet with her hair: and the house was filled with the odour of the ointment.
I believe that through this whole trial that we read about in Chapter 11, Mary learned something about her Savior that she didn't know before and we find that she had a greater love for him and worshiped him with her whole heart. SHE SEEN JESUS RAISE LAZARUS FROM THE DEAD! Is anything to hard for God? I believe through that trial it made her love him more because she knew more about who he is through her time of suffering.
Philippians 3:10
THAT I MAY KNOW HIM, and the power of his resurrection, and the fellowship of his sufferings, being made conformable unto his death;

I can relate to this whole story and as I read this chapter this morning my heart broke and the tears began to flow as I saw myself being a Mary. I have allowed at times my heart to question what the Lord is doing in our lives, I have at times walked away from him not wanting to go to him for the shame that I felt in my heart about how I have allowed my heart to be upset with this situation that we are in.
It has been 14 months since we have had NO INCOME! My husband has filed for disability and cannot work, He has the medical card which is much needed for all his medical needs and if I work he looses that, we have literally been backed into a corner to trust the Lord. I will say that our bills are paid enough to get us through each month without loosing everything, he has suppplied our every (NEED).
I do not understand why we have gone through all of this, but I do know one thing, I have learned more about my savior's love for me than I have ever known before.
He has shown me that he loves me and will take care of me and even hug me when I need hugs. This has been a hard year for us, and at times I am rather ashamed at how I have acted, but I would never change anything that I have gone through.
I have a greater appreciation for who God is, I have stronger faith in him and his promises than I ever have, My favorite verse has been put to the fire.
1:2 In hope of eternal life which God that cannot lie, promised before the world began.
I know more today that My God Cannot lie than I have ever known before.

When I see the compassion that the Lord had on Mary and Martha and was moved to tears, it made me know that the Lord feels that same way about me when he sees me struggling and hurting. I am so thankful for a God that cares and weeps for me and is moved with compassion.
So after much consideration I realize that I am often a Mary, but I desire so strongly to be a Martha.

Who are you?