Revive Our Hearts Podcast

Leslie Basham: One Revive Our Hearts listener describes a priceless gift.

Woman: My mother before she died wrote a three-volume autobiography. She was not a professional writer by any means, but she was a delightful writer. That book is going to speak through my mother to her descendents for years and years and years to come. It’s a wonderful memorial.

Leslie Basham: This is Revive Our Hearts with Nancy Leigh DeMoss for Monday, September 29, 2014.

After observing a miracle, Joshua set up a memorial made of big, heavy stones. We've explored that story with Nancy Leigh DeMoss during the series "Lessons from the Life of Joshua (Part 8): Before We Conquer." 

Well, today no one expects you to hoist any boulders, but you can still set up some meaningful markers of remembrance. Nancy's talking with members of our audience about the importance of setting up those markers.

Nancy Leigh DeMoss: Some of you know my friend, our friend, Holly Elliff who’s been on the program with us many times over the years. She’s not able to be with us here today. But I was at their house not too long ago and just looking out the window in her backyard. And she said, “You see that tree over there?”

I looked. It’s not a real big tree. She said that at her dad’s funeral, Holly’s husband, Bill, preached that funeral and he talked about how Holly’s dad was like an oak tree. There was stability in his life.

He had been a forester and he loved trees and all things outdoors. So he gave some analogies to how Holly’s dad had characteristics that were of the stability and depth of a tree.

So some of the women, some of the moms that Holly has ministered to from her church came and brought this tree. It’s planted now in her backyard. And again, a reminder of her heritage and what her dad has meant in her life and something she’ll be able to point to her children and her grandchildren.

So it can be a time of sorrow. It can be representative of someone who’s made a significant impact in our lives. And again it’s the common, what would otherwise be common, that we attach uncommon meaning and significance to that is what makes it a special memorial.

Woman 2: This past summer I was privileged to go to South Africa on a youth mission trip with my husband and some of the youth from our church. There were only six females and the rest were fourteen males, so the six of us women really bonded. There were four youth, two leaders; I was one of the leaders.

So we got great opportunity to encourage one another, to pray together. We had verses we shared. One of the verses that we had was Psalm 61:2: “From the end of the earth I call out to you when my heart is faint. Lead me to the rock that is higher than I.”

At one point on the trip—we were about two and a half hours out of Johannesburg, South Africa—I wish I had a picture because of the beauty of the land. Non-believers say that the meteors struck, and they call it the "cradle of life" because that's where life began because the meteors struck the earth.

As believers, we are all thinking, How can anyone view the vastness, the beauty and not believe that there’s a God who’s in control? I mean it was just amazing. So to us what came to mind was the verse we kept sharing with one another wasPsalm 61:2.

We were up on the mountain and Sara Ray, the other leader, gathered stones unbeknownst to us, and when we came back we got together because we just formed such a bond. Sara had written on these rocks, “RSA” and the date and Psalm 61:2. I have that on my bedside table to remind me, “From the end of the earth I will call out to you when my heart is faint. Lead me to the rock that is higher than I.”

That’s just a special memory, a special marker, a memorial for me that I’ll never forget the privilege of being able to be there where these children who had AIDS, HIV, to be able to share the gospel and just minister and grow. The effects are still there from the trip.

Kim Wagner: Actually, today I’m wearing a memorial from a dear sister of mine. I taught high school Bible in a Christian school, and I took a group of students to hear Nancy in Memphis a couple of years ago.

At the end of that weekend, the girls were so moved and affected by the teaching. God really worked in some of their lives. But one of the girls that I took was a girl that was very spiritually troubled. On that trip she purchased this little bracelet for me.

Now it’s an inexpensive little bracelet, but this bracelet means a lot to me because to her it signified that weekend. She said, “Miss Wagner, I want to always remember this weekend and how God worked in my life.”

And so I said, “Kara, when I wear this bracelet I will pray for you.” God reminds me of that when I wear the bracelet. I remember that weekend. I remember the work God did in those girls' lives, and I remember Kara and pray for her.

I want to just encourage you if you have memorials like that that are attached to significant events with other people, when you see those things in your home or as you’re traveling, lift those people up in prayers. Lift those individuals up in prayer. Use that as a reminder, a prayer reminder. Also, just praise God for the work that He did.

Nancy: Neat. Thanks Kim. Any other memorials?

Woman 3: I have a lot of memorials from relatives. My whole house is full of antiques from relatives and trips and when we were still active force military in Germany, so I’ve got a lot of German things.

I’ve got a Bible that was given to me at my first wedding shower. So many memorials are how God’s been so faithful to provide so much. I’ve got a big cast-iron smut pot that I use for flowers, and I’ve got that out on my patio. That was my mother-in-law’s. Every time I look at it or place something in it I think of her.

An old bedstead, the headboard and the footboard that were out of metal that were in her shed. We parted things out after she had passed away and nobody wanted it. So I said, “Well, I’ll take that.” So I’ve sprayed it with white paint, and I’ve got vineries that grow on it. So I think of her with that; here are the beautiful green vineries growing on something that was my mother-in-law's.

In fact, my husband's family and his sisters say, "I think he was conceived there."  Memorials are fun and they’re such a blessing and I thank her for reminding us how important they are in our life.

Woman 4: About a year ago I started writing songs. I write the words and the melodies. They’re about things I experience. I realize that a lot of times it’s from prayers. I actually find prayers that begin the song. It’s like I pray through something or go through an experience and then it becomes a song.

I sing to my children. It makes me think about things I've read about old cultures and how important singing was in their lives. In makes me think of how we don't do that so much any more. But it is natural. The songs are something I can keep for our kids or share with others. I'm trying to figure out what God wants me to do with them. They show how God is speaking to me and what He's wanting to do with my life.

Nancy: Certain songs or pieces of music can become special memorials. I’m thinking back to a time when we were in the process of deciding whether the Lord wanted us to start Revive Our Hearts ministries. I took about eighteen months to pray and seek the Lord and seek counsel and fasted for periods of time during that time.

There was one particular time right toward the end of that process when I just wanted to confirm that this was what the Lord wanted and did an extended time of fasting. During that time I really set myself to seek the Lord, to get rid of other clutter in my life.

I don’t listen to a lot of music. I have a music background, so it is hard for me to do other things with music playing in the background. But during that period of time there were a few CDs that I—I don’t know if you can wear out CDs but I just about did. One of them was by Marty Getz who is a Messianic Jew and has a powerful testimony of God’s grace in his life. He has a number of CDs. But this particular one had a song on it; I don’t even know if I’ll get the name right.

But the gist of it was it was Isaiah’s story of encountering the Lord. And he would say, “Here am I. Send me.” It actually had the Hebrew phrase in that song. I listened to that particular CD and that particular song over and over again during that period of time.

And that song, "Here I Am; Send Me" was just one of the pieces that the Lord used to confirm in my heart that this is what He wanted us to do. Some of you have heard me tell the story about how we launched into Revive Our Hearts and then there were over the next couple of years just some huge challenges for me getting started in this new type of ministry.

There were so many times when I would think, “Are we going to survive? Am I going to survive?” I felt like the disciples in that boat with Jesus in the storm and thinking, Master wake up! We’re drowning.

That song was one that the Lord would bring back intermittently because it was part of what God used. Of course, primary in getting direction from the Lord is His Word. But that song was something God used to confirm that direction in my heart.

When that song has come back over the years, it’s just been a marker for me of where I was. At the time I had no doubt God is leading in this direction. So there have been times subsequently when I have been tempted to doubt in the darkness what I had seen in the light. So a song like that helps me to go back and remember, “Yes, God did make this clear. Yes, I am here by God’s appointing, at His direction.” And as God was with me then, so He is with me now, and so He will be with me through this whole process.

So to go back and remember God’s dealings with us, these memorials can be powerful things.

I’m thinking of another memorial that’s in my house. My parents when we were little—I’m the oldest of seven children—they would keep in a file special papers, special letters, special drawings. I didn’t have very many drawings. I was better with words than pictures even as a child. But they would keep these things in a file for each of us.

When my mother left the home where we grew up years after my dad went to heaven, she gave each of us our individual files. In my file there was a letter which I don’t remember writing, but clearly I did. I was age seven based on the date on the letter. I call it my missionary letter. It’s a letter I wrote to my parents telling them about God’s call in my life to serve Him as a missionary.

And I misspelled the word. I used the word missionary about eighteen times or something in this letter, misspelled it every time, dropped out one of the vowels. Those who know me are always kind of amused to see this because they know that I am a fiend about correct spelling of things. So this is before I knew how to spell the word missionary.

But I talked about a sense of God’s calling in my life. As you read this thing you can just sense the intensity with which God was dealing with my heart as a young child. I said to my parents, “It’s as if I can hear God saying to me, ‘Go Nancy! Go Nancy! You can do it Nancy!’” And then I said, “P.S.” (I’m doing this from memory here.) “For Jesus I shall do this and for Him only shall I do this.”

When I turned forty, some of my staff got a hold of that letter and had it framed in a neat frame so you can see the front and back of the letter. It’s just a piece of school paper with my writing on it. They put in a little picture, one of my school pictures at about that age. Well, that framed piece is sitting on an easel in my living room.

There have been many times since I was seven years of age that I have thought, You know, it’s a high cost to serve the Lord. There have been times when I have thought—I’m not proud to tell you this but just my own weakness and humanness I have thought, Why couldn’t I have a normal life? Why do I have to be up studying tonight when everyone else is able to go be with their families?

You know, self pity; it’s a deadly and wicked thing. But I go there sometimes. To have a memorial like that and to remember that when I was a little girl God put His hand on my life and said, “I am setting you apart to serve Me.”

And that letter, that framed piece, is a memorial. It’s a marker. It reminds me. It takes me back. It has helped to stay the course of my life over these years. When I was seven it was a lot easier to exercise faith for giving your all to the Lord than it is in now. Now I’m a little more aware of what some of the obstacles are and a little bit more prone to want to play it safe.

But then God takes me back to those days of just reckless abandon to the Lord and wholehearted love and devotion for Him. The reminder that this was to be for Jesus alone and that it was not to be for any self-aggrandizement or to be esteemed somebody great. It was just for Jesus.

When thoughts of my own reputation get in the way of my service for Christ, I can go back to that letter and be reminded, “For Jesus only shall I do this.” That seven-year-old letter has become a memorial for me. For others who’ve been able to come through my home and see that, they have been challenged about their own faith walk and their own consecration and devotion to the Lord. It’s another marker that continues to be a memorial in my life that points me to the God who’s called me and has put me into ministry.

Woman 5: Before my mother died she wrote a three-volume autobiography. She was not a professional writer by any means, but she was a delightful writer. She wrote about early times in her life, and we got to experience the way people gardened and cooked on a wood-burning stove and all those fun things.

But she also wrote about the troubles that she had. She had been born out of wedlock, and she lived her first six years as an illegitimate child, and she wrote about that. Then was brought into a most wonderful family. She married my dad who became a Baptist minister. He was killed in World War II when she was twenty-nine and left her with five children and no income whatsoever.

So her book really was written to encourage her children and her grandchildren and on and on that God gives you hard times, but He’s faithful. She was faithful to Him throughout her life and was just a wonderful example for our whole family.

She died about fourteen years ago. Her book Bumps and Blessings has been read—we have over 100 descendants now of hers—and the book is read as a bedtime story to a lot of the great-great grandchildren. About a week ago—we have a family website and on that website one of the young women had just lost her job and was devastated.

Another great grandchild wrote in from a different state and said, “Remember in Granny’s book when she lost her job because she wouldn’t cheat? She didn’t know what she was going to do and then later she got this wonderful, wonderful job working as Dr. Mitten’s secretary at State Teacher’s College, and he was her mentor for life” and on and on.

So that book is going to speak through my mother to her descendents for years and years and years to come. It’s a wonderful memorial. I’m trying to do the same thing, but I don’t have quite the story she does.

Nancy: You have your story though. And you have your story. And each of us has a story of God’s grace in our lives. We have the story of how we came to faith. And you say, “Well, I was just a child. There wasn’t much history there.” Wouldn’t it be great if your children would come to faith at a young age and experience the blessing of a life of walking with the Lord?

Or you think, I made so many wrong turns, so many detours, and I wouldn’t want my children or grandchildren to follow that. Well, they need to warned by your life, by examples of how obedience brings blessing but disobedience brings conflict.

So it’s not your story; it’s His story in you and through you that needs to be shared with the next generation. I’m so thankful for my parents over the years telling us the story of how they came to faith in Jesus Christ.

And it just convinces your children that there is a God, that He is real, that He is faithful, that in times when they can’t see what He’s doing that He can still be trusted. So use these memorials as a way of passing on to the next generation; first of all encouraging your faith but then also encouraging the next generation.

And when you see that tree, when you see that pot, when you see that picture, when you go through that scrapbook, when you pull out that letter, you can say to others around you, “There is a God.”

What did Joshua say? Here is how you will know that God is among you, that there really is a God, that He is at work. That’s how we pass our faith on from one generation to the next.

Leslie Basham: We’ve been hearing about the importance of milestones and markers from Nancy Leigh DeMoss. Yesterday she taught on Joshua and the boulders he set up to remind future generations of God’s goodness. Today we’ve been hearing how we can set up our own markers rich with meaning.

Today’s discussion is part of the series "Lessons from the Life of Joshua (Part 8): Before We Conquer." It’s one of several series on Joshua we’re going through this fall.

This kind of teaching is making a big difference in the lives of listeners—like Breanna.

She wrote an email after discovering ReviveOurHearts.com. She said,

“For the last few days I have felt like I need to get back to God’s Word.  I came across Revive Our Hearts and have been reading transcripts and resources on your website.”

She goes on, “I am a college student and having access to your materials for free was a huge blessing.  I was so impacted by your ministry today.  I’m excited to continue to listen and read at Revive Our Hearts.com.”

Nancy, I’m so glad Breanna wrote to encourage our team.

Nancy: And Leslie, all this month we’ve been telling listeners one important way they can be part of making stories like that possible.  

Here in September we’ve been sharing a need we’re praying for at least 800 new monthly partners. 

Monthly partners agree to pray for the ministry and tell other people about it. And they agree to support the ministry financially each month. This consistent support really helps us handle the ups and downs of other donations. 

Monthly partners are crucial in helping us deliver Revive Our Hearts each weekday  Monthly partnership helps the ministry be more effective at speaking to new generations of listeners.  Would you pray about becoming a monthly partner? Help Revive Our Hearts continue calling women to freedom, fullness and fruitfulness in Christ! 

Leslie: There are a lot of benefits to joining the Monthly Partner Team. For details and to sign up, visit ReviveOurHearts.com, or call 1–800–569–5959. 

When you feel all alone, look up. Throughout Scripture lonely people had their eyes opened to the help at hand. It’s encouragement for anyone who feels alone tomorrow on Revive Our Hearts.

Revive Our Hearts with Nancy Leigh DeMoss is an outreach of Life Action Ministries.

 

*Offers available only during the broadcast of the podcast season.