Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Prayer Requests 2012

November 16, 2012
Christmas at Home”
  1. Wisdom and discernment in all the plans and decisions to be made.

  1. Extra strength for the girls and me as we plan and make preparations.

  1. For the wife of our City Mayor to be able to attend, as well as First Ladies of neighboring towns.

  1. For the wives of the former mayors, and military wives to be able to attend. 

  1. For extra finances for the cost of the Banquet, Hotel reservations, and plane reservation for our guest speaker.

  1. Preparation of the special music, and choice of each song.

  1. For our guest speaker, my brother, Tommy Ashcraft, as he prepares his message for the evening, and for liberty as he preaches.                                

  1. For the Hotel staff to be reached with the Gospel.

  1. That the Lord would prepare the hearts of the ladies who will be attending, and for many to be saved, who will be an influence to others.  We have had ladies saved in every banquet for the past eleven years, including four former First Ladies, and two military wives.

Note:  This Banquet is an annual affair, and will be attended by ladies, who for the most part are unsaved, and who either because of religious preferences, or pressures from home, do not attend our Church.  The Lord laid these dear ladies on my heart several years ago, and I am as burdened for them as I am for the ladies in my Sunday School Class.
Billie Sloan
Nahum 1:7

Prayer Letter - October 2012

Greetings from the little town of Ixtapa, Chiapas, where my husband and I lived for five years back in the 70’s. I’m spending a few days here with my son in law, Ulises Martínez, and my daughter, Elizabeth and their three children. I was blessed last night, as he took me on a tour of the land just outside of town. We walked through the church building and fellowship hall, and he showed me where their orphanage is already under construction. What big, big plans he has for the future! There are two pastors in training, who will soon take over two of the three churches he started.

What an exciting month August was for me, traveling to El Salvador, and speaking in a ladies’ conference there. Ladies from El Salvador, Honduras, and Guatemala attended this meeting. It goes without saying that I thoroughly enjoyed this special time spent with my niece, Tammie González, and Henry and their four precious children. Three days after my return to Chiapas, I flew to Ukraine. What a wonderful time I had speaking at the Single Ladies’ Conference in Bro. Mark Priem’s church in the city of Odessa! Miss Polly Irvin was the perfect hostess. My son, David and I enjoyed such sweet fellowship with her and missionaries John and Dawn Spillman, and Bro. and Mrs. Christian. And of course, I made precious memories with David and Jolene, and my four grandchildren. In Simferopol, where they work with Bro. Bob and Judy Van Sant, it was my honor to speak at their ladies’ Banquet, where about one-third of the ladies present were deaf. Ever “heard” a ladies’ deaf ensemble sing? Nothing like it!

While I was away, on August 17, which would have been my husband’s 71st birthday, Compassion Radio was dedicated, under the ministry of my son, Tommy. Several pastors from near and far were present. There was preaching, tearful testimonies, and just a sweet time of revival, so I’m told. Their first broadcast took place September 4. Almost every day, Tommy receives text messages from people in remote villages, as well as in neighboring cities, commenting on the programs. Several programs are in the different Indian dialects. Tommy invited me to have a 30-minute ladies’ program every Friday…a little scary at first; but I really look forward now to this new ministry.

On August 31, the day after my return, Emily Ruth was born to Ulises and Elizabeth. What a delight my 36th grandbaby is!

I’m enclosing a prayer request list for our 14th annual Christmas Banquet, and ask that you please take it very seriously as part of your daily prayer time.

Your friend,
Billie Sloan
Nahum 1:7

Sunday, October 7, 2012

"There is a Time"

“To everything there is a season, and a time…”
Ecclesiastes 3:1
(Written August 25, 2012, Ukraine)

There I lay on the bathroom floor. Had I had a cardiac arrest? Had I slipped and fallen and broken my leg? No and no. In a fit of despair, I realized I didn’t have time to do everything involved with leaving home, and traveling across two countries, across the ocean; preparing 11 lessons; and all the other things on my “to do” list. I lay there in utter despair. Nothing comforted me…well; almost nothing, except a 30-hour day would be a good start. I lay there, and looked up at the Lord Who was probably shaking His head and saying, “Billie, Billie!” much the same way He said to Martha.

One of the hardest things that women cope with, at least for this woman, is finding time to do everything on my “to do” list. In fact, I often tell myself, as my daughter in law once told me, “There is no way one human being can accomplish everything you have written down on that list.” And I respond, “That’s true…but it gives me a sense of direction and purpose.” And what is it in human nature that makes us feel so good about crossing off items on a list?

This may not be the most spiritual lesson I’ve ever written, and it probably won’t speak to your heart like I would love my lessons to do. But in the past few weeks I’ve learned a great truth that has changed my life, and even my moods and my attitude. And it’s this:

“There is a perfect time for everything God wants me to do.” And I base that truth on the Word of God in Ecclesiastes 3:1.

A few minutes ago I wrote an article for my blog. I’ve never posted a blog without the aid of my daughter in law, Jolene. Since I’ve been staying in their home, she’s been able to give me some tips that will upgrade my no-technology mind. Yesterday, I took detailed notes (see first paragraph…I’m a list-making addict) as she “walked” me through the process of posting a blog. Since she is very busy this morning, I thought, “Why not? You can do it, Sloan!” I wrote my blog post, but when I went to the web page for blogging, I discovered to my dismay that I could not connect to the Internet.

Remembering my new-found truth, I thought, “This is not the time for posting that blog. God will provide a perfect time.”

So here I am, writing this truth to you, simply because I can’t get online. Some things in life you just learn from the obvious.

Normally, I would have become irritated and annoyed. Have you ever made wrong decisions because you tried to do something that was not in God’s perfect time? I have…silly, silly decisions that cost me lots and lots of money.

A couple of months ago, before I learned this truth, I was at the airport in Mexico City. I had been there for seven hours. My flight for Chicago was a late one, and I knew the lady who picks me up every year would be driving an hour from home, leaving her three small children with her husband. My flight usually arrives in the early evening, but this one would land at 10:00 p.m. Imagine my dismay, when I heard the words every frequent flyer dreads hearing: “Your flight has been delayed,” and she added to this recurring nightmare the words, “indefinitely!” I panicked. I didn’t mind so much waiting, or even arriving late, but my friend, Julie, would be on the freeway alone at midnight in Chicago! I called my son in Chiapas. What on earth could my son in Chiapas do for me? He finally reached the pastor, who was able to get a married couple to pick me up instead of my young friend.

I felt quite proud of myself, until I got off the plane. The pastor had already asked the young couple if they could pick me up instead of Julie, since he knew it would be a late flight. See? I should have just waited on the Lord. I was tired and weary, but another verse that is very, very related to the one in Ecclesiastes is found in Isaiah 40:31, “But they that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength;”

Have you ever put a…let’s say…stew into the crock pot…too late? It’s dinner time, and your potatoes are still crunchy? So you quickly dump them into a pot and put them on the stove to finish cooking…hurriedly. Doesn’t taste the same, does it? When we don’t do things on time, we must suffer the consequences. While we should never get ahead of God’s timing in our lives, neither should we lag behind.

Have you ever flown to another time zone? If you have ever made an over-seas trip, you know what Jet Lag is. Having experienced this phenomenon 6 times in my life, my personal definition would be: “Being out of synch with your world.” Your body tells you it’s beddy-bye time; but the world around you is up and at ‘em.   I have actually gotten up at 3:00 in the morning while suffering Jet Lag, dressed for the day, made coffee and had finished my devotions by the time the rest of the household got up. BUT at 11:00 that morning, I was looking for anything flat where I could go back to sleep.

Have you ever suffered spiritual Jet Lag?  My definition for spiritual jet lag would be, “Being out of synch with God,” and you don’t know suffering until you’ve experienced that kind of jet lag.

Here are some principles I’ve learned from this truth.

1. When I don’t wait on God’s perfect timing, I don’t have peace. I don’t have joy, and I don’t enjoy life. I’m frustrated, and I don’t feel the Holy Spirit’s presence.

2. When I’m not in synch with God, other people annoy me. They get in my way and interfere with MY timing.

3. I miss golden opportunities when I arrange my timetable. My schedule says “Write for one hour,” but God’s says, “Micah, go pull on your Mimi’s skirt until she stops what she’s doing and plays with you.” If I refuse to be flexible, I’m missing an opportunity I’m afraid will come to haunt me when my grandbaby is thousands of miles away, and my arms ache to hold him.

4. I miss out on experiencing firsthand the all-things-working-for-good truth of Romans 8:28.

5. Doing things in MY time and in MY strength is exhausting. I become a worry wart, and a doubter, and I worry others. How do my children feel when I call them or talk with them about all my fears and doubts?

6. When I do things in God’s time, I’m more effective, and do my work more efficiently. I don’t have to rush or hurry when God Himself has provided the perfect time for a project.

7. I don’t make wrong decisions by trying to force perfect times, which actually aren’t perfect.

8. When I wait for God’s timing, I have His provision, and His guidance.

So ladies, let’s get in synch with the Lord today!