It’s all a matter of perspective!

David called it a horrible pit with miry clay.  Daniel had a lion’s den.  Shadrack, Meshack, and Abednego had a fiery furnace.  Joseph had a slave pit and prison cell.  Moses had the back side of the desert.  Paul had several prison cells and a shipwreck.  Jonah had a belly of the whale.  Jeremiah had captivity and the stocks and bonds.  Peter had a storm.  Noah had a flood.  Abraham had an Egyptian season.  Mark was terminated as a missionary.  John was isolated on the Isle of Patmos.  David had a bad kid named Absolam.  Job had a disease, a theft, a tornado, and major losses.  Abigail had a stupid husband.  Sarah had a liar for a husband.  Jacob had a bad father in law.  Esau had a scheming brother.  Sarah had a barren womb.  Job had a nagging wife.  Job also had three accusing friends.When Xerxes was King of Persia, he hosted a party that was full of booze and drunken debauchery.  He asked his queen to come join the party. The king wanted to show off his queen in front of these drunken lustful men.  Vashti the Queen said, “No!”  This outraged the king. He had her shipped off to Siberia that very night.

Xerxes wanted a queen.  His advisors came up with a plan to find the perfect queen.  The plan was called, “The Persian Queen”.  This was the forerunner to “The American Idol”. The kingdom was divided into 127 provinces.  Each province would hold auditions.  Each of the 127 provinces would send a representative to the contest.  The final contestents were gathered in the town of ‘Shushan’ the summer capital of Persia.

Preparation for the event was intense.  A lot was riding on this contest.  The contest would last for one full year.  During that time, each of the women would go through intensive skin preparation, and makeup.  The winner would reign as the Queen of Persia along side King Xerxes.  Early on, one girl began to distinguish herself as a leader. Her name was Hadassah.  Later, her name would be changed to Esther.

The king wanted his future bride to be beautiful.  That is why he designed special preparation for each contestent.  The preparation was tough but the reward would be even greater.  The winner would share the kingdom and live with the king.  Scripture tells of these things in Esther 2:3 (NKJV)  “…and let the king appoint officers in all the provinces of his kingdom, that they may gather all the beautiful young virgins to Shushan the citadel, into the women’s quarters, under the custody of Hegai the king’s eunuch, custodian of the women. And let beauty preparations be given them.”

Esther went on to win “The Persian Queen” contest and she became the Queen beside King Xerxes.

There is a King who is the King of Kings.  His name is Jesus.  One day He will establish His kingdom.  He is preparing a people to reign with Him.  He has carefully designed preparation for that group of people to make them ready to reign with Him!

From our perspective, we can call this preparation horrible pits, disease, fiery furnace, miry clay, stupid husband, theft, termination, loss of job, nagging wife, bad kid, tornado, or a thousand other things.  Just know this, from His perspective,  King Jesus calls it “beauty preparations”  getting you ready to reign with Him.

Just remember, one day of favor with the King can wipe out a life time of disappointments!

We love you.

Billy and Sheilah Daws

What Can You Find in the Darkness

It was late and bitterly cold.  I had forgotten to wear my big coat. As I walked home, I notice a young boy under the street light on his hands and knees searching frantically for something.  I asked him what was wrong.  He told me that he had lost a newly minted one dollar coin that had been given to him by his grandfather.  I offered to help him find it. After 30 minutes of searching with him, we had had no success in finding the lost coin. So I asked the boy to tell me exactly how he had lost the coin.  He told me that he had stayed over at his friend’s house for supper and knew that it was getting late.  He made a mad dash to get home quickly.  As he came to the intersection, he turned to come up this street and lost his balance.  That is when he lost his coin.  The boy pointed to the intersection about 25 yards away from him.  So I quizzed him.  “Are you telling me that you lost the coin at the corner…25 yards from here?”  The lad said, “Yes.”  I then asked him a crucial question, “Why are you searching for it here…25 yards away from the corner?”  The lad looked at me and said, “Because the light is better here.” 

I hope he found his coin.  I recommended that he one day attend the University of Georgia…I think he would be readily accepted there.

Sometimes you find the best things in life in the darkness.

I like the darkness when I want to go to sleep;I don’t like a night light in the same room with me.  I like the darkness when I go camping because we get to sit by the campfire and make smores and roast wieners.  I like the darkness if I am running from a bad guy who wishes me harm; it’s easier to hide in the darkness.  I like the darkness when I want to observe the stars and the planets.

Beyond that, I don’t like the darkness.  It is scarry.

We went to Kentucky recently and spent some time in Mammouth Cave.  We were several hundred feet below the surface. Our guide told us to stand still.  She then proceded to turn out the lights.  Now that was darkness.  I knew my hand was six inches in front of my face but I could not see one bit of my hand.

I pastored a church that had a cemetary beside it.  We lived next door.  One of the staff thought it would be a great idea to have balloons with helium for a Valentine Banquet.  The security alarm went off three times that night because of those balloons.  It was a dark walk, next to a dark cemetary, into a dark church. That was not fun. 

Being in the dark physically is not fun…but being in the dark spiritually is definitely not fun.  However,it seems that every believer that is used of God goes through dark times spiritually

  • Abraham was told to leave home, but he was kept in the dark as he was not told where to go. 
  • David was told he would be king, but he was kept in the dark because no one told him that it would be at least 13 years before it would happen. 
  • Abraham and Sarah were told they were going to have a baby, but they were kept in the dark because no one told them that it would be 26 years later and well past their prime time to have children. 
  • Joseph was told that his family would honor him, but he was not told that it would be 13+ years before it happened and that he would be sold into slavery, be falsely accused, and go to jail. 

What is a dark time? It is a time when you don’t understand what is happening; you can’t make sense of the situation; you can’t find your way; you are not sure that God is listening; and you don’t have a clue what to do.  It is not necessarily a time brought on by sin as seen in Isaiah 50:10 (NKJV) “Who among you fears the Lord?  Who obeys the voice of His Servant?  Who walks in darkness and has no light?  Let him trust in the name of the Lord and rely upon his God.”

Since we are told in scripture that God is light, we don’t usually think of the fact that God can be in the darkness.  1 Kings 8:12 (KJV)  Then spake Solomon, The Lord said that he would dwell in thick darkness.  Exodus 20:21 (NKJV)  So the people stood afar off, but Moses drew near the thick darkness where God was.

There are times that God brings us into those ‘dark nights of the soul’ so that He can get us to refocus.  It is not a time to complain and gripe.  Real faith comes out when we are in the dark with no way out, not a clue as to why, and not being able to understand any element of our circumstances, but we declare, “God, I don’t know what is going on, but I choose to trust You anyway.”

(Sorry about that comment about the University of Georgia. It was a test to see if you were really reading these newsletters. 🙂 )

We love yall!

Billy and Sheilah Daws

Carried Away

When I turned and saw my bride walk down the aisle in her beautiful white wedding dress, I was carried away.  When I saw the birth of my four children, I was carried away.   When I saw my first sunset on Bean Point on Anna Maria Island, I was carried away.

To be carried away means to be left speechless…to be in awe…to be dumbfounded…to struggle for words that will describe the situation.

When we take time to look at the Lord, we are carried away.  God is my security.  I went to church as a child at Macedonia Baptist Church in Oxford, Georgia.  The church had a scary cemetary right beside it.  As a boy of 5, I can remember being scarred one night at church. I looked up and I saw my dad walking to the car. My dad was a blue collar worker. His hands were strong, calloused and rough. I slipped my little hand in his and when he grasped my hand, I was not scarred anymore.  God has big, calloused, rough, strong hands and I am secure in his hands. I am carried away by the absolute security He gives me.

Remember when you were in school and you knew that you did something really wrong.  You also knew that the teacher knew what you did.  There was the pain of facing the teacher and then the note she wrote to your parents. There were those painful questions from your mom and dad, “What did you do? and Why did you do it?”  Your words came so hard…they almost choked in your throat, “I did…and I was wrong. Would you forgive me?” There is nothing like the feeling of knowing that what I did has been punished and now is forgiven.  WOW!  God knows what I did…I know what I did…and I agree with God and I ask His forgiveness.  He writes the note and folds it up and nails it to a wooden post…I have to look…I have to know what is in that note.  I slowly open it and it reads, “This sin is paid for in full and you are restored!”  My heart misses a beat…I collapse against the wooden post…I look up and it has a cross board and it is stained with blood.  I am carried away!

I love the Lord and He loves me…I am carried away by that.  I love God…why not…He has blessed me; He has forgiven me; He has given me grace; He has healed me; He has saved me. Oh, I know there have been times that I have been so mad at Him that I did not even want to speak to Him.  But it was only temporary…when I saw the full picture, I understood the delays.  I love God so much.  What I struggle with is why would He love me?  I am so inconsistent…so unfaithful…so sinful…why would He love me so.  And then I saw a verse that I could not fully comprehend. It is so spectacular and so amazing that it absolutely carried me away.  The Lord speaks in Song of Solomon 4:9, “You have ravished my heart, my sister, my spouse; you have ravished my heart with one look of your eyes, with one link of your necklace.”  God says that when I look at Him with just one look of submission, that His heart is ravished!  He looks at me…warts and all, and when I yield to Him, God is carried away!   I am carried away by that!  But that is not all of the story.  God is almighty and nothing overwhelms Him…except one thing. When you and I gaze on the Lord with loving eyes, He melts!  In Song of Solomon 6:5, the Lord says to you, “Turn your eyes away from me,  for they have overcome me.”  I am carried away with the very thought of that!

Words fail me…I can not tell you how great is our God!  I am carried away!

Please let us know how we can pray for you, as we desire to be your intercessory missionaries.

Billy and Sheilah Daws