Friday, March 4, 2011

Mystery, Faith and Revelation

Mystery – the unknown and unexplainable

We all have nagging personal struggles, unanswered questions and persistent contradictions in our lives.
  • Why can’t I overcome this problem?
  • Why is the world like this?
  • If God promised good, why does bad happen
It’s a mystery. That is not to say we should commit intellectual suicide and not pursue answers or solutions, but for some reason some questions will not be answered in this earthly life.  So how should we respond to life’s mysteries?

Faith – trust and confidence in someone

It’s important that we respond to the mysteries in our lives with faith and confidence towards God. For some, faith is a promise or a creed, but I believe it needs to be more. Faith must be a confident trust in our Father God who takes a personal interest in us. It must include knowledge and experience, but without a relationship it will either be dry, cold and stale or an unpredictable roller coaster of feelings as we pursue the next emotional high. 

Faith is placed in our loving Father God. It is the confidence and trust that He will make all work out for our best. 

Revelation –God revealing Himself to us

Intimate relationship with God will open us to revelation from Him of His certain love, mercy and goodness toward us. The personal relationship of knowing Him in the most intimate way will result in a know-that-I-know confidence and certainty that is beyond the shadow of a doubt. We will stand firm and steadfast even in the most difficult test or trial, storm or tribulation, question or mystery that life can throw at us. 

The mysteries of life must be faced with personal faith, grounded on the deepest revelations from our intimate relationship with Father God. 

"The walk of FAITH is to live according to the revelation we have received, in the midst of the mysteries we can't explain." Bill Johnson

James 1:2-4 "When troubles come your way, consider it a opportunity for great joy. for you know that when your faith is tested, your endurance has a chance to grow. So let it grow, for when your endurance is fully developed, you will be perfect and complete, needing nothing." NLT

Friday, January 28, 2011

News from the Rutledge family

Enjoy our first 2011 newsletter. Included is an up date of Judah's life and plans. If you like you can forward them to your friends or even print off the pdf copies and share them in that way. Blessings and peace. Earl

Jinotega, Nicaragua, January 2011

Happy New Year! Our awesome God reigns in goodness, wisdom, power, and love, and we rejoice in His steadfast character and in knowing Him. Our 2010 was a year of change for our family as well as a year of growth in relationships. We have established a prayer room in Jinotega, and have ministered to many in the area of forgiveness of past offenses and healing of previous relational wounds, allowing present relationships to improve. We have seen spiritual renewal and peoples' relationships with Father God restored, and are discipling those who desire to grow deeper in their relationship with Him.

Earl focused on relationships in Jinotega through English classes, English and Spanish Bible studies/home groups, a marriage group and one-on-one discipleship. Other activities included teaching in Young Life Leadership camps, Youth with a Mission Discipleship School, Thompson Chain Reference Bible training, and trips to the States. Oversight of the Matagalpa church continues.

wedding bev and earl (2)Family wise Earl officiated Cheree's wedding in June and less than three months later buried his mom. In all these experiences of rejoicing, caring, and parting, God's light shined giving new revelation and understanding of Father God's love, peace and joy.

In September Bev took a break from her busy roles of mom, teacher, hostess, nurse, "pastora" and counselor, to travel with Lance to visit her folks in Minnesota for 3 weeks. After Cheree and Vicente's June wedding and Earl's sister's visit in July, Bev spent several difficult weeks of caring for Earl's mom during her rapid decline in health until her eternal home-going the end of August.  We are thankful that we had the privilege of Grandma living with us these last 8 years and for her legacy of doing all for God's glory. The void created by Grandma's absence has greatly affected our home school, and we are thankful for Judah curtailing his study plans temporarily to fill in the large gap during this adjustment period in our lives.

DSC_0324Cheree and Vicente have had a great six months of marriage. God constantly provides in varied and creative ways! After five months of intense work, Cheree graduated with honors in Graphic Design and Publicity. They pray that, in this New Year, God will provide a work outlet in her career that allows flexibility to care for house and husband. Vicente works full time at a civil engineering firm and teaches classes Saturdays at a local university. Pray for the Lord's wisdom to make good decisions in their marriage and work, confirming how they can serve Him in Estelí.

johnOur oldest son John is settled down at John Brown University, has a solid group of friends, and just finished the first semester of his sophomore year. He is a triple major in International Business, Marketing, and Management and is on track to graduate in 2013, 4 years after starting. Needless to say, when in school, John is a busy person. Through earning academic scholarships he has managed to pay a great majority of his college tuition. The chance to receive a quality education coupled with a positive college experience is a great blessing to him.

Judah finished high school with a 4.0 average, and has added knife making to his existing array of arts. He planned to begin a leadership school in September, but because of his wedding judahGram's death and other delays he changed plans and helped mom home school his younger siblings this past fall. He starts a YWAM Discipleship Training School in Oakridge, New Zealand this February. It consists of three months of teaching followed by two months of application through outreach. Judah is responsible for paying the cost of his outreach, $3300, and all contributions are welcome. He starts classes at LeTourneau University in August.

wedding lanceLance considers 2010 a year of accomplishments and opportunities. For Cheree's wedding, he dressed up in slacks, a long sleeved shirt and a tie. This was a major accomplishment, since he considers a collar shirt and jeans ''dressed up''. In September, Lance visited his grandparents in Minnesota. Grandpa has a garage that is practically a whole machine shop, and he learned how to operate several tools and machines during his breaks from cleaning the garage and carpeting the attic. This trip was a tremendous vacation and a definite cultural experience. Lance plays soccer, sculpts with clay, and enjoys a large variety of music.

DSC_0346Luke has had a hard but successful year. The year was difficult because his grandmother died. He misses being able to help her and talk with her. It has also been a productive year for him in school. He is in the 9th grade and his grades have improved significantly. Luke has a knack for connecting, setting up and operating things like computers, iPods, televisions, cameras, DVD/CD players and other electronics. He is also extremely active and enjoys climbing. He is helpful and caring with his sisters.KJoy

Kelsy has greatly missed not having Grandma as her teacher this year, but is doing well in 6th grade. She enjoys her Bible class most and read the entire Bible this year. She likes reading and recently finished all the Narnia books by C.S. Lewis. She also likes to write. Six weeks ago on a family trip to San Juan del Sur to help with a library celebration she was excited to get her ears pierced. She has learned to cook more things this year and helps mom by taking care of her younger sister, playing "let's pretend," dolls, other games and having tea parties.

esperEsperanza, energy personified, is always looking for "something fun to do." She enjoys playing with dolls, kindergarten computer games, drawing, and painting but prefers to be doing whatever someone else is doing and being in the middle of wherever there is action. She is Dad's constant companion when he goes to pay bills or run other errands and is a ready student for Mom to teach.

We appreciate your prayers, letters, emails, chats and financial support. This year in ministry we are looking at new challenges, relationships and opportunities which include more travel here in Nicaragua and the US, greater financial commitments and constant wisdom from Father God regarding plans and priorities.

Please Pray for:

  • New and developing ministry opportunities in Jinotega and Somoto
  • Financial needs, especially regarding university costs and Judah's YWAM [$8000 needed urgently]
  • Expanding the ministry of inner/emotional healing
  • Development of a network that includes our contacts in Matagalpa, Jinotega, Estelí and Somoto
  • Purchase of property for the church in Matagalpa
  • Our older three children as they marry, go to the university, and grow and mature as adults
  • Our four younger children as they continue to grow and prepare for their own unique destinies
  • Relationships as we continue to minister alongside Young Life, YWAM Nicaragua, and Bethel Church

Thank you again for your prayers and support of our ministry. We pray God's excellent goodness and unfailing merciful kindness will follow you throughout this year; that His joy will sustain you when the road seems difficult; and that you will experience His presence and Everlasting Arms of love in a greater way in 2011.

Blessings and peace,

Earl, Bev, and family


Letters, cards and donations:

World Outreach Fellowship

2011 W. Marshall Ave.

Longview, TX 75604

Write checks to World Outreach Fellowship.

Separately, indicate: "for Nicaragua/Earl & Bev Rutledge."

clip_image002Hi! This is Judah Rutledge. I know there is a section on me in my parent's latest newsletter, but since I will be away from Nicaragua (and, thus, Mom and Dad) until Christmas, I have decided to write a more detailed letter of personal plans and expectations for the year.

As I stated above I will soon be leaving the country. This is obviously the greatest change for me, but the last year has been full of numerous, smaller changes. I spent nine months living in Matagalpa with Cheree while taking a computer course and getting my driver's license. So I enjoyed more independence last year than ever before, even though only an hour away from my parents. Cheree taught me how to set and live on a budget and how to take care of a house, versus just cleaning imageone. It was great to have some special time with her before she got married. After finishing my computer course and getting my Nicaraguan license, I returned to Jinotega, where I have been helping my parents for the last four months. I have spent my free hours exploring the mountains surrounding the city and making knives, greatly increasing my proficiency in both arts. In fact, I now have knives for sale in Managua and will soon be taking a group of youth up the Peña de la Cruz (Peak of the cross) here in Jinotega.

All this is drawing to a close, though, as a new phase of my life takes shape. I will be headed for the states for two weeks and leaving from there to New Zealand to start a five month Discipleship Training School with YWAM (Youth With A Mission). This will be an Adventure DTS, the normal DTS with an extra touch of hiking and extreme sports coordinated with the classes, all designed to help me dive deeper into the ultimate adventure: knowing God and his will for my life. Three months of classes will be given on a variety of subjects such as God's nature, hearing God's voice, intercession, how to study the Bible and, of course, missions. After the theory comes the application. With my classmates and leaders, I will spend the last two months ministering in any area of need on a South Pacific Island, probably Vanuatu. A personal goal for this time is to continue growing in independence and maturity, while still under a protective spiritual coverage. This will be preparatory for college, which I'm starting in Longview, Texas two weeks after I graduate from the DTS. LeTourneau University residence halls open the 18th of August, and a new world awaits. I'll finish my first semester of mechanical engineering and then come back to Nicaragua for Christmas vacation.clip_image006

The year will require more of me than anything I've yet experienced, but all is in God's hands so it will be great! Prayers are welcome! If you are interested in more details or have any questions, write to me at . This year will be the best yet for me; may it be the same for you.


Judah D. Rutledge

Saturday, December 25, 2010

The Star

The Star led the wise men from a far a way place to the house where Mary, Joseph and the child Jesus were living. It was their faithful guide. Jesus, the bright morning star, is a lamp to our feet and a light to our path. Following Him and His direction, we will always make the right decisions and find the correct way.

The key? Keep the Star in the top place in your life, the first priority, the deciding factor, the ultimate guide. You’ll never go wrong. 

“Bright and Morning Star, shine on me. Illuminate my life with your understanding and wisdom. Guide me into your truth for living. I will follow you where ever you lead.” 

An intro to our Advent symbols 
The first Advent symbols: In the Beginning

Friday, December 24, 2010

Jesus: The Best Present Ever

The most dynamic aspect of Christmas is the exchange of gifts. Watching a small child giggle and smile as she gives gifts to others and rejoice as she opens hers will touch the heart of any parent. Giving is the essence of Christmas.

The primary reason for Christmas is to remember the birth of Jesus. Through Jesus, God’s abundant grace to us, we receive forgiveness and righteousness. Jesus’ life and sacrifice was the first "Christmas gift"; generosity began with Father God. Eternal life was the best gift ever given.

“Father God, thank you for the gift of righteousness and eternal life. I want to share it with others.” 

The next symbol is The Star

Thursday, December 23, 2010

The Wise Men

To the poor and despised shepherds and the rich and intellectual wise men, God’s message was the same, a King is born and a Savior has come. Worship him, Christ the Lord.

Our life, our possessions and our worship are precious gifts; let us place them at Jesus’ feet like the wise men brought their gifts of gold, frankincense and myrrh before Him. The great cost of time, money and effort is minimal in comparison to His gift of grace, forgiveness, and salvation. Let’s worship Jesus as King and Lord.

“My Savior and King, I worship you and place my life, my possessions, and my desires at your feet to be used in your service in the manner you desire.”

Coming up: The Best Present Ever

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

The Shepherds

The shepherds acted instantly on the angels’ song and that rocked their world. They went to Bethlehem to see what God had spoken to them: the baby lying in a manger. They shared their story with Mary and Joseph, they told all they met about the child, and they returned to their sheep “glorifying and praising God for all they had heard and seen.” Their lives had been forever changed.

The shepherds were transformed because they acted on the revelation God sent them. They changed the world because they shared that revelation with others. What an awesomely simple story!

“God of the Heavens, speak to my life and transform my world. I praise your name for all you have done in me. I am your willing messenger.” 

The symbol that follows is The Wise Men 

She Laid Him in a Manger

“Who dares make light of small beginnings?” Jesus was born in a stable, laid in a manger, lived in Nazareth and died on a cross. Nothing indicated he would be of great influence, but he is the most influential man of all times.

Insignificant? I don’t believe so. God lived on earth as a man, so he could redeem us from sin. Maybe it was a seemingly poor and unimportant beginning, but the eternal result is unbelievably marvelous, wonderful, and awesome. The King of kings’ earthly debut started with a stable as his castle and a manger as his throne. The impact was eternal.

“King Jesus, I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ. May I present you in a worthy manner to those around me.”

Tomorrow is The Shepherds

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Born in Bethlehem – Insignificance?

It doesn’t matter how insignificant you might feel or if others notice you, God knows you and sees your impact. Bethlehem was small and unimportant, yet God took note and sent His Son there to be born. Because of that birth, the world knows of Bethlehem and her Son, Jesus the Christ.

As we allow God to be birthed into our lives, He will impact others and we will have a place in eternity’s history. As we allow God to move in us, He will bring security and peace to our sphere of influence and to the ends of the earth.

“Almighty God, thank you for noticing me. Fill me with your Spirit and move through me to bring security and peace to my world.”

The next symbol is She Laid Him in a Manger

Monday, December 20, 2010

His Name Is John

Luke 1:57-80 [versículos 62-67 and 37] 

Given a second chance Zechariah confirmed “John” as his son’s name. In this moment, the Holy Spirit came upon him and he prophesied greatness over his son’s life. Although not a believer at first, being mute for nine months left Zechariah a lot of time to think. He understood and agreed with God’s promise.

Let’s not wait for a second chance to believe and obey. Listen, believe, receive and act in faith, today. Begin with promises in the Bible and continue on with the promises He makes as you meditate on His Word. Declare his goodness, agree with the promise, and walk in the power of His word.

“God of the Impossible Promise, I will believe and act on your promises. Speak to me today.”   

Tomorrow: Born in Bethleham