Monthly Archives: June 2014

Behind the Scenes: The Mother of an 8 Year Old Missionary

You may recall last month’s most popular post (“An 8 Year Old Missionary Who Throws Parties for Drug Dealers“), which described the sobering and wildly encouraging faith of an 8 year old girl who happens to love Jesus. If you haven’t read it, it’s a MUST read before diving into today’s post.

Why? Because the story doesn’t end with one BBQ hosted to love on local drug dealers – this story is much bigger. Today, you’ll hear more about the story from Taya’s mother, Shelly Palmer. We’ll talk about how God used this precious little girl to promote radical trust Jesus in a whole new way.

Shelly Palmer is the mother of four beautiful children – 2 boys and 2 girls. She’s just like most moms that I know – she encourages safety in practical things such as wearing seat belts, abiding by the speed limit, and making sure that her kids don’t eat foods that will make them choke. She’s the chairperson of the board at her children’s school and she supports her husband in every dream he pursues. Even though she can’t drink coffee because it makes her anxious, she’ll sip on sweet tea all day long like any true Southern belle.

Shelly’s also willing to do whatever it takes to spread the gospel – she has led a kids ministry in the infamous Compton neighborhood of Los Angeles, pursued victims of sex trafficking in Atlanta through Princess Nights, and served as a site leader for outreach to women in prostitution.

Like many of us, she longs to follow Jesus in her own walk of faith. As a stay-at-home Mom, she’s embracing the greatest mission field that she’ll ever experience, which actually exists between the four walls of her Atlanta-based home. Here’s what she shared:

As a Mom, what did you think when Taya told you that she wanted to throw a party for drug dealers?

At first, I thought, “No way, we’re not going to do that!” No way could we have them inside. Maybe we can have them outside and hang out together in the front yard.

 But then God started pulling at my heart and began to speak. He said, “I am having your daughter do this for a reason. I have put it in her heart to do this, so you need to be obedient to what I am asking her to do.”

Wow. That’s quite a testimony already. Is there is one specific lesson that you learned about your own walk of faith in Christ?

Yes – that I should not become desensitized to my environment. In my mind, I viewed these drug dealers only as criminals and didn’t want to associate with them. But God used Taya to break down those walls so that I could see others that need God’s love. Drug dealers need God’s love too, just like everyone else that we minister to: single Moms, any women we help on the streets, or homeless men on the street. They all need God’s love. I’m just thankful that He broke me down before I became too desensitized. No matter what you’re doing or where you are in life, God is still reaching out to you. No one has ever gone too far to feel the love of God.

God also reminded me that He is our Protector, and that I can protect our kids only so much. But, God is our main protector. Because He put this BBQ on a little child’s heart, it must be extremely important. Perhaps I had failed to listen earlier, and so He ended up using my daughter to accomplish what He wanted to do. He is pretty amazing.

Taya mentioned that you had a conversation with a specific woman during the BBQ, which sounded like God sent a person just for you to minister to. Can you share about that experience?

Yes, a woman came to the BBQ and she was intoxicated. She started opening up to me, and she shared that she doesn’t want to be out on the streets anymore. She had been using [drugs] again and prostituting. So, I began praying for her in my kitchen. She was crying and sharing that she wanted to start living a better life. Then she said that she wasn’t really ready yet, but that she would come back to my house and talk moving forward.

There are a lot of mothers who read HDD. If you could give one piece of advice to mothers (or even future mothers such as myself) who want to encourage their children to follow after Christ, what would you suggest?

Simply point them in the right direction, lead them towards where they need to go, and trust God to take over. I’ve always pointed Taya to ministry and outreach (since that’s my husband’s job). When she was a baby, I would take her to ‘Adopt-A-Block‘ with me every Saturday. Even after I became so busy being a Mom that I had to stop doing some of the ministries, Taya was still very familiar with them. I also encourage her to read her Bible and to pray.

I am also honest with her about what are people are going through. When we encounter them on the street, I will tell her that this person is a drug dealer; that man is homeless, he doesn’t have a home; and this person is on drugs, so they have sores on their body and no teeth. There are a lot of people that are suffering without Jesus. In my own life, it was hard when I didn’t have Jesus. I get to share how life is rough without Jesus from my own past experience, and then talk about how they see it from their perspective. Being honest with our kids has really paid off for me by allowing the Holy Spirit to work in their lives and helping to keep them involved in church.

One last question, I know that there are a lot of readers who are stay-at-home Moms (such as yourself). Can you talk to me about how transitioning from active ministry to being at home with your kids (while still having a husband who is in ministry) has impacted you? 

I definitely have accepted that my children are my main ministry, my full-time ministry. Whatever I can pour into them, they will be able to pour out to others later. We are seeing this with Taya, who is eight now and wanting to pour out to drug dealers. I really believe that a lot is determined by how we raise our children – raising them in the Word and teaching them in the way they should go so that they can be witnesses to hundreds and maybe thousands of people. My way of ministering to others is through my kids; I know that if I raise them well, they will pour out to others.

My mother-in-law, who has 11 children, almost all of whom are in ministry, has always emphasized the idea of ministry through her kids. Seeing both her example and how my own children have developed have been great. Sometimes, being a stay-at-home Mom can be lonely and hard. At times, you can feel left out because the hubby seems more free to go out and do what he needs to do while you stay at home with the kids. However, thinking about what God is doing in their hearts is really rewarding and worth the sacrifice. Especially when you see them take a stand for what they believe in – I wouldn’t trade that for anything.

Although I can fail at times in my own parenting, seeing how Taya wanted to do the BBQ felt like a great accomplishment for me and a beautiful example of the fruit I can produce as a Mom. With God, I can now trust that I’m not the failure that the enemy tries make me out to be in his attacks (“You’re not good enough…you’re not doing a good enough of a job”). Now that I can see my kids bearing fruit, I can trust that I am doing a good job through Christ.

If you have questions or comments for Shelly (or even Taya), please click HERE.

Thank you for reading His Daily Dose! My prayer is that your heart was enriched and encouraged by joining us today!

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¿Cómo Escuchar la Voz de Dios?

¿Alguna vez te has preguntado como se siente escuchar la voz de Dios? ¿Cada día?

Yo si. 

Después de años de buscar diferentes formas para escuchar al Rey de Gloria de manera constante, comprendí algunos principios acerca de Él.

1. El deseo de Dios es hablar al corazón de cada creyente. Y cada uno de sus hijos tiene la habilidad de escucharlo. Esta verdad me a brindado alivio con el paso de los años. 

“Y yo rogaré al Padre, y os dará otro Consolador, para que esté con vosotros para siempre: el Espíritu de verdad, al cual el mundo no puede recibir, porque no le ve, ni le conoce; pero vosotros le conocéis, porque mora con vosotros, y estará en vosotros.” Juan 14.16-17

2. Dios puede escoger diferentes maneras para hablar. Enlistaré algunos ejemplos al final del párrafo. Recuerda, cuando Él habla, el mensaje siempre se alinea a lo que dice en Su Palara (La Biblia).

  • Naturaleza
  • A través de otras personas
  • Las Sagradas Escrituras
  • Visiones y Sueños

En mi andar con Dios el Padre, Jesucristo – El Hijo – y el Espíritu Santo como aquel que brinda aliento, he descubierto que todos requieren tiempo. Permíteme explicarlo mejor.

Piensa en cualquier amigo presente en tu vida. Puede ser tu esposa o esposo, tu mejor amigo, o incluso tu hermana o hermano. Piensa en tu relación con esta persona. ¿Ambos pasan valioso tiempo juntos? Hablando por teléfono, platicando a la hora de la comida, profundizando sobre temas importantes mientras comparten un café, o simplemente dando un paseo. Sin importar cuando o como se comuniquen el punto es que precisamente mantienen la comunicación. Es un mutuo y sano intercambio de pensamientos e ideas.

Todos podemos estar de acuerdo en que sin ningún tipo de comunicación, la relación sufriría. También sabemos que el tiempo y esfuerzo son recursos invaluables para el crecimiento de algo bueno: para el trabajo, el matrimonio, una amistad, un ministerio, y de igual forma en una relación con el Dios Eterno.

Comúnmente podemos olvidar que Dios también tiene un corazón con sentimientos y una mente llena de pensamientos. ¿Te gustaría ser aquel con quien Él decida hablar? ¿Aquel con quien pueda compartir las profundidades de su magnífico corazón? No por que tú seas más especial que cualquier otro sino porque eres uno de sus amados hijos que, de hecho, se da un tiempo para escucharlo hablar. ¡WOW!

Toma a uno de tus amigos antes mencionado como ejemplo. ¿Te sentirías obligado a compartir tus pensamientos más profundos con él si deliberadamente decidiera abandonar su relación? ¿Sabiendo que ha decidido no realizar ningún esfuerzo real para conocerte? ¿Dios quiere hablar? ¡Absolutamente! Él está rebosante de ideas grandiosas y diferentes maneras para bendecir nuestras vidas. La pregunta no es si Él está interesado; en cambio, es si nosotros lo estamos.

“Clama a mí y yo te responderé, y te enseñaré cosas grandes y ocultas que tú no conoces.” – Jeremías 33.3 RV60

Durante mi tiempo como misionera en Australia, atendí la Escuela de Discipulado y Entrenamiento. Una de las clases estaba enfocada a escuchar la voz de Dios. Permíteme compartir cuatro obstáculos que nos impiden escuchar la voz de Dios:

Pecado – No existe nada más serio como el pecado para causar una  fuerte “estática” e impedirnos escuchar la voz de Dios. Por que Él es Santo, no hay cabida para el pecado. De nuevo, no es que Él no nos este hablando; en su lugar, a menudo somos nosotros quienes no podemos escuchar. Pídele al Espíritu Santo que examine tu corazón y arrepiéntete de tus pecados. Él es fiel para sanarte, y para restaurarte para sí mismo.

“Los que encubren sus pecados no prosperarán, pero si los confiesan y los abandonan, recibirán misericordia.” – Proverbios 28.13

Oír, pero no escuchar – Podemos vivir temporadas en nuestra vida en las que Dios esta hablando pero no nos gusta lo que esta diciendo. Por esta razón lo ignoramos y desobedecemos, y decidimos avanzar en nuestra vida sin dejar de orar por todo lo demás excepto por ESA área en específico. Un ejemplo podría ser el siguiente: Dios te habla acerca de terminar una relación amorosa pero no te sientes dispuesto a dejarla ir. Te diviertes con esa persona y además te hace sentir bien. Así que ignoras Su instrucción porque piensas que es incomodo e inconveniente. Y entonces te quedas pensando por que tu relación con Dios y con esta persona comienza a deteriorarse. Un buen punto a recordar es este: si tus relaciones “horizontales” – con la gente – son dolorosas, necesitas tomar una mirada muy profunda a tu relación vertical – con Dios.

Las subidas y bajadas. Uno de los factores más misteriosos al tener una relación con Dios es que algunas veces Él decide no hablar. No significa que no puedas oírlo, sino que en su infinita sabiduría, Él toma la decisión de retirarse de las conversaciones diarias.  ¿Por qué un Dios amoroso haría tal cosa? Para atraernos mas a Él. El Rey David fue conocido como “un hombre conforme al corazón de Dios”, aun así a menudo se sentía increíblemente frustrado por no escuchar la voz del Señor. Pero fueron esos periodos de silencio los que seducían a David para mantener una dependencia más profunda de Dios. Así como existen subidas y bajadas en una montaña rusa, existirán en nuestra relación con Dios. No hay razón para alterarse cuando de repente interrumpe las conversaciones diarias.  Simplemente pregúntale.  Asegúrate, con ayuda de los dos puntos anteriores, que en tu corazón no sucede nada que perjudique su relación, y entonces acércate a Él.

Tiempo. Como mencioné antes, probablemente este sea uno de los factores más consistentes en nuestra búsqueda por escuchar la voz de Dios. Simplemente contestemos con honestidad a la pregunta: “¿Estoy dedicando tiempo?” Si nos acercamos al Padre y le recitamos nuestra lista de “quiero” y “necesito” en una corta oración de cinco minutos, y después nos preguntamos la razón por la cual no podemos experimentar una profunda intimidad con Él, entonces yo soy la que necesita hacer una pregunta “¿Realmente estamos siendo justos con nuestras expectativas?”

Querido amigo, lo que tenemos con Él es una relación. Es estar con Jesucristo pero también permitirle estar contigo.  Los dos hablan , y los dos escuchan. Es característico en una relación recíproca, sana y próspera que los dos individuos se sientan amados y valorados. Esto es lo que significa estar con Jesucristo.

Y te prometo que mientras nos tomemos el tiempo para detenernos y prestar atención, comenzaremos a escuchar su voz.

¿En la actualidad un lector de Su Dosis Diaria (HDD)? Nos encantaría que usted! Haga clic AQUI e incluya su dirección de correo electrónico para recibir diariamente puestos enviados directamente a usted cada mañana. Gracias por elegir Su Dosis Diaria (HDD) hoy mismo!

Traducido por Jose Elisama Coronado

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Y te prometo que mientras nos tomemos el tiempo para detenernos y prestar atención, comenzaremos a escuchar su voz.

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Repost: An 8 Yr. Old Missionary Who Throws Parties for Drug Dealers

If you haven’t read this story, you do not want to miss it. It’s a life-changer. And it’s the perfect read before diving into Monday’s post which features an exclusive interview with Taya’s mother, Shelly Palmer. Enjoy, beloved. And to God be the glory!

Taya Palmer has plenty in common with other 8 year old girls. She loves wearing her Hello Kitty flats and playing with her school friends, and on the weekends she enjoys creating dainty crafts shaded with pink and purple markers.

Yet, there is something different about this little girl.

Recently Taya became a semi-finalist in a global poetry contest after writing a compelling poem about world peace. She lives in the Old Fourth Ward – also known as inner-city Atlanta. You see, her father, grandfather, and uncles serve as  full-time missionaries through the Atlanta Dream Center  in combating some of the toughest socio-economic issues that face our city such as human trafficking and homelessness.

Here’s something else: Taya throws parties for drug dealers. 

When Taya sees an opportunity to show someone the love of Christ, she follows Jesus without allowing her age, height, race, ability, or resources to limit her. She knows that God is limitless. For this post, my prayer is similar to Taya’s: I long for God to be glorified in sharing this story, and that your heart may be challenged just as mine has been. This is a story that I think you will never forget.

With a french braid tightly wrapped around the side of her head, a face full of light freckles, and big blue eyes, Taya reached out her hand to me, introduced herself as “Taya Palmer”, and flashed a smile that gave me permission to be part of her world. And you’re invited, too.

Taya Palmer

Taya Palmer

Taya, I understand that you recently threw a barbecue for a group of drug dealers that frequent your neighborhood. I have to ask you, where did you get this idea to throw them a party? And why did you want to do it? 

“Well, I forgot how we started talking about it. But I thought maybe we could throw a party for the drug dealers, so me and my Mom started talking about it. My whole point was to really touch their hearts and let them come to know God.”

What did your Mommy and Daddy say to you when you said you wanted to do this? 

“First I made a list of my ideas. One of them was that we would read the Bible and do crafts with the drug dealers, but my Mom said the craft stuff was too kiddish. Then my Dad came home looked at my list. He said we didn’t have enough Bibles to give to everyone, but then he asked, ‘How about a BBQ?” Another thing I wrote down was to make t-shirts and write out, “We love You God”. But, we didn’t end up doing that either.

 How did you get these drug dealers to come to your BBQ? What did you do?

“I spent thirty minutes making invitations of different shapes and colors. I got to pass them out because my Dad kinda knows them – he’s been around this area for a while. We passed them out and said, “hope you can make it”, and things like that. We did that, and some people said they would come.

On Wednesday (the day of the BBQ), we kept on coming out and reminding them, so I think that also made them come out. Originally it was supposed to start around 6:30pm, but it was getting a little later and no one had arrived yet. Then I started asking my Dad if I can go out and remind them. We have a really steep and big driveway, so we walked up to the end about two times and then the third time, they said, ‘okay, we’re coming.’ There were about 25-30 people.

We all had a blast. Mom got to pray for this one girl. Everyone thanked us. We put out extra plates, and they started putting food on them and putting them in bags. We had a lot of food there. But, I think the drug dealers were a little shy because they didn’t really know us. But, they ended up taking a lot of food.”

Did you have conversations with anyone?

“Kinda. Me and my Dad were sitting outside and talking to some of them, but I forgot exactly what they said. They were thanking my Dad, and he told them not to thank him, but to thank me.”

Do you think your mission was accomplished? Do you think they felt God’s love?

“Uh, I don’t know. If you really think about it, it was really nice for us to spend lots of our time with them.”

So, it was sacrificial? 

“Yeah” (smiling big)

What do you feel like was your most memorable moment at the cookout?

“What I remember most was me and my Dad and my brothers and sister with one guy who stayed there the longest, who was having fun with us making music and beat boxing.”

Taya, if you had to describe Jesus, how would you describe Him?

“The other day we filled out a list, and we talked about how great God is, and that He sent His One and only Son, Jesus. We had at least half a page. And we put it in the Sunday offering at church and today my Grandpa found it. My Mom and Dad have been teaching me how to grow closer to God everyday by praying and reading the Bible.”

What are some things you enjoy doing?

“Drawing, crafts, reading funny stories, and even writing poems.”

What do you want to do when you grow up? Is there anything you feel really passionate about? 

“Oh, I really haven’t figured that out yet (giggling). I’d like to travel around the world and tell people about God. My cousin has done that – he’s gone to Uganda and his parents just went to Turkey.”

Taya, if you had any advice to give other 8 year olds (or even adults) out there that want to make a difference with their lives, what would you tell them today?

“I’d say just be yourself. I’d also tell them that God is always with you. He created you. He loves you. He thinks you’re special. My mom told me last night (because she went on Princess Night last week) that she told this girl she was special and the girl started crying and walked away. Mom told me she was doing that because she didn’t know she was special, so I would tell people that they are special.”

You are special, beloved reader. And you are His prized possession. Jesus Christ died to set you free from sin and the painful effects of making poor choices when He hung on the cross. After reading today’s message, what is He stirring in your own heart? Have you been limiting God by your own resources, gender, race, or age? Trust in Him, beloved. He is faithful and provides in  abundance for whatever He calls us to do.

If you feel challenged by today’s message or you would like to personally send Taya a piece of encouragement, please reach us by clicking HERE.

And stay tuned for Monday’s post, your heart will be encouraged. Thank you for choosing His Daily Dose today!

 Cover image provided by Taya Palmer 

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