Sunday, August 3, 2014

The Gift of Rest

August 3, 2014

Today we rested. There was no teaching and just a little cooking paired with a nap. Simple but great.  I always kick myself when we have to slow down because I hate it. But, unfortunately when I awoke this morning all I could think about was pulling the covers back over my head and turning the clock back to Saturday. So, we decided to refresh.  It is on these restful days that we have church at home. We continued our reading in the Bible. We read in Numbers, Psalms, Song of Solomon, and finished with Hebrews. I love how we read the Bible. Each chapter divided up evenly so that everyone has the same number of verses. I love to hear the children sound out all the challenging names, locations etc. It is so nice to read, pray, and eat in our PJ's. No translating just transparency on our days off. Time to exhale and regroup before we start another week. These days and moments are holy to our family.  The reminders of our differences are less on these days and it gives us a chance to join the Lord in the quiet of our home.

Thank you Lord that you are rest. Thank you Lord for helping me to remember that rest is a part of reaching your promises. May we all take time each week to open your gift of rest.

Joshua 1:13-Remember the word which Moses the servant of the Lord commanded you, saying, 'The Lord your God gives you rest and will give you this land.'

Sunday, March 30, 2014

Prayer Experiment

What would happen if you focused your prayers on one thing or one person for one month or one year?

Four years ago that is exactly what I did. It would have been useless for me to confront my best friend.  The only person that could change his heart was God. So, when God called me to pray, I prayed.

The problem with this type of prayer experiment is you never know when you are going to see the results. That is a big problem, especially today. Everything we do is drive-thru ready. Unfortunately, God is not on our time schedule. His ways and plans are greater, so expect a delay, detour, or a complete re-route to your prayers. Just keep praying.

In His Time and In His Way, that is the motto to my prayer life.

That was true for my prayer experiment. I prayed small but steady for a whole year.  God took my constant, unceasing, prayers and totally turned them into something I did not recognize. After one year not only did God change him, He changed me too! God revealed to him deep desires that had been hidden away and in turn answered deep desires of my own that I had tossed off as unreachable. It was a win-win all around. I wasn't even praying for myself. God looked deep within my prayers and saw a hidden motivation. He saw that what I wanted for my best friend I also wanted for myself.  Now I was given new life too!

A year flew by. Before I even realized what was happening, it had already started. Hearts were changing, life styles were being altered, and big decisions were being made. Our hearts and prayer life were beating with God. His desires became our desires. Life changed for us both. Now I look at that prayer time as a blip in the course of our lives. It seems forever ago considering all that we have been through. You see, my prayer experiment was my husband.

Now, you are very familiar with our story. There is no need to go into any detail about how God changed our lives. I think it is pretty obvious, don't you?

 It is very simple to pray. There were times that my prayers bored me but that is not the point. Boring prayers are just as important as exciting prayers.  I was not praying for Patrick's miraculous healing from a life threatening disease. I was not begging God to save our marriage. I just wanted God to remove the obstacle that was hindering him from serving God completely. My prayers were very boring. We are now leading anything but a boring life. So, God took the boring and made it extraordinary. Why? Because He could.

So, for Who or What are you praying?

Are you thinking about being a ______? Do you want to give more to the ________ offering at church than your paycheck says is possible? Do you long to ______? Do you want God to use you mightily in _______?  Do you want to go on the __________ missions trip with you church and serve cross-culturally ? Do you or someone you love need healing from ________? Then you had better start praying, don't you think? Voicing a potential prayer is not the same thing as praying. Don't be afraid to let God have your prayers: The deep prayers that are hanging around in the recesses of your heart just longing to find their way to the throne. Humble yourself, get down on your knees, and pray circles around them! Don't limit God. His "yes" means "yes" and His "no" means "no". In either answer He is glorified. In either answer your faith and relationship with God grow exponentially.

Let me give you one word of caution before you begin. Throw CAUTION right out the window! Let God fully have your prayers. Let Go and Let God! I am a living example that God will bless those prayers beyond anything that you could ever think or imagine.

So, what are you waiting for?

I am praying for you,
Psalm 55:1

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Fearing God Will Send You To Guam

Happy Wednesday!

The title of this post  was taken from a calendar devotional by Jon Acuff.  He is the founder of During God's transformation of our hearts and home to Africa, Jon brought us great joy in the journey. We hope that you enjoy this post as much as we did. We love you and thank God for each and every reader. Our prayer is that you might take a glance at our crazy life and see how least likely saints can be used for the extraordinary. Just. The. Way. We. Are.


 March 21, 2012
                              My biggest fear is hearing God say, in James Earl Jones' voice, "Jon, I want you to go to a country you've never heard of and teach Calculus and Bible stories. I have spoken." I'd have no problem with the Bible stories, but math is my sworn enemy. Would He make me do that? Probably not. Remember when Jesus approached some fishermen-strong and weathered, with callused hands-and said, "Come, I will make you accountants of men." Okay, he doesn't say that. He says, "Come, I will make you fishers of men." He speaks their language. He appeals to who they are at the core. That is what I think God loves to do. He loves to take your past experience and radically make it your new experience using skills you already have.

Radically New and Loving It!

Monday, March 10, 2014

Prayers for Mara

Romans 10:17- So faith comes from hearing, and hearing by the word of Christ.

Please join us in praying for the languages in the Mara region that are waiting for God's Word in their heart language.


These languages represent people. These people need to learn to read, write, and understand God's Words. These people need Jesus. He loves them and so do we.

Until Everyone Has Heard,

Thursday, February 20, 2014

Why We Tell Our Stories

   I am sure that many of you who read our blog have often wondered why we tell our stories. Sometimes our posts may be a little "more reality" than you would like to read. But, my friends, the Gospel is messy. To be an ambassador of Grace is not an easy feat in a fallen and dying world. If we take our real experiences and cover them in any way, then we are ashamed of Grace, the Gospel, and God. We are debtors to the Tanzanians and the rest of the World(Romans 1:14) because we have received Grace and our calling as Missionaries to bring about the obedience of faith among the Tanzanians(and the rest of the World) for His name's sake(Romans 1:5). Freely we received and freely we give, or we nullify Grace. I think that scripture stands alone and does not need any help from me to clarify. So, listen to Romans 15:15-19, and join us in taking the Grace that you have freely received to your neighborhood, your city, your country, and the nations.

                                                                 Romans 15:15-19
     But I have written very boldly to you on some points so as to remind you again, because of the grace that was given me from God, to be a Missionary of Christ Jesus to the Tanzanians(and the World), ministering as a Missionary the gospel of God, so that my offering of the Tanzanians(the lost of the World) may become acceptable, sanctified by the Holy Spirit. Therefore in Christ Jesus I have found reason for boasting in things pertaining to God. For I will not presume to speak of anything except what Christ has accomplished through me, resulting in the obedience of the Tanzanians(lost of the World) by word and deed, in the power of signs and wonders, in the power of the Spirit; so that from America and round about as far as Tanzania(the ends of the World) I have fully preached the gospel of Christ.

   We tell our stories so that you can rejoice in our hardships and victories alike. Through them we pray that you see an unending stream of Grace and obedience. We consider it ALL joy, my friends, when we encounter various trials, knowing that the testing of our faith produces endurance(James 1:2-3). Because of our debt to Grace and the Gospel we are indebted to everyone in every nation that has not heard of this Grace.

Until Everyone Has Heard,
The Cogdills

Saturday, February 15, 2014

When Love Fills Your Basket

 I have spent my entire life talking and teaching.  I never understood why God had given me the power of the spoken word but for some reason that is how he made me. Now, I can look back and see that it is a blessing. Now, I talk and teach in  two languages all day long but it has begun to wear on me a little. By about 5pm my mouth and my body just shut down. I literally find my self collapsing on the bed and laying there for hours in complete silence. The sound of the wind and local wildlife are my allies drifting me into a peaceful worship. I pray for God to sustain me and refresh me so that tomorrow I can be salt and light. Just like the rising of the sun, He provides all that I need. So, each day I head out and greet my fellow brother and sisters, teach two Tanzanian girls in Swahili and English, correct the studies of my own children, and provide ESL for four Tanzanian Mommas. So my body goes through the movements of the day switching from Kellee the American to Kellee the Tanzanian Missionary. Back and forth, back and forth, until I fall into the slumber of my dreams which thank God are always in perfect English.

The other day, as I headed into town, I found myself at the end of the road and I didn't know how I had gotten there. I had walked all the way into town without any mental remembrance. I recognized the signs from all my training, I was exhausted. Long days and long hours had finally caught up with me.  I stood for a while watching the traffic and then I took and deep breath and headed to the market. Everyday my friends in town expect to see me. They expect me to sit and talk for a while, share a cup of tea, greet them and their families. On that day, I didn't want to be me. I just wanted to be invisible. I wanted to enter and exit without a word, without a hand shake, without any contact what so ever.

I headed to my favorite Muslim lady, Mama Helen, to buy some fruit and vegetables. I could not even utter out what I needed. Standing there I thought to myself, "If I open my mouth to say one word, all that is going to come is tears. Lord, I am doing all that I can to stand at this point, would you please fill my basket?" Mama Helen knows me and what I buy in the market.  So, while all of these thoughts were reeling in my head, something in my brain triggered my hand to reach out. So, I reached out and grabbed on to Mama Helen's arm. At this point, she rescued me. How is that possible? The Muslim rescue the Christian? It is supposed to be the other way around. Today God showed me that He shines His light on the lost and found alike. The same sun that rose for me today is the same sun that brought light to Mama Helen. God's love is for all the world. And, when one of His children is in need He can use anyone or anything to demonstrate His love. On this day he used Mama Helen to fill my basket.

God was not showing me a general love that he offers to the world, or a sustaining love that gives sun and rain to His enemies and children alike, but on this day, He was showing me the love that He has for His bride. He was keeping me. He was working in me what was pleasing in His sight( Hebrews 13:21). He was saying to me that nothing can separate you from Me, and I will go to any length possible (even using a non-believer) to demonstrate My love for you. I have not called you to wear you down. But, if you ever feel that way, I will take great lengths to refresh you and hold you.

O that God would grant you to know this love. Take hold of its power, savor it, and rest in it. Spend the rest of your life commending it to everyone you know. I know that I will because I am daily changed by the love of God. What about you?

Sunday, February 9, 2014

When Waves Come and Our Feet Fail

Our Prayer.

Increase our borders and our trust, Lord.
Until Everyone Has Heard.
In the name of Jesus we pray, Amen.

Sunday, January 19, 2014

The Effect of Grace

January 20, 2014

Today is another Monday. A new week. A time for me to look back on what is finished and to look ahead to what is yet to be accomplished. There is not a role in life that can be lived the way that God wants it lived apart from His enabling Grace. It is the Grace received by faith that called me and it is the Grace renewed each day that allows me to continue. I am to serve Christ with the Grace with which He serves me.
    Romans 1:5[Jesus Christ our Lord], through whom we have received grace and____ to bring about the obedience of faith among all the Gentiles for His name's sake.

I included, Jesus Christ our Lord, from verse 4 of Romans chapter 1, because I wanted to remind us of where this Grace came. I also left a blank in the place of the word "apostleship" because "apostleship" was Paul's calling and not mine or yours. You can insert what it is that you have been called by Christ to do here.

You will discover the essence of how God means for you to live your life.

God has freely given me forgiveness and the power to do a calling, and fulfill a role which I have accepted by faith. As I stated above, " There is not a role in life that can be lived the way that God wants it lived apart from His enabling Grace." Being a godly mother, missionary, IT guy, etc... is impossible without the power of Grace.

So, when Paul writes, 1 Corinthians 15:10- But by the grace of God I am what I am, and His grace toward me did not prove vain; but I labored even more than all of them, yet not I, but the grace of God with me, the deciding factor in your ministry is Grace, God's Grace. We should be so quick to proclaim, just like Paul, that it is nothing that we bring but is everything that God has lavished upon us through his son, Jesus Christ.

So, how will you labor today? Will you labor as one receiving pay or one who has received Grace?