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Even if you have read the Bible from cover to cover, I question that you would remember him, because he occupies only one verse of Scripture, and yet, “Shamgar” is my hero! He was a poor farmer who raised oxen for a living and you can imagine his shock when one day God Himself came to him, and said, “Shamgar, the enemy is near! The Philistines are ready to strike, and I want you to go to battle against them.”⁣
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Shamgar had a hard enough time realizing that God was in his presence, but you can imagine how stunned he was to also be assigned to face the Philistines (who had never yet lost a battle). Shamgar immediately explained that he had no military training and also no weapons!⁣
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But God said: “What is that in your hand?”⁣
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And Shamgar said: “It is an ox-goad” (which is simply a big stick!).⁣
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But God made no comment… And so, Shamgar, being a Godly man, obeyed the Lord… And to make a long story short: Shamgar returned at the end of the day having killed 600 Philistines, and thereby “delivering Israel.” And it was the Philistines’ first loss! (And surely the first battle won with an ox-goad.)⁣
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“The battle is not yours, but God’s.”⁣
II Chronicles 20:15⁣
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(from a prayer letter written by Allegra McBirney, May 2016)⁣
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#allegramcbirney⁣
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(photo by @thejennimarie)
The safety of the sheep does not depend on their own sufficiency, but on that of their shepherd. A sheep’s safety is equal to the adequacy of its shepherd. If a shepherd were careless and incapable, his flock would be in desperate danger; but  if a shepherd were caring and reliable, his flock would be safe. Christ says, “I am the Good Shepherd.” How caring and reliable is He? Perfectly so. And, as a result, how safe are His sheep? Perfectly safe.⁣
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(from "The Shepherd Psalm for a Freeway Culture" by Allegra McBirney)⁣
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#allegramcbirney
Prayer is like music. It may be defined and explained, but its full meaning–the glory of it–can never truly be realized until it has been experienced. Music must be heard, and prayer must be practiced in order really to be understood and appreciated.⁣
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(from "A Compass for Prayer" by Allegra McBirney)⁣
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He doesn’t want to be merely the One to whom believers run in times of stress, but also wants them to be “at home” in Him… The “at home” kind of relationship with the Lord doesn’t come automatically. It takes quality time with Him in His word, and much real heart-communication with Him in prayer. And often it involves testing and tears.⁣
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(from "Three Word Pictures of the Lord" by Allegra McBirney)⁣
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#allegramcbirney
A diamond shines from reflected light… And, plainly, the Christian has the ultimate Light Source, the Lord Jesus Christ, the Light of the World. It is Christ’s shining deep within which results in that spiritual sparkle which cannot be duplicated by the make-believer. And every time the Lord puts a believer against the cutting wheel, in processing him or her spiritually, it’s for the purpose of producing an additional facet from which to reflect the Saviours light.⁣
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(from "God’s Diamonds" by Allegra McBirney, chapter V)⁣
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The Lord’s desire is for all believers to let His light shine–through their words, their actions, and their re-actions, too–and also through their love for others… a love that has its Source in His Presence within them. “Letting” His Light shine reveals not only that Presence of Jesus within the believer, but also brings glory to the Father in Heaven–and brings unbelievers to faith in Jesus as their Saviour, too.⁣
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(from "Wonderful Names of Jesus" by Allegra McBirney)⁣
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#allegramcbirney⁣
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(photo by @cbrankshire)
Wisdom from author and speaker Allegra McBirney...⁣
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When the Lord Jesus is both present and in charge, there will be peace, in both the individual and the home.⁣
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(from "What is a home?" by Allegra McBirney)⁣
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Do we view our children as real treasures–not just theoretically, either, but in our actual day-by-day interaction with them? Are we deeply aware of their tremendous value? And do we think of them as “handmade by God,” and equipped with His own potential?⁣
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(from "Children and Olive Trees" by Allegra McBirney, chapter II)⁣
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With homes, it’s never the externals that count, but, rather, it’s the quality of living going on within–a quality of living that will always be determined by whether or not Jesus Christ dwells in the hearts of its occupants…and by whether or not He’s in charge. Inside a home there’s a feeling. It’s a very detectable feeling of basic peace and all-rightness if Jesus Christ is Saviour and Lord in that place; but there’s a sense of static, and stress, and a darkness you can feel if He is not.⁣
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(from "What is a home?" by Allegra McBirney)⁣
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(photo by @thejennimarie)
The pressure then was necessary for the praise now… If it weren’t for the trials, the hard things God allows in our lives, we wouldn’t sound forth as sweet a testimony of praise to Him, either.⁣
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(from "God’s Harp" by Allegra McBirney)⁣
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Whatever has taken place in our lives–the very thing that has caused our desperate tears–has first passed through the Heavenly Father’s heart of love, before it ever came our way. And His purpose in allowing it has been to mold us into the closer image of His dear Son…and only in eternity will we fully realize how important and loving a purpose that was.⁣
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(from "If Only" by Allegra McBirney)⁣
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#allegramcbirney
Bits of wisdom from missionary and author Allegra McBirney...⁣
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The specific need of every heart–worldwide–is known by the Lord, and His Word is custom-made to meet them all…but it is our responsibility to get His Word to them…⁣
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(from a prayer letter written by Allegra, May 2016)⁣
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When the Lord guides, He provides. His faithful help was always provided, always abundant, always amazing, and always “on time”.⁣
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(from a prayer letter written by Allegra, May 2016)⁣
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If the Fruit-of-the-Spirit is operative in a life, soul-winning will take place in a natural and highly effective way. If there is love, joy, peace, long-suffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, and self-control that is not only evident, but even conspicuous in a life, then that Christian life is going to make an impact on those around!⁣
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(from "Children and Olive Trees" by Allegra McBirney)⁣
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#allegramcbirney #heroesofthefaith⁣
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(photo by @thejennimarie)
Jack and Allegra McBirney became missionaries to Newfoundland in the early 1960s, together with their six children. The McBirney family spent about seven years on the mission field, teaching God’s Word through Bible clubs and home Bible studies. When they had established a Bible-teaching church, they returned to the United States.

Jack was instrumental in founding two Christian schools in the San Francisco area. Meanwhile, Allegra poured her heart into her radio ministry, writing, and speaking, traveling the world in her ministry to military families. Jack also made many trips to Russia (in between treatments for cancer), burdened to lead communist teachers to Christ and introduce a Christian curriculum into former communist schools.

When Jack’s health began to decline due to Alzheimer’s, Allegra stopped traveling to care for him. They had been married 61 years when Jack went home to Heaven.

Despite severe cataracts and constant health struggles, Allegra continued her ministry and correspondence from her home into her early nineties–often even from the confines of her bed. Allegra called it her “one-person publishing company” as she oversaw the translation and distribution of her books around the world, for the outreach of the Gospel.⁣
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#allegramcbirney #heroesofthefaith (photo by @thejennimarie)
This dear friend of mine turned 91 yesterday. We've never met, but we've exchanged letters since I was a girl. My Grandma Jessica listened to her radio program and got to meet her at several conferences. I listened to tapes of her radio program and read her books. Now, my children listen to her stories and read her books. They write her letters and send her pictures, too. 
Allegra McBirney is an author, speaker, and missionary extraordinaire. Despite failing eyesight and constant health struggles, she continues what she calls her "one-person publishing company" from home, coordinating the distribution and translation of her books around the world, for the outreach of the Gospel. And in between, she makes time to pray for and encourage people like me. ❤️ I'm grateful for Allegra's example of faithful service to our Lord and Savior, no matter what our "thorn in the flesh" may be. What an inspiration she continues to be to me! 
Happy Birthday, sweet friend (even though you won't see this social media tribute). Thank you for living your motto, "Heaven is my home, earth is my business address." ✝ (This photo of Allegra, taken by her daughter Kim, is one of my favorites because it represents to me Allegra's love for the animals God created. Many of her books use animals to tell the story of God's greatness.) #allegramcbirney
“Tell me, do you like stories about things that really happened? Wonderful things that the Lord did?” I grew up listening to Allegra McBirney’s stories. Not fairy tales or even parables, but true stories about real little girls and boys all around the world.

Our radio didn’t carry her program, “A Time for Sharing”, but she sent me cassette tapes of some of her programs. I treasured those tapes alongside my collection of Ethel Barrett and Uncle Arthur’s Storytime. I can still hear her sweet voice telling about Mrs. McGuffy, the mother hen who cared so for her chicks that she was willing to give her very life for them–just like Jesus did for us.

And then there were her books. My grandma’s library included some of Allegra’s hardback books, spiritual nonfiction “for grown-ups.” But my cousins and I read over and over again her tiny staple-bound, self-published books of 15 to 30 pages each. I especially liked The Rescuer because the St. Bernard on the cover (painted by Allegra herself, of her own St. Bernard!) reminded me of my cousin’s dog.

Now that I’m a “grown-up”, I find new meaning in her titles about family, like Children and Olive Trees and What Is A Home? I find great encouragement to persevere through the hard times in God’s Diamonds and God’s Harp. And The Shepherd Psalm for a Freeway Culture is much like another favorite, A Shepherd Looks at Psalm 23 by Phillip Keller.

But Allegra’s stories for children will always be my favorites. Perhaps because they remind me of the truth of Mark 10:15: “whoever does not receive the kingdom of God like a child shall not enter it.” @gretlouise is #onkindredgrace talking about a modern day #missionary, author, speaker, and #heroofthefaith: Allegra McBirney. #allegramcbirney (photography by @thejennimarie)
"Do we view our children as real treasures? Are we deeply aware of their tremendous value? ...really, isn't every child miracle? If we would simply not forget that, but would maintain that perspective--which is God's perspective--there'd be no alternative to valuing them as real treasures--yes, even when their care is exceptionally demanding, and may bring tears." Much needed perspective from this little book by #allegramcbirney after a very long week... #motherhoodissanctifying #raisinggenerations #whymotherhoodmatters
This little book is a gem. (Swipe for this morning's truth.) #allegramcbirney #prayer