Monday, December 6, 2010
Thursday, November 11, 2010
Monday, November 8, 2010
Thursday, November 4, 2010
Wednesday, October 27, 2010
Tuesday, September 14, 2010
As I write this post, I am sure there are people who disagree with me, but oh well. I know there will be some who think I’ve lost my mind when I tell you I volunteered to bring a psychic and a Ouija board to church with me.
I am a Psychology major. For one of my electives I am taking a class called X-files. X-files is the study of why people believe in the paranormal. That’s the supposed class description at least. Often I think the class is really an hour of the professor trying to convince us that nothing exists including the power of God. I say the power of God because this professor has acknowledged God exists, but that God is a distant being with little to no interaction or connection to us. It seems that not all, but a lot of students in the class would agree. So a lot of times I find myself fighting to tell these people that our God is love, lots and lots of crazy love, because I don’t think they know that amazing truth.
In our class there have been several occasions where the professor will ask who attends church. Who has a living, breathing relationship with Christ is apparently irrelevant. On two occasions that question has been followed by, “Who would take a psychic to church with them?” and “Who would take a Ouija board to church?” Our professor makes it clear that they believe every single church would either throw us out at such blasphemy or not even allow us in the first place because they would believe we were possessed by satan.
With both questions, I volunteered. Heart pounding because I know the disbelief and argument that will follow, I volunteer. Each time my professor has been astounded and unconvinced that I would actually do such a thing. They are sure no church could be that loving and accepting.
Let me be clear to say that I do not believe in psychics, Ouija boards, or the like. I do believe however that the church is supposed to be a place of love. I believe that if a church is truly following the life of Christ, a psychic in attendance one Sunday should be welcomed whole heartedly.
Maybe some disagree with me for entertaining such things that could be classified as witchcraft which the Bible teaches against. But in Matthew 9:12 Jesus says, “It is not the healthy who need a doctor, but the sick…for I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners.” It saddens me each week when such questions come up in my class. It saddens me that we have allowed the church to be viewed as a place of judgment. Yes, one day we will all face our final judgment, but when Christ walked this earth He did not judge. He loved. It was the hypocrites and Pharisees that He dealt harshly with. But for the tax collectors, adulterers, liars, thieves, lepers, sinners…he LOVED them.
In Matthew 22:37 Jesus tells us, “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’”
So where is our love? Why do people see the church as a place of judgment? It is certainly not God’s character that has created this image.
I am not the epitome of love. I never will be this side of Heaven. I judge just as we all do. When we find ourselves judging and forgetting to love however, we must remember we are an example of Christ. Judgment and hate is not an image I want the church to be known for. I want to be the girl who’s known for hanging out with psychics, thieves, the poor, the lost and the shunned because that’s who my Jesus teaches me to be.
Friday, September 10, 2010
Wednesday, August 25, 2010
I have prayed and I have waited. Prayed and waited. Why was God not sending anyone to me? I was praying. He should have delivered.
God had been delivering every day. I was just too blind to see. I have been struggling recently to really spend personal time with God. I wasn't spending time in God's word like I should. I wasn't truly seeking Him. And I know that in order for me to grow closer to God, I have to put in the effort. Yet for some reason, I always seem to have problems remembering that.
It is exactly .4 miles from my apartment to campus. This morning when I left for class I thought to grab my iPod. The first song to play was Shane and Shane's "Heart of Servants."
I spent the .4 miles praising my Father. Asking Him to change my heart. To make me a servant of all. Asking Him to help me surrender my pride. To release me from my selfishness. And to pour out His love through me.
When I arrived in class my teacher asked me about the shirt I was wearing. It is my adoption shirt from the Walser Family. The shirt says, "Love with abandon. Love an orphan." So I had the opportunity to share with my teacher and rest of the class the miracle of adoption and the amount of love involved.
Thursday, August 12, 2010
I had Tracy create a custom piece for me. Believe me when I say I have been counting down the days for it to arrive. Well it came today, and I absolutely LOVE it!!
The back square pendant has James 1:27 written on it, "Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world." The front oval pendant has the word "LOVE".
I am so excited to wear this piece. I want it to be a reminder of my purpose over the coming months as I prepare to go to Uganda. May I always remember throughout every trial, that our greatest calling is simply to love.
Thursday, July 29, 2010
Friday, July 23, 2010
In November I stumbled upon Katie's blog (which every single one of you should read because it's absolutely amazing). Katie was an average girl from Tennessee. She had a comfortable life. When she graduated high school she felt God calling her to move to Uganda, so she did. God has since made her the mom to 14 little girls (see I told you, simply amazing). Katie started a program called Amazima Ministries International. I spent hours in November reading about Katie and Amazima Ministries. In December I searched the Amazima website for a way to go to Uganda to serve. I never could find anything, but couldn't get Africa off my heart.
From December to June I was completely consumed with planning the Nicaragua mission trip, but Africa was still on my heart. I was so excited to be returning to Nicaragua, but I felt a longing for Africa.
God's love was so evident in Nicaragua, and I returned with a greater desire to love His children. I would sit for hours at my computer reading blogs of people who were serving God in Africa or on the journey to adopt. Two weeks ago, as I was reading through several blogs, I found an organization called Visiting Orphans . As I began to read about Visiting Orphans I learned they take mission teams into several countries around the world, including Africa. More specifically, I found they take teams into Uganda (at this point I was starting to get excited). Finally, I discovered that their Ugandan teams work with Amazima Ministries!
As soon as I read it I had goosebumps all over and was in tears. I spent some time in prayer about the trip. I have no doubt God is leading me to Uganda. SO...I will be traveling with a team through Visiting Orphans June 12th to June 19th! We will be going to Uganda to simply love the orphan. We will have several projects to complete, and I will post more about the trip at a later time. Truly our greatest calling, is simply to love. I know I face a rough road. I know satan is going to do everything he can to defeat me. I know I will have to fight with all that I have to raise the money. I know not all of you understand this. I know I will come across some people who are completely against it. But most importantly, to use the words of Chris Tomlin, I know that, "Our God is greater. Our God is stronger...And if our God is for us, then who could ever stop us? And if our God is with us, then what could stand against?"
Wednesday, July 21, 2010
This is the back of my car. Almost anyone that knows me well, knows that I have a bad habit of chucking half full water bottles to the back. I will drink half the bottle, leave it in the car for a while, it gets hot, so I throw it in the back to sit until I decide to clean out my car (which is a rare occasion). Yesterday I got in my car to go work with my fresh bottle of water, grabbed the bottle from yesterday, and threw it in the back. As soon as the bottle left my hand, I was convicted by what I was doing. I throw my water bottles to the back of my car because I know there are fresh cold ones in my refrigerator, while people are dying all over the world because of lack of clean water.
I was overwhelmed by that thought. But I didn't want my convictions to end in my car. I wanted to know numbers. Here is what I found from Water.org
*1.4 million children die each year because of waterborne diseases
*Nearly 1 billion people lack access to safe water
*2.5 billion people do not have access to improved sanitation
*Improved sanitation: defined as a sanitation facility that ensures hygienic separation of human excreta from human contact
*Approximately 1 in 8 people lack access to safe water supplies
*3.575 million people die each year from water-related diseases
*An American taking a 5 minute shower uses more water than most do in a day
*More people in the world have a cell phone than access to a toilet
*Diarrhea is 2nd leading cause of death among children under age 5. It kills more than AIDS, malaria, and measles combined.
*Every 20 seconds a child dies from a water-related disease
*Children in poor environments often carry 1,000 parasitic worms in their body at any time
*In one day, more than 200 million hours of women's time is used collecting water.
*3 jerry cans or water weigh as much as a baby giraffe
Wow. And I carelessly throw my water bottles like they're nothing. I am so thankful that God continues to bless me so abundantly when I am so thoughtless sometimes.
But I don't want to just stop at being more appreciative of water. I don't want to just stop throwing them to the back of my car. I want to DO something. We can feel bad about something and be moved by something all we want. But if everyone just stops there, stops at conviction, what good is that? Change requires action. So I did my research.
I found a wonderful organization called Water is Life. WiL works to provide life giving water solutions. Their goal is to provide both short-term temporary and long-term sustainable water solutions in developing countries. They have created a Water is Life straw as a temporary solution. The straw is a small, portable filtration device that provides pure, clean drinking water whenever it is immersed into a water source. Each straw only costs $10, but it provides clean water to a person for a year. During that year, WiL works to implement a long-term sustainable clean water solution to the village. How awesome is that?!
There were 10 water bottles in the back of my car. So I have decided to purchase 10 straws. With $100, 10 people will have clean water for a year. Now I challenge you to purchase a straw. One movie ticket, two drinks from Starbucks, or two meals from Chick-fil-a. That's all I'm asking you to give up. I have 1,011 "friends" on Facebook. I actually know everyone of them to some degree. If everyone of my friends donated, 1,011 lives could be saved. Will join me?
Tuesday, July 13, 2010
In a greenhouse, a seed is planted.
It is nurtured under the right temperature.
It's given the correct amount of light, until a seed cover pops off and a tiny plant emerges....
Healthy, strong and growing under the influence of the house it is in.
The only problem is the greenhouse has not prepared the plant for adversity.
In our community I see so many kids, my own included, that are raised in the greenhouse conditions.
Perfect amount of schooling. Perfect amount of socializing. Perfect amount of church. Perfect amount of friends and only "like minded friends".
We pay for our kids to go to the best violin teachers, voice teachers, piano teachers.
Then they will, Lord willing, get married to someone who has been raised in a greenhouse right down the road under the same perfect conditions.
They start their own greenhouse and are happy.
Of course, they're happy. Their whole life has been about being comfortable in their greenhouse.
My heart breaks when I think about all the trouble we go through raising our kids in the right conditions, teaching them Bible verses, making sure they know all the right truths. BUT...
They never feel inclined to make a difference in the world.
Sometimes it is lack of passion.
Sometimes it is lack of knowledge that there is a lost and dying world right outside their greenhouse.
But more often, it is our fault as parents. We are passing down our laziness. We struggle to LIVE out our faith so our kids will struggle.
Yes, they will thrive in our greenhouse and most of them will pass on a great greenhouse life to their children, but we have to pass on a love for ALL of God's people. We have to be willing to stand with our children and help a lost world.
We have to pass down a passion for the orphans of this world, the homeless and the widows.
Yes, we have to grow strong plants for the next generation but we cannot forget the passion of Christ.
Teaching our children to love and be keepers of the home is what I am about, but I also want them to be about the orphans and the needy that are NOT growing in a greenhouse.
I can only teach that when I come out of the greenhouse and go with my children into the battlefield. It is all in vain if we raise up an army and our army is never sent to the battlefield but only to the greenhouse next door.
Sunday, July 11, 2010
Saturday, July 3, 2010
Monday, June 28, 2010
Thursday, June 24, 2010
Wednesday, June 23, 2010
Tuesday, June 22, 2010
Monday, June 21, 2010
Sunday, June 20, 2010
Saturday, June 19, 2010
Friday, June 18, 2010
Tuesday, June 8, 2010
Jewelery party fundraiser May 1st Car wash fundraiser May 8th Send in team roster Send in team information forms
- Mail check to El Ayudante for team fees --> mailing it tomorrow
Raise money to pay team fees
- Book hotel rooms for the final night --> booking rooms tomorrow
Plan 3 days of Bible school for 20-150 kids
- Buy supplies for Bible school for 20-150 kids --> collecting donations and buying things this week
Raise money to buy supplies for Bible school
- Get team in one piece to Leon, Nicaragua --> unable to complete until June 19th
Complete items 1-11 while taking finals and studying abroad in London for 3 weeks
- Preferably stay sane while completely items 1-12 without driving friends and loved ones crazy --> questionable
Tuesday, April 27, 2010
- Jewelry party fundraiser May 1st
- Car wash fundraiser May 8th
- Send in team roster
- Send in team information forms
- Mail check to El Ayudante for team fees
- Raise money to pay team fees
- Book hotel rooms for the final night
- Plan 3 days of Bible school for 20-150 kids
- Buy supplies for Bible school for 20-150 kids
- Raise money to buy supplies for Bible school
- Get team in one piece to Leon, Nicaragua
- Complete items 1-11 while taking finals and studying abroad in London for 3 weeks
- Preferably stay sane while completely items 1-12 without driving friends and loved ones crazy
Friday, April 16, 2010
Monday, April 12, 2010
Tuesday, April 6, 2010
This past weekend was Easter. There is no greater love than the love God demonstrated when He sent Christ to die for us. Isaiah 53:5 says, "But he was pierced for our transgressions, he was crushed for our iniquities; the punishment that brought us peace was upon him, and by his wounds we are healed." It is unfathomable that the king of the universe would make himself a servant and die a criminals death for us. God is Yahweh Rophe, the Lord who heals. His death healed, cured, and restored us. His death made us whole. And He is still Yahweh Rophe today. He still longs to heal our bodies, minds, and hearts. He still wants to heal us of our sin sickness. And we so desperately need that healing everyday.
Monday, March 29, 2010
- Psalm 96:3 "Declare his glory among the nations, his marvelous deeds among all peoples."
- Deuteronomy 15:7 "If there is a poor man among your brothers in any of the towns of the land that the Lord your God is giving you, do not be hardhearted or tightfisted toward your poor brother. Rather be openhanded and freely lend him whatever he needs."
- Deuteronomy 27:19 "Cursed is the man who withholds justice from the alien, the fatherless, or the widow."
- James 1:27 "Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world."
- Proverbs 28:27 "He who gives to the poor will lack nothing, but he who closes his eyes to them receives many curses."
- 1 Corinthians 13:3 "If I give all I possess to the poor and surrender my body to the flames, but have not love, I gain nothing."