Saturday, July 11, 2009
Friday, July 10, 2009
Thursday, July 9, 2009
Monday, July 6, 2009
Sunday, July 5, 2009
Oh boy! It's only 5 days til we leave! We had our last team meeting today to discuss final lesson plans and itineraries. Today we were given some disturbing news...when we land in SE Asia, we can expect the plane to be immediately boarded by officials in hazmat (hazardous materials) outfits and then we'll be scanned to see if we have a fever. Apparently, they are so afraid that someone might bring the swine flu into their country that they've set up many precautions to combat any possibility of it happening. Please pray for our team that no one will have a fever and that no one will be detained. We need to be covered with prayer. This is real people, very, very real. Here's a news article you can view to get more information:
Saturday, July 4, 2009
This morning as I was reading my Bible and studying (I’ve been studying a lot about Jewish tradition, culture, and history as it relates to Jesus), I was led to the verse about Mary when she anointed the feet of Jesus with the nard (very expensive perfume). I always wondered why that was so significant, other than the fact that it symbolized preparation for His death and the burial preparations. In my studies, the Jewish tradition was when a king was chosen, instead of giving him a crown to signify this honor, he was anointed with a very strong smelling oil or perfume. The reason a strong smelling oil or perfume was used, was because the aroma would last for many days on the newly appointed King. As the King would travel among the crowds or from town to town, the aroma would often precede him and announce his coming beforehand. In thinking about this, I realized that when Mary anointed Christ, the beautiful aroma permeated his clothing, hair and his entire being so that in the days ahead, everywhere he went, those who were around him could smell the aroma and know that this was indeed the King (God’s chosen one). Perhaps even as he was being beaten, the aroma still lingered. Perhaps even when he was being nailed to the cross, the beautiful scent was still lingering a little bit, we will never know…but as we prepare to go to China and enter a country where we’re not able to freely speak about Christ, we can still carry His aroma with us! Hopefully, the Chinese students will be able to see that we are filled with the love of Christ. Hopefully, they will see that we are His hands and His feet. Hopefully, they will get just a whiff of a beautiful scent, the scent of a King wafting near us…as we allow every portion of Christ to exude through our pores. What a wonderful thought…we can carry the aroma of Christ everywhere we go…even to China!
Thursday, July 2, 2009
"...I am willing yet am so afraid
you give me strength when I say ...
I wanna be your hands, I wanna be your feet
I'll go where you send me, go where you send me
I'll be your hands, I'll be your feet
I'll go where you send me, go where you send me
And I'll try, yeah I'll try
to touch the world like you touched my life
And I'll find my way
To be your hands
I'll abandon every selfish thought
I surrender everything I've got
You can have everything I am
And perfect everything I'm not
I am willing, I'm not afraid
you give me strength when I say ...
I wanna be your hands
I wanna be your feet
I'll go where you send me, go where you send me
All He asks is that we are willing to let Him work in and through us. We just have to be empty vessels that contain His Spirit. He will accomplish everything He chooses to accomplish in and through us if we are just willing...I don't have to be strong, I don't have to be learned, I don't have to be anything but empty...
Let me always remember that I am deeply loved, completely forgiven, fully pleasing, totally accepted and absolutely complete in Christ. As I empty myself and allow Him full access, He will overflow my life with His love and joy. May it radiate out so others can see Him living in me.
Sunday, June 28, 2009
Saturday, June 27, 2009
To cry a lot
Long chats with the Lord
To sing to the Lord a new song
That the Lord will birth new songs in my heart
Lots of reflection time
To see God in creation that will lead me into His presence
To lean upon Him even more than I currently do
That there will be spiritual attacks
That my heart will be broken to the things that breaks the Lords
Things to EXPECT in the team:
That we will see a empowerment of the Holy Spirit
That we will break down walls together in Jesus name
That we will see miracles
That we will be united together through the power of prayer
To go through hard times together
That we will hurt one another but be able to forgive before the sun goes down
That love will be written on our hearts
That we will all try to respect one another
That will speak words that will only uplift and encourage each other
That we will all be friends for a long time after the race is done
To share our deepest thoughts and emotions
To see change in all of our lives
To see vulnerability
To share everything just like the Acts church
That we will all use our God given gifts and abilities
That the Lord will use our team to make deep impact inChina
Things to EXPECT on the field:
To be stretch
To learn to listen with my heart
To hold people in my arms
To cry with people
To see injustice
Make new friends from around the world
Things to EXPECT that are typical of me:
To make a fool out of myself
To fall many times
To laugh and make fun of myself
To be a little afraid and unsure of myself
To make fun of myself and laugh things off
To get confused
To get lost a time or two.
I EXPECT the UNEXPECTED. Who knows what God is going to do while on the trip. We are all just a bunch of crazy, foolish, radical, revolutionary people with a heart to serve the Lord and to build His Kingdom. Some may call us strange but deep down they know that we got something they don't. We will influence, we will bring change, we will break chains. Are you excited yet? I know I am! Can you hear the sound of revival? Holy Spirit unleash your power around us.
Thursday, June 25, 2009
Thursday, June 18, 2009
Wednesday, June 17, 2009
Monday, June 15, 2009
Today I received an awesome blessing! I needed 100 toothbrushes to give out to the students I'll be working with on my mission trip. One of our goals is to teach them about personal hygiene. I had no idea where to get that many toothbrushes and then, it hit me...you need to call a dentist. The only person I knew who worked for a Christian dentist, was a sweet friend of mine from church. I emailed this wonderful lady and was pleasantly surprised when she emailed me back stating that her employer, Dr. Taylor, had opened his heart and willingly agreed to donate the toothbrushes. This is just a constant reminder that God really does care about every need we have and if we trust Him, He will meet those needs in His own way and in His timing. I am very thankful that Dr. Taylor has a generous spirit. I know that God will bless him richly for his kindness. I can't wait to see the look on his face when I send him pictures of the students in SE Asia with the toothbrushes he has donated. Thank you, Dr. Taylor, and God bless you!
Thursday, May 14, 2009
Zephaniah 3:17 (Amplified Bible)
17The Lord your God is in the midst of you, a Mighty One, a Savior [Who saves]! He will rejoice over you with joy; He will rest [in silent satisfaction] and in His love He will be silent and make no mention [of past sins, or even recall them]; He will exult over you with singing.
What an awesome thought to think of the Lord rejoicing over us and doing it with joy as His Word says! Knowing that He has forgiven and forgotten our sins, if we've confessed and repented of them, also provides great comfort. I can't even imagine the next part of the verse...He will exult over you with singing. Webster's defines the word exult as being exceedingly joyful, or to leap with joy. So not only does the Lord rejoice over us, He does it exuberantly and with great joy. Isn't that wonderful? See how great the Father's love is for us!
Monday, May 11, 2009
This week we'll be submitting our applications for VISAs to China. Please pray that the process goes smoothly and that our passports or our VISA applications don't get held up in a lot of government red tape. I can't believe it's only 59 days until we go!
Tuesday, May 5, 2009
Monday, May 4, 2009
Monday, April 27, 2009
Thursday, April 23, 2009
Wednesday, April 22, 2009
Today I chose to fast and pray for my trip to China. Fasting is a discipline that I've chosen for each Wednesday between now and the time I leave on the trip. God has honored me by allowing me to do this in His strength.
As I was thinking about going without food today, I was reminded that we constantly have a beautiful, bountiful table set before us each day covered with the various fruits of the Spirit...love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness and self control. God gives us overflowing mounds of each of these if we will choose to partake of them. Along with the abundance of these fruits, He gives us the bread of life and living water. How blessed we are! Even without being able to physically taste food on Wednesdays as I fast, I am full and satisfied with the abundance my Father provides for me. Are you full? Have you tasted His bounty today? Reach out, it's right in front of you...
Tuesday, April 21, 2009
Sunday, April 19, 2009
Friday, April 17, 2009
Thursday, April 16, 2009
Thursday, April 9, 2009
As we get to know each other better, we find that though we are each very different, we're very much the same. We all want to share Jesus with those who may not know Him and we all want to be obedient to the call placed on our lives. In preparation for the journey, I've decided to sit in on a class where English as a Second Language is being taught.
Each morning, before beginning our workday, my friend and I walked and prayed together. One day I shared my heart with her and told her that I had been asking God if He would allow me to go on this mission trip too. As soon as I finished my sentence, my friend began to shout and praise the Lord. She said, "oh, I've been praying that He would lay this on your heart!" I was shocked to know that while I'd been seeking the Lord's will for me concerning this trip, that she had been praying that God would put it on my heart to want to go.
Smiling, we continued our morning walk and she began to share more about the upcoming mission trip to ....( I can't share the location because it's in a very dangerous location and could jeopordize the safety of those going.) As I listened to her share, my heart began to overflow with love for people I hadn't even met.
When my friend told me the cost of the trip, I just knew that God was going to have to show me that He really intended for me to go. There was no way I could raise $3000 on my own within such a short period of time. I asked God to blow me a way with His perfect provision and then I sat back to watch what he was going to do.
I attended the first team meeting and was surprised to find that there were only 8 people going on this trip. There were 6 women and 2 men. We were from all walks of life and from many different nationalities, but we all had a heart for spreading the gospel. After receiving details on our location and a brief overview of our goal, we left the meeting with much to do. We would each have to prepare a support letter and send it out to those God laid on our hearts. I was excited because all of this was so new to me.
The next day, I began drafting my letter. I found a map of the country to which we would be traveling and copied and pasted it into my flier. I added some scripture and the details of our mission. As I was working on the letter, I asked God to give me specific names of those to whom I would send the flier.
Over the next few days, I was amazed at how God would put one person after another's name on my heart and in my mind. People I hadn't even seen in many years came to mind. Sometimes I would question the Lord and ask if He was sure He wanted me to send them a letter. The answer was always the same... "Trust Me."
I set up a database on my computer so I could keep up with the ever growing list of names God had given me. I sent out a few letters ever couple of days and then sat back and prayed. I asked God to let the recipient be receptive to the letter, but most of all, I asked Him to lay it on their hearts to commit to pray for me. I'd never been out of the country and I'd never flown on a trip longer than 2 hours, so I was a little scared at the thoughts of flying many, many hours and thousands of miles away from home.
Every week after my letters went out, the team leader would send me a weekly report of my financial support. The first report I got shocked me beyond words. People I didn't even really know were giving $100 or $200! God had told me to trust him when He gave me a name and I took Him at His word.
My letters started going out the second week of March. It's now the second week of April and guess what...God is amazing! I have almost 86% of my support goal met! I am taking this as a confirmation that God really intends for me to go on this journey. In the days ahead, I will be writing more and more thankyou notes and praising God for His faithfulness and lesson on trust.