Saturday, July 14, 2012

Isaiah 40

     I've been reading my "Breaking Free" devotional today, and man!  Beth Moore takes us through some powerful verses on God's sovereignty in Isaiah chapters 40, 45-46.  They inspire such natural worship.  I challenge you to check them out and think about these 4 categories she presented us with : Creation, Idols, Humanity, and God's uniqueness.  They're all delineated and displayed very well in these verses. 
     Now some background: I got started on birth control recently to fix my ongoing iron depletion.  I'm sorry if that's too much information for you; I tried to deliver that as stomach-friendly as possible.  So I can already tell my emotions have been a little wonky leading up to this trip.  I'm sure there's also been some attack from the Enemy.  I've seen evidence of that as early as immediately following the prayer service our church had for us and another missions team Sunday night.  Thankfully, a friend had spent significant time in prayer over me prior to that incident, so unbeknownst to me, God was getting me to ready to weather that one.  He provided me unnatural peace and grace to get me through it relatively unscathed.  He's so good to me, and I'm so thankful that she was so faithful in obedience.
     However, the rest of the week it's been sneakily subtle.  (I don't know if that's a word, but I like it, so I'm going with it.)  I struggle with overthinking things, so he just throws in some wacky thoughts that if given attention, serve to distract me from the main things: loving God and loving others.  But after reading those verses, it's so satisfying and refreshing to read about Who God is and His power and goodness!  He's so solid and unchanging; He's the only thing that is!  And if He's unchanging, then so is His love for me and my worth in Him.  Come what may, those are are unchanging because of Who He is. 
     I'm so blessed by this.  It truly strengthens my heart.  I invite you to check out those verses.  God is so gracious to reveal Himself to us through His Word.  Take and eat, friend.  Let your heart rest in the One Who is like none other. 

P.S.  "This trip" is that I leave for India on Monday with Kyle.  We'll be heading down to Ankoor Children's Home to visit these people.  Kyle lived there for 4.5 months back in 2009.  We're taking a ton of school supplies and plan on getting pics, videos, and crafts that will help raise money at next year's auction.  The son of the couple who run the home will be meeting us at the airport in Delhi and escorting us down there (there's another flight down to Nagpur involved).  Please pray, and I promise to update with pics as soon as I return. 

Saturday, February 25, 2012

What to Say...

There's been so much that I wanted to speak out about, to vent over, or just expose my critical thinking process regarding in the past, oh, maybe 8 months since I posted last.  I'm a little sorry.  I'm a little not.  I am at a place where my usual fly-off-at-the-mouth (or fingertip) doesn't seem to achieve my goals.  And I want to keep my number one goal: to be like Jesus.  It's amazing how chronological time has almost nothing to do with spiritual maturity or wisdom.  I've been a believer for 20 years now.  Sure I can rattle off some Bible verses, reference some trendy hot button issues in the Church, and even dialogue about some phenomenal authors and pastors that have influenced Christendom greatly.  But how much have I transitioned into looking more like Jesus in this time?  And why does it take so long? 

I'm almost 30.  So much has changed in the last 10 years of my life.  I'm not a college student at a Jesus-centered academic institution where being more spiritual makes you cool.  I'm a healthcare professional in the most unchurched state in the country.  I'm involved in a church "plant" that's been around for 10+ years that's full of REAL people with REAL faith and REAL struggles.  On one hand, I know I'm extremely blessed.  I have family, friends, and a support system like no other.  I have a steady job, a degree, and a house that more than meets my needs.  I get to be a part of a church family that is more genuine than any group of people I've ever encountered.  I'll be honest, though.  Sometimes gratitude is hard.  I thought things would look different when I was 20.  I thought I'd be on the mission field with my husband and perhaps a child or two instead of living in the 7th state to legalize gay marriage.  God's been extremely gracious to show me that we all live on a mission field.  Every day. 

When Jesus left the disciples at the end of the book of Matthew (chapter 28), the last command He gave them is called the Great Commission in verses 19-20. 

Matthew 28:19-20  (ESV)

19 Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20 teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.”
Do you see Him tell them to convert a bunch of folks to your denomination and your political party?  Does He tell them to lead a bunch of folks in a specific prayer?  No.  He says MAKE DISCIPLES.  That's an ongoing process.  That's just sharing life with folks as WE strive to be more like Jesus.  But doing it with intention is what He mandates. 

I'm far from loving others as Jesus does.  But I'm trying, and I'm trusting His power to be "made perfect in my weakness" (2 Corinthians 12:9).  I have opportunities all the time.  I interact with so many people on a daily basis.  The key is that it's HIS power, not mine.  Don't get me wrong, I'd love for everyone to agree with me, to come to my church, to vote the same ballot I do.  But I know that's not God's plan.  So instead of working for what I know is not my call to make, I'm just trying to love in any way that I can.  And sometimes that means saying nothing.