Sunday, February 27, 2011

How will You react?

Attitude is a little thing that makes a big difference.  ~Winston Churchill

Monday, February 21, 2011

Think of the Children...

So yesterday my Mom told me a story about me from when I was little. I was about 3 years old and one of those sad commercials about children in Africa came on. I went to my Mom and said: "Mom, mom! That boy has no shoes Mom! We HAVE to buy him some shoes Mom please!" or something to that effect ;)
I was thinking about that last night. When she first told me I thought: "Oh that's funny, I had a missionary heart even then!" But last night I thought about it more. In fact, I started crying because I realized. I never got him any shoes. I never gave anything to help those children from that commercial. I know, I know, I was 3 years old. What could I do? Sometimes I simply get so filled with compassion for others though, it overwhelms me. I want to help ever child I see, I look into their little faces and my heart just breaks for them. Whenever I see videos or commercials like Feed the Children or w/e, it brings me to tears. Here in America we have SOOOOO much. Even American Christians are not willing to sacrifice for those in need. I just wish that we would realize how rich we are in this country and be willing to give more freely.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

"I'm good"

Picture this with me if you will: You are walking down the sidewalk and then you see a friend walking towards you. As she passes you call out your greetings: "Hey, how are yah?" She says. "Hey, I'm good" you reply.
How many times has this scenario come true in your life? How many times do we simply reply "Oh I'm good" when inside we are falling apart?
As Christians we are called to share one another's burdens, as seen in Galations 6:2. How can we bear others' burdens if we never share our own? God wants us to go to Him with our troubles but I believe He also wants us to seek out help and advice. I know I used to not want to share so much with people b/c I didn't want to make them upset, but I realize now it was also a pride thing. I didn't want people to either think I wasn't as good as they thought and I didn't want to be pitied. I wish I would have been more open though and shared, it would have been great to have someone behind me who was praying.
I say go to someone you trust or that you can trust. Share what's troubling you, don't be prideful but form a group who can build you up.
True friends will be encouraging but will chide you if need be. But yet the same can be applied to yourself! Be the kind of friend you yourself want to have! You've heard the have a friend you have to be a friend. Romans 12:15 says: "Rejoice with them that do rejoice, and weep with them that weep."
So laugh with your friends but be a shoulder to cry on if they need it.

"A man that hath friends must shew himself friendly: and there is a friend that sticketh closer than a brother."

-Prov 18:24

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

True Love

Isaiah 54:10: "Though the mountains be shaken and the hills be removed, yet my love for you will not be shaken nor my covenant of peace be removed," says the Lord, who has compassion on you."
So yesterday was Valentine's Day, a day completely centered around love. Though the world of course got it all wrong, as Christians we can still use the day as a reminder. A reminder of the unfathomable love of God and Jesus Christ. It reminded me of the song "How Deep the Father's Love for Us" by Stuart Townend. It's a beautiful song, listen to it!

Here's the lyrics:

How deep the Father's love for us,

How vast beyond all measure

That He should give His only Son

To make a wretch His treasure

How great the pain of searing loss,

The Father turns His face away

As wounds which mar the chosen One,

Bring many sons to glory

Behold the Man upon a cross,

My sin upon His shoulders

Ashamed I hear my mocing voice,

Call out among the scoffers

It was my sin that helf Him there

Until it was accomplished

His dying breath has brought me life

I knoww that it is finished

I will not boast in anything

No gifts, no power, no wisdom

But I will boast inJesus Christ

His death and resurrection

Why should I gain from His reward?

I cannot give an answer

But this I know with all my heart

His wounds have paid my ransom

I can't even comprehend His love. I am such a lowly sinner who is constantly messing up and yet He wants to have a personal relationship with me. I am so in awe of God and I want to spend every moment of my life living for Him and His glory.
The day before Valentine's I was a little down, not much but enough for me to feel kinda crummy. I was dwelling on not having a significant other and everywhere I looked I saw happy couples. It was actually pretty hard to deal with before I got my priority and my perspective straight. I realize now that I already have a Valentine. One who gave His life for me on the cross, one who loves me with unending love.
John 15:13:

Greater love has no one than this, that he lay down his life for his friends
1 John 3:16:

This is how we know what love is: Jesus Christ laid down his life for us. And we ought to lay down our lives for our brothers.

So if you were like me and saw Valentine's Day as Single Awareness Day, remember you are loved deeply by the One who made you.

1 Corinthians 13:4–8a

Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. Love never fails ...

Friday, February 11, 2011

O Love Divine

Tonight with some ladies from choir and I watched the autobiography of Fanny Crosby. What an amazing testimony she had! God used her to do amazing things and write so much music!
If you don't really know anything about Fanny Crosby here's a great website that summarizes her life: She went through such difficulties! First she was blinded as an infant, so she went through life without eyesight. Her father died when she was young which brought tougher times for her mother. Then she went on to go to the New York Institute for the Blind where she recieved a great education. She later was married but lost her first and only child, a baby girl. It was amazing that even through very hard times, she still went on to write over 10,000 poems and hymns! It is such an encouragement to me and a conviction to do more!
The video above is one of lesser-known songs O Love Divine. I love the song so much! You have to listen!

O love divine amazing love
That brought to earth from heaven above
The Son of God for us to die
That we might dwell on high

He died for you
He died for me
And shed His blood to make us free
Upon the cross of calvary
The Savior died for me

Monday, February 7, 2011

Serving man or serving God?

"Be more concerned with your character than your reputation, because your character is what you really are, while your reputation is merely what others think you are." ~James Wooden

Lately, I have been focusing on what my motives are. Why do I do what I do? Am I really doing all of this good stuff for God's glory or simply to make myself look good? I've spent a lot of time in prayer about this, asking God to help me to do all things for Him. I gotta say it's so hard. When people say you're doing a good job or compliment your gifts it's so easy to get all puffed up like you're something special. I struggle with it!
Today I auditioned for a group with my college. To get to the audition I had to walk around our beautiful pond here at college. Now I was a little nervous and on edge with excitement, but I prayed and I prayed as I walked. I got to thinking: What if I was completely sold out for God? What if I gave Him 1,000% of my life? How would my life look then? If I were completely humble and just offered my life up as a sacrifice to Him?
I'm sure He would use me, but how?
It was some great food for thought. I thought of the missionaries I have read about and their lives. I thought of how God can use one man, one woman, for incredibly amazing stuff. I want people to say that about me.
I want others to say: "She was completely sold out for God, She gave Him her all EVERYDAY"
So, recently in Bible Study I came across this verse. Man, it struck me to the core! You ever have that? Where you read the Bible and it's like MAN I struggle with that!
Galations 1:10- "For do I now persuade men, or God? Or do I seek to please men? For if I still pleased men, I would not be a bondservant of Christ."
Whoa, heavy stuff! If our goal is to please mankind and make ourselves popular than we are not serving Christ! It just doesn't work! You either serve man or Christ, not both!
I struggle with that! I want people to think I'm the right stuff. I want people to know I'm a "good girl" by what I do. But I do it for nothing if I'm not doing it for the glory of God!
I found another one which is kind of similar as well:
Ephesians 6:7-  "Serve wholeheartedly, as if you were serving the Lord, not men,"
So think about your motivations...Pray about them. Why are you doing what your doing? Are you serving men or God?

Sunday, February 6, 2011

Give me Your eyes Lord...

For those of you who do not know, I plan on becoming a missionary over seas in the future. I'm sure by now if you have read my posts you know this already but still, just in case.
I don't know why but at times I forget that I am already in a mission field. I don't have to travel very far to find people who are in need, whether it be physically or spiritually.
Think about it for a second. How many people have you seen today? How many of those people are strangers to you, people who may not know the slightest thing about Jesus Christ?
I thought of that myself today, in fact it was extremely convicting to me. I know for a fact that I do not witness to unbelievers as much as I should. I am scared of how people will react or nervous because I don't know the Bible inside and out...and what if I can't answer one of their questions?!
Really when it comes down to things I am so selfish and prideful. I don't want to step out of my comfort zone and plant seeds in the lives of others. Lately I have been in deep prayer with God asking Him to help me overcome this. It is definitely a bondage of sin that with God's help I need to break down. I only wish I would have realized it sooner.
Please excuse my generalities, but as a whole the American church is not one that is evangelizing very well. Most figure they've paid their dues to God as long as they go to church on Sundays. The evangelizing and witnessing is the job of the pastor or missionaries. You have to have a Bible degree or degree in Theology to tell others about Christ right?
It's a totally wrong, self-centered, unbiblical attitude! The Great Commission command from Jesus Christ was not just for those who are called into ministry but TO EVERYONE WHO BELIEVES AND IS A FOLLOWER OF CHRIST! Why do we have such a hard time remembering that?
It is almost painful for me to think of all the lost souls in this country, in my state, IN MY TOWN that believers are not reaching out to.
So why don't we witness?
I know for me that fear is a major factor. I'm afraid of what people will think. I don't want them to see me as stupid or weird. I am much more inclined to simply leave them be and go through the motions as a Christian.
Another factor would be that I am not living with my whole life centered around Christ.
I'm reminded of that song "Give me Your eyes" by Brandon Heath. It's such a powerful and awesome song, but yet so heavy and convicting.
Here's the lyrics, Think about them for a minute:

Looked down from a broken sky

Traced out by the city lights

My world from a mile high

Best seat in the house tonight

Touched down on the cold black tar

Hold on for the sudden stop

Breathe in the familiar shock

Of confusion and chaos

All those people going somewhere

Why have I never cared?

Give me your eyes for just one second

Give me your eyes so I can see

Everything that I keep missing

Give me your love for humanity

Give me your arms for the broken hearted

The ones that are far beyond my reach?

Give me your heart for the one's forgotten

Give me your eyes so I can see

Yeah yeah yeah yeah

Step out on a busy street

See a girl and our eyes meet

Does her best to smile at me

To hide what's underneath

There's a man just to her right

Black suit and a bright red tie

Too ashamed to tell his wife

He's out of work he's buying time

All those people going somewhere

Why have I never cared?

Give me your eyes for just one second

Give me your eyes so I can see

Everything that I keep missing

Give me your love for humanity

Give me your arms for the broken hearted

The ones that are far beyond my reach?

Give me your heart for the one's forgotten

Give me your eyes so I can see

Our problem is that we don't see the world as Jesus did. The people of this world are so lost with no way to find salvation on their own. It breaks my heart when I hear the percentages of the amount of people dying everyday. Did you know that there are over 150,000 deaths every day? I can't even wrap my mind around that.
I wish I could say that just because you get convicted means you're going to do something about it. That's one of my problems, I can feel so strongly and yet never be willing to do anything. I want to change that though. I want to be committed to sharing the gospel. Won't you? You don't know what the future holds, maybe you will be one of the 150,000. Won't you allow God to work through you and bring people to a saving knowledge of Christ?
Luke 10:2 "He told them, "The harvest is plentiful, but the workers are few. Ask the Lord of the harvest, therefore, to send out workers into his harvest field."
Galations 6:9 "Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up."

Friday, February 4, 2011

Day 10: One person I can trust

Day 1: Ten random facts about yourself

Day 2: Nine things you do everyday
Day 3: Eight things that annoy you
Day 4: Seven fears/phobias
Day 5: Six songs that you’re addicted to
Day 6: Five things you can’t live without
Day 7: Four memories you won’t forget
Day 8: Three words you can’t go a day without using
Day 9: Two things you wish you could do
Day 10: One person you can trust

Well, there are many who I trust...but I am going to go for the one you probably think I'm going to do.
I would have to say the one person whom I can ALWAYS trust is God. I hope you don't think I am just writing this and don't believe it. I truly believe it with all my heart. God is the only one who never sins and will never let me down. He will never leave me but instead is contantly working on my behalf. It blows my mind just thinking about it, it's indescribable. I don't understand why He loves me but He does and is always there for me.

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Day 9: Two Things I wish I could do

Day 1: Ten random facts about yourself
Day 2: Nine things you do everyday
Day 3: Eight things that annoy you
Day 4: Seven fears/phobias
Day 5: Six songs that you’re addicted to
Day 6: Five things you can’t live without
Day 7: Four memories you won’t forget
Day 8: Three words you can’t go a day without using
Day 9: Two things you wish you could do
Day 10: One person you can trust

Two things I wish I could do:
1. Heal the sick - Like really heal them, not just like a Doctor
It always amazes me when I read the Bible and it talks about those who can heal others.
2. Fly - I think that would be amazing and very functional! haha

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Day 8: Three words I can't go a day without using

Day 1: Ten random facts about yourself

Day 2: Nine things you do everyday
Day 3: Eight things that annoy you
Day 4: Seven fears/phobias
Day 5: Six songs that you’re addicted to
Day 6: Five things you can’t live without
Day 7: Four memories you won’t forget
Day 8: Three words you can’t go a day without using
Day 9: Two things you wish you could do
Day 10: One person you can trust

Wow...this is kind of hard...I use plenty of words every day...

1. Love
2. God
3. Pray

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Day 7: 4 memories I won't forget

Day 1: Ten random facts about yourself

Day 2: Nine things you do everyday
Day 3: Eight things that annoy you
Day 4: Seven fears/phobias
Day 5: Six songs that you’re addicted to
Day 6: Five things you can’t live without
Day 7: Four memories you won’t forget
Day 8: Three words you can’t go a day without using
Day 9: Two things you wish you could do
Day 10: One person you can trust

Well, let's just say I HOPE I won't forget these but only God knows.

1. The night I repented of my sins and asked Jesus to save me.
The story goes like this:
I was about 5 or 6 years old. It was Sunday night and that day at Sunday School my teacher Mrs.Bacon told us about what Jesus did for us on the cross. Not only did she tell us what He did but why He did it. She told us that we were sinners and had done many bad things. Because we had done bad things we couldn't go to heaven because God cannot allow sin in heaven. Jesus came to pay the price for the sins of the whole world including mine. All I had to do was confess my sins to God and ask Him to forgive me, accepting Him into my heart.
That night I thought a lot about what my teacher said. I distinctly remember crying over the bad things I had done I felt so guilty. I remembered that I needed a Savior and that only Jesus can save. That night I prayed a simple prayer in my little bunk bed. After I recovered a little I went and told my parents what I had done smiling really broadly. :) They were happy for me and called my grandparents. My Grandpa is a pastor and prayed with me that night, thanking God.

2. I'd have to say another would be going to Mexico for the first time.
I was 14 years old, full of excitement and boldness. I was on a missions trip with my youth group (though most were in college). The plane ride to Texas was terrible, with lots of turbulance. It was my first airplane ride so I was scared out of my mind. I literally thought I was going to die. But I got past that and pushed it out of my mind when I reached the airport. We stayed at a missionary's house where they also had a printing press that we helped in. During the day we helped make Bibles and literature. Afternoons we would go into Mexico and have puppet/ evangelistic shows. I will never forget the first time I crossed into Juarez, Mexico from El Paso, TX. I remember seeing the Rio Grande River (which was really high from a lot of rain). I remember being a little scared as we went through border patrol. Then we came into the city, there were soooo many people. They all looked sad to me. Their eyes held no joy. I saw a man with no legs on the shoulder of another man. They were asking for money for a wheelchair. I cryed. I had never seen such poverty before in my life and we didn't even go to the bad parts of town. I saw quite a few things that frightened me; stray dogs, guard dogs both were scary and dirty. I saw bars and barbed wire on every house to keep out intruders. It was like I had stepped into another world. It was like in the movies where the land is taken over by bad guys and the people grow mean and suffer.
It wasn't all bad in fact I saw many things that were amazing too but it definitely served as a wake up call. From then on I knew I had to help people, no matter what happened in my life one day I would become a missionary.
During my week, that wednesday was my birthday. It was a very nice day though I got homesick as I had never before spent my birthday away from home. That night we had our usual puppet show and evangelistic chalk talk. Now, the girls from the trip would go around and help with the children, holding babies etc... so the parents could listen.
I was kind of shy but went up to this one woman and asked to hold her little girl. She handed her right off to me. That night I saw something amazing. After the man gave the chalk talk (using pictures to tell the gospel) he gave an altar call of sorts. Asking people to pray with him and talk to him about how to find salvation in Jesus Christ. That night the woman who's baby I was holding went up and I believe accepted Christ as her Savior. It was the best birthday present I could ever ask for. It was so beautiful. I knew that I wanted to be a part of that. I wanted to let God use me to lead others to Christ.
There's a lot more to the story of my missions trips to Mexico. You should ask me about more if you want. After my first trip I went to Mexico City when I was 16. It was also an amazing trip.

3. Alright, here's a funny one. My sister and I would get into a lot of trouble when we were little. Most stuff my mom probably does not know about...My sister is three years younger than me so you can guess who's ideas we were always following...haha
I love this memory:
Danielle (my sister) and I were having some fun outside. I was probably in third grade or so. I must have been learning about the Ancient Egyptians because I decided it was a great idea to make our own mummy. We took one of our Ken dolls and found some toilet paper. We wrapped the doll in toilet paper and then found a shoe box. We placed poor Ken in the shoe box and then raided our bathroom for some perfume. We found my mom's perfume and poured it heavily on Ken. It smelled terrible so we gagged as we placed the top of the shoe box over him. We went outside and dug a hole under our porch. Then we grabbed the shoe box and placed it the hole. We covered up the hole and it is probably still there today. (We have since moved to another house). But who knows, maybe the new owners decided to dig under the porch and found a delightful "Egyptian Mummy".

4. This is hard! I can't think of just one!
I think I like this one though:
If you know me, you will know that I LOVE to sing. Besides Missions, singing is my passion. One year for our spring concert I was asked to sing a solo. I was able to sing a song in Latin all by myself. It was so much fun. I can remember being slightly nervous before hand. But every time before I sing, whether it's for church or anything, I ask God to help me. I ask Him to give me peace and calm my nerves. Last but not least I ask that He help me to keep my motives right, that I always sing for His glory and not my own.