Believe

How this word is plastered across extravagantly decorated stores this time of year.  How it is an underlying theme in several Christmas movies.  And it is even considered a magical word found in Christmas cards displayed around the home.

Well, I’m actually not going to address what people believe in or don’t believe in during Christmas time.  Because right now I consider this word a bit differently.  You see, last night I was surrounded by three beautiful families.  The evening was filled with time out in the snow, a delicious meal, games, and even decorating Christmas cookies.  But I saw more than that…


I saw five, soon to be six, children each with their own personalities, their individuality, being surrounded and encouraged by their parents who believe in each one of them.  I saw the freedom these children have to ask questions, to share thoughts, to cry, to laugh, to just be themselves.  They are empowered to make choices, to be creative, to think for themselves, to begin to understand more and more of who they are.  That is the power in believing.

Because someone chooses to believe in them and who GOD created them to be, they too believe…

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DVR Type God

Yeah, I said it.  But hear me out.  I mean if I think about it, there were times I wanted to pause our conversations because something else caught my attention.  There were times I wanted to rewind what HE speaks to me, because honestly, I was thinking about other things when I should have been listening.  And do I even have to mention those times where I wanted to forward through the silence or even through an answer I just didn’t want to hear.  And I wonder too how many times I just would have liked to replay an old conversation with HIM, not willing to be challenged in a new way.  That is honestly, how I used to live.

“a lot of people have added Jesus to their lives.  People who have, in a sense, asked Him to join them on their life journey, to follow them wherever they feel they should go, rather than following Him as we are commanded.  The GOD of the universe is not something we can just add to our lives and keep on as we did before.  The Spirit who raised Christ from the dead is not someone we can just call on when we want a little extra power in our lives.”  ~Francis Chan

You see, it is easy to convince ourselves that by squeezing a bit of GOD in, we are better than many.  But I wonder during those times that I would squeeze in GOD, limiting HIS power, HIS wisdom, and ultimately HIS Extravagant Love, those times where I wouldn’t trust HIM with all of me, those times I said, “not now”…how much was I really just denying Him?

In my old ways, I was looking to GOD for what I could get, rather than appreciating what I have…HIM.

So I’ve thrown out the DVR (figuratively speaking, as I don’t really have one)…and embrace, cherish, and appreciate our Live conversations and our relationship.  Because it is a relationship!

“Her hope didn’t lie in what she could get…Her joy lay in what she could give.” ~ Joanna Weaver

Walk It Out…

I could sit on the couch, nice warm fire crackling in the fire place, steaming hot coffee with whip cream within arm’s reach, reading, learning, and retaining a lot of knowledge and truth…

I could sit among a group of friends discussing views, ideas, thoughts, beliefs, expanding my mind more and more…

I could try to write the most eloquent commentary on the condition of my heart or the revelations that come…

But where does it go from there?

2 John 6 ….”As you have heard from the beginning, his command is that you walk in love.”

WALK IT OUT… 

3 John 1:3 “It gave me great joy to have some brothers come and tell about your faithfulness to the truth and how you continue to walk in the truth.”

WALK IT OUT…

We aren’t commanded to just receive knowledge and truth, but to know it and embrace it so much that it truly becomes a part of us and is shared in the form of action…walking it out…

So while I go throughout my day, when I’m meeting up with friends and family, when I’m working and when I’m relaxing, when I’m discipling street children, when I’m serving G42 and the current and future missionaries with a heart for the world and their own communities, while I live in my own community…I will be more than just a retainer of the knowledge HE gives…

I will WALK IT OUT…speaking the words HE gives, listening to those around me, giving what I have, working hard in all that I do, continuing to seek wisdom and truth, serving others, embracing life, and opening my heart to Love in ways I never thought possible.

And on that note…I’m off to walk it out in style.

He Waits on Me…

So what am I waiting for?

“If God can wrest such triumph out of the jaws of apparent defeat, can draw strength from a moment of ultimate weakness, what might God do with the apparent failures and hardships of my own life?” ~ Philip Yancey

Here I sit, heart racing, knowing that it is time to make a choice…

You see, there’s still a part of me that I have yet to fully trust GOD with.  I say to Him, “but look at all I have given you…You have this part of me, and this part, even this part…”

And patiently He waits.

He waits until I’m finished and speaks to my heart…”what about that piece?”

He sees it though I thought I hid it so well.  He wants the piece of my heart that I have held on to myself, that I’ve protected because I believe I can guard myself from pain.  It is the part that has been wounded with disappointed, scarred by neglect, and hardened because of failure.  It is the piece that reminds me of the pain of love not returned, hiding behind an excuse that I’m not enough…

And patiently He waits.

He waits as I battle through my excuses and explanations and responds with one question, “Am I enough?”

With that one question, excuses vanish, and hope grows because  honestly,the only reply I have is…Yes.

 

“t for Tyler”

We sat in church, Tyler and Grace sitting on their father’s lap just looking around and listening.  Tyler looks up, points to the cross at the front of the sanctuary, and whispers, “t for Tyler”.  And we smile.

The comment is brushed aside as just a cute comment said by a three year old who is learning his alphabet.  But I can’t help but wonder how his life will be when he truly understands how transformational that phrase is in regards to the cross.

I remember a few months ago, sitting in a class at G42, learning about covenantal relationships.  As we discussed the covenants that took place throughout history, truth hit my spirit, and it clicked…It’s me.  And Life expanded to something more than making it to the weekend, or even playing it safe, being afraid of risk.  Life expanded to the opportunity of living in fullness.

So when Tyler realizes the truth in his words, the personal intimate relationship GOD, Christ, and the Holy Spirit choose to have with him, then his life too will not have finite boundaries.  He will  have an awareness of the world and people around him.  He will know what it means to Love, Lead, and Serve.  He will be a man who will choose to Live rather than settle.  He will speak Truth, protect, comfort, and stand up for others.  He will be a man who will take a risk when led to, not letting fear inhibit him, but trusting in the Spirit and Christ in him.  He will be a man who will continue to learn and share who he is with others.

He will be…

Do you grasp it yet?

Here I Go…

I wonder if we truly grasp how much of an impact one person, one word, one action, or even one look can have…

 

From the moment I met her, my heart came alive in ways that I’ve never known or experienced before. She was abused, abandoned, and trusted no one.  There was a look of fear in her eyes, fear of trusting someone, and it was a look I was all too familiar with.  And so I gave her time.  I gave her patience.  And over and over again I was faithful in the things I spoke to her and shared with her.  Slowly she began to trust me.  She sat next to me.  She grabbled my hand.  She hugged me. And by the end of our encounter, her eyes no longer had fear, but tears, as did mine.  She was looking for someone to believe in her, to teach her, to Love her for who she is…

And that moment not only planted a seed for a big dream, bigger than I can even conceptualize at the moment, but it is what leads me back to Spain and Morocco .  For she taught me what it truly means to invest in people, to disciple others.

Therefore, January 17, 2011, marks my move to Spain.

There I will serve G42 Leadership academy as their Missions and Fundraising Coordinator.  I will encourage and challenge current and future missionaries, developing a training and support program for them.  I will share with current and potential donors the great things that are taking place through the Academy’s Epicentro, events that are changing the climate of Mijas with teachings, community building, and encouraging the passions and dreams that are coming alive in this area.

I will also be developing contacts and putting my vision and dream of working with street children into action.  A potential door has opened in Morocco that I will learn more about and will serve and investigate the best way to be involved.  But along with that, I will continue building relationships, learning the languages, and really seeing how to best meet the needs of street children in this area, that they grow in their identity and who will then choose to care, teach, and disciple those around them.

This is Family.

I thank you for your support and want you to know that I too am working towards sustainability as well.  I invite you to give as you feel led.  But know too that as I have hands that can work, and mind that can think, and a heart for action, I will work hard.  I will be getting certified in Teaching English as a Foreign Language in order to teach where ever I am.  I will explore ways to use my skills to assist in supporting myself.

This isn’t a “normal” life, but it is a Life worth Living.  And I wouldn’t choose it any other way.

Life With Purpose

It’s generational…

Psalm 145:3-7
Great is the LORD and most worthy of praise;
his greatness no one can fathom.
One generation commends your works to another;
they tell of your mighty acts.
They speak of the glorious splendor of your majesty—
and I will meditate on your wonderful works.
They tell of the power of your awesome works—
and I will proclaim your great deeds.
They celebrate your abundant goodness
and joyfully sing of your righteousness.

 

So I choose to live my life, not just investing in lives, but in generations.

I choose to use my voice to speak truth, encouragement, healing…to stand up for those who feel as though they aren’t heard…to help those discover their own voice.

I choose to use my hands to serve others, to work hard, to guide, to embrace the neglected, to shepherd the lost, to comfort the lonely, to build relationships, to encourage.

I choose to use my feet to travel to desolate, dry places bringing life and light, to walk along side my brother or sister, to run a good race, to keep moving forward.

I choose to use my mind to ask the hard questions, to share what I know that others may benefit, to never stop learning.

I choose to use my heart to listen as one share his, to feel compassion, understanding, as well as joy for others, to nurture, care, and Love those with HIS Love that they too find healing, redemption, and their own identity.

2 Corinthians 3:3
You show that you are a letter from Christ, the result of our ministry, written not with ink but with the Spirit of the living God, not on tablets of stone but on tablets of human hearts.

We are the message, the Truth, Christ in us.  I choose to live, that generations to come know and embrace living this out…

That’s Living.