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Friday, July 26, 2013

Planting Seeds


Recently, God has convicted me that I need to spend much more time in His word.  The challenge is that I am not following someone else’s study. There is nothing wrong with studies led by others, and in the future I have no problem doing them.  But I have been convicted that God wants to speak to our hearts sometimes without being colored by another person’s opinion.  So I am praying and letting Him lead me in understanding.
Why Ephesians?  I’m not really sure.  It may stem way back to youth camp.  The focus one summer was Ephesians.  It must have been powerful because I remember it, and there are actually very few things I remember vividly: 
·         Dawson (Noswad) McAllister and the snot jokes

·         Bright yellow t-shirts

·         Some cute guy at Devil’s Bathtub (It was a rock basin type thing…hey, I didn’t name it!)

·         The gum tree (kinda gross actually)

·         The wasps that were EVERYWHERE

·         COOKIE DOUGH (eaten while feigning a headache to avoid sports I wasn’t into at all)

·         A few pranks in the dorms (of course I was completely innocent...hang on while I adjust my halo)

·         An embarrassing moment at the pool where I lifted my t shirt to show a counselor my swimsuit and flashed more than intended…the only moment of my life I was thankful that the boys and girls didn’t swim together

·         Being down one evening and receiving a “smile, Jesus loves you and so do I” note from a girl I didn’t know very well (yes, it impacted me that much)

·         Rededicating my life to Jesus and being shaken to the core

·         Quiet time with God every morning
…and the book of Ephesians
Youth leaders, keep it up.  They may seem like they don’t hear.  They may drive you crazy.  They may put Vaseline on the toilet seat or weave dental floss throughout the bunks at church camp.  They may be horrible to one another at times.
They may also have a tiny seed planted in their heart that will grow into something beautiful years later.
Now it is my turn.  Hopefully I can plant a seed in someone's heart that will bless them almost thirty years later.  How great is that?

 

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Kingdom Mindedness


My heart is broken for this world.  There is so much pain and hunger and fear and injustice.  It’s often difficult for me to find a balance between caring and letting it all overwhelm me.  Maybe that is the reason missionaries and the people they serve have been on my mind so much…

I’m not sure how many of you know that I felt called to go into missions when I was thirteen.  Over the next few years, I convinced myself that it was just a “church camp high”.  My logic was that there is no way God would ever call ME.  Psh.  Who am I?  Nothing.

I have gone back to this over the years.  Sometimes I feel the pull so strongly it threatens to overwhelm me.  I get so frustrated by the fact that I seem stuck where I am.  I cry out to God, “If you want me to go, then show me the way!!!”  At other times it’s a gentle tug…somewhere in the back of my mind I feel His presence urging me on to something.  The closer to God I get, the harder it is to ignore. 

What purpose could He have for the likes of me?

I have recently had a bit of an epiphany.

As Christians, we are ALL called to help others.  That is not specific to me.  I guess I’m selfish because that bummed me out.  I want to be special, but I’m just like everyone else.  That is humbling. 

And maybe that’s what God needed me to see…

I am ordinary.

I am nothing.

HE IS EVERYTHING! 

Think about that. 

I tend to have a lot of self doubt, but it’s NOT ABOUT ME!  I’m sure I’d mess that job up, but it’s NOT ABOUT ME!  There is no way I have the qualifications/money/time/ability, but it’s NOT ABOUT ME!!!

Pride is an issue for some.  I was sure that wasn’t my problem because I was always down on myself.  But guess what?  That is EXACTLY my issue!  When I beat myself up and think I’m not good enough, I’m basically telling God “yeah, there’s no way you can make this happen”.  Why do I do that?  Because somewhere deep inside I think I have to fix myself before I can do anything for God.  I feel like I have to be “good enough” before I can be used.  God doesn’t want me to fix myself and then jump onto a pedestal of holiness!  God wants me to submit to Him now. 

Broken 

Depressed

Unworthy

If I am full of myself I am not full of Him. 

Stop and think about that. 

If I am full of myself I am not full of Him.   Negative thoughts of self are still thoughts of self. 

I need to let God out of the box.  It isn’t a specific job in a specific place I should worry about.  God wants me to help others around me all the time, wherever I am.  It’s going from a ME mentality to a KINGDOM mentality.  He may never send me to a mission in Africa or Haiti or Costa Rica.  He may use me to help a neighbor or a child or someone I may never know on a blog.  The term “missionary” should be wiped out of Christian language.  It divides us.  We put them on a holy pedestal. Think about it.  We get stuck in that “us and them” mentality!  Don’t get me wrong, I appreciate what they are doing, and I love hearing about how God is moving around the world.  But God has called each and every one of us to spread His love!  We are ALL called to be missionaries. He just has us in different fields.

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Average

An average day in an average place
With an average wife and an average face
An average house and an average car
With an average wish on an average star
An average job and an average wage

An average life in an average cage

An average school for an average goal
An average depth to an average soul
An average hope and an average plan
An average day for an average man
An average talent
An average brain
An average breath
An average pain
An average fear
An average rage

An average life in an average cage.