The Big News

Do you ever make a decision without thinking about it? Like, taking something "off the table" with little consideration?
Well, things like traveling to South Asia to spread the Word of the Lord often find themselves back on the table.
It's safe to say that I am really glad God uses good friends to encourage me to rethink what I (key word: I ) have already decided. I'll tell the full story in another post along with more of my thoughts/thought process regarding the trip to South Asia, but for now, I just wanted to mention my Next Step.
I'll go this winter, and will be gone for two weeks.
Two weeks is a really long time. 
But at the end of the day, we are called to go (Matt 28:18-20).
I am called to go. And so are you. It might even look closer to home.
Anyway, I just wanted to let you know that I am back to blogging, and will keep you all posted on future trip progress. BE excited!


It's Easter!

It's Easter! 

In my opinion, it's the best holiday ever! It seems like a calmer, simpler holiday (after you get past the many egg hunts and such), where people get together with family and celebrate spring--not too much of anything else. 

However, we can't get past the fact that it's a whole day dedicated to the gospel. No amount of consumeristic American culture can bury that because the gospel is true every day, and for believers, every day is like Easter, because we wake up covered in His Grace. 

Romans 15:13, John 1:16

Jesus paid it all, 
All to Him I owe;
Sin had left a crimson stain, 
He washed it white as snow.

And when before the throne 
I stand in Him complete,
Jesus died my soul to save,
my lips shall still repeat

Jesus paid it all, 
All to Him I owe;
Sin had left a crimson stain, 
He washed it white as snow
Sin had left a crimson stain, 
He washed it white as snow

O Praise the one who paid my debt
And raised this life up from the dead
O Praise the one who paid my debt
And raised this life up from the dead
O Praise the one who paid my debt
And raised this life up from the dead
O Praise the one who paid my debt
And raised this life up from the dead
O Praise the one who paid my debt
And raised this life up from the dead


When You Get THAT News...

Everybody's had "those talks", the ones where news has to be delivered....sometimes it's the elephant in the room, or maybe it is something new entirely. 

Several times I've gotten news like this and my reaction has been different every time. It usually was the phrase "We're moving". 

Those days have long since passed. Since I'm in school now and my home has transitioned to there, where I've been most, it hasn't been a worry. I go to school and come home occasionally, all the while stumbling through the growing up process wherever I find myself.

However, thinking you're outta the clear is probably one of the most dangerous things in life. So what happened? The news this time wasn't "We're moving" as in us as a family, it was my parents saying "We are moving to Florida..."

Far, far away Florida. 

At the time of this news and even now, I understand that when God calls you somewhere, you must obey. That is why we have been blessed the other times we've moved--we've obeyed without hesitation when we feel the call is from the Lord. 

Still, when I think about it words like separation, leaving, loss, isolation, gone, parted and asunder all come to mind. 

I'm reminded that salvation cost a perfect life, so moving and uprooting your life is certainly pale in comparison. Even though this is truth, it's taken awhile to get past the icky feelings of pride and entitlement and feeling like the whole thing is an injustice. 

 While we may be called to a certain place, here or overseas, the part that doesn't change is that we as Christ-followers are called to pick up our cross and follow Jesus every single day. Matthew 16:24-26.

Picking up your cross can look impossible. It can look scary and hard and unfamiliar. It can look sunny and warm and full of unknowns as plentiful as the sand everywhere. Or it can look like staying behind and making the place you go to school your official home and seeing family a lot less. 

"Because of the Lord’s great love we are not consumed,
    for his compassions never fail.
 They are new every morning;
    great is your faithfulness."

Lamentations 3:22-23

I write this as new paint is being applied to the house and boxes and packing paper are starting to appear. Furniture is disappearing and the walls have become bare. 

It's happening soon.

My Five Favorite Things About Being Home...

The company kept...

My not-so-little companion...

The copious amounts of sweet tea...

Home-cooked food...

My other companion...

Parts of My March

So, I know it's now April, but this post is about the happenings of March:

1) Stress 
I've learned that it takes a lot of stress over a short period of time to help make me unstressed--as in me realizing that right in the middle of the stress that it is fine--it's not really the end of the world like I usually find myself believing.

2) Racial Reconciliation 
Racial Reconciliation is a real issue. It's a product of the gospel, which is all-inclusive. This reconciliation among believers and the church has to be intentional.

3) Lies 
I used to believe a lot of lies about myself, expectations, how much I need to do and how I am supposed to react to things that happen. Now, those are coming to light--not only the fact of them, but the simple fact that they are lies.

4) The Ten Commandments
Lying, stealing and coveting are things that we think we don't really do, we just see. But in fact, that is a false premonition if I ever heard one. You can lie and steal and covet time, joy and words.

5) Sometimes Less is More.
Wouldn't you say?

6) Church
I went to my first members meeting at Christ Fellowship Church in BG. Now a member, all on my own, I went to my first meeting and was reminded of the importance of commitment, support and furthering the gospel in our community. 

7) Life is great when you don't have to depend on coffee.
For real, try it.

8) She Reads Truth 
This is my new favorite website. Click here to go to the sight and check it out! It's a group of women who simply love reading the Word. Plus, the website is one of the prettiest thing's I think I've ever seen. Super appealing to those visual-oriented people such as myself.

9) God's Character
The root of the problem that you may be experiencing is often a flawed view of God's character. It's not enough to say that God is sometimes faithful, or mostly faithful, He is always faithful. 

10) Summer and Spring
I forgot how much I love them both!


Why Working Things Out Can Look Like a Fight

The more I grow up and become more aware of thinking about bigger things and the bigger picture, the more things separate. They are starting to have more contrast. Granted, I am a black and white kinda person. "Yes or no answers are best", "I don't have time for miss-communications" and "Just tell me what you actually mean are common things that run through my head".

How does this relate to my spiritual life? I have all of a sudden been made aware of the separateness of my sinful flesh and the Spirit filled part of me. It's like realizing why you want to do something and seeing that that desire is not coming from the good, and while it may not be all together bad, it certainly doesn't look like the flip side--the feeling of purity that is of the Spirit that often looks like the harder choice, not to mention super counter-cultural.

With me being able see this difference more clearly--now it is almost overwhelming--I have a new perspective. I see that flesh-denial in your life is more often than not God-revival in your life. I see that some choices are more biblical, and that compromising is when we start to tread into gray areas. When you don't have the ability to separate those two very different things, no wonder life looks so confusing!

Even if you do begin to understand what I'm talking about it doesn't always make things easy. In fact, it's almost harder--you have to say no to your flesh-desires. If we are all being honest, this is where our pride and stubbornness come out. For me, I know it's the heart I have when feelings of entitlement emerge. Making the right choice anyway takes strength, strength that I don't always have. That is why so much of life is an internal struggle and why working things out can often look like a fight, or even an all out out war going on inside of us. It takes fighting that fight and wrestling with God to be able to really make the choice that reflects what we know and believe and to stay on the narrow path.

 "I have been crucified with Christ; and it is no longer I who live, but it is Christ who lives in me. And the life I now life in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God who loved me and gave himself for me."

Galatians 2:19-20


So Much in One Week...

Here's a video of the excitement that a beach reach team had about pancakes...they totally got us pumped in the early morning hours after our late night.

Here's a few other things that I learned....

We are already equipped with your individual personal story, the God breathed Word, Jesus's greatness, faith and our family of faith.

People have to have practice to become better leaders. Let them practice. 

Always take your camera with you. If you don't have time to take pictures, make time.

It takes effort to serve.

Sometimes people don't want to talk to you, even if you are trying to tell them something important. And sometimes, there is only so much you can do about it.  

I could not go on a trip like this, as intense as it is, if I had not had mentors in my life that fostered the love of God and reaching people in me. 

Sometimes less is more. Your task and work is to reach out, but you have to be aware that there are other things that you may need to do first.

Understanding your own personal sin is key to getting to your next step in your walk of faith and having a more accurate understanding of God's great Grace. Who knew understanding the bad could help you so much? Usually we simply focus all on the good, whether it be ours or God's.

Sometimes it is simply your job to focus on being a friend with the right intentions.

You have to be able to communicate your genuineness for people to truly listen.

My prayer is often more "I believe, sweet Jesus, help my unbelief!". 

All in all, it was a trip where many souls were saved, and mine was in a way too--for I have been saved from myself and my selfish heart with the glorious protection of Christ Jesus my Lord!