Thursday, June 2, 2011

New Adventures!

I just received my new blog that I will be updating on from now until after I get back from my trip! Wow! I can't believe how this is finally becoming a reality. This means for the next year or so, I won't be writing on this blog but you can follow me on my new one!

For this next journey I will do my best to update once a week from now until then!
God bless you all. I really hope to hear from you soon!

Monday, May 2, 2011

On Osama, and all the Undeserving.

As a Christian, Easter marks the most stunning act of grace and enemy-love in human history – Jesus’ death and resurrection.  As Jesus was being tortured and executed, he cried out for mercy, even for those terrorists who hurt him.  As his buddy Peter picked up a sword and cut the ear off one of the persecutors, Jesus scolded Peter and picked up the ear and healed the wounded persecutor. Jesus was sending a message about how there is something worth dying for, but nothing in the world worth killing for – not even freedom or democracy.

I found out the death of Osama by facebook, sadly. What i found though, left me with more of a heavy heart than any sense of peace or joy. I saw a multitude of my own Christian brothers and sisters rejoicing at the death of one man. I turned on the tv and saw rallies in Washington DC with people cheering and celebrating, holding signs and shouting saying 'God bless America!' As if God were happy that we murdered this man, even beyond that, we murdered his son.

I promise, I do not hate this country at all, as I'm sure I probably will get confused for by writing this blog. But come one people! There is no doubt that we must mourn those lives lost on September 11th. We must mourn the lives of the soldiers. But with the same passion and outrage, we must mourn the lives of every Iraqi who is lost. They are just as precious, no more, no less. This includes Osama Bin Laden.

What if God said to you, 
"Okay, so if this murderer doesn't deserve grace, neither do you."

If we hate those the entire worlds hates, what does that say about the disarming love of a sinless Savior that laid His life down for ALL the Osama bin Ladens in the world? Isn't the world supposed to know us by the outrageous love we have for one another, especially the ones who don't deserve it?

If we believe that the wages of sin is death, then we all need to realize that none of us deserve the Kingdom. 

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

useless words!

I really don't know what to say right now. I'm so excited, but every time I try to tell someone why I am all giddy inside I can't articulate it right. But honestly, where would I even begin?!
I encourage you, reader of this blog, to go outside on this perfect day with a piece of paper and a pen and write down everything you are thankful for. I dare you to even go beyond the 'given' blessings. (ex. friends, family, a house..) I mean look around us! Look right now at how many different shades and hues of color you see at this very moment. Go for a run and marvel at how beautifully our body works together. Scream all different octaves and volumes. Go look in your bathroom at all the different scents we have to smell right there. Oh how sweet the blood of jesus!
Rejoice at all we have, all that we overlook because it is so 'routine' to be as abundantly blessed as we are.

On a side note, I can't stop thinking about this next adventure coming up. I get so giddy and joyful when I find another teammate on facebook and get to talk to them! Lord Almighty, thank you. thankyouthankyouthankyou. My words could never express!
Watch this video and share in my joy!

Saturday, March 19, 2011

this is my declaration.

I am the precious daughter of the Most High. I am the treasure in the heart of the Lord.
The Lord sings to me from the heavens, and His words of truth pierce my soul. 
I know who I am because Christ has whispered in my ear.
I have a voice that will not be silenced and I will not back down nor run for cover. 
I will sing at the top of my lungs of the goodness of my God. 
I will not accept the lies of the enemy nor the impossibilities the world tries to plant in my head; for I know that nothing is impossible with God. 
I have counted all the costs and I have made up my mind; all that I am and all that I will be is the Lord's. 
I will not be complacent and I will not settle for mediocrity. 
The Lord is my only truth. Hope found in Him is my reality. 
I will press on, I will lean in; I will jump off the cliff so I can fly on the wings of the wind with my Savior. 
No walls can be put up around me, for I was born to fly, and fly is what I will do to expand the glory of God to the ends of the earth. 
On another note; I want to thank my friends and family. You've loved and supported me in my journey of obedience to God's call on my life and for that I am truly grateful. There will never, ever be words that I can share that give true meaning to who you've allowed me to become by faithfully contributing to my life. My life is forever changed because of your willingness to support me. And it's with a ton of humility and thanksgiving that I am sure I will be able to be the change in the world we all want to see.

The Lord has abundantly blessed me with support so far, I have now raised about 5,000 of my 11,000 which is amazing, especially for it being so early! Praise the maker, amen?

If you would like to commit to support me monthly in what the Lord is doing around the world, or just a one time donation it would truly be a blessing. You can find the link above ^. No donation is too small!

I love you all so much!

Friday, March 4, 2011

I say it again- REJOICE!

God enthralls me. I am completely captivated by him. The other day I was going to spend time with him, but instead I just basked in his presence and was completely satisfied.

I’m so overwhelmed with this life that God has given me. God’s creation is magnificent. Nothing less. I’m in this place where I just cannot get over how amazingly stunning it is. I feel like a part of me is let loose when I let my mind wonder and meditate on how magnificent God’s creation is. Bah! How he made the earth and the universe and how he made all of it for us, whoa. It’s so romantic. Then there is us, we as people are just astonishing. Our minds, our talents, our dreams, our passions, our love, and our potential-again, it’s astonishing.

God’s creation is such apart of who I am, it’s like it’s a piece of me. I feel that I can express myself when I’m out in creation. I guess it’s because I see God in it so intensely and can connect with him intensely through it. Seeing the clouds, sunsets, sunrises, moon, and stars day in and day out, knowing that they’re always there, I am blown away every time. It never gets old. It gets me every time! Sometimes a 'whooaaa' just slips right out of my mouth. Even people, we are 'creation' as well. I love seeing people’s faces lift and eyes light up by something that they’re passionate about, or seeing their hearts break over it. It’s captivating isn’t it? It’s incredible the differences in us, that we we’re made to be our own person. So many people yet all so different. I love that we’re different. I love the simple fact that we’re living. We are alive. Just the potential that we have to be alive boggles me. I literally can do every stinkin thing because I have Christ as my strength. Come on people! This stuff is amazing!

Another thing that I’m just stuck on is love. I’m realizing what a blessing it is to be able to love, and to be loved. The only reason that I can love is because God loved me first. I have love because I was created in his image. Loving brings me such joy and such life-and that is a gift! Man, my God is awesome. He doesn’t have to be love and he doesn’t have to be kind and gentle, hysterical, creative, caring, compassionate, and wise. He doesn’t have to pay so much attention to detail and know every single thing about me, and love every bit of it-but he does! He could be a jerk and not care about me at all and never forgive me when I mess up and am a jerk to him. He doesn't have to love me. Think about that, he doesn’t have to love us. He doesn’t have to desire good things for me and always be working things out for my good! He could do whatever he wanted and he could give up on me and treat me like I deserve, he could be selfish and boring and lazy. Just for the simple fact that he’s God he could do whatever he wanted, and just because he is God I would still have to submit to him and revere him. That is why I am so in love with God. Not because a book (powerful that it is) told me to, because my parents told me to, or because I’m afraid of going to hell. I love him because he is so good, because he chose me, he desires me, he loves me, and he is captivated by me. I love him because he is perfect love.

I was so overwhelmed by God and life in him that I had to let it out. Thank you for giving me the outlet! :D

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

brighter day!

I am not the same that I was a year ago, or even a month ago. I can't really say exactly how, but I wake up every morning knowing that the person that I was yesterday is not who I am today. It is as if I am going through spiritual puberty or something. My faith is being stretched in ways I didn't know it could be and I feel joy and love like I have never felt before. 
It is almost as if I am the person I was always meant to be but never knew I wasn't her before. I feel my light growing, not by my own doing but by the spirit. It is so amazing to live out the promises that the bible speaks, of how when I make less of me more of Him can shine and that is when fulfillment will happen. Full, I guess that is how I feel. Spiritually full, but yet still desiring more and more. 
My hope is that during this season you will experience a new freedom in our Father. That you will no longer be happy with a so-so relationship with God and start yearning for a passionate, I need nothing else, kinda relationship. One where you know that you can't but God can, where the laws of the flesh don't apply because you are a new creation. Where everyday is a new opportunity to become closer to your creator and every moment is a chance to pour more of yourself out for the world so that God can in turn pour more into you. Know that you, whoever may be reading this, I am praying for you. That you can grow more and more in love with our Daddy everyday.

Song of the day:
The way you love me- Anthony Evans.

Those of you who haven't, go read Hannah Thomas's blog 'We Build, We Break' because it is awesome and so is she. 

She posted this picture a couple weeks ago and I can't get it out of my head! It is called the flower of Sudan. I just found myself thinking about this picture and praying for her a lot lately. I wonder if she knows the Lord created her to be more beautiful than the stars, or that delicate pink flower she is holding. I wonder if she knows she is wanted, and at this very moment is being relentlessly pursued. I wonder if she knows that she is deeply, passionately, hopelessly loved. I wonder if I will see her in Heaven? The only thing I know for sure is that God loves her infinitely more than I ever could, and in that, I find my peace.

Friday, February 4, 2011

happy is a yuppie word.

Comfort is not something we should strive for, it's something we should run from. With comfort comes apathy and in apathy there is no growth; if there's no growth, what are we doing?
People strive so hard to be comfortable. We want a good job with a good salary so we can buy our comfortable house filled with our comfortable furniture and a comfortably large TV. We want to be married so we don't have to be uncomfortable in loneliness. We want consistency because change is uncomfortable. While I was gone for a measly month this summer it was so hard to not talk about how we miss our favorite foods or our comfortable beds or our relaxing American toilets. We as humans long for comfort.
When we are comfortable, we become apathetic, we don't care enough to grow and we don't realize how much we need God. It's when we become uncomfortable that we become desperate for Him and we have to learn to find our comfort in Him. When we are uncomfortable we realize we can't do it on our own. Then comes dependence.
So go get uncomfortable! Give a little extra to your church, adopt a child, go on a mission trip, lead a small group, pack up your house and move to Africa. Whatever it looks like for you to be uncomfortable, whatever it is that you cling to so tightly that thought of letting it go feels like the end of the world, I challenge you to give it up. Wreck your life a little. Get desperate. Desperation leads to dependency and when you depend on God you give Him room to move in your life.

Sunday, January 30, 2011

Thursday, January 20, 2011

a wasted life.

Lately, I have been feeling convicted.
Convicted about this luxurious life that I am living. Not that being blessed is bad, by any means; I think you should fully embrace what God has given you. But what I am talking about, is being wasteful.
I don't want to waste anything, but my innate, selfish mindset causes me to take way more than I need so that I will always have enough later. But in reality, most of what I save becomes wasted and this act is a complete lack of faith that God will provide for me all the things He has promised.  But that is a whole different blog.Anyways, as of lately, I have been extremely convicted by my wastefulness.  God has given me all dominion and authority on earth and he calls me to steward it well.  He asks me to be wise with what he has given me.  He says that if I can handle what he has given me wisely, he will bless me with more.  And even along with that; he has also been showing me that it is not all about money.  I am wasteful in so many other areas of my life!  And I think much of it comes from the Western culture and how I was raised in and how so many people in America have no perception or even worry about how much they waste.  I know that I didn't.  But what I realized is that we should be aware of our wastefulness not only because children die every day of starvation, or because most of the world lives in poverty;  but because God hates waste and in his kingdom, there is no waste.  Living a wasteful life is straight up disobedience to the Lord. And so now, I feel as though I am noticing every wasteful act that I do and I am convicted.   
"Why do I live the exact same way as the world?"  
"What is the point of seeing poverty if my heart is left unchanged?"


It is sad, because I have fallen back into into being used to living a wasteful life, and I think that it has affected  my desire to change my lifestyle. But now I just keep thinking how ashamed I would be if I acted this way in another country.

Even if I have all the money, materials, or experiences in the world to show for myself, what will I have to show to God?  What will I have to offer him who has given me everything, even my very breath? I have been so wasteful with both money and time and the truth is, there is no time to waste.  I am not promised tomorrow and today is already almost gone. 
Embrace the thought that we could do more to honor God with what we have.  He is so worth it. 

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

human trafficking awareness day.

(In relation to the Red Light district in Bangkok, Thailand)
Human trafficking: moving of persons from one place to the next through force, fraud, and/or coercion for the purpose of servitude, debt payment, and forced sexual acts under coercions.
proxy husband- man who "takes on a prostitute" for an extended period of time as a forced sex slave or domestic slave. **In sex tourism these men will "rent" girls out for extended periods of time to be pseudo girlfriends during their vacation. Girls will act as tour guide, sex slave, domestic slave etc. 
Lady Boy: dresses, acts, takes on the persona of a woman.
"Ugly Girls" (A sign held in front of bars): if the ugly girls are bought and never return home, it's okay. Whatever happens to them happens to them. They are viewed as dispensable and not worth anything.

Victims: women, children, men.
Tactics: false marriage proposals; being sold by parents, neighbor, relative; kidnapped by traffickers.
Health risks: drug and alcohol addiction: introduced by traffickers.
Physical injuries: broken bones, bruises, STDs, AIDS: myths- having sex with a virgin will cure AIDS- (kids sown back up without anesthesia and sold again as virgins the next night), miscarriages, forced abortions
Psychological Harm: suicidal thoughts, suicide, PTSD, depression.
In Thailand:
  • 66% of all men that land at Bangkok airport are there for sex tourism.
  • 10% of profit from prostitution comes from Western Society. 80-90% comes from Thai men who see a prostitute on a regular basis.
  • Guys at younger and younger ages are being introduced to prostitutes; 12-13 year old boys being introduced to sex by their dads who will take them to prostitutes.
  • 1/3 of all Thai men and 40% of house wives have HIV/AIDS.
  • 86% of male prostitutes are heterosexual men being forced into prostitution by family members.

This is the reality of the broken world we live in. 
"Greater things have yet to come, and greater things are still to be done in this city" -Christ

weird thoughts.

I'll be honest..I'm struggling.

I have had the hardest time as of lately finding balance between being here at home and focusing on the now, and still being excited about leaving and working hard fund raising. I love where I work, I am madly in love with at church, I love my friends, I love keeping up relationships, and I love the funny little ins and outs of my days. Its so weird to think that by this time next year I won't have those all at my finger tips any more.

I will be surrounded by a whole different group of people, many different languages, doing a different kind of ministry, and encountering injustices that I have never fully understood . I'm having a hard time because I'm so ready for that as well. I want  to be challenged where I haven't been challenged in a while. I want to meet the group of strangers that will become my family. I want to live out of a backpack and sleep on the ground. I want to live in the poorest and dirties parts of the world so that I can love on kids who have not felt love. I want to share the pain of the young girl who has been abused by men. I want to clean the feet of an old widow. I want to bring Christs hope to those who feel like they have no hope. I want to hug those who feel, and are often literally, forgotten. I want to bring the name of Jesus Christ to places that it is not spoken of. I want to worship, and see people worship, where His name is not worshiped. I want to see God move when I can't.

I feel so torn as to how to live...I just feel 'off' I suppose. Its hard living 'normally' when I know that normal will feel like a foreign concept in only 8 months time.

...just a thought for the day!

Friday, January 7, 2011

Thinking biblically.

What is weird?
This sums up and puts into words my feelings at this moment.