Saturday, December 10, 2011

Scarves for Namibia

So as many of you may know, I get to  go to Namibia Africa over spring break with a team of students from my Bible College.   We'll be working with David & Sandy Echols, a missionary couple that graduated from Central.  We plan on doing survey work for their ministry, spending time evangelizing to victims of AIDS, and working in Community Hope School doing manual labor, and possibly some tutoring.  This endeavor will cost each team member roughly 2,500 to 3,000 dollars.  In order to raise this money I came up with the idea of selling t-shirt scarves, for 10$.  For the price of 10$ you can fasionably support God's work.  It's a pretty great deal, and the scarves can be worn various ways.  Here are some pictures =]

  If you don't want a scarf, but you would like to support this ministry opportunity you can feel free to make donations or just pray for our team that would be fantastic.  If you're interested, you can drop me an  email at:

37 Then He said to His disciples, “The harvest is plentiful, but the workers are few. 38 Therefore beseech the Lord of the harvest to send out workers into His harvest.” -Matthew 9:37-38

Thank you so much for your prayers and support!

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Rules for Life? Someday I feel like I'll update this...

            “To seek and save that which is lost.”  It was the mission statement of Christ.  That is why he came, Luke 19:10- “For the Son of Man came to seek and to save the lost.”  I have adopted this statement.  It goes hand in hand with the great commission, and my desire is to see the lost come to know Jesus.  We are called to hold our hands against the wounds of the broken world, to stop the bleeding. –Donald Miller” My heart is broken for those in the world, and I can think of nothing more important than bringing lost broken people to a savior who heals, and gives eternal life. 
            Learn to do good; seek justice, correct oppression; bring justice to the fatherless, plead the widow’s cause.”  (Isa. 1:17)  I’ve always felt that the best approach to ministry was getting your hands dirty.  I want to go out into the world, and be the hands and feet of Jesus; it seems to be the most effective method.  He has told you, O man, what is good; and what does the Lord require of you but to do justice, to love kindness and to walk humbly with your God.”  (Micah 6:8)  My sincere hope is to do exactly that throughout my time in ministry. 
            Daily prayer is an essential part of my relationship with God.  I challenge myself to pray daily for at least fifteen minutes, and I also feel that morning is an ideal time to do this.  O Lord, in the morning you hear my voice; in the morning I prepare a sacrifice for you and watch.” (Ps. 5:3)  My mentor Jackie encouraged me in this tirelessly.  Jackie was constantly telling me to pray, and praying for me, and for this I am enormously grateful.  She also advocated praying for the will of God and trusting him with that which I held dearest.  This quote goes hand in hand with that idea. “To leave the dearest objects of our hearts in the sublime keeping of the general and unspecific belief that God is answering our prayers in His own time and way, and in the best manner, involves a process of inward crucifixion which is obviously unfavorable to the growth and even the existence of the life of self  - T. C. Upham 
            Serving God and others is a necessary priority for Christians.  Serving with humility, and kindness is even more necessary.  I strive to serve God, and others with humility, and kindness.  I was raised in a home that advocated this immensely.  My father is one of enormous character and humility; he takes great joy in service.  Dad was always one to lead by example, and growing up he expected me and my sister to pitch in wherever and whenever we were capable, and most of all he expected no complaints.  Sometimes this was an immense struggle, I must admit it still can be, but I’m thankful nonetheless for the model he’s given me to follow.  Blessed are those servants whom the master finds awake when he comes. Truly, I say to you, he will dress himself for service and have them recline at table, and he will come and serve them.” (Luke 12:37)
            Seeking God in the context of worship is probably my favorite thing about being a Christian.  I very much enjoy connecting with Christ intimately during that portion of service.  I love the way He meets with his people, and ministers to hearts fully engaged in worship.  Watching others make this connection also brings me great joy, and that is why I enjoy leading worship.  My philosophy on leading worship is pretty much summarized in this quote by Michael Gungor: “If leading worship is just about bringing a group of people into a room so we can get goose bumps and sing songs together, there’s not much value in that. But if leading worship is a means to an end, that we leave this place as a different kind of people, as part of a new humanity that God wants to create – the people that are caring for the widows and orphans, that aren’t bound by the systems of this world but becoming free, becoming fully engaged in our world – then that matters.”  I will ultimately strive to worship, and lead worship like this; in spirit and in truth with the intent of eliminating pride and selfish ambition.  God is spirit, and those who worship him must worship in spirit and truth.” (Jn. 4:24)
            Another one of my goals is to demonstrate the fruit of the spirit in every circumstance.  But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law.” (Gal. 5:22-23)  I am working towards handing out a healthy dose of joyful optimism to every person I come in contact with.  Joy, and peace are good companions.  I feel like with joy comes peace; and with peace, joy isn’t far behind.  So my prayer is much like that of St. Francis: “Lord, make me an instrument of your peace;” 
            God is love.  God wants us to love those around us.  Therefore, I will choose to love my enemies, as well as my friends.  You shall not take vengeance or bear a grudge against the sons of your own people, but you shall love your neighbor as yourself: I am the LORD.” (Lev. 19:18)  Love is clearly a command; it’s mentioned approximately 544 times in the KJV.  I would say that at the very least love is important.
            “Not that I am speaking of being in need, for I have learned in whatever situation I am to be content.” (Phil. 4:11)  Contentedness in all circumstances is of paramount importance.  If you are sleeping on a threadbare mat, on the dirt floor of a hut, you are called to be content.  If you are living, working or breathing in circumstances that are less than ideal, you are called to be content.  God places us in the positions we are in for a reason.  Sometimes we are in situations to minister to others, and those situations are not always comfortable ones, but they are worth it.  I find that with this mindset, I can accomplish far more than I would ever be capable of accomplishing, if my mind was on my own comfort.  This will help me serve more effectively.  So it is my goal to be content in every circumstance. 
            This is the foundation for which I plan to build my life in Christ.  My hopes, dreams, and goals all hinge on the aforementioned ideas, and principles stated in this paper.  I plan to take the gifts and personality traits given to me and use them to capacity.  When I get to heaven I want to have nothing left to offer, I want to pour out all I have in the name of Jesus.  One of my mentors told me once, that when she approaches the throne of grace she wants to have given 110% and have none of the resources given to her left.  That stuck with me.  I want to work tirelessly with reckless abandon for the cause of Christ.  Keeping in mind the entire time that God is working, and giving me strength.  In the words of Mother Teresa: “We can do no great things, only small things with great love." This is my mission.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

FACT: God is LOVE.

I’ve been noticing a lot of hopeless statements, and feelings of emptiness expressed in various forms, (mostly via Facebook and Twitter) and it breaks my heart.  A lot of times people won't come out and say “I hate my life; I need something.”  Sometimes though you can tell by the level of militant, blind rage toward Christian statements in general.  These people have most likely been hurt...  Or burned.  Maybe they blame God for some negative event or maybe they’ve met a few cranky old “Fire & Brimstone” type Christians that are all about judgment and GODS MIGHTY HAND OF VENGENCE you know. . .  The Jonah’s out there sitting on a cliff watching/waiting for God to rain fire on Nineveh.  Breathe.  He’s not going to do it.  He’s still trying to get your attention.  If you’ve sinned (which you have this is inevitable you’re not alone.  I do it too) he want’s repentance, but He never once thinks about cutting off that love that He’s had for you since the moment He thought of creating you.  Nothing can separate you from the love of Christ, and that is fact.    
Seriously, this school of thought that “God is this violent kid with a magnifying glass and I’m a tiny little ant and awww creash it’s sunny out today” kills me.  Cause I know this man that they’re talking about, and they’ve got him all wrong.  My man is a lover of weak, tired and battered people.  He desperately wants the real Him to be seen.  He gives hope.  He has joy that’s real, and most of all.  Above all.  The man loves.  Did I mention this man is a lover.   He loves you. He loves you indefinitely.  I get that I’m being redundant, and frankly I don’t really care.  LOVE!  He loves. 
He loves you so much that he sent his son Jesus his equal to die a seriously intense death on a cross (Phil. 2:5-8) That’s how they used to kill people who screwed up, like big.  Jesus didn’t screw up. . . ever.  
In the Old Testament (the beginning of the Bible) God is a big scary guy who needs sacrifice, or you get stoned.  If you screw up you’re executed.  Uhm, last time I checked God didn’t particularly enjoy doing that therefore He sent his son.  His son dies on a cross after living a life without sin.  So now you can sin and there is this thing called grace.  We recognize that we’ve sinned we backtrack to the God that loves us, and we repent.  You’ve got a clean record.  That my darlings is the beauty of God’s grace.  We don’t deserve it, at all… ever.  However, he LOVES YOU!  

Saturday, January 22, 2011

a twisty tie engagement ring speaks volumes.

As many of you know I've been proposed to with a twisty tie by one of my dearest friends...  This was of course all in jest, but the story that inspired the proposal is actually pretty relevant.
I was at a summer camp one year, and two of the counselors were so madly in love that it was obvious to even ten year olds...  They had been engaged for a while, and they were so brilliantly happy they practically glowed.  Their happiness radiated.  They were dirt poor, but quite possibly the happiest couple I've ever met in my life.  He proposed to her with a twisty tie ring that he made.  It wasn't showy.  It wasn't elegant.  It was a twisty tie.  Just like the ones you use to keep your bread fresh.  Just a twisty tie.
She wasn't upset by this humble proposal.  In fact I'm fairly certain she didn't even care.  She just wanted to be with him.  He was enough.  His love was enough.
This is an interesting parallel.  There's a christian song called "open up the sky" it's a pretty legit song.  I like it.  It has lyrics speaking of God that say: "We don't want blessings we want you"  The woman with the twisty tie ring wasn't concerned with what her fiance could offer her.  She just wanted to be with him.
I want to be like that.  I don't want to be so concerned with the blessings God can and will potentially give me.  I just want to be with him.  I want to be in His presence.  Yes, our God delights in giving good gifts to his children, but do you seek the giver or the gift.
Seek the giver.   You'll be transformed.

Monday, January 10, 2011

The strangest of dreams.

So it seems as though I never dream.   Apparently I'm wrong.  My favorite psychology major best friend informs me that I just don't remember my dreams, but I have them.  So yeah.  I actually remembered one.  I found it kinda cool. . .  Semi disturbing, but none the less cool.
So I find myself at a lake house with a bunch of people I went to high school with.  The house is about 30 yards away from this huge lake covered in vividly green algae with a dock in the middle.  On that dock are three mountain lions.  Located in the water with vividly green algae there are about 20 more swimming mountain lions.  Surrounding the house on land are about 40 more mountain lions.  Mountain lions were everywhere...  EVERYWHERE!
Here's the really odd part some people were just walking around like they didn't see the mountain lions or they were at least un-phased by their shockingly well represented-ness.  The one's who didn't see the lions were getting attacked, clawed down and ripped limb from limb first without showing signs of distress or pain.  Once the lions killed off the blind people, they went for the people who could see.  The oddest part to me was that the people didn't fight, cry out or show any outward signs of distress...  They just allowed the lion to rip them apart...  It made me a little hesitant to leave the porch, but for some odd reason I new I had to get to the dock in the middle of the lake.  This made no sense to me, but it had to be done...  But this is the point at which I wake up.
When I woke up I was a little shaken.  I'm not going to lie... I didn't really enjoy seeing people ripped apart right in front of me, but I immediately thought of that one verse.  You're enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion waiting to devour.  *shudder*  wow those are my friends that he's devouring...  There is something I can do about it, and I'm cowering on the porch with my other christian friends from high school being terrified of something we all have complete authority over.  How silly.
Get off of your proverbial porch!  Face your lion (or Satan)... Pray.  He genuinely dislikes that.  
A couple days after the dream I was still confused about the dock.  It didn't make sense until today...  I was thinking about how some stuff needs to be done in steps.  Almost like video games, you have to beat one level to play the next one.  So getting to the dock was like making it to the next level...  Fight off the swarm. . .  pack. . .  herd. . . What the heck do you call a large gathering of mountain lions?!?!?  Anyway...  You have to get off the porch and get yourself to the dock to get to the next step or level of intimacy with God.
So basically what I feel like my dream was saying is:  Take a risk and trust God, face the devil he's not as powerful and intimidating as he seems, you've been given authority and for goodness sake stop along the way and tell some people how to get rid of the lion that's ripping them apart. . .   At least that's what I got...
Aren't dreams just so peculiar?