Thursday, June 30, 2011

Population Me

We see it everywhere. Be happy! Go relax! Make yourself comfortable. Take a break. Enjoy yourself. From vacations to tooth paste and from clothes to restaurant food. We're told, "Baby, it is all about YOU!" You are what matters. Make your life as easy as possible.

So, should I be living for me? Should we be living for ourselves? I'm surrounded in a culture that is telling me how to live to make myself happy. I've been wondering what kind of "happy" that is. I can't help but look around and see a world and culture that is trying to please themselves. That lifestyle has slowly seeped into the Church and Christian's lives as well. I've noticed a form of Christianity where the goal seems to get things out of church and God without having to give much. It is a "Christian version" of the world's agenda. What happened to the early Church's lifestyle? What happened to being willing to go into dangerous situations because someone might accept Jesus because of it. I don't mean doing foolish things, but I do mean not being afraid of serving the Lord in mission work. I hear so often that "it would be too far out of my comfort zone" or "it's just not for me." My friends in Ethiopia and Mexico are willing to live in those treacherous atmospheres just so that other may hear the Truth.

I'm wondering where are the Christians that care more if their waitress knows Jesus than whether their appetizers arrive well before the meal? Where are Christians who care if other's needs are met before their own? If we would remember that as God's children, it is not our jobs to make sure that we are satisfied and comfortable. We were not created by God so that He could make us happy every minute of the day. Max Lucado once put it, "We do not exist to have God make a big deal out of us, but we exist to make a big deal out of God." We are bond servants to God. We owe Him everything. He saved us and yet we often say, "Thanks, Lord. Now if I could just have....." See, God will give us joy, but the only true joy is found in serving Him. Yes, serving.

My point? As children of God, we are here on earth for His glory, not our own. Gives us all something to think about, doesn't it?

Here's a few verses... they're short... don't skip over them.

Everyone who is called by my name, whom I created for my glory, whom I formed and made. Isaiah 43:7 

For you were bought with a price. So glorify God in your body. 1 Corinthians 6:20

So, that has been what I've been thinking about lately. If you're reading this, you have survived another rambling of my mind (also called a blog post). Congratulations!

Monday, June 20, 2011

Back from Mexico!

Where to begin? There are no words that I could possibly post that would adequately describe how unbelievable the Mexico/Texas mission trip was. I could talk about it all day and still come up short. I think I've finally realized that it is impossible to really explain and describe something that God does. But with that said, I'm still going to try.

The church in Progresso that our team put the roof on and helped build.
The men worked all week on this church. They put on the roof in unbelievable wind. It was dangerous and extremely hot. But they worked for hours to get the work done.

A packed VBS in Mexico!
The nights we went to VBS in Mexico were wonderful. One night we had 144, not including our team of 36! The Lord did amazing things and we got to meet and spend time with some of the sweetest children.
Miriam and Pastor Oscar's baby shower.
The baby shower was so beautiful. The team used our own money to by the gifts. Sweet Miriam was shocked and so thankful. Their first daughter didn't live from a stiffness disease. We had the opportunity to pray around them for the health of their son. The presence of the Holy Spirit was as strong as I've ever felt it. The voice of God's people crying out to Him was powerful.

My little friend, Amalia.

I became close friends with a sweet little girl named Amalia. She couldn't speak any English and I couldn't speak but a little Spanish, but we still became so close. She is such a blessing and I'm going to miss her.

VBS in Mexico.
They say that pictures speak a thousand words, but I have a million words. Between the building the church and VBS in Texas and Mexico, there were so many wonderful occurrences. Two people accepted Christ as their Savior and many heard of the love of Jesus and many more got to feel that love.

We were a team of 36 sweaty and dirty people for 8 days, but we got to be ambassadors for the King of Kings. We saw tears in the eyes of hard-hearted, joy on the faces of the broken, hope in the eyes of the burdened and Jesus in the lives of those who were once lost. In Mexico the people aren't "immune" to the Gospel as many are where I live. They are not used to hearing about Jesus and they are amazed that one would love them so much to die for them.

Every moment on every plane, every early morning, every tired moment was worth to see what God did. I'm sad it is over, but then... it really isn't.

Friday, June 3, 2011

One Week Till Mexico!

I can't believe that it has almost been a year since we went to Mexico! Time flies! Literally. I am even more excited about the trip than I usually am! It's only one week away! This time of year I am reminded of how much I love missions. If you've never been on a mission trip... well, you need to go on one! It is such an honor to tell others about the Savior of the world and how much He loves them. It is one of the most satisfying things I've ever done. We aren't sharing about "another" way to Heaven, but THE way. We get the privilege to share about the ONLY God and His great love.  And then there are the bonds that team members make. If you've ever been on a mission trip with someone, by the time you get back, you know more about them than you care to know. There are always some that we never imagined could be that messy or snore that loud! But that is the fun. As Christians we are often too busy living our separate lives and running in our own circles that we only see the "church" side of our fellow believers. But mission trips pull us together out of the ordinary to work for a common goal and we get to know and love one another more than we ever imagined that we could!

It's tight! And the men can't keep it neat.

I'm just so excited! Can you tell? Yes, we'll get up at 4:30 or 5 am everyday and work and teach in the hot sun. Yes, we'll get tired and bunk beds will get old. Yes, two bathrooms for 16 women will seem impossible. But it is stretching and challenging and we grow closer to the Lord.

Mexico is wonderful as you can tell, but going to Ethiopia is even more stretching. Much more. But then it draws me closer to my Savior as I get the honor to share His love. And that is in November!

But meanwhile, we can and should witness here at home. The person I pass in Walmart needs Jesus as much as that child in Texas or Mexico. We can be a light to the world and a light to our family, friends and community too.

But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.  Acts 1:8

Smile! Group photo!


Off we go!