Friday, October 29, 2010

A Hole In Our Gospel

Hey all. Sorry I haven't written a lot lately. I've had a lot going on internally and just can't find a way to write about it, so I haven't.

In other news, I have been listening to A Hole In Our Gospel: What Does God Expect From Us? by Rich Stearns. It's so good and I would reccommend it to any Christian. Here are some quotes pulled from the text.

“Growth demands a temporary surrender of security” - Gail Sheehy

“The place God calls you to is the place where your deepest gladness and the world's deepest hunger meet.” - Fredrick Buckner

“God does indeed use our most painful seasons to deepen our faith and conform us to His will.” - Rich Stearns
So, I guess the fact that each of those quotes are somewhat related tells you a little about what I'm struggling with without me having to put it into my own words.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Give to the one who begs from you

This excerpt was taken from Phillip Gibson's blog. I don't even really know how I stumbled upon his blog but I like what he said.

"You're walking down the street and cross the path of a man. He embodies the word "filthy" - even makes my usual shower habits appear as healthy. Hair in dreads, body untastefully tattooed, clothes not exactly made for Nordstrums Spring Catalogue, and as your pase quickens to pass by him as quickly as possible his mouth speratically utters a few words that shake off a few of the many dirt crums stuck in his unkempt beard. What I usually tend to do is pretend to stare off into space and pretend to have no knowledge of his existence except for maybe that one moment when your gaze meets his and you are forced to awkwardly extend a semi-cordial nod his way while purposefully ignoring the reality that he has something to say to you. Whether or not you can understand him is irrelevent because either way he is unheard. Either way an assumption is made of who he is, what he wants, and especially what he needs. I assume that I know what is necessary for this man to "succeed;" for him to "make something of himself." And thus my pre conceived bias drives me to no longer treat him as a man with value, but someone who is lacking what I THINK might be missing in his life.

Here is the moral of the story: When you listen to this man, when you take the time to connect and try to get on his level for 10 minues, and when you give him the chance to TELL YOU what he needs and what he really wants, you give him back his dignity and respect as a human being who has the ability to decide for himself what he needs. It's those little things that allow one to build a genuine relationship with this man - one from which both him and yourself can grow as equal human beings together."
Matthew 6:42 says "Give to the one who begs from you, and do not refuse the one who would borrow from you." To me, that says "Give to the one who begs from you." [I'm very literal.] What I mean to say is, God does not call us to judge why someone begs from us. We are not told to withhold from someone because we think we understand their motives. Many times we tend to think that every person who begs is going to use any money given to them for drugs, alcohol, cigarettes; but surely there are also people who beg who actually do need to feed their families. Even more importantly, it seems so much more likely that a person who has their needs met in love will soften their heart toward the person who gives. What a great opportunity to present the Gospel! If they see our love through our giving [and our spending even a little time talking to them], Christ can show Himself through us.
I'm interested to hear your thoughts on this.

Monday, October 11, 2010

Finally in Mexico

On Saturday we finally got to go into Mexico to the orphanage! I'm not gonna lie, I was a little nervous [mostly because my mom kept saying "I love you" in every single text like I was about to die]. Really, there was nothing to worry least where we were. Border patrol was easy-peasy and I didn't see any big guns the whole day.

When we got to the orphanage, the kids opened the gates for us. We then went on a tour of the campus and took some pictures. A few of the kids were wearing Heritage t-shirts which was super cool. I just wanted to squeeze them!

Erika and I cleaned out some cabinets so the little boys could move into their room.

Then we went out and saw the pigs. They were totes cute.

We didn't get to hang out with the kiddos as much as I wanted but hopefully we will get to in the future.

Also, I REALLY want to ride on this thing!

It was a good experience and I hope I get to go back soon and spend more time with the kids.

Wednesday, October 6, 2010


I have an awesome bestie, guys. I really do. She checks up on me after I ask her to pray for a difficult conversation I have to have with someone. She encourages me. She even prays for things that I don't realize need to be prayed for until she says them. She truly has a very compassionate heart, which is something that I lack many times. I learn a lot just by seeing her see other's hurts. She tells me about what she's learning in her Bible study and that encourages me to dig deeper in mine. God blesses me so much by having her in my life and by keeping her around even when I am a bad friend [which happens more often than I would like to say]. Also, she's super funny, super beautiful, and a super good catch [fellas!]. Love you, Breehan! Thanks for being awesome.

Tell me about your bestie. Seriously, tell me. I want to know!

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Realization and Repentance

This morning at church [Well, actually this afternoon. Our church starts at 2pm] Brent talked about Habakkuk. Habakkuk asked God why He wasn't doing anything about the nation of Israel's sin. God told Habakkuk that He was. He was going to send the Chaldeans (Babylonians) to wipe out Israel and take them captive. So now Habakkuk was shaking in his boots [or sandals]. He knew that suffering was coming his way, so he waited. But he was not just waiting around doing nothing. Habakkuk was trusting in God to fulfill his purpose. Then, as he waited, he began rejoicing in the Lord.
"Though the fig tree should not blossom, nor fruit be on the vines, the produce of the olive fail and the fields yield no food, the flock be cut off from the fold and there be no herd in the stalls, yet I will rejoice in the Lord; I will take joy in the God of my salvation. God, the Lord, is my strength; he makes my feet like the deer's; he makes me tread on my high places." - Habakkuk 3:17-19
Habakkuk--instead of looking at the disparity of his situation--looked to God, his salvation. He did not focus on the suffering to come. He focused on his Savior who was fulfilling His purpose.

How many times do I focus more on my suffering than on my salvation? [Answer: Daily] I must repent of that. After all that Christ went through [I can't even fathom] to pay my ransom, I still focus more on my comfort, my happiness, than on rejoicing in Him and the hope of my salvation.

And even in suffering, even when I so clearly see the way He is working out His purpose in me, why am I still so willing to forget to rejoice in Him? Why do I still focus on my comfort instead of the growth He is providing?

I love you, friends! Thank you for your prayers.