Wednesday, December 11, 2013
But what if God has a completely different view on things?
At this point in my life, I'm not proficient in many forms of art. I have a very artistic brain and nature, but haven't learned to speak the language yet. I tried on multiple occasions. I bought supplies and set out to master painting. Or drawing. Gritting my teeth and spending days determined to walk away having successfully figured things out.
I've also experienced several "awakenings" in which my eyes were opened drastically and suddenly to myself. To my ugliness. At one point to my craziness. Unhealthy behavior in every way. And immediately, I surged straight forward with every single fiber of my being,
absolutely focused and set on fixing it. now.
In both of these, I fell flat on my face. Hard. Had the wind knocked out of me for quite a while. Left so exhausted that I actually got sick from it. And got up frustrated and agitated and instantly began running again. Sometimes it takes me a while to get things through my stubborn head.
I have always strongly fought bull-headed and stubbornly against "the process." I've always butted against taking time to learn, experience, heal, train, know things. I think in a way almost everybody does. I think in our nature, we don't like the thought of a slow process to "get there". I always want nothing more than to just figure it out so I can get to work accomplishing "it".
My friend Jessie has given me a new perspective. Well, she's tried several times. And I didn't listen.
But perhaps studying Advent has helped me to grasp this at last.....
Jesus actually delights in "process". He likes to watch every step of it. If we're open, if our eyes are looking, we can see that He loves it because it allows Him to walk alongside us in every step of the process. And He delights in the intimacy that can result from that. Because He delights in His kids and hanging out with them. And perhaps that's exactly why things take time.
If I saw unhealthiness in myself and was able to work it out in a day, I would miss the ways I learned who He is and experienced Him through the 5 years it took.
If I learned how to draw this weekend, I would miss the opportunity to sit with a pencil and Him and ask Him to begin showing me His artistic side as I begin the journey into learning.
If we let go of trying to be so put together and embrace the process-whatever that may be in this season for each of us-we can potentially be extremely and pleasantly romanced and delighted in by our King.
And that's worth all the time in the world.
Friday, December 6, 2013
Saturday, November 30, 2013
Wednesday, November 27, 2013
Last year I began learning about TheA21 campaign, an organization started by Christine Caine of Hillsong United. And right before I moved, I began her book called Undaunted. It's mainly about fulfilling the calling God has for your life. But part of it is about her journey into the work she does. When-through her words-I met the first group of girls she helped rescue from this modern-day slavery, I had my "Schindler's List" moment. Something shifted within me. Something came awake. Up until that point, I was convinced that working in Africa was going to be the thing I would forever be the most passionate about. I would have never dreamed of caring about anything more. And then this happened.
I learned that there are 27 million people enslaved in human trafficking today.
That every 30 SECONDS another person becomes a victim.
I learned that almost 100,000 children are sold into sex slavery every year in the United States. These statistics can be numbing numbers. But when you think about, read individuals stories, and consider what those numbers mean (180 people every time you watch a movie), I have a difficult time understanding how it doesn't shake you to your core. And the fact is the numbers are rising. This problem has been growing. And yes. Even right here.
When I moved last month, I had learned all the statistics and was processing this in my heart. A bit shaken. Once I got here my team took me on a prayer tour of the city, something we do when a youth group comes for a missions trip. At that time they informed me that Houston is the #1 city in the U.S. for Human Trafficking because of the I-10 corridor and the Ship Channel. (Many of those trafficked are forced into and locked in shipping containers like sardines.) I was in shock. My roommate proceeded to point out several buildings the next week that are known to be trafficked brothels. And I had a flashback of being in Kenya this summer. There's a particular building next door to one of Agape's properties that for several reasons I'm positive is a trafficked brothel with CHILDREN. It all began sinking in. And I realized something. I have never felt so deeply about anything in my entire life. I can't stop thinking about it all the time. I want to crawl out of my skin it bothers me so badly. I want to scream and shout and stand on every street corner and make every person aware of this. When I pass what I know in my spirit is a brothel, I picture young children and young women-trapped helplessly in those rooms and it takes every ounce of energy in me not to burst through those doors and do something. How can we just pass by? How can we not DO SOMETHING?! NOW! These victims are chained up. Broken. Horribly abused. Crying out for help in their spirit. And unheard. Without hope.
I have to believe that this injustice is something Jesus hates. Something He'd physically be stomping all over if He was walking across earth today. Something He'd be unstoppably active and vocal about. Without apology.
Wait!......... So then........ Why He isn't doing these things now?.....
Why is He allowing this?................ And then it hit me.
WE are Jesus on Earth. We are called to be His hands and feet.
What does the LORD require of us?
-"To Seek Justice, Love Mercy, and walk Humbly with thy God." Micah 6:8.
-"But don't just listen to God's Word. You must do what it says.
Otherwise, you are only fooling yourselves." James 1:22.
God's Word talks openly and often about seeking justice, taking care of those who can't take care of themselves. Standing up for those who need it. Jesus IS at work. He IS diligently rescuing and redeeming. But only a small percent of those trafficked are rescued. That's inexcusable. And I wonder if perhaps, one of the reasons this hasn't already been stamped out is because not enough people are realizing that Jesus does wait for us. He does want and need us to be Him in this World. Sure. He could handle it on His own. But He CHOOSES to wait for us. He is allowing us the privilege to CHOOSE working for Him and with Him. He is allowing us to take part in what He's doing. He's waiting on us to choose this. What a blessing and honor! To work for the ONE who can't be stopped. To have the ONE who created this Universe on our side as we squash and eliminate the most horrific crime imaginable and the other crimes it ends up entailing. But we need to get going. Get active. The 30 million can't cry out for help. They can't get out. They NEED us. They need Y-O-U. We have the God of all resources on our side. We have each other. If the church came together with all of this truth in the forefront, we would be un-stoppable. I believe it's possible to wipe this out for good. I believe it's up to us. I believe it's up to YOU. You can make a difference. You can.
Monday, November 25, 2013
Sunday, November 17, 2013
Thursday, November 14, 2013
Wednesday, November 13, 2013
Sunday, November 3, 2013
Saturday, October 19, 2013
Everything about the way this next year will be lived out is so vastly different from the way in which my life has been spent for the last many years. Extreme simplicity. Minimal possessions. No vehicle. Infinitely more time to focus and concentrate. Something other than logging hours at a job for 40-65 hours a week. It's enough change to shock me and make me want to sob with a strange mix of emotions & almost feels like I'm in another country or something.
I'm very excited. Excited to pull myself far from the several very strong factors that contributed to severe overwork, clouded views of myself and life, and too much stress. (Sometimes there are things that just pull you too far in the wrong direction and instead of exhaustedly standing there trying to fight it the best thing you can do is physically walk away). I'm happy to be much more simple with much less technology. I'm practically shaking with anticipation over getting to be still and listen to the voice of my King rather than hit the ground running by 4:15 every morning. And I can't wait to listen to the Spirit as a job description and practice functioning in my gifts with my co-workers.
The best way to move towards being as dynamic and powerful for the Kingdom as possible is to remove what's in the way.
Wednesday, October 9, 2013
You would think after years of short term missions trips I would understand that God loves to provide. However, the last few weeks I have been finding myself terrified numerous times everyday. Obviously this is pointing out that I have some serious faith issues. It's not the giving up of my things or car or leaving home that bothers me. Its the fact that I have to fully trust God to provide for me financially every day. I have never been in a situation that requires this much trust before. On one hand, I want to say "No" to living like this. On the other, I am catching just a glimpse of who Jesus is and what it means to ignore Him when He calls you to go or do in utter blind faith. It means insulting Him. Telling Him He can't or doesn't care enough to handle it. It also means missing out on something that could possibly be more incredible than anything you'd imagined.
I've been reading George Meuller's writings a lot lately. I want half the faith this man had! He started that orphanage on nothing. He'd tell the kids to sit and pray for their meal, while having nothing to give them. Then He would thank God for the food He was about to provide. And every time, a bread or milk truck would break down right outside. Or someone would show up.
I keep going back to the concept of not seeing God do the impossible on a daily basis because we're too scared to live in a way that ALLOWS for it. As scared as I am to step into this new way of living in trust, I'm beginning to be more scared of saying no.
"How do you expect to strengthen your faith without allowing opportunities for your faith to be tried? It's in the trying of your faith that it becomes stronger." -George Mueller