>> Monday, June 22, 2009

we just did some cleaning/packing this evening. after a day of last 'discipleship' hangout times with students... it's just all so surreal! Pray for us as we continue to process and start adjusting to re-entry.

side note - the summer project comes friday and we are STOKED!! woohoo!


>> Tuesday, June 16, 2009

2 weeks left!!!! from today. BAHHAhahahahhhhhhheeeeee (just a little giddy freak out cry)

We had a week of outreach based on 'esperanza' (hope), finished ministry on campus, did debrief with WSN, did debrief with our national directors... basically we're closing out relationships, saying long goodbyes, planning for the summer project, processing the year, saying more long Salvadorean goodbyes... It's the final leg!

Every time I talk to my family or friends at home, I get excited for June 30 (our arrival day). I get excited for prospects of hanging out with people I love; for hearing about people's lives and sharing all the Lord has done in mine this past year; for having normalcy and routine... well sort of... I am quite the P on the Myers Briggs scale if any of you are familiar; for seeking the Lord's will in my next life steps... I could really go on an on. Obviously, parts of me will be sad to leave this place. To say goodbye to the ministry we spent so many countless hours in prayer, planning, and on campus to build... and the real friendships we've begun to form with the staff and students. I suppose it's easy to reminisce (and we've been doing our share with debriefing, let me tell ya) all that this year has entailed and look back with abounding sentiments, but I'm surprisingly stoic these days. Maybe it's my response mechanism to the overwhelming idea of emotion overload. I would love to think it's my contentedness in where I'm at, but then I'm reminded of how I really don't want to go to that 9am planning meeting tomorrow... Well. Whatever state my roller coaster emotions choose to take me on a ride for in the next month or so, I pray that my heart and mind is first and always focused on the Lord and how I can minister to the people around me.

I've been thinking a lot about what life will look like when I go home and how my heart has been completely renewed for people and ministry. Don't get me wrong, I'm stoked about possible career prospects, but at this point am pretty much planning to do a lot of seeking. A lot of praying. Keeping my eyes open and my heart ready to be obedient. I have no concrete plans for the future, and in a way I'm thankful. I'll have some time to readjust to life in the states, and most of all, I'll have time to know and understand the Lord's will. It's pretty much all I want these days, is just to know Jesus and figure out what He wants for me... so I guess I'm doing okay after all.

2 Kings 25 says, "Have you not heard that I determined it long ago? I planned from days of old what now I bring to pass..." I find such comfort in these verses (well, let's be honest, pretty much any verses these days bring an Amen to the surface) Man. It's so simple. God knows. He HAS a plan. More than I can say.... and it's way better than mine would be anyways. Amidst all the unknowns that lie ahead I find peace and comfort in really trusting in Jesus to be my all. To be my joy and my hope... my reason for living life when I go home, whatever season I may happen onto.

Prayers for clarity in processing the year would be great, closing our time well, even for good re-entry and safety... but more than that - I ask that if you do lift up a request in the next couple weeks, would you pray with me that both of us keep our eyes fixed on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith. That come what may, we are ready, faithful, and obedient to his calling on our lives. because as much as I'm in love with the fact that Jesus has made this my desire, I so long for it to be yours as well... gracias y te amo


just some verses

>> Monday, June 8, 2009

"When I shut up the heavens so that there is no rain, or command the locust to devour the land, or send pestilence among my people, if my people who are called by my name humble themselves, and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven and will forgive their sin and heal their land. Now my eyes will be open and my ear attentive to the prayer that is made in this place. For now I have chosen and consecrated this house that my name may be there forever. My eyes and my heart will be there for all time." 2 Chronicles 7:13-16

if we but humble ourselves...


back to basics

>> Saturday, June 6, 2009

It’s been way too long since I've posted on here and I keep putting off doing blogs on ministry... well, I will shortly, I promise! but for now, just thought I'd share a bit of my quiet time from today
2 Kings 14

It's about Amaziah, King of Judah... one of the bazillion kings in the Old Testament; He "does what's right in the eyes of the Lord" (these guys are hard to come by at times in this book) but ends up challenging the King of Israel to fight him (v.8) "come, let us look one another in the face." In v.10 we learn that it's from a place of greed, pride, selfishness when the King of Israel answers him "be content in your glory, and stay at home, for why should you provoke trouble so that you fall, you & Judah with you?" He's got some words of wisdom. At times I find myself rooting for people to 'see the light' in the bible. Unsurprisingly, this one's another stubborn fool and goes to war anyways.

It did get me thinking, though, about what I'm going after, where my greed, pride, selfishness isn't satisfied? With just over 3 weeks left, I feel like sometimes I put pressure on myself to return home perfect in all areas. I want to come back to the states and have people see, well, me. It's ugly, I know, but it's true. I want my personality, my experiences, my relationship with the Lord, my future plans... all of it to just look good. And I think these last weeks I could very easily hold on too tightly to relationships with my teammates; expecting too much from them; wanting to be all things to all people. It's so silly really, when I can plainly see how much I fall short, and how beautiful it is when the Lord and the body steps in to take care of all that.

Well, I kept reading and came to a few conclusions about selfishness (and all the ugliness that surrounds it):
- When we go after selfish things, we bring others down with us, whether we see it or not (vs.10 "...you and Judah with you")
- In the pursuit of self, we become blind to truth. We see only our own cravings, lusts, desires, needs, wants - and miss everything else. What God wants. (vs.11 "... but Amaziah would not listen")
- Selfishness is defeating. You're on the brain, and you're all you've got to give. You're bound to lose the battle (vs.12 ...and Judah was defeated by Israel")

In thinking about the chapter as a whole, I was so aware of how these guys are just men. They fail, they make mistakes. Some do good, some evil. But above all, when God is out of the picture, things almost always seem to go awry. It makes sense - we're called to walk with Jesus, to be holy. Our eyes need to be on the Lord for anything to make sense or have purpose. How can we find any value in this life if it doesn't last? If it's not eternal? Don’t' get me wrong - this life is a gift and I'm just as determined as the rest to live it to it's fullest. But I sincerely wonder sometimes why we can't just forget worldly expectations and just be Jesus to people?

I'm praying for that in my life, because I'm human. I fail. I disappoint and sin. But being given grace gives me hope and purpose. I'll keep failing when I do it on my own - so why not just give it all up to the Lord? Let Him take me and use me, wholly surrendered?

It's the basics of Christianity really. But that is my faith. I suppose we all need to go back to the basics sometimes. Refocus our eyes and our lives; make sure we're not just accepting grace but allowing it to transform us as we give everything we are over to the Lord.

"Now to him who is able to do far more abundantly than all that we ask or think, according to the power at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, forever and ever. Amen." - Ephesians 3:20-21


The Glorious Unseen

>> Wednesday, May 13, 2009

My roommate Bean shared a worship song with me the other day by The Glorious Unseen called 'Hear our Prayers'. I've been so blessed by it lately and am listening it to it nonstop. If you have a minute, check them out... let it play while your at work or making dinner. Worship music is one of my favorite ways to meet with the Lord and I pray you'll be blessed by it too!



Living to Display the Gospel: Check it!

>> Monday, May 4, 2009

Today we had our "Day with the Lord"... Yes. These are scheduled times for our whole team. We do them about once or twice a month. And they're awesome.

This morning was no different. I've been praying through a lot lately - more than I have time to write right now, but this morning before I started a podcast I prayed for a focused heart. For more purpose and goals. To know God deeper and understand him better. For intimacy and a heart for things that He has a heart for.

And, he answered. That and so much more. So many questions I've been challenged with in quiet times and prayers... I flipped back through my journal to see everything flowing together to lead up to listening to this sermon.

You may be in a completely different place spiritually, of course! But - I just wanted to share. If you have time... please listen to it! It'll be the best hour you spend this week, I promise! Love you guys...



2 Kings 5

>> Thursday, April 30, 2009

I've been reading (pretty slowly) through 2 Kings... and have been loving what God's been teaching me. Lately I've been thinking about selfishness and greed in my life - and was challenged by these verses:

(v. 20) "I will run after him and get something from him" - Elisha's servant , Gehazi, ran after Naaman to get some of the sweet goods that Elisha refused to take in payment for healing his leprosy. Immediately I saw his selfish, greedy attitude. Convciting. Man, what am I running after these days? What am I selfishly seeking? Where is greed popping it's ugly little head up in my life?

It's a constant battle to make Phillipians 2:3 true in my life: learning how to see others as more significant than myself. My pastor has been talking a lot of ministry (at least on the podcasts I've been listening to) and what it looks like to minister to others. I want that to be true of me: to use my life to bless. to edify. to give Christ. to give of myself. to seek the gain of others.

(vs. 25) "your servant went nowhere" - Gahazi's reply to Elisha's questioning of his whereabouts. This is exactly where I'll go with greed. In seeking my own gain: nowhere.

May we continue to pursue the things close to His heart and learn to truly lay down our lives for others.

blessings galore!!


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