Saturday, October 30, 2010

(Psalm 16:8) I have set the Lord ALWAYS before me....

I was/am really challenged by this verse. I came upon it the other day when reading KP Yohannan's The Lords Work Done in the Lord's way. Do I do I set the Lord ALWAYS before me? The answer came quickly and it was a resounding no. At the same time I was filled with a desire for the answer to change and become yes.

I have set the Lord ALWAYS before me. Before me in my desires, my wants, my actions, my EVERYTHING and on top on that not just sometimes but ALWAYS. I know this is something I can not do in the flesh. I want to be one who is set on studying my Master's mind. I want to always seek and inquire of God. I want to ask- Lord, is this the way you want your minsitry to function? Is this how you want me to serve you?

As I read the bible I see that waiting on God always precedes the unfolding of His plan or purpose. I have to be willing to sit as his feet to take time to come into His presence and hear form Him. Often I get busy and do not do this. In order for Psalm 16:8 to be true in my life I have to know God and be known by Him and this takes time. Time I want to give.

Jesus has already done this for us. He set us always before him, loving us so much that he was willing to die.

Psalm 16:8 is challenging me. I want this to be true of me!


Monday, August 30, 2010


It is weird being back in the US!!! Weird in so many awesome ways and weird in a bunch of not so good ways also. I feel like I am already super busy and it is just the first week of classes. What happened to things slowing down a little now that I am not teaching full-time and going to school full-time? That was one of the many things I thoroughly enjoyed about Nicaragua...time! We share the same 24 hours in a day but it seemed to me that life was slower, in a good way. People would come over unannounced "ahhh the horror".... YEP, unannounced!!

In fact it was expected that people would come over and just do "life" with you. There were no specific preparations or plans. People would just work together, sit together, eat together, go get water together....whatever happened to be going on you were made a part of. In the evenings people sat and talked or read aloud to one another. LOVED IT!

Then again, I am very thankful to be back and have HOT showers...he he! I think that is the wonderful thing about traveling internationally, you have the opportunity to live life in a different way. Maybe better, maybe worse, maybe just different. Such a neat thing to do.

I am making a video from my time in Nicaragua. Nothing fancy but I should post it on here and facebook soon. I have had so many people interested to see and hear about the Cool! God did some amazing things in me, through me, and all around me! To Him be the glory!

In some ways it is hard being back because I find myself getting used to the comforts of the US once again. When I first got back into town I was incredibly embarrassed by the amount of clothing that I had in my closet.

NO way I could wear it all IN SIX MONTHS..YEP...embarassed!!!

The other day I found myself at Target and I almost bought a shirt that I thought was cute. WHAT????
I don't need a shirt. I have a bazillion shirts. Not that it is bad to buy a shirt...I am sure I will buy a new shirt one of these days....probably one day soon. It is simply the principle. I can give away alot and still have more than I need. Why have I not given some of this stuff away?????? I need to do that AND continue to do it when I have more than I can use!!!

Then, there is this small nagging of a feeling that in some way I am still gone. Not sure if that makes sense but even with my family and friends I feel like for some reason I have not yet had enough time with them. I still feel distant. I feel like I need weeks of time to just hang out with them uniterrupted and catch up. I know that catching up will happen slowly...I was gone for 8 months and I can never fully catch up from 8 is just an interesting dynamic. I have urges to stand up and give them all a really long bear hug. I missed them!

On another note, it is so AMAZING to be back at my home church. I missed the body so greatly. These people encourage me, love on me, and hold me accountable. I have missed singing praise to God with them, missed praying with them, missed going through the good and the bad with them. I praise God for Living Hope and the sister Churches of New Life and Living Hope Bryan. If you are not involved in a local church body...JOIN ONE! God desires for us to have this type of awesome! I blessed to get to live with a group of ladies that go to one of these churches and it is so nice to know that they are praying for me and I for them.

Okay, enough for now.

Off to do other grade papers....yuck!

Friday, August 20, 2010

Full Acceptance!

I am back in the US! Sorry for he slowness of this posting. It has been a fast and furious month of packing Loren and Karen to move to Chile, unpacking myself here in the US, visiting family and friends (packing and unpacking with some of them...hint Melodi..ha), and so on. It has been wonderful to be back and see those that I love and difficult to be back and miss those that I love in Nicaragua. Still, I am glad to be here because I know that this is where God wants me for right now. I am excited for the semester to start and to meet my new group of college students and to get to catch up with many of you!

1st off I want to say a huge THANK YOU!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I have been so blessed by God over the last 8 month journey and so many of you have prayed for me, financially supported me, encouraged me, checked in one me, and made me feel loved and cared for. I am humbled and blessed to know you and be loved by you...thank you!

Currently, I am back at A&M teaching all my fun classes once again...YEA! I am also praying over where God wants to use me in the future. For now I am asking about one day at a time. I have a meeting in September with the International Mission you can be praying for a sensitive heart to the HS for both myself and the IMB representative as to where God is leading.

There is one thing that I am for sure of wherever I am:

The saying is trustworthy and deserving of full acceptance, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners, of whom I am the foremost. But I received mercy for this reason, that in me, as the foremost, Jesus Christ might display his perfect patience as an example to those who were to believe in him for eternal life. (1 Timothy 1: 15-16)

I amd in full acceptance of this scripture and this is really where God is showing me that I should be spiritually regardless of where I am physically. Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners......people like me...messed up in their thinking and in their selfishness...sinners of whom I am the foremost. And I received Christ's mercy for one reason, that I foremost of sinners, might display his perfect patience as an example to those who are to believe!!!

I was not given mercy just for me! God loves the world...every nation, tribe, and tongue. God gave me mercy so that I can in turn share with others about His greatness and glory. That I can tell others about this life I have found that is fuller, richer, and greater than anything I could have desired or accomplished on my own accord.

There is so much more to share and I will as time goes on. I am going to keep up with the blog..yippee!

With a thankful heart,

Thursday, July 15, 2010

A Beautiful Exhaustion!

So much has happened in the last four weeks that I have put off writing for a few days because I didn't even know where to start. However, there is one thing that keeps coming up. One thing that I do know.

God is working!

"Jesus said to them, My Father is always at His work to this very day, and I, too, am working." (John 5:17)

Throughout the last few weeks I have been "on" pretty much all the time. I was leading (with lots of help) groups of 40+ people. Also, I had the honor to be a prayer partner for Melodi while she was with the Living Hope team in Haiti. It was so neat to hear about how God is working in Haiti while at the same time being in awe of all that God is doing here in Nicaragua. What is so incredible to me is that while my body and mind were in a state of complete exhaustion, my spirit was in a complete state of awe. Do you know what an amazing God we serve?

I mean seriously think about it for a moment. The God we serve is us, around us, through us (if we let Him) ALL the time and ALL over the world! I think sometimes I get this narrow view of where or how God is working. Well, not the past few weeks. God is drawing people to Himself all around the world. God is doing miracles, changing lives, forgiving, healing, moving mountains!

Each night our large group would get together and talk about all the ways in which we had seen God move that day. Sometimes we would talk for hours about all that we had seen God do. I was so encouraged by listening to others and by giving the glory to God for all He is doing.

I wish I could share it all with you. I wish I could give you eyes to see into me so that I could show you all that God has done. I think that is often what many people think when they get home from a mission trip. How do you explain to the people you love, to those around you, about all you have witnessed? You can't! There is no way they can know....truly know. At the same time, that doesn't mean we shouldn't try. Every time someone hears the excitement in my voice, the look of awe in my eye, or the lack of words to express how great my God is they will gain a glimpse into His goodness.

Yes, I have been exhausted. Yes, I have slept on hard surfaces. Yes, I have been hot...dirty....eaten up by mosquitos...sick at my stomach....and so on. And all I can say is....Yes, I am overwhelmed by God's goodness.... My cup overflowth!

That doesn't make sense.
Oh, but it does.

Anyone who has gone out for the sake of the gospel is shaking their head right now. They understand exactly what I am saying. They know that God is working. They know that God allowing us a small glimpse into His goodness is overwhelming.

I am in a state of beautiful heart is full of praise!

Psalm 148

Praise the Lord!
Praise the Lord from the heavens,
Praise him in the heights!
Praise him, all the angels;
Praise him, all the hosts!

Praise him, sun and moon,
Praise him, all you shinning stars!
Praise him, you highest heavens,
and you waters above the heavens!

Let them praise the name of the Lord!
For he commanded and they were created.
And he established them forever and ever;
he gave a decree, and it shall not pass away.

Priase the Lord from the earth,
you great sea creatures and all deeps,
fire and hail, snow and mist, stormy wind fulling his word!

Mountains and all hills,
fruit trees and all cedars!
Beasts and all livestock,
creeping things and flying birds!

Kings of the earth and all peoples,
princes and all rulers of the earth!
Young men and maidens together,
old men and children!

Let them praise the name of the Lord,
for his name alone is exalted;
his majesty is above the earth and heaven.

He has raised up a horn for his people,
praise for all his saints,
for the pople of Israel who are near to him.
Praise the Lord!

The man holding the bible is Sergio, a man very dear to my heart. I turned around one day on a hike and saw these 2 men kneeling in the middle of a dirt path on the side of the mountain. They prayed together and this man accepted Jesus as his savior. Sergio saw me and called me over. He said to the man, "I would like for you to meet your new sister in Chirst!" Sergio has been out with the past 7 teams...7 weeks in a row....a beautiful exhaustion!!!!

Saturday, June 26, 2010

Ocotal Area!

God is working mightly in the Ocotal area of Nicaragua. We are heading back out with 4 more teams to the same area in the morning. It is a mix of teams from different areas and a mix of ages so be praying for unity within the group.

We are passing out a study guide that one of the IMB missionaries made to go along with a radio program that will air for 12 weeks througout rural areas of Nicaragua. The guide shares the gospel and then also goes through some discipleship. This is great for rural areas that often don't have a church close enough to attend. It is also wonderful for those who can not read. Almost everyone has access to a radio.

Last week we had 2 groups in the Ocotal area and we passed out the study guide in 42 communities. Many people have already called the surrounding churches asking for information because they read the guide and accepted Christ. We had about 25 people accept Jesus just from the days we were passing out the guide!

Pray for us as we go back out. Pray for the Lord to open more hearts to the truth of His word. Pray for wisdom and energy for me and the other leaders as we have been going non-stop. I am so excited to see what the Lord is going to continue to do in this area and I am beyond excited about all that He has already done! Okay, more later... it is 1:00am and I am still not packed. Here are a few pictures from last week. (The first picture is of a couple of young men reading the study guide we had just given them)

Thursday, June 10, 2010

An Amazing Week!

I was so blessed by the team this week. It is such a sweet thing to spend time with others who are wanting evermore to be fully surrendered to the gospel. We had such awesome times of bible study, discussion, and encouragement. We went to Nawahwas and Las Canaes to spread the gospel. It was really sweet that one of the team members Jared had gone to Las Canaes a couple of years ago and there was only one believer. Now, the church is growing and the message is being spread. One of the men that walked with us from house to house had only been a believer for 5 months and it was incredible to see his excitement to share the bible with his community. What a sweet time for Jared to be able to come back once again and share the love of Jesus with this community.

I want to tell you about an experience in which God showed me a small glimpse into how He has compassion on us. One very hot afternoon (all days were very hot, it is 100% humity in this community and your clothes are soaked with sweat even if you are just sitting in the shade) we gathered together with the local Nicas for a fun game of baseball. I decided not to play and to spend some time with the locals who where watching the game. I met this sweet little girl!

Isn't she beautiful?
As she came running up to see us I thought to myself "what a pretty little girl." I saw her running towards me and and my heart was filled with joy to have the privlige to get to spend time with her. As she began to warm up to me she would jump on my lap or touch my hands or face. At one point I made her laugh and she threw her head back and giggled with a huge grin.

This is what I saw inside that beautiful little girl's sweet mouth.

My heart grimmaced, it actually ached for her.
Now, this is not an uncommon sight here in Nicaragua. In fact, her teeth are better than some. However, for some reason at that moment my heart hurt for her because of her rotting teeth. Even though these are her baby teeth and new teeth will come is likely they will end up in the same shape as these teeth. Many nicaraguans go through much pain and infection due to the rotting of their teeth. What God later showed me as I had some down time was that this is often how He sees me.

I saw this beautiful sweet child who my made my heart happy coming towards me. As she smiled that big happy grin my heart clinched because I could she the rotting teeth and I knew the pain she would have to endure because of it.

I think that this is maybe a incredibly small glimpse of how God must see me. I am His child, who make His heart happy, running towards Him and yet He can see the sin inside of me that is rotten and wicked and His heart clinches and aches for me because He wants the best for me. He loves me and desires for me to be His, to live in the grace and mercy He has freely given me through the sending of His son Jesus to die on the cross for me. Yet, I often instead choose to live in my rotteness - to pursue my own fleshy desires and to satisfy myself and I grieve Him because He loves me so dearly and has compassion on me. Yet, a time is coming, and will come when there will be no more compassion.

For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send his Son to condem the world, but in order that the world might be saved through him. Whowever believes in him is not condemened, but whoever does not believe is condemed already, because he has not believed in the name of the Only Son of God. John 3:16-18.

Whoever does not believe in the name of the Only Son of God is condemed already........that was me before I was saved, that was you before you were saved, that IS you if you are not saved. Jesus is the name of the Only Son of God and the bible says that Jesus states:

I am the way, the truth, and the life and NO ONE comes to the Father EXCEPT THROUGH ME. John 14:6

We often don't like to talk about it so bluntly beacuse it seems like such as harsh gospel. Yet that is because we don't see it as it truly is....we all deserve Hell, we are all sinners and in His GOODNESS God has made a way for us to come to Him and be restored through his son Jesus Christ.
As I spent the afternoon with this beautiful little girl my hearts cry was , "please Lord open her heart to the gospel, save!" In your goodness and grace open her heart because my heart aches for her because of her teeth.....wait, rewind....did I just say her teeth?
Yep, it ached for her teeth and the pain it would cause her in the future. Oh, how much more deeply my soul crys out for her real future that will be after this life.

Those who do not know God will suffer the punsihment of eternal destruction, away from the presence of the Lord....2 Thessalonians 1:9

Your word says that you are returning and on that day you will judge. Oh, God open our eyes to the truth of the gospel! Let every believer take your word to be truth and share this truth with those around them who are lost and dying to eternal separation from you. Have mercy on us Father and open our eyes to your calling. You have called us to share the message of truth with others!
Please God raise up workers for your kingdom..... so that a little girl in a community that does not even appear on the map of Nicaragua may come to know you and then share you with her sweet little brother

and that he might share ....and on and on!

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

You can't outgive God!!!

Wow, things are moving fast around here. So much has happened since my last post. Teams are coming in and going out while so much is going on in the middle of their stay. My heart is ever more burdened for the lost. The harvest is ripe and the workers are few. Matthew 9:(36) When He saw the crowds, He had compassion on them, because they were harassed and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd. (37)Then He said to his disciples, "The harvest is plentiful but the workers are few. (38)Ask the Lord of the harvest, therefore, to send out workers into His harvest field."

God is teaching me so much. Big, powerful thoughts...yet so simple. Such as, Do you believe the Bible? No, I mean do you REALLY believe the Bible?

If my answer to that is yes (which it is) then it must change the way that I live. It must change the way I think, act, pray, everything must change. I can't just live comfortably in my house, surrounded by all my stuff, and pretend that the bible and what it says is not impacting. It is impacting! It impacts everything! It impacts eternity!

I could go on and on about thoughts such as these because God is challenging me greatly. He is challenging me in many ways.... one way is through this sermon series/book. I challenge you to check it out! Here is the link to the videos or the book (Radical) which you can buy for around $12.
This is an 8 sermon series called RADICAL. So incredible, so biblical!

More about the series later! I am still processing alot of it myself and would love to process along with you if you have read the book or listened to the series feel free to leave comments.

On another note, God sure can give beyond measure! I never dreamed that through my obedience to God by coming here to Nicaragua that I would be blessed so amazingly. I have been able to see God's creation so clearly and so beautifully. I have been where few people have walked. I have stood on mountain tops and walked along the sea shores. I have prayed in wooden homes tucked in valleys holding the hands of people whose words I don't understand all the while smiling because I know that our Father in heaven hears and understands. I have held children in my arms whose little hands cling to mine and faces beam with smiles that we have come to their homes, homes that few come to visit. Oh, God...who am I that you are mindful of me? Who am I that you would desire to use me? I am in awe of your goodness.

When I look at your heavens, the work of your fingers, the moon and the stars, which you have set in place, what is man that you are mindful of him, and the son of man that you care for him. (Psalm 8:3-4)