Wednesday, July 31, 2013
One thing I am sure of, is that I can’t love God wrong.
I don’t know if I forgot anything, I don’t know if there is a missing paper, or a snack.
I got my passport, my bible, my pillowcase my momma embroidered, clean underwear, and my water bottle. At this point what else do I need?
A tranquilizer would be nice. LOL.
I’m so nervous.
But this trip is all about love. It isn’t about tasks, it’s about love. And loving relationally instead of taskingly is hard for me. You might not believe it but I promise that to be true.
There was a lot going on this morning. Everyone is one the plane, the bags are hopefully on the plane too. LOL and arrive when we do.
I’m hoping that the tree that holds my fruit, grows deeper roots and expands to reach many.
I’m trying not to cry but to be honest, I just want to.
This is going to be wild, it’s going to be great, and it’s going to be full of Him.
You know my heart, you know that all this preparation to get here was so that we could love you more, that we could spread your love further. Please let me not forget that, and if I do, let it be painful and let me repent quickly. Let it be painful like shoes too tight, but when I am with You, let it be like my favorite comfy cute shoes. God lead me so I can lead others. God let Your word speak so sweetly and strong to my heart that it radiates there, and then radiates onto others. Protect me from the plans of the enemy. Let me love bigger than ever before.
Jesus, I love You so much! I thank You for all that You’ve done in my life. Let my life be an offering to You.
And Jesus, please let there be Starbucks within close proximity to me when we land in Miami.
In jesus name I pray.
Here I go!!
Sunday, July 28, 2013
Saturday, July 27, 2013
Friday, July 26, 2013
Thursday, July 25, 2013
Sunday, July 21, 2013
Friday, July 19, 2013
You know why the city of Detroit is in such a mess? The people of the city tried to do it their way… they pushed God out. Ok, there I said it. Hate me all you want for loving Jesus. People don’t want to do anything that takes them out of their self-centeredness. Greed, laziness, hate… blah blah. But there is still hope.
I love the city. Even though my life has been in danger more than once in the city. I’d choose to do anything there (and if I thought that paying for a sporting event was worth it, I’d do that more often). I grocery shop (THANK YOU WHOLE FOODS!!!), eat, hang out, buy Starbucks (I loveyou Billy!), and do whatever I can, in the city. And best yet… there is no stupid walmart (I hate walmart!).
I hate it that people can stand around and say “that needs fixing” but don’t go get their hammer or whatever tools necessary to fix it. No matter what city it is. Yes, we pay taxes, but everyone knows we all want to pay the minimum amount of taxes as possible. Parks get over run with debri, grass gets long, people spray paint. It’s up to you and me to do something about it! A few years back, a house in my neighborhood was abandoned and the grass was about 6 inches high with tons of notices on the door (hello, the house is abandoned, who was going to read them), I pushed my lawn mower two blocks, and mowed it. It wasn’t ok with me that was going on. Please note… I don’t even cut my own grass!!!
But it’s not just about what’s going on in the parks and streets. People need to be loved and cared about. Because THEY MATTER!!!! They don’t need welfare, they need a lunch mom to feed them a good meal, love on them, tell them they are special, long term invest not jet fly by with a bunch of “stuff” they might need (though I have totally been known to do that – but someone has to pay the bill). They need to be read to, and sung to, and educated. Someone to teach them from the top of their heads to the bottom of their feets that they are important. That no matter what they do, they are loved no matter what (maybe not their behavior but they are!) They need Jesus!
I’m not great human being, I am someone who knows what God has done for her, and wants to serve Him.
My fabulous dad who taught me about the city? He also taught me that hard work and integrity is important.
So I say to you… what are you doing to make the world around you a better place?
If not me, then who, if not now, then when?
So you haters of the city? Stop hating. Nothing good. NOT ONE THING comes from hate. Love. Love is where it’s at.
and if you spend yourselves in behalf of the hungry
and satisfy the needs of the oppressed,
then your light will rise in the darkness,
and your night will become like the noonday.
And… thank you article writer, I’m even more ready to get the ball rolling on the community center!
Tuesday, July 16, 2013
But I was just listening to “Accidentally in Love” song and it’s the silliest of songs. I mean how do you fall Accidentally in Love? I mean come on. I mean maybe some people do, but I think love is deliberate. Maybe I don’t just accidentally love. Maybe for me, I am passionate about love. Sometime ago, I fell in love with someone as I found myself chasing her to make sure she was safe, I remember just praying as a I was running, “Please God, don’t let anything happen to her”. That love was not accidental. And I never met the girl in my life. But clearly, God put her in my path, it was not accidental.
In my cubicle at work, I have tons of quotes, pictures, one of them is this:
It may seem that love comes easy for me, but it doesn’t. It’s important to me so I go the extra mile, and sometimes I’m tired. And sometimes I just have to love me and say “no more” and just “be". I work at love. I choose to live love.
Today I let go of someone I loved. I loved us both enough to say “goodbye”. It was hard. But it was necessary, because sometimes love is hard. And in order to move on to the next thing that God has for us, we look at it fondly, we put it in our memory box, and we say “good-bye” because that’s what’s best. Not always easiest, but best.
So I don’t think love is ever accidental, I think it’s a choice, it’s a choice to choose to serve and love someone else more than we love ourselves with a perfect Christ like love. It’s hard and gritty…
And worth it.
1 John 4:7-19 7 Dear friends, let us love one another, for love comes from God. Everyone who loves has been born of God and knows God. 8 Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love. 9 This is how God showed his love among us: He sent his one and only Son into the world that we might live through him. 10 This is love: not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins. 11 Dear friends, since God so loved us, we also ought to love one another. 12 No one has ever seen God; but if we love one another, God lives in us and his love is made complete in us.
13 This is how we know that we live in him and he in us: He has given us of his Spirit. 14 And we have seen and testify that the Father has sent his Son to be the Savior of the world. 15 If anyone acknowledges that Jesus is the Son of God, God lives in them and they in God. 16 And so we know and rely on the love God has for us.
God is love. Whoever lives in love lives in God, and God in them. 17 This is how love is made complete among us so that we will have confidence on the day of judgment: In this world we are like Jesus. 18 There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear, because fear has to do with punishment. The one who fears is not made perfect in love.
19 We love because he first loved us.
A few years back I got a square box with a handle on it from someone anonymous. I actually wish I knew who it was so I could thank them personally. I LOVE THIS BOX/BAG! I use it all the time! I mostly use it when I am serving others. It perfectly holds plates/bowls and plastic ware, & napkins. It’s almost always packed with that so when I am serving dinner or something, it’s ready to go!
Today I was searching my house for some kind of bag to carry the 21 pounds of sloppy joes I needed to bring to work and then to My Brother’s Keeper tonight. That’s not an easy task, cooking it was the easy part, finding a bag sturdy enough to carry it all in one trip, now that was tricky.
That box/bag has served me well over the years. It has been my side kick in serving others. It reminds me that I am loved even when I don’t know who is loving me. That sometimes we don’t see love but it is there. We have to hold on to it.
And sometimes the opposite is true. People say how much they love us but do things that can get us into trouble, they hurt us, and cause us harm. And sometimes we love those people but we have to open our hands and let go because honestly, it’s just what is best for us, and God has something so much better for us!
What to hold on to, and what to let go of, that’s a lesson, an on going lesson. Not an easy one, but a great one, nonetheless.
Learning to love, outside the box!
Sunday, July 14, 2013
Saturday, July 13, 2013
Friday, July 12, 2013
I can’t even put all my feelings that are inside me into words.
Yesterday I almost cried 4 times when introducing my dad at Missions Night. I was so glad he was there (though I don’t know how much he actually LIKED it, but I was thankful that he was there!!). I also had my empty buckets family and so many of my church family. I could barely contain my excitement (I didn’t). I was so tired and so weary, and stressing myself out and in my weariness and thirstiness God shows up with this amazing drink of cold water to revive me! He really is the living water, and He sent my family with a huge BUCKET full of water!
We leave for Detroit in 10 days and we leave for Haiti in 19 days! I am excited for both. People usually focus on the Haiti trip but seriously, my heart is super overflowing for both. I can’t wait!
I’m starting to come down with some weird stuffy nose and that’s annoying… but I guess if I didn’t have a nose… I wouldn’t have a stuffy one LOL!
I found out the craziest thing… and I am not sure what to do with the information. I mean I am glad I have it, but I cried and cried and cried. Ugh. God will work it out, even with that nonsense, I feel so incredibly blessed. I don’t know! It’s not like things are easy, things are never easy, but I do hard things, in obedience to be more like God created me to be. There are things I struggle so much with, but I know that while I wait for those things, because I love God, and He will provide my every need. EVERY SINGLE ONE!
I was doing my study yesterday and it was talking about threshing. I am studying the story of Gideon and it says that in that time, wise farmers could be found threshing – separating the meaty, nutrient-rich grain from the light airy, and useless chaff.
Of course that seems like a totally normal thing right? I mean, if I were a farmer, why would I want light airy and useless chaff. Well, I’m not a farmer, surely NOT in the literal sense of the word. I doubt I could make it longer than a month as a real farmer. Milking cows, cleaning up poop, harvesting all the produce, NO THANK YOU! I might wreck my shellac manicure and surely there are no cute shoes for farming (and you know that’s right!). But God has called me to go into the world and make disciples, it says in Matthew 9:35-38
35 Jesus went through all the towns and villages, teaching in their synagogues, proclaiming the good news of the kingdom and healing every disease and sickness.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.”
There are SO many people who need Jesus. What if I was to plant the crop as a farmer and let it sit there and rot? That would be dumb now wouldn’t it be? What if a whole crop was planted and it was my job to harvest it? well, that would be wrong to leave it there. Sometimes I think my job is to plant the seeds (tell people about Jesus and what He has done in my life), sometimes I am called to water the seeds (encourage), sometimes to reap harvest. I don’t think there is one job at any given time that is more important than another.
But I must be a wise farmer.
I must remove the light, airy, and useless chaff from my life. I know that maybe think I’m too intense about things, that I plan too much. But I think it is indeed how God created me, He allowed many things to happen to me, to prepare me for such a time as this (Esther 4:14).
There are many things that I am letting go, removing from my life because it is light, airy, and useless… Ain’t nobody got time for that (HA!) I need to focus on the things that bring me great joy really are from the Lord! My friend Ej yesterday said he didn’t think he had ever seen me as excited as I was yesterday. It’s true, my heart was overflowing with love. If only I could find a way to go on ALL the missions trips! WOW! Now wouldn’t that be something!
Each day brings new lessons, what to add and what to remove from my life. It reminds me of John 15:4 when it says that we must ABIDE in Him:
Abide in Me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in Me.
Just like when I am not connected with God, I want it to be painful like shoes that are too tight, but when I am close, I want it to be like that perfectly fitting, my favorite sass shoes that just make me feel… well awesome! I want to abide in Him, whatever that looks like.
I don’t know what God has planned for me, but I will continue to walk in obedience while I am waiting.
Thursday, July 11, 2013
It’s been an incredible spring/summer. I feel like I got one week off, winter retreat and then missions! As my nephew Zion would say “whoa” with the cutest face!!! It’s what I call “go time” this is the time when it’s crazy amazing busy! And this is where the rubber meets the road. This is the final weeks of preparation, and then… BAM, it’s time to love like crazy.
My favorite song right now is “this summer” by Brad Paisley. It’s such a cute song, and an even cuter video.
I wonder how anything can beat last summer! 3 mission trips! HUNDREDS of hugs! I’ll never forget that little angel in El Salvador that I could not get to smile, and on the last day… the cutest smile ever! I never worked so hard for a smile in my life!
I won’t lie, I am tired! And I have so many people praying for me! Honestly, I just think I’m just this ordinary schlep who has been called to love extra-ordinarily! I don’t know why on earth God would have ever picked me to get to love others, it seems so amazing!!! I’ve got all this crazy stuff rolling around in my head, it’s absolutely nuts.
Thinking about hugging those kids and snuggling up with muffins in one of the hottest places on earth is SOOOOO exciting to me!! I cannot wait to kiss them every night and say “I love you, and I love you, and I love you” over and over again!!! OH MAN!
I don’t know what the rest of the summer holds, but once again, I hope that I love bigger than ever before, I also hope that I feel God’s love more and more everyday! I hope that as I am loved, that love overflows onto others! I hope that I learn to feel a love I’ve never felt before, I pray that God continues to heal the hurts of my heart and uses me to help others have healing too!
Wednesday, July 10, 2013
I’m just going to warn you, this will not be one of those I super love Jesus posts where everyone gets a toothache.
This is one of those “I super love Jesus but I’m super tired” posts. The kind that you will read, I am clinging to Jesus with both hands, and when I lose my grip, I know, He’s got me.
My stomach hurts all the time. I don’t always feel like I’m gonna puke but this morning, I sat on the edge of the bathtub and thought “I’m not sure if I can get up”. I don’t know what I would do if I ate garbage because I’d never make it. I find myself hating to eat though, I’m starving (and I think my blood sugar may have dropped earlier because I was super shakey) so I eat, but I don’t really feel like it.
Whether you do or don’t believe in spiritual warfare, it’s real. And it started with the enemy and a pellet gun, I think that little booger may have moved on to an oozie. I’ve had to do some really hard things in the last couple days. I did them both, and once again, God proved Himself faithful (not that I had any doubt). Yesterday I felt Iike I was too tired to make taco seasoning. My block and others may have been annoyed by no power, but honestly, I felt like it was a gift from God because I had to go out to eat for dinner. Maybe I’m stupid that I see the gifts of God in everything, but I refuse not to be thankful.
I know that some of you who read this will say “what can I help you with?” the question is I don’t know. I have to go grocery shopping next Saturday for The Mission Trip around 2pm, want to keep me company and pull a cart?? And help me haul it all into the building. I usually take 3 people with me, that’s how much stuff I get!!! Imagine doing that all by myself? It’s overwhelming just thinking about it. Imagine buying cookies/chips for 85 people and everything else for 5 days. That’s a lot of cookies and chips!! And hoping no one breaks into it before the trip (I am thankful for cameras at the church now).
MY FOOT HURTS! So much that I haven’t been running on it. I don’t know how I will make it through the Detroit Mission Trip without miracleous healing, I am not kidding. With no feet problems, my feet feel like bloody stumps by Wednesday as it is… what on earth am I going to do? And no, I am not going to the doctor. They will put me in a boot. How is that for logic?
I am so excited for these trips, I’m just tired. As crazy as everyone thought I was, I am thankful that all the Haiti supplies are packed! How would I do all that??
Please pray for me.
God will lift me up.
1 Do not fret because of those who are evil
or be envious of those who do wrong;
2 for like the grass they will soon wither,
like green plants they will soon die away.
3 Trust in the Lord and do good;
dwell in the land and enjoy safe pasture.
4 Take delight in the Lord,
and he will give you the desires of your heart.
5 Commit your way to the Lord;
trust in him and he will do this:
6 He will make your righteous reward shine like the dawn,
your vindication like the noonday sun.
7 Be still before the Lord
and wait patiently for him;
do not fret when people succeed in their ways,
when they carry out their wicked schemes.
8 Refrain from anger and turn from wrath;
do not fret—it leads only to evil.
9 For those who are evil will be destroyed,
but those who hope in the Lord will inherit the land.
10 A little while, and the wicked will be no more;
though you look for them, they will not be found.
11 But the meek will inherit the land
and enjoy peace and prosperity.
12 The wicked plot against the righteous
and gnash their teeth at them;
13 but the Lord laughs at the wicked,
for he knows their day is coming.
14 The wicked draw the sword
and bend the bow
to bring down the poor and needy,
to slay those whose ways are upright.
15 But their swords will pierce their own hearts,
and their bows will be broken.
16 Better the little that the righteous have
than the wealth of many wicked;
17 for the power of the wicked will be broken,
but the Lord upholds the righteous.
18 The blameless spend their days under the Lord’s care,
and their inheritance will endure forever.
19 In times of disaster they will not wither;
in days of famine they will enjoy plenty.
20 But the wicked will perish:
Though the Lord’s enemies are like the flowers of the field,
they will be consumed, they will go up in smoke.
21 The wicked borrow and do not repay,
but the righteous give generously;
22 those the Lord blesses will inherit the land,
but those he curses will be destroyed.
23 The Lord makes firm the steps
of the one who delights in him;
24 though he may stumble, he will not fall,
for the Lord upholds him with his hand.
25 I was young and now I am old,
yet I have never seen the righteous forsaken
or their children begging bread.
26 They are always generous and lend freely;
their children will be a blessing.[b]
27 Turn from evil and do good;
then you will dwell in the land forever.
28 For the Lord loves the just
and will not forsake his faithful ones.
Wrongdoers will be completely destroyed[c];
the offspring of the wicked will perish.
29 The righteous will inherit the land
and dwell in it forever.
30 The mouths of the righteous utter wisdom,
and their tongues speak what is just.
31 The law of their God is in their hearts;
their feet do not slip.
32 The wicked lie in wait for the righteous,
intent on putting them to death;
33 but the Lord will not leave them in the power of the wicked
or let them be condemned when brought to trial.
34 Hope in the Lord
and keep his way.
He will exalt you to inherit the land;
when the wicked are destroyed, you will see it.
35 I have seen a wicked and ruthless man
flourishing like a luxuriant native tree,
36 but he soon passed away and was no more;
though I looked for him, he could not be found.
37 Consider the blameless, observe the upright;
a future awaits those who seek peace.[d]