He’s alive

April 12, 2009 at 10:14 am (Uncategorized)

It has been a long time since I’ve read the resurrection story on my own and actually felt emotional. I feel so cold and heartless admitting that, but somehow I’ve grown accustomed to the sacrifice of the Cross and the power it holds. For some reason, it seems so odd that so much focus is put on the resurrection. True, Jesus is alive, and what an incredible miracle that it is. But it seems so easy to glaze over the sacrifice. We call it “Good Friday” but certainly we’re missing something. Thank you Father for the sacrifice, but can we really call the necessity of that GOOD? This is the day redemption came to all people (good) but at what cost? Can we call it good that such a sacrifice was needed? The wickedness brought on by the fall of mankind finally came to a point of desperation. Is it good that evil needed a Savior? Easter is such an awkward holiday to me. New dresses, easter eggs, bunny rabbits. When did it become about us? Why do we buy an easter outfit and set it aside to “for sure” be at church and spend time with families? Why don’t we spend time acknowledging our depravity and praising the Lord for His grace? Why do we treat it so nonchalantly, as though the first thing Jesus did was get a new outfit. There was no time! The people who had mourned the death of the Messiah were too busy running around telling everyone that they’d seen Him alive. Instead of wallowing in the traditions our culture participates in, why do we not live IN His resurrection? Yes, He is alive! But, shouldn’t we question whether or not He is living in us? Is He alive in me? Do I allow Him to live in me in order to fulfill His purpose? Do I consistently have a thankful attitude for all that He has rescued me from? Instead of buying new shoes to “dress the part” of Easter, perhaps I should continually be living the part of Easter.
I’m staring at a 15 foot cross covered in flowers. It seems so out of place. A) this isn’t a funeral B) no one decorated the cross. Why can we not focus on the Truth instead of trying to decorate the gospel? Should we not focus on taking the gospel instead of making it look nice? While the church is out shopping for their “Sunday Best,” the rest of the world is waiting for someone to tell them that they can come in anything. “If we tarry until we’re better, we will never come at all.” When God told Jesus to get up, I don’t think He was only talking to Him. I think the command was universal. Die to your sin, get up, and remove your grave clothes.

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my story

April 5, 2009 at 10:48 pm (Uncategorized)

I’m working through a partnership with a great church (no, I’m not biased) and wanted to share two things I had to write for the application process. I want you to know my heart as I pursue G-d’s calling.

My Testimony:

I had the privilege of growing up in a Chr-st–n home with two loving parents. My mom and dad gave their lives to Chr-st right after I was born, and have been very transparent in their faith. I have always been quite stubborn and a bit cynical. Early on, I struggled with a low self-image, feeling unworthy, depression, and anxiety. As long as I can remember, fear has been my constant companion.

As the granddaughter of a Southern Baptist preacher, salvation and baptism seemed to be an inevitable expectation. When I was nine, I did as my brother had: I prayed with my grandfather and went home to be baptized. I had spent several years in GA’s, Sunday School, and Bible Drill (State Champ!). The knowledge of Chr-st had sunk into my brain, but hadn’t quite made it to my heart.

During eighth grade, depression and anxiety hit hard. I was dealing with unpleasant childhood memories, rough circumstances, and the typical growing pains. I didn’t completely understand what I was dealing with, but I knew I was sinking. One morning (January 20, 1998), in a Big Brother/Big Sister meeting, I sat in a corner alone. I had heard for so long that there was a difference between head knowledge and heart commitment, and in that moment the blinders fell off. I didn’t pr-y a magic pr-y-r, or say the words we’re all so familiar with. I simply told the L-rd I knew I couldn’t do it myself and I didn’t want to be alone anymore. The circumstances I was in and the obstacles I was working thru didn’t immediately go away, but I had peace and confidence that victory was attainable.

When I look back at the road behind me…the ruts and the bumps and the pits I’ve fallen into…it is so easy to feel ashamed of the path I took. As I get older, the L-rd repeatedly shows me grace. Although it would be easier to have had a smooth path, the lessons I’ve learned are priceless. I have deep assurance that I am loved. When all else fails, I know the L-rd stays right beside me. I know that trials will continue to come, but on this side of salvation, I can rest in the fact that I can face my fears with strength.

The call to ministry:

I struggle with pinpointing a particular moment when I was called to ministry. A couple of years ago, the L-rd specifically dealt with me in terms of my vocation choice. Since that moment, I know that He has called me to a life of people. As I have continued to grow in my relationship with Chr-st and learn more about Him, I am struck by His heart for the nations. I truly believe that the L-rd gifts each of us in a unique way, and we are responsible for discovering the purpose He calls us to. However, I also believe that, as children of G-d, we are continually called to a life of compassion. The Ch-rch at BattleCreek specifies that they help all people. Recently, the L-rd has been teaching me just how big the word all really is. It includes people on every continent, in every country, every city, every neighborhood, every village, every family. All people truly refers to all hearts. I have been incredibly privileged to travel to many different countries. I had the honor of working specifically with teenagers in the Tulsa Metro area when I was employed at TCABC. This past year, I have worked with elementary aged kids at a low income school. I’ve spent time in an Los Angeles AIDS hospice, a Tulsa emergency room, international orphanages, a Brazilian nursing home, the streets of Kenya, a clinic in Zambia, and many other places. Each time I journal thru those experiences, the L-rd shows me another piece of His heart. I cannot honestly say that the L-rd has called me to a certain country. My heart aches for orphans in Africa, but my heart also aches for the children of America. I ache for the tribes in the Amazon to know the Truth, but I also ache for family members to know the Truth. I will adopt children who have no family and teach them about the Father who loves them deeply, but I will also teach the children in my school about a Father that never leaves. I am so inspired by those who hold a country or a nation deeply in their heart, and commit their lives to reaching them for Chr-st. It is a huge blessing watching people give their lives to a specific cause. I can confidently say that the L-rd has opened this specific opportunity to work with these specific kids. I cannot deny His call in this instant anymore than I can deny His call to a lifestyle of compassion.

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