Tuesday, September 22, 2009

AFRICA AFRICA AFRICA EVERYWHERE I LOOK!

Isaiah 65:24 Before they call, I will answer.

This beautiful story was written by a doctor who worked in Central Africa

One night I had worked hard to help a mother in the labor ward; but in spite of all we could do, she died, leaving us with a tiny, premature baby and a crying two-year-old daughter. We would have difficulty keeping the baby alive; as we had no incubator (we had no electricity to run an incubator). We also had no special feeding facilities..

Although we lived on the equator, nights were often chilly with treacherous drafts. One student midwife went for the box we had for such babies and the cotton wool that the baby would be wrapped in. Another went to stoke up the fire and fill a hot water bottle. She came back shortly in distress to tell me that in filling the bottle, it had burst (rubber perishes easily in tropical climates).

'And it is our last hot water bottle!' she exclaimed. As in the West, it is no good crying over spilled milk, so in Central Africa it might be considered no good crying over burst water bottles. They do not grow on trees, and there are no drugstores down forest pathways.

'All right,' I said, 'put the baby as near the fire as you safely can, and sleep between the baby and the door to keep it free from drafts. Your job is to keep the baby warm.'

The following noon, as I did most days, I went to have prayers with any of the orphanage children who chose to gather with me. I gave the youngsters various suggestions of things to pray about and told them about the tiny baby. I explained our problem about keeping the baby warm enough, mentioning the hot water bottle, and that the baby could so easily die if it got chills. I also told them of the two-year-old sister, crying because her mother had died.

During prayer time, one ten-year-old girl, Ruth, prayed with the usual blunt conciseness of our African children. 'Please, God' she prayed, 'Send us a hot water bottle today. It'll be no good tomorrow, God, as the baby will be dead, so please send it this afternoon.'

While I gasped inwardly at the audacity of the prayer, she added, 'And while You are about it, would You please send a dolly for the little girl so she'll know You really love her?'

As often with children's prayers, I was put on the spot. Could I honestly say 'Amen'? I just did not believe that God could do this. Oh, yes, I know that He can do everything; the Bible says so. But there are limits, aren't there? The only way God could answer this particular prayer would be by sending me a parcel from the homeland. I had been in Africa for almost four years at that time, and I had never, ever, received a parcel from home.
Anyway, if anyone did send me a parcel, who would put in a hot water bottle? I lived on the equator!
Halfway through the afternoon, while I was teaching in the nurses' training school, a message was sent that there was a car at my front door.. By the time I reached home, the car had gone, but there on the porch was a large 22-pound parcel. I felt tears pricking my eyes. I could not open the parcel alone, so I sent for the orphanage children. Together we pulled off the string, carefully undoing each knot. We folded the paper, taking care not to tear it unduly... Excitement was mounting. Some thirty or forty pairs of eyes were focused on the large cardboard box.

From the top, I lifted out brightly-colored, knitted jerseys. Eyes sparkled as I gave them out. Then there were the knitted bandages for the leprosy patients, and the children looked a little bored. Then came a box of mixed raisins and sultanas - that would make a batch of buns for the weekend.
Then, as I put my hand in again, I felt the..... could it really be?

I grasped it and pulled it out. Yes, a brand new, rubber hot water bottle. I cried. I had not asked God to send it; I had not truly believed that He could.

Ruth was in the front row of the children. She rushed forward, crying out, 'If God has sent the bottle, He must have sent the dolly, too!

'Rummaging down to the bottom of the box, she pulled out the small, beautifully-dressed dolly. Her eyes shone! She had never doubted! Looking up at me, she asked, 'Can I go over with you and give this dolly to that little girl, so she'll know that Jesus really loves her?'

'Of course,' I replied!

That parcel had been on the way for five whole months, packed up by my former Sunday school class, whose leader had heard and obeyed God's prompting to send a hot water bottle, even to the equator. And one of the girls had put in a dolly for an African child - five months before, in answer to the believing prayer of a ten-year-old to bring it 'that afternoon'.

'Before they call, I will answer.' (Isaiah 65:24)


Heavenly Father, I ask you to bless my friends reading this. I ask You to minister to their spirit. Where there is pain, give them Your peace and mercy. Where there is self doubting, release a renewed confidence to work through them.. Where there is tiredness or exhaustion, I ask You to give them understanding, guidance, and strength. Where there is fear, reveal Your love and release to them Your courage. Bless their finances, give them greater vision, and raise up leaders and friends to support and encourage them. Give each of them discernment to recognize the evil forces around them and reveal to them the power they have in You to defeat it. I ask You to do these things in Jesus' name. Amen.

Friday, September 4, 2009

GOD TORE THE CHECKLIST UP WHEN JESUS DIED ON THE CROSS


So, I haven't written on my wall in a couple of months and now I have written on it 2 days in a row! As I sit here waiting to leave to go to the beach for the weekend on a retreat, I think about what has been going on in my life, in my mind, and in my heart. My life is nothing big, just another dot in this world and yet it could be something big. But every day I struggle with the question "how is God going to use ME today?" but, that to me is not what it is about. Wednesday night I went to a bible study called "faith alone." Faith has been a HUGE BIG GINORMOUS part of my life but it hasn't ever been the ONLY part of my life. Is that what God calls us to? To have our faith be the only part of our lives? Yes. If we walked by faith alone, everything else would fall into place, we would desire to obey the ten commandments, to love God, to not look at other people's sins and we would recognize that is doesn't matter whether we "live or die, [because] to me living means living for Christ and dying is even better." Philippians 1:21. Living by faith alone is probably the most difficult thing we could ever try and do. So why are we called to do it? Because God loves us, he wants to see us make the decision to live, walk, and breathe faith. We need to QUIT worrying about other peoples sins, we need to QUIT comparing ourselves, and we need to QUIT living out a checklist. "if our religion is based on whether we drink or not, have sex or not, or do drugs or not, I don't want to be a part of it." (drew smith) I completely agree with this statement. I CAN'T DESCRIBE how much it hurts me to see people left our or looked down upon because we think we are better then him or her because we don't drink, or don't have sex, or don't go to frat parties, or don't do drugs, etc. It is not about a CHECKLIST. GOD TORE THE CHECKLIST UP WHEN JESUS DIED ON THE CROSS. This very checklist is what has torn the church and Christianity up. People don't want to believe is something that is just another "to do" list. Is that really was Christianity is about? NO. NOT AT ALL. Why would Jesus have died on the cross if we still had to worry about doing this or that. Now, don't get me wrong. If we walk by faith alone God will change our heart, we will no longer to desire to do these things, yet that DOES NOT mean we are allowed to look down on those whose faith has not taken over their heart. WE ARE ALL THE SAME IN GOD'S EYES. No matter how hard of a concept that is to grasp, it is true. "Make it about God. Everything. God found us" (stew armstrong). Because he has found us, he has "called us to share in his eternal glory by means of Christ Jesus." (1Peter5:10). The reward for having faith in him "will be the salvation of your souls." (1 Peter1:9). Before we leave this earth we will fulfill his plans for us which "are too numerous to list." (Psalm 40:5). He has given us many gifts to fulfill these plans he has for us, but we may not be filled by using them unless we do it For God only, by faith alone. Faith alone can recreate our hearts, so that "he gets the glory. So that we can't boast, but boast in the Lord." (stew armstrong). So that we don't walk through the halls, offices, sidewalk, street, road, concourse, constantly looking at people thinking "at least I am not wearing what she is wearing" or walking into church and thinking "omg, they are coming to church even after being drunk last night?" CHRISTIANITY IS NOT ABOUT A CHECKLIST. IT IS NOT ABOUT JUDGEMENT. IT IS ABOUT FAITH. IT IS ABOUT BELIEVING IN A GOD THAT IS MUCH MUCH MUCH BIGGER THAN A CHECKLIST. A GOD THAT HAS LOOKED PAST THE CHECKLIST. Our God is worthy of so much more than the love we try and show him. He is worth handing our lives over to, bowing down to, and crying at his feet, as we use the tears that fall from eyes to clean his immaculate feet. BECAUSE WE CAN'T HELP BUT HAVE AN INDESCRIBABLE FAITH IN HIM THAT CONQUERS OUR SEEMINGLY HUMANLY IMPORTANT "CHECKLIST." So move past the judgements. our God is not about judgements. He is about FAITH. FAITH ALONE. And having faith in Him alone will take away the UNIMPORTANT things we are burdened and weighed down with. <<

No eye has seen,
no ear has heard,
and no mind has imagined,
what God has prepared for those who love Him.
1 Corinthians 2:9

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Campus Unite

I don't know where I want to start, but I know where I want to go. So where do I start? I know I haven't written in a really long time...partially due to the fact I am not in Africa and not non-existent to the world lol. I am back in Auburn. The place where I began my new home last year at this time. But whether I am in Auburn or in Africa or even in Colorado my heart is still the same. And I still have a calling to bring the ministries on this campus and Christians in general together through God. My friend told me about this even called "Campus Unite" and I don't have any idea where to start but I know what it is about. And we need prayers for getting this started. Many people have no idea what that is. And if anybody reads this blog who doesn't know what Campus Unite is it is a night of worship where all of the ministries on campus come together for a 3 hour worship service that incorporates ALL TYPES OF WORSHIP MUSIC from rap music to general praise music ALL TYPEs so that every single person that God has created will enjoy it. THe worship is divided into 3 or so songs than a testimony/bible reading/prayer...then on to worship some more. Anyways, the reason this has become apparently a need to God at Auburn isn't because we are so divided (because we have so many different ministries on campus), I completely respect that every body has their own way of worshipping, BUT GOD HAS CALLED US TO UNITE. TO COME TOGETHER TO WORSHIP THE SAME GOD WE ALL LOVE AND ADORE. "be of ONE mind, UNITED in thought and purpose" (1 Corinthians 1:10), The WHOLE congregation of BELIEVERS was UNITED as one—one heart, one mind! (Acts 4:32), The people are UNITED, and they all speak the same language. After this, nothing they set out to do will be impossible for them! (Genesis 11:6).

God has placed a huge calling on my heart and I know I can't do it alone. I need help and prayer. Mostly prayer right now as I am not sure what is going to happen with this, whether it will happen this year this semester, or next year....that is all up to Him. So keep this event in your prayers please!!!!

"Now to Him who is able to do immeasurably more than we could ask or imagine, according to His power, which is at work within us, TO HIM BE THE GLORY in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout ALL GENERATIONS, for ever and ever! Amen!" Ephesians 3:20-21