Wednesday, June 30, 2010

"In Him we live and move and have our being..."

Paul Addresses the Areopagus
22So Paul, standing in the midst of the Areopagus, said: "Men of Athens, I perceive that in every way you are very religious. 23For as I passed along and observed the objects of your worship, I found also an altar with this inscription To the unknown god. What therefore you worship as unknown, this I proclaim to you. 24The God who made the world and everything in it, being Lord of heaven and earth, does not live in temples made by man,25nor is he served by human hands, as though he needed anything, since he himself gives to all mankind life and breath and everything. 26And he made from one man every nation of mankind to live on all the face of the earth, having determined allotted periods and the boundaries of their dwelling place,27 that they should seek God, in the hope that they might feel their way toward him and find him. Yet he is actually not far from each one of us, 28for

"'In him we live and move and have our being';

as even some of your own poets have said,

"'For we are indeed his offspring.'

29Being then God’s offspring, we ought not to think that the divine being is like gold or silver or stone, an image formed by the art and imagination of man. 30The times of ignorance God overlooked, but now he commands all people everywhere to repent,31because he has fixed a day on which he will judge the world in righteousness by a man whom he has appointed; and of this he has given assurance to all by raising him from the dead."

32Now when they heard of the resurrection of the dead, some mocked. But others said,"We will hear you again about this."

Sunday, June 27, 2010

San Pedro Sweats

Last night, I truly wanted to die. Part of this is a little over dramatic, part of it is not. Yesterday in some horrible twist, I got a fever. And even as I sit here and type, I can feel myself in a bit of a feverish sweat. I guess fevers are spread by viruses, but there is no other way I could have gotten sick. And it just infrutriates me because I came down here to serve, and instead I'm constrained to a bed where from the top of my hips to the tops of my knees are nothing but pounding masses of aches. My hips still hurt this morning. I had to miss youth night last night, and I'll have to miss church this morning. There is no way I can walk or ride to church in this condition. Or sit through an entire service. I hate being sick, and to be sick down here just breaks my heart.

However, yesterday, I did have the opportunity to walk around the college campus in san pedro. It's going to be fun getting to know the students here and ministering to them. They seem very friendly and open. I pray that God allows us to do great things with and for these students. However, right now I wish God would take away this sickness.

Saturday, June 26, 2010

God = Glory

So while I'm here in San Pedro, I decided to read through the book of Acts. And while I think I've already stated that, I am amazed about how much God is not only speaking to my heart about, but also the connections between my morning devotions and the books that we are reading as a group for the internship.

One of these books is called Radical and is by David Platt, a Pastor of a mega-church in Alabama. And even though he is blessed to have so many resources and people at his beckoning, for him its not enough. Platt is trying to reconcile the difference between the God of the American Dream and the God of the Bible. And what he shows, is that the God we learn and sing praises to is not the God that we proclaim to serve. It begs the reader to ask the question: who is God in my life? Is He the Father that is ever loving and forgiving? Or is He more? Is He the God that cannot abide sin? And the answer is a sound Biblical yes that He is both, but the fact reminds that our life and our faith doesn't show both. Platt writes that we are consumed by the fact that our relationship with God is not God centered at all, but me centered. Why? Because ask the question, "why do you serve God" and the typical response is, "because God loves me". And there it is, the me centered faith that we base our entire lives upon and proclaim to those around us. And while it cannot be denied that God does indeed love us, the answer is lacking. Yes God loves us, but He created us for His glory. In His image He made us. I have yet to find another person who gets as excited over an intimate creation with God as I do, but an important detail, nay, an important essential to remember is that we had that intimate creation so that God would be gloried. Our lives are not lived to bring glory to God as the most pivotal part of our day or existence. And yet, to not do so, is to live for God in ignorance.

I have a friend who is constantly reminding us that we are the very enemies of God. And I have to admit that when I first heard this, I was little confused. I thought that God loved us, and how many times have I sung, "I am a friend of God" and now I'm being told that I am an enemy of God? Two plus two was not equaling four. But now I'm starting to really understand. My sin, my disobedience makes me an enemy to the very God that create me. When Christ died on the cross, He wasn't just dying, but taking my sin, this thing that makes me a very enemy to my Creator, upon Himself. Christ became that enemy and threw it down. And yet, I still live in constant rebellion to God. I believe in Christ and for the blood that He gave, and yet I don't live it. I hope that now I can work more on my transformation to the image of Christ which leads to God being glorified, and less on retrograding back to the me centered Christianity that plagues this world.

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Adventures in San Pedro.

Well, the last two days in San Pedro have been an experience to say the least.

I've been on missions trips and I've always rode a bus with 20 other people, that had to be counted and herded on and off while we watched the people we were ministering to zip by on buses and taxis. For the first time, I got to abandon all of that and learn bus routes. It was pouring the rain, but I haven't been waiting all winter and spring to let a little rain ruin the adventure that I've been praying for. So we took our leave in the rain armed with a map, a list for the scavenger hunt, and about 200 pesos. Our mission, buy one egg and ride 3 different bus routes that we had to trace on a map of San Pedro all the while keeping our egg safe. Our egg was purchased, named Alberta, and put in Hannah's soft, capable hands while we tried to figure out which bus went where. We also had many other objectives, such as finding out prices of certain items, finding points of interest, and so on. All in all, it was a day that I have never had before. There may have not been much ministry, but it was practical and applicable to living life as a real missionary. I cannot expect to be carted around like on regular trips, but I have to figure out how to navigate myself around this city whether it be by bus, taxi, or walking. And while it scares me a little to do that, I'm excited. I feel more like a real missionary and not just another kid that came down for the week.

And today was another applicable day. Our days start at 8:30 with Spanish class. And even though I just graduated with a degree in Spanish, I am enjoying the basics. Today we did pronunciations. It is a fact of life that I cannot roll my "r's". My tongue does not vibrate, no sound comes from my throat. I have accepted this fact. However, this fact is not readily accepted by other people so easily. So that made for an entertaining class today. And as with every Spanish class I have ever taken, I had to start it with prayer. When I changed my major at Marshall to Spanish, it wasn't about me at that time. I've always had an interest in the language, and I've always watched with awe and a tinge of jealousy when I would observe others translating. It was something I wanted to do, someone I wanted to be. However, my switch to Spanish wasn't for those reasons; at least not primarily. I've known and committed my to missions in Costa Rica. I fought it for years, but finally gave in and acknowledge that passion that beats inside of me for the foriegn field, for the Latino field. And I know that if God sends me there, I have to know Spanish. Its as simple as that. I could either learn it in school and prepare myself for God's plans, or waste 4 years of my life doing something that wouldn't help me. So I decided to see where God would take me with this and I changed it to Spanish. It has not been easy, and many times I wanted to quit. That is when I started to pray before I went to any Spanish class. I gave this class to God before ever walking through the door. And God used me. And He's using me now. So while I may get flustered, I may feel that I can't do it, I know that I can't, but God can.

After Spanish class, I was given the opportunity to go to the dress shop with a few other girls. I've been dreaming about this shop since I went there last year. Inside, the girls and I helped to reorangize the dresses by size. It was hard work and more than once I thought of the show "Say Yes to the Dress" and how those women spend everyday carrying those heavy dresses from room to room. But here, it was small and had no air conditioning. It was hot, and the dresses touching your skin made you feel hotter, but once everything was said and done, I felt great. It was a small favor that helps the ladies in the shop minister to one more person, and that was what mattered.

After the dress shop, I finally got to do what I wanted to do ever since I first came to the Dominican on my first trip: ride a motorcycle taxi. The other girls rode together, but I volunteered to ride on one alone. My driver was the only one who knew where the apartment was so we shot off first. I felt a moment of nervousment when I looked behind me and realized that the others weren't behind us as we flew past other motorcycles, people, and buses. But that passed when we stopped at a corner to let the others catch up. From then on, I never felt a moment of fear, but exhilaration. The wind whipped through my hair, San Pedro and life shot past, and I felt more happiness than I have in awhile. I've been dreaming and yearning for adventure these past few months when so many things felt stagnant and bland. Everything so planned and normal, but for these past few days, I've done things that I've never done before, and it has challenged me. I like a challenge. I'm not the kind of girl who wants to ride the backseat as everyone leads her from place to place. I'm the kind of girl who sees something and isn't satisfied until she gets to do it. I crave that edge feeling. And I'm in love with San Pedro, because here, its all an adventure.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Starting a Trip in Acts

Yesterday may have been a rough day, but I made it. I may have shed a few tears, had a little family airport drama, my suitcase may have ripped, I may have lost my staightner, and I may have a shirt that is slightly covered in puke, but I’m here. And even though yesterday as I sat on the plane, my head pounding and having someone else for once be the mommy that I usually am, there was a few seeds of doubt as to what I was I thinking. However, most of that was wiped away once we met Chad and he asked us what we wanted for dinner. The first choice out of his mouth was burger king. I could have cried. I got to eat a whopper, one of my most favorite things in the world, my first night here. It helped to relieve some of the trepidation that I had been feeling on the plane.

The other interns seem nice. I am both excited and nervous to get to know them. The other girls all seem so young and have so much school ahead of them. I’ m no stranger to knowing that I’m older than everyone around me, but it also makes me feel like I’m home. It will be a good six weeks. And I know that because of what GOD has done to get me here and because I’m both willing and ready to be used by HIM. I decided to read through the book of Acts while I’mhere, since its about the first missions trips. GOD brought to my attention in chapter 1 where they are replacing Judas. There were two men, Matthias and Barsabas, both were willing to be used, but when the disciples prayed and asked GOD, HE chosed Matthias. GOD knows who HE wants to use, but GOD can only choose who is willing. I’m willing and I believe that GOD has chose me to be here, and to serve HIM. And while I am scared to be here, I don’t feel worthy enough to be here, and while I harbor some feelings that I shouldn’t be here, the truth of the matter is that I am here. I’m in the Dominican Republic. And I’m here with a willing heart that is ready to be conformed and transformed to what GOD has planned for me. This is the adventure that I’ve been praying and dreaming for. This is the adventure that I’m ready to live.

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Secret Smile

i look at your picture
a smile born without planning
planting on my lips,
feelings quickening
that were never meant to exist,
growing inside me
thoughts and emotions
i'm not ready for,
didn't plan on wanting,
on wanting you...
this little secret growing inside,
not wanting to show
how your smile impregnates
me with bundled joy.
so i'll smile to myself
i'll glow from within,
keeping this tiny secret
from everyone.

consumed by the Son

let the light of the Son
dance upon my face,
flashing freckles of radiance
dazzling to any eye.
let it swirl around my
down my arms
to my hands.
little hands
with tiny fingers.
hands made big and strong
by You alone.

let the light of the Son
shoe my feet.
let lightening spark
from my toes
as i stand for You.
let no one mistake
my walk to Your

let me be engulf,
in the light of the son
till there is nothing,
left of me.

Friday, June 18, 2010


I leave on Tuesday for the Dominican Republic. I leave in 2 days for 6 weeks. I have been waiting, and praying, and thinking for this for a long time. It became a reality back around Christmas, but it has been a desire long before that. For me, the Dominican represents where my passion for missions was first ignited. I still remember the first village we went to.

I remember getting off the bus and looking in amazement at all the kids jumping up and down, screaming in spanish, pointing at the Gringos that came to play. Those kids were beautiful. Dark hair and skin, with big brown eyes, and smiles that carried all the joy and brightness of the sun. The girls had their hair divided in big braids tied off with big, brightly colored plastic hair bands completing the island attitude that these people exhume. We split into groups and were sent to find kids, instructed not to come back unless we all had at least two kids since we each had two hands. Coming back, the church started to fill up. Some of the older kids went closer to the front where the bongo drums were kept. They began to pat out a carribean rythm and lifted their voices in simple songs of praise for God. I sat in one of the wooden pews with a little girl in my lap, squeezed in between even more little girls, all with their hair fixed, some with shoes, some in dresses, most in whatever had been found, all dirty, and all excited. There had been a small squirmish in who got to sit in my lap. They all kept touching my skin, patting my hair, and rambling to me in a language that I couldn't understand. Their laughter and smiles were contagious. I have never seen or heard a sincerity that can match those of the children and parents in the church that day. It makes you realize that having nothing can never take away from the hope and the joy that can fill the soul.

And now I have the opportunity to be there for 6 weeks. I have the opportunity to really be in these people's lives and not just a fleeting shadow. It excites me and scares me at the same time. I know that God is going to show me amazing things, but I also know that with amazing things come hard lessons. And I know the lessons that I need to learn. I don't want to learn them, because they require so much of myself. There's things I know that I need to let go, that there are things I need to accept, and things that I need give up control on. There is no doubt that God will burden me with these lessons. Even here I can feel them and I can feel the importance and the difficulty that they encompass. But I don't wish that God would take them away. I know that there are things that I need to fix, and in order to be closer to God, I have to face them. No matter how much I am afraid to.

So here is my prayer, that I don't hold back and that God never takes His Hand away from my creation and my growth in becoming more like Him. I know I have chosen the more difficult of the two paths, but I have never been one to take the easy way out. And for everything, there must be a price. I know the price that has been paid for me, and for that price, I have found myself enslaved to the most beloved and kind Master who loves me enough to make me grow. It is in this Master that I place my chains. I bow before Him as He breaks them and declares me His. It is in this Power that I place my trip and I surrender myself to.

Sunday, June 13, 2010


I don't feel like sleeping tonight. Now that I have finished my cleaning spur which included emptying the fridge and filling a trash bag of things that I no longer want to deal with, I find my eyes closing shut and my mouth opening wide, trying to exhale the sleepiness from my body. But I don't want to sleep. I have too much on my mind to sleep. Too many thoughts swirling in that chaotic mind of mine. A blessing or a curse I'm not sure. What a wonderful thing to be able to think and expand the creations of the mind, and what malicious creatures we find lurking in the cobweb corners and dusty paths. And it is because of this "blessing" that I don't want to sleep. I don't want these thoughts to find their way into my dreams and turn what little pleasantness I conjure in my unconsciousness into a nightmare that shakes me awake. Should I be denied those small, sweet sensations of dreamlike quality? These things that I see in my dreams are of the things that I want the most when I'm awake. Except on nights like these. Nights when I know my loaded brain, that overthinks and overworks its already tired and strained synapses, will throw me under the proverbial bus. These are the nights when I long for the one thing I feel most denied to me.

Someone told me tonight to ask GOD specifically for what I want. But I've tried that road, and what I want belongs to someone else. Whether or not that was the best thing for me (I imagine it was better, but can we ever know in this infinite reality that is interpreted and stored by a finite brain?) is not the main focus of my thoughts. I think that I'm afraid to ask for what I want specifically. Because I know what I've been asking for, and it has yet to come. And on top of that fear, I think that I'm also convinced on some level that I don't deserve what I want. And that is one conviction that rattles the very makeup of my soul. Because how can one ever justify what one deserves? It will always be bias and therefore of no use.