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affirmations.

06.20 (608, Jon Weece) He is calling us to leave our nets behind. Nets of our comfortable vocation to where He’s calling us, where He will provide.
Obedience to Jesus Christ is the number one thing for a disciple. Peter wasn’t influential, but obedient. Jesus doesn’t want people with influence to increase their faithfulness, but people who are faithful to increase their influence.

7.1 (Romans small group study) God has equipped me with everything I need for ministry. I pray for increase in wisdom and increase in faith only. I have everything else already. I am completely equipped!

7.4 (Mike Brady) We are called to be responders, not initiators. Faith is responding to Gods promises.

7.13 (My Utmost for His Highest, Oswald Chambers) “Over and over again God has to remove our friends in order to bring Himself in their place, and that is where we faint and fail and get discouraged.” “It must be God first, God second, and God third, until life is faced steadily with God and no one else is of any account whatever.”

8.22 (608, Jon Weece) Acts 17:26, …God has determined the exact place for me to live.
Never be afraid to trust an unknown future to a known God.

God has given me a vision that doesn’t fit my circumstances.
I can’t speak for myself.
I can’t make plans for myself.
I only exist as an end to the glory of God.

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Categories: Life, Ministry Tags: , , , ,

the greatest gift is to give?

December 14, 2009 Leave a comment

My friend Shelby has the opportunity to go overseas to Asia for the next five months. It’s been an exciting ride watching her put such faith in God’s plans for her. She had to quit her job at school, forgo her last semester of school, etc. all for an unsure plan. But now it’s all coming together, and God has allowed me to have a small part in it.

Shelby called and told me of some troubles she was having fundraising for the trip, and that the trip was in jeopardy. We brainstormed some ideas, and I helped her set up an online donation system. But I decided I should help a little, especially since it was the end of the year and me being okay with money and all (which doesn’t happen often). So I sat down, and wrote a check for a number God told me. I thought it was too much, but I had a peace about it. (I am a tightwad at heart.) I wanted to surprise her, so I didn’t tell her. Over the next few days, God really amazed both of us with the money that was raised. Shelby called me on Sunday and told me how much she still needed for the minimum amount for the trip to happen. I couldn’t hold it in any longer:

That was the amount I had sent her.

So I thought I would share. It really blessed me to be a part of this story.
Shelby still needs help. Please click on the link above and pray about donating.

Categories: Ministry Tags: , , , ,

The Glory of Unfinished Stories.

September 8, 2009 3 comments

This weekend was bookended with two very random occurances, & I know I need to share them.

Thursday night I received an at-reply on Twitter from someone I didn’t know, letting me know he reads this blog and it has made him think. I responded appreciatively and offered to try to answer any questions he had. The following two days of conversation blessed my life (That’s right Azrin, if you’re reading, I want you to know you have given me something you couldn’t even realize). I was asked to put my faith into words. This may not seems like a big deal, but wait until you have to do it. I was so blown away by his searching heart, willing to email a random person to further his search for Truth. My prayer life got a dose of perspective from this young man, and I pray that this story isn’t over. Keep searching. You will know when you have found the Truth; it is God and living for Him makes it worth it to wake up in the morning.

If this wasn’t enough, what happened to me and the girls last night is still rocking my world:
Coming back from my parent’s house to Lexington, I wasn’t planning on hanging out on campus, but ended up there at a cookout. Later that night I was at the house of my best friends and we were just watching tv. Someone knocked on the door, and it was a young man wanting to plug in his cell phone so he could make a call. Now, this wasn’t the safest part of town, so I kept an eye on him, realizing he was very upset as he was talking. He came in to ask for a pen & pencil, and I proceeded to ask him if there was anything we could do for him, trying to get his story. With tears streaming down his face, he told me his mom texted him to say goodbye because she had taken a bottle of pain killers.

I was blown away, as I’m sure the girls were too. Later I ended up talking on the phone to this young man’s father, pleading with me to give him a ride to the hospital in Georgetown where his mom was (about half an hour away). As much as I was ready to up and go, I realized the safety concerns, and after a dozen phone calls, my friends Josh and Matt came to pick up this young man. Before he left, we circled around him and prayed for him and his mother. The whole situation just shook me, and thank God for His providence.

Just the way God orchestrated that whole situation is still blowing my mind. Rachel told me later she just felt like she was supposed to open the door (even after some reprimanding from me about being more careful). Even just the fact that the girls were in the front of the house where they could hear the door is proof of God’s sovereignty. And of course, it is no accident that this young man chose to knock on their house, a house full of followers of Christ willing to show Love, even when common sense tells you not to do so.

So I guess you could say my weekend is one of stories I may never know the ending of, and I’m really okay with that. I’ve been praying for more purpose here in Lexington, and God delivered, and of course not in the way I was expecting.

My God fills me with awe & wonder, and I will praise Him forever.

Welcome Week Withdrawl.

August 21, 2009 1 comment

This morning I woke up, glad for it to be Friday. But on this particular Friday, I was hit hard by a realization: this is the first UK move-in day in 4 years that I will not be on campus, either moving in, or helping freshman moving in. You’re probably saying, oh geez, why does that even matter. But my very sentimental self is having trouble with it, especially considering I’m sitting only a few miles from campus at my big girl full-time job. When I was in school, I used to look forward so much to BCM Welcome Week, I could have peed my pants. It was always crazy busy – just the way I like it. Friday & Saturday were Freshmen Move-in Days followed by hanging out at night. Sunday was my favorite – Progressive dinner, Monday – Coffee House or something similar, Tuesday – first TNT, Wednesday – classes started, and Thursday – huge cookout and Bible studies. I LOVED it. Seeing people after a long summer away, meeting new freshman, watching them be awkward, and wondering who’ll stick around and make the BCM better.

So here’s to great memories, growing up, and never forgetting my first real home: the Baptist Campus Ministries of the University of Kentucky:

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moving in my freshman year – Patterson Hall

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my first year on Leadership Council – 2006

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Hanging Around the BCM – 2006

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Freshman Move-in 2007

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Leadership Council – 2007

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Cooking pancakes for first Midnight Pancakes – Welcome Week 2008

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Leadership Council my senior year – 2008

No longer with my ‘Elijah’.

Oswald Chambers is one smart man. This is what I read yesterday morning:

It is not wrong for you to depend on your “Elijah” for as long as God gives him to you. But remember that the time will come when he must leave and will no longer be your guide and your leader, because God does not intend for him to stay…

Alone at Your “Jordan” The Jordan River represents the type of separation where you have no fellowship with anyone else, and where no one else can take your responsibility from you. You have been to the Jordan over and over again with Elijah, but now you are facing it alone. There is no use in saying that you cannot go— the experience is here, and you must go. If you truly want to know whether or not God is the God your faith believes Him to be, then go through your “Jordan” alone.

Alone at Your “Bethel” At your “Bethel” you will find yourself at your wits’ end but at the beginning of God’s wisdom. When you come to your wits’ end and feel inclined to panic— don’t! Stand true to God and He will bring out His truth in a way that will make your life an expression of worship. Put into practice what you learned while with your “Elijah”— use his mantle and pray. Make a determination to trust in God, and do not even look for Elijah anymore.

(My Utmost for His Highest, August 11)

My Elijah was my planned future. You know: high school to college, college to camp, camp back to Lexington. But now there is nothing. My “Elijah” has left, as God has willed it. No more parental financial support, no fall back of “being a college student”. And now that I’ve been back in Lexington for a week, my faith is being pushed. Will I fall back into my same habits? My same friends? My same struggles?

God has called me somewhere not here. And I’m starting to make concrete plans to make it happen. But I don’t have the support of those I need most. They have given me questions: “How are you going to make enough money to live?” “You don’t know anyone, how will you deal with being alone?” “Why would you want to leave the great job and life you have in Lexington?” And now these questions have become my questions, when in the beginning, they weren’t.

And this is the question I’ve finally come to: Where is the balance between being realistic and stepping out in faith? Because realistically, you have to factor in money, finding a job, the logistics of a situation. And I have a lot of that to consider. But also, don’t I have to just step out first and then let God catch me? I’ve been listening to stories of my friend Kyle and Chris that took an insane cross country road trip without plans, but trusting God would take care of them. And He did. Is my situation any different? I no longer have a plan, should I go ahead and keep moving forward? I know God will take care of it all, but I don’t want a comfortable life. No Christian should settle for that. And I feel like Lexington would be doing that. I’m comfortable here. It’s easy here.

I don’t want a comfortable life. That would be like staying with Elijah.

A Lesson from Race Across the Creek

August 7, 2009 1 comment

Today I got to looking at pictures on Facebook of a relay race I was apart of at camp this summer: the First Annual Race Across the Creek. It was one of the most challenging things I’ve ever done, along with one of the most unique experiences of community I’ve had. I remember how difficult it was to get out of bed knowing what I was heading toward, but when it was over, I knew it was the right decision. That being said, I realize that the time I spent that day with Grace and Allison may be an example of a bigger step to take place in my life in a few short months.

heading to the starting line of Race Across the Creek

heading to the starting line of Race Across the Creek

I got to thinking tonight about how amazingly at home I feel here in Lexington. I know I’ve only been here for 2 days, but I feel better here these two days than I did most of my previous 4 years. I know things may change once school starts, but I finally feel like I have a life. My church family has provided me with a free place to live (with wonderful friends, nonetheless!) and a wonderful job. I’m going to start another job in a month or so, and my best friends move back this weekend. But even with all this, I know I’m not meant to stay in Lexington. God has been preparing me for something else, and I may have figured it out. The thing is, it’s going to be a lot like doing the Race Across the Creek.

I’m going to have to leave the comfort of Lexington and go somewhere and do something more challenging than I’ve ever done in my life.

It’s going to be so hard to leave. I have been praying for the strength to be able to up and go when the time comes. One of my best friends said to me the other day, “You knew it would happen. We all struggle with [our focus]. God may ask you to give up a good life to go where He’s called you.”

Calling.

Lately I have had the blessing of spending time with the people I look up to the most in this world. It has been amazing to hear their hearts, learn their passions, and see them living by the Spirit. It has also been amazing being a part of their life, and this, along with a certain evening last week full of emotion and confusion has led to a lot of thinking. But before my thoughts cause the train of this post to go haywire, here’s a little bit of what I wrote in the New Orleans airport earlier this week:

“Lord, I’m in awe at what You’ve been teaching me. Just realizing how much more open I am to things like culture & music & the homeless, & even spontaneity amaze me in comparison. What are You preparing me for? I wish You would give me a glimpse. I wish I could be content with knowing You’ve got me… It’s just after the other night when I couldn’t stop crying my heart went back to realizing I’m not where You’re going to keep me, & I’m so restless. I feel stuck in this place between college & real life, neither in either one fully. I know this is a time of You teaching me while I have nothing to do but listen, but I want to put it into practice. I’m learning to love better, to be more open-minded, to wrap my mind around different styles & cultures, & realizing how big You are that I should FEAR You. I try to capture this “buddy” mentality over & over when I should be on my face because You are God of the universe. You created everything I’ve ever known or seen & I sit here anxious about friendships? Anxious about not liking completely where I’m at? God, that’s disrespectful to You. Jesus Christ died FOR ME & I’d rather concentrate on my own strength & own power rather than realizing EVERY good thing comes from You. Between what I’m reading in Crowder’s book, learning in small group, & saw here in NOLA, I’m excited You deem me worthy of something like this. I’m excited for when the pieces come together, ’cause they sure aren’t connecting right now. It will be glorious, & that glory will be Yours. That glory is already Yours.”

In NOLA, I got to see a friend living life where God has called her, and listen to the heart of another friend realizing she may be called there as well. Later, I got to have a conversation with 2 of my married friends who are ready to be called overseas, and will go as soon as it happens. We talked about me just up and moving (Southwest Colorado, right Paul? haha) but how if God hasn’t called me there, I will be miserable. As time goes on and it looks like I will be setting up shop here in Lexington for a long haul, I want to experience more than Kentucky has to offer. Sure, I’ve always wanted to “end up” here in Kentucky, but when else in my life will I be able to sell everything and disappear to travel? But… I am not called to do that right now. The question is, what am I called to do? Well, nothing. God’s got me in a holding pattern. And it sucks. It doesn’t make my parents happy, doesn’t make my OCD happy, and it certainly doesn’t make my increasing debt happy.

Hear me, as soon as God calls me somewhere, I’m gone. And if you’ve known me for a long time, the fact that I say that and mean it is a big deal.

I want to move to some big city and start a church. I want to move to a Spanish-speaking country and film a documentary on clean water. I want to move out west and live simply. I want to work outside and be outside more than I’m indoors. But God’s not calling me to do any of these. But then again, He’s not calling me to stay here in Lexington either.

All this wouldn’t be so hard if I didn’t have those people I look up to so much. They have their callings, or are developing them and planning to live them out. For some of them that means moving to New Orleans to go to be immersed in that culture, or it means preparing to do medical missions somewhere in the future, or it means marrying the man God had fall into your life randomly and following Christ together. Me? In a few months I’ll be bumming off friends saving for my own place wondering when I’ll be able to chase my passions.

I don’t want to escape. I mean, I want to escape, to up and go. That’s what I tried to do when I applied for Journeyman. God nipped that in the bud, and not too humbly. If I escape, I’ll be miserable. So until then, I wait.