Saturday, November 1, 2008

Time Well Spent




This is what my evenings look like. People are always quick to ask, how is the living situation going? These little guys bring an incredible amount of joy to my life. They are so fun, and FUNNY! I am so grateful God has allowed me to be with them the past year and a half. They truly are an extension of our family. I do miss blogging, but my nights are full of homework, projects, baths, cooking, and novelas (mexican soaps). Oops, didn't mean to type that. But yes, there is one that I try to catch nightly. We don't have internet and I can't blog from my phone so theres my excuse to why I haven't been able to write for over a month. We did have soccer games 2 times a week as well, until Edgardo had a run in with a nasty old water faucet and sliced his leg open BAD. Poor thing, soccer is his life, well that, and fighting off all of the little admirers that call the apartment for him, hopefully we can get back out there in time for playoffs...

I have found myself filling out applications and writing essays (please pray for continued direction and provision), many of which want to know who am I? What have I been doing? Where am I going? Where do I see myself in the future? Its been a love/hate relationship. I hate that I don't feel like I am a strong enough writer to portray my passion through words, I would prefer interviews. On the other hand, I love being forced to sit and think about the series of events that have brought me HERE of all places. It is amazing to look back and testify to Christ's provision, protection, provision and plan for my life. It is SO exciting to allow myself to dream BIG knowing that His plans are bigger than anything I could dream up for myself.

Sunday, September 21, 2008

New Beginnings

Moving into a new season, which is exciting for many reasons. The last season was unique, new for me, and painful in many ways. And I can honestly say I wouldn't change it if I could. There are attributes of our Father that I can speak of now because He proved Himself in new and very real ways in my own life, even in the midst of some dark days. I am full of hope and expectation. He has already begun to fulfill his promise of restoration and healing, and has planted new dreams in my heart.

And He who was seated on the throne said, "Behold, I am making all things new." Also He said, "Write this down, for these words are trustworthy and true." Revelation 21:5

Trustworthy He is. And worthy of ALL of our love, and affection...

Sunday, August 31, 2008

25 Years

This is how many I have. This is how it is stated in Spanish. I have 25 years. 25 years that I have been given, as a gift. What have I done with my time here? I would be lying if I claimed that I was excited for this birthday to come, for a lot of shallow, worldly reasons, I was dreading it actually. Then the morning of my birthday, I woke thinking of the children I was fortunate enough to spend time with this summer in an orphanage in Kenya called Into Abba's Arms. When asked to give testimonies Sunday morning during the church service a long line of children formed quickly, they love to speak of their Father's providence and provision in their lives. It sounded something like this...

Praise the Lord! Praise the Lord again!
I would like to thank God because He woke me up this morning,
many people wanted to see today, and they did not,
I am so happy that I got to have another day.

"The God who made the world and EVERYTHING in it is the Lord of heaven and earth and does not live in temples built by hands. And He is not served by human hands, as if He needed anything, because He Himself gives all men life and breath and everything else. From one man He made every nation of men, that they should inhabit the whole earth; and He determined the times set for them and the exact places where they should live. God did this so that men would seek Him and perhaps reach out for Him and find Him, though He is not far from each one of us. For in Him we live and move and have our being"
Acts 17:24-28

I LOVE this passage. So many different POWERFUL truths! He has determined the exact times through history that He would have each of us here, and exactly where we should live. This just makes my heart flood with peace and strength to walk forward in where He has placed me!

He woke me up today, and that is reason to praise Him.

Praise the Lord! Praise the Lord again!

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Hillsong Conference 2008

I am so grateful for this weekend. What an incredible opportunity to literally, spend hours in corporate worship before our Savior. In the very beginning there was a statement made that said, "The same things that separate us from Him, separate us from other people"...sin. Wow. Intimacy is so vital, on so many different levels. I am finally at a point where I can recognize this...the word still freaks me out a bit, I have issues...yes I know. One cannot love people without loving Christ first. My first and foremost calling during my time on this planet is to love Jesus Christ with every part of me. Sometimes I get way to involved with figuring out my calling beyond that, where am I called to go, which ministry am I supposed to be involved in when I get there, etc. If I do not love Christ, with every part of me, I will not be able to love people as He has called me to. I desire to be a light. Not a light for international missions, or social justice, or service projects, or humanitarian aid, but a light for the one who died for me, who redeemed me and give me the very breath to exist. THAT is my calling.

"You have shaped my heart for Your pleasure"...and that makes anything so very worth it. You tell me that no thing, or circumstance will come my way that has not come THROUGH You first. And while it may not make a lick of sense, there is purpose, and You will be glorified in my inability and weakness. This statement is not one of completion, but of an ongoing process...

Ready or not here they come tomorrow, 20 new little ones...I talk a big game about being so strict this year and laying down the law, and then I melt into this pansy of a teacher when I get around the kids and all I want to do is plan parties and trips and spoil them...so we will see how that goes.

Sunday, August 17, 2008

He is Hope

I had every intention to write an entry about this summer, what I saw, what I learned, what I felt, who I met, the stories I heard, and how all of that translates back to life while I am in the States. I didn't know how. So I was going to put up pictures...but that doesn't do justice. You should go, everyone should go, but that is a different post for a different day.

"Hope that promises will be kept, that a refuge will hold, that the sun will return, that seasons will change despite the weighty darkness, and all evidence to the contrary. Hope at the center of despair. The footprints left, when we look back at the most tempestuous seasons of life are purposeful, organized, significance in the chaos...evidence that we were remembered in our darkness and most vulnerable days."

Hope in light of the Truth. America is crazy, the push, and pull and drive and speed and pace of life is unbelievably demanding (and I'm not sure it is the way that God intended it to be). If I do not fall on my face daily before Him, and beg for the grace and mercy to not only survive but truly live & abide in Him, I will fail miserably. Oh how I must cling to Him, and His truth. When I start measuring myself by the worlds standards, the enemy is given way to much room to work planting seeds of doubt and discontent.

Lessons learned...I can question Him, and while He may not ever answer the specific question, He will give me peace in my soul knowing that He is God, and is sovereign in ALL things. He loves me enough to tell me no. His mercies truly ARE new every morning and are more than sufficient for what each day brings. He can and will heal in His time, in His way...for this I am grateful.

Sunday, July 27, 2008

For The Orphans of Flomina & Into Abba's Arms

Many will say with their mouths "Give us today our daily bread,"
but their hearts desire nothing less than excess and riches
But you know your Shepherd's voice
and believe Him at His word
when He says that he is sufficient, regardless of circumstance

"Jehovah Jireh, my provider," you say,
He has led me here, how could I doubt and think He would forsake me now?
For you, a heart of gratitude seems to be the only appropriate response

Some will look at you with eyes of pity
because your pockets are empty
but sweet brothers and sisters
you are the ones to be envied
for Christ has entrusted you with the invaluable
knowledge of Himself

You know our Savior in a way few ever will
for you recognize His hand
to be the hand that feeds you daily
He does not leave you lacking anything
Oh no, your souls have been filled
and overflow into the lives of those around you

The kingdom of heaven awaits you
May you continue to wake each day
and declare with your life
"The Lord is my chosen portion."

As you are loved, so love

Go in peace

"Give me neither poverty nor riches, but give me only my daily bread. Otherwise, I may have too much and disown you and say, "Who is the Lord?" Or I may become poor and steal and so dishonor the name of my God." Proverbs 30:8

"To You the helpless commits himself, You have been the helper of the fatherless." Psalm 10:14

Monday, July 21, 2008

James 1:27



"Pure and undefiled religion in the sight of our God and Father is this: to visit orphans and widows in their distress, and to keep oneself unstained by the world."

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Great Last Day In India

This morning was a really neat time. Thank you for your prayers. Besides getting a little choked up at one point, everything went smooth. I am horrible when it comes to putting feelings into words. Many of you that I love so deeply have received cards, or letters, or emails because of this. I feel like I can put into written word that which is most hidden away in my heart, the things I feel strongest, the things that bring my passions to life. All that to say, I wrote a benediction last night, a prayer to read over the group as I closed. I posted it below. Based around Ephesians 5:8 "For at one time you were darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. Walk as children of light."





My prayer is that pictures like these...of the beautiful dark brown eyes, and bright white smiles...will stay fixed in my mind. Even on the days that I would like to forget, the days when life in the States seems just too good to give up in order to go. May they be a reminder of the millions that have not heard the name of Christ. I am leaving different than I was when I came. Thank you Lord for sanctification. On to Africa...

Benediction For Chandigarh

May you accept the invitation to not only meet,
but to know intimately the One who created you
The only true God, Jesus Christ
The one who died for you
Oh but He is no longer in the grave!
He is alive
And will come again

May your acknowledgment of the cross, move to an understanding of your redemption
That you would recognize the value of your soul
for you were bought with a great price

May the Truth, Jesus Christ Himself, set you free
So you may forever speak of hope found in Him alone
And testify, that indeed, His grace is sufficient

May you walk as children of the light
Reflecting Jesus, the Light of the World
In such a manner
That even in the darkest of the dark
None could deny
Jesus is the Christ, from who anything that is
good or true comes

As you are loved, so love
Go in Peace

Monday, July 14, 2008

Please Pray...

Today I was asked to speak for the school assembly tomorrow! The WHOLE school, which is about 1200 kids and the staff. Opportunity? Yes! Speaker? I am not. But God spoke through a donkey, surely there is hope for me. I will be speaking on John 14:5-6 "How can we know the way?" "Jesus said to him, "I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me." It will be at about 8 AM tomorrow morning India time, which is about 9:30 PM Monday night for ya'll. Please pray I will be invisible and the Gospel will be heard with clarity.

Phillipians 4:4

video

These little ones blessed my heart today, more importantly, Jesus was glorified by their sweet voices proclaiming His scripture so gently. May we, as children of Christ, rejoice in Him ALWAYS, regardless of circumstance, because of who He is.

Sunday, July 13, 2008

You Are Still God

This is my prayer in the desert
When all that's within me feels dry
This is my prayer in the hunger and need
My God is the God who provides

This is my prayer in the fire
In weakness or trial or pain
There is a faith proved of more worth than gold
So refine me Lord through the flame

I will bring praise
No weapon formed against me shall remain
I will rejoice, i will declare
God is my victory and He is here

This is my prayer in the battle
When triumph is still on its way
I am a conqueror and co-heir in Christ
So firm on His promise I'll stand

All of my life, In every season
You are still God
I have a reason to sing
I have a reason to worship

This is my prayer in the harvest
When favour and providence flow
I know I'm filled to be emptied again
The seed I've received I will sow

Friday, July 11, 2008

Pull The Plank Out Kate

Cost of an appointment with an Indian doctor: 100 rupees
Cost of 3 different prescription Indian meds: 94 rupees
Cost of feeling better: PRICELESS

Lame. I know, but I am just so happy to feel like I am on the road to recovery! I started feeling bad Tuesday night and by Wednesday night felt horrible. But being the hardhead that I am needed to get as bad as possible before I would admit I was sick and needed help.

There is no doubt in my mind that this is exactly where I am supposed to be right now. He told me to be still, and wait, quietly. And confirmed it a hundred times over. Wait. Quietly. Still. Silently...I wasn't sure what that looked like, or meant, yet I didn't exactly try to hard to figure it out. And now I am here. When I was talking to Mom on the phone, all I could really say was I just keep asking Him what He has to reveal to me in all of this, and she replied, what did you hear back? Silence. I didn't have an answer. How many times do I lay a question before God and then not listen in the least bit for a response. WAY TOO OFTEN. What a liar that makes me, when I claim out of my mouth how I want to hear from God, yet I refuse to stop and listen. I absolutely cannot stand conversations with people that aren't actively listening. I would rather sit in silence. Really. How ironic that this has been my role lately in my relationship with the Lord, yapping away.

"The Lord is good to those who wait for Him, to the soul who seeks him. It is good that one should wait quietly for the salvation of the Lord...Let him sit alone in silence." Lamentations 3:26,28

"Indeed, none who wait for You shall be put to shame..." Psalm 25:3

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Still

Still He blesses those on whom He sets His love in a way that humbles them, so that all the glory may be His alone. Still He hates the sins of His people, and uses all kinds of inward and outward pains and griefs to wean their hearts from compromise and disobedience. Still He seeks the fellowship of His people, and sends them both sorrows and joys in order to detach their love from other things and attach it to Himself. Still He teaches believers to value His promised gifts by making them wait for those gifts, and compelling them to pray persistently for them, before He bestows them. So we read of God dealing with His people in the Scripture record, and so He deals with them still. His aims and principles of action remain consistent; He does not at any time act out of character. Our ways, we know, are pathetically inconstant-but not God's.

Knowing God, J.I. Packer

Monday, July 7, 2008

Weekend Events

What a great weekend! Saturday we went and spent time in a village in another state, the people live in grass huts. There was an accident 2 weeks ago and 9 of the huts were burned. The people were so sad because they lost their Bibles in the accident, they said that 15 were lost. I was able to share my testimony and speak for a while. There is one lady that is the first Christian in the village and she is losing her eyesight, she is such a strong woman, it was a blessing to have the opportunity to pray with her, not only for her eyesight but for her continued growth in the Lord.

Yesterday church was awesome, the rocks won't be crying out on the Indians behalf anytime soon :) Pass the tambourine! I loved listening to their praises in Hindi...I think that will be one of my favorite parts of heaven, hearing all of the worship in the different languages...AMAZING!?!?

Last night we went and spent some time with some Nepali people. Its crazy how many different people groups are in and around here...I was stoked because I knew that I would be semi close to Nepal, (in the grand scheme of the globe) when I found out i was coming here, I don't know why, but it has always been a country on my list of maybe's, that seems so ridiculous to type, as if my list matters, we'll see where God sends me...ANYWAYS, they were beautiful people. Gentle, and kind. I don't know if they could be called refugees but they came to India because there is more opportunity here for them (can't even IMAGINE what Nepal must be like then). I seem to find myself with the people groups that have picked up and gone to a different country in hopes of something more for themselves and their families :)

Went to school today, the teachers are busy preparing their classrooms and lesson plans for the kiddos that are coming. I CAN'T WAIT TO MEET ALL OF THE KIDS!?!?! The school is so incredibly unapologetically Christian. LOVE IT! The most amazing part is that it reaches, orphans, Hindus, Muslims, Sikhs, all there learning about our Savior and what He did for them. They are looking for a third grade teacher for this year...interesting huh?

Saturday, July 5, 2008

Back to the good ole days in Guadalajara, climbing up on rooftops with my Mac to catch an internet signal. Where to start…I am SO grateful that I am living with an Indian family while I am here, my time here would just not be the same if I was in a hotel. Not to mention the family I am living with is absolutely INCREDIBLE. Pastor Nazir, his wife Sorojani and their gorgeous daughter Sanoli, have made be feel SO welcome. Sonali is awesome…she resembles what the attribute “meek” looks like in my mind, the word that I always kind of cringe at when I come to it in the Bible because it is so NOT who I am. She gave me her room, and I am so glad she is here while I am. She wants to take me for a ride on her motorcycle…I can’t think of a better place to get over my fear! Driving here is like one huge game of chicken, and everyone, and everything is invited to participate, carts, bicycles, scooters, cows, goats, you name it, its on the road. The trip was good…went smoothly, I think that my night in Dubai helped me adjust time wise. I did ok my first day but then hit a wall in the afternoon in Delhi before we got a train here to Chandigarh, I curled up on top of my bag on the floor of the train station as we waited and passed out immediately, thats probably the most I have blended in since I have been here, sleeping on the ground seemed to be the thing to do at the train station. Pastor has a small group in from Hong Kong for the weekend serving, they greeted me at the airport, and have been really fun. One of the only things I love as much as missions is spending time with people who have the same passion. The college kids make me feel old because I realize I am no longer one of “them”, but they are a blast and fun to laugh with. There is a sweet girl that is finishing up her time here and will leave Monday, she is going to become a BISON in August! How fun. It has been great reminiscing telling her all of the great things/memories I have from Shawnee and my time at OBU.

Yesterday I went with my house mom, who is also the principal at the school I will be teaching at, to order my suit that I will teach in. It is their traditional, everyday wear here. You pick the fabric and the style..I had EVERY intention of going in and coming out with a “plain” suit, a pretty green or brown color is what I had in mine, definetly a solid…well plain in English apparently translates to polka dots AND stripes in Hindi, YES, TOGETHER, and that is exactly what I walked out of there with! So...the seamstress told me I could pick it up tonight. If you are lucky I will maybe show you a picture someday…I am on a don’t ask don’t tell policy with the food…I will try whatever is put in front of me, it is just better if I don’t know what it is ☺

Yesterday after lunch I was sitting and talking with Nazir and his wife and I asked them where they met, a question that normally comes up with any couple after a while. I didn’t really understand what their response was, and they could tell I looked confused, and they repeated ARRANGED. I was like OH MY! I just kept saying, I can’t imagine, and they were DYING laughing. They thought my reaction was priceless and we went on to have a discussion on the pros/cons of arranged marriage. They couldn’t think of a couple that they knew of that went about marriage this way and are now divorced…They spoke of love as a commitment made, not a feeling. It was really interesting.

Yesterday we were working in slum #1 of the 51 in this city. We visited with about 4 different families that have converted to Christianity, we prayed with them. Then we gave testimonies and presented the gospel story to a group outside. There seems to be a mix of Hindu, Muslim and Sikhs in whatever gathering you are around, it is never just one type.

Today we spent the morning at a sewing center in a different state, one that is on the way to Pakistan. It is funded by Pastor Nazir and a Christian lady runs it. There were about 15 to 20 Hindu girls my age and they are there to learn how to be a seamstress in order to support their families. This lady then ministers to them and tells them about Jesus. It was a really neat time. We also got to spend some time with their children who were in the next room, they were adorable of course.

Forgive the scattered nature of this entry and those to come, it is hard to put everything into words when I have not yet completely processed things for myself. Thank you for your prayers. I just keep waking up and going to sleep at night thanking Him, I am so grateful to not only be here but to have the privledge to speak of Jesus Christ, what He has done in my life and what He longs to do in the lives of those yet to know Him.

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

"The Spirit of the Lord God is upon me,
because the Lord has anointed me to bring good news to the poor;
He has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted,
to proclaim liberty to the captives,
and the opening of the prison to those who are bound."
Isaiah 61:1

Sunday, June 29, 2008

Lies From The Pit

Filling out the immigration forms at about 5:00 AM this morning on the plane and it hit me...I don't have an address. I have been using Mom and Dad's but they moved while I was in Argentina, so needless to say I didn't know it. This is ok. It's my life, how it has been and probably will be for a while. There was more to it for me though. It was the beginning of a day that Satan saw as a day of opportunity to ruin me, I knew that. He wanted to remind me that so much of my life is uncertain, and weird, and not normal. I am not "on track" to have the normal American house, car, family, career. Fears, worries, doubts, all are such thieves. As I began to pray through approaching these 2 days at home alone, I started to think about how many huge things can happen during times of isolation, both victories and defeats. I know that life is meant to live in community. However, there are to be times alone as well. Most days I cheer and do cartwheels over the opportunity to have these moments alone, being the introvert that I am (ISFJ for all the personality testing fans out there). For some reason, He let me know ahead of time, that I was about to head into some critical hours. I got off the plane, found the car that had been left for me, and found the place that my parents moved into that I had never seen...and was very, very, alone. That is what Satan wanted me to think. Truth vs. Lies, constantly. It is a series of decisions throughout the day...are you going to believe Christ and His truth and His promises or are you going to buy into the world and the falsehood and the empty promises. From the moment you get up til the moment you fall asleep you will be plagued by these choices. To think that we can walk in the manner that He would have us to on our own is so extremely ignorant and arrogant. Are you going to take the next blind step forward in faith? Or are you going to pack it up and go home. If you do not choose to spend time in the Word, talking with Jesus, and listening to Him talk, you will get eaten alive, end of story. Satan is good at what he does. He will lie to you, and if you do not have the Truth of Christ to compare and rule out the garbage you will buy into it. The stakes are high. Oh how we must cling to Him for, HIS wisdom.

"His divine power has given us EVERYTHING we need for life and godliness through our knowledge of Him who called us by His own glory and goodness.Through these He has given us His very great and precious promises, so that through them you may participate in the divine nature and escape the corruption in the world caused by evil desires."
1 Peter 1:3-4

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Happy Birthday Edgardo!



Estrellita,

I am so sad that I am not there today with you guys to celebrate your 11th birthday. I know that it will be a hard day without your sweet Mom there to celebrate with you this year. When I get back we are going to have a fun day together just to celebrate YOU! You have been such a great big brother to Selvin and Julie, especially this year. I am so proud of you. Maybe this will be the year that you start a relationship with the Creator that gave you those little legs that allow you to be such a stud soccer player. I love you sweet boy, you are a blessing to me and my family.

See you soon,

Kate

Monday, June 23, 2008

All Apologies

What if I titled every post with a song title? That would be fun to see how long I could go. I apologize in advance for the randomness of this post. I decided this morning that I am going to start incorporating "cheers" into my everyday language. Paul has decided to incorporate "winge" into his...he picked it up from one of his Aussie buddies down here, or "mates" if you will...por ejemplo, "Kate, quit your winging." Who knew that eating eggs for breakfast was so odd? I had quite an audience this morning as I was cooking us some eggs. We have a couple from Spain in our little hostel room with us. They are funny, her accent is crazy weird. Paul and I have acquired enough inside jokes this past week to last a while...as if we needed more. I love watching people watch us, I know they think we are "together", and then I ask him to pass me a roll and he drops it from 3 feet above my plate and it lands in my food and splatters and we die laughing. I think then it becomes obvious that he is my brother. And people are like hmm, that is interesting that they treat each other like that. We are heading out tonight for another overnight bus ride over to the coast. I was stoked about going because I was told that I would see penguins, everyone else that we have talked to about it said that it is whale season which is supposed to be amazing...whatever, I want to see a real, live penguin. Then last night at the hostel the English dude we were talking to said that the whales beach themselves and FEED on the penguins!?! WHAT!!! It can't be true.

I should have packed my jump rope. Mom came back from Costa Rica with a new found passion for jump rope, and was told it was the "best workout" and obviously easy to take places. Needless to say, I chose not to pack it, and will pay for it. The goal is to NOT need 2 plane tickets to fit my rear in on the way home at the end of the summer. Its all like amazing Italian food here? Pizza, calzones, empanadas etc.

Matt Chandler and I have been spending a lot of time together via podcast...journeying through Hebrews. GOOD STUFF. Will write more about that later. Has been so great to have unlimited time to read, study, write, think, pray. I am interested to see how these past few months and all that He has revealed to me will transfer into lesson form for India...

"Faith honors God...God honors faith."

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Monday, June 16, 2008

Buen Dia Che

Made it. Love it. The word on the street is that Argentine people are arrogant...can't blame them. There seems to be a lot to be proud of. Its so different than what I have previously known of Latin America which is fun, if Paul and I don't talk we blend in. It is chilly...but beautiful days thus far. Its no secret that I am not a fan of the cold, but I am always up for an excuse to rock a beanie or a scarf, or better yet both! Paul found the neatest hostel that I have been staying at. It is a couple blocks from his house. It is a super old house that they redid, awesome huge wood doors and windows. There is an open air rooftop place to hang out and it has a pretty sweet view. There is a sushi bar and a club below it, that comes alive at night...which is just perfect since I am such a nightowl ;) Went to the soccer game Sunday night, Argentina vs. Ecuador. The stadium was huge and full of baby blue/white flags, balloons, shirts etc. They love their country, and LOVE their soccer. Fun times. Its just such a blessing to get to spend time with Paul, life has been so intense lately, its nice to download with him and....just....be.

Headed down south Wednesday to ski for a few days. Should be quite entertaining...for us AND the people that are lucky enough to be around us while we are trying.

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Happy 30th Anniversary


Meet Glenn & Judy, my precious parents. If you know me, you have more than likely spent time around them at some point. I am not sure you will find more simple people. They love Christ, things of Him, and live to know more of Him daily...taking what they know to be true of Him and sharing that with those who are put in their path. Outside of those things, the details of this life are exactly that to them...details. They have this crazy gift of making anyone they meet feel so at home, so comfortable, they will see the gifts He has put inside of you and tell you about them. While they are the first people to build you up and encourage you they will also be the first people to have the hard conversations, confronting sin and challenging mediocrity and a love for things of the world. I could not be any more proud that they are my parents. I love that they do life differently than the crowd. They don't feel a need to compete for the approval of people. The wisdom, truth, encouragement, and love that have been given to me from them is invaluable and there are no words that I could write that could speak of the 24 years that they have loved me so unconditionally. I have learned so much from watching them work out their faith both in their individual lives and in their marriage. Their marriage is so full of life, love, obedience, passion, service, submission, redemption, forgiveness, humility, joy, and selflessness. Could God have put two more opposite people together? I do not think so...yet they are such a great team. For 30 years they have walked together...brought together, while they were not yet His. They have been such wonderful instruments He has used to display His grace and mercy to this broken world. Happy Anniversary, I love you dearly.

Sunday, June 1, 2008

Truth For Today

In Your Name
There is hope when all seems lost
There is freedom in the power of the cross
Let the world see

In Your Name
There is truth where logic fails
Understanding that makes sense of our days
You Are Worthy

Hear the song of all creation roar
We’re crying out as One
To You our God
Now show us the way of Your love
And we will come running

All for Jesus’ name
Your love displayed
We are alive in the mystery
All for sinners’ gain
Your life You gave
We’ll sing Your praise for eternity

In Your Name
There is mercy without end
Overtaking us now time and again
Let the world see

In Your Name
There is love that never fails
And the promise that Your word will prevail

Hear the song of all creation roar
We’re crying out as One
For You our God
Now show us the way of Your love
And we will come running

All for Jesus’ name
Your love displayed
We are alive in the mystery
All for sinners’ gain
Your life You gave
We’ll sing Your praise for eternity

Hallelujah...Great is Your Name

In The Mystery-Joel Houston

Monday, May 26, 2008

Buenos Dias

Jose's bus arrives first, I always seem to be walking out to go to the workroom right when he gets there. He always skips into a little jog when he sees me, he gets so excited and runs to give me a hug. God squeezed an absolutely huge heart into that little stick of a body. 3rd grade has been perfect for me...their arms wrap perfectly around my waist without them having to strain to reach up and their heads nestle in the nook of my stomach right below my chest and above my belly button. I feel like I have a little head here most of the day. Because I have mostly boys normally its a sweaty head/cheek face, but I wouldn't have it any other way. William tries to come sit outside and I remind him that he is not allowed in until he has eaten breakfast. Joel shows up after breakfast and always cracks the door open to make sure I am there and there isn't a sub, smiles and then sits and waits outside til it is time for them to come in. Fran is always sleepy on Mondays...normally cause he has stayed up to some crazy hour watching a soccer game with his Dad and Uncles. I love how he loves his family. Brenda F shows up soon thereafter...normally with gum (not allowed at school) and I always am interested to hear what excuse she has dreamed up as to why she doesn't have her homework or anything else she was supposed to have, the girl is creative. Brenda M. comes and brings me either something she has made or one of her little sisters has made me. Carlos shows up with his same cute brown puma zip up, hair gelled perfectly, and enough cologne for a few grown men. These are the regulars that are there long before the bell rings at 7:15 to come in...I like letting them in a little early. I always have my music on my computer playing, especially in the morning. Sometimes I accidently sing and they get so quiet trying to listen. Some of them subconciously sing along from time to time cause they have heard the Worship songs enough to know the words. They sit and do their warm up activity while I am waking up at my desk...asking Him for the strength, wisdom, and patience to serve them as He would. Sergio comes up to my desk and grabs my Bible and has me quiz him on whatever Bible verse he learned at Church the morning before. He is the only one in his family that goes to Church, Sergio LOVES the Word of God. He just can't get enough. Edgardo, who is not technically in my class, but is mine, comes in to hang with me when he gets there until the tardy bell rings. If there was ever a day my flesh didn't want to be there, he was my encouragement. Little one has been waking up and facing each day since September 30th without his Mom or Dad.
Uriel comes running in RIGHT when the bell is ringing. Throwing back his crazy, wet hair, with some dramatic story about how his Kindergarten brother Roel that is his clone made them late. Tony always comes in a little late, his Mom's boyfriend of the week always brings them. He is always so polite...Buenos Dias Miss Holzman. Idaly is always last. She walks from her house around the corner from the school with her sweet Mom Sarah who works in the cafeteria. She always finds me to hug me before she gets her chair and gets setttled into her desk. Big smile, little giggle...the girl is all belly...I always pat it a lot.

This has been my morning every morning for about 10 months...They have made every morning such a good morning. I have 3 more of these left and I want to savor every second.

Friday, May 23, 2008

Hello, Goodbye

Only a few days til' I say goodbye to these guys...



Which means its almost time for me to get to hug this piece of work...

Monday, May 19, 2008

Scattered Thoughts on Myanmar

Today at about 7:15, the same time that my students wander in my room each day, one of my students arrived with a particular issue on his mind. One that I was more than happy to discuss and dedicate our morning to, because I too, can't seem to push it out of my head. After the morning announcments Joel pipes up with, "Maestra, which is worse, a cyclone or an earthquake?" It is amazing to me how broad his worldview is, concerning he has never left the Houston city limits, and getting on the highway is a rare and exciting occasion. He spends more time thinking about poverty, hunger, and injustice throughout the world more than many of the adults I know that call themselves Christians and claim to live their life by the Bible....the book which leaves no mystery as to our Christian duty to love, serve, pray for, and bear the burdens of people in situations such as these.

Pride is such a disgusting thing. It has been horrible to watch how the pride of the junta's leaders has manifested itself in absolutely ignorant decisions. Decisions resulting in thousands upon thousands of innocent people dying, people that could have possibly survived. The hope rests in the truth that the God that we serve is bigger than all of the red tape, and the restrictions, and shut doors. There are Christian workers that have been in Myanmar working long before the cyclone hit. There are also Christian workers in the surrounding countries that are being allowed in, such as India, Indonesia, Thailand etc. Please pray for them. Pray for God's favor to surround them, for supernatural strength as they work in what I can only imagine would be a very, very, overwhelming environment. Pray for the people of Myanmar...for the children that are now orphans, for the mothers and fathers mourning the loss of their children, and for the people that have been waiting over 2 weeks now for anything that they can put in their mouths, be it food or a glass of water that would provide nutrition to their feeble bodies.

A couple of weeks ago in church we talked about a holy impatience. How normally, humans are impatient in the wrong areas of life, things coming or going that we demand right now. Things that we just HAVE to have. The pastor proposed that we pray that God would give us a holy impatience for things like justice, an intolerance for sin, for the millions upon millions of people that have not heard the Gospel of Jesus Christ. I pray that He would instill in us a holy impatience concerning the crisis in Myanmar. God has not forgotten them....neither should we.

"I know that the Lord maintains the cause of the afflicted, and executes justice for the needy..." Psalm 140:12

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Hope

Hope (verb): to cherish a desire with anticipation, to desire with expectation of obtainment, to expect with confidence.

I think that my personal definition of hope has always been a little...off. It never went beyond I hope we go...I hope I end up...I hope they think...I hope I don't...etc. Notice the normal context in which it is used...I, me, my, wants and desires. If Christ is truly our Hope, what does that mean? What does that look like when it is played out in our day to day lives? God sustains us by revealing Himself to us. In trusting Him, He leads us to a quiet hope. A security that is irreplaceable by any promise or guarantee that the world has to offer us. Hope means going beyond our daily experiences, both unpleasant and enjoyable, to the joy of knowing God. One cannot trust Him, unless they know Him. And one cannot place their hope in Him, if they do not have faith. We live by trusting in Him, not the benefits, happiness, or success we may experience in this life. Our hope comes from God. Does this mean that as Christ followers we have a guarantee that there is no dissapointment? Or that life is going to go exactly as we would choose for it to? Of course not. The beautiful part is that in the midst of the hardships, the trials, and the sufferings, all of which are promised to come our way, HE is our hope! He is trustworthy. His promises are true. He was, is, and will be. In the midst of all of the seasons and change, He is the constant. The promise that He has redeemed us and will continue to sanctify us to become more like Himself. The promise that He is working ALL things, the good, the bad, and the ugly, for our good. That He will continue to draw us to Himself. That he can use the most unworthy vessels to glorify Himself. When our hope is in Him, there is an unexplainable joy that comes. I believe that in order to live life with this hope in Him, one must constantly be filling their minds and hearts with His promises. Satan will plant seeds of doubt, confusion, and fear, all lies in order to throw us into a tailspin. Yet in claiming His truth, He enables us to walk with strength on the road that He has for us.

"And if you are asked about your Christian hope, always be ready to explain it..." 1 Peter 3:15
May we be ready to take full advantage of the opportunities that are placed before us to share with those who ask why we are "ok" during hard times. How in the midst of such insecurity and uncertainty we can be so full of hope. I pray that we do not shy away, but speak boldy of our confidence that stems solely from our faith in Christ alone...He is our Hope of Glory.

"What is faith? It is the confident assurance that what we hope for is going to happen. It is the evidence of things we cannot yet see." Hebrews 11:1

My most recently overplayed song is "You'll Come", by Brooke Fraser of Hillsong United (do yourself a favor and buy it)...one of my favorite lines in it is, "as surely as the sun will rise, You'll come to us..." That is a truth we can cling to regardless of our surroundings. You are pursuing us, and You will return for us...that is a hope that nobody can steal from us.

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Here Goes Nothing



A new blog. Here are a few promises...I will write. There is this thing I do, its kind of an all or nothing thing, with everything. Sometimes a great strength, often times it is not. But I will write. I will use ellipses...WAY to much. I couldn't even tell you when they are appropriate to use in writing, but I use them all the time. I am not sure why I use them, maybe because I feel like it allows me to reserve the right to continue or modify my thought or statement in some form or fashion after it has been made. In case I change my mind. That makes me sound pretty wishy washy...

What good is a title without some explanation...Ok here goes. I feel like the meaning behind my title is a big fat lesson God has been slowly leading me through, especially this past year living in Houston. If you would have told me this time 3 years ago when I was packing up my college life in Shawmpton that I would end up here in Houston I would have laughed...a prideful, I'm too good for that, what a boring destination, I'm getting out of the States asap, type of laugh. That is hard to type. It sounds gross, and it is. Pride is gross but that in itself can be a topic for another day. The beautiful thing is that in the midst of pride, and brokenness, Christ still chooses to orchestrate each intricate detail of our life, aligning everything exactly as He would have it to bring glory to Himself in each situation. Most of you know, I have had a tattoo on my left foot for a while, of Isaiah 6:8 "here am I, send me." I love this verse, for so many reasons. Obviously with a deep passion and calling on my life to GO to the nations, I love the plea placed before Him to be the one chosen to go. I love the willingness and abandonment to surrender and volunteer where there is a need. And I love the fact that there are not parenthesis...like send me (as long as it is somewhere comfortable, and I can do something that I am decent at, and somewhere that sounds cool where people will want to visit me, etc.) There are not stipulations. He wants us without reservations. If we are truly at this place of true abandonment, we will not be as concerned as to the location where we are placed, but will be rejoicing that we have been sent out in the first place knowing that He who has called us is always faithful to fufill His promises to equip us.

I have been planted in Houston for about a year now...and He has proven Himself so faithful. While my heart still longs to be sent out...I pray that in the meantime I will not waste a day that I have been given, and will bloom where I am planted.