Thursday, November 27, 2008

Thanksgiving 2008

We had a wonderful Thanksgiving.  Here a just a few pictures that were taken.

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Painting in Mexico

We spent the day with our youth group in Mexico painting a church in Mexic0.  I had the privilege of first meeting the Pastor of this church and his family 8 years ago when I came to Master's.  We have remained in touch and continue to work alongside them in Mexico during our outreaches.  

Joanna, Pastor Camarillo's daughter.  We have been friends for 8 years, it was so good to see her.
Before and after we painted the church outside.
Keith (left) Kourtni (right)
Heather (left) David (right)
Me and a group of kids that were hanging around.

Before and after we painted the inside of the church.

Eating authentic tomales - yum! 
Kourtni eating a sandwich.

We were blessed to get to minister alongside our youth and serve a local church in Mexico.  It was a wonderful day - To God be the glory!

Helping the Community

Last night Master's volunteered at a local Christian school (CCA) to help with a colonial night. Here's a few pics.  Glad we could help the community even though it was "freezing" (for the valley of course).

Me & Micah:)

Testing out the rides.

Me & Kourtni

Keith helped with the horse rides. The rest of us helped with inflatables.


Micah eating a turkey leg.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

He Chose Me

I just have to say, God is absolutely amazing!  It keeps me humbled to think God would use me to move in the gifts of the spirit.  I grew up in an unchurched, broken, dysfunctional family with many excuses to not serve Jesus Christ as my Lord and Savior.  But He chose me!  Me, to speak with a bold confidence of the scriptures, truth, and knowledge I've learned.  On any given typical day I'd be shy, not eloquent in speech and timid.  However, the closer I draw to Him and the more I hide his word in my heart the less I can contain it.  Not preaching to the multitudes or anything, just being sensitive to his leading to speak and minister in my own manner as necessary.  

Sunday, November 16, 2008

God is Big Enough for Your Fears

We all struggle with fears, some paralyzing, others mildly nagging.  Fear can motivate you to seek God's strength and power, or it can keep your from embracing new opportunities, including those that would help you fulfill his plan for your life.

This morning's service was quite powerful as we looked at the life of Moses, his fears, and truths to hold on to.  God called Moses to bring the Israelites out of Egypt promising to be with him, that he'd bring the Israelites out of Egypt, the elders of Israel would listen to him, and the Egyptians will respond favorably.

And yet Moses had 3 objections.
  1. What if they don't believe or listen to me?  Truth: Be faithful with whatever you've already been entrusted with.
  2. Pardon your servant, I've never been eloquent in speech. Truth: You never have to fear that you are not qualified - God qualifies you.
  3. Pardon your servant, Lord please send someone else.  Truth: The most courageous thing you can do is ask for help.
On a personal note I am anticipating Micah's return home tomorrow after an 11 day ministry trip. I've missed him soooo much!  I think I need to ban him from traveling any more this year... oh wait, he leaves again in 2 weeks to go to El Salvador :(

Saturday, November 15, 2008

The Call of God

Three questions may help clarify the call of God.
  1. Have I made up my mind to do what He says, no matter what the cost?
  2. Am I faithfully reading His Word and praying?
  3. Am I obedient in what I know today of His will?
"Let the morning bring me word of your unfailing love, for I have put my trust in you.  Show me the way I should go, for to you I lift up my soul." (Psalm 143:8 NIV)

Friday, November 14, 2008

Reflections from Luke 2:48-50

In Luke 2:48 Mary asked Christ a question.  In verse 49, Christ gave her an answer.  Verse 50 tells us, however, that she didn't understand the answer He supplied.  So there you have it: we might ask Christ a question and receive an answer, though we still may not understand the answer - until later.  Maybe much later.  

On another note, Jesus had to be about his Father's business (v. 48).  I just want to be about God. Not about titles, or positions.  Not about ministry. Not about my own agenda and to do's. Not about me at all.  If anything could be said about me may it be that I was about God.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Continuing to Be Still

A few weeks ago I was approached by a lady in our church, wanting to know if I would be interested in helping her part-time with some data-entry stuff.  

Having not worked for the past 3 months I have to admit my heart leaped at the thought of more income.  Then I was heart broke at the lack of confidence and gratefulness in God who is our ultimate provider.  He promises to provide for our needs not our wants.  These last few months have been some of the most rewarding as I have sat back and watched God provide as well as having drawn near to him like never before.  I have been so filled with joy yet found myself wanting more, more that was not for me to have.  I had to repent that my heart got the better of me in wanting materialist things.  However, I was willing to consider this opportunity as an avenue through which God might want to provide.  

Although initially I was torn about what to do, I did very seriously consider the options.  I never felt complete peace one way or the other so I did what I knew to do - I went back to the last thing I knew the Lord had spoken to me and that was to be still.  At this time I did not feel this position was for me.  Micah was supportive on the matter and we felt complete peace with that decision. So I will continue to be still.

Saturday, November 8, 2008

Getting What We Want

"Lean on, trust in, and be confident in the Lord with all your heart and mind and do not rely on your own insight or understanding.  In all your ways know, recognize, and acknowledge Him, and He will direct and make straight and plain your paths." (Prov. 3:5-6)

Ever want something and didn't get it, only to state, "but I deserve it"? Too often, we Christians expect life to be perfect and for everything to go smoothly for us.  We expect success, happiness, joy, peace, and everything else.  When something stands in the way, we pout or complain.  

Although God does want us to have a good life, there will be times when we must be patient and endure not getting our way.  These disappointments test our character and level of spiritual maturity.  

Why do we think we should always be first while others have to endure the lesser position?  Why do we think we are entitled to the perfect life?  Perhaps sometimes we think more highly of ourselves than we ought to.  A humble mind enables us to take a back seat and wait for God to move us to the front.  God's Word says that we inherit the promises through faith and patience. Believing God is good, but can we continue to believe God and trust Him when we don't feel that life is fair?

The secret of the Christian life is that we commit ourselves fully to God.  If we surrender our wills to God, what happens doesn't make us angry.  If God doesn't give us what we want and ask for, our faith is strong enough to say, "Not my will, but Yours."

God help me, I often have strong desires, and when I don't get what I want, I get upset.  Forgive me.  Remind me that Jesus didn't want to die on the cross, but He lived in total submission to Your will.  I ask You, through Jesus Christ, to help me live in total submission and be content with what You give me.

Saturday, November 1, 2008

The Words of our Mouth

Words are powerful and can have an incredible impact on our lives with laughter, memories or tears both for good and bad.  I pray Lord, give me ears to hear the words which will edify, sharpen, bless and draw me closer to You. May I have the strength to let the words which are meant for harm to roll off my back, and the discernment to know the difference between the two.

"May the words of my mouth and the thoughts of my heart be pleasing to you, O Lord, my rock and my redeemer." (Psalm 19:14)