Saturday, December 31, 2011
Tuesday, November 22, 2011
Gratitude is an attitude of being thankful for what God and others have done for me. When I fully recognize that my greatest problem is solved, my debt of sin, I can feel and understand gratitude. This leads me to desire to live a life of response to what the Lord has done for me - a life of honor and thankfulness to Him. A grateful heart keeps us humble, teachable, selfless, and so much more.
One key experience which deepened my gratitude was our dance tour to Beijing as God opened the door for us to recieve an invitation to perform in the 2008 Olympic Festival. It was a very eye-opening experience that showed us the reality of what being a Christian is like in other countries. The feeling of the atmosphere in a country where it is illegal and dangerous to speak of Jesus Christ or "God" is something very
different than what we feel in America. The relaxed and free environment we
experience daily concerning how we talk and share with whoever we wish about our
relationship with the Lord was nonexistent in China. It felt as if my spirit was
being suffocated and "spiritual oxygen" was not easily found nearby in churches,
Christian book stores, television, topics of conversations, music options etc.
As Americans, we should be extremely thankful for basic health. opportunties for education, and financial freedoms. When entering an orphanage for children with disabilities in Lang Fang, China, we came upon one of the crowded preschool rooms. I quickly noticed two boys with very outdated hearing aids. We recognized the models which were used by my deaf sister, Lydia, almost a decade ago back in America. This old model of hearing aid would have most likely been thrown away in America.
We signed to the boys, but they just smiled. In addition to not being able to speak, they had never been exposed to sign language and had no idea how to respond. They too, most likely will never receive the benefits of higher education, a cochlear implant, or know the dignity of a career. A nurse explained to us that the boys would live in the orphanage until age 18 and then most likely learn to work in a field. So many opportunities and everyday privileges that we take for granted are not even
options in many countries.
Student Story, Brooklyn Bennett, Age 10: Returning from a recent mission trip from Nicaragua, one of my ten year old students shared her most memorable lesson. She said "I lost my ipod on the plane on the way there! But when I got there and saw that the families did not even have electricity, I realized that not having my ipod was not really that big of a deal".
What moments in your life have made you realize how blessed you truly are? We would like to hear your story!!
Friday, October 28, 2011
Wednesday, October 5, 2011
Monday, July 25, 2011
"Kings take pleasure in honest lips" Proverbs 16:12
Websters dictionary defines honesty as: freedom from deceit or fraud, truthful, sincere, and fair. As Christians, we grow up learning the importance of truth. We realize the Word of God is the truth, our sword for spiritual warfare. Too, the truth sets us free. As a young adult, I am understanding the great value of honesty in others as well as myself in normal everyday affairs. As a believer, the need for me to be honest with myself before the Lord is crucial in growing in areas of my life. Too, the need for honest love and acceptance continues to be something I need each day. There is no other love more honest and pure than the love from Jesus Christ. Honesty is mentioned quite a bit in the Old Testament in reference to the way the Lord desired his people to run their business affairs and relationships. God desires for me to live both honestly in my lifestyle as well as my speech."Kings take pleasure in honest lips, they value the one who speaks what is right." Proverbs 16:12. Being honest is key in gaining honor and respect to those in leadership positions. Proverbs 24:26 reads, "An honest answer is like a kiss on the lips". Honesty is also a key in closeness in any relationship. Again, as I am honest before the Lord and others, closeness and intimacy grows. God never asks me to be perfect but He does ask me to be honest. Being honest can sometimes be very humbling. Proverbs 22:3 tell us "Humility is the fear of the Lord, it's wages are riches and honor and life." It is my heart's desire to be known as a honest woman and be trusted. Yes, I am flawed and still maturing. But as I accept God's unconditional honest love for me at deeper levels, it gives me the security to be honest and transparent to others.
Wednesday, February 2, 2011
Colossians 3:12 “Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience.”
Psalm 27:14 “Wait for the Lord; Be strong, and let your heart take courage; Yes, wait for the Lord.”
Patience: definition - bearing pains or trials calmly or without complaint
In America, we are use to getting whatever we need or want almost instantly. Whether it be food where we have drive thru’s, or talking to a friend through a quick text message, everything we do can be done in an instant. Yet, when it comes to our Christianity or dealing with other people and their decisions that affect us, we may not be able to control how quickly something is accomplished.
There are many instances in the Bible where we see patience exercised. In the story of Joseph, he was falsely accused of a crime and put in jail for years before he was let out and then promoted to 2nd in command over all of Egypt. In this story, it first seems like there’s no way that anything good could come out of Joseph being stuck in prison. But, during that time of waiting and patience, Joseph met some very important people who would help him make his way up to second in command. Also, while he was in prison, he was helpful to other prisoners by interpreting their dreams. When one of the prisoners got out before Joseph, the prisoner was able to tell Pharaoh about Joseph when Pharaoh needed one of his own dreams interpreted.
We can learn from this story that there is much good that can come out of waiting and being patient. God can be setting the stage for a future destiny through circumstances or relationships we may not currently understand. When we are at a point that exercises patience, we build our trust in God. Sometimes it seems that the longer we wait, the more trust we have knowing that God will provide and do just as He promises us in His word. During the time that we are waiting, there are truths and understandings that God can reveal to us that will help us in the future. The Bible reminds us in Psalm 46:10 to “be still and know that I am God.” The times that we are waiting patiently for a breakthrough, although it may be difficult, are the very times that God can reveal to us an understanding and revelations that we have been waiting to hear.
Whatever may be testing your patience, remember that God is still near in every situation. Know that your patience is only making you stronger and preparing you for a great future!