Tuesday, June 11, 2013


School is just about over for me.  Very soon I will be a senior and then it's off to college in just over a year.  I think I'm one of the most excited juniors in my school in terms of my willingness to leave high school behind.  But that's a whole different story.
It's interesting to look back over the years.  When I was younger I really enjoyed learning.  I remember spending my entire summers working through long lists of books and counting down the days until the first day back to school.  Up until high school, I loved going to school.  In fact, less than a week would go by and I would already be wishing for school to start again.  I can't remember a single summer until after 8th grade where this wasn't true.
There are a couple of reasons why this changed after 8th grade.  One was that I started working and traveling in the summer more often so I had less time just sitting around the house.  Another is that the high school starts about two weeks before the middle school.  Not to mention that with marching band I've actually been around the school for a good two weeks before the first day.  The biggest reason was probably my dread for starting high school.  And since then, my general dislike for the high school curriculum.
Regardless of the reasons, I've always been excited, even just a little, about starting school the following fall.  I'm sure that come August I'll be more than enthusiastic about starting my senior year.  But right now, for the first time in my life, I am really looking forward to slowing down, reading, and unwinding from this year.  Maybe it's because junior year was so hard (which it was), or maybe it's because as my faith grows, I start to understand the necessity to embrace every moment I'm alive and use every moment to grow even more.
Either way, school is basically done, and although I have a very busy summer, I plan to use all my time following where God leads me.

Sunday, June 9, 2013

The Lord Works in Mysterious Ways

In my last post I mentioned I had been dealing with some discouragement.  This past week it wasn't discouragement so much as I was forced to address a problem with sin which was causing me pain.  I felt like I was falling away from my relationship with God in a way.  I didn't feel like I was fit to be a soldier for my King.
And then, as usual, God sees fit to use me in ways that I couldn't have expected in my wildest dreams.  An unsaved friend of mine needed advice and comfort and I was able to share my faith with her and she took some comfort from that.  It's really amazing to feel so completely useless and then realize that God has plans for me regardless of what I think.
Also, I've been singing a lot these past couple of weeks.  I've been finding so much comfort in praise music.  Steven Curtis Chapman has a new album which includes the song "Morning Has Broken."  I hadn't realized that the song was a hymn so this morning in church when I was flipping through the hymnal, looking for songs to play on piano, I was very surprised to find that song in it.  I was humming it and looking for other songs throughout the rest of service.  And then, the choir sang that song before the sermon.  I've never heard them sing that song before, and then they sing it today.  The ways God works are pretty amazing.
Our God has a grand plan for each and every one of us.

Monday, June 3, 2013

Proof of God's Love

The church I attend on Sunday evenings is sending a family to Papua New Guinea for the next 9 months to explore the possibility of missions work in that area.  They are the first missionaries this congregation has sent out.  Last night was the last Lord's Day they will be spending in the country until they return.  The young man preached the sermon last night.  He discussed the importance of missions work, particularly Pauline missions work (as opposed to Timothy or Titus).  He cited many reasons why missions work is important, such as the Great Commission and others like it.  One particular verse caught my attention.  Matthew 24:14:
And this gospel of the kingdom will be proclaimed throughout the whole world as a testimony to all nations, and then the end will come.
 Think about it.  The gospel is to be shared with all nations, and then, not before, the end will come.  Sure, maybe every country has heard the gospel.  Certainly every big city has.  But does God really care about political boundaries created by man?  I don't believe so.  No, I believe that in the Bible "nations" mean people groups.  Languages, tribes, cultures.  Do you know how many indigenous languages are spoken in Indonesia?  737.   According to Joshua Project, there are 783 people groups in Indonesia alone.  At least 227 people groups have never heard the word of God.  That's just in Indonesia.
Over 7,000 people groups have never heard the name of Jesus.
Out of the 7,000 languages in the world today, only about 500 have the whole Bible translated into it.  There are over 200 million people who cannot read the Bible because it is not in their language.
I just can't believe these numbers.  We have had 2000 years in which to share the good news, and yet here we stand.  Unless we do something, 200 million people will die and never see Heaven simply because they never knew.  We are responsible for that.
I had been feeling somewhat discouraged recently.  Last night's sermon motivated me.
But, let's face it.  How often do we hear a powerful sermon and go home and wake up Monday morning and become discouraged again?  After all, I can't go to Papua New Guinea or Indonesia today and give them God's word.
I was reading a new blog post on the Rebelution and I found this:
It’s our job to pray, send, and go to reach the unreached peoples of the world and meet people’s physical needs as well.
It reminded me what my passion is and what my calling is and what my responsibility as a Christian is. I may not be able to go across the world today, but if it's God's Will then one day I will go and I will share His love.  Right now I need to be preparing for that day.  I need to be ready to go when called because as a soldier for God's army I need to be ready to follow my King into battle when He calls me to do so.  And I cannot go to battle if I'm not well trained.
I think God used the blog post this morning to remind me of what He asks of me.  His love won't let me slip through the cracks.  He will train me to fight for Him every day from now until eternity and today is just one example among millions of the ways he has saved me from myself.  Who can deny the power of His love?