Friday, July 24, 2015

Five Minute Friday: 10 Years Ago

This post is part of the five minute Friday link up over at Bloggers have a one word prompt and must write a post in 5 minutes. This week's prompt is "ten." Head on over to Kate's blog to join in!


Ten Years Ago

Ten years ago around this time I was 15. I thought I knew everything, like most 15-year-olds do. My first serious boyfriend had just broken up with me and my world was over. In my mind we were supposed to graduate high school, go to the same college, get married and start a family. Needless to say, that didn't happen. 

If I could encourage 15-year-old me now I would tell her to move on. You are going to look back on this time and regret all of the time you wasted sulking. God's plans for your life are way beyond what you think they are now. He is using this situation to shape you into the woman he created you to be. Believe that and cling to it with all you've got.

"For I know the plans I have for you declares the Lord. Plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future." Jeremiah 29:11

Seek Him and you will find that love that you are so desperately searching for. His love is enough for you sweet girl.

Thursday, July 16, 2015

Mission Trip to Honduras

Honduras Mission Trip

In 9 short days, my husband and I, along with 20 wonderful people from our church, are heading to Tegucigalpa, Honduras for a week long mission trip. Even before I was a Christian, going on a mission trip was always a dream of my mine. After I became a nurse, I had an even stronger desire to go. The idea of using my nursing skills in a foreign country to help those far less fortunate than me sounded incredible. The problem was when I mentioned it to my husband and family the thought of me in a dangerous country with people I didn't know was less than appealing to them.

 Well fast forward three years later. We got involved in a great new church and last Fall they announced they would be participating in a medical mission trip to Honduras. I could not get to the sign up table fast enough to guarantee my spot. The best part was that my husband, Roger, even agreed to go!

While we are there will be setting up a clinic in a local church and providing medical and dental services to hundreds of people, some who have never seen a doctor before. We will also be providing four concrete floors while we are there, as most homes and buildings have dirt floors. Most importantly, we will be sharing the love of Jesus with them. 
I am humbled, nervous and excited, but mostly I am grateful. I am grateful to God and to our church for this opportunity. I am grateful to our family and friends who made this trip financially possible for us. I am grateful for the 20 other members of our team and the relationships that are already forming between us. But most of all, I am grateful that God chose to place me on this side of the situation. He could have just as easily chosen me to live in poverty in Honduras, to wait outside in the heat, in a line of hundreds of others, waiting to be seen by a doctor for the very first time in my life. Instead, today I sat in an air conditioned waiting room, completely healthy, to have some lab work drawn and I complained (to myself) because I waited for an hour and I was "starving." It is shameful to admit.

I can't wait to get home and share the experience with you! For now, I'm asking that would join my team and I in prayer over this trip. Pray for our safety and pray that our hearts would be opened wide so that we may pour out into every soul that we encounter and be blessed in return.

 Declare his glory among the nations, his marvelous works among all the peoples!
1 Chronicles 16:24


Tuesday, July 14, 2015

The Love That Always Wins

June 26th 2015 went down in history as the day that "love won." On this day the supreme court legalized same-sex marriage across the nation. In the following days, the hashtag "love wins" and profile pictures taken over by rainbows flooded social media. Many rejoiced, many were angry, but the worst reaction of all came from "Christians" who took the situation as an opportunity to bruise others with their beliefs.

Love Wins

That night I saw the most beautiful rainbow on my drive home. It made me reflect on the true meaning of the rainbow. If you don't know, God placed the first rainbow in the sky after he flooded the earth to wash it clean of sin. He placed it there as a reminder that he would never again destroy the earth with a flood. Even deeper, it is symbolic of the hope and love that can be found in Jesus despite our sin.

Instead of being angry when we see the rainbow being used to represent gay pride, we should remember its true meaning. We should allow it to remind us that we should be planting seeds of love, not of condemnation. We all know what John 3:16 says, but we tend to forget about verse 17. It says "God sent His son to the world, not to judge the world, but to save the world through him." The only person who has ever been without sin is Jesus. For some reason we forget that and we are quick to throw stones, but just because our sins haven't made national news doesn't mean they are hidden from God. The great news is that just as we ALL have sinned, we can ALL be forgiven if we accept Jesus. 

It's our duty as believers to make it known that the love that always wins is the love of Jesus. To do this we have to drop the name calling, the judging and the hate. We have to start seeing the person, not the sin. The bible says "if we love one another, God lives in us and his love is brought to full expression in us (1 John 4:12)." We often miss the opportunity to love one another because we are more concerned with others' shortcomings than their salvation. We may be the only example of Jesus' love people come into contact with. We need to make sure we are portraying Him correctly. 

Love Wins

If you are a Christian, would you lay down your weapons today? Remember that just as Jesus didn't come to this world to judge it, we are not here to judge either. We should strive to be so focused on loving others that their sin becomes invisible to us.

If you are struggling with homosexuality or are caught in some other sin, whatever it may be, I just want to say I am not here to judge you. I see you for who God created you to be and I want to share his great love with you. His love is one that you can never be separated from once you have received it. His love is the love that always wins

Side Note:
Did you know that most rainbows are actually circular? You have to be above ground to see the whole thing. What a perfect picture of our lives. From where we stand we can only see what's right in front of us, but our God above can see it all. He knows how every piece of our lives fit together to tell a beautiful, colorful story.