Monday, March 29, 2010

Who you trying to impress?

Since Christmas break begun, I've been learning the ukulele. I've always wanted to play an instrument. I've taken piano on and off since I was 12, but I'm still not very good. Since being in college, I haven't had access to a piano, nor the time to keep practicing and improving.

Then I inherited a ukulele from my uncle. The instrument is nimble for me. By nimble I mean small, compact, maneuverable. Ukulele's only have 4 strings, so for me its also been easier to pick up. I've been teaching myself through youtube tutorial videos, and chord charts I found online.

I guess I've surprised a lot of people who didn't think I had any musical talent. Lately I've especially gotten the question "Who you tryin to impress?"

Honestly its a creative outlet for me. Something of my very own that i can do. Where others have impressive blogs, great athletic ability, etc, I now have the ukulele. But beyond that we can waste our lives trying to impress people.

"On the contrary, we speak as men approved by God to be entrusted with the gospel. We are not trying to please men but God, who tests our hearts." 1 Thessalonians 2:4

Throughout my college career, I've been growing especially in the area of not setting out to please people, but to please God, who alone I ultimately answer to. I've gained confidence in myself, and I don't compare myself to others as much as I used to.

Its a work in progress, but all along the way I'm finding who I am and who I'm meant to be.

Monday, March 22, 2010

Beach Reach Review Part 2

On Wednesday night we began our street shift prayer walking, not coming across many people out because of the light rain and the windy conditions. Directly we felt God leading us to go into the Taco Bell/Pizza Hut Express and meet people staying out of the weather. The we refers to Lauren Ward and myself

There we met a guy from Indiana. As we got to talking about schools and football he asked us why we were down in PCB sober. That led us to explain what we were there to share the love of Christ and be obedient to the Gospel. As we talked with him we found he wanted to join the military to change his life. As we talked about his plans we shared that Jesus can change his life in so many better ways.

We shared the story of the lost son from Luke 15 and how the son led a life of repentance in returning to his father. We also shared how we would be different people without Christ in our lives. We asked if we could pray for him, then prayed as the Holy Spirit led for his life. He said afterwards that was exactly what he needed prayed for in his life. We exchanged contact info and promised to keep praying for him.

Ultimately I've got to give God props for what He did through Lauren that night. She picked up the cues to head into Taco Bell, and to keep talking with him when we sat down at some tables. When we first sat down, i was coming off a confused conversation with him, and felt he was too intoxicated to talk to. Boy was I wrong! Lauren also did great in quoting timely scriptures, and in lifting up prayer for the conversation. Lauren's listening opened the door for that encounter.

I myself would get to do the same the following evening, and be the listener as I set up two girls on our team from Indiana with significant conversations throughout the evening.

Monday, March 15, 2010

Beach Reach Review Part 1

Ok, as concise as possible (because I know I can get really talkative) I'm going to share 3 concise posts about Beach Reach.

Going into the week, I knew there would be opportunities to share God with people. I didn't expect God to work on me so much more. It is arrogance to think that I am where I need to be, and incapable of learning from others, and from those I would share God with.

In fact i needed a serious attitude change. It is God at work, not myself. It is God's word that changes lives, not my own. I should be seeking the good of others and not the good of myself. Once God removed my own ego, that was when things got really exciting to be there.

Our strength as teams led to the most exciting encounters. Together all relying on God, all listening to His spirit, we found where we needed to be for Divine Appointments. As a short term mission trip, this trip has changed me the most. I cannot say I am the same before the trip. I simply pray that all that God did in me down in PCB would be a lasting change, and in his hands, and not my own, that can be true.

Friday, March 5, 2010

Leaving for Beach Reach

I'm leaving at 3pm today for Florida. I've shared in a recent post what the trip will entail. When I return expect a few blog posts on the happenings and what I was challenged by/encouraged by etc.

Monday, March 1, 2010

Angry Right Now

How is it that within the same day one can go from unspeakable joy to just plain mad?

At the moment, that is where I am within my spirit. I can't even sit down to focus on the assignments coming due tomorrow at the moment, because all I can do is shake my head. I was sorely tempted to call back, to yell in response, and to respond to the accusations. But I withheld. Not because I'm going to keep it bottled up, but because right now, I know my spirit is not in tune with God's and I would only end up speaking out of spite.

As I seethed, I felt the need to pray. I'm praying off and on now as I write this. I just want to put this out there, to voice the frustration, the hurt. I'm calming down, but I don't know when I'll actually call back. Or if I even want to return home after Beach Reach.

The problem lies solely with my mom. For 2-3 years now, steps I've taken in the spirit has led me and my mom to hold very different view points, different priorities. We no longer walk the same trail, nor do we really see eye to eye. I hate to even type this sentence but I have to question the spirit in my mom. Its not one I recognize.

Family Problem aside, its an attack perfectly timed by the Devil. Days away from leaving for Beach Reach, he's slinging as many fiery darts at me as he can.

For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in the heavenly realms. Therefore put on the full armor of God so that you can take your stand against the Devil's schemes (Adapted from Ephesians 6 as the prayer formed in my heart)

Beach Reach

In a few days I leave with a CCF team to travel down to Panama City Beach in Florida. There we will be taking part in Operation Beach Reach. We will spend the week in shifts offering rides to spring breakers, meeting people and sharing stories of Jesus, and sharing free pancakes every morning to create further opportunities to share our lives with them.

We’ve spent the last few weeks preparing through scripture, memorization, prayer, team building, looking at our own personal story, and raising financial and spiritual support.

I worried about finances, stressed to be honest. I sent out support letters, but my mailbox remained empty. I prayed.

“But he said to me, "My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness." 2 Corinthians 12:9 And as of Monday, my finances were payed for!! I don’t know how God provided, or through who, when, where, why, but God’s grace was sufficient once again!

Now I can finish preparing to leave on Friday with the CCF team. Meanwhile I will lift up further prayers that my feet would be prepared to go, and the rest of the armor or God would cover me (Ephesians 6). To the Father who provides life, and sustains it through his power and sacrifice, to Him may the glory be given, and may His glory be seen in me!