Monday, March 31, 2008
Its amazing to see Christians struggle with sin. I have met so many Christians who believe that they have to hide their sins and strongholds from others. They hold these things within themselves because they feel like they are alone in their sin. The problem with that is it is just not true. We feel as Christians that we have to be perfect, and while we must strive to be like Christ, being perfect was never part of the plan. You know the only difference between a Christian and a Non-Christian or a man with bread and a beggar is that the man with bread knows where to find the food and the beggar does not. The Christian knows where to find grace and love and the non-Christian doesn't. Although we were called to pick up our crosses and follow Christ, I have never found any verse that calls us to hide our sins and our imperfections because we should be perfect. There is value and growth in sharing your struggles with others. There is no person without sin, and there will always be someone else who struggles with the same sins. Either way, there is nothing you can do to make Christ love you less. He is the same yesterday, today, and tomorrow. He loved you the same yesterday as He did today and as He will tomorrow. All you have to do is accept and bathe in that love. A wise friend once encouraged me with these famous words by Oswald Chambers, "When God gives you a clear determination of His will for you, all your striving to maintain that relationship is completely unnecessary. All that is required is to live a life of absolute dependence on Jesus Christ." So friends, brothers, sisters, be encouraged today. Whatever your struggle, no matter how bad it seems, there is grace. So find a friend, pray with them, and empty your burden on the shoulders of the great I AM.
Its funny the things that make me smile. Today was a long work day followed by a trip to the grocery store. All I could think about was getting home, putting on my pjs and drinking coffee. Oh! and of course.... french toast for dinner.... mmmmmm. Just the thought of this brought me joy. I am really not sure the reason for my happiness, but there is just something about coffee that creates organization in a life full of chaos. Sitting on the couch sipping and relaxing makes my day. Coffee was an excellent discovery. If only I had thought of it first......
Sunday, March 30, 2008
Thursday, March 27, 2008
I always knew God was good, but I guess sometimes it is hard to believe how good..... I have been applying with International Mission Board to be a missionary for two years. God has confirmed over and over that He wants me to go, but He had not confirmed when until last night. My pastor's secretary called me over the weekend sounding frantic and asked me if I could come in and meet my pastor for a meeting. I nervously agreed. At this point I was sure that something had gone terribly wrong with my application seeing as my pastors have been in direct contact with the mission board. So last night, I arrived at church a few minutes early to meet my mentor and pray about the meeting with pastor. When I walked in the door not only was my pastor waiting on me, but my Sunday school teacher, and the missions pastor as well. Right then I thought that all my hard work had gone down the drain and my dreams of being a missionary were not going to happen. Why else would all three men be waiting for me in my pastor's office? So, I sat down hesitantly while they all assured me that everything was fine. Pastor said he had a proposal for me...something I had never thought of and this is what he said:
"Katie you have been a blessing in our church since you joined a few months ago. We are so excited for what God is calling you to do, and we want to help you achieve your dream. So, we have been talking with IMB and have come up with a plan for you. Currently you are a perfect candidate for IMB, but we cannot fill out your recommendations with integrity because we do not know you very well. We are impressed by your character and your ability to teach already, and we want to do what we can to get you where God wants you. So, here is what we all have collectively discussed. We think that you would be a wonderful asset to our church. So, we want you to come on board our team and assist Dwight (the missions pastor) with everything he does. Basically what you will be doing is going on most of the mission trips with the church. Leading the trips, planning the trips, and organizing the trips. You will also be assisting with ESOL, block parties, kids camps, and you will also be assisting the missions committee for the next year. This will prepare you for your trip. All three of us, plus Shawn (my current spiritual mentor) will be mentoring you for the next year."
This news astounded me. I have never been to a church that sincerely wanted to help me in all that I need. I actually get to go on staff with my church and go into the office everyday to help them. This is a volunteer position, but the experience I will be getting is priceless. Me?! In charge of whole mission trips, being the team leader of the trips! I get to go to India, Costa Rica and possibly even Rowanda. How incredible is that? So for those of you who thought I was leaving in six months.... well.... you get me for one more year! I will be able to save money and I will be much more prepared to leave.
Even though this was great news, I had already resigned from my job, so this morning I had to go back to my boss to get it back. My position I have now as an ESOL teacher is no longer available, but the position I have wanted for the past two years was. So not only is God preparing me, but he also provided a job for me as a first grade lead teacher. My parents are no longer worried about me going, and the peace I feel about going is indescribable. God is good!
Thursday, March 20, 2008
So I decided that since I am about to start a new chapter in my life, it would be a good idea to write about the journey to get there. So far I am still in the application process to become a missionary for two years. So far God has opened and closed many doors, all of which have led me here. Waiting for an answer. You would think all of this waiting would drive a girl crazy, but somehow I have found much beauty and grace in the waiting. I am learning that it is the waiting that prepares me, strengthens me, refines me... Surprisingly I have found much peace in not knowing what will happen next, and the growth because of that has been unbelievable. All I can say is God is good. I hope you will stay tuned for upcoming posts and I hope you will be encouraged by what is to come.