"He must increase, but I must decrease."


Wednesday, November 11, 2015

November 11th

Today is a special day. Some people know what today is. It is a day to celebrate one thing. Well, today is actually a day to celebrate three things. Two of them are for all Americans and the last one is for a certain set of people around the world. What could these be? I'm glad you asked.

November 11, 1620
A great day in history, especially American history. Just two days before (Nov. 9th) the Mayflower landed at Plymouth Rock. Before disembarking the people of the ship, who were not all there for the same reasons, realized that they were not where they should have landed and therefore were under no set government. William Bradford and several other men realized this was no way to start a new settlement and on this day 1620 the Mayflower Compact was drafted and signed by the whole ship's company.
Today marks a great day in history. Though still under the reign of the king of England, this was the first form of self government written in the US.

November 11
First set apart as being the day World War I ended, sixty years later it became what it is now. This is the day we honor all veterns of every war. This is the day we specifically set aside to say thank you to every life lost and life lived for our freedom. It definitely should not be only one day out of the year, but even so, make sure to remember and thank all those who have fought and are fighting now. They are the people who make this nation great.
There is a new campaign to turn on a green (the color) light today and keep it on for all veterns as a way to say thank you. While it should not be a replacement for an actual "thank you", I like the idea. As the ad says, our veterns are most camouflaged when they are at home living their lives. Let's show them our gratitude.

Like I said before, only a select group of people will know today in another light. Those that can be called "the Wild Ones" that have left a  life of normalcy to journey deeper into the heart of God. These Wild Ones have heard a call and answered it. Today is not so much a celebration or memorial of a certain day in history for these people, but it is a reminder of the call they answered. Today is World Race Day. The World Race is a program of Adventures in Missions in which you travel to 11 countries in 11 months (11n11) doing missions. It is so much more than a mission trip, though. The World Race is a challenge to go with God on a specific journey around the world and deeper into His heart. Only a few are called to it, those can tell you that it changed them in some way. Those "Wild Ones" may not celebrate this day, but my guess is that when they catch a glimpse of the date at some point, they will remember and perhaps have their own quiet rememberance.

Wednesday, November 4, 2015

Am I Part of Something?

I have been home from the World Race now for four and a half months (WHAT?!), and I often find myself wondering what exactly I am doing here.

On the Race it's easy, sometimes, to say I'm part of something more. Even if it was setting stones for a path in a camp in Bolivia or allowing a child to "fix" my hair in Zambia or just showing up at a café in Vietnam to say hi to a lady we had met earlier in the week, I always knew that God had me in that moment for a reason. Here in Georgia, USA I find it a bit harder to see how I'm part of the bigger story.

These days I'm teaching in a preschool and once a week attending a Bible study. My life is routine and pretty normal compared to a World Race life, and I have gotten lost in the routine. It took a conversation with a former squadmate to inadvertently remind me.

What I'm leaving out of the story is that God placed me here. God knew that I would be teaching three year olds letters, numbers, school manners, and more. He knew that I would be attending a Bible study that is actually the start of a new church. This life may not be as in my face as the World Race, but I am still very much a part of God's story.

God used a squadmate to help me see that but it was a journal entry from Zambia and the conversation He and I had following my reading it that helped me understand. On the Race I was actively pursuing "deeper depths" with God and He was constantly showing me something. After reminding me of that He asked me why I would not pursue those deeper depths now. I walked in faith; I allowed God to take me deeper into His heart then; why not now?

It doesn't matter where I am, what I'm doing, or who I am with, God is still God; He is still writing this story, and He is still using me- even in the smallest part. He still desires to take me to deeper depths.

I am part of God's Kingdom.

Tuesday, November 3, 2015

My Christmas Wish List...seriously

As this holiday season has rolled upon us I have found myself somewhat excited but also overwhelmed. After spending this past year outside the United States, being thrown back into the materialism is slightly disturbing. Don't misunderstand me, I am super excited to be with my families, but I will miss the simplicity of not being constantly bombarded with the idea of needing or wanting stuff. As I've thought about it these past few days I have decided to make up my "wish list" just a bit differently. There are a few things I want or need, but if you were to ask what I really want here it is.
*Prayers and/or a donation for Together We Can Haiti and the Agape House
*Prayers for Bolivia and Hermano Lucho
*Prayers for the church in Huanuco, Peru
*Prayers for Paz y Esparanza, Bob and Lori Leek and MPF, Rachel and Ivan and YWAM Ecuador, and Inca Link in Ecuador
*Prayers for Pastor Ghent and his family and Bethel Chapel Mission in Malawi
*Prayers and/or donation for Kids Alive Zambia and the children there
*Prayers and/or a donation for Mark and Helen Begerly and my squadmate Jen Kaiser in Zimbabwe
*Prayers for the KJ Center in Malaysia
*Prayers and/or a donation for Lighthouse in Action in Thailand
*Prayers for the Roeung family in Cambodia
*Prayers for Daniel and Esther Ahn and the Vision English Café in Vietnam
*Prayers and/or a donation for Children's Hope Ukraine.
These would be the best gifts anyone can give! Gifts like this are actually helping the people that need it. The exciting part is I know exactly where these gifts are going and have seen first hand the way they work. It would bless me so much to know the people and places I love are being so blessed!

Saturday, October 10, 2015

A Life of Repentance

Before I was a Christian I lived a life of sin, but when I became a Christian I lived a life of repentance. ~A.W.Tozer

On the surface this quote sounds nice, and most of us would agree with it. A lot of times people equate repentance with forgiveness. That thinking is not necessarily wrong, after all, God does say if we will repent He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins. So a lot of people would say, to live a life of repentance is to live a forgiven life and stop there. We cannot just stop, though, there is a deeper meaning to this "life of repentance". You see, repentance does not equal forgiveness. They go together, but they are not the same thing. Repentance is a literal turning away from sin.
Picture it like this. You are walking a path in the woods. As you go farther down to path you reach a split with a sign that says do not enter on one side. You choose the blocked path. As you continue on nothing seems wrong until you suddenly stumble across a bear trap (you know, the kind that can break your leg). You have another choice, keep going or turn back. Perhaps you choose to skirt that trap and continue on, only to find the path and even the woods are filled with them. You realize your error. Now you still have a choice continue forward or turn back. To repent would be to turn back and return to the correct path.
To live a life of repentance takes on a whole new meaning now. Living this life (aka. the Christian life) literally means to stop, confess the sin, seek forgiveness and completely walk away from it, constantly.
No matter the perceived size of the sin, it still has to be done away with. I know this is a hard lifestyle. We as people stumble and fall, but God will forgive us when we ask, and He asks that we repent too. He will pick us up, clean us, and mend the brokenness. He may leave a scar as a reminder, but He is faithful, just, and merciful.

Let us truly live a life of repentance as we constantly turn away from sin.

Thursday, February 13, 2014

The Voiceless Part Three

Orphans.  This is where my heart truly lies the most.  I’m not exactly sure what stirred up the tug once more.  Perhaps looking back on my pictures from Ukraine.  Since I first learned about the plight of orphans, from Eric and Leslie' Ludy’s books, my heart has been broken for them!  Children have always had my heart.  I love children!  That’s all there is to it.  I wouldn’t have worked at a daycare off and on for four years and worked as a nanny for two if I didn’t.  I would not be working a bunch of crazy, loud, beautiful fourth grade girls in AWANA or spend a week at camp with seventy odd children if I didn’t love them.  And that love extends to a point of pain sometimes.  When I hear of children hurting it breaks my heart to pieces. 

When I found out the statistics on orphans I was crushed.  Approximately 148 million children do not have a mommy and a daddy.  These children are not comforted when they wake up with a bad dream (most of them live a bad dream every day).  They have no one to run to for protection from the school bully.  Most don’t even attend school.  Those that are in an orphanage are actually not much better off than those who aren’t (especially socially).

In Ukraine orphans are considered worthless.  No one wants to hire an orphan even if they did go to school  and even university.  It’s the stigma. And it’s not just Ukraine….around the world.

What are we as Christians doing about it? I like what Eric Ludy shared in one of his podcasts a few years ago.  His son, Hudson, was three at the time and his solution was- “if we bring all the orphans in to our family, they won’t be orphans any more.” From the mouths of babes as the saying goes.

So there are roughly 148 million orphans in the world today and about 3 billion people on earth claiming to be Christians.  If just 30% would take one child there would be no orphans. 

I may not be able to do much now is a single twenty-four year old lady living as a daughter at home, but I can be a voice.  I can advocate their rescue and adoption, and I can support those who are doing what they can. Are you doing what you can?

This is also one reason I am so excited about this mission journey through the World Race.  I cannot wait to love on the orphans!

The Voiceless Part Two

At the beginning of 2013 I was able to take part in Passion via internet.  Once again they highlighted  slavery and slaves. Once again my heart stirred within me.  No man, woman, or child should ever be the property of another person.  Many people think slavery was abolished from the United States 150 years ago, but the truth is as many as 17,500 people are trafficked into the United States annually. That’s nearly 48 people a day.  There are more slaves now, 27 million to be exact, than there were in William Wilberforce’s day. 

At times I feel so apathetic about the whole thing.  What can I do to help them? 

One of the things I heard during Passion was that slaves often ask “Where is God when I am here suffering?”  Where is He?  The only way these people can see God is through you and me so in essence what they are really asking is “Where are God’s people?  Why are the people of God not coming to save me as He saved them?”

So men and women of God, where are we? Are we turning our backs?  Are we turning up the music so we don’t hear their cries? Are we quickly passing them in the streets because we don’t know any better?

We need to be better informed.  In order to fight a battle you must know what you are doing.  Polaris Project has a good article on what signs to look for in a suspected trafficking case.
There are people already on the front lines fighting, but they need our help.  They don’t just need our funds (though greatly appreciated), they need our hearts and our voices.

There are so many ways to help those trapped in the deception and terror of human trafficking.

A few ministries dedicated to this are International Justice Mission, End it Movement, A21, and Polaris Project.

Another way to get involved is to help stop the demand. Find out what products are being produced by slaves (its not just the sex industry, though that’s a big part) and either refuse to buy that product or send the company/producer a letter letting them know your stand. Let major companies know you want their products, all the way down the line, to be made by men and women not in bonds. Slavery Footprint is a good way to do this. While you’re there you can check out just how many slaves are working for you right now. It is eye opening.

I honestly cannot put into words what I want to say in this post. There are men, women, girls, boys, brothers, daughters being used to the point of death both in their bodies and in their spirits. What are we doing to help them? What are we doing to show them that God is indeed there loving them and rescuing them?  What are we doing to be the hands, feet, and heart of the One who saved us?

What are we doing to save those that are enslaved?

Loose Ends

I realize I have left some loose ends here on my humble little blog.  I do not intend to let this blog fall into disrepair while on the World Race and blogging through that.  From time to time I may stop by to let those of you still here know what is going on with me.  When or how often I cannot actually say, but hopefully it will happen. For now though I do hope you will forgive me for the lateness of these next two posts.  I know I started my series on The Voiceless last year and I haven’t forgotten it.  Here now are the last two installments of that series.

Through Christ,
Lady B

PostScript- To get more updates come on over and visit my World Race blog at Build YOUR Kingdom Here