Friday, March 27, 2015

MONTH 4

If you scroll through my blog, you will see I left off with Month 2. In that post I was writing about how I didn't have an idea for Month 3. I ended up taking that Month as a book free month. No reading anything else besides the bible. It was great!

I have a tendency to get on a book kick and be reading at least a book a week. I love learning! I will read books on anything that interests me to be able to grow and learn in different subjects. This in and of itself isn't bad, but it was getting to a point where I was neglecting time in the Word.

The month ended up being very restful; a time where my mind could be focused on one thing and one thing only.






Month 4 I am dedicating time to memorizing scripture. I haven't been very disciplined in this before, but realize the importance and necessity of it. Luckily, I have a lot of people to keep me accountable because it's technically an assignment for the mission school students to memorize the sermon on the mount before May 2!

Hopefully this launches me into a lifetime of writing God's word on my heart!







Does memorizing scripture have a part in your relationship with God?

Is there someone you could have hold you accountable to memorize scripture?

Banyan Tree

DISCLAIMER: I have not studied hinduism, and i do not know very much about it. this is written just from my observations and things learned while in India. All images from google.

I want to tell you about the Banyan tree from three different points of view.

 To the Hindu:
  • resting place for krishna
  • when next to water, the banyan tree's reflection is used as a way to describe spirituality.
    • Material word is a shadow of the spiritual world. Shadows are a false reality or substantiality but from the shadow we know reality exists
  • sacred
  • symbolizes eternal life from it's seemingly unending expansion

To the biologist:
  • seed grows on another plant, through it cracks and crevices
  • tree spreads laterally and the aerial prop roots grow from the branches to the ground
  • the banyan tree envelops the host tree and ends up killing it
  • the hollow center formed by killing host tree is used a home for many jungle animals



Other notes:
  • This tree is actually fatal to itself and other trees because of the weight of its aerial roots and lateral growth.
  • it germinates where there is cracked and broken foundations and worms its way through
  • It ends up being hollowed out, dead. 
  • Other things make their home in it

In summary:
This tree is beautiful! But I believe it shows very well the destructiveness of hinduism.

  • Lateral growth will never produce fruit. 
    • meaning: humanitarian effort will never be fruitful in the long run 
    • humanity is broken and we are in need of a savior. When we receive love from God (horizontal growth) then, and only then, are we capable of loving others (lateral). The only way the Kingdom of Heaven can advance is by Jesus. 
  • TRUTH IS VITAL
    • This tree defeats and overtakes it's host tree by sending roots through all the cracks and crevices. But if we have a firm foundation, the enemy will not be able to overtake us. neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.
  • Christ alone
    • without Christ, people end up like the tree that the Banyan tree used to grow. They become enveloped. dead, hollowed out, abused and used by the banyan tree. 

don't give the enemy a foothold. Stay strong in Christ. 




this tree of 'hope' (Hinduism) is actually death giving. 
But Christ has come to give us LIFE. so choose Christ.











hope that made sense. I didn't know how to formulate my thoughts so i went with bullet point format :)



Monday, February 23, 2015

Bless the Lord

WHAT ONCE WAS IS NO MORE

I wish I could give you all a before and after
Some way that you could see the change as well

It was more then just his voice
Something had changed

The way way he looks us in the eye
And his eyes are lighting up

The way he smiles when he says it
Instead of a defensive angry rebuttal

And when he stays after to pray
For his mother and his cousin

Of a boy declaring Ganesh was his god
To a boy declaring Jesus is the only way

This boy has been set free!
Hallelujah! 

But I plead with you
Keep this boy in your prayers

That he could be the start for his family
To also know the true Lord

For the Holy Spirit to continue ministering to him
That God would continue to write and perfect his faith
As promised in Hebrews 

This boy will be a great leader
One who loves the Lord 
One who acts justly 
One who walks righteously

His name is Jamalarao.



On the right

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Pray with me

Be still and know that I am God.
I will be exalted among the nations,
I will be exalted in the earth. 

I am clinging to this scripture from psalm 47. I am also finding hope in Hebrews 12:2,

Let us [fix our eyes on Jesus,] The author and perfect or of our faith, who for the joy set before him endured the cross, scorning its shame and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. 

The author and perfector of our faith: God is writing our faith. God is perfecting our faith. Our faith isn't based on us. As we set our eyes on Jesus, he is faithful to grant us more faith. 

As for Grace School, when we are keeping the focus on Jesus alone he is writing on the children's heart, he is growing the planted seeds, and everything will happen in his time. I write this all because yesterday was heart breaking. I spent a lot of time crying and praying for some of the children.

Please, everyone pray for Jamalarao specifically. He is in 2nd grade. His family is hindu and yesterday was a low. 

Our lesson was Characteristics of God. We had the students come up and write characteristics. Students were writing: savior, friend, listener, creator, father, healer, strong, great, etc. Then we had them pray, pick their favorite and draw a picture of how they have seen that characteristic. We had four classes of this. 

By the second class we started getting frustrated. There were children who profess Jesus talking excitedly about a hindu holiday tomorrow. It's called maha shivratri. A holiday to celebrate the "marriage" of two hindu gods. In our last class jamalarao, who has been known to oppose some things we teach, was very much against the lesson today. Not only would he not look us in the eye or listen well, he was adamant that he didn't believe Jesus was the only way. He drew a picture of himself and Ganesh. He said, "this is my god, and this is me. My god is powerful and strong. My god is ganesh." I was so heartbroken and speechless. This eight year old boy is making bold declarations of complete idolatry. 
I asked some more questions and then a verse from revelation came to mind.

And we will overcome by the blood of the lamb and the word of our testimony.

So I asked jamalarao is I could tell him a story. He said sure, and I began drawing and telling the story of my car accident from September 1, 2013. I told him how Jesus is the only reason I am alive, and as I told the story he was making eye contact and listening. I gave him the picture I was drawing with details of the story and told him Jesus wants to have a relationship with you! 



Hinduism is the culture. The government, the castes, the separation between the rich and the poor, the brokenness, all point back to Hinduism. 

My prayer is that jamalarao would be set free. That he would know God, and know the hope and joy that is found in Him. I want him to grasp the love of the Heavenly Father, to mow he is fearfully and wonderfully made, to know he has purpose, to know life after death, to know LOVE! 
Please, please join in praying for this little boy! And other children who don't confess Jesus is Lord. 

Thursday, February 5, 2015

Liberation

What if we are responsible for ISIS?
What if we are responsible for the racism in our home streets? 

And I don't mean the country called America. 
I'm talking about the Church

Those called to love
Those called to be ambassadors of Christ
Those called 'sent ones' in this dark and broken world

What if we were called to go into the darkness to shine a light
What if we received a calling like Jonah, would we follow Gods command?
Would we go to a people not of our own and speak of judgment and liberation?
Would we want to see them repent and turn back to God?

I say judgement and liberation because you can't take just one 
The Jordanians wanting retaliation
The French wanting answers
The African Americans wanting change
The Koreans wanting peace 

All are screaming, "justice!"
I'm crying "justice" as well
But I'm not fighting for world peace but praying for Gods kingdom to come and come quick

I'm crying out, Jesus, save them. 
I'm crying out, Jesus, forgive them.

I pray all would come to know Jesus the judge
The one fighting for me and for you 

Promising a place of no tears, no pain, no injustices 
Because he took OUR judgement. 
So WE could be liberated. 

Sunday, February 1, 2015

Just past A.Konduru...

Barefoot, under draped tissue paper decorations and a tin roof. The fan is wobbling as if it could spin off any minute. Behind me, on the cement wall, geckos scurry over the painted on cross. I look over the congregation. My team and 30 beautiful Indian women are looking back.

I was asked to prepare a children's story, but when we arrived there were no kids. They still would like a story so my practice and expertise of 'winging it' were about to be tested. 

I start by telling of creation. Then the fall. The brokenness each of us are born into. Then I reach for hand sanitizer. 

At first some looks of confusion as I start to wash my hands. I explain that my hands are clean because I washed them with soap. But then I ask, what about my heart, dirtied with sin? Will this hand sanitizer clean that too? Chuckles around the room and heads shaking. 

Of course not! Our hearts are dirtied by sin. We need Jesus! He can clean our heats. And not only makes me pure, but gives me eternal life! 

My heart was smiling as I recited revelations; every tongue tribe and nation will be praising and worshiping our creator in heaven. With no pain, no suffering, no sadness, no brokenness in our lives, we will stand before the king!

These beautiful Indian women we traveled two hours to worship with will one day again be worshiping together with no language barrier, and with no brokenness, fully worshipping the lover of our souls!
Hallelujah! 


Praise Jesus for the ability to testify of His goodness, His plan for the world, and His all consuming love for us! 

What a birthday!

I am so happy to be celebrating this birthday with new friends from the base, Josh, Jake, Brody, Kaiyeluh, and Izzy. They seriously made this birthday so special! I love them! 

I woke up at midnight to the boys, randy, and shama all holding a cake with a flower candle contraption that made music and had a lot of fire coming from it. They sang and then we all had a piece of the cake! Indian tradition - the birthday person cuts the cake and someone feeds it to them, then you feed a piece to everyone around. 

We went back to bed, and this morning had a slow morning. My favorite! Around 9:30 we(kaiyeluh, izzy, randy, and I) headed out for a walk near the base of the mountain/hills.  It was fabulous. Still a little cool, dirt roads through old fields and around briers and cacti, making sure to miss the cow patties. I love nature. 

When we got back we studied a few chapters of Romans, delivered the extra cake to friends and neighbors. 


All this time I didn't have to lift a finger around the house. Everyone else made lunch, made dinner, cleaned, up, etc. I've been treated like a queen all day :) 

Then a game of skip Bo, which is one of my top favorite games to play with my mom and dear friend, so playing here was a touch of home!  

I can't forget to mention the cheesecake and chocolate cupcakes with chocolate peanut butter frosting that they made. Yum!


Presents!
I also got a pair of pants and a chocolate bar

Cheese cake

Josh's newspaper wrapping :)


Now we are off to a village church for an evening worship time. I'm very excited! 

Thanks for all the birthday wishes!!!