We are Missionaries 

A few weeks ago Kyle said he was going to live in Calhoun as if he were a missionary. Ummmm…okay. Those were my thoughts at first. We aren’t that far from where he has grown up. It’s 30 minutes away. We are living life very similarly to how we lived in Cartersville. We both work. We have a normal home. We are active in church, but missionaries? I wasn’t so sure. 

But the more I thought about his statement the more it makes sense to me. Jesus gave believers a task before he ascended. “And Jesus came and said to them, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.””‭‭(Matthew‬ ‭28:18-20‬ ‭ESV‬‬) 

We are missionaries. We are living with a purpose to infiltrate our community with the gospel. We are here to take every opportunity to share Jesus with the people of Calhoun. We moved 30 minutes away to be missionaries. But truly, we are all called to be missionaries. We do not have to move to spread the gospel. We can share right where we are. We can shine Jesus even if we are living in the same neighborhood we grew up in. So yes, we are missionaries in Calhoun. Where are you a missionary at?

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Overwhelmed by Tomorow

I’m trying to process through tomorrow. As I sit in my quiet home, I am overwhelmed by the meaning behind what is coming in the morning. Tomorrow is Hannah’s baby dedication at church, and my heart is bursting with joy and my cheeks are damp with tears. 

For years I prayed for this sweet baby and God has given us the happiest little girl, and now it is our turn to give her back to God in front of our family and church. Hannah’s name is special for many reasons, but today I am reminded again of Hannah from the Bible. In 1 Samuel 1, Hannah asks God for a son and then promises to give her son back to serve God. God hears Hannah and blesses her with Samuel. Later in the chapter it says, “For this child I prayed, and the Lord has granted me my petition that I made to him. Therefore I have lent him to the Lord. As long as he lives, he is lent to the Lord.” And he worshiped the Lord there.” (1 Samuel‬ ‭1:27-28‬ ‭ESV‬‬) 

Tomorrow we are giving our daughter, and the life she lives, back to the Lord. We are going to be charged with raising her in a godly home, living a Christ-centered life in front of her, and teaching her all about Jesus! I am so excited for this moment! A moment I was unsure would ever come! These tears are tears of joy! My heart is so full! I will gladly and whole heartedly dedicate her to the Lord!

First 5 From Afar

I love the First 5 app! Do you have it? It’s a free app that has amazing devotionals to do in the first five minutes of your day.

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I have been using this app on and off since it started more than two years ago. About a week ago though I had a new idea about how this app could be used to help me minister to young ladies I do not see often anymore.

I was texting a student who was in our former youth group and realized that she wasn’t attending church the way I had hoped she would be. She admitted it and I encouraged her to attend somewhere, but I wanted a way to be able to have a spiritual conversation with her daily. I cannot see her nearly as often as I used to so I asked if she would be interested in going through a reading plan together and she was thrilled with the idea. I told her about First 5 and we chose a plan to go through together. Our deal is that each day we read before 8 PM and then we text each other something from the scripture or devotional that stuck out to us, taught us something, reminded us of something, etc.

I wasn’t sure how it would work at first. I mean, who wants a 29 year old texting you about the bible everyday, and I honestly have never had a 17 year old accountability partner before, BUT we are trying it. So far I have loved it and she has too! We are both learning about God and the Bible, but we are also learning about each other and how to be better sisters in Christ.

My hope is to be able to continue this with her and encourage her to do this with someone else too. Maybe someone her age, or younger, whom she can encourage in Christ and be there for. I definitly want to be doing this with more girls though. This has been a great way to minister to a young lady in a very comfortable setting.

How are you discipling others? Are you able to sit down face to face with someone you are discipling, or do you have to get creative like me in order to minister to someone?

Lord, I am Coming

I saw a beautiful picture on Instagram yesterday that said “My heart has heard you say, “Come and talk to me.” And my heart responds, “Lord, I am coming.”” (Psalm 27:8) 


I had to screen capture it and this morning as I looked at the image again I wanted to read Psalm 27. This Psalm is David’s and is titled The Lord is My Light and My Salvation. It is such a beautiful prayer to lift up, but verse 8…how many times do we feel the draw of the Lord and actually go to Him? I know so many times I get distracted. I’ll spend time with you when my coffee cup is empty (I want to be fully awake for Jesus). I’ll spend time with you when my daughter is napping (what if she needs me while I’m doing my quiet time). I’ll spend time with you when my favorite show is over (I don’t want to be wondering what is happening in the show). I’ll spend time with you before I go to bed (so that you’re the last thought before I sleep). So many excuses! Why can’t I respond immediately with “Lord, I am coming” ? I know I am probably not alone in this struggle, but today my prayer is to put God first, before the boxes I need to pack, before the DVR, before my caffeine fix. God is first!

Temptation

I was remembering a time about 12 years ago where I was tempted, fell into temptation, and reaped the punishment when I was caught. I was a junior in high school taking honors British literature. My parents had a rule; we could exempt finals if we had an A in the class. When I asked the teacher what my grade was she informed me it was an 89.5. Oh the temptation… take the final or not? The teacher told me if I bombed the final she wouldn’t put it in and I would keep my current grade. I don’t know what I thought would happen…maybe that the teacher would have a heart and round my grade up, but I decided to lie to my mom and tell her I had an A, not take the final, and wait to see what the report card said three weeks later. Temptation means a desire to do something, especially wrong or unwise. It was so wrong to lie to my mom. It was wrong to not take the final. Everything about this situation was wrong.

Jesus was tempted. He withstood temptation. “Then Jesus was led by the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted by the devil. After fasting forty days and forty nights, he was hungry. The tempter came to him and said, “If you are the Son of God, tell these stones to become bread.” Jesus answered, “It is written: ‘Man shall not live on bread alone, but on every word that comes from the mouth of God.’ ” Then the devil took him to the holy city and had him stand on the highest point of the temple. “If you are the Son of God,” he said, “throw yourself down. For it is written: “ ‘He will command his angels concerning you, and they will lift you up in their hands, so that you will not strike your foot against a stone.’ ” Jesus answered him, “It is also written: ‘Do not put the Lord your God to the test.’ ” Again, the devil took him to a very high mountain and showed him all the kingdoms of the world and their splendor. “All this I will give you,” he said, “if you will bow down and worship me.” Jesus said to him, “Away from me, Satan! For it is written: ‘Worship the Lord your God, and serve him only.’ ” Then the devil left him, and angels came and attended him.” (Matthew 4:1-11)

WWJD…did you have a bracelet with those four letters? I did. What Would Jesus Do? When Jesus was tempted he quoted scripture and clung to God’s word in order to withstand temptation. It may be hard to believe, but the Bible has scripture for everything. In my situation I probably should have considered, “You shall not give false testimony…” (Exodus 20:16) or “Honor your father and your mother…” (Exodus 20:12), and definitely “Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for human masters,” (Colossians 3:23).

temptation

Whatever you do, gah that’s a lot of stuff…brushing my teeth, writing a blog post, teaching children, taking a test, playing a sport…WHATEVER YOU DO. Work at it with all your heart. I did not work at Brit. Lit. with all my heart. I just wanted to get out of that class. So many times we do things half way. God’s word calls us to do things with our whole heart. As working for the Lord. For the adults here…when your boss is around do you work harder? Imagine if God was in the room with you…😳 I would want to do my very best!

When my report card made it to my parents I had a B in Brit. Lit. and I was grounded. Not for the B but for lying to my parents and not doing my best. I guess the teacher had a heart change at some point though because on my transcripts I have an A in the class. Temptation is a tricky thing. Every time we meet temptation we should WWJD and use God’s word to help us fight it.

Mary Again

Our church had their Christmas cantata this past weekend and I was Mary again. This means that Kyle was Joseph of course, and for the first time we had our baby be Jesus (I’ve had the honor of holding other babies for the past few years). 


Weeks ago I was asked to sing a song while holding my baby. I listened to the song and cried. I knew if I was going to sing this song with my daughter that I would have to get over the lyrics. Give Me This Night is a beautiful song about Mary asking to just be Jesus’ mother and he be just her son for the night. Let him be just my son, not the savior, for just a night. The bridge of the song is what got me:

God you gave him to me, And I gave him life. Now with him in my arms, And me in his eyes, This is much more than I ever could wish, You can have his tomorrows, But please grant me this. Give me this night, to just be his mother. Give him this moment to just be my child. He has the rest of his life to be Savior, but so little time, to simply be mine. So give me, please give me this night.


Being a new mom I have a whole new look on Christmas (as well as other things). For the first time I identify with Mary as a mother. She carried him for 9 months, endured the pain of child birth, and has the overwhelming feeling of being the mother of the Savior. This song may seem selfish on Mary’s part, and scripture doesn’t say that she asked God for this, but singing this song with Hannah got me. Even after practicing with her several hundred times, I cried. I cried with joy! Just like Mary must of recognized she wouldn’t have much time with her son (because time flies!), I realized I don’t have much time with Hannah. I cannot slow down time and keep her longer. She will grow up, and she will move out one day (a LONG time from now), and I will look back and cherish these moments I have now. It won’t be long before she won’t want to be rocked to sleep, or want to be carried everywhere. I know if I blink she’ll be headed to school or driving. This weekend was special, and I will cherish it forever. 

My Victory

For those of you who haven’t picked up on it yet, music is a love of mine. As a former dancer, I was moved by music, physically and emotionally. As a so-so singer, I am drawn to music, especially the lyrics. It’s no surprise that Hannah loves music with how much I listen to music. She was stuck with it the entire time she was in the womb. Music leads me into worship and a time of prayer. Music prepares my heart to hear from God. Music is my introduction to God’s sermon.

My Victory by David Crowder has a line that moves me, but it also grabbed Kyle’s attention (as a non-music person, it’s a big deal when he notices a song). “A cross meant to kill is my victory.” Think about that line.

cross at sunset

Today the cross is everywhere. We wear it as beautiful jewelry. We polish it in the church sanctuary. We wrap purple fabric around it at Easter. But when Jesus was crucified the cross was a sign of certain death. It was the form of capital punishment for its day. It was a rough cut timber meant to kill whomever was nailed to it. The cross was meant to kill.
I know as a young girl my parents bought me a beautiful necklace with a cross on it. My Grandma Betty gave me a golden cross to hang in my bedroom. My view of the cross was skewed. I knew Jesus died on the cross for my sins. I had accepted him as Lord and Savior of my life at the age of nine, but my view of the cross was beautiful. The first time I think I realized how gruesome it actually was is when The Passion came out. I was 13 and saw it in theaters. I cried and cried. They treated my Savior like a criminal, and he had done nothing to deserve it. Before that moment I had Book knowledge about it, but it didn’t really register until I saw the Hollywood version. And how much worse the actual moment must have been.

The cross was meant to kill. It isn’t polished jewelry. It isn’t beautiful home decor. It is a sign of certain death. But that certain death that Jesus bore is my victory. Jesus died on the cross so that I didn’t have to. The cost of my sins, my wrongs, my disobedience to God is death, eternal separation from Him. Jesus was the ultimate sacrifice for all of the sins ever committed, or that will ever be committed. Because I have accepted Jesus Christ as the Lord of my life I have overcome sin and death.

“Everyone who believes that Jesus is the Christ is born of God, and everyone who loves the father loves his child as well. This is how we know that we love the children of God: by loving God and carrying out his commands. In fact, this is love for God: to keep his commands. And his commands are not burdensome, for everyone born of God overcomes the world. This is the victory that has overcome the world, even our faith. Who is it that overcomes the world? Only the one who believes that Jesus is the Son of God.” (‭‭1 John‬ ‭5:1-5‬)

So this song is just beautiful. As it celebrates the cross, but also recognizes that the cross meant to kill is my victory.

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Forgiven

Have you ever heard a song that moves you? Not your hips or feet, but your soul? This song makes my salvation from sin seem so much more unbelievable. Why would Jesus, who lived a perfect life, die for me, a sinner? 

David Crowder sings this beautiful song and it brings me to tears almost every time I hear it. The part that grips my heart is when it says, “God, I fall down to my knees, with a hammer in my hand, You look at me, arms open, Forgiven!”

So many times we think of Jesus’ sacrifice as one done by the Roman soldiers. After all they are the ones who actually nailed him to the cross. Or maybe we blame the Jewish leaders. Because they are the ones who yelled “Crucify him!” But really, my sin put him there. He died for me. He wouldn’t have to if we hadn’t been sinners. We nailed him to the cross and he laid there willingly. He could have saved himself and not have gone through the suffering. But he chose to die for me, for you, for all mankind. I am so thankful he has forgiven me.

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What does Jesus say?

Hannah is 3 months old!!! Where has the time gone?


She loves to swing, kick, laugh and smile. But more than anything she loves to have a nice warm bottle of milk. Since I have gone back to work I have been pumping non-stop to keep up with her. Each day as I sit alone in my room at school to get Hannah’s food I pray. I pray a selfish prayer. God, please release me from pumping. Lord, give me peace about not breast feeding anymore. Jesus, can I quit? The pressure to produce enough, the loneliness at work, the time restraints of having to get back to my pump in time…I pray to no longer have to do this. Then I feel guilty because so many moms want to breastfeed and can’t for whatever reason. I am blessed to have a way to feed my baby without the expense of formula. I have a baby whose tummy loves what I can give her. 

Every time I bring this up to Kyle he simply asks me, “What does Jesus say?” He knows I pray about it and he knows Jesus hasn’t released me from this motherly task yet. So until he does I will continue to provide for my sweet girl. Until I am freed I will thank Him for giving me this ability that so many mommies want. While I continue to provide for my baby I will pray and try to be less selfish. 

Loving Others

From birth all of us love ourselves. We think of our own needs before others. We want what will make us happy with very little concern for the people around us or the situational circumstances. We love ourselves. So when Jesus tells us that the second greatest command is to “Love your neighbor as yourself.” (‭‭Mark‬ ‭12:31‬), we are in for trouble. 


I can’t help but think of my almost 12 week old daughter when reading this passage. When she is hungry she doesn’t care that the bottle needs to be warmed, her diaper needs to be changed, or the fact that mommy can’t drive and feed her at the same time. She loves herself (even though she hasn’t been taught to do this) and could careless about the circumstances. 

So if we are to love our neighbors as if they are ourselves, we are to care for them as if they are us. This isn’t natural for us. We want to take care of me, myself, and I before anything. Becoming a wife taught me that my husband and his needs had to be placed before mine. This was hard at first and I have to consciencely decide to put Kyle first daily. Becoming a mom taught me about this even further because my daughter can do nothing for herself, unlike my husband. I must feed her before myself, bath her before myself, dress, soothe, and care for her before me. Even as I have been writing this I have stopped several times to love and care for Hannah. 

Jesus says we should love our neighbors as ourselves. The word neighbor does not mean the people who live on either side of you or in your neighborhood only. Neighbor pretty much means any person you encounter during the day. We are to love others, not just our next door neighbors, the way we love ourselves. Think about it! Love everyone the way you love yourself! That’s crazy hard!!!

So today, and each day moving forward, I want God to teach me how to love others the way I naturally love myself. Putting them before myself. Caring for their needs, physically, spiritually, and emotionally, before my own.