Wednesday, November 7, 2012

This is the BEST of times!

    I just have to blog about this. Everyone has been talking, or rather, mourning over the outcome of the election Tuesday. I have to admit I was, and still am, very disappointed myself. It was my first time to vote, and I watched fox news like a hawk while I was at work. Then, the news came, we have a new President. Or rather, the old one.

     So, what about all this? I'm not telling you anything you don't already know, right? Honestly, now that the election is over, I'm ready to go on with my life. Regardless of who is President of the United States, who has majority in the Senate, if I'm going to have free time this weekend, or if they still have pumpkin flavored ice-cream at Braums, I'm going to do what I have been doing. That is, trying to fulfill God's purposes in my life and in my world. MY world: the people I am surrounded by, the job I go to everyday, and the schoolwork assignment I'm faced with when I get home. I will still strive with all my heart to serve and obey my King, who, by the way, is not the President.

    We are living in perilous time, as the Bible says, but we are in the best of times! I am living in the best time period in the history of the world! You know how I know that? Because I am! God put me here in this time and in the US for a specific purpose. He has something for me to do, something for me to learn. He has people for me to meet and influence. The same is true for you as well.

   I am not looking at the world through rose-colored glasses at all, but I do want to remind each of us that even though we are living in hard, trying times, we are truly living in the best of times. We are going to see things that our grandparents never saw, and most likely we will be part of the Rapture! Yes, this is truly the best of times.

Sunday, June 17, 2012

Looking for the Harvest....Now Where's My Binoculars?

     I had a certain thought the other day. Lately I have been reminded over and over how we are the light of the world as Jesus spoke of in Matthew 5:14.

      I've stocked shelves at my job so many times I can do it without thinking about it.So, a lot of times I kinda forget where I am and accidentally loose myself in the world of my own thoughts.

     That's where I was a few weeks ago, absentmindedly putting ace bandages and cough syrup on the shelf, my mind lost to the world around me: the people walking past, talking it up on their cell phones as they shop at their favorite pharmacy. My coworker a few isles down stocking the pet supplies. But, I don't realize things are going on. I'm in another world. And the bad part about it is I find myself here an awful lot.

     Where I should be is a totally different world for me. Kansas City is another world, another culture. I don't fit in around here. I look different, I talk different, (I say, "Thirty cents is your change," not "thirty cent."), and I act different. I'm not into rap music or shiny, chrome rims on my car. I think I have culture shock every summer when I come home from college for the summer. But, this is where I am. This is where I need to be. This is where the darkness is. I'm not by any means saying that I'm any better than anyone, its just not my culture. So, why am I here?

     Here was my thought. Jesus taught that we are the light of the world, the salt of the earth. When I think of the harvest as Jesus spoke of it, I often find myself picturing a mission field far, far away. I get out my "spiritual binoculars" and try to focus on that field that is hundreds of miles away and could be years in the future. It's white and its ready, but there's one problem: I'm not there yet.

     But these past few weeks have really changed the way I think of this. I've had so many opportunities to be a witness for my Savior, and it seems like I did not even have to go looking for them. In fact, they came to me! They knocked me out of my dream world and into the present. It's always like that; many times you have to approach people, but this time I was in the right place, at the right time, doing my job, being where I was. I have learned that if I am always "living in the future" and constantly thinking about it, I forget that the harvest is right where I am. They are my coworkers, they are my customers. They are all around me. I am in the harvest field.

      So, today is where I am. Yes, there are times when we need to look and plan for the future. By all means, plan for the future! But today the world looks at me, they look at you, and they see that you are different. Will you choose to lay down your binoculars and get to work in the field in which you're standing?

It's ready...they're ready.

"Therefore said he unto them, The harvest truly is great, but the labourers are few: pray ye therefore the Lord of the harvest, that he would send forth labourers into his harvest." Luke 10:2

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Praise Reports and Randomness

    So I've really, really had a hard time deciding how my blog is supposed to look. Which is kind of funny, because I really don't blog that much to be worrying about it! So perhaps here is what it will look like for a while...maybe....

     I want to express my praise and thankfulness to the Lord for His grace He has given me lately. Coming home from school for the summer is kinda hard because I have to get used to another routine, (or the lack thereof), and I have a lot more downtime to purpose not to waste. Let me tell you, Pinterest does NOT help that endeavor! I have a hard time GROWING spiritually. But, by God's grace He is helping me to live in His presence every single moment of the day, and remember He is always there, as well as reminding me to do the things that help me to grow.

     Another praise report! Another concern I had was my job. The first week I was back they scheduled me so that I would miss two church services that week. However, I got someone to take my Sunday shift AND I will no longer have to work during church. Not only that, I still have a jam-packed schedule! God does know just how to provide, and I want to thank Him!


 Today my Mom and I plunged into the realm of the unknown. We made a cheesecake. It was a really....cakey cheesecake! But it is good nonetheless!

We also made a Pear Tart and ate some with our tea! Sometime we're going to have to plan a tea party! My friend Angela from OBI has totally got me sold for hot tea!

Check 'ya later!

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

A spoonful of sugar

     A thought came to me today. Everybody has heard the little dity "A Spoonful of Sugar Makes the Medicine Go Down" from Mary Poppins sometime or another. In fact, you've probably cringed inside when you heard someone humming it because you knew you were going to get it stuck in your head. (That would be my lot in life, at least.)

     It's just a song, but I think its also the philosophy of some people, even myself, at times. As Americans,we live busy lives. Whether I'm at college or home, there is always something to do, and people to deal with. We sometimes see the mundane, routine, and even the situations we have to deal with as medicine: something that is good for us, (we hope), but something that tastes bad. Likewise, we see the little reprieves in our week, like a church service or prayer hour, as that "spoonful of sugar that makes the medicine go down." Can you relate?

     This philosophy may work for you. But if your life is anything like mine, you get a lot more medicine than sugar, and the sugar is completely lost in the taste of the medicine. I work in a rougher part of town with and among those that don't use the best vocabulary. It can be dangerous: last week we had a shooting across the street. A spoonful of sugar? I need more like a truckload of it!

     Maybe your job isn't as "risky" as mine, but maybe its just things you don't like to deal with, people, or even your family. And the medicine "tastes bad."

     The question is, should we really look at the good things in life as sugar, and the bad things as medicine? Is this really how God sees things? I don't think so. This philosophy could also be called compartmentalization, which means that you separate your "spiritual life," from your "physical life," or "real" life. In other words, "I can get a recharge at church or while I pray so I can go survive for the rest of the week." What? Treating church or prayer like a 5-hour energy shot? The danger here is that some then conclude they can do whatever they want to outside of church as long as they have their "spiritual time."
However, God's presence is with us all the time, 24/7. The Psalmist said in Psalm 139:7-10:
     "Whither shall I go from thy spirit? or whither shall I flee from thy presence? If I ascend up into heaven, thou art there: if I make my bed in hell, behold, thou art there. If I take the wings of the morning, and dwell in the uttermost parts of the sea; Even there shall thy hand lead me, and thy right hand shall hold me."

     God is always with us. This is something I pray throughout the day, "Lord, help me to remember that Your presence is always with me." And, He does. I can't always feel Him, but I know He is there. That is what will stand out to your coworkers, when you live in His presence, wherever you are, in every situation. That's more than a spoonful of sugar, it something I can live on, something that lasts.

Comments? Feel free!

Monday, May 14, 2012

Home Sweet....Hotel....

     I'm finally home for the whole summer! No more dorm showers, hotel rooms, or Cracker Barrels! I'm not complaining about the dorm or choir tour conditions by no means, but I am so happy to be home! I'm very, very thankful for what God provided, but there's nothing like your own bed and personal space!

    So as soon as I got home from choir tour, the next day we load our Dodge Caravan and headed to Lake Melvern for a short vacation. And we stayed in a hotel. :( The good part is my sister and I had our own room!

    We went out the first day on the lake. Just imagine. Perfect conditions. Not too hot, just coasting along at a comfortable speed on the lake in a Pontoon, then, *sputter sputter splut.....then silence. Our boat motor quit in the middle of the lake.


 Then, it got really hot! Thank the Lord there was a marinna nearby and they towed us in.


   The next day, we got it fixed and went out again, this time for about 4 or 5 hours. Sadly, we only caught two fish.


Sooo, I'm really glad to be home. Wednesday I start work. PTL my manager is able to give me 40 hours right away!

   I've been scouring the internet for tearooms in Kansas City. One of my best friends ever from school works at the best one ever in Kentucky, and while I was on choir tour she took me. I really, really wanted to take Mom to one here in Kansas, but unfortunately, Kansas seems to suffer from a tearoom shortage! Sadest thing ever!

   Oh, and as a late Mother's Day shout out, I have the BEST MOM EVER! She crocheted all the gifts for the ladies in our church in TWO DAYS! She's beast! 

 "Til next time!

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Day #11: Living Witnesses

     As a holiness choir, we look different. To say we stick out like a soar thumb would be an exaggeration, but I have found that I don't mind. We are called to be different. We are the salt of the earth, the light of the world. 

 Yesterday we went to a little hole-in-the-wall Mexican restaurant. It was amazing! I'm not one to say that too much because we had Mexican seven times on Spring Break tour, but this was amazing! It was so small, in fact, we were pretty much the only ones in the restaurant. (That's what happens when the Overcomers come in, we take over a restaurant.) After we ate, we sang "The Cross Still Stands" to the people that worked there.

Singing to the Mexican Resturant
     They seemed to enjoy it!

     Looking different really gives you the chance to be a witness. I can't tell you how many times we have gotten off the bus and people will stop what they are doing just to stare, and some will even ask us who we are. It is an open door. Once at a Cracker Barrel, (another frequent stop for the Overcomers), some sang to a lady that worked there and she ended up coming with her husband to the service that night!

    Another place where you really, really look out of place is the beach! We went to the Jacksonville Beach, and thank the Lord it was not really "beach season," so there were not that many people out there. Boy, did we look "different."

 Don't be afraid to look different! I know its hard when you're not with a big group that can support you, but its OK, and it is what God's called you to do! 

 Choir tour is going well. We'll be singing in Jacksonville tonight!

Monday, April 30, 2012

Day #10:

One today's schedule: breakfast, laundry, and the beach! So excited.

This is my first day ever to go and do my laundry at a laundry mat. It is definitely a new experience. The whole choir is here, so you can only imagine the scene... between hoping that no one is looking my way as I unload the washers and dryers, I look ahead.

God has truly been faithful so far on this tour, and know He will continue to be faithful. He has done such great things in our midst. I have witnessed a backslidden man come down to an altar, the father of two of the choir members, and get saved. His life is changed.

Luke 1:49-50 says, "For he that is mighty hath done to me great things; and holy is his name. And his mercy is on them that fear him from generation to generation." 

This is true. He is merciful and mighty. He will do what he promised.

Day #9: Surprising Strength

     I'm glad everyone understands that when I say I'm going to TRY to blog about choir tour every day, then I really mean I'm going to try. Enough said...
     We are in Douglas, Georgia tonight. The Lord really moved tonight in the service, and last night, and the night before. 

     One thing I have learned while in choir is our God is a God of divine appointments. We had a service cancellation in South Carolina, so we went to Summerville, Georgia. Choir tour really, really wears on the body, as well as the mind and emotions. We've been on tour for eight days now, and together with a lack of proper rest and emotional strain, there's more than a slight chance you'll arrive at a service a little tired. Unfortunately, we were all tired. But, we did our absolute best, and sang our hearts out. After the altar call, the pastor got up and asked the choir to come to the front, and they prayed for us! The Holy Spirit came down to refresh us.

     God truly has a unique, amazing way of working! You just never know what could happen! Our job is just to walk in the path He has laid for us, and He will do the work. He will give us what we need when we need it, whether its strength, healing, finances, or whatever you need. So really, it shouldn't come as a surprise at all!

   Stay tuned for more! :)

Monday, April 23, 2012

Choir Tour: Day #1-3

Sooo, school is over, test are completed, and thirty-five OBI students, two choir directors, and one bus driver (plus his wife :D) have stumbled wearily onto a shuttle bus to travel for the next two weeks. And now, here we are.

This has been my first year to be in the Overcomers choir, and I have enjoyed it so much! We have seen so many great things in our midst, I cannot begin to tell all. But over these next two weeks, I am going try to blog about this choir tour.

     Over and over I am reminded of the simple fact that if we make a place for God to move, He will move. This is what we are doing as a choir; making a place for God to move in our midst.

Stand by for an update!