Sunday, January 25, 2009

Prostitutes and Pimps

A quick look into my brain:

I was on Beth Moore's blog.  That reminded me of one time when I heard her speak about the possibility to expanding her ministry into other countries.  That made me think of other countries.  That made me think of Cambodia.  That made me think of human-trafficking.  That made me think, "Wouldn't that be great if some prostitutes got saved and Beth could go over and lead one of her bible studies!?"  That made me think of child prostitutes getting rescued and being introduced to Jesus.  That made me think to pray for them.  That made me think about of the pimps.  That made me wish that they would stop their operations.  That made me think to pray that they would be saved.  That made me think about what an incredible testimony they would have.  That made me think of John Newton.

And all of the in less than five seconds!  Whew!  It's exhausting to actually write out my train of thought!!  : )

Anyway, tonight amidst the muddle of thoughts I was reminded of the testimony of John Newton.  We've all heard the story a thousand times.  He was the captain of a slave ship...yeah, yeah.  *yawn*  Then he became a Christian and wrote the famous hymn.  Big deal....

It IS a big deal!  Captain of a slave ship.  Think in modern terms.  John Newton was involved in human trafficking.  He went from being a part of human trafficking to fighting it.  He had a strong influence on William Wilberforce, who fought hard as an abolitionist.  Can you imagine meeting him in church right after he got saved??  The pastor tells everyone to stand and greet the people around them.  You introduce yourself and explain your occupation and Newton grabs your hand, looks you straight in the eye and announced that he just left the slave trade.  Ye-ah.  That would give the church busybodies something to talk about. ;)

More on this later....

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Journal Entry: Monday, January 19th, 2009

Monday, January 19th, 2009
7:00 pm

Missions conference, the IJM org forming on campus, Charity's CD, various verses, the sermon last week...You say that pure and undefiled religion is caring for the widows and orphans.  Lord, I am convicted to the very depths of my soul about my self-centeredness, my materialism, my lack of care and concern for the hurting people of the world.  I want to go minister and be ministered to by these people who have such faith in You, even in the face of persecution.  They are persecuted by their families, their friends, their villages and their government.  Sometimes mere children, these people sing out Your praises with their entire beings.  They never stop to consider whether or not this is "their style" of music, because they recognize that the praise is not directed towards them.

Oh Lord, these people pray for us Americans!  We think that we can somehow send missionaries to "help" them, but in many cases, Jesus, *we* could learn from them.

I never felt "called" to "missions"- what does that even mean?  Jesus has called all of us (if we are Christians) to love the body of Christ whether they be Indian, Khmer (Cambodian), Chinese, Ethiopian or American.

Charity's CD puts faces and stories to overwhelming words like AIDS.  Lord, I want to be ever sensitive to Your will for my life.  Unlike Jonah, I want to run toward Your will.  Guide me, Lord.  I don't want to stay here at Cedarville, but if this is where You want me next year then, Lord, I will do it.  But I don't want this passion to ever fade.  I am no longer comfortable being comfortable.  Issues like child sacrifice, prostitution, slavery, starvation, AIDS, the Untouchables and orphans break my heart, as I believe they break Yours.  Just last week we were singing and said (the prayer of my life) "break my heart for what breaks Yours."  Is this the result of that prayer?  I have seen in the past few years how my heart has been changed toward these issues.  I believe that that was You!  Since I was a little girl, I have been passionate about international adoption and about working in an orphanage.  Then as I got older and I became aware of child prostitution, I wanted to raise awareness and go to Cambodia.  Although I (rather selfishly) never thought that I would want to work with AIDS victims, in the past month I am willing and truly eager to go wherever You would send me.

Grant me contentment wherever I am, Lord.  Give me opportunities to share this information about these serious issues with others and hopefully pass the burden on to them.  Jesus, I love You with all that I am and I am eternally amazed at how You rescued me to give me new life in You!!

Sunday, January 18, 2009

The DVD of Faithfulness

As I "chatted" with a friend last night (Thank you Facebook!), we discussed the faithfulness of the Lord and were remembering a sermon from Revival Week (while we both served with Life Action Ministries).  The message was by Crawford Loritz, a pastor in Fairburn, Georgia.  This post is a combination of that message, the conversation last night and my own thoughts, so I don't take credit for most of it!

I have a bad memory.  I easily forget the things that God has done in my life.  King David wrote "I remember the days of old; I meditate on all Your work; I muse on the work of Your hands."   He also wrote "Trust in the LORD and do good; Dwell in the land, and feed on His faithfulness."  David understood how dangerous it is for us when we forget what God has done.  Think about the nation of Israel and what happened when generations of them forgot what God had done in prior generations.

We constantly need to be replaying the faithfulness of our Lord.  Like a favorite DVD, replay the times when God has proven Himself to you.  When I am discouraged by life, I am reminded that over and over again He has been faithful.  Start compiling your own "DVD of Faithfulness."  Make a list either on paper or in your mind.

Also, maybe this song will be a blessing and a reminder to you. The pictures can be cheesy (although the rainbow IS the sign of God's promise- Gen 9:16), but the words are TRUE.

Be encouraged!  

God is faithful!!

Monday, January 12, 2009

The Faithfulness of Daniel

Daniel 6:4-5 
"So the governors and satraps sought to find some charge against Daniel concerning the kingdom; but they could find no charge or fault, because he was faithful; nor was there any fault or error found in him.  Then these men said, "We shall not find any charge against this Daniel unless we find it against him concerning the law of his God."

This afternoon I was reading in Daniel directly before I began my prayer time as I looked for an example of a prayer warrior in Scripture.  As I read these verses (and the subsequent verses) I was struck with the notable character of Daniel.  The governors and satraps were looking over his shoulder on everything in life, trying to find his mistakes, but they could find no charge or fault!  Imagine what that would look like in our world!  No speeding tickets, no pirated music, nothing!  They could find no error or fault in him!  The word 'faithful' used to describe Daniel in this passage also means 'trustworthy.'  The *only* way that these evil men could find fault with Daniel was if they made a rule that directly conflicted with his religion.  This made me reflect on my own life and think about how obedience I am to authorities (government, church, university, parents, etc).
If you follow the passage, of course, you seen that Daniel continues to be faithful in prayer three times a day "as was his custom since early days (emphasis mine)."  Just a reminder that faithfulness in prayer doesn't just occur...I need to be demonstrating an active prayer life now in life.  It takes work.
Okay, my sleeping medicine is kicking in and I have some girls in my room to talk to.  this could be much more eloquent, but oh well. :)  good night for now! 

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Selection from Ten Shekels and A Shirt (Paris Reidhead)

Listen to it here as you read along.  Just do it.

"Two young Moravians heard of an island in the West Indies where an atheist British owner had 2,000 to 3,000 slaves.  And the owner had said, "No preacher, no clergyman, will ever stay on this island.  If he's shipwrecked we'll keep in a separate house until he has to leave, but he's nver going to talk to any of us about God, I'm through with all that nonsense."  Three thousand slaves from the jungles of Africa brought to an island in the Atlantic and there to live and die without hearing of Christ.

Two young Moravians heard about it.  They sold themselves to the British planter and used the money they received from their sale, for he paid no more than he would for any slave, to pay their passage out to his island for he wouldn't even transport them.  As the ship left its' pier in the river at Hamburg and was going out into the North Sea carried with the tide, the Moravians had come from Herrenhut to see these two lads off, in their early twenties.  Never to return again, for this wasn't a four year term, they sold themselves into life time slavery.  Simply that as slaves, they could be as Christians where these others were.  The families were there weeping, for they knew they would never see them again.  And they wondered why they were going and questioned the wisdom of it.  As the gap widened and the housings had been cast off and were being curled up there on the pier, and the young boys saw the widening gap, one lad with his arm linked through the arm of his fellow, raised his head and shouted across the gap the last words that were heard from them, they were these, "MAY THE LAMB THAT WAS SLAIN RECEIVE THE REWARD OF HIS SUFFERING!"  This became the call of Moravian missions.  And this is the only reason for being, That the Lamb that was slain may receive the reward of His suffering!"

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Valley of Vision: A Collection of Puritan Prayers and Devotions

Take a moment and reflect on these words.  Read it slowly.  Imagine the word 'selah' (meaning stop and thinking about it) after each line.  When you are finished reading, click on one of the following links.  Sovereign Grace did an album entitled "Valley of Vision" and I am including links to one song: "In the Valley"  audio clip of song or read the lyrics.

Lord, High and Holy, meek and lowly,
Thou hast brought me to the valley of vision,
  where I live in the depths but see Thee in the heights
  hemmed in by mountains of sin I behold Thy glory

Let me learn by paradox
     that the way down is the way up,
  that to be low is to be high,
  that the broken heart is the healed heart,
     that the contrite spirit is the rejoicing spirit,
     that the repenting soul is the victorious soul,
     that to have nothing is to possess all,
     that to bear the cross is to wear the crown,
     that to give is to receive,
     that the valley is the place of vision.
Lord, in the daytime stars can be seen from deepest wells,
     and the deeper the wells the brighter Thy stars shine;
Let me find Thy light in my darkness,
     Thy life in my death,
     Thy joy in my sorrow,
     Thy grace in my sin,
     Thy riches in my poverty,
     Thy glory in my valley.

Oh how I wish that I could sit down with each person who reads this, grab a hot drink and share what God is teaching me.  It seems so impersonal and strange to "blog" about it all.

Friday, January 2, 2009

Silence...and friendship

Tonight I'm ignoring my phone.  I hit the "pause" button on itunes.  I shut my door.  The only sound I hear is the humming of the furnace (which is reminding me to be grateful for heat on this cold night).

My room is quiet.  I like it that way.  I am a perpetual multi-tasker, something which is usually viewed in a positive light.  "Oh you're such a good multi-tasker" is a compliment!  It isn't rare for me to be texting, listening to music, working on a paper and talking with whichever girl happens to be in my dorm room at the moment.  It feels like in order to make the best use of our time, we have to multi-task.  And yet there are many, many days when I crave solitude and silence.  This happens more so at college than anywhere else.  So...tonight I am relishing this sweet silence, knowing that my opportunity to steal away to a quiet room will soon be gone again.

Today two of my very best friends met me for "lunch"  Jessica and Charity drove an hour and a half south from Michigan and I drove an hour and a half north from Indianapolis.  We met in the small city of Peru, Indiana and spent about two hours sitting at Pizza Hut before moving to Dairy Queen and spending another two hours there!  These are two of the most incredible girls I have ever known!  They are beautiful, intelligent, caring, hilarious and, absolutely the most important, they passionately love their Lord.  Can I just say that I can't WAIT until these two get husbands because they are going to be incredible men and I will be thrilled to meet them! :)  I love friends like Charity and Jess because we don't have to talk all the fact, we all have busy lives and get very few chances to catch up.  But when rare occasions, like today, present themselves, we just right in and get right into the nitty-gritty.  No awkwardness, no need for small talk.  Just three girls who love Jesus  (thus desiring to obey Him fully and completely) and love each other (thus desiring to push each other to Christ and speak Truth).

As we regretfully parted ways at the end of our four-hour long lunch date (I might add that it was not NEARLY long enough!!), I started thinking about what an incredible blessing real friends are.  The Bible has so much to say about companionship and friendship, and it is far beyond Proverbs 17:17!  Psalm One says that the righteous man doesn't heed the counsel of the ungodly. Christians are warned several times in the New Testament to "beware lest anyone cheat you through philosophy and empty deceit."  I love how Proverbs says that the wounds of a friend are faithful.  Tonight I am thanking Jesus for blessing me with dear, precious friends!

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