A Servant’s Heart :)

•August 10, 2010 • 4 Comments

First off, so sorry that is has been almost an eternity since I last posted! Will try to make it more of a habit to post! :)

I wanted to share an experience I had last night at the grocery, that really got me thinking. So I walked into Wal-Mart, going in just for garbage bags, but of course coming out with about 5 other things that were not on the list! I was just going up and down the isles looking and when I was coming out of one aisle I almost knocked over this old man…he was so tiny I hadn’t seen him when I looked around the corner! I quickly apologized, then moved on. The man was in front of me, and I continued to follow him for quite some time. (Not on purpose, he just happened to be going to the same aisle as I was) Anyway, while following this man, I witness a few things. First thing that happened, 3 boys around the same age (10-12 years old) go sprinting in front of him hitting his cart, but it doesn’t even phase them, they continue eagerly running towards the toys not even paying attention to the man they have nearly run over! The man simply tilts his head to the side a little, shakes it back and forth, and rolls his eyes. (which I found myself doing as well…by 10 years old you should have more manners than that!) Then he just continued walking, but looking especially on guard, since that was the 2nd time in about 10 minutes that he had been nearly knocked to the ground! Ok, onto the next thing I see. We are now in the first couple of rows of the food, a woman, in her mid 20’s is walking past some cereal on a corner display since it is on sale, and hits it with her cart. Does she stop and pick up the 15 boxes of cereal she just knocked over? Nope. She simply looks down, then back up and kept walking. The man, who is probably in his 80’s, along with another older man, both stop and neatly place the cereal back on the corner display how it is supposed to look.  They get the display back to its original state, look at each other with satisfaction, smile, then continue shopping like nothing happened. Now, to explain the last thing that I saw. (*Note: After the cereal incident, I was no longer following this man, because I had continued shopping*) So, I turned down the juice/soda aisle, only to see a mom and her toddler in the aisle. Well, the toddler knocked a bottle of juice off the shelf while the mom was getting some soda. The mom turned to the boy, said “No, keep your hands in the cart!” Then continued shopping. Now, while all of this is happening, the old man had turned down the aisle without me noticing because I was so distracted by the mom and boy. The old man had gone around me, and right as I go to pick up the juice the mom had left the old man turned around and picked it up and put it exactly where it went on the shelf. (If I had picked up the juice I would have just stuck it in an open spot, not necessarily where it went.)  After he picked the juice up, that was the last time I had seen him.

Ok, now, my point in all of that is what it made me think about. This man, who had every right to be upset with me, for running into him, the boys who ran into his cart and almost knocked him over, the woman who spilled 15 boxes of cereal and left them on the floor, and the woman who knocked a bottle of juice onto the floor and left it. But was he mad? Nope. He seemed so happy to be where he was with the people around him. He seemed eager to help others, and show love to others. When picking up the cereal and juice he had a smile on his face. When I ran into him, he still had a smile on his face. I really had a high amount of respect for this man, especially for only speaking to him once. His heart was shown to me through his actions. The things that I saw him doing, and his reactions to situations showed me he has a servant’s heart. It pleased him and brought him joy to help others and do things others were not willing to do…and to the best of his ability! I can’t say that I meet people like him everyday. But it got me thinking, when I go to the store, or anywhere for that matter, what do people think of me. (Not that what others think is that important, but I want them to not see a rude, disrespectful, lazy teenager.) If I don’t act like anything else, that is what others are going to see. If I don’t try to show others love, and help them, why would they think different? What makes me think that just because I know Jesus, that others know that about me. If I don’t act different that non-believers, then how am I going to make an impact, how are others going to see Jesus through me? Now, whether or not this man knows/loves Jesus is something I do not know, but if I had to take a guess, I would say he does. The way that I saw him act, and his attitude towards others was full of love and forgiveness…just like the attitude of Christ. :) 

I hope that makes you think a little bit about our actions, attitude, and how we treat others. (And, p.s. this little old man was soo dainty and cute! I just wanted to give him a big hug!)

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West Virginia Mission Trip 2010-Part 1

•July 13, 2010 • 4 Comments

 After last years trip to West Virginia, I couldn’t wait to be back!! I was looking forward to the week, and was so excited to see what we would be doing. So, after being in a car with 4 other people, listening to awful music, for about 6 hours, that sign had been what I was watching for. That meant we were there. I practically jumped out of my seat in excitement when I saw that sign. (And, ok, I may have let out a little squeal.) ;) 

So, a little debrief about the week: We went down with a team of 20 people. Our team of 20 got split up into two teams of 10. (I really like the fact that we were evenly divided. :) ) The team that I was not on worked on a house for some people named Bill and Martha. They tore about 7 layers of roofing off, and replaced it, built a ramp for Martha to get in and out of the house, since it is a difficult task for her, and the scraped and primed the outside of the house. (Only to find out after we returned that Mustard Seeds and Mountains decided they would put siding on the house!) But overall, they got done what was set out to accomplish. They really reached out to Bill and Martha, and touched their lives. Bill got really emotional as the team was leaving. It was great to see that the team made an impact on their lives! Way to go!

Now, the team that I was on, we painted a lady’s house. The team that was there before us had scraped and primed the house, leaving the easy stuff for us! (Thanks!!) The house was so cute! It was 1 story, we painted it white with red support beams and trim, then the porch was gray. (We liked to tease her that she was now a Buckeye fan, and that we might paint a “block o” on her porch…she wouldn’t let us!) Her name was Edna Horton and she was 77. She was such a sweet lady, and so funny! She told us so many stories about things she was scared of, her great-granddaughter, her son Wayne, and things from her childhood. It was so neat to hear all of those stories and things from her life. :)

One of the days, when I was sweeping the porch, Edna’s son Wayne was talking to me and telling me about his daughter. We got talking about where she lives, and he was saying he thinks she lives within about a half hour of where we live…it turns out she is practically neighbors with some of the people on our team!! How awesome is that?! We thought it was really cool.

Our team got finished with our work about a half a day early, and went and helped the other team with what they were working on. On our last day on the job site, about half our team stayed inside to talk with Miss Edna for most of the day we were there. That was such a wonderful time! She gave us frozen 3 musketeers bars, and we watched America’s Funniest Videos. Funny! I had such a great time connecting with Miss Edna, and the rest of the team. We all worked so well together, and had so much fun on our site. We laughed a lot and had such a wonderful time! I already cannot wait until next year! I am missing West Virginia a lot, it is such a great place to be! :) 

I will post again, hopefully later this week, about more of the details of the trip, some of the teachings from the nightly sessions, what we did during the down time, and a little more about the place. :)

Mission As Life

•June 27, 2010 • Leave a Comment

First off, let me preface this post with an apology. I haven’t written in like a week. So sorry to those of you who actually take a moment to read this.
Now, onto my post! I leave tomorrow for West Virginia for a mission trip. :) I couldn’t be more excited. Huge change from last year. As we were pulling out of the church parking lot last year I had tears rolling down my cheeks. My eyes were red and puffy from crying, and I had tear stains on my shirt. Last year I was terrified. It was my first mission trip. I had no idea what to expect. But more than that, I thought that I might be crazy for getting myself into that “mess” First off, I hate getting dirty. I like my hands clean at all times, and I aviod germs/dirt whenever possible. Also, I wasn’t sure what God was going to use me for down there. I don’t always have the best people skills. I just thought it was going to be a pointless awful trip. Boy was I wrong. It was one of the greatest trips of my life. (Up there with going to Disney with the band, and Texas with my family.) So this year, I am heading there with great expectancy. I cannot wait to see how the Lord reveals Himself to us, uses us, and what He teaches us. I will blog about the trip upon return. :) Leaving tomorrow, returning Friday.
Nothing new will be posted from me until I get back. Hope everyone has a great week, and learns something new.

Real religion, the kind that passes muster before God the Father, is this: Reach out to the homeless and loveless in their plight, and guard against corruption from the godless world. James 1:27

“The Vest”

•June 19, 2010 • 1 Comment

    

      Today I was on my way to Pickerington to run some errands. On the way there, I saw some construction workers on the side of the road, fixing something. They had those flourescent orange and yellow reflection vests on, so they were visible to oncoming traffic. It got me thinking…

     When people go to court and get caught for drunk driving (or whatever “small-scale” crime) they will most likely be spotted on the side of the road, picking up garbage. They too, wear those reflective vests; only sometimes theirs have the crime they committed on the back. Then, when you are passing them on the highway, you can read that the vest has printed on it, in big visible letters mind you, I AM A DRUNK DRIVER. How humiliating would that be. That got me thinking…

     What if our sins were on display for the world to see (well, the portion of the world we encounter). Could you imagine walking out of your house every day wearing a vest that said I AM A THIEF,  I AM AN ADULTERESS, I AM A LIAR, I AM AN ABUSER etc…. Could you imagine the constant shame we would be in.  Because, let’s face it, we as humans have become professionals at hiding and masking our sin, allowing us to then mask our shame. If the rest of the world knew what we did when we thought no one was looking, I think that our actions would be drastically different. If every time someone stole something they had to wear “the vest”, I think there would be much less stealing in the world.  But, that isn’t going to happen…But it got me thinking about something else…

     The only one who knows all of our sins is, The One. That’s how it’s been, that’s how it will always be. There is a reason for that. I think part of it is, it is a good way for God to more accurately judge us and our character. If He only judged us based on what we did in public, Whoah!! I think a lot more people would be going to heaven. (Not trying to be rude here, or say that everyone is a bad person when left alone, I am just making an observation on human nature…) So, then I thought…

     Well, the people who have to pick up garbage aren’t doing that for the rest of their lives! They will eventually be done and be able to take the vest off. So, if we as sinners had vests with our sins on them, we would eventually get to take those off right?! Well, if we have a relationship with Jesus, then absolutely! God sent Jesus, to come down to earth, and save us from our sins. Which means, our sins are FORGIVEN! When we ask to be forgiven of our sins, we shed “the vest”, and put on a new one. Instead of our vest saying I AM A DRUNK DRIVER etc… it would say, I AM FORGIVEN, I AM MADE NEW, I AM LOVED, I AM HIS, etc… This is soo comforting to me, to know that no matter how badly I screw things up, and spit in God’s face by sinning, He FORGIVES me.  :D

     So, just as those drunk drivers wear a vest, I wear one too…for a different reason. ;)

“But those who depend on faith, not on deeds, and who believe in the God who declares the GUILTY TO BE INNOCENT, it is this faith that God takes into account to put them right with Himself”. Romans 4:5

“There is therefor now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus”. Romans 8:1

We are FORGIVEN. We should start to act like it.

The blessing of friendship

•June 15, 2010 • Leave a Comment

     So, for those of you that know me fairly well, you know that my friends are important to me. I love all of my friends and treasure my friendships. I feel that one way God chooses to bless us, is with the people He puts into our lives. Sometimes, I don’t appreciate this blessing, or give it less value than it deserves. I was reminded today about how much of a blessing friends are!

      Today I was honored to have lunch with a great friend and mentor (Joe), and his wife (Shannon) and their 2 absolutely adorable kiddos (Allie and Andrew).  :) It was such a wonderful day! We had veggie pizza for lunch (yum!) and had really great conversation. After lunch Shannon and the kids went and played and sewed for a little bit, while Joe and I got the world figured out. ;)  I had about 5 questions that I felt like I needed answers to. He helped me figure out my “unknown”…and what he was telling me was biblical!! This was huge! We talked about everything from relationsips to how I need to stop being so judgemental. It was great to discuss this stuff, and have someone to give me some feedback. :) It. Was. Refreshing.

Before I left, Joe gave me a book titled, “How to Stay Christian in College” I was super pumped. Sounded just like something I should read. I started reading it when I got home, and it just triggered some deep thinking (hense the post). The book got me thinking about the value of a support system. I feel really blessed and undeserving when I think about the people God has put into my life, and how He has really blessed me in that way. I have such a great support system, and I think that it has been key for me. It has been what has kept me going at times, and what has been my encouragement through some not-so-great times. I am just feeling especially thankful for the blessing of friendship tonight. :)

So this book, what I have read so far, is talking  about how college is going to be different than how things are now. How we will make new friends, find new interests, and maybe get a little bit of a “culture-shock”. It makes me sit back and think about how many of my friends have come and gone, and how many have stayed. I know that I will make new friends in college, but I also plan on keeping the ones I have now. God has really blessed me with my friends…and I know I have already said that about a dozen times, but it is just so true!! :)

I hope this has at least made you think about the people in your life and the role they have in your life. :)

Phases

•June 11, 2010 • Leave a Comment

      I think that as humans, we go through phases of life. Some phases are shown or experienced externally, in ways such as the clothes we wear, how our hair looks, and so on. Other phases are internal. The way we think, react, and cope with decisions and events that happen. Right now I’m in a strange phase. I’m out of high school, and into the real world…well, sorta. But the fact that I’m not in high school anymore gives me a mix of emotions. I am happy to not have to do homework and classwork, but I am going to miss the social aspect of school. You know, hanging out with friends in class, walking with them down the halls, and sharing many memories together.  I will miss a lot of things about high school, but I am also really looking forward to this new chapter of my life. :) I wrote a poem the other night that kind of symbolizes the phases of life and how sometimes we want time to slow down or speed up depending on the phase we are in. Enjoy!

Quiet and motionless I want the sands of time to be
But still they roll on
My heart aches when moments and memories fade
Ones of joy and beauty
The only thing stopping the sands of time is pain
Forever feeling the shame and misery
A kiss, a breath, an embrace
How I wish to envelop myself in such wonders for eternity
I reach for them as they pass by me
They are quickly slipping from between my fingers
Fear, affliction, and darkness cling to my side
As a constant reminder of my faults, mistakes, and past
How I wish time would be more forgiving
So I no longer hold onto my misery and anguish
Leading me straight into my mortality  
 

Broken

•June 10, 2010 • 2 Comments

My first ever blog post! :] Ohh man, I’m a wee bit excited!!
Here is a poem that I wrote yesterday. It’s just kind of where I’m at right now.

Broken
How broken do you have to be,
Jesus asked, his hand stretched out to me,
Before you come kneeled before my feet?
Broken, in a valley of despair
When all that’s left around me
Is a life constructed of pain,
Pride, and self-reliance.
I see with my weary eyes,
That He has a plan,
And all I need was held upon His back.
Daily can you be this broken?
Is the question asked of me.
For then you will be ready,
To carry your cross,
Trade your wasted days for victory,
And at last walk with Me.