Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Oh Can Anybody Show Me? The REAL Jesus??!

Matthew 16:15
"But what about you?" He asked. "Who do you say I am?" Simon Peter answered, "You are the Christ, the Son of the living God."

Mark 8:29
"But what about you?" He asked. "Who do you say I am?" Peter answered, " You are the Christ."

Luke 9:20
"But what about you?" He asked. "Who do you say I am?" Peter answered, "The Christ of God.
God highlighted these verses for me in Guatemala. It's significant. Like, who do I say Jesus is?

God is the same yesterday, today, and forever. At the same time, He's such a multifaceted Being - a fact that is reflected in the many names of God! What I felt the Lord telling me was, if I'm constantly coming to Him and only recognizing ONE specific aspect, I'm short changing myself.

In every situation, WHO do I say Jesus is? In the morning when I wake up, who is Jesus? When my car makes funny noises, who is Jesus? When I'm hungry and looking for a good place to eat, who is Jesus? In good times, who is Jesus? In bad times, who is Jesus?

Who do YOU say Jesus is?

(For all the suspect grammar, I deeply apologize.)

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

The Business of Growing Straight

So, I've been in Guatemala for a little over a week now. It's been an amazing trip. I'm so grateful to Rebecca Collins and Vida Ilumitada for inviting me.

I feel like I've quietly grown since coming here. I get up early in the morning, and when I take the laundry up to the lines on the roof the sky is beautiful. The world is so quiet, the only ones that seem to be stirring are the birds and the bugs. It's a chance for me to be quiet and consider my Father and His wonderful, gentle nature and goodness.

I've known from the beginning that part of this trip was about getting away and being alone with God. I love my church and my friends, but I've let the focus of spending time with God shift to getting answers for others and asking for wisdom for service. Good stuff, but my relationship with Him was refreshing and lively when I went into His presence mainly to enjoy time with my Father.

It’s so easy to say that God is the most important person in your life and believe in the idea... But it’s not really true. I used to spend a couple hours, just hanging out with God in my closet. Some times we’d listen to music, some times we’d talk, some times I’d just sit and listen. THAT was what brought growth in me. But more importantly, I was just loving God. I want my relationship with Him to be just that simple again. Nothing more, nothing less.

I could list all the benefits of those times, but I don’t want to. The truth is that God gives you gifts when you visit with Him. You’ll always come away with more than you had when you entered your quiet place. That’s just the kind of Father He is! He loves to show us things, delight us, and inspire awe in our hearts. You can’t spend time with Him without being changed. But if you’re always going to Him looking for the present, looking for the change, looking for the effect... Very quickly the quality of your times together go downhill. I know because that’s what happened to me.

There are any number of excuses I used to justify the change in my attitude when I came before Him. He was never mad, and always helped me with whatever I needed help with. And, hey, He still used me to minister to people. But I started to get sick-hearted. Very me-focused. Very stressed.

You know? Maybe you know what that feels like? It’s blehh. All I needed was time in a place where I had no excuses! That was all it took! (So I had to leave the country to do that... Those who love me say I’m dramatic!) No one needs me to pray for them in Guatemala; sheesh, most don’t speak English.

I pray this lesson gets way down deep into my heart. I pray that it so basically changes who I am that I’ll never be the same. I pray that I grow straight and strong, with motives that are pure, and priorities in the proper order. And may I never leave the shadow of His presence.


Sunday, February 17, 2008

Hi From Guatemala!!

Just thought I'd give you guys an update! Guatemala is BEAUTIFUL!! Mountains everywhere, stray dogs everywhere, very falling apart charming. Like I've said in more than one email, this place looks like something out of a travel magazine! (Not really what I expected for a mission trip, but hey, I'm not complaining!)

I'm staying with my friend Rebecca, who is a full time missionary to Guatemala. The ministry that she is partnering with provides a home for orphans and runs the school the children attend. Valentine's Day was the school's anniversary, so they had a concert and a party! There were games, songs, cake, and to top it all off a pinata! It was a lot of fun.

I'm taking lots of pictures and I'll be coming home on Saturday, so keep an eye out for a slideshow!

Love you all!
World Traveler