Monday, March 26, 2012

Ordinary and Willing

I have been reading back through the book of Acts over the past few days. Today I want to focus on a a specific verse...Acts 4:13 "The members of the council were amazed when they saw the boldness of Peter and John, for they could see that they were ordinary men with no special training in the Scriptures."

Ordinary? No special training? The boldness they had is what caught the people's attention. First off: Boldness-The trait of being willing to undertake things that involve risk or danger, The quality of standing out strongly and distictly. Peter and John weren't going to let anything stop them from sharing the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Even to the point of getting thrown in jail. Nope, didn't even make them hesitate. Yet, we hesitate and usually throw aside every single day the opportunities we have to share the Gospel... Just because we don't feel like it. Because we will do it tomorrow. Because we're scared... of what?? We don't even have to come close to worrying about getting thrown in jail here. In other countries there's that possibility but not here. And, we still fail to Boldly share the Gospel, let alone, share the Gospel period. Standing out strongly and distictly... That's the last thing we want to do here. We do everything we can to fit in. Looks like we have this a little backwards. We are to stick out. Be noticeably different. Be bold.

Secondly: Ordinary- With no special or distinctive features; Normal. Peter and John were ordinary guys! They were normal! They were just like everybody else! Yet, they were willing to be used by the Lord. They had no special training in the Scriptures. They didn't go to school for 10 years. They weren't the "high-class" guys who had everything in order and perfect. They were just ordinary people like you and I. But they were obediant to the Lord and proclaiming His Name with Boldness. Maybe it can be difficult to share the Gospel with people because they don't see our excitement in living for the Lord. Maybe it's difficult because we fail to preach His Name with Boldness. The people were amazed when they saw the boldness of Peter and John, for they saw that they were ordinary men.

Who did Jesus use in this scripture? Ordinary men. So what does that mean? That means He can use me! He can use you! The Lord wants to use us!! He wants to use ordinary people. You don't have to have a lot of money to be used by Him. You don't have to wear the most in style, expensive clothes and drive the newest car to be used by Him. You don't have to be able to speak well to be used by Him. You don't have to be a certain age before you can be used by Him. No. Just ordinary people. He doesn't need us... He doesn't have to have us.. But He chooses to use us! He chooses to look past our dirty sinful selves and He finds beauty in us! What a privilege it is to be used by God. The Creator of the universe wants to use us. The Creator of the stars, planets, galaxies wants to use us. The Man who created us out of dust wants to use us. The One who holds this entire world in the palm of His hand wants to use us.

May we proclaim the Good News of Jesus Christ with boldness, letting nothing get in our way. He wants to use you. Ordinary and Willing. Will you let him?

Thursday, March 22, 2012

11 Weeks: Leaving Family to be With Family

11 Weeks (Approximately). 11 Weeks till I board a plane. 11 Weeks till I plant my feet on that beautiful African soil. 11 Weeks till I am greeted with hugs and kisses from my babes. 11 Weeks till I walk into my little girls "house" and hold her for hours in my arms till I have no choice but to lay her back down. 11 Weeks till I hear the beautiful voices of street children yell, "Mzungus Mzungus!" (White person!) as they just laugh and laugh. 11 Weeks till I sit in those beautiful, simple, mud huts and listen to a sweet widow share her story. 11 Weeks till I am walking down those dusty dirt roads of my 2nd home.

11 Weeks till I leave my family here and join my family there.

This has been where I'm at on my journey of preparing to leave. The Lord has been preparing my heart to leave my family here, but to join my family in Rwanda. Yes, I have many brothers and sisters waiting for me. Including two sisters who are getting married : ) I have many babes who are waiting oh so anxiously for my arrival. This might be the hardest part of my journey.

There's nothing easy about leaving my family here. I am so close to my family. They are some of my favorite people and they are oh so special to me. I am so very thankful for them. I have grown so close to my younger sister in the past few months. We are always laughing and acting SO silly together. There's nothing easy about leaving her. She tells me all the time she's going to miss me sooo much and she's going to cry so much but she understands why I'm going and she's excited for me. SHE understands why I am going and though it's painful having to be seperated for three months she is excited for me. How Beautiful. She has an iPod which she can text me from and she's alwayssss texting me saying, "Emily, when are you going to be home? Hurry up and come home. I miss you. Please come home soon." We want to spend as much time together as we can. There's nothing easy about leaving Mama and Daddy. Ohhh how I love them. There's nothing easy about leaving Zack and Lacy. Lacy will be in another part of Africa so Addie will have both of her sisters gone this summer... And she's like, "Whyyyy are yall leaving me with ZACK!? Thanks a lot!!" Hahaha She's a trip. There's nothing easy about leaving my family here, but what makes it easier is knowing that I will be joining my family in Rwanda to work together for the Lord. Ohhh how I am excited. The Lord is making so real the verse in the Bible that talkes about your love for Him should be SO much greater than your love for your family that it should really actually look like hate. (Not really, but your love for Christ should not even compare to your love for your family). Luke 14:25-27 While this verse is not the easiest to make real, do we really have a choice?

The Lord is doing an awesome work in Rwanda, and He is calling for me to join Him there. Where is He at work in your life? He's always at work all around us. Will you join Him no matter what the cost?

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

not about me, ALL about HIM

Well, here's to my first blog! I am SO confused!! Hopefully it will only take me a couple days to figure all this out... I don't know where you all find your cute backgrounds but whatever I'm on, doesn't have cute backgrounds...And is there any way I can put a picture at the top? Help...?

Anyways, I wanted to start a blog up for while I'm in Africa especially.  I will be taking off in a little over two months and I am SO excited!! The Lord has surely blessed me in an opportunity to spend about 3 months at my 2nd home. I can't wait to place my feet on that beautiful African soil! This blog is a way for you to stay connected with me, and for me to stay connected with you, while I'm pretty much on the other side of the world...Yes, technology is nice at times such as these. And so I can share with you all the awesome things the Lord is doing over there.

I love to write... share my ideas... my heart... I believe I will keep this blog going on after Africa.  I named this blog 'all about Him.'  The Lord has been teaching me so much lately that it truly is ALL about HIM. It is NOT about me, about my wants, about my dreams, about getting farther and farther up on the 'success ladder', about getting rich and living this perfect American Dream life, etc. No... Instead, it's the complete opposite of that... It is about the Lord's will being done in my life. It is about Him taking the pen and writing my life story however He chooses. It is about living to worship Him. It is about giving Him all the glory for everything He so deserves. It is about making His Name known, not mine. I just got done reading I Am Not but I Know I AM by Louie Giglio. Excellent book...Highly recommend it! The title says it all... I Am Not but I Know I Am... I am nothing. It is not about me. But I know I AM. The GREAT I AM. And it is ALL about Him. What if we went about our everyday life knowing and saying it is not about me, it is ALL about Him? I am not, but I know I AM.

This blog is about me learning every single day that it is not about me. A journey of dying to myself daily to live for Christ. The opposite of what the world says...While the world says it's all about you and what you want and what makes you happy and you you you...Actually, it's about God, what He wants and has for your life, making His Name known, giving Him the glory for everything. He died for us, and we have done nothing even close to that for Him, so why should we get any glory for anything?

It. Is. All. About. Him.