Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Mind Dump (= MegaPost!)

My mind is so busy sometimes! I often feel like I have ADD because of the way that my mind is always jumping from one thought to the next. I have such a hard time sitting down and focusing sometimes! Like now. So, I thought I would take this opportunity to dump a few things out. Here we go...

(WARNING! This post may get long. There are many things jumping around up there!)

I have been reading through 1 John lately. I feel like it is written in a style perfect for me because John repeats his main points many times throughout the letter. I appreciate that. I sometimes have a hard time retaining what I read, so repetition is good for me. Here are a couple of standout verses for me lately:

1 John 3:17 - But if anyone has the world's goods and sees his brother in need, yet closes his heart against him, how does God's love abide in him?

Hmmm. This is one that convicts my heart. As Americans, we are so rich! We hold the majority of the world's resources. Even the poor in America are rich when compared to the majority world. According to the World Bank, 1.4 billion people are living on less than $1.25 a day. 1.4 billion. I can't really even comprehend that number. Less than $1.25. I can't really comprehend that either. That is 1/3 of the cost of a pumpkin spice latte. Seriously. And, even though I have personally witnessed extreme poverty in Peru, the majority of my friends there are above that line. Most of them have access to running water and electricity and are not dying of starvation. But, many people around the world are. Many children around the world are. And, as believers, we have a responsibility to consider the poor. God tells us that considering the poor and knowing Him are linked. Jeremiah 22:16 says, "He judged the cause of the poor and needy; then it was well. Is not this to know me? declares the Lord." He warns us against oppressing the poor: "Whoever oppresses a poor man insults his Maker, but he who is generous to the needy honors him." (Proverbs 14:31) Jesus identifies with the poor. He became poor for our sake (2 Cor 8:9). Jesus says that when we serve serve the poor, we serve Him (Matthew 25:35-40). I am mostly talking to myself here. I often fall into the stronghold of the comforts of my life here and forget these truths that Jesus has taught me. I want to be a more generous giver. I want to serve and honor the poor well. But, so often I forget them.

There are so many ways that we can serve those in need around us and around the world. I want to be much better at doing that. I welcome you to hold me accountable. I also invite you to seek out ways that you can love the poor, too. There are a couple of organizations that come quickly to my mind. Word Made Flesh is the organization that I will be serving with in Peru. This community of believers serves some of the poorest of the poor around the world in places like Peru, Bolivia, Brazil, Argentina, Romania, Nepal, India, Thailand, and Sierra Leone. Compassion International is an amazing organization that meets the basic needs of children all over the world. Consider sponsoring a child. There is also so much need all around us. Serving the poor may just mean walking across the street or walking across town. I encourage you (and me) to do just that.

1 John 4:18 - There is no fear in love, but perfect love casts out fear. For fear has to do with punishment, and whoever fears has not been perfected in love.

As someone who struggles and has struggled with fears throughout my life, this is a verse that I want to grow in understanding of. I grew up with fears that someone would hurt me or someone in my family. I often had trouble sleeping and would read books late into the night because I was afraid that something would happen in my sleep. I had horrible nightmares about it. As I grew up, I struggled (and still do) with the fear of disapproval and rejection. As a single girl in my upper-20's, I deal with my fears of loneliness. But, Jesus offers freedom. He is love. And this verse says perfect love drives out fear. Jon Courson says of this verse that, "if I understand that God really, truly loves me, I can have absolute confidence that whatever happens at any given moment is the best for me" and "when you are sure of God's love for you, you don't have fear." Ultimately, I do know that God loves me and that He holds my life in His hands, but I often have trouble walking daily in that truth and in the freedom that it brings.


So, lately I have been beginning the process of gathering a team of people who will walk alongside me and support me as I journey toward Peru. I have a couple of ideas of ways to sort of jumpstart this process. I have been thinking of having some friends over one night in November as sort of a Peru sharing night. I would love to share with people around me more about the journey that has led me to this place and why it is that I want to move to another continent. I also thought this would be a good opportunity to start the financial support raising process by selling some of the cards that I have been making lately, and possibly some scarves and other crafty things. I would love to invite some of the creative people around me in my life (and there are many - you know who you are!) to possibly donate something to be sold. What do you think about this idea? Do you have any hidden creative genius that you would like to contribute to the cause? Would you like to come? Let me know what you think! And while I'm at it, here are a couple of new cards I have made:


Would you once again join me in praying for one of my little friends? While I can't tell you her name, I can tell you that she is a precious little one with a great smile. And that she loves hugs! It always puts a smile on my face when she stretches her arms out to give me a hug before I leave her hospital room. She has been in the hospital for several months now and has suffered more than any child should. And she has done it with more perseverence and grace than many older people would (myself included). I don't know if it is in God's plans to heal her body on this Earth, but I am continuing to pray that He would. And I believe that prayer can change things. (There is a great sermon by Matt Chandler on the subject that you can download here. It's called the Art of Prayer.) So, I would love it if you would join me in praying for her. You can specifically pray for healing and regeneration of her GI tract. You can pray for bleeding to stop. You can pray that her pain would be controlled, and that she would continue to regain her strength. Pray for more moments in these days that she feels well enough to play and have fun, like a child should. Thanks ahead of time for the prayers!


Other random thoughts:

Man, the lighting in my house is terrible! It's so hard to take a good picture! (At least for me with my amateur skills)

Mmmm...candy corn! I love the pumpkin shaped ones! The only problem is that after a few, they don't seem to love me.

My feet are cold. I really should go get some socks. Or my favorite fuzzy blanket! Yeah, that!

I wonder where my camera cord is?? (Update: found it! It was in the laundry room on top of the dryer, of course. Where else would it be?!?)

Wow, this post is long. I doubt anyone is still reading...


Becky said...

Carla and I would love to buy some of your cards. They are very cute!
Maybe I could think of something creative to make and contribute to the cause. hmmmm...I'll be thinking.

Emily said...

I love this. Of course I will donate a painting! Let me know when you'll want it. Depending on when, I might even like to come deliver it and stay for the event.

Sidebar: No surprise, but I like the pumpkin shaped ones the least. I'm a traditional triangle shaped girl myself...and it has to be the white/yellow/orange ones. There's no good reason on earth for the orange and brown ones.

Judy said...

I love the idea of a night! Let me know how to help. I also want some of your cards.