Jesus said, "get up for your faith has healed you". Getting up is a physical response. Jesus said, "come, cast down your nets and follow me." Again, this is a physical response. The response wasn't sitting in listening to Jesus. The response or responsibility of those listening was the physical response to what Jesus had said or done.
Our response to Jesus cannot just be a mental response. We, as followers of Christ, cannot merely sit, listen to Jesus' message, and leave and until the next message. Changes to myself and those around me don't occur without the physical response to what I hear. Hearing alone doesn't change anything.
Remember the game follow the leader, and how often kids play this game. It doesn't work if the non-leader only listens and/or watches. There has to be a response. Lastly, when I was younger and even in my adult life, I can hear my parents and even coaches say, "Did you hear anything I said?" Often, my response was or is, "yes, I heard everything you said!" However, if I don't physically respond or act, there is no way of knowing I have heard.
I want to be so connected to Jesus, it's as if I'm walking side-by-side, hand-in-hand, or like a child I'm grasping his leg/clothes, trying to not get far away. Much like LiLu, in the picture below, I want to hang tight to Jesus.
Friday, June 24, 2016
Another way this has been a reminder for me this week is through a little 5 year old girl. For those of you that followed my blog last year, Miley came by for a visit. I have included pictures of her scars. God healed her and her parents were faithful to keep bringing her. We tried several different ways of treating her burns, but God chose to do so much slower than we really wanted. His timing was perfect. A lot of people formed good bonds and were able to pour into this family's lives.
Miley graduated kindergarten with an extremely high average, despite all of the school she missed seeking treatment for her burns. It is probably the highest average I've ever seen. This may not seem like a big accomplishment for most, but kindergarten graduation is a BIG deal here. Many don't get to attend school and those that do must sacrifice much to be able to send their kids to school. If they attend, many don't go on after kindergarten. Miley has a great future ahead of her and I look forward to seeing what all God has in store for this strong willed, never back down, sassy, beautiful, full of joy blessing I've been able to form a friendship with.
Monday, June 13, 2016
The last week of May and beginning of June, I was serving on the mission field in Memphis, TN. A group of 30 people from my church, Walnut Memorial Baptist, traveled to Memphis. It was a great time of serving the Lord but also, a revival for our group. There were bonds made that will never be broken and I pray we continue to serve alongside each other. There were two salvations and many seeds planted and watered.
The Wednesday we were in Memphis forever changed my life. I received a call that a young man that was VERY near to my heart lost his life in a horrific automobile accident. Zachary was a sweet, 18 year old kid that we all felt had a life ahead of him. However, we were reminded of just how short life can be, and the importance of a relationship with Christ. Those that knew Zach have learned so much from him. We learned to not sweat the small stuff, to fully trust God and not stress over the petty things of life, to serve others wholeheartedly, love unconditionally, and SMILE often (or always in his case). Though we mourn him, we know God provides peace, comfort, and love for us during this time.
The Thursday after Zach passed away, I was contacted and told that I had a teaching job at College View Middle School starting in August. That was a huge answer to prayer and very welcomed good news!!!!
After celebrating Zach's life and being encouraged by the faith of his sweet family, I headed to Haiti. I have seen Zach's smile in so many young Haitian children, I have felt his embrace in so many friends here, and I was even able to share his story, my first day here. A young 20 something year old man shared with me he was going to live to be an old man and didn't have anything to worry about now. I was able to share that we were fortunate to know that Zach had a relationship with Christ and had confessed his sins and accepted Jesus as his personal Lord and Savior. However, we thought Zach would live for many more years, but that wasn't the case. I continue to pray for this young man and pray he makes a profession of faith before it's too late.