Wednesday, December 05, 2018

The Ministry of Ordinary Places

My rating: 4 of 5 stars
I just loved Shannan's book. It is exactly what it says it is, ministry in the ordinary space of your every day life. I can completely identify with her story of selling her white picket fence dream home to move to a scary place that needed a lot of love.

These words are a breath of fresh air reminding us to keep opening the door. Keep inviting people to dinner. Keep reaching out to the addict, the imprisoned, the hurting. Your light is a lifeline. Will you get hurt? Absolutely. Keep pressing on.

Shannan's husband is a jail chaplain. She gives us a window into his life ministering to and loving inmates. It is a great encouragement to see people pouring out their hearts to love the unwanted of society. Thanks for being brave and sharing what you are learning.

Monday, December 03, 2018

What's Your Dream

I keep hearing the guy on the street in the movie Pretty Woman.
"What's your dream? Everybody has a dream."

At the beginning of fall, I began praying through what I felt like God was leading me to do with my life. It is ridiculously easy to get to the end of the day (month, year) and not actually accomplish anything. We are a distracted people. We can also strive so hard to accomplish goals that we miss the humans we are meant to care for. I pondered through Bob Goff's question about what we would do if we weren't afraid anymore. I thought deeply about Mary Oliver's Summer Day poem that asks what we are going to do with our one wild and precious life. I made several lists and talked down fear over and over. I wrote out all the visions cast in my heart and things I have been too afraid to do. I laid out a step by step plan for each item on my list and I keep placing each item back into the hands of God. 

Each day, I have been asking him to do the work. I have been asking him to dig up every painful thing in my heart and use it for his glory. My constant prayer has been that he will himself pull up things that the enemy wants to use to shame, ridicule, and to defile me to paint wild pictures of healing. He is working. I keep going forward even when I feel stupid or desperately afraid. I keep going when people hurt me. I have learned that pain and fear are usually signs to pay attention to the path. 

My first dream is to spend time writing. I have stories etched in my soul that are longing to be told. I have put this on the back burner with motherhood and missions. I am realizing that it is time to write the words.

I listed out 10 dreams and I am going to begin sharing them with you. First up, I am going to Haiti for 10 days. I am not a foreign mission junkie or missionary tourist. I went to Haiti last year because I wanted to know how I could best pray for and support my friend Christy (Executive Director of an orphanage in Port au Prince). I went to serve her and help make her dreams for Haitians a reality. I am headed there again at the end of the month. I will be teaching art and helping at the orphanage. I have almost met my goal to buy art supplies and pay for my lodging. My ticket is booked! Would you pray for me? Last year before I went, my husband cut off his toe. This year, my daughter broke her ankle and had surgery. God hems us in behind and before. So, the plan the enemy had for harm made me book the flight. 

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Kingdom Citizen by Tony Evans

Kingdom Citizen: Your Role in Rebuilding a Broken NationKingdom Citizen: Your Role in Rebuilding a Broken Nation by Tony Evans
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This is a tiny little book that packs a punch. There are so many things we want to waver on every day because our culture tells us we are unloving. Tony reminds us that pointing people away from God's truth and righteousness is hateful. It is not loving. I closed the book being reaffirmed to stand the ground that God has given us. Actually invite the kingdom and love according to God's word. May we be a kingdom people.

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The news is filled with stories of violence, division, and despair. American politics have become polarized. Effective leadership is in short supply. Change may seem outside our reach. And Christians struggle to understand their role in reversing the downward spiral of our nation.

Dr. Tony Evans offers a healthy dose of hope: the solution to our nation’s problems and unrest isn’t out of reach. The solution is here―and each one of us as Kingdom Citizens has a vital role to play.

Be assured that our God is greater than any challenge―and He has promised to equip His people. In Kingdom Citizen, you’ll discover how to respond in faith, in spite of a country and culture in decline.

Here is a powerful call to action for concerned Christians. Here is a call for unity and restoration. And here is strong assurance that each of us has the ability to walk justly, to seek truth, and to stand in the gap for our land.