Friday, October 26, 2007

Harverst Festival

Tonight was the Harvest Festival at my school. We set up a carnival like thing in the gym and played games, ate popcorn and cotton candy and all that fun stuff all night. It was a lot of fun. Very tiring, but much fun. I'm babysitting 2 of my pastor's kids this weekend. They had a blast! It was a very good time, but boy am I tired!

School is going well. There is so much work. Please pray for the students as most of them do not know Jesus. It breaks my heart. The other day one of the students told me she only goes to church for weddings and funerals. She then asked what the difference between Catholics and Protestants was. Perfect opportunity for the gospel to be shared. But we got interrupted and it didn't happen. And then today in chapel we had Q&A time. So I asked the question hoping the principal would give a clear gospel message. NO! He didn't. I was so disappointed. So please, whoever reads this, please pray for this girl. I can't tell you her name for security reasons, but please remember her. She is being raised by her dad and is pretty unhappy.

Oh, and I'm still getting up at 5am. I haven't missed one day (mon-fri only) since I started. Praise God! I'm learning...and it's been a good time with God every morning. A wonderful way to start the day.

I'll let you know how things continue to go. Have a wonderful weekend!

Friday, October 12, 2007

Don't Worry...

This morning I've been reading Matthew 6:19-34. It is a passage that I've read and hear countless times as I've grown up in the church. Sadly, it seems like old info to me. I wanted a little more, so I read the commentary on it by Dr. McGee. He said some interesting things.

Verses 19-24 are the familiar "lay up treasure in heaven." Jesus says not to lay up treasure here on earth because it won't last. But lay up treasure in heaven where it will last forever. I always pictured it as doing good things and by doing that you earn treasure in heaven. I don't know. I guess I never really understood it (sad to say). Dr. McGee puts forth that the treasure is actual money. Don't collect money down here on earth because it won't last. The things you buy will rust out and rot. But DO spend your money on heavenly things. Give money to places that will use it to further the kingdom.

But then what about the stuff we need to get by? Take care of that stuff too. God gives you money to meet your needs. He wants you to be clothed and fed. Don't worry about the extra stuff. If you really need it, God will provide. He says "Be anxious for nothing." He know what you need. He takes care of the birds and the flowers. He will take care of us. But "seek ye FIRST the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things will be added unto you." The first priority is the kingdom of God. Spread His word first. Be righteous first. First have your life right with God. If that is true, then what you still think you need, as for it and the Father will provide. It seems so simple written down, but trying to live it is something totally different.

This all led me to the last thought which was Philippians 4:6-7.
Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.
Be thankful for what God has given and for what He has done. Don't worry about what you need. Let Him know. He wants to care for us. Pray about it and then leave it to Him. His peace will surround us. It will guard our hearts and our minds. Leave your worries and cares with Him.

Wednesday, October 3, 2007

Early will I seek Him...

For many years now, I have done my quiet time--my time every day alone with God--right before I went to bed. And for good reason...so I thought. I am NOT a morning person. I greatly dislike getting up before the crack of dawn. And I don't really function well then either. Soooo I would always spend time with God at night. Well, then I started teaching. By about 9pm, I am exhausted. My brain shuts down. So I was sitting on my bed, trying to read the book of Matthew and I learned absolutely nothing. I didn't the next night either. And the next night I totally gave up and went for a while without reading. I decided that was not a good idea. I had to get up at 5am one morning last week to get some stuff done for school and was amazed how well I was able to function. And then I was reading a book I'm doing for a book study with some friends by the Mahaney women called Shopping for Time: How to do it all and NOT be Overwhelmed. The second chapter is about their 5am club. The ladies, along with their husbands, get up at 5am to spend time with God. I couldn't deny it anymore, so I decided to actually obey God and get up at 5 am. So if I have stuff I need to do for school, I get up at 5. If I am just reading my Bible and praying, then I get up at 5:30. But I've been having such a good time doing this that I may just always get up at 5. I'm not sure yet. I encourage you to do the same if you can. It's been a blessing so far.

I am currently in Matthew 5: 1-11--the beattitudes. "Blessed are the merciful, for they shall receive mercy." You can pray along with me that I will be merciful today....every day. I have a hard time with that because my good old self-righteousness gets in the way. If Jesus let any self-righteousness in His way, we wouldn't be able to go to Heaven. There would be no salvation. I need to be merciful with those around me. That's my prayer for today.

I do have one question. I really want to keep a prayer journal. I've started one, but I'm not satisfied with how I am doing it. I don't really want to write my prayers all the way out, although I do that sometimes and it is beneficial. Can anyone give me an idea about how I can do this? I am just making a list for each day. What I pray about. But I'm not sure that is the smartest way to go about it. This whole concept of a prayer journal has always been elusive for me.

And please pray for my neighbor Mona. She has cancer and is in a lot of pain. But she doesn't know Jesus. She doesn't really want to talk about Him. It breaks my heart that she is going through this ordeal without any hope or confidence in Christ. Pray for her soul that she might be saved!!!

Tuesday, October 2, 2007

Overwhelmed....


Yeah...that's the word. It's been amazing how much paper 50 kids go through! The hours I spend grading is huge, but such a privilege at the same time. How, you may ask? Because I have the opportunity to make a difference in the lives of these children. As I look out across my classroom every day, I see kids that struggle. They struggle with math. They struggle with science. They struggle with life. I have kids that live with their grandparents because their parents are off doing their own thing. I have single dads and single moms raising their kids alone while doing their best to providing for them. It's hard to see sometimes. It hurts me that they hurt. And it comes back to the overwhelming feeling of it all. How do I help them? How DO I make a difference? I'm just me. I have huge limitations. I have little time. How do I help? And then I remember that it is Jesus who is the difference. Jesus is the one. His love for them far surpasses mine. His care for them is much more than mine will ever be. I have the wonderful opportunity to proclaim God's word to these students that, for the most part, don't know Him. They don't really go to church. They are Catholic or nominal Christians. But I can share Jesus and his SAVING power with them without fear or worry. I am free to do as I please. I thank the Lord for this opportunity to share Him with these young, open ears. What a privilege. It's overwhelming!

(The pretty picture was taken by my best friend Joni. So talented!)