Friday, August 25, 2006

And the story begins...

I am officially headed to Uganda!!!! I leave October 14th and will return on October 31st. I am just floored that God is giving me this exciting opportunity and I just will be praying that I will be an encouragement and testimony to those I come in contact with!

The purpose of the trip is two to help me be a better leader for our 2007 Congo Teen Missions trip! SEcondly, just to spend my vacation wisely and in a God-honoring way by encouraging one of our missionary couples.

So...I will be blogging more I'm sure as the trip gets closer. I have so much to do and so much to learn!!! One thing I have already learned is that I MUST top watching lifetime television, as I have already had 2 dreams that I have been kidnapped while in Uganda and that my family and friends decide it's not worth it to pay the ransom :) don't misunderstand me...I do not think that this is in any way a sign that I'll be kidnapped for any reason...I have no fear of that. What I do think, is that its a sign that I need to stop watching sappy television before I head off to sleep!!!

More on Uganda later--but start praying for me!!! I'm SOOOOOOO excited :) :) :)

Tuesday, August 15, 2006

God's Will -- How in the world do I figure out what it is?

I started reading a new book today. I'm a tad nervous about it, b/c it is definitely going to stretch me outside of my comfort zone, and will force me into God's Word to ensure that it is accurate and true. The name of the book is "Getting Serious About Getting Married", and before anyone starts the rumor I'm on a "man hunt", let me explain what the book is about. Well at least as much as I know.

I found out about the book because the author wrote an article for one of my blogs about the "dangers" of churches with singles groups. I had to read it b/c it intrigued me. I've always thought how wonderful it would be if Bethel were to establish a singles group. Just for fun and fellowship. So why was this author saying they were dangerous? So I got the book. I've only read the first chapter, but so far so good. In a nut shell this author truly believes that when it says in Genesis 1:27, "So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them. " that that means that God created "man"--which consists of a man and a woman. Meaning, God did not create man to be alone...but to be with a woman and that most Christians should be married. Singleness is a gift that Paul talks about, but according to this author, this gift should be a much rarer gift then what we are seeing in churches today. While the church is not supposed to "run with society" when it comes to marriages happening later and later in life, we are neck and neck with the world...and this is NOT a good thing! Her problem with singles groups is that she feels that it does not encourage men and women to seek marriage, but insteads postpones it, masking their loneliness in singles events, mixers and bible studies. It's an interesting concept, and like I said I've only read the first chapter, so I'll have to share more later!

But back to that first chapter...that is where I stumbled upon the thought of "God's Will".
Is it truly God's will for me to be single and to remain single. Man have I struggled with that. I want to know what God's will is for so many facets of my life so I can just live it and not wonder if I'm screwing it up all of the time. Of course, if anyone has been in Sunday school recently, that would be a pretty hard thing for me to do, b/c even with my imperfect actions, God's sovereignty always wins. So technically I can't "screw up" my life. But you know what I mean. do I find out what God's Will is? Its so stinking easy but I am SOOO bad at it! If someone told you that the answer you were looking for required no searching, no digging, no hard work, no just had to READ IT...would you do it? The only way for me to know what God's will is is to READ HIS WORD. I can't know God's Will if I'm not willing to just sit at His feet, and just listen in anticipation as He unfolds how He created man and woman, and saved mankind by having Noah build a boat in a "rainless" world, and guided the Isrealites on a 40 year journey that should have taken less then 2, and then used a prostitute, a moabites, and an adulterer to finally send His son to the earth, so that He could eventually allow Himself to be brutally killed for our sins, and then gives us books and books about how to live our "new" lives. How do I keep missing this? Why do I honestly believe that an extra 40 minutes of "sleep" while my alarm goes off every 8 minutes is worth more then this? Why do I honestly believe that just sending one more email at night is worth skipping sitting at the feet of the one who WANTS to show me HIS will? How can I remember EVERY night to plug in my cell phone so that it is charged for the next morning, but can't remember to put out my bible so that it is the FIRST thing I pick up when waking up?

I'm so ashamed of myself.

I'll tell you more about the book later!

Tuesday, August 01, 2006

But every teenager does it????

Romans 1:28-32
Furthermore, since they did not think it worthwhile to retain the knowledge of God, he gave them over to a depraved mind, to do what ought not to be done. They have become filled with every kind of wickedness, evil, greed and depravity. They are full of envy, murder, strife, deceit and malice. They are gossips, slanderers, God-haters, insolent, arrogant and boastful; they invent ways of doing evil; they disobey their parents; they are senseless, faithless, heartless, ruthless. Although they know God's righteous decree that those who do such things deserve death, they not only continue to do these very things but also approve of those who practice them.

I have decided to try and be an adult and actually read and study Romans on my own. I’ve always left that one to the professionals, b/c it was so full of doctrine and “hard stuff” that I figured I should just NOT attempt it without ‘adult supervision”…hmm….I’m guessing that’s just one of my many excuses J

So…today…August 1st, I started out with Romans 1 for my morning time with the Lord…and I got smacked! If you look above through verses 28-32, it lists just a wretched list of sins…murder, God-haters, slanderers…every KIND of wickedness. And then just right smack in the middle….they disobey their parents.

Whoa…wait a minute…disobeying your parents is just a rite of passage for a teenager..right? I mean come on…EVERYONE DISOBEYS their parents. But you know what…Paul put it in this list for a reason. And that reason still affects me today...Let me explain! ( I would be quirky and put in the funny quote from Princess Bride, but we all know I can't SUM UP very here comes the brief novel!)

Why is it so important to obey our parents? Well, first, b/c God commands us to, and that is our ultimate, absolute authority. But another great reason is b/c it is great training for later in our life. When I was a child/teen I obeyed my father or else…he was not a mean man, he didn’t beat me or anything, but I got punished. And it was just known that I should obey, and do it quickly. Unfortunately with my mother, I was not as “angelic”. I got away with smart-mouthing my mom often. And then even when she would throw out the “dad card”, I might obey, but I certainly grumbled and did it with malice in my heart. I don’t think I learned to truly obey my parents JOYFULLY! And I was technically a “good kid”!

Ok…so you’re thinking, “so what Kelly…everyone does that”. Well, I think it affected me later in life. What I don’t think I learned was to JOYFULLY obey my mother even when I disagreed. I learned to obey to avoid certain punishments…and only when those punishments were threatened and followed through on. And at times, through my parents, I learned that it was ok to REVOLT against such authority. For instance when the umpire blew the call in a softball game, my dad was known to get VERY angry. Probably not a great example for me! So now, at age 23, I hit the real world, and I have a job at an investment firm. The job gets boring and I get frustrated…and I start to get haughty. My boss tries to warn me, but what does she know…this company would be lost without me…I’m key…

And like that…I was gone! I had similar situations at other companies…some initiated by bad bosses I will admit, but I sealed the deal—my own sin was greatly to blame instead of poor leadership. And its now 12 years later, and I think I am just truly learning my lesson. I have been in the same job for 4 years, and there are times when I truly want to scream at someone…but God has been patient and has been working in my heart. For that I am SOOO thankful!

So why is it so important to OBEY OUR PARENTS…b/c your whole life you will be under someone’s authority…your church’s, your boss’s, your husband’s, the volunteer organization that you work for…GOD….someone is always going to be higher up then you…and there are going to be times that just doing what is asked of you seems insane. Your boss will ask you to do something that seems beneath you, or may even seem to be idiotic. Your husband will ask something of you, that you will need to submit to, even tho it seems ridiculous or unfair. An organization will require something of you that just doesn’t make sense. And while you are an adult and are allowed to respectfully ask questions and maybe make your point, there are going to be times where you just have to SUBMIT…and do it with JOY!!!

Those Christians who have a hard time joyfully doing that…whether it is to your parents now, your boss, the umpire who blew the call, the teacher who didn’t see everything that happened….whatever the circumstance may be…this disobedience to authority is sinful and wicked!! And if you don’t break the pattern and acknowledge it now, it WILL have consequences in your life later on!
And Paul goes one step further to say, even those that approve of this kind of behavior….so maybe you submit joyfully to your parents all of the time (yeah right)…but you laugh when your friend talks about ignoring her parents rules, or you even help them sneak around those rules. Once again this is sin…and it is listed in with the attributes of men that will NOT see the kingdom of heaven. So, how are you going to obey your parents today…the teacher you can’t stand…the umpire who is clueless…the youth leader who drives you batty and is even wrong sometimes! (ah em)…. Just something to think about !
disclaimer: Just so there is NO confusion, I love my parents very much and am so thankful that I was brought up under God's word. In no way is anything in this post intended to say anything otherwise. Phew...just wanted to make that clear!