NovelSisters

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Praying and Praising

 

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For my next installment of Mozambique reflections I thought I’d focus on a lesson God was teaching me before and during the trip. Since we were in the country for 10 days (the other 4 days of our trip were traveling there and back) each of the 10 members of the team led a devotional on one of the days. My devotional fell in the middle of the trip and I decided to use James 5:13 as my starting point. It states “Is any one of you in trouble? He should pray. Is anyone happy? Let him sing songs of praise.” NIV ’84

For some reason God had put it on my heart to learn this verse before we even left for Africa, and during the trip I couldn’t get it out of my head. During my last mission trip to Haiti, God had taught me a lot about the importance and power of prayer. I couldn’t help thinking about that when I went on this next trip, and I wanted everyone around me to know how important it was to pray. The beginning of the verse states that if anyone has a problem, an issue, is “in trouble” then the obvious solution is to pray. That isn’t the normal reaction most people have and when I’m at home I often forget to pray too. But ever since my mission trip to Haiti, I’ve been trying to pray more often. So on this mission trip I encouraged my teammates to pray as well. And man there are a lot of opportunities to pray on a mission trip. Whether it was a car breaking down, getting lost in the countryside, or asking God to open people’s hearts to His gospel, there was always something to pray about. And it was exciting for me to see the team be proactive in praying after I shared about my experience with prayer. I’ll share two quick stories about prayer.

1. At the very beginning of our trip one of the cars broke down and we had to take it to the mechanic. We prayed that God would fix the car, but in the meantime we used our translator Dilon’s car which was much bigger and could even fit the whole team if we squeezed in. I didn’t realize till late in the trip that the only reason we used that car and could travel all together, and get to know Dilon so well was because the other car broke down. We had prayed for God to fix it, but He knew that it would be better for us to have the whole team together in one car and get to know our driver really well. I’m so glad for all of those bonding experiences and that God didn’t fix the car.

2. I think it was the day after I shared my devotional, we were trying to drive a bunch of orphans to the beach, and there were so many people that they had to pile onto the trailer since there weren’t enough seats. But once we arrived at the highway, we could see police cars waiting on the side of the road. If we pulled out on the highway we would get in trouble. So we stopped. There was supposed to be a taxi to meet us so everyone could be in a seat, but there was no taxi. We sat uncomfortably, unsure what to do. Someone asked Dilon, “What do we do?” His only response was “Pray.” So we did. And soon the taxi pulled up and the kids piled in and we drove past the police with no issue. It was amazing how quickly God answered our prayers.

All of my experiences with prayer were a good reminder for me that God is a loving Father ready to give us what’s best, and whether we ask for what’s best or not, He will give us what’s good and we can trust Him.

The second part of James 5:13 is something I hadn’t thought about as much. It said that if someone was happy, they should sing songs of praise. Now I don’t know about you, but in America I usually only break into song in my car or shower, not around other people. But in Mozambique things are very different. People sang all the time, while working, playing and worshiping. It really inspired me to not just sing when I’m at church, but sing when I’m happy and praise God throughout the week. And instead of writing a story, I thought I’d share this short video I took. It’s of some girls singing and dancing enthusiastically at one of the worship services we got to be a part of.

I hope this post encouraged you to be more proactive in praying and praising too.

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Expectations

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Our church team praying before we left for Mozambique

Hello blogging world, sorry I haven’t posted in so long but if you hadn’t seen, I was out of the country for 2 weeks and didn’t have access to my laptop or even the internet. I had the opportunity to join my church on a mission trip to Mozambique. I had never been to Africa before and it was a wonderful experience. It may be hard for me to process all that’s happened and what all I learned from the experience but I’m hoping this blog will help me sort out my thoughts. So for the next few days or weeks, I will be posting a lot about Mozambique. I hope you enjoy and maybe even learn something.

So for my first post, I wanted to write about expectations. I think whenever you go on a trip, there are expectations that you have for yourself and that the people around you have for you as well. Especially for a mission trip, I feel like there’s this unspoken expectation that you are going to do something significant, make a difference, and achieve something. Often times we measure this with “projects.” It might be building a well, or a new church building, or providing food or clothes to poor people but we like having a specific mission and then achieving it.

Well going into this trip, I was very unsure what that “mission” was. I heard hints of showing the Jesus film and spending time with the Grannies (or caretakers of orphans) but I wasn’t really sure what we were supposed to do or what our mission was. Then right before we left, our trip leader told us that our main goal of the trip was to be a blessing, an encouragement, and a refreshment to the local missionaries in Mozambique that our church supports.

This goal might not have seemed very monumental but during the trip, I discovered how significant it really was. So often in America we focus on the physical world, like the “projects” to build buildings and provide food and clothing and solve problems. But on the trip I realized that all of those things are temporary. There are hundreds of buildings in Mozambique that are abandoned and crumbling. They aren’t allowed to tear them down, so they just sit there, useless and wasting away. Who’s to say that any project we work on won’t end up being the same way in a few years, eventually losing it’s usefulness and crumbling. Even the food we give out won’t fill empty tummies for long, and clothing will eventually wear out as well.

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An abandoned hotel on the coast

I realized that the only thing that really lasts, like for eternity, is relationships. People are eternal beings and when we engage with each other, encourage each other, build each other up and point each other to Jesus, that has an impact that lasts into eternity. So even though we did do a few of those earthly “projects” on this mission trip, what I’m most excited about is the time I spent with people, developing relationships. Because of this trip I now know our missionaries Mark and Les, and their local camp director Dilon, on a deep level. I now know how to pray for them and encourage them and I even if I never make it to Africa again, I will always be their sister in Christ.

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Some of the girls I built relationships with on the trip

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Ten Things a Christian Should Try

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I’ve seen a lot of blog posts or quizzes where we’re told places we should see, things we should try, or something we have to experience before we die. There’s food, landscapes, movies, books. Just ask and you’ll get hundreds of suggestions of what you should do. But I was thinking about this the other day, and a lot of the suggestions you get of what to do before you die are… empty. You do them and it’s fun, or yummy or pretty. But then it’s over, and that’s it. I started thinking through what things can we do that have eternal significance, that actually make a difference. So I started making a list of suggestions I would make to other Christians of things they should ‘try’ and hopefully continue to do. Anyway, it’s not in any specific order, but if you’re following Jesus maybe you should try some of these things.

1. Give Sacrificially

Hands, Suit, Give, Take, Offer, Present, Presentation

Image Source: https://pixabay.com/en/hands-suit-give-take-offer-462296/

Or in more plain terms, give till it hurts. Try giving money or time or possessions not so you feel good about yourself or don’t feel guilty, but actually for someone else. Give in a way that is hard, maybe more than you think you can give. It’s surprising what can happen when you do, and how freeing it is. It can also help remind you that your security comes from God and not what you own.

2. Pray for Everything

Girl, Praying, Hands, Eyelashes, Closed, Eye, Eyes

Image Source: https://pixabay.com/en/girl-praying-hands-eyelashes-15599/

 

I mean this not in a greedy way but in actually praying for things even when they seem trivial or impossible. Like ask God to help you find your lost car keys or pray and ask Him to restore a broken friendship, or heal someone of cancer. I won’t promise that He will say yes to every request, but He knows best how to answer your prayers and He loves it when you ask Him. You may be surprised with how He answers.

3. Read the Whole Bible

Bible, Hand, Designate, Read, Christian, Study

Image Source: https://pixabay.com/en/bible-hand-designate-read-1089968/

I know some people struggle with reading their Bible at all, or prefer to read favorite sections over and over. But I can honestly say reading the whole thing has been so good for me. Sometimes reading a passage that isn’t quoted often brings new insight to me, or a little surprise, and spending time in God’s word is so refreshing and good for me. It reminds me what is true and important and often puts my life’s problems in perspective.

4. Serve at Church

Church, Buildings, Christian, Clergy, Spire, Steeple

Image Source: https://pixabay.com/en/church-buildings-christian-clergy-157216/

Many people at least in America can view church as a place to get their needs met, to be taught, and encouraged and in some cases, entertained. But the Church is meant to be a body with everyone helping each other. Even if it’s passing out bulletins, or hanging out with children, if you get involved with a church and seek to serve and not just be served, there is so much blessing!

5. Share the Gospel

Clasped Hands, Comfort, Hands, People, Adult, Friends

Image Source: https://pixabay.com/en/clasped-hands-comfort-hands-people-541849/

Share the Gospel with a friend, a coworker, a neighbor or even a stranger. There’s nothing like telling someone about what has changed your life, made you who you are and given you hope and peace. Not only is it a command but it brings so much joy and purpose into your life when you step out and share the Good News that Jesus saves sinners.

6. Rest on the Sabbath

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Image Source: https://pixabay.com/en/girl-sleep-child-feather-1041019/

I know it’s hard to stop, especially in this culture, but we all need a break and God gave us the command to rest for a reason. Actually taking a break, even from good things like work or serving others, is needed. Otherwise we get burned out. Plus, changing up our routine and taking a break can help us listen to God more easily.

7. Fast

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Image Source: https://pixabay.com/en/rigatoni-pasta-noodles-food-meal-569072/

Or more specifically fast from something that’s hard to let go of. It may be food, but it could be your cell phone, or television, or internet. Take a break from something that controls you, let go of it and don’t let it dictate your life. Often when we let go of something that distracts us constantly, and consciously choose to ignore it, it is much easier for God to speak to us.

8. Get Out of Your Comfort Zone

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Image Source: https://pixabay.com/en/woman-girl-afraid-frightened-933488/

This could be as simple as talking to a neighbor you hardly know, or driving to that part of town that you don’t like, or even going on a mission trip across seas. But the point is, when you follow God into uncomfortable situations, it forces you to rely on Him and not yourself. And it’s a constant reminder that it’s not about you but about God. And even though it’s uncomfortable, you don’t have to worry, because God’s in control, and you might find that it’s quite fun to see God work in your uncomfortable situation.

9. Care for the Poor

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Image Source: https://pixabay.com/en/people-homeless-male-street-850097/

Jesus constantly told us to care for the poor, but it’s easy to forget. However, what if you actually did it? What if you packed extra water bottles in the car to pass out to the homeless, or spent a day serving at a soup kitchen? There is great blessing in obeying Jesus and caring for what He cares about. Why not try and see what He does?

10. Worship God

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Image Source: https://pixabay.com/en/person-human-joy-sunset-sun-110303/

Worship everywhere, not just at church. For me singing is a way to worship God and I can do it by myself in my room, or along with the radio as I’m driving, but it always reminds me of what’s important, who God is and who I am and I need that reminder more than just on Sunday mornings. Maybe you’re not a singer and staring up at a night sky, or at a beautiful sunset inspires you to praise God for His handiwork. But no matter what your preference, take time to worship God, and refocus on Him.

Well there’s my list, I hope you get a chance to try some of these, or do them again if you’ve already done them. But more than that, I hope you grow closer to God through them and become more like Jesus, because that will last through eternity.

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Great Adventure Week

So this week is my church’s Great Adventure. Since I was in Jr High, this has been a part of my summer plans. So I thought I’d share a taste of what it can be like. This is a short story I wrote about my experiences at the Bible clubs one summer and the lessons I learned. I hope you enjoy!

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Backyard Bible Clubs

It was a hot July morning, the kind of morning that starts out hot and just continues to get worse. The only relief is the sweet air conditioning of a building. I stared at the barren landscape before me. This was my first club as a captain, and it didn’t look pretty. A field of dead grass lay before me, with a small playground in the distance. We were in a park, a park with very little shade. A few scraggly looking trees stood off to our left. Some people were hanging out in the shade there.

“Alright, you ready?” our driver asked as he hopped out of the car.

No one answered him. We had prayed before leaving the church that morning, we had prayed before leaving the car, but I still felt like praying some more, begging God to help me not mess up. I grabbed the bag of supplies from the trunk and headed for the shade.

Our enthusiastic driver bounded over to the play scape to hang out with the kids. He was one of those guys that had graduated and wasn’t on a team anymore, but had run the clubs in the past.

I watched him run and wished that I felt as excited as him, but all I felt was nerves. It seemed like all the pressure was on me; I was the captain after all. But I took a deep breath and checked with my teammates verifying that everyone knew what their roles were for the day.

Soon we had a little game of bounce the beach ball to each other going, and more kids started to arrive. We had to take water breaks between each game because of the heat, but it seemed like the kids were having fun.

I caught Sammy’s eye, “Can you keep the game going?”

She nodded.

I ran to the bag of supplies and pulled out my Bible and the curriculum. I glanced over my story for the hundredth time and prayed again for calm nerves.

Then the kids began to gather on an old blanket.

“Who’s ready for story time?” Jake said excitedly.

The kids yelled back at him, some said “Me!” and others said “No, more games!” But eventually all were corralled onto the blanket.

“Hey boys and girls!” I said as my many times of practice kicked in. “Welcome to Backyard Bible Clubs! My name’s Lydia, and this is Jake, he’s going to hold some pictures for me. And that’s Sammy on the blanket. Today I’m going to tell you a story from God’s Word, the Bible.” I held up the Bible. “See?”

The kids nodded along and listened fairly well as I guided them through the story of Mary.

As I came to the end of the story, I felt like a huge weight had been lifted off my shoulders. This wasn’t so hard after all. Most of the kids actually liked the story and listened, not like the teens at camp who had made snarky comments. “Alright kids,” I finished, “Now it’s time for another game!”

* * * * *

The rest of the club went fairly smoothly, we had a few times of uncertainty, and Jake forgot a part during his gospel presentation, but for the most part, it went better than I had feared it would. As we packed up the car to head to the next club I waved at the kids, “Don’t forget to wear your cowboy outfits tomorrow for Tumbleweed Tuesday!”

The later clubs all seemed to get easier and easier. Our team began to flow, we all knew what came next, where to go, what to do, and we started to learn how to keep the kids’ attention better and better. By the evening, I felt like a pro, but I also felt exhausted. We had gotten up at seven in the morning and we didn’t get back to the church till at least nine o’clock.

And it wasn’t over, the next day we had to do it all again. Four clubs, four stories, four gospel presentations, tons of games, and crazy kids all day long. The only break we got was in the middle of the afternoon, in the heat of the day. We would come back to the church office, and relax, or practice the next day’s routine if we thought we weren’t ready. But often times, we would just take a nap, because after all those screaming kids, we needed some shut eye.
One of the best parts about the week was Wednesday. Not only did it mark the middle of the week, so we were given hope of rest and the week being completed, but it was also Water Day. So instead of suffering in the summer heat, we were able to cool off with buckets, splash balls, hoses, and water guns. Usually the club would conclude in an all-out war with every kid and leader trying to get someone else wet. It was great.

In all the commotion of the week; seeing prayers get answered for different teams, keeping up with what day was what, and just trying to remember sixty kids’ names, it was hard for me to remember that I had a birthday coming up. It was on a Friday this year, the day of Summerfest, our end of the week carnival. When my Mom pulled up to the elementary school parking lot, where our church met, we could see booths set up everywhere. It almost felt like a big party just for me. We had hotdogs, cake, and candy, played games with kids from our clubs and even had a live band playing music.

I signed up for the dunking booth so kids that knew me from clubs could have fun dunking me in the water. It was a little scary to sit on the edge of a plastic seat that you knew could go out from under you at any second. But it was also fun to get a good view of all the families walking around, and the water was refreshing when you did fall in.
All in all, that summer taught me some valuable lessons. I leaned not to be so quiet, and that even someone like me could be a leader. I also learned to pray more, as I saw God answer prayers for specific kids to be saved and for my own calmness during a club. I also learned to rely on my teammates and let them use their own gifts and talents. So that was my summer… my Great Adventure.

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Why Fast?

It’s been awhile since I’ve posted. I used my free time during Spring Break to catch up on some things and get some writing in, but it’s been hard for me to think of a good topic to blog about. But during Spring Break, my church decided to take a day to fast and pray for persecuted Christians around the world. Through the process, I’ve found that several people didn’t know what the point of fasting was, or had never done it before. So I thought I’d share my experience with fasting.

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When I was younger, I didn’t really fast either. Sometimes my parents did, but I didn’t think it was necessary to being a Christian, and sometimes it even felt like only the ‘really good’ Christian’s fasted. It wasn’t for everyone. Anyway, this changed when I went to college. I attended a Lutheran University and fasting was more of a normal thing in that environment. They practiced Lent, the giving up of something specific for 40 days (From Ash Wednesday to Easter) and I decided to join in and give up something too. Once I think I gave up french fries, another time I gave up Hulu. Anyway I got more used to the idea and practice of fasting. We also had something called Thirty Hour Famine, where we would not eat food for about 30 hours. It was supposed to help us be aware of others around the world who were hungry.

So as I got out of the college life and moved on to young adulthood, I still would fast occasionally. Sometimes it was because I was trying to make a big decision and wanted to be focused on God as I made it. Other times it was because I really cared about someone who was struggling, so I would fast and pray for them. I also fasted several times in order to break a bad habit or cycle. I’d notice that some activity or thing (like dessert) I enjoyed was becoming an obsession, so I would fast from it for a day to break the craving.

Well when my church fasted this past week, they gave everyone a good description for why we should fast. “The primary purpose of fasting is to express a deep longing of our soul for the presence of Jesus in a particular aspect of life. Jesus taught this in Matthew 9:15 where he answered a question about why his disciples were not fasting in his presence. Jesus said ‘Can the wedding guests mourn as long as the bridegroom is with them? The days will come when the bridegroom is take away from them, and then they will fast.’ His point was that when he was with them they did not need to fast but when he was gone they would fast as an expression of their longing for his presence.”

I think it’s important to remember why we do something like fasting. It can be easy to do any of the Christian Disciplines with the wrong motive. Fasting is not about proving you’re a good Christian, or better than those who don’t fast. It’s not about giving up something, just for the sake of giving it up. It shouldn’t be done just because it’s a tradition, or because it’s what everyone else is doing. We should fast, because we long for Jesus’s presence. And as we fast, our hunger should point us back to Him.

I’ve found that when I fast, hunger pains can be a good reminder for me to pray. In addition, because I don’t have to cook, clean dishes, or spend time eating, I have a lot more time during the day to do things like pray or read the Bible. Fasting can be very beneficial to our walk with Jesus, and it’s helped me personally.

Even though fasting may seem hard to you, I’d like to encourage you to give it a try. It really isn’t that bad. True you’ll feel hungry, but that goes away eventually. And even if you can’t give up food for health reasons, you could try fasting from something else that takes up your time, like watching TV or playing video games.

But if you do fast from food, take it slow. Maybe try a 12 hour fast or 24 hour fast to start out with and drink plenty of water. But most of all, remember that why you fast is most important. Spend time with Jesus during your fast and let Him fill you up.

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Big Hero 6 and the Importance of Relationships

Image Source: https://it.wikipedia.org/wiki/Big_Hero_6_(film)

I really really really wanted to see this movie and I got to go see it this past weekend. I usually love the animated Disney movies and this one was no exception. It had great characters, a well developed plot line, jokes and touching moments. Everything you would want in a good Disney movie. If you want to stop reading here and just go see it, that’s fine. Maybe you can read the rest once you’ve seen it, if you don’t want any spoilers.

But now on to my thoughts about some of the deeper messages in this film. One thing that stood out to me was the importance of friendships. It can be easy, especially in America to take the individualist approach and say I can handle it on my own, I don’t need help. The protagonist of the movie, Hiro, felt this way. But as the plot progresses, we see the importance of strong relationships. Not only are friends and family important in working through life’s difficulties, like grief, but they also help us stay on track and keep us from making mistakes that we’ll regret later.

In the plot of the movie, I really liked how close Hiro comes to playing a villain role, I think it shows that every person is capable of being a hero or a villain. Indeed Hiro and and the villain share similar goals; taking revenge on the person who was responsible for the death of someone they loved. But because Hiro has friends to tell him what’s right, even if he doesn’t want to hear it, he eventually becomes aware that revenge will not heal his hurt and he must let that desire go. He even tries to help the villain in this story see what he learned and stop the destruction, but it is too late for the villain and he continues down the path he has chosen.

These lessons of friendship and the ability in each person to be a hero or villain remind me of truth in my own life. As a Christian I know that I am a sinner, and that I am capable of horrible things and am no better than any other person, even a murderer. Just like Hiro, I have the capability of being a villain. But because Jesus has saved me, I can choose to follow Him, to do what is right and good, and be heroic. But I cannot do it alone, I need Jesus’s help and the help of a church family. It makes me sad to think that a lot of Christians think they can watch a sermon online or listen to some worship music and that’s all they need, when it really isn’t. Just like Hiro needed his brother, Baymax, and his friends from school to keep pointing him back to what was true and right, I need people in the church to remind me to follow Christ, to not give up, and encourage me when I’ve had a bad day.

So, that’s what stood out to me from this movie. I hope you’ll go see it, if you haven’t yet. I’d like to see it again, that’s for sure.

I’ll end with a preview.

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A Church Family

Schoolhouse, School, Education, Building, Learn

Image Source: https://pixabay.com/en/schoolhouse-school-education-312546/

I’ve been thinking recently about my church and I wanted to share some thoughts.

Here’s a starter question. On a Sunday morning, would you rather go to some event or entertainment venue for half price, or go to church?

Recently I had a friend suggest that I should go to an entertainment venue on Sunday morning because it was half price. I didn’t say yes or no at the time, I just listened to the suggestion.

As I see it, you could have three different responses to this question. 1. You could say, “Yeah I’d like the half price coupon.” 2. You could say “Well I should probably go to church, but that sounds fun.” 3. Or you could say, “Miss Church? No way! I wouldn’t miss this for anything!”

Now I don’t know where you would fall on the scale, but I lean towards the third option. I hardly ever miss church, and not just because I feel like I’m supposed to go there and will feel guilty if I don’t. I go, because I want to. I get to see my good friends, be encouraged and prayed for, and hear about the great things God is doing in our congregation. It is a sweet time, with my family. And I really would call the members of my church my family.

Fun, Happy, People, Happiness, Joy, Happy People

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When I step into the school building where we meet, it feels like coming home, I get hugs, smiles, and “How are you’s?” and it lifts my spirits. If I had a bad week, I can tell someone about it, if I had a great one, I can share that too.

I read a blog post recently about a church’s first impression. The post mentioned if the technical equipment works, if everyone knows the songs, or if the preaching was thought out and well prepared.

I get all that, and it is important. But more so, I think what really matters in a church, and really makes the best first impression, is when someone actually says hello to you, shakes your hand, maybe gives you a hug and asks how you are. That’s what family does.

Now maybe your church doesn’t feel much like family, maybe you want to slip in and slip back out without getting noticed or talking to anyone. But that is not what Jesus intended for His church. The church is His body, and it needs to be connected in order to function.

So I would encourage you, if you attend church, to start treating the people there more like family. Say “hi,” ask how you can be praying for the person sitting next to you, and maybe even take someone out to eat after church and get to know them better.

Well that’s my thoughts for the day. Let me know what you think.

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Proposing and Predestination

 

So a couple of weeks ago, I had to try to explain predestination to some Jr. High kids at church. This is one of those subjects that can be hard to understand even for an adult. and oftentimes results in negative responses. I know I’ve had my issues with predestination in the past. So I started brainstorming about how to explain predestination. Then God revealed to me that “proposing” can be a great example or illustration of predestination. I know it’s not a perfect analogy, but it helped simplify the concept for the younger audience. So I thought I’d share it on this blog.

So basically when a guy is going to propose to his girlfriend, he usually puts a lot of forethought, planning, and effort into how he’s going to do it. It’s not usually a random thing. A guy can go to a lot of trouble trying to make everything perfect, and the plethora of videos on Youtube can attest to how extravagant a guy can get. But all these planned efforts have a purpose behind them; to show the girl that he loves her. In the end, however, when the ring comes out, the girl can still say “yes” or “no.”

Couple, Love, Sunset, Proposal Marriage, Water, Sun

Image Source: https://pixabay.com/en/couple-love-sunset-915991/

It’s kind of the same way with God. He has predestined, or planned out our lives, with events and circumstances in an effort to show us that He loves and cares for us. But we still get to choose between loving Him back or rejecting Him.

It doesn’t really make sense to say that God forces us to love Him, because He’s predestined it, anymore than a girl could say a guy is forcing her to marry him because of an awesome proposal. God wants our love to be real and genuine, not forced.

In addition, when a girl gets proposed to, most don’t respond with “Wow, I’m so awesome,” or start looking around at the people nearby and asking why the guy didn’t get flowers for everyone. Instead, what we hope to see is a grateful smile, an excited “Yes!” and a declaration of love from the girl.

I think that’s what God longs to hear from us. He doesn’t want us to start thinking all high and mighty of ourselves, becoming prideful, or start wondering if God isn’t fair because he doesn’t choose to save everyone. Instead He longs for our hearts to be filled with gratitude, love, and devotion to Him.

That’s how I try to respond to God’s choice to love me. Sometimes I do have questions, predestination is a hard concept to get, but ultimately I choose to trust that God knows what He’s doing even if I don’t understand it.

 

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Need a laugh or need connection?

 

Laughter, Laugh, Fun, Mom, Daughter, Teenager, Family

Image Source: https://pixabay.com/en/laughter-laugh-fun-mom-daughter-775062/

So life isn’t always easy, And sometimes we feel worn out and tired, overwhelmed and frustrated, or just apathetic about everything. This past weekend I was feeling some of this, and then I came across some videos on You tube that lifted my spirits and just gave me a reason to laugh.

Here’s one that I hope will make you laugh too.

But one reason why I continued to watch these videos and share them with the people around me wasn’t just because they made me laugh. A lot of things on You Tube are funny and most of the time I watch a video I don’t share it with others, I just enjoy it, then move on with my life.

But I think these videos occasionally resonate with something deeper that every person longs for: connection, friendship, relationship, and belonging.

Here’s a few videos that I think capture this:

After watching these videos I was suddenly very thankful for the relationships I have in my life, for the people that tell me happy birthday, for the people who welcome me home after a trip and celebrate life’s big milestones.

And I think that’s what we all crave. Going through a tough time in life is inevitable, it happens eventually to everyone. But when we have people who truly care about us and lift us up when we fall down, then it isn’t so hard. I kind of wonder if the saying shouldn’t be “laughter is the best medicine,” but rather “connection is the best medicine.” When we are connected with someone, and can laugh or even cry with someone, that’s what really heals our ailment.

I think this is a big reason why going to a church is important. I know some people think it’s not for them, maybe they still follow God but they’d rather do it alone, or just don’t have time for all those “church activities.” But I’ve found that connecting with a church, and really getting to know people and spend time with them, brings a richness to life that no money could buy.

I don’t want to be preachy but I just realized today how important deep lasting relationships are, and how much we all need and long for them.

Hope you enjoyed my ramblings or at least had a laugh at the You Tube videos, leave a comment if you want.

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