Thursday, November 18, 2010


As cliche as it may be, I feel like I need to take some time look back over the past year, and yes, be thankful for where God has me right now. I think about where I was this time last year, and I praise God for how much I have grown spiritually and emotionally.

I wasn't happy with who I was last year. I didn't like myself. I didn't like what I looked like, what I felt like, or anything about myself. But God changed that. Through an amazing amount of prayer and some months of counseling, God brought me through one of the darkest periods of my life. I would bet money I was battling with depression, and I just didn't understand what was happening with myself. I went through a situation with someone with a certain person, and that also kind of messed me up a little bit. But God showed me his will through all of it. Yes, that time in my life was not fun, but God used it for his glory. He showed me how faithful he is.

And now, when feelings that I experienced last year start to arise now, I know how to fight them and I know what they look like. I know when they will come up. I can almost predict those times, but I know how to battle them: with the word of God and with prayer.

So, yes, this Thanksgiving, I am so thankful. God has taken me to the other side of the world and back and given me proof of how blessed I am. He could have put me in a slum in South Asia, but he chose to put me here. He chose to bless me and place me here, a place I can make impact and have the ability to go around the world and serve God.

No, not a whole lot has changed in the physical sense since last year, but so much has happened on the inside and in my heart. I haven't dropped thirty pounds or found a boyfriend, but God has shown me how beautiful I am and how much he loves me. God has proven how faithful he is in my life, no matter what. No matter how much I fail to be in his word, no matter how much I fail to tell other people about His glory, no matter how much I fail to love others; His love continues to flow so freely.

If I were to count all the things I am thankful for, I wouldn't be able to write them all down. By the world's standards, no I'm not rich, but looking through the eyes of God and comparing what I have to what the little girl in the slum in South Asia has, yes, I am filthy rich. I don't deserve all I have, but God has still chosen to bless me.

I have friends galore and a family who loves me more than I can comprehend. Yes, I am truly thankful.

This year, don't take for granted what and who you have and what and you who you can be thankful for. Have a Happy Thanksgiving.

Monday, November 8, 2010

Striving Higher

Sometimes when one gets caught up in the everyday hassle of life, all that hassle can bog one down and just cause one to wonder, "How does this benefit the kingdom?"

I was having this conversation with a friend earlier last week in light of some future possible plans. Sometimes I just don't see the eternal significance of writing papers, studying my butt off for tests, bending over backwards to write newspaper articles, and taking the time to complete minuscule bits of homework. But this friend reminded me that God has placed everything in my life for a reason to prepare me for something. I'm here at college for a reason. My heart may desire to be on the other side of the world sharing the gospel, but obviously, God has me here for a reason.

1 Corinthians 10:31-11:1 says, "So whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God. Do not cause anyone to stumble, whether Jews, Greeks or the church of God--even as I try to please everybody in every way. For I am not seeking my own good but the good of many, so that they may be saved. Follow my example, as I follow the example of Christ."

I feel God has laid this verse on my heart. No, I'm not on the other side of the world devoting my life wholly to him, but I can still do that here. I can reach out to people, keep them from stumbling, and point others to Christ by my words and my actions. I should be, like Paul was, "seeking out the good of many, so that they may be saved." Even here, many people do not know the Lord. I have to ask my myself, "What can I do to change that?"

But seeking the good of many becomes difficult sometimes when school and society tell me I have so much I already have to worry about, like homework, jobs, spending time with friends, studying for tests, writing papers, doing interviews, and a million other different things that seem to creep into my day.

As a follower of Christ, I know God has placed a higher calling on my life. No, I'm not perfect, and I never will be, but just as Paul did, I should strive to emulate Christ in all that I do. Even at a Christian university, that can be difficult. It comes down to looking at what I know I have to do and doing it so that I glorify God, but also glorifying God by doing what He calls me to do to bring others to know him.

I'm praying right now about something that I would do after I graduate college, which I know is still a year and a half away, but it doesn't hurt to pray. I won't go into details right now, but just pray that if this is what God has placed on my heart that I would respond and have the courage to pursue it. I know it would be an awesome experience, but I also know some things in my life would have to change for the better for this to come about. But I trust God and believe that if this is what He has for me, He will bring it to fruition.

I was walking back to my dorm room tonight, and amidst all that I have to do this week for school and the newspaper and homework for classes, I was able to praise God for how incredibly good he is. I wasn't stressed. I wasn't bogged down. I wasn't worried. I knew God was right there with me, and that he will be walking with me through every step of this week.

Mission trip update: This past week, I was informed that someone very close to me was giving $500 for my trip, boosting me to $1600 total. Then at church on Sunday, I was informed that two checks came in the mail each for $200 this week. That means that my trip is paid in full. God is so incredibly good. God has helped me raise this money in a faster time period for this trip with less time to do it than my last trip when I had more time to raise it. I'm in awe of His goodness.

I will keep giving updates as we grow closer to our departure date. Just pray that God softens the hearts of the people we will be working with in South Asia. Pray that we have open doors to minister to and love on those people. I have faith that He will do it. Also pray for a team from my church that I attend here who is leaving this Wednesday for a trip to West Africa. It is the first team our church has taken to this people group. They are hoping to establish roots and build relationships for future teams to return. There are no missionaries or known Christians in this people group.

Until next time,
God Bless

Wednesday, November 3, 2010


I attend a collegiate Bible study every Tuesday night for the college students who attend this certain church. Every Tuesday night, I feel God lays new information on my heart, information that literally wrecks my thought processes.

Last week, God revealed to me that I have not been spending enough time in his Word. I have all the time in the world to spend in his Word, but I've let other things creep in the way. God sternly, but lovingly, told me that had to stop.

Well, tonight, God showed me another area in my life that is lacking, that would be sharing my faith. Dave, the college pastor, talked tonight about how toward the end of Paul's ministry on the earth, his goal was to get to Spain. In those times, Spain was thought to be the end of the world. No one knew of the other continents out there. So Paul thought that if he could spread the name of Jesus across the entire country of Spain, then Jesus would come back and they'd be gone. But obviously, that wasn't the case. Dave made this point because Spain was Paul's passion. That was his end goal, getting the gospel to the ends of the world for all to hear.

Then Dave turned the question on the college students. What is our Spain? What is our end goal? Where are we just dying to take the gospel so those who have never heard can finally have that chance? For me, I know I am dying to return to South Asia, but God has also placed people in my life right here. Yes, I have a passion for those in South Asia, but people here in America still need to hear the name and the word of God.

After the Bible ended, I went to visit some friends. Well, two of these friends are foreign exchange students here on scholarship. Neither of them are Christians. One of them is from South Asia, the other from South America. I was able to dialogue with the student from South Asia. This student is very persistent. They know what they are talking about. But God has placed this person on my heart, and I want to be able to build a relationship with them. They were told when they came to America not to get converted. I know God has placed these two students in my path for a reason. Pray that God gives me the wisdom to know what I'm supposed to do next and how to handle the relationships.

I was reminded tonight during Bible study of something I realized this past summer. My end goal on this earth should be to spread the Word of God until all have heard. But then when one returns to such a place as college, one grows jaded and forgets that end goal. I've been thinking about marriage, what I'm supposed to do with my life and all these other insignificant things. God wants me focused on his name and bettering the kingdom for his glory. My desire needs to be for God more than anything else on this earth: more than marriage, kids, a job, whatever; it all needs to be about God.

Anyway, just some musings I've been wrestling with tonight. But I really must sleep now.

Until next time,
God Bless