Sunday, August 14, 2011

How Deep a Father's Love for Us

All throughout project, I definitely had my highs and lows. But to be honest I feel like I felt the Lord’s love the most through my lowest points on project. I felt His love through dear friends of mine, through nights spent on the beach just soaking in His beauty, through His Word, through learning patience, and through prayer. The Lord is so good and so powerful. He shows Himself in the most unexpected ways at the most unexpected times. Through the lows during project, I realized that the God of this universe, the One who created every star in the sky and everything on Earth, wants to have an intimate relationship with me. He is pursuing a specific, loving and caring relationship with His daughter. He wants to show me how much He loves me in any way He can. It is such an incredible feeling, I felt known, cared for, safe, loved.
I know that this is common scripture used at weddings and other events, but this is the love of Our Father, “Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil, but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. Love never fails.” 1 Corinthians 13: 4-8a.
He also have so much love for us, that He gave His one and only son, to die on a cross, so that we may have an intimate relationship with Him. Let that sink in for a second.
This is the love that Our Heavenly Father wants to show us. He wants to give us protection, hope, perseverance, patience, and kindness. His love is a love that never fails. Can you fathom that? Our Father’s love is a love that I cannot comprehend. But I know that I have felt it, and friends, it is so sweet. Let Our Creator love you, and let Him delight in you.

Saturday, August 13, 2011


I would like to share a story with you all about how awesome God is. Are you ready?
So to give you a little bit of background: All summer I was pretty apathetic to the idea of sharing the gospel, or the good news of Christ with complete strangers. I had done it before and had not seen any fruit come from the conversations, or had been rejected and my thoughts manipulated during my conversations with others about God and spiritual things. I had never had the experience of the Lord using me to lead someone to Christ or getting into a really good conversation with someone about what they may believe, or why I believe what I do. So needless to say, by the end of the summer I was pretty checked out in the area of outreach and evangelism. During the last week I was thinking that the Lord has already done all that He is going to do in my life and in others during the summer, and was just ready to go and get back on campus to see what He will do there. But the Lord totally proved me wrong (I love when He does: )). So as I am feeling this the last week, we had a couple more worship on the boardwalk outreaches planned and so, once again apathetically, I figured well why not, this will probably be the last outreach I will do here so I’ll go, and I did. As we were sitting on a couple of benches on the boardwalk worshipping, I saw my friend in a conversation with a girl, about our age, and decided to jump in on the conversation. The girl had told us that she had just lost her dad a few weeks ago and was dealing with a lot of questioning and stuff, but it was cool that she and I got to relate even in the unfortunate circumstance of losing a father. So we talked for a bit and got to a point where she asked what we were doing there and so we got to share with her that we were there with a campus ministry to share our faith and get to know people in the community. This then led to my friend and me sharing these four simple truths with her: First, God created us and loves us and has a perfect plan for our lives. Second, since we are human and are not perfect and holy, as God is, we are separated from Him and cannot have a relationship with Him on our own power. But this is where the good news comes in: thirdly, since God loves us and desires to have a relationship with us, He sent His one and only Son, Jesus, to die on the cross for our sins and our imperfections so that through Christ, we may have a relationship with Our Creator (how cool is that!?) As Ephesians 2:8-9 sates, “For it is by grace you have been saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the GIFT of God; NOT as a result of works that no one should boast.” We are able to have a relationship with our Heavenly Father not by works, but by faith in Christ. Lastly, we must accept Jesus into our lives as our Lord and Savior, so that we may know God personally and experience His love. After sharing these four truths with her she looked at me and told me that that is exactly what she wanted for her own life. So we prayed together and now we have a new sister in Christ!
I was so humbled and overjoyed that the Lord used a broken vessel such as myself to show Himself to the girl that I shared this with. He humbled my heart and showed me that He was not done with my summer and there were still things that I needed to learn and trust Him with. God shows up when you least expect Him to, and that just shows me that He is ALWAYS there, even in my hesitation, my brokenness, my doubt, He shows up and with His power, His glory, and His strength. Rejoice in that, friends. Our God is so good and so faithful.

Friday, August 12, 2011

Shipps Corner Pet Spa and Resort, GIRL.

      As stated in a previous post, I had been searching and searching for a job and trusting that the Lord had a job already set aside for me and He was just waiting for me to walk into it. Well, after working at Shipps Corner Pet Spa and Resort, I can look back on that and say with full confidence that that is exactly what happened.
      Shipps Corner is a dog kennel that boards dogs while their owners go on vacation. Shipps also offers grooming, therapy swims, and yes, doggie daycare, where the owners can drop the dogs off in the morning when they go to work and pick the dogs up on their way back home from work. I LOVED working here. The work itself was a bit physically demanding and not very pleasant as you can imagine, but the people that I worked with were so awesome! My coworkers were one of the sole reasons I got up at 6 a.m. every morning to go pick up dog poop and get peed on. These people were so fun to work with and were pretty vulnerable with me with their lives, whenever we did get a chance to talk. At the end of the summer they weren’t just coworkers, they were friends, cheesy, I know, but true. The times I got to spend working with them and hanging out with them were just so genuine and real and SO much fun! I got to share life with them, and they shared life with me. It was so cool to get to know them and see where they are at on their journey through life.
       With being in a community that is constantly rooted in Christ, it was hard to realize what was going on outside of the “fortress”. There was a speaker who came and spoke at one of our meetings one night and he taught on fortress theology. Fortress theology, in a nutshell, is when Christians sometimes get into this comfortable mindset and way of life where they are okay with just hanging out with others Christians and not delving into the brokenness and realness of this world. They put themselves in this “holy huddle”, and don’t reach out to other non-believers and go where they go. But that is not what the Lord calls us to do. Those places are exactly where you would see Jesus hanging out. He went to the parties, and those dark places. He wasn’t just hanging around and content in his community of followers. He reached out to the lowest of the society. That is what we are called to do. We are called to go out of our fortress to go where we are not comfortable and love on people. It is when we are out of our comfort zone that we see the Lord do the most work in us. Yes, it is important to be in community and grow in the body of Christ, but we are also called to reach out to others and share the good news of the gospel with them, so that they may know the grace and love of our Heavenly Father.
        I am so thankful for the relationships that I was able to build with my coworkers and I pray that they will continue to grow and that the Lord will continue to use me as a light in their lives, even though I am home and no longer working there.

Thursday, August 11, 2011

VBSP Update #1

Hey Friends : )
            Okay so I know there are no excuses for not writing any blog posts for the last month and a half, but I have been SUPER busy and have had literally NO time to write and post any. So over the next few days I am going to describe the amazingness of my summer to the best of my ability : )
So I left off with the Battle which was pretty great, but that is only the beginning. A week after the battle is when the staff left project to leave the students in charge of the rest of project. Each of the students on project got a specific job, to keep things running smoothly. The specific job that I received was an Action Group Leader. What the heck is that? Well, I’ll tell ya ; ) An AG leader leads a Tuesday night bible study with about 3 or 4 others girls in the study. AG leaders prepare the study, and teach it to the rest of their group on Tuesday nights. AG leaders are also responsible for having discipleship times with two other students that are set up throughout the week. During this discipleship time, we just share how life is going, and challenge each other to live a Christ centered life in whatever we may be struggling with. (Kind of like accountability partners.) Also, during this time we go out onto the beach or the boardwalk to share the gospel with the beach-goers or boardwalkers : ) I was truly blessed with the job that I was given, because it taught me a lot about what it means to lead others in the Word of God and what it means to be a good mentor and friend to those that I lead. It was a good role to be challenged in as well because I will be leading a bible study when I get back onto campus, and it was a good taste of what is to come.
Friends, I am so excited to share the rest of project with you over the next few days and in the conversations to come! Thanks for being patient : )