Wednesday, September 8, 2010

I screwed up.

I had a big reminder yesterday that I am still not the fantastic human, mission minded, super hero I'm striving to be. I got a little taste of what happens when you don't listen to God or you hesitate when He's saying "GO."
I was babysitting yesterday and while the kids were doing their homework, I happened upon an Andy Stanley book, Fields of Gold, or Golden Fields (I honestly can't remember.) It was about giving and taking the wealth that God gave you in the first place and using it to further His kingdom. No brainer right? You just take out all the "what if's" that you face in life and just know that God has got it under control. I left the house that night and headed straight to Walmart knowing that my money is God's money. I don't need to worry about anything and when He says give, it's already taken care of. I know when to listen and I always act when God tells me to... Wrong.
The very first opportunity I had to give, I hesitated... Big time. As I got to the register, I overheard a couple behind me arguing because they, "didn't bring any money." Some how wires got crossed and he thought she would bring money because his checking account was overdrawn. I just stared at them... Literally, I got caught.
Now, I'm broke. I don't have a bunch of money, but I have been blessed with few bills and not much responsibility during this time of transition. I had enough money to cover what was in their cart. I felt this tug at my heart and that still small voice that we always search for was SCREAMING at me... It wasn't still or small and I hesitated!! After staring at them for about a minute or so, I finally asked the cashier to add a gift card to my order and give it to the couple behind me. As I was making the transaction, the couple left their cart and headed for the door. The computer/Betty, the cashier, picked that time to crack under the pressure of a time crunch and fumbled the transaction! I stood there and watched as the couple walked out the door empty handed and Betty, with the delayed gift card, chase them down.
She didn't make it.
We stood outside and looked at every car drive by, but they had vanished into the night air. I asked Betty to keep the card and pass it on to the next person who might need it. I then walked to the Swagger Wagon and cried all the way home, because I knew that I messed up.
God really doesn't ask that much of us. Just total loyalty and obedience. I consider that to be a fair trade and here I am mucking it all up! I have to take this one as a life lesson. When God asks me next time to sacrifice, I'll do it! Hopefully, there will be none of this hesitation crap in my mind. I have a roof over my head, food in my belly and more things than most people in the world will have in their entire life. My whole life is being devoted to trusting God to provide for me! I'm moving to Honduras! I'm trusting God is going to provide the money for my missions. How can I expect to ask Him for money when I won't even give away what money He's given me?? Money troubles really are the Devil's playground and I'll have no part of it!! No more hesitations.

Remember this: Whoever sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and whoever sows generously will also reap generously. Each man should give what he has decided in his heart to give, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver. -2 Corinthians 9:6-7

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Youth in Action

This week has been an eye opener for me. (Not that every week hasn't been...) It has spanned from youth groups, to swagger wagons, to capitalism. Yes, I'm random. Yes, that's ok. We'll start with the youth group and end with the swagger wagon.
When I was in Honduras we had a group come from Eastridge in Georgia. It was a fantastic group and because there was sickness in the mission, I got to step in and help lead. I would put it up there with one of the best learning experiences I've had to date. I organized a large group , answered questions, witnessed baptisms, and really got to be a part of an experience that hopefully, they will remember for the rest of their life. I was able to share my story with members of the team and was encouraged even more to seek what God has for me. The path that I am pursuing today is because of the late night conversations I had that challenged me to seek what God really wants in my life.
During the next months, I will be traveling with Mision Caribe visiting churches and conventions, raising awareness to the fantastic ventures of the mission. All this will lead to my trip in December, and my stay in Tegucigalpa after that. Obviously that means working for an the "American Dream" is out of the question, so I've been trusting God is going to provide... Enter the youth of Northern Georgia. They took up a donation for me and allowed me to meet my goal to fund what I would need to cover my cost of living for those months.

I am completely humbled.

As of 1 year and a half ago, you probably wouldn't see me in a room with anyone under the age of 21. I couldn't stand to be around kids. The youth of today really used to get on my nerves. I saw kids in general as selfish, spoiled brats who needed to have technology taken away from them, because Christmas came on a daily basis to our capitalistic society. Seems a bit harsh, but we're being honest, right? That is what I thought.
I'm a firm believer that God has changed my heart on the subject, because I had nothing to do with it. He hid from me that I would be working with teenagers and spending time in an orphanage in Belarus that would have such a HUGE impact on me. He shielded the fact that my first trip to Honduras was through TEEN mission on purpose, because if I would have known that, I wouldn't have gone. I've befriended teens and mentored them through experiences of my life. I have this crazy desire/burden to love them because God loved them first! And now, I live with a 15 year old who loves science and math and spends a lot of time trying to teach me his thought process. The thing that brought tears to my eyes though was the generosity of teenagers, most of whom don't have jobs, or a steady income. It is because of them that I'm able to continue God's work... Irony anyone? It's quite laughable how God continues to demolish my prideful behavior. What a schmuck I was...

Don't let anyone look down on you because you are young, but set an example for the believers in speech, in life, in love, in faith and in purity. -1 Timothy 4:12

And yes, the family I live with "rocks the SE not the SUV," so it makes it even more fantastic!