Saturday, December 31, 2011

New Year's Eve!

“This new year had better be better than last year!” “Maybe I will meet the love of my life this year.” “Maybe this year I will have true friends.” “Maybe this year I won’t screw up my life AGAIN.” “Maybe this year I won’t be such a failure.” “Maybe this year no one I love will die.” “Maybe... Just maybe this will be my year….”

These were just some of my new year's thoughts as a young child and a young adult.

The new year was a FRESH start, a new hope – a new beginning to this life that I so frequently messed up or regretted.

I anxiously anticipated “ringing in” the new year! I celebrated at midnight with great relief that the past year was FINALLY OVER.

Today…I read on facebook about all the great plans people have and their anticipation for the new year, but I don’t seem to care. I don’t care that it’s New Year's Eve. I don’t care that it’s a new year.

I am asking: Why?

Since I truly fell in love with Jesus Christ, every day… every minute… every breathe is a new day, a new year, a new start, a new beginning in Him!

I don’t need a new calendar year to begin again. I'm not in bondage to man's timing. I don’t need a party to start over.

ALL I need is the Truth that sets me free! Jesus!

Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free! John 8:32

So...when you feel crushed, when someone you love dies, when you fail, when you hurt someone, you can CHOOSE life. Embrace a new beginning every day! Choose a new start in the love of Jesus!

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Ministry Encouragement!

Hey friends!

Please take 15 minutes to watch these 4 videos and read the passages from James below. (Who doesn’t love music?!) These songs are all written by Christian artists who participated in missions overseas in third world countries, and God changed their hearts as a result.

Sara Groves – I Saw What I Saw

Meredith Andrews – What It Means to Love

Brooke Fraser – Albertine

Swoope ft. Lecrae, Tedashii, and Jai – Actions Speak Louder

“What good is it, my brothers and sisters, if someone claims to have faith but has no deeds? Can such faith save them? Suppose a brother or a sister is without clothes and daily food. If one of you says to them, “Go in peace; keep warm and well fed,” but does nothing about their physical needs, what good is it? In the same way, faith by itself, if it is not accompanied by action, is dead.” James 2:14-16

‎“Do not merely listen to the word, and so deceive yourselves. Do what it says. Anyone who listens to the word but does not do what it says is like someone who looks at his face in a mirror and, after looking at himself, goes away and immediately forgets what he looks like. But whoever looks intently into the perfect law that gives freedom, and continues in it—not forgetting what they have heard, but doing it—they will be blessed in what they do. Those who consider themselves religious and yet do not keep a tight rein on their tongues deceive themselves, and their religion is worthless. Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world.” James 1:22-27

Also, take a few minutes to read through this article from The Resurgence with practical ideas about how to do missional living. Perhaps you can incorporate this into your devotional time!

I am sure that many of you who have been on mission trips or participated in urban mission projects have had similar experiences! I can’t help but thank God for all of the work that He is doing in other parts of the world. He invites us to join in with that work. Pray and consider how you might be able to minister to the lost, broken, hurting, sick, poor… anyone who might need love.

Maybe you are that broken person looking for some love today. Read this passage and be encouraged!

“The unfailing love of the LORD never ends! By his mercies we have been kept from complete destruction. Great is his faithfulness; his mercies begin afresh each day. I say to myself, ‘The LORD is my inheritance; therefore, I will hope in him!’ The LORD is wonderfully good to those who wait for him and seek him. So it is good to wait quietly for salvation from the LORD. For the Lord does not abandon anyone forever. Though he brings grief, he also shows compassion according to the greatness of his unfailing love.” Lamentations 3:22-26; 31-32

Even if you aren’t able to go overseas and serve, you are called to love people in your town, in your workplaces, in your families, in your church, and to share the gospel every chance you have. Engage the church, engage the city. Sometimes that takes sacrifice of time, money, gifts, and yourself. It requires that you live unselfishly and realize that you are part of something bigger than yourself-God’s plan of redemption! I encourage you to consider how you might love as Jesus first loved us. Share the gifts that He has given to you with others! Live out the gospel in your daily life. Let’s seek to glorify God with our entire beings and lives!