About Me

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I love my Jesus, my family and my friends. I enjoy people and traveling, good music and good food. I have recently moved to the country, and I am loving it! So much to learn about our Creator just by walking outside. Pretty amazing.

Saturday, July 11, 2009

Without a Doubt

Doubt is so annoying sometimes.  It's just one of those things we deal with as humans. As Christians, it causes us to question ourselves, our family, our abilities, God, the enemy, whatever is around.  We all deal with doubt in something at sometime.  Usually more often than we'd like.

But there are some things we know without a doubt.  We know the sun will rise in the morning, and the moon will follow later that evening.  We know that it's hot in a Texas summer and cold in a Colorado winter.  We know as humans we are no match against natural disaster, and we know as humans we are the only ones who can rebuild, in God's goodness, after one has occurred.    

In Psalm 82, God reminds us of something else we need not doubt.  He says, " 'How long will you defend the unjust and show partiality to the wicked?  [Instead] Defend the cause of the weak and fatherless; maintain the rights of the poor and oppressed.  Rescue the weak  and needy; deliver them from the hand of the wicked.  They know nothing, they understand nothing.  They walk about in the darkness; all the foundations of the earth are shaken.' ... Rise up, O God, judge the earth, for all the nations are your inheritance."  

This shouts to me that I never have to doubt it will be time well spent if I give an hour, a day, a week, a lifetime helping the poor and oppressed.  The weak and needy.  Those who are clueless and need guidance and direction.  Those whom have had their foundation shaken, what might even seem like a natural disaster.

This passage perfectly describes the 
refugees in America, even right here in Texas,  whom the United Nations has brought over from refugee camps across the world in order to help them assimilate into our culture and have new life.  The problem is they are given only 4 months support, then they are on their own.  These precious people often know absolutely nothing about surviving in America. Some have been in jungle refugee camps for 18 years.  They truly are weak and often fatherless.  Their rights were stripped from them in their own land because of race or religion.  

They are weak and needy - weak from not understanding nutrition, and needy for someone to teach them simple living practices such as washing their hands and turning on the heat in the winter.  They are poor - skilled in different tasks, yet needing someone to hire them without strings attached and other humans helping them with the basics of life here in America.   The enemy is hard after them.  They know nothing about food stamps, medicaid, Walmart, driving.  They speak foreign languages.  Their children are thrust into public schools in low-income areas, knowing nothing.  They walk in darkness, and God so desire for them to walk in  the light of Jesus. Yet truly, the foundations of their earth have been shaken.  It is hard for them to see much beyond the fear of not making it here.

So we, in our simple human efforts, and in God's amazing goodness, attempt to help rebuild what the enemy has tried to destroy in the lives of these refugees here in Dallas. Simple things like guiding them through homework.  Giving driving lessons.  Helping them find a job.  Taking them to the doctor.  Our family enjoying a cup of tea with their family.  

These are husbands and wives with beautiful children and an elderly mom.  These are young 20-something men working hard, so if they prove they can make it, then their parents can come here, too.  These are elderly couples, whom have spoken nepali or bhutanese their whole lives, and are in ESL classes here every week.  They are our friends, now.  They are a part of us.  It is good and right to be in their lives, and they in ours.  It is God's heart.  It's just what we are to do.  And it's something I know deep in me.  Truly, without a doubt.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Let there be mud

Mud happens.   It just does.   
And it happens a lot.  If it rains long enough or hard enough, or both, and if you're at the right place at the right time, it will happen.  there will be mud.  Seriously, what's one to do?

Rob, our three kids, and I recently moved to Sabine Creek Ranch to help start a new ministry called SEGUE. [SEGUE is two-fold : 1) We are helping young adults transition from where they are to where God desires them to be through a 9 month "Gap Year" experience that involves discipleship, worship & missions as we all minister to  2)  refugees who have been  relocated to Dallas Texas from all over the world by the United Nations, and help them transition to this new life.]  I'm a city-girl, so living on the ranch has been quite educational for me in so many ways, but especially when it comes to "mud-avoidance".  The first day we arrived at the ranch, my friend gave bright yellow John Deer shirts to my 3 kids which read, "There will be mud!".  Cute and fun.  That's all I thought.  I had no idea there was a  deep ancient truth that spoke through those shirts, nor did I know that this truth would try to change me.   

Over the next few weeks, I would fall apart on the inside every time my children walked out the door, knowing that no matter what they did, they would come back in the house with the dark, black North Texas mud that surrounds us.  I created almost a "Border Patrol" feel at the back door to ensure no mud would enter the house.  I have been through an ungodly amount of Shout stain removal, gallons and gallons of clothes detergent, and most people that come by notice that my washing machine is always running.  I have supplied rubber boots for my entire family that stay by the back door, which are to be taken off BEFORE entering, and there is an in-depth inspection that takes place before crossing over.  

But this is tiring.  And truly, a hopeless battle.  Those bright yellow shirts that were presented only 8 weeks ago to my kids are dingy with faded mud spots carelessly splotched all over the front and back.  I am growing feeble of "patrolling" the back door, and the boots are wearing out fast.  There are some places I cannot allow mud to go, but I am softening on other places.  I know that mud is actually a good thing for many situations.  I know that nothing could replace the fact that my kids are running and playing and romping and roaming with their Davy Crockett and Batman gear on, or just simply digging the deepest mud-hole around.  This is good.  

I guess I kind of see it like this - we can either try to avoid the mud over and over and over again, working effortlessly to stay "clean and stain free", or... we can let it change us.  I am not talking about mud=sin.  Just talking about what life brings - some of those situations that are just dark, black mud.  It stains.  It even kind of stinks, but it does something to us when we just go ahead and receive it, learn from it, and even suspect that God might be the one who brought it.  

I think He likes mud.  He used it to heal a blind man.  The blind man allowed the mud to go somewhere I don't think I would be very welcoming to at all... his eyes!  Yet, he was wiser than I, and received it.   I know, he probably didn't know Jesus was making mud for his eyes, because he could not see at that point.  Kind of like me a few weeks ago.  But God makes the mud anyway, and then he lets us choose what we will do with the mud.  I want to be healed of any thing that is blinding to me. I want to be free of attitudes and thoughts that hinder my perception.  I don't want to be a stick in the mud.  I want to see mud the way God sees mud.  It's actually a tool of change.  So,  I now say.........   
Let there be mud.