Friday, August 28, 2009

perfect love drives out fear.

For those of you who know me well or maybe even at all- you know that i am passionate about homeless people and about ministering to them and being able to hang out and spend time with them.

For those of you who know me even better, you know that i have been on some sort of a hiatus from homeless ministry lately.

And for those of you who know me even better, you probably know why.

For the past few years (since i began my college career), one of the highlights of my week has always been attending a homeless breakfast in downtown okc that begins in the wee hours of the morning around 6:30 am. i have met some of the most amazing people there, who i know would do anything that they could for me. its really a neat place. if i had to guess i would say that there are around 100 people there each morning, all of them being homeless or living in low income housing.

So i would say that i began going in the fall of 2006, and the last i can remember going is mid- spring semester 0f 2008. and then, of course this last spring- i was out of the country.. i think i lean on this as more of an excuse to make myself not feel as bad. anyways, on to the reasons i have avoided doing something i love.

It has been a number of distractions that have caused this seperation. One of which would be laziness and selfishness. Waking up at 5:30 is hard for me and probably will always be hard for me. Most days i would ignore the tugging inside me that would try and get me out of bed, and convince myself that I needed and deserved the sleep. Another reason would be that I simply lost focus of the calling. I ignored the fact that the Lord gave me the passion of building relationships with my neighbors specifically the homeless of OKC. And another thing was that i began to have a fear build up inside of me that kept me from going downtown. During the spring semester of 2008, i began to have a few nightmares all dealing with me being shot. i know that may sound crazy, but they were very realistic and began to paralyze me with fear. Lies from satan, in addition to comments from people concerning the risk of doing ministry downtown, early in the morning, by myself, and the nightmares persuaded me week after week not to return to the breakfasts.

Over the past year, even on the mornings i wouldnt go, even on the mornings i woke up in Africa, the friends and people i would talk to at breakfast in the mornings were on my mind. And each day that i would refuse to go, my heart would ache more and more. so after returning to school this semester, i decided its time to be obedient regardless of the costs. even if that were to mean getting shot (kinda morbid i know). WHAT COST GOD MUCH CANNOT BE CHEAP FOR US. We must put aside our laziness, our selfishness, our disobedience, and our lives. I also felt as though I am being prodded with a sense of urgency due to that fact i may graduate in May, some of these mornings may be the last ones i have to continue to develop relationships with old and new friends, and tell them of our Redeeming Saviors Love.

So Thurs the 20th, i went. i woke up and headed to downtown okc. in the 20 minute drive, i poured my heart out to the Father in desperation as a continum of the night before. and asked that He would provide courage and faithfulness and words and things that i wasnt sure that i needed, but that i knew He knew exactly what it would be. as i pulled up, parked my car, and walked to the entrance of the building, i looked down the stairs and to my suprise the lights were off. and i stood there (kinda like a kid in a candy store when their mom/dad tells them that they cant have any candy) and thought "what am i going to do now?" and then i look and there is this guy Dee (later found that out) standing there and says 'oh yeah, i just now remembered i think they moved somewhere else, you can follow me.' So i hop in my car, shouting out praise to the Father for being faithful. We drive about three blocks down, where people are gathered waiting to get inside. At this point, much emotion has begun to stir up, anxious while i stand on the edge of a long overdue reunion.

As i walk in, I immediately see my friend Roscoe, who quickly gives me a warm hug and says "we're glad youre back". Thursday is the one day when they have other volunteers (4 men) most days its just them cooking the breakfast themselves. Normally, i try not to come on thursday, but had forgot this detail during the leave of absense. Since there were many people helping in the serving line, i just stood there talking to people as they went through. I had noticed that not a single woman was there and began to wonder if i had stumbled in on a mens breakfast without getting some sort of a memo. Then right as seconds were being called, i saw a lady stumble through the line, and i ask her if i could join her at the table that morning. Her name is Francis. We had a nice talk and she informed me on that breakfast had just moved there on Monday that week and they moved due to all the fighting at the other location and that there was now suppose to be some sort of a security guard on duty (which was no where to be found). As Francis and her partner left, 4 or 5 more woman had showed up and i began to move on and make some more new friends and reunite with some old ones.

The Lord, He is faithful!

I wanted to leave this passage of Scripture with you, I have definately clinged to it the past few weeks, as i began the journey of ministering in one of the aspects that i know God has called me to this semester.

1 John 4:7-21
Dear friends, let us love one another, for love comes from God. Everyone who loves has been born of God and knows God. Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love. This is how God showed his love among us: He sent his one and only Son into the world that we might live through him. This is love: not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins. Dear friends, since God so loved us, we also ought to love one another. No one has ever seen God; but if we love one another, God lives in us and his love is made complete in us.
We know that we live in him and he in us, because he has given us of his Spirit. And we have seen and testify that the Father has sent his Son to be the Savior of the world. If anyone acknowledges that Jesus is the Son of God, God lives in him and he in God. And so we know and rely on the love God has for us. God is love. Whoever lives in love lives in God, and God in him. In this way, love is made complete among us so that we will have confidence on the day of judgment, because in this world we are like him. There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear, because fear has to do with punishment. The one who fears is not made perfect in love.
We love because he first loved us. If anyone says, "I love God," yet hates his brother, he is a liar. For anyone who does not love his brother, whom he has seen, cannot love God, whom he has not seen. And he has given us this command: Whoever loves God must also love his brother.
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Saturday, August 1, 2009

Breaking the silence.

(2 posts in one day, whew.)

one word to describe the last two months of my life.


i use this word for a couple of reasons. one of them being this: this summer i have moved back to my small the process of moving home, my family has moved away. i am living in the house i grew up in by myself. and when i say by myself, i mean me, a bed, and a canvas lawn chair. no tv, no internet, no couch, no working stove. so needless to say, it has been silent. not necessarily the bad type of silence, but silence. it has been a great transition from africa life back to the american way of life. i have had more time than i could have ever asked for to think about things and process different things. it has also given me lots of time to clean (boo), write letters(yay), make shirts(yay), and read(yay). so the silence hasnt been bad, just overwhelming at times, and is liked better in moderation.

another reason, i used the word silence is because i have yet to write on this blog (hence the column to the right having no posts for june or july) or in my journal. i have all these thoughts running through my head, yet when i sit down to record them, i feel overwhelmed by the amount of them, or by the weight of them. and since i am a oral thinker, not writing them down, i believe, has stifled mt ability to process them. i am getting back on track. its my new years resolution in august.

one reason i use the word silence is this: which kind of goes along with the first one is because there has been a silence is the area of hanging out with friends. since i am in my hometown this summer, most of my friends are not, and a couple of them have been out of the country as well. these are the people i share the most intimate parts of my life with and who i invest much in and who invest much in me. without them around, it just feels weird. not to worry, reunion is taking place in the near near future.

the last reason i can think of right now, and the saddest case of the word silece, is this: when in africa, i developed the deepest desire for the Word of God that i have ever had. and i feel after being back is has changed in a sense. i still have a passion for His Word, but i find myself ,stupidly, chooseing not to run first to the One who knows me best. when life is everchangeing and we go from living one place and being thrown somewhere completely different, you think that we would hold tight to the One who is always constant in our life, the One who is ever faithful, the One who never changes, and the One who never fails. i also feel that the reason that there is sometime silence on my behalf in this situation is because i am apprehensive to what i may be asked to do next. (yes, im aware this is a dumb reason). sometimes, if even for just a second, i get things mixed up and try to act like this life is all about me. but its not, its not about me at all. that i may become less and less and that He may become more and more. this is why the silence is breaking. i..we...must break the silence, we must cry out to the One who holds it all together. We must seek Him through His word. because if we're not, then what are we doing?

so if you are being silent right now, stop it. yell at the top of your lungs, cry at the top of your lungs, He's listening. He hasnt given up on you. and He wont.
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RESUSCITATING of the blog.

this post marks the beginning of me resuscitating my blog. i have loved having a blog, and therefore am going to continue to write. i like the idea of writing about things that are going on in my life because i am more of an oral thinker, one of those people that need to say (or write out) the things they are thinking in order to process them fully. so i will blog for me. but i will also blog for you. while the main purpose of my writing is to be able to process things, i wouldnt be opposed to people reading it in order to stay caught up with my life, to be encouraged, or just because they have nothing better to do. i will in the next couple months still write about africa, and life post-africa. i will also write about my school adventures and the journey i am currently on. because like the african proverb at the top of the page "when the music changes, so does the dance" just dancing to different music now, music that has worse rhythm and more instruments than just a single drum. thanks for takeing part in this journey with me.
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