Month: March 2013

The Real Church

For the past year and a half, I’ve been working through the Gallaudet Campus Ministries as an independent missionary. I’ve been met with multitudes of challenges unexpectedly but also learned what a real church means. 

There is a difference between the and a church. A church is the general definition that people are the most familiar with: a place of worship. Where a community of people look to seek and grow as they follow a leader. But the church is more about the people. The community of people that is reached out, enabling them to grow together. Sometimes it just two people, sometimes it’s a mass group of people.

Recently, I went to Rochester Institute of Technology. From there, I became aware of what Gallaudet University was lacking in campus ministry. Besides all of the red tape (what happened to separation of church & state?)  We realized the need to be connected. Because the deaf community is so much smaller, compared to the hearing community, we were required to question why we didn’t connect before.

When returning back to D.C., I began to pray about what I learned. If you read what Paul wrote in his letters to the churches, especially Corinthians. He also sent people in times of need. Rather it was to make sure they were doing the right things or encouraging them. Through these letters, I discovered Paul’s gift as an exhorter. How can we do the same? How can we encourage and give godly advice in dire times of need? The answer: prayer.

 

Fig Tree

In the morning, as Jesus was returning to Jerusalem, he was hungry, and he noticed a fig tree beside the road. He went over to see if there were any figs, but there were only leaves. Then he said to it,“May you never bear fruit again!” And immediately the fig tree withered up.

The disciples were amazed when they saw this and asked, “How did the fig tree wither so quickly?”
Then Jesus told them, “I tell you the truth, if you have faith and don’t doubt, you can do things like this and much more. You can even say to this mountain, ‘May you be lifted up and thrown into the sea,’ and it will happen.You can pray for anything, and if you have faith, you will receive it.”
Matthew 21:19-22
Faith has become a big subject for me to tackle as of recently. Not that I’m losing faith, but my willingness to grow. If I am not willing to trust God and have faith in him, my spirit will remain the same and will not bear fruit. The roots of the fig tree will die along with it. In other words, I would have no life with Jesus if I made the choice to not follow him.
The reason for reading this was because of my doubts about my seizure disorder. Having had Epilepsy for more than 20 years made me believe I still have seizures. I will continue to believe I do for my own safety but I don’t have to believe it still happens all the time. Instead, I can change my mind by allowing myself to have faith in Jesus, getting rid of all the ‘what if?” Those questions prevent me from growing and giving fruit for the Lord.
Instead, I can pray and ask God to not only take away the disorder but also believe it’s not from him but from satan. I would rather ask for him to nourish the roots and grow fruit so it can be provided for others to become fruitful as well.
It’s similar to when Peter was asked by Jesus to walk on water. Jesus asks us to trust him. He can not only take away the disorder, but he can do more! That’s an effective ministry!

Why I believe

Christ is the visible image of the invisible God.
He existed before anything was created and is supreme over all creation,
for through him God created everything
in the heavenly realms and on earth.
He made the things we can see
and the things we can’t see—
such as thrones, kingdoms, rulers, and authorities in the unseen world.
Everything was created through him and for him.
He existed before anything else,
and he holds all creation together.
Christ is also the head of the church,
which is his body.
He is the beginning,
supreme over all who rise from the dead.
So he is first in everything.
For God in all his fullness
was pleased to live in Christ,
and through him God reconciled
everything to himself.
He made peace with everything in heaven and on earth
by means of Christ’s blood on the cross.
From the moment we exist to the moment we enter judgment day after our final breath, we are given a choice of what to believe. Once made, you still have an opportunity.
In Colossians 1:15-20 makes it very clear who made the universe, who created us and for what purpose. If you read in the Old Testament, it discusses more details about why God chose to recede the high waters. He wanted to give us a second chance at life; redeem ourselves as humans. I’ve counted quite a few times in the Bible of stories when He did.
But with Noah, He made a convent, a promise to us. When He sent HIs only Son, it only confirmed his convent with the people. That’s just how amazing He is. It didn’t matter how many scars Jesus suffered, or taunts he heard. He didn’t lay him down to rest, he had him rise again.
I don’t think God created the Universe for no reason or out of pure boredom. He had His Kingdom to rule with the angels.
If I believed in a million gods and look to them to satisfy my every need and desire, I would never be content. With God, I’m still not content but it’s because I’m hungry and thirsty all the time and craving for more of HIm. I’m not afraid of who God is or what He has to offer. It’s not the rules and traditions that drag me down. In fact, it’s more about living like Jesus than the rules. If we intend to live more like Jesus, then we’re still attempting our humanly way of following the rules.
I apologize for the rambling thoughts but these thoughts came up after reading Know Why You Believe by Paul E. Little.  Hope you read it and find something out of it!

Dipping your toes in water

IMG_20130307_112626
Drawn on my mac pad.

Jesus and Peter went fishing one day (in our culture, maybe drinking beer) while chatting.

Suddenly, Jesus tells Peter to get out of the boat and go ‘on’ water.

What was his purpose of telling Peter to do that? Peter couldn’t even swim and yet, Jesus told him to go in the water. After much debate, he decided to go in the water but almost drowned, but it was only because of his lack of faith. Jesus encouraged Peter to come up and trust him. When he wouldn’t, Jesus stepped out of the boat and showed him what faith could do by walking on water.

As far as I know, pretty much everyone is like that. No one trusts Jesus when he says to walk on water until something major. But you have to remember, Jesus did not intend for us to drown. He intended for us to trust him.

What we should do:
Dip your toes in water before going in. Asking tough questions is ok, it’s a natural to ask before taking the leap.

Once you have confirmed your faith, walk, or if you’re a big risk taker like some people, take a chance and run, on the water. If you have no doubts, no fear; you have nothing else to lose.

A few weeks ago, I was on the playground chasing a couple of girls. The playground had a fake, rubber rock. I allowed my slight fear of heights take over instead of trusting God to keep me from falling, so I decided to climb down instead of over the rock. I’m not afraid of falling but afraid nothing will catch me if I do. And I’m a girl who loves to hike up in the mountains and can cross rocks, even if it means falling, but I can’t cross fake ones.

I’m a lot like Peter, I’ll listen but I don’t always do. What about you? Are you the same?

What do you gain?

You know the old saying, “No pain! No gain!” I admit, being a former cheerleader for a season brought tears, laughter and quite a few other emotions that don’t need to be mentioned for a middle school-er. Thank goodness that was only a season!

But what I’ve learned from those four simple words, was through work, we gain much in abundance (especially when it’s intentionally to bless others) but also gain nothing if we learn nothing from it.

Proverbs 14:23 simply states: “All hard work brings a profit, but mere talk leads only to poverty.”

If we work to benefit only ourselves, we gain nothing and fall into the snare of unsuccess and sadly – poverty (not just financially). We also don’t work for what we’re saying we are going to do, but simply talk (sound like anyone you know?) At some point, whose responsibility does it become? Yes, we’re given free will, but the free will we are given, often comes with a high and mighty price to pay. We’re forced often to make choices impacting the lives of others.

So in the end, is no pain, no gain true or false?