Month: November 2013

A blessed woman, but blessed follower

For years, I’ve been very confused with the idea of the identity of religion. To me, religion is a mind game. You have to decide who you’re following, who you idolize, who you worship and many times, religion becomes secular.

I grew up with an adverse religious background but never grew up with one faith. I’ve been exposed to Judaism, Hinduism, Islam, and so forth. I was on my own to decide my own faith as a teenager. All it took was a friend to say he was a follower of Jesus and not religion to get me hooked.

For the past week and a half visiting Bethlehem has exposed me to things the western world would never teach me or help understand about Jesus. Our team decided to go to The Church of Nativity last week for an afternoon tour and discovered something. While the majority of my family is Catholic, it wasn’t until I experienced or came to an understanding of who Jesus really was until this week.

Jesus was in fact born in a barn, however, the church wanted to make it sacred and turned it into an alter. The more I learn about the various of faiths where people are simply searching, the more I begin to understand religion and  where people are coming from.

Church of Nativity - where Jesus was born
Church of Nativity – where Jesus was born

When I walked into the Church of Nativity, we formed a line to go down into a place that appears to be a cellar, except  it’s where Jesus was born. Only to discover it’s an alter where people can bow down to thank Mary for giving birth to our Lord. It wasn’t until the last few days I started to really dig into the book of Luke and tried to understand something about Mary and Jesus. First of all, Mary was acknowledged to be blessed by the angel that appeared to her but it was not just because she was about ready to give birth to the Son of God, but it was because of her simple obedience and belief. *(Luke 1-2).

But get this, “As he was speaking, a woman in the crowd called out, “God bless your mother – the womb from which you came, and the breast that nursed you.”  Jesus replied, “But even more blessed are all who hear the word of God and put it into practice.”

Tell me, where does it say you need to pray for blessings to Mary? Or even work to be blessed? The word of God is the simple truth and when we follow the truth and practice it, we are blessed instead of cursed. Mary knew she was very blessed, but she praised God for all He did and Jesus made it clear how you can be blessed. Be obedient in all you do is the simple message he had for us who think blessings come from the people Jesus associated with.

How simple is our Heavenly Father.

Every voice

Deaf Culture, I think is complicated. It demands you know who you are, even when you don’t. People are literally declared dead or alive in deafness based on how you speak and the pride you show for your community. But it’s never about humbling yourself to the fullest potential.

I was born deaf. I started going to a signer and oral school for half a year before transferring to mainstream school. In third grade, I attended a deaf institution until seventh grade.  I left the deaf school for many reasons. But when coming to Washington, D.C. to be an independent missionary and then joining Youth With A Mission, it has become clear of my calling.

I realized, if I want to heed to my calling to bring the Kingdom on Earth, it requires use of my voice. I am not talking about as a Deaf woman. I am speaking on as a Daughter of God. Using my voice by using all means necessary. The use of my hands, my vocal cords and sometimes my ears.

Many people think Cochlear Implants are a curse, because it takes something away from the deaf community, but to God, it’s a blessing in disguise. God intended the implant to be used for far more than what the world has been offering. If it something as simple as hearing the fall leaves crunching beneath my feet and show pure joy, then the job of His creation is accomplished. When I begin to spill words from my hands or mouth, telling someone a story of how my day went and included the simple sounds of crunching leaves, it’s designed to bring joy to others and more so with God.

That is Heaven on Earth.

When one dictates their culture upon others instead of sharing, it can prove to be destructive. Part of Heaven on Earth is to also honor those within the Kingdom. No matter where they are from or who they believe they are. It’s about what God designed us as.

P.S. I’m leaving for Israel from Nov. 8 to Dec. 10th. Please keep our team in prayer in the last part of our outreach.