making a mound o’ blessings

Remember in the Old Testament where the Israelites were constantly messing up and then God showed Himself merciful? It seems like quite often after a lesson was learned, the people built a monument – to remember how far they had fallen and how beautiful God’s great hand swooped down in rescue. I love that idea of monuments we would construct to remember the work God has accomplished in our lives.

For me, these stories are our monuments… a bunch of little stones piled up in mounds to make our monuments of blessings. Hopefully, we can look back at these stories and praise God for who He is and how He works through us when we make ourselves available to Him.

Check out what Daniel has to say:

So I am home now that the mission trip is over, and I am getting to understand just how great of an experience this mission trip was. It was great to get to know the PCA group from Dallas – they were each very special people. They helped make the whole journey special and worth the effort. I look back and I learned so much in so little time, and with the smallest things.

One thing that made me realize just how fortunate we are and how easy it is to help and give love was seeing the delight in the kids’ faces when we played games and gave them prizes. They were filled with joy and energy and each of them appreciated what we were doing, which feels great. Another moment engraved in my mind happened during the Tuesday night event. We had tons of pizza to give out for free, and some was left over. I remember when one of the guys gave a lady a full pizza, and the lady was SO thankful for that! She probably needed it to give food to her family. Moments like that are what make the trip worth it.

Another thing that I just thought of that I really liked is how both groups of students, PCA and ALP, bonded together as a family, and everyone looked out for each other and worried about each other. One specific example that I give is when we were swimming at the beach in Tela. We were all in the ocean and there were pretty big waves in it, and we were swimming over them and under them for fun. One of our girls was not the best swimmer around, so we always kept an eye on her to see how she was doing. Then a wave came and threw her around, and then when she got up another one hit her straight away. When we saw this all of us swam toward her and picked her up, and one of the guys carried her to the shore.

I guess that this is a reflection of your spiritual walk in life. You are in a vast ocean, and waves (trouble) often come and take you down, and they will keep you down if you are not careful enough. However, if you have friends that are near you and look out for each other, they will help you stand up and face those waves, not alone, but together. This is just a little idea that came to my mind as I wrote this, and it reminds me of Proverbs 27:17, which says, “As iron sharpens iron, so one person sharpens another.” So now remember, you are not alone. Help is always found, especially when you are a Christian and trust in God to aid you. Be that helping hand to others who are struggling, and they will be there for you when you need them.

Beautiful words this morning! Here is a short photo montage of the trip that we will show in chapel. It is by NO means a full summary, but it’s a taste.

let LOVE fly like cRaZy

Mission 2011: Here I am. SEND ME!

Our theme verse for our week of focused mission service comes from Isaiah 6:8,

“Then I heard the voice of the Lord saying, “Whom shall I send? And who will go for us?” And I said, “Here am I. Send me!”

Our preparation has a beautiful, frantic fragrance this week. We are running around arranging, buying, planning, and chasing details like one chases a beach ball across a lake on a windy day. One thing is for sure: God is completely sovereign. Even in the foibles, I can claim this as true. I thought some of you might be interested in reading through the short devotionals for each day this week. I’ve included the passage (taken from The Message Bible) and the few questions I’ve asked the kids to ponder. Pray with us as God humbles our hearts and uses broken vessels to reveal His great Light of salvation!

Throughout the week, students will be updating on my blog to give direction to your prayers/praises and most importantly to give God the glory for the overflow of love. So stay tuned this week!

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You lead me out of myself

INVITE FOR 2010 SWEET DINNER
INVITE info

I’m getting ready for the SO-FAMOUS Sweet Dinner (10, 09, 06), which is happening on Thursday!! I have been thinking so much about what it means to love – really, truly love people. Loving these senior girls for the past three years makes it hard to write about love without crying. They make fun of me for it, but I’m not ashamed. Maybe tears are part of the overflow, too?

All I know is, I’ve got a GIANT lasagna (ahem, I might have used a turkey pan) and I have big plans for the special heart tins my mom sent me in a package last year. I’m working on parodies and decorations.

And in all these things, every once in awhile I take as deep a sigh as I can manage to remember that all this is just a reflection… it’s all overflow and I’ve got to keep getting filled.

So, I thought these words would be good to start out the morning. One of my favorite sounds to rummage up inspiration in my soul is The Arrows from South Africa. Two ladies rocking out, weaving clever lyrics with layered melodies is what I call a good time. Well, maybe if you read these lyrics for pilgrimage you’ll get the picture. I wish I could find a youtube video to post (if you can, let me know!). Here is their myspace page.

On this pilgrimmage to the new Jerusalem
and it’s the highway of holiness that gets me there
start of the journey is the day when I let the seed
fall to the ground and the day that I die is the day
I start to climb

On this pilgrimmage to the new Jerusalem
and it’s the highway of holiness that gets me there
every time I choose Your way instead of going my own direction
those are the times when I fall right behind
that You come to lead me along
will You lead me on?

and if I ever lose my hope
You’re there to light the fire
You bring me everything I need
when You quiet me with the Love you give
and You sing those songs all over me
and You tenderly
You lead me out of myself
and You walk with me

On this pilgrimmage to the new Jerusalem
and it’s the small and the narrow gate that gets me there
I know that many are called but that only few are chosen
those are the few who abandon themselves to pursue Your kingdom come
Your kingdom come

and if I ever lose my hope
You’re there to light the fire
You bring me everything I need
when you quiet me with the Love you give
and you sing those songs all over me
and you tenderly
You lead me out of myself
and you walk with me
and you walk with me
and you walk with me
and you walk with me

Today, my chorus is, “Lord, lead me out of myself”

and let LOVE fly like cRaZy