Some Light Date Night Conversation

Some Light Date Night Conversation

M: Todd White (evangelist K’s been listening to) is ruining your life!

K: Yeah and my flesh hates it haha.

M: No actually Jesus, Jesus through Todd White is ruining your lifestyle! Wait not your, OUR comfortable lifestyle. And yes my flesh hates it too, but we also love it!

(I also want to throw out spiritual props out to not just Todd White, but also Ms. A, John Piper, Eunice, and PKyle.)

Ruin us, Lord!

If I don’t love other people, do I really love You? If I don’t love ALL other people, not just the people in my church, my friends and family, but all other people (those in the grocery store, ramen shop, at work, those I don’t naturally get along with), do I really love You?

Light our hearts on fire. Disrupt our lifestyle of comfort and pursuit of all things world. I don’t care if they call us weird or strange or foolish or annoying or bigots or too extreme or too much. I want my heart to BURN for You. Not for the sake of me and my glory, for extreme passion for You often doesn’t lead to the praise of the world or even the church sometimes, but more often scorn. I want to burn for the sake of You. For the sake of others who do not know You.

Our world and BILLIONS of those in it are destined to perish, yet it barely affects my heart and soul. Why do I/we not WEEP for the condemnation and judgment that is to come if the world does not know Jesus?

This week at Roots, I talked to one of the girls (not a believer) about the Gospel and how yes, it means everyone apart from Jesus will perish and spend eternity in the place of their choosing: a place apart from God that yes, is called Hell. It disturbed her (to the extent that she believed it a possibility) to think that some spend their eternity there. I think it didn’t deeply devastate her as she at this moment doesn’t believe it’s a reality. So then how much more should we, we who say we believe in the Gospel, thus believe eternity apart from Jesus will destine COUNTLESS NUMBERS to this Hell, why does it not deeply grieve me and fill me with urgency? Could it be that I don’t 100% believe? That’s part of it. But moreso is it because in the end it won’t apply to me? Yes, selfishly I think that’s a huge part of it too. And I think I know that if I let this truth burn inside of me, it would be very lifestyle-disrupting.

How can I passively enjoy the comforts of this life and waste my time pursuing the treasures of the world when I realize people are really going to Hell and the gift God’s given me can save them if I don’t sit on it? How can I turn away when God prompts me to pray for someone in a ramen shop, grocery store parking lot? God is on a mission to seek and save the lost. What mission am I working on right now? I’m already a part of this mission, it’s been assigned to me, but am I actively asking God to help me bring it to completion?

Jesus is disrupting my lifestyle. My flesh hates it. My soul/spirit loves it.

Just some light date night conversation and other thoughts to feed the soul.

And hey, my first blog post in ages– PTL! :)

Week 24 + Lazarus & The Rich Man

Week 24 + Lazarus & The Rich Man

So I realized my last pregnancy update post was actually on the first day of week 24, and not the last day of week 23 as I had thought. Whoops!

Anyway today is truly the last day of week 24. Can’t believe it. Only ~3.5 months left!!! Definitely getting nervous as it seems like we have done so little for the baby.

Thankful for my co-worker who encouraged me to not stress. She said once the baby comes you figure it out and all a baby really needs is you (aka FOOD), clothes, tons of diapers, and a place to sleep. All the other stuff is nice, but not necessary!

In other updates, I forgot to mention last week that I got the mom cut! Early, I know, and I really wanted to hold out until we had the baby, but I think I just had it with all the static and the tangles and the blahness of my old hair and I went for my first major chop in years!

The second the hairdresser made the first cut, I regretted it and was having terrible flashbacks of junior year, but when she finally finished I was shocked… I actually LOVED it (and still do)! I feel very TSwift… whatever that means haha.

Also worth mentioning is that I had my monthly check-up yesterday and babyee is 1 pound, 7 ounces! Growth is on target PTL!!! It’s funny because the ultrasound wasn’t as exciting this time as the baby is SO BIG and it’s actually really hard to see much anything. (In prior months, the baby was smaller and her entirety could be captured on screen. Yesterday, we could only looks at pieces of her: her head, stomach, leg. Still fun, but not as captivating as seeing the entire form of a tiny human on screen!)

How do I feel?

Only a few weeks away from 3rd tri and starting to feel the tiredness return as I was forewarned. I keep waking up at night due to leg cramps (time to order compression socks says the doc!), having to pee, or just being straight up uncomfortable.

On that note, I’m pretty apparently showing now (probably have been for the last couple weeks)! Looking forward to the special pregnant woman treatment everyone says you get once you’re obviously preggo. Not looking forward to the unsolicited advice part though haha.

What is God saying?

In BSF this week, we studied Revelation 6: the opening of the seals and 4 horsemen.

Honestly all the judgment and gloom and doom is very unsettling, but what struck me the most was when we were directed to the passage in the Gospels about Lazarus and the rich man, a depiction of heaven vs. hell.

I’ve been thinking about this for a while, but the specific passage drove the point home. At the end of their lives, what will the people who do not know Jesus think? As they see Him face-to-face and realize just how real He is, what would they say to me?

Would they thank me for not sharing with them, for respecting their personal boundaries and beliefs? For respecting them as parents, and not proselytizing their children? Would they thank me for not making them uncomfortable, holding back, and not offending them with my Jesus beliefs?

In Luke 16:27, the rich main cries out:

“Then I beg you, father, to send him to my father’s house– for I have five brothers– so that he may warn them, lest they also come to this place of torment.”

Honestly reading this is terrifying. How could I not be filled with urgency and compelled to share about Jesus with those who do not know Him while on this earth they still have time to repent and believe!?

If my heart remains stagnant and lazy, not compelled to share and to preach, what does this mean? It means any of the following or maybe a combination of all 3:

  1. I don’t really believe in God is real, for if He is not real, then there is no reason to share.
  2. Maybe I do believe He’s real, but I don’t take Him at His Word and believe what He says that all who do not accept Him on this earth will be eternally separated from Him in hell for their unbelief.
  3. If the first two don’t apply to me, then maybe I really just don’t care about the destiny of those who do not believe. Or maybe I do care a little bit, but not enough to risk the possibility of offense or others looking down on me.

In my heart, I must confess that my lack of desire to share is probably due to parts of all 3.

  1. There are still parts of me that struggle from time to time with doubt. Is God real? Is He!? It’s so hard for me sometimes to believe. Thankfully, as I’ve been turning my doubts over to Him more and more, I really do feel He has been giving me more and more faith to believe. Faith is a gift, and you sure bet I’m asking for it! I want to be like Tim Keller (I believe– I wish I could find the link, but I can’t seem to right now), who in the Veritas forum was able to say that he 100% believes in God. 100%! Zero doubt at all. I was blown away that he could be so assured. I want to have 100% faith to believe!!!
  2. I also struggle with really taking God at His Word on this one. Would He/will He really punish in hell those who don’t believe? It’s the good people argument. When I think of friends and family who don’t believe, they’re not perfect, but they’re also not the incarnation of evil! Do I really believe His Word that says even one offense is offense enough to be eternally separated from Him forever? How much do I take God at His Word on this? How much do I believe?
  3. And at the end of the day, I am selfish. I am selfish in my belief. I’m scared to risk relationships, risk my reputation, by being a “Jesus Freak” (90’s throwback, holla!). I’d rather stay comfortable, not cause conflict, nor dissonance. I want to be a good friend/family member who doesn’t offend and is respectful and PC.

If I do not have urgency to share, when will I ever? When someone I love dies who doesn’t believe? Will I then be so guilt-ridden that I am finally compelled to share with others?

I hope I don’t wait that long.

And yes, there is the idea too that the Gospel is shown by our actions, how we live our lives, which indeed it is. But at the same time, there needs to be times and places where we share with words, where we convey the truth. There needs to be boldness in our walks. There needs to be a willingness to speak the truth in love, not just cop out and say “well, I don’t need to speak it because I’m already showing it.” I don’t want people to think I’m just a nice person (though in my flesh I do). If I’m compelled by the Gospel, I want people to think I’m a nice person… but only because of Jesus!!!

I’ve always struggled with people-pleasing. I’ve always struggled with a lack of boldness. I’ve always struggled with a lack of urgency to share. Jesus, convict me and change me, give me Your eagerness and Your urgency to share Your love and Gospel truth with family, friends, and a world in need. Help me. Help me to believe and act on that belief!!!

Then He said to His disciples, “The harvest is plentiful, but the workers are few; therefore pray earnestly to the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers into His harvest.”

Matthew 9:37-38

Jesus, send laborers into the harvest. Jesus, make ME a laborer. Jesus, send me.

A Longing for Missions

A Longing for Missions

I’ve been thinking about missions lately especially since writing my post about my crazy tag section and pointing out that I used to write a ton about missions, but not so much anymore.

When I left college, I only had two church requirements: 1) that the church be a Bible-teaching, Jesus-loving place and 2) that the church would have a heart for missions.

Oddly enough, right when I started attending was when Lifesong was growing in a heart for missions and the lost and it was a perfect fit.

Now in the transition to Seeds, I did not feel like I had much of a say in the matter of whether we were to go or not (though my husband will disagree haha), and the question of missions crossed both of our minds, but didn’t play too much of a factor in deciding to go on the church plant. I think we both knew though from what Pastor Cory had told another couple that if missions was something we were hoping for in the next 5 years or so, it would be wiser to stay at Evergreen. Nevertheless, Kenny prayed, felt called to Seeds, and we went (though I must admit I went somewhat reluctantly, but that’s a story for another time!).

So though missions continues to be on my heart, it really hasn’t been something we’ve actively pursued since getting married. The biggest extent of our missions pursuit happened this past February when we attended two missions conferences: Passion for the Nations and World Mandate West.

Both were interesting and exciting and might have had their drawbacks, but I still felt the Lord tugging at my heart for the lost and very specifically for Japan.

And so I’m left with this question: what do we do with missions?

It’s clearly on my heart. It’s clearly on Kenny’s. I wept when I felt God speaking to me about Japan, reassuring me that He knows my heart and telling me that just as Westerners (most likely) brought the Gospel to my samurai great-great-great-great(?) grandfather who started our spiritual legacy, God would send us to take the Gospel back.

So I cried, and wept, and admitted to God that I felt forgotten, like He didn’t care to use me. I journaled furiously and didn’t want to share with Kenny because the things written on those pages seemed so impossible, so fragile.

And at the end of both conferences, when they had the classic missions style “altar call” and asked you to come to the front if your heart was crying out, “Here I am Lord, send me!”, I must admit I felt almost foolish as I followed my heart and with my husband walked to the front, and even more foolish tossing my shoes as an act of surrender to God and His missions for me.

So is it foolish of us to keep going up for these missions altar calls when missions seems like such a far away dream? Aren’t we too old for this, with Kenny now 30, me in my late 20’s, and with both of us hurdling toward parenthood and growing more and more roots in the SGV? It certainly seemed like it as I looked around at all these passionate collegians with their whole lives ahead of them, with few roots holding them down, full of passion, full of hopes and dreams.

Is it silly for us old fogeys to have college-style dreams?

I think when you’re a collegian and you go up for those altar calls, you feel so assured, so set, so determined to go and make a difference in the nations. And yes, maybe a big part of it probably is naivete, but the Bible calls us to not look down on those who are young and a long time ago Jesus Himself rebuked His more realistic, “wiser” disciples when they tried to prevent children from running to Him saying “the Kingdom belongs to such as these.”

I want to have that childlike faith and that collegian-like daring to continue to dream big dreams. It’s so easy to get bogged down and jaded by the world and “reality.” And it’s even easier to get entangled in the world’s dreams… dreams of a nice house, kids, comfort and ease. I think the more we have in this world, the harder it is to dream God-sized dreams because we get so comfortable and realize that hey I can live a pretty great life without being extreme.

I think the difference now is I’m more content with what will happen if we never get to live out my God-sized dreams. I hold my hopes more loosely now. I go on the altar calls with an open hand saying “this is what I feel You’ve placed on my heart, so now I will trust You to make it happen and be content with wherever You call me.” If God never opens doors for missions and asks us to stay in the SGV, I will choose to trust Him and find contentment. And by His grace I will hopefully still find ways to live radically for Him every day.

I think that’s one of the other differences that has come with maturity. When we’re young, we tend to think “once I get to the missions field, then I’m going to live this radical, sold-out, evangelistic life for Jesus!” Yet, we don’t live that kind of life when we’re at home, at work, at play. Something Pastor Cory wisely says is that Evergreen will never send on missions anyone who is not already living a sold-out, passionate, Jesus-filled life here. If you’re not living that type of life here, what makes you think you’ll live that type of life there once all the hype dies away?

Missions is HARD. Harder in many ways than life here. So while we are still living here, let’s use this time as a training ground for persevering and enduring even when there’s not much hype over living a Christian life.

Until then, I will continue to cry out and plead Isaiah 6:8.

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

Believing this in faith. I will go, wherever His call may be.

Video

“Called Me Higher” All Sons & Daughters

And I could hold on
I could hold on to who I am and never let You
Change me from the inside
And I could be safe
I could be safe here in Your arms and never leave home
Never let these walls down

But You have called me higher
You have called me deeper
And I’ll go where You will lead me Lord
You have called me higher
You have called me deeper
And I’ll go where You lead me Lord
Where You lead me
Where You lead me Lord

And I will be Yours, oh
I will be Yours for all my life
So let Your mercy light the path before me

Video

“Finish What You Started” Sean Feucht

(Song written for North Korea IN North Korea from Songs for Nations, make sure you check the link– crazy awesome story about how the album was made)

Oh my God, You can do anything
Oh my God, nothing’s too hard for You

Faithful to the end
You will finish what you started

From 4 minutes to the end = SO GOOD!!