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Sunday, November 21, 2010

The blessings of discipling college girls

It seems like just yesterday Paul and I were taking a step of faith and reaching out to college students with the love of Jesus Christ.  Almost 3 months later we have the most precious relationships with college students and are blessed to be a part of their lives.  We are leading a college community group through our church and meeting with them on their turf  as we meet with them one-on-one as well as inviting them into our home.  LOVE IT!! 

I have to tell you, I have been so blessed through these relationships.  I can remember the first meeting, not being sure who was going to come....or if anyone would come at all.  We have a smaller group but it has been exactly what God wants.  I am continually amazed at God's sovereignty.  He knew exactly who would be in our group and He has created sweet friendships.

Here is a picture of the girls who came and helped me put up my Christmas decorations last week.  There is one girl, Katie, who was not able to come that night.
The are sooooo sweet and I am continually amazed at how they accept me.  They keep coming back week after week.  Now, they have become like little sisters to me.  I would say "little daughters" but I don't like feeling that old.  However, they can consider me to be their mom if they want to.  I love them that much!

I can't wait to see what God has in store for our group!  They each have their own stories and their own journey with the Lord.  God is doing wonderful things in their hearts.  He is drawing them to Himself in ways that only God, in His infinite wisdom, knows how to.  My prayer for them is that they would continue to relentlessly pursue the Lord and live for Him in a BIG way.  I pray that they would live their life out loud...  that they would not be ashamed but would "walk in a manner worthy." 

They have taught me more than they will ever know.  David Platt says in his book Radical, "When we take responsibility for helping others grow in Christ, it automatically takes our own relationship with Christ to a new level...We are, by nature, receivers.  Even if we have a desire to learn God's Word, we still listen from a default self-centered mind-set that is always asking, What can I get out of this?  But as we have seen , this is unbiblical Christianity.  What if we changed the question whenever we gathered to learn God's Word?  What if we began to think, How can I listen to his Word so that I am equipped to teach this Word to others?"

I am growing in my faith as I meet with these precious girlies!  They bring a smile to my face!  :)

Sarah, Michelle, Anna, Amy and Hailey  (Katie not pictured)

Thank you Lord Jesus for bringing them into my life!


Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Can God be Trusted?

Tanner and I went to Barnes and Noble Bookstore on one of our "Mommy Tanner days"  and I grabbed a book from the Christian section, as I usually do, and sat down in the little kiddy area so Tanner could play with the stuffed animals and look at books.  I picked up a book by Carol Ladd called Thrive don't Simply Survive.

As I was flipping through it, I came across the title, "Can God be Trusted?" I stopped to read and this is what she said, "Are we willing to trust God even though we don't understand his ways?"

I thought for a minute before reading on..."Huh, do I?"

Then I kept reading...She quoted Saint Bernard of Clairvauz, "If we begin to worship and come to God again and again by meditating, by reading, by prayer, and by obedience, little by little God becomes know to us through experience.  We enter into a sweet familiarity with God, and by tasting how sweet the Lord is we pass into...loving God, not for our own sake, but for Himself."

I think I stopped at this particular subject because it is right where I am at.  There are so many things that are out of my control right now and it is driving me crazy.  There are times that I think, "Seriously God, " as if He plays jokes on us.  And then there are times that I think, "God I know that you have this situation in the palm of Your hands.  I will walk with you wherever you lead." 

Encouragement came when I read Ladd's list of some reasons we have trials.

So...Why Trials?

1.  Trial offer us a chance to grow.
2.  Trials offer us an opportunity to empathize with and encourage others.
3.  Trials remind us of our need for God's care and help.
4.  Trials lead us back to our loving God.
5.  Sometimes trials are God's way of disciplining His children.
6.  Trials allow us, in a small way, to share in the suffering of Christ.

In all of this, I know that God is drawing me closer to Himself as long as I chose to follow Him through it. 

Can I trust Him? 

You bet!!

There is no one else I'd rather put my trust in than a loving Father who desires the best for me and will use every situation and circumstance to bring glory to Himself. 

John Calvin said it best, "Our inklings of the realities of God will be vague and smudged until we learn from Scripture to think correctly about the realities of which we are already aware."

Sometimes the trials are painful, but with every growing pain, I learn a different attribute of our precious Lord.  Every step brings clarity to His Word.  With every act of obedience bring blessings.  I am falling more and more in love with my Creator!

If you are going through a tough time I pray that God's Word would illumine the way. 

Trust Him! 

YES, He CAN be trusted!!