Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Paint the Town Purple

I broke my goal today. I got on Tumblr to search for an idea or image for a post...

And I ended up find my dashboard doused with all shades of purple:

I also received a notification of Facebook two weeks ago about joining in on "Spirit Day." The event - wearing purple in protest of homosexual bullying - was to be held on Oct 20 (today). It's odd how one of my classes this morning ended up discussing the topic of Sodomites and the Gospel.

In real time, this is one of the most confusing topics for me. How are we to love the sinner yet hate the sin?

The LGBT Community paints Christianity in a harsh light. We are often portrayed as narrow-minded zealots who don't care about people. By proxy, many are lead to believe that Christ hated the Sodomites. We know that this is far above the truth. There are several verses that refer to how all encompassing the love God is ( John :16, John 13:34-35,  1 Peter 4:8).

Why do they (the Homosexual community) hate  us so much? How do we reach out to them without accepting their lifestyle? Isn't their lifestyle so integral to what makes them them?  Where are the answers? What are the answers

cross posted from Filia Pacem

Monday, October 18, 2010

On Being Content

Today was a hard day.

I didn't get much sleep last night and woke up early for work this morning. The other day I was asked to come in Monday morning at 7 am to do some training. Training = more hours = ability to pay bills and eat - this has been my mindset so I didn't mind not being able to sleep in (because being able to sleep pales in comparison to being able to live down here).

I work at Chick-fil-A. Currently, I'm training to work on the boards so I can prep and make food. This also means that I have a limited comprehension of what's being said. I worked with about 6 different people this morning and only one spoke fluent English. Due to some miscommunication between the owner and the on-duty manager, I was thrown into the mix and expected to preform like a fully trained boards member.

What resulted was me, completely useless, being told to do things in a language I could not comprehend.

An hour into my shift, I began to criticize and complain mentally. Within seconds my mind pulled out, "whatsoever state I am in, therewith to be content." (Phil 4:11)  The next thing my my mental filing system pulled up was 1 Timothy 6:1, "Let as many servants as are under the yoke count their own masters worthy of all honour, that the name of God and his doctrine be not blasphemed." Personally, my pride didn't like either of those. My attitude was sour: "I'm not getting paid enough to work with these people. They don't speak English and they're rude. It doesn't matter what I do or how I do it, it's not good enough. They hate me."

A new thought occurred to me. This is a mini-nationals boot camp. This is a mini-mission field. If I can get along with my co-workers, then I'll be able to handle the mission field. More likely than not, I'll be in a country where the language is not my original one.  The language barrier will make me feel inadequate. There will be misunderstanding and some people will hate me just for being American. I can't give up just because it's a little difficult. That's an insult to the name of Christ.

If I were to say, "God taught me about contentment today and I'll never struggle with it again! I love my job and the Latinas I work with so much!" I'd be lying.  I feel defeated. I want to give up. But I know that there is a reason I'm where I'm at and learning what I'm learning. Maybe I could get one of the ladies to teach me Spanish?

cross posted from Filia Pacem

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Challenge: Perfectionism & Procrastination

Confession: I'm notorious for procrastination.

In my senior year of high school I read a book about birth order and its effects on personality. The Firstborn Advantage: Making your birthorder work for you states that firstborns are plagued with perfectionism (as well as being driven, controlling, and critical). When in check it is an excellent quality - however, when it rules their life it demands obeisance in the forms of procrastination (the "I can't do it perfectly so I don't want to do it at all" mentality) and frustration.

To this day I still haven't mastered keeping my perfectionism. Most of the time it rules my life. I am constantly in fear of failing and disappointing people (also traits of perfectionism out of balance). This ends up causing procrastination... and leads to me ultimately fufiling my fears.

Often I forget that God requires my full effort not perfection:
  • Psalm 100:1 "Make a joyful noise unto the Lord..."
  • Colossians 3:23 "And whatsoever ye do, do it heartily, as to the Lord, and not unto men;"
  • 1 Corinthians 10:31 "Whether therefore ye eat, or drink, or whatsoever ye do, do all to the glory of God"
  • 1 Peter 4:11 "if any man minister, let him do it as of the ability which God giveth: that God in all things may be glorified through Jesus Christ,"
  • Colossians 3:17 "And whatsoever ye do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God and the Father by him."
  • Ephesians 6:6 "Not with eyeservice, as menpleasers; but as the servants of Christ, doing the will of God from the heart;"
Anyone else seeing the pattern? In my people-pleasing self-centeredness, I often forget God is suppose to be preeminent (Col 1:18). For the glory of God, for the name of Christ, that He may be glorified - everything the Scriptures say focus on God. He doesn't require perfection, but  He demands our best. All He asks is that we give our all. (For instance - "make a joyful noise", not "make harmonious music.")

What's the challenge part of this?
  1. One week - no Facebook, Tumblr, Livejournal, or Youtube. I've already gone one week without Facebook (and feel better for it) so I want to add another level...
  2. Blog once a day for the next week. I have issues with being diligent with any blog I write (it's not that I'm bad at writing posts... I just have issues with actually writing them and then pressing the publish button.)
Offer my best. Not perfection, not procrastination, not prominence; rather my all for the First and Only.

cross posted from Filia Pacem

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Hand It Over

"Eat my lunch" colloquial phrase, when someone is faced with something difficult... not unlike the school bully taking a kid's lunch. 
Use: "I have three 500 word essays due tomorrow. They're gonna eat my lunch."

I had my lunch eaten today. Twice.

And the sad thing? I'm not even trying to eat my own lunch. I'm just sitting there, handing it over.

The first half of class we went over our Goer-Sender Coalition last night. Bro. Tony Howeth was in town and preached on the atmosphere of a sending church. In his message he stated "You don't need God for your dreams, they're so small you can accomplish them on your own." That alone was convicting. To add to that, we had a missionary on deputation visit our class - Jim Roberts. He was asked to share what he was doing and where he was going. After he finished telling us about his burden for Scotland, the floor was opened for questions.

"What is your vision, your dream for Inverness, Scotland" Robert Canfield asked.

His answer? "To see 56,660 souls saved."

Fact about Inverness: the city's population numbers right at 56,660 people.

My dreams for my city, for Asia, for the world are no where near like they should be. How is it that Bro Roberts believes with his whole heart that the entire city of Inverness will be saved while I don't even believe that my whole family will be? It's not that my God is not big enough; rather, my faith in my big God is extremely small.

The second challenge was posed in the latter half of class. Mark Coffey began to discuss the way that we dress, act, and speak. (It is constantly affirmed that we are here at the training center to become leaders of leaders. Everything we do here is to prepare us to take that path and become a shepherd of God's children.)
"People are going to follow you regardless of whether you follow Christ or not. Where are you leading others?"
Trent Cornwell threw out the example of the Big 3. Every week at Vision Baptist they highlight a country, a staff missionary and a partnering missionary. Trent asked if we liked the idea behind it - a reminder to pray. He asked if we wanted others to pray for it - the consensus was yes. Then he asked if we could name the Big 3 for the week - and the room was silent.

Both things have made me ponder over these questions:

1. Why are my dreams so limited? Why don't I think a whole city can be won for Christ? Is this why I sit at home and don't get involved with my community and try to impact my world? Simply unprepared or am I lazy and faithless?

2. Who's following me and where am I leading them? Are the traits in my life things that I want to reproduce in others?

Anyone else want their lunches back?

crossposted from Filia Pacem (my school writing blog)
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