Thursday, November 26, 2015

Happy Thanksgiving!

Happy Thanksgiving to all of you from me and this class of 1st grade turkeys!

Give THANKS unto the Lord, call upon his name,
make known his deeds among the people.
And say ye, Save us, O God of our salvation,
and gather us together, and deliver us from the heathen,
that we may give THANKS to thy holy name,
and glory in thy praise.
1 Chronicles 16:8, 35

I will praise the name of God with a song,
and will magnify him with THANKSGIVING.
Psalm 69:30

Let us come before his presence with THANKSGIVING, 
and make a joyful noise unto him with psalms. 
Psalm 95:2

Enter into his gates with THANKSGIVING,
and into his courts with praise;
be THANKFUL unto him, and bless his name.
Psalm 100:4

I will offer to thee the sacrifice of THANKSGIVING,
and will call upon the name of the Lord.
Psalm 116:17

O give THANKS unto the Lord, for he is good:
for his mercy endureth for ever.
O give THANKS unto the God of gods:
for his mercy endureth for ever.
O give THANKS to the Lord of lords:
for his mercy endureth for ever.
O give THANKS unto the God of heaven:
for his mercy endureth for ever.
Psalm 136:1-3, 26

Sing unto the Lord with THANKSGIVING;
sing praise upon the harp unto our God:
Psalm 147:7

I THANK my God always on your behalf,
for the grace of God which is given to you by Jesus Christ;
1 Corinthians 1:4

For all things are for your sakes,
that the abundant grace might
through the THANKSGIVING of many
redound to the glory of God.
2 Corinthians 4:15

Being enriched in every thing to all bountifulness,
which causeth through us THANKSGIVING to God.
For the administration of this service not only supplieth the wants of the saints,
but is abundant also by many THANKSGIVINGS unto God;
THANKS be unto God
for his unspeakable gift.
2 Corinthians 9:11-12, 15

Be careful for nothing; but in everything 
by prayer and supplication with THANKSGIVING
let your requests be made known unto God.
Philippians 4:6

And let the peace of God rule in your hearts,
to the which also ye are called in one body;
and be ye THANKFUL.
Colossians 3:15

In every thing give THANKS:
for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you.
1 Thessalonians 5:18

Sunday, November 15, 2015


Although Thanksgiving is obviously not a thing here in Honduras, we do celebrate a day of thanks at school, and so leading up to that, I have been having my older students write a list of things they are thankful for each day. Since we're all in the thanksgiving holiday mindset, I would like to share some awesome people I have been super thankful for the past year and a half.

I have to start with my mom. When I first broached the subject of teaching in another country for a year, I expected a major freak-out, but she was very calm, which was one of my first signs that this was the right thing to do. Although I know she's not 100% thrilled about me being so far away, she is 100% supportive and encouraging, and is always there when I need teaching advice or just a friend to talk to. I never really thought my mom would be one of my best friends, but she is, and I am so thankful for her love and desire to protect me, but also her willingness to give me up to what God has for me.

Then there's my dad. He's the one who always wants to know all the details. I think he's had to learn along with me that we don't always get to see all the details, but God does. I am thankful for his supportiveness as well. I got blessed with two awesome parents who love the Lord, and I am beyond thankful for both of them.

Rhonda Jackson is the woman who God called to start the ministry of Destino del Reino. I am thankful for her leadership, and her total obedience and submission in everything God has called her. She has an incredibly huge faith, and without her willingness to be used, this ministry would not be where it is. Her story has taught me to trust God more, and be more sensitive to His promptings. I am thankful she allowed me to come here to teach for a year, which turned into two years, which will turn into I don't know what!

Jenna is on her 5th year here, and I am so thankful for her experience so when the rest of us pester her with questions, she usually has the answers. I love her sweet spirit and her encouraging words. She also has an awesome faith that has challenged me in my time here. And she's the social butterfly of our group, so she draws me out of my shell a lot.

Bethany came the year before I did, and she is an introvert like me, so we understand each other. I assist her in her classes, and she in my 9th grade class, so I am thankful we can bounce ideas off of each other. She is a very deep thinker, and I am also thankful for the way she challenges us with the tough questions. Also, both Bethany and Jenna are musically talented, so I get doubly-blessed with random worship jam sessions at home.

Sheena and Kathy are the two older ladies who teach with us. I am thankful for their faith and life experiences, and the wisdom they share with us daily. Plus, they read awesome books all the time, which they then pass on to the rest of us :) The Lord knew what He was doing when He brought all of us to work and do life together.

These are just the few of the reasons I have to be thankful. God blessed me with each of you who read this and pray for me or support me financially, so thank you as well.

I always thank my God for you because of his grace given you in Christ Jesus. For in him you have been enriched in every way—with all kinds of speech and with all knowledge—God thus confirming our testimony about Christ among you. Therefore you do not lack any spiritual gift as you eagerly wait for our Lord Jesus Christ to be revealed. He will also keep you firm to the end, so that you will be blameless on the day of our Lord Jesus Christ. God is faithful, who has called you into fellowship with his Son, Jesus Christ our Lord.
1 Corinthians 1:4-9


Sunday, November 1, 2015

A Tent in the Wilderness

Now Moses used to take a tent and pitch it outside the camp some distance away, calling it the “tent of meeting.” Anyone inquiring of the Lord would go to the tent of meeting outside the camp. And whenever Moses went out to the tent, all the people rose and stood at the entrances to their tents, watching Moses until he entered the tent. As Moses went into the tent, the pillar of cloud would come down and stay at the entrance, while the Lord spoke with Moses. Whenever the people saw the pillar of cloud standing at the entrance to the tent, they all stood and worshiped, each at the entrance to their tent. The Lord would speak to Moses face to face, as one speaks to a friend. Then Moses would return to the camp, but his young aide Joshua son of Nun did not leave the tent.
Exodus 33:7-11

Last night my housemates and I listened to a sermon from Francis Chan about being awed by the presence of God. He talked about when Moses would go up the mountain and speak with God, and what an incredible thing that was for the people to see. And now, in today's world, each of us has the opportunity to go up the mountain ourselves every day, but we see it as a duty we have to fulfill, or something we have to find time to squeeze into our schedules. 

He also spoke of all the distractions in the world today, and how it is so difficult to focus just on one thing, spending time with God, when our culture has conditioned us to multitask everything. I can relate. I am a do-er. My brain is always thinking about the lists of things that need to get done, and it is so hard to shut that off.

I also came to the realization that when I pray, I don't always expect God to answer. I've held this false belief that it is too much to ask God to respond to me every time I pray. How did it take me this long to realize how crazy that is? Is anything too much for God? Shouldn't I instead be concerned if He wasn't speaking back to me when I pray? But by holding onto this thought, I fear I have often shut out His voice. But no longer. 

A few weeks ago when I was praying, I asked God to show me a verse, and Luke 5:16 automatically popped into my head:
 "And he withdrew himself into the wilderness, and prayed." 
This sermon brought this verse back to mind. In the wilderness there is nothing. No distractions. Nothing keeping you from spending that time with God. I know I need to find my wilderness in my mind, and in the silence, expect God to speak. Every. Time.