Wednesday, April 22, 2009

The Big Picture

Here are some thoughts compiled from my Bible study and a sermon I heard the other day.

We are so good at looking inside ourselves. We are such an introspective culture, but that is not how it was meant to be. God revealed to me the other day that I have been so busy looking at myself, that I have not seen what is around me. I think looking at your life and being aware of your sin and relationship with the Lord are good things, but I am talking about an obsession. I get so easily caught up in what is happening in my life that I forget that it is not about my life. I am a tiny speck in the HUGE picture that the Lord is painting. It is like in Exodus when God uses Moses to save the Israelites. The most important point was not God's will for Moses, but His will for Israel. He let Moses be a part of it, He let Moses be at the forefront of bringing His chosen people out of Egypt! Now, I am here in South Korea, and it is not ultimately about God's will for my life, but His will for those around me. He is letting me be at the forefront of what is happening in the English teaching community here in Korea. Praise the Lord that it is not about me! What a relief. What a joy to be able to be involved in all this. I could have never picked a more exciting arena for my life. Dear brothers and sisters think this week about how you are a part of the BIG picture. How is God using you to bring His glory and kingdom to pass? Consider the joy that He uses bumbling fools like us, I think He could find better help, but I am so glad that He lets me in on this beautiful masterpiece.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

our talents

It is time for a few changes. I was listening to a few Tim Keller talks I had again, I haven't heard them in months, so I felt the Holy Spirit was prompting me to listen. He speaks to seminary students who are working to be pastors in these talks, but they can be applied to any believer's life. There was one line that slightly terrified me and stuck out at the same time. He said that you can be using your gifts, but not walking with the Lord. He said that this is how so many pastors fall into sin, they are using their gifts, so they think they are doing good, when in reality, they have not been in the Word or prayer. God has given me many opportunities to use my gifts here, and I tend to think that if I am using them, I must be on track with the Lord. I am taking time to carefully re-examine my life. I will still use my gifts, but I will not be using them to measure how things are going.

Hope you are all having a fantastic week and rejoicing continually in the Lord!

Monday, April 13, 2009

A Korean Wall

I have hit another Korea wall. It started this weekend. The spiral began through some painful circumstances and escalated when no one came to church with me, and then church was pretty blah. I think I built it up more than I should have. I thought, this is Easter, it will be an awesome sermon, that is not really what happened. Having no one come to church with me is discouraging because they keep on saying they will come and they do not. Not that church will completely change their hearts, but I am yearning for them to know. There is this battle waging for them, I see it clearly, because every time I make any progress with them, another new thing shows up to distract them. It is painful and grieves me deeply that they do not know the Lord and keep walking in darkness. I feel it so severely in my heart that it discourages me. I doubt what the Lord can do, because it feels like I am waging an endless battle and not getting anywhere. I pray that God helps me in my unbelief, and through my emotions. Then, as of last night, the thought of being here for another 5 months made me want to cry. I have not felt this way in quite some time, I believe that there is great spiritual warfare here, more than I experienced in Texas. I can feel the drain of it. I am reading the Word now, bringing to mind verses of truth that the Lord is my Strength, Fortress, Deliverer, and He has already won the battle. Pray that I would be encouraged by the Lord and His truth so that I may press on here. Pray that I would fight hard and not give up on my friends, even in the moments I feel I am losing them. I am choosing not to despair, but to look to the only hope I have here.

Love you all dearly. Thanks for your prayers as always.

Monday, April 6, 2009

Beauty for Ashes

"We're discovering that lots of times, not every time, maybe but more often than not, there is something just past the heartbreak, just past the curse, just past the despair and that thing is beautiful. You dont want it to be beautiful, at first. You want to stay in the pain and the blackness because it feels familiar, and because you're not done feeling victimized and smashed up. But one day you'll wake up surprised and humbled, staring at something you thought for sure was a curse and has revealed itself to be a blessing-a beautiful, delicate blessing."

"Nothing good comes easily. You have to lose things you thought you loved, give up things you thought you needed. You have to get over yourself, beyond your past, out from under the weight of your future. The good stuff never comes when things are easy. It comes when things are all heavily weighted down like moving trucks. It comes just when you think it never will, like a shimmering Las Vegas rising up out of the dry desert, sparkling and humming with energy, a blessing that rose up out of a bone-dry, dusty curse....We become who we are in these moments"
-Cold Tangerines

The quote above is just a reflection of how I feel about Korea now. I am sure that everyone could take it and apply to their life at one point or another. We all have our Korea times of life, don't we?

On another note, I invited the Wolbae crew to church for Easter. I just sent out the message, I do not know what the responses will be. I am praying that they will all come. The Wolbae crew is composed of: me, Chloe, Andrew, Ian, Rick, Yanin, and Bhavani. Keep praying for them, this could be a powerful time in their lives.