Thursday, June 30, 2011

Letting go of the little things...

(From Wed. 6-29-11--Blogger was having issues not wanting me to post!)

 “Jesus replied, ‘Foxes have holes and birds of the air have nests, but the Son of Man has no place to lay his head.’ … ‘No one who puts his hand to the plow and looks back is fit for service in the kingdom of God.’”  -Luke 9:58; 62

  Tonight the realization of having to pack hit me, so I am beginning to get a little stressed about that. I  ALWAYS over-pack, so that will be a struggle for me to overcome for this trip. I am kind of glad to be so limited in the bags I can take, though, because it will force me to really get down to the bare essentials and not be distracted by all the “things” I feel the need to take with me. In the end, there are really few things that I actually can’t do without, (passport, airline ticket) and once I get on that plane, there is nothing I can do about anything I left behind. I guess it’s the American and the woman in me that wants to pack everything but the kitchen sink. For that reason I’m grateful that I’ve been to Ukraine before and interacted with them before—the past few days as I’ve been getting ready, trolling the aisles of Wal-Mart trying to think of last minute stuff I need, I have passed up so many things that I truly don’t need because I was able to remind myself of the simple Ukrainian way—be flexible and improvise! Really, it was first the way of Christ—He was basically homeless during his short time of ministry and yet he always found a way to sleep, eat, perform countless miracles, and pave the path of a true radical. Obviously I will not make the blind see or heal any lepers, but I hope that during my time in Ukraine, I will become more brave and radical in the likeness of Christ.

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

In HIS Hands

  "For I know the plans I have for you," declares the Lord," plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. Then you will call upon me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you. You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart."  -Jeremiah 29:11-13

  The first part of this verse was, for a long time, my favorite "security blanket." You know...God has everything planned out and it'll all be worries. It took me a long time to realize that I should continue reading...we will find God when we seek HIM with all of our hearts. It took me a long time and a lot of excuses to decide to go to Ukraine this summer. I'm not going to lie and say I'm going fearlessly; it's quite the contrary. I'm scared to death (don't tell my mom! :) ) --but not for my safety or because I think I may not enjoy my time there; I'm scared that I won't be open enough to God's plan to truly fulfill it and that I will reach the end of the trip wondering, "What did I really do here?" I'm still praying for God to make me fearless. If you're reading this...I would really appreciate it if I made it into your prayers too. God made this promise in Jeremiah, but then we were given this commandment by Jesus:

  "All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age."  -Matthew 28: 18-20

  So, here I go...