Friday, August 20, 2010

Summer in a Nut Shell

Where oh where has summer gone? It seems like just yesterday that I was looking forward to outreaches, acting in an amateur film, and headed off to SUMMIT. Now it is all behind me. It is just a memory...a recent memory.... a fading memory. However the lessons learned are anything but fading.

Kansas is known as the land of nothingness. I had heard that a total of twelve people actually live there. This is a myth that must be expelled from our minds. ;) In Kansas, I met a really neat group of believers! Although they had fewer than 20 members in their assembly, they worked together, encouraged one another, and were all doing something to further the kingdom. No assembly is perfect of course, but even though they were few in number, God was the one doing GREAT things in and through them!

Then there was Kentucky. No, I am obviously NOT a movie star :P and have no desire to be one. Two small churches got together to make an amateur film that has a Gospel message. My cousin directed it and asked me to be in it. Acting is one of my (I would say passions...but that's not quite accurate) most favorite things to do in the whole world, so of course I accepted, not realizing that God had me going so that He could teach me a thing or two.

1) Attitude. It's easy to start complaining when you are shooting a running scene at the end of the day when you are dirty, sweaty, and at the point of exhaustion! Honestly, there were times when I failed. But God knew what I needed. (Random side note: Sometimes it's an awesome feeling to work so hard that you sleep like a log...just sayin').

2) Patience. the whole cast and crew had to learn how to be patient with one another. With a schedule of something like wake up at 6, film all day, then go to bed at's easy to get on each other's nerves. Enough said.

3) Humility. Being in a movie, no matter how amateur it is, is exciting. For me, it's easy to think I'm doing something great for God. Well, I hate to break it to myself's not about me. It's about God. At times I would wonder how this was ever going to turn out. "This will just be weird and laughable". But ya know something? I have the fun job. I do what I'm called to do, and God handles everything else. He does the work. He gets the glory. He's worthy.

Ok, so you probably think that I'm always off to another outreach, but really.........yeah, yeah I do tend to love outreaches. Actually I usually attend about one a year...but this year was a bonus! I heard about an outreach in North Carolina. I reeeeally wanted to go, but I knew the chances were slim. I mentioned it to my parents anyway, longing for the faintest ray of hope. Do you want to know how I got there? It was only God. Haha...I prayed and prayed and God answered with a yes. It was seriously a miracle that we were able to go. I met so many neat people there, and the Lord blessed all of the local saints that worked so hard to bring it together. We had at least 75 kids one of the nights, and a few professed salvation!

Summit Ministries. Wow. If you want to have a greater understanding and appreciation for your world view... then YOU SHOULD GO TOO! It was like putting contacts in... things became so much more clear!! :P Please ask me about it sometime.

So that was my summer in a nut shell. Not that you care...but I'm pretty impressed if you actually made it through this "book". Thanks for reading.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

One Year

I have lived in Lafayette for a year now. Weird. Time flies by so quickly. It seems like just yesterday I was saying "Goodbye" to my old home back in Kokomo. I didn't shed any tears over the house itself, but I knew that after we pulled out of the driveway, we would most likely never pull back into it again.

I have memories of early morning walks, long afternoons of raspberry picking, and intense flashlight tag parties. I can still remember the times when I would go out into the corn field and look up into the huge sky. I would stand out there all alone and sing at the top of my lungs.

Here in the city, walks aren't quite the same with all of the houses around. There are not any raspberry bushes to pick raspberries off of. We do not hold any more flashlight tag parties because we could disturb the neighbors, and I no longer am able to sing my heart out in a huge corn field.

I never thought that I would actually leave that old brick house in the country, but I did. God had something else in mind. This past year has been a crazy ride, but I would not trade it for anything.

Moving went smoothly (nothing too exciting there). The hard part was not the move itself, but not having friends close by to hang out with. It was weird not being able to pop over to Amber's house or spend some time with Christina on a free Saturday. Durning those times, I had the chance to rely upon the Lord and turn to Him as a best friend. The lesson that the Lord did and still has to continually pound through my head is TRUST. "Trust me, Grace, I know how to write your life story better than you do." Sure enough, He took care of me.

Dad and Mom decided to have me play in the Wabash Valley Youth Symphony for the experience and also to get to know some people. That is where I met my very first friend, Anna W. I remember telling people back in Kokomo all about her because I had finally met someone my age! In December, I met Acaimie, and Sam. That was kind of like a little sign from God telling me that there really were some strong Christian kids in Lafayette.

Then came Drama. I had no idea that when I stepped inside that building for try outs, my life would be changed. God really used the Drama troupe to tell me that He cared about me and had plans for me.

In December, I was really struggling with letting God take care of my "after high school" plans. I wanted to know what God's will was for my life. Again TRUSTING God was something that He wanted to teach me. I was not trusting the Lord with all of my heart, instead, I was leaning on my own understanding. I wanted to figure it all out right then and there. Finally I was able to let go, but even then, I had no idea about what I would do until several months later.

I still am not 100% sure about my goals and aspirations for future life, but the Lord has SLOWLY started to give me a new direction. It won't be a smooth ride, but it will be an exciting one because....God's writing my story! :)

Yesterday on my walk I asked God, "If I really believe that you are the huge God of all of the universe who sees the sparrow fall, why do I worry so much?" Matthew 6:33 comes to mind. "Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about its own things..."

This past year has been interesting. I could go on and on about the things I have learned in one year...but I won't keep you reading any longer.

Sunday, February 28, 2010

As a child I grew up listening to a song by Steve Green. "Encourage One Another" was a delightful tune that my sisters and I would sing over and over again. However, at that time I did not realize that a kids song could apply so well to our daily lives.

There seems to be much negative talk about other people in the world around us. We seem to find excitement in laughing at others behind their back, talking people down, and picking at their faults. Why is this so easy? Why do I often catch myself laughing at a story that pokes fun at someone else?

Encouragement in the body of Christ is something that is often lacking, but is vital for a thriving assembly. 2 Thessalonians 5:11 "Therefore comfort each other and edify one another, just as you also are doing."

Perhaps we could remove the focus off of what makes us feel good, and think of what the Lord Jesus would do. Romans 15:5 "Now may the God of patience and comfort grant you to be like-minded toward one another, according to Christ Jesus."

Maybe there is more to this than words. Perhaps we should "speak" encouragement with our actions. Looking at Jesus we find Him unselfish with His time. He reached down and lifted people up out of their sad state. He spoke truth to the pharisees, but never with the wrong motives or heart.

If we spent more time finding ways to best help, love, and encourage others, there would be little time to tear them down. Let's continue to keep our eyes open for ways to build each other up.

Thursday, December 3, 2009

We shall be like Him

I've just been thinking about how amazing our Lord is. If we have put our trust in the ultimate source of hope, then we have been saved from sin and God's wrath! What a really cool thing. To not have to be separated from God, but that I will get to SEE Him face to face. I will get to see the one who created me, who died for me, and who LOVES me like none other! I've just been thinking about how amazing it is, that God allows us to be like His Son, and although I am so far from being anything like Jesus 1 John 3:2 gives me hope. "We are certain that at his revelation we will be like him; for we will see him as he is." What a day of rejoicing that will be when we finally get to see...Jesus!