Wednesday, April 27, 2011

International Love

I have a dear Nepali friend that will be leaving in one week. I had my last dinner with him tonight, it was one of those bitter sweet moments. Once again he showed me how to cook lovely food, but I knew this would be the last time. I've learned it's the one thing I hate about international ministry, saying goodbye. I always am hopeful that I will get to see them once again, in their home country. I guess it really made me a little sad because I have known him for 2 years, and we have talked about Jesus countless time, but he still doesn't believe. I go over and I see the daily sacrifices to the gods, and it makes me sad inside. However, a wise friend told me, in the midst of being sad that he's leaving the way he came, I have either laid on Christ's foundation that he's already used someone else to build or have began a new one. It gave me hope because I want him to know Jesus in a passionate way.
As I said in my earlier post people become near and dear to my heart quickly, and the internationals have a certain way of wiggling in. I pray his time in Cape will have a lasting impact, and I hope there's a Nepali male who loves Jesus that will enter his life, and one day I can rejoice in him knowing the Lord.

Friday, April 22, 2011

Compelled By Love

In preparing to go to El Salvador (which I'm half way there financially! Praise Jesus) our team is reading Compelled by Love. As I was reading it I read a scripture that I think really sums up a lot of my ministry. It was one of those ah hah! moments, where I knew I had read the scripture before, but for the first time it hit me. 1 Thessalonians 2.8  "We cared so much for you that we were please to share with you not only the gospel of God but also our own lives, because you had become dear to us" (HCSB) God has blessed me with a soft, large heart. I get attached to the people I serve: guys at the radio station, internationals, friends, etc. This time of year is hard for me because people leave: internationals go back to their homelands and people I have grown with graduate. It's a fact of life, I know, but it still is one of those things I hate just a little when I have to say the goodbye. Last night it hit me. It's because those people are dear to me. If they don't know the Lord I spend time praying they would, I spend time serving them and trying to show practical love: they are dear in my heart. People who know the Lord, I serve and get encouraged by them and their ministries: they are dear in my heart. I want to be compelled by love in the areas of my life and have people become dear to me, even if I have to say goodbye.
The scripture reminded me of a wonderful person I've gotten to know for the last few years, and I have even gotten to share a house with her. I had to "say goodbye" she moved out and graduated, but I'm reminded of the beginning of our relationship. We had known each other for about a month, and I felt like I was really friends with the people that I was getting to know. One night before leaving I said "I love you guys, goodnight" This friend was standing up close to me, so I hugged her and she was stiff. I thought it was weird but went on. Later on in our friendship, she told me that night had freaked her out. She said it was because I professed to a room of people that I loved them. (hugging heralso  freaked her out too because at the moment I did not know she wasn't the biggest on the huggy hugs) She said she had thought I had to be some kind of hippyish person, a granola as they call christian hippies. I laughed, but she told me that, that moment had changed her look of me forever because from that day on she saw that I had lived out what I had said. Man, if that's not a warning to really make sure your life lines up with what you say, I don't know what else is.
I want to be compelled by love. I want to be comfortable around those who don't believe the same things I do or who live a different life. I want them to become dear to me because I believe they are dear to the Lord, and that is hard because there are days I'm not compelled by love. I don't want to merely pretend to be an offering.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Pet Squirrel

Well I just figured I would share this with you because it may bring you some joy. I think people look at me rather funny when I admit this to them, some people even give me dirty looks and say "how could you?" However, I was thinking about it on my way home, and I wanted to share. The thought started with a squirrel. I have wanted a pet squirrel for some time, not because I think they are cool or cute (even though they are a little), but it is because I want to squeeze it. I picture my pet squirrel about 25 pounds and hardly being able to move. He's so obese you can hardly see him legs. That's what gets people, the obese animal part. I believe animals should be morbidly obese! Dogs, cats, squirrels, hamsters, fill in the blank, and when I see them I see obese! I told a friend the other day if I had a cat I would want it to be about 45 pounds and as big as a couch cushion. Jump on the judge train if you must, I am ok with that. I don't believe animals have rights, so I can say with a clear conscious that they should be so fat that they can't move, and then I can get full enjoyment out of squeezing them. I thought my thought pattern may bring a little smile, if not that's ok too.