Friday, June 22, 2012

World Vision and God's Love

I know that it has been awhile since I have posted on my blog! I am going to fast forward to this week and let you all know that God has blessed me with a job! whoop whoop! :) 

This week I have learned some amazing things! This week is World Vision week and we learned about how many believers there are in other countries. As the stats appeared on the screen my heart just broke in half.  These people have no idea of the God that loves us with all of his might.  They have never heard the Gospel therefore can't be saved therefore can't enter heaven.  How said is that?  They don't even have a choice in the matter.  God has given us an amazing gift of spreading His good news when we ourselves aren't worthy.  We are all ambassadors of His love and truth! With experiencing all of this truth, I feel like I am being called to Austrailia next summer.  I will continue to pray about this decision and ask God for His guidance in this matter.  At the Austrailia campus, there are students from all across Europe and the Middle East and how cool would it be to affect them with God's love and for them to bring that back to their homeland and start a domino effect?  Many Austrailians don't see their need for a savior and they just view life as being carefree and doing whatever they want.  I think experiencing sharing the Gospel in Austrailia would truly be an experience like no other!

 Another thing I am learning this week is what God's love truly is.  I mean truly.  Sometimes we forget in all things God is SOVEREIGN! That means he has complete control over everything every millisecond of the day!! Right now I am reading a book called How You Can Love by Faith.  This book is truly so convicting that I want to share it with you! In the book Bill Bright reveals God's love is called agape.  Agape is a supernatural love which is the purest, deepest kind of love that is revealed supremely through our Lord's death on the cross for our sins. Matthew 22:36-40 says, Jesus replied when asked what is the most important command in the laws of Moses, "Love the Lord your God with all your heart, soul, and mind.' This is the first and greatest commandment.  The second most important is similiar: 'Love your neighbor as much as you love yourself.'  All of the other commandments and all the demands of the prophets stem from these two laws and are fulfilled if you obey them.  Keep only these and you will find that you are obeying all the others.  There is so much truth in that.  As humans, we are sinful and we do not possess the strength to love others by ourselves.  We have to love our God with all of our heart, soul, and mind to show His love to others.  We are demanded to love EVERYONE! Our neighbors, our friends, family, and our enemies.  No matter what! We constantly dissapoint and hurt God everyday but he still loves us and cares about us! No matter how much people hurt us here on earth we have to forgive them and love them as Christ did for us!  

So I challenge all of you to show God's love no matter where you go, no matter who you are around.  Be the ambassador for Christ so that everyone can live a life in Christ and rejoice together in Heaven!

Love and miss you all!

In Christ,
Amy :)

Sunday, June 3, 2012

Wow is all I can say about today! Just to forewarn you this might get a bit lengthy but please stick with me! I promise what I have to say will help you in more ways that I can describe!  The church that I go to down here in North Myrtle Beach is absolutely amazing!  It blows me away how applicable his sermons are to our everyday life.  His sermon today is what I want to tell you guys about.  The pastor began with 2 reasons why people don't go to church.  First reason is because they say Christians are hypocrites.  Second reason is because Christians are always fighting each other.  The second reason is what the topic of the sermon was today.  I love the way that the pastor does his sermons.  He puts it in an able to understand way.  The title of today's sermon was: 5 tools to live in Harmony.  I am going to "let you in" on these 5 tools because they are the key to resolving conflict in any relationship, in any situation.  We ALL have conflict and to be able to live in harmony with each other is what we are called to do.  In 1 Peter 3:8 it says to live in harmony with each other and to not give nonbelievers a reason to persecute you.  We are called to show God's love to everyone so that they in return may know our loving God.

Now, I am going to go through the 5 tools. The 1st tool is Sympathy.  To have sympathy, you have to have the same emotions as someone.  Rejoice with those who rejoice and mourn with those who mourn.  The pastor told a cute story of how a mother was waiting for her little girl to get back from running into the grocery store and her little girl was late.  When the little girl got back, her mother demanded a reason as to why she was late. This was the conversation:  The girl said, "I stopped by the curb because a little girl was crying because her doll was broken."  The mother said, "Oh, so you helped fix her doll?"  The girl said," No, I was crying with her to help her cry."  How awesome is that story?! We need to be slow to speak and quick to listen.  We should try to understand the circumstances that shape the ones we are having conflicts with .  You have no idea what they are going through.  Don't jump to conclusions! Wouldn't you want someone to do that for you?

The 2nd tool is Loyalty.  Romans 12:10 says something along the lines of have brotherly love and be devoted to each other.  We should stop attacking each other and start fixing the problems.  When we have a problem with a person that is close to us, we think how dare they?!  Again, we may not have an idea what they are going through so its so much better to try to figure out what the true heart of the problem is.

The 3rd tool is Generosity/Compassion.  This is about loving in action.  This is about showing people our love--God's love instead of just "telling" our love to people.  Sometimes showing our love means more than any words can say.  1 John 3:18 says Dear children, let us not love with words or tongue, but with actions and in truth. 

Hang in there! We have 2 more left!! ;)

The 4th tool is Humility.  Basically, humility means to be humble.  Every time you get into an arguement there is pride involved.  When you have pride it takes away the focus of what the true problem is.  Having humility is being honest about our failures and weaknesses.  The pastor gave another story about a couple who was going in for marriage counseling.  I'm not going to tell the story word for word but it went something like this:  The wife said that she can't be with someone who won't apologize for anything he did wrong and show no love for her.  The marriage counselor asked the husband if he ever apologized and he said no.  The marriage counselor asked the husband if he was willing to set everything aside and apologize right now to save it marriage. He was like "Right now?!"  He agreed and said how very sorry he was for everything he did.  When he was done his wife ran up to him and tears just started pouring down her face. When they came back for a follow up he said that everything is going fantastically and its like they are on a honneymoon all over again!    Actually saying to the person you have conflict with, "I am so sorry!"  "I was wrong."  It is amazing what happens when you put aside your pride and apologize.  Along with apologizing there comes in forgiveness.  Forgiveness in itself can be a hard thing to do but God forgave us of wronging Him.  Why can't you forgive someone who has wronged you? 

The 5th tool is perhaps the most important tool.  It is Mercy.  Sometimes we need to give people a break.  The pastor told this amazing story of how a little Korean boy was beaten up just because he passed croths with a grop of unruly teenagers in Phildelphia.  I think the little boy was there for something with education.  Anyways,  they beat up the little boy with a lead pipe, their feet, and their hand.  The police found the little Korean boy in a gutter.  Everyone in the city was in an uproar and the DA's got the permission to try these teenagers as adults so that they could get the death sentence.  They wanted those teenagers to fry for what they have done.  Not too long after the teenagers were in custody, the police got a letter from the parents.  It went something like this:  "We have met with the rest of our family and we decided we want the teenagers who committed this crime to have the lightest sentence or consequence possible and when they get out we want to save money for them to go to a religion school.  If we could be so bold to say, our Savior forgave us from our sins so we need to forgive those who sin against us."  How shocking is that?!  Their little boy just got beat up by a bunch of boys who most likely didn't have a future and they want them to get off with the lightest sentence possible and they want to pay for them to have the opportunity to know God and be saved?! Can you even fathom that?!  This exact story is what we should be living as.  Jesus calls us to seek peace and pursue it.  If we fight back, we are no better than the ones who oppose us.  Don't take the easy way out, and treat others how they treated you.  It takes guts to live in peace!

Ill tell you what the pastor advised us to do.  He told us to take these 5 points and ask yourself every day how are you doing.  Everyone needs help with this.  Everyone wants to live in Harmony. 

Thanks so much for reading this novel!  I really hope you got as much as I did out of it! I promise the next one won't be as long!! Miss you all!! :)

In Christ,
Amy :)

Thursday, May 31, 2012

Two nights ago I had my date night with Jesus! It was so awesome to have so much time set aside for Him! I recommend everyone to take a good hour or two a night a week to spend some solid time in His word and then all of the other days during the week continue with your normal quiet time.  Last night it was outreach night and I was able to talk to some people on the beach.  Even though it was just an okay night of outreach, I'm relying that God will take our conversations and use it in their life to come to know Jesus! When the whole group came together after outreach, we found out that just last night 94 conversations were initiated, 4 people came to Christ, and 29 KGPs were handed out! How awesome is that?! This gets me very excited to continue doing outreach so that I may help people come to know Jesus!

Last night I finally got the call that I was waiting for!  I got a job interview for Finish Line tomorrow at 2!  As some of you might know, I have had issues with trying to find a job so I really hope that they hire me! If you could please pray for me!

In Christ,
Amy :)

Sunday, May 27, 2012

I can't believe that this is the 4th official day of summer project!  God has blessed this project so much that I feel like I have been here for 2 weeks already! I want to give a shout out to all of the people who supported me! I can't thank you enough for your generosity and God is smiling at you for your hand in my journey in North Myrtle Beach! I have learned so much already and I can't wait to see what else I am going to learn! This past couple of days has been orientation for project and every morning we have had a speaker, that is on staff with CRU, talk about a certain topic.  Day 1 we learned about putting all our focus on God and ways that we need the Gospel just like anyone else in the world.  Day 2 we learned about the filling of the Holy Spirit and the Prerequsites to able to be filled.  It was so awesome because it talks about depending on God to fill you with the Holy Spirit and believing that He will!  God won't do anything until you go all in with Him! Day 3 we learned our idenity in Christ.  Day 4 we talked about God's heart for the lost.  The speaker of this topic put this in a great way:  When people loose their keys, phone, shirt, or kitten, etc., they freak out and will search on and on for the lost item.  If Christians acted like that for lost people, this world would be so different! Isn't that so true?! I will admit that I freak out over lost things and to hear her say that really convicted me to reach as many of the lost that I can.  I just feel so blessed to have all of this knowledge pouring out on me! We, as a project, are blessed to have 2 amazing churches to attend.  I absolutley loved the church that I got to go to today! They sang beautifully and had a great message! The pastor talked about when life is unjust.  I felt like he was saying the words of his message directly to me.  He said the greatest test of character is how we respond when we go through trials and to handle suffering with integrity.  So many people turn away from God and turn to earthly things. There is also many people who get mad over every little unjust thing that happens.  No one was ripped off more than Jesus.  Jesus was a man who knew no sin and died a horrible death that he didn't deserve.  And we think life is unfair?  The pastor said to shine as examples of God's children, to show respect for authorities, suffer for doing good instead of suffering for doing bad, soften your reply, and see God as the ultimate judge.  Who can do the best at getting even?  Let God handle it!! :)  I hope you all are having a spectacular start to your summer!

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Well today was the first official day of project! It was pretty long but God is already developing amazing relationships! We found out that we are goin through te Gospel of Mark!! We had the opportunity to share on the beach today and I got to talk with a lady who experiences tragic loss...God's providence in that just amazes me! Tonight we had women's time and I got to hear from most of the girls and their struggles! It is so humbling to know that you are not the only one going through trials! I am feeling so blessed by the relationships that he is starting and I can't wait to see what He has I'm store for us tomorrow! God Bless!

Monday, May 14, 2012

Hey guys!

If you haven't heard I am going to North Myrtle Beach, SC this summer  for a summer project with CRU (formally known as Campus Crusade for Christ).  It is an amazing opportunity that approximately 90 students will join me on. I will be sharing my faith as vacationers and college students flood the area and I will be involved in outreaches on the beach and surrounding community.  At the same time I will be in a small group Bible Study and discipleship ministry.  I can't wait to increase my understanding of God's word, deepen my relationship with Him, and spread the Gospel to as many people as I can!  Not only will I gain all of that, but I will gain life long relationships with some amazing people!! I still can't believe how much God has blessed me in this experience already! God is good all the time!! My only request is your prayer as I seek to follow the Lord! 

I hope all of you have a wonderful summer!! I will be posting updates as often as I can!

In Christ,

Amy :)