Thursday, August 2, 2012

In His Time...

God truly does make all things beautiful in His time!

On Friday, July 29, 2011... we met sweet Florianlyn, our Compassion sponsor child, during our family's three-week self-guided missions immersion trip to the Philippines. Meeting her and seeing where she lives and experiencing her poverty changed our family. It hit home for us what it means to truly have our hearts broken for the things that break God's heart.

Exactly one year later... on Sunday, July 29, 2012... I took one deep breath {okay, more than several deep breaths!}, prayed lots... and I, a self-confessed introvert with a great fear of public speaking, stepped out of my comfort zone and did this... as part of our church's summer teaching series entitled Ordinary Radicals:

I spoke about relinquishing control and submitting my will, about letting God lead and following Jesus, about missional parenting and raising great kids, about meeting Florianlyn and God breaking our hearts for the things that break His, about our reaction and our response... one of which is in the form of this... Eucharisteo: A Celebration of Joy.

Friends, it was nerve-wracking to say the least, yet I was overjoyed and truly humbled to have been given the opportunity to share... and sooooo utterly thankful for God's amazing grace! He truly is always, always, always good... making all things beautiful in His time!

Only God can orchestrate such perfect timing, don't you think? 
One year ago... brokenness. One year later... a tangible response!

Today as I publish this blog post... it is August 2, 2012... and we are on a road-trip, on a short family vacation to the Cape Cod and Boston area. Yet, we will be remembering that it is also exactly one year to the day we first met our Compassion LDP Student, Rochelle, also during this same trip to the Philippines. It was another eye-opening and life-changing experience that will forever be etched in our hearts and minds.

I am marveling at just how amazingly good our God is... that He, the Creator of the universe, sees fit to invite us, mere ordinary people, to partner with Him in doing Kingdom work. That just really, really, really blows my mind!!!

This teaching series at church, Ordinary Radicals... takes us through the eight Beatitudes. I am learning a lot... about how we, ordinary people, can do radical things when we follow our Extraordinary Leader, Jesus! I love how the Beatitudes are written in The Message. You can read them here.    

This teaching series also reminded me of this quote from Shane Claiborne's book The Irresistible Revolution, which I read earlier this year:
I saw the gospel with new eyes. One of the texts that had always given me trouble was John 14:12: "Very truly I tell you, all who have faith in me will do the works I have been doing, and they will do even greater things than these, because I am going to the Father." You shall do even greater things? Here's the Son of the Almighty, God incarnate, telling us ragtag disciples that we will do the same things he has been doing. I don't know about you, but I haven't raised anyone from the dead lately. I haven't seen anyone turn water into wine. And I hadn't healed any lepers. Even though I touched them, they still went home lepers at the end of the day.
It wasn't that Jesus healed a leper but that he touched a leper, because no one touched lepers. And the incredible thing about that love is that it now lives inside of us. In the verses just after the one about the greater things, Jesus assured us that the Spirit now lives in us. Jesus says that he is going to the Father but will also remain inside of us, and we in him. We are the body of Christ, the hands and feet of Jesus to the world. Christ is living inside of you and me, walking the earth. We shall do even greater things because the love that lived in the radical Christ now lives within millions of ordinary radicals all over the planet.
Friends, let's be ordinary radicals together!
With Christ living inside you and me, we can do this! We can do justice, love mercy, walk humbly with God... and we can make this world a better place!

Friends, will you join our family in being ordinary radicals? Will you sponsor a child living in extreme poverty... in Jesus' name? Will you come to Eucharisteo: A Celebration of Joy? We would *love* to see you there!!!
Our happiness comes, too, not in the having, but in the handing over. Give your life away in exchange for many lives, give away your blessings to multiply blessings, give away so that many might increase, and do it all for the love of God.
Compassion is a command, an act of worship, a song of thanks to Him.
Do justice. Love mercy. Walk humbly with God!

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