Because we’re family

The Kingdom of God is an upside down Kingdom from beginning to end.

And I struggle as a young person to wrap my head around these upside down commands because nothing about our world is about putting others first.

The worlds says, “Me first!” and the Kingdom says, “Me last!” 

Check out Romans 12:10 in these 3 translations:

NLT: Love each other with genuine affection, and take delight in honoring each other.

ERV: Love each other in a way that makes you feel close like brothers and sisters. And give each other more honor than you give yourself.

MSG: Be good friends who love deeply; practice playing second fiddle.

We are to love everyone like they are our brothers and sisters. This makes sense when you think about it because there are only two types of people in the world: Those who are already our family in Christ and those we want to see become our family in Christ.

My favorite verse is 2 Corinthians 5:16. 

 So we have stopped evaluating others from a human point of view. At one time we thought of Christ merely from a human point of view. How differently we know him now!

Evangelism is not about us versus them. Outreach is not about being a bully and forcing Jesus down someone’s throat.

I can’t get away from these thoughts…

I am not sharing the gospel to get ahead.

I am not seeking a platform to build “my ministry.”

 Evangelism has absolutely NOTHING to do with my advancement and absolutely EVERYTHING to do with showing someone else the path to redemption. 

The path of humility is all about taking jealousy and the need to get ahead off the table.

We’re on this journey together.

We’re growing together.

We’re serving together.

You’re not more important than me and I’m not more important than you because we’re family. 

 

 

 

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Momentary Challenges

I’ve enjoyed the opportunity to talk with my family and friends a bit more than I was during the school year. 

Technology makes it easy to stay in touch. Thanks to Facebook, email, text, and FaceTime living so far away is much more bearable. 

Honestly, I have struggled with a touch of homesickness the last week. 

I know that Rhema is where I’m supposed to be, but these feelings can creep up faster than you realize. 

Reminding myself what this season is all about–following the Holy Spirit–is why I chose to move away. 

This is something I needed and wanted to do. 

And while I do miss my family and friends, I know that they are supportive of my desire to follow God. 

I’ve come face to face with homesickness ( and I’m sure this won’t be the last time).

I’m also living in such a sweet season of blessing. 

The amount of stuff I’m learning at school and in ministry service is more than I ever imagined.

It makes these momentary challenges worth it. 

Happy Father’s Day

If your dad is still around, be sure to visit or call. 

It’s weird to think about my parents and grandparents passing away…

As a young adult, I have a hard time picturing life without my family around, but I know one day it will happen. 

Several of my friends have already lost their fathers. They don’t talk about the difficult times and their differences. 

What they talk about is how much one more day would mean. 

Nothing else matters. 

This Father’s Day I’m reminded again about the power of forgiveness, reconciliation, and love.

Hard times come–disagreements happen–but do what you can to make amends. 

Decide to forgive instead of holding a grudge. None of us knows if today is our last. 

When the end comes–for you or your loved ones–wouldn’t you rather know that you’ve done everything you can? 

Regret is a bully. 

You don’t want that hanging over you head. 

 

Memorial Day 2016

This Memorial Day was awesome.

Here are the highlights:

  • Slept in
  • Hung out with 2 of my friends at the mall and their house 
  • Ate Chick-fil-A
  • Had my first visitor over at my new place
  • Watched a movie 
  • Ate pizza 
  • Laughed a lot
  • Finished a book

The day was quite restful. 

I’m so thankful for servicemen–the fallen heroes, the veterans, and those who are active duty–because the life I enjoy wouldn’t be possible without their sacrifices. 

Did I mention my sister Sofia turned 12?

Wow…

I’m thankful for Sofia’s sweet spirit and for how she so willingly embraced me as her big sister 5 years ago. 

Her friendship and love mean a lot to me. 

She even laughs at my jokes sometimes! (Wink, wink)

Happy Birthday, Sof! 

Saturday Birthday Fun

It’s been an awesome day!

I was invited to a birthday party, so I’ve spent the day surrounded by kids. 

My friend Evie (Nina’s daughter) turned 6. 

Sophia (Evie’s older sister) and I filled up water balloons and then we helped Evie with her birthday presents. 

Now all the kids are playing while the grown ups talk (and grill hot dogs).

It feels good to spend the day outside and with friends. 

A garden full of character

Today was gardening day, which means that I spent the afternoon with my friend Nina. 

We planted okra, corn, radishes, cucumbers, and spinach. 

It was also cool to see that the veggies we planted last time are coming along nicely. 

Next time I head out there I will snap a few photos to show you. Nina’s beans are coming in and the bean plant’s flowers are beautiful!

Of course, getting to dig around in the dirt is always fun as well as chats about anything and everything as Nina and I get the work done. 

Seeing Nina’s love of gardening, of establishing a strong homestead, inspires me. She’s truly passionate–this is not a passing fad for her. 

There’s a lot to be learned about sticking something out even during times of failure. Not all of Nina and Jeff’s homesteading adventures worked out at first, yet they kept learning, kept trying. 

Persistence, focus, and dedication are traits that are often discussed but rarely lived out.  

And the fruits of their strong character are evident to me as I look around their farm. 

I am blessed to have friends who are teaching me through their example. 

Farm fun

I spent the afternoon muddy and I loved it! 

My friends, Jeff and Nina, invited me over for lunch. After we ate, I helped Nina replant an evergreen tree. 

I met Jeff and Nina back in October when my dad and I came out to College Weekend. Dad went to Rhema with Jeff, so they’ve been friends for years. 

Their sweet family is so much fun to hang out with! We spent the afternoon chatting and working around their farm. 

They have 3 children, so it was noisy…and awesome! I miss my brothers and sisters. I miss having little people around me. 

Also, all 3 of their goats had twins. 6 kids were romping around the farm. It’s amazing to see God’s creation doing what it’s intended to do: be fruitful and multiply. 

Working outside, digging in the dirt, was a blast. 

Gardening is something that I enjoy and want to do for the rest of my life. There’s something so satisfying about tending a garden and eating from it’s bounty. 

Jeff and Nina work hard on their farm. It’s cool to see their passion and how their children work alongside of them.