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. 

The Journey of Transformation

 

Check out these pictures: 

netherlands and belgium

PARAISÓPOLIS

The picture on the left shows the border between the Netherlands and Belgium. The picture on the right shows the divide between a rich neighborhood and a poor neighborhood in Brazil. 

Not much of a difference is there?

It got me to thinking about how fast the transformation happens in our Christian lives. The moment someone decides to follow Jesus, the change is instant:  

  • Orphan to son or daughter
  • Darkness to light
  • Unrighteous to Righteous
  • Hell to Heaven

The change is instant, but walking it out takes time. This is the reason so many of us stay stuck in a rut. 

How do I go from living in the  Netherlands to living in Belgium?

How do I go from living in the slums to living in the richest side of town?

Talk about information overload! 

The answer to me is quite clear: One step at a time.

Most of us didn’t hear about Jesus one minute and decide to follow Him the next. We made a decision after a lot of talking to our Christian friends and reading the Bible to see if there was any truth to our friends claims. 

Here’s a pet peeve of mine:

Don’t walk your friends and family through the whole process of coming to know Jesus and then ditch them on the side of the road saying, “Well, have fun figuring out this new life!” 

When I think of discipleship now, I think of going for the longest hike of my life. Sure, I can go by myself, but having a buddy will make it so much easier to navigate and so much more enjoyable as well.

The reason community is essential to the Christian life is because renewing our minds to catch up with the radical change that took place in our spirits cannot be done alone. 

 

 

Life Unlimited

Coming home to my apartment is still a bit surreal. 

I live here…Cool!

This weekend I hope to have some friends over because hospitality is a big deal to me. 

I look around and can already tell this is a place where truth and grace and peace and fun (can’t forget the fun!) will be in abundance. 

Do you know that you already have enough? 

There’s nothing stopping you from being hospitable and friendly. 

There’s nothing stopping you from sharing the gospel and befriending in your neighbors. 

Nothing except you

The list of supposed limitations we place on ourselves doesn’t match up with what the Bible says. 

Christians are a people blessed with all spiritual blessings. God’s given us access to the best of everything!

Rhema Bible Church’s motto is “Living Life Unlimited.” 

Do you know of a better way to live? 

Unlimited

Free

Called. 

Equipped

Don’t just talk about the good life–live it!

Another successful move

I am now settled in at my new place! It’s a one room apartment about 5 miles east of Rhema. 

All of the details of this move–much like my original move out to Tulsa–have been taken care of by God. 

God’s faithfulness to provide is yet another clue to how much He loves me and wants me to trust Him. 

We all know this verse:

Seek ye first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all of these things shall be added unto you. 

When you determine in your heart to follow God no matter what, He will take care of your every need. 

God’s provision is promised to us because He doesn’t want anything to distract us from our purpose:

Loving God and loving people. 

I look forward to opening up my home to others. God has blessed me so much and I want my home to be a safe, peaceful place full of God’s love. 

Overflowing Love

When Jesus sent out the 70 disciples, He told them not to take anything–not even an extra change of clothes!

The early church sold all of their extra stuff (they shared everything else) and dumped the money at the apostles’ feet. 

The widow in the temple gave everything she had. 

Paul teaches us the secret of contentment: Do all things through Christ who strengthens you whether you’re broke or rich. 

We’re told to not covet in The 10 Commandments and by Jesus Himself. 

We’re told to seek The Kingdom first because God is the supplier of our every need. 

And I could keep going with examples!

I’m packing up to move and I wonder if I’m too greedy…

Am I willing to give everything away?

To share everything?

To see my life–time, giftings, possessions, and money–as simply a means to help others?

I want to say yes. I want it to be an all-the-time truth, but I struggle…

Can’t something be mine?

Here was God’s answer:

Yes, the one thing no one can take away is your relationship with Me. What else do you want?

Ouch!

God is an all-in kind of Father. He gave us everything He had. Nothing was held back from us. 

I want to be that kind of person. 

I want to be all-in. 

My life was so empty before my relationship with God. No amount of success or approval or stuff could fill the void. 

My response to His great grace is that I want to live a life stripped bare of anything that keeps me from being full of Him, of His overflowing love. 

Trust is key 

I entered a busy season today. There’s a lot going on at school and work. 

It’s all good stuff, but it could easily become overwhelming if I let it. 

And we all know that stress and worry has never helped anyone. 

I’m doing my best to combat any anxious thoughts immediately by praying about them instead of fretting over them. 

It really works! 

In fact, I am more at peace now than I ever was in the past when facing similar situations. 

My trust in God has increased exponentially and I’m learning to bring it all to Him first–not as a last resort. 

One of the biggest lessons I’m learning at Rhema is that knowing something and doing something are very different. 

Yes, I have known for a long time that trusting God is key to a peaceful and fruitful life.

 I have many stories about how trusting God has pulled me out of many seemingly impossible situations. 

But living in Tulsa has only increased my opportunities to trust God more fully. 

Like Dean Tad says, “If you can move to Tulsa by faith, you can follow God anywhere by faith.”

A happy change

Once again, my Saturday was awesome. 

I went to Joplin to watch the Rhema basketball teams play in the last games of a tournament. 

Boys came in 5th place and girls came in 3rd place. 

The scenery is beautiful between Tulsa and Joplin. This is my first time living in the Midwest, so everything about this place is part of the adventure.

My friend Holly and I rode together to the tournament and it was fun to go on a mini road trip. 

We ate lunch at a local barbecue place, which was my first time eating barbecue since moving. How did I go that long without it?!? 

I digress…

This past week’s been a lot of fun because it’s the first time in a while that I’ve had something going on everyday. 

I’m just taking things one day at a time and soaking up all of these experiences. 

If I want to do something, I give it a shot. What can it hurt?

If I want to get to know someone, I stick out my hand and introduce myself. What can it hurt?

Sure, I’m still my awkward, goofy, and cheesy self but I’m starting to embrace it more and more. 

Some days are harder than others. Some days I miss home. 

For the most part, though, I’m simply grateful to be in Tulsa. Being a student at Rhema, seeing faith in action is changing me. 

And I am happy about this change.