Thursday, November 4, 2010
What a staggering number! There is so much work left to do! I have 4 different English Bible translations sitting on my shelf....and yet 2,251 people groups don't have one word.
There is a tangible number for you. 2,251 Write it down somewhere. Keep it fresh in your mind. Please be in prayer for more people to be willing to devote their lives to the preaching of the Gospel of Christ!! Remember to keep those who are currently in different countries all over the world right now, serving God as they minister to the lost and preach the truth of the Word of God to those who have never heard it before!!
How then will they call on him in whom they have not believed? And how are they to believe in him of whom they have never heard? And how are they to hear without someone preaching? And how are they to preach unless they are sent? As it is written, "How beautiful are the feet of those who preach the good news!"
Thursday, October 21, 2010
The music is BLARING!!
So there you sit, fumbling over everything, reaching over things in a wild attempt to turn it down as quickly as possible. The whole time, you're thinking "How in the world did I let it get that loud! It didn't seem that loud before!"
Sin is just like the music in the car. Little by little, you turn it up. Slowly and gradually it gets louder and louder. Before you know it, you're jolted to your senses as you become aware of the reality of the sin that is blaring in your life. Then chaos ensues as you struggle to shut it down and turn it off as quickly as possible! Your mind is filled with thoughts of "How in the world did I let it get that far! It didn't seem like that big of a deal before..."
I've had the privilege of sitting in on Chapel this week to hear our guest speaker Chris Lujan, a missionary to the Siar tribe in Papua New Guinea. He used this example and it really got my mind working. How often do I allow this to happen in my life?! It is so easy to slip into! The more I thought about it, I started to think about all the times when I'm blaring my music in the car and someone either tries to talk over it or ask me to turn it down. Don't ruin my great song!! So instead of turning it down or off, I turn it up to drown out any outside noise. So if there is a sin in my life that is becoming more and more of an issue, maybe someone will try to confront me about it. Maybe God will show me from His Word or even just convict my heart about it. I pray that I would listen to those warning signs and deal with my sin before it is a loud, blaring problem!
Friday, August 20, 2010
I finished my first week of training in the main office here at New Tribes Bible Institute, Jackson. Wow. That's all I can say. I am so happy that the Lord allowed me to work as my Dad's secretary over at Jezowski&Markel last year.....as hard as it was to keep up with my work there, it played an enormous part in preparing me for what I was going to face here!! The ladies in the front office have been so patient with me, answering my questions over and over again. It has been interesting to see the staff of the school from this different perspective. It's one thing to interact with them as a student....it's an entirely different thing to interact with them as a member of the team. All of the teachers, deans, and all of the people that work in the offices here have been so encouraging as they watch me try to learn the ropes. There is always ALWAYS someone close by that is willing to help. What a blessing it has been!! Keep praying for me as I continue to learn and try to keep up with the craziness of registration and new students!! Registration begins tomorrow so this place is finally going to be full again! It's about time!
Thursday, August 12, 2010
I really did fall off the face of the earth...and landed in Arizona for this week. I'm hanging out with Drew and his family. So far I've been mudding (no comments everyone..), done a lot of swimming...some of my own free will, some not, and tomorrow we're going hiking. Yes, it's true. And I'm loving every minute of it!!!
I head back to Michigan on Saturday to begin my internship. It's going to be an entirely different atmosphere to be there but not as a student. I can't wait to see what the Lord holds for me this year! Please pray that I can find a job quickly when I get back in Jackson.
I'll do my best to update this blog as well as get some newsletters sent out this month.
It was so wonderful to see everyone in California and I already miss you all. God has blessed me by putting some amazing people in my life and it was wonderful to be able to spend time with quite a few of them over the last few months. Love you all and I promise.....I'll keep in touch. Or try to......
Sunday, June 20, 2010
I set out to look through my pictures, hoping to find maybe 2 or 3 good pictures of him to post on here.....aaaaaaand found about 9 million of them. It's taken some weeding through, but here are some pictures that portray some of the wonderful sides of his personality, his loves and interests, and hopefully give you an idea of how we, his family, think of him. :)
First and foremost, he married the most wonderful woman in the world. She is his Queen and he treats her like one. Never in our lives have we (my sibs and I) ever doubted his undying love for my mom. Kudos to you Mom for marrying such an amazing man! You are one blessed woman!
Yeah, that's right....MY Dad plays the tuba. Can your dad top that? Didn't think so. ;)
He's always had a soft spot for babies. He loves them, and, lucky for him, they love him too. My mom and I can attest to the sadness a person feels when they love to hold babies, but every time we touch them, the little boogers throw back their head and wail! My dad has been a wonderful father to each one of his 5 kids. And he's going to be a fantastic grandpa when the time comes!!
Seriously, I could have never asked for a better Dad. He's a goof-ball, he's a comforter, he's a wonderful listener, he gives the best hugs in the world, and he has a remarkable sense of humor. He has always worked so hard to make sure that his family would be cared for. You walk in his office at work and there are pictures of us all over....they serve to remind him why he is there day after day. He has raised a son who knows how to be a gentleman and takes care of his sisters. (Whatever girl manages to capture the heart of my brother Peter is going to be one lucky woman!!) He has raised 4 daughters who love cars, airplanes, and know more about concrete and construction than most guys. He takes care of our family, both of my grandmas, and my great aunt, all while working long days at a strenuous job. But through all of the stress he deals with each day, he is still such a wonderful example of how we are to rely on the Lord. Everything points back to God. He loves to sit around and talk about the Scripture! I could go on and on about him!!!
So Happy Father's Day to my Dad!!! I'd like to honor my father who was so influential in teaching me about OUR heavenly Father!
I love you Pops!!!
Friday, June 18, 2010
"Here I sit in New Jersey......this is possibly one of the most hectically crazy summers I've ever had! Always on the go! Last night we went to another family gathering to allow the bride and grooms families to get to know each other a little bit. I sat at the table with the older people. It was wonderful to just sit there with a group of believers that was so much more mature than me. Most of them had been on the mission field for years, but all of them have been in ministry for a long time. They shared about failure in their lives and how God used it for His glory. They talked about the dangers of allowing your eyes to get off the Savior, even if the distraction is too much ministry. They talked about self reliance (my personal favorite...I struggle with that a lot) and the importance of placing yourself completely into the care of God! We get angry, bitter, and frustrated when we fail and things don't go our way...but if we're striving in our own power, that's exactly what is going to happen! This brings me to the quote of the day. I got it from a book that I read while I was at school. It says "To be disappointed in yourself is to have believed in yourself." -Miles Stanford I have to remember to only look to God and trust in His strength alone. Only then will I experience any victory in my spiritual walk.....because the victory is His, not mine."
Wednesday, May 19, 2010
I posted the link to the newspaper article about the accident below. It was amazing to see Daniel's beautiful testimony shining out on the front page of the Jackson newspaper! A wonderful witness for our Savior!
Sunday, May 16, 2010
Can you believe it? I finally graduated! It's been a long journey. There have been ups and downs, there have been struggles and blessings, I've made mistakes and learned lessons. God has brought so many beautiful people into my life, people that I know will remain part of my life for many years to come. I've grown in my walk with the Lord and have been stretched in ways I never knew were possible. I have been taught to study the Scriptures for myself and not a day goes by that I don't become increasingly more aware of my great need for its wisdom and instruction. I'm looking to the Lord as I prepare to enter the next phase of my life and can not wait to see where He takes me! He has proved Himself to be so faithful, even when I am faithless. Life with Him can be nothing but wonderful, even in the hard times. Lets see what comes next!!
Wednesday, May 5, 2010
Here is a picture of my group in "the tribe" during our senior trip at Wayumi getting a taste of language study in the Joti tribe. It was funny because we knew that it wasn't a real tribal person....but he played the part so well that it was so easy to forget that he was someone that we interacted with every day there. The last day we did this, at the very end of our session, we were trying to say goodbye to him and couldn't figure it out. So there we sat, talking amongst ourselves trying to figure out the culturally acceptable way to excuse ourselves without being offensive and he finally started laughing and said "there is no way to say goodbye in Joti!" I think it made my brain twitch! Everything inside of me was saying that this wasn't Steve, it was an honest to goodness Joti man who spoke no english! haha Really though, this was such an amazing time! I loved it!
Monday, April 26, 2010
Please be in prayer for us as we continue to study this week! There is a lot of information to understand, lots of foreign and difficult concepts to be grasped, and lots of "stepping out of my comfort zone" and trying new things. I can't wait to fill you all in on what God is teaching me here....and it's only day one! If you have a few minutes, here is the NTM promo vidio for Wayumi that will give you a better picture of what we're doing here.
Wednesday, April 21, 2010
1. Foolish enough to depend on Him for wisdom.
2. Weak enough to be empowered with His strength.
3. Base enough to have no honor but God's honor.
4. Despised enough to be kept in the dust of His feet.
5. Nothing enough for God to be everything.
1 Corinthians 1:27-29
But God chose what is foolish in the world to shame the wise; God chose what is weak in the world to shame the strong; God chose what is low and despised in the world, even things that are not, to bring to nothing things that are, so that no human being might boast in the presence of God.
Sunday, April 18, 2010
Friday, April 16, 2010
As we discussed all of this, we began to talk about our identity in Christ. Forget what the world says I am or what it says I need to be....what does the Bible tell me is true of me? So we began to make a list. Seriously, there were no pauses between answers. We kept throwing them out there and could have kept going if we didn't have to stop for time's sake! Ephesians tells us that as believers, we have been blessed with every spiritual blessing in the Heavenlies! We are positioned in Christ.
In Christ, and in Him alone, I am......
-at peace with God
-placed in Christ
-a new creation
-a friend of God
-a daughter of God
-dead to sin
-seated in heaven
-given new life
-alive to God
-united with God
-blessed with every spiritual blessing
-filled with the Holy Spirit
-adopted as a SON (the significance of adoption as a son is that the son receives
-a member of the Body
-the Bride of Christ
-a bondservant of Christ
The list could go on and on! THIS is true! This is who God says I am. It is so important to know that I'm dwelling on what I know is true rather than what I hope is true. I have been provided with everything that I need to live a life of godliness. God is at work in my life every moment of every day, transforming me into the image of His Son. He doesn't want me to look transformed....He wants me to BE transformed! The flesh no longer has authority over my life. God is the One who has the authority and I can rest in the knowledge of who I am in His Son and know that He is the One who is at work in my life to transform it and conform it to His image!
Friday, March 12, 2010
Tuesday, March 9, 2010
- Hearing my classmates giving their speeches on what God has been teaching them since they've come here to NTBI.
-GETTING A HUG FROM KATIE BETTS!!!!!!!!! Oh my lanta....I don't think I've ever been so excited to see a person in all my life.
-Singing to Annabelle....she was totally out of it, but I had fun singing to her.
-Walking to work in this fabulously warm weather!
-Eating dessert before dinner. Delectable chocolate cake, thanks to Chloe.
-Sitting and chatting with Chloe while we fed Annabelle.
-Being able to show Chloe the song about Heaven that I wrote for Uncle Jeffy. I stood there with this woman that I've been trying to share the TRUE Word of God with, watching her listen to this song that I wrote that has a Gospel message in it and it really hit me....THIS is why I write. Any my enormous thanks to my dad for doing what it took to get my songs recorded...it's the only way that I was able to share it with her!
-Walking outside to go home from work and looking up into a supremely clear sky full of supremely bright stars!!! My heart just about burst with joy at that!
-Talking with 3 of the girls that I love most before I went to bed!!
Thank you Lord for those lovely days you give us that are sprinkled with small blessings that fill my heart with Your voice saying "I love you Gracie!"
Tuesday, March 2, 2010
****I'm sensing that I'll probably ramble from here on....thoughts are floating around in my head and they'll probably spill out. So if you don't read any or all of this post...please watch the video at the end. It kind of sums up all of these thoughts.****
One of the classes we just finished up was on Philippians. There is so much wisdom and treasure that just flows from the words that are written in that book! So much conviction and thought-provoking went on, I can't even begin to describe it! One thing that has really stuck in my head though is the concept of giving up everything for God as I move in the direction of going on the mission field. Am I really willing to give it all up? And why in the world do I think that all of the material and comfortable things I have now are so great that I'd take them over sharing the Word?
You know how sometimes you hear or notice something and then it keeps popping up EVERYWHERE? That's how this has been. Classes...chapel...devotions...conversations...stationary....posters....seriously, you name it, this concept is either there or it'll move my thoughts in that direction.
We had a guy come speak in chapel the other day and he asked the question "When will we finally get to the point where we say 'God, I'll give you this and this...but I can't give up THAT for you..." Yikes...seriously? Yet, I know I struggle with that.
Talking with a friend of mine today, he stated that when he came to America (after growing up as an MK in Thailand) the "American Dream" seemed so alluring. It got to the point where he was looking for something better to do than work in missions. Finally he came to the same response: Really? Seriously? He said something that really got my attention...he said "We indulge ourselves in the "good" things we have here only to find that they don't fulfill instead of throwing ourselves into work that is frightening and considered "bad" but more fulfilling than anything we could ever dream of." That work he spoke of is the work of bringing the Gospel to those who don't have it and have never heard it.
I know I'm wandering a little bit here...but really...the bottom line is that if I'm really wanting to devote the rest of my life to God's service as a missionary, I'm going to have to give up some hard things! Comfort, security, eventually I'll most likely lose the closeness of family, and even my dreams. Ever since I was little, I had a picture in my mind of what I wanted my life to look like when I grew up.... Reality check: Grace...your life is not even close to heading that direction. And I have to ask myself....is that okay? Am I okay with this?
How in the world can I not be okay with it?! It's not going to be easy, I know this. But what aspect of my present or future life can I honestly look at and say "THIS is so important to me that I'll hold onto it and keep the Gospel of the ONE Who gave up everything for me"...?
Our final project in Philippians was to make vidoes/skits based on passages in Philippians that were assigned to our groups. The group I was in didn't upload our video onto youtube or anything, but this is one of the videos that was made. Personal opinion: This was the best video out of all of them. They did a stellar job and it kind of wraps up these jumbled thoughts that are wandering through my head. Talk about conviction....
Tuesday, February 9, 2010
Today in classes we talked about life, suffering, people, love........
Going through Philippians has been so very convicting as I see, especially in chapter 1 all that Paul was facing and his response to it. He was in prison at the time he was writing and yet, he was okay with that. He knew that people were coming to Christ because of his imprisonment and since the cross was being proclaimed, he was glad to suffer for Christ. It was all for the furtherance of the Gospel. If I was in a similar situation, would I be able to respond the same way? I wimp out at the smallest bumps in the road. It really is pathetic. If there is a tiny bump, my reaction is to start looking for some way to go around it so I don’t have to trust God to get me over it. Something my teacher said is "suffering is about God and how we fit into His purposes." He is sovereign and has everything under control. His purposes are far beyond anything I could even imagine!! This life isn't even mine anyway. I get so wrapped up in living my life for Him that I forget that it's His life to begin with. My life belongs to Him. My life needs to BE Him. Existence apart from Him isn't even life. Christ must be the source and motivation of all life! Then when we encounter suffering, we can rest assured that it is for Christ and for the furtherance of His message. Am I living for Him? "If what you're living for isn't worth dying for, then it isn't worth living for." (Mike Sullivan) Christ gave up everything to die for me. He is worth living for!! I say this so often and so easily. However, can my heart honestly say that He is also worth dying for? Can I say that and be ready to act on it at all times? Something that was said in class is "Only someone ready to die for Christ truly knows how to live for Christ." How often I fool myself into thinking that I'm closer to this than I really am.
We also talked about the value of people. It's easy to place a large amount of value on myself, but do I value others as I should? If I am to be in ministry, I think it is vital for me to recognize that all people are created in the image of God, He values them, Christ DIED for them......and yet I can often have such a bad attitude and lack of concern toward those around me. There is absolutely no reason to withhold love from anyone at any time. The example was given today of a man who was fed up with his wife. He hated her and wanted to divorce her. He sought counsel from someone at his church asking, "what should I do?! I can't stand to be near her! I want out of this marriage! How do I deal with her?!"
The man replied, "You must love her as Christ loved the Church. He gave everything to redeem her and loves her unconditionally!"
The disgruntled husband became angry. "Absolutely not! I can't love her like that. She doesn't deserve it."
His friend then said, "Alright then, treat her like a neighbor. How are you supposed to care for your neighbor? Love you neighbor as yourself."
At this the husband yelled, "I can't love her! I don't even want to be near her!"
His friend nodded as if he understood. He said, "I understand. In that case, you must resort to treating her as you should treat your enemies. Love your enemies."
I think we can guess that the husband wasn't happy with this answer either, but it really struck me that God makes it clear that we are to treat people in all levels of relationships with great love. Whether they are a spouse, family, friends, acquaintances, or even enemies, we don't have a choice when it comes to love. Love at all times. Love when it is difficult. Love when you aren't loved in return. Love when you are hated. LOVE!
Thursday, February 4, 2010
So anyway, it seems to me that the book of Philemon is kind of like the Church's version of Hosea. God used the life of Hosea to portray His relationship with His chosen people, the nation of Israel. His faithfulness and love vs. her prostitution, unfaithfulness, and rejection.
The book of Philemon, as I wrote about in my last post, portrays our relationship with God. God used the lives of Philemon and Onesimus to paint a picture of our unfaithfulness to God and His forgiveness, love, and acceptance. Restoration! (Isn't that a great word?)
Anyway.....that's what's rollin' around in this brain of mine. Now that I wrote it down, maybe I can concentrate on my Daniel/Revelation test and time-line...
Wednesday, February 3, 2010
Confession time: I've always been fairly indifferent to the book of Philemon......until today.
Why? Because for the first time today I really saw the parallels between myself and Onesimus. I was sitting there in class and was thoroughly excited to see so much of the book come into focus.
Onesimus was owned by Philemon. However, he was an unfaithful servant, useless to Philemon, and he eventually ran away. However, he was introduced to Jesus Christ through the Apostle Paul and gave his life to the Lord. The book of Philemon is Paul's appeal to Philemon to forgive and restore Onesimus. Verses 17 through 20 are Paul's plea that Philemon accept this brother, to receive him as if he were receiving Paul. Any debts that Onesimus had were to be charged to Paul's account to be repaid in full by him. Therefore, Onesimus was to be accepted and restored to Philemon on the merits of another person.
I have been unfaithful to God. My back was completely turned him as my sin offended Him daily. Time and time again I wronged the holy God of Heaven. However, Christ came to earth and took my debt upon Himself. He repaid my debt "by canceling the record of debt that stood against us (me) with its legal demands. This he set aside, nailing it to the cross." (Colossians 2:14) Just as Onesimus' debt was imputed to Paul and Paul's fellowship with Philemon was imputed to Onesimus......my sin was imputed to Christ and His righteousness was imputed to me. "For our sake he made him to be sin who knew no sin, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God." Philemon received Onesimus back as he would receive Paul, and God receives me as He would His Son, Jesus Christ. I am accepted and forgiven on the merits and by the work of Jesus Christ.
My response? I must rest in the work that has been done on my behalf, knowing that it wasn't earned. In that rest, there must be an overwhelming sense of gratitude to the One Who did what I couldn't.
Thank you Lord Jesus!!
Thursday, January 21, 2010
The second good news is in regard to my finances. I know many of you were aware of my financial situation and have been praying with me for God's provision. As always, God proved His faithfulness in a way that took me by surprise and blew me away! I got an email from my Pastor telling me that my wonderful Grace Baptist family is sending me about $1300! Add that to the check I'll get at the end of the month from my job, and my entire semester will be pretty much paid off! I've really been walking on cloud 9 over the last few days. Ask my roommates....I can't settle down. God is so good! Thank you to all who prayed and thank you to all who have helped to support me as I get ready to wrap up this first phase of my missions training!
I'll try to keep this blog updated, but over the last few days, I haven't been able to log on to it at school. I'm doing this while Jack and Owen are sleeping. So, until then, thank you all for your prayers and support!!
Monday, January 18, 2010
If You washed away my vanity
If You took away my words
If all my world was swept away
Would You be enough for me?
Would my beating heart still sing?
If I lost it all
Would my hands stay lifted
To the God who gives and takes away
If You take it all
This life You've given
Still my heart will sing to You
When my life is not what I expected
The plans I made have failed
When there's nothing left to steal me away
Will You be enough for me?
Will my broken heart still sing?
If I lost it all
Would my hands stay lifted
To the God who gives
And takes away
If You take it all
This life You've given
Still my heart
Will sing to You
Even if You take it all away
You’ll never let me go
Take it all away
But I still know
That I'm Yours
I'm still Yours
Oh, I'm Yours
I'm still Yours
I'm still Yours
Thursday, January 14, 2010
This semester is going to be difficult. Not as difficult as my Junior semester was (or so I hear), but definitely difficult. I will be studying:
-1 and 2 Timothy
-1 and 2 Thessalonians
-1,2, and 3 John
-Intro to Tribal Missions
-Intro to NTM
-False Deities of the Ancient World
Needless to say, it's going to be busy. I'm also working as much as I can, trying to continue to raise money to pay for my tuition. As of now, I made my initial payment of $1800, and have somewhere around $2000 left to pay off for the semester. My family was so very wonderful in helping me out!! I am so very blessed to have them. Even when I was home for Christmas, if the family was going to go out and do something, they would chip in and pay for me so I could go along to. The reason that I made my initial payment was because various members of my wonderful family came up to me at different times and gave me gifts that left me speechless. I was able to come here and continue to study the precious Word of God because of the provision of my heavenly Father through the wonderful people that I am so grateful and blessed to call my family.
Please pray for me as I continue to work as many hours as I can possibly get! Sometimes its hard to get hours where I work, but God has been so good since I came back. I've been able to work quite a bit and I'm praying it'll continue. Please pray for my financial situation in general. Also, please pray for me as I try to balance classes, work, homework, dorm responsibilities, and all the rest of the craziness that we get to call life. Thank you all so much!!!
I'll try to get back into the swing of updating this thing a little more often. :)