"We remember before our God and Father your work produced by faith, your labor prompted by love, and your endurance inspired by hope in our Lord Jesus Christ." 1 Thessalonians 1:3

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Friday, December 17, 2010

The Art Show and "Flashmobs"





The art show was fun! The kids were so proud to have their art displayed, and the artwork looked great framed! The students were singing their "holiday" songs the whole time. The theme for the night was "peace." Some songs were even in Hebrew - So cool!  It was indeed a very beautiful and peaceful night:)

On a totally other note, someone sent me this youtube video, which is amazing:



I had never heard of the "flashmob" - but they are amazing, and I would like to be a part of one at some time:)  So, I began to research all of these "flashmobs"...

This is THE best one:



Second best:



Then, I found these "Real life musicals" - ummmm - A-mazing! Unreal! I hope they bring you as much joy as they have brought me:)  (Who comes up with this stuff?!?!)



Thursday, December 16, 2010

Merry Christmas and War "Cam" Eagle!

I have been neglecting the blog this week! I have been busy with an art show at school and Christmas card making! It has been so funny though -- the kids are incorporating auburn into all of their cards! In case you can't read the card above, it says, "War 'Cam' Eagle."




They have even amended the words to Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer in music class:

From - "...He'll go down in history - Like George Washington!"

to - "Like Cam Newton!"

I'll be back soon - tomorrow is our last day of school before the break - when I will hoepfully have more time to write! I'm saying a big "War Eagle" for that!!

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Snow!!!!!


From African heat - to snow!!!!!!!!!!!! Even in Alabama!! Of course, it was a tiny amount - here is a science class running outside to try to see the few snow flakes we could catch with a microscope!
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Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Life Lessons from Africa

1. Contentment can be found regardless of our circumstances.

This past year, I was visiting remote villages in Ghana, searching for people who may benefit from a microloan or new skill learned – to provide for them and their families. While meeting the people, I was overwhelmed by their lack of interest in the “American Dream” – or the need to improve their lives. They were completely content with the life they had, the community they were living in, and working hard all day, just to be able to eat that night. They didn’t need anything – they were content. Until we allow ourselves to be filled completely with God’s love, we will be searching for this contentment elsewhere – resulting in an even more empty heart than we began with.  I have learned not to lie to myself and believe that things would be different if I were just in some other place – because the circumstance doesn’t matter – it’s the state of your heart that matters.

2. People are the same no matter where in the World you are!

There are kind people, and there are mean people, there are people who are honest and giving, and there are people who will use you or “throw you under the bus” to get their way. There are people who know Jesus and choose to live according to His standards, and there are people who don’t know Jesus, and do not live by His standards. Any of these people can be found in rural Alabama towns, remote African villages, or anywhere else in the World.  So, learn to be in relationship with imperfect people - forgive, love, and be loved where ever you are.  (Disclaimer: if God gives you specific instruction to “go” somewhere – then go!! But, until then – you are right where He wants you)

3. God doesn’t "NEED" me.

I admit it – I have been arrogant enough to believe that God “needed” me. I felt very strongly that because God led me to Africa that he “needed” me to do work there. And more recently, I have pondered why God “needs” me back in Auburn. Truth is: God doesn’t “need” me. God is sovereign and all-powerful – and He can move mountains – with or without me! All the “work” I did in Africa this past year – He could have accomplished without me – but He loves me so much that He blessed me with a year to serve Him. I’m not saying that our all-powerful God can’t use us – because He will and does “use” ALL things for His glory – but he can only “use” us when we have given up our own agendas and are completely surrendered to Him.

Just a few thoughts that have re-surfaced recently – I hope and pray they encourage you in your walk with Christ today!

Monday, December 6, 2010

Free day!



My students can earn a free day by having 5 classes on good behavior. Today, two classes had their free days - and it was so fun to just sit back and watch them! I think I stress myself out too much, trying to make sure they are learning and I am covering all of my teaching standards, and we are all ready for our upcoming art show -- but today, I remembered that they are kids. And, not jsut any kids - but pretty awesome kids with amazing imaginations:) It was good.


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Friday, December 3, 2010

Some special person asked me today, “in my faith journey, is what matters a relationship (with Christ) or a way of life?”

I think Jesus can answer this one best! When the scribes asked Him: "Which commandment is the most important of all?" Jesus answered, "The most important is, 'Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one. And you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.' The second is this: 'You shall love your neighbor as yourself.' There is no other commandment greater than these."– Mark 12:24-31

Jesus says that putting your relationship with God should be first and most important, then loving others – or your “way of life.” From my personal experience, I know that when I choose to put my relationship with God (spending time with Him, allowing Him to LOVE me) first in my life, the Christ-like “way of life” pours out without thinking about it.  I really don’t think there is an exact list of what a Christ-like “way of life” even is - I believe God has designed this world to break and soften our hearts so that He can mold them.

I met a missionary family in Northern Ghana, and their theme I have taken on as my own - "Let Him be Lord." We humans try so hard to plan things out - and say - if I could just do this or be that way - then I would glorify God - but who are we to even begin to think that we are worthy of knowing God's plan – the truth is only God is God and we are not. Our faith journey is a refining process - teaching us to give up intellectualizing and to just simply BE in relationship with our heavenly father, and let Him be Lord of our lives. This looks different in every life – each one according to the Lord's sovereign plan. When we give our journeys back to God, He will bless us with peace, love, and joy - just from BEING with Him. But, remember; the Bible says – it takes FAITH - we will never understand it all - even the wise king Solomon wrote about it:

"...he has put eternity into man’s heart, yet so that he cannot find out what God has done from the beginning to the end." - Ecclesiastes 3:11

So, both living in relationship with God and living out His truth are important - but loving God is first. Making time to receive God’s love is what gives us the ability to love others. So, take some time to get some lovin’ today – so that you can in turn give some lovin’ out!

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Hand Birds!



My class of special friends made birds out of collaged paintings and their own handprint for the tail! They were so cute - I wanted to share:)



 

 

Monday, November 29, 2010

Our call to relate in truth and love

“In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God.” John 1:1-2  And we know “the word” is Jesus Christ from verse 14: “And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we have seen his glory, glory as of the only Son from the Father, full of grace and truth.”

Now, I’m not even going to pretend to fully comprehend all of this – but I am going to offer you my reflections on the fact that these verses clearly state that “in the beginning” there was a relationship. I am amazed to realize that before us humans were even a thought – God the Father and Jesus Christ, the word were together – in relationship with one another.

This whole universe we live in began with one perfect relationship. Can you even imagine what it would be like to be in a “perfect” or sinless relationship??? In a song I have just been introduced to by Phil Wickham (whom I strongly recommend – it’s kind of alternative Christian music – I like it!) His song “Eden” is about human yearning for a perfect relationship with God – wanting to be in Eden with God before the fall – it paints such a beautiful picture of the simple joys of life without sin:

“When the first light brightened the dark
Before the breaking of the human heart
There was You and there was me
Innocence was all I knew
'Cause all I had to know was You
We were running underneath the trees


I wanna see you face to face
Where being in your arms is the permanent state
I want it like it was back then
I wanna be in Eden

I remember how You'd call my name
And I would meet You at the garden gate
How the glory of Your love would shine
And I remember when the stars were young
You breathed life into my lungs
Oh I never felt so alive”

It’s so awesome to think about being in that perfect relationship with someone – and even more with our maker! And – He wants that relationship with us now – it’s just a lot harder with sin in the world. I’ve said this before – but I believe the whole point of our existence is to learn to be in relationship with God.

So, it ALL started with one simple and perfect relationship- and today it is still ALL about relationships. There is so much for us to learn from reading the Bible about the relationship between God the Father and Jesus Christ, His Son – and there is so much for us to learn from relationships we are in today. From reading the Bible, we know that we are called to center our lives, actions, and words around God’s truth. So, let’s take that truth – with a lot of love – into our relationships today!

“Rather, speaking the truth in love, we are to grow up in every way into him who is the head, into Christ, from whom the whole body, joined and held together by every joint with which it is equipped, when each part is working properly, makes the body grow so that it builds itself up in love.” – Ephesians 4:15-16

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Wednesday, November 17, 2010



Today, my “special friends” class created the most amazing fall tree! We made leaves any and every way imaginable:


We did texture rubbings, and water color paints,

We cut and colored on construction paper, we even cut up our finger paintings from last week!

How beautiful our tree was when we put it all together in the hall! While “filling” our tree – I reflected on the change of seasons this Fall - as well as the changes of "seasons" in life.  And - isn't the change refreshing?  How cool is it that God “has made all things beautiful in its time.” (Ecclesiastes 3:11)  But, I am beginning to realize just how quickly the seasons change!  With the seasons speeding up - I’ve realized how mindful I need to be of what I am filling my seasons, days, hours, and minutes with.

Are we just filling our days on Earth with things that will pass the time – things that will just get us through to the next thing? Or – are we making each moment count – and really savoring the good parts? Living in a fallen world – full of suffering and sin – it takes a very conscience effort to focus on the good, and just like Mary, “treasure up all these things, pondering them in (our) heart.” – Luke 2:19

As each leaf was taped to the wall today – I tried to make a conscious and intentional decision about where it would go – how would it relate to the tree, which other branches would come in contact with it. And, I began to pray to be this mindful, this intentional with my everyday decisions -- so that my “tree” will not just have some leaves – but become full of leaves that are, by God’s grace, perfect and beautiful in time.

And God said, "Let the earth sprout vegetation, plants yielding seed, and fruit trees bearing fruit in which is their seed, each according to its kind, on the earth." And it was so. – Genesis 1:11

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

America!

Through all my adjusting back to being in the states – there have been plenty of “highs” and “lows.” The past few weeks have been “highs” in the assimilation process!

Last week, we celebrated Veteran’s Day at our school. The kids invited all their veterans to come out to be honored. It was the sweetest most touching thing ever. Not a dry eye in the house! The choir sang beautifully patriotic and military songs – ending with one where they sang “Thank you” to the veterans attending.

Each student and veteran was called out and walked out to the front of the assembly to give their veteran a medal! It was so precious – and it made me proud to be in America, so thankful for our country, for my community and for my school.
And – now it’s time for Thanksgiving - celebrating cultures colliding in America by spending time with family and friends. Last night, at dinner with my Ghanaian family – I was able to share with them what Thanksgiving was all about. Pretty cool.
So, I praise God for the “highs” in life – for times where we realize our blessings and are content living right inside His will. For we know that we are “filled to be emptied again, the seed I’ve received I will sow.” (Hillsong, Dessert Song) Yes, God blesses so that we can in turn be a blessing.
I hope and pray that this will bless your life – and you will go forward and bless someone else’s life today!

Monday, November 8, 2010

By His Grace

How would the World look if we were able to see it as God does? At church yesterday, one line of a song hit me: “By your grace I see.” God sees us through the blood of Jesus – cleansed, covered, and repaired from our sin. God sees us as perfect according to His good purposes.

What would that even look like? Are we capable of seeing the world through God’s grace? What about seeing ourselves through God’s grace? I have an easier time looking for good in other people – but seeing myself through God’s grace – a gift that I have absolutely not earned – is more difficult for me.

In Psalms 139, David writes:

“Oh Lord, you have searched me and known me!
You know when I sit down and when I rise up;
You discern my thoughts from afar.

 

You search out my path and my lying down
And are acquainted with all of my ways.

Even before a word is on my tongue,
Behold, oh Lord, you know it altogether.”

Yes, God has searched us. Yes, God knows us – He knows the good and the bad. With the good – He rejoices. The bad He covers, forgives and redeems, and I praise Him for that.

Today, I am challenged to try to see myself and the World around me through God’s grace; not perfect, but perfect according to God’s good and perfect plan.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Ghanaians on the Farm!!!!


I invited my Ghanaian family out to our farm this week.  It was so much fun! They had never touched a horse, 


or a pool, or...


Eaten spaghetti!  "Auntie Lauren, how do we eat it?!"  We had to practice twirling our forks to successfully eat the noodles - and they had sauce ALL over them by the end of dinner!



Thank you Jesus for this precious little piece of Ghana in Auburn, Al!

Monday, November 1, 2010

ALL THINGS

Yea, “we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose.” (Romans 8:28) We KNOW God is working through and in all things – but how incredibly awesome is it when you have those moments of reflection – and can so clearly see how God has moved?!?! I mean seriously – how did I even get to travel to Africa last year?

The truth to that is – it all began with a chance encounter at a Publix!


Yes, God used Publix for His good purpose!  My aunt says that in God’s economy - nothing goes to waste. How true that is! God is in the oil pastels,


and crayons and paints in my classroom – allowing my kids to be creative.



God is in all the football stadiums (War Eagle!)


and baseball fields – because He is in ALL THINGS. He created all things for His divine purposes – I love the way the Bible phrases it – God FILLS all things: He who descended is the one who also ascended far above all the heavens, that he might fill all things. Ephesians 4:10

And it's it amazing to realize that we fulfill Him???? That's right, the Bible says it is us, His followers, who are His “fullness.” "And he put all things under his feet and gave him as head over all things to the church, which is his body, the fullness of him who fills all in all." – Ephesians 1:22-23

God has planned and created ALL THINGS for a purpose – including (and probably especially!) US! “Can a man hide himself in secret places so that I cannot see him? declares the LORD. Do I not fill heaven and earth?” – Jeremiah 23:24
I checked older posts - It's cool to look back and remember other times this has been so evident in my life:)http://inspiredbythecreator.blogspot.com/2010/02/in-all-things.html

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Have we confused being “content” with being “lazy?”

I was trying to express how the Africans I was around this past year are able to “live in the moment,” take their time, and enjoy where they are in life (their ability to do this is the affect of a long list of social traditions and spiritual conditions in Ghana) – and the American I was speaking to corrected me and said – “oh, you mean they are lazy.”

Are they??? I’ll admit – there were times when I misunderstood their culture for sheer laziness (and don’t get me wrong – there are inevitably “lazy” people in any culture) – but the longer I was there – the more I understood their “tardiness” and “small talk” (as oppose to rushing around and always thinking about their next appointment) as kindness and community. What we may figure to be laziness – I believe for the most part, is a culture that has learned to be content.

Here in America – we run around, not making the most of each moment of the day – but rather wishing it away. I was comforted to see a man sitting outside of the court house in Opelika the other day – we spoke longer than any other person I came in contact with. Yes, he asked for money – and I was blessed to give him a dollar. Was he “lazy” just sitting there or was he content with his place in life?

While its hard for me to believe that he would be satisfied sitting outside begging each day – many of the people I encountered in Ghana were truly satisfied to work all day just to put food on the table (or in the pot) that night … and then do it again the next day. Now, I don’t want to sound presumptuous – but I don’t think many of us pursuing the “American dream” would find that lifestyle very fulfilling? So - what is the “American dream?” What social traditions and spiritual conditions have influenced it, and what does it look like today?

The “American Dream” is a term first used by James Truslow Adams in his book The Epic of America in 1931. He defined it as "that dream of a land in which life should be better and richer and fuller for everyone, with opportunity for each according to ability or achievement… It is not a dream of motor cars and high wages merely, but a dream of social order in which each man and each woman shall be able to attain to the fullest stature of which they are innately capable, and be recognized by others for what they are, regardless of the fortuitous circumstances of birth or position."

This “American Dream” has changed from a pursuit of equal opportunities for work, to the pursuit of instantaneous wealth and success. We can see this most clearly in our present financial crisis. I can see it also in the children that I teach. Their innate sense of entitlement is frightening. My generation has some of this as well – but these kids see their cell phones and Facebook pages and new Nintendo games – no longer as privileges – but as entitlements. They believe they deserve by their mere existence rights to these things (when it’s the generation that is their grandparents and great grand parents who have worked through the great depression and hardships of World Wars to get us where we are today). We have so much stuff – and we still want more.

So, as always – I am in pursuit of some balance. If we are too content with life – yes – we will become lazy. But if nothing is ever enough – if we are always after something that appears bigger and better, if we are living for the stuff and the titles – our lives will just pass us by – and we’ll miss out on all the good stuff along the way.


"Now there is great gain in godliness with contentment, for we brought nothing into the world, and we cannot take anything out of the world. But if we have food and clothing, with these we will be content. But those who desire to be rich fall into temptation, into a snare, into many senseless and harmful desires that plunge people into ruin and destruction. For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evils." – 1 Timothy 6: 6-10

Not that I am speaking of being in need, for I have learned in whatever situation I am to be content. – Phillipians 4:11

Monday, October 25, 2010

Pop Art :)


Teaching American students all about pop art is a little strange after being away for a while!  My view of American popular culture and our consumer society is a bit out of proportion after being in sub-saharan Africa!!

In class today, we discussed Andy Warhol and other Pop artists from the 1950's who were consumed with STUFF.  We are going to collage a pop art interior - using stuff or pictures of stuff that we use throughout the week.  It should be interesting!

Sunday, October 17, 2010

good enough?

"You are good, you are good, when there is no good in me," began a song at church today.  It felt awesome to proclaim this truth - that God alone is good! 

I continue to encounter people who believe that the point of "all this" (spirituality or religion) is to "become a better person."  And this sounds good on the surface; you know, that Jesus was a great man - and He lived a life we should all try to live - He loved people the way we should love people.

I have a dear friend who has decided to just take from each religion whatever seems to "go together" and accept the similarities as truth.  Aren't we all worshipping the same God anyways?  I mean, Islam, Christianity, and Judaism have so many of the same characters - and it's all about trying to do "good" in this world.   As long as you are praying to "god" and trying to become a "better" person - isn't that the point?

While trying to do "good" is commendable - the Bible is clear that "doing good" misses the point.  The problem with us trying to "do good" - is that we will always fall short.  "For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of the Lord."  (Romans 3:23)  When sin entered the World via Adam and Eve - God immediately killed animals (the first sacrifice) to make clothes for Adam and Eve. Because of the sin - God required of His followers sacrifice as atonement for their sin.  This is practiced throughout the old testament - continuing in the next chapter of Genesis - where Cain and Able bring offerings to God, Noah, the Law of Moses and sacrifices in the temple - all the way up to Jesus. 

"And by that will, we have been made holy through the sacrifice of the body of Jesus Christ once for all." - Hebrews 10:10

Christ died as the ultimate sacrifice for our sins.  We no longer have to sacrifice to be in relationship with God.  So, even though we now have the freedom that comes from Christ's salvation - we are still sinners - we are not saved by doing "good" - we are saved by God's grace alone. 

No, none of us are "good" enough to save ourselves.  Even Jesus declared that God alone is good: "Why do you call me good?" Jesus answered. "No one is good—except God alone." - Mark 10:18, Luke 18:19

I pray that this will speak to your heart - that we can all be still and accept what God has already given to us: salvation.   God has not given us the ability to live a perfect life, or the gift of being "good" - but He has given us the gift of redeeming our sin for His "good" purposes.

"while we wait for the blessed hope—the glorious appearing of our great God and Savior, Jesus Christ, who gave himself for us to redeem us from all wickedness and to purify for himself a people that are his very own, eager to do what is good." - Titus 2:13,14

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Heard this for the first time last week.  SO powerful, if you haven't already heard it - just wait for the last line!


This is my prayer in the desert
And all that's within me feels dry
This is my prayer in the hunger in me
My God is a God who provides


And this is my prayer in the fire
In weakness or trial or pain
There is a faith proved
Of more worth than gold
So refine me Lord through the flames


And I will bring praise
I will bring praise
No weapon forged against me shall remain
I will rejoiceI will declare
God is my victory and He is here


And this is my prayer in the battle
And triumph is still on it's way
I am a conqueror and co-heir with Christ
So firm on His promise I'll stand


All of my life
In every season
You are still God
I have a reason to sing
I have a reason to worship


This is my prayer in the harvest
When favor and providence flow

I know I'm filled to be emptied again
The seed I've recieved I will sow

-"The Desert Song" - Hillsong

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Through the eye of a needle...

Africa transformed my perspective on wealth.  Before Africa, "wealthy" would have meant those who are billionaires.   After Africa - anyone who is able to have food, clothes, and shelter is wealthy.  I posted this fact from the Global Issues website a while ago:

At least 80% of humanity lives on less than $10 a day.

Wow!  That means that I am wealthy.  That means that I am really rich, because I live on ten or a hundred times that much each day.  Since I am now "wealthy," the meaning of this verse has changed:

"How difficult it will be for those who have wealth to enter the kingdom of God!" (Mark 10:23)

Yes, all Americans are "wealthy" - and I believe that our wealth does make it difficult to see our need for God.  But I praise God for what Christ says next, "With man it is impossible, but not with God.  For all things are possible with God." (Mark 10:27)

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

So, in pursuit of balance in my life - I have been marinating on this one verse. It is from Mark – at the beginning of Jesus’ ministry. He had just healed a young girl – and everyone was amazed at what He has done. THEN, “(Jesus) strictly charged them that no one should know this and told them to give her something to eat.” 5:43


(Image is a little off-subject, but inspired by "Glee" last night - which had a very interesting discussion on religion - definitly worth watching - but, did you know there is a whole web site dedicated to "Stuff that Looks Like Jesus?!")

WHAT?! I can not get it out of my mind!!! Jesus was able to heal her – but wasn’t able or chose not to feed her!!! Jesus, who divided loaves and fish enough to feed the five thousand – didn’t just miraculously make her full. He “told them to give her something to eat.” Jesus COULD do anything, because yes, our God is able. But - “What shall we say then? Is there injustice on God’s part? By no means! For he says to Moses, "I will have mercy on whom I have mercy, and I will have compassion on whom I have compassion." So then it depends not on human will or exertion, but on God, who has mercy.” (Romans 9:14-16)

News Flash: God is God, and we are not. Who are we to question God without knowledge and understanding of His ways? (Job 38:2) God has created and is in all things on this Earth. And we know that for those who love God ALL THINGS work together for GOOD. (Romans 8:28) So, yes – God has done the miraculous: He loves us so much that He gave His only Son to die as the atonement for our sin – even when He knew we would continue sinning.

But – He has also given us great gifts to use while we are on Earth: “ALL things that pertain to life and godliness” (2 Peter 1:3), just as He gave the disciples the ability, time, and direction to feed the girl.
I am reminded of a story – (I can not remember where I heard it) about a man on a sinking ship. He was a man of great faith, praying through the storm for God to save Him. He prayed and prayed...
Then, the other men on board found a life raft– they asked the man to come with them as they made it safely to shore, but he said, “No, I’ll wait, God is coming to save me.

When they got to shore, they sent the coast guard out to rescue the man, left praying on the ship. But, when the coast guard arrived and asked him to jump in, he said, “No, God is coming to save me.” So, the coast guard left him.

The man continued to pray earnestly for God to come and rescue him – and a helicopter arrived to take him home, but the man said, “No! I won’t go on the helicopter, God is coming to save me!”
And so – the ship sunk, and the man died, and when he got to heaven, he asked God, “Why didn’t you come to save me???” To which God replied, “I sent the raft, then the boat, and even the helicopter – all you had to do was jump in!”
So, God has saved us, but He has given us the responsibility to choose – all we have to do is jump in…

Friday, October 1, 2010

My "sin shades"

The Bible says that we are all part of an epic spiritual battle here on Earth. “For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places.” (Ephesians 6:12) And – Praise God! through Jesus’ sacrifice, He has prepared us to fight! He has given us our “spiritual armor,” so that we might stand in battle.

Sometimes this spiritual battle is so evident in my daily life, and sometimes I forget. I feel like this world tells me to put on my “sin shades” which look awesome, but make life seem a little grey - so that the battle blends right in with the rest of my life.
In the Old Testament, God pulls off Elisha and his servant’s “sin shades” and allows them to see the spiritual battle that is present around them. The king of Syria brought his army to attack Israel, and there they were - surrounding Elisha’s house! His servant was afraid – but Elisha prayed that God would “open his eyes that he may see.” And his servant saw God’s army – “the mountain was full of horses and chariots of fire all around” (2 Kings 6:17) So, yes, we are fighting a battle. But, no, we are not alone. God is on our side with a mountain full of angels! And, “If God is for us, who can be against us?” (Romans 8:31) And - let me tell you, God is FOR YOU.

So, today, I am taking off my “sin shades,” again and putting on “Godly glasses,” my spiritual armor – which change the World around me from dark and grey – to light and life. My “Godly glasses” bring to light the sin around me, and the spiritual battle that I am fighting. They come from talking to God, and learning the truth, which is revealed to us through the Old Testament prophets, the words and actions of Jesus Christ in the Bible, and now, everyday through the Holy Spirit. And the truth is – God sees this World as a constant battle field. His word brings the battle field to light, and reveals the attacks of the enemy.

Thank you Jesus, for helping me remember to take off my “sin shades” today! The light that we can see only through your truth reveals what needs to change in our hearts today, and fills us with hope for the day when we will see all things clearly: “For now we see in a mirror dimly, but then face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I have been fully known.” 1 Corinthians 13:12

Thursday, September 30, 2010

This is the first grade self-portrait by the cutest, tiniest little first grader here. In class this week, I had to walk him back to his classroom after class, because someone had pushed him down. After we had all discussed what happened and the pusher had to write a note home, this little guy looked up at me, and said, "I would be lucky to have a wife like you."

Oh, the little things that make us smile and keep us going! Hope this makes you smile today:)

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Just a God thing.

So, my Ghanaian family has continued to be a huge blessing!  They are from the Volta region, which is one of the most beautiful parts of Ghana that I was able to visit!  We have been getting together once a week for a cultural dinner!  They are cooking delicious African food for me, and I am TRYING to help them experience some real American food!


They said that they had never tried a cheese burger -- so I took them to Five Guys last week.  The kids loved the fries, but had to be bribed to even try the burger!!! So funny - something that is so ordinary to us - seemed so foreign and scary to them!  And, even while I was demonstrating proper burger-eating technique, they couldn't quite get it! One was eating the burger from the top (without the bun - because the sesame seeds looked scary), and the other only tried one bite with a fork, and only after the cheese was scraped off. Burgers were fun - but I think next week we will eat Alabama-style fried chicken and rice -- I think they will actually eat that!


Of course, the baby would eat anything! Isn't he precious!


And this week, they prepared one of my favorites - Red Red and plantian!!!! MMMmmm.



Thank you Jesus, for this little piece of Africa, right here in Auburn:)