Thursday, May 31, 2007

The Apprentice

School's out for summer! I am so excited about the summer and all God has in store for me. As a part of my degree program I have to do an internship. I have the honor of interning this summer at Prestonwood Baptist Church in the Women's Ministry. I am super excited and have tons to learn! They have lots to keep me busy this summer: Bible studies, a mission trip to El Salvador, a leadership retreat, and the day-to-day ministry responsibilities. I can't wait to share with you all I will learn as I prepare to launch out into women's ministry in the future.

I've discovered that ministering to women is my passion. I am a by-product of one woman, Julie, (pictured above) pouring God's Truth into my life. As a result, I have been changed, and desire to be a change-agent in the lives of other women for the glory of God! The Biblical mandate for women's ministry is found in scripture in Titus 2:3-5:

Older women likewise are to exhibit behavior fitting for those who are holy, not slandering, not slaves to excessive drinking, but teaching what is good. In this way they will train the younger women to love their husbands, to love their children, to be self-controlled, pure, fulfilling their duties at home, kind, being subject to their own husbands, so that the message of God may not be discredited. (NET Bible)

For thousands of years women have been doing 'women's ministry.' It has been recently, within the last 20 years women's ministry has flourished. Churches are understanding the need for a ministry specifically tailored to meet the needs of women in their congregation. So, I am studying how to effectively create a women's ministry from some of the best in Dallas! I am humbled and grateful.

What about you? Do you see a need for women's ministry in your church? Who has been that Titus 2 Woman in your life? Or do you sense God calling you to be that older woman to teach a younger woman the 'how to's' of life? I pray you would consider the mandate for women ministering to women found in Titus 2:3-5. Check back here as I will be posting updates about my internship & sharing tools for effectively ministering to women.

Thursday, May 17, 2007

Goodbye, PCA!

Where does the time go? Nine months ago I wrote a blog entry about the new school year beginning and now it has come to an end. Today was the last day of school as well as the kindergarten graduation (sooo cute) and senior graduation. I remember my high school graduation. I cannot believe it's been 9 years ago! Ugh...I'm getting old.

Another school year down.

This was my fourth year teaching high school Spanish, but I must say, this was my most enjoyable year teaching. I know some people have had bad experiences teaching in private schools, but I loved it. Having small classes made it conducive for better instruction and I had an opportunity to really get to know my students on an individual level. So sweet, those kids!

Any teacher knows we don't do it for the money. Amen? We do it because we love children, we love learning, and we desire to enlighten hope in each our students' lives. But, sometimes it is discouraging, draining. I become doubtful if I am reaching them. My only prayer this year teaching in an all Christian context was to be available for my students in any way they needed me; for my students to see just a glimpse of Christ in me. Many days I left not knowing what they saw...But these last couple of days the cards, hugs, words of gratitude, and smiles made it all worthwhile. It really touched me and ministered to me. Jesus, they actually saw You--in me!

What a God we serve who desires to use us, empty, broken vessels to minister His grace and lovingkindness to others.

I bid my dear students and co-workers farewell. I won't be returning to PCA next year, but I leave with fond memories, a greater love for God, and giving thanks and praise to God for allowing me to minister to others for His name's sake.

Jesus grew in wisdom and in stature among God and men.

Luke 2:52

Monday, May 14, 2007

Migraines, Mother's Day, & Movies

What a weekend! Sometimes I feel like I work harder during the weekend than I do during the week. I truly need a Sabbath rest! But that's a whole other blog entry I'll save for later! First, let me share with you all about my weekend.

My sweet boyfriend has been suffering from headaches for about 9 months now. He finally said, "Enough is enough," and went to the emergency room on Saturday in Louisiana (he was there visiting his mother for mother's day weekend). The doctor has diagnosed him with migraines...I feel so bad for him. I'm just glad that he got a prescription, and now he doesn't have to suffer anymore. The doctor gave him a shot and my boyfriend said that was the best sleep he had ever gotten! I envy him! :) We all need to slow down and listen to our bodies. They were only meant to do so much. So, sweetie if you are reading, take it easy! I was very sad I was not there with him, but I'm glad he at least had his mother there with him.
Another Mother's Day has gone by! Yesterday morning my mom was looking through an old scrapbook I made her. I made her a homemade card this year. Funny how many years after pre-school I am still making her gifts! Remember those days when you would do a finger painting picture for your mom? My mom says gifts that are handmade are the best. I agree!

What a blessing mother's are. I truly think parenting is the hardest job on the planet, but also it is probably the most fulfilling! Yesterday I found myself longing for the day to be a mother. One day, Lord...
My mom and I also went to see the movie Georgia Rule starring Jane Fonda, Felicity Huffman, and Lindsay Lohan. Let's just say it is not appropriate for a young audience. It is rated R. I wish I would have done some more research before I went to see it. The story line was good, but there was a lot of profanity, sexual innuendo, and lewdness. I felt like I needed to repent after watching it! Not to mention it was kind of embarrasing watching it with my mom...
If you can get past all of that, it is a good movie with a good story. It painfully, but beautifully tells the story of the tension between three generations of women--a grandmother, a mother, and a daughter. Indeed the dynamics of all of these relationships do pass down from generation to generation, for good or bad. I know that is true in my family. The movie depicted the reality of our depravity and how sin and brokenness effects people in our family who may or may not even be born yet. It was another reminder how every family has its issues...
I am grateful for a Savior who desires to redeem our families' dysfunction!
All in all, it turned out to be a good weekend, despite my boyfriend's migraines, a happy mother's day for my mom, and a reminder of God's blessing of family at the movies.

Monday, May 07, 2007

Start Compiling your Summer Reading List!

The dog days of summer call for reading lots of great books! I don't know about you, but I love to get some extra leisure reading in. I wanted to share a couple of books with you I have read to perhaps add to your reading list:

Rumors of another World, by Phillip Yancey

This is a great, great, great read! It includes the author's thoughts of how clues from this world speak of another world beyond what we see. If we are not careful, we will miss those clues, and in essence miss the beauty, mystery, and enjoyment of God. I read it this semester in my Eschatology class & it may be one of the best books I've read in a while. I highly recommend it!

Spirit of the Rainforest, by Mark Ritchie

Intriguing, suspenseful, and eye opening! This book will leave you amazed at the depth of the Father's heart to reach all peoples and all nations with the Gospel. This book is by a sociologist who travels into the Amazonian jungle and observes the culture of the indigenous people. I read this in my Anthropology class last semester.

Books I plan on reading this summer:

Blue Like Jazz, by Donald Miller

Sacred Marriage, by Gary Thomas

I'll let you know here on my blog how they turn out. What about you? What books have you read lately that you enjoyed or what do you plan on reading this summer?

Tuesday, May 01, 2007

Funny as hell?

Why do people use that saying? I confess I've said it and of course, I have heard it dozens upon dozens of times that someting is 'funny as hell.' I have never stopped and really given thought to that saying though...until today in my Eschatology (study of the end times) class.

In fact, we have a number of sayings in our language and culture we use with the motif of 'hell' in them. For example:
  • "When hell freezes over..."
  • "People in hell want ice water..."
  • "Go to hell..."
  • "That's one hell of a..."
  • And many more
My prof began the class by playing an array of popular songs about hell. Many of the songs were not somber, sad songs, but upbeat. What irony! The common theme in each song depicted an attitude of mocking hell and death. We as humans tend to mock that which we are afraid of. It keeps us from having to face reality, face our fears, face our God.

The reality is, hell is not very funny at all.

I wish it weren't so, but hell is real. Hell is a place reserved for the wicked, a place where there will be 'weeping and gnashing of teeth,' the Bible describes. "Should we not already begin to weep at the very prospect?" says theologian John R.W. Stott. People you and I know may be seperated from God in hell if they do not repent and confess Christ as Savior. So, why do we mock it? Why do we laugh? As my prof said this morning, "I believe hell is going to be a hell of a lot worse than we can ever imagine." (No pun intended)

As a Christian, I should not perpetuate the mocking the world does at the thought of hell. To do so is to buy into the notion that, 'hell doesn't exist, therefore, let's poke fun at it.' I believe God's heart does ache at the thought of the evil and wickedness of men's hearts who will not repent and come unto Him. If our hearts are to be aligned with the Lord's, then our hearts should be burdened for those who will spend an eternity in hell too.

I can hear you saying, "But, what about Jeffrey Dahmer, Ted Bundy, Adolf Hitler? Don't they deserve hell?"

My answer is yes, they do deserve hell. But so do I, and so do you. God does not seperate, as we humans do, degrees of sin. Sin is sin...unrighteousness is unrighteousness. Romans 3:23 says all have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God. Thank God for His saving grace through Jesus that saves us not only from eternal hell, but hell on earth! (Although we will suffer in this world, having Christ see us through our suffering is our hope)

Every once in a while, we Christians should give ourselves the opportunity to feel the realness of is no laughing matter.

"I long that we could in some small way stand in the tearful tradition of Jeremiah, Jesus and Paul. I want to see more tears among us [Christians]. I think we need to repent of our nonchalance, our hard-heartedness." John R.W. Stott