Sunday, November 9, 2008

God's Promises

A couple of weeks ago I saw a rainbow. I've seen plenty of rainbows in my life, but this one was different. This time I didn't just see the colors and shape, I saw God's promises. Too often I think we look at things and look past their true meaning. God sent a rainbow to remind Noah of his promise to never flood the earth again. When you think about it rainbows come after the rain, even during the rain sometimes. I think God is so cool, because He knows exactly when we need to be reminded of His promises. When the sun is shining and things are great, we aren't really looking for promises. But during the rain, we are looking but cannot always see them.

I am in middle of a pretty scary season in my life. I recently found out that all the pain that I have been having for the past six months is caused my a lack of development in my shoulders. The doctor said that there are parts of my shoulders that are only as developed as a seven-year-old's. In the midst of all the pain, I lost sight of God's promises for my life. Well not so much that I forgot, but I couldn't stay focused on them. They didn't seem possible. I stopped dreaming. I started going over my list of God's promises and wanted to start crossing things out. Then I saw the rainbow. And I remembered even though things may not go as I have planned, they will go exactly as God has planned. He knows the deepest desires of my heart and I know His promises are true. I believe God promises for my life are so true and will come to be when God is ready to reveal them. Not when I feel I need to see them or have them. Not when I think time's running out.

"What's more, I am with you, and I will protect you wherever you go. One day I will bring you back to this land. I will not leave you until I have finished giving you everything I have promised you." Genesis 28:15 (New Living Translation)

So the next time you see a rainbow, take a moment and remember God's promises.

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Dare to Risk

OK, so if you read Gary's blog, you already know that I got my nose pierced yesterday. Gary did a great job of randomly tying in my nose piercing to life, but rather than leave a long comment on his blog I decided to blog about my life and how my nose piercing ties in. So here it is ...

We live in a world that is full of risks. We can take risks with our finances at a casino. We can take risks with our health by eating at any of the multiple fast food restaurants spread across the U.S. We can take risks with our personal lives by interacting with random strangers online at any given time. We can take risks with our lives by exceeding speed limits and driving without our seat belts. Some of you may think I acted on stupidity by piercing my nose. I like to think I took a risk.

You see I have always been the predictable, dependable girl. The one who always makes wise and good decisions. The who takes few risks. That is until yesterday. For as long as I can remember, Christianity has been about good decisions and few risks for me. Loving God meant knowing what I could and couldn't do. It was about rules and reasons, not risks.

In the past few years I feel I have grown more spiritually than ever before. And because of the growth, I am learning that Christianity and loving God means taking risks. It means jumping on any impulse that God puts on my heart. It means talking to a stranger about God's freedom. It means working everyday for him even if there is no financial security. It means loving without fear. It means standing up for what I believe. It means believing in His plan for my life. It means acting now, instead of hoping he will still make a way later. It means loving where he has me at, and not focusing on where I could go.

All that to say my nose piercing is a visual and permanent reminder to me that life is about taking risks. Some of those risks result in amazing opportunities. And others result in huge scars. Either way, a life without risks means living a life full of dreams, instead of living your dream life.

Thursday, May 1, 2008

Present Peace

It's been almost a month since we've been in Nicaragua and God is still revealing things to me. We experienced some amazing things the week we were there. God showed up in the church services, in our silly dramas, and even in our ridiculous dances (all I'm gonna say is "It sure is hot out here!" LOL). I'm always blown away by how God moves in people's hearts during a missions trip. I still remember the first trip I ever went on to Barbados(it wasn't as exotic as it sounds, we were really roughin' it for Jesus). I remember the faces of the people and children like it was yesterday. I always walk away from each trip with a greater sense of God's peace. A peace that constantly builds upon itself. Just when I think I couldn't experience any greater peace, God gives me more. Especially in specific areas of my life. There are so many experiences that God has introduced new peace into my life. For example, I never imagined I could feel peace gliding across a zip line thousands of feet above the ground, but I did. (With the help of my guide, Rambo!)

I was thinking about that and then I was reading this morning that "to experience peace, we must be feeding our relationship with God." Then I read "you can't retain peace in the present by relying on a relationship from the past." It became clear to me that we experience more peace, when we experience more of God. Our relationship with him is a journey. Peace is not a one-stop drop or similar to something we'd order from fast food drive through. God's peace is continual. It's just up to us, how deep and how often we experience it. We need to be open to experience all that he has for us. We need to be willing to keep our relationship with him in the present.

Monday, April 21, 2008

God's Timing

Well I figured I'm due for another blog, so here it goes ...

A couple of weeks ago, I was able to be a part of our first mission trip for C3 church. We went to Nicaragua. It was an amazing trip. I am even more amazed by God's timing. I was able to spend a week in a foreign country with one of my closest friends, two amazing mentors (that's you gary and konan), many new friends, and a beautiful little girl named Hannah (who's in the picture). I could have never imagined God would bring us all together for one week in Nicaragua!

I met Hannah and her mother Cathy about a year or so ago in Columbus. They were here because a missionary had made contact with a doctor at Children's to operate on Hannah. She has a trach and was brought to Columbus for surgery. Her mother left her husband and other daughter behind, as she traveled to country where she didn't know the language or anyone, all in the hopes to hear her daughter's sweet voice for the first time. The missionary had contact my friend Janelle, who worked at the District office with me, to see if she could help Cathy and Hannah while they were here. Janelle is amazing translator and was able to help Cathy tremendously. I can speak a little spanish (si, si), but not enough to communicate with Cathy and Hannah or at least I thought.

Janelle and I took turns staying with Cathy night and day at the hospital, while Hannah had her surgery. They tried several times to remove her trach, but she had become so used to breathing through her neck that she was unable to to adapt to breathing through her mouth and nose. In the end the doctor decide to replace her trach with a smaller one in hopes that as she grew older she would be able to adapt better without it.

As sad as it seemed to see them leave and Hannah still have the trach, I knew God had something amazing in store for her. I remember how hard it was to say goodbye to them. For months I had spent everyday with them and to think I may never see them was hard. But I knew that I didn't give my time and open my heart up to them out of obligation or appreciation. The time I spent with them was out of love. Love for God's children. We love because we can. Not because we should. I love Hannah because before she's anything, she's God's child.

I can't really describe how it felt to see her again. She is a beautiful, beautiful child. Cathy said she may be coming back to Ohio to try the surgery again some time this year. I can't wait. I am praying the next time I see her, I will be able to hear her sweet little voice.

My point to all this is you never know how and when God will use you or others to show His love. We just need to be open and ready, because if we are there's no telling how or when God will use us. After all He brought a child from Nicaragua into my life and took me there for her!

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Share God's Love

As a part of a Better BeckE in 08, I've decided to evaluate and in some cases change the way I view things and people in my life. For example, let's take today. For those of you who weren't aware (not sure who you are) today is Valentine's Day. It's the wonderful Hallmark holiday our society has created to make sure we tell others how much we love them. I've never understood why we need a specific day, because if we love someone shouldn't they know it already? Shouldn't we tell them we love them more than just one day out of the year?

If you can't tell already, I've never really been a big fan of Valentine's Day. In the past I always looked as it as a day to remind me of what I didn't have. There was no gorgeous man waiting for me to get home to eat this elaborate meal he cooked me (yes I need a man who can cook. I appreciate food, not so much cooking it, as I do eating it, ha). There was never a secret admirer who would send me endless amounts of flowers, (which I must say I'm OK with. I'd much rather have the chocolates and home-cooked meal. I never really understood the fascination with flowers because they just wilt and die.) My point is: Valentine's has never been my favorite day of the year because I was trying to make it about something it's not.

So I've decided to change the way I look at Valentine's Day. Society says it's about relationships we have with others, but I've decided to make it about the relationship I have with God. Today isn't the day for me to remind everyone that I love how important they are to me, instead it should be about sharing God's love with them and yes, even to strangers. Today is a day for us, as Christ-followers, to show the world love isn't an emotion, as much as it is an action.

Take as many chances as you can today to share God's love. Buy a stranger a cup of coffee. Let a car pass you and don't get annoyed even if they do cut you off. Call your grandma and tell her you love her. Send a letter to an old friend. Take time today to share God's love. Because today is about love, just not as society says it should be. It's not about the love we don't have, as much as it is about the love that we have.

"We don't yet see things clearly. We're squinting in a fog, peering through a mist. But it won't be long before the weather clears and the sun shines bright! We'll see it all then, see it all as clearly as God sees us, knowing him directly just as he knows us! But for right now, until that completeness, we have three things to do to lead us toward that consummation: Trust steadily in God, hope unswervingly, love extravagantly. And the best of the three is love."
1 Corinthians 13:12-13

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Better BeckE in '08

Ok, so I've been inspired to start a campaign. Maybe it's all the politics in the news. Maybe it's the fact it's election year. Maybe it's the fact the State of Union was on last night. Or maybe it's the Mexican food I had yesterday kicking in. Regardless of the cause, I'm off and running. Here's the slogan: "A Better BeckE in '08!" Pretty clever, huh? Well I can't actually take credit for it, G. Fowler made it up the other day and it just stuck.
I got to thinking, what if we all spent about half as much time into making ourselves better, as we do complaining about what's wrong with everyone else. I am sure the main reason is we never like to think we are that bad. There's always someone worse, right? Not to mention it's always easier to tell someone how to fix themselves rather than make changes ourselves. Hey, there's my platform. "It time for a Change!"
Although there may not be too many people who would support that. I mean there are plenty of people out there who say "It's Time for a Change," but in actuality they won't stand up for change. Think about it. This year there could possibly be a woman on the ballot when we go to vote, but how many people do you think that's all they were pushing for. I'm not so sure America is ready to be lead by a woman, but I do believe there are a lot of people who are ready to make it look like they are. Ok think about it this way, how many of us say or even believe we need to lose a few pounds, but when it comes down to getting out of bed a little bit earlier or changing our meal habits we question if it's really worth it. It sounds good, but doesn't always feel so good. It's so true and I'm tired of it.
That's what this campaign is all about ... making changes that last. Making changes that last longer than a dozen of hot fresh donuts! (any other mouths watering?) I want to stop saying the changes are coming, but actually start working on them. It's not going to easy and maybe that's the problem. I think too often we forget that anything worth anything is never easy. We just expect things to be and that's where the complaining comes in. More importantly that's where the CHANGE needs to happen.
So will you join me in my campaign? What is it about you that needs to change? Are you willing to make the change or will you just keep complaining?
This ad has been sponsored by C3 Church. The place where dreams begin and changes are made!

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Warning: I'm Back!

Well after taking a few months off, I'm back to blogging! I just couldn't take all the hounding from my fans (both of them have just been driving me crazy about returning to the blogging world, ha,ha).

Blogging is the one thing that should be easy for me, but that's not always the case. I mean I love to write. I know it is a great gift God has blessed me, but at the same time I always feel I have to write something profound and long. I feel since it's a gift it's my job to use it effectively. But I am learning that if God blesses us with gifts then it's only our job to use them, he will supply the meaning. Afterall, how effective is a gift if you never use it.

So as I set my personal growth plan for this year, I vow to make blogging a part of it. I will also do my best to try not to get caught up in the details of what I write about and just write. So you've been warned!