Thursday, December 30, 2010

Looking Forward.

The norm this time of year may be to blog “reflections” of 2010, to talk about all the neat things we said, did, and witnessed in the past year. But, I am honestly so excited about the things God will do in 2011 that, today, I just want share some of those with you.

iMiTATORS  This is the High School drama team at our church. My heart swells with love for these teens; they are amazing, talented and fun to work with. I am excited about the opportunities that await this team as they minister both in our church and in other churches.  We begin practicing the second Sunday in January, and will incorporate some new members at that time.  Several of the team members are seniors and I am sad to see them move on, but excited to see them mature into God-honoring adults. I pray that the team will first and foremost grow in discipleship and love for God and one another. I pray that this group would live by their convictions and not bend them. I pray that God will open wide doors for them to share the good news of Christ through drama.

Honduras. Words cannot even begin to express the emotions that are conjured up when I think of this! For those of you who don’t know, Stephen and I have been on several mission trips to this country. Honduras and the people there have an enormously special place in my heart. 
Oscar and me. 2006.

Sharing the Evangecube at a school. 2008.

Stuffing a "Jesus Bear." 2008.
Every child in this school got a new pair of shoes. 2010.
Stephen sharing bubbles. 2008.

I remember in April of 2009, when we came to FBC Vidalia in view of a call, sharing about our trips to Honduras. I felt God say that one reason he was bringing us to FBC Vidalia was to organize an international mission trip. I did not assume that we would get to go to Honduras, but secretly hoped so. However, I am thrilled that Pastor Tommy Johnson and the International Mission Builders would work with us to allow us this opportunity. Our team of 16 will spend July 30th - August 5th sharing Christ in Honduras. God has already shown himself in our planning of this trip! From an overwhelming response from interested church members to anonymous donors, God has confirmed that he is in this thing! I ask that you would continue to pray for financial obligations to be met. I also ask that you would pray that God would lead two more men to take this trip with us!

Marriage.  In 2011, Stephen and I will celebrate 5 years of marriage. Wow. Time has flown by; I still feel like a newlywed. J 

It is exciting to think of all the things God has done with us and through us in the past five years.  We married young, in college. We knew from the day we met that God’s calling on our lives would mean giving up some of our personal dreams. However, we have never looked back.  I pray that God would give me the ability to be a better wife in 2011. I want to be a better helpmate that willingly puts my husband’s needs above my own.  I pray that the Holy Spirit would empower me to grow in lovingness, submissiveness, and humbleness.

There are so many other things I look forward to in 2011: running the Austin Half Marathon, my second year of teaching, conceiving a baby, and all the unexpected things God will do. There is no doubt that God is going to do great things. I am eager to be grown and used by him in 2011.

Monday, December 20, 2010

Tough Question

There are some questions that are just tough. And, before you continue reading, let me preface by saying this may be difficult to read for some of you. If you read this and think I sound heartless or heretical, please talk to me privately and I would love to share more in-depth about my thoughts.

Where do infants go when they die? 

What a difficult question this is, and one I had not really wrestled with until experiencing a miscarriage. I wasn't experiencing anguish or anxiety over this question, but it has always been just one of those gray areas in my theology. I always try to remind myself that my theological convictions cannot be defined by what "feels" or "seems" right. So, naturally, I did some research (and still need to do more).  But, I must be honest, I really did not come to a concrete conclusion. I also came across some blogs on the topic. As one said, "Can God save them? I believe He can. Does He? I will not answer that for Him."  However, it was another comment I read that quite literally gave me goosebumps and brought me to tears at the same time. This commenter very eloquently put into words the conclusion (or lack of one) I reached. He said:

"There is little that brings me more joy than thinking of my first child worshiping the risen Christ in heaven. On the other side, there is little that brings me more anguish than thinking of the other alternative........... I do not have a certain answer to the question. I still have not landed on any answer with any certainty. 

What I am certain of, though, is God's ultimate goodness. While I do not understand the particular purpose for the particular death of my child, I do know/trust/believe that God's design is perfect and that Christ will be magnified through it. So, I rejoice that the death of my child was designed to bring about the display of the [Glory] of God. As I stated in the beginning, there is little that brings me more joy than thinking of my first child worshipping the risen Christ in heaven. The one thing that does bring me more joy is the display of the [Glory] of God. "

So, I believe that no matter what the answer may be to this tough question, God is good and will bring Glory to Himself through it. 

And what else really matters?