Friday, December 31, 2010

Lady of Diligence

In chapter 2 of Kendall & Jone's Lady in Waiting, we read about using our time wisely as singles.
Ephesians 5:15-17: "Be very careful, then, how you live - not as unwise but as wise, making the most of every opportunity, because the days are evil. Therefore do not be foolish, but understand what the Lord's will is."

John Fischer says: "God has called me to live now. He wants me to realize my full potential as a man right now, to be thankful about where I am, and to enjoy it to the fullest. I have a strange feeling that the single person who is always wishing he were married will probably get married, discover all that is involved, and wish he were single again! He will ask himself, 'Why didn't I use that time for the Lord when I didn't have so many other obligations? Why didn't I give myself totally to Him when I was single?"

Ladies, why sit home in your lonesome, sad selves and wait for Mr. Right to call? Can't you see that God wants to use you in this pivotal moment of your life? Stop wasting your time and do what God is calling you to do! We are so busy being pitiful and feeling sorry for ourselves - then hoping a guy will notice it and love us for our pain! Stupid! We are better than that!
I think of that episode of the Gilmore Girls where Rory is sitting home alone on a Saturday night, waiting for Jess to call - who claims "now that I have you, I don't have to go to stuff with you. I already won your heart." BOZO! Rory is sitting on the couch of her living room when her mother calls and asks her why in the world she is home on a Saturday night. Then goes on commanding her to get off the couch, get away from the phone and go out and do something. Rory then realizes she shouldn't base her life around a guy, exclaims a hearty "Thanks mom!" then slams the phone down and gets up to find her friend, Lane.
I absolutely love this scene, because it shows that girls don't need a guy to define them. 

When we look at Ruth in the Bible, she has just been widowed and what does she do? Doesn't feel sorry for herself - instead she goes with her mother-in-law, and serves her. She lets God use her for good. If Ruth just sat around and felt bad for herself-hoping some other prince charming came by to see her in distress, how would she truly benefit from that? Sure she picked up a guy, but for her weakness...? C'mon, are far better than that. Be strong! Learn from trials and pick yourselves up. Stop pining.

When are we going to learn that guys don't satisfy? "Life is satisfying only when you diligently serve the Lord, whatever your circumstances." If you are living a life of sadness and pity, then find a guy- it won't be happily ever after, like the movies. It might be happy for the first few days or even weeks, but you'll start putting expectations on your husband that only God can supply. Not fair to God or your husband. Why do you think there is so much divorce?
Figure out who you are as a woman of God BEFORE putting another person in your life. This is a big "DUH". You can't be defined by someone will end horribly.

Richard Foster states: "If all of our serving is before others, we will be shallow people indeed." Pin It

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Lady of Reckless Abandonment

So I've been so inspired by this book by Jackie Kendall and Debby Jones called "Lady in Waiting: Becoming God's Best While Waiting for Mr. Right". I'm learning to become strong in Christ before adding another person to my life or worrying about finding a partner and letting God bring me the right person. He knows what we need and what we're going to need in life, so why not let Him send Mr. Right?
The first chapter is about "Being a Lady of Reckless Abandonment". Kendall and Jones tell us how in Jesus' time a lady would receive an alabaster box full of precious ointments from her family. The day a man would come and ask her for her hand in marriage, she would accept by smashing her alabaster box for him to show her honor.
It takes a young woman to smash her alabaster box for Jesus in order to give up her dreams and fantasies about guys for what Jesus can bring to her.
We need to realize as women, that NO ONE will ever give us the satisfaction that God can, not even the man we'll marry someday. When we decide to recklessly abandon everything we want, and give it over to the plans of what Jesus wants for us, the adventure is just as, if not more exciting.
Imagine if girls were to put all the time and energy they would into a boyfriend into their walks with God? First of all, we'd be a lot happier now, and a lot happier in the end, because that is when we start to realize we will never get the same happiness from a guy that only God can provide. In the long run, when we're married and with a husband, the relationship is more likely to be successful, because we know that we can't expect our guys to give us that satisfaction. It's not fair to them or God.
So be a lady of reckless abandonment. Screw what the American culture says about finding a man, or jumping from guy to guy until you can tolerate one. Instead, give God a try. He knows the desires of your heart and He knows what you need now and later. Give up your fantasies to Him, your dreams to Him and your relationships to Him. See what adventures he can take you on. You won't regret it. Pin It

Friday, December 24, 2010

When Dreams Die

There's nothing like being told how you will live the rest of your life.
It was just another yearly cardiologist appointment when I learned that my dreams just might not come true. I had been on many trips as my rising passion was for traveling and missions. Virginia, Kentucky, Washington DC, and most recently to Jamaica, where I truly fell in love with other cultures. Scoping out my next destination, I began looking at Covenant Bible College in Ecuador. How amazing would it be to learn about missions in a place like that? I began making plans for it and even applied. I talked to friends who had been to school there, and they encouraged me to go, knowing I would take a lot from my experiences there.
Literally four months later, I sat in the doctor's office, listening to the blunt truth from my cardiologist. Traveling to 3rd world countries wasn't the greatest of ideas for a person with my condition. He also went into many other straight-forward analysis about my future, such as not being able to have kids or living past 40. At 20 years old, I felt like my life was over. How could I live a life without living out my passion for 3rd world missions and cultures, let alone not being able to provide a family later? I spent the next weeks in depression, not able to fathom what was next for me.
Later that summer, the Dominican team had returned from one of their trips, and shared with the congregation. They showed pictures of their working and of the people they shared with there. I sat next to one of the people who went on that trip, Gene McClellan, and he leaned over and said "Ashley, you would do amazing on one of those trips." I wasn't only stunned by his words, but something had been set aflame within me again. I couldn't even explain it. Gene had no clue what my doctor had told me. No one but I had.
I decided to write my name on the list for the next trip, allowing God to do what He wanted with it.
Before I knew it, I was on a plane to the Dominican with 25 other people from our church, not knowing what to expect. God had provided the money for my trip, and I really didn't understand how it had all come together, but it had. I would have been in Ecuador at this time, but instead God had some other plans for me.
Upon the conclusion of our trip, I realized that I was more than capable to do missions work here, because God endorsed it.
Now my passion for the community of Los Alcarrizos is strong, and God continues to use me there. I found out a month after our trip that CBC, the school in Ecuador that I was looking at attending, had shut it's doors. God had sent me a huge message - that He had better plans for me, and that He would provide my dreams. His plan was far greater than what I had in mind. I'm so close to the people I've been on trips with, and I'm more passionate about missions than I've ever been. I know God still has a bright future for me.
God won't let your dreams die; He'll just show you the ones He has in mind for you. They are far better. Pin It

Sunday, December 12, 2010


I feel like a lifeboat. I try to take on everyone's problems, worries, needs, yet I can only hold so much. I don't get to hang out with the friends I used to hang out with. Relax in the same way I used to. My writing has stunk because finding the time to focus on it is nonexistent. I'm on the brink of burnout.
Lifeboats can sink too, you know. Pin It

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

"I'm Not Called"

Many times I hear people say “outreach is just not my calling”. There’s a reason we have an “outreach team” to do all the outreach, right?
Well, as much as people think this team is the one to go out and help others next door, in another state, or overseas, that’s not how it works. Let me explain:
I have been reading this book Radical by David Platt. There are many thoughts on how we have “Americanized” everything about the Bible and God’s Word. When we are called to do missions in all nations, we may say “Oh, well, God isn’t talking to ME in that verse”. Yet when Jesus says “Come to Me all who are weary,” we tend to say “now He’s talking to me”. However, where in the Bible does it say that God’s Word has stipulations? Where does it say “if your name is Joe, you do this”, or “if your name begins with an R, you are excluded from doing this?” It doesn’t! That is the point. When we are called to do outreach, we are ALL called to do outreach! Here, in the next state, in the next country, wherever!

People might say, “what about the needs right here in America?” Well this is all fine and well if you are actually doing something here. Sometimes we need to be taken out of our element to really see what needs to be done in our element. For example, when I went to the Dominican Republic, and saw the houses that were practically flat on the ground with parts falling off, I came home and realized we have places just like that here too. I wasn’t able to truly see it until I was brought to the Dominican and formed a heart for really taking notice to people and their situations. When you are snapped into a reality of our world, that is when people tend to do something about it.
So, now what? I’m not suggesting you should go move overseas. However, our hearts should be focused on expanding the Kingdom to the people of ALL nations. This is the Great Commission after all. The point is, must we insist on only taking the Great Commission as far as we “feel like it”?
We need to start realizing that the Bible in it’s entirety is for EVERYONE. We need to take Jesus seriously and the things He calls us to do.
We have one life, One God, and One Commander; what are you going to do with it?
Check out David Platt’s book Radical. This has truly been an inspiration to me! Pin It