Thursday, August 6, 2015

My Story in the Words of David

Oh the amazing power of scripture! When I read the following in my quiet time this morning, I could so relate to the words of David:
Psalm 71: 17-24

You got me when I was an unformed youth,
    God, and taught me everything I know.
Now I’m telling the world your wonders;
    I’ll keep at it until I’m old and gray.
God, don’t walk off and leave me
    until I get out the news
Of your strong right arm to this world,
    news of your power to the world yet to come,
Your famous and righteous
    ways, O God.
God, you’ve done it all!
    Who is quite like you?
You, who made me stare trouble in the face,
    Turn me around;
Now let me look life in the face.
    I’ve been to the bottom;
Bring me up, streaming with honors;
    turn to me, be tender to me,
And I’ll take up the lute and thank you
    to the tune of your faithfulness, God.
I’ll make music for you on a harp,
    Holy One of Israel.
When I open up in song to you,
    I let out lungsful of praise,
    my rescued life a song.
All day long I’m chanting
    about you and your righteous ways,
While those who tried to do me in
    slink off looking ashamed.

The Message
Oh the love of God who loves me and has a plan for me! 
This is what I want for my epitaph: 
Galations 1:24 And they were glorifying God because of me.

Sunday, August 2, 2015

1st Sewing Party for the Ladies of South Sudan

I'm pleased to report that we had a successful 1st Sewing Party at Shandon Baptist Church Thursday, July 30! We had 15 sewing machines running and more than 30 people participating--including grandmas, moms, college students, youth, and some well-behaved little ones! This doesn't even count the 1/2-dozen or more ladies who have been pre-cutting fabric for our event.
We made more than 100 freedom pads for the ladies of South Sudan! With all the ones completed at home and finishing up the ones started at the Sewing Party, we now have nearly 200 completed!  Here are the pics from the event:












 



Sunday, July 12, 2015

Ordinary People

One of the things I love about this summer ladies Bible study is getting to meet and get to know other believers. God is at work in all of our lives in different ways--and sharing all that He is doing is exciting and motivating!

In our On Mission With God Study (Willis/Blackaby), we have been learning about Moses. Moses insisted on holding on to his fear of speaking. God wanted to use Moses directly, but Moses wouldn't agree. He made excuses to God. (p. 63) But this is what we can learn from his experience:
"In His Grace He has decided He will use ordinary people through whom He will do extraordinary things--so that He will get the glory. God is looking for a people who will give Him the glory!"
and this:
"When God calls people, He does not seek leaders--because He is the Leader. He seeks servants who will follow."

This Friday, I was able to go to lunch with the sweet and wonderful lady who is following God's leading to create the feminine pads for ladies in Africa. Dana Cassell lives in Chapin, SC, and we talked all about helping women in empoverished nations and using this tool to show them God's love. Her heart is for the people of Zimbabwe. The hours and hours spent sewing, organizing, helping, and serving others to bring glory to Him is a beautiful picture of what He can do with our lives if we are willing to be ordinary people serving Him.
Here is a video of Dana explaining how the LuoPads are helping women.

The Vision Behind LuoPads from GAiNUSA on Vimeo.
(Here is the link to it: https://vimeo.com/gainusa/luopads)

And that is why I am posting on social media and telling all friends to please donate FLANNEL (old pjs, holey & stained worksheets, sheets) to support a ladies sewing project for S. Sudan.
"God never just works with one individual when He is on mission. Not Moses. Not you. He uses individuals to influence His people to be on mission with Him." (p. 69)


Friday, July 10, 2015

Confessions from a ProKristinator

"God's invitation for you to work with Him always leads yout a crisis of belief that requires faith and ACTION." (p. 60)

When planning for this ladies' Bible study this summer, I had lots of ideas to implement--including us spending time praying for and writing to the missionary partners of Shandon Baptist.  The opportunity came to send Devotional CD's from Lifeway to all of our partners from the church.
Good news. Bad news. We have STARTED writing some cards--thanks to Shawn N. and Jenny K. But it has been several weeks, and I haven't put effort into writing or praying specifically for these missionaries based on their letters in the Shandon On Mission newsletter. I'm procrastinating in the same way of having to write Thank You's or a term paper.
Last night, I even cleaned the entire kitchen so as to not have to sit down at the table to start writing! Perhaps confessing my proKristination can open the door for accountability from my ladies group.
I think the Lord wants to teach me to pray for them and send them written support. Time to get my rear in gear and get this done!

Wednesday, July 8, 2015

God is Always at Work Around You

"God is at work in my life because He has an eternal mission and wants to uniquely involve me in His purpose." (Willis/Blackaby p. 56)
"God will use events and people around you to open your eyes to what He is determined to accomplish." (p. 57)

Our assignment (p. 57) is to "Jot down an instance in the past 24 hours when you saw, read, or thought about some other part of the world or about the world's lost, distraught, suffering peoples that you think God may be using to get your attention."

This is the purpose of this blog--to contemplate and reflect on what how God is inviting me to become involved with Him in His work.  I am leading a group of ladies in this Bible study, and asking them to be On Mission, too.  I think it is appropriate to invite them to add their own blogs and comments because part of MY MISSION is to help them experience THEIR OWN MISSION.

How are YOU experiencing God this week? What do you believe He is saying to you?


Monday, July 6, 2015

God's Invitation to Your Spouse is Addressed to Both of You

Yep, it's true. In On Mission With God today, we studied Sarah and her relationship with God and Abraham. Bottom line:
God's Invitation to Your Spouse is Addressed to Both of You.
So what is my man up to? Shipping supplies to South Sudan to enable the Christians to do their work more effectively. Through donations to Samaritan's Purse, various hospital supplies in the form of linens, towels, scrubs, gowns, and sheets were piled into 28 boxes on 4 pallets. Jim arranged for the boxes to be delivered to Shandon Baptist so they could be sorted and repackaged for specific ministries in South Sudan. We worked from 1:30-5:00 pm, but didn't quite finish. We'll be back at it next Monday to finish it up.




Sunday, July 5, 2015

More Blessed to Give

When I was a little girl, I often went to spend the night with my wonderful grandmother, Mamamarge.  We had a special bond.
Image: Gates BBQ w/ Mamamarge in 2010
Mamamarge loved the Lord. Each morning, she had her quiet time and prayed for each of us grandkids. She was devoted to her church in the inner city of Kansas City: Linwood United--which was made up of several congregations that had fallen in on themselves over the years due to white flight. Mamamarge was a lasting sentinal from Linwood Presbyterian. She was dedicated to integration.
Mamamarge had the spiritual gift of GIVING.  And boy did she live this out loud and clear. If I spent the night with her on a weekend, she would have me help her make something special like cinnamon rolls, chili, or soup. After services on Sunday morning, we would go visit a Shut-In. Mamamarge always had a gift in hand. Two of my favorite shut-ins to visit were Winifred Yeater, who was crippled with cerebal palsey and Mrs. Davis, my preschool Sunday school teacher (who gave us graham crackers--yes, I remember!). Here's the inscription of the Bible given in 1948 to Gladford and Marjorie Allen from their Sunday school class, The Homebuilders:


"Good morning, God, I love You. What do you have in mind for me for today?
 I want to be a part of it." 
--Mamamarge's morning prayer
In my On Mission with God study this week, I've been studying Abraham and his mission of raising a great nation to be a blessing to all families in the earth. We were given the task of stating how God has blessed us spiritually. Without question, the Godly influence of Mamamarge has been paramount to my spiritual foundations. Oh, how I miss not being able to call her in the middle of the day or night to ask her to pray for me for something I was facing! She passed away in 2012--at 99 1/2.
Passing on the Giving Blessing. So now I am married to a wonderful man and have a 16-year-old son at home. For as long as I have known Jim, he has been growing sweet corn and giving it away to family and friends as a blessing. He makes sure to take a pick-up load to the church to give to pastors and employees. As his wife, I've joined him in this endeavor--but it really is his heartbeat and joy. He won't let anyone pay him for it, either. He just wants to be a blessing. He sends me out in the truck full of corn to deliver to the elderly in our church, Sunday school friends, choir members, neighbors, co-workers, and anyone else he can think of. 
Thursday I went to the farm to pick up corn to deliver. My son Ben is at the age where he wants to sleep in all day and play video games all night. I told Jim I could make the deliveries on my own, without Ben's help (knowing Ben was tired). But Jim insisted Ben go with me. DUH. Why didn't I think of that? Jim is doing the same thing with Ben that Mamamarge did with me--building a Godly heritage of being a blessing to others by giving. As an adult, I cherish my memories of visiting shut-ins. Ben will have the same foundation, thanks to a Godly dad!







Thursday, July 2, 2015

God Uses You to Fulfill His Mission for His Glory


I love the statement, "You may think you were saved to go to heaven when you die, but God says, 'I saved you to be on mission with Me to redeem a broken world.'" (Willis/Blackaby p. 17)
So what is this mission I am on? "God is at work all over the world, and He cares for all peoples. He is establishing His kingdom locally, globally, and eternally." (Willis/Blackaby p. 25) At home I've been working on sewing pads for women across the globe.  But when out with my friend Lois Sunday night, God called us to work in his kingdom in 5 Points in the middle of Columbia, SC.

After eating supper, we picked up coffees at Starbucks. We met a sweet lady named Cat who asked me about South Sudan (I was wearing my Harvesters Reaching the Nations t-shirt).
Lois and I talked to Cat for at least 30 minutes. She is a Buddhist. When we left, Lois and I stopped to pray for Cat and her journey, may she see the need for relationship and redemption from our Savior. 
We took a walk up and down the shops and were approached by Shirley, a homeless woman asking for a slice of pizza. We took Shirley to get her pizza slice and orange juice.  She had been getting dialysis all day and lived at the women's shelter. We prayed again for our new friend in need. Or perhaps she was an angel.
I love me some Lois.  She brought 4 visitors to church this week--the guy who was helping her at Dick's Sporting Goods, and his whole family. She's a little evangelist!
"God uses you to fulfill His mission for His glory." (Willis/Blackaby p. 25) We were asked to write our own personal mission statement, this is what I came up with, 
"Lord, I would like my contribution in heaven to read that I served the Lord with a willing heart."



Images:
//svcdn.simpleviewinc.com/v3/cache/www_columbiacvb.com/1F3CE718D7A17C3B9645EC28ED6DC3D0.gif
http://www.fitsnews.com/wp-content/themes/fitsnews_tws/timthumb/timthumb.php?src=http://fitsnews.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/04/five-points.jpg&w=680&h=409
https://www.flickr.com/photos/hrtn_sudan/16829226246/

Flannel Sheets and Broken Needles

"Note what God is doing in your life right now, because He is preparing you for your assignment" (Willis/Blackaby p. 24).
I like to make quilts. When the South Sudan team returned back home, Brenda and Paige told us about the opportunity to be a blessing to women by providing washable, reusable sanitary pads. I'm so excited about doing this! On Saturday, I spent the day washing all the flannel I purchased at the thrift stores.
And I finished my FIRST pad! (After breaking 2 needles in my sewing machine! GRRRRR!!!!!)
I have been making them all week. (They take a while to make).  Soon we'll be scheduling some Pad Parties for group sewing! 


Friday, June 26, 2015

Love Thy Neighbor

New twist on outreach! Jim started harvesting the sweet corn this morning! (It isn't a good harvest year--as it has been in the triple digits for a couple of weeks.) But we did get some.  Each year, we deliver corn to friends and neighbors.  

Today I started delivering to my neighbors and was able to share about the details regarding we are doing for South Sudan:  Collecting Bibles, flannel sheets, and old towels. 
OPPORTUNITY for OTHERS to join me!  Woo Hoo! Mrs. Crouch even gave me $40 to help pay for the flannel I purchased yesterday.


The Bigger the Assignment . . .

The Bigger the Assignment, 
the Longer or More Challenging Circumtances He uses to Prepare Us.
Image: http://jaspal.0fees.net/index/assignment.png
According to On Mission With God by Willis & Blackaby Week 1 Day 4, God specifically prepares us to be shaped into the character he wants to use.
  • Abraham spent 40 years before fathering Issac.
  • Moses was 80!
  • David spent 10 years after being anointed king so God could prepare him to lead His people to HIM.
  • Peter spent 3 years WITH Jesus, but another 10 years passed before he began to lead the church to reach out to Gentiles.
  • Paul spent 14 years before his first missionary trip.
  • John was age 90 before he wrote the Gospel of John and The Revelation.

 Image By: Wikipedia.com
I'm 48. Wonder what God has in store for me? I don't know, yet, but I'm studying!
Image: Kristin studying her workbook while at the car dealership

Thrift Store Dumpster Diving

Thursday, June 24, I went Dumpster Diving in the Goodwill Clearance Store on Meeting Street.
Image From:TheFrugalHomemaker.com
It was by far the most interesting experience I've had this summer. Some of the bins were on pallets and 4-feet high.  I was bent deep and covered in hunting for flannel. This (above) was the store with that produced the most--25 lbs/$30 worth.
Image From: Shawna K. on Yelp
10 Thrift Stores Visited! 
Why shop?  I am purchasing flannel sheets to use in making feminine sanitary pads for the ladies in South Sudan. We are on a two-part mission.  1. We will be making pads to send to the missionaries in South Sudan to give out to the women out of love and an opportunity to reach out to them so they may share/spread the gospel. 2. We will send materials to South Sudan so the ladies may make their own pads--enabling them to "Teach a man to fish", so to speak.
His House Thrift Store on Hwy 1 near Barnyard Flea Mkt. is my favorite His House.
Stepping Stones Thrift Store on Hwy 1 near the Cayce-West Columbia Library was the most generous/best value. They even gave me a dozen Bibles for free to add to our shipment to S. Sudan. Faith Based!
St. Paws Thrift Store in Triangle City was the cleanest and best shopping experience for a regular middle class girl like me.
Learn about the need for pads: http://www.gainusa.org/get-involved/engagement/engage-luopads/


Wednesday, June 24, 2015

New Adventure!

Good Morning! It is an exciting adventure to start a new ladies bible study group! We are studying through On Mission with God by Willis and Blackaby.
We just started last night, and I have a suspicious feeling that the Lord is up to something very BIG in my life and the lives of the other ladies in our small group!