Monday, April 27, 2009

rockin' the famine

For 30 hours, about 40 youth and adults fasted and spent the weekend connecting with our brothers and sisters around the world who are suffering from poverty.
much to say about the weekend...but eyes were opened and hearts were pierced. 26,000 children die every single day from hunger or hunger-related diseases. Something is very wrong in the world.
But instead of simply letting our sadness and guilt end at sadness and guilt, we want those things to push us to action. We want to "be the change we want to see in the world" child at a time.
check it...

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

the best birthday present of all...

It is amazing what rest will do for the soul. And I don't mean sleep. I just mean rest.

Last week, I got some rest. It was amazing...and honestly unexpected. I didn't set out to just kinda happened. I think it was like my birthday present from up above!

so check was my birthday week:
Sunday = Easter = no youth group. Now don't get me wrong...of course I love youth group. But a night off every once in a great while is a welcomed thing! So after church was over that morning, I had no more responsibilities for the rest of the day! I got to totally relax for the rest of the day with my "Jesus family" celebrating the awesomeness that is Easter! Of course, no blog post is complete without some pics, so I'll include some here

(side note: Our youth Easter service was AMAZING! We got to have church in a tent! that's right...old school revival - style!)
What better way to celebrate on Easter Sunday, right?!?!?!
Riley and I paired up as a team for the egg hunt...we were quite the killer combo...
LOVE...these people...

I purposefully took off work on my "big day" (Thursday). Spent the day with two of my favorites...
had my first-ever Curious Gourmet cupcake...
and then to cap off the day, went to see Demetri Martin with my good friend, Melanie!! oh my goodness...HILARIOUS guy...
I laughed so hard, I got a headache...oh how the cheeks hurt.

Friday night was girls night over at the Robinson's. Jill made my very favorite cake (strawberry with strawberry icing) and some of the girls came over and we watched one of my favorites: STEP UP 2, baby!! I have a not-so-secret burning desire to be a hip-hop dancer :)
Then there was Saturday...which ended up being a day with my girlfriends full of:
sitting out in the blessed sun...reading (or in my case...preparing Sunday night's lesson...)
and we can't forget...
the girls threw me a little surprise, ghetto-fabulous birthday party. HILARIOUS

So that was my week...amazing. I felt so rested and rejuvenated starting out this week. Makes me wonder why I don't take time-out for myself a little more often.

So although I was given many wonderful things on my birthday week, I might say that the Lord's gift of rest, friends, family, and fun might have been the best gift of all!

Thursday, April 9, 2009

send me

For the past 4-5 years, I've had this faint little pull to Africa. For the past year, this little pull has turned into an undeniable angst...and last fall - somewhere around Oct 9 - the decision was made. "I'm going to Africa". I just couldn't shake it any longer.

Since then, I've known I wanted to go. I've even know WHEN I wanted to go. But I just didn't know where. And that's definitely not something I was going to take lightly. I started doing some talking and some researching. But honestly...I just wasn't feeling a strong pull toward any particular area or particular group. And that was frustrating...and honestly made me wonder if this really was what I was being called to.

Then the director of missions at my church (Lonnie Hearne) sat down at my desk one Sunday and started telling me all about his dreams for our church's involvement in a specific area in Uganda. (Side note: there are two countries that I have prayed for on a daily basis for the past 5 or 6 years - and those countries are Belgium and Uganda...Belgium because I went on a mission trip there in college and Uganda because we have had many ties there with missionaries and my best friend lived there for when he started talking about Uganda...I got excited right off the bat).

Anyway, there's an area in central Uganda called Nyamarwa
Kibale google satellite maps where there is this Kibbuse Vocational School, which was founded in 2000 by nine villagers who had a vision for their children to become job creators rather than job seekers. So at this school, young men are learning carpentry, bricklaying, metal working, and auto repair. Girls are learning tailoring, dressmaking, and home economics. All students are learning English along with hygiene, nutrition, and disease prevention.

nie started telling me about his vision for development in that specific area of the country...and my heart was about to beat out of my chest. Later that week, I had lunch with Lonnie's wife and she started sharing with me how women in Africa are so often de-valued and sexually exploited. There is such a need for women to come over and teach these girls about their worth and about their beauty. She said that she saw me being able to teach a class at the vocational school to young women about their identity and their worth. Are you kidding me?!?!?!? That is what my heart beats for!

So I'm November. Just one see what God does in my heart. And who may turn into something longer one day. And what's amazing is that two of my close friends from here in Franklin are going over at the exact same time...and for the exact same reason. I'm overwhelmed with excitement...

man...what is to come?

Monday, April 6, 2009


So I've been averaging one post every 2-3 weeks for the past couple of months...makes me sad. But honestly...I just haven't had the time. I seem to be in an almost constant state of feeling overwhelmed. And that really makes me sad. I know that stress and busy-ness is not God's best and is not His will. It's just one of those things that I seem to be caught in, but really don't know how to get out of...anyway...

Lately I have been sensing this overwhelming need for God's people to be on their knees. I have sensed this in my small group. I have sensed it in the youth group. I have sensed it in our church and in our community. It is frighteningly easy to get so consumed in the physical world that we forget that there is a very real and very active spiritual realm where battle is constantly raging.

God has been moving and working in powerful ways in Harpeth Community Church, especially within the youth group. A few months ago, we were at the top of the mountain...amazed at what God was doing and ecstatic about what was to come. But our enemy (who I call "the punk") never goes down without a fight. And he has been doing all he can to creep in and steal what God has given.

The weight of the battle can sometimes feel unbearable. But the awesome part is that we have a Mighty Warrior who fights on behalf of his people. And if we will take up our sword (the Word) and stay connected to that Warrior, we WILL win. Jesus told us that the gates of hell would NOT overcome His church.

Over the past couple of weeks, I have been feeling a push to get on my knees for the students in our youth group. And last night, I stood in front of them and confessed that I had not been doing that as I should...not even close. And I committed to them that that was going to change...immediately. There is NOTHING greater that I can do for those kids than to be praying for them - unceasingly. What a shame it would be if I spent all of my time planning events, getting Bible studies together, and organizing programs...but neglected the most important thing.

And no matter where you or who you know...there is nothing better that you can do for your friends, your family, or your church than to be on your face before God for them. NOTHING.

"if my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then will I hear from heaven and will forgive their sin and will heal their land." - 2 Chronicles 7:14

these lyrics from the Shane and Shane song "Waging War" keep ringing in my ears...

When battle lines become unclear And the waging war is all I hear Sustain me with Your voice And the choice to walk in truth And by the Spirit That I might see this day This waging war might go away And be no more That I might see His face And hear Him say Son, welcome home The war is over