Saturday, February 25, 2012

Stepping Out

(This picture was taken before the meeting. Can you sense my hesitation?)

Tonight, I did something that was completely outside of my comfort zone, something I would never have dreamed of doing. I attended an Indian church group.

A little over a month ago, I was online, searching the web for a Christian group of Indians, who would welcome an Indian wanna-be. :) Ever since the Lord began burdening my heart for India, I have longed to be there, meeting the people and learning about the culture firsthand. But after praying for clear direction, the Lord showed me that it was His will for me to be at home, enjoying the family He has blessed me with and receiving important homemaking training for the future.

It was about that time that the Lord began opening my eyes to the incredible amount of Indians living all around me. Even though He didn't have me living in India, my Lord had blessed me with living in a state filled with people from the country I love. Aren't His ways so incredible!

So, back to looking online. By the Lord's grace, He led me to the website of a group of people who love India and its culture. Many have recently immigrated from India. I was so excited and began corresponding with them, asking questions about the details. Since they only meet once a month, I put the date on my calendar and waited. I had previously found a shalwar kameez (an Indian outfit) at a store near our house, and looked forward to wearing that to the meeting. I had no nervousness whatsoever.

Then, the day of the meeting came.....and I finally hit the wall of "reality". What was I thinking? Me. Introverted, inhibited, reserved little me?! And now I had committed to attending a meeting with a group of Indians I didn't know, at a church I didn't know, AND I was planning on wearing an authentic Indian outfit to match with a culture I didn't know?!

As we were driving to the meeting, I voiced my nervousness. "Well," my mom answered, "when I saw you getting so excited about this group and fearlessly moving ahead with things that were so against your nature, I figured that it had to be from the Lord. You would have never done this on your own."

And it's true. I can't explain the overwhelming wave of anxiety and fear that washed over me as we pulled up to the church, observing Indians walking in, and knowing that I was about to enter in, not only to a new situation, but a whole new myself. This fear was my old self, the old anxieties and selfishness crowding my thoughts. Only with the Lord's help had I ever come to this point, and only with the Lord's help would I make it through the night. :)

So with the Lord's strength and the prayers of my family, I exited the car and plunged into a night I will never forget.

Oh, how to describe it? Being surrounded by an accent you love, with people you love (who were so warm and welcoming), and a simple and beautiful love for the Lord. It felt like I was transported to India for a night....and it was incredible! Yes, there were still slightly uncomfortable situations, but there was such an overwhelming joy and contentment that flooded my soul in the midst of this multi-cultural band of believers.

The Lord has definitely placed in my heart a passion and desire for missions. I don't know what that looks like regarding my future, but I am praying and beseeching the Lord to bless this unworthy tool by sending me wherever He desires. Oh, how I need His direction, but I know that He is faithful and will lead in His perfect timing!

When I got back in the car, Dad asked, "So, has the flame been fanned?"

"Yes," I beamed, "it most certainly has."

Friday, February 17, 2012

The Doctrine of Man - Paul Washer Sermons

Recently, my mom found a series of sermons from Paul Washer that are incredibly powerful and gospel truth-packed. I have only listened to the first one, but will definitely be finishing the last two soon. They are each a little over an hour, having been recorded over several days at a conference he spoke at. I have posted the links below. Enjoy!

The Doctrine of Man - Part 1

The Doctrine of Man - Part 2

The Doctrine of Man - Part 3

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Reminded of the Savior

Over the past several days, I have been continually reminded of the Lord's incredible mercy and faithfulness to me, even when I am unfaithful to Him. These 2 beautiful hymns from Charles Wesley were brought to mind today. What amazing love He has shown to us! And may the reality of that love drive us to deeper devotion and love for Him!

And Can it Be - Charles Wesley

And can it be that I should gain
An interest in the Savior’s blood?
Died He for me, who caused His pain—
For me, who Him to death pursued?
Amazing love! How can it be,
That Thou, my God, shouldst die for me?
Amazing love! How can it be,
That Thou, my God, shouldst die for me?

He left His Father’s throne above
So free, so infinite His grace—
Emptied Himself of all but love,
And bled for Adam’s helpless race:
’Tis mercy all, immense and free,
For O my God, it found out me!
’Tis mercy all, immense and free,
For O my God, it found out me!

Long my imprisoned spirit lay,
Fast bound in sin and nature’s night;
Thine eye diffused a quickening ray—
I woke, the dungeon flamed with light;
My chains fell off, my heart was free,
I rose, went forth, and followed Thee.
My chains fell off, my heart was free,
I rose, went forth, and followed Thee.

No condemnation now I dread;
Jesus, and all in Him, is mine;
Alive in Him, my living Head,
And clothed in righteousness divine,
Bold I approach th’eternal throne,
And claim the crown, through Christ my own.
Bold I approach th’eternal throne,
And claim the crown, through Christ my own.

I Want A Principle Within - Charles Wesley

I want a principle within of watchful, godly fear,
A sensibility of sin, a pain to feel it near.
I want the first approach to feel of pride or wrong desire,
To catch the wandering of my will, and quench the kindling fire.

From Thee that I no more may stray, no more Thy goodness grieve,
Grant me the filial awe, I pray, the tender conscience give.
Quick as the apple of an eye, O God, my conscience make;
Awake my soul when sin is nigh, and keep it still awake.

Almighty God of truth and love, to me Thy power impart;
The mountain from my soul remove, the hardness from my heart.
O may the least omission pain my reawakened soul,
And drive me to that blood again, which makes the wounded whole.