Archive for December, 2011

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Tale of a Comfortable Quitter.


2011
12.30

I’ve been home surrounded by my friends and family for two weeks now and loving it. I love sleeping in my own bed. I love waking up and driving to Starbucks. I love staying up late watching movies with my mom. I love being comfortable. However, the reality of returning to school keeps haunting me. Then, following the dread of going back is the feeling of guilt (or should I say conviction) for not being excited about school. This pattern of thought and feeling has been a platform for God to work on my heart while I’ve been home.

To be honest, I started out break with the idea of possibly not returning next semester. That time would be used to chill with my family and help out with my church. I was tired of all the growing pains involved in being off at school. When I put it as blunt as I should…I was tired of not being 100% in my comfort zone. Somehow I’ve been managing to ignore all the learning and the good, simply because it wasn’t always easy.

Unfortunately, that’s not all I’ve been ignoring; God called me to the Christian College I’m at. He understood it wasn’t always going to be a walk in the park. He knew I would miss my family. He realized I wouldn’t always be thrilled about waking up and going to classes everyday. He’s God and He sees the whole picture; Thank goodness I don’t, because I would hide under my covers. I heard a pastor say “people tend to say I’m feeling uncomfortable, so it must not be God’s will.” That’s been me, but I’m now recognizing it and ready to allow God to work on my heart.

One of my best friends reminds me frequently “Darragh, just because you don’t feel God, doesn’t make Him less real.” Isn’t that a slap in the face? Well, for me it is. That was another thing I struggled with this year. I would do my devotions and then get depressed because God didn’t “feel” real to me. So, I’d stop doing them.

I’ve now shared 2 ways I’ve tried quitting God, because He wasn’t always “comfortable,” but where in the Bible is that promised?  In fact, it’s just the opposite. “Behold, I send you out as sheep in the midst of wolves.” Matt. 10:16

Going to the school I’m at has been one of the best things I’ve ever  done. I would hate to leave the impression it’s not. It’s probably one of the best learning environments I could imagine. I will be returning to my school and I will choose to not be a quitter. There are no shortcuts to anywhere worth going and there is no moment where God isn’t holding you in His hand.

 

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Elderly.


2011
12.04

Last time we met I shared some of the growth I’ve had working at Jeremiah House. In this blog, I’d like to share another ministry I’ve been apart of this semester. Every Sunday I help put on a church service at a nursing home. We have about 30 minutes to go from room to room asking if they’d like to come. Once everyone is there who is willing, the “leaders” (aka all of us bible students) get on stage and lead music. Funny, music is their favorite part, but none of us are ever familiar with the random hymns…so we make words up. Anyway, then the Pastor preaches and we run over to the Alzheimer’s ward and do the same over there.

Going to the nursing home is uplifting, but also exceedingly trying. All the confusion, distress, pain and fragility of life takes over these elderly people. They all know they’re close to death, and yet they can’t make their family come see them. They wake up only to realize they are still in pain and still aren’t young. When asked if they know Jesus some reply with “I don’t know, I can’t remember.” or “Yes! Praise the Lord!” or the worst “There’s no such person.”

My heart breaks for them, but something I’m realizing is the “elderly way of thinking” is in everyone. We’re all near death, granted most of us can remember our names, but our last breath could be tomorrow.  How often do we let our confusion, distress, pain and fragility of life take over us? How often do we care about the name of Christ?

There’s a song that comes to mind when I ask myself these questions. “One of these days we all we stand in judgment for every single word that we have spoken. One of these days we all we stand before the Lord, give a reason for what we’ve done and what I’ve done is trust in Jesus.” (Trust In Jesus: Third Day ) That’s how I want to live my life, trusting Jesus.

I don’t know about you, but coming to the realization that earth is a kind of nursing home and we’re all just here for short period until it’s time to go…is mind blowing to me. We can choose to get out of bed and use this place for the glory of God, or we can waste it.

“And behold, I am coming quickly, and My reward is with Me, to give to every one according to his work. ‘I am the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End, the First and the Last.’ Blessed are those who do His commandments, that they may have the right to be the tree of life, and may enter through the gates into the city.” Revelation 22: 12-14

He’s coming quickly…are you ready?

P.S. [ I have to say being able to contribute to these ministries is one of my favorite things about going to a Christian College. During the day I get to gain knowledge on how to be a better witness and servant. In the evening I get to gain wisdom and apply what I’ve just learned. I’m thankful for all God has done in my heart and mind through both the nursing home and Jeremiah House. ]

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Jeremiah House


2011
12.04

“Can you name some sins?” I asked one night at Jeremiah House. “What is a sin?” a little girl asked. “A sin is anything that separates us from God. Something that’s bad and hurtful to God.” I replied. “Oh, like that one man who stole that girl and raped her in our neighborhood.” She returned. In that moment I understood that this little girl had been exposed to more tragedy than I have in a lifetime.

Jeremiah House is a place that kids (preschool-highschool)  can come and hear about God. It runs twice a week and puts on a sort of vbs/youth group type deal. However, it is remarkably different than anything I’ve ever been a part of. It’s located in a more rough part of town and the kids need God in the most desperate ways.

Once a week I go and teach the 3rd-5th grade girls, and the discussions we have are wonderful and thought provoking. Some come from extremely broken homes where prostitution is accepted and violent out bursts are the norm. Halloween is simply incredible to them, but Thanksgiving isn’t anything to get excited about. They all have boyfriends and are familiar with words that I didn’t even know existed till last year. All of this is polar opposite from my childhood.

I’m sharing this with you, because it’s been one of the most growing experiences I’ve had. I adore all the girls I see every week and fear for them. They are presented with situations daily that could destroy the rest of their lives.

God doesn’t want the only lesson I take from these girls to be “I’m so thankful I grew up better off.” God has blessed me and expects me to bless as well. I have no excuse not to pour into others or to be selfish with my life.

“The King will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.” Matt 25: 40

Many people might think that young girls in a shady neighborhood in broken homes are “the least of these.” Possibly, your boss at work who is well-off, but doesn’t know the name of Christ…maybe to you, they’re the “Least of these.”

How is your life showing love for the lost?