I Love Mockingbirds. They are just happy all of the time, and it seems like to me that they are free to sing whatever they want; they can chirp, squeak, trill, peep…you get the picture. Any way I love them, and yesterday I was sitting at my desk thinking to myself, “I haven’t seen a mockingbird in forever!” (they usually are all over down here in Texas). I really wanted to see, and hear a mockingbird (did I mention they are AWESOME!).
But I wrote it off because one, it’s not spring, and two, it was cold and if I were a bird I would want to be where it is warm right now. So that was me, depressed and sitting at my desk because there were no mockingbirds in Texas.
This morning I awoke from my very restful sleep, I sleepily got dressed and went outside for my morning prayer/walking time, but as I closed the door of my apartment guess what I heard! A MOCKINGBIRD! Needless to say I thought it was cool, but not much more than that until I started praying.
“That bird is for you” said a still small voice, “What!? No way! Are you serious God? You care enough about me to put a single mockingbird on the roof of an apartment complex, in the middle of Carrollton, in the state of Texas, in the center of America, in the country of the United States, on a tiny planet called earth, in a tiny solar system (comparatively), in a huge galaxy, in the unending expanse of space? It’s not possible!”
Or is it? In John 17:23 says “…Then the world will know that you sent me and have loved them even as you have loved me” (Emphasis mine). Friends God loves us as much as he loves Jesus Christ! It blows my mind the vastness of His affection for us. Psalm 37:4 says “Delight yourself in the Lord, and he will give you the desires of your heart.” I didn’t even pray for that Mockingbird, but God still put it there for me, and the reality probably is that He does stuff like that for us all the time!
I will stop saying things now and let scripture speak for itself:
Matthew 6:25-34 “Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothes? 26 Look at the birds of the air (Strangely appropriate); they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? 27 Can any one of you by worrying add a single hour to your life?
28 “And why do you worry about clothes? See how the flowers of the field grow. They do not labor or spin. 29 Yet I tell you that not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of these. 30 If that is how God clothes the grass of the field, which is here today and tomorrow is thrown into the fire, will he not much more clothe you—you of little faith? 31 So do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ 32 For the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them. 33 But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. 34 Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.”
First of all, I just wanted to say that this blog is amazing! This is my first time blogging anything, and it definitely won’t be the last!
Alright, now to business……
For those of you who don’t know me very well, I thought it would be a good idea for me to let you know a few things about me.
My parents have been with Gospel for Asia for almost ten years now. When I was nine years old my family packed up and drove from Washington state with it’s mountains and tress, to the wide open spaces and vast horizon of Texas. We then started to serve at the Gospel For Asia office in Texas. It was quite a transition for my family, but totally worth it!
Knowing this about my family, you now know that I have grown up around the community of Gospel For Asia for over half my short life! It still boggles my mind to think about it.
While being at Gospel For Asia, I have seen many School of Discipleship students come and go. Some stay and raise their support to come on staff, and others go back home to follow the call that God placed on their lives.
As I observed the School of Discipleship students from the perspective of a staff kid, I saw young adults having fun and growing in their walk with the Lord. By the time they graduated, most had a passion and love for Jesus I wished and longed to have as well.
Now that I am a School of Discipleship student myself (at the Canadian campus), I see now that the School of Discipleship is not all fun and games. There are times of fun, don’t get me wrong. However, there are also seasons of struggles and trials. Please don’t misunderstand me, I have learned so many lessons during the couple months that I have been here. I praise the Lord for the trials because I realize that I cannot grow in my relationship with Jesus unless I die to myself daily. I am encouraged when I remember that as I go through the refining fire, I will end up as pure gold. Thank you Jesus!
I am extremely thankful to the Lord for His call to give one year of my life to serve at Gospel for Asia Canada. I now have passed the stage of Gospel For Asia staff kid to a School of Discipleship student. Praise the Lord!
1) You will encounter Jesus Christ like never before.
2) Grow more Christ-like in character under the love and guidence of godly teachers and mentors.
3) Build lifelong friendships.
4) Serve Christ and reach the lost in an incredible way.
5) Live passionately, with eternity in mind, to win the lost to Christ.
6) Make a difference by interceding for the lost world regularly.
7) Gain practical life experience working in international ministry headquarters.
8) Learn and develop practical life skills like time management and public speaking.
9) Practical opportunities to put your faith into action
10) Oh, and everything is bigger and better in Texas!
These are my Top 10 Reasons!
Pastor David shares how his daughter Stephanie has been impacted by Gospel For Asia’s one year School of Discipleship.
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At a recent prayer meeting, Danny talked about how important it is to keep your camera lens clean. If it’s not cleaned regularly, then dirt, dust, and sometimes even fungus can get in the camera or lens and ruin any chance of taking a nice photo. This all is a representative of a bigger picture. We are supposed to keep our hearts, minds, and eyes clean so that we can clearly reflect God’s nature to those around us.
So often Christ is misrepresented by those who claim to be Believers, but lie, steal and destroy those around them. Clearly they are not “loving one another” as Christ commanded us to do. Now, I’m not writing this to judge them, or knock them down in any way. Because how often do we, ourselves misrepresent the Lord to those around us?
Maybe we are frustrated in traffic at the person who isn’t turning fast enough. Or the person in the grocery store took the last item off the shelf that you needed for dinner that night. Or maybe you are tired and exhausted, and get impatient with those around you. I know I struggle a lot with those simple things. But doesn’t God say in John 13:35 “by this all will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another.”
A good test of this happened not too long ago for me. I had the privilege to travel up to Pennsylvania, with my best friend Katie, to spend a few days at Christmas with my amazing family. I was so excited, yet so nervous at the same time. I’m not sure why I was nervous, they’re my family and I love them dearly. But it had been a year since I had seen most of them, and I knew I had missed a lot. Would I be able to just fit in like normal? Would they notice any growth that the Lord had done in my life? Would I be able to love them like Christ loves them, and be a good representation of Christ to them?
As the days flew by, I could feel my energy draining. By the time I was boarding the plane with Katie, I had just come off a very busy week at work. I was emotionally, physically, and mentally exhausted. I wasn’t sure I would have enough energy or enthusiasm left to give everyone attention when they came over. The only thing left for me to do was pray. Pray that the Lord would use me, despite my inability to give anything.
As I arrived, I felt like I was a visitor. I love my Mommy, my brother, and the rest of my family and friends. But I knew that I didn’t “belong” in PA anymore. No matter how much I may think about how things “might have turned out”, what I could be doing, who I might be hanging out with. It was like God confirmed to me, yet again, that He called me to Gospel for Asia, and that no matter how hard things may get, He will use me as I remain faithful to Him in Texas.
Time flew by as we moved from the open house on Friday, to Christmas Eve celebrations on Saturday, Christmas on Sunday, and then last minute things on Monday. Each day, God filled me with His Spirit, His patience and His love. It was like, even though I had nothing left to give, all God needed was a willing heart. A willing heart that allowed Him to clearly reflect His glorious, and awe-inspiring nature, to those who gathered around. I was able to play with my cousins, and not be frustrated with them, but enjoy every moment spent with them. To talk with relatives and boldly share what the Lord is doing in my life, and share possible plans for the future. To laugh and worship with friends, without being shy or nervous about who the Lord has transformed me into in the past year. To spend time with my mommy, brother, and Katie and not be worried or flustered with all the chaos of preparing for people to come over. And as silly as it seems, it was enjoyable to spend time playing with my mom’s dog Sawyer, and her new puppy Finn, even when Finn would try to escape in the yard.
I guess what I’m trying to say is, no matter how tired you may be, always keep your camera lens clean. Allow God to work through your life to those who might be around. Ask the Lord to make you a clear reflection of His magnificent glory.
Thanks for reading, I’m praying for each of you. God Bless!