This is an almost completely spontaneous post. Almost. The past few days I have been thinking that I should blog some more. So here it goes.
I have been busy lately, figuring out all of the details for my trip to Greece. Flights, teaching English, learning Greek, drafting and sending out support letters, making sure I have enough money, etc. I get excited each time I think about the fact that I am going overseas in two months! Whoa! Little me, going to do mission work. I guess God knew what he was doing when He spoke to me about missions six years ago…
Six years ago, I was sixteen years old at a summer camp called Mission Fuge. The camp was a well rounded Christian camp experience, with Bible study, church small groups, service/mission work, fellowship, and worship. It was during one of the worship services that the worship leaders had those who felt called to missions overseas raise their hands so that others could pray for them. I felt that tug on my heart, but I was not sure, and I was scared. But I slowly raised my hand, and felt the hands of others upon me as they prayed. Thinking back, they felt heavier than normal…God was moving in miraculous ways before I even experienced Him that way. Oh God…You are good.
I kept that calling in my heart all the way through the beginning of college. Then I got distracted, started moving away from the dream in my heart that was missions. But, God was sovereignly orchestrating events. I had started seeing Ron, the university chaplain, my freshman year of college. The end of my sophomore year, Ron suggested I room with this girl named Gina Long. I did end up rooming with Gina, who happened to be a missionary kid, my junior year of college. I grew closer to her and her sister Christi that summer and the next year, and was invited to come to Greece to do mission work. Now, I am going to Greece this fall. As I continue to think back over the last few years of my life, I keep realizing just how God has been working in my life through circumstances and people. Thank you, Daddy!
This Sunday was good (the whole weekend was, but Sunday in particular). I attended the Hillsdale Free Methodist Church, where the pastor has been going through a series titled “Christ in the Pentateuch.” I have quite enjoyed it, as I studied the Pentateuch this past fall at SAU. He has been dead on in his critique of the church, and I love that he is actually educating his congregation about the significance of all the details of Israel’s religous system. I also admire his energy, and faithfulness to his congregation and the word he feels God has given him to preach. However, I find that his preaching is a bit too focused on holiness and how much we, as humans, are lacking, and not quite enough about the grace, love, and mercy of God. The scale is not overly unbalanced, but not quite where I would like it to be. But that may simply be my personal preference.
One of the points he made this Sunday struck me: “Does God shake you to the core?”
Does the work of the God of the universe on the cross especially, and in general in the past and present, move you? Does it bring you to repentance and/or praise? Or do you not see it? Are you too “Christianized” for it to jar you?
I want to be moved by God…not necessarily by mushy, gushy, good feelings of His love, but by the horrific, and awesome reality of the magnitude of love it took Jesus to die for the world. The Lord calls us to holiness, but not in a Pharisaic, religious way. It will be hard, but there is grace. Grace for mistakes, but also grace to make the right decisions, to live holy lives. Amen, and hallelujah!