3.28.2017

There is so much more than this...

I'm not even sure what to title this post. But I want these words written down. I need to process them in my little space on the internet. I want to preach this message to myself and come back to it over and over again when I get caught up in the mundane motions of life. My heart is extra heavy today seeing the poverty, pain and hurt in this world.

Let's live sold out lives for Jesus, He is the only thing that matters. I hope this letter encourages your soul as this reminder has for me. Remember you are loved and your life has purpose. There is so much more to life.


Maddie,

You need another reminder so here it is. You have one life to live. You could die at any moment or Jesus could come back at any moment. You are on this earth in 2017 today for a reason. You have purpose. You are God's child and set apart for good works that God knew about before this earth was even made. But seriously girl, you need to spiritually wake up more. There is way too much you are missing when your eyes shift even for a second back to the things of this earth. The things of this world are attractive, they are luring, I get that but God, God is so much more. And you know that. You love Jesus with every part of your being. You need His word daily and there are so many people you get to encourage on a daily basis who look up to you in your faith. You're a pastors wife and are in full time ministry and you hurt for the least of these but girl, your focus can slip, your eyes can shift off the Kingdom and I am typing this out to tell you to use each and every day for Jesus.

Don't get prideful or stuck or caught up that you are doing enough. Don't think it's enough that your heart already physically hurts for people who don't know Jesus yet. Don't get prideful that you are leading bible studies and mentoring girls and already doing lots for Jesus. Don't get prideful that you are running a teen girl conference or that you are excited to put different ministry programs in place. I know you aren't but even for one second if you think you are great or this has anything to do with you and its not all because of Jesus it will cost you. Stay humble, keep your eyes fixed on eternity. 

Yes, God is so real and tangible in the mundane moments. Those sweet moments where you get to do the dishes each evening and just pray over people in your life. Those moments folding laundry, thanking Jesus for clothes, and running water. But these moments often turn into grumbling, and your sinful heart shows itself. Thoughts of wishing you had a dishwasher or the ministry you could do if you had your own home. Thoughts of comparing yourself to others and what they have, and their gorgeous home and successful ministries. Maddie, remember nothing on this earth is coming with you when you die. You take nothing. Build treasure in eternity, not here on earth. I know it's hard, I know for even one second it seems so tempting to dream about the earthly stuff but it will fade it has no value. 

Each morning is a gift. Every breath you breathe is a gift from God. You know you have the Holy Spirit, God living inside of you, people should notice you are different. People should see the way you love this world and ask "why". They should question the sacrifices and the way you live your life because Jesus and His word says everything that is opposite to how the world tells us to live. But Maddie, not all people will like you. People will reject you and that is OK. The New Testament is all about suffering. Your crazy love for Jesus, people will reject you and even hate you for it. That's OK, remember they killed all the disciples and Jesus for this faith. But some will see the hope you have, the assurance that you know there is more to life, and ask for the answer. These moments are what make life worth it and Jesus so real when you get to look into their eyeballs and tell them they are loved and valued and that Jesus is real, He's enough and to follow Him with everything, no turning back. Maddie live for these moments, crave the good things of God.

And Maddie remember you don't need to go back to Africa to find that passion again. You're ministry is right where you are, here today. There are people who need Jesus and His love right where you are. Serve well. Serve in Jesus's strength alone, because let's be real, you know better than anyone else you suck when you do things without Christ and are end up just so exhausted and useless. Remember that although North Americans and the North American church comes across as "not needing God", remember that they do. They are desperately searching.  Just because we have retirement funds, running water, electricity, food to eat and malls with thousands of items they still are hungry for Jesus. People are waking up every day in NA wanting more. Be Jesus to them. Shout it from the rooftops with the way you love them and remind them that what they are searching for is found in Christ. 

I know you want to spiritually shake people and yell at them to 'wake up' because we all only have one life. So I'm 'yelling' at you now. Stay awake. Stay fixed on Christ. He could come back tomorrow and their are still people who don't know Him. Stop fussing about the little things in life that don't matter and start awakening your eyes, your church's eyes and others around you of the poverty and pain that we live in. Thousands of people are dying every day from preventable causes, people are sold in slavery, human trafficking is a sickening industry that you can't even fathom and babies are being killed without ever having the chance to live. Don't get overwhelmed with it all because you can't save anyone. But let it sink in. Let it hurt. Don't get blinders on and not remember what is happening in Elmira and around the world. Have a righteous anger about it all and then do something about it. You aren't called to do it all but you are called to do something. To give and to love and to share Jesus with whoever will listen. 

So please girl, keep your eyes fixed on Jesus and live each day as if Jesus is coming back. Set your priorities, the way you give and what you do on that fact alone. You have grown so much in your faith and your journey is remarkable. It doesn't seem too long ago that you were kissing all the boys and getting your worth from boys and not Jesus. God really does use the most messed up people like you to live out a story of grace and redemption. Now that you understand a fraction of God's love, continue to give it away. 

Fix those eyes on Jesus Maddie girl. You have the hope inside of you, continue to give it away.



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