I have had some big things on my heart and mind for almost a week. I was in my car last Wednesday on the way back to church from shopping for Wednesday night dinner. I didn’t have it on my usual Christian radio. God led me to a different station that day. I usually don’t like to hear people talking on the radio. I listen for the music. The man was talking about transforming yourself. He was saying things about how we don’t spend enough time in God’s word or in prayer. There were lots of other things that he said, but this stirred my heart. Am I giving God enough? Am I too caught up with the things that have to get done that I don’t give Him the time He so deserves.
Small groups are truly a part of the way we live whether we realize it or not! And God designed that from the beginning of time with our families as our first small groups! It’s where we learn “the basics” of life! We get to “practice” all kinds of skills like learning to walk and talk, as well as relationship skills such as forgiveness, encouragement, negotiating, sharing and giving. In a healthy small group, we can practice and fail, and still be loved and learn how to move forward, and continue to grow.
National Back 2 Church Sunday is THIS Sunday 9/21. There has been a lot of work by a lot of people over many weeks in preparation for this day. A prayer guide has been out since Sunday and it has been on Social Media each day. So, there has been a lot of prayer and preparation for this important day.
During our trip to Mexico, the Lord blessed me in a way that I never thought possible. I came into the week expecting to be refreshed by the spirit of the Lord and, in a way, that is exactly what I received. Unlike other trips that I have participated in with the church, I received the message that God was sending me not through song and small group discussion, but through making concrete, tearing down fences and bushes to cover a wall in stucco, playing soccer, eating nothing peanut butter and jelly sandwiches for lunch, and spending time with the fantastic people that God has put in place in Mazatlan to work with the Back2Back ministry.
I have attended the West Virginia mission trip two summers in a row. I LOVE it. It inspires me. The fact that a 15 now 16 year old average girl can change a child's life with in a week completely amazes me. I have a connection with a child in West Virginia. Her name is Samantha, but she prefers to be called Sambo. The first summer I went we connected with in ten minutes. We wrote letters back and forth the entire school year. The second summer I went it was like I never left. We started right back where we left off. From the jokes, to the praising of God, and all the way to the tough conversations. We connected. This child has impacted me just as much as I impacted her. Now we talk on a daily basis over Facebook. I am proud to say that I love this 11 year old with my whole heart.
This has been my mission trip summer. I've travelled on mission trip lots of times in the past, but this year I went on three of the four trips UCUMC put together. Each trip was different, and each has changed who I am.
On the youth choir mission trip, I experienced the abundance of God's heart and his passion for humanity. I have been on many choir trips where we have observed this same outpouring of His Spirit. This past summer we traveled to Ohio and Michigan and had the opportunity there to minister and touch the lives of of our brothers and sisters. I saw God using His children in the youth choir bring comfort to the hurt, sick, and poor in spirit. I saw God charm and woo His Bride through our worship and the worship we brought others in and outside of the church. I saw miracles being worked in our prayer over a man preparing for surgery and those prayers come to fruition.