Saturday, June 20, 2009

Sharing Love?

Every Sunday, we attend church like “good people” and are charged to share the love of Jesus with those who don’t know such a love. It wasn’t until yesterday that I finally realized what people meant by the statement, “well some just don’t want to hear about it.”

My initial reaction to such a claim was, “ok, just tell them anyways.” Everyone needs to hear it. We need to be intintional! If they have heard it before, they need to hear it again, and maybe, just maybe, that time their hearts will be softened. I now realize it goes so much deeper.
In my own life, I have experienced the love and mercy of God. He has blessed me beyond my immagination. I know I am precious and loved in the eyes of God and that He loves me and my new friends so much that He sent his son to die for us.

Psalm 37:28a says, “For the LORD loves the just and will not forsake his faithful ones.”

How do I proclaim this truth to my new friends? How do I look them in the eye and tell them that God is just? That I serve a God who loves them so much yet they have never expereinced one break in their life? Instead of love and peace, they have experienced abuse, hatred, neglect, addiction, violece, poverty, and death. How can I tell them that God wants to have a personal relationship with each and everyone one of us when they have faced the devil face to face every single day of their life?
This became a major struggle inside of me. I have not had half the troubles in my life compared to these kids. It is easy for me to say Jesus loves me. So why is this? Why am I so lucky? It is quite unfortunate that we have become victims of a fallen world. We have all sinned and as a result we do not deserve one blessing. The experiences that these kids have been through are not of God. These lives are a result to a fallen world, and for now Satan thinks he is winning.
So how do I speak truth into the street kids and everyone else who needs Jesus? Through the same love that Jesus gave us.

“My command is this: Love each other as I have loved you. Greater love has no one than this, that he lay down his life for his friends.” John 15:12-13.

I will continue to build friendships and show unconditional love. I will be willing to lay down my life for anyone. I will be intentional through the guidance of the Holy Spirit. Only through the Spirit will the impossible be achieved. Pray for me to have guidance from the Spirit to touch the hearts of my friends. Pray that I will have the boldness to be intentional while being able to build real loving friendships.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Thanks for the Water...

After church Sunday night, all of the interns decided to go get ice cream. As we walked to downtown Denver we ran into several of our street kid friends. It was so much fun. It was the first time we got to hang out with our friends without it being an organized DryBones event. If you think about what friends do, a lot of times it is simply hang out and go get ice cream or go see a movie or something similar. So I continually pray that we will move from those people that hang out with them because we are a part of DryBones, into the zone where we are simply there because we want to.

So as we hunted for Ice Cream, we settled on good ol’ Mickey D’s. As we all entered the place, you can only imagine the stares of those around us as we came in with our friends. All the interns chose a friend and paid for their ice cream. I was the last to order and I overheard my street friend Cleveland in front of me ask the guy at the register for a cup of water for his dog. The dude told him that would be $0.55. 55 cents! For a cup of water! Ridiculous! He knew Cleveland didn’t have .55 cents. So when it was my turn to order, I asked for a cup of water as well. Without even hesitating, the guy grabbed water without even charging me.

"My brothers, as believers in our glorious Lord Jesus Christ, don't show favoritism. Suppose a man comes into your meeting wearing a gold ring and fine clothes, and a poor man in shabby clothes also comes in. If you show special attention to the man wearing fine clothes and say, "Here's a good seat for you," but say to the poor man, "You stand there" or "Sit on the floor by my feet," have you not discriminated among yourselves and become judges with evil thoughts? Listen, my dear brothers: Has not God chosen those who are poor in the eyes of the world to be rich in faith and to inherit the kingdom he promised those who love him?"
-James 2:1-5

We, as a society, still have the tendency to discriminate. We will judge, put down, and count out anyone who looks “different” then us. My fried Cleveland is precious in the eyes of the Lord. God has a plan and purpose for him. Cleveland was bought with a price just like you and me. Who are we to judge? He will be rewarded with the kingdom of heaven and we do nothing but make his situation harder. God please help me love the way you love. God help us realize we are no better or no worse than anyone. Instead we are simply all children of God.

Friday, June 12, 2009

No Justice in "Just Statements"

Webster defines justice as the quality of being just, impartial, or fair. Often times society (and even myself) can be caught using "just statements." In order to solve poverty or homelesness we will often say things like, "just get a job," or "just quit using drugs," or "if you just ask for help," or "just go back to school;" just, just, just, just. However, as I become closer and closer with my new friends, the more I begin to realize how unjust these statements really are. As I sit and look into the eyes of people who have been trampled on in life, I relized there is so much more to it. So many of these kids have been molested by their own parents and family members. They have been put in foster family after foster family. Many have been beated and abused. Some have been dealing drugs since the age of 15. Many have entered the realm of prostitution. Tons have scars all over their arms from years and years of being hooked on meth and heroine. The wounds go deep; emotionally, phisically, mentally, and spiritually. So who are we to say "just do this" and "just do that"? Where is the justice in that? How is their life "fair?" Every single person, even these kids have been bought with the price of the cross. Just statements are not the answer, Jesus is. Pray that Jesus can use even me to reveal his love for them.

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Camping... in a Cabin

Snow on June 1st. I am obviously not in Texas anymore. After a 3-mile hike up to an elevation of 11,200 feet, all the interns and the DryBones staff made it to the cabin where we would spend the next two days. HYere we relaxed, got to know each other, went through some training, and simply enjoyed the beauty of God's nature. THe interns are so fun. Kenli, JoAnna, Liz, Trevor, and Stephen are all from ACU, Mark is from York in Nebraska, and Madison is from Freed Hardeman. It is going to me awesome. Be sure to keep praying for God to move. We are going to be working on the streets fully next week.