Thursday, August 20, 2009

Crazy for Jesus!

"If it seems we are crazy, it is to bring glory to God. And if we are in our right minds, it is for your benefit." 2 Cor 5:13

Have you ever been called crazy? If you're a woman and you happen to drive...maybe you've been called it once or twice? It almost seems as if any driving mistake gets blamed on us for some reason. Not sure why...I mean, it's not like I meant to back into my sisters car when it was parked in the driveway. Then she backed into my Dad's truck when it was in the driveway. But still, I don't think that puts us in the stereotype. Ha! Just don't let us park in your driveway.

But anyway, that was crazy, I'm not sure why I said that...

Aside from that....

I watched a video by Louie Giglio tonight called Fruitcake and Ice Cream. And I am really not giving anything away by telling you this, but he explained 2 Cor 5:13 in his message. If it seems we are crazy, it is to bring glory to God. And if we are in our right minds, it is for your benefit.

In other words....any one who has been saved by grace, having Jesus Christ in their heart, should get extremely excited about things, and to have random outburst of excitement (whether it be during a worship service or the privacy of your own home) that bring Him glory. Praise that makes you think you can fly or praise that takes the strength from your legs so you fall to your knees....

Okay pause... you have to know, well before Louie began to talk about this verse, he said other things that had already blessed me beyond measure and (sshhhh don't tell anyone *wink*wink*) I had gotten up and danced around my apartment with my hands up in the air praising His Name! (Yes. I'm crazy. Absolutey Insane. Flat out wierd when it comes to Jesus!I'll be the first to own up to it!)

...Resume. Okay, so Louie was mentioning that people who are in Christ will absolutely go nuts for Him, and then I had to laugh because I had gone nuts just a few minutes before he said that! Ha! Who knew?

But then it was really cool, because he went on to explain the second part of the verse.

And if we are in our right minds, it is for your benefit.

We all want to go absolutely CRAZY for Jesus, but we don't always because we don't want non-believers or Christians who aren't fully "there" yet to think we are crazy. Whenever we are in our right-state-of-mind, it is for the benefit of the person who is searching. And a person who is searching, doesn't "get" our outlandish excitement for Christ..... yet!

So.. it is for their benefit that we contain our random outburst in public. Else we would all be walking around the mall screaming at the top of the escalators JESUS CHRIST IS LORD!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

But we don't... why?? Because we want people to think we are normal. (To Think is the operative phrase there! Ha!) Because we aren't normal. We're the righteousness of God in Christ, we're above average! But still, we want to carry on casual conversations (seasoned with salt) so that people can see a glimpse of the hope that we have. So they will want it. Then when they get it.... they will come to Christ... and then we can all be wierd for Jesus together and be one big happy family!

Anyway... I just thought that was kind of cool.....God can use us to advance His Kingdom if we're just our normal everyday self. That doesn't mean I'm saying don't express your excitement for God. By all means do!! Do cartwheels, stand on your furniture, cry out His Holy Name!.... BUT... the reminder is...there is a time to do so.. and a time to not. If we are in our right minds.. it's for the benefit of the person who hasn't fully "got it" yet. So we stay prepared, and in our right minds minister the message of grace to them. But none-the-less... if it seems we are crazy... it's to bring glory to our Father!

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Moving On

Hey y'all! Well... the time has come for this season of internships to close. I finished my last day at Fox this morning, and I will be headed back to Augusta on Saturday to start school on Monday. It is a bitter sweet moment, because I am going to miss all my friends up here in Nashville like CRAZY. Just crazy.... but at the same time I am so pumped for school to start back. I feel very blessed to have stories to share of what I've learned with other students in my field. Too, the quicker school starts back.... the quicker December will come....and the quicker I will FINALLY GRADUATE COLLEGE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Oh Lawd.... it's taken me almost six years to get a four year degree. Ha! So that will be a happy moment. The Lord has been so wonderful throughout this season, especially with the wonderful people who opened their homes to me. I am praying the Lord blesses them beyond measure. I know that everything that I have done was so ridiculously awesome..... and only God can be that cool.

I have all my boxes packed up. Wondering how it's going to fit in my car. Ha! But then tomorrow I get to hang out with all my gal pals from church and live it up for one more night. Jesus and Karaoke.... that's what we're doing! Also.... I want to remind you that my national tv debut (HA!! j/k) will air on August 21st. Remember??? The CMT Invitation Only Reba Special that I got invited to attend and got to ask a question (on camera) at? Well... that finally will air August 21st (Friday, I think) at 9pm Eastern/ 8pm Central on CMT. (Country Music Television) I have no clue what I sound like.... so I'll go ahead and ask you to pardon me if I sound or look embarassing in anyway. Ha! (They told us to be I was! LOL)

Lastly... I decided to share a couple of the stand-ups that I did at Fox with y'all. These will go on my resume reel (when I make it) to send out to all the places I'd be interested in working at. They are all different and about 12 seconds each. Also... I created the "script" all by myself on these.

Any favorites? Let me know what you think?..........unless you don't like it. Ha! But I feel these were okay. Remember that I am still brand spankin' new at this... and time and experience will only make me better. I look in the mirror everyday and tell myself that! (Ha! I'm totally joking!.......every other day.)

Thank you so much for being my friends and caring about and being interested in what happens in my life. Now on to the next phase. Love y'all!! Miranda

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

"The King will reply, 'I tell you the truth, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers of mine, you did for me." Matthew 25:40 (NIV)

It was the last night of the week, the night in which the Spanish language calls Viernes. When we arrived the children were all smiles and their eyes beamed with anticipation of what we were going to do next. I remember when I stepped out of the van and walked around to where the kids could see me, I was flooded with several little brown hands wrapping themselves around my waist. Their voices floated through my ears as they were calling out to me in their language. What a sweet sweet sound.

I remember meeting those same precious children early Monday morning, July 20th, in the countryside outside of Acuña, Mexico. It’s amazing how kids will warm up to you. I walked in there trying to high five the kids and pull them up to dance, but all I got were stares that seemed to say “who is this crazy white girl?” But as the week progressed, the excitement surged and the crazy looks became anticipating smiles! I could walk in there and just high five rows and rows of anxiously awaiting kids!

I had been praying all week for the Lord to use me to minister to the children and speak of His Name in a way that they would understand and be attentive. Well, each morning we would have the kids do a craft. It was really hard sometimes, because I couldn’t say all the things I wanted to say. Thankfully one of the little girls in my group-Emily- could speak English. So I would have her translate a few things to the rest of my group. One day we were making these little “clapper” instruments. The clappers had three parts to them. The kids were decorating the outside of the instrument, and then I realized that the middle of the clappers could be decorated too. However you couldn’t see the middle unless you shook the clapper back and forth. Then it occurred to me that I could draw a cross on the inside! Then a sweet little ministering moment came to my mind and I pulled aside one of the translators that came from our church, James, to translate. I told the kids that I chose to draw a cross on the inside of my instrument; so that whenever I played it everyone could see that Christ is the center of my life. And wouldn’t you know, just about every child in my group chose to do the same thing. It was so precious to see those little hands drawing crosses!!!

Normally after dancing to Spanish praise songs, having the kids recite a Bible verse, and making a craft we would send the kids off with their instruments and remind them to meet us again in the evening. After eating lunch (which was sandwiches that we had packed) we would walk the streets of the neighborhood to seek out families in need of prayer. This was so wonderful, because at each house we went to, we were welcomed to invite the name of Jesus Christ and to pray in unison over various situations. One lady’s husband was in an accident and on top of that she had complications in her body. One man had an infection in his eye and was praying for healing. Others wanted prayer for their families and their children. One 20 year old wanted prayer for the baby inside her womb. Another lady was desperate for prayer over her husband who needed to have open-heart surgery and she was asking for peace of mind. There were two older women whose knees were weak and they were believing God for pain relief and restoration. The Spirit of God was just alive and moving amongst that little village in Santa Monica.

Not only did I witness the Lord working in the hearts of the people we were there to bless, I also noticed Him working in the hearts of all of us from the church. Especially me. One specific situation comes to my mind. There was one night that a little girl came up to me and told me that she was thirsty. Well… all I had was my water, and it was still early in the evening. I knew if I let her drink out of it then that was it… I wouldn’t drink out of it anymore. I really didn’t want to give it to her. I had been told that there was a water spicket around there somewhere, but I had never seen it and I didn’t know where to direct her to go. But just looking into her precious little eyes I couldn’t just tell her dry little mouth that I didn’t have water to give her…. I remembered the scripture in Matthew that says, “I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink”….then I knew that I couldn’t let that precious angel go without a drink of water. Soon after I gave her a sip a few moments later a couple other children came up asking for water. Then it really touched my heart when an older lady came up and asked for water. Within moments my water bottle was empty…..I didn’t fear for my own hydration, because I knew in my heart that the Lord was pleased and He reminded me that I had Living Water flowing through my soul that would quench my thirst for the night. I knew that because I did it for the least, I did it for the Father.

Throughout the week, I was believing the Lord to reveal Himself in a new and refreshing way. As the scripture in Psalm says, “He is faithful to the faithful” and oh was He faithful! He completely surrounded me with His presence and decided to deepen my walk with Him a little more. I had been praying for an outpouring of His spirit to just move in my life and this trip to Mexico was the perfect place to for that to happen!!

One of my favorite moments was on the last night when Pastor Larry had called every one of the Mexican adults to the front for prayer. Then he called all of us Americans to lace the outside of the circle and to just pray for the people. I prayed and I prayed for those around me, but the moment I looked up I saw a lady that I had remembered seeing at the beginning of the night. When I had saw her earlier I remember thinking that she looked desperate for a touch from our Father. Since I was to go outside with the children, so when I walked by her, I just wanted to give her a Word….but the only Spanish phrase I could think of was “Mucho Bendiciones Senora”….. which was my way of wishing her many blessings.

So when back to when Pastor Larry was having us circle around the people….I saw this woman again. Though I couldn’t see her face, because I was behind her. I could read her body language. Her left hand was held up in front of her body close to her heart, and her right hand was just trembling in the air. Again, I sensed that she was desperate for a touch from the Father. So I broke out of the circle and began weaving through the people to where I was directly behind her. She never saw me, but she felt “the touch” of when I laid my hand on her back. It was almost instantaneous when I laid my hands on her, it sounded as if she just completely broke down. As if a big relief was lifted off of her shoulders. I began to pray under my breath for her, and then I began to move my hands from her shoulders to the top of her head. I’m not really sure why I did this. I could blame it on being a touchy-feely person…….. and it was a big risk, because this woman that I didn’t know may not have wanted me to touch her head. But I tell you… the moment that I did, she just started trembling. Again I couldn’t see her face, because I was behind her. But she started shaking and I could hear the sobs coming from her. Only the Lord knows what He was doing in her that night, but it was so amazing that she was able to feel Him…..not me……but feel Him and His love…His touch… all around her. It was Amazing.

Another story was when we had finished performing our dramas out in the plaza of Mexico. This short little Mexican man in a blue and white striped shirt approached a small group of us. He was probably in his late 30’s but looked as if he was much older. He just looked like a man who has had a hard life. And come to find out he had. He approached us seeking out prayer for his wife who has breast cancer. But then it became more of a confession time for him, he felt as if the enemy was attacking him from all areas and he couldn’t escape. He said that he wanted to live for the Lord and he wanted to do good things. He said he didn’t want to steal things; he wanted to pay for them. However, he can’t seem to break his cycle of sin and didn’t feel worthy. So, through the translator, I told him how our God is one of forgiveness and love. He erases the past and allows you to step foot into abundant living. That he could live in righteousness with Jesus.

We asked the man if he had Jesus in his heart…that if he had specifically prayed to receive Christ. He said he did, a long time ago… but it was almost as if he had closed the Lord off and wouldn’t let any of Christ live through him. So we prayed for the guy over everything specifically that he had asked for, and then we told him that God wanted him to recommit his life to Him. That from that moment on, everything bad he had done would not matter anymore, that Christ would take up his burdens and He could walk in freedom from sin. The guy was completely in tears during his confession, but after we prayed he seemed to have hope that the Lord would work in his life from that moment on. He walked away excited and eager to get into the Word and into church.

The Lord did some wonderful things in Mexico during the week of July 19, 2009. I am forever grateful that he provided through someone $400.00 to pay my way, and then another $100.00 for food and spending. But the most precious things I took away, money can’t buy. The special letters written in Spanish that the children wrote to me, and the things that have been written on my heart. Oh how I bless His name for that. I am so grateful that He chose to send me. So I will forever say, like Isaiah…”Here Am I! Send me.” Never underestimate what God can do and how He can provide. I thank Him so much for blessing me with this trip! I pray that the people who provided money, medicine, bedding, etc….. will be blessed 100-fold over. I look forward to going to Mexico again next year, should it be in His will, and I believe this experience has opened the door for many more mission trips. So here I am Lord! Send me!!!

“The Spirit of the Lord is upon Me, Because He has anointed Me To preach the gospel to the poor; He has sent Me
to heal the brokenhearted, To proclaim liberty to the captives… And recovery of sight to the blind, To set at liberty those who are oppressed; To proclaim the acceptable year of the Lord.” Luke 4:18-19

I have a couple of links for you to go to. One of them will direct you to a photo album of Mexico that is filled with several pictures that one of the guys on the trip took. BEAUTIFUL pics! I hope you will take a peek!

Also, here is a link of the drama that we did in the plaza!

It was truly an A-mazing week! Love y'all!Miranda