China 2009

On Tuesday we had a meeting regarding my upcoming trip to China. As it stands, there are only 3 people going including myself. This caused my mother to because more concerned than she was.

First, she is concerned with me leaving the country to a place where I may be persecuted by the people who live there (um, where has she been? Christians are even persecuted here).

Second, she was concerned with my safety and if I would make it home.

Now, she is concerned that I may not have much to do there because I will be the only woman and the only young person going. The two people I will be going with are the president of the organization, Zimmer Foundation for China, and another older gentleman. They have both been on this trip before and are comfortable with the people and their surroundings. She is concerned with the fact that they are familiar and will want to do things that I will not want to do. She would prefer that I go in October when they will be meeting up with a medical mission from Australia and there will be more people around. Ahh!

I’ve been praying about this trip and I feel that God is calling me to go in April. It’s so hard for me to explain this to my parents as they are not saved. Sometimes I feel like when I try to talk to them, I am talking to a brick wall.

Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you.

– 1 Peter 5:7 (NIV)

Blessings,

Jen

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The Last Lecture #4 – Are you spending time on the right things?

You may have causes, goals, interests. Are they even worth pursuing? I’ve long held on to a clipping from a newspaper in Roanoke, Virginia. It featured a photo of a pregnant woman who had lodged a protest against a local construction site. She worried that the sound of jackhammers was injuring her unborn child. But get this: In the photo, the woman is holding a cigarette. If she cared about her unborn child, the time she spent railing against jackhammers would have been better spent putting out that cigarette.

– Randy Pausch, The Last Lecture

For they served idols, whereof the LORD had said unto them, Ye shall not do this thing.
2 Kings 17:12
So, when I reread this, I was going to Google for a picture of a pregnant woman in front of a construction site smoking a cigarette. I changed my mind. I think the visual the above quote gives is enough.

I believe this is something we are all working on, though. I find that I am becoming more discerning and more apt to say “no” to something when I need to. There are many good causes out there. How do you choose which one(s) to get involved with?

I’ll be honest, I want to get involved in a lot of causes but I just can’t. I’m pursuing God and my degree. I can only spread myself so thin before something rips.

Yea, a man may say, Thou hast faith, and I have works: shew me thy faith without thy works, and I will shew thee my faith by my works. Thou believest that there is one God; thou doest well: the devils also believe, and tremble. But wilt thou know, O vain man, that faith without works is dead? Was not Abraham our father justified by works, when he had offered Isaac his son upon the altar? Seest thou how faith wrought with his works, and by works was faith made perfect? And the scripture was fulfilled which saith, Abraham believed God, and it was imputed unto him for righteousness: and he was called the Friend of God. Ye see then how that by works a man is justified, and not by faith only. Likewise also was not Rahab the harlot justified by works, when she had received the messengers, and had sent them out another way? For as the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without works is dead also.
– James 2:18-26
This passage in James is something I deal with. When I was younger and going to a Catholic church, we were taught very much about good works. And don’t get me wrong, I believe all young Christians should know about good works and about doing good works. However, I believe that they need to have an understanding of faith first before they can do good works.

Like other believers, I like going to conferences and hearing someone speaking a message that will edify the Body. That is all well and good but what about the unbelievers who need to see our faith by how we live and what we do. As Children of God, we are called to act different so that even if our outside looks like the world, our actions show that we are NOT of the world. We may dwell here for a time and have been called as stewards of the Earth, but this is not our home.


And the LORD God took the man, and put him into the garden of Eden to dress it and to keep it.

– Genesis 2:15

I’m not suggesting that we all get involved with every single cause out there or that you should stop pursuing certain interests but are they worth pursuing? Will these interests and causes show your faith? One interest of mine is photography and scrapbooking. I love to take pictures of the people I love and the places I visit. Not just because I enjoy it but because I want people to see how I see the world – how the Christ in me sees the world. I don’t just see the outward but I see the inward beauty as well. I will actually be acquiring a new camera in the next week and am hoping to be able to get out in the next few weeks to do some shooting. Hopefully I will get to post them as well.

I hope that this post was insightful.

Blessings,
Jen