Archive for July, 2009

July 28, 2009

God doesn't owe me anything.

I’m going to start by simply saying this:

God is not Santa Claus.  He does not owe me anything.

Actually, scratch the latter.  He owes me something, but it certainly isn’t presents or blessings.  He owes me His wrath.  I have sinned against Him more times than I’m even able to count.

I was listening to a message from Tim Chaddick (Pastor of Reality LA) entitled “Boasting or Believing” (you can get it on iTunes and I really encourage you to do so!)  He was talking about how we feel entitled to receive something from God and that so many people demand their wages from Him.  But it is by God’s grace that He does NOT give us our wages.  The Bible says the wages of sin is DEATH (Romans 6:23).

Not only does God not give us that which we deserve, but He blesses us.  At the end of the day, God does not bless us because we deserve it, He blesses us because of His love and grace and mercy through Jesus Christ.  God help us if we ever attribute it to our own goodness.  Our righteousness is as filthy rags compared to the holiness of God (Isaiah 64:6).  It is only because of Jesus that I’m even worthy to come before Him.  It’s not because of who I am, but because of who Jesus is and the price He paid on the cross.  And because of His sacrifice and His great love, God owes me nothing because He’s already given me everything in Christ.  And it only feels right that I now give Him everything I am (Romans 12:1).

July 17, 2009

International Justice Day.

Visit the new Mocha Club website.

July 16, 2009

act.

Join me in supporting Mocha Club’s projects in Africa. When we give a little, there’s a lot to be gained.

For more information, visit the Mocha Club website. Their new website is being launched tomorrow!

July 16, 2009

broken again.

In the past week I have missed Africa. I’ve missed it so much.

But today I didn’t just miss it. Today my heart was broken all over again for these people. I can’t say exactly what brought it on. I just know that my thoughts and prayers were with them and the weight of their need fell on me yet again.

I can’t forget.

Sweet little faces, their little hands in mine, their big eyes looking up, all smiles. I can’t imagine what it’s like to live as they live. I complain about such insignificant things. And yet they find a way to be joyful. Their laughter is beautiful because it transcends their circumstances. It rises up from poverty and need and speaks their heart. They are children. They love to run around and play games just like any other child. They are forced to grow up so quickly and yet their innocence is written all over them. They are the most loving, appreciative children I have ever encountered. The smallest acts and gifts mean so much to them. (Matthew 19:14)

And then there are the women in Nazaret. The women who had been so used and disrespected in the past, and yet still found a way to open up to us. They glorified God for His faithfulness and chose not to dwell on the pain of their past, except to testify of God’s awesome salvation. Their mourning has turned to dancing (Psalm 30:11-12). Their need is still great, but their joy in the Lord is greater (Isaiah 61:10).

And the street boys. The boys who go without so much- shelter, food, money, education, even family. The boys who depend on one another and do whatever it takes to get by. These boys broke our hearts. Not only for the needs they have, but because they are truly boys. They are children. And instead of reaching out to them, their society looks down on them and avoids them. They need love. I am so thankful to people like Derebe who see these boys and see their need – both physical and spiritual. I pray that they would seek the Lord who loves them and take refuge in Him (Psalm 72:4, Isaiah 41:17).

I pray that we (the team) would find ways to serve these people while we’re here in America. If nothing changes after this trip, that would surely be a tragedy. May the Lord guide us in our giving and our prayers, that His will would be done and He would truly be glorified. I am so thankful for the things He has shown me and the people He has brought into my life. May I continue to learn from the beautiful people of Ethiopia. May He continue to break my heart for the things that break His.

July 13, 2009

excerpts.

“The morning began with a few women sharing their testimony. I so admire their transparency and their courage. Some of their stories- no, all of them- broke my heart, but the Lord has done an amazing work… Our God is truly mighty to save. He’s bigger and greater than we can even imagine…” (July 1, 2009 from Nazret)

“Wenchi Lake is absolutely breathtaking. We got on horseback and started down the mountainside. I don’t know that my words can ever fully do this experience justice. I saw cliffs and mountains and waterfalls. Huts with fences made of sticks where little village children stood in the doorway and waved, smiling and saying ‘Hullo!’ It was a scene from National Geographic and yet I was in the midst of it. On a horse.” (July 3, 2009 from Ambo)

“Tadi told us that many of them had spent their childhood wishing just to be a tree in America. He wondered aloud what it would take to make them want to be a kid in their own country rather than a tree elsewhere… I’m not sure I’ve ever felt as broken for this place as I did when he was speaking…” (July 4, 2009 from Ambo)

“These kids are so quick to love and it’s really a beautiful thing to witness. They give so much and I hope we are able to give even a percentage of that back to them.” (July 5, 2009 from Ambo)

“It is my prayer that this trip truly changes me. I don’t want to be the same Brittany I was when I left New York. I want to be better, wiser and most of all, closer to Jesus. And closer to being the person He calls me to be.” (July 6, 2009 from Ambo)

“I want to find a way to be that person Jesus wants me to be in a place that makes it so easy to be comfortable in the world… I want to listen for His voice and go the direction He calls me to go and not be afraid of it.” (July 10, 2009 from New York)

July 13, 2009

words are few.

An update is overdue at this point. As many of you know, I returned to the U.S. on Thursday, July 9. I am still processing all of my experiences and am sure I will continue to do so in the days, weeks, months and years to come. I am hoping to have a full-length blog post sometime in the very near future, and perhaps include some excerpts from the journal I kept during the trip.

Looking forward to sharing Africa with all of you. Words, however, will never do it justice.