Ripples.

We ourselves feel that what we are doing is just a drop in the ocean. But the ocean would be less because of that missing drop.
Read more at http://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/quotes/m/mothertere121243.html#3fJm2IvfFGhPvXFp.99
We ourselves feel that what we are doing is just a drop in the ocean. But the ocean would be less because of that missing drop.
Read more at http://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/quotes/m/mothertere121243.html#3fJm2IvfFGhPvXFp.99

We ourselves feel that what we are doing is just a drop in the ocean. But the ocean would be less because of that missing drop.
Read more at http://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/quotes/m/mothertere121243.html#3fJm2IvfFGhPvXFp.99

“What we are doing is just a drop in the ocean. But if that drop was not in the ocean, I think the ocean would be less because of that missing drop.”

— Mother Teresa

It’s my mama’s birthday. Every year, I laugh at how much I’m becoming like her. Just last week, I noticed that I tap my foot and raise my hands the exact same way during worship time at church. When I have kids of my own, I’ll probably accidentally smack them in the face while swaying to the music just like my mom smacked me so many times (now I sit on the other side of the church with my friends, away from the danger zone).

The older I get and the more traits of hers I see in me, the more blessed I feel that God picked her to be my mom. When I was younger, I thought my friends all had the “cool” moms. Well, maybe they had the cool moms, but I got the best mom. My mama loves everyone, not just her own kids, with a selfless, genuine love.

She gives umbrellas to door-to-door salesmen when it’s raining.

She invites the repairmen in for lunch.

She not only thanks every soldier she sees, but usually buys them a meal.

Even checkers at the grocery store have told me what a generous person my mom is.

She puts in long hours as a special education teacher, making sure every kid on her caseload is taken care of, regardless of bureaucratic red tape.

She gives everything she’s got, and yet she’s always ready the next day to give even more.

I’m so blessed by her, and I realize that who I am is because of the work she put in. Not everyone has that kind of mother… Someone who speaks life into them and sows into their future…  At a ladies group I attended, one of the girls mentioned that women have always been “culture-changers.” While the men were off battling each other, it was up to the women to raise the children, who then grew up as the next generation of that society.

If that is the case, I wish everyone had a mom like mine…

Because despite what the Left would have you believe, women are not the sum of their “lady parts.” It’s not unambitious to want to choose motherhood over a career path. And this fabricated “War on Women” is a ploy to make women think they are less than they are, merely a pawn in the political game rather than the ones who hold the power to shape the coming generations.

I’ve told you before how it was too late for King Josiah to turn back his country, but maybe it’s not too late for us. Maybe we are the Esthers, born for such a time as this.

I’m tired of knowing what I know and still feeling like my hands are tied. I don’t even feel like we’re fighting and losing… we’re just enduring an occupation of our country. I would love it if I knew some big thing that I could be doing, but so far, I haven’t figured out what that is… So I’m stuck doing little things… But even so, every time my mama sees me, she puts her hand on my head and tells me “you are going to rock this nation.”  I don’t really know what she has in mind… and sometimes I still feel like I’m just a drop in the ocean… but even a drop can cause a ripple.

So let’s all cause ripples.

In  Zechariah 4, it says not to despise the days of small beginnings… I think because it’s in those small beginnings when our character is being tested. It’s when our character gains “work experience” for the jobs down the road that will be more challenging, but also yield bigger results. It’s also in the beginning when we’re required to have the most faith, because we can’t see the finished product. And maybe the end is a long way off, but we will never get there if we never begin.

So, keep posting those political things that everyone rolls their eyes at. Keep educating yourself on issues and vetting candidates based upon your own standards in this coming midterm. Talk to your kids about current events and what they mean for their future. Stop listening to nay-sayers who don’t know what you know, that you’re not alone in this fight, and for Heaven’s sake, keep praying. We need all the help we can get.

 

“Do not despise these small beginnings, for the Lord rejoices to see the work begin, to see the plumb line in Zerubbabel’s hand.”

–Zechariah 4:10

 

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Shields High

“I want to fight.”

The most beautiful words I’ve heard come out of Buck Sexton’s mouth (whoa, feels weird to not put an “@” in front of his name…). I want to fight, too. Almost 2 months ago, I wrote a post about King Josiah. I ended with the words, “I want to fight. And I want to win.” So when Buck said those magic words during his show, I felt like a match was struck. For so long I’ve been waiting to hear someone else, someone who has an actual voice, say those words. (You can listen and download Buck’s show from September 21st here.)

I think most of us are tired. We hear all that’s wrong, but we don’t hear solutions. We see the corruption, but we can’t see a clear answer. We’ve been driven to our knees, but we don’t know what to pray for anymore.

I tried to get involved during the primary process last year. Usually no candidates come to Washington state. I thought it was exciting that Rick Santorum made a trip out here. Too bad we got him the worst venue, right smack dab in the middle of the armpit of Washington (oh, hey Tacoma!). It also didn’t help that there were Occupiers camped out, either. Aside from my sister and I, the occupiers were the youngest people there. I made a comment about how embarrassed I was by my generation. A dude gave me a hug. It was kind of cool.

So then, even though I was slightly discouraged, I went to the caucus. It was held in a nursing home. I was the youngest person there by 40 years. I wasn’t upset that I was the youngest person, but I was upset that no one my own age cared enough to show up. So then things got started. We talked about this issues, went down the list and took a survey. When it came time to discuss the candidates, I was ready to leave. We had to pick 3 delegates, so we all had to talk about who we were going to throw our hat in for. Aside from a couple Ron Paul’s, the majority of people said Romney. I would be cool with that, if they thought he was the best candidate for the job, but here’s what they said, “Romney is going to be the frontrunner anyway, so we might as well vote for him now.”

Maybe I’m crazy, but I think that the primaries are where we fight for who we actually want, not just who we think is going to win. I’m not ok with merely winning seats for people with an “R” attached to their name. This is supposed to be a representative government, but I don’t think most Americans feel represented in the government. We like to complain about how it’s “politics as usual” but we keep doing the same voting as usual. We don’t look at all the candidates, just the top two. Why? Why do we keep letting these phony, career politicians buy the election because we are too lazy to actually do our own homework. We only scan the items listed on the ballot for things that tickle our ears, but we don’t read through the entire proposal to see if it’s actually a good or bad thing. That’s why politicians can capitalize on our ignorance and take away our freedoms and continue to rob us blind in the form of taxes.

I don’t know about you, but I’m tired of being told that I need to compromise my principles to win elections. I hear people talk about how there is no in-fighting amongst the democrats and that’s why they keep winning… well good for them. They are dumb enough to not know that they aren’t actually being represented. But I am not dumb. I know what’s going on. I can see it.

Here’s what I’m going to do about it.

First, I’m going to keep praying. We’ve been so busy trying to not offend people that we’ve been taking God out of everything. We’re not supposed to mix religion and politics. Too bad. I’m getting God involved. This weekend we had a lesson on Nehemiah. When he saw that his country was being destroyed, he prayed this prayer:

“Lord, the God of heaven, the great and awesome God, who keeps his covenant of love with those who love him and keep his commandments, let your ear be attentive and your eyes open to hear the prayer your servant is praying before you day and night for your servants, the people of Israel. I confess the sins we Israelites, including myself and my father’s family, have committed against you. We have acted very wickedly toward you. We have not obeyed the commands, decrees and laws you gave your servant Moses. “Remember the instruction you gave your servant Moses, saying, ‘If you are unfaithful, I will scatter you among the nations, but if you return to me and obey my commands, then even if your exiled people are at the farthest horizon, I will gather them from there and bring them to the place I have chosen as a dwelling for my Name.’ “They are your servants and your people, whom you redeemed by your great strength and your mighty hand. Lord, let your ear be attentive to the prayer of this your servant and to the prayer of your servants who delight in revering your name. Give your servant success today by granting him favor in the presence of this man.” Nehemiah 1:6-11

It’s not fun to think about repentance. Even when we think about not being perfect, we like to think “well, it wasn’t THAT bad.” If you read further in the book of Nehemiah, you see that he kept getting God involved, in every step of the process. So, that’s what I’m going to do.

Then, I’m going to stop waiting to hear what the experts have to say and start doing my own homework. I’m still going to keep an ear out, but I’m not going to let their analysis hold more weight than my own conscience. I’m not going to apologize for the decisions I make on the ballot. I’m not going to feel that twinge of regret that comes when checking a box next to a candidate that doesn’t represent me, just because everyone thinks he’s going to win. I hated it when people said “A vote for anyone but Romney is a vote for Obama.” No, it wasn’t. Do I wish we had someone who isn’t Obama in office right now? Yes. But telling people that their votes don’t matter is wrong. It’s not wrong to vote for someone who represents you. If we don’t start being more selective, every election is going to be a “better of two evils” battle.

Also, I truly believe that thinking we know the outcome determines how hard we’re willing to fight, whether consciously or sub-consciously. I like the story of Elisha talking to King Jehoash. His enemies are closing in, so Elisha tells him to get an arrow and strike the ground. Jehoash struck the ground three times. Elisha then is like, you dummy, you shouldn’t have stopped, because for every strike, God would’ve handed you a victory. You can read 2 Kings 13 if you don’t love my retelling of the story. Basically, the point is that God does crazy things and we can never know how things are going to turn out. We’ve just gotta keep pounding the ground. Maybe we’re going to lose, but I say all the time that I’m #RideOrDie. I would rather come back on my shield, than be someone’s slave, but I have faith that if we stop doing what we’ve always done, we’re going to start winning.

#ShieldsHigh

My shield is God Most High, who saves the upright in heart.
–Psalm 7:10

Shy as a Shark

Ok, I’ll bite. It’s shark week, and even though I am so confused about why it’s so cool, I guess I’ll use it as a tag.

My mom has super long hair, and I spent most of my childhood holding onto it like a lifeline or hiding behind it to avoid talking to people. My dad used to say that I was “shy as a shark” because I had to circle a few times before I’d go in for the kill. I think all the times my mom brought me to the fire station for their “stranger danger” presentations really made an impact on me. Or it could have been the fact that I didn’t talk until I was 3. I didn’t have the need to. I had 3 older siblings who did enough of that for me.

So, no one was as shocked as I was when I started being an outspoken Christian conservative. For one thing, I’m shy, and for another, I live in Washington. I think when I made the decision to withdraw from school, I started educating myself and realizing I had been lied to. I was so mad about all the time that had been wasted while I was being indoctrinated by the public school system. It wasn’t fair. I was also ashamed at the time I had spent fearing people’s opinions rather than God.

I watched this really great movie called, “Beware of Christians.” In the film, these four bros get out of the social culture of going to church and find out what it really means to follow Jesus. It’s a really good film, it’s on Netflix, so if you have it, I recommend it. One question they asked that wrecked my heart was if it was worth it to deny Jesus just so you can “fit in.” If you had asked me that in high school, I would have said yes. Even though I have always believed in God, I would have given anything to fit in. One of my sisters is not much older than me (22 months) and so I kind of grew up in her shadow. She was beautiful and popular, and people wanted to be my friend just to have access to her. I was on the total opposite end of that spectrum, so I coveted her position on the high school totem pole. I held on to a lot of unhealthy relationships because I thought I couldn’t afford to go any lower. I learned how to keep quiet so I didn’t upset people, even though I knew what they were saying was wrong. So instead of listening to what the One who made me said, I listened to the ones who broke me down.

Again, I’m rambling because I’m blogging at midnight, but my point is this: I circled around who I was made to be for a long time, but now I’m ready to go in for the “kill” and step out in faith. Now, I am more concerned about what God thinks of me, than what people think. I have a burning passion to pursue liberty and justice that takes away the fear of being criticized or ostracized. I don’t want to be anyone else because I finally know who I am and what my value is. People may not listen to me or like what I have to say, but they don’t have the power to stop me from saying it anymore.

Your hands made me and formed me;
    give me understanding to learn your commands.
 May those who fear you rejoice when they see me,
    for I have put my hope in your word.

                       Psalm 119:72-74

Sides.

I heard someone say “The Christian side of me is leaning this way, but another side is going the other.” This really got me thinking today, because we all have sides, don’t we? We are completely double-minded in our thinking. To me, it is just a lack of faith, or having an “out” in case things with God don’t work out. That little bit of protection in saying, “Well, I never REALLY thought that was going to happen.”

But what if having “sides” is what is keeping you from experiencing all that God has in store for you? What if that doubt is stealing the things that faith has promised?

I have told my friends many times that for me, there are no “gray areas.” Things are either black or white. It’s only been recently that I’ve discovered why this has always been a solid truth in my life. It’s the simple fact that to make gray, black and white have to mix, and if God is represented by white, then He can never, ever mix with black. He is perfect. It’s like He is coated in NeverWet. Darkness cannot touch Him or mix with Him.

Gray is a cop-out color. It’s the “well, let’s just agree to disagree” color, that puts important issues on the shelf. What good has that ever done? At dinner on Friday, I mentioned something political, and a girl disagreed with me. She said, “Well, let’s just not talk politics at the table.” I wanted to ask why people never seem to want to talk about things that matter because it might be uncomfortable, but I was cut-off. Nothing got resolved, no one came out of that conversation changed. It’s really sad.

I don’t want to be someone who has “sides.” I want to be fully committed in everything I do. I want to not be consumed by emotions, but driven by the Holy Spirit. I want “me” to be taken out of the equation, until it’s just God using this vessel to further His Kingdom, for His Glory, for His purpose.

“This is the message we have heard from him and declare to you: God is light; in him there is no darkness at all.” — 1 John 1:5

Fallen.

Life is hard. It’s a truth we all think we’ve accepted, but sometimes we forget that life is hard for other people, too. Over the last school year, I had the privilege to serve as caregroup leader. It is probably the most eye-opening experience I could ever have at the age of 23. I’ve had the opportunity to see people’s potential through the eyes of God. I’ve had to see people struggle. I’ve had to learn grace and forgiveness, even when I was right and should have been on the receiving end of an apology. I also had to learn how to answer tough questions.

A few years ago, I picked up a copy of “Why I Stayed: The Choices I Made in My Toughest Hour.” by Gayle Haggard, the wife of Ps. Ted Haggard. Before I read the book, I had actually never heard of him or the scandal. I don’t know why I picked up a copy, the title just kind of spoke to somewhere down in my heart. After reading the book, something changed in me. I always thought that if my (future) husband were to ever cheat on me, I would walk away. I would hope that would never happen in the first place, but having read this book, I found a new level of grace.

I am more willing to accept that people are just people. We all fall down, some of us just do it more publically. We all would hope that the leaders of our church were immune to the temptations of this world, but the simple fact is that they are not. I had someone ask me if they should still listen to Benny Hinn’s sermons even though he and his wife had marital trouble. Instead of answering, I asked them this question: Does this trial in his life negate the truth of the words he has spoken? After all, isn’t that what they wanted to know? If a person does one bad thing, does everything they have ever done go into the garbage?

As humans, we love to hold grudges and keep the upper hand. To tell you the truth, I really had a hard time listening to people sing the praises of Joel Osteen after I heard some remarks he made on Larry King Live. I thought, as a pillar of the Christian community, the fact that he could say that he doesn’t know if Jesus is the only way to Heaven is just crazy. But then God reminded me about Peter denying Christ in a moment of fear, and I realized that I could forgive Joel Osteen.

In the same way, we treat our political champions like they are God. We love when they say things we like, but if they go off of our agenda in even one way, we drop them like we’ve been burned. But I have to tell you, Americans, that people are just people, and there is no one out there who will agree with you 100% of the time. No one is going to always make you happy. I have done it. I loved Chris Christie when he was yelling at the teachers union thugs. I loved Marco Rubio until he joined a gang. I loved Rand Paul while he was filibustering against drones. But they all have their faults, and I was ready to leave them in the dust. Maybe I don’t want them to be president anymore, but I definitely want them on my team. I don’t want to put them down just so that I can feel like my opinion is better and more “right.”

I don’t want this to seem like a “you have to settle” post. I really don’t like being told that conservatives need to change their core values to get more people into their camp. I agree that there are more outreach opportunities, but to change who you are to get what you want will never end with satisfaction. I just want people to realize that we don’t have to be 100% in agreement with everyone in order to stand beside them. We are all going to say things that sting a little, or rub us the wrong way. We need to learn how to react better, then maybe things will start to change.

“The righteous person may have many troubles, but the LORD delivers him from them all.” Psalm 34:19