Mission Work

“Was I called to love and care for the poor? Most definitely. Was I equipped to love and care for Costa Rica’s poor in respectful, sensible ways that went to the root of the problem? Like, not even close. As hard as I tried to apply all the feel-good Christian clichés we use as permission to descend on impoverished communities, I couldn’t keep pretending that it was actually accomplishing significant change.”

― Jamie Wright, The Very Worst Missionary: A Memoir or Whatever

I just finished reading “The Very Worst Missionary: A Memoir or Whatever” and my mind keeps replaying some of the stories the author mentioned in her book.

For most of my Christian life, I imagined myself doing mission work for the Church. I imagined working in very poor areas where the children looked terrible, sad and hungry. I envisioned arriving with food, clothing and aid to then go home with the sense of completing my christian duty. After reading this book, I realized how ignorant I was thinking that I would be successful in this work without any knowledge of the culture, language, need and lack of said country. I felt embarrassed for even assuming that if a country wasn’t living the American dream, they were impoverished.

The writer mentioned how Costa Rica was FILLED with many many missionaries then suddenly she realized that maybe she didn’t need to be there. Costa Rica had their own churches, pastors and even had their own bible seminaries. The community wasn’t in need of more missionaries, clothes, candy or toys. She mentioned that the community needed resources for domestic violence and drug dependence. Kinda like what every city in the United States needs.

I’m not saying mission work isn’t needed. I’m sure it is but in countries that lacks the GOSPEL. Probably in places where a missionary would be martyred.

I knew I was in the wrong when my idea of being a missionary was going to make ME happy and feel fulfilled. But, mission work is not meant for us to feel good. It’s meant for us to be obedient.

The truth became clearer when on my way to the supermarket I see the homeless. Why go to another country when clearly, in my face, the homeless here needs that same missionary energy.

Good Friends Refuse to Mind Their Business

I’m normally that friend that if you’re going through something, I’ll leave you alone about it. I don’t believe in forcing myself in places that I don’t belong. I always care deeply for my friends but I also want to respect others and their personal problems. If someone NEEDED me to know, they’d tell me right off the bat right?

Well, apparently I’m WRONG! I found myself one day breaking down the wall my friend built because I wouldn’t allow her to make me mind my business. “I love you and I NEED to know whats going on”. 2 of my closest friends did this to me recently. “So you think I’m going to sit here and let you figure it out on your own.?” Heckkkkk no!

When I first got married, the adults in my life kept quiet every time there was an issue with my husband and I. They said it wasn’t their place to involve themselves and when I think about it today, I get mad. You could have helped me be a better wife. You could have given me advice. Instead you left us behind to rot.

That memory is what drives me to drive my buddies crazy. I’ll ask my friend, “Why do you seem upset at your husband? What’s going on?”. “Ohhh nothing. I’ll get over it.”

No, you don’t need to just get over it. You don’t need to go through this alone. Let’s discuss. Let’s figure out a way to make it better.

Don’t use this method on people you barely know. This is useful for the strong friendships/ relationships in your life. Be mindful of the people who fight to know your business just to manipulate you. Those are not real friends. Make sure your friend has proven their loyalty and integrity before you decide to trust them with your life.

The main word here is accountability. If I had the solutions to your stress and the experience in your problem, I am completely accountable for the result of your battle. If you lose, I lose.

Learning to Spot Manipulators

The more I try to learn on the topic of manipulation, the more sad I become. I’m almost done listening to a book called “Manipulation. Learning to Spot Manipulative People – Improve Emotional Intelligence Against Persuasion Tactics” by Jeff Tierney. The Author covers many topics including the tactics used by savvy manipulators. What makes me sad is that I’m realizing how many times per day someone attempts to manipulate me. Whats more sad is that these people don’t even know they are doing it.

Are we so prone to get our way that we don’t realize we are being shady to the people that we love? If I’m going to learn something reading this book, I’m choosing to learn on finding way NOT to manipulate people. I find it more stressing to spend my days trying to spot said persuasion tactics. Instead, I plan on working on not being that person. I want to catch myself before I try manipulating someone. I want to find ways to express my ideas/needs/wants without trying to convince someone using their weakness to get it.

I’m noticing that taking this route often leads the other direction. I don’t get what I want and find myself catering to someone else’s desires. In the moment it stinks because you kinda want to go back to your manipulating ways but later I notice that God comes through for me. I get what I initially wanted in one form or another.

I trying to keep myself from having ulterior motives. I’m not 100% good at it but my goal is to keep trying. To keep working on treating people how I want to be treated.

The next book on my queue is: Tactical Influence: A Practical Approach to Increase Your Influence and Leadership Skills.

Space and Time

We cant use an earthly scale to measure God. In fact, He simply cannot be measured. Otherwise, we would need an item bigger than He is. We would need a ruler bigger than Him to get a number like 5 ft 5 in. Yet, He can be small enough to create a grain of sand. Small enough to heal hearts and minds, to cure sickness in the tiniest artery. But, big enough to create the sun and suns greater than the one we see in our horizon. Then, small enough to feed the birds in the air and fill the fields with flowers.

I look into the sky and see endless amounts of stars. I suddenly feel like the galaxy is a lot bigger than God. I measured God by the amount of love He has for me. And I’m just a drop of water in all the waters in the world. I compared His love for me to the sky with no end that He created with His own hands. How could a being that created thousands of galaxies find the time or fit in the space that I’m in.

Then it came to me. God is not subject to time or space. Time and space are subject to Him.

Shadows And Perspective

Shadows equal evil.

Light equals good.

Right?

But we need both shadows and light to determine depth. To determine perspective.

It’s a shadow that lets us see an object; where it sits, it’s dimensions, it’s color. If there were no shadows, we couldn’t see a handmade vase because the light would overexpose it and our simple weak eyes couldn’t interpret its beauty

A baby has to feel irritated by hunger in order for her to start crying. How would a parent know she’s hungry if she didn’t cry? If there wasn’t irritation? Irritation being a shadow? As Christians, we are encouraged to rebuke irritation. But it’s the pain that keeps a baby alive. Otherwise, The baby wouldn’t cry and would therefore die.

FEAR keeps us from the path of a dangerous animal. SURVIVAL

PAIN reminds us not to make the same mistakes. LESSONS

SORROW Makes us more compassionate. HUMILITY

I just KNOW that there is so much I don’t know! This here reminds me of how human I am and how I am so destined to sin that my livelihood relies on what I normally ask God to rid of. Knowing this, my prayers are different. I don’t ask God to remove these things but that His will is done in my life. He knows what’s best for me.

Probably.

While walking down the street, I saw an ice cream wrapper on the ground. Where was the popsicle stick? I could only assume the perpetrator ate the popsicle stick since it wasn’t near the wrapper. Did he unwrap his ice cream, drop the wrapper and eat the ice cream as he walked further away?

Probably.

See the Small Things

Is it hard to believe that someone would just GIVE you something of much value? A car? Home? I would have never believed if someone told me this happened to them.

During my pregnancy, I suffered terrible loss. My morning sickness debilitated me to the point where I lost my job. I wasn’t making my quota anymore. I couldn’t. I lost my dream apartment and had to give up one of our cars. I could still feel the pain from that time. I felt worthless, small and ashamed I had lost so much. My trial could fill a big book but today, I have to speak of 2 things. A car and a home.

My husbands job is now requiring him to travel. We needed another car. We didn’t stress it. We left it in God’s hands. Suddenly, God provided in a miraculous way. A car, for us, for free!

November 1st my husband and I begin a new adventure. We move into OUR home. A while ago, our friend from church said he was going to work on finding us a mobile home for us to own. We didn’t hold him to his word because we get it, sometimes life gets in the way. But our friend recently came through. For those who don’t live in the south, mobile homes are very popular and can be bigger than apartments up north. This one is 3 bedrooms and 2 full bathrooms. Our friend completely renovated the home and offered us a deal so great we had to question if he was even making a profit. His motivation was obedience to what God told him to do for us. With that alone, he was content.

I still had to make sure this was all God’s doing because we’ve been burned so much by making moves without God’s hand in the midst. I walk around the unit and found a study Bible that belonged to the prior owner (the only owner) of the home. Unfortunately, the woman passed away and left the study Bible behind amongst all her other belongings. I asked our friend if I could have it. He said yes.

Only the Lord knew how badly I wanted a study Bible. And he once again provided that for me. He also thought about me so thoroughly that He gave me one that once belonged to a strong believer. The previous owner left notes everywhere and Highlighted everything. The study Bible is USED and shows so much character. God thought about me in this. The Bible has history. I inherited this treasure.

I want to name the previous owner Sarah. She lived simply and worshiped Jesus with everything she had until her transition to be with the Lord. Here is note number 1 found in the first few blank pages.

Milk- Gospel. Salvation and Cross.

Meat- is doing of the gospel.

1 Corinthians 3:1-3

I want to eat the solid food or the meat Paul speaks of in that verse. I want to walk the walk. I want people to know freedom in Christ as I do. The LOVE of God can warm even the coldest heart.

I’m being very honest. There’s no reason to lie here on my blog. The car and home is nice but the details God put into giving me that study Bible speaks to me louder than anything in this world. I’ve lost so many material things that I am numb to not having them. I content with having just the essentials. He ensured His sovereignty over this move on November 1st by listening deep into my heart for my deepest desire and providing it. He proved His love in the tiny details in this bible. He spoke volumes in the small things.

…or you’ll be tempted too

I read a verse that hit me this morning. I had to read the verse and the context a few times to realize how scripture was happening in my face and I didn’t even know it.

I remember confiding in church leadership of my habitual sin that caught up to me. Sin that didn’t let me be at peace with myself because I was so guilty. I was hoping for restoration but instead, I was beat up by the law.

In this particular scripture, Paul says that through the Spirit, leaders/ mentors/ Pastors or anyone in the position to care for people, should handle such a situation in meekness and not with a holier than thou attitude. The scripture tells said leaders to be careful that the matter is handled Scripturally. Why?

“Lest you also be tempted”

If we choose to respond to our brother’s sin without being kind and gentle, we open the door for Satan to attack us in the same manner as he did the failing brother.

After reading this, I had a flashback and remembered everyone who judged me terribly. I’d like to say it was about 4 people who went over the top to really hurt me. 4/4 of those people fell or are in the same sin I sought help for. Thats 100%. Thats scripture happening before my eyes.

Gal 6:1  Brethren, if a man be overtaken in a fault, ye which are spiritual, restore such an one in the spirit of meekness; considering thyself, lest thou also be tempted

Stink, Stank, Stunk

“I don’t think you should overwhelm yourself though. I think you should pray, send positive vibes and well wishes. Do and deal with what you have control over, you’ll be fine. But don’t be “Stink, Stank, Stunk” ha ha.”

I told my cousin that I didn’t know the word Stank was the past tense of stink. I thought the word stank was slang and the past tense of stink was stunk. I’m still trying to figure it out…

…as I’m trying to figure out so many other things pertaining to my life. I’m learning that if i want to function on a daily basis as I should, I cant have too many things to think about. I cant have too many situations to analyze. I cant have too many decisions to make. I think my brain has the capacity of solving 1 life problem per day.  Any more than that, my brain begins to deflate like my 2 month old when she burps. Its not a loud bubbly burp. Its like releasing the air from a tire. Tsssssss.

When my mind is troubled, I hear someone say: “did you pray about it?’. Like, absolutely! But we forget that God gave us free will and the ability to make our own decisions especially in cases where both choices are not bad at all. Should I eat this apple, or this orange? Both are fruits, both are healthy, but I could only choose 1 within the next 5 minutes.

I have learned in moments like these to simply tell God I don’t know what to do and I have to make a move quickly. I tell Him to guide my steps and remove anything that could damage me. As I continue life with this same mindset, I realized that God still comes through.

You could say I’m wrong. That I shouldn’t make decisions if I don’t have time to pray. Fine, but the hospital is telling me to pull the plug on a family member or else that person would continue to suffer. How about responding to my child’s rebelliousness the moment he acts out or give myself time to breathe and think to handle the situation carefully.

Guys, you don’t know all of God’s capabilities. He’s way to wonderous to understand. Let God deal with everyone His own way. And let us step back.

 

 

It’s a shut down

We ask God to mold us into His Image forgetting that His image is Jesus.

I asked, and prayed, and sang, and just constantly had in my mind that I wanted to be more like Him. I wanted to see with His eyes. I wanted to feel as He did. Little did I know that the process is THE most painful thing ever.

I stopped writing. I stopped trying to impress people with words. I stopped trying to impress people with ideas and pretty pictures. I stopped trying to impress people with MYSELF.

There is nothing about myself to take pride in except that God changed this sinner and saved her. It is then that my pride is focused on God.

I thank the Lord for making things so hard in my life. For allowing me to go through depression, pain, sickness, loss, desperation, thoughts of suicide, inadequacy and insecurity. Because without it, how in the world would I ever have compassion over a depressed friend? How could I ever understand truly what it is to want to die? There is no way to see this world in God’s perspective if my life has always been a success.

Authkg is my pen name. Yes, a name that I gave myself. I’ll keep it sure, I still need an easy username for the grams. But God has shown me way too much to keep trying to prove to the world that I exist.

The world doesn’t need to know me. The world needs to know Jesus. The one who saves me day after day from the darkness of this world.

When I have the time and energy, I will soon archive all my posts, give up my domain and walk the walk. It’s been nice having this blog. But now, it’s time to grow up.