Thursday, June 4, 2009

I Miss New Orleans!

Anyone interested in going back to New Orleans sometime during the 3rd to 4th week of August? please contact me!

Currently, I'm looking at August 15th- August 24th, but the dates are relatively flexible as long as the plane tickets remain $160 or below.

Monday, June 1, 2009

Devotionals Part 2

Wednesday Night

1 Corinthians 13:4-8
"Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. Love never fails. But where there are prophecies, they will cease; where there are tongues, they will be stilled; where there is knowledge, it will pass away."

-Love is a decision, not an emotion
-Love is the greatest gift of all that God gives each of us. It is the only spiritual gift that is substantial. 
-Loving is difficult, but it is also very serious. 
-A different version said "Charity." When we think of charity we think of giving. Love is basically giving. Jesus gave His life.
-You don't have to like someone to love them. You can dislike someone and still love them. 
-It is good to have knowledge of the Bible, but we need to have relationships with people.

Matthew 5:1-12
"Now when He saw the crowds, He went up on a mountainside and sat down. His disciples came to Him, and He began to teach them, saying,
'Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the Kingdom of Heaven.
Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted.
Blessed are the meek, for they will inherit the earth. 
Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be filled. 
Blessed are the merciful, for they will be shown mercy.
Blessed are the pure in heart, for they will see God.
Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called sons of God.
Blessed are those who are persecuted because of righteousness, for theirs is the Kingdom of Heaven. 
Blessed are you when people insult you, persecute you and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of Me. Rejoice and be glad, because great is your reward in heaven, for in the same way they persecuted the prophets who were before you."

Earlier in the evening, we went out to a place called The Wall and fed the homeless. It was so humbling and heartbreaking to see how very grateful the homeless were for the food we were giving them.

Deuteronomy 20:3-4
"He shall say: 'Hear, O Israel, today you are going into battle against your enemies. Do not be fainthearted or afraid; do not be terrified or give way to panic before them. For the LORD your God is the one who goes with you to fight for you against your enemies to give you victory."

Oh you foolish Christians! If you only knew the power of God that you have!

Thursday Night

Living for God

1 Peter 4:1-11
"Therefore, since Christ suffered in His body, arm yourselves also with the same attitude, because he who has suffered in his body is done with sin. As a result, he does not live the rest of his earthly life for evil human desires, but rather for the will of God. For you have spent enough time in the past doing what pagans choose to do - living in debauchery, lust, drunkenness, orgies, carousing and detestable idolatry. They think it strange that you do not plunge with them into the same flood of dissipation, and they heap abuse on you. But they will have to give account to Him who is ready to judge the living and the dead. For this is the reason the Gospel was preached even to those who are now dead, so that they might be judged according to men in regard to the body, but live according to God in regard to the spirit.
The end of all things is near. Therefore be clear minded and self-controlled so that you can pray. Above all, love each other deeply, because love covers over a multitude of sins. Offer hospitality to one another without grumbling. Each one should use whatever gift he has received to serve others, faithfully administering God's grace in its various forms. If anyone speaks, he should do it as one speaking the very words of God. If anyone serves, he should do it with the strength God provides, so that in all things God may be praised through Jesus Christ. To Him be the glory and the power for ever and ever. Amen."

-People may not hear our understand our words, but they see how we live. 
-We are putting forth the image of Christ.

James 1:22
"Do not merely listen to the Word, and so deceive yourselves. Do what it says."

Ecclesiastes 7:20
"There is not a righteous man on earth who does what is right and never sins."

1. How can we live a life that is pleasing to God?
-Loving others above yourselves
-Time with God and mimicking what He does. 
-Gifts we are given are better used reaching out to different people in different ways
-Following the gifts and desires God give you - following God
-Being alert and aware
-Having accountability partners, spiritual mentors
-Don't have to have just one, can have multiple
-Authority figures are important

2. What are certain things we can do to remind ourselves that we are temporary residents of this earth - that we are aliens?
-Listening to secular music - but not too much
-Continuing to do things like this intentionally and purposefully (mission trips, ministry, fellowship, etc.).
-Have a mentality of giving 
-Investing in relationships vs. material things
-Everything fades besides love
-Love is everlasting
-Watching the news, knowing what is going on in the world
-By Katrina happening, we have the opportunity to come down to New Orleans and share God's love. just like before the Tsunami hit, it was difficult for people to go to that location, but when it hit, doors were opened wide for people to go there and serve by rebuilding and share Christ's love.
-Looking for open doors and opportunities, big and small, to share the love of Christ.
-We are supposed to die every day to our flesh. We should also remember though that the real zombies are the people walking around us everyday, because they are still walking in darkness.
-Sharing our experiences, revelations, thoughts with other Christians instead of just keeping it to ourselves.
-1 Peter 4:7 - be ready for Christ's return.

Friday Nights, which became Saturday Evening

Luke 9:23-24
"Then He said to them all: 'If anyone would come after Me, he must deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow Me. For whoever wants to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for Me will save it.'"

How can we take up our cross (New Orleans) daily?
-Come back, intentionally make a plan
-Keep in contact with people from Carpenter's House
-Give up everything, just as our fellow servants in NOLA give their whole life to this ministry
-Support financially
-Talking to people from Carpenter's House, building those relationships

Luke 13:18
"Then Jesus asked, 'What is the Kingdom of God like? What shall I compare it to? It is like a mustard seed, which a man took and planted in his garden. It grew and became a tree, and the birds of the air perched in its branches."

Philippians 2:12-18
"Therefore, my dear friends, as you have always obeyed - not only in my presence, but now much more in my absence - continue to work out your salvation with fear and trembling, for it is God who works in you to will and to act according to His good purpose. Do everything without complaining or arguing, so that you may become blameless and pure, children of God without fault in a crooked and depraved generation, in which you shine like stars in the universe as you hold out the word of life - in order that I may boast on the day of Christ that I did not run or labor for nothing. But even if I am being poured out like a drink offering on the sacrifice and service coming from your faith, I am glad and rejoice with all of you. So you too should be glad and rejoice with me."


I like to take notes during a Bible study or during church and then type up those notes as a means of reflecting on the Scripture and the topic.   We had 7 devotionals on this trip. Here they are:

Saturday Night

Romans 1:14-17
"I am obligated both to Greeks and non-Greeks, both to the wise and the foolish. That is why I am so eager to preach the Gospel also to you who are at Rome. I am not ashamed of the Gospel, because it is the power of God for the salvation of everyone who believes: first for the Jew, then for the Gentile. For in the Gospel a righteousness from God is revealed, a righteousness that is by faith from first to last, just as it is written: 'the righteous will live by faith.'"

-Obligated, but not doing it out of obligation.
-Boldness that is strengthened by passion
-Get to know people - take time to build that relationship, treat them like a regular person
-I am not ashamed because this is my responsibility. I have these good news that I have to share. People need these good news 
-We are here to be uncomfortable - which is a good thing

Sunday Morning - Crescent City Baptist Church

John 10:25-27
"Jesus answered, 'I did tell you but you do not believe. The miracles I do in My Father's Name speak for me, but you do not believe because you are not my sheep. My sheep listen to my voice; I know them, and they follow Me. I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish; no one can snatch them out of my hand. My Father, who has given them to Me, is greater than all; no one can snatch them out of My Father's hand. I and the Father are one.'"

God speaks with authority. That same authority is in our life.

John 6:67-68
"You do not want to leave too, do you?" Jesus asked the Twelve. Simon Peter answered Him, "Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life. We believe and know that You are the Holy One of God."

The words of God bring eternal life.

Charles was talking about the cell phone commercial where the guy goes farther and farther away and keeps asking, "can you hear me now?" and Charles compared that to how sometimes God is asking us "can you hear Me now?" but we are continuing to walk away from Him or ignore His voice or just don't hear Him. But it is so important to hear only God's voice, only His. To cling tight to the Living God and push all those other voices away.

Sunday Night 

Matthew 25:35-40
"For I was hungry and you gave Me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave Me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited Me in, I needed clothes and you clothed Me, I was sick and you looked after Me, I was in prison and you came to visit Me."
"Then the righteous will answer Him, 'Lord, when did we see You hungry and feed You, or thirsty and give You something to drink? When did we see You a stranger and invite You in, or needing clothes and clothe You? When did we see You sick or in prison and go to visit You?'"
"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.'"

John 15:12
"My command is this: Love each other as I have loved you."

-Expansive, unconditional love - like the love of God. 
-Glory to God - small things matter - people will see the glory of God in small and big things. 
-Look out for the specific needs that people have. 
-Have a servant's heart - everyday of the year. There is always something we can do in our daily lives, no matter how small.

The above two verses are also the verses that Charles said are the backbone of the ministry, Carpenter's House.

Monday Night

Psalm 91
"He who dwells in the shelter of the Most High will rest in the shadow of the Almighty. I will say of the LORD, 'He is my refuge and my fortress, my God, in whom I trust.'
Surely He will save you from the fowler's snare and from the deadly pestilence. He will cover you with His feathers, and under His wings you will find refuge; His faithfulness will be your shield and rampart. You will not fear the terror of night, nor the arrow that flies by day, nor the pestilence that stalks in the darkness, nor the plague that destroys at midday. A thousand may fall at your side, ten thousand at your right hand, but it will not come near you. You will only observe with your eyes and see the punishment of the wicked.
If you make the Most High your dwelling - even the LORD, who is my refuge - then no harm will befall you, no disaster will come near your tent. For He will command His angels concerning you to guard you in all your ways; they will lift you up in their hands, so that you will not strike your foot against a stone. You will tread upon the lion and the cobra; you will trample the great lion and the serpent. 
'Because he loves Me,' says the LORD, 'I will rescue him; I will protect him, for he acknowledges My Name. He will call upon Me, and I will answer him; I will be with him in trouble, I will deliver him and honor him. With long life will I satisfy him and show him My salvation.'"

Specifically verses 1 and 4
Verse 1  "He who dwells in the shelter of the Most High will rest in the shadow of the Almighty." 
Verse 4 "He will cover you with His feathers, and under His wings you will find refuge; His faithfulness will be your shield and your rampart."

-Power of God - inside us
-Fear - it prevents us from trusting in God

Proverbs 22:1-5
"A good name is more desirable than great riches; to be esteemed is better than silver or gold."
Rich and poor have this in common: The LORD is the Maker of them all.
A prudent man sees danger and takes refuge, but the simple keep going and suffer for it.
Humility and the fear of the LORD bring wealth and honor and life. 
In the paths of the wicked lie thorns and snares, but he who guards his soul stays far from them."

Psalm 37:4 
"Delight yourself in the LORD and He will give you the desires of your heart."

-Our heart should be like God's heart, so that our desires are God's desires.

Tuesday Night 

1 Peter 5:6-11
"Humble yourselves, therefore, under God's mighty hand, that He may lift you up in due time. Cast all your anxiety on Him because He cares for you. Be self-controlled and alert. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour. Resist him, standing firm in the faith, because you know that your brothers throughout the world are undergoing the same kind of sufferings. And the God of all grace, who called you to His eternal glory in Christ, after you have suffered a little while, will Himself restore you and make you strong, firm and steadfast. To Him be the power for ever and ever. Amen."

-Humility is more than service. We have to also be humble in our mind - in our thoughts and attitudes towards God. 
-We like to do things where we see results, but sometimes God asks us just to do, no matter the sight of result. 
-Pride is like a beast.

HUMILITY - Key word of this devotional

I will post the last three Devos on a different post. I thought that our devotionals on Wednesday and Thursday night were really good, and I saw us bonding as a team so much those nights. Also, they are much longer so I want to make a separate post.

Our work is not finished yet

We still have a lot of work to do.. individually and as a team.. we need to share our stories and testimonies.. with our churches, friends, the government, newspapers, the public...

we need to continue to pray for new orleans and carpenter's house and charles, judy, louis, gloria, bill, jose etc

we definitely need to keep in touch.. we need to pray to see if God's leading us back there either in the future or if leading us to do something similar elsewhere

it's weird and lonely to be sitting at work and realize that we've all separated back into our lives... spread out across the US of A... we definitely need to gettogether and play mafia, spoons, and signs.. fellowship.. eat.. just hang out like a family does.. with lots of laughter, memories, and love


I woke up yesterday morning, and it was so strange not being in New Orleans. While I enjoyed the peace and quiet and the sleeping in and my own bed, I missed NOLA and my teammates so much.
I took a long drive in the country, just listening to music and thinking. It was a beautiful day outside, and the long drive was really nice. 
Then I got ready for Frontline Silver Spring, helped with greeting by going to the metro stop and handing out promo cards, found everyone and sat with them, and then we all had dinner together afterwards. 
The day started off very nicely, but as I came home tonight, my heart was heavy and hurting.
My brother also came home last night. When I got home he had already gone to a friends house. but when he came back, I didnt really welcome him the way i had wished. I just wanted to be by myself and for him to go away, and i said a small hi, but afterwards i felt so awful about not being friendlier and frustrated because I really wanted to be enthusiastic about his arrival home, and i felt like I was rude and unfriendly. I just started crying sitting on my bed. I dont know where all these tears are from. 

This is a really difficult post for me to write, because it digs deep into my heart. But nonetheless, I feel the need to share.
I dont know why I am scared to share, or what is holding me back, but I do know that I have nothing to be afraid of, because I know that the people who will read this do love me.
I think one of the hardest things for me is to receive love from people, and to tell people that I love them. I dont know why that is. Sometimes my heart is very open, sometimes it is very closed. 

Last year -the first year after graduating from high school - God grew me and taught me in a lot of ways. I also remember that year as being a lonely year. Having everyone leave for college left me kinda alone, and I didnt have the Christian Fellowship that I needed. It was a hard year, as I often felt lonely, depressed, sad, unable to talk to people, rejected, just very alone.  I feel like my whole life it has been hard for me to connect with and talk to people, I have been much more introverted than extroverted. Sometimes I think that I  am just kind of in my own thoughts. Either way, the Lord has really been pulling me out my shell and growing me. I have found such security, confidence and acceptance in the Lord that most of the fears that once ruled my life have been overcome by the love and power of Christ.  Praise the Lord for His faithfulness. 

Anyway, it has still been a struggle this past year. God has brought me to The Gathering, which has been a huge blessing. I've met so many great people through my small group, going to Intencity trips both semester, Perspectives on the World Christian Movement (a class I have been involved in), and now through New Orleans. I feel that the fellowship on this trip was in its purest form, because we were all put together for 7 days, doing the same things, interacting with the same people, hearing the same stories. I am so blessed to have met everyone and these people are my new friends.

But I dont know what is going on with me. There is something that still hurts inside of me. I still feel alone. I think one reason is that I have to go back to my life now. I feel overwhelmed and need a day or two to debrief - blog, upload pics, write my follow-up letter, spend time in prayer, and just think.
I think I am also scared because even though everyone on my team has been saying that we will get together and hang out, and I do believe we will, I still feel like I'm losing these people. I dont know why I feel that way. Sometimes it is so hard to understand  what I'm feeling and I hate it. Last night I just wanted to crawl into my bed and not deal with anything. I called in sick to work today, cuz I just needed this time. 
I want to be able to shine for Christ, to go out into the world each day tackling all this with joy because I have complete peace and victory in Christ. 
It is so hard to find this fellowship and then have to say goodbye to it. I know I will see everyone again. I know we will hang out. But still, I have fears and sadness that wont go away.

Having been in a dark and lonely place and then seen the opposite, my understanding of close Christian friends being of vital importance is valid and legit. 

I just need to tackle each day with prayer (James 5:16) and the Sword of the Spirit, which is the Word of God (Ephesians 6) and remember that God has not given me a spirit of fear, but of power of love and of self-discipline (2 timothy 1:7).

Sunday, May 31, 2009

A lil sore...

Wow...7 days sort of...went by kind of fast. I feel bad that I'm blogging after the trip instead of during it, but it never sunk into my brain to blog. I'm not the best at blogging anyways. I'll usually spend about 25 minutes writing some really vague entry that sheds no light onto how I really feel about anything. Hopefully I will be able to keep it short and effective this go around. Um...the trip was great. It really was and I'm more than glad I went on it. Now that I hammer time stop to look at it, I see that it was kind of necessary for me to go on the trip. Just like it was necessary for all my other 11 brothers and sisters to be there with me. Lewis was right...I definitely feel burnt out after that week. I'm glad to be home though...gotta do some R&R before I have to go to work on monday :-]. Anyways...shout out to my NOLA fam and my bros and sisters that ventured down with me...we'll definitely have to get a game of mafia or signs in during the summer (personally I'm down for signs or a radioactive game of spoons).

Much Love,

"2 Tall"

forgiven and loved

As we reflect upon this past week at 3 o'clock in the morning, it is clear that God's power has followed us every step of the way. Even after being stuck in Nashville for 3 hours, we were still able to use the unexpected delay

Some highlights of the week would have to be my new southern accent, my new taste for gumbo, the word gumbo, confessionals, learning how to put up crown molding, meeting/adopting Avery's extended family, and a new family, some of whom were left behind in New Orleans. It seems like we all had difficulty letting go, but it shows how much God really wanted us there in the first place. Its been a bittersweet ending, but the people of New Orleans have left a resounding impact in our hearts, especially our favorite trekkie. ==live long and prosper==

--Georgie porgie aka Georgia

As for me, I think i said it all in the last post... At least I hope so. But it's been great. Goodnight. =]