Hey everyone! I hope you have had a wonderful holiday season and are feeling refreshed and motivated to start 2019.
In case you’re new here, I write these monthly updates because I currently work for a ministry called Awakening Evangelism. Since moving out here last August, I have continually grown while running alongside some amazing individuals; I couldn’t be more grateful! All of my previous monthly updates (as well as additional blogs) can be found on my page as well if you are interested in reading about the first part of my journey here.
Honestly, so much has changed in the past month. I am no longer an intern at Awakening Evangelism…because I got promoted! I am now on staff here; I feel honored to be trusted and so grateful to continually run alongside this team. However, even though I am now on staff, I am considered a staffed missionary. That means that I am still raising $2,000 per month and that I still need your help in order to do that. So, if you’d like to donate, you can do that here – simply click the button below my picture to sign up for a one-time or monthly contribution.
The past few weeks have looked like working in the office, nannying, and a lot of writing. In December though, I went to visit my parents for Christmas, and then I hopped on a plane to Fresno, CA for our first pre-conference event. We worshipped straight into the new year; it was glorious! One of my favorite parts though was seeing email addresses matched to faces and hearts that truly believe in The Altar Conference. It blows my mind that in just a few short months this conference will actually be a thing. People are coming to it. Fresno is changing. Crazy.
When I write these blogs, I also like to include you in on what I’m learning:
This week, I watched a sermon by a man named Derek Prince. Ever since then, this one line has been running through my brain on a loop:
“God doesn’t ask you to approve, He asks you to follow.”
One day here at the AE office, Mattie and I were walking around the backyard talking when one of our neighbors came over and pointed out a path through the woods. Mattie looked back at me and said, “Well I’m going – you wanna come?” I nodded, and we made our way towards the trees. Our neighbor may have called it a path, but that path disappeared pretty quickly once we entered. Mattie walked in front of me – I stopped when he stopped, stepped where he stepped, and took note of when he ducked or moved branches out of the way. My eyes weren’t fixed on the forest ahead, but on Mattie’s heels.
If you’re like me, simplicity annoys you sometimes. When the answer is so straightforward, you may find yourself wondering if it really could be that easy. Let me tell you friend, following Yahweh is as simple as me following Mattie through that forest. Don’t go where He doesn’t. Stop when He stops. Keep your eyes fixed on His heels.
Now, as a friend of mine recently told me, you may have to eat lunch alone when you live this way. For example, last year when I told people that I was moving to Alabama straight out of high school to pay a ministry to let me work for them, some said they supported me despite their inability to understand; the others cocked their head to the side and looked at me like, “Oh sweetie, have fun ruining your life.” Here’s the thing friends, they don’t have to understand. You go because Yahweh said. You cannot allow your life decisions to be dependent on the thoughts and opinions of others because – quite frankly – they are constantly changing. So, we must choose to put our fate in the hands of One that is evermore constant and steady.
Also, while there may be a multitude of people who don’t get it, there will be handful that do – hold them close.
The best biblical example of this is found in Acts 8 – the story of Phillip the Evangelist. Phillip had what most would deem a successful ministry in Samaria – tons of people were being saved, healed, and delivered! Then, in verse 26, an angel of the Lord asked Phillip to go South. That’s it. This angel didn’t expound into a long speech that would reveal a five-year plan – he just gave Phillip his next step. So, Phillip left all that he had built to go as he was instructed. Reputation and practicalities were off the table as Phillip turned his back on Samaria and made his way South.
If Phillip would have looked ahead, there is a very real chance that he would have been so intimidated or disappointed by what was ahead that he never would have gone in the first place. The Church is so quickly frustrated by Yahweh’s ability to only hand us small pieces at a time that we fail to realize it is actually by His grace that He does so. If God would have told me everything I would be doing here in Alabama, I never would have moved. However, He is kind enough to only allow me one bite-size piece at a time.
All of this to say, my prayer for the Church is that we would view, “Because Yahweh said so,” as a valid reason. Love because He said so. Share the gospel with your waitress because He said so. Forgive because He said so. Leave everything you thought you knew because He said so. Plus, not only does He know best, but your love for Him should empower your ability to say yes. I also long for the Church to value simplicity once more and to see God’s grace in the midst of minimalism. My hope is that we begin to rejoice and dance over the bite-size pieces instead of banging our fists on the table screaming that we are starving, yet we won’t eat until He puts more in front of us.
Well, that’s all I have for this update. As always, if you have comments, questions, or concerns, feel free to leave them in the comments below this blog.