"For this reason I bow my knees before the Father, from whom every family in heaven and on earth is named, that according to the riches of his glory he may grant you to be strengthened with power through his Spirit in your inner being, so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith—that you, being ROOTED and grounded in LOVE, may have strength to comprehend with all the saints what is the breadth and length and height and depth, and to know the LOVE of Christ that surpasses knowledge, that you may be filled with all the fullness of God. Now to him who is able to do far more abundantly than all that we ask or think, according to the power at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, forever and ever. Amen."

~Ephesians 3:14-21

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Up-side Down or Right-Side Up?

54 Days to Departure: Happy Thanksgiving!
As we continue to prepare for this new journey as faith missionaries in Peru, everyday we feel like God is turning our world upside down. We are tearing our house down this week as we begin to pack our first bags that are going with us in January. Room by room, we are sorting through and making piles marked for Peru and piles that are going to be donated to My Sister's House (a ministry in town that addresses the needs at a variety of levels of those fleeing family abuse and sexual assault). As we look around at the amount of stuff that we have accumulated over the past 12 years of being married and the amount of stuff that has been boxed, stored, stuffed in the bottom of closets, and unfortunately, items that we never knew we even had...we quickly realized how ashamed we are. All these years, never being used, yet surrounding us all everyday are so many needs and people just struggling to make it by each and every day. As Sean made his way to drop off a mattress at Yolkfellow Ministry, once he arrived, he was greeted in the parking lot by a homeless man, clothes filthy dirty, whose face was covered with damage from an abscess infection with his nostrils stuffed with toilet paper because air going through his nose made it too painful to breath. Once again God is revealing to us and opening our eyes to so many things we chose to ignore and the belief we put in our heads daily that THEY put themselves in that situation and THEY surely can get a job somewhere...as we sort through another pile of clothes, some even with tags that have never even been worn.

Is it that God is turning our world upside down...or is He actually turning it right side up? We are thinking daily and reminded of the life that we are leaving behind. Many trips to Walmart to pick up small items that we need to take to Peru, reminds us of the many times that we would have easily spent $100 here and there on another new decoration for the house. Now we look around and wonder how many months $100 would provide for a family for food in Peru or how many nights $100 would provide the homeless man in town a warm place to lay his head. Seeking to find answers and longing to live and walk as Christ did, we are reminded of so many verses and commands that Jesus teaches us about money and possessions and caring for the needy and poor: 

"Don't store up treasures here on earth, where moths eat them and rust destroys them, and where  thieves break in and steal. Store your treasures in heaven, where moths and rust cannot destroy, and thieves do not break in and steal. Wherever your treasure is, there the desires of your heart will also be." (Matthew 6:19-21 NLT)

"...Lord, when did we ever see you hungry and feed you? Or thirsty and give you something to drink? Or a stranger and show you hospitality? Or naked and give you clothing? When did we ever see you sick or in prison and visit you? And the King will say, 'I tell you the truth, when you did it to one of the least of these my brothers and sisters, you were doing it to me!'" (Matthew 25:37-40 NLT)

Lord please forgive us where we fail you and continue to open our eyes.