Let me show & tell you about some of the coolest people on the planet, with whom I’ve had the honor to be around. I’m leading our first ever Saving Moses team trip & we are in Cambodia with an absolutely amazing team who has poured their hearts, souls, sweat & love into everything they’re doing here! Only a few of the amazing & cool things they’ve done include: painting, cleaning, being patient (again), assembling baby cots, holding babies & hundreds of more things! Here are some fun pix to show our sweat equity!
If a person talks about prostitutes or sex workers, people have some interesting reactions. Some people get really uncomfortable & change the subject quickly. Some people get really condescending & holy. Some people don’t get too jittery & seem relatively calm. In the Bible, prostitutes were often considered lower class, except by Jesus. When I watch how Jesus treated women of ill repute, He didn’t shun nor shame them. In fact, it says that He was considered a friend of sinners.
In my work with Saving Moses, we look after the babies of prostitutes with our nightcare centers. Without our centers, these babies & toddlers have tremendous struggles which are difficult for us to imagine & understand. I’m in Cambodia right now celebrating the Grand Opening of our 2nd nightcare & was recently told about a 3year old little girl who was helping her mom in the evenings by selling birth control to the customers of her mother. I want to be like Jesus & love people more than shame them, including prostitutes.
In the Bible, there are all kinds of things that happened because of faith (blind eyes healed, miracle provisions, raising the dead, family restoration, giant killing, etc). Whenever I read Hebrews 11, I’m always really stirred up and motivated in my faith because the chicks & dudes in this chapter are AMAZING!!! But here’s a simple essential to make our faith effective: genuine love.
In Galatians 5:6, Paul says that faith works by love. So whenever I’m not seeing the results of faith in my life, the real question doesn’t always rest on the quality / quantity of my faith, but moreso the reality of my genuine love. Perhaps the evidence of our faith is directly related to the sincerity of our love 🙂
There is a chick who followed Jesus who always takes my breath away: Mary of Bethany. I love watching her because of her devotion to Jesus & her authenticity. The first time we read of her, she’s sitting at Jesus’ feet listening to Him – a place reserved for men who were learning from a teacher, not women who weren’t deemed as worthy to receive education nor instruction. Mary should’ve been helping Martha in the kitchen, doing domestic stuff. But Jesus applauds Mary & says that “this one thing won’t be taken from her.”
Mary’s devotion to Jesus is tested when her brother Lazarus dies, even though Jesus could have prevented his death. Mary is extremely upset by Lazarus’ death & it seems to me that she let her emotions prevent her from seeing her brother raised from the dead (John 11).
The final time we read much about Mary is when she is washing Jesus’ feet with her tears, drying them with her hair & anointing Jesus with costly oil. Her love & devotion to Jesus were nothing less than authentic & extravagant. May I love Jesus as Mary did
I’m not a big fan of onions – when I chop them, they make my eyes water and sometimes they can have a really sharp odor & flavor. But they can serve as an interesting metaphor with some helpful thoughts. If you think about it, onions have many layers – you can keep peeling & peeling, ulimately finding that an onion may have up to 20 layers!
The layers of an onion are a little like our lives, with the first layer being what we say. The things that we say are very important & since I’ve had children, I’m more convinced of this than ever. Our words can give life, encouragment and be uplifting or they can be negative, discouraging and death oriented. So our words are important, but our words are often a reflection of what we think, which is another layer of the onion, so to speak.
Second layer – Have you ever thought about what you think about – a thought inventory? Many of our thoughts are about getting stuff done and general maintainence thinking (cooking, grocery lists, auto repair, etc). But we also think about many other things – conversations, what we think people think about us, priorities, time management, how we feel, reactions to various people & interactions, etc. What we let ourselves think about is very important because our thoughts affect our actions, words, decisions, etc.
But here’s the center of the onion: what we feed our hearts is what affects our thinking & ultimately our words & actions. So let me encourage you to take a few minutes to consider the things that you feed your thoughts, emotions & heart. What are the inputs that you allow in your life? Do these inputs give life? Are they uplifting? Are they truthful? Do they have genuine love? Our words are shaped by our thoughts which are shaped by the inputs we allow – so let’s chose these inputs with discernment, discretion, wisdom & love 🙂
Sometimes we can be in really dark situations or seasons in our lives. Darkness can be lots of different things: bad environments, yucky people, wicked things that happen to or around us & lots of other things ( I’m reminded of one of the neighborhoods that I walked in for a possible new nightcare location in Cambodia with www.savingmoses.org – a totally evil & wicked place that was overwhelmingly dark even during the day).
With that being said, lets be mindful to keep Jesus as the Light in our hearts – dont let the darkness seep into your thoughts or emotions no matter how strong it may seem. Darkness never overcomes Light so lets stay full of Jesus in our hearts so that we can bring light, hope & genuine love to any darkness that could be in our lives 🙂
If you take some time to be still & listen to God, you’ll hear that you’re deeply loved. You’ll hear that you have infinite value. You’ll hear that your life has amazing purpose as you live in synch with God. Listen, watch, be sensitive to God because you have yet to experience more & more of God’s love for you 🙂