"Thank you very much for coming to our class to teach us about the Great Awakening and Jonathon Edward's theology. It's been a really long time since I've heard something like that. It was really touching. The way that you talked about how people were overwhelmed with God, overwhelmed me."
"It made a lot of sense when you explained on how the heart is always 'hungry' for God's love and how it won't be fully satisfied until it understand that. But my favorite part was how God fixes you, you don't change/fix yourself for Him. I always thought that if I wasn't good He wouldn't accept me, and that never made sense to me."
"I learned a lot of things. The most important thing that I learned was that the ultimate love that is found is in God."
"Well, I've never been to church and I've never been read the Bible. But I think what you talked about was really cool and it moved me because I do believe in God but I've never really talked about it. Jonathon Edwards sounds like a very religious man and I would probably like to study him more. Maybe I can go to church one day. but yes thank you so much for coming to our class and talking with us."
"My favorite part of your well done presentation was when you talked about temporary happiness and how only God can bring you true happiness. Thank you again!"
"Thank you for sharing your information on Jonathon Edwards. I really enjoyed when you started to speak about the Holy Trinity and God. i liked that you expressed your emotions about God. I think we need more conversations like that in school."
"I think you moved quite a few people today, someone in our class who has never been to church decided they might go soon. Coming to our class gave me a better understanding of what I should be striving for and others feel the same as I."
"This message stuck me. The most important part was that Edwards vision was for everyone to be happy. Now I have a better look on Christianity. The way you put it was incredible."
"Something that stuck with me was that everyone wants to be happy and that the source of all happiness is in God. Also that you aren't truly happy until you quench that 'thirst' that you are longing for which is God . . . I enjoyed your presentation a lot more than the three sentences in the textbook."
My worlds collided today. As a teacher I'm pretty limited in what I can say about my faith. It seems tricky sometimes. It's like having this fantastic secret that you aren't allowed to tell. My U.S. History class is about to study the Great Awakening. One of the parents who is a chaplain asked if he could come and speak to the class since he enjoys studying this time in American history. Today was the day. He began by explaining who Jonathon Edwards was and how the Great Awakening was defined. Then within the context of this time period in history and the words of Jonathon Edwards he passionately and enthusiastically began sharing the message of the Gospel . . . and honestly a bubble of fear began to rise up in me. What if a parent complains that I let someone in the class who is talking about God? How do I handle this? What would I say??? Then that still small voice gently reminded me, "You said you would do 'anything.' Did you mean it? Does it matter what others say? Do not worry." I looked around the room. Every student was engaged. What the chaplain was saying was sinking in as he told them about people wanting to be happy and the message of that time period that true happiness is only found in the love and joy of the Trinity. He presented, and I began to pray silently for each of the students in the class. He spoke for almost and hour and a half, and for an hour and a half the students listened. Today God used history to touch the hearts as well as the minds of my students. I'm sitting here now crying as I read through the thank you letters they wrote to the chaplain. This was a very special day, and I hope it is used to change the hearts and lives of each of these kids.
"Your Dad is okay, but . . . " These are never words you want to read or hear. Nothing good comes after words like those. This week on the way to work my dad was driving on the highway when the car in front of him had a tire blow out. Dad slowed down to avoid an accident but the 18 wheeler behind him didn't. It hit him from behind- TWICE! Miraculously he was able to walk away with only sore muscles. This is what he had to say to me about the accident.
"Was kind of scary seeing that truck bearing down on me and knowing there was nothing I could do--not even to speed up with the car stopped in front. Thinking back on it, there was not even then a sense of overwhelming fear, but maybe startled awareness of what was going to happen when I saw that white behemoth roaring up behind me. Maybe for the Christian it is the same way facing death--it is unavoidable but we will survive it. Still thankful for grace."
Death is unavoidable. We have so few years on this Earth and in an instant it could be over. How we spend our short lives is eternally important.
"Children, don’t drag your feet in this!
God has chosen you to take your place before Him to serve--this is your life work;
make sure you do it and do it well."
"Get to know well your father’s God; serve Him with a whole heart and eager mind,
for God examines every heart and sees through every motive
If you seek Him, He’ll make sure you find Him, but if you abandon Him, He’ll leave you for good. Look sharp now!
God has chosen you to build His holy house.
Be brave, determined! And do it!”
2 Chronicles 29:11, 1 Chronicles 28:9-10 The Message
Sometimes in life we walk through a storm . . . and sometimes we sit in our cinder block house and watch as the storm rages around us. That was me last week. Hurricane Sandy spun herself right over us. While she was tearing up our beaches, wreaking havoc on our marina, blowing down my fence and cutting out the power; I slept although not very peacefully. Every once in a while I would wake up and hear that the wind was still howling, the windows were still rattling, and my shed door was still banging open and shut-- then I would settle back down to rest in the safety of my home. Praise the Lord for safety in the storm!
So often I feel like my life is a storm. It seems like there's always something to deal with. As soon as it feels like issues are settled things get whipped up again and I'm back in a funnel of problems. Lately I've been letting these things overwhelm me, consume my thoughts, and effect my attitude. It's exhausting! I don't want to deal with problems; I want to go lay on the beach and feel peace in the sunshine with the sea on the horizon. I think when God listens to to my thoughts and words sometimes He may wish I would go ahead and lay on the beach and just trust Him to be in control. How often I stand in the storm getting upset and frustrated when I should really be praying and running to the safety and comfort of God's grace.
Yet if you devote your heart to Him and stretch out your hands to Him...You will surely forget your trouble, recalling it only as waters gone by. You will be secure, because there is hope; you will look about you and take your rest in safety. Job 11:13,17-18
NCM fund for Hurricane Sandy disaster relief
"I can't be where the need is
but I can give and pray." ~words from my mom
"Anything is a prayer of surrender that will spark something. A prayer that will move us to stop chasing things that just make us feel happy and start living a life that matters. A life that is surrendered, reckless, and courageous." ~Jennie Allen, Anything.
In November of 2013 I moved to Zambia as a full-time missionary with Family Legacy Missions International. Everyone within the organization raises their own support to keep overhead costs at a minimum so donations to the ministry can go directly to the needs and programs for the orphans and vulnerable children we serve. I trust in God's faithfulness to provide monthly and one-time financial supporters for the work I do here for the education of thousands of children from the slum compounds of Lusaka. If you would like to support me, donations are tax deductible and can be made at www.familylegacy.com/alicia
"God made my life complete when I placed all the pieces before Him. When I cleaned up my act, He gave me a fresh start. Indeed, I've kept alert to God's ways; I haven't taken God for granted. Every day I review the way He works, I try not to miss a trick. I feel put back together, and I'm watching my step. God rewrote the text of my life when I opened the book of my heart to His eyes." 2 Samuel 22:25