Wednesday was my date night with Jesus! He showed me how incredibly awesome he is the with Colossians 1:15-20. I then read John 20:11-18 when Jesus appears to Mary. How awesome Jesus is, and he calls out, “Mary!” Jesus, who is the beginning and the end, the being in all creation, the one through whom God was pleased to reconcile to himself all things by making peace through the blood of his cross, calls, “Anna!” And how many times has he done that? I also ended up reading through Philippians. The verses that stood out to me in that book were similar to the ones that stood out to me in Colossians. The one that stood out to me most: 3:17-4:1, “Brothers and sisters, join in imitating me, and observe those who live according to the example you have in us. For many live as enemies of the cross of Christ; I have often told you of them, and now I tell you even with tears. Their end is in destruction; their god is the belly; and their glory is in their shame; their minds are set on earthly things. But our citizenship is in heaven, and it is from there that we are expecting a Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ. He will transform the body of our humiliation that it may be conformed to the body of his glory, by the power that also enables him to make all things subject to himself. Therefore, my brothers and sisters, whom I love and long for, my joy and crown, stand firm in the Lord in this way, my beloved.” THIS IS WHY WE EVANGELIZE!
On Thursday night, we had training night. We listened to a talk by John Ortberg (I think that’s his name) via video. He started out by comparing an admirer to a follower. An admirer of Michal Phelps is impressed with his Olympic victories and approves of his actions which scored the USA more golds. A follower? One that is devoted and does all he can to become “Like Mike” or the next Olympic swimmer. Jesus constantly challenges people to move from admirer or him to a follower. In the progress, one moves from stranger, to admirer, to follower. Oh, but America has recently added a step. In between the progress from admirer to follower is inserted “user,” or, one that wants to use Jesus to get into heaven when he or she dies. Now remember, I’m just telling you what I heard and impacted me. The thing that impacted me most, though, was the different kind of convictions. Public convictions = things that I say to make you think I believe them. Private convictions = things that I think I do believe. Core convictions = things that I demonstrate that I believe by things that I do. THIS is what God has been calling to my attention. I have been passionate about this very thing! Because everyone I know back home and at school call themselves believers (or most, anyway), do I have the right to worry about where their heart lies in relation to Jesus? I have been getting so pumped up for Jesus in these last couple weeks here, that I want EVERYONE to experience the awesomeness that comes with being in a relationship with him and trusting him completely with everything you are. It’s freakin awesome! I can’t see into a heart, and it’s not up to me to judge. So, all I can do is pray for those whose hearts don’t yet hold the core belief of Jesus and the salvation he offers.
And at Liberty and Truth, this week’s ministry site? Awesome! I had my first conversation of the year today while we canvasing/passing out fliers for the clothing giveaway next week, the food pantry, and general information about Liberty and Truth. I wasn’t part of the first rather successful conversation, but the guy was looking for a job and a new church home. The couple that I talked with was really encouraging for me. Fey and Marshall are believers, and we prayed with them. Fey is starting dialysis soon and her children all volunteered to be tested to find a match because she needs a new kidney, praise Jesus. Please join me in praying for Fey and Marshall!
Tonight, we did some outreach. Because it wasn’t raining, our group split into three and we went to three different parks. I shared with Noel. The first lady we talked to agreed to take our survey and we ended up having a two hour conversation with her. Noel and I shared the gospel four times, but she kept talking. I feel like she was trying to tell us how good of a person she is, but we had a lot of small talk conversation that was good to develop relationship. She left us with her number, and I really want to call her up one day for coffee or something. I praise God that we had the opportunity to share the gospel so many times with her, and I pray that the seeds we planted today may prosper and do something in her life. (Pray with me!?)
It is Friday night now as I write this, and I am DRAINED from the week. Please pray for my strength to keep up as well as my general health, for my infusion is this next week (which will weaken my immune system temporarily). All of the girls on my floor seem to be drained from the week, and I pray that we will all be re-energized this weekend before the adventure of Week Three starts at our ministry sites.
I woke up this morning, saying to myself, “I get to share the gospel today!” And I did! I praise the Lord for his glory and everything he did for us, making it so that we GET to share his amazing gospel with all! I thank God for the experience I had today, sharing his word, and just partaking in conversation.
Thank you to all my ministry partners, whether financially or in prayer! You guy are awesome! I am having an amazing time here, and I am so excited for the adventures that the rest of the summer brings!
A beacon of smiles, Anna :)^2