Thursday, May 31, 2012

Set an Example

   My little sister has a YouTube channel and is always working on a video project. This week she was making a music video with clips from the various Avenger character's movies. I asked what song she was using and she told me. I scrunched up my face as I racked my brain to recall how the song goes and she said, "I found it on your computer so I figured it must be alright". Wow. Humbling. Convicting.
   I am an Influencer, an Example. I am so aware of my own short-comings and, as a young girl, I tried to conceal every fault or mistake with privacy and secrecy, but you don't grow much that way. I chose to open up, be vulnerable, let people in. My private life has an audience now: my family. I don't lock them out of my computer, they have access to my iTunes and Facebook and Pinterest and Blog, they can see what I am reading and they know how I spend my money, I share my views on music and movies and health and relationships -- I talk to my siblings about my views even when they don't show interest because I know they're listening.
   My siblings and I are very independent individuals. When we were kids, as the oldest, I tried to boss them around but that didn't work. As the years passed I did my own thing and let them do theirs. I didn't really think that I was a role model to them until my mom told me how she saw them note my actions and choices. When I came home from Colorado in 2010 I started to notice it for myself. My brother Lane had seen how I would use my free time with the Lord and my mornings with my Bible. When I went through a dry spell, believing the lie of the Enemy that there wasn't proper nutrition for my day from the Word, it was Lane who was putting post-it's in my room with Bible verses and encouragement after being up to spend time with Jesus before school. At his school he is a major influence, people recognize him as a man after God's heart. My sister Gabi has such a vibrant personality but she has hidden it beneath her shyness and insecurity for most of her life. It wasn't until I set an example of loosening up, dancing around the house or singing loud in the car that she started to show her true colors here at home. Now she is the one encouraging me to be bold and "live". Her innocence and vivacity are beautiful! She is influencing thousand through her videos. How I communicate to and with, how I handle conflict between and how I teach or correct Gabi and my baby brother, Aidan, is the pattern they follow for communicating, settling conflict and correcting each other. Teaching all of my siblings to communicate their thoughts and feelings rather than bottling them up and keeping them hidden took me learning to communicate my thoughts and feelings to them. Lane confides in me now because I chose to confide in him years ago (and still do). Gabi seeks my opinion and praise for her art work and videos now because I took an interest in her work and related to her creativity in its earliest stages. Aidan works through issues with me now because I have invested long hours of working through issues with him in the past, he knows I won't rest until we've resolved what is troubling him.
   I have a small sphere of influence but I am an influence in it. The people in my church and at work have been watching my life. The people in Target and Down to Earth (where I go every single week) are watching my life. The tellers at the bank and the people in the post office are watching my life. Living amid this cloud of witnesses doesn't make me want to hide how far I have yet to go in bearing Christ's likeness, it is another tool for refining me and causes me to truly want to die more to myself and become a better daughter and ambassador of Christ. "Preach the Gospel at all times and when necessary use words." - St. Francis of Assisi

Source: via Chelsea on Pinterest

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Moved with compassion

σπλαγχνίζομαι [translated: splagchnizomai]
1) to be moved as to one's bowels, hence to be moved with compassion, have compassion (for the bowels were thought to be the seat of love and pity)

ἐλεέω [translated: eleeō]
1) to have mercy on
2) to help one afflicted or seeking aid
3) to help the afflicted, to bring help to the wretched
4) to experience mercy

Splagchnizomai is what Jesus had for people during His time on this earth. 
Eleeo is what people cried out for as Jesus passed by.

   Crying for mercy is to ask one who has the power to give and take away for relief from sufferings or other circumstances. Compassion is to feel sorrow over or show concern for the sufferings or misfortunes of others. Physical care or emotional investment, which does the most good to one in need? A testimony from a Gospel for Asia team member who worked among earthquake survivors says, "We gave away blankets and drinking water, but the survivors were not focused on these items. Rather, they were so grateful for someone to grieve with them and listen to their sorrows." 
   I believe that we ought to provide relief to those in need, Jesus healed and helped those who cried out to Him, but that is only one part of demonstrating our faith through works. Should we help feed starving people? Yes. Should we help provide medical care for those in need of it? Yes. Should we offer our hand to someone who falls down? Yes. But it is the heart of compassion that ought to move us to serve and give. Christ's compassion will give them hope.
   What I love about Gospel for Asia is that their focus is to minister with the love of Jesus, the truth of the Word and the hope of the Gospel. They have their priorities right, Jesus first and foremost, then 100% of donations they receive go to the field to serve, reach out with love, share the Gospel, care for physical needs, meet people where they are, and invest in children. Nobody had to convince me to be a fan of GFA, the goal, the heart, of their ministry endeared me to them for life.


   In November I am going to India with Visiting Orphans to minister to suffering people. I cannot bring physical relief to all the orphans, street kids, families in slums, or lepers that I will encounter. But Jesus is going through me and His Father's heart, His love, His compassion will be poured out upon them as a result. We are going to feel sorrow, show concern, be moved with compassion, grieve with and minister Jesus' love to the suffering people we will meet. We can't leave them with physical restoration or financial stability but we can leave them with hope. If the Lord is moving you to support me as I go this fall and you would care to donate toward my trip you can click here and put my name (Chelsea Mills) in the field that says, "Team member or ministry name". Any purchase from my store will also go toward my trip to India and I am happy to take special requests so drop me a line!

Monday, May 21, 2012

Believe Me Now | Steven Curtis Chapman

I watch you looking out across the raging water
So sure your only hope lies on the other side
You hear the enemy that's closing in around you
And I know that you don't have the strength to fight
But do you have the faith to stand and...

Believe Me now
Believe Me here
Remember all the times I've told you loud and clear
I am with you and I am for you
So believe Me now
Believe Me now

I am the One who waved my hand and split the ocean
I am the One who spoke the words and raised the dead
And I've loved you long before I set the world in motion
I know all the fears you're feeling now
But do you remember who I am?
Do you..

Believe Me now
Believe Me here
Remember all the times I've told you loud and clear
I am with you and I am for you
So believe Me now
Believe it's true
I never have, I never will abandon you
And the God that I have always been
I will forever be

So believe Me now

I am the God who never wastes a single hurt that you endure
My words are true, and all My promises are sure

So believe Me now
Oh, believe Me now

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Image by Jessica
See more here

Pulling Weeds

[ One Week Ago... ]

I've discovered that I need a little weed-pulling in my life. I love living in the country but so often I love it from inside our house. I justify this choice by saying there is so much to do inside, its more comfortable, etc. But it is spring, we have flower beds and they are filling up with weeds. So after a brief walk with one of the dogs I settled down near a corner of a flower bed and started to pull up one weed at a time.

Source: Pinterest

After awhile I found that the garden was starting to "reappear", my soul was quieted, the birds were starting to think of me as part of the landscape and so were out about their business without fear, and the more I pulled, the dirtier my hands got, the more I found myself to be at the feet of Jesus. There I gained perspective, peace, joy, challenge, pain, strength, and refreshment.

Source: Pinterest

There isn't anything special about pulling weeds. Today that is where I met with the good King, it's where He gave me peace in place of questions and joy in place of a discontent and downcast spirit.
To wait is to have faith in the One waited for.