Thursday, April 21, 2011

Mark 10:21

Mark 10:21 "Go, sell everything you have and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come, follow me."

The two piles of clothes that I am selling or giving away to a Non-Profit organization in Angola.
Since I have been reading the book, "The Hole in Our Gospel" by Richard Stearns I have felt God calling me to get rid of all of the clothes that I have in my dorm room that I never ever wear. These clothes are from high school and they do not fit me now nor are they modest. God has changed my heart and my passions since coming to college. In high school I felt that I was defined by my clothes. I literally went an entire school year without wearing the same shirt twice. I have over 400 t-shirts in my dorm room right now. I do not wear more than 40 of them. I am not defined by what I wear, nor am I defined by my possessions, but I am defined in my Savior, Jesus Christ. Mark 10:21 has really just been laid on my heart and I can feel God telling me to just get rid of all of these things. 

Matthew 6:21 "For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also."

Where is my treasure? Is it in all of these clothes that I have prided myself in owning? Is my treasure in all of the things I own here on earth? Is my treasure in my past and how I have overcome? Is my treasure in the relationships and friendships I have? Or is my treasure in Jesus Christ, the One who created this entire Universe & created me and said that "it was good?" I'm pretty sure I know where my treasure should be. Selling all of my clothes is me moving one step closer to putting my treasure in Jesus Christ.

What does God expect of me? Everything

I can't just sit here in my dorm room and not give everything to Jesus. I need to surrender it all to Him. A complete surrender to Christ is definitely something God has been showing me. I need to lay down my past and take up the cross. God wants it all from me. If I want to be a missionary full-time I can't be lugging around all of this stuff everywhere I go. I don't need it, but I am positive there are people in the Angola, IN area that could use these clothes.

Luke 6:46 "Why do you call me, 'Lord, Lord' and do not do what I say?"

If I were to truly sit down and read my Bible every single day (something I have been failing at doing) and truly listen to what God is calling me to do, then I would be changing myself daily. I have felt this urge to get rid of my clothes, but why has it taken me two months to do it? Is it because I was "busy," or is it because I was not being obedient to God's call in my life? I'm pretty sure I was not being obedient because I could have taken two hours to clean out my closets. 

Isaiah 6:8 Then I heard the voice of the Lord saying, “Whom shall I send? And who will go for us?” And I said, “Here am I. Send me!”

I am being sent. I am being sent to the place God has called me to: Nairobi, Kenya. I have given up my treasures here in the US to go and be the hands and feet of Christ. Is God calling you to go somewhere? Is God calling you to go and be His disciple here in the US or overseas? Is God calling you to be used by Him, to be stretched and molded to be more Christlike? Are you saying "Here am I. Send me!" Or, are you hesitant to do what God is calling you to do?

Now, here comes the fun part, what is God calling you to do? Is He calling you to get rid of all of your possessions, all of the things you are holding onto? Is there somewhere you have your treasure laid that needs to be refocused to have your treasure in Christ? Are you willing to give God your everything; your time, your possessions, your money, and ultimately your life for the cause of Christ? What is God telling you to do, but you are resistant and not willing to do? Is God calling you somewhere that you are hesitant to go to?

My prayer for you is that you will seek the Kingdom of God and that Jesus Christ in all of His glory will be revealed to you.

In Christ,
Brandi :)

Friday, April 15, 2011

Brandi In Nairobi YouTube Video

Hey followers!

Check out my YouTube video about my internship to Kenya. The beginning shows what life is like in Kenya and the ending shows a little about my testimony and how God has led me to go to Kenya. Thanks for watching! Feel free to send the link to friends, family, and your church. God bless you!

In Christ,
Brandi :)

Saturday, April 2, 2011

The Hole in Our Gospel

I have been reading a book called "The Hole in Our Gospel" by Richard Stearns. A few of the main questions posed to the readers in this book are: "What does God expect of us?" and "Are you willing to be open to God's will for your life?" Richard, the author, was the CEO Lenox, a fine China company. Needless to say, through this position within the company, he was making a lot of money. In the book he discusses how he went through an interview process with World Vision to potentially become their President. Richard did not want to leave his CEO job and become the President of World Vision. The board at World Vision literally felt God calling Richard to the position. Patience had to be key with these people as they went through the waiting process for Richard to open his doors and let God take control of his career path. Richard became the President of World Vision and since then he has traveled all over the world sharing the love of Jesus with others.

This book states that our Gospel, the Gospel of the life of Jesus Christ, has a hole in it. Jesus called those 12 disciples to go out and proclaim the Name of Jesus to the everyone. Jesus has called us to ask God to send out workers into the field. This "field" is the world. The world includes those living in the slums in Africa. The world includes that friend you don't talk to anymore. The world includes your family. The world includes every single person you encounter every single day. This "hole" is the urban poor. Luke 4:18-19 says "He has anointed me to preach the good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim freedom for the prisoners and recovery of sight for the blind, to release the oppressed, to proclaim the year of the Lord's favor." GOD has called each of us to preach the Gospel to the poor. Those homeless people you see on the streets, Jesus wants you to reach out to them. Africa, a country that has a lot of poverty, God wants people to go there and preach the Good News. Where has God called you to share Him?

My professor gave me this book because it talks about having compassion for the poor and ministry oversees. This book is breaking me. It's breaking my heart for the ministry that I will be a part of in Nairobi. It's breaking my heart for the many, many children all over the world that don't have a drop of water to drink let alone a hot meal to eat. It's really made me wonder where I am going to be after I graduate. Has God called ME to be one of these people to go out and proclaim the Good News to the poor? Is God showing me my brokenness for the poor for a reason? These are questions that will be answered in time. 

There are a lot of things in this book that have really stood out to me and made me think and question where my heart is right now. Granted, I am only on page 106 in the book out of 300 pages, but I have been learning so much through these pages. Here are a few quotes that have really hit home with me

"To be a disciple means forsaking everything to follow Jesus, unconditionally, putting our lives completely in His hands. When we say that we want to be His disciple, yet attach a list of conditions, Jesus refuses to accept our terms. His terms involve unconditional surrender. 'Then he called the crowd to him along with his disciples and said: 'If anyone would come after me, he must deny himself and take up his cross and follow me. For whoever wants to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for me and for the gospel will save it. What good is it for a man to gain the whole world, yet forfeit his soul?'" (page 39)

"Here is the answer to the question, what does God expect? 
  • We are to love God.
  • We are to love our neighbors.
  • We are to go and make disciples of others who will do the same." (page 68)
"God can't give you the blessings He has for you until you first put down the other things you are clutching in your hands." (page 89)

"Two thousand years ago, the world was changed forever by just twelve. It can happen again." -Richard Stearns (page 5)

"The place God calls you to is the place where your deep gladness and the world's deep hunger meet." -Frederick Buechner (page 36)

"Go, sell everything you have and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come, follow me." (Mark 10:21) (page 37)

"Let my heart be broken by the things that break the heart of God." -A prayer by Bob Pierce, founder of World Vision (page 9)

"He has showed you, O man, what is good. And what does the LORD require of you? To act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God." -Micah 6:8 (page 53)

"For the follower of Christ, anything that becomes more precious to us than our relationship with the Lord becomes destructive." .... "For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also." -Matthew 6:21 (page 43)

"Christ has no body on earth but yours,
no hands but yours, 
no feet but yours.
Yours are the eyes through which
Christ's compassion for the world is to look out;
yours are the feet with which He is to go about doing good;
and yours are the hands with which He is to bless us now." -Saint Teresa of Avila (page 13)

The GOD of this universe is calling each of us to proclaim the Gospel to not just those around us, but the poor across this universe. What are YOU doing to share Christ's love to others? I'd like to encourage you to go out and purchase this book. I guarantee it will change your perspective on the world. Pray for God to guide and direct you to share the Gospel where you are. Pray for God to give you the boldness you need to proclaim the Good News. 

Be blessed, my friends.

In Christ,
Brandi :)