Wednesday, August 31, 2005

Mortify Pride, Cultivate Humility

How I Mortify Pride and Cultivate Humility

by C.J. Mahaney

This is my life list. This is not a list that I have assembled from the last month of my life. This would be a list; really looking back now over...30 years of seeking to grow in grace. So think of this as a list of recommendations, not requirements...recommendations...for your consideration. Custom design your own list. But let me impress this on should have a should be purposeful about this. Each day you should be addressing your greatest enemy and cultivating your greatest friend. So here's how I attempt to mortify pride and cultivate humility.

1. Study the attributes of God, especially His incommunicable attributes
2. Reflect on the wonder of the Cross of Christ
3. Study the Doctrines of Grace
4. Study the Doctrine of Sin
5. Cultivate spiritual disciplines
6. Invite and pursue correction
7. Encourage and serve others each and every day
8. Identify evidences of grace in others
9. Respond humbly to trials
10. Discern your thorns
11. Use unflattering illustrations of yourself publicly
12. Recognize your theological limitations
13. Prepare to be replaced
14. Recognize your relative unimportance
15. Laugh at others when you are the object of humor
16. Play golf as much as possible…
17. Read as many of C.H. Spurgeon’s sermons as possible

Copyright 2002 Sovereign Grace Ministries

1. You think "Will and Grace" is a sitcom about Arminians and Calvinists.

2. Your idea of evangelism is to nail a copy of Luther's 95 theses to the door of every house in your neighborhood (in Latin).

3. Your kids are named Luther, Calvin, and Zwingli.

4. Your bumper sticker says "Honk if you're a Supralapsarian!"

5. You tune into "Crossing Over" expecting to see the 18th century theologian, not the 21st century psychic.

6. You have a life-size poster of John Gerstner on your bedroom wall.

7. You have a Jonathan Edwards lunch box with a John Calvin thermos.

8. After having one too many drinks, you decide to get Luther and Calvin's faces tattooed on each arm.

9. You keep accidentally referring to the Rose Bowl as the Tulip Bowl.

10. You read Freedom of the Will to your six year old for a bedtime story.

Stolen from Micah @ Resolution 57

Do I Trust God...

This past week, I have been praying and thinking about what I should do. I finished one year of schooling at a community college, and I'm really wanting to go to some place where I can learn more about Scripture and applying it to life and where I can fellowship with like-minded Christians. I thought about going to seminary, but nixed that idea on bases of money and usefulness (one idea was to get into counseling afterwards...). Then I thought about just continuing my "secular" education and getting a useful degree, like business or medical. The problem is I'm not sure what I want to do. Do I want to be an over-seas missionary? Or a dentist? Or a nurse? Or an engineer?

God has been teaching me that no matter what I do, I want to live eternity-minded. I'm talking about intentional living. Living for the purpose of glorifying God and enjoying Him and expanding His Kingdom by spreading a passion for the surpremacy of Christ. Doing everything for the excuse to share the gospel. Going to school to share with my classmates. Working for the excuse to share with all the people I come into contact with. To be a missionary no matter where or what. We are all called to be missionaries, because we were chosen to be followers of Christ.

God has really shook my priorities since going to Brazil. I am going to be more involved with my family and the Church. I am going to spend more time street witnessing and just "speaking the Bible." I am going to spend more time discipling other young women. This I will do if God wills.

I have so many different dreams; I would love to open some kind of coffee house/library where students or anyone could come and get a cup of coffee and enjoy some good books and good fellowship. It would be centered around Reformed Christian theology. We could also have different speakers a couple nights a week. We could even name the daily specials after the five points of Calvinism. "I'll take the total depravity, no whipped cream." We could name it Coram Deo Cup of Joe. Or, Justification Java. Or, Biblical Beans...

Or, I would love to be a dentist and go back to Brazil for the summers and help on medical trips to the villages. Or, be the missions director at church. There are endless options. I know that God will direct my paths. He is my good Shepherd, and He isn't hiding from me. He guides His sheep and doesn't lead them astray. I know that He will make His will clear for my life. May I entrust my whole life to His perfect and good will. Praise be to our God, the One who shares His glory with none other!

Soli Deo Gloria!!!

Tuesday, August 30, 2005

My Military Men

Chris, my oldest brother, in Arizona, training for military intelligence in the Army. This was taken just after a 8-mile hike in the 114 degree weather (@ 6:00 am). Notice the heavy fatigues. Thanks, Chris!!!

My cousin, David (on the right), at Westpoint. He is a second-year student at the place my uncle teaches. Go Army!!!

Hammock Camping...

...not quite like in Brazil.

This weekend, some of my family went up to the lake to camp. My cousin, Stephen, and I hung our hammocks out in the woods and we froze so bad... We both were just like, "why did we do this?" "Oh, yeah, to be adventurous."

Stephen, chilling in "the pod."

During the warm day, it was actually the most comfy spot to hang out. Here I am demonstrating...

Saturday, August 27, 2005

Culture Shock

Thank you, Lord, for peanut butter!!!
I must admit, that is the one food I craved while in Brazil. For this and many other reasons, it's great to be home.

It was very hard to say goodbye to my friends in Brazil. There is a deep connection made with people who serve and evangelize alongside you when conditions are rough. The experiences and memories that were squeezed into three months were so concentrated that they will last for a long time.

It was so, so good to see my family. They've grown up quite a bit.

Well, back to wonderful materialistic America. God is teaching me to be thankful for all He has given me without being resentful of how many people take for granted their comfort of living. May God bless this country with an attitude of giving. May He also give me compassion towards those who think money is god. May I be used here in the US to spread a passion of the surpremacy of Christ. Soli Deo Gloria!

Thursday, August 25, 2005

My wonderful family...minus Chris and myself.


OOOOOOOOOOoooooooooooo...........Ging-ee-ooo!!! My mushy menina!

Before my brother left...

Here are my siblings: Abi, Ely, Chris, Matthew, myself, and little Ginger.

Before Brasil...

It's so good to be home! Dad's health is doing great, praise the Lord!

Preparing the tooth for pulling...

Yes, it is I pulling teeth. No schooling, just pure, raw experience.

Monday, August 08, 2005

Another Update

Hey Everyone!!!

Just got back from the river on Thursday night. We loaded 3000 bricks onto the boat, unloaded, and hauled them up a steep incline to the construction site. We also did the same with cement bags and water for the concrete, and ceiling tiles. Very intense labor. We spent a whole day just tossing bricks (two at a time) from one person to another from the boat to shore in the blazing sun. Thankfully, we were in the water which kept us cool (somewhat). The village we were at is called Sauauma, on the Topajos River. The next days were spent digging dirt and moving it to the floor of the church and leveling it while we go. We got a lot done, praise the Lord. However, most importantly, we encouraged the Christians there to put work into their own church. The village seemed kind of dead when we first got there. The community is made up of one couple and their 12 children and their spouses and children. This is a typical village. All relatives. After we began the work though, it started to come alive. We held two services for the children (which meant also the mothers) and we had two evening services. Joanne, Sarah (a lady from the US), and I visited the main woman (the mother of the 12 children) who's leg is very infected. She has been laying in a rete (hammock) for quite awhile. We gave her some ointment and explained the importance of keeping it clean and moving her legs and feet to prevent stiffness. We then prayed for her. While we were praying a monkey (which was roaming about the house) came over and held my hand. It was definitely a great experience!

This village is in one of the most gorgeous places I have ever seen. White beaches for miles with the finest sand. The sunrises are pale pink to fire fushia. The nights are completely black except for the light of the moon and the white of the sand. The sky is so clear that you can see the Milky Way fully. We bathed in the river about three times a day; morning, after lunch, and night. One new thing I have eaten is turtle. It is pretty good. Tastes like rubbery, fishy, chicken. It was sort of sad to see the turtle die though.

Abby (my roommate) and her team left today :( sad. However, I'm so thankful for God's providence to have her in my life. She is a wonderful woman on fire for God and missions, but realizes that her place is at home with her husband, following where God is calling him (which is actually where God is calling her too). We had many great discussions and we experienced much together. Our God is so good! ("All the time") <--- this is one of our favorite sayings. :)

God is good. May we always be reminded of our total depravity and need of a savior. What amazing grace is this: that Jesus would lay down his life for a wretch. Thank the Lord, for He is worthy! Glory to His Name! As my stay in Brazil gets closer to the end, I pray God will use this to impact the rest of my life. I know it will, because it already has. He has given me a vision for my future and a love for His children worldwide. One thing I have been praying for is that God would give me the same burden He has for his lost sheep, and the same compassion and mercy He shows to us all the time. May we continue to let God transform our thinking and renew our minds for His glory.

Peace and joy be with you all! God willing, I plan on seeing you all in the near future.