Frog Kisser

There is a story that tells of a beautiful princess who kisses a frog. As the story goes, the ugly frog proceeds to turn into a handsome prince, who was locked inside the body of a frog by an evil witch. Only true love could save him from this fate.

This is our mission in our Christian walk. We are called to be “frog-kissers”-loving people in the name of Jesus and bringing out the creation they are in the image of God.

As we begin a month in which we celebrate love, remember Christ’s words calling us to love our neighbour as ourselves. Remember His words calling us to love our enemy. Remember God’s unconditional love towards us, even when we stumble and fall-He is right there calling us back to His love and guidance. Remember to share these things with even the ugliest of frogs, of sinners, so that they may see everything God has given us.

Frog kissing can be done through kind words, unselfish actions, lending a helping hand, inviting the lonely to join you, standing up for the persecuted, seeing each person you meet as a prince or princess.

Now…GO KISS A FROG!

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Lacrosse

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A friend of mine from high school loves to coach kids playing lacrosse. He feels this is a time when he lets his light shine to others. These kids are just learning a game he has been playing for years, and they are eager to learn from him. They follow his every move, wanting to be like him. To them, he is a star. They look up to him and they respect him.

As we serve God, our goal needs to be to look up and emulate Jesus. That means to serve others like him through love and actions. By allowing Jesus to shine through you, your light can be then be seen as you praise God. Think about that this month as you interact with those around you. What are they seeing when they look at you? What are they hearing when they listen to you? Are you bringing the light or casting a shadow?

More than dreaming

Delight yourself in the LORD, and he will give you the desires of your heart. – Psalm 37:4

More than dreaming, I want to do, to go, to love, to be. Because love does. Because chasing whimsy is better than dreaming whimsy. Because passion will fill my sails. Because there are so many people to love and places to go and experiences to have. – Lauren Ellis, “more than dreaming.” 23 June 2014

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Ever since I was young, I have had the same dream: help those who need it most. Although I have been on mission trips in many of the states and also in Haiti, I know that weeklong trips aren’t enough for me. Love does, not love sometimes does. I need to do more. I need to love more. I need to fulfill the Great Commission in everything that I do.

God is calling me to live in Haiti fulltime as a missionary. God is calling me to the orphan. I know this as fact. Friends see me as crazy, extended family disapproves, lack of financial resource limits how long I can be there and governs when I can move; it seems as if everyone around me is getting where they are called to be, but I have to wait. How do I go about following through with God’s calling when nearly everywhere I turn, the world is discouraging me from doing so?

I guess time will tell. I will trust in Him. I will delight myself in everything He does. He has put into my life a purpose, and He will get me there.

Eating Mud Pies

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Did you ever play in the mud as a kid? Did you ever imagine and create all sorts of things with the clay-like mud? In Haiti, some people ‘play in the mud’ for real. They make mud pies, combining dirt with salt and butter. They cook and sell these bon bon terre-not to be fed to animals, but to people. Some Haitians buy and eat them because they are too poor for other food. Others, particularly pregnant women and nursing mothers, eat them because they are thought to be high in nutrients, especially calcium. They think these mud pies will give them the nutrition they need.

You’ve probably eaten a mud pie recently, too. Not likely a physical one, but certainly a spiritual one. Have you consumed television for relaxation? friends’ advice for wisdom? applause for approval?

These are like the pregnant women looking to the mud pies for their calcium. You may get some calcium from them, but they are a poor source of that nutrient. There are many nutrient-dense foods which provide a healthy source of calcium.

When we look to have our needs met outside of Christ, we too are seeking a poor source. Only Jesus is rich in the spiritual nutrients we need.

What ‘mud pie’ have you been eating? Is there anything in your life that you’ve been looking to for spiritual or emotional nutrition or nourishment that isn’t nutritious at all? Choose a better source of nutrition, the best source-the pure milk of the Word and the bread and wine of Jesus’ body and blood.

Resolution

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As we begin this year, I’d like to share something with you and encourage you to make it your own. Every year, I renew not one, not two, but three resolutions. These resolutions are adapted from John Wesley’s Three Simple Rules, and I have tried to follow them for as long as I can remember. Each one may look simple to accomplish, but at times, if not often, they can be the hardest to follow through with. Here they are:

  1. Do wrong to none. Jesus instructs us to love our neighbour as ourselves. This means we must show kindness to all others-our family, friends, enemies, those we don’t know, co-workers, ourselves.
  2. Do good. Another instruction from Jesus states, “love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, bless those who curse you, pray for those who abuse you.” Like doing no harm, this is a proactive way of living, and a universal command. Doing good encompasses anything from opening the door for someone to feeding the homeless, froom praying for someone to donating to a charity, from inviting someone to eat lunch with you to going on a mission trip.
  3. Strengthen my relationship with God. Paul writes in Colossians, “As you therefore have received Christ Jesus the Lord, continue to live your lives in Him, rooted and built up in Him and established in the faith, just as you were taught, abounding in thanksgiving.” Perhaps one of the greatest things about God is that we may have a loving relations with Him. You can better this relationship in many ways: going to church, praying and listening, joining a Bible study or devoting part of every day to His word, going on mission trips, even telling others about God.

Racism is Nothing New: A Poem

You see, I don’t care what color your skin is but if you start thinking that your color is better than the rest I will give you a coloring book and send you to the kid’s table.
Let’s see how well you color your earth with only one tone.
Let’s see how gorgeous your future is when it is only in black and white.
Let’s see how long it takes before all your pictures look the same, how long it takes before you stop coloring out of boredom.
Because if the world was only made of black or white, what color would our sunsets be?
What color would a moonlit path through an autumn forest be?
What color would we bleed?
Because on the inside, we all look exactly the same.
What color would we be when our skin has long since dried up?
What color would our tears be as we wept, not only for the people we traded in for crayons  but for the beauty we never saw.
If we are so obsessed with our skin colors, how are the white and black crayons the least used in the box?
Why weren’t humans colored anything from purple pizzazz to firetruck red with marigold shading?
You see, we are not the color of our skin; we are instead the color of our imagination, painted as vividly as a hopeful sunrise, as wondrously as the eye of a storm, as stunningly as we pretend to be.
You can paint yourself however your imagination desires and perhaps some of us are so obsessed with black and white because those are the only colors we could ever imagine, the only colors you spend your entire life trying to cover up your marigold shading.
Our hearts should not have lines to be colored inside of.
Our souls should not be surrounded by whitewashed walls.
Our minds should not constantly calculate “controversial” colors.
Our eyes should not see anything other than a kaleidoscope of color.
You see, racism is nothing new.
But now racism is treated like a metaphorical boogeyman; that if you’re “bad” he will come for you and build a wall to keep you out.
Except I shouldn’t call it a metaphor because that would be His eyes were rubies in the morning light.
But today his eyes are ruby red, not because of the light that shines upon them but because they are filled with blood and unseen sunsets, unseen birthdays, unseen children who wonder where their father has gone.
The only thing he can see is his family wearing all black as they lower him six feet into the ground.
No, racism is nothing new.
But it is nothing old, either.