Little Miracles

"Rejoice always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God's will for you in Christ Jesus." 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18

Elohim

Ben and I have started going through a devotional we both own together this year called “Praying the Names of God.”  The premise behind the devotional is to spend each week on a different name of God that is given to us in the Bible.  It uses Scripture and the original languages in order to dive into the meanings and characteristics behind each different name God gives us for Himself in His word.  We started it Monday and the first name that we are studying is the one given in Genesis 1; Elohim.  This name deals with the fact that God is the Creator God and that He created our universe, our world, even us.  With this in mind, I’ve been praying to God the past couple of days about His creation.  When you think about it, creation is absolutely incredible!  In the state of North Carolina alone, there are beaches, and mountains.  If you look at the entire country, you have places like Florida where 50’s is cold and places where in the same season the temperature gets below zero.  Uganda is home to lush vegetation and beautiful lakes while in other places on the continent, there are places engulfed by the Sahara Desert.  How many breathtakingly beautiful sights there are on this planet, and what a diverse planet we live on!  From the top of Angel Falls in Venezuela to the bottom of the Grand Canyon, there are so many amazing and wonderful sights!  Yesterday’s devotion talked about remembering God’s creation for what it is.  It talked about the fact that we often get caught up in the annoying things that creation brings for us on a day to day basis and that we need to focus on how great creation is instead what’s wrong with it!

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My challenge for myself, and I invite you to join me, is to focus on the amazing and positive points of God’s creation.  When it’s raining when I don’t have an umbrella (which happens a lot since I forget I need an umbrella since it doesn’t rain much) I’m going to soak up the rain and praise God for His creativity in the way He provides the world with water.  When the heat is overbearing down here in Fort Worth, I’m going to focus on the fact that summer is a season and that God graciously created four of them.  I’m going to focus on the sun, its power, and the good it brings us. While spending time thinking about creation and its beauty, I can’t help but wonder how much more amazing eternity will be than our own beautiful earth.  I am personally blown away by the power and beauty in the pictures I’ve seen of Victoria Falls, the Northern Lights present a mind bomb for me, and when I look at architecture as beautiful as the Pantheon, I truly desire to see it in person and up close.  But what is creation going to look like in Heaven; it’s going to be beyond indescribable!  And the amazing thing, it won’t even be able to slightly compete with the utter, raw beauty of the presence of the Creator!Image

What have you complained about in regard to nature before that you can turn into praise?

With love,

Meg

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Unreached People Groups

By now, most of you know that I am truly in love with the country of Uganda.  God called me  4 years ago now to go to Africa and He gave me the opportunity to follow that call this past May.  I figured when I went I would either feel as though I had completed that call on my life or I would fall in love and God would continue to press the continent upon my heart.  Well, the latter happened for me and I thank God that He has given me a passion for Africa!  I thought when I got home from Uganda that the beautiful country I fell in love with was where we belonged.  I still feel that way, but I want to be open to wherever God may call Ben and me.  In light of this, I researched unreached people groups in Africa.  I personally found the Joshua Project website extremely helpful in the way it presents the information.  I would encourage you to do some research on your own so here is the link for the Joshua Project if you don’t know where to start:  http://joshuaproject.net/index.php.  To keep myself involved in the research of these unreached people groups, I am going to start posting about different groups.Image

Today, I’m going to start with defining what makes a people group considered “unreached”.  According to the IMB, “A people group is unreached when the number of Evangelical Christians is less than 2% of its population. It is further called unengaged when there is no church planting methodology consistent with Evangelical faith and practice under way.”  I encourage you to go to the Joshua project or to the IMB website and search unreached people groups.  Maybe it shouldn’t have, but the numbers shocked me.  That’s one of the reasons I want to start sharing this information with you. 

Why should we care? First off, the thought of anyone, even those we’ve never met, spending eternity apart from God should break our hearts.  Secondly, the Bible tells us that Christ will not return until all nations have heard the gospel.  In talking to His disciples about His return, Jesus stated “And this gospel of the kingdom will be preached in the whole world as a testimony to all nations, and then the end will come.”  There are still whole people groups that have not heard the name of Jesus and do not know of His saving gospel.  Many of these people do not have access to any religion other than the ones they were born into and have grown up in and have no way to know about our Lord and Savior unless He divinely reveals Himself or uses His people to take His word to them.

I hope this inspires you to research what you can do to help missionaries reach unreached people groups and I also hope it spurs everyone to check our lives to see if we’re really living missionally where we live.  You don’t have to go to the parts of the world where the unreached people groups live to reach lost people for our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.

With love,

Meg

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One of my goals for 2014 is to read more.  I used to read a lot but for whatever reason have gotten away from that since college and I would like to remedy this.  In order to help me achieve this goal, I am making a list of books that I want to have read by the end of 2014.

I recently re-read one of my favorite books of all time, Spindle’s End and it made me want to look into more books by the author therefore, there are several books by Robin Mckinley on my to read for 2014 list.

  1. The Hero and the Crown by Robin Mckinley (re-read)
  2. The Blue Sword by Robin Mckinley (re-read)
  3. Beauty: A Retelling of the Story of Beauty and the Beast by Robin Mckinley
  4. Chalice by Robin Mckinley
  5. Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte (re-read)
  6. Strange Fire by John MacArthur
  7. The Ruin of the Roman Empire by James J O’Donnell
  8. Marco Polo from Venice to Xanadu by Laurence Bergreen
  9. American Lion by Jon Meacham
  10. Thomas Jefferson: The Art Of Power by Jon Meacham
  11. The Secret Garden by Frances Hodgson Burnett
  12. Tales of the Defended Ones by Beth Guckenberger
  13. The Screwtape Letters by C.S. Lewis
  14. Augustine of Hippo: A Biography by Peter Brown
  15. And the Mountains Echoed by Khaled Hosseini
  16. The Mark of the Lion Series by Francine Rivers
    1. A Voice in the Wind
    2. An Echo in the Darkness
    3. As Sure as the Dawn
    4. Enchantment by Orson Scott Card (re-read)
  17. The Trojan War: A New History by Barry Strauss

I would love suggestions on good books to read if you have any for me!

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2013 Rewind

So when I think back on the past year, my mind is blown that it’s only been a year! It seems like last January was 2 or 3 years ago. There have been so many things that have happened in the past year. I decided to pick a handful of the most memorable highlights of the past year to share with you.

1. In January I got to teach for a math teacher at North Buncombe while she was on a long maternity leave. While math is not my favorite subject by a long shot, I loved the kids I taught and I greatly enjoyed getting to be a part of their everyday lives.

2. At the end of May we went to Uganda. I fell in love with the district of Palisa and the amazing people that live there. We are currently looking forward to the next time God allows us to be with Samuel and Mercy, serving alongside them.

3. In August, we moved to Fort Worth, Texas in order for Ben to attend seminary. God graciously blessed me with a job working in the library on the campus of the seminary. Life here is good and we have been able to settle in quickly. When I think about how long we’ve been here, it seems so weird. On one hand, it seems crazy that Ben has already completed one full semester of classes. On the other hand though, life here seems so normal that it feels like we’ve lived here much longer than we actually have.

4. In September my best friend got engaged! I can’t wait for her wedding this summer! I’m still so excited for her that I can hardly stand myself whenever I think about it or talk to her!

5. After almost 5 months, it was fantastic to get to see my family again. I miss them greatly and while I am thankful for the life God has given Ben and I in Fort Worth, it was amazing to get to spend time with my family when we went back to North Carolina for Christmas.

Those little, random things that make our hearts happy

  • I finally read Sense and Sensibility by Jane Austen and reread one of my favorite books of all time, Spindle’s End by Robin Mckinnley.
  • I started reading through the Old Testament at some point towards the end of the summer last year.  As a result, I’ve learned a lot that I didn’t know this year during my quiet times.
  • I’ve been trying this year to teach myself to be a little bit crafty and have made a few decorations for our apartment.
  • While we don’t have access to it anymore, for the 2-3 months that we lived down Barnardsville Highway we loved the Craggy View farmstand. If you have access to it, check it out this summer, it is fabulous!

Favorite things in 2013

  • Favorite movie: Frozen was my favorite movie that came out this year. Despicable Me 2 was a very close second but I was just blown away by Frozen.
  • Favorite new group: I found the Rend Collective Experiment, as did a lot of people, this year. I love their style and I really enjoy their lyrics.
  • Favorite song: Ready or Not by Brit Nicole that features Lecrae has been my jam since I heard it this summer. I’m still loving it!
  • Favorite new restaurant: We found a Mexican restaurant here called Abuelo’s, and let me tell you, it is FANTASTIC!

I’m praising God for…

  • My husband, my Mom, Dad, Brother, Haley, friends from North Carolina, new friends from Uganda, and new friends that live in Fort Worth.
  • Blessing us with the opportunity to move to Fort Worth, TX and start our own new phase of life.
  • Taking care of us while we were in and traveling to and from Uganda, and the chance to go to that amazing country.
  • 19 months of marriage.  19 months of learning, stretching, growing, loving, and all that comes with marriage.

This year, instead of making New Year’s resolutions, I’ve decided to set goals for myself to meet by the end of 2014

1.      Exercise at least 3 times a week.  Along with that and eating better, lose 30 pounds by this time next year.

2.      Finish the Old Testament and study Revelation and the other apocalyptic writings.

3.      Whine less and give thanks more.

4.      Start a sponsorship program for children living near Samuel and Mercy in Uganda.

5.      Open our home to our friends on a regular basis.  I want to make sure this year that our home is a place that our friends want to be and feel at home themselves.

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