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

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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Winter!

It has been ridiculously much too long since my last post.  I have a bunch of lame excuses that I will spare you from reading and simply profusely apologize and state it won’t happen again!  There has been so much going on for us, as I am sure there has been for all of you as well!  I thought I might catch you up with us by giving you some snapshots of what’s been going on in the Little household. Image

  • For Thanksgiving we had four of our friends that weren’t able to go to their respective families over to our apartment for lunch.  Everybody brought something for the meal and we ate well!  Ben made the turkey and he did a great job!  We had green beans, macaroni and cheese, mashed potatoes, dressing, turkey, broccoli and cheese casserole, pasta salad cookies, apple pie, and pumpkin cheesecake.  Afterwards we played a game of Settlers of Catan.  It was a lot of fun and a great Thanksgiving.
  • During the month of November, we were introduced to the game of Settlers of Catan.  It’s a board game that involves a lot of stratgy and there is luck involved as well.  We are hooked on this game and look for any opportunity to play it with friends and we introduced Katie to it as well and got her hooked. 🙂  It’s so much fun!
  • Ben had a lot of concerts right after Thanksgiving since it was time for all the Christmas concerts!  He had several performances at Bass Hall in downtown Fort Worth singing Christmas music with the Fort Worth Symphony.  It was a great performance.  He also sang a performance of Messiah at Ball Hall, he had a Lessons and Carols concert on campus and participated in the annual “Keyboards at Christmas” performace at the seminary.  It was beautiful.  In the picture (if you click this link, you can see a bigger and better version of the picture) you can see Ben to the left.  Image
  • I just recently finished reading Sense and Sensibility.  Even though I can’t help but picture Snape when I read the parts about the sweet Colonel BrDSC02736andon (Alan Rickman played him in the movie) I enjoyed the book very much.  It was a great read.
  • Our apartment is Chrismasitized (copyright Meghan Bridges Little)!  Our tree is up, there is garland all around the apartment and our apartment smells like Christmas!
  • We went to see Frozen and it’s great!  It’s different than most princess movies, but it’s a good different.  I personally did not enjoy Brave when it came out; this movie is different from Brave though so I enjoyed it greatly.  The message behind it was great, the music was fantastic, and the characters were fun.  It ranks up there, for me at least, with the classics and I already can’t wait to own it on DVD.  I’ve been listening to the soundtrack at work since we saw it.  On this date night we saved up for, we also went to a Mexican restaurant called Abuelo’s. Oh man, it was amazing!!!
  • The coolest thing I have to share though is that it snowed (mostly iced but there was a small amount of snow mixed in) a few weeks ago!  My work was cancelled Friday, no one could get out of our aparDSC02803tment complex parking lot Saturday and we had to walk to campus Sunday for a church service they had there since all the churches around were cancelled.  It was so awesome!DSC02794

Well, there’s the snapshot of our past month and a half, it won’t be so long again the next time I post!

With love,

Meg

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Thankful

While Thanksgiving Day and week is a time we set aside to be thankful, we should do it all year long, every single day.  I am challenging myself to be more thankful on a regular basis and would therefore like to share with you things that I am thankful for here in the land of Fort Worth.

  •   God gives salvation and purpose.  God has filled me with talents and skill and passions and allows me to use them for Him so I can have a deeper relationship with Him.  And this is even after He died for my sins and offered me salvation which is much more than I could ever deserve!  How great of a God we serve!
  • Ben.  I am thankful that God has blessed me with a friend and helpmate through Ben and I’m thankful for the work I can see Him doing in our marriage. Ben is the person that can come alongside me to help me figure life out.  He’s someone I can cry with, laugh with, be angry at and still know that we love each other.
  • Mom and Dad.  God gave me great parents who can now be my friends as well.  They have set forth godly and loving examples of how to live life, how to be a good spouse, and how to be a good parent.  I would not be who I am today without them and their love and I’m so glad that God providentially put us together.
  • Christian.  God blessed me with so much more than a sibling when He brought goofy into our family.  He blessed me with a friend that was there to cheer me on, comfort me, laugh with me, and at times just wonder at my craziness.  And though at first I wanted to “take him back where he came from”, I wouldn’t trade him for anything and can’t believe how blessed my life has been and is because of him.
  • Haley.  I am so thankful that my brother has found someone that is so complementary to him, that treats him well, and that is a joy for us to all be around and spend time with.
  • Shae Lee.  My dear best friend that will always be there.  Though I miss her dearly and would love to see her, I am thankful that her friendship is one that can last no matter the distance.  She was and always will be a God sent blessing in my life.
  • Katie.  I am so thankful that God has blessed me with a like-minded friend here that I can laugh with and talk with for hours.  Getting to know her is fun and I already cherish the serious conversations that have been sandwiched by laughs.
  • Jobs. I am thankful that I have a full time job that God provided for me and am thankful that Ben has an internship at FBC Keller.  I am thankful for the great people I work with and for the great people we are meeting and getting to know at Keller.
  • Home.  I love our apartment and am so thankful that God provided us with an affordable place to live that we were able to turn into a place we love to come home to at the end of the day!
  • Technology.  I am so glad that I have ways to talk with people that live far away.  Without technology, I wouldn’t be able to talk with my family, or see their faces on skype.  I wouldn’t get to talk with Shae and share life as easily with her.  I wouldn’t get to email Bekah and Hayden several times a week and I wouldn’t get to talk with their families. 
  • Rain.  It has been raining a decent amount here lately and I’m glad God has provided it for us and everyone else who lives here.

What are you thankful for today?

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My favorite places

I am no world class traveler and I honestly haven’t been very many places in my life, but nonetheless, I am going to share with you my favorite 5 places I’veImage been.

1.       Pallisa, Uganda

I’m sure the fact that this one made it on the list doesn’t shock anyone.  Uganda is an absolutely beautiful country with lots of pretty views of Lake Victoria, flowers, and vegetation.  These facts add to my love for this place, but it’s the people that live there that make this my absolute favorite place I’ve been.  They are happy, they are loving, they are inviting, and all in all, the people I met in Uganda are just amazing!

2.       Greensboro, North Carolina

Greensboro is my favorite city that I’ve been to in the United States so far.  It’s a big city and there are lots of things to do.  There are several different places to go shopping that I was able to get to in less than 10 minutes from my college apartment.  There were lots of food options if you wanted to go out to eat.  But on the same hand, it doesn’t feel like a real big city and traffic doesn’t make life difficult most of the time. It is well placed within the state, being only a little over an hour from Raleigh about 2 hours from reaching mountains.

3.       Charleston, South Carolina

Charleston is a wonderfully and beautifully historic city.  The city has done a great job of keeping the cobblestone roads and the pretty, old houses and churches downtown in fairly good shape.  I’m not usually a big beach person.  I like to get out on the beach a bit but if given the option; I would rather retreat back to the mountains and go to a lake.  I wasn’t so sure about Charleston when Ben suggested for our honeymoon.  But boy am I glad I didn’t protest!  We stayed on the Isle of Palms and had the best of both worlds.  We went out on the beach a bit and we got to go walk around downtown Charleston quite a bit, which I absolutely loved!

4.       Weaverville, North CarolinaImage

Okay, so I may be just a bit biased seeing as how this is where I was born and raised, but the mountains are beautiful, ‘nuff said.  I have been excited to see the mountains come into view as you drive to Weaverville on 40 countless times.  They’re beauty is a reminder of how great, powerful, and beautiful our God is!  Not to mention, that city holds quite a few fond memories for me.

5.       Watauga Lake, Tennessee

To be honest, I was disappointed when my family switched to going to Watauga Lake instead of Lake James.  We had gone to Lake James for a long time and I had decided for that reason it was the best.  But after giving Watauga a chance, it’s beautiful.  It sits surrounded by mountains and the water is always nice and cool.  I love being on the lake and have decided that it’s beauty and lack of being super busy at all times have made it my favorite. That brings it in at number five on my list! 

I’m hoping to add some places in Texas to my list after we have been here a little longer and have had chances to explore areas here more.

What about you?  What is your favorite place you’ve been to?

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Our experience in Texas so far…

Our experience in Texas so far...

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10 tips for keeping the stress out of Christmas!

So I know it seems early and you’re probably thinking “Meg, it’s not even Halloween yet, seriously?” But trust me, it’s definately not too early to be thinking about Christmas! So I’ve come up with a list of tips to keep the fun in Christmas and kick some of the stress out.

10 tips for keeping the stress out of Christmas!

1. Don’t wait until the Black Friday deals to start your shopping.

As those of you who live in Asheville or have been in Asheville around Christmas time know, that city is not built at all for the traffic that hits once Black Friday arrives. As an Asheville native, I knew last year that I wanted nothing to do with that traffic so we started our Christmas shopping sometime in October and believe it or not, we were pretty much done by the first week of December!

2. Take advantage of online shopping.

Again with the traffic, we decided to do a lot of our shopping on Amazon and Christianbook.com last year. We’re doing the same again this year.

3. Ask people for ideas.

I like to come up with ideas for Christmas gifts for people but honestly sometimes, it’s best just to ask. I know a lot of people tend to have a list of things they would like but they don’t always offer up the information without being asked. That way you don’t have to completely rack your brain and you know they’ll enjoy their gift.

4. Pay attention

People often drop great gift ideas in everyday conversation without even realizing it! Just pay attention to things they get excited about, it could spark a gift idea.

5. Be creative! (or do what I do and cheat by using the internet)

There are lots of cool, cute, creative, and cheap gift ideas out there. If you’re creative take the time to sit down and think about things you could make or put together as gifts. If you’re like me and you struggle a little more in that department, google it! The internet has lots of good ideas you can tweak and use.

6. Don’t break the piggy bank!

Don’t spend too much money! Make a list of the people you need to give gifts to before you buy any of them anything. That way you’ll know how many people you’re looking at spending money on and you can save at least a little for everyone. If you start early enough, you can buy a little bit at a time and spread the cost out over time instead of taking large chunks of money out of one or two paychecks.

7. Get wrapping! Don’t put it off.

I know a lot of people don’t like wrapping presents, and I don’t particularly enjoy myself. Think of how much easier it is if you just wrap presents each week starting once you put your Christmas tree up! Then it’ll get done and you have a great decoration sitting right under your tree!

8. Write it down!

There’s nothing more frustrating than having the perfect gift idea for someone and forgetting what it was later. Write down gift ideas as you have them so you don’t have that terribly frustrating problem!

9. Make time to have fun!

Don’t let shopping, decorating, and cooking keep you from enjoying your loved ones this Christmas. Make those things something to bond over. And take time out from them to have Christmas parties or to watch a Christmas movie. Don’t let a great chance to spend some great quality time doing awesome Christmas things with the people you love pass you by!

10. Don’t forget why we celebrate Christmas!

I know it’s cliché and not creative, but don’t forget that Christmas isn’t about presents or lights or food. While that stuff is fun, Christmas is about celebrating our Savior’s birth! Stressed out Christians aren’t great witnesses especially around Christmas time.

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Food as Missions

Food as Missions

 I don’t know if you’re like me, but food makes up a big part of my life.  While I think about the food I’m shoveling into my mouth, I also spend a lot of time thinking about food outside of that.  I have to think about food as I plan our meals for each week and as I make our grocery list for the week.  What do we need for each meal?  What staples are we out of?  Do I need more things for lunch or does Ben?  What am I getting at Wal-Mart, Aldi, and Sprouts?  Then there are the day to day thoughts of “tonight we’re not that busy but tomorrow night we’re swamped so I need to save something that won’t take as much time for tomorrow night”.  When we have friends over, I want to make something good.  I want to make something that everyone will enjoy but I have to do it sticking to our budget so that takes some thought as well. 

This article is a great encouragement to use food as a mission tool!  God has blessed us with the chance to use meals as a way of fellowship since we all need to eat.  The article encourages us to use food as a way to build relationships with non-believers as well as to fellowship with our brothers and sisters in Christ.

I encourage you to read the article.  It’s not very long and I really enjoyed the points it made and I want to try and use food as more than food. I want my kitchen and my home to be a place of relationship building, fellowship, and love.

With love,

Meg

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The Proverbial Silver Lining

So Tuesday morning was one of those mornings we’ve all had where technology fails us.  I woke up from a very odd dream to realize it was brighter in my room than it should be.  I proceeded to wake Ben up to see if he had set the alarm and to ask him to see what time it was.  He had set the alarm but it didn’t go off and it was 8:05.  I’m supposed to be at work at 8:00 and I normally get up around 6:30. Needless to say, I very much over slept, though I’d like to think I made pretty good time and was clocked in at work at 8:24.  Over sleeping can cause panic and very rushed mornings and there have been many times before that it has ruined at least my morning, if not my whole day.  But I would like to praise God that I overslept. I have been very tired for the past couple of weeks and haven’t really taken a lot of time to just rest.  In the downtime I have while Ben is working on homework, I clean.  During the week, on the nights that he has class or is doing homework I typically straighten up or do dishes. I blogged a while back about needing to be okay with going to bed with the apartment a wreck, but I haven’t done a good job of that and I’ve started to realize that I need to take some time to rest that doesn’t involve the time I’m asleep or trying to fall asleep in the bed. And while I don’t like the fact that I was late for work Tuesday morning, I did get an hour and a half of extra sleep. I really think my body needed that so I’m thankful that I was able to sleep until I naturally woke up. I’m also thankful that I naturally woke up around 8 and not later since I wasn’t even 30 minutes late.  It could have been a lot worse and I could have been at least an hour late if not more.  I’m not good at it and typically I let the little irritations get under my skin and ruin my day for at least a little bit, but think how much better our days and lives would be if we would look for the proverbial silver lining in those irritations. We wouldn’t get as mad, we would be more empathetic, we would be happier throughout the day, we would be able to fulfill the roles we have in life much better, and we would for sure be better witnesses for Christ!  I am challenging myself this morning to be able to view the frustrations we don’t plan on as little in the grand scheme of life.  I am challenging myself this morning to find what good I can and find a reason to praise and thank God for the irritating situations.  I am challenging myself to try and be an encouragement to those that have had frustrating moments, days, or weeks.  I would like to challenge you to the same and would love to hear your stories as I’ve shared mine!

With love,

Meg

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