Wednesday, January 30, 2013

BFFs and the Bible

Yesterday my kids were playing a game they named “Moving Day.” Each room was a place... Virginia, North Carolina, Cambodia, Texas... and they would pack their “suitcase” (a blanket they wrapped stuff in) and move to each place, visiting their best friends at each destination.

That disturbed me for so many reasons, namely being that they are only 4 and 6 and yet have so many places to move to, but I had to laugh about one part of it.  The best friends.  Stephen actually makes fun of me all the time for referring to my “best friend in Texas” or my “best friend in Cambodia.”   He’s just so literal and points out that the “best” can only be the best.  Just one.  Well, I wholeheartedly disagree, and I think it's perfectly fine to have a best friend from each state we've ever lived in.  In fact, in Texas, I’m starting to break it down to cities.  And because of the military, many of these friends move a lot, too, and now I even have best friends in states I've never lived in, like Arkansas and Washington and California (hi ladies!)

So you can see why I had to laugh at “Moving Day.” Well, it was that or focus on their poor little transient lives!  So I set my attention on the laughter.

God used it to bring to mind the passage I shared about this past weekend at a women’s retreat.  I love the verse that says “For we are God’s masterpiece.  He has created us anew in Christ Jesus so we can do the good things he planned for us long ago.” (Ephesians 2:10)

I shared about that verse because it played a major part in my agreeing to go to Cambodia, and thus truly and irreversibly changed my life forever.  Isn't it beautiful to think about ourselves as God’s absolute best work?  And what artist doesn't choose the masterpiece as their favorite? We had to do nothing to be his favorite?  He just made us that way. 

Back to the kids... one of them asked me once which one was my favorite.  You know how that goes, parents!  You can’t choose a favorite child!  You love them both.  The easy answer would have been to tell them that neither is my favorite.  But instead I said they were BOTH my favorite

And while I do feel a need to specify which place each of my favorite friends come from, showing that none of them are truly named best of the "bests," I never have to specify with my kids.  They can both be, at the same moment, in the same place, my favorite.

Because they are both God’s favorite.

I love that.  Our God created every single living thing on this planet.  And he loves all of it. 

But he loves Parker the best. 
And Jack the best. 

And me.

And you.

I talked about us being his masterpiece this past weekend and since I'm done with my "speech," you'd think I'd be finished thinking about it.  But instead, new verses keep popping in my reading about just how much He loves us. 

1 Ths 1:4 “... you are loved by God and chosen.”

Your love, O LORD, reaches to the heavens, your faithfulness to the skies.”  Psalm 36:5

And I LOVE this one:
Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall trouble or hardship or persecution or famine or nakedness or danger or sword? As it is written: "For your sake we face death all day long; we are considered as sheep to be slaughtered." No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.” Rom 8:35-39

Jer. 31:3   “...I have loved you with an everlasting love...

And, of course:
For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.” John 3:16

He loves us so much.  I want to say I could give up my child for Him, but I’m a selfish human being who probably couldn't   Not my favorite son!  Or my other favorite son!  But He did.  His love is everlasting, and sacrificial, and more powerful than anything in all of creation, and can do immeasurably more than I can ask or imagine, and I can’t be separated from it.

I’m chosen.

I’m his masterpiece.

I’m his favorite.

I don’t know what you think about that, but when I remind myself that I’m God’s favorite, it makes me want to give Him more.... of my faith,  of my time, of my love...  more of me.

"This is the day that the Lord hath made.  Let us rejoice and be glad in it." (Ps 118:24)

Because we are all His favorite.


Friday, January 25, 2013

Prayers, please!

I just wanted to ask that you pray for our family this weekend.

I have the blessing to share what God has done in my life, and my family's life, and is still doing, this weekend with a group of ladies from First Baptist Church in College Station.

At the same time, Stephen will be sharing about our journey, and a little more about IJM, at St. John's Church of Christ in Burton, TX (at 6:30 pm Sat!).  This congregation was a generous supporter of our time in Cambodia and continues to raise support for IJM and other organizations joined in the fight against human trafficking both here and abroad.

He is also "bringing the message" Sunday there in Burton at both 8am and 10am.

So.... please pray for us.

This is "our" story but it's nothing without God.  Please pray ourselves are emptied and that the Holy Spirit comes in and speaks through us.  Also pray for hearts to be open to hear HIS message.

Thanks for your prayers.  Always.