Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Your Kingdom Come

Twitter is a constant encouragement to us. We follow writers, pastors, friends, and organizations. There are many tweets weekly that really inspire us. Here is what is on our mind today.

@advntconspiracy: Kingdom change always begins with loving those who never thought they were worth the kingdom.

Even though Advent Conspiracy is about changing the world through Christmas, they still speak out throughout the year to encourage us to continue what begins each year at Christmastime. It makes sense rather than just showing up again next year without living it daily and it's a helpful reminder of why we make the changes we make.

This tweet came in this morning and just struck my fancy. It's different than what's been being said lately and I actually had to read it a few times through before I could start thinking about it. But once you begin to understand it, it's pretty self-explanatory. In order for His kingdom to come and His will be done, we must love those He loves aka "those who never thought they were worth the kingdom". Those who feel so certain that they are not worth God's love are the ones who need His love the most.

I'm going to keep reading this throughout the day in order to really understand it. But here's a music video that I think helps. And we can all take comfort in the chorus.

But don't you know who you are, What's been done for you? Yeah don't you know who you are?
You are more than the choices that you've made, You are more than the sum of your past mistakes, You are more than the problems you create, You've been remade.
Tenth Avenue North

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Justice League Project - CHF

Today we went to TriPoint where they were just into their first week of The Justice League Project! CHF was the first organization they featured. This was the first ever mobile CHF Food Pak experience ever! There were so many people there, and KLOVE was also there set up with prizes and stickers! It was a beautiful day to do some great things. We took Brogan along with us and grabbed the Flip so we could share with you how much fun we had!

If you want to know more about TriPoint and their young adult ministry, Segue, check them out here. And if you are free the next few Sunday afternoons work your way over to see them and be a part of The Justice League Project! They are also teaming up with TOMS for a Style Your Sole party next week, then Strong Foundation to help the homeless, and are hosting a South Texas Blood & Tissue Center blood drive after that! While you are there stay for the Sunday night service and check them out!

CHF also has a new website and it is awesome! They worked really hard and it definitely shows. It is our new favorite website to explore. As a matter of fact, to celebrate we would like to invite you to do as many of the Social Media Fan actions on this page. If you are the first one to tell us that you did any 5 and can share some links to where we can see it, we will send you a CHF shirt of your choice! Also, if you can spot us on the site let us know and for the first few we will send out a CHF bracelet!

Sunny Saturday - CHF and Pirates

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

I Refuse Not to Move

I don't want to live like I don't care

I don't want to say another empty prayer

Oh, I refuse to sit around and wait for someone else

To do what God has called me to do myself

I could choose not to move

But I refuse

Now is the time. So many right now need a voice of hope across the globe. What is God calling YOU to do? What do YOU need to refuse to not do?

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Lenten Journey

Twitter is a constant encouragement to us. We follow writers, pastors, friends, and organizations. There are many tweets weekly that really inspire us. Here is what is on our mind today.

@PastorChrisSeay: During Lent I'll be giving up foods other than the staple foods that make up the diet of the @compassion children we sponsor. Wanna join me?

Chris tweeted this on Sunday as we were making breakfast and as soon as we read it we began to think about how we could participate. We immediately remembered our similar Food Pak experience and how that changed us. We then wondered what Chris would be eating and about participating by eating rice and beans since that is a staple food in many places. And as if he was in conversation with us, with out skipping a beat, he twittered again...

@PastorChrisSeay: Rice & Beans are primary staple foods. In many regions this could also include mixed veg/salad, potato, chicken, tortillas, & bananas

This started another conversation about how people in different parts of the world season food and if we would allow ourselves to use our seasonings. In the heat of things we wondered what Teddi (Taylor's sister) ate when living in the orphanage in China- mostly a rice cereal type of dish. From there, we decided to take on this challenge and journey along with Chris while engaging in the diet of Chinese orphans. (Update on what exactly that turns out to be, later...)

Chris also posted a note to Facebook where he shares some thoughts and reasons for why he is doing this. Below are some of those thoughts. (To read the entire note click here.)
Our hearts, minds, and yes, even our bodies need a time of preparation and molding that lead us joyously to the feast, reluctantly to the garden, solemnly to the cross, and rejoicing at the empty tomb. If you chose to join me on this journey that begins in self-examination and focuses unmistakably on Jesus, we will be changed forever.

So I invite you to set out on this journey with me to rediscover what the bible says about food, life, love, and grace and to connect with the poor in hopes that I might become a different man—a grateful man.

The primary change in my life will be the time and energy gained as I lay down the vain pursuit of constantly asking myself: What do I want to eat today?

As we change our eating patterns we will also have the chance to identify with the thirsty. I plan to drink water, tea, coffee and natural juices during my fast. I am also very aware that I take for granted the fact that clean water flows directly into my house and at no time in my life have I ever had to search and travel to find it as most of the world does. During these 40 days I challenge you to join me on a one mile prayer walk each day when we can join the plight of the thirsty, pray for the water crisis, and seek ways to respond to bring clean water to so many in need.

Monday, March 7, 2011

Memorial Box Monday ~ Sweet Tea and Chocolate

Linny at A Place Called Simplicity started Memorial Box Mondays.

"In Joshua 4 Almighty God tells the Isrealites to collect stones and set them as a Memorial to remind them of God's power and provision. He then tells the Isrealites to use those stones as a memorial; that everytime they see them to tell their children and their children's children the stories over and over again, continually reminding them of God's faithfulness."

To read the full idea and an introduction to Memorial Box Mondays go here and read Linny's "How about Memorial Box Mondays? aka We will remember..." post.

We are excited to share with you our story about the very first few objects that will go into our memorial box! But first, we need to give you a little background... Once upon a time, about seven years ago, a boy met a girl in a small town. They grew in love with each other. They had family and friends and great fun. But after a few years, he went away to college and she to Florida. The two remained together but in different states. Finally the day came when the two would live in the same state once again- no more long trips and no more missing birthdays and other special events. They were soon engaged, married, and looking for a place to live… and this is where the real story begins.

Deciding where we would live after we got married was a big decision for us. Taylor had a job with the church and was going to school. Frankie had just got a raise and that promised them a more stable lifestyle. We both had family in San Antonio. But, we decided on Houston as a way to be a little more independent and to start our own lives. That was decision number one.

After a while in Houston, and months and months of driving back to San Antonio for the weekends and birthdays and benefits and such, we started to miss what we had. We grew at Journey and started to get involved with CHF. These were things that we were having a hard time doing in Houston. We found a church in Houston, and we love Ecclesia, but it didn’t feel like home. We joined a small group too, but even that felt like it was missing something. So after one and a half years we thought and prayed about moving back to San Antonio. We talked to elders and parents and God… and after talking to our apartment complex (because we would have to end our lease early) we felt like it wasn’t the right time. Decision number two.

Here we are three months later. The end of our lease is coming up, Taylor is about to finish her spring semester, and we find ourselves asking the same question. Can we go home? We’ve prayed and prayed and prayed. Our parents prayed. We went to meet with elders at Journey to pray. Where were we supposed to be? What is God calling us to do? We met with schools about transferring; we met with bosses about leaving. Neither provided a quick and easy answer, but only more options to consider. Houston is so good to us- one year left of school and a job that again offered another raise to stay- an easy choice from most people’s point of view. But, we really felt like our hearts and all of our time and efforts were being invested in San Antonio and a move there would be a leap of faith, with a change of degree plan, finding a new job, and a place to stay. This would come to be decision number three.

We finally felt like we were ready to commit to a decision and then a few ideas made us unsettled. So back and forth and back and forth and finally we decided to fast until we found an answer, a clear sign. So we prayed and fasted (along with Taylor’s mom) for the morning. For lunch we met up at a museum that we like to visit for a walk and some talk and to see how we were feeling. When we arrived we were tempted by a street vendor selling tacos…but we continued to fast… We started in a new exhibit, then walked to a small chapel, then to another. Lots of talk and quite a bit of frustration later, we were walking back to the car pretty sure knowing the decision we were going to make but still feeling a bit uneasy. With our decision made, we feasted! And those were seriously the best tacos ever!

So here we were scared and excited (not at the same time, one of us was actually scared and the other was so excited) and we had to part ways, digesting all that had just happened (and those delicious tacos!). This is where our Memorial Box Monday objects come in… We prayed on our way back to the office for God to confirm that this was the right decision. (Others were also praying that we would be confident in our decision once it was made and have peace once we decided.) We shared a Coke with our tacos although Taylor drank most of it, since Frankie knew he had some sweet tea at the office. So once he got there he popped open a bottle and smiled. God knows exactly what we need to see and when we need to see it. On the inside of his tea cap was a unique quote just like every other bottle of Granny’s Sweet Tea, but this one spoke directly to his heart- “Spend more time on what makes you happy”. That was it. The sign that he had been waiting for, a confirmation. But HE doesn’t just stop there because that same afternoon as Taylor was enjoying a little piece of chocolate, she also received a little confirmation on the inside of her wrapper. Dove wrappers seem to always have something witty to say as well, but this one spoke straight to her heart- “Go where your heart takes you”. Just what we each needed to see when we need to see it.

So decision number three has been made, and if it wasn’t worth telling you about we wouldn’t be posting this. Can you guess where we will be living by the end of April? San Antonio here we come and we are excited to see how God will use us in our new/old home town! There is so much more to this God story, little bits and pieces that we will hold dear to our hearts, but for now we will place our tea cap and Dove wrapper in our memorial box to remind us of how God always hears us and provides in His perfect timing.

"Spend more time on what makes you happy."

"Go where you hear takes you."

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Knowledge is Power

Twitter is a constant encouragement to us. We follow writers, pastors, friends, and organizations. There are many tweets weekly that really inspire us. Here is what is on our mind today.
Another beauty of Twitter is the wonderful "RT" (re-tweet). This allows us not only to connect with our friends but with their friends as well. Occasionally, those we follow will share a significant tweet, by retweeting it to their followers.

@ihategluten: RT @BeautyFrmAshes In the #UnitedStates alone, 15,000 to 18,000 people are #trafficked into the country each year http://fb.me/IjqjHKBu

Our friend Rhonda (who is allergic to gluten, hence the user name "ihategluten") is a passionate anti-Human Trafficking advocate! Although we don't talk about this issue much on our blog, we are glad to have friends who keep the issue real and relevant to us. We get to hear about statistics, news stories, and success stories via Rhonda from her friends at Beauty from Ashes and other advocates and organizations.

The statistic within this tweet can be quite a shocker for some. It's amazing the number of slaves we have in our very own nation, and around the world. People think slavery was abolished long ago, but it is truly alive, even in our own neighborhoods - it just has a new face.

The article within the tweet is a quick read. Take a look at some eye-opening numbers and break the unawareness pattern that it speaks of. We are failing our brothers and sisters by not being aware of their light.

Thank you for reading this. We hope you realize now that you are one more person who knows this much more about human trafficking, and knowledge is power. To find out more, click on any of the links within this post. :)