Tuesday, December 25, 2012

The Child Who Changes Eternity

A few years ago a good friend of mine wrote a beautiful Christmas song.  The chorus of the song is as follows...

Oh come let us adore Him,
the child who changes eternity.
With the Angels sing glory on high,
for the same on earth shall ever be.
Hallelujah and Amen
All praise to the Father and to this child...His Son.

Today is Christmas, a time for people to come together and worship the Child who changed eternity.  Without Christ, Christmas is really just another day.  But because of the child in a manger, it is the start of our story.  So many people, Christians included look at Easter as the start of their story with God.  Easter is a great day, and it is the start of our Eternal life story with God in Heaven.  Christmas though is the start of our fleshly, earthly life with Christ.  Christ came to the world in the form of a baby.  He could have come as a power warrior and quickly killed off all the evil in the world, but He came as an innocent child.  Christ took on flesh, to show us that we have a story to share on earth and as we walk this journey in our flesh we must keep sharing how the King of kings left His throne for us and walked this earth as a testament to how we must live our lives full of grace and truth.

I am less than a month away from getting on a plane to Lesotho and continuing the journey God gave in October of 2009.  Because of the desire God has placed on my heart to love all the children of the world, I will be leaving my "safe" lifestyle in Zeeland and jumping into a dangerous, radical, dependent relationship with God.  Not everyone is called to do this.  Some people's dangerous lifestyle is in Zeeland, some people it is in their house with their families and for some people it is on the other side of the world.  Wherever your radical journey with God goes, you must take it.  Jesus came to give us a full life (John 10:10), not an easy life or a safe life.  Not living the journey or mission God has for you is not fully embracing the power of the manger and what it represents.

I will be taking off January 21 and Lord willing, getting to BG on the 23rd.  BG and Lesotho are in hard place right now.  Adoptions are closed and children are in need.  BG is currently over it's maximum capacity, but how do you turn away a child who needs to be loved?  Please be in prayer for the staff, the children, the director and myself as we strive to care and love these precious gifts of God.  Please also be in prayer for the journey God has for me there.  Everyday is full of unknowns and I want to be completely open to what God's desire is for me at BG.

If you would like to purchase my friend's song, you can at http://www.cdbaby.com/cd/robstamchrislowe.  All proceeds will be donated to my missionary fund.

Thursday, December 6, 2012

Choose JOY

A close friend of mine, always signs off her emails, notes and cards by saying "CHOOSE JOY."  My friend is someone who definitely chooses joy.  Her fun loving, compassionate personality is contagious to those around her.  She serves God in so many ways, to so many people she is the reflection of Christ.  I know, because many times I have experienced the peace, love and joy of God through her and our conversations.

Lately my mind and heart seems like lion pacing around in it's cage.  I am so close to reaching my $25,000 budget, but I am not there yet.  I just want to know the date I will be leaving for Africa, but that won't happen until I am fully funded.  I want to have a plane ticket purchased and I want to be able to start crossing things off my to-do list, but since so many of them are hinged on when I leave, I cannot.  I am finding it hard to enjoy the Christmas, because I am so restless.  I have not been choosing JOY.

Faith is an amazing journey.  It truly is, as Hebrews 11 says, "Confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see."  Taking a step of faith in any situation of life requires faith.  Are you really going to let go of everything that is "normal" for you and run toward what God wants?  Are you willing to let go of the things you can see, only to embrace the things that you can't?

Life in Lesotho is a lot like faith.  The people of Lesotho do not know what will happen tomorrow.  Will they have work?  Will they be alive?  Life at Beautiful Gate is faith.  When you wake up and start work, you do not know how many children will be dropped off that day.  Children that have been abandoned, lost or neglected.  Children that have had a horrible start in life.  You may have a to-do list of items to be accomplished that day, but mostly likely, you will not be able to accomplish any of it, because in Lesotho it is hard to plan ahead.  The thing is, is that those in Lesotho have JOY.  The children of Beautiful Gate children are simply children and when you walk out of a building you will hear laughter and JOY!

James 1:2-3 says, "Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith requires perseverance."  How does one consider a trial JOY?  There are a lot of people in this world that are suffering.  People that do not deserve the life situations they are facing, but they have no choice.  The fact is no matter what we face each day...cancer, starvation, negative work issues, family struggles, etc., we do have a choice to make.  We can choose to feel beat up and live a life of selfish desires or we can learn from the children of Beautiful Gate and choose JOY!!

I am surrendering the fact that I do not have a leaving date.  I believe God will provide for the funds that are still need to be raised and I will have a leave date.  I no longer want to be the caged lion pacing around worrying about life and the things in it that I cannot control.  I want to be like the children at Beautiful Gate.  I want to run and experience the NOW of life instead of trying to plan for the maybe of tomorrow.  I want to soak in the time I have here and the people I share those moments with. 

Above all, no matter what comes my way in the next few weeks, I am going to CHOOSE JOY!