- Every kleenex box in the house is empty.
- You've gone through an entire jar of honey from making hot tea.
- The only thing that sounds good on a 90˚+ day is hot soup.
- It looks like you've had company over, but it's really just a reflection of how many cups of hot tea you've drunk lately.
- You haven't wanted any coffee.
- You get excited when you haven't coughed for over an hour.
- You get iTunes receipts daily because you've had so much time to peruse all the new music and movies available.
- People look at you with that head tilt "awww" that says "you don't look good."
I've spent the last week fighting a cold. You know, it's that "I don't feel well enough to do anything, but not so bad that I feel like I can complain" kind of sickness. I had to laugh, though, when I looked around my house. So, I thought I'd share a list of:
The Top Signs You've Been Sick
How do you change the approach to sharing the Gospel throughout generations without changing the Truth of the Gospel throughout generations?
It's a question that has probably been asked every single generation for every area of life. The "classics" fade away and new "classics" come into place. One approach works for one group. Another for the next. At one point or another, every one of these songs was considered the "edgy" new music and at another point was considered "that really old song."
And that's just music.
How about how people are reached for Jesus. At one time, missionaries would pack all of their belongings in a casket because they knew they would never return home. Saying goodbye at the ship was a lifelong goodbye. People reached the lost by fully stepping into the other person's life and giving it their 100% focus. Today, while many still step into the other person's life, we still have numerous touch points back home - Facebook, phone calls, mail, Twitter, Skype, Instagram, visits home. We are able to stay connected to our culture outside of our current location and maintain a sense of "home."
I say all of that to show how time has changed. But here's a question that's not tied to music pastors or missionaries. How do we continue to find avenues to reach the lost among the next generation without compromising the Truth?
I've been eavesdropping on various conversations over the past couple weeks and have felt my heart break as I'm heard people push for a the right way to reach the youth/young adults today. It is that the Church should take into account the culture (aka "world") and adapt to fit the culture because why would anyone want to walk into the Church if we're not sensitive to them? We need to water down our language. We need to be sensitive to the songs we sing because it might offend them. It's almost as if they are saying we should loosen the Gospel to allow for the world to fit more comfortably.
I understand that we need to make non-believers feel welcome as they boldly walk through our doors for the first, second, third and fourth time, but is loosening the Gospel ever valid? Is it ever right? Do we have the authority to change the Truth of God's Word? He says that "small is the gate and narrow the road that leads to life, and only a few find it." (Matt 7:14) Who are we to think we can widen it for anyone? "I am the way, the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me." (John 14:6)
It's a challenge that has been faced for generations and generations. The Truth of God can't change. We have to be faithful to His Word, but how do we change our approach to engage young people as culture changes so that they will feel welcome, fall in love with the King, and desire to pursue Him with their whole hearts?
I'm not sure there's a simple answer, but it's one we must keep in mind. We cannot compromise the Word of God.
Have you ever looked forward to a key date, thought about all that you were going to do to celebrate that day, only to realize you missed it already?
Yep. That's me. Two years in this country come and gone and I completely missed it. On the 16th, I thought, "Tomorrow's the day! I get to blog about it, journal about all that has happened since that day I landed here, and treat myself to a fun dinner somewhere." On the 17th, I thought, "I'm going to double check my original flight record to make sure it's not tomorrow." And then...WHAM. I missed it. I landed on the 16th.
I realize that doesn't mean I can't still blog about it (obviously), but there's something about missing the moment that is disappointing.
Oh well. Life goes on and you get my post anyway.
How has it already been two years?! I feel like I just landed in Cairo. Smiling faces of those I knew (sort of) were waiting for me at the airport. I had no idea where I was living, so I just went with the flow. They handed me a SIM card in the car, only to find out the card had fallen out somewhere along the way, so we made a stop to get another one. Wide-eyed, overwhelmed, and (honestly) a little scared, I truly put my complete trust in two people who promised to help me along the way. Everything I saw was, what i called it, squiggles and dots. Few things were recognizable and I'm not sure I was ever more excited to escape and close my eyes. The new reality had hit. It was exciting. It was good. But it was terrifying. Everything and everyone I knew was thousands of miles away. I was a alone in this country, trusting that I had heard the Lord's voice correctly.
Two years looks a lot different. I land in Cairo with confidence and excitement because I'm "home." I don't need anyone to wait for me in the airport. I know when to argue with the customs guys and how to ignore the "taxi...taxi...taxi..." men. I find myself laughing at the things that once were foreign and weird. I don't grip the door handle as my driver goes flying down the Ring Road. And I know the way home if he ever gets lost. While I still trust the two people who promised to help me along the way, I have learned where to get the information I need and am generally self-sufficient. I no longer see squiggles and dots. I see a beautiful language that I can (usually) sound out. I understand the basic language around me, although I certainly am not confident (or good) at speaking it. While I certainly am still amazed at things I see, it isn't strange or frightening. I don't look forward to escaping with a good night sleep. I look forward to waking up and experiencing a brand new day. It's still exciting. It's still good. And, at times, it's still terrifying. Many things and many people I know are still thousands of miles away, but a whole new community has been added to my life and it's not so lonely here anymore. I continue to trust that I hear the Lord's voice correctly...especially as I look to the future...but as I look back, I can see God's fingerprints woven throughout the last two years. And it's good.
Tonight, six single girls came together. We represent four countries, none of which are the country we're currently living in. We're all strong, independent girls that are learning to live in a culture that says women are second-class. While we all have very different stories and have had various levels of life experience, we are united with one common desire - becoming more like Jesus.
So tonight we started a journey together. It's a journey through the life of David. It's a journey in which we truly pray that we'll seek and gain a heart like His. Not like David's, but like God's. David sought that heart. We want to seek it too. I have no idea where this journey will take us, but I know it will be good. Not always easy. Not always the journey we expected or desired, but it WILL be good.
a simple girl on a