Monday, September 24, 2012

Cause I'm Not Qualified...

  You know how  when you go on a job interview, they tend to ask you the question, "What is your best and worst quality"?  To be honest.....I usually lie. 
I have too though.....because you see... my best quality is that I am a perfectionist.  And while  in theory that sounds like something you would want to's also that part of me that knows everything I do should be better than it is, and thus it's usually what paralyzes me from doing anything at all!
And my worst quality?....well that's easy!  I am in NO way detail oriented.  I can see big pictures and  give you idea  after great idea....but I have no clue how to bring any of it about.  And I get lost in trying to figure out all the little pieces! 
I know both of these things...though seemingly opposite sides of different coins... are true about myself...  And thus, sometimes I look at my life and wonder... if I were God, would I have ever picked ME for the assignment He's created me for?!?!
Now don't get me wrong... I think first and foremost, above anything else in life, my calling....and really every human beings to love God and serve Him with everything....and there is no greater calling in life than that!  But... I think that looks different lived out in each individual life. 
For me....more and more I feel it's God drawing me away from the comfort of my family...even my country.  I sense Him filling me with all sorts of ideas and visions of how He could move in this world and it's exciting!  But then...I get scared....because I know myself...and I am not qualified for this job.
And I know God can use anybody....and He does (Heck He used a donkey in the bible)! And He doesn't just call the qualified... but He qualifies the called.  I know He makes ways where there are no ways.  He opens doors and windows when it feels like every way is shut. And He moves in ways we cannot see...
Yet...I just can't seem to trust that in my own let that head knowledge seep down the six inches to my heart.....and then apply it to myself.
God can use me.  He has.  He will.
I need to trust trust Him.
why is that so hard?!?!


I really want the job!

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Cause Maybe the Stars are like Musical Notes Swirling in the Blue Like Jazz...

  Many years ago now I was living in an apartment above a ministry center with these two guys and one of them introduced me to Don Miller by way of handing me the book "Blue Like Jazz".  It was right around the time when I was actually starting to enjoying reading again and also at a point in my spiritual walk when I was just starting to question what all this Jesus stuff I had been taught  my whole life...and claimed to believe... really meant to me personally.  So I gave the book a try.  I ended up liking it so much that I read the whole thing in two days...which was some sort of record for me.  I went on to read it over and over again through out the well as picking up and rereading Don's other books, "Through Painted Deserts", "Searching for God knows What" and more recently, "A Million Miles in a Thousand Years".  So When I found out that a bunch of fans got together and raised a bunch of money on kickstarter to see "Blue Like Jazz" made into a movie, I couldn't wait to get my hands on a copy!  It's taken a VERY long time for me to actually do that...but thanks to redbox, this weekend I rented it...and I got to say I actually thought it was pretty good.  While it's a bit different from the book...since it's kinda hard to take a bunch of short essays and make them into a movie that's cohesive...I still found myself connecting with it in the same ways as I did while reading it.
  The movie is basically the story of Don...whose grown up in a conservative baptist community his whole life....and then he finds out that his mother is having an affair with the youth pastor at his church.....and thus in his anger he runs away to this extremely Liberal College in Portland where he shed's everything he's ever believed about God and faith....and ultimately he journeys back to discovering who God really is for himself.  In a lot of ways it's the typical "christian" story but not nearly as "cheesy" as most Christian films are!  And while it shows life in extremes, I think it does a good job of taking a look at real issues that face people both in and out of the church.  I resonated with a lot of it....not that I live an extreme life on either end of the spectrum....although some people would say I do....but because during so many scenes I found myself sitting there thinking, "I've been there".
  For example, I grew up in a "Christain" home where every sunday... or really when ever the doors were open... we were in church.  I was taught from a young age that there was a clear right and wrong in the world...and that if you did right God would love you and if you didn't He wouldn't.  It was as if in my mind God had a checklist of all the things you were suppose to believe and say and do as a Christian....and I spent years and years of my life trying to make sure that I checked each and every box.  It didn't matter that I didn't really understand why I believed what I believed.  It didn't matter that it had no real impact on my heart.  It didn't even matter that my relationship with God was nothing more than a ticket out of hell.  All that mattered was that I looked the part.....a white washed tomb.  And that's kinda how this movie starts off.  Don's living the Christian life...doing what He's suppose to...believing all he's suppose to.....basically being the good little Christian boy.  Then his world comes crashing down....
  I also went through a period in my life where I threw away EVERYTHING I believed about God.  I had spent years building this house of faith without a strong foundation and when the storms of life came and it fell down.. my whole understanding of God crumbled.  God was like nothing or no one that I had ever known.  He didn't play by the rules I was taught or I thought I I turned my back on Him. of the most amazing things about God is that no matter how far away we try to push matter how much we question matter how much distance we try to create between Him and ourselves.....He ALWAYS still loves us.  It was that love....a love that I had missed out on for years and never really understood....that overwhelmed me one day and drew me back to His heart...helping me discover who God is to me for myself.  In the movie, there's a moment where you see that same switch in Don's's not a clearly defined moment....but still a moment where you can plainly see he's different.  It's that moment of drawing....where God is unveiling His eyes... even if He doesn't realize it...that I connected with.  My moment didn't look the same....but just like his changed everything.
  And then finally there's this part in the book....which thankfully made it into the movie since it's one of my favorite parts....where Don sets up this confession booth at his school fair.  Each year students come there and confess their sins...but this year Don turns the tables and as people begin pouring in, he begins to pour out his heart to them.  He confesses....apologizes....and repents....on behalf of the church...and on behalf of himself....for misrepresenting God.  Boy do I get that...and I can't tell you how many times I've felt convicted to do the same!  Obviously, as a human, I have a lot of personal sin that I need to confess....and I'm learning to do that more and more....both to God and man.  But I also can't help feeling the need to repent on behalf of THE church... for how we've treated those outside of our doors....for condemning those who are living homosexual lifestyles or who have had abortions......for not carrying for the homeless person or drug addict on the corner.....for ignoring the cries of the orphan and the widows.....for forgetting how to love!  Sometimes it makes me sick how wrong we've gotten wrong I've gotten it...and I think.....Forgive us God and forgive us world!
  So yeah....the movie gets my two thumbs up.  There's definitely a lot about the movie I liked...things that I connected with...reasons that I would suggest you all watch it.  But I would also suggest you read the book....because as usually is the case....the book is always better!

Sunday, September 16, 2012

Cause It's More than a Story...It's LIFE...

   For God so Loved the world that He gave His only begotten son that whosoever believed in Him would not perish but have eternal life.  He did not send his son to condemn the world, but to claim it as his own.  
John 3:16-17

  Sometimes things in life are so familiar to us that we forget the magnitude of their meaning.  For instance, I love my family...all of them... but, because they are always there and I know they always will be....I admit...sometimes I take them for granted.  It's not that I mean just sort of happens....And then after a while, something happens...or I'm caught in a special moment...and I'm reminded of how completely lucky I am to not only know them, but to be able to call them mine.
  I think the same sort of thing happens with my faith sometimes too.  Since I've pretty much gone to church since the day I was born....I've heard the gospel preached approximately a hundred million times (Exaggerate much?!).  I know how in the beginning God created....then man God sent His Son ...and one day He's coming back.  I've heard the stories....I've read the scriptures...I've seen the movies....and it's all become so familiar that I sometimes forget the magnitude of what it means.
  Today I was sitting in church listening to my pastor preach on what the Gospel is and why it's good news....and I was completely not engaged.  As his sermon drew to a close and I bowed my head to pray...I realized...something was wrong with this picture!  If I truly believe this story....if I know, that I know, that I know, that Christ defeated death on the cross and that through Him I have eternal life....then that should be the most exciting news in the world to me...not something I'm struggling to pay attention to!  It sincerely was one of those moments when I truly had to stop everything...and ask myself, have I emptied the cross of it's power by taking it all for granted?!?! The answer is yes... I have taken the cross for granted....although not intentionally.  I think sometimes we just hear the stories so much...that they stay just that...stories...instead of becoming life to us.
  So after service I went straight home to get on my face before God....there's just something so comforting to me about getting alone with God, in my own's the only time I feel completely free to be real before God, without worrying about what other people think!  And...well... real is what I got!  I confessed to God how I often think more about what I can do for Him, than what He's done for me.  I repented of the parts of me that still believe that I somehow need to earn God's love and approval.  I asked for Him to remind me of the reality of The story....His story!  And you know what?!?! He did.....and I was overwhelmed!!!  Sitting there thinking about What God's done for this world, through out the ages....and then narrowing it down to all He's done for Me over the course of my life....How could I ever take Him for granted?!?!  I've got nothing but gratitude and praise!

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Cause Sometimes You Just Need to Take the Mask Off...

You ready for this?!....Cause I am about to get real open and honest on here...and could...Scratch that, it WILL.... get ugly!  So if you're one of those people who only like it when people leave their "Christian" face on....aka the kind of person I've been for most of my life and still struggle to not be even now....well then, you might want to turn your head!  And, just so you know... I'm not sharing any of this to get a reprimand or to get an encouraging hug.....but I'm being honest with my sin, because I believe when you bring it to the light, sin loses it's power!  SO... now that all the disclaimers have been made and you've all been pre-warned....let's get down to the nitty gritty!
  The other day I was driving around with a friend, helping her get some important things done and she basically called me out for being a "people pleaser".  Now...I honestly don't think she meant anything by wasn't even said in a tone meant to call me out...but it did...because it's true...and that bothers me...A LOT.  In fact I am so bothered by it that even though it's six day since her comment was made, I found myself lying on my floor this morning crying to God about it... because that's NOT who I want to be!  The desire of my heart is to live to please God...and everything I say and everything I do should point to that...and nothing else....but clearly it doesn't!  So why not?!?
   Well...and this is where my I take off my mask...honestly....I think it's because I still care more about what other people think about me then what God thinks of me!  I hate to admit that.  In fact I pretty much hate admitting any of my faults to people....and I hate even more when people can pick them out without me saying anything...which pretty much only goes on to prove my point even more!  I want people to think well of me...I want them to like me....I want them to think I am important....and so I live my life like I am perfect.  But eventually the truth comes out.....and I get caught in a lie or I spew out out hatred in the midst of my anger or I gossip about someone whose hurt my feelings instead of just going to that person....and before I know it I am crushed, because now people people know...I am a sinner.
  If I actually lived my in and day out...seeking to please God and longing only for His approval and His alone....then this wouldn't happen!  If I lived out each moment .in the knowledge that despite who I am and despite what I have done, I am completely and wholly loved by God... then my sin wouldn't get the best of me!  Cause the thing is.....God already knows the depths of my heart....He knows the evil thoughts and wrong motivations that grow in the dark places of my soul....He knows the struggles I have with sin.....and while He can't ignore it by saying it's okay....He's covered it...ALL of it...with the blood of Jesus!  God...who is the ultimate friend....looked at my life...saw all my sin....all the hurt I've caused and all the pain I've ignored...and He sent His son to pay for that now I can come to Him and be the pleasure of His heart!  So why do I still find myself looking to other people for the approval I already have in HIM?!?!  Christ is enough!  Today I repent and place all my hope back on Him!  Thank you father.   Amen.


Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Cause the Call Has Always Been to Obey...

  Last week I began a study on the Harmony of the gospels.  I really feel that I am in a place in my faith where I really want to KNOW God...deeply....and I figured there is no better way to know the Father better than to study the life of His Son...for even Jesus said over and over again in scripture that if you know Him you know the Father.  So I picked up my bible and a study guide and got to work expecting some deep revelations about Jesus.  Funny thing is, eleven passages in, I find myself caught up much more in the stories of Mary and Elizabeth...women of  faith who carried out Gods promises...then in the life of Jesus (granted Jesus was just born two passages ago)!
  Most of us know the story of Mary...She's the virgin who is impregnated by the Spirit of God and becomes the mother of the Savior of the World!  It's such a familiar story that I often just skim over it....figuring I know it all.  But this time around I really read it.....and I tried to imagine what it must have been like to be this young girl... newly engaged and now pregnant.  In today's day and age, being pregnant before marriage is much more accepted than it was back then....but for Mary, this would have out casted be pregnant before consummating her relationship with her husband would have meant she cheated on him...nobody was going to believe that this was God and it was by His spirit that she was now with child...people would assume the worst of her in this.  Yet Mary isn't recorded in Scripture as worrying about what people will think or how she will explain this away.  Instead, even in her lack of understanding about how it would happen....She says, "I am the Lord's servant.  May everything you have said about me come true"!
  Then you have Elizabeth, Mary's cousin,  whose aging and considered beyond child rearing age.  God hears her prayers...her outcries over being barren... and she conceives a child whom she is to name "John" and who will fortell the coming of the Lord.  Can you imagine her excitement and that of her families....after all these years she's finally pregnant!  Yet Elizabeth doesn't get caught up in the opinions of people.  In fact when it comes to time to circumcise and name her child, she obeys the angel of the Lord and calls her son John, even though her family doesn't get it and argues that the child's name should be Zacharias after his father!  Coming from a very family oriented family, I can only imagine what it must have been like for Elizabeth to stand up to her family (and her in-laws) and demand to be heard....these aren't just people who are here today and gone tomorrow....they are her family, for life!  Yet...she makes a choice to honor God in spite of them.
  I look at these two women and the choices they made to obey God in spite of what it might look like and in spite what their family would think...and I am inspired!  As I have shared in previous blogs, a week and a half ago I left my job because I felt the Lord leading me to do so.  To be honest, while that one step took a giant leap of faith on my part, it wasn't nearly as hard as walking it out now.  I felt very strongly before I left my job that God would not provide the next step for me until I actually left my position.  Now that I am no longer employed I do feel like God has confirmed to me what to do next.. at least for the next several months...but it's scary because I still don't know where all this ultimately leading.  I want the 12 month plan while God is content with me living on a need to know basis.  And so, in this moment, I long for the faith of Mary and Elizabeth... who rejoiced in what God was doing in them despite what it looked like... and who stood their ground despite what others thought!  God didn't tell Mary how things would turn out once Jesus was born...yet she obeyed anyway.  God didn't tell Elizabeth that her family would understand her decision to name her child John when nobody else in her family had that name....yet she obeyed anyway.  God told me to take a step...and now another...and it might go on like this for the rest of my life... Yet  God has not required anything more of me than my obedience.  So like Mary and Elizabeth... the mighty woman of faith that they were....I choose to obey.

Thursday, September 6, 2012

Cause God's Never Given Up on Me...

  For most of my life I have known that I have a heart for reach the most unreachable people with the life, love and power of Jesus. Even as a little girl too small to really get faith in Jesus Christ for myself, I would sit in Sunday school at my father's church and hear Buddy the Barrel talk about BGMC (Boy's and Girl's Missionary Crusade) and reaching children all over the world for Jesus, and would desire to be a part of it!  As I grew up, my theology and reasons for believing in God might have been wrong (I was afraid of hell and didn't want other people to go there) but my heart was always in the right place.
  But then something happened and somewhere along the line I gave up on that heart calling.  I guess it happened about the time I began to realize that it wasn't normal to want to live in a mud hut, thousands of miles from home, for the chance of telling one person about Jesus.  I figured out that a life like that was weird...and I didn't want to be weird.  Plus I also began to understand the kind of sacrifice a life like that would entail and I wasn't ready to pay the price.  So instead, I started looking for a more comfortable dream.  At first it was with variations of "missions"...just formed in ways that fit better with the American way of life...but eventually even that got to be too much....and soon I let the "dream" go..completely....or so I thought.
  Then almost a year ago now, God began capturing my heart again with the desire to reach others with the knowledge of Him. In the last nine months or so, it seems to me, that God has been working to reverse the course of my heart and thus has brought me back to that place of being willing to give everything, do anything, and live completely out of the box in order to share Him with the World!  It's kinda crazy!
  To be honest, I don't really know what all this means.  I know God's working in my heart, I know He's leading me and training me....but where this is all going to bring me...I don't know...except closer to Him.  It's exciting though!  I feel like God's spent the past several years bringing me back to my first love (which is Him) and now He's restoring unto me all the the devil tried to steal.  I feel lucky....I feel loved....and I feel overwhelmed by the knowledge that in spite of me, God's never given up on me!  This is the good life!  Thank you Jesus!

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Cause God's Plans are More Fun...

  Several weeks ago now I started re-reading the book, "The Whole in Our Gospel" by Richard Stearns, the President of World Vision.  Having read the book before, I kind of knew what to expect....I knew the stories that were coming ahead and how it would pull on my heart strings and challenge me.  I even knew that God would call me to a higher standard of living as I worked through read it.  But I honestly didn't know the kind of impact it would have on my day to day life this time around.
  In the first section of the book there's a quote from the author that I have fallen in love with (in fact, if it wasn't so long I would consider tattooing it somewhere on my body, I like it so much).  It says, "Why did God make me?  To love, serve and obey Him.  Very simple, yet extremely profound.  If we all woke up every morning asking, 'How can I love, serve, and obey God today', it might change might even change the world"!  I love that!  And that's exactly how I want to live my life!  So for the past several weeks I've been praying that God would show me each day how I can love I can serve I can obey Him....and what that looks like lived out!  Honestly, it's not always easy....even in the past week God has pushed me so far out of my comfort zone that I sometimes wonder if I'll ever be the same again.  But then I have days like today...days so planned out and ordained by God that I realise I don't want to go back to my old way of life...the adventure of severing God is so much more fun!
  You see, I have this friend and over the past week or so we've been conspiring together over different ways we could step out of the box and just let our lights shine.  She's one of those sisters in Christ that just gets it and gets me...and so when our original plans for today got rained out, we decided instead to just let God lead, and we ended up on an adventure of a lifetime!
  Honestly, we really didn't do anything all that special.  We just got in the car, drove around....and after one closed door and a missed turn....we ended up exactly where we needed to be....the Amazing Grace food Pantry... where we had an opportunity to bless them by meeting some of their food needs.  Yet as always seems to happen when you step out out to bless others, we ended up being far more blessed than anything we gave.
  In fact we ended up meeting some very interesting people today, including this young man named John, a volunteer and "war vet" full of corny jokes and card tricks who ended up sharing a bit of his story with us.   John doesn't have to volunteer at the food pantry, he chooses too....every day he can (which is four days a week since they are closed Sunday, Tuesday and Thursday).  But John's been through a lot....several years ago he graduated from high school and didn't know what to do with his life, so he joined the army.  After basic training he was given some leave time before they were going to ship him off to Korea.  During that leave he was in a massive car accident, where he broke both his arms, both his legs and sustained brain damaging head trauma.  He sat in a coma for 9 months....9 months!  Today he  can walk and talk and since he's supported by the V.A. (they "retired" him due to his injuries) he volunteers his time!  He is an inspiration...and I can't help but think, the very person God had for us to meet!
  It's so interesting to me to look back on this day and see how God's hand moved us.  We were suppose to do something else, but it rained so we couldn't.  My friend was suppose to drive, but her car battery died in the driveway so we ended up having to take my car meaning I had to drive.  We thought we would would spend time at one place and had the door close on us.  Then while on our way to somewhere else, not knowing where I was going, I made a wrong turn and we ended up at the food pantry.  God works in mysterious ways!  And when we are open to it He uses us, and blesses us, and allows us to be a part of His coming Kingdom!  What a great day!

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Cause Sometimes I Need to Vent....

    Over the past several days I have been struggling a lot with people's reactions to me leaving my job.  Actually it's not even every one's reaction. but rather the reactions I've been getting from some of my fellow Christians, that have truly been bothering me.  The reality is, I shouldn't really care what people think....I know in my heart that I'm following God and that should be all that matters...But I find it a bit disconcerting when even among my brothers and sisters in Christ it seems more "crazy" for me to follow what I feel is God's leading in my life, than to stick to what's safe and comfortable despite hearing His calling!  When I started telling people that I was leaving my job, I  expected certain people not to get it.  I mean it's not normal for a person to leave their job for no good reason...let alone because they feel like God's leading them to do so I can understand why some people wouldn't get it.  But....I guess I was expecting that among my family of faith it wouldn't seem so weird.  I mean if you're a follower of Christ then following His will for your life would seems like an obvious thing to do, right?!?!  Yet so many people (okay so maybe like three or four) have pulled me aside and questioned my "wisdom" in not providing for myself or to tell me to be careful that I don't get too carried away with this whole God thing and that "IF" this was even really God I should have waited until He told me what to do next before making a move (even though I felt very clearly that I needed to take this step before God would provide the next)!  
  When did Christianity become such a "safe" religion?!  When did we start allowing the "American" dream and our comfort to matter more than God's will and His Kingdom?!?  When did becoming slaves to Christ mean that we could be our own masters?!!  When did this life of faith become more about living for ourselves than  living for Christ??!?!  I know I'm being harsh here....believe me I've had to repent so many times over the past several days for being critical and cynical instead of walking in love and praying for God's people...but  It just feels like something is wrong when the Church and the World sound exactly the same! 
  And, don't get me wrong, on so many levels I can understand where people are coming from.  For most of my life I've been so afraid of what people would think of me and whether or not I would fail, that the idea of doing anything this "radical" for God was completely out of the question (although in this moment none of this seems all that "radical" to me).  But I feel like I've finally woken up to the reality that life truly is all about GOD and I want other people to get it too!  I just apparently need to work on my approach!  God help me and help us all! 

Monday, September 3, 2012

Cause Nothing Else Matters...

  "You must love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your soul, and all your mind.  
And love your neighbor as yourself" (Luke 10:22)

  I use to worry a lot about what other people thought of my theology.  Not that I ever had a true grasp on what I believed or why (other than, because I thought I was suppose to think/believe a certain way so I did), but I never wanted people to think I was less of  a Christian...or even less of a person for thinking the wrong way, so I never really thought for myself and just went along with the Christian crowd.  Yet over the past several years my faith has obviously become much more personal to me and I've started forming my own thoughts and opinions about God and what it means to live for Him....and the one fundamental truth I keep finding myself coming back to is that it all comes down to love!
  Almost ten years ago now I was given the opportunity to participate in a year long missions program called Mission Year, which brings people into the inner city to spend time giving of themselves both to God and their neighbor through Christian service.  Through out that year, over and over again, we were inundated with the slogan, "Love God.  Love people.  Nothing Else Matters", as day in and day out we tried to live out the implications of what that meant.  God worked so much into my heart during that year (and the years that followed since I ended up living in the city for several years after my program was up), but it wasn't until recently that I've been able to look back on that time and see God's hand building a foundation of Love for Him and others in my heart!
   I am not a perfect person.  I don't say all the right things, I don't do everything correctly, and my social skills at times can leave a lot to be desired....BUT....I love God....INTENSELY....from the bottom of my heart through every inch of my being...and I know that He LOVES me...and He loves all His Children!  So why is it that so often that message of LOVE gets lost?!?!   And maybe it's just because this is an election year and thus there is so much more mud-slinging and "us" and "them" conversations going on, but it seems to me that people are becoming more and more concerned with who's right and who's wrong concerning the hot button "issues" instead of seeing each other as people...and trying to communicate out of Love!
   In Matthew 22 the Pharisees are trying to trap Jesus and thus they ask Him, "Teacher, what is the most important commandment in the law of Moses".  Jesus doesn't respond by restating one of the ten commandments or one of many other customary laws the ancient Jews held.  And He doesn't tell them it's to make sure their theology is completely correct or that they must some how always appear perfect in the eyes of the world.  Instead He says, "You must love the Lord your God with all you heart, all your soul and all your mind.  This is the greatest commandment.  And a second is equally as important: Love your neighbor as yourself.  The entire law and all the demands of the prophets are based on these two commandments".  Put simply, He says....Love God....Love People.... Cause nothing else matters!  I thank God that now more than ever this is the foundation on which I stand!

Saturday, September 1, 2012

Cause of the Importance of Water...

 If anyone gives you even a cup of water because you belong to the Messiah, I tell you the truth, that person will surely be rewarded.
Mark 9:41

  Have you ever had one of those serendipitous moments where all these circumstances seem to line up so perfectly that it just doesn't seem possible that it's all coincidence?   I had one of those moments the other day.  Thursday night I had the opportunity to listen to a missionary family from Thailand share a bit about their ministry and themselves.  It was so eye opening and interesting to hear them speak, but one of the most interesting things that stood out to me from the night was actually something that was almost said in passing.  I don't remember how the conversation came about, but at some point in the midst of sharing, the comment was made that the next world war will most likely be fought over water.  I thought that was so crazy...  Water...  Such a simple thing...  Could it really cause a war?!
  Then yesterday morning I got up and decided to spend some time reading "The hole in Our Gospel" by Richard Stearns and wouldn't you know it, the very first section I read was all about water!  In fact, the section was talking about how important it is for people to have water to sustain their brain and muscle function and how in third world countries people will spend hours walking from their villages and back just to get it.  Yet the water available to them is just as harmful for them to drink as it is not to have it since the water is dirty and filled with all sorts of parasites. .  There was even a father from Africa who was quoted in the book saying, "...if you take away water and sanitation, you take away my health and that of my children.  If you take away my health, you have taken away my energy and my industry.  If you take away my energy and my ability to support my family, you have taken away my dignity; and if you have taken away my dignity, you have taken away hope- for the future, for my children, for a better life".  I couldn't help but sit there after reading that and think back to the night before and how after the comment about a war over water was made, the missionaries son commented how funny it is to him how people in America don't even really drink's all soda and juice and what not... while others work so hard to get it.  When you think about it, it's quite heart wrenching to think we live in a day and age where the poor are literally killing themselves to get the very thing we in America take so for granted.  Something as simple as Water.
  To be honest, I really don't think too much about water. I mean I drink it and I try not to waste it..and on a small scale I see it's importance....but then yesterday we had our plumber show up to fix one of the pipes in our house and he turned off our water supply to do so.  All of a sudden, I couldn't fill up my water jug, I couldn't flush my toilet, I couldn't even use water to gargle the toothpaste out of my mouth.  In the course of a couple hours I realized just how dependent I am...and we all are... on water and how much I truly do take having safe, clean water that's immediately available to me for granted.  So I get it....maybe not completely....maybe not as much as I will some other day....but I get it more than I did yesterday and I can honestly see how such a simple thing has water could start a war.  So today I pray for the people who don't have access to it and for those in organizations like the Blood Water Mission (,  Walking 4 Water (, and Living Water International ( as they work to close the gap between the have's and the have not's and provide safe, clean, water to people all around the world! May our small efforts combined bring glory to the father and healing to the world in need!