Oct 27, 2009

To Be Used...or Not?

I think it is very interesting that God is not hindered by who we are. And this may be totally off the wall...I haven't dug deep into the Word to back up what I am about to write. No research, no checking my sources...this is just Heather off the cuff.

What I am saying is that God, in His God-ness, doesn't need us to be perfect in order to be useful. In fact, we don't even have to be followers of Christ, or even acknowledge that He is God. BUT if we are His partners then we get to know that we are a part of the greatest love story in the history of time it self.

Let me give an example. In the book of Daniel, King Nebuchadnezzar was a godless man in charge of a very depraved kingdom...yet the Lord used him to promote his servant Daniel to a position of great prominence in the greatest kingdom the world had ever known before. Think of the power Daniel possessed to promote the Kingdom of God.

Here's another, Joseph found himself in prison after a false accusation from an adulterous woman, but prison gave him the strength of character to guide a nation out of famine and into prosperity. He used the woman, and she didn't even know Him.

Obviously we aren't perfect. If we were, there wouldn't be sin in the world...and there would be no need for a savior. BUT if we are honest with ourselves, we are constantly striving to be perfect...to make ourselves something God can use. Now, I am not suggesting that we shouldn't become more like Christ...in fact, that is in truth, our only goal on the planet.

What I am actually proposing, is that if we can just be ourselves in Christ...and walk through life with pure motives and a clean heart, then not only will we be used by God, but we will know it! We will get to participate in the use. We will feel the hands of God in our life and His light will shine through us so brightly that the enemy will be powerless over us, and the world will see the goodness and love of Christ through us.

So in effect, we don't need to worry about whether or not we can be used by God, because He will use whomever He wants to...whenever He wants to. Instead, we should be concerned with knowing His heart and letting the love of Christ shine through us. As we become more like Him and less like this world...His perfect light will pass through us more purely, less adulterated, and touch the world in a way that only perfect love can.

So, who is with me? Who wants to shine so that midnight will be as bright as noonday??

Oct 24, 2009

Am I a Fool?

This has been a wild week to say the least! Live the Dream conference was a total success, as over 1000 women stepped out of their world and into the house of the King. Christine Caine gave the closing message to this incredible conference, and she spoke about 4 lepers who had the courage to look past their present circumstances and take a risk to better their futures.

It was an incredible message encouraging us to look like a fool for Christ. She had a long list of people from the Bible who were foolish for the cause: Noah, Moses, Joshua, Gideon, Ester, Peter, John, David...Mary...the list goes on and on. If all of these people were able to get over themselves and risk looking like an idiot in the eyes of the world...why can't I be OK with that???

Sometimes we have such a desire to please people, or to be pleased by them, that we forget that is NOT about us anyway. To think of Jesus - naked, beaten, bleeding, hanging on the cross and listening to the taunts of the crowd - he must have looked so foolish in the eyes of his community, of his world. BUT he was OK with that! Although he felt the shame and pain of the sins of the world, he knew it would be worth it in the end. He trusted God's will for his life...even to a foolish death on a cross.

So I have to ask myself...what have I been afraid to do? What have I been pushing aside, putting off because I didn't want to look like a fool? I just wanted to blend in with common Christianity, and live my little life - not making any waves or raising too many difficult questions OR exposing myself to the world for ridicule. Why am I afraid to further the cause of Christ? Why am I afraid to look like a fool if the Bible says, "The foolish plan of God is far wiser than the wisest of human plans..." 1 Corinthians 1:25. WOW!!

There is freedom in looking foolish! I do it all the time...you know awkward moments, botched conversations, story telling, just being me will get some confused looks out of people...but all of that is for ME not for HIM. So today...I take courage in being foolish for my King. I will not be ashamed of the life he has asked me to live. I will not be fearful of the outcome. I will not be wounded by the words of others. I will stand...a proud fool, and I will live my life recklessly for the King of my heart and the lover of my soul.

Oct 19, 2009

On the Move

I am back in the States for an action packed, fun filled, fundraising extravaganza! After my trip to Honduras last week, I am so fired up about this next year and all that God has in store for HHGlobal. I can't wait to see how it all pans out.

We have a full calendar of visiting teams: medical, community education and construction that will serve our area of 15-20 thousand people. We have committed staff members and interns who are gonna give it all they've got, and all for His glory, to make this the best year yet, in HHGlobal history!

So I am calling all cars! My strategy:
  1. I am having a garage sale in early November...so if you have any items you would like to donate, shoot me an email at Heather.Stewart.RD@gmail.com
  2. I am selling handmade messenger and tote bags at the HUB, on November 19th 8pm.
  3. I am setting up meetings with people I think God is calling to sow into His work in Honduras, and talking to them about ways they can be involved: prayer, one time donations, and monthly sponsorship.
If you are interested in coming on board for any or all of these events please send me an email at Heather.Stewart.RD@gmail.com and I will contact you asap! You guys have been such a support for me through my first year in Honduras...and I can't imagine going on the next part of this faith adventure without you!

Oct 17, 2009

Time to Get Real

OK...I know, 2 posts in one day, right. Some of you are saying "get a life girl" but you must remember that I have had bloggers block for a few weeks, and now that I am back in the motherland of Honduras...things are, well...flowing again.

I have been thinking a lot about the idea of realness. Yeah, it may not be a word, but I am over that. It seems to me that this world is crying out for truth and honesty. That the people on the planet right now are seeking after anything that can offer them a taste of authenticity.

They are sick of religion. They are sick of smoke and mirrors. They are sick of life without purpose. So they are seeking. You know what the Word says about seeking, right?
  • 1 Chronicles 28:9 - If you seek Him, you will find Him.
  • Jeremiah 29:13 - You will find me when you seek me.
There are many more where that came from. My point is...that there is a generation of hungry people out there. They are tired of the emptiness of life. They are ashamed and afraid and trapped. They are looking for a way out. They are looking for a release. They are going to find it somewhere. The problem is that there are so many options out there and I battled with a lot of them. They offer a shadow of truth and a taste of realness, but you have to sell your soul to get it and it never satisfies anything in your spirit.

So who is offering the only real thing? Who is taking the bread and water of this life and bringing it to those who are filling their bellies with addictions and destructive relationships? Who is bringing light into the darkness? Who is the salt of the earth? Who? Who? Who?

There is a burning in my soul for those who feel like they are far beyond the reaches of God's grace. My insides cry out when I think of all the people who have sought for meaning in life and been sideswiped by the half-truths and look-a-likes.

God, let us be like you. Let us go for you. Can we be real? You are so real to me. I know your name...it is written on my soul. Please, raise up a generation who will answer the call to be real for you, to be honest and true. A generation that would bring that truth to the forgotten people of this world...no matter how ugly and beat up the package is.

God let us be real like you!

Oct 16, 2009

Fresh Perspective

I am reading this new devotional in the evenings. I know you are supposed to do that kind of thing in the morning...but I am NOT an early bird and God seems to meet me in the evenings.

So anyway, It is called Intimate Conversations by Alicia Britt Chole.

It has some great introspective questions and has got me rethinking some things in my life. Like, drum-roll-please.....business.

When did business become a "good" thing, or a thing that made us feel important? Are we really more significant in this world if our phone is ringing constantly, or if our fingers are permanently mounted to various types of qwerty keyboards?

What motivates my "yes" and "no" to people or tasks? Is it what I will get out of spending time with that person? Burn...right? Do I say no to people because of the inconvenience it will cause me, or the cramp it will put in my schedule? Do I say yes to people out of fear or obligation...or worse yet, because it makes me feel loved and accepted....even important to be needed?

Overall I really believe that my desire to be obedient to God drives the answers I give to the big questions, but what about the little ones? What about those daily decisions that come and go in an instant? What drives me to make those calls?

If I could change three things about my schedule...any three things at all...I think they would be:
  1. To slow down
  2. To have more time in reflection and just being with God
  3. To have more time in relationship with the people in my life
It seems to me, that all of these things involve time. The common denominator in all of our lives is that we only have 24 hours in a day. No matter where you live, what language you speak or what kind of car you drive...you only have 24 hours in a day.

So since I can't get more time, I am asking God for grace...lots of grace. I need to receive it, and to give it freely to those around me.

Whew...that was a page full for sure. Just kind of came out on the screen, so I am sorry if it is a little disjointed.

Honduras is great, but I am leaving Sunday for the States...and getting ready to Live the Dream at Healing Place Church!

Oct 15, 2009

Orientation Week

So many cool things have happened this week...I returned to Honduras as an HHGlobal Staff Member, we welcomed 3 new members of our team (Michael - RN, Becca - Support Staff, and Penny - cutest Jack Russel in Honduras)....and we had our first ever intern orientation!!

This is cool for a number of reasons, shall we list them?
  1. We now have 6 people working together to fulfill God's vision for HHGLobal and the Honduran people.
  2. We are getting organized - can you say "yay-yuh"?
  3. We have come full circle in the intern cycle - one intern turned staff member and now more interns!!
There is still so much work to do around here, and I know that our new team...however big, will be stretched to the limits. I pray that our capacities will be increased and that our tents will be enlarged. I pray that God will rock our worlds this year, and that we will never be the same again. I want Him to be real in my life and real to the people of our mountain cove, and all over the world.

That is what this world is crying out for...something real...the one true God.

How cool it is that I get to play a part in bringing Him around.

Oct 14, 2009

Social Media Craze

So I have recently given in to the world of social media. Maybe it is because I have been back in the States for a few weeks, but it is so easy to stay connected with people through all of the social media options.

What is social media? There are a million answers to this question: Facebook, Twitter, Blogs, etc., etc., etc.

The funny thing is...that you can set them up to talk to each other. For example: if you have friends that follow you on Facebook but would never venture off of their news feed to read your blog, you can have your blog automatically post to your Facebook page.

So I am trying it out...this post should not only post to my blog, but also to my Facebook. Kinda creepy, but it is worth because it saves me a step in the copy/paste process of sharing what's happening down in Honduras.

We shall see :)

Oct 11, 2009

Honduras Bound Again!

So I am boarding a plane tomorrow to Honduras...and I am so pumped! We are getting 2 new team members, Michael and Rebecca Oliver, from Bay Community Church in Alabama. Michael is a pediatric nurse and his wife Rebecca is a photographer! What a cool pair! They are going to be a great addition to our HHGlobal team.

I get to fly back with the Oliver's and help them get settled into their new life in Rio Viejo. Since our team is growing, I am stepping into a new role with HHGlobal and I get to orient the new additions and help facilitate their time with us. What an awesome thing!!! I absolutely love missionaries and to be able to help people who are interested in full time missions get their feet wet is so exciting to me!

So I am buckling up for a fast paced week of medical clinics, orientation meetings and the possibility of unloading a 40ft container of office furniture and supplies! God is so good!!

Please keep me in your prayers...safe travel, a productive week, and as always...that I would be the hands and feet of Jesus. I love you guys, and I will talk to you from Honduras :)

Oct 8, 2009

Loving in Circles

Have you ever noticed a pattern in your life?

Have you ever asked yourself the question..."why does this always happen to me? or to that person? or to my family? or to [insert here]?"

Maybe we should be asking different questions?

Maybe we should be looking for opportunities to learn, and to love better than we did the last time around. Life keeps coming...it is part of the deal. We cannot control other people...that is called manipulation. We cannot force...that is called coercion.

All we can really do is love. Sometimes we get to do it up close. Sometimes we have to do it from far away...in a safe place. Sometimes it is gentle, and sometimes it is tough.

Love has many faces. I just hope one of the faces it has...is mine, and maybe...one day I can love someone long enough that they have the courage to break out.

Oct 3, 2009

A Mentor to Mentors

You know how someone can casually say something to you, you know, just in passing and it kind of sticks to you? Then a few days later, someone else says something very similar and then you are struck again? Well that is what happened to me last week. People kept telling me about Alicia Britt Chole and how she was teaching a class on mentoring to the leaders of the HPC Connect groups, and they thought I should go.

Alicia Britt Chole was a hard core atheist...and this immediately intrigued me. It's not that I love atheists...well I guess I do in a way, but the reason this sparked an interest in me was because she teaches about the art of one on one mentoring. She teaches about doing life on life with people...and anyone who is an atheist, was an atheist or knows an atheist understands how difficult it is to wrap your mind around that one.

She opened up to a room of about 100 people and shared her story, her journey though being mentored and equipped us with tools to help people in our life become more like Christ...not more like ourselves. If you get a chance check out her website (www.truthportraits.com), read a book or two, or just think about who God has put in your life to mentor you and for you to mentor.

We are always in process. We will never be able to help people if we think we have to "have it all together" before we can start. I am so inspired. I am so excited...and I am not as scared as I was a few hours ago!

Oct 1, 2009

Blog Block

I am having a hard time blogging. It's not that I don't want to, or that I don't have time...It is that I don't really feel like I have anything important to say.

That makes me sad.

Where is the wisdom, where is the love, where are the funny bug stories and the quirky humor? Did I leave them in Honduras by accident?

I love being here right now. I love seeing family and friends, but I know my true purpose is to be in Honduras. This is an interesting situation to be in. I am not sad, really...unless I think about not being able to go back in January. Then it is like someone has grabbed a handful of my intestines and ripped them out of my body. It hurts.

I don't let myself go there if I can help it, but every now and then I think about January rolling around and not getting on a plane to Honduras. If you wanna see this girl cry...just bring that up in a conversation!

So, I know where I am, and I know where I am going...the only part missing is how I am going to get there. So if you pray for me, please pray for relationships...the right ones.