Jars of wonderful.

“But we have this treasure in jars of clay, to show that the surpassing power belongs to God & not to us.” {2 Corinthians 4:7}

Archive for the month “April, 2012”

Crying in Public & a Heart for Lost People

I went to the library earlier this afternoon to write a paper, and instead ended up praying and dwelling on Scripture (common occurrence)—but so is reading other blogs, blogging, pinteresting, excessively writing in my planner, and making lists.  Type A, I know.
I was sitting at a table by myself in a small common area.  There was minimal chatter and lots of goose bumps.  Our library is freezing.
A group of students convened to work on a group project at a larger table to my forefront; one student was blind and had a guide dog accompanying him.
Once about half an hour passed, I finally collected myself after shedding several tears over God’s heart for a group of people I love—I’m accustomed to crying in public; I do it so often it’s hardly embarrassing anymore.
The group disassembled and the student who was blind stood up and began to leave the table.  The walkway was short before he had to turn right to descend the stairs and exit the library.  However, as he made his way down the walkway, his guide dog didn’t make him turn right, and the student walked directly into another student who was working at another table.  The collision was audible and my heart broke for the blind student’s embarrassment.
The student quickly found his way around the corner, down the stairs, and practically ran out of the double doors—only heightening the number of eyes on him.
Since I had been crying only a couple of minutes beforehand, I proceeded to march myself to the bathroom, as I was a basket case.  I wanted to glare at every person that was staring at the student, as if that would alleviate his humiliation and make me feel better.  I’m glad that I didn’t.  I’m half as bold as I think myself to be—even if it’s about chastisement.
Here comes the analogy…

Does my heart break for spiritually blind people?  Do I weep at the sight of a person who does not know and love Jesus Christ as Lord?  Am I filled with sorrow when I see a nonbeliever “collide” with their sin and disappointments and their lack of a God to seek for security and atonement?
The funny thing is, I was dwelling on Psalm 126 when I was praying a few moments before the incident (and had even shared it with a friend this morning!).
“When the Lord restored the fortunes of Zion, we were like those who dream.  Then our mouth was filled with laughter, and our tongue with shouts of joy; then they said among the nations, ‘The Lord has done great things for them.’  The Lord has done great things for us; we are glad.  Restore our fortunes, O Lord, like streams in the Negeb!  Those who sow in tears shall reap with shouts of joy!  He who goes out weeping, bearing the seed for sowing, shall come home with shouts of joy, bringing his sheaves with him” (v. 1-6, ESV).

Jesus has graciously granted me undeserved salvation, so I am joyful and glad and tell others that “The Lord has done great things” for me.  But I also go “out weeping” because others do not know Jesus, and I bear “the seed for sowing.”  Because I know of God’s goodness to me displayed on the Cross, where He stood in my place and paid my punishment for my sin, there is a internal, produced desire to share the Gospel with people who do not know/believe it.
I don’t just want people to know about Jesus—I want them to experience the joy of being freely forgiven.
The Psalm concludes with the coolest assurance—those who desire and labor for the salvation of nonbelievers “shall come home with shouts of joy, bringing his sheaves with him.”  If my heart is joyful at Jesus’ sacrifice on my behalf and breaking for people who do not believe the Truth of His message, He is faithful to use me in the salvation of others.
Advertisements

Wonderful Wednesday.

I GET TO GO HOME TODAY!!!!!

After my last class today that dismisses at 2:45, Bradley and I are headed home for Easter!  I miss my family so much.  It feels like we’re going on a vacation every time we pack up the car and head down I-40 East.

More on the wonderful-ness of this week, posted on Wednesday!

Wonderful Song:
Ben Rector, “Loving You is Easy”
Such a cute song, and then someone from the audience gave him the subject of “cats” on which to improv for the third verse.  Just watch.
Wonderful Scripture: 
Revelation 21:1-8

Wonderful Friend: 
I have a new roommate, Rebekah! We are both very thankful she is now living with me : ) I found this sweet note on my desk on Tuesday, the afternoon of the day she moved in:

Wonderful Picture:
I found honeysuckles on campus last Thursday and enjoyed a snack:

Wonderful Pin:

but for real…I would not stop talking.

Wonderful Food:
Monday afternoon I walked to Cup-a-Jo to work and enjoyed black coffee, hummus on a wheat bagel (why hasn’t this been a part of my life until now?), and silly conversation with the stranger that sat at the table with me.

Bradley/City Project

READ THIS.
This is my sweet boyfriend. He is indeed sweet, but he is also fervently passionate, wonderfully patient (especially with me), and absolutely sinful–but the best thing about him is that Jesus gave up His righteousness for Bradley.  All Brad did was become aware of it and desire it.
The Lord has, in the past 9 months, taken Brad’s life, plans, and mindset, and turned it on its head (and is doing the same thing in me currently).  Watching God move in him has been one of the most humbling things I’ve experienced, and has made me worship Jesus vastly more than I did before this happened.  How the Lord will use Brad’s career is unknown.  Thankfully, he is an example to me of how to relinquish control in this area of life–read: I love to control my life.  
Brad, while he has much to grow in and learn and refine, has been given passions and skills that align with pastoral ministry.  He is seeking counsel and discipleship from older and wiser pastors and laymen that speak truth and wisdom into his life.  He did not experience an epiphany-like “calling” from the Lord to enter ministry, but instead his heart has been, and is, rejoicing at his own salvation and breaking for those who do not know the One for whom they were created.  Jesus is constantly tearing at Brad’s and my notions of what ministry is and how that will play out in our lives.  Brad is zealous for the hearts and lives of college students and loves big cities–where a lot of young people congregate.  He is taking steps to prepare to be a part of a church plant/plant a church and be a college pastor/pastor.
I first ask that you be praying for him–that Jesus would continually become bigger to him so that his humility would increase and his sin would become more and more distasteful.  Pray that the extent of his trust in Jesus and his hatred of sin would increase in light of the grace lavished on him by the Gospel.
Secondly, he is going to be spending his summer participating in a discipleship program for college students, The City Project, through our church, The Summit. He will ministering to Muslims (mostly) in Queens, NY, living in downtown Durham, NC, being discipled by pastors, ministering to Durham locals, doing two internships (one in the church, one with a nonprofit organization–both currently unknown), taking a seminary class, and carrying the message and mission of Jesus to Taiwan.
Participating in any one of these opportunities would be wonderful, but to be able to get a taste of multiple types of ministry in one summer, especially for a man who is seeking full-time ministry, is a phenomenal blessing.
In order to participate in The City Project, Brad needs to raise $4,500 by the end of May.  That is a lot of money.  But 5 dollars, 25 dollars, 100 dollars goes a long way, even just emotionally.  If you would like to financially support him, simply write a check, addressed to The Summit Church, and send it to the church office:
The Summit Church
2335-114 Presidential Dr.
Durham, NC 27703
Also make sure you write in the subject line:  City Project: Brad Johnson
He would also love to talk to you more about it.  If you’re interested, you can email him at: bdjohns6@ncsu.edu
Or you and I can chat! Email me at: kjwilliford@gmail.com
Prayer is most powerful tool we possess.  I am believing God on behalf of Brad’s support-raising process.

Sunshine Blog Award!

NanaDoll nominated me for the Sunshine Award!  I don’t know anything about blog awards, but here are the rules:

      • Include the award’s logo in a post or on your blog
      • Answer 10 questions about yourself
      • Nominate 10-12 other fabulous bloggers
      • Link your nominees to the post and comment on their blogs, letting them know they have been nominated
      • Share the love and link the person who nominated you!
I am extremely flattered that she nominated me–thank you so much!  Check out her precious blog: http://momtoldmetowriteabook.wordpress.com/ 
So let’s get to it:
  1. The more godly I become, the more I realize how wickedly sinful I am.
  2. Next year I am going to live with the three sweetest girls I know: Laura, Morgan and Haley (the twins!).
  3. This past summer, through The City Project, a discipleship summer program through The Summit Church, I had not other choice but to was awakened to the magnitude and intimacy of the Gospel–and how that changes the way I live, serve, and think about Jesus.
  4. Last summer I learned the vitality of being willing to “go” missionally, and now I am learning the vitality of being willing to give missionally.
  5. I decided last semester that I want to serve Jesus with a career as a biblical counselor.
  6. Bradley and I met freshman year of high school, started dating December 19th of our junior year of until this past August, we broke up, and he started courting me for marriage on November 11th–redemption is a recurring theme in our hearts, lives, and relationship.
  7. Bradley and I, once we are married, want to plant a church, go to seminary, and adopt.
  8. Coffee dates do wonders for relationships.
  9. I love healthy food–I just eat a lot of it.
  10. I am a horrendous singer, yet both of my parents have beautiful voices.
Fabulous bloggers you should know:

Post Navigation