Friday, August 31, 2012

Ashlee

Today I had a moment of... nostalgia. Deep profound sentimental nostalgia.
It hit me like a wave and even brought some tears with it.

When I look back on my life, I am overwhelmed by how much I have been blessed with incredible girlfriends. Today, I'm missing one of them in particular. Ashlee.



When we were in college we used to keep each other accountable. You know, our emotional integrity. How is your heart? And today is one of those days when I really wish she were here. We would sit over some yummy coffee and talk about life and God and our hearts.
There are few people who get me like Ashlee does. And few people who have walked with me through so much. These kinds of friendships are nothing short of a blessing straight from the hand of God. And I know that God provides for me in every season of life. I have friends here now, and they are good friends. But they aren't quite Ashlee.

Thursday, August 23, 2012

The Lies We Tell


Sometimes for the sake of someone's good, we tell a half-truth. Right?
But often this half-truth, which some might even consider a lie, can do more damage in the long run.

I'm seeing that now with single women my age who grew up in the church.
When I was 15, I made a promise before God, my parents, and my youth group leaders that I would remain a virgin till I got married. It was all the rage back then.
Thousands of young men and women stood in front of their churches and made these promises. Some of us had the rings (I did!) and some of us went even so far as to have the "True Love Waits" bible (I didn't). But I can say this. It sure was popular and it was definitely pushed among American youth groups.
This post isn't going to bash the movement, but to show its weaknesses. I'm glad I made that promise. I wore my purity ring for a solid 10 years before I retired it. Not that I broke the promise, but that I realized that the ring really didn't serve me anymore. I wasn't going to look at it while I was in the middle of making out with a guy and think, "Oh right, I made that promise!" I realized that whatever I did with my sexuality had to be based on something deeper than a "promise" I made when I was 15. I needed to know the WHY behind it.

You see, the "True Love Waits" program tells teens to make this promise to wait till marriage based on a few ideas. Here are just a few...
1.) Don't have sex because God says so.
2.) God has someone out there for you, "the one", and you can love that person now by keeping yourself pure.
3.) Sex will be so much more fulfilling if you wait till you're married.
4.) Sex outside of marriage is full of pain, STDs, and heartbreak.

There are plenty more suppositions that go into the TLW campaign. And some of them are true. But some of them set up a false hope in young people.
The term "save yourself" for your future spouse is in and of itself misleading. First of all, who says you will get married? God never promises marriage to His people.
But He does call us to belong to Him. That every part of our lives belong to Him.
What I have seen among my friends is heartbreaking. We were TOLD that God has someone for us, and if we just save ourselves for that man, we will have great sex once we're married. But we hit 28, 29, even 30 years old, and we don't see any hope of getting married anytime soon. And most, if not all, have this moment of thinking, what in the world am I "saving" myself for?
There is this feeling of disappointment. Like God failed me. He was supposed to bring that guy to me! I was supposed to get married so I could stop "waiting".

There has to be a better way to do youth group sex talks.
We shouldn't bribe christian youth to keep their virginity with promises that we can't fulfill (like a spouse or a great sex life after marriage). And honestly, I think we would do well to focus on the heart of the youth and not so much on their private parts. I know, it's super important that we talk about sexual purity with them, but Jesus MUST be the motive for any good deeds. What if we spent our energies preaching the Gospel to our youth, showing them the mighty, wonderful, and awesome God that loves them and has called them to belong to Him. What if we talked more about how our identity is hidden in Christ and how nothing can take that away from us.
I wonder if our teens are smart enough to handle these things. I wonder if they can handle those great truths. And I wonder if these great truths would then turn into fruit in these young men and women's lives. Fruit of the gospel rooted in them. Fruit, like sexual purity.


(Quick note: I want to thank every youth leader, teacher, and any other adult that affected me as a young teen. Although I was brought up in the TLW culture, I know your hearts were totally in the right place- desiring God's best for me. And all of you taught me to seek God first in everything. You did well. And this blog post commentary is not at all meant to be a criticism of you, but a look at the bigger picture of what we are teaching teens and how it might not be the best way.)

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Fundacion Generacion


So as I mentioned in my previous post, I have joined the team at Fundacion Generacion, a church planting group that is working to encourage and support the church in it's training of pastors and planting of churches. They have hired me part time to work on the administrative side of the work. Which is a new venture for me, but it seems like a great way to use my gifts and talents for one of my biggest passions- church planting! 


I'm leaving you guys with a few quotes from our website: www.fundaciongeneracion.cl
I hope you take a moment to look through the website, and I'm sure you'll realize how cool it is what God is doing through this group here in Chile and the rest of Latin America. 


Nuestra fundación Generación busca animar y apoyar a la iglesia en su labor de entrenamiento y plantación de iglesias. (Que Creemos)

El ministerio reformado se caracteriza por su carácter solidario, es decir, el apoyo mutuo entre congregaciones e individuos para el entrenamiento ministerial y la plantación de nuevas congregaciones. Nuestra fundación busca promover esta solidaridad y ayudar a articular esfuerzos de esta naturaleza. (Que Creemos)

GENERACIÓN es un grupo de personas de diferentes denominaciones que aman a Jesús y que comparten Su pasión por la multiplicación de iglesias  que lo confiesan como Señor y Salvador, en el poder del Espíritu Santo para la gloria del Padre. 
GENERACIÓN apoya la búsqueda, el discipulado, entrenamiento y envío de hombres y mujeres llamados por el Espíritu de Dios a comenzar nuevos ministerios basados en el evangelio de Jesucristo con un énfasis especial en plantación de iglesias. Estas iglesias plantarán nuevas iglesias que formarán discipulos que harán nuevos discipulos.
GENERACIÓN anhela promover e implementar una cosmovisión de ministerio cristiano reformado en compañerismo con las iglesias locales. (Nuestra Mision)

A few months in a few words

Yeah, I know, I know! It's been WAY too long since I posted here.

I'm finally sick in bed (this happens when I go too fast for too long) and I want to take the opportunity to post a few thoughts that have been bouncing around in my head for a while.

Since May when I last posted so much has happened.

  • I found out that my program with the English institute finishes in October (which means I would be out of work for 3 months till the next year begins).
  • I decided to try to move toward doing full time ministry with my church for a year or two which means raising support from friends and family back home. 
  • I headed home to the USA to witness my dear friend Ashlee get married. I not only got to be in the wedding as a bridesmaid, but I even crashed their honeymoon for a day! I also got the chance to visit them once they were back home and settled into their new apartment. 
  • I did a somewhat crazy tour of the states, trying to fit as many loved ones into a short 3 week visit. 
  • I met my sweet adorable and delicious goddaughter! Her mother Michelle is one of my nearest and dearest and I am beyond honored to godmomma her little Arya.
  • I spent a few days with my sweet grandma, who is one of my favorite people in the world.
  • I had a lot of doors closed with various churches that I had really hoped to have partner with me and my church here. And I had to deal with the disappointment of seeing door after door close, and I had to practice faith that God really does have control of all of this. 
  • I came back to Chile, and hit the ground running with the new semester of my English program starting two days after I arrived. 
  • I again have an AMAZING team of teachers working in the program and they make my day every time I get to spend time with them. 
  • I got offered and accepted a job with an organization called Fundacion Generacion. I'll have a blog post with more information, but I'm really excited about the chance to work with them. 
  • And that leaves me here, now, sick in bed, missing my weekly church small group because I'm too sick to go out. 

So here goes... bring on the blog posts!