What if..

What if we only spoke encouraging words to each other?

What if we loved unconditionally, without abandon?

What if you let someone before you in line at the store?

What if you stopped for a minute to ask how your neighbour is doing?

What if we  valued people more than time?

I’ve been having a whole bunch of different thoughts rushing through my mind lately. Thoughts about how blessed I am, thoughts about the future and what it has in store for me, thoughts about how that “me” has changed into “us”, or “we”. Jesus has felt so incredibly close the last few days, and I am so incredibly thankful for that. It’s not consistent that I feel Him, not because He’s not there, but because my perception is so weak. But the love of my Father runs strong and wild and free, and this is what He’s been saying.

LOVE.

Love here. Love now. Love out loud.

Sometimes I struggle to know what my calling is, as if God screams it out to each one of us specifically. But then, looking over scripture, I realize the common theme. Just love. It seems so simple, and really, it is. Sure, loving someone who doesn’t love you back seems difficult, but that love can change the world. Asking intentional questions, paying attention to people, sharing in their struggles and giving sacrificially- these are all different ways of loving.

What if you loved unconditionally? Would the entire world change? Probably not- but you could change one person’s world. You could shine some light into their life, and really- isn’t that all we’re called to do? Love and be loved.

“Jesus said ‘I am the way, the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.” John 16:4.

God is love- so show someone a bit of love today.

 

With Strength that is not my own, Sam

Advertisements

30

I’m not quite sure why, but somehow we’ve made talking about finances into this taboo subject. I love how the Dutch say it, “verboden”, please call my dad to hear that thick accent. All I know is that when I decided to sign up for missions at this point in my life, financing was the absolute last thing I wanted to talk about. Thankfully God spoke quite clearly to me about it and gave me peace, knowing it will work out and it will be totally random, just the way I like things. But I also know there’s a specific amount of responsibility put on me to see it happen as well, and so I’ve had to jump out of my shell in order to talk about it.

When I first started, my head would drop when I said the word “Hawaii”, and I would shrink back into my shell when someone committed to supporting me. I meant it in the most humblest form, but felt convicted that I wasn’t standing tall in my calling. So I’ve worked on it and made some improvement, and I would like to boldly stand before you your computer screen and ask you to join me on my journey.

I’ve made it quite far when it comes to my budget, but I’m not there yet, and I leave in 7 short weeks. (Did I just say that number?!?) I’m looking at the numbers and trusting God and asking if you would consider supporting me monthly. To ask for $300 from one person is a lot, so I’d like to break it down.

30 people, $10 a month.

Everything is automatic, set up right before I leave so it’s all running smoothly. I promise you, you will rarely notice the $10 dollars flying off to Hawaii to provide me with some food or maybe even a day on outreach. I’ve just gotten confirmation that I will be staffing a DTS (Discipleship Training School, the course I completed in Australia) as soon as I land on January 3, so your donation will immediately be put to use as I train and mentor students as they come in for missionary training, as well as doing outreach on the island while working with the school.

30 people.

10 dollars.

Think and pray about it. I thank you in advance! You guys have blessed me so much already by being a part of this journey from behind your screens, and I’d like to thank you for that. I know a few of you have mentioned that you look forward to reading my blog posts while I’m gone, but I’d like to work on writing more while I’m still here in Canada. If you have any questions please let me know- I love getting feedback, so write away! 🙂

(Formality: If you set up monthly support, you will be sent a yearly donation receipt! Just a little bonus for you!)

With Strength that is not my own, Sam

10 things I would tell my 16-year-old-self.

1. No matter how cushy it sounds- when people tell you to “just be yourself”- listen to them. You don’t realize how much time you’re going to waste trying to look like someone else, act like someone else, and love like someone else. You are a radical example of how creative God is- don’t try to cover that up. The world needs you- if it didn’t, you wouldn’t have been created.

2. Change is a good thing. In the next few years, you’re going to change pretty much everything that you know about yourself right now. I know you, and you’re going to resist change, but please, stop being so stubborn, and embrace it. When you don’t know what decision to make, trust your instincts.

3. Your prayers will change the world. The prayers you’re praying right now at 16 don’t sound too much different then the ones at 22. Some of them I’ve seen answered yes, and others, praise Jesus, have been a loud no. Be persistent. He hears each one, and He loves the sound of your voice. Keep talking to Him.

4. No matter what anyone tells you, you’re beautiful. This one’s a big one- you’re still working on it today. And you’re mostly fighting the whispers of children from years ago- so let them go. If I need to say this one to you a million times, I will. “You are altogether beautiful, my darling, beautiful in every way.” S.O.S. 4.7  Scripture cannot lie. Now work on believing this one.

5. Don’t let money hinder you. In about 6 months, you’re going to go to Africa for free. Not because you’re lazy and didn’t work for it. Not because you forced everyone else to pay for it. Because your Father is known to provide. He’s going to ask you to do some pretty big things- and a few you’ll pass up because “you can’t afford it”. Hello. Your Father owns the world. I’m pretty sure you can afford to do something He’s asked you to. Don’t be so stubborn.

6. Read the Word. The most repeated phrase in your vocabulary will be “I wish I knew the Bible better.” So- read it. Study it. Let it speak to you. Learn with others, let God speak through them. You have one of the most powerful, inspirational, beautiful books in your possession- do something good with it. Oh and please, please, please- remember context. That will save you from some seriously embarrassing argument failures.

7. Joy comes from true pain. I hate to tell you this- but you’re not an exception to the rule- bad things will happen to you, and yes, even all at once. But I am SO thankful for what you will learn from it all. Don’t be afraid to share what you’ve learned, either. Some of the best friendships you have today started by meeting someone in their pain and just loving them. You have been given a heart that feels- and it feels everything. Use that as a good thing. Use it to benefit others.

8. Love. Love- love- love. This one is going to blow your mind, are you ready for it? When Jesus said that loving God and loving others are the top 2 commands- there was a fantastic reason for it. Get ready- love-changes-everything. You can see it in the smile of a girl that just found her man, in the urgent embrace of long lost friends, the eyes of a child who feels seen for the first time, and the tears rolling down the faces of people saying goodbye here on earth. Love will change the world. And the best part is- when you give it away, it always comes back a million times bigger and stronger. It’s really one of the only gifts that keeps on giving.

9. Even adults call each other names- be unoffendable. You’ll hear it all, plus some. Just let it go. But unlike the names you got when you were 7 that attacked your body, these words pierce deeper and attack your character, something you’ve tried so hard to preserve. Do two things. First- pray for their hearts. Second- remind yourself who you are by reading about it in His Word. ( See point 6.)

10. Waiting is worth it. You can apply this statement to many areas of your life. Wait to let a man pursue you. Wait to go to school. Wait on God to give you another step. Just wait. “For those who wait upon the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles, they will walk and not grow weary, they will run and not grow faint.” Isaiah 40:31.  

With Strength that is not your own, Sam