Friday, October 30, 2009

12 Years

It was exactly 12 years, 3 hours, and 36 minutes ago that I gave my life to Jesus. I was laying on the couch in Sara Frantz's living room. I had been going to a Bible study for about a year and attending Milford Christian Church. I had spent a year learning, questioning, fighting, searching, and growing. I don't think I will ever forget the final statement that turned the light on in my brain. Sara looked at me and said, "Let's say you accept Jesus, he isn't real, you die, and rot 6 feet under for ever. OR, let's say you accept Jesus, he is real, and you spend eternity in a place noone can even imagine." I let that all sink in deep and was silent for about 10 minutes. Finally at 4:00 am on October 30, 1997 I gave my life to Jesus. It was the turning point of my heart and soul.

12 years later, looking back, I cannot believe the places God has taken me physically, emotionally, and spiritually. I wanted to share a list with you all to commemorate this day. It is a "12 things that I wouldn't have dreamed of having done before I gave my life to Jesus" list.

1. Going to Zimbabwe to work with a missionary serving AIDS orphans.
2. Leading a Bible study for 5.5 years.
3. Leading worship.
4. Talking to my dad about God.
5. Counseling at church camp (twice so far).
6. Leading others to Christ.
7. Starting a new Bible study of 7th graders.
8. Studying my Bible.
9. Laying hands on someone to pray.
10. Being single virgin at the age of 29.
11. Impacting the lives of teens for Jesus.
12. Speaking to others about my struggles.

I am blessed beyond words to be where I am today. I give all that glory to God, the Maker of heaven and earth. He used HIS people to get the message to me. For those people, I will forever be grateful. They never gave up on me just as Jesus would never give up on me.

This is a pretty joyful day for me and has been for the past 12 years. I'm reminded of the excitement as I woke up to go to basketball practice, 12 years ago, and tell my best friend what I had done. That same excitement creeps up in me every October 30th and I pray that it will continue to do that. That I will be reminded, not just on October 30th, every day the excitement that comes from knowing that I am a child of the Most High.

Psalm 118:14 "The LORD is my strength and my song; he has become my salvation."

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Making an Impact

I woke up at 5:45 this morning. If you will note the date of this post you will see that it is SATURDAY....and I didn't need to get up for anything.

Or so I thought.....

I woke up to find Mr. Holland's Opus on one of my movie channels. I love this movie. I love the message, I love the music, but I love it most because it is about a teacher. As I watched, I was moved to tears several times (if you haven't seen it, you should). I really began to reflect on myself and the talents and gifts that God has blessed me with.

I have the pleasure of working with kids, lots of kids. I am around kids ages 5-18 on a daily basis (and adults for that matter). It is the joy of being a teacher and youth volunteer. I am constantly interacting, teaching, talking, serving, and loving on kids. I have come to realize that God has molded me to be this person, a person of impact. Why he chose me, I will never understand, but he did. And for this I am blessed beyond measure.

Each day that I step into life I have an opportunity. We all do. God gives us each day to make an impact. The impact we make can send someone in the right or wrong direction. It can build them up or crush them. It can spur them on or stop them dead in their tracks. It can love or hate.

At the school where I work we begin each day with a moment of silence. My moment of silence is my time to pray: Jesus, help me to love these kids as you have so graciously loved me. It's nothing wordy, but it is the same every day. I am amazed at how God comes through each and every day.

Right now I have a student teacher and I am out of my classroom a lot. But, it has allowed me to interact with other students and teachers. It has allowed me to model for others. It has allowed me to see the impact that I have.

How are you impacting people? I would love to hear and pray for you.