Thursday, May 24, 2012

One Year Anniversary

One year ago, today, I stepped off a plane in New Orleans, Louisiana. All I can say is that it has been a crazy adventure since that day. Because of my internship and staff position here in NOLA I've grown in my walk with the Lord, first and foremost, I've grown in the field that I'm studying in college, I've fallen in love with a city that will never leave my prayers, and I've met the man I'm going to marry. I've moved 3 different times, I have made a lot of sweet memories and a lot of sweet people. There are friends that I will keep for the rest of my life that I met here. There are things that I have learned that I will never forget. And today I'm going to share some of those things with you :)

1. Don't worry about tomorrow (Matthew 6:34) - Because, who can add a single hour to his life by worrying? Through Paul, Christ commands us to focus on what is true (Philippians 4:8). What is true is what is present, what is happening right now. If we worry about something that hasn't happened yet, we worry about something that's not true.

2. If there is conflict with another individual, always go to that person first (Matthew 18:15) - It's a lot easier said than done. For some reason, we as humans love having people agree with us or fuel our fires. Is it ok to 'vent' to someone about another person (Proverbs 29:11)? The Bible doesn't say so. It's so easy to go and complain about some wrong that was done against you, but the best way to handle conflict is to go directly to a person and lay out the problem with them in a Christ-like manner.

3. Never make assumptions - Unless you are assuming the best of them. People have backgrounds and stories that always play into their words and actions. Think about the person first and realize that you don't know everything (Philippians 2:1-4). It doesn't make what they are doing right, but it does give you a different perspective.

4. God moves, He works, and He is faithful (Lamentations 3:22-24) - There have been times when I was scared I wouldn't have a place to live, wouldn't have food to eat, wouldn't have money to live on. I was scared that I would fail at school or at work. A car caught on fire 30 seconds after I got out of it, I've lost in the city multiple times, and not in the best neighborhoods either. A tree almost crushed me. I've felt exhausted and been really sick. Every single time, God proved himself faithful. I was never lacking and He always provided for me. And He'll continue that, even when I'm off 'the mission field'.

5. Be content in every season (1 Timothy 6:6) - I posted about this a few days ago. I'm learning that God places us in a certain season for a reason (yes, that rhymed). We are never lacking in anything. Ever. God gives us the grace to embrace (I know, another rhyme) every situation, every day. In fact, the grace given to us will overflow our cups, falling into our laps (Luke 6:38). We have enough grace for our day and then some. Let grace flow out of your life into someone else's and be content. It's not something you are born's a skill that you acquire, sharpen and hone (Philippians 4:11-13).

So, there are a few things that I've learned in the past year. Learned doesn't mean perfected, because I am working on every single one of these points. Pray for me as I close out my time in New Orleans in less than three months. Pray that God stretches me and I grow in my walk with Christ. I want to be a bright, burning flame. Unashamed and heart abandoned for the cause of Christ.

Chelsea :)

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Moving In (For once, I'm not talking about myself)

I just got off the phone with the most delightful woman! One reason why I love my job is that I am blessed to be able to record and document how God moves so powerfully in New Orleans.

Miss Pat is one of our homeowner's who is well on her way to moving into her house. She's an incredible woman of faith who excitedly told me how God moved and worked in her situation after Katrina. She was at a point of hopelessness and despair and God lifted her out of the pit and set her feet upon the rock. Miss Pat told me that she knows that God brought TouchGlobal to her even when she thought the enemy had won.

Please pray for Miss Pat as she works a lot on the North Shore and also in the city. She has the capability of moving in, but has not purchased the furniture and other things that she needs in order to do that.
Miss Pat with a team from California in October of 2011

How powerful. Today, I'm just praising God for bringing more and more homeowners to us. Or vice versa.

This summer, we have a projected number of at least 700 volunteers. Please pray that as we, as a staff, impact those volunteers and in turn, they impact the people they come in contact with. The glory is all HIS!


Friday, May 4, 2012

A Time to be Content

Right now, I'm sitting on my bed and talking to Jen (Who is laying on it. Guess she's commandeering it for the time being.) and listening to Casting Crowns. Tomorrow, she's leaving for Alabama, then I'm following on Sunday. It's time for my (what seems like) quarterly trip around the United States!
I've been thinking a lot about being content in EVERY situation and in EVERY circumstance. Wow, wouldn't life be so much easier if we could just say, "You know what, God placed me here for a reason, so I'll make the most of it."
My favorite phrase is, "I can't wait". I guess I don't mean it literally. I can wait, I'm just excited. I say, "I can't wait" to Dustin when we talk about getting married, or my next visit. I say it to the people I'm coming to see in Pennsylvania. I say it when I tell people where I'm going to college. I say it when I talk about this coming summer.
While my intentions might be innocent, I've been feeling a little convicted. I find myself looking forward to the fall when I go to college, or next spring when Dustin and I get married. There are so many exciting things happening in my life, it's true. But what about right now?
I can't believe this is happening, but I really believe that sometimes I take my time in New Orleans for granted. But it recently hit me, I'm only here for a season. This is a time in my life that I can do things I will never be able to do again. I'll probably never be a single girl out on the mission field again. After these next four months comes college, marriage, graduating, a job, kids, etc. Now (and while I'm on this earth) is a time to live intentionally, impact others and be content in where God has so divinely placed me.
I'm reading The Resolution for Women and the very first section of the book talks about contentment in your current situation in life. Here's an excerpt:
"I do solemnly resolve to embrace my current season of life and will maximize my time in it. I will resist the urge to hurry through or circumvent any portion of my journey but will live with a spirit of contentment."
Feeling challenged? I am.
"True godliness with contentment is itself great wealth." 1 Timothy 6:6
"If we have food and clothing, with these we shall be content." 1 Timothy 6:8
"Make sure that your character is free from the love of money, being content with what you have; for He Himself has said, 'I will never desert you, nor will I ever forsake you.'" Hebrews 13:5