only three days of classes has been wonderful this week. yesterday, some friends helped me put a dent in my list of “100 things pumpkin.” we had pumpkin butter, pumpkin pancakes, & pumpkin spice coffee all in one meal! my favorite recipe so far has been this pumpkin smoothie. I’ve had it 3 times already! if you know of any more fun recipes, send them my way!
this past monday morning found me on a run, desperately praying for God to confirm that uganda is still a good thing to pursue for this january. with only a few hundred dollars of support in, I was questioning if this was still the Lord’s will. well God hears our prayers! by monday night, 1/4 of my support had come in! God used an unexpected source to encourage me & help me. I was in awe of His loving-kindness. thank you to those who have been praying for me.
“overwhelmed” (in a good and bad sense) describes my state-of-being at present. overwhelmed with balancing school, cross-country, uganda prep, and ministry at mc. overwhelmed with all the processing I have needed to do for uganda. overwhelmed with discussions on relationship with God and realizing how deep He longs to take me (will I let go of my comfort zones & follow?). overwhelmed with thoughts of the future. overwhelmed with fear (False Evidence Appearing Real). overwhelmed with love from my family and friends. overwhelmed with encouraging texts and messages. overwhelmed with people’s prayers for me. overwhelmed by the way God meets all my needs (more than once, my day has been completely & inexplicably rearranged to provide time to work on uganda stuff).
I am taking an intercultural communications class taught by a missionary from botswana (another method of prep from God). this weekend I have to write a paper on a chapter I read from the book Cross-Cultural Conflict called “Communicating the Gospel Across Cultures.” I love the way the author explains the gospel to a collectivistic culture (a culture more focused on the group as a whole rather than each person individually). shame is a big deal in such cultures. it is bad to be shamed in front of friends, but it affects your future to be shamed in front of a parent or an elder. if a young child disrespects an elder, the parents must humble themselves & do everything possible to right the relationship.
mankind is the child in the story of the gospel. man disobeyed his Creator & brought shame upon himself. the relationship had to be righted for man to have any hope for his future. however, man spent years offering sacrifices to right the relationship, but he could never do enough. so God played 2 roles: Creator & Father. since God is man’s Father, He had to right the relationship for His child. but how could a perfect God humble Himself? by becoming man Himself, Jesus, who took on the shame of man, & died a shame-filled death on the cross (Phil. 2:6-8). He did what man could not do. Jesus reconciled the relationship between man & his Creator & Father. to reject such a gift would heap more shame on Christ and missing an opportunity to secure one’s future is the ultimate shame. but here is the gospel, offering an everlasting hope for a future filled with righteousness and peace. gospel hope does not disappoint.
we can never get to a point where we no longer need to hear the gospel. preach it to yourself. share it with those around you. the gospel is good news! let’s bring it to the world.