Thursday, June 15, 2017

Saying Bye to our Sweet dog Static

Yesterday we had to tell our sweet dog Static bye and put her down. I knew it would be hard but it is so much harder than I thought.

It's strange how an animal that can't even talk can fill such a big place in my heart and in our family. And now that she is gone it just feels so sad.

Dave got Static in 2004. It was a hard time in their lives where they needed a new dog. Dave was driving home and saw some dog cross the road and thought she wasn't smart and would get run over. He came back to that same spot later in the day for something work related and she managed to go into the building. He brought her home and thought if she ended up being bad they would just take her to the humane society. Well, he never had to do that because he kept her for the last 13 years.

It's funny because Dave and I were talking that we have never met one person who didn't like her. Even people who do not like dogs loved Static. God just gave her a really sweet personality.

Static went on many adventures with Dave before he got married. She was by Dave and Becky's side when their Mom got sick and passed away. She was our ring bearer at our wedding. Static stayed in Oklahoma with me after I moved back to America and went through a massive amount of life changes at once. She was here when we came back from Burma. She was just always there and was such a blessing.

I'm pretty sure I've mentioned this but Static was a shared dog between Dave and his sister. Literally split custody. And she was smart about it too. She knew the rules at each house, and I was way more lenient and spoiled her. At my house she could put her little head on my bed at night and give me the look and I'd be a sucker and let her up on the bed for a few minutes.

She was just a lot of fun and a great comfort during hard times. It's really weird to be sad and think "Oh, I'll pet Static because she makes me feel better" only to realize she is gone.

Yesterday was really really hard but I also know God was so good and worked everything out perfectly. We all had enough time to tell her by and once she was gone she just looked so peaceful and I'm very thankful for that. I also know God brought her into our lives when we needed her and He knew it was time for her to go. His timing is perfect, and although I'm sad, I have peace and trust in God's goodness, because He is good.

Thursday, June 8, 2017

Winning The Lost for Jesus

I have the following written in the front of my Bible: "There are two things that will last forever: The Word of God and the souls of men." 

And friends, those two things are so so true. My thoughts are kind of all over the place with this post so bare with me, ok?

When we were in Burma (and also when I lived in Korea) it was so easy to tell people about Jesus. Kids who had never heard the name of Jesus soaked up stories about Him and learned at a young age to love Him. Basically, time and time again it was easy to share Christ there. Then, I moved home. And you guys, America is a whole different kind of mission field but let me tell you, America needs Jesus!

One of my biggest fears was to live in America and to lose sight of the real fact that people in Wichita, KS need Jesus. I began to pray that God would give me a real burden for the lost in this town and I can tell you that God indeed is doing that work in my heart, and I praise Him for it.

You see, I read so many things on the internet and social media - we write about vacations, travels, job, babies, babies yet to be, our homes and so much more but I don't think I can ever recall reading a blog post about winning the lost to Jesus. I'm not hear to condemn for writing about other things, because I write about other things, but it makes me wonder sometimes if we Christians, are burdened for those around us? Are we working for eternity or just for the here and now?

Every person you meet, every person you work with, every one of your family members will spend eternity in one of two places: heaven or hell, eternally in God's presence or eternally separated from God and His presence. And the thing is - we can help bring people to Jesus. We have such a special privilege to tell people about Christ and a responsibility to do that.

And now I will tell you a story: =)

When I began looking for a job when we came back from Burma nothing opened up job wise for me, except teaching swim lessons at the Y. I can assure you that was never on my radar or anywhere near of what I was wanting to do. But God knew I needed to be at that job. I can not tell you how many opportunities have opened for me to share Christ with others through meeting people at the Y.

A couple of months ago one of my co-workers was going through a death in the family and I just felt like that was an opportunity to reach out to her and show her the love of Christ and to talk with her about her relationship with God. I messaged her that I was praying for her, offered to meet with her to talk about her relationship with God and I also invited her to church. I have messaged other people too in past times and not much happened so I wasn't expecting much. To my surprise however, she wanted to do both! She came to church and really enjoyed it. I really felt like I should make one-on-one time a priority so I could talk with her about Christ and the salvation He offered. A few weeks later she came over and told me she believed in God but didn't know anything about The Bible. I literally did a timeline from creation to when we all get to heaven. I made sure to include the fall of man, guilt and personal responsibility for sin. I did indeed go into great detail about hell and what that was like and I talked a lot about heaven and how Christ came to rescue us from sin. Anyways, at the end of that talk I asked her if she wanted to accept Christ and to my surprise, she did! And it was beautiful. She bowed her head right there at my table and asked Christ to save her. I really thought my heart was going to burst out of my chest because it was such a beautiful and holy moment. I don't really know how to describe it. But I know Jesus saved her and I'm so thankful.

I currently meet with her and we are doing a Bible study on all the basic Bible doctrines like assurance of salvation, prayer, attending church and many other neat things. I cannot begin to tell you what a joy it is to see someone saved and then to get to spend time with them and teach them Jesus and The Bible. It's a really beautiful thing.

And you know what? Seeing her get saved put a huge fire in my heart to see more people saved. Dave and I have a couple of families that we are planning on meeting with soon and we hope to build friendships with them and are praying God will open doors for us to tell about the salvation He offers.

And I am sharing this post too because I want to encourage you to share Christ with those you come into contact with. If you want ideas on how to do this just leave a comment and we can start that conversation. I'd be happy to share what knowledge I have. It isn't easy and often times I'm a nervous wreck but I've decided that life and death, heaven and hell are at stake and I can't let fear win. Even when I was talking with my co-worker I know my voice was shaking but I just kept going! God uses His Word, not the shaky voice to save people. =)

And that is what is on my heart friends. May we share Jesus while we can. He is in the saving business and we should be too!

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