Ok, ok, you KNEW I couldn't keep it up, right? I mean, blogging every day for 30 days when I had been lucky to get in one per month for the past year?
Last night we had a sweet brother and sister over for dinner who we have been blessed to get to know through a local ministry to international students. They are here from Malaysia, and what a blessing they are becoming to our family! This week, we will be hosting two beautiful Ethiopian princesses who travel with an international childrens' choir in our home. So the natural outflow of all of this international exposure?
Thus...#5 on my thankful list is this big, beautiful world that our God has made. That in the span of a week I can be talking on the phone to one of my BFF's in Uganda as she and her husband jump through incredible legal hoops to bring home their new daughter, then have dinner with a Malaysian brother and sister, then have the joyful sounds of Ethiopian friends living in my home for a few days just blesses my socks off. It is a teeny tiny slice of Heaven...and I really can't comprehend how incredible it will be when every nation, tribe and tongue will worship together at His throne!
#6...I must say, #6 is my church. Small in stature, but big in love...we have been part of this sweet congregation for about a year and OH MY how God is working! We are taught good, meaty truth every single week, encouraged to be hands on in serving the Lord, and backed up with prayer and support when opportunities arise to engage in His work. Today I had the privilege of manning a table in our foyer with a friend and hearing our pastor preach on James 1:27...giving voice from the pulpit on this cause that is so dear to my heart. I had the privilege of answering hard questions by members of our church regarding what, exactly, this involves...and to realize that God is truly stirring the hearts of His people to care for the least of these.
Right next to us was another table encouraging the church to pack shoe-boxes for Samaritan's Purse and it was thrilling to realize how many angles this calling can take. Caring for orphans and widows can be done in many forms and if we ALL do what God has called US to do, well I truly believe we as a church would make a huge difference in this so-very-needy world. This world desperately needs to see Jesus at work...to know he IS alive and real and involved in the details of our lives and we, as His body, have no shortage of opportunity to be His hands and feet and serve. We can live out the reality that is Jesus Christ every single day by loving those who, as our pastor said today, have nothing to give us in return.