Thursday, July 29, 2010

God the Provider

Only within the past year or so have I become interested in Theology (the study of God, the attributes of Him), but I've quickly fallen in love with it and come into an understanding of the necessity.  (The reason being, my discipler in Greensboro MADE me read Knowing God by J.I. Packer, and I've been hooked ever since...thanks Michelle).  As I continue reading this book, for it is a very dense read, I fall more in love with the Lord.  Quite simply, He's great and we're not.  It amazes me that this God that's so big and intricate and lovely would choose to love us puny, stupid humans.  But that is just me rambling.

God is Provider.  Countless times in the Bible God provided for the needs of His beloveds:  the Hebrews' food and water in the desert is the one that stands out to me the most.  God chose them, He was their God, but when things got to be uncomfortable they whined and wanted out of the journey.  God continued to provide for them, because He made a promise to them and because He loved them.  So often it's easy for us to get used to being maltreated (like the Hebrews being the slaves of the Egyptians) that we loose sight of the possbility of us being free with true happiness.  At times when the Hebrews were displeased with their nomadic(ish) condition, they would complain that it was 'better for them to be in Egypt still because they had the food and shelter that they desired'.  Seriously?, they were saying that it was better to be in bondage to the ruthless Egyptian pharoah than to be en route to the Promised Land that the Lord had prepared/reserved just for them.  What's wrong with this picture?!?  But, despite the Hebrews being whiney ingrates, God continued to provide for them; He rained manna (ingredients used to make bread) from the sky, He gave them water from a rock, He provided leadership, He lead them with a Pillar of Fire (night) and a Pillar of Cloud (day), He pushed back the Jordan River for them to cross over into the Promised Land, He split the Red Sea for them to escage Egypt...and they complained because they were tired of manna.

Now it's easy to say that we'd never react that way if we were in their worn dusty sandals, but really think about yourself.  I think you'll find the answer is 'yes I would', we all would and we all do.  We're grateful for our car, BUT a newer one would satisfy us more;  we're grateful for our clothes, BUT a better brand would feel better; this job provides what we need, BUT a promotion is what we deserve.  And all the while God provides.

He provides because that is who He is, not just what He does.  In God's very character, being provider is wrapped up with all His other glorious, perfect traits.  Kind of like I am not a woman because I do womanly things, but because I simply am a woman, to my very core.  Nothing and no one can take that away from me; if someone calls me a man, I am still a woman.  If I got a sex change, my very DNA says that I am a woman.  Such is this with God.  No matter how little or how much I trust God, He is no less the Provider, He is no less phenomenal!  I could say that He couldn't possibly raise all the support needed and He is still able to provide; I could lose complete faith in Him and He would remain that same Provisional God He forever has been and will be.

Isn't that comforting?!?

So why is it so hard to trust God?  Well looking back at the Hebrews in their journey to the Promised Land, they were uncertain; they had never been free.  Because of the sin of Adam we are in bondage to sin, but because of the sacrifice of Jesus we are free (1 Corinthians 15).  The thing with this freedom is that we have to USE IT!  What if pharoah had actually decided to let the Hebrews go, but they decided to stay because it was familiar and they didn't know what any other life looked like.  Foolishness right?  We do the same thing, we say we want a deeper walk with the Lord, but we're too chicken to shed the bondage that is our sin, AND THIS SIN WE'VE BEEN SET FREE FROM!

Knowing freedom isn't enough, the REALIZATION of it is key.  By realization I mean, the utilization and ownership of it.

That is what has been on my heart for the Summer; I have to continually remind myself of God's provisional character.  He has, countless times, proven Himself to be who He said He is, now I have to trust Him and His Word.

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Week 12 of Ministry Partner Development

Hey y'all, whoa three posts in one night, good deal!  Well this week marks my 12th week of Ministry Partner Development...whew!  Boy has this been a journey, learning to trust in the Lord for everything, with no 'Plan B' is tough but worth it.  I am still in the process of raising support and in GREAT need of monetary support and more people to contact.  There's no other way to put it:  I need you to give both contacts and money.

colea.henderson@uscm.org
http://give.ccci.org/give/View/0632929

The Great Commission is real!

Matthew 28:18-20:  And Jesus came and said to them, "All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me.  Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age."
That is what's called the Great Commission, and notice that it wasn't a suggestion.


It's exciting to be a part of that; it's exciting to know people who are a part of that.  I can see how God has surrounded me with people who have a similar passion for sharing God's Love and Truth to said nations; this has been a blessing and a learning experience for me.  It brings true joy to my heart to think of all the places and people that will be changed by these people who have effected and affected MY life!  My friends and I have been called to go overseas to do the Lord's work and there's no greater honor than to obediently serve the Lord with our time, bodies', minds', souls', hearts'...we get to serve the Lord with every ounce of our being!  No greater calling exists.


I have friends in or going to: China, Chile, Argentina, Australia, Hawaii, not to mention here in mainland USA, and other places; what a priviledge it is to be among them!  There are 216 countries in the world, which ones will you pray for, give to, or go to?




Here's how you can give:
http://give.ccci.org/give/View/0632929

Argentina information

Hello!  Here's a great link to some information about Argentina, pretty official stuff.

https://www.cia.gov/library/publications/the-world-factbook/geos/ar.html


If you would like to give:
http://give.ccci.org/give/View/0632929 (Aris Henderson)


In Christ's Love,
Coléa

Thursday, July 15, 2010

in the month to come

Hey all. So almost exactly a month away all the STINTers who will be beginning work in their assignments (for example my assignment Buenos Aires, Argentina) this STINT season will be reporting to Chicago, Illinois for the annual STINT briefing! Hoorah! (By the way, STINT stands for Short Term INTernational.) Some people will be leaving for their assignments straight from the briefing! What this means to me is that 1)my LAST semester in school is quickly approaching and 2) the urgency of support raising is becoming more real.
 If all of my support does not come in, I do not go. There is definitely a great need in Buenos Aires, Argentina for STINTers (in fact there are around 900,000 college students in Buenos Aires, Argentina) , so we don't want to let them down!


If you would like to learn more about what I'll be doing as a STINTer in Buenos Aires, Argentina send me a message at colea.henderson@uscm.org. Also, if you would like to give this is the best way http://give.ccci.org/give/View/0632929.

ministry update

Hey y'all!  Boy has this past week been great; people have (actually) been calling me back!  When people call ME back, it's so encouraging and helps me out immensly because I have a list of people to call and it adds to my ever growing/changing list when I have to call them again.  Not only have I been encouraged by people calling me back, but I have had two great appointments since Saturday.  Both have ended in the blessing of a commitment to give to this ministry (!) and one has ended with a solid handful of referrals.  While it's been greatly encouraging to have these two appointments as well as a decision to partner by the phone from a family a little further away, I'm still not where I should be in the Ministry Partner Development process.  Typically, 6-8 appointments are recommended for each week of support raising and I've only been doing (if any at all) a small portion of that per week.  There are times when it's really hard to feel encouraged and to continue in this challenging adventure, but, nevertheless, I feel optimistic and encouraged, and that only comes from the Lord.

If you are reading this and would like to know more about this ministry please let me know, I love sharing about it and it's such a blessing to be a part of it and to invite people to be a part of it.  Email me at colea.henderson@uscm.org.  Also, if you would like to give, go to this site: http://give.ccci.org/give/View/0632929 (P.S it says Aris Henderson, because Aris is my first name).

Thursday, July 8, 2010

this week

It never seems to amaze me how the Lord keeps me and loves me and how He expresses His love.  My mind is so small, I put these limits/expectations/plans on God because that's what makes sense to me.  But God is bigger and better, in fact, He's perfect.  So when my plans and expectations don't go the way I expect for them to and I feel frustrated, confused, and maybe even a little cheated; God comes in and reminds me that He's had it all along.

At times I feel frustrated, confused, and maybe even a little cheated about Ministry Partner Development; I didn't expect for it to be this hard.  But even on days when I'm feeling so very discouraged and disappointed, the LORD reminds me that He takes care of me.  He reminds me, constantly, that this isn't up to me.  This is not the Coléa show, this is and always will be about God.  This is about God being glorified, from the process of building my Ministry Team to the day I return to the US from Argentina.

I love the Father sooo much!  Every week at church, college-young adult group, small group, quiet times (which are everyday), and random encounters, the Creator of the Universe shows His love for me!  He delights in me, and everyday He wants to spend time with me.  He wants to show me His love and wants me to love Him.  What a great King!

I'll be honest, support raising has not been going well, but God will provide.  All I can do is be obedient to Him and trust that He will follow through with His plan for my life.  Easy as pie, right?  If you want to give, this link is what you're looking for: http://give.ccci.org/View/0632929.

Thursday, July 1, 2010

truckin' along

Hello all!  This past week has been strange and awesome.  Last Saturday was a very tough day; I woke up with the ringing thought of "You're not to go to Argentina".  This made me panicky, scared, and confused.  I tried refuting that thought with using [my] logic:  why would the Lord change my heart so drastically for Argentina?, couldn't this be a lie from satan (he is called the father of lies after all)?, am I just feeling discouraged?  So I decided to go to the Lord, He knows all that answers.  I voiced my fear, that He wasn't calling me to Argentina like I knew He was, and wasn't even going to bother reading my Bible, but I did.  Right now I'm reading Daniel in my quiet times with the Father and that book is full of goodies!  By no coincedence, I was at Daniel chapter six, this is where King Darius made a rule that no one should pray to anyone that was not his god(s) or else they would be thrown into the lions' den to die.  Daniel was obedient and not in private either; he prayed as he always did, multiple times a day, with windows wide open.  What a brave and faithful servant he was!  Well the people plotting against him, found out about his praying to the Lord of all Creation and King Darius, regretfully, threw him in the lions den as he had ruled.  When Darius went to check to see what had become of Daniel, he found him safe, hanging out with the lions.  Completely in tact.  Daniel 6:25-27>
Then King Darius wrote to all the peoples, nations, and languages that dwell in all the earth: "Peace be multiplied to you. 26 I make a decree, that in all my royal dominion people are to tremble and fear before the God of Daniel,

for he is the living God,
enduring forever;
his kingdom shall never be destroyed,
and his dominion shall be to the end.
27He delivers and rescues;
he works signs and wonders
in heaven and on earth,
he who has saved Daniel
from the power of the lions."

What a change of heart for such a big shot, huh?!

This passage really spoke to me; Daniel was facing some serious pressure, but he kept his faith in the Most High God and the Lord not only protected him, but He blessed him even more and he changed a ruler through him as well!

After reading this, the Lord spoke to me, and in short said that I am going to Buenos Aires, Argentina as a STINT missionary next year.  He said that He is always faithful and that is it me (Coléa) who has to learn to trust Him.  And He reminded me that He only speaks truth.

After this time with the Lord, I felt 1) exhausted and 2) encouraged that the Lord has a great plan for my life and 'all it takes' is for me to keep my eyes locked on Him and trust Him every step of the way.  I know that there will continue to be times when I don't trust Him as I should, but I also know that His ability, strength, and character never waivers even when mine does.  That is the God I get to serve!