You Are a Miracle in Waiting.

When I agreed to go to Zambia this summer with SCRUBS Medical Mission, I dreaded raising the trip money. I’d rather take a beating than ask people for help because I’m a proud, independent American woman and I can handle stuff.

Unfortunately for me, God hates pride and stubborn independence. He does. Look it up. Proverbs 8:13 and Psalm 10:4

So, I sucked it up and asked everyone I knew. Today, I only have $300 to go. Can you believe that? Thirty six of you were happy to jump in with me and go make some friends in Zambia. What a lesson! How often do pride and independence – the most American of all values – interfere with that big, leapy faith God wants before he lays some mind-blowing miracle on us?

Evidently, for me, raising $3600 wasn’t hard enough though. I want leap farther now, believe even bigger. So here goes:

Meet future Zambian engineer Telise and lawyer Fidelise

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Telise (left) and Fidelise (right) used to be orphans but they’re not anymore, because Pastors Jasper and Zion took them in, loved them and taught them how to believe in God’s faithfulness – especially for school.

  • School in Zambia is free only to seventh grade.
  • According to Wikipedia, 74% of Zambian children go no further.
  • Telise and Fidelise need tuition for 10-12 grade by May 18th to pursue these formerly inconceivable goals.
  • One year for both of them is $2400, but they really need two and I have no idea how to raise it.

June 2009 132But God does and He’s waiting for us to be the conduit.

So I’m believing for it and when it happens, I’m going to crow about it right here. So get ready. As the Prophet Isaiah said:

As the rain and the snow come down from heaven, and do not return to it without watering the earth and making it bud and flourish, so that it yields seed for the sower and bread for the eater, so is my word that goes out from my mouth: It will not return to me empty, but will accomplish what I desire and achieve the purpose for which I sent it. Isaiah 55:10-11

If you’re the miracle, or you’re part of the miracle or know someone else who is, will you pray for it, forward this link or send a tax-deductible contribution to SCRUBS with “Tuition” written in the subject line? SCRUBS Medical Mission 15434 Brittain Court, Lindale, Texas 75771

Zicomo. That’s thank you in Nyanja. I’ll keep you posted.

Can You Name Five Life Goals?

St. Andre - French Alps

St. Andre – French Alps.

I’m reading a fantastic book on prayer called The Circle Maker. Wendy Lawton of Books and Such Literary Agency recommended it, saying when she finished it, she bought 35 copies.

Praying to an unseen God can be really hard – especially if nobody’s ever taught you how or why it matters. This book does both.

Written by Mark Batterson who pastors National Community Church in Washington DC, this book is an anthology of miracles. Batterson tells every story backward, starting with a successful $3 million bid the church made on a rare piece of Capitol Hill real estate. Then he backs up a few years and explains the prayer that started it, which grew into many prayers, relentless prayers, boring daily prayers and an army of on-foot prayers circling the property until the deal closed.

It’s a book of evidence, but one that’s smart enough to tackle “unanswered” prayers or those where God says no. You should pick it up. It’s good.

Reading Batterson’s thoughts on goal setting, I noticed how neglected and mushy my own goals had become. How can you pray circles around things when you don’t even know what you want? He talked about a guy named John Goddard who at age 15 wrote down 127 life goals, ranging from milking a poisonous snake to learning Arabic. By the time he turned 50, he’d accomplished 108 of them.

Batterson writes:

The brain is a goal-seeking organism. Setting a goal creates structural tension…which will seek to close the gap between where you are and where you want to be, who you are and who you want to become…Goal setting is good stewardship of your right-brain imagination. It’s also great for your prayer life.

So, I began writing 100 life goals today – so I can circle them in prayer. Here are five:

  • Learn to fly a plane.
  • Live in France.
  • Build a Dream Center in Santa Cruz, California – (Whoa. Did I just said that out loud?)
  • Learn to play guitar well enough to play around a campfire.
  • Write bestselling books.
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Nice would be nice.

At least two of those goals are impossible without God, it’s just a fact. The trick, Batterson says, is to work like it’s on me, but pray like it’s on God.

And so my friends, today is audience participation day at Going to the Sea.

  • Who are you?
  • What are you dreaming up?

In the comment section please inspire us:

Link up your blog if you like and post five of your own life goals. Be bold.

Roll your works upon the Lord (commit and trust them to Him; He will cause your thoughts to become agreeable to His will and) so shall your plans be established and succeed. Proverbs 16:3

On Dead Cows and Miracles.

Coeur de boeuf tomatoes

Coeur de boeuf tomatoes (Photo credit: Franka-in-London)

This afternoon, Sam and I butchered a 500-lb heifer in the woods behind our house. Her insides smelled like milk, which makes less sense than you might think, since we raise beef cattle.

All that may sound like metaphor, coming from the girl on the right in the wedding dress, but it’s not. I’m a Texas ranch wife and things like this happen. The heifer broke her leg. Sam called me at a friend’s house and said, “hurry home, I need help butchering this calf. Bring ice.”

This post has little meaningful purpose other than to explain the kinds of things I get up to when I’m not sitting at my desk thinking about Jesus. Some of my followers from Kirk Ranch Organics miss crispy, down-home ranch stories like this, this and this, so…

This is him.

This is him.

Sure enough, when I got home, Sam was waiting with his .38, a rope, sharp knives and four coolers. He’s kind of a bad-ass in this department, a son of the deep American South with years of deer and elk hunting under his belt; a fact that reminds me, if things go south on this planet, like the doomsday preppers predict, I will be hot on his heels.

I’ve been on plenty of hunting trips, but like most people, I’m usually on the skillet end of the animal, not the slaughtering end. So today was my day.

“Hold her right here,” Sam said. So with both hands, I grabbed the bones of her brisket that he’d just split open. She was well and truly gone, but still warm under my gloves. Then I watched her lungs spill out of her body and I touched her heart – coeur de boeuf tomatoes mean something to me now. Once I got over my revulsion, I got curious about her stomachs, and her veins and the green grass still inching through her intestines.

Maybe this sounds revolting, but if you appreciate a medium rare filet mignon, like I do – well, this is where they come from. Big fatty, steers are better for sure, but we’ll make do. Thanks little heifer #992.

More importantly, when you consider the profound stillness of a rapidly cooling heart in your hands, this life, here, right now, seems much less a smash-up accident, and more the exceptional miracle it is.

‚ÄúThere are two ways to live,” Albert Einstein said. “As if nothing is a miracle, or everything is.”