Tag - love

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Wanted: Friends Who Judge
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Never Go Back to Vanilla Ice Cream
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In Praise of Brokenness – From Dead to Alive in The School of Biblical Studies
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Love Moves
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Pieces. Kickball. Palestine. – Part 2
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“Why Have You Come Here?” – Part 1
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Why Have a Blog?
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How the Word of God Became My Daily Bread – A Student’s Encounter in the School of Biblical Studies

Wanted: Friends Who Judge

Photo Credit: Thomas Lefebvre via Unsplash cc

This post was originally published on Lindsey Lautsbaugh’s blog at http://www.thisisloveactually.com/friends-who-judge/ and is re-posted with permission.

“I don’t want to be judged, I just want to be unconditionally loved.”
“No one wants a judge; everyone wants a friend.”
“Don’t judge me!”

It is universally accepted that true friends don’t judge. They simply love, accept, and support you.

In my early twenties, I was a young, single woman in the new South Africa. I loved the adventure and possibility of living and working in this nation. I was just beginning to form friendships in a diverse community of people. One weekend at the office, only myself and one other lady were there. We were trying to get ahead on work. New students were arriving that week. We discussed tasks and ideas back and forth. We were as different as night and day and so often would not see eye to eye. As the day wore on, I was getting more and more frustrated at her lack of seeing things my way. Eventually, I got so angry I went quiet and ominously brooded around the office, physically present but ignoring her in all other ways. I would show her!

Suddenly, I could hear her chair spin around and her strong voice break the silence. “Lindsey, are you going to talk about this, or do you plan to give me the silent treatment all day? I don’t like tantrums.”

I was shocked. She was direct almost to the point of rudeness. I stumbled over my words. Feebly, I attempted to sort things out… I don’t really remember how it resolved.

Two months later, someone asked me, “Lindsey, who do you hang out with? Who do you consider your friends here in South Africa?” To my surprise, this lady’s name immediately came out of my mouth.

I had other friends who I hung out with more, had more in common with. But this woman spoke truth to me – Truth that often offended me. Sometimes, it wasn’t truth, it was just her opinion, and she would apologise later. Sometimes, it came out a bit rude. But she kept speaking. Of all the people I was around, I knew this one was a friend. She was a friend who was willing to wound me. She was a friend who judged.

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Never Go Back to Vanilla Ice Cream

Photo Credit: Mike Barkema, a graduate of YWAM Muizenberg’s School of Biblical Studies & Titus Project

The below post is by Cayla Bertelsen, a recent Titus Project graduate with YWAM Muizenberg. Titus Project, South Africa is a three month program, which includes training on how to teach to the Bible and cross-cultural communication skills, followed by practical ministry to rural and urban African communities. YWAM’s 9 month School of Biblical Studies graduates have the opportunity to follow up with this school and outreach. This post was originally published on Cayla’s blog at http://caylabertelsen.blogspot.com/2014/11/vanilla-ice-cream.html and is re-posted with permission.

Vanilla ice cream. I like vanilla ice cream. I think that most people do. My favorite flavor though is coffee or a good, rich chocolate flavor. I like the fudge on top, maybe with some banana and nuts to make a real Sunday and to spice things up a little!

Once my youth pastor talked about vanilla ice cream. He spent some time asking our youth group which ice cream flavors we liked and what kinds of toppings we would choose. There were lots of varied answers, and I think the winner was mint chocolate chip (I guess that’s pretty popular around here!). Out of our group, not a single person chose plain vanilla ice cream.

He then said something that I pondered for a long time after that because it meant a lot more to me than just ice cream flavors. It went something like this…

“If you are a beginner, you might start with vanilla, but once you have tasted all the other flavors and toppings and experienced all the exciting delicious variety, you will never want to go back to plain vanilla ice cream ever again.”

“This is how life with Jesus can be.”

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In Praise of Brokenness – From Dead to Alive in The School of Biblical Studies

Photo Credit: ahh.photo via Compfight cc

This post was originally published on the author Lindsey Lautsbaugh’s blog at http://www.thisisloveactually.com/praise-brokenness/ and is re-posted with permission.

The past felt hard, but the worst was yet to come. Thank God, I was oblivious to this fact. In the exact middle, between hurt and more hurt, I ventured off to a nine month, intensive, Biblical Studies program.

I wanted the learning for my future career in ministry but needed it for my own personal survival. In the wilderness of Montana I worked hard, day-in and day-out. Most days were between eight to nine hours with my nose in the Bible.

Many days, it was more.

The learning was mentally exhilarating. Emotionally, though, something new was digging in to me.

I remember the day clearly. In an effort to break up the monotony, a group of students decided to go to a local coffee shop to study. We all spread out to our own tables, ordered our bottomless coffee, and began to pound away at the work to be done. The book of Romans was our current task. This is no small feat to grasp if you are familiar with the Bible. I remember the exact table and the uncomfortable wooden chair I was sitting in. While classmates around me were doing a theological CrossFit routine in their minds… I was reading the same phrase over and over and over.

“so death spread to all”

“so death spread to all”

“so death spread to all”

Then, the tears just came.

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Love Moves

Photo Credit: …-Wink-… via Compfight cc

Mother Theresa, Nelson Mandela, Billy Graham… names we all recognize; people we want to emulate. Here’s the “bad news:” you and I won’t ever reach their heights. We likely won’t transform the history of whole nations. People won’t remember our names like theirs.

Sorry to break the news to you, but someone had to say it, I suppose.

Our inspiration so often comes from these heroes because the stories captivate us. Books can be written and films made. The result is that we can never measure up, and then, so often, we simply give up.

“I can’t ever do what he did, so why bother even trying?”

We shouldn’t give up though.

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Pieces. Kickball. Palestine. – Part 2

Photo Credit: Christina Quist

This post was originally published on http://www.thequists.com/ and is re-posted with permission. You can read Part 1 here: “Why Have You Come Here?”

I hated “picking teams” in grade school. With the exception of one glorious fifth grade kickball season, I was never the first player chosen for a team. “Mennonite Molly” claimed that title. A leggy blonde a whole year older than the rest of us; a terror in a denim skirt.

It begins in our bones and stays there until something breaks. That dualism. The US versus THEM mentality.

Last month I got to travel with another woman to visit Palestine and Israel, which unexpectedly broke me into pieces. What I saw in real life isn’t what TV and the Internet told me I’d see.

I learned things I didn’t know about the Palestinian way of life, living under occupation, the things hidden from news stories and Facebook feeds.

Like a pendulum, my emotions swung from trying to understand the Israeli-Palestinian conflict to outright hostility toward Israel. This surprised me. I did not expect this trip to yank at me emotionally, tugging at the thread of injustice from both sides.

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“Why Have You Come Here?” – Part 1

Photo Credit: Christina Quist

This post was originally published on the author Christina Quist’s website http://www.thequists.com and is re-posted with permission.

Have you ever caught yourself thinking about or intrigued by a specific person, people group, or place? Maybe even a cause? You know, you try to put it out of your mind, but at random times, it returns? You don’t even know the person, or have never been to the place, but you feel a connection with it, a responsibility or longing to know more?

The first time I felt this particular connection to someone was Michael Jackson in the fifth grade. I may or may not have been misguided by hormones. This is not what I’m talking about. This is stalking.

As I get older, I know there are specific people designed for me to not just pray for, but I know I have a part in their lives and they in mine. We are meant to be entwined for however brief a moment (Ephesians 2:10).

I’m kinda used to the crazy. I mean, we up and moved to South Africa because of a powerful draw and call we felt to a very specific place. Once you jump off the deep end, it gets easier every time.

Which is why it wasn’t unheard of for me to make my way to the Middle East without an agenda or goal in mind. Or heck, without my husband, well-rehearsed missions team, a lot of money, or even knowing a hint of Arabic. Just me and my new friend who I met a few months ago.

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Why Have a Blog?

Photo Credit: TomConger via Compfight cc

I happen to love crime shows. And it’s amazing the scientific and technological advances that have been made. To use the minutest bit of evidence – DNA, blood, hair, tissue, fingerprints – to catch a criminal. Granted t.v. is probably blowing it way out of proportion and not demonstrating the great amount of hard work and other things which contribute. But I digress…

When looking in particular at the fingerprint, it is an imprint of the smallest raised swirls and lines of skin tissue on your finger, yet it’s so intricate. And it got me thinking today,

God has not only left His fingerprint, His imprint on our lives,

He has woven His DNA within us and He has placed His image upon us.

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How the Word of God Became My Daily Bread – A Student’s Encounter in the School of Biblical Studies

Photo Credit: S. Reachers via Compfight cc

A little over nine months ago, I came to YWAM Muizenberg to participate in a School of Biblical Studies, and I came hungry. I didn’t know what my life was missing, but there was a deep yearning inside of me. Famished and weak, I decided to come to South Africa to give Jesus one more chance to satisfy my growing appetite for something more. One thing I knew before I came to South Africa was this: if ever-significant amounts of time are spent reading the Bible, the reader comes away changed.

It’s inevitable; truth will change you.

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