Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Pondering Connection

A friend of mine requested that I start doing some blogging about my Cambodia trip (If you don't know about the missions trip I'm taking to Cambodia, you can read about it here.) At first I told her that I prob'ly wouldn't, because this is a site set aside for devotions, not personal experiences. But as I've prayed about it, her idea has not let me go.

There's nothing more devotional
than living one's faith out loud, after all.

So my team leaves in three weeks. I'll list some prayer requests in my next post, but the main thing the Lord has laid on my heart today is "Connection."

On day 1 of the conference, my team will be talking to the kids about being connected to God. Our puppet Eli will show up with his heart full of love for things in this world...the stuff that's taken the place of love for God. We'll have to work all of that out throughout our morning, hopefully bringing the kids to a place of understanding in their own hearts through teaching, worship, crafts & games.

You see, I get the distinct privilege of being able to minister to kids in the faith (most of them anyway). These are kids whose parents have set aside their lives to minister to Cambodian families as World Relief Staff members, and this conference is their time to rest, rejuvenate & revive themselves personally in their faith walks. As you can imagine, their sons and daughters are hungry for the Word of God and for deeper teaching and worship. While the kids I've ministered to for years have had cool puppets and stages and dynamic music as the norm each Sunday, these children have seen very little of it. So we're asking the Lord to help us take a small piece of it to them.

Ain't it cool? I'm so pumped.

But before I can talk to anyone about being "connected," loving God first and others second, I must first examine myself--my own connectivity. I don't want to teach others a message that isn't being fleshed out in and through me.

~ Do I love Him more than anything? With my whole being--heart, soul, mind & strength?
~ Do I believe the fact that He loves me outrageously? And do I live in the light of that love?
~ Do I hoard His love or share it extravagantly with others? Even those who aren't easy to love?
~ Do I embrace Him as my Father, no other lovies in my arms, surrendered, abandoned?
~ Do I allow His Word to be my guide for daily living and my source for Truth?
~ Am I fully abiding, tightly clinging to the Vine, bearing only good fruit as a result?

Much to think on...much to pray for...by His grace and through the power of His Holy Spirit, He can prepare my heart in exactly the way it needs.

It's your turn...

Paused to ponder your connection with Him lately?

Please allow the verses He has given our team to minister to you in whatever way is needed.

"How great is the love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God! And that is what we are! The reason the world does not know us is that it did not know Him. Dear friends, now we are children of God, and what we will be has not yet been made known. But we know that when He appears, we shall be like Him, for we shall see Him as He is. Everyone who has this hope in Him purifies Himself, just as He is pure."
1 John 3:1-3
"Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind; and, Love your neighbor as yourself."
Luke 10:27
"You are the children that God dearly loves. So be just like Him. Lead a life of love, just as Christ did. He loved us. He gave Himself up for us. He was a sweet-smelling offering and sacrifice to God."
Ephesians 5:1-2 (NIRV)
Lord, we long for our hearts to be full of You. By Your grace, through Your Holy Spirit living and moving in and through us, be our source for this life...our one and only connection to deep love and a full life. And Father, as our team longs to minister to the World Relief Staff families, we realize that it is all about You--You are the only One who can give their hearts the rest they might need. We trust, and we will obey. Lord Jesus, have Your way. In Your name, Amen.

7 friends shared a comment:

Sita said...

Hi Laura,
I know that the Ratanak team that just came back opened a new blog specifically to chronicle each member's journey and for prayer request which was a great idea. Will you be doing that as well? Check out their blog here:
http://ratanakmissions.blogspot.com/

Looking forward with you to God advancing His kingdom in you, in Cambodia..

LauraLee Shaw said...

Yes, Sita, that is AWESOME. I meant to check it out the 1st time you mentioned it, but I got busy with some other stuff. I look forward to learning more through them and lifting them up in prayer as well. Thanks, sister!

Laury said...

Am glad you shared about your mission trip. I need to be careful with my powers of suggestion, huh? lol. God will work through you in awesome ways, Laura. Am so excited you get to go. You will be taking all of us with you as we pray for you now and through the time you're there. There's nothing like a mission trip to let us see how spoiled we truly are here in the U.S.

Denise said...

Praying for you, love you dear.

Joanne Sher said...

So thrilling - can't wait to hear more - and to know the amazing ways God will use you. Love you!

Vonnie said...

I'm sure as you minister, you will be ministered to. It often works that way. You will come back stronger in your faith and blessed by others.

(((hugs and prayers))
Vonnie

Debra said...

Lalee,

I'm so stoked for you! I didn't know you were going but since I finally got over this way, now I do! I'm going to be praying for you my friend and I just love the Eph 5 verse...I see that shining brightly from you!

May you be blessed abundantly as you serve your King. May He bless your hands and your feet...your comings and your goings. I'll be praying for your traveling mercies as well.

I love you my friend. I can't wait to hear how God uses you to glorify Him!