ashleyandandrew

Blogging Away!

The Great Commission June 16, 2012

Filed under: Uncategorized — AshleyandAndrew @ 11:36 pm
Tags: , , , ,

As we approach our departure, we also approach our commission at all of the services at Beach UMC this weekend. We are excited to be sent off into the mission field covered in prayer by our church family. Though I don’t know what exactly will be said by Pastors Joby and Jerry, I’d have to imagine they will at least reference the greatest commission in all of history which is, of course, in the gospel of Matthew.

Matthew 28:16-20

Then the eleven disciples went to Galilee, to the mountain where Jesus had told them to go. When they saw him, they worshiped him; but some doubted. Then Jesus came to them and said, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.”

I have read these verses several times recently as we get closer to leaving for Costa Rica. As Andrew and I have been making our way through the Bible in the past few months, my mind has dissected the Bible in a different way. I find myself trying to consider more and more how my life reflects the same challenges and situations as what I am reading about in the Bible. Or how I would have thought and felt in the midst of the things taking place in the Old Testament that we covered thus far.

In the verses described as the Great Commission, I think about the disciples going to Galilee, which is quickly followed by the words “where Jesus told them to go.”  They probably weren’t aware what Jesus would tell them just yet, or what exactly he had in store for each of them. Andrew and I have committed to mission work for the next year as God has told us to. We will go to Costa Rica where He has told us to go and trust me when I say, we aren’t exactly sure what He has in store for us. Once the disciples went to Galilee as they were supposed to, some still doubted. We’ve had strong moments of faith where we were completely on board with God’s plan for our lives over the next year or so, but definite moments of doubt. Are we crazy to give up good jobs and a comfortable life to move to a foreign land? I guess that depends on whom you ask. But Jesus says to GO. That statement may have made the disciples nervous, probably in the same way it makes us nervous. There are plenty of unknowns when you make the decision to go out into the world and serve, leaving behind what you do know. I think it is incredible that Jesus takes a moment to reassure us in the midst of these moments when we are beginning to wonder about this command. He is with us always, to the very end. The Message phrases it this way, “I’ll be with you as you do this, day after day after day, right up to the end of the age.”

This summer, one of my high school senior girls is going on her first mission trip ever. I am beyond proud of her for putting aside her doubts and worries and making the decision to go out into the world and serve. I think about the teenagers I have ministered to as a small group leader here in Beach Student Ministry. We’ve certainly had many conversations about missions over the last 4 years. The Great Commission is so important to all of us because it’s a command, not an option. It makes me proud that the teenagers I have worked with over the past 4 years are taking it seriously. As we get ready to move to Costa Rica and minister to a whole new group of teenagers, I’ll need to communicate the same important message to them… to Go. Granted, it’s going to sound a bit different. A couple of years ago, I bought myself a bilingual Bible so that I could grow accustomed to verses and biblical language in Spanish. So with my gringo accent in tact, we will say to the Tico teenagers “Vayan y hagan discípulos de todas las naciones.”

Mateo 28:16-20

Entonces los once discípulos salieron hacia Galilea y se dirigieron al monte que Jesús les había indicado. Cuando vieron a Jesús, lo adoraron, ¡pero algunos de ellos dudaban! Jesús se acercó y dijo a sus discípulos: “Se me ha dado toda autoridad en el cielo y en la tierra. Por lo tanto, vayan y hagan discípulos de todas las naciones, bautizándolos en el nombre del Padre y del Hijo y del Espíritu Santo. Enseñen a los nuevos discípulos a obedecer todos los mandatos que les he dado. Y tengan por seguro esto: que estoy con ustedes siempre, hasta el fin de los tiempos.”

If you’d like to know more about our plans for Costa Rica and what we will do there, please visit our website at www.HelpSendUs.com . You can visit the “Get Involved” page to help support us along the way.

 

Judging the Judges June 5, 2012

Filed under: Uncategorized — AshleyandAndrew @ 11:02 pm
Tags: , ,

So I found myself in the most interesting train of thought recently while reading through the book of Judges. Interesting in this case is code for ridiculous. It is difficult to be on the people of Israel’s side for much of the book. “The Israelites served the Lord throughout the lifetime of Joshua and the leaders who outlived him – those who had seen all the great things the Lord had done for Israel.” Joshua dies and another generation comes into play. This generation did not acknowledge the Lord or “remember the mighty things He had done for Israel.” How odd that it takes only one generation to for massive disobedience to set in. Many judges are then put into place and it is a painful cycle to watch. Over and over again, there is peace in the land followed by evil doings. Seeing the phrase “again the Israelites did evil in the Lord’s sight” really makes you want to stand back and say, Seriously?

I’m totally on God’s wavelength when he asks them “Why did you do this?” Hello? To have very specific instructions time and time again from God almighty, and then totally disregard that… who would do that? Not me. Not us. Right? I mean we all have these grand excuses as to why we don’t follow God’s instructions to us to the tee in modern society. Clearly, no one is separating the Red Sea before our very eyes. There is no more Promised Land for us to enter; we can have any land in the world that we want for that matter. There are no burning bushes speaking to anyone. Angels aren’t descending from the heavens to have conversations with us about life. The Israelites had the accounts of all of the mighty things God did for their ancestors. How could they have lost faith or been disobedient so easily? If only we had something to reflect back on to know all the mighty things God has done and all of His promises that were fulfilled.

Now, picture reading the above thoughts aloud to a room of 7 year olds. Just how many hands would shoot up immediately and how many children would be anxiously waiting to point out one huge thing… Don’t we have the Bible to tell us all of these things? Too many little hands to count. I’m sure one or two of them would even throw in a DUH for you. Ah yes, of course we have the Bible. While most of the statements I just made were dripping with sarcasm, the ridiculous part of it all is a similar version of those thoughts may have actually passed through my mind while going back and forth between peace and evil in the land throughout the book of Judges.

And from within my very own glass house I sat and thought to myself, why aren’t we taking the Bible seriously as the legitimate account of all of God’s promises fulfilled to us and using it as the greatest instruction manual to our lives? Who knows. But one thing is for sure, we are of the same exact mindset as the Israelites were. “In those days Israel had no king; all the people did whatever seemed right in their own eyes.”