Thursday, April 18, 2019

3 ways to help me put God's love on display (plus what's happening at the dentist)

Laid back in the dentist chair, I started to cry.
The tears weren't rolling from pain, but from the warming extraordinary feeling of being cared for. 

When I slammed my head into that metal pole in Thailand, two front teeth broke off (one ripped through my bottom lip...but the Thai plastic surgeon sewed that hole up nicely). 

I recently began considering a visit to a fake-teeth-specializing dentist. 

"Oh no. It's too expensive. I need a car instead of two new fake teeth. And I'm just being vain, anyway. And what about starving people?"

Right when I'd about talked myself out of a new smile, God interrupted the guilty-I-don't-have-enough-money-and-am-too-vain chatter in my head; 

"I love your smile. I can afford new teeth AND a car AND feed starving people." 

Well ok, God! If You say so! 
(We can hear God's voice! Jesus made that possible!)

In the fake-teeth-specialiazing dentist's chair, after he cracked my last pair of fake teeth off, I snuck my phone out and snapped the most awful-looking and hilarious selfie that's ever been snapped (I'd done this before, years ago, but wondered what they looked like now, after years had passed...I was pleased to find myself looking as attractive as ever). 

This is what I really look like. 
I'm a scary-looking goofball. Jesus sees who we really are, even after our wrecks, our divorces, our wars--and His intense love is unchanged.

We are super imperfect, tempted, doubting, weak little things, oh, but God doesn't look away! We smile our imperfect grins and He says "Beauty! Beauty! Beauty!" 

Getting ahold of how He feels about me, it's changing all my insides. Hopeless holes are getting filled in with hope--hope that looks like blooming huge colorful flowers. My scary goofball grin is loved, cherished even, by the Maker of the entire universe. Ahhhh. 

At my next appointment, trying out the new fake teeth that had just come in, the specializing dentist says to me, 
"If you don't absolutely love these teeth when we try them on, then we're sending them back."

He slipped the new beauts onto the scary nubbs and they looked quite nice--my smile looking more like my pre-wreck smile than it had in seven years. But they were a little large and a little the wrong color. So specializing dentist calls in the other specializing dentist and both of those angelic doctors stood over my smile discussing in detail--shape, color, texture, size, how to communicate the details with the lab,  and I laid there, mouth wide open under the bright light, and felt so loved, so cared for.

Tears started rolling from the sides of my eyes, leaking onto the grey specializing dentist chair. 

God whispered, 
"Your smile is important to Me." 

On top of that, car money's been coming in, new monthly supporters have been signing up, I've been calling homeless shelters in Louisville to find out how to get hungry people fed with a food truck, this last week I got to tell a drug rehab and a youth group about Jesus' longing for their company, and I've been mailing letters, singing God songs, and letting Him shape what He wants my life in America to look like. 

So, everybody. 
Thank you. 
Each of you who are joining the display of love God is doing in my life, thank you. Your love is helping the homeless and the recovering and the church folks and the nursing home residents and the cashiers to experience the great love of the great God who defeated Hell for all of us. Together, your love and mine, is displaying for many people what Jesus is like--good and right and generous and incredibly interested and  strong and made of love. He is love! He came for everybody! And it's almost Easter! And I'm getting new fake teeth!* By gum. There's so much Good News.

If you're wondering how you can help people know Jesus in a very practical day-to-day sort of way, I've got more good news. That day-to-day making Jesus known is the life I'm living. 
And I need your help.

1. Pray
2. Give
 3. Come 

Pray--Sign up for my prayer e-mail if you'd like to pray with me. 

Give--I'm still living on what people have told me is a "part-time salary." I'm doing the full-time ministry work, so asking God to raise my salary...."my salary" means people who want to be part of what God's doing in my life and send me money every month. My goal is 55% raised.  Give here or mail my mom (aka my accountant).

Come--Oh I love friends and adventuring together. If you want to come with me to preach the Gospel, feed the homeless, or anything else God leads us to do, you're welcome.

Together is God's way and His love shines bright through us. Us.

God's been reminding me who I am and I've been reading through old journals, getting dreams and hopes churned up in me again...

August 14, 2012
Andra Pradesh, India
So I'm buying Joseph a motorcycle today! I say "I'm" like it's my money, but none of its mine. Like I told Sudar today, I'm just a funnel. People have given so much for this venture I'm on, and now I get the awesome job of finding places to put their money. So fun! Since Joseph is literally making disciples of the nations, I thought something to help him "Go" would line right up with the Great Commission. Had plenty of funds to give him $1,100 for a motorcycle, so that's what we're doing today.

We just waltzed in here like royalty and Joseph picked out which one he wanted. I couldn't stop smiling. They keep thanking me and saying things like this; "I can't believe it. I never knew God would send the money through such a little sista." hahaha!  God's rich and He's just looking for generous people to dump His richness on. I never want money to stop at me, I want it to just pass through my hands.

God is good, Jesus is alive, and from Kentucky to India, He loves taking care of us. 
Happy Good Friday, my friends. 

*p.s. I have two bank accounts--ministry and personal. Every month, my ministry pays me a set salary which my board has approved, while the rest stays in the ministry account. Ministry pays for ministry things, while personal pays for personal (like new fake teeth). Just in case you wondered. Ok I love you bye.