Sunday, November 23, 2014

Give Some Love on Giving Tuesday!

Hi friends,

    In just a few short weeks, Global Ministries will be participating in UMC #GivingTuesday. On December 2, 2014, all the donations you make to Global Ministries missionaries and Advance projects will be matched up to $1 million! This is an excellent opportunity to support the Methodist Church and further the work that organizations and projects are doing to transform lives through God's love around the world.

     With Christmas quickly approaching, we are all looking for that perfect gift for our family member or loved ones. Giving Tuesday is a way to extend the spirit of giving in the Advent season beyond just buying physical gifts.

     Donating to my organization, Alabama Rural Ministry, gives hope to families in Alabama whose houses need repaired. With your support, teams will work with these families to patch the roof, seal windows, or put up siding on their home. The cold winter no longer seems so hopeless.

    Donating to my missionary fund here will support current and future Global Mission Fellows (like me!) in the Generation Transformation program. You can help make it possible for a young adult to become a missionary and transform the world working with local churches, immigrants, campus ministry, children's programs, and more.

     Make your donation any time from 12:00AM to 11:59PM on December 2nd. You can click the picture at the top of my blog to support me, or go to to find a project. Watch this video to hear missionaries' stories about #GivingTuesday:

     Please pray that people all around the globe choose to support Global Ministries on December 2nd. The United Methodist Church needs your help, so that we can more effectively serve the Lord by serving others. This is your opportunity to connect with those doing mission - so go, and be the church!



Thursday, November 6, 2014

As the Potter Does

For five weeks now, I have been taking a beginner's pottery class. From the first moment I slapped the clay down onto the wheel, I knew it was something special. I had never really enjoyed art class in high school, and my drawing skills are about on par with a kindergartener. But pottery was different. The feeling of the clay in my hands, smoothing it, molding it into the shape that I wanted, mesmerized me.

I enjoy the methodical approach my instructor used to teach us the basics. First, center the clay on the wheel. Then, press it down, thumbs crossed, and poke the hole. Next is the "claw", as my instructor affectionately calls it. Then smoothing the lip, followed by a pull to make the clay rise. Every step has a technique, and only practice makes perfect. 

Molding the clay into the shape I want is harder than it looks. I crushed my share of pots before making a decent one. More often than not, I end up surprising myself with the end result, and a bowl appears where I intended a mug. What I lack is knowledge of how to control the clay. I'm learning how it feels, but I still don't understand how to make it do what I want.

Today as I sat at the wheel, trying hard to keep my arms on my legs, I was reminded of the passage in Jeremiah 18 that speaks of the potter. Jeremiah says, "So I went down to the potter's house, and I saw him working at the wheel. But the pot he was shaping from the clay was marred in his hands; so the potter formed it into another pot, shaping it as seemed best to him." (It's amazing to think that potters and wheels existed back then, isn't it??) The Lord replied, "O house of Israel, can I not do with you as this potter does? Like clay in the hand of the potter, so are you in my hand, O house of Israel."

 Just as my pots sometimes collapse or become deformed and I must either reshape the clay or start over, God has the authority to mold us as God chooses. He has given us the gift of free will, and we don't always follow the paths God has laid out for us. When we stray from God's intended path, or make a decision that goes against God's desires for us, God can either mold us into something new, or destroy us.

So, who is really in control? Us or God? Many of us, myself included, tend to be "control freaks". We don't want anyone else ordering us around or barging in to tell us how to live our lives. We have each day planned out, down to the hour. But here's the freaky thing: we're not really in control! God is. As much as we like to be captain of the ship, we need to hand over the wheel to the one who truly knows us. And let God do as the potter does, and shape us into who we are designed to be.