Hope In Love

Posts Tagged ‘world vision

i want to be used by God. sometimes, like most people i would think, i want to be used for big things…but i do realise that God uses us for the small things as well. and i realise that for those who recieve the “small” things, they can be quite big things indeed.

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so there’s a verse that says something along the lines of when you give don’t let your left hand know what your right hand is doing…keep it all hush-hush cos God knows the secret stuff…and something about you’ve already recieved your reward from men…or something…and yet i’m sharing this with the world. (i really should just look up the verse.) but anyway, the way i understand the verse is that you shouldn’t go bragging about helping others out or whatever cos then the giving becomes about you…people give you the glory and not God – that is not why i’m sharing this story. i’m sharing this with the world to show how God has blessed me, and my feeble attempts at thanking him for the blessings.

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when the earthquake in haiti struck, i was moved to give something to help with whatever was being done over there. so i did. but then a thought struck me: does it have to take an earthquake to move me to help…and also it’s all very good and well to give to some project but you don’t really know what your money is being used for…all it does really is clear your conscience. i mean i chose an organisation that i knew had a good reputation, one that works with the poor a lot, but i didn’t get involved. i just sent money.

also, it’s all good and well to send money to haiti, but what about the people here in my own backyard that need help.

i then proceeded to check out sites from around here that work with the poor in order to donate to them and try to be a catalyst in people’s lives here at home. enter world vision south africa…i signed up to sponsor a child…it doesn’t cost much really – i mean i spend more in one week on food than i send to sponsor the child a month. but anyway, today i got my package with the info of the little girl i’m sponsoring – she has a name, an age, a face, she’s not some stranger in some far away country – she’s real. and suddenly the little thing becomes a big thing. it’s not much, but it means food for her and her unemployed mom. it means not going to school/bed hungry. it means she knows that someone out there cares…not for anything she has done, but just because.

i get to be used by God. i get to share His love with this beautiful little girl. i get to see His plan played out for her life. i get to be a part of the plan. i get to be a catalyst.

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thank you Daddy! i know you don’t need to use me…that most of the time i really just get in the way of what you are doing…but you continue to use me anyway. and thank you for giving me another avenue to be a good steward of what you’ve blessed me with. thank you!

This one is super long so I understand if you don’t read it all. Although I probably won’t blog again for another week so you can read it piece by piece over a week.

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Ok, so after 12 years of being a Christian and successfully avoiding the topic of fasting (except world vision’s 30 hr famine which I did 3 years), it caught up with me this year – big time. I couldn’t go anywhere without someone talking about it. So I tried fasting for a day and it was good. Then I tried it for 3 days, and failed the second day. Then this (really cool) chick from church named Lindri (fka Isa Bella) suggested we do it together cos she was also struggling to do it alone – so we tried it and yay, 3 days with no solid food (Friday, Saturday, Sunday – last meal Thursday night, broke the fast on Monday morn). Just living on water, juice, coffee, tea, and coke. I’m so sick of water right now – I don’t want to ever see it again – at least until I go on my next fast. Yep, I’ve decided to make a semi-routine thing, instead of a once-off thing. I haven’t decided though on how often its gonna happen. But yea, it was definitely good. The reason I mention it is because Monday I was so out of it. I couldn’t eat cos my body didn’t like food anymore (yea, just after 3 days – didn’t think it was possible either) and I was super drained and could barely concentrate – so yea that’s the background to the state of my brain when I wrote the email to Brett (a little later).

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Next topic I need to deal with: baptism. What is it all about? Why do people do it? Do I need to do it? FYI: I was baptised as a kid, when I was 5 but to tell the truth it meant nothing to me. It was something you did because people who go to church did it. I don’t even think my parents knew what it was about.

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I sent the following email to the youth pastor of vineyard – there was a baptism on Sunday so he was talking about it on Sunday evening so naturally I had a few questions on it, so here it is:

Hi Brett,

I’m pretty sure this email will not make sense cos as I’m writing it the only parts of my brain that are awake are the ones controlling the breathing and the muscles that keep the eyes open – everything else has pretty much shut down. So excuse my…stupid-ness.

So on the topic of baptism: I know the Bible says we should get baptized (the great commission, don’t know if it says so anywhere else) but it doesn’t say when does it? For instance if you were baptized as a kid (infant baptism) why do you have to get baptized again? I also don’t quite get why Jesus got baptized. Oh and on the great commission part, you know how John said that he baptizes with water but someone will come after him who will baptize with the holy spirit (I think – not during the great commission but I think it was when he started being John the baptist), well someone (don’t remember who) told me that since we are baptized with the holy spirit then we don’t need to be baptized with water. Not saying I believed them but…thinking…

Maybe I just don’t understand the meaning of baptism. Isn’t it a public display/declaration of your decision to die to self and live to Christ? If so, isn’t the way you live your life public display enough? Oh maybe not cos the way I live my life doesn’t always reflect dying to self and living for Christ.

Maybe what I’m asking is, do I have to be baptized again (or at all actually) and if so why? And if not, why not since the bible says we should –or did it?

Sorry, don’t really know what I’m asking. As I said, I’m brain-dead today.

Signed,

Confused.

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Anyway, he hasn’t responded yet but if/when he does I’ll update. I decided to do a little study on it while I wait for his response so I reached for my trusty bible, concordance and bible study notes and this is the conclusions I’ve drawn (probably wrong, feel free to add your opinion reader):

The word baptism pops up for the first time in the bible in the new testament starting with John the baptist’s ministry. His ministry was all about repentance, and water baptism was symbolic of cleansing yourself of your sin when you repent – being washed and made clean or as they put it: water baptism symbolises not the removal or dirt from the body but the pledge of a good conscience toward God. John said Jesus would come and baptise with a baptism of the Spirit and fire. Apparently the fire is symbolic of judgement and there was also the tounges of fire when the spirit came down at pentecost (Acts 2), so the prophecy was partly fulfilled at Pentecost when the Spirit came down. Baptism after Jesus (post the resurrection) was symbolic of dying with him, being buried with him, and rising again with him – sharing in his fate, so that we might share in his resurrection and eternityness (yea, I know that’s not a word). So John’s baptism was more preparatory for the “real” baptism (the Spirit and fire one) – although there were some people in Acts (I think) who got the water baptism after the Spirit one.

In sort-of conclusion, what I’m getting is baptism was a way of publicly declaring your faith and that you had repented of your sins and were a follower of the Christ. Anyway, another note put it this way: Baptism is an outward sign of an inward work of Grace.

In real conclusion, I found 4 reasons why Jesus himself was baptised. 1. to identify with humanity; 2. inception of his ministry; 3. to fulfil all righteousness (something about it symbolising consencration – being set apart for God); and 4. as an example to his disciples. The last one tells me that if I’m gonna call myself a follower of Christ then I need to get baptised.

In seriously-totally-real conclusion, I need to get baptised because the Bible tells me I should, and as Brett often says, that should be reason enough for me to do it.

Now the question is when? And also which church? Cos I really think I wanna do it at a river (like John did it), but my home church only does it in a swimming pool, and I think they only do it easter weekend which means yet another year to change my mind, whereas with Vineyard I think they would do it in a river, although the last one was at the beach – but technically I am part of the Nazarene church so maybe I should do it there. But then again baptism has nothing do to with denomination does it? Hmmm…more questions!


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