Friday, June 22, 2012

Be Fruitful and Multiply

No friends, this is not a pregnancy announcement. This commandment has been something that has caused me angst for most of my adult life. The church typically takes the phrase-

"As for you, be fruitful and increase in number; multiply on the earth and increase upon it." 
Genesis 9:7

and thinks something along these lines....

courtesy of
and so that was what I was taught. Until I start popping babies out, I can't completely fulfill this job. 

I would even go as far as to say that last August, a couple at our church was "scolding" us for not having kids yet. The man said to me, "Emily, why don't you want to serve God?" Which then I proceeded to get angry. If he only knew...I was and am serving God. I am making spiritual children. And my heart wrestles with the stereotypes of married women and their job in childrearing. I have seen great friends marry, have their babes and then disappear from the mission field. I believe that some women can do both. I hope to be one of them some day. 

A good friend recommended a book to me. It's called "Half the Church". It can be a little controversial. People say it's about equality between men and women in the church and women leading. So far I've gotten from it is that women serving and stepping out. I just finished a chapter addressing this topic. I want to share a little bit about what the author says. 

"If the command to be fruitful and multiply is only about reproduction, then it can apply only to a short season in a women's life--her window of childbearing years." (I started to sit up a little bit when I was reading...) 

She goes on to say, "Whatever we lost in Eden we find again in Jesus. Whatever God meant by "fruitful and multiply" and "rule and subdue," Jesus fulfills. As God's perfect image bearer, Jesus recaptures God's original vision for us by embodying true image-bearer living. And Jesus didn't do this in the pristine, sin-free garden our first parents inhabited, but in the fallen ruins of the world we occupy..." (I was left speechless at this point. Could have been the HUGE cockroach that I saw in the bathroom of the coffee shop I was in but she was on to something.) Jesus was neither married, nor woman but he did it.

Lastly she talks about the multiplying of God's Image: "We are God's image bearers. And while physical reproduction may suffice for fish and birds, for image bearers multiplication involves far more than simply populating the earth with more people. God calls us to multiply image bearers--a new humanity that embraces the God who made us and whose purpose is for his will to be done on earth as it is in heaven."

There it is folks. The command is for all believers: young and old, single and married, men and women. If we are not multiplying image bearers, we are not following this commandment. No matter what. Lot to chew on huh? 
For me it always goes back to the Great Commission... go and make DISCIPLES. that action.

Thursday, June 21, 2012

The Process of Grief

I am typically a person that never remembers her dreams. I go to bed, sleep my 8 hours, forget to put my bite guard in and wake up refreshed in the morning. Lately, I've had some good, doozie dreams that I remember in the morning.

Last night I dreamed that I received a box in the mail from my grandpa. It had some cutouts from some newspapers (typical Grandpa fashion) and a letter from him and and some old photos. I could see his handwriting in the notes. It was very vivid and I remember feeling excited about hearing from him.

Then in the dream, I realized that he was gone...that he had died. I began sobbing really with my whole heart. It was like I was grieving his death all over again.

I woke up suddenly this morning after pushing snooze a couple of times to a phone call from a friend that was stopping by to drop of some things. I quickly jumped out of bed to brush my teeth and make myself look presentable. I was standing outside of my apt building waiting for him when my dream came rushing back. I felt like I was being hit by a city bus.

I was talking to Gabo this morning about this and I feel that because I am not in Indiana, it is easy for me to not grieve because right now in Mexico my grandpa is not really absent from my life. It has happened a couple of other times that I have been doing something and I remember that he is no longer on the earth. I think, "how can I be so stupid and forget that he's dead?" It just doesn't make any sense.

I think everyone grieves differently. There are a lot of contributing factors to grieve as well...emotional connection to the person, physical distance, the past relationship, etc all effects the way we deal with it. We weren't necessarily close he and I but he has been a fixture in my life forever.

I am grateful for my last memories with him alive. I am grateful that I did all I could do to show him that I loved him. And I am thankful that Jesus is real and He knows grief and loss and he can sympathize with me.

Thursday, June 14, 2012

So Long Youth

I am in a mourning period friends. I have come to the conclusion lately that I am not as young as I think I am. My friend Cornelia warned me about this. She says that those who work with college students one day come to the realization that the students stay the same age and we just keep getting older. 

This August marks 5 years in Mexico. Lots of things have changed--the team(s), the roommates, the safety of the city, etc. My first couple of years here I was all over the place. I have awesome memories of how we went salsa dancing, to soccer games with millions of people and for late night tacos. We went on spontaneous trips to other cities and had a great time. 

I'm not as young as I once was friends. I'm 30 now. And I am not saying I am old. I am just not an adolescent anymore. I have begun to consider the consequences of late nights and larger crowds. I think this has happened for a couple of reasons. 

1. I married the safety captain. Gabo is all about never taking a necessary risk in life (I can see a fist pump in the air from Cathie Horein now). He lives his life like that and he is even more concerned about his gringa wife and her blonde hair and blue eyes.

2. I get tired more easily and the people annoy me. Standing all day in a hot place makes me want to claw my eyes out. I have less of a "it's worth it attitude". It's not worth it if it means tired feet, sunburn or me being hungry or getting a parasite. I think my priorities have changed. 

3. I blame my stage of life. This could coincide a little bit with #1 but let me explain. You see I am not a college student anymore. I am not a mom either but I am an adult and logical reasoning and future planning does come into play for me. I want this NOT to be true but I know it is. I live in denial about #3.

This all came about because I was supposed to go to a see a certain teen pop star on Monday.

 Yes, Justin Bieber. The Mexican government paid for a FREE concert in the Zocalo. Crazy teen girls slept on the street to stand in line for 2 days before.

I had planned to go the day of and stand in the crowd of 200,000 + people and wait for him... in the heat with no umbrella, then rain and then the concert.

But I wussed out. I considered the bathroom situation, I wasn't feeling so good and would need to frequent it. I considered the water and then needing a bathroom more. I considered all the pushy teenage girls that thought Justin was their boyfriend. I considered coming home late and a sunburn and then getting wet. And I just lost my steam. I couldn't do it.

I feel like missing JB was an end of an era for me. I'm not saying that I am never going to a concert again but I feel like my standards and needs have changed. On June 11, 2012, Emily became more high maintenance. I was really disappointed in myself.

So long Youthful Emily. It was fun knowing you. I will be at home weighing my options and consequences. I think I have just become even more realistic.

Monday, June 11, 2012

The life of King David

I am a fan of the Bible. I love reading about how God moved in people's lives and they were drawn to Him through his love. I have been perplexed by David's life for quite some time now. He was undoubtedly called "A Man after God's Own Heart". And he made his errors. I am aware of those things and I don't want to go in the direction with this blog in the direction we often hear.... "David's life shows us that God can use broken people and that He loves us in spite of our weaknesses." Friends, I know that. And I don't think that David's biggest downfall was the situation with Bathsheba and Uriah. He did it wrong but there is something more that we also see in our families now. Bear with me as I share two things that I have learned.

David was not always a good father to his kids. You can read in depth in 2 Samuel 13 and 14. This story literally gives me the shakes. Amnon and Tamar were both David's children. Amnon loved his sister (incest) and wanted to be with her and was convinced that it would work out by a friend and he used trickery to bring Tamar to her and he raped her. Absalom, another brother, knew about it. He brought Tamar into his house afterwards and he never forgave Amnon.

In verse 2 Sam 13:21-22 says, "When King David heard all this, he was furious. And Absalom never said a word to Amnon, either good or bad; he hated Amnon because he had disgraced his sister Tamar." 

King David did nothing. He sat in his fury. He knew that not only had his daughter been raped but by her own brother and the other brother hated him for it. Being a father, he never stepped in to defend his violated daughter then he didn't help his sons work out the problem. He could have helped. Absalom went on to kill Amnon and went on to have a huge conspiracy against his dad. 

At the end of his life, David had to hire outside care for him. In 1 Kings 1:1-4, it shows that he was alone. After having multiple wives and concubines, this passage shares with us that there was no one available to care for him. Now we can think that all of them died. But do you think it is ironic that there was not one loving family member to warm him at his old age. Not one wife, not one concubine, not one sibling, not one child. That is so sad to me. 

This shows me that I want to be someone that not only loves the Lord but is a great wife to one man. And someday I want to be a great mother that is a hero to her kids. I want them to know that we are a family and that we stick together and with Jesus Christ, we will choose to resolve conflict and love each other well so that the outside world will know Jesus because of our family.

Friday, June 08, 2012

God's grace in the midst of the Imperial

Well friends, I wanted to update you on how God has shown up in Gabo's job with Sofi. I have other more profound things to write about (like the life of King David) but I am still gathering my thoughts.

Gabo did a great job last night. We arrived to the location about 11pm and Gabo went upstairs with the band. Sofi asked him if they could pray together and if Gabo would lead them and of course he said yes. Friends, let me stop her for a minute. This is what we pray for...that God would use Gabo to be a light in the darkness. Sofi's manager and her both see something different in the way that my man does business and plays music. The only thing that sets him apart is Christ. So before taking the stage, Gabo lead them in a prayer. BIG STEPS people. :)

 He was in charge of the band and he played great and even saved Sofi in the midst of her nerves and almost costly errors!
 I hung with my friend Gianina. She is a girl from the ministry but loves music. She was a great one to take along for me. I didn't want to sit by myself and we had a blast laughing together.

Gabo met the two producers of Sofi's disk. Lalo (left) and Mauricio (right) were both very excited and impressed of how the band sounded after 3 short rehearsals and only 10 days of learning the music. I had an awesome conversation with Lalo's wife. I felt like we were kindred spirits.  Today I posted these pictures on facebook. We have a friend named Andres and his wife Ale that used to live in our old apt building with us but we stay in touch cause they are Believers as well. Well, Andres has been telling Gabo for the last couple of months that he needs to meet his friend that is a music producer. Today Andres commented on the picture, "Hey Gabo, that is my friend Lalo I have been telling you about. I guess you did meet!"

Pray for us as we wait to hear the next steps with Sofi. We are so excited to be in the middle of God's will wherever he takes us. Last night it was a club at 2 am with producers, composers, arrangers and celebrities that desperately need a Savior.

We are honored to serve there. Good night!