Written by Brooke O'Donnell Wednesday, 08 May 2013 13:34
As we are approaching the end of our Spring Tour, I’ve been more exhausted now than I ever have during my 2 years with CTI. Most of this tour I have spent reading through the Gospels and came across a passage that I’ve read and heard about dozens of time but was able to see it in a different light today. Luke 21:1-4:
“As he looked up, Jesus saw the rich treasury. He also saw a poor widow put in two small copper coins. I tell you the truth, he said, this poor widow has put in more than all the others. All these people gave their gifts out of their wealth; but she gave out of her poverty put in all she had to live on.”
It’s easy to serve God and pour out when your tank is full and everything is going easily. This passage reminded me that it’s when you’re running on empty and down to those last few copper coins that you have to make that decision to press forward and give Him all that you have, pouring out every last drop.
We have about 5 days left and our team is filled with bittersweet emotions; exhausted and ready for a break but holding onto every last memory that we have together. As we finish though, God knew just what I needed to be encouraged to push harder. With the finish line in sight, I am going to follow the lead of the poor woman; giving Him the last two copper coins.
“For I am already being poured out like a drink offering, and the time for my departure is near. I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith.”(2 Timothy 4:6-7)
Written by Brooke O'Donnell Wednesday, 24 April 2013 22:47
While being at home, I had the opportunity to share with my home church and with a Christian group at the high school that I attended. I had put together testimonies and sets that I felt would encourage them with the message that God gave me to share but after the concerts I still felt inadequate, as though the message was not brought across clearly enough.
A few days after leaving home, I was doing my personal devotions and came across the passage in Matthew 10:19-20 that brought me comfort and encouragement. It says:
“Whenever you are arrested and brought to trial, do not worry beforehand about what to say. Just say whatever is given you at the time for it is not you speaking, but the Holy Spirit.”
While my public speaking anxiety isn’t a life or death situation, the concept still applies. The words that I need to speak will be given when I need them. The more I continued to reflect on this, I was reminded that the words that I speak and the testimony that I give, isn’t really mine to begin with. 2 Corinthians 3:4 says:
“Such confidence as this is ours through Christ before God. Not that we are competent in ourselves to claim anything for ourselves, but our competence comes from God. He has made us competent as ministers of a new covenant-…”
Our words, our life stories, our abilities, it all belongs to God. As it says in the passage above, we can’t claim any of it for ourselves. He gives us our stories and the words we need so that He can use them to bring Himself glory (which is what we were created to do in the first place!)
I’m sure I’ll still suffer the pre-concert butterflies when it’s my turn to share my testimony, and my hands may still get a little clammy when it comes time to approach someone and share the gospel, but I can go forward confidently knowing that God is with me. My prayer will be that which Paul also asks prayer for in Ephesians 6:19-20:
“Pray also for me, that whenever I open my mouth, words may be given me so that I will fearlessly make known the mystery of the gospel, for which I am in chains. Pray that I may declare it fearlessly, as I should.”
Written by Evan Stout Tuesday, 23 April 2013 12:20
Written by Emily Zehall Wednesday, 17 April 2013 14:24
As some of you may know, this year Matt Redman's song "10,000 Reasons" is in our song rep. Lately, each time we sing this song I am reminded of what it looks like to still be rejoicing in who God is by the end of a long, exhausting day.
We are in the beginning of our last tour as a fulltime team, and my eyes have been opened to how difficult it can be to focus during this time of our touring year. Whether it be because of thoughts of summer leadership roles set in, the excitement of seeing familiar faces while on the road leads to being distracted, or even allowing small things to become irritating and frustrating through everyday life, there seems to be a lot fighting for my attention.
I started to think back to what our main goal and mission is as a team and as a ministry, and I realized I was trying to fulfill that vision on my own. When I try to handle the distractions and frustrations on my own, I end up more distracted and more frustrated. But I realized that if I give them over to God and remember that He is the reason why we're doing all of this in the first place, then His grace is sufficient for those needs and at the end of the day He is glorified. My desire to love on others and serve those around me should be an overflow of what Christ has done in my heart.
Whatever is fighting for your attention right now and seems to be weighing you down, I encourage you to give those distractions over to the Lord and allow His grace to be sufficient for you. He alone is deserving of all of our honor and all our praise.
“Since you have been raised to new life with Christ, set your sights on the realities of heaven, where Christ sits in the place of honor at God’s right hand. Think about the things of heaven, not the things of earth. For you died to this life, and your real life is hidden with Christ in God.” –Colossians 3:1-3
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