The journey...

Life is in the journey, not the destination, so do what you can and take it one day at a time. Go slow, do it right, and make your changes permanent — then help out others who are where you were.

~Jillian Michaels

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Sunday, June 5, 2011

"Why I Do This..."

This blog could have easily taken on a different title, the other being "My Temple."

"Do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own; you were bought at a price. Therefore honor God with your body," (1 Cor. 6:19-20).
On Memorial Day, I'm thankful that I was able to go with my Church to Joplin, MO to help in the tornado relief efforts. It was a very humbling experience that gave confirmation and a bit of perspective once again as to "Why I Do This?"

I don't do this to be a size 2.

I don't do this to gain interest from guys.

I don't do this to look better than other girls.

I don't do this for attention or recognition.

I DO THIS to honor God with EVERY area of my life and that includes honoring Him with this temple.

We can't be careless about how we care for our physical body and yes, our body IS the temple of the Holy Spirit, BUT, I don't believe for a second that we care for our bodies so that God has some "fit body" to dwell in, a size 2 to call home. No, for me, it's ministry. God dwells in cancer-ridden "shells" that are quickly fading the same as He does the marathon runner with less than 5% bodyfat. I don't believe that His main concern is so much in how "equipped" or "perfect" a body is, but rather in how we use it. For me, it's about the ability to GO for him and do things that I was otherwise inhibited to do.

On our car ride home, after a long day of HARD, demanding work, we all talked about our experience and got to know each other on a deeper level in our fellowship and conversations. I'm still fairly new at my Church and haven't established those intimate relationships that I had prior at my Church of 9+ years. When I got to sharing a bit on my reflections from Joplin, I couldn't help but get emotional upon realizing that "THIS" is why I'm determined to fight this fight of faith PHYSICALLY as well as spiritually. "THIS" is why I'm working to transform this temple into one that is fit and active. "THIS" is why I believe God wants to be Lord over every area of our lives, including our physical bodies. In that moment it hit me, two years ago, this was an area of "ministry" that I wouldn't have been able to perform as I did while I was in Joplin. That is an area of ministry I was physically limited in although it was completely in my control to strip away those limitations. I wouldn't have been able to lift my weight to climb in and out of a semi-truck countless times. I wouldn't have been able to walk the length of that 18-wheeler for 7+ hours like we did, carrying heavy loads back and forth without easily tiring and needing several breaks. This is all one missional opportunity that I would've likely missed or sat on the side-lines, very limited in how I was able to help and serve.

I held back tears as I shared my passion for this lifestyle God has called me to and remembered that it's not all about "me." To say I've been struggling lately is an understatement. I've had my eyes focused on "me" lately and that self-centeredness has led to nothing but discontent and seemingly unevitable failure. I lost sight of the TOP reason of "Why I Do This," but Memorial Day was a beautiful picture as to "Why!"
I'm in the truck, lifting 24 packs of bottled waters

I do this to actively serve and glorify JESUS, my King!


"...1 teach, 2 teach, 3 teach, 4 teach, 5 teach, 6 teach, 7 teach more, this is what we've been commissioned, it's the reason why I write, so that you could hear the truth, not so you can say I’m tight whoa..."

"This is a lifestyle...I don’t do this for the money, I don’t do this for fame, I don’t do this so the industry can know my name, I do this and host to glorify Yeshua the King, if you’re feelin’ me you know you should be doin’ the same let’s go…"

I'm not doing this just for "ME"

Friday, June 3, 2011


Acts 20:35

In all things I have shown you that by working hard in this way we must help the weak and remember the words of the Lord Jesus, how he himself said, 'It is more blessed to give than to receive.'"

Thanks to everyone who has helped in some way either with my recent trip to Joplin with my Church and/or assisting through other organizations and ministries.

I’m thankful that we were able to go and offer HOPE to hurting people who I’m confident God can and will heal over time. I’m thankful that not just my Church, but the entire Kansas City community pulled together to help our efforts. This trip wouldn’t have been possible without the community. Two news stations covered the effort which increased awareness. A local rental van company donated a cargo truck to us and mentioned to our pastor as they picked it up that numerous Churches in the area have called with requests and they just can’t do it and my Pastor mentioned, “You do know that we are a Church right?” But for whatever reason, they donated the truck to be sent, that is so amazing! Over $4500 was donated in cash contributions in addition to a LARGE moving truck and one cargo van full of baby products, water, hygiene products, flashlights, food, dog food, toys, etc. I know this trip was a HUGE blessing to those who will benefit as well as all who were able to give and help if even in a small way.
I’m so thankful that I was able to go along on this trip to Joplin on Memorial Day along with over 30 others. Ths trip made and impact and left an impression on our hearts and I know that it helped the people affected by the devastation in Joplin. The best way I can sum up our trip is “successful.” We went to serve and serve is what we did.

When we got there, you have to register and they send you where they see fit. We first unloaded our two truckloads at Ignite Church which is overseeing a lot of the relief efforts along with Convoy of Hope. The Church has completely destroyed their parking lot and removed everything that made them your typical “local Church,” in order to actively work and serve the community and I loved seeing that. What used to be a Sunday school room is now filled floor to ceiling with diapers. The entire back of the Church has become a storage area full of toilet paper, paper towels and dog food. What was a sanctuary is now a food pantry and they’ve driven huge metal stakes in the parking lot (literally ruining it, it’ll have to be redone when this concludes), in order to set up tents where they’re serving free meals, providing needed items to families and medical assistance. That really, really said a lot to me.

After unloading the items we brought, (and me getting a tetanus shot that I later found out I didn’t really need – I only add this because if you know me well, you know that I am TERRIFIED of needles…but I did it J), we were sent offsite in a neighboring city where we unloaded, sorted and reloaded 3 semis jam packed with stuff…I never realized how large a semi was until walking the length of one, inside the truck, repetitively, for hours with loads of items in my arms.

By the end of the day, we were all tired and exhausted but everyone responded in almost the same way, “I’m tired, but in a good way.” The dread is taken out of work when you know you are SERVING with a purpose, it becomes hard work that is well worth it. Our 1 day trip is nothing compared to what will be required over the next months to even years to rebuild and help those in Joplin, Mo. We worked non-stop for nearly 7 hours sorting donated items and organizing things and that’s 7 of who knows how many more.

It was easy to just consider it a normal work/serve day and forget what we were really there doing and whom we were actually helping until we drove through the devastation site before leaving. The best I can describe it is unreal! After spending all day in an area completely unaffected, it was easy to think that things just aren’t as bad as they were portrayed on the news until we drove through to witness the most unreal thing I’ve ever seen. In the car I was in, we all said almost simultaneously, “OH MY GOODNESS!” Then there was just a hush! It just seems unreal to grasp and really wrap your mind around.

Can you imagine, we live in the Midwest, tornado alley, where we are used to hearing tornado sirens regularly throughout this season. I was telling a friend that we’ve grown so used to it that it almost feels like the boy crying wolf. We hear sirens and don’t pay it much attention and honestly, as a Kansan, most of our initial responses are to either 1. Go outside to look, or 2. Get in the car to find the severe weather. We don’t take these things nearly as seriously as they are. So imagine them doing like most of us are used to doing, going to their basements half-heartedly and not really expecting much to come from it. In a matter of minutes, lives are lost, livelihoods are forever changed and nothing is the same. These people crawled up from their basements, through rubble, to find nothing left but destruction and likely images that will forever be embedded in their minds. Horrific sights. I cannot imagine.

Keep the people of Joplin and those who’ve lost loved ones in Joplin in your hearts. If you are able, I encourage you to help however you see fit. Easily, this could’ve been or could be us.

Loading a truck with donated items at Church

Unloading items in an assembly line at Ignite Church in Joplin

Our group from Lifepointe Church that went to Joplin, MO for tornado recovery work - Memorial Day 2011
Just one image of the devastation caused by the deadly Ef-5 tornado that struck Joplin, Mo on May 22, 2011