Thursday, June 14, 2012

12 Long Stemmed Roses, A Ring, and 10 Million Dollars

I heard this story today... There was a girl named Jen who was working at a YWAM base in Hawaii. At church one Sunday a visiting preacher was talking about blind Bart. A story about Jesus healing a blind man. In the story blind Bart calls out to Jesus, and Jesus turns and yells back "What do you want?" Bart says "I want to see." And Jesus heals him. Pretty awesome story. This preacher guy asked the church congregation on that Sunday morning, "What do you want?" This YWAM girl prayed in her head "Jesus, I want a dozen peach long stemmed roses, and a ring to put on my finger so I can look at it and remember that you love me." I can't remember if it was a few days or a few hours later, but nonetheless a flower shop van pulled up the the YWAM base. They man in the van went to the lady at the counter and said "Hey, we accidentally ordered way too many flowers. Could you use them here?" The lady at the counter was very excited to get 12 bunches of 12 dozen peach long stemmed roses. She had a key to Jen's room. The desk lady thought it would be nice to leave a bunch of the roses in Jen's room. So she put them on her dresser, and thought it would be funny to leave a note. So she left a note saying "To Jen. I love you. Signed, Jesus Christ." A few days later this same girl was out to dinner with a few of her supporters. They presented her with a little box. What was inside? A diamond ring that had been in their family for years and they had felt led to give to her.
So here this girl was, with a diamond ring and 12 peach colored long-stemmed roses with a note from GOD. So what did Carmen learn from this story? I looked towards heaven, and with all sincerity I prayed "Jesus, I want a dozen peach long stemmed roses, a diamond ring, and 10 million dollars for my ministry. Amen." As I kept talking to God I realized that my prayer was a bit irresponsible. If I continue to do this work with Youth Unlimited for the next 45 years I will not have used up 10 million dollars. So I thought about how long I knew I will be here for. I only see life one step at a time, and I can only be sure that I will be here for another year. So what money could I use in my ministry in the next year? 10 thousand. That would do. So I changed my prayer to wanting 10 thousand dollars to be donated. I am writing this out so that you can journey with me as this story continues to unfold! Stay tuned to hear something like "I just got an anonymous check for..." or "wow can you believe I found a lottery ticket on the ground and..." or "I was caught in a flash mob and ten thousand people just walked up to me and gave me a dollar!" I don't know how God is going to do it. But I'm confident and silly enough to believe that the God who gives a girl in Hawaii flowers and a ring with a note will give me enough money to make all my dreams for this ministry come true in the next year. Alonzy Alonzo!

Turtle on a Fence Post

If you've ever seen a turtle on a fence post you know that it didn't get there on it's own.
I am that turtle.
Figuratively, duh. In the past year I have done many big, scary, fancy things that are way too big, too scary, and too fancy for little old me. Or I should say "little young me". I did not go looking for these things, I did not crawl there myself. I was invited. There have been many people in my life who have opened doors for me, taken risks on me, given me freedom, vouched for me, and taken me under their wings. That's not even to mention the rest of you who have supported me both in faithful and passionate prayers, and those who have given, even given sacrificially, so that I can keep on keep'n on. This is for you.
Thank You.
I have a special place in my heart for you all. I do not take your giving, risking, and effort for granted. I strive to be a good steward of what I have been given. It's actually apart of my prayers that I pray every night with Corey. "God, help us to be good stewards of what you have given us. Help us choose the best paths with wisdom." I thank God for all of you today. I would not be here if it weren't for you. Bless you.

Monday, June 11, 2012

Donkey in a Ditch

This is a story that I've found myself telling more then one teenager this week; The morning after a big storm a farmer walked about his property surveying the damage from the night before. He found his prized donkey stuck in a hole. He tried to coax the donkey out, but didn't have any success. The hole was as deep as the donkey was tall so the animal simply couldn't get out, struggle as he may. The farmer gathered his neighbours and sons who tied ropes under the poor animal and all together they pulled. The donkey didn't budge. They even tried to get a ramp down to the donkey but had even less success then their two previous attempts. The donkey was well and truly stuck. There was no getting it out. At a loss of what else to do, with no hope of ever getting his animal back, the farmer resolved to bury the donkey alive. He shovelled a few scoops of dirt, throwing it on the donkey's back. This went on for a while until the donkey became annoyed at the extra weight. The donkey shook it's self, all the dirt fell into the whole and on to the donkey's hooves. This annoyed the donkey even more, so he stomped his feet. This became a ritual. The farmer shovelled the earth, the donkey shook it off, then stomped it down so he could stand on top of it. This ritual went on all day. Shake it off, step up, Shake it off, step up. You can see where this is going. Eventually the donkey began to rise up. Before the edge of the hole was at his nose, pretty soon it was at his shoulders. The work continued, and up and up the donkey rose until he was high enough to step out of his imprisonment. What's the moral of the story? Sometimes in life when we find ourselves in deep wholes, of our own making or not, the only way we can get out of them is to simply shake it off, and step up.