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As the most of you saw on Facebook, I gave my second sermon, in German, recently. Thank you for all of your prayers and support. Getting to preach in German has been an incredible experience for me and I am learning so much through doing it. A big thank you to Sven for proofreading, correcting and helping with some “complicated” grammar.

English Translation follows the German.

Die Rote Fade die Liebe- Dresden 12.05.13

Ich war einmal auf dem Weihnachtsmarkt hier in Dresden. An diesem Tag war es
kalt, naß, und grau. Überall waren alle Straßen voll mit Leuten.Ich wurde den ganzen
Tag gestoßen, getreten, geschoben und natürlich am Ende hatte ich schlechte
Laune.

Als wir in die Strassenbahn eingestiegen sind, habe ich zufällig eine Frau mit meinen
Rücksack gestoßen. Sie hat mich mit zornigen Augen angeguckt und ich hab in
meinen Kopf gedacht, ,,Naja, du wirst kein Entschuldigung von mir bekommen. Ich
wurde auch gestoßen und geschoben, niemand anders hat zu mir ,,Entschuldigung”
gesagt. Warum soll ich denn? Es gibt viele Leute hier, es passiert einfach.”

Sie ist dann in der Straßenbahn weiter vor gegangen. Aber als wir durch die erste
Haltestelle gefahren sind, ist sie wieder gekommen und hat mich nach meinem
Fahrschein gefragt. Sie war eine Kontrolleurin. Plotzlich bemerke ich dass ich in
meinen Ärger über diesen Vorfall meinen Fahrschein nicht gestempelt habe. Mein
Fahrschein war ungültig. Sie hat kein andere Person gefragt, nur mich.

Zum Glück war Kendra dabei und hat mit der Frau gesprochen und sie überzeugt mir
kein Strafe zu geben.

Nach diesen Vorfall schossen mir ein paar Gedanken durch den Kopf. Erstens egal
was passiert, die erste Aufgabe beim Einsteigen in Bus oder Bahn ist den
Fahrschein zu stempeln.

Zweitens, und überhaupt wichtiger, was würde passieren wenn ich Entschuldigung
gesagt hätte. Hätte sie mir trotzdem die Strafe geben wollen. Vielleicht, vielleicht
nicht. Egal, Tatsache ist dass es meine Schuld war. Ich hab sie gestoßen. Und die
Ursache meiner schlechten Laune waren andere Leute, nicht dieser Frau. Ich sollte
,,Entschuldigung sagen.” Ich dachte niemand anderes hat sich entschuldigt, dann
muss ich auch nicht. Aber das ist Falsch. Ich hatte diese Situation in falsch
gesehen. Ich muss anders denken.

Am Anfang der Lehre Jesu, Er lehrte eine Menschenmenge auf einem Berg. Wir
finden diese Lehre in Matthäus 5-7 und Lukas 6. Wir nennen das ,,Der Bergpredigt.”
Am Ende dieser Predigt, glaube ich dass viele Leute sogar die Jünger den
selber Gedanken hatten–Ich muss anderes denken oder?

Sie hatten gerade gehört dass nicht nur ihre Taten wichtig waren sondern auch wo
ihre Herzen liegen. Es war nicht nur dass sie nicht Töten sollten sondern auch nicht
Zornig auf jemand sein sollten. Nicht nur die Ehe nicht brechen sondern auch nicht auf jemand mit voller Begierde sehen. Sie sollen auch für ihre Feinde beten und demjenigen die uns verletzen wollen, guttes tun.

Diese Lehre war neu und anders. Es war auf dem ersten Blick entgegen jeder Logik.
Sie nimmt was die Leute schon gelernt haben und dreht es um.

Zwei Punkte kommen immer vor, hier in der Bergpredigt und in anderen
Gleichnissen. Sie sind dass Gott uns liebt und dass wir unsere nächsten lieben
sollen. Liebe ist der Rote Faden der durch seine ganze Lehre geht und verbindet
alles.

Jesus sagte in Matthäus 7, 7-12

<7 Bittet, so wird euch gegeben, suchet so werdet ihr finden, klopfet an, so wird euch
aufgetan. 8 Denn wer da bittet, der empfängt, und wer da sucht, der findet, und wer
da anklopft, dem wir aufgetan. 9 Wer ist unter euch Menschen, der seinem Sohn,
wenn er ihn bittet um Brot, einen Stein biete? 10 Oder, wenn er ihn bittet um einen
Fisch, eine Schlange biete? 11 Wenn nun ihr, die ihr doch böse seid, dennoch euren
Kindern gute Gaben geben könnt, wie viel mehr wird euer Vater im Himmel Gutes
geben denen die ihn bitten! 12 Alles nun, was ihr wollt, dass euch die Leute tun
sollen, das tut ihnen auch! Das ist das Gesetz und die Propheten.>

Gott liebt uns wie ein Vater sein Kind liebt. Er hört unsere Gebete und ist immer
bereit uns zu helfen. Er sorgt für uns und weiß genau was wir brauchen. Er sagte das wir, obwohl wir Sünder (diese Übersetzungen sagten ,,Böse”) sind verstehen was Gut ist und unseren Kinder Gutes tun.

Denn Gott, der Perfekt und allein Gut, bestimmt weiß was wir brauchen Tag zu Tag.
Aus diesem Grund, sollen wir mit anderen so umgehen, wie wir wollen dass die
anderen mit uns umgehen.

Dieser Satz ist bekannt als ,,Die Goldene Regel.” Lasst sie mich nochmal lesen

<Alles nun, was ihr wollt, dass euch die Leute tun sollen, das tut ihnen auch! Das ist
das Gesetz und die Propheten.>

Wenn wir genau hinschauen, sehen wir dass es nicht darum geht wie uns die
anderen tatsächlich behandeln, sondern wie wir es uns von ihnen wünschen.

WENN WIR GENAU hinschauen, sehen wir dass es nicht darum geht wie uns die
anderen tatsächlich behandeln, sondern wie wir es uns von ihnen wünschen.

Es geht darum wie ich auf eine Situation reagieren. Was ich tue. Es bedeutet dass
ich für die bete, die mich verletzen. Es bedeutet das ich ihre Gefühle und ihr
Wohlergehen vor meine Gefühle und mein Wohlergehen stelle.

Später, als Jesus nach dem größten Gebot gefragt wurde, anwortete Er in Markus
12, 31

<…du sollst den Herrn, deinen Gott, lieben von ganzen Herzen, von ganzer
Seele, von ganzem Gemüt und von allendeinen Kräften. Das andere ist dies Du
sollst deinen Nächsten lieben wir dich selbst. Es ist kein anderes Gebot größer als
diese.>

Wir sollen Gott lieben mit allem wir sind und wir sollen unseren Nachbarn genauso
lieben. Wenn wir unseren Nächste so sehr lieben dann befolgen wir automatisch die
Goldene Regel.
So wir wissen jetzt dass wir einander lieben sollen. Aber was ist denn die Liebe.
Paulus beschreibt die Liebe in 1 Korinther 13…

<Wenn ich in den Sprachen der Welt oder mit Engelszungen reden könnte, aber
keine Liebe hätte, wäre mein Reden nur sinnloser Lärm wir ein dröhnender Gong
oder eine klingende Schelle. 2 Wenn ich die Gabe der Prophetie hätte und wüsste
alle Geheimnisse und hätte jede Erkenntnis und wenn ich einen Glaube hätte der
Berge versetzen könnte, aber keine Liebe hätte, so wäre ich nichts. 3 Wenn ich
alles, was ich besitze, den Armen geben und sogar meinen Körper opfern würde,
damit ich geehrt würde, aber keine Liebe hätte, wäre alles wertlos.>

Die Gemeinde in Korinth, an die Paulus schreibt, war sehr zersplittet. Die
Geschwister dort waren sehr gesegnet mit Geistlichen Gaben aber sie hatten sie
benutzt um sie sich selbst Ehre zu geben statt Gott. Sie auf sich stolz waren und
wollen nicht ein ander dienen sondern alle anderen niedriger zu machen.

Paulus schreib dass ohne liebe diesen Gaben wertlos sind. Alles was wir haben
und tun muss aus der Liebe kommen.

Dann sagt uns Paulus was Liebe ist.

<4 Die Liebe ist geduldig und freundlich, Sie ist nicht neidisch oder überheblich, stolz
5 oder anstößig. Die Liebe ist nicht selbstsüchtig. Sie lässt sich nicht reizen, und

wenn man ihr Böses tut, trägt sie es nicht nach. 6 Sie freut sich niemals über
Unrechtigkeit, sondern sie freut sich immer in der Wahrheit. 7 Die Liebe erträgt alles,
verliert nie den Glauben, bewahrt stets die Hoffnung und bleibt bestehen, was aus
geschieht. 8 Die Liebe wird niemals aufhören.>

Wenn wir diesr Beschreibung zusammen mit der ,,Goldene Regel” betrachten,
dann frage ich mich über meine Beziehungen. Liebe ich wirklich meinen nächsten?

Ich möchte dass Leute geduldig mit mir sind. Zeige ich Geduld?
Ich möchte dass Leute Freundlich sind. Bin ich freundlich? Ich möchte dass Leute
mit meine Fehler nicht vorhalten, halte ich anderen ihre Fehler vor?

Wir haben diese Worte oft gehört. Die meisten hier wissen das. Aber es ist auch
etwas dass wir, als Menschen, häufig vergessen. Manchmal lassen wir den Stress
und Druck unseres Lebens, an dieser Wahrheit drehen. Wir denken dass ich ihnen
tue was sie zu mir getan haben.

Ich soll diese Worter täglich lesen um mich zu erinnern. Vielleicht, wenn wir nichts
anders tun, sollen wir dies täglich lessen damit wir uns erinnern wie und warum wir
unsere Nächsten lieben sollen. Es ist der einzige Weg das wir in der Gemeinde
leben dürfen.

Wir wurden in verschiedene Familien hinein geboren, in verschiedenen Ländern, in
verschiedenen Städten, zu verschiedenen Zeiten. Wir wurde alle von Gott
geschaffen in seinem Bild. Wir alle haben Fehler gemacht, gegen Gott gesündigt.
Wir brauchen Gnade und Vergebung. Wir sind alle gleich.

Jesus ist für uns gestorben. Nicht weil wir etwas für ihn getan haben, Nicht weil wir
es verdienen haben. Nicht weil wir gute Menschen sind. Er ist für uns gestorben
weil er uns sehr liebt. Wir gehören zu ihm. Wir sind des Vaters Schöpfung.
Wir sollen dann einander genauso lieben, Wir sollen Liebe zeigen die einander
behütet und sorgt, die einander Mut macht und niemals aufhört. Wir sind alle
Geschwister, eine Familie.

English Translation

Story:
I was at the Christmas Market in Dresden 2 year ago. This day was cold and wet and gray and the streets were full of people. The entire day I was tripped, shoved and pushed and by the end of the day I was in a bad mood. When I boarded the streetcar, I accidentally bumped into a women with my backpack and she shot me a angry glance. It made me angry and I thought to myself, “You will not get an apology form me, I was also pushed and tripped today. there are many people it happens.” As I thought the she went a little further in the train and waited As we passed the first Stop, she turned around, marched up to me and asked for my ticket. She was a controller. It was at this moment that I realized my ticket is not stamped. In my anger I simply forgot to stamp my ticket. Luckily Kendra was there and was able to talk her out of giving me a fine for riding on an unstamped ticket.

After this incident a few thoughts passed through my head. First always, always punch your ticket first thing when you enter a train. Second and more importantly, what would have happened if I had apologized . Would she have still checked my ticket, Maybe Maybe not. But I realized I should have apologized. I did bump into her. I thought because no one else apologized I didn’t have too either. But that is not right. I realized that what I had seen this situation in the wrong way. I need to think differently.

Sermon on the Mount
In the beginning of Jesus’ Ministry he taught a large group of people he taught a large group of people on the side of a Mountain. These teaching can be found in Matt 5-7 and Luke 6. At the end of his teaching I am pretty sure that many people, including the disciples had the same thought: I need to change the way I think.

They had just heard Jesus introduce ideas like: “You shouldn’t just no kill but you should not have anger in your heart. You all know that you should not commit adultery but I [Jesus] tell you that if you look at someone with lust you have already done it. You should pray for enemies, and do good to those who try to hurt you.”

What he was teaching was different, it was turning everything they had been taught upside down. It defied common sense and logic. It taught that not only what you do is important but also where your heart is.

Two points are emphasized here and in other parables and they are:God loves you, and we should love those around us. Love is the core that weaves through all his teachings.

God’s love for us
Jesus tells us in Matt 7:7-12.
7 “Keep asking, and it will be given to you. Keep searching, and you will find. Keep knocking, and the door will be opened to you. 8 For everyone who asks receives, and the one who searches finds, and to the one who knocks, the door will be opened. 9 What man among you, if his son asks him for bread, will give him a stone? 10 Or if he asks for a fish, will give him a snake? 11 If you then, who are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give good things to those who ask Him! 12 Therefore, whatever you want others to do for you, do also the same for them—this is the Law and the Prophets.

He tells us that our God is our Father, and loves us like a child he know what we need. Even though we are sinners (“evil”), we understand understand how to give what is good and right how much more than does God care about and now what we need.

Then God, who alone is perfect and good, knows exactly what we need day to day. For this reason we should love other is because God first loved us. This is the love that God showed us. So we should treat others the way we want to be treated.

This is often known as the “Golden Rule”.

Golden Rule
Love is the core thought that weaves through all his teachings. He says this at the end of his Sermon. Matt 7:12 Treat other the way you want to be treated. For this sums up all the Laws and Prophets

When look carefully at this verse we notice something important. Treating people the way you want to be treated (in a loving manner) says nothing about how they treat you back. It is not a quid pro quo. It is not about treating them the way they treat me. In fact it really has nothing to do with them. It is about how I respond to the situation. What I do. It means I pray for those who hurt me. It means I put their feeling and well being before my own

Later when asked about what was the greatest command Jesus answered in Mark 12:31 Love God with all that you are and love your neighbor as your self. When we love our neighbors in this way we automatically follow this rule.

What is Love?
We know we should love each other but what is love? Paul describes love in 1 Corinthians 13…

If I speak human or angelic languages
but do not have love,
I am a sounding gong or a clanging cymbal.
2 If I have the gift of prophecy
and understand all mysteries
and all knowledge,
and if I have all faith
so that I can move mountains
but do not have love, I am nothing.
3 And if I donate all my goods to feed the poor,
and if I give my body in order to boast[a]
but do not have love, I gain nothing.
Paul wrote this letter to the Corinthian Church because this church was severely fragmented. The members of this church were blessed with many spiritual gifts but they chose to use these gifts to glorify themselves and their pride instead of serving each other and glorifying God.He writes in the first part of this letter that if they do not have love these gifts are worthless. Everything we have and everything we do must come from love.

Paul then tells us what love is…
4 Love is patient, love is kind.
Love does not envy,
is not boastful, is not conceited,
5 does not act improperly,
is not selfish, is not provoked,
and does not keep a record of wrongs.
6 Love finds no joy in unrighteousness
but rejoices in the truth.
7 It bears all things, believes all things,
hopes all things, endures all things.
8 Love never ends.

When we read this passage along with the “Golden Rule;” I have to ask myself: Do I really show love to my neighbor?

I want people to be patient with me. Do I show patience? I want people to be kind. Do I demonstrate kindness? I want people to not hold my mistakes against me. Do I hold grudges?

Daily Reminder
This lesson is something we all know, we have all hear it before, but it is something that we a humans too often forget. We sometimes let the stresses of the day, of our life take over and we twist this truth and we forget. This is one of those teaching I need to read every morning to remind myself. If we do anything maybe we should start our day off each morning with these verses and remind ourselves why we should love

We are all the same
We may have been born to different families, in different countries, in different cities, in different times. But we were all made by God in his image. We are all sinners. We all make mistakes and need forgiveness. We are all on the same team.
God thought we were worth dying for. Not because of anything we did for Him, Not because we deserve it, not because we are good people. He died for us because he loved us. He loved us because we are his. We need to show each other that kind of love–a love that looks out for each other, that takes care of each other. We are all brothers and sisters, one family in God’s eyes.

 

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A very wise woman and my previous boss once told me a great piece of advice for being a manager and one of the best life lessons I have ever received.  She said:

If everyone was doing what you are doing, would it be okay?

She used the example of being late. If everyone in the store shows up 15 minutes late, is that okay? No. So, as managers, we had to set the example and show up on time or even early, because that’s what we wanted everyone else to be doing.

I like the way this advice is phrased because its self reflective. You aren’t judging what everyone else is doing, but rather turning it around and asking are you the one setting the example. And it applies to more than just managing a store. In fact, I have been using this question in a lot of areas of my life- especially regarding moral standards.

For example, gossip. If everyone, was talking about everyone else, would it be okay? Its easy to answer that question. It seems very black and white. It is. But it works.

In fact, its biblical. It’s basically just another way of saying, “Do to others what you would have them do to you,” isn’t it?

If every single person in the world was loving people unconditionally, would that be okay? Yes. More than okay.

If every person had patience with everyone else, would that be okay? Yes.

If everyone lived the way the Bible instructs us to live, would it be okay?

You could also ask that question like this:

If everyone served those in need, gave to those who were hungry, comforted those that were hurting, helped those who couldn’t help themselves, would it be okay?

Its a simple question and there is simple answer.

We often get angry at what the Bible teaches, because we read the teachings and then, we look around our world and see people who have read those words acting completely differently than what we have just read. Even as Christians, we often allow ourselves to live in a world of gray, making excuses for our actions, and then turning to the Bible for justification. We can spend all day twisting and interpreting Scripture to try and determine a justification for our actions, but we know. We know that it all comes down to this:

Jesus replied: “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments.”
Matthew 22:37

And if everyone were doing that, would it be okay?

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Dear child Krista,

You are so motivated. In fact, you are so driven, that you often miss recess because you are still copying your essay perfectly before you turn it into the teacher. You take three times as long as everyone else because your sloppy copy has to be perfect, too.

Don’t worry. That will change, somewhat. Although, when you are 25, you will still be putting a lot of pressure on yourself. Think about that. You could stop the cycle now!

Your life is going to turn out completely different than what you expect. You know how you have lived in the same house your whole life? Well, when you get older, you are going to live in three different states in the span of 6 years and after that, another country.

You are a free spirit at heart, although you never forget where you came from. One day, I think you will want to settle down- but you have to see the world first. Or at least, some of it.

You love meeting new people and every relationship you create is very precious to you. You take people’s hearts and feelings very seriously. As seriously as you take your own. Too seriously, sometimes. People’s hearts will break and they will get hurt. So, will you. But you don’t always have to be the one to pick up the pieces. Things will work out and God and time are much better healers than you are.

You can’t be everything to everyone. Accept that some people come into your life for a short time, to teach you something or to help you get somewhere. If you don’t maintain every relationship, it doesn’t make you a bad person or a bad friend. You have the gift of connectedness and growing apart or moving away doesn’t break the connection. It will always be there, because at some point in life, you meant something to each other and you did something for each other during that season.

Seasons change. And so will you. Change is not bad. Learn to deal with it as soon as possible, because many seasons of change are headed your way. More than you can imagine, now. Learn to cope. Memorize scripture. Try yoga. Pray without ceasing.

Learn to stand up for yourself. Its okay to say no. Its okay to speak your mind. Do it lovingly. Don’t back down based on reactions. Other people don’t control your time or actions. You do. Its your life and you have given it to Christ, not to the world.

Stay strong in your faith, and don’t let anyone put you down for it. Its who you are.

You are beautiful just the way you are. If anyone tells you differently, they are lying and they can’t see the beauty in themselves.

Hold on to your P. Your ability to perceive what is in people’s hearts despite their circumstances or actions is a beautiful gift. Time and age will make you grow cynical and more judgmental. Fight it, as best you can. People need you to see the best in them, because often they can’t see it themselves.

Don’t compromise. You hold yourself to a higher standard and those around you, as well. Only because you can see their potential and yours and don’t want to settle for anything less. Don’t settle. Don’t compromise. The messages you will receive in this world will be confusing and sometimes hurtful. Just because something is hard, doesn’t mean you should compromise who you are and what you believe. Being creative and emotional and free-spirited is something the world needs as much as someone who is logical and analytical.

And finally, you love to try new things. Don’t ever stop. You learn about yourself, about the world, and most importantly about God, when you expand your mind and horizons. No dream is too big or too small. Once you accomplish one dream, move on to the next. When you look back on your life, you will be happy when it is a string of dreams that have been realized. Never ever stop dreaming.

Love,
Your adult self

Blog Ministry

As many you of may have noticed, there have been a lot of changes and updates happening to our blog in the last couple of weeks! We have been trying out a few new things and also trying to be more consistent in letting you know what’s happening in our lives and ministry.

Our goal is to recreate this blog to become an integral part of our ministry. As many of you know, we are missionaries and the life of the missionary feels like a constant state of change. We are hoping that this blog can become a ministry that is a little more consistent and a ministry that can travel with us wherever we go!

How can you help, you say? Well, keep coming back! You are the reason we are doing this! Look the right under the Stay Connected label. Sign up for our blog updates through email! Keep us accountable and we promise to keep up the consistency!

It has been a fun goal to undertake and we are really enjoying learning what it takes to make a great blog and a great ministry tool.

So, we just wanted to say thanks for bearing with us through all of the changes (and there will be more to come)…and-

what are you ideas? Is there anything you would like to see from our blog in the future? Stories you loved that maybe you want to hear more of? Ideas for how we can reach a larger audience? What do you see a blog ministry looking like?

As with anything in ministry, we are giving this prayerful consideration and giving it to God! We are excited to use and share our gifts with you, even across oceans, no matter what continent we find ourselves on!!

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I have officially been out of college as long as I was in college! That feels like a weird thing to say. This past Saturday, Pepperdine hosted graduation, the same graduation I attended 4 years ago! Unbelievable. So, what have I done for the last 4 years?

1. Moved to Oklahoma
2. Worked for a hotel, AT&T, and for Caperton Photography
3. Got married <3
4. Got promoted at AT&T to Assistant Manager (after moving stores)
5. Left AT&T
6. Became a missionary
7. Moved to Germany

and in between watched friends and family get married, move, find dreams jobs, and have babies!

I suppose the greatest lesson I have learned in the last 4 years (or I guess you could really say 8) is that change is the only thing guaranteed on this earth. No matter how wonderful something is in this life- it will all pass away.

Which is why I am so thankful for this promise:

Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will never pass away. Matthew 24:35

and this one:

Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever. Hebrews 13:8

Especially when, in 4 months for us, everything changes. No matter how much we love it or hate it or anything. In 4 months, it all changes. And at the moment, we have no idea what that is going to look like. We have no idea what the future holds, what God has in store for us. Despite our desperate prayers for answers, the only answer we have received so far is:

Wait on me.

Which why I am especially thankful for this promise:

But those who wait on the Lord
Shall renew their strength;
They shall mount up with wings like eagles,
They shall run and not be weary,
They shall walk and not faint. Isaiah 40:31

Because even though we don’t know what tomorrow holds. We know who holds tomorrow. And in a world that makes my head spin with change, I am thankful that my foundation is in Jesus.