Scandalous Grace

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This past weekend was one of those weekends when life stops & it is almost like you step outside your own life.  From this perspective, you can see your life from the outside; more objectively.  I had heard of Jen Hatmaker & maybe even followed her on Twitter & Facebook, but had never read her blog, never read one of her books or done one of her studies (the shame!  I know).  I just knew a lot of people I respect really enjoyed her.  So, when I was going to be in Little Rock anyway for the Flower & Garden Show, I decided to go to the women’s conference she was doing in town as well.  Little did I know how God would be using it in my life.  I was staying with my precious friend & we both wanted to go, so we went together.  She is one of those friends where you can truly be yourself -warts and all – and she either making you laugh or sharing her own struggles.  I feel I grow each time we’re together, so it was a blessing to go with her & process what we were learning together.

I say this because I had no idea how this conference would impact me.  I basically cried & laughed for 2 days straight. This song was like the anthem of the conference & just keep playing it now that I’m back home:

It all started when they put these 2 teenage girls on the stage to talk about this ministry.  I immediately thought, “Why are they putting this girls up there?  We’re here to hear something serious from the LORD.  What do these girls know?”  Oh boy, my heart is UGLY sometimes.  Scary really.  God is like that though.  He loves to use the young, the weak, the foolish, the people of low position, so we aren’t distracted by their good traits and we see HIM.

These 2 teenage girls had gone on a mission trip to Kenya and witnessed kids abandoned on the streets as young as 3 years old – completely on their own.  It completely changed them.  They could think of nothing, but doing everything they could to ensure that every kid in that area had a place to lay their head.  They started Blue Door Sponsorship

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to raise money to support The ABC Center:

” Thorunn Helgadottir, from Iceland, started the ABC Center in Kenya 7 years ago. She loves God with all of her heart and works to serve Him every day by rescuing the children off of the streets and giving them food, medical care, safety, education, and a place to sleep. Approximately 400 children attend school each day at the ABC Center and return home to the slums each night. The families of these children have hope that their kids now have an opportunity to get out of poverty. About 150 children actually live at the ABC Center, because their parents are unable to care for them, or they have no family at all. Thorunn and her team reach out to the abandoned and abused children living on the streets of Nairobi and take them to the ABC Center where they are accepted into a loving family.”

Isn’t that so awesome?  If you can, consider giving to support those sweet kiddos.

Those girls blew my mind with their hearts & how confidently that shared about God’s heart for those kids & how completely believe that God was going to provide the money to help those children.  It was so encouraging to hear them, at such a young age, speaking the truth & being on mission with the LORD.  It broke my heart, in a good way.  Me & my friend just sat there crying because it was beautiful & we thought of our daughters & hoped that they would be like them one day.

It was good to start the time from that place of broken, tender hearts.  Jen Hatmaker was hilarious (I mean seriously, she could work as a comedian), but she was also very forthright about her own struggles & in what God has taught her.  She challenged us to:

1)  Not rely on the church building or programs alone to reach people. Some people will never come to church, too much of a foreign country or too many past hurts there or they just don’t trust in organized religion

2) To see our wealth, position, advantages as tools for the LORD to use for His purposes rather just for us to enjoy

3) To be less concerned with defending GOD & more concerned with showing love.  Rather than be remembered by what made us angry, maybe be remembered by how well we loved. “I am an unthreatened Christian. [HIS] kingdom will stand.”

4)  Instead of signing up for yet another Bible study, maybe use that time to apply the things we have learned.

5) To take JESUS’ true yoke upon us rather than adding to it.  “If Jesus’ discipleship has become a burden to you, you’ve gotten it wrong.”

If you want a few more quotes you can search #scandalousgrace on Twitter.  You can also read her books or catch one of her upcoming events.

About Jacqueline Presley

Owner/Author Creative Outpour. Member of Arkansas Women Bloggers & Northwest Arkansas Bloggers. Jacqueline lives in Springdale, AR with her husband Spencer & her two children Katie (9) & Jackson (7).

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