Monday, March 28, 2011

Help Send Leah to the Philippines!

Recently, the Lord has opened a very exciting opportunity up for me! This July a group from my church, Front Range Baptist Church, will be taking a missions trip to the Philippines to be a part of the Philippines Gospel Campaign, which is led by missionary Mike Redick’s Student Movement for Christ.

The Philippines Gospel Campaign is an evangelistic outreach that focuses on bringing the Gospel to school and college campuses all across the Philippines. Each summer there are seven week-long campaigns and each group has the opportunity to give out the Gospel to literally thousands of students! This is what Missionary Mike Redick tells us took place last summer:

“Our 7 week campaign saw 123 people from 8 different countries join together to reach the campuses of the Philippines. In all we spoke on 6 different islands and on over 200 university and high school campuses. We preached the gospel 2119 times to 109,504 people and saw 71,844 people make decisions for the Lord.”

As you can see, this is an incredible opportunity the Lord has opened up for me, and on a trip like this “the harvest truly is plenteous”! The dates of the trip will be July 9 – 16.

We have already been praying much about our missions trip this summer. Could I ask you to help in this area as well? We realize that this is a tremendous opportunity for us to be a part of the Gospel Campaign. However, we also understand that if our group goes out not properly supported with prayer, we will fall far short of helping those we will minister to. Would you commit yourself to pray for the following requests:

1. For souls to be led to Christ
2. That there will be a unity & common goal among our group
3. That each of us will be able to raise the needed support ($2,000)

Since this is a missions trip, my goal is to raise the needed money like a missionary on deputation would. Any financial assistance you may choose to give would be greatly appreciated; but, first and foremost, I am asking for your prayers. Thank you for your part in making this missions trip a success.

P.S. If you choose to help financially, please make your check payable to:

Front Range Baptist Church
625 East Harmony Road
Fort Collins, CO 80525


*Please be sure to note my name (Leah Cross) in your response. I will be notified of your donation and upon return of our trip, will send you a letter of how the Lord has blessed.









 


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Sunday, March 20, 2011

Super Moon Saturday

Earlier tonight, I found myself out in the middle of a grass field: doing what I was made to do. ;-)

I find so much enjoyment in pulling my Keen Arroyos on, tramping out into the middle of a field, or hiking up the side of a mountain and capturing God's beautiful creation with my camera! Being so close to God's incredible handiwork gives me such a sense of awe in the greatness of our God!

As I watched the moon rise above the horizon, I realized just how much I l.o.v.e. what God's called me to be — a photographer. No matter how hard it may be sometimes, no matter what brick walls I may run into, no matter how my life changes, I will always, always love taking pictures. As olympic runner Eric Liddell said, "When I run [ie. take pictures], I feel God's pleasure."

Super Moon Saturday 3.19.11 by Leah Christine Imagery

For by him all things were created:
things in heaven and on earth,
visible and invisible...
all things were created by him and for him.
He is before all things,
and in him all things hold together.
Colossians 1:16 & 17




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Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Let Him Do What Seemeth Him Good

I will forever and always love the quote spoken by Hudson Taylor, "God gives His very best to those who leave the choice with Him." The last while, the Lord has been testing me to see if I really believe this quote to be true. I love Psalms 84:11, "For the LORD God is a sun and shield: the LORD will give grace and glory: no good thing will he withhold from them that walk uprightly." It could be easy to read that verse and take it that the Lord will give us everything that makes us happy and comfortable in this life. But I've been reminded that sometimes what HE thinks is good may be something that I don't think is so grand... but am I going to submit to His will, and say, "Yes, Lord, I'll do what you want me to do. I'll go where you want me to go - though the way be marked with pain and lonliness and hardships"?

About two weeks ago, I found myself awake during one of many sleepless nights lately. Though I'm not usually a very outwardly emotionally person, the tears welled and spilled over in the darkness. "Lord, what have I left undone? What do you want me to do? Show me! I feel so useless and purposeless - and I know this is not your will for me to be feeling so!" That weekend I contemplated the fact that maybe the Lord was calling me to move elsewhere... another state... another ministry. The thought crossed my mind that maybe He was trying to tell me that it was time to go.... Time to go overseas again on the missions field and this time, more permanently.

At the beginning of the year, I made the decison that I wanted to visit Europe this year. It was my news years resolution and I was determined to make it happen. I went as far as publicly saying that "nothing important can happen in my life at all until I see Europe first." The prospects of me accompanying a trip to Italy with a group of photographers rose on the horizon. ...But God shut the door. He humbled me to such a point, and I realized that it was out of pure selfishness that I made such a Resolution. Who am I to tell God what I want to do with my life? As a follower of Jesus, my life isn't mine anymore. It's HIS to do with what He so chooses.

So in a nutshell version & to make the story short, the very next day, the Lord provided a full time job for me! I began working a week and a half ago. I am now full time (Monday through Friday, 7:30am to 5:30pm everyday) nanny to 3 children. In all seriousness, it's like suddenly jumping into motherhood and you have 3 kids to care for constantly! :) I really do love children, but there are moments when I get a bit overwhelmed when everything happens at once and each one needs my attention! :) Like moments when we're trying to get out the door for school pick-up or gymnastics practice. Sister needs help changing clothes, Middle Brother has an accident so therefore needs a wardrobe change & sits on the floor wailing in his naptime grogginess, meanwhile Sister exclaims she needs a snack and juice before we go -- and oh, Baby needs to be awakened from his nap, given his bottle, and diaper changed. Finally kiddos are buckled in their car seats, and I'm driving down the neighborhood street. Middle brother starts crying hard. Um, I don't think this is just nap time grogginess or a bad attitude... So Miss Nanny (uh, me) pulls over to find that he had pulled his seat belt tightly around his neck! My heart started racing! Grateful I was able to fix his seatbelt issue before too much time had passed, I got back in the drivers seat. After that, I think I kept one eye ball on the road, and one eye ball in the mirror to make sure they didn't choke on Goldfish crackers or strangle themselves with their seat belts. I whispered, "Oh Lord, am I really ready for all this?" And then I remembered that it was HE who gave me this position. .... SO when everytime things start happening at once and I feel overwhelmed, I think of the quote by missionary Jim Elliot, "Wherever you are, be all there. Live to the hilt of every situation you believe to be the will of God."

This nanny job most likely will only be mine till September. After that, I have no idea what God may hold in store. At this point, so many doors that I was eagerly hoping would open, have slammed shut, and so I'm wondering and considering very seriously about returning to the mission field (Africa or South Asia), but only time will tell. Who knows? Maybe I'll eventually be a nanny to a whole orphanage of kiddos in a remote jungle??

But tonight, I am grateful for the blessings God has given me TODAY.
TODAY I am care giver to three adorable blue eyed children.
And I love them.

20110315-nannying

20110315-nannying2

Last week, Middle Brother asked me: Are YOU going to have a baby?
I laughed: No, I'm not going to have a baby. I'm not married.
Middle Brother asks sincerely: Why don't you get married so you can have a baby??

(laugh) WOW! Kids and their bluntness! =D

20110315-nannying1

After long days like the one I described above, I feel so inexperienced, and yet it reminds me that *I* am HIS child. I can run into His arms and cry if I need to. He loves me. And when I nestle in His arms, He strokes my head, and ressures me that it's going to be okay. Because when I am hidden safely in Him, nothing else matters and nothing can harm me there.

"It is the Lord: let him do what seemeth him good." 1 Samuel 3:18


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Monday, March 14, 2011

One Year Ago | Remembering Dallas

It's hard to believe it was only a year ago.

And yet, it seems like a distant fog - so long ago.

Did I really live in Dallas, Texas for almost a year? It's so easy for it all to fade into a distant memory, especially since I moved back home afterwards... the place I've known and lived most of my life... and that year of living in Texas hardly seems a year at all.

So journey with me.

A year ago...

RememberingDallas1
A year ago, I was secretary and finance manager at the Dallas Ministry Center in Dallas, Texas. I managed accounts payable & receiveable, pay roll, and other various things.

My place - where I lived - was on the third floor. I had my own room; my own bathroom. It was like having my own, little house. I could decorate, organize, and clean as I pleased. I decorated with Eiffel Tower figurines, Mid Summer's Night Candles by Yankee Candle, vintage wall art, and an old city Paris/Eiffel Tower shower curtain. My laundry day was Thursday. Cleaning day was Saturday.

It was so very strange being "settled and steady," as I had previously been traveling constantly across the US and the World - living out of my suitcase. In the period of six months, I had visited New Zealand, Fiji, Thailand, and many US states. Instead, my suitcases were now stowed away in a dark basement beneath seven floors.

RememberingDallas2
Just a mile or so down the street was the heart of downtown Dallas.

Saturdays were often spent walking down the street to catch the old trolley, where we rode to the ever-so-fabulous Orange Cup or Pink Berry frozen yogurt and mall shopping stores. For me, it was a chance to get away from being in the office all week, and to enjoy some photography time with my camera.

RememberingDallas3

The roof of the Dallas Ministry Center was just a fun place to be (strictly for staff only... off-limits for everyone else.) It was on the roof top where I sun-tanned with my girlfriend, Heather. We made up our minds one day to imagine the city noise as being the wind on a beach. (A bit of a stretch for the imagination but... you know, you do what you gotta do to make it more realistic.) ;) Only a couple nights before I moved back to Colorado, Heather and I dragged a mattress out to the roof top and attempted sleeping out on the roof. (Talk about FUN memories!) Oh yes, and not to forget - we had a saw concert one night! You read right -- a saw. You know, the ones that you cut trees down with and stuff...

The commercial kitchen where all of us staff ate was on the main floor. Sarah and others on staff introduced me to such delicious foods that I'd never tried before, such as, Baked Lemon Pasta, Shirred Eggs, Texan style Brisket, Sweet Tea, Baked Raspberry Oatmeal, Chocolate Peanut Butter Balls, Blueberry Crepes and so many other yummy foods. I have vivid memories of making myself a cup of Costa Rican coffee with the coffee maker before heading to my office in the morning.

RememberingDallas4

Last year at this time I was going through one of the most heart wrenching experiences of my life. The excruciating hurt and pain, at the time, seemed humanly unbearable. The couple who were very much like second "parents" to me, encouraged me to pour myself in the word of God and to encourage myself in Him. They also encouraged me to get up extra early every morning to excercise -- to help "release" (in a way) so many of the emotions I was stuffing inside. And so, a year ago at this time, I was getting up at 5:45am every week day to excercise till 6:30am.. and then I'd get ready for another work day.

I remember one particular afternoon in my office, and there was small misunderstanding that went on. In the blur of the slight misunderstanding and all the other major things going on in my life at the time, I just suddenly burst into tears -- and in all reality & honesty, I'm not a very emotional person at all -- but I couldn't help but release all that I was bottling inside. One of my friends, who's office was adjacent to mine, came behind my desk and gave me a huge hug, and began to quote the words, "You give and take away, You give and take away, Still my heart will choose to say, Lord, blessed be Your name."

It was in one of the Dallas Ministry Center's spare, empty rooms where I found myself last year.. sobbing and literally weeping the hardest I had ever cried before. God what in the WORLD are you doing?? Why did I have to go through this?? I thought You said...?? What about...?? My lap was literally soaked and drenched from the tears I cried that day. In gasps of air, I cried out to Jesus. And told him that I couldn't any more. At the moment, He must've smiled in His loving tears and whispered, "Ahhh, my child, now I CAN." And it was in that very room, that I placed myself in the Everlasting Arms, and began the road to healing that only He could and can ever preform.

I can say truly ---

"To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven. ..He hath made every thing beautiful in His time: also he hath set the world in their heart, so that no man can find out the work that God maketh from the beginning to the end." Ecc. 3:1 & 11

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Sunday, March 6, 2011

Journey to Idaho

As many of you faithful bloggie readers would know, a couple of weeks ago, I visited my dear friend Sarah in North Idaho on occasion of her birthday! The best part of the trip was surprising her, and seeing the look on her face when she saw I was there. :)

Here's some photographic highlights from the trip!

Journey to Idaho
Beautiful sunrise over the Rockies (seen from Denver International Airport)

Journey to Idaho
Denver to Spokane, Washington!

Journey to Idaho
My choice of hydration during the flight: Sprite. :)

Journey to Idaho
Did you say COFFEE? Yes, I'll take a cup, thank you.

Journey to Idaho

Journey to Idaho

Journey to Idaho
Approaching Spokane, Washington

Journey to Idaho

Journey to Idaho
Sarah's bedside bookshelf -- she loves to read!

Journey to Idaho
Sarah is a talented musician and pianist. She has written over 70 of her own songs!

Journey to Idaho

Journey to Idaho

Journey to Idaho

Journey to Idaho

Journey to Idaho
Momma Maltese Dog

Journey to Idaho
Puppy Maltese Dog

Journey to Idaho

Journey to Idaho

Journey to Idaho
Sarah served Red Velvet Cake for her birthday -- so delicious!
PS. It was my first time to ever try Red Velvet Cake. And I liked it. ;)

Journey to Idaho
Relaxing on a leather couch, sipping my coffee = happiness.
It was french pressed Godiva chocolate truffle coffee with french vanilla coconut milk creamer. SO yum-may!!

Journey to Idaho

Journey to Idaho
Momma Maltese Dog again. Can I have one?

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