Written by OVSLs (One Voice Student Leaders), this blog is meant to encourage other students to actively live for Christ and walk with Him daily. We hope you are inspired by what God is doing in our lives. God bless!
|Posted by Westview Christian Fellowship on August 13, 2015 at 4:55 PM||comments (0)|
Hello, this is Hedgie...I usually don't post on the blog, but I was encouraged to write about the mission trip I took to San Ildefonso, Mexico this summer. This was my third consecutive summer going to Mexico and I can't get enough of the culture every time.
Background of trip: a week long camp located near Mexico City in the rural SanIldefonso. I was part of a team from my church who helped a group of amazing people from a church (located in Queretaro) put on a VBS (Vacation Bible School) for the children there.
Below I will be listing each memorable impact that was given on me during the trip:
1. Support: I am a teenager with no job, no timeshare, no car let alone a license's, but a lot of raw faith in God's ability to provide all needs for projects He supports In the end, God blessed me with so many friends, family, and fellow Facebook people who helped finacially and spiritually support me. I was also given the opportunity to have a lot of one-on-one chats with friends I rarely saw who were interested in hearing about my trip. If anyone is interested in knowing, I mainly advertised on Facebook for funds on my trip. I created an event and was able to regularly ask for support. God is good.
2. Mexico's culture: the colors of the houses: pink, orange, brown, white, gray. The music; soothing or fun or fluid. Food; yummy, full of flavor, also an array of beautiful colors. Language: fast, beautiful, slow learning process for me. El Centro (central plaza): balloons, street stores, candy shops, beautiful architecture. Futbol; my love for it has grown. God is a master of creativity.
3. the People. Their friendly smiles. Their open arms. The church leaders who are the definition of love. The children who are the definition of loveable. The student leaders I was able to meet, the definition of loving. If there's one thing I got away from this trip, it was the mindblowing and heartfilling love I was able to witness from this country. Even strangers walking down the street were open to saying hi with me. I learned more about the meaning behind a smile and the loving impact of opening my heart to others. God is love.
In the end, I learned many important things about myself, others, and God. Mexico is a culture that uses what they have and don't have to make differences in the lives of their children. To these children who lost an arm, nine fingers, seven toes, or twelve other siblings, they taught me more about life. I don't know if I made a big enough impact for the children in Mexico...especially due to the fact that I was barely fluent in their language. But I pray that God was the One that touched their hearts.
Anyone can be a missionary. God can make anyone a missionary.
This is what God taught Hedgie.
And He told her to tell you.
|Posted by Westview Christian Fellowship on December 10, 2014 at 3:35 AM||comments (0)|
When I think about how far One Voice has come as 2014 almost comes to a close, I can't help but gawk at how incredible our God truly is. We held two youth rallies, hosted a worship night, MC'd at another church's worship night, led a preconference, and will be holding a booth at this year's Chinese Mission Convention West Coast. Perhaps these numbers and statistics scream "success" and expect a firm pat-on-the-back for seeing hours of slaving over emails and schedule revisions come to fruition, but then I guess we would all be missing the point. Yes, it feels like you're on top of the world when the project you've been working on for months finally comes to life, and yes, rejoicing in your accomplishments is not bad at all! Presumably, my fear lies within getting caught up in the act-- loving the ministry, yet forgetting the God that drives the passion to serve. Thus reveals my desire for this year and for many years to come: that God would continue to use One Voice to glorify Him and to keep Him at the center of every decision that we make as a core team. I constantly have to pray that God would keep One Voice focused and founded in Him because it is far too easy to get caught up in the act. For example, just at this past year's rally, we received a few constructive criticisms about our worship song choices and I couldn't help but zone all my attention on how to fix the problem. I was so obssessed with trying to fulfill everyone's ideal worship set that I forgot that worship wasn't about pleasing man, but glorifying God.
In all, as the parable goes, we can sow the seed all we want, but God is the one who makes it grow. No matter how hard we work in ministry to cultivate seeds that bear fruit, in the end, God is the one who determines and directs our efforts to bear fruit that fulfills His ultimate will. As One Voice enters its third year, I pray that we wouldn't focus on the number of attendees who come to our events or how much praise we receive after a worship night, but rather that we would kneel before God and humbly whisper, "God, we couldn't have done any of this without you. It's all for you."
LORD, You are good. So good.
|Posted by Westview Christian Fellowship on April 21, 2014 at 11:40 PM||comments (0)|
There are two remarkably beautiful things about God’s love. Well there are a lot of beautiful things about God’s love but two things stand out to me. God’s love never ends and you don’t have to, can’t do, anything to deserve it.
God’s love never ends. Just think about it. No matter what. It. Never. Ends. Which consequently means that God’s love is forever. I think forever is an idea outside human capacity of understanding. Our lives are run by the clock. Schedules, planning, time to eat lunch, time to do homework, time to do devotional. We are forever bound by the limited hours in a day. This ideology has been taught to us since birth, therefore it’s no surprise that we can’t comprehend forever. It even scares me at times. Eternity? That’s so much TIME. But isn’t that where the beauty is? The essential explanation of God’s love- that it is forever- is beyond our understanding. This key unfathomable element shows us that this love is like nothing we’ve ever seen and nothing we will ever be able to fully understand. Because in our minds everything has a limit. I can’t eat more than 1 cookie or I will not fit into my prom dress. I can’t post more than one photo on instagram a day or I won’t get the maximum likes. I can’t forget more than 1 homework assignment or my grade will plummet and my future with it. Cause, consequence. Cause, consequence. I can’t sin this many times, or God will stop loving me. I can’t truly let God in, because if he really knew he would never love me. But the truth is this mentality is utterly and completely flawed. God’s love has no bounds or limits or causes that would result in it ending! And isn’t a little conceded, a little presumptuous, a little STUPID of us to think that we can determine when and where God’s love starts and ends. Because the truth here is: We can’t understand it, we won’t understand it, and that’s how God wants it. It’s scary but guess what it’s perfect. God loves you forever and always more than anyone ever and you will never truly be able to comprehend that love. Beautiful right?
And not only does our human mind tell us that NOBODY can love us NO MATTER WHAT. It also assumes that there has to be some give and take. If we don’t do something, give something, say something then that love won’t last. But guess what? Wrong again. There is literally nothing you can ever do to deserves God’s love. It is so much better than we are. HE is so much greater than we are. It kinda makes me feel bad, and our minds tell us, “You can never deserve it, so give it up you’ll never be worthy.” But hold up, that’s not what God’s trying to do here. Yes, we’re unworthy but he doesn’t want us to get caught up in that unworthiness. Instead He follows up by telling us that we don’t HAVE to do anything to deserve it. Yes we can’t ever truly deserve it, but to escape that he says,”You know what, I love you anyway.”
It’s a truly beautiful thing when you realize this. It happens to me sometimes. Because you can never fully understand it but sometimes you’ll see little glimpses. In a sunrise, the smile of your loved one. A lot of times it happens for me during a worship song. I get this huge dorky grin and my heart gets that weird full-about-to-burst-out-of-joy-feeling when for a second I see a glimpse into the truth that is this: the creator of the earth, the most heavenly perfect thing EVER loves every single part of my being more than anyone ever FOREVER and I don’t have to work hard, or be cute, or have a lot of money, or act cool to ever deserve it; it’s already there.
So the next time you feel unloved, the guy/girl you’re trying to impress just won’t give you the time of day, you get into a fight with your significant other or your best friend, or your family is just plain messed up, remember this: people on earth require you to do this, this, and this and then they decide to love you. And then that love falters and fails. But we’re humans no one’s perfect and that’s okay. But instead of getting caught up in that anger and frustration remember who loves you forever, no matter what. Set your eyes upon the Lord and when you accept his love, only then can you truly love and be loved by others, because he will be there whispering, “I was first.” And you will smile back and reply, “I know, You always will be."
|Posted by Westview Christian Fellowship on January 20, 2014 at 5:25 PM||comments (0)|
Happiness tends to be temporary. A fleeting moment, a quick grin. It is caused by a compliment, a coincidence. Happiness is a beautiful emotion, but it is an emotion. A state of feeling that is inevitably going to end, and for the most part is out of your control.
But joy is something different. Joy takes persistence, effort, hard work. It isn’t for the weak, those waiting for someone or something to brighten their day. It’s for the intentional, who don’t wait, but look for the people and things that bring them happiness and life. Those who seek joy, spend time finding the people that nourish their souls and lighten their lives. Joy is a state of being. A choice to wake up every morning and say, “Life sucks. Bad things happen and I will have terrible days.” But when you look for joy, you make the choice to say despite all the sin and destruction in this world, "I choose to be happy." Joy is the ultimate “Glass half full” optimism. Joy doesn’t always mean you’ll be happy, but Joy does mean that no matter how down and depressed you are, you’ll be able to make out the beautiful moments of peace that are to come.
My goal in 2014 is to live for joy. I'm not always going to be happy, but I can always have joy, I can always stay optimistic even in the hardest times. But this is no easy task. At times it sounds nearly impossible. Until you realize where the true source of joy is.
We must know Christ to know the truest, purest joy of all. So, in 2014 my goal is to live everyday with the purpose of knowing Christ more, finding a way to grow closer to him, and through that find a joy that will never die.
I'm living for Christ, and in turn I'm living for joy. Wanna try it with me?
|Posted by Westview Christian Fellowship on June 18, 2013 at 1:10 AM||comments (0)|
The other day I was marveling at the sunset, watching the sun's rays flash across the waves as it descended behind the horizon in a blur of oranges and yellows. While I was burying my toes in the soft, white sand at the beach in Del Mar, an unsual question crossed my mind. What would life be like if I was born blind? How would I ever understand what a sunset looked like? Or worse, yet seemingly simple, color? It was difficult enough to find the right words in a thesaurus to create the first sentence of this blog entry (and I understand that it is still inadequate in comparison with an actual picture), so it must be almost impossible to describe the beauty of a sunset to someone who has never even had a reference of what orange or red looks like. And then it hit me. This is similar to describing God's love.
God's love and presence are like color: presumably impossible to describe to someone who has never experienced God's almighty love, nor has any sort of reference. As a Christian, I have a hard time explaining my relationship with God to my non-believing friends in a way that helps them understand how intimate and personal it is. My friends usually look at me skeptically, smile, nod, and pretend like they understand. However, I know that if they really did understand who God is and the sacrifice He made because He loves us, they would probably be more intrigued to learn more and ask questions (or at least I think that is what I might have done if I were them). Nevertheless, this should not stop us from revealing God's love to non-believers. In fact, in 1 John 4:12, the Bible says, "No one has ever seen God, but if we love one another, God lives in us and his love is made complete in us." This means that when we fill our lives with God's love (see 1 Corinthians 13:4-7 to know what godly love looks like), we can help others see and understand God and our relationship to Him as Christians. In a sense, it is like giving a blind person a reference point for them to relate to in order to help them one day marvel and understand the beauty of a sunset.
So, are you living and loving in color?
Love you all,