Order

Solitude.

Community.

Ministry.

Henri Nouwen, Paul, and Jesus all exemplified that to be spiritually disciplined these three things were needed, in this order.

I personally really struggle with solitude. I bad at it. And I have to get better at it. Because to be able to do offer community and do ministry I first need to be filled by God alone and spend time in silence with Him.

We read (as a staff) Henri Nouwen’s article “Moving from Solitude to Community to Ministry” that discusses the importance of these three concepts and how they interplay into each other. The article refers to Luke 6:12-19 and how Jesus took time in solitude before gathering His disciples in community and then going out and beginning in His ministry. The very next week I was reading in Galations about how Paul took time to be alone before gathering Titus and Barnabas to continue on in ministry.

I have been challenged to spend time in solitude. And right now it’s way hard! But I know it will be worth it and to create the spiritual discpiline of waiting in solitude will eventually bring something.

I am blessed to have an awesome and trustworthy community here at CSM that have partnered with me this summer as well as helping me prepare for ministry beyond CSM this summer and next school year. I will miss them when I go home later this week. I will miss the constant knowing that our community was right there willing to challenge and help. I am blessed to have Jessica as a roommate this next year and the fact that she knows what’s going on in my heart and saw all the same things I did just in NYC.

There is a lot going on my heart and mind right now as I transition out of CSM and back into school and whatever else God may have for me. I need to start with solitude. I have to learn to make time for it and see it as a vital part of my life and ministry.

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Order

Sometimes

Sometimes I find myself sitting among 30 six and seven year olds at a movie wondering how their teachers do it day in and day out.

Sometimes I find myself sitting in the shade with a homeless couple wondering how they continue to walk their 30 miles a day.

Sometimes I find myself listening to the same stories I heard the week before and wonderingย  if their minds ever clear.

Sometimes I am stopped by someone waiting in line to eat and silenced by their gratitude for our group being there.

Sometimes I get to watch as young adults and their leaders are stretched and molded.

Sometimes I get to see God light a fire within a generation that will have the opportunity and power to love and create change.

Sometimes I get to see love transform situations.

Sometimes I get to see love fall on deaf ears and hardened hearts.

Sometimes I find myself in continual praise for what God is doing.

Sometimes I find myself asking is He really big enough to love on all the brokens and heal the hurting and save the lost and feed the hungry and remember the silent.

And then I remember that He is good. That He is sovereign (a word that is taking on a whole new meaning to me this summer). I am reminded that He is creator and omniscient and in control.

Sometimes I just need to remember to rest in His glory and look for ways to glorify Him.

Sometimes I need Him to remember to just let Him be my all.

Sometimes I need to “8 Taste and see that the LORD is good;
blessed is the man who takes refuge in him.”

Sometimes

Rooted

This past week my group had an opportunity to partner with a ministry called the Magdalene project. Magdalene is designed to help women who prostituted get back on their feet and heal. They discovered that due to criminal records many of these women were having trouble finding jobs. So they created Thistle Farms to provide job opportunities for the women who have completed the program.

Thistles have to be harvested to make the paper that their products are packaged in…enter my group from Shreveport Louisiana!

thistles 1

Yup. They harvested all of those (plus some) in about an hours time. I don’t think I have ever sweated like I did that day. We had fun and laughed as the thistles poked us from all angles, but the sweat was pouring down my face like nothing else! And it’s only JUNE!

The best part about this particular excursion was the reason we were there. Now, all my people from back home know I love metaphors and word pictures. And a thistles creates ample opportunity for that!

The thistle is a weed. It’s not wanted by gardeners and not welcome among the pretty plants. It has pokey leaves and a sharp sting. It’s roots dig deep into the ground and are able to grow through concrete.

These women come from lives of being an outcast of society. They have pasts that are rooted in a number of things: a desire to be loved, a need for quick cash, addictions, abuse, neglect, self-mutilation, a void.

But there is beauty in both! The thistle has a bright purple center that can be pulped down into a new creation of paper with some hard work and dedication.

These women are beautiful! They are created by a loving, forgiving God who can renew them into a new creation with a little work and dedication from the women.

thistles 2

No matter where we are, God is faithful.

He is ready to pull us up from the roots of sin and make us a new creation in Him.

I love my job because I get to see this and be a part of this everyday! But no matter where we are or what we are doing, God is moving. If we are willing to be uprooted and re potted by the Master Gardener beautiful things can happen!

2 Corinthians 5:17
Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come!

Get excited about that! Our God LOVES us and FORGIVES us and USES us. We are blessed.

Rooted

Mail Call

Tomorrow morning I leave little ole MO, the only state I know to go to T-E-Double N- E -SS- E Boys (bonus points if you know what song that comes from)

I’m really excited. I’m really nervous. God is in control.

My best friend at school Jessica is also working with CSM this summer at the NYC sight. So check out her blog and mine this summer to stay caught up on the adventures!

I will have limited computer time but will blog whenever I get the chance and fill mom in whenever I can as well.

Please feel free to e-mail me or comment or mail me anything you want! If I don’t return your phone calls please know it’s just because I wake up at 6:30 and finish with groups around 9-10:30 and we don’t use our phones at ministry sites.

Here is my address for the summer though in case you feel like making my day and being old school with some sweet snail mail! ๐Ÿ™‚

Jody Glazner
c/o Center for Student Missions
PO Box 160119
Nashville, TN 37216

I just have one bag left to repack then I’m done. ๐Ÿ™‚

I love you friends. Have a great summer. Challenge yourself. Dare to love completely. Seek reckless abandon. Let Jesus push you beyond your limits. Grow. Bask in the love that He has for you. Sweat that love. And wear your sunscreen.

jj-60 copy

Mail Call

Cowgirl Boots and Killing Trees

There is a lot of paperwork when you start a new job…like a whole tree’s worth. (if it were a very small tree, more like a thick flower)

That’s where I am right now, just looking at my country music star cowgirl boots (which I promise to wear this summer with my fashion pants!) and filling out paperwork. In reality I am signing my name and filling in the dates and leaving all the other spots blank because I need to call my Daddy (hi Da Da) about some banking q’s and my Momma about my W-4.

And could someone please tell me what all my favorites are, because I’m not a big favorite person and they ask me for my favorite this and that and the other!

I am so excited to find my Amazon gift card and order some of the suggested readings they give us. I want to read most of them, some of them use words in the titles that make me feel stupid. I don’t read books that force me to use the dictionary just to open them ๐Ÿ™‚

Today I think God laughed at me a lot. Every time I told some one about Nashy I had to tell them how good God is and how I doubted and He is so much bigger than I could ever dream and loving and merciful. Anyway, I’m sure He got a good chuckle from how sure I was today that He was good compared to how I felt 32 hours ago.

I have been around long enough (ha ha I just wanted to use that phrase) to know that when God starts moving so does the enemy. And within hours I was already feeling it and battling in my heart. I cried multiple times because I knew I just needed to cry then instead of powering through. Slowly and surely He gets through to me.

One of the first things they do in our online “training” is remind us how hard the transistion back “home” will be after the summer. So, I ask you to start praying now. Please pray for me as I prepare my heart to serve and lead this summer. Please pray for me physically and spiritually. Please pray for Nashville that God will just be the foundation of every single little action that comes from us and that love will wash that city.

Please remember my family too. It’s a transition for us all as I become an adult and home will be very different this summer for everyone.

And if you want…….you can wish that I come home with a little bit of accent ๐Ÿ™‚

Cowgirl Boots and Killing Trees