On Fire for All Things Christ

My Heart Sings (Part 2)

A few months ago I joined the Singers group at our church. The Singers is a small contemporary choir that sings on stage with the worship team leaders. It has been such a blessing to me to be a part of the Singers! When I sing, I am filled with so much delight to God. I absolutely love looking out to the congregation and seeing everyone worshiping Jesus. As I’m on stage I look up to the people on the upper level and my spirit says, yes, I sing and raise my hands in praising God with you! When I look at the bottom level my eye catches a lady singing along with us in sign language, and my spirit rejoices with hers. In these moments, my heart leaps with joy, and I can’t even imagine the fullness of joy in brings to God as His glory resounds.

Maybe I sound like a dork in all this, but I absolutely love worship to God. So much so that just recently I bought an authentic djembe drum to join others in playing worship music. I have always wanted to play the drums but I never have. In May I took a few lessons to get comfortable with it and a few weeks ago I joined my fist drum circle in worship to God.

Yes, praise God. I wanted to share these experiences with you because earlier today I came across one of my older blog posts (My Hear Sings) about singing to God and He has heard my desire and has brought joy to my heart! Psalm 28:7 … My heart leaps for joy and I will give thanks to him in song.

Recently my sister shared with me that the song “How Can I Keep from Singing” by Chris Tomlin reminds her of my heart to worship. It brought tears to my eyes, but yes, that’s exactly what it’s like. Thank you Jesus for filling the desire in my heart to offer you a full heart of worship through singing and instruments. May the glory always be yours!!

It’s Houston Project time again, and this year I am Über excited to be teaching VBS to 10-11 years! I have never taught kids before, but I am up for the challenge and eager to see God’s amazing work in the hearts of these kids. I will be teaching four evenings in a row with this curriculum:

  • Day 1: Creation (and Adam & Eve and the Ten Commandments if time allows)
  • Day 2: The Birth of Christ (Yes, Christmas in July!)
  • Day 3: The Healing from the Hem of His Garment
  • Day 4: God’s Plan for Salvation

So far I’ve only done day one and I absolutely loved it. The kids were very well behaved and they caught on to the teaching quickly. I am so blessed by them and their shining faces! (I hope to show you some pictures soon.) And, I am very grateful for all the awesome teaching assistant tools available online.

For your learning pleasure, here are a few fun teaching tools you can interact with:

Enjoy!! 😀

Personality Profiles

Gearing up for our Spain mission trip, our second team meeting mainly consisted of reviewing the results of our personality tests given by OrbitingNormal. After briefly discussing the individual characteristics of each of our personality types, we then looked at the dynamics of our team of ten – how we communicate, how we make decisions and how to best interact with one another. Below is a graphic that shows a grid of the 16 different personality types developed by Myers Briggs and the number of missionaries we have in each block. (Click graphic to enlarge.)

The letters in the blocks represent the characteristics of that personality type and our team breakdown.

The first letter (either E or I) represents where you focus your attention:
E: Extroverted Characteristics (8)
I: Introverted Characteristics (2)

The second letter (either S or N) represents the way you take in information:
S: Sensing Characteristics (8)
N: Intuitive Characteristics (2)

The third letter (either T or F) represents the way you make decisions:
T: Thinking Characteristics (5)
F: Feeling Characteristics (5)

The fourth letter (either J or P) represents how you deal with the outer world:
J: Judging Characteristics (4)
P: Perceiving Characteristics (6)

In gearing up for our Spain mission trip to Granada, one way our team leaders are having us prepare for the trip is by giving each of us a topic of Spain to research and present. My topic was on the religions of Spain and I was first up! I did some online research for statistical data, and interestingly, the data I found across websites was rather inconsistent, particularly with Catholics in Spain. After researching, I compiled all the info and then made my own iteration of the data. Below is my infographic (I LOVE infographics, so I couldn’t pass up the opportunity to make one!) illustrating my findings and a brief summary of each. Please be aware that this is probably not the most accurate chart, but it’s more of a guideline. Download PDF

Spain is dominated by the Roman Catholic sect. According to statistics, about 75% of the Spanish population is considered Catholic. However, only about 20% attend religious services on a monthly basis. Others are christened Catholics but have no involvement with church or Catholic practices.

The Catholic Limbo
According to some surveys, 20% of the Spanish population is considered to have no faith in God or does not involve themselves in any form of religion. However, it is interesting to note that this 20% can sometimes be seen categorized as Catholic because according to Spanish heritage, even though they have never attended a church service, they still identify themselves as Catholic. This is a very common religious perspective in Spain because, as a Spaniard, it’s practically a given to consider yourself Catholic. With that, this unbelieving 20%, combined with the 75% Catholic, give Spain an astounding 95% of the total population in some surveys.

Immigration in the nineteenth century aided in increasing the number of Muslims in Spain. Today, Muslims comprise 3% of the total Spanish population, making Islam a religion that is freely practiced and Spain’s second largest religious group.

Other Faiths
Two percent of Spain’s population consists of other faiths such as Judaism, Jehovah Witness or others. Protestant Christians consist of about 1% or less.

Although the majority of Spaniards are Catholics, most, especially those of the younger generation, ignore the Church’s conservative moral doctrines on issues such as pre-marital sex, sexual orientation or contraception. Present day Spain is secular in nature and gay marriage is legalized.

Interesting Fact
Given Spain’s history of Roman Catholicism from as early as the second century, it is interesting to note that almost every Catholic church or cathedral in Spain is considered a museum in itself. Although many of these churches and cathedrals are in desperate need of restoration, the true essence of Spanish life is felt as one enters and is reminded of the glorious forms of the Catholic churches of the past.

I did these two paintings years ago when I was in art school. They recently came to mind so I decided to post them up and share them with you. Both paintings are texture abstracts, but by placing an eye over the first one, you automatically see a human face. The second painting I have left open to interpretation.

Matthew 3:13-17
Then Jesus came from Galilee to John at the Jordan to be baptized by him. And John tried to prevent Him, saying, “I need to be baptized by You, and are You coming to me?” But Jesus answered and said to him, “Permit it to be so now, for thus it is fitting for us to fulfill all righteousness.” Then he allowed Him. When He had been baptized, Jesus came up immediately from the water; and behold, the heavens were opened to Him, and He saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove and alighting upon Him. And suddenly a voice came from heaven, saying, “This is My beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased.”

One of my favorite experiences in Israel was being baptized in the Jordan River as Jesus was baptized in the Jordan. This was not my first time being baptized, but what made this experience extra special was the opportunity to be baptized by someone I knew and admired, my amazing Bible Professor, Guy Jackson. Special thanks to Daniel White for capturing the great photos! May 16, 2011.

Dear Beloved Friends and Family,

I am excited to share with you that this summer, I will be journeying on my first overseas missionary experience! For twelve days this June, our group of twelve disciples (including me and my friend, Carla – Jesus sent the twelve out two by two, ref. Mark 6:7) will travel throughout the city of Granada in southern Spain to share the amazing love, testimony and power of our Lord Jesus Christ. Some of our key responsibilities will include:

  • Support, encourage and build relationships with the staff and church members of Iglesia Evangélica Bautista de Granada (IEBG),
  • Prayer walks and street evangelism throughout Granada,
  • Minister and serve IEBG’s Gypsy Christian church by leading services, teaching English and helping with their food pantry,
  • Participate/serve in a youth/college weekend retreat.

In addition to the items mentioned above, each person on the team will also have specific responsibilities, making this experience very hands-on and allowing each of us to stretch beyond our comfort levels to serve Christ.

While most mission trips you hear about take place in poverty-stricken remote areas where meeting the physical needs of the people is the primary goal, this missionary journey is mostly focused on helping to meet the spiritual needs of the people, which are found only through Jesus Christ, and to encourage them in their walk as they come to know Christ and follow Him. (Read about religion in Spain.)

As the Spirit leads, I would love to have your support either financially, spiritually, or both. As our church pastor likes to remind us – you are either serving, giving or praying. If you’d like to give a financial gift, any amount will be greatly appreciated. The cost of the trip is $2,500 and covers transportation, lodging and some food expenses. If you are led to support me spiritually though prayer, please pray for unity within the team, for boldness, guidance, and that everything I do is by the grace of God and the leading of the Holy Spirit.

It is an honor to be Jesus’ humble servant for this trip and your love, support and generosity will go a long way in my heart and in the heart of God. Thank you so very much.

With love,
In Christ,

2 Cor. 13:14
May the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, the love of God, and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with you all.

Instructions for an online financial gift:
Go to: http://www.houstonsfirst.org/missions

  • Click on Mission Opportunities > Give Online (Donate to Mission Trips)
  • From there, you will be directed to the Online Mission Trip Contribution secure page. Choose to either Login and pay OR Pay as guest.
  • Once you get to the payment form, please select your contribution for Spain and direct your gift to Edmee Micheli.

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