“Turn off all electronic devices”

This past weekend I had the incredible privilege not only to film a beautiful wedding, but have a handful of unexpected gospel centered conversations with the body of Christ. I can’t even explain my “juiced-ness” at these conversations! It’s like I forgot that the body of Christ flows all around the world! I experience this all the time on the road, you would think I would remember this. #roadiesitsbeentoolong

The wedding was fantastic. I praise God that my head was in the game and that I had technologically minded friends to help me with a few issues.

The main purpose of this post, however, is to give you the answer to one of life’s most intriguing questions. Why do I have to turn off my electronics during taxi, take-off, and landing?

This unnerving demand tends to cause my flesh to flare up, but I have to calm it and obey this regulation whether I understand the purpose for it or not.

There I sit with my Kindle Fire and iPhone in my lap. I can’t read during the long Atlanta airport taxiing to the runway, I can’t listen to music, I have to sit there and think about life I guess, since the person beside me is engrossed in an actual paper-material book.

The thought crossed my mind, as I’m sure it has with you, “I understand my cell phone causing issues with the ground control signal, but what about my other electronics (kindle)?” Well, I looked it up online (so I’m certain its undoubtedly credible), and I found out that electronics actually give off radio waves. Radio waves? Seriously? I had no idea. These radio waves could quite possibly cause some interference with ground control and the plane. Now, it seems unlikely that a small jet full of about 40 passengers could give off enough radio waves to sever communications, but perhaps a large plane full of laptops, iPods, Kindles, and other such electronic devices could.

So I guess its for everyone’s safety that we really do obey the regulation to turn off our electronic devices during taxiing, take-off, and landing. Maybe thats the time to get to know your seat partner and strike up conversation about what life is really all about. #preachingtomyself

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Dr. Laura?

It’s December 20. I’m sitting on my niece’s bed, listening to my sister read her a story before bed time. I look at the time (9:00 pm) and start thinking I should probably head home soon.

At 9:04 my mom calls me. The call went something like this:

Laura“Hey”

Mom“Hey. Umm. I cut my hand really bad and I think you need to come take me to the hospital.”

Laura – *long pause* “. . . Umm. . . Okay.” *Thinking the drive to my house, being 30 minutes, could be cut in half if we could both meet at the hospital* “Can you drive yourself to the hospital?”

Mom“Uh, no.”

Heather“Whats going on?”

Laura“She cut her hand and needs to go to the hospital.”

Heather/Laura – *Both make that face like ‘ouch’ and ‘semi-freak out’*

Laura“Okay, I’ll be there as soon as I can”

I sped to my house with full intention to get a cop to escort me if he somehow tried to pull me over. Unfortunately, that didn’t happen.

I ran into the house. The dogs greeted me as they always do, and I’m sure if they could speak they would tell me that mom was severely injured.

There it was. A broken ceramic knife sticking out of an over sized can of green beans. The culprit. And there was the 3/4 inch long cut on my mom’s hand. I will spare you the photo, but trust me, it was one of those cuts that sent that queasy feeling from your head to your toes. It definitely needed stitches.

Still in “mission mode,” I helped her wrap the cut up and sped to the hospital.

——————————————-

The emergency room. Not as crazy as you would think it would be. There is actually a waiting room, and it was fairly calm.

They immediately bandaged my mom up with proper bandaging (our “tissue paper wrapped up in packing tape bandage-job” apparently wasn’t good enough). Took her blood pressure and all that jazz and we waited for about 45 minutes until she was called into a room for a doctor to look at the cut.

While we were sitting there, we discussed the Ted Dekker book I was reading and my mom’s life as an OR assistant in training. I was taking in the life of those who work in the ER and OR and what goes on at hospitals. I also thought of that time I played “nurse” when Sarah was sick at the studio (quite a story – only told in person). I enjoyed studying Anatomy and Physiology in high school. My own migraine issues and multiple friend’s issues with chronic pain have always interested me. At some point I thought to myself, “Working in a hospital would be pretty cool.” Medical work runs in my family, so it’s odd that I didn’t get into it in the first place. I’m the artsy one, along with my cousins of the same generation. I do video editing work. “But can’t I do both?” I thought to myself.

While in the room where the stitching preparation was happening, I had the opportunity to assist the nurse in setting up the table. She had come in with her gloves already on and had completely forgot that she needed to open the betadine and saline solution and pour them into the tray. She asked me to do it. 🙂 Yeah, yeah, yeah, it’s really not THAT big of a deal, but I did assist.

Then I watched as the doctor shot my mom’s hand up with numbing solution and stitched her up. It’s somewhat similar to cross stitching, except your dealing with flesh, not fabric.

During the down time, I was texting my sister about what kind of hospital work I could get into without going through nursing school or medical school. With each new piece of the stitching process, I found myself wanting to get into some sort of medical field. Heather told me that getting EMT certified was the quickest way into the medical field. Perhaps that could work. I have to find some sort of work out in Salt Lake City other than video editing if I want to eat and live in an apartment.

So for now this is just a seed planted in my mind. Who knows what it will grow to be. Dr. Laura?


Love Wins

I recently read Rob Bell’s “Love Wins” book. A New York Times bestseller and a frighteningly watered-down gospel theory that all people will eventually get to Heaven one day.

I was introduced to Rob Bell in college, when his Nooma videos were becoming popular. I was amazed at his brilliantly creative videos! He seemed to pack heavy theological thoughts surrounded by beautiful cinematography. I even watched his videos my first year on the road for some inspiration. There are a few issues with some of his theology though. Although he would hate to be called it, he is indeed a Universalist.

Universalismnoun \ˌyü-nə-ˈvər-sə-ˌli-zəm\ – a theological doctrine that all human beings will eventually be saved.

Bell attempts to explain from Scripture that there is no literal Hell and that God is too loving to send His creation to such a place. He believes there are Hells on earth, i.e. – the global debt crisis, when you or a loved one gets diagnosed with cancer, a husband abusing his wife. So what we interpret as the torments of Hell are only here on earth. He says there is, however, a place or a state of being that people travel to after death where they are refined and given the chance (multiple chances) to confess their need of Christ. This is not a place of punishment, torment, and fire, rather the place you sit around until you become enlightened to God’s truth. So no matter what your religion is, no matter how much you despise and hate God and the gospel truth, you still get your 2nd chance after death.

Bell says that God is so loving that there is no way He would send His created beings to a place of torment. Yes, God is loving. He is the very definition of love. But we must bring His other attributes into view, and not misinterpret this one. God is also Holy, Just, and a Righteous Judge. His Holiness demands an opposition to human sinfulness. He is just in his actions against sin because He is God! We must let God be God in our minds! He has free reign to punish all of us and not let anyone into Heaven, BUT He loves His creation and sent Christ to redeem us. Our response to this truth is necessary. Repenting of sin, turning completely away from it, and putting our faith and trust in the finished work of Christ on the cross.

Truth – There is a real Hell. A place of torment for those who do not put their faith in Christ. Truth – God is Love. God sent Christ to redeem His creation from the torments of Hell and into a personal relationship with Himself.

So, Love does win.

 

P.S. – A great companion to this book is Francis Chan’s “Erasing Hell.” Excellent book refuting Bell’s ideas.


Disciple-maker “formula”

These thoughts have been building themselves since my decision to go to Salt Lake. A friend of mine was recently challenged to really think deeply and ask herself if she was a disciple maker. This friend is also deeply considering going out to Salt Lake City with Plant4theGospel, and life is going to be very difficult in the initial launch. Evangelistically that is.

After this talk, I also felt challenged. Am I a disciple maker? You could look at my weekly schedule at a church and say “Of course you are, Laura!” But giving the gospel and talking gospel to church people is easy gospel living for me because the opportunities are flooding to me. I’m not necessarily flooding to opportunities. In fact, I don’t. I hardly continue the discipleship I began at Northland Camp. Anyone I meet on the road and begin a some sort of discipleship conversation with, I rarely follow up with. I don’t always invite the Starbucks or Caribou barrista to our meetings during the week. I need God to do a work in my heart about really disciple making.

Living in one place, with a part-time job though; I am required to make gospel and discipleship opportunities happen. It’s the only way they are going to happen. So for me personally, I think the Lord has given me a loose “formula” to make this happen in Salt Lake City and even on the road when I have opportunities to invite people to meetings and give the gospel.

I sit in this Starbucks about 4 times a week to get internet over the Christmas break. I see the same people working most of those days. I see some people come in and the barristas greet them by name. These are regulars to this Starbucks. They come in a lot and have been coming in for quite a long time. They have developed some sort of relationship here. Eventually names are exchanged, stories about life are exchanged. Even though it may be a shallow relationship, there is a relationship that is created because of small conversations and repeated business. Like right now, a barrista is asking how this guy’s day has been. He must come in here a lot, and that barrista must know what he does for a living. Maybe the conversations start with the customer talking to the barrista, maybe it starts with the barrista. Whatever the case, it happens everywhere.

If you live in a community, you will see the same people every now and again, especially if you frequent the same shops, and go to the same event locations, things like that. For me, I think this is where evangelism begins in a place where you are new and know No One in a city except for the people at church. Personally, wherever I choose to live, I need to pick one or two shops to get my groceries from / one or two coffee shops to chill and read or study in / be apart of some sports program in the city and get to know my team mates / take classes at the University and get to know my class mates and join study groups. So that everywhere I go I create opportunity to evangelize. i.e. I get to know my grocery store clerk because I choose to go to her to check out my groceries. If I go there once a week or once every two weeks, I have an open door to have conversations with that lady. The same goes for all the things I choose to get involved in.

The reason this is hard is because this can take months/years. This takes dedication. This will only work if God does the work through you.

This loose “formula” is loose, not set in stone, and certainly there are other opportunities outside of becoming a regular and building a solid relationship. But for the era we live in, relationship is a solid in-road to evangelism.

A thought that began this loose formula – “Coffee-shop Apologetics” – Pastor Dave Marriot


Salt Lake City

Never-mind the fact that I haven’t posted since August.

To catch you up on life since then, its really been all about Salt Lake City and Plant4theGospel.

Plant4theGospel is a church planting initiative led by 4 meek and humble men with a burden for the lost in metropolitan areas. Salt Lake City is the least evangelized city in the United States. See how these two things go hand in hand then?

How is Plant4theGospel connected to me? Its my desire to live my life for the purpose to worship, evangelize, and disciple. My purpose in what I talk about, how I conduct myself, and the videos I create. Our team is closely connected to this initiative. In fact we stem from the same organization called 4theGospel. It seems only natural to shift over to a metropolitan area to live and do gospel work after I travel, and that is exactly what I intend to do. It also seems only natural to float with people who live and breath for a similar purpose and believe in a life touching life type of evangelism and discipleship.

This video speaks of the same burden that Plant4theGospel has. http://vimeo.com/28773432

Utah is the new Africa of missions locations.


We are Modernly Nomadic

Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport. My current location.

Where thousands come through to travel on vacation, home, work, or for the thrill of the ride and the option to color a blank canvas with your brand new markers, like this cute little girl in pink standing beside me. Everyone has their own story of why and where they’re going. For me, I’m traveling for work, but it’s also very much home, and sort of like a vacation.

What kind of “work” involves vacation and homelike tendencies you ask? Traveling around the country with 15 other folks, preaching, teaching, creating, singing, and playing at a different location each week. Sound interesting? Follow my blog and I will keep you posted on all the ins and outs, all the highs and lows, all the coffee beans and tea bags that make us who we are.

We (the 15 and I) are Galkin Evangelistic Ministries, and we are Modernly Nomadic.

P.S. – Want to know a little more about me? This is who I am.