Redeeming a tabloid past

Redeeming a tabloid past

I’ve heard of the “Octomom” before but never really knew what her story was. I was never interested in finding out about another “freak show” gracing the front page of the National Enquirer. Any story worth telling in the Enquirer surely isn’t worth our time, right?

This morning over my coffee and Facebook feed I clicked on an intriguing article. It was about Natalie “Octomom” Suleman, who has decided to kill off the persona of the past and embrace a fresh start and a new life.

The short story is this: In 2009 she already was a family counselor and therapist with 6 kids and she longed for a 7th to make her family “complete”. She went through IVF and they implanted 12 embryos assuming most of them would not make it. However, most of them took and instead of 7 children she ended up with 14.

Sometimes we make plans for ourselves and God laughs, right?

The article contains an interview with her, and I highly recommend taking a few minutes to read, despite all the clickbait surrounding it.

Killing off the “Octomom” persona

She hates what she has done and is working hard to create a new name for herself and her family. She doesn’t think her children are mistakes but meant to be here. She is raising the children up in the Lord and setting a positive example for them. They are healthy and thriving.

Thank God for the broken examples in this world, because he uses them to show his power to make all things new.

The wedding of.png

Called: An Interview with Lisa Morris of Conforming To The Truth

Called: An Interview with Lisa Morris of Conforming To The Truth

Hello and welcome to anther exciting installment of Called! The amazing stories of ordinary people who respond to God’s call. Today we have an interview with one of our sisters in Christ, Lisa Morris author ofConforming to the Truth.net.

I first came into contact with Lisa through her scripture-teaching blog via WordPress. I was first intrigued by the words Free, Bible, and Study (I guess I’m just a nerd like that!). Her articles are relatable, real, and overflowing with truth. As I saw her posts from day to day, I soon felt an overwhelming need to reach out and say hi. Her accomplishments mirrored my vision for Pure Disciple and I just had to meet her. We have become fast friends over email and she has graciously agreed to allow me to interview her. So here is a little about Lisa. I hope you enjoy and don’t forget to check out Conforming to the Truth!

text-separator
DSC00172.png

What do you do for a living?

I am a stay at home mom. Before I had children I worked as a manager of a Baskin Robbins. Yummy, a great place to work. When Andrew our first born came I worked for a while. Roy and I played tag team. When I was at work Roy had him, when Roy was at work I had him. Then Sarah our second child came along. By this time Roy and I had decided that God was calling us to homeschool. I quit work and have been home ever since. We added our third child Hannah. I have been home with them for 19 years. I would not change it for anything in the world. 

What is the goal of your ministry?
I want to get women of all ages into the word of God. In my Bible Study at home, we have a mixture of ages ranging from 60 years young to 10 years old and all ages in between. Both older women and younger women are sharing what they have learned from the word of God!There is a generation of women, young and younger, who do not know the God of the Bible, nor the precepts that He has commanded. I pray that through these studies and this blog that God will grow a generation of women that know Him, live for Him, and stand on His word!

My desire is to guide women through the Bible using my free lessons. What makes these lessons different is that they guide you through the word one verse at a time through an entire book of the Bible. The Bible is your answer key. 

I also desire that God will raise up women who have a heart for His word and a desire to guide others through His word as well. That they will take this desire and start a study group in their home or church. If you have that desire please get in contact with me and we will pray and see where God leads. 

How did you come to this work? About 20 years ago during a Sunday School class, I was very convicted. The teacher was talking about how important it was to be in the word of God. I was not in God’s word as I should have been. In that moment, God put a great desire in my heart to study and know Him through His word. As time went on He grew a desire in me to teach and guide other women through His word. He opened doors of opportunity for me to be a leader in BSF Bible Studies. After several years in BSF He pulled me out and sent me to Precept Ministries in Chattanooga Tennessee. During this time, there was a growing desire to teach in my church and to start home studies. I taught a ladies Sunday School class for about 5 years. I have also led home classes for around 10 years. I currently hold a class in my home. 

What is the favorite thing in what you do? My greatest joy is to see God grow those who are in His word. I have seen God change and teach so many hearts. There is no greater joy! I also love those “A HA” moments, when a sister learns something about God that she had not understood before. All for His glory!

What is this most difficult part? Waiting and trusting. I desire so much for women who are in the word to grow. Sometimes it seems as if there is no growth at all. It seems that not much has changed in a life. I have to know and understand that in the times that there seems to be no growth that there really is growth. God always works on his time frame. I must be patient and trust in Him and His timing. 

What is one lesson that God has taught you in your career? That I am continually being conformed. When I first started teaching I thought I had to know everything. That sounds so prideful and it is! But, I thought teachers knew it all. I thought they had this direct word from God. They do, it’s His word:)  God is continually teaching me, and that is the way God has designed it. If I knew everything I would be God. I cringe to even write those words but they are so true!  If you ever come across a teacher who claims to know it all, flee! No one knows it all!

What do you think might be on the horizon for you? I hesitate to answer this because my flesh can be so deceiving! I am praying that God open doors of opportunity for speaking so that I might be an encouragement to women who are in the word. It appears He may be doing this. I covet your prayers!

Where did you grow up? I was born in Winter Garden Florida,  next door neighbor to Orlando, Home of Disney World. At the age of 5, we moved to the great state of Tennessee.  I have lived here ever since. I currently live with my family in Bon Aqua, Tennessee. 

What’s the first encounter with God you remember having? 
When did you first come to faith?
If you do not mind I am going to answer the last two questions together. 

I grew up in a Christian home and at the age of 13 God saved me. That would be the first encounter that I had with God. He has kept His promise of continuing the good work that He started in me. Through His grace and mercy, I grow to know  Him more and more each day!

 


Want to know more about what Lisa does?

Thank you for reading! I sincerely hope you enjoyed today’s interview!
Please follow PureDisciple on Facebook, leave a comment below or email us at purediscipleblog [at] gmail.com. We love connecting with you! 🙂
God Bless,
Molly

Called: An Interview with Sarah Moore

Called: An Interview with Sarah Moore

 Hi friends!

I’m so excited to introduce a new series for Pure Disciple, Called. The blog is called Pure Disciple, so I realized I had better start delivering on that! :p The whole point is to highlight the lives of ordinary people called to partner with God in extraordinary work. (Note – ordinary means like you and me. No degrees, certificates, special C.V. needed to follow God’s calling in your life. We’re all normal folks over here.)

I first met Sarah circa 2008 while we were students at UC Santa Barbara. She’s been an awesome friend to me over the years and I have been so blessed to witness how God is working in her life. And boy, is he ever! Today, she works full time with a Campus Crusade for Christ ministry in Los Angeles called Destino. She was nice enough to take some time out of her busy schedule to let me interview her. (Thanks so much Sarah!!) So it is with great joy that I present this interview with a real life disciple of Jesus.

1929070_10208070760230254_6681829872125917410_n
What do you do for a living?
I work with a College Student Ministry called Destino. I work on campus with students at USC, UCLA, and a few surrounding community colleges. 
 
What is the goal of your ministry?
Our vision in Destino is to reach the campus, and ultimately the world for Christ THROUGH Latino college students. We do this through a three-fold strategy we call Winning, Building, and Sending. We want to Win students to Christ, or basically help them understand what it means to start a relationship with Him. Once students have started their walk with Jesus, we build them up in their faith through bible studies, weekly discipleship, leadership opportunities and teaching them to share their faith. We also want to send our students out ready and equipped to know how to help others come to know Christ and grow in their relationships with Christ. We send them out to their peers on campus, their families, and ultimately the world. We are a Cru ministry, so holistically, we want to help every college student on every college campus around the world know Christ and make Christ known. In Destino, we also believe God has given us our ethnicity and culture to glorify Him, and so, we also want to help students grow and mature in their understanding of ethnic identity and how to be stewards of their culture and ethnicity for Christ. 
 
Where did you grow up?
I grew up more or less in Southern California (LA/OC area). I have moved a lot throughout my life growing up. I went to high school in New Jersey then came home to California for college and have been here since. 
 
What was the role of faith as a kid?
I think I always believe in God. And I think I maybe have heard that Jesus had died for my sins, but I didn’t really understand what the implications of that were until college. I only really starting going to church when I moved to New Jersey when I was 13. My mom and I joined the Catholic church. It did become an important part of my life, but it was pretty separate from all other areas of my life until college, when I would say I gained a better understanding of what it meant to have a personal relationship with Christ. 
 
What’s the first encounter with God you remember having?
When I walked into a weekly meeting of the Cru ministry in college for the first time my freshman year. I walked in while they were having a musical worship time. I remember being really overwhelmed by the presence of God in that meeting during the second set of worship after the meeting. I was sobbing because I knew God was real, and there with me, but I was so afraid of what that all meant. And it was still a good few months before I really put my faith in Christ. 
 
When did you first come to faith?
I would say I surrendered my life to Christ fully in October 2008, when I was a second year college student. In August, I had started to attend the Cru weekly meetings and Bible Studies to learn more about what it meant to have a day to day relationship with God. It wasn’t until the fall retreat that I finally came to the point where I realized I had to offer myself fully to God in order to really follow Jesus and have a relationship with Him. I also think I felt, in some ways, not good enough to truly follow Him. I think I wrongly assumed that all these “perfect Christians” hadn’t done anything all that bad, but I had. I remember hearing a friend’s testimony of how they had come to know God that week, and his story was similar to mine. Understanding that God’s grace really did cover all my sins by hearing other’s stories of experiencing grace, really helped me feel free to finally come to Him with all I am. 
 
How did you come to work for Destino?
I became a Christian when I was in college through the ministry of Cru. After I graduated I did a two-year internship with Cru at my school. During that internship I began I started to work with the Destino movement on campus for the first time. I learned so much about God’s heart for all people groups and the necessity of learning how to cross-cultures for the sake of the Gospel. After my second year of interning with Cru, I decided to join staff with Destino because I had seen God working so clearly within Latino community in the U.S. and I wanted God to continue teaching me about what it means to minister cross-culturally. 
 
What’s your favorite thing about what you do?
I love learning about the difference of how we perceive and understand relationships and the world around us depending on our cultural lenses. I learn a lot about what my cultural values are because I’m working so often with students that come from a different culture than I do. It’s a constant learning experience and humbling process, realizing the way I do things is not necessarily right or wrong and vice versa. It’s just different. And God can be glorified in those different ways of doing things. 
 
What is the most difficult part?
I would say the most difficult part is actually the same as my favorite part. It is sometimes hard for me to understand at first the value that comes from someone thinking and valuing things differently than me. There are so many instances where I think something is a great idea for a student to do or a way for them to grow, but maybe it doesn’t pan out the way I had hoped or they don’t see it the same way. Sometimes its hard for me to figure out how i can encourage and exhort our students Biblically vs. culturally. My culture is not the right culture, so I constantly am trying to figure out if I’m trying to get them to adapt to my cultural ways of doing things or if its something God commands us to do. 
 
What’s one lesson God has taught you in your career so far?
He has taught me the necessity of listening and getting to know people’s individual stories. It is so important. And to do so with a humble heart. I think when we are trying to cross cultures, we can easily make over generalizations and not realize how that is incorrect and hurtful. Every person in this world is so different. And not every student from a similar culture has a similar experience. So it’s so imperative that we just genuinely get to know one another and not assume things about them just because they are in a particular culture or setting. 
 
What do you think might be on the horizon for you?
I’m not sure exactly. I love my job so much! Over this last year, God has been showing me a lot more of the brokenness and suffering in the lives of people around me (with our students, my friends, and in my own family) and I feel the need to learn how to better walk through suffering and hardship with people. I have thought of maybe returning to school to get a Masters in Marriage and Family Therapy to pursue becoming a counselor. But I am not sure if that’s where God is leading me just yet. I’m currently just trying to learn more about what it looks like to care for people well in the midst of the pain and brokenness of life. And maybe I’m supposed to just continue to grow in these skills and remain with these wonderful students! We will see! =) 

Want to know more about what people like Sarah are doing around the world?
Click the links below to find out:

Thank you for reading! Please follow us on Facebook, leave a comment below or email us at purediscipleblog [at] gmail.com. We love connecting with you! 🙂
God Bless,
– The PD Team
1