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Thoughts on life by Teri McCarthy

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Java Jive and Other Bad Habits to Break

Posted by admin in September 4th, 2010
Published in faith, prayer

Wow. Crossing an ocean didn’t make me better! That’s a shock! Somehow I thought if I could get overseas just once more then I’d become a better follower of Jesus. But the truth of the matter is I still struggle with the same ol’ same ol’.

For example, prayer. Why is it so hard to pray? It takes discipline, which I sadly lack. It takes concentration, which I sadly lack. It takes selflessness, which, yes, I sadly lack.

Another example of my stupid struggling is I’m still assuming the worst of people. Why do I do that?!? Why am I not inclined to always assume the best? Paul tells me to! Scripture makes it clear, “Summing it all up, friends, I’d say you’ll do best by filling your minds and meditating on things true, noble, reputable, authentic, compelling, gracious—the best, not the worst; the beautiful, not the ugly; things to praise, not things to curse…Do that, and God, who makes everything work together, will work you into his most excellent harmonies” (Phil. 4:8-9). I want to be a part of God’s most excellent harmonies—not sure exactly what that means, but I want it. It sounds, well, most excellent!

Please know I love Lithuania. Every day I wake up and am thrilled to be here. Things have never been better between Daryl and me too. Each day we discover something new together—a bus route, the Lithuanian word for oregano, how to drop a coin in the grocery cart chain (yes, you have to pay to use a grocery cart)—all of these fun adventures have brought us together as never before. And all of that is good and wonderful. But…hear me out.

Our first week of school is done. I met my students and they have captured my heart. Fifty-two beautiful, bright, eager-to-learn students. Our university has 24 nations represented here. Twenty-four nations! “Ask of Me, and I will give you the nations as your inheritance…” (Psalm 2:8). So here I am in the center of all this activity with students from around the world, living in a nation crying out for a new basis of hope, living the dream and I’m busy looking for the best place in town to get a cup of coffee. Ugh! Lord have mercy. I gotta get my head in the game and become the intercessor God has called me to be; I gotta get intentional here—focused on the eternal because this is a major part of why I’m here. Right? To love, yes. To teach, definitely. To listen and encourage, absolutely. To learn and experience new things, without a doubt! But also to pray, to cry out to the living God to redeem, heal and restore this land. To intercede on behalf of my 52 students and all the others to know His love and His peace. I want to be found faithful, not just full of a good cup of coffee. Peace.

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440. Cuzzin' Linda said,
September 4th, 2010 at 7:56 am

I’ll pray that God will use that Java Jive to open the gates to your ministry with some new friends. You never know how the Lord is going to work – you just know that He will! Love to you and Daryl.

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441. jalling1 said,
September 4th, 2010 at 8:29 am

Wow, Teri. Thanks for being so honest. I stand guilty of all of the above. Thanks for jolting us to renew our hearts also. God bless and may the nations have fertile ground in their heart for the truth you are giving to them.

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442. anne said,
September 4th, 2010 at 1:49 pm

Perhaps your just finding that certain coffee place to have chats with friends who come for a visit! I’m sure I’m not alone in dreaming that dream…

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443. DebbiD said,
September 4th, 2010 at 2:52 pm

As you so often do, dear sister, you spoke for me and probably many others. We come into the presence of the living King of Kings, Lord of Lords and our minds wander off to the thought of coffee…or chocolate….what an abrupt reminder to me that I am in desperate need of HIM!!

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444. Lisa said,
September 4th, 2010 at 4:36 pm

How convicting…amazing how God uses us IN SPITE of ourselves to glorify HIMSELF!

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445. Angela said,
September 4th, 2010 at 4:53 pm

Thank you for being so transparent – thanks for writing what many of us experience. We want to be present in the moment – dong God’s BEST. And sometimes we are just there, thinking of ourselves and what we’ll get out of the moment. Well – it’s good to be reminded, so thanks!
I am sure God uses you everyday – so keep on keepin’ on 🙂

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446. Angie Byler said,
September 16th, 2010 at 1:39 pm

I keep looking for the version of the Bible that translates, “be ye transformed by the crossing of the ocean” and I can’t seem to find it either. Thanks for being so honest, I didn’t know someone else struggled with the same things i so often do. By the way, if you ever come to Zimbabwe, I have found a great place for cappucino!

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449. Victoria said,
September 19th, 2010 at 2:26 pm

I think, in my very limited experience, that we need to believe a teeny little bit (despite all we know “intellectually”) that we might be different when we get somewhere else. Otherwise, we might not ever go — it might just be too depressing! We definitely found that “wherever YOU go, there YOU are.” There’s no escaping ourselves. But I also think that it’s useful to realize this, because when we realize that our “junk” came with us, we have a pretty clear idea of where in our lives we need God to transform us.

Of course, a decent (doesn’t even have to be GOOD) cup of coffee goes a long way toward regaining your equilibrium overseas! 🙂

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