Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Heart to h.e.a.r.t.

The Lord I serve is so incredible.
 He extended His mercy because of His unfailing, unwavering, all-sufficient love for me as His child. 
This Mercy brought my salvation and eternal justification with Him. 
 His Holy Spirit was given to me for teaching, molding, stretching, bringing about His fruits, guidance, etc. And all this while I am a sinner,
 yet He loves me. 
 not only did He save me, give me hope, change my heart, pick me and wash me pure, He said He wants to use me. 
 Throughout the years He has taken me to several ministries at home and around the world. He opened my eyes to see more and more of His Kingdom. All different people with different passions, desires, burdens, needs, expressions of love, struggles, joyful hearts, and cultures.
 But my God is not different. He is The God of the earth and He loves every child of His.
 business owner,
drug addict, 
gang member
fill in the blank... 
We see the differences while He sees those He loves and wants to bring goodness to.

This truth has been instilled deeper and deeper in my heart over the years of following Christ.
And learning this is in different ways, different places, and through different people
has opened me up to the world. 
Christ died for all people. and people live in all the places of this world. 
Learning about the things that dwell in Christ's heart has transformed  my heart. 
before i was 100% selfish and cared only about me. 
'how do i make people like me?'
'what's best for me?'
'why would i do something that doesn't benefit me?'
those filled my head.
while i am not perfect or even close to it now, i am different. 
the difference did not come through good hope,
wishful thinking, lots of practice, or other habitual changes.
The Lord transformed me. He opened my eyes to what goodness truly is in this life here.
i want others to know this. for some reason the Lord has given me a heart for other nations
sharing this good news of who Jesus is and the love He reflects from the Father. 

To those of you who have only known me in the recent years you know this. 
you know i travel often and love to do so.
but what you don't know is that i used to be the girl who got picked up early from sleepovers
or spent the whole night being homesick. even when i was with my best friends only down the street.
i heard of people who would study abroad and travel the world. 
i thought it was incredibly cool, but never thought it was for me. 
so the fact that i have been on several international trips, some for months at a time with either a team of people i knew for a few months prior or a few other people, is incredible.
like i said before i can only say it is of the Lord's doing. 

for my traditional college years i attended a small Bible school where i received training, teaching, hands on practice, and encouragement in the Word. 
my education has benefited me in so many ways i cannot begin to count. 
now that i am done with i have an incredible opportunity to do a 3 month training program at the
H.E.A.R.T. Missionary Training Institute 
Hunger Education And Resource Training

from the September 4th to December 15th I will be living at the H.E.A.R.T. village in Lake Wales, Florida
taking classes, living in community, learning how to adapt in different cultures, being stretched in new ways, 
having a blast, sweating, working in gardens and with animals, etc

this will include three phases: (read below or watch the intro video)
*Phase I, the first four weeks, emphasizes a simple lifestyle of labor-intensive activities. 
Students’ hand-pump water for animal and human consumption, wash their laundry by hand, 
and cook all meals outdoors using a variety of methods. All activities, including worship, Bible, 
and community life are conducted within the village.
 *During Phase II, six weeks in length, classroom/lab work is incorporated into the daily 
routine with about half of the day spent in theoretical teaching and the other half spent in 
hands-on application. Running water and electricity are restored to the kitchen and classroom, 
and students are free to travel out of the village to make phone calls, etc. Phase II also includes 
frequent church visitations to observe and participate in a variety of ethnic worship services. In 
addition, students develop a proposal for a semester project in an area of interest in one of the 
seven instructional areas.
 *In Phase III, the final four weeks, students complete their semester projects as well as 
assume primary leadership roles in the village. As a non-traditional college training program, 
the time commitment is intense. Efficient time management is essential to accomplish learning, 
classroom activities and personal needs.
(information from

my classes will include:
appropriate technologies
animal husbandry
sustainable agriculture
primary health
nutrition/food technologies
cross-cultural communication
spiritual development of missionaries

and we will also be taking a short term trip to Honduras to work along side a school. 

the reason i have pursued this training:
i don't want to be an American christian girl who went to Bible college that 
can't work along side the natives i want to create trust with
in order to share the gospel if Jesus.
when we suggest to them things in the areas of agriculture,animals,
nutrition, health care, etc
i want to offer something in practice not just theory.

there is so much more to be said about everything, but these are the basic details. 
i am excited, curious, intrigued, ready, pumped, a little nervous, and joyful about the opportunity. 
and i want everyone to be a part with me! 

i need people to be praying:
that my heart would continue to be open in order to be shaped into the heart of the Father
for communication with those i will be living in community with
for the people of Honduras that we will be working with
for the instructors and fellow students

i would also love for you to be a part of my Honduras trip financially. 
hate asking for money, but the reality is i need it. 
the trip will cost around $1,000 on top of the cost of going through training.
i know there are people who can't go but love to give so i love 
being able to be an avenue to give to. 
however, you are not just giving to me, you are giving to the Kingdom that God is building on earth
and to His story, not mine. 
to give you can either mail a check to the institute or give online through paypal
(make a note that it is for Ashley Carter and the Honduras trip)
 simply click here to give online and to check out everything about H.E.A.R.T.

please pray and consider supporting me in any way
letters while I am there
helping with tuition 

Monday, July 9, 2012

Who can dwell in Your tent?

Psalm 15 is not good. It is not a nice, sweet song of praise. It is not comforting. Psalm 15 asks an honest question, gives an honest answer. Honestly, we cannot do what the answer requires. "Lord, who may dwell in your sacred tent? Who may live on your holy mountain? The one whose walk is blameless, who does what is righteous, who speaks the truth from their heart; whose tongue utters no slander, who does no wrong to a neighbor, and casts no slur on others; who despises a vile person but honors those who fear the Lord; who keeps an oath even when it hurts, and does not change their mind; who lends money to the poor without interest; who does not accept a bribe against the innocent. Whoever does these things will never be shaken." (Psalm 15:1-5 NIV) Honestly, after reading this I was left with the initial thought "I can't" Immediately after that thought the Holy Spirit stepped in, "Good. You see, if you could do it on your own you would never know Jesus. Me and you would never meet. You can't dwell in the tent of the Lord, oh, but He can dwell in you!" This psalm points out our insufficiency and highlights His all-sufficient power. So instead of reading Psalm 15 and being discouraged I can read it and be joyful, thankful, confident. Even if for one day I could live up to those standards, just one day, I would be living under the Law. My relationship, standing, and justification with the Lord would be based upon my deeds. It would be dependent on me. How far off is that? How could I for one second believe that I could handle that? The creation determines how the creator sees, interacts, and values it? Not in this world. While the requirements in Psalm 15 will never be fully achieved by me I can still hold them as standards to reach for. But in my reaching I can rest easy in the results. When, not if, I fail I do not lose the dwelling of my Lord. Praise be to Him forever on high, even when my lips forget to bring it.