Wednesday, June 29, 2016

Dear Israel

                                       
                                                            June 28th, 2016
Dear Israel,
    God’s Promised Land. His chosen land. Plastered on the news. Fox, CNN, MSNBC. The Middle East. War. Judaism. Islam.
    Israel, I’m not sure that I ever had a complete thought about you prior to visiting you. You existed as an ancient part of my faith and flashed across my TV screen occasionally with news of war, but that was the extent of it.
    Please forgive me of my ignorance of your people, your culture, and your deep current importance in my faith. I thank God for this wake-up call as there is still time for me to stand with you.
    I have to laugh at myself. I thought you would give me the chance to walk in the footsteps of Jesus and strengthen my faith with a passport stamp as a cherry on top. Oh my ignorance!
    I received a border control card rather than the stamp, and El Al took my toiletries, but O Israel, I honestly can’t collect all these wonderful thoughts I now have of you just yet. You were all I’ve ever dreamed of and so much more.
    Jaffa, O I pray I don’t run away like Jonah. May I dive in head first to whatever God calls me to.
    The Sea, O let me get out of the boat to walk in the power of the Spirit with my Savior.
    The Jordan, O fill me up Lord and lead me in surrender as I begin my life in ministry.
    Jerusalem, O may I never lose sight of the ministry, love, and life-giving sacrifice of my Savior.
    Your Borders, O may my heart never lose the fire you have ignited to share you stories and pray intentionally for all involved.
    Your People, O may I never lose the deep-rooted love I have for you and may we work together in the hope and power of our Father.
    Israel, how can I ever repay you? To say you have changed my life would be an understatement. You are misunderstood by many, including some back home. Yet, you welcomed me with open arms. You brought me into the land of my Savior and laid the foundations of strong passion for you in my very soul. Toda! Thank you!
    I promise to carry the banner our God has given me. I will wave it in support and honor for you and your people. I am your advocate now, and I believe many others are now too. Even in the midst of lingering questions, I recognize right from wrong. For that reason, I stand with you as my Savior has called me to do. God shall establish you and increase your numbers. His sanctuary will be in you all as the prophet Ezekiel once wrote.
    Your people are my people. I cry “Toda Abba!” for bringing me into your land and giving me a new scope of the world.  I’m forever grateful to God our Father, and you O Israel. I love you, and I stand with you.
                                                                                                                Shalom My Friend,
                                                                                                                     Keri Fulp

Saturday, June 4, 2016

The Real World

Time For….The Real World



I chuckle as I type that title. It seems as though life is always one question after another as to what exactly we will do in the next phase we greet. So, I’m here answering the latest question, “What will you do upon your graduation?” The real world has hit, and it’s time to venture out on my own. So, what’s next?

I am going into full time ministry. I’ll be interning with Athletes in Action at Wake.

I couldn’t be more excited about all that God has been and is still doing in my life. I chuckle again and think about how my diploma will say Wake Forest University BS Physics. I didn’t exactly go to school for this in an academic sense, but at the same time, I do believe I went to school for this.
You see, I had plans for literally every stage of my life laid out before I went to Wake. As a good friend would say, I had this picture of what my college years would look like, and what actually happened wasn’t what I had in mind. It wasn’t what I had in mind, but golly, it’s so much better.

I had some awesome teammates pull me into Athletes in Action my freshman year. Man, did God have something better in store! Through my time in AIA and helping to launch Westside Christian Church, I began to experience Jesus and His love in a brand new personal way. No longer did I seek to just check the boxes of religion, I started to seek a daily surrender to the cross and closer walk with the Lord.

It didn’t stop there. I ventured out to AIA’s Ultimate Training Camp where I learned about our Audience of One and what denying yourself to pick up your cross daily entails. I then spent my summer working in Vietnam and feeling God break my heart for the lost. Toss in a mission trip to Puerto Rico, living with some amazing girls in our AIA house, various conversations of sage wisdom with awesome mentors, and you’ve got a heart ripe for change.

I don’t know that my heart was ready for such a big change so quickly. I said missions all the way when I returned from Vietnam, but once decision time hit this past year, I started to cower away from God’s plan. I was scared. To me, going into ministry did not make sense. It’s totally irrational. I didn’t go to school for this. But then again, I did go to school for this. All those things that happened, they happened while I was in school. School goes beyond textbooks and lectures. School is experiences, and my experiences led me to ministry. Still, it’s irrational, and I was scared.

Truth check here: God’s love for me is irrational.

This truth hit me hard shortly after winter break. There I was trying to rationalize God’s plan for my life into some pretty box that I could easily present to the world. Then it hit me again, “If God loves me irrationally, I can’t try to rationalize His plan for my life.” Let me explain. I can do absolutely nothing for God to earn His love. Yet He still loves me, and I have access to His love through Jesus’s sacrifice on the cross. See, that’s pretty irrational. So then, I want to follow God out onto the water of irrationality to reach people for His kingdom.   

So, I’ll be working with Athletes in Action, a Cru ministry, at Wake Forest next year. I’ll receive some awesome training under our leader Joe, and have the awesome opportunity to pour into the lives of students just like my mentors did for me. If you feel God calling you to help support this ministry, please visit https://give.cru.org/0867382 or feel free to reach out to me at keri.fulp@athletesinaction.org .


Peace, love, and many blessings y’all!

Also, I just looked back at my "Catching Up" post from two years ago...I didn't expect this at all, but I'm so glad this is where I am!