My journey of loving Jesus in the Middle East.

Eva Bridges

Eva Bridges
Hi! I'm Eva. I am passionate about completely obeying Jesus on my journey. It's led me to a lot of great places like Lebanon, Syria, Jordan, and Egypt. I'm learning a lot in the process. Thanks for stopping by!

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Obey Jesus in the Mundane

obey Jesus in the Mundane

Life

It can be mundane. Laundry and cleaning and cooking and emails and paying bills. That is the stuff of a normal life.

And yet deep within us is a desire for more, for the extraordinary, for the miraculous.

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Spending Time with a Muslim

Spending Time with a Muslim

I’ve lived in the Middle East for about 12 years. There I find myself spending a lot of time with Muslims. However, in the last year, I have found myself living in middle America while we pursue adoption. Apparently, social workers aren’t favorable to life in the Middle East…

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Thankful

thankful

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Waiting

I am not a fan of waiting. At all.

waiting

And yet here I find myself 10 months into the adoption wait for a child. In all actuality, we’ve been waiting for 4 years for God to grant us the desire of our heart. This wait puts us on hold in our ministry. This wait is seemingly unending. This wait just hangs over us.

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From Disappointment to Fearless

Moving from Disappointment to Fearless

Disappointment

Recently, we had a life-altering week. A week wrought with tears and questions. A week where every area of our life had some major disappointment or issue: car, house, ministry, adoption. A week where we asked God again, “What is going on?” A week where we found ourselves on our knees asking God for direction, help, and peace. A week where the disappointment was ready to crush me.

And the Lord turned me to Psalm 27.

I will choose not to fear.

The Lord is my light and my salvation;
    whom shall I fear?
The Lord is the stronghold of my life;
    of whom shall I be afraid?

When evildoers assail me
    to eat up my flesh,
my adversaries and foes,
    it is they who stumble and fall.

Though an army encamp against me,
    my heart shall not fear;
though war arise against me,
    yet I will be confident. (Psalm 27:1-3)

I will choose to abide in Jesus.

One thing have I asked of the Lord,
    that will I seek after:
that I may dwell in the house of the Lord
    all the days of my life,
to gaze upon the beauty of the Lord
    and to inquire in his temple.

For he will hide me in his shelter
    in the day of trouble;
he will conceal me under the cover of his tent;
    he will lift me high upon a rock. (Psalm 27:4-5)

I will choose to praise.

And now my head shall be lifted up
    above my enemies all around me,
and I will offer in his tent
    sacrifices with shouts of joy;
I will sing and make melody to the Lord.

Hear, O Lord, when I cry aloud;
    be gracious to me and answer me! (Psalm 27:6-7)

 I will choose to seek the Lord.

You have said, “Seek my face.”
My heart says to you,
    “Your face, Lord, do I seek.” (Psalm 27:8)

I will choose to trust the Lord.

Hide not your face from me.
Turn not your servant away in anger,
    O you who have been my help.
Cast me not off; forsake me not,
    O God of my salvation!
For my father and my mother have forsaken me,
    but the Lord will take me in. (Psalm 27:9-10)

I will choose to learn, even if it’s painful.

Teach me your way, O Lord,
    and lead me on a level path
    because of my enemies.
Give me not up to the will of my adversaries;
    for false witnesses have risen against me,
    and they breathe out violence. (Psalm 27:11-12)

I will choose to believe.

I believe that I shall look upon the goodness of the Lord
    in the land of the living! (Psalm 27:13)

I choose to wait in expectation.

Wait for the Lord;
    be strong, and let your heart take courage;
    wait for the Lord! (Psalm 27:14)

Big Blood: Medical Adventures Overseas

Big Blood

Recently I had to get some blood drawn. It was routine and the lady taking my blood wasn’t at all impressed that this is not a normal part of my life. I’m not a fan of blood in general and I like mine to stay on the inside of me.

This experience reminded me of another day I had to get blood drawn.

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Where is Your Citizenship: Thoughts on the Election

Election

 

The Election

Clinton vs. Trump. Republican vs. Democrat. Economic issues, immigration issues, health care issues, moral issues, what’s a believer to do? How is the believer to respond during this election season?

I came back from the Middle East to a divided America. I was shocked by the issues being discussed on the news. I was even more shocked by the issues being discussed among believers. We should boycott this company because of transgender bathrooms. {WHAT??} We should support this candidate because of [fill in whatever political issue suits your fancy].

As I’ve watched in horror as those who would vie to become the leader of the free world lie, cheat and steal their way to the top, as I’ve listened to Jesus loving believers simply resign themselves to choosing the lesser of the evils on the ballot box, (or worse, to not vote at all) my heart was burdened.

As I’ve contemplated these thoughts I’ve come to some conclusions.

Participating in the Election is our Civic Duty

I’ve lived under a tyrannical dictator who has killed thousands and caused millions to live in utter terror. I’ve lived under a benevolent king who has worked tirelessly to eradicate corruption from a government built on bribes.

In both of those countries (and in the other two I’ve lived in) I had no voice. I was an outsider. I was required to simply obey the laws, no matter how futile or ridiculous. {You mean I have to come to the immigration office to fill out the same three forms in triplicate every day for three months? Awesome.}

In one of those countries, I had the privilege of watching a new constitution be developed. For the first time in the history of this particular nation, a truly elected prime minister was to be chosen rather than appointed by the king. I watched as people proudly donned their ink soaked index finger as proof they had participated in the election. Their voice was heard. They were empowered to make choices for their nation.

In the same way, I choose to participate in the election whenever I am in the US. Be that local, state or federal, I want my voice heard. I am an American. It is my right.

Participating in the Election is our Spiritual Duty

I’ve heard many say they are choosing to boycott certain companies because of transgender bathrooms. My first knee-jerk reaction was to fist pump my agreement to this degradation of our moral fiber.

And then my brain kicked in.

How can I expect a company run by those who do not follow the teachings of Jesus to hold the same moral values as I do? I’m punishing them for not knowing Christ.  That doesn’t seem very Christlike.

As I pondered this issue I realized that I was fighting the wrong battle. Boycotting a bunch of companies would not answer the problem. Instead, participating in the election and choosing those candidates in every area of government that hold my moral values will be the beginning of change. It may not happen overnight, but

There is a Deeper Spiritual Issue

Even so, transgender bathrooms (or whatever political issue being discussed at the moment) isn’t the real problem. The real problem is a spiritual one.

Maybe it’s time for the Church in America to rise up and show the true love of Christ. Maybe this means laying down our weapons of rhetoric and choosing to love those whose views are different from our own. Maybe it’s time to look at how Jesus treated sinners – not with condemnation, but with love and mercy. After all, “but for the grace of God, go I.”

Regardless of the Outcome, Our Citizenship is Secure

Inasmuch as I believe all Americans should vote in the election, I also believe that it does not define who I am. My passport says I am an American. However, my lifestyle and my personal beliefs say that I am first and foremost a citizen of heaven. Therefore, no matter what happens in the election, my future is secure because I belong to Christ.

Brothers, join in imitating me, and keep your eyes on those who walk according to the example you have in us. For many, of whom I have often told you and now tell you even with tears, walk as enemies of the cross of Christ. Their end is destruction, their god is their belly, and they glory in their shame, with minds set on earthly things. But our citizenship is in heaven, and from it we await a Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ, who will transform our lowly body to be like his glorious body, by the power that enables him even to subject all things to himself. Philippians 3:17-21

Prayerfully participate in the election and stand firm for the cause of Christ.

How are you approaching this election?

Yes, Jesus Knows Me

Jesus Knows Me

A friend wrote these words to the tune of Jesus, Jesus Loves Me.  I hope they minister to you as they did to me.

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Our Adoption Journey: The Rejection

Open Adoption

The Rejection

An email arrives in my inbox with the subject line telling me there’s a birth situation for us to look at. With trembling fingers I enter our password into the portal’s login page praying this is a situation we can say yes to. I read over the brief information and excitedly text the Mister giving him the highlights. We decide to say yes. And somewhere a birth mom advocate is showing our profile along with a bunch of others to a woman who might change our life.

And then we wait. I feverishly check my phone and email for any updates hoping it will be positive. And then it comes: an alert. Again I tremble as I log into the portal until I read that the birth mom has chosen a family and they have been notified.

We were not chosen.

Over and over this happens. We get attached to the idea of a little one only to be disappointed by rejection. “It’s all in God’s timing,” people tell us. My head tells me it’s true, but my heart has just been completely torn into tiny little pieces. Again. By someone I’ve never met.

And then the ugly comes out. 

Who is this person rejecting me? What’s wrong with us? Why weren’t we chosen? What were we lacking that the other family had? Why were they better? Why?

But there are no answers to this question. Just like Job there usually aren’t answers to the great whys of our life. They just are.

And in the process of this waiting, anticipation, rejection, waiting cycle, the Lord has brought something to light I didn’t even know was in my heart.  He is showing me that comparison leads in a downward spiral of ugliness. He’s challenging me to pray for the little one who has just been placed into someone’s care and for the family that was chosen.

My heart still breaks every time we are rejected. I still work to hold it all together when I’m working in Panera and a group of moms with their babies walk in. I’m still in this vicious cycle of waiting, anticipation and rejection. It still hurts.

Maybe this will make the moment we are matched that much sweeter because of the pain.

What do you do during painful times of rejection?

Sabbath Rest: Reflections from Psalm 92

The Mister and I have visited Israel a number of times (well, he lived there before we were married), and one of the issues to work around is the Sabbath. In Jewish areas the idea of Sabbath rest is so resolute elevators actually automatically stop on every floor to keep people from the work of pressing buttons. I won’t lie, I find the Sabbath in Israel to be loads more work than other days.

Sabbath Rest

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