Wednesday, July 28, 2010

There is no Play Book

Tonight was community outreach night and we are learning to follow God into the world and reach out to those who don't know Him. At first it seems really hard but once you get down to it, you just have to let God be God and do his own thing through us.

The idea is to go downtown in Kona and just meet the people down there and get to know them and love on them. We pray for people, heal them (God willing... which He usually is), love on them, and even lead them to Christ at times. Well before we went out tonight, Jeff who started this ministry here in Kona told us some miraculous stories about what has happened downtown in the past (feel free to ask if you want to be shocked and awed by God's raw power) and to let us know the basic concept. Well the way he ended before sending us out into the world was that we must remember there is no play book on how to reach out to people. What he means by this is yes we have the gospel and the great commission to share, but there isn't really a strict set of things to follow on how to get to know someone and love on them, you just have to let God be God. Well this couldn't have been more true.

As we got downtown I saw two homeless guys sitting on a ledge and we decided to go talk with them. Jose and I went over and were just chatting with them for 5 to 10 minutes just getting to know them and their stories. Sometimes just letting people talk will lead them to ask about the Lord because they can see His light shining bright in you and want to know more about it. Well this didn't happen this time and before we got to talk about Jesus and pray with them they said they had to go and we said farewell... but God wasn't done with one of the guys named Peter. As they were walking away, John who was with us but sitting down the street about 10 yards looked at the two guys and simply said, "Jesus loves you."

In 10 minutes we could not get these guys to open up deep with us but in just 10 seconds John penetrated the heart of Peter and he looked at us and said, "I know." Right then God told me to go back and talk with him again so I ran up to Peter and just started asking him about his walk with God. After opening up to me we continued to walk down the street talking while he put his arm around my shoulders as if we had been friends forever. I found that God had given Peter a heart with an unlimited capacity to love and that he was in desperate need of prayer for a job. I also found out that his wife Carry was in great need of prayer for seizures that she has been having for years. I told him that he would be on my heart and I would continue to pray for him which I will do diligently because I know the Lord wants to provide and work in Him.

It is just amazing to see how powerful God is and how it isn't about us, what we say or how we say it, but it is about his work. Tonight was uplifting and taught me a lot. I encourage all of you reading this to be bold and take time out of your day to talk with a stranger and share the LOVE of God with them. While we may not see the great impact then, we should not be discouraged because God is in charge of the growth... We are simply here to plant the seed!

Saturday, July 24, 2010

Outreach is upon us

So the time has come that we have finally found out our outreach locations and it has been a crazy process that looked something like this for me...

So first I must back up to Monday night in which the Spirit provided some miraculous healings and even covered a man in our group in gold dust (if you think I am kidding, I wish I was because I wouldn't sound as crazy). I can hardly even describe what happened this night in words but if you want to hear what really happened please ask me because I would love to tell you how powerful God really is.

Anyway, needless to say after this night, I was feeling on fire as if God was just going to make everything simple from here on out. Well truth be told, God ended up testing my obedience to Him once again. The leaders have been asking us to pray about where God wants us to go on outreach for a while and the short version is that I felt like it would be Thailand. On Tuesday morning they revealed the locations finally and Thailand happened to be one of them. So I was feeling really good like I was hearing God so well (which I was but he wanted to check my obedience). Andrew, our leader, asked that we pray all day about our choice and that we would turn them in that night. Well let's just say that my one prayer that day was half-hearted and I just knew I was to go to Thailand. That night we turned in our destinations and not even half an hour after turning it in, I felt restless and knew I had made a mistake.

The next day the leaders were praying over our decisions and Andrew called me because he heard from some that I was not feeling at peace and wanted to know what was up. While he was on the phone with me, Camille (who hears God so clearly) heard God say that the leaders needed to pray for me. So when Andrew got off the phone he asked what was going on and the leaders told him what God had said and he was like, "crazy I was just on the phone with him." Well things only got crazier. During their prayer many leaders got visions (which I will get into in a minute) of where I should go. So the next day I was meeting with Chris, my one on one leader, and he told me that I needed to know my new destination by the end of worship that night.

After worship I had no idea what to do so I asked a bunch of the leaders to pray that I would hear God's voice and while they were praying I heard "India." Well being stubborn and unsure of my ability to hear God I didn't voice this until after I heard the leaders say that is where they heard God leading me. So I confirmed what they heard and this is when they unleashed the amazing upon me...

Not only did multiple leaders have visions of me in India, but one of the leaders (Dan Bowman whose heart truly is one mirroring God's) had a vision of me in India not just for this outreach but further in the future too. So with all of the confirmation from God, I went to bed feeling good about my decision and woke up feeling great about it. It is crazy how God will work his way into our lives and lead us where He wants us if we are open to it. All in all, I will be leaving for India at the end of September for three months and I am so super stoked!!! While all of the info on our outreach isn't final, I will be updating you all on those details as they come. I love you all and thank you again for your prayers and support as I continue to obey God's call on my life.

Monday, July 19, 2010

The Outside Looking In


Today I was hit yet again with a realization from the Lord about what He is calling His followers to. I was late to worship tonight because of my work duty and when I got there it was kind of crowded so I decided to sit in a chair on the outside. I was sitting out there trying to get into the worship but just couldn't. I was so stunned that I couldn't get into it because the worship here has just been mind-blowing every time. I sat there in my chair and began to ask the Spirit to move in me and open my heart up to the worship, but it just wasn't happening. I was looking inside and saw how amazing worship was for everyone else but I just wasn't "feeling" it tonight so I decided to just chill.

About half way through, Kat (one of the worship leaders who hears the Spirit in ways that are unfathomable) began to say that she felt as if the Lord was asking everyone on the outskirts to get up and come inside. So I decided why not, it wasn't like I was really doing anything anyways. The moment I got on the inside it hit me that something amazing was going on in there and I was feeling the Spirit begin to move in me. I was alive again in the Spirit of worship and it was amazing.

What I began to hear the Lord say to me as my heart sang out to him was that too often we can be on the outside looking in and expecting the same thing to be happening outside that was happening inside. The truth is that God is always moving and making things happen but we need to take some initiatives to join him. I'm not saying that God doesn't meet us where we are in life because He does in great ways. But I am saying that when we don't "feel" God, maybe it's because we aren't taking the steps toward him. We MUST seek after him with our whole being and when we do, we will experience Him in amazing ways. Micah 6: 8 says, "The LORD has already told you what is good, and this is what he requires: to act justly, to love mercy, and to walk humbly with your God." In order to walk humbly with God, we must take steps toward the inside of where he is at.

Friday, July 16, 2010

Power of Prayer

One thing that has moved me so much while I have been here in Kona is prayer. There is so much power in prayer and it is a power that I have not realized. I have never really seen how far prayer can go and to be honest I don't feel like I have really had many honest and passionate prayers in my life until I have been here with YWAM. I am learning what it truly means to hear from the Spirit inside and to speak truth from that. It is no longer about the amount of words that come out of my mouth but rather about the quality and truth of the words that do come out.

Lou Engle has been here in Kona for this past week and tonight he prayed with a passion and intensity that I have not seen in a long time if ever. He prayed truth and wisdom over us and it made me really think about my prayer life and how much time I spend in prayer. One thing he said that really made me think and something that I want you to reflect upon (whether you are a believer or not) is the idea of how we expect great things to happen for God in places where an entire nation prays together 5 times a day and we as a nation just pray here and there as if God makes talking with Him so inconvenient???

I don't know if that came across clear but it just really hit me tonight that unless we change the way we pray and our belief in prayer then we are not making the impact that we could because there truly is Power in Prayer... and I have seen that now and want you all to know this truth. If there is ever a time that I don't think I need to pray about my day, a decision, or anything, I will just look to the Gospels and realize that Jesus prayed more than anyone and He was Emanuel, God with us!

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Burn Your Ship

Classes have finally started and we are really getting into the routine of things. The days have been filled by worship, class, prayer, basketball, and going into town for ice cream (which all of you who know me could probably guess that I only go to hangout and not eat hahaha). We also start work duties this week which I am actually looking forward to. I have weekend kitchen duty which means I am in the kitchen all weekend. The upside to this is that I don't work all week and we only have to do it every other weekend, so I definitely got hooked up. I am so happy that things are finally beginning because since I have got here all I have wanted to do was jump in head first and get things started. I have been so hungry for the wisdom this place has to offer and I am finally getting fed.

This place has been amazing, shocking, uncomfortable, terrifying, and peaceful all at once. You may wonder how that is possible and let me tell you that it is only possible when you are so completely submerged into the Spirit and the Word like we have been. It is mind-blowing! There are big things happening here and there is no turning back now.

Our speaker for this week is Philip York who is talking about hearing God's voice in our life. It has been exciting to learn all about this. One thing that he brought up this week was an idea that is becoming very real and tangible in my life right now... this is the idea of "Burning my ship." What this means is that I must realize that I am here at this place for one reason and I need to burn the ship that got me here so that I can't turn back. This ship includes everything that has held me back from fully committing to the LORD. So the interesting thing now is finding out what my ship is and what it contains. I wish I could only describe to you how difficult this process has been but how rewarding it has been at the same time.

I really hope all of you are following my blog as much as you can and I will try my best to stay on top of it as much as I can. If you have any thoughts or questions ever about anything you read feel free to email me or even to leave your question as a post and I will get back to you as quickly as I can. (Kind of sounds like an answering machine) Thank you all again for following this, it means a lot to me.

Friday, July 9, 2010

THIS IS IT!

As I sit in my room with the breeze cooling me off I do not worry about the cockroaches, ants, constant sweating, bugs or anything else that used to bring me so far out of my comfort zone that I couldn't focus on what was good. I am in the place that I know I am supposed to be and with this I am at peace.

I have only been in Kona for one day now and I have never felt so sure about where I was or what I was doing. I have had multiple staff now come up to me with words that God had put on their heart to tell me, and every word from all of them said the same thing... "THIS IS IT. It's not going to be like last time. Don't worry about 'how'... Abide in me... Rest in me... I will show you the way."

I truly believe these words to be the truth. I do believe that this is it... this is the time that I truly decide to follow the calling in my life and this time I will not to turn back. I don't regret anything I have done in my life and I am blessed to experience everything I have and still come to the place that I am at now. I wish I could explain more to all of you how at peace I truly find myself right now... it is truly amazing.

As with the rest of YWAM so far, I love it. The people of the Island have been very welcoming. They started today off with a ritual inviting us to their land to live here and tonight we are having a huge worship and dinner festival with everyone here apart of YWAM Kona. My roommates have been super cool guys. They are both Korean but one is from LA and the other is from Australia which blows everyone away to see a Korean with an Australian accent. We are waiting for our last roommate to arrive from Canada but no one seems to know when he is getting here. Anyways, that is what is going on for now... classes and everything start on Monday so I am getting really excited about that. Continue to pray for me that I would hear God's calling and follow it whole heartedly. I miss you all and thank you for your support.

Thursday, July 1, 2010

The Tides are changing



As I have been preparing for YWAM over the past six months or so God has encouraged me in ways that I never thought possible. Some of these encouragements have been my friends and family praying for me and telling me how excited they are for me... but others have been divine and somewhat odd. First off a few months ago my buddy O'leary and I were eating some Vietnamese food and he made me open my fortune cookie which I never do. My fortune (which is still in my wallet) read, "Remember three months from this date. Good things are in store for you." Well I got that fortune on April 8th which for those of you who don't know was exactly three months from the day I arrive in Hawaii for YWAM. That is just one crazy thing that could have been coincidence but who knows.

Then just as amazing is that all of the leaders for my YWAM team have been keeping in touch with me on a regular basis praying for me and asking if I needed anything. They have been on top of things in a way which I have never imagined. More so I recieved an email from one of my leaders the other day that read, "As I was praying tonight, I got a vision of you that I thought I would share. So I felt the Lord spoke 'newness' to me and then I saw a picture of you on the beach sleeping as the same waves were crashing over and over. Then all of the sudden a GIANT wave came crashing right over you and you were awakened to a whole new set of waves, different than the first ones, but so much better. You didn't even want to go back to sleep but you wanted to be out there in the new waves. I feel like this is going to be a fresh seaseon for you filled with such new things, things you've never experienced or known before... but it's going to be so good!!"

These things have been so encouraging and exciting. In just a week from today I will be off to YWAM and I know big things are going to happen there and I feel so blessed right now. So I just wanted to share the things that are happening so far pre-YWAM and please continue to follow my blog and pray for me as big things are going to happen over there. I hope everyone has a good Fourth of July!