Thursday, September 30, 2010

Be Still and Listen

There is so much going on here in India and it has already been super exciting. The second day we were here my cab got dropped off in the wrong place and so we were lost in the city of Mumbai with no contact numbers. Talk about a time to listen to God. Well I am here so we made it and God told us where to meet up while accomplishing so much more in the time we were split up... He is amazing. Then today we had to stay inside all day because of the possibility of riots since there is a huge debate going on over land between Hindus and Muslims. But again God showed up and the best possible outcome came up and nothing has happened. Plus we got to spend time in some hardcore intercession for this country. It is amazing how God is showing up here already and speaking. I have not heard God as clear anywhere in the world as I have here. I have found that when you follow God's will for your life and live in intimacy with Him, you begin to hear His voice so much more clear. Today was a great day of understanding because we got to lay around all day just soaking in His presence and listening to Him. While he is teaching me so much here already I don't have any deep thoughts or ideas to share with you other than to say that we need to find time to be still and know that God is God and when we just stop and listen we realize that He has been speaking to us the whole time. Slow down and just listen because I know God is speaking.

Other than that some quick highlights of India while I have internet is that everything is super fast paced and insane hahaha. But even in what seems to be chaos there is so much structure. Everyone is so hospitable here even though some of their hospitality is way different than that of the western world. For example, it is super polite here to push your way through people as you are boarding trains that have literally five times more people than they are meant to carry (and while that seems like a joke I am being serious, they get mad if you don't cram and push your way on the train cause they want everyone on board). The chai here is amazing for you tea lovers and the food is probably the best food I have ever had in my life, literally it might be better than taco bell and if you know me that is saying a lot. It is hard to be here at times if I am to be honest because it is very uncomfortable but that is exactly what I asked God for because I knew it would make me rely on Him more. God is great and I am so blessed to be able to serve here in India. If you can continue to pray for my team that would be amazing and if you have anything you need prayer for please ask. I love you all and can't wait to see you in Decemeber.

On a side note... Congrats to Matty and Kirst who are getting married this Saturday I so wish I could be there guys, I know it is going to be amazing. I love you both!

Friday, September 24, 2010

A Treasure for All

Before I get into some amazing revelation from Jake Hamilton, I wanted to thank all of you again who supported me and made it possible for me to even be going to India tomorrow morning. I do not know if I will have internet over there to blog for the next few months but please keep checking in the chance that I can.

Now when Jake Hamilton was speaking in our class he said something really interesting that I had never really thought of. In Matthew 13:44 Jesus tells the parable of the Hidden treasure and then in 13:45-46 he tells the parable of the Pearl Merchant. What I never really thought of is that these two parables go together and work off of one another.

The first tells the story of a poor man who finds a treasure (which is the Kingdom of Heaven) in a field in which he then burries it and sells everything he has to purchase the field with the treasure in it. First off, think of how long it would take you to sell everything you own. This man devoted his whole life to selling everything he had just so he could purchase the field with the treasure in it. That is how valuable this treasure is to the poor man.

Following this parable we then read of a rich man who was a pearl merchant looking out for choice pearls and then he came across a pearl of great value (which is the Kingdom of Heaven) in which he went on to sell everything he owned to buy it. This rich man saw the pearl and sold everything he had to obtain it. The incredible thing that we find when reading both of these parables together is that no matter who you are, rich or poor in life, the Kingdom of Heaven is worth giving away everything for. The rich man found just as much value in the Kingdom as the poor man and they both sold everything they had to obtain it.

Remember that no matter where you are in life or what you have, the Kingdom of Heaven is worth giving all of that away to obtain it. Jesus told us to die to ourselves so that we could truly live in Him. The things we have and the life we dream of will never be better than the life God has for us and when we can truly see the value in the Kingdom of Heaven, no matter who we are or where we are at, we will be willing to give everything away to obtain it. I know that I have seen this realization and this is why I am willing and excited to devote my entire life to knowing God and loving Him more and more each day. I also see so much value in the Kingdom that I am willing to give everyone an opportunity to have it which is why I will share the Gospel with anyone. If you are ever afraid to share the Gospel with people think of it in this way...

If you saw a truck speeding down the road about to slam into someone, would you not tell them to move or even go as far as to tackle them out of the way in order to save their life? Penn (from Penn and Teller, who is an atheist) was told about Jesus from a fan and in an interview he thanked the fan for sharing even though he didn't believe what the guy said. But what he said in the interview struck my heart so hard. Penn said, "If you Christians truly believe that someone who doesn't know Jesus is going to go to hell when they die, then how much do you have to hate that person not to share the truth with them?" I really want you to think about this for a moment...

I know that is a sour note to leave you on but I leave with this because I pray for boldness over all of you and myself that we can go into the world and share the good news about Jesus to everyone. I love you all and I can't wait to share with you all that God is doing in India. Blessings!

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

The Next Move

So sorry for taking so long to update all of you on my decision. The internet here on campus has not been the most reliable thing to say the least and that on top of this being our last weekend and so on has made it hard to update all of you. Well let me begin by telling all of you thank you for your prayers during this time because I know they helped a lot. This is what I had been going through and how I got to my decision.

I was so set on being a part of the leadership of Awaken staff because I truly believe in what they do and I have got to be a part of Awaken from the beginning even though I am a student this quarter because this is the first quarter for the Awaken DTS. Well then two weeks ago Amy Sollars who leads Fire and Fragrence asked me to staff with them which is a huge privilage because I have a lot of respect for her and the other leaders. So I began going back and forth literally every 15 minutes or so as to which one I should do and it got really hard because I never thought I would come to a decision. Then two Sundays ago it came to me in prayer. God told me that I needed to take the leadership and all of the people out of the equation and go from there. When I did that I came to my decision. Well to make things even better I got a text from my mom the next day who had been in prayer earlier that morning and she gave me a word that she too felt God was saying to take Amy and Andrew out of the equation and go with what fulfills my vision most and my desires in leadership. This was amazing because my mom didn't know I got the same word from God the day before, I love how God works.

So anyways I got to sit on my decision for the next few days and really see how it sat with my soul and I was at peace about it. On Thursday of last week I met with Amy and Andrew both and told them that I was going to be joining the Awaken Staff starting January! They were both super supportive which made things a lot easier. With that said I will be coming home for Christmas on December 18th and then I will be getting a one way ticket back to Kona on January 5th... from there we will see where God takes me but I am very very excited for a future of just getting to know Him and His love more each day. I love you all and just wanted to update you on my decision and hopefully I will get to post something amazing that I had learned last week before I leave for India this Friday!!! So be praying for that. I miss you all and dwell in God's love because it's better than anything else I have ever found.

Monday, September 13, 2010

Not 100%

I am at a point of making a decision as to the next step in my life and as I do this, I do not go about it alone but rather I go to God for guidance. Well what if God doesn't answer or what if I am not a 100% sure that what I am hearing is from God?

This has been the looming question that I have been dealing with lately and it is because I have surrendered my life to Him so I want to do what He has planned for me. Well there are some conclusions I have come to on this topic with the help of Dan Baumann who spoke in my DTS this past week. The answer is that we don't have to be 100% sure what God is saying, we just have to step out in faith that He is speaking. Now this may sound wrong or weird but hear me out first.

God made us who we are. He instilled in our being certain desires and characteristics that not everyone has. So if I have surrendered my life to Him, and if I have been drawn into His heart, and if my every prayer and desire is to do what He wants me to do, then do you not believe that our heart which is now aligned with His will help guide us? As I seek out what God has for me, and as I begin to listen to what I think He wants me to do through His still small voice inside of me, then I can step out in faith that His heart is directing mine... And if there is a peace in my soul and heart about that decision, and if it is glorifying to God, then do you not also believe that this is God's comfirmation?

I truly believe that a good, faithful, and completely loving God has changed our hearts so much once we obide in Him and surrender our lives to Him that our heart will begin to reflect His. So the way we see others, situations, decisions, will begin to reflect His. This is possible through the Holy Spirit that dwells in us who Jesus calls parakletos in the greek which means comforter, standby, advocate, intercessor, teacher, friend, guide, strengthener, leader, and helper. God's reflecting heart through the Spirit in us will guide us and give us peace in decisions we make even if we are only pretty sure we are hearing God through the still small voice inside of us.

With all of this said, I am beginning my week of prayer and fasting to just simply enjoy God's presence and in this know that as I make my decision about what to do next, the Spirit will give me peace and guidance even if I am not 100% sure what God is saying. Sometimes both directions are good and God just wants us to make a choice because both will glorify and further our relationship with Him. At the end of the day, all that really matters is that we grow closer to God, further His Kingdom and realize that no matter what... He still Loves us... ain't that amazing?!?!

Friday, September 10, 2010

Decisions Decisions

It has been quite a long time since I have blogged and I apologize for that but it has been a busy couple weeks. I am going to do my best to catch you up on what is going on in my life but it's not going to be the full story so if you want to hear more please contact me.

Well it all started at the beginning of last week when we had Amy Sollars come to our class to share on the truth about the Holy Spirit. Let me tell you, this was quite a reality check... but God is so good all of the time. Amy unleashed a reality upon me in so many ways that has changed my perspective on many things and not only that it has strengthened my relationship with God. Now my story with Amy started at the time of my application and without getting into it too much, God knew from the beginning of time he was going to use her to open my eyes to His Love. So after God rocked my world last week, my parents came in and got to experience a weekend full of my transformation, Heidi Baker, and Amy which to say the least has wrecked all of us in the best way possible. It was the most encouraging and needed weekend I have had in a long time. Again if you want details about it please ask my folks or ask me because I would love to share.

Well after all of this, God decided to throw me a curveball about my future and this is really what I want to talk about because it has to do with many of you too. God has been telling me for quite some time now that I would be back in Kona working with YWAM after my DTS. The details of that have been left out and are still left out to an extent but He has opened two amazing doors for me and this is where I am at. I have an opportunity to staff the same DTS I am in next July and from January until then I can spend time with the staff and build up our leadership community as a body of believers who are seeking after the Lord to really develop what the Awaken DTS is supposed to look like. This is really where I thought God would be taking me until Saturday when he threw me a curveball. On Saturday Amy asked if I would like to join her staff and work with them starting as soon as I get back from outreach in a separate DTS called Fire and Fragrence. This too is such an amazing opportunity and I am now in the middle of two great options. Please don't think that I am complaining about these two options but know that this is a very hard decision. So what I want to really ask of you is two things:

1. I would love for you to be praying for me diligently that God would reveal His will for me by the end of next week because that is when I need to know my decision. I am going to be fasting and praying all next week as I seek the Lord and I would love it if some or all of you would like to join me in this process because I truly think of all of you as part of a team who supports and believes in what God has called me to. And if during your time of prayer and fasting you hear a word from God for me... please do share :)

2. I would like for you to also be praying into God's will for you to partner with me in this journey for as long as He has me in the missions field. The missionary lifestyle is a very humble one in which I can only go on as long as I have a prayer and monetary support team backing me up. I don't need any final commitments anytime soon but please be seeking the Lord on this matter because it is something that I truly need in order to fulfill this calling.

As always I thank you all for your support and commitment to God's calling on my life and I again ask that if any of you need prayer for anything please do not hesitate to ask because I would truly love to pray for you all as well. I love you guys and I will be blogging more frequently in the future, I have just had a heavy couple weeks... which have been amazing, but it has made it hard to blog during them. By the way I thank you all so much for your support because I have all of my finances in now and I will be off to spread God's love in India in two weeks!!!! I truly cannot wait because God has given me His heart for the people in India and He loves them so much... I cannot wait to show them how He feels about them! Blessings