Friday, October 29, 2010

When God Laughs

God loves to laugh and we should learn to laugh with Him. He tells us to have child-like faith and I think a big part of this command is to have the joy of a child that knows laughter brings life to the soul.

Before our team left Kona we were praying and getting words from God for our time in India. I got the words "touch and bless the water." Of course at the time this just sounded absurd and I had no idea what it meant but I shared the words with our team anyway expecting God to be God, and believing He would come through on these words.

On Thursday morning pastor Ashu asked if some people from the team would join him at two dedications the Din Bandhu ministry was a part of. While I wasn't truly in the mood I decided I would go and so did Chase and Rachel. We didn't think about what was going on but we just went to be supportive to Ashu. When we got to the first village dedication not a single thought about what we were really doing in this village went through my head. At the end of the dedication our team was asked to come up and pray over what was being dedicated that day.

During a prayer of blessing God spoke to me and said, "Cassidy what are you doing right now?"

I hesitated and said, "I'm praying."

Then God spoke again and this time I could hear Him giggling as He asked, "What are you praying for?"

At that moment it dawned on me and while my outburst of laughter wasn't enough to steal the attention it was one in the company of laughter with God. You see at that moment I finally put it together that Chase, Rachel and I were laying our hands on a large water pump connected to an underground water spring that was supplying fresh water to this village. We were touching and blessing the water in India. God was laughing because the word He gave our team in India was one He knew we wouldn't understand, but he was so excited for the moment that He would reveal His plan to us. God loves to speak to us, to tell us the things he wants to do, and to laugh with us like best friends or a father and child.

While it is true that we are to follow God in reverence and awe, and we are to fear Him as the Old Testament so clearly states, we are also supposed to laugh with Him. God IS joy among all of His other infinite characteristics and we must be careful not to just embrace one aspect of Him but instead enjoy all of Him. Laughter is a part of God's being and to be caught up in times of laughter with God have been some of the most joyful times of my life. So enjoy a child-like faith and look for the times in life that God wants to have a good laugh with us because He is a good father who loves when His children begin to see His plan unfold!

Friday, October 22, 2010

The Living Word

The word of God is living and active. This has become such a reality to me as our team has had the privilege of sharing the good news with people all over central India. I have come to see for myself that it is not about what we say or how we say it, rather it is only about letting God's will be done and His spirit flow through us and use us. The words may not always sounds right to us as they come out, but every time we share the good news about God's love and Jesus Christ to the villages, they respond. You can literally see God grip the hearts of these people through His word and move in them. They change, there is no heart to hard for the love of God. We have seen many come to the Lord and I am constantly surprised by the ones who stand first to accept God's love in these villages. Speak about God's love, not your own agenda and people will change. Maybe not right in front of your eyes, but know that God is working in their hearts and that is what matters. It is not about us at all... it is not about the numbers being saved or being healed... it is about loving God more and more each day and letting His love overflow from our lives into the lives of those around us.

A little update on what we have been doing. We spent the beginning of this week at another compound in central India owned by the Din Bandhu ministry team that we are working with. We got to see their training school and another one of their bigger churches. We also had the privilege of washing the feet of widows (the guys could only pray over them because of the culture so we could not touch them, but the women got to wash their feet), what a life changing experience. It is so humbling and brings just as much love to our heart as it did to theirs. We got back to Wardha on Wednesday and went to a couple villages. Last night I had the honor of getting to share the gospel in front of a crowd of over 200. I could literally do this my whole life. God's love is so incredible and has changed my life so much that I want everyone to know it. This Sunday I also have been blessed with an opportunity to preach in the church here in Wardha which I am stoked about because this won't be the "Gospel" directly but a message from the word which I am really looking forward to. We head back to Mumbai on the 8th of November and will spend our last month in India there.

That is a brief update on what is happening so far. Please continue to pray for our team as we go into the villages each night, and please also keep the three Haiti teams in your prayers because of the cholera outbreak there in the drinking water. They have been sorrowed by watching women and children die in front of them and it has been really hard on them so if you could lift them up in your prayers that would mean a lot to me and their teams. If you have any questions please email me or leave comments below. My APU email address is not working for the time being so feel free to email me at TSnwbrdng@hotmail.com or get me on facebook. I love you guys and can't wait to share all of this with you in person, blessings!

Thursday, October 14, 2010

A Light in the Darkness

It has all been worth it. The months spent praying for India. All of the preparation getting ready to come here. All of your prayer back home. All of the time spent in God's word getting closer to Him and His heart for these people. All of the time spent in worship thanking God for the things he has done and will do... It has all been worth it.

We have been in India now for almost a month and while we have made many friends and got to know the culture, we haven't seen God show up in the way that everyone was imagining. We had very high expectations for our team, actually many people had high expectations for our team and what God was going to do through us. As I struggled with not seeing God show up in big ways yet, I kept having the same conversation with Him.

"Cassidy if you didn't see people come to know me, if you didn't see people get healed, if you didn't see miracles here in India... then would you still serve me faithfully?" While I had a hard time with it I told God, "Yes I will serve you faithfully my whole life even if I don't see the fruit of my labor."

Through the faithfulness of our team God has begun to show up in a mighty way. Two nights ago we went to a village that we had to hike to in the middle of nowhere that had never seen white people let alone hear the Gospel. After sharing, 5 people gave their life to Christ. On our way home that night I started rejoicing and telling God that if nothing else happened in India while we were here, it was all worth it.

But God wasn't done and isn't done... He has asked our team to be a light in the darkness and to spread the light of His love throughout India. Tonight our team went to another village much bigger and got to share testimonies and the Gospel again. God showed up in a huge way! Over 50 people gave their life to Christ tonight and as if that wasn't enough, God wanted to heal the sick too. Over 10 people were healed from different sicknesses and ailments. God is so good and as our team was heading back tonight we felt Him saying to us that it isn't over and that there is so much more for us to do. I want to encourage you to continue praying for our team because your prayers are being answered. Rejoice in the Lord always and be a light unto the world, be bold in your faith and God will use you. I love you all.

Friday, October 8, 2010

Giving Up your Life isn’t Always Death

I heard a story this morning of an atheist slave owner who owned an island. He said if any Christians come to the island he will send them away and if they are ship wrecked he will put them on the other side of the island. This is how much he despised Christianity. He was so tired of hearing the Christian message that he would do everything he could to get away from it.

Two Moravian Christians heard about this man and felt called to go there. The only way this was possible was to sell themselves into slavery to this man. The money he paid for them was used by them to get to the island because the slave owner would not pay their way over.

In the early 1900s they boarded a ship and everyone they knew came out to say goodbye... For they had not sold themselves into slavery for a few years but had in fact done so for life. They were determined to spend their whole life spreading the Gospel to the slave owner and to all of the slaves on the island who would not have a chance to hear the good news.

As their ship was leaving, one of them shouted out, "All glory to the lamb that was slain. May he receive the glory of suffering."

This brought tears to my eyes because it was in this moment that I realized I was not truly willing to do the same thing. I always thought I was willing to sacrifice my life for God but I never realized this sacrifice may not be death but rather all of the years of life. What is it that holds me back? Is it fear? What am I afraid of?

I find it so easy to truly say I would be willing to die for Christ, but am I truly willing to live for Him? Are you? This is something that I have been going over and over with in my mind and I ask that you do the same. To die for Christ would mean to sacrifice life and go to be with the Father. To live for Christ means to spend all of the years of life for Him and sacrificing every part of myself for him so that when we leave this world we go to be with Him. Which one is more glorifying to God? Are they the same? I have no answer but I know this is stirring something deep in my soul and I hope it does the same for you. Are you willing to do both? Either? None? This is not to judge but to come to a reality with self.