Monday, November 26, 2012

Blessed


There is so much to talk about from this past week!  We had a wonderful lady, Sarah Lanier, come and talk to us Monday-Wednesday on engaging cross culturally!  I found this topic very intriguing because I plan on visiting many different cultures in my lifetime!  She had so many great thought provoking things to say but I only will be able to mention a couple things here! 

One big thing from her teaching was unity!  In John 17 starting in verse 20 Jesus talks about how we are suppose to be one with each other as Jesus is one with God.  It was really interesting because she was saying one of the biggest ways people get burned out of something is when they have a team that argues.  Strife in the Bible is listed along side murder.  God does not like it and there is no grace/presence of God when a team is fighting. We must constantly die to ourselves and put others first!

  Another big thing that struck me was when she was talking about people’s values.  Everybody has values, which are feelings/laws we live by.  There are two big types of values, which are individual and cultural.  The key is that values are emotional.  There are no set right and wrong values to have.  Everybody has a different past and have been raised certain ways in terms of their family and environments.  This was a huge revelation to me because I fell under believing my values are right and that certain other people’s values were wrong.  I realized this week that I was majorly wrong!  My values are not better or right compared to other peoples!  This will be a key for me in going to different cultures.  I now know to adapt to them and not change them because neither of us is right only God is the real right way! 

Along with this wonderful teaching Thanksgiving was this past week!  I had the amazing opportunity to go home to spend it with my family!!! It was the first time flying by myself and Atlanta airport was an absolutely crazy experience!  So through constant prayers to God I found my way through and I boarded my plane to head home!  It was just so incredible to see my family when I came off of the plane!!! I missed them so much in the two months I had been gone!  It was great just to go home and eat the meal my mom prepared and just relax at home and talk with them!!

While home we hit up the stores black Friday for some good deals on clothes!  We got family pictures in and went and cut down a Christmas tree and decorated it!  I visited my dad's family to celebrate my birthday as well.  Also, I was so happy I got to go to church Sunday morning!  It was really great to see everyone again!  I just felt so extremely blessed to be able to spend this time with my family!  I am incredibly thankful for them!  God really blessed me with my amazing family! 

I also got some sad news over the weekend that one of the boys in the orphanage in Burkina Faso that I visited passed away.  He was one of the boys critically injured during the bus accident over the summer.  They thought that he was all-good except for not being to see out of his left eye, so this came as a great shock!  Early Saturday morning he ended up passing away due to the trauma he suffered during this accident.  This is a very sad/hard time for my friends over in Burkina so if I could just ask everyone to send some prayers up for them that would be so wonderful!  They need all the love and comfort they can get!  He was a lover of the Lord however and is a much better place!!!  The hard part is for all his loved ones left here!


Sunday, November 18, 2012

Mind Blown!

Talk about one intense week! How about the topic of Spiritual Warfare!  This is probably one of the least favorite topics for most Christians but when in reality it is such an uplifting subject!!  A crazy fact is that we all are living in spiritual warfare whether we want to admit it or not.  There really is a devil and demons.  People really can be possessed and attacked! BUT, THE POWER OF GOD IS SO MUCH GREATER!!! Half the battle of spiritual warfare is realizing it exists!

We watched Dean Sherman's videos on this topic and when all was said and done I ended the week with 13 pages of notes!  My mind was blown after every teaching!  It was a great encouragement to me to have spiritual warfare put into perspective!  Since I have been here I have developed a real hatred towards the devil!  I knew going into this week that I wanted God to work through me to save people from the lies and bondage from the devil but I was a little fearful about what it was going to consist of.  So the perspective I got from the teaching this week really gave me confidence!  It is so crazy that even the devil knows he is defeated but he also knows that people believe the lies he feeds them and don't know the power they have in Christ!  As a believer in Christ if you ask/command anything in the name of Jesus all demonic forces must bow and allow your prayer to be answered!  The thing is as a Christian we have to take that authority and exercise it!  If we don't the devil will just keep up his works and putting on his shows.

A big question that is commonly asked by people everywhere, believers and nonbelievers is if God is so loving why is there so much bad in the world?  I got the answer to this question this week!  It is because God is also just!  If he did away with one murder or one rape He would have to put an end to not only all murders and rapes but all selfishness!  Selfishness is the source of a murder or rape so He would have to take it away.  Selfishness is a choice.  We choose to be selfish.  God has given us free will!  We have the power in this world with selfishness to make choices.  Just like we have the choice to love God and others!  More people will be saved by having the freedom to choose and overcome than they would if God took all evil out of this world!  However remember no one suffers forever unless they choose to!  Also God leaves evil to teach us!  God could have saved us from our sins and took us straight to Heaven but He didn't because He wants to teach us.  He did not plan for evil to enter the earth but since it is here He is using it to His advantage!  To save the lost!  As a believer of Christ we have the authority!  We must take the initiative and pray!  This will in turn release God's power.  Without God man can't do anything and without man God won't do anything!  The ball is in our court! It is to the degree and specificness with which we pray that God moves on the affairs of man! So next time you ask the question, why won't God do something? remember God is asking you the exact same question...why won't you do something???

There is so much I could write on this topic but I would just like to mention one more thing!  ANGELS EXIST!!! How cool is that to really think about and rap your mind around! When thinking in terms of spiritual warfare this is an important thing to remember!  Psalms 34:7 says, "The angel of the Lord encamps around those who fear Him, and delivers them."  We need to be as aware that angels exists as we are about the stuff we can see in a room, such as chairs.  There are plenty of other verses in the Bible where angels are mentioned!  It is just important to remember that the powers of God we have working with us is way greater than the enemy!  The Bible says nothing about being fearful of the enemy for a reason!  We don't need to be afraid with God we are victorious!  Be aware of evil but never impressed!!!

This topic just excites me so much! I am looking forward to living out God's will for my life!  I want to set people free from the lies and bondage of the enemy so bad!  No one needs to live under that!  We have a great God!  He loves everyone on this earth unconditionally!!! Just think how sad He is that there are so many people on this earth that don't know His love!!! I want to be used by God to bring these people to know His love and love Him back!

Well with all this excitement of the teaching I also turned 20 this week!!! I am so blessed to be surrounded by people that love me! I get to go home and see my wonderful family for Thanksgiving this coming week but for my birthday I got to spend it with my brothers and sisters here in Georgia!  I had a blast! I got so many cards from everyone here and I just felt so special!  My birthday was friday night so we were able to get off base and have some fun!  I love to ice skate so we went to the ice skating rink!  I think it is safe to say eveyone had a great time which made me really happy!  After one and a half hours of skating we headed back to the base stopping by Walmart to pick up some birthday cake ice cream!  When we got back we ate some ice cream and watched Monsters Inc.!! It was just a fun night!  Then saturday night we got all dressed up for fun and went to a mexican restaurant for supper!  And this morning we went again to Passion City Church which is always a good time!  It was just a pretty great birthday weekend all together!!!  I am so blessed! :)

Friday, November 9, 2012

Time is flying by...

Getting ready to worship!!
I am finding it really hard to believe that we are already over half way down with our lecture phase of DTS!  The time here is flying by!  We just arrived back at our base today after spending the week in Talladega, Alabama for the YWAM Southeast Conference!  It was a really great week!  There were about 10 different bases there equally about 400 people total!  The teaching of the week was lead by a guy named Paul Hawkins and he spoke on the Nature and Character of God!  (If you ever get the chance to hear him speak live or from an audio...DO IT!)  My mind was literally blown after every teaching!!!! (The week was recorded and I will get a copy if anyone is interested in hearing it I would be happy to pass it along!) I want to share some key points that he spoke on this week:

- First thing he pointed out is that, what you believe about God determines what you believe about   everything else.  
- Cool thing is God awakes us every morning!  He knows our schedules and will make sure we are up on time if we just trust Him!  No need for alarm clocks!  (I have started doing this and sure enough every morning that I wanted to be up to have quiet time and get ready for breakfast I was awake at pretty much exactly 6:45 every time!!!)
- Jesus did not die just so we could be saved.  He died to restore the broken relationship with man!  God's heart is for relationship with us!  
THE CROSS IS THE CENTER OF HISTORY NOT THE BEGINNING!
- God gives us righteous desires so He can bless us by fulfilling them! 
- We are all spirits living in a body! We are spiritual!  There is nothing concerning reality that is not spiritual.
- We build and maintain relationship between regular and consistent 2 way communication!  Do not only talk to God, but listen to Him!  He wants to talk to you! (Hearing His voice is not a gift, but a skill that is developed!)
- God is personal! He is a person!  
- A suffering of the righteous opens the door of grace for the undeserving!
Love these guys!
- The root of faith is the knowledge of a person!  We must get to know God! Know= most intimate relationship with a person (God).  Genesis 4:1 "Adam knew Eve his wife, and she conceived and bore Cain, saying, 'I have gotten a man with the help of the Lord.'"

This is just an extremely small part of the teaching!  I was going to try and pick points through my whole notes but there is just a bunch to go through right now!  As I mentioned earlier if you would be interested in hearing more on this teaching just let me know!  

Another amazing part about this week was the worship!!! Bryce Anderson was the worship leader and he did an incredible job!  I would recommend looking up some of his songs!!! 

It was such a great week!  On top of all of the great teachings and worship I also realized how God has blessed me with such amazing brothers and sisters as well!  My sisters and brothers were always eager to help me out when I was struggling and ready to take people out if I said the word (of course that was not needed lol)! However I felt so blessed to know I have these brothers and sisters in my life!!! 

Sunday, November 4, 2012

Destiny!

Last week we had a wonderful couple come to our base and teach on Destiny!  They are such an inspirational couple of God!  Their ministry is called Streams of Mercy where they sponsor orphanages and medical clinics all over the world!  They not only sponsor these places but they build relationships with these places and the children!  It was very awesome for me to know that God creates ministries like theirs that provide financial need to orphanages!  So if I have my own orphanage one day then I could possible partner up with a ministry like this and not have to necessary deal with the financial part of it!  Visit their website: http://www.streamsofmercy.org/

Something to think about: There are 143 Million orphans in this world but there are more Christian families.  If every Christian family adopted 1 orphan there would be no more orphans in this world! 

Them just coming was great but the teaching was also so wonderful too!  Destiny is a pretty fun thing to talk about when you know God is in control of it!  He didn't sugar coat any of it however!  He informed us the road to destiny is paved with brokenness, humility and dying to self! It is important to know that following God doesn't always mean everything will be awesome all the time!  There will be plenty of trials and hard times but everything will be worth it!

God's destiny will not be magnificent in the eyes of the world!  Worldly things won't matter when you only care what God thinks of you and no body else!  Jesus died for us and we must daily die to ourselves for Him!

Today we are off to Talladega, Alabama to spend the week at the YWAM southeast conference!  Here we will be with all the YWAM bases in the southeast and will be taught on the Nature and Character of God!  I am looking forward to this topic and continue to build a more intimate relationship with my Father!

God has already changed my life so much!  I am filled with Joy!  I have come to realize I need to embrace the person God created me to be and not look to be anything else!  With this I have become a much more confident person and very happy! I feel so blessed to have been given the wonderful people in my life that I have and to be who I am!  God made everyone in His perfect image!  I realize now that it is an insult to God to speak badly about yourself! He made you and you are wonderful!