and i feel jetlagged, nostalgic, and excited….
i have so many emotions right now. i’m ready for the next season, the next step in my life, but i’m also missing the philippines. i’m missing the community i had there, the people that i lived and loved with for the past four months. however, i know those pieces will be picked back up shortly, it’s still hard.
the time since december certainly didn’t go as i thought it would, but leave it up to God to have a completely better plan that the one you had for yourself. i can’t wait to begin to share what’s next for me, and where God is taking me. soon… very soon… i will be letting everyone know what’s in store.
so what am i up to now?
for now, i’m taking it easy. i’m excited to see all the family, and spend time with the people i love. i’m also working on slowly organizing my life at home (by home, i mean, of course, my parents’ house), cleaning out closets, letting go of all of my apartment furnishings, and facing the facts that God has called me, for now, to live a little less permanently than i had hoped. part of living on God’s provision is knowing that whenever i need it, He will replace my beautiful white couch, all my kitchen appliances, and everything else i need. if i can’t pack it in a suitcase, it’s going bye bye.
hopefully, more time and better wifi means more posts. hopefully.
In less than 8 hours I begin the long journey from asia to the motherland. This journey will include the following:
1. A 7 hour bus ride from Baguio to Manila
2. A 4 hour flight from Manila to Seoul
3. Another 11 hours of flying over the Pacific to land in LAX
4. Then LAX to Austin
that’s over a day of traveling, not including layovers, but I couldn’t be more excited to see the people I love.
The past four months have been a long hard road. I’ve been thinking about obedience lately…. So often we obey God because we are more conscious of his wrath, rather than his love. We have a concept in our minds that we won’t be provided for, loved, or taken care of if we disobey what he says.
This couldn’t be more false. I came to Austin by choice, I felt like God said I could choose either Herrnhut or Austin and it would be blessed. I’m reminded if Paul, “it felt right to me and the Holy Spirit.” God gives us choices, we have free will, and our choices never effect his love for us. Our covenant is with Christ. We are in Christ, therefore we are always accepted by God because he loves His son. Nothing will change that.
So what’s my point?I’ve been faced with many decisions over the past seven months, and I’ve finally been able to see what his plan was in all this. It was my choice to obey the following of the Holy Spirit, and sometimes I did it out of fear, instead of love, but I’m beginning to see that sometimes we just need to step out and decide that God knows what he’s doing. He’s not going to lead us astray and he’s knows more about things than I do. I firmly believe that I would have prospered just as much if I had went to Herrnhut instead, or not gone into missions at all. However, I’m so happy with where I am and I know that the next season is going to be amazing. San Angelo, here I come!
photo cred: Nicholas Baker
I preached on Sunday in Can-Eo on finding freedom from shame. Holy cow, obviously, the demons were not having it. It was one of those times when I just felt like everything in Hell was against me and my agenda. It’s encouraging because it just makes that much more sense to keep doing what you’re doing.
Shame has been such a stronghold in my life. It’s so sneaky, the way we believe one lie and it sends us down a long path of more lies. For example, feeling like I need to earn God’s love is one of those lies for me, that came all the way from my childhood.
When our identities aren’t rooted in the truth of Christ, then we can’t love ourselves, because we aren’t receiving love from Love himself. This effects our relationships with God and with others. We can’t give what we don’t have, and we can’t receive what we don’t believe we deserve. Jesus is love, when we accept grace, Jesus resides in us, so this means we become love. If we aren’t manifesting love, then we either have a problem receiving or giving. Not believing what God says about us is like calling him a liar. He’s not a liar, he is Truth.
We are holy and blameless in His sight, Paul said so in Ephesians. Why is this hard to believe? We are fearfully and wonderfully made. Why do we think its vain to look in the mirror and see God’s beautiful creation?
Jesus took all of our shame on the cross. We can’t earn that, it was a free gift. Grace is free. Freedom is free. If we try to earn it, we are cheapening the cross.
I’m learning to be. Learning to abide. Learning to receive.
50 Sure Signs That Texas Is Actually Utopia - via Buzzfeed
Accurate. And a great list.
it’s an interesting feeling to find out you aren’t who you thought you were for the first twenty four years of your life.
life is good. God is good.
I’ve got until april 11 to love people in the philippines and discover even more of who I am. it’s funny how God ministers to you when you’re ministering to people.
It’s days like this that make me long for Europe.
The days when I want to be alone amongst many, drinking a good cup of coffee while watching people stroll by in the street.
These are the days that I long for German promptness.
I look back on the past wanting to go back to the familiar, but also wanting to move forward to the future.
I’m sitting in a Filipino coffee shop, looking out the window at the contrast of tropics and mountains. Pine trees combined with beautiful bougainvilleas and banana trees. It’s almost like nature’s metaphor for where I’ve been and where I’m going. It’s like I’ve become shockingly nostalgic, but know in the back of my mind that my memories are really a biased visions of what really happened. It’s like the quote in Lord of the Rings: how do you pick up of the pieces of an old life, when in your heart, you know you never can go back. This quotes resonates in my heart like a gong in the silence of night.
Today, I’m coming to terms with my life and where Jesus is taking me.
What does it look like in the body of Christ? As believers, how do we become unified?
I’ve been reading Ephesians 1 and 2 for quite sometime now, as you are probably aware…. But now I’ve moved onto chapter 4.
“…for the training of the saints, in the work of ministry, to build up the body of Christ, until we all reach unity in the faith and in the knowledge of God’s Son, growing into a mature man with a stature measured by Christ’s fullness. Then we will no longer be little children, tossed by the waves and blown around by every wind of teaching, by human cunning with cleverness in the techniques of deceit. But speaking the truth in love, let us grow in every way into Him who is the head-Christ. From Him the whole body, fitted and knit together by every supporting ligament, promotes the growth of the body for building up itself in love by the proper working of each individual part.”
I had a few revelations and questions since reading this passage.
Our unity as a body should come directly from our faith in Jesus Christ. As a body we should be building up each other into the knowledge and fullness of Christ. Our maturity individually seems to be directly related to unity, and furthermore our maturity and unity is directly related to our protection from the enemy, or “techniques of deceit.” So often, in the western church, the body depends on one man, the pastor, to give us the knowledge and revelation of Christ, but really it should be every member contributing to each other part. Unity is a result of relationship. It comes from a relationship with Christ, that extends to each other on earth. Unity doesn’t come from the pulpit, it comes from Christ in each of us. We each have an intimate relationship with God, but out of that relationship we receive knowledge and understanding to be imparted to every other part of the body. Through that body, we have protection, as to not be “tossed by the waves and blown around by every wind of teaching.” Do we have this in most western churches? I have every reason to believe that the church in Acts operated out of the philosophy that we are “fitted and knit together by every supporting ligament.” Every part of the body is equally important, and I’m sure anyone would be agree, but do we live this out in our everyday life? Do we really see each other through the eyes of Christ, see each other with love and as Christ made us to be?
This is what I want. I want a community of believers that know each other, really know, can see each other for who we are in Christ, to share in the things God is speaking to them, to love each other, and move forward to extend this community to others.
So, this is me, sharing the knowledge and revelations that God is speaking to me.
Our time is almost done here in the Philippines as a team…
I will be staying, along with a few others, for an extra six weeks.
God has been doing some amazing things and it just doesn’t seem like things are finished. There are two villages, Dalican and Can-Eo, that he has placed on my heart. I’m still praying into how I can best support them while I’m here.
I went to Dalican last weekend with four other people from my team. It was a THREE AND A HALF HOUR WALK. UP HILL! Each of us had a normal hiking backpack. So our contact’s parents met us at the bottom of the road to help us carry our things. Her dad, Ben, carried two packs on a pole across his back. Her mom carried my pack on her head.
It’s such a strange feeling to see a woman two or three times your age carrying your backpack on her head and you can barely keep moving with nothing but your water bottle…
So we spent Thursday, Friday, Saturday, and Sunday nights there. Over the weekend, we did two teachings, prophesied over 70 people, and I personally did a lot of intercession over the village and the people. It was so crazy because we definitely had our own agenda and plan going into the weekend, but it was all changed as soon as we arrived. God had a completely different plan, and it was so much better. It was alsogch wonderful to see how God shows up and speaks even when you don’t thing you have the energy to communicate it. Holy Spirit energy far surpasses any other kind.
I spent the day with some new friends in the park. We ate lots of food, explored a ritzy hotel, danced with the gongs, and it all ended with Starbucks.
Probably the best New Years Day yet.
happy 2013 y’all.
These are three words that constantly come up for me. How do we love the people around us? How do we love ourselves? What does it look like to carry the love of Christ?
What does it mean to really mean be free? Why can it be scary to leave our prison of bondage and come into life as a free woman (or man)?
What it vulnerability? How can you be vulnerable in a group setting; what does it look like?
We’ve been in the Philippines for almost four weeks to the day. I’ve had so many life changing days in those three weeks, some being external and others being internally. I’ve been struggling with coming into who God made me to be. Why is it so hard to believe that in God’s eyes we are clean and perfect? My instinct is to run back into my old ways because for some reason that just seems easier. It’s more appealing to live in my old ways, and out of my own coping mechanisms than to accept the blood of Christ and live out of the love that he so freely gives me. If I’m not living out of the love He has given to me, then how can I show that love to others. I can identify in my mind exactly how I can work this out, it’s all in my beliefs, but somehow that doesn’t always translate directly into my beliefs. Because of this, I start down a path of trying to perform my way into freedom, but that’s just another form of the law.
And we’re back to square one folks.
The tricky part of all of this, is leading a team in the midst of dealing with my own stuff. I’m trying to navigate what it means to be vulnerable through all of this. So many times, I have corrupted view of vulnerability as just airing out my dirty laundry. Let me just give you a excuse for all the bad things I’m doing right now. Or it turns into just exposing yourself to the group for scrutiny. I deal with so many trust issues, it’s hard for me to be honest with people about what’s going on in my life. In my mind I often wonder who is worthy of my vulnerability… Who said being vulnerable was a requirement to be a “good Christian?”
This leads me to this thought: if I found my freedom in Christ, it wouldn’t matter who I was vulnerable with, because I would be finding my security in Christ as opposed to other people’s views of me.
These are just some of the things going on in my mind as I’m going through my days. From a ministry standpoint, things are going really well. We’ve been focusing on meeting people on the street and making relationships, but will soon begin to pour into a specific group of young people within the ywam community. This country is absolutely beautiful, and the people are so wonderful. It’s already been such a wonderful opportunity to get to spend time here.
Merry Christmas from me and one of the cutest kids I know.