Thursday, October 20, 2011

Ellerslie Update

There is absolutely no way to put words to the work God has been doing in my heart, and no time to tell you all I've been doing. I'll simply share a few highlights and then zero in on one specific area of what I've been learning.

-The His Little Feet choir (look it up!) has been here preparing to go on tour. It has been such an incredible blessing to minister to the kids and play with them. You don't have to speak the same language to show God's love. Last night they gave us a concert, and it was one of the most intensely moving things I've ever witnessed. They are gone now, and I miss them already. Please pray for them.
-Last Saturday we had a picnic and hiked around Lily Lake. Understanding the power of God and the awe of knowing that His Word makes mountains tremble is taken to a whole new level when you see grandeur like that. The hike up and around was unforgettable.

Again, there is so much God has been teaching me, by there's something central to what I've been learning. (This is sort of a follow up to my post on God's promises)

Just as His promises are to be believed, so His commands are to be obeyed. He is God, we bend and bow to His definition of reality rather than trying to redefine it. He has bought us with His blood; we are not our own. We must "lay aside every weight, and sin which clings so closely, and run with endurance the race that is set before us. (Hebrews 12:1)

Then Jesus said to His disciples, "If any man will come after me, let Him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me. (Matthew 16:24)

Let not sin therefore reign in your mortal body, to make you obey it's passions. (Romans 6:12)

You therefore must be perfect, and your heavenly Father is perfect. (Matthew 5:48)

Sounding impossible? If you don't think so, try to live this way and you will quickly change your mind. In our own strength, we are completely and totally unable to live this way. Here's the thing: We aren't called to do it in our own strength! It is Christ living in us that enables us to walk as He walked. We must decrease, that He might increase.

Now to Him Who is able to do far more abundantly than all that we ask or think, according to the power at work within us. (Ephesians 3:20)

He who did not spare His own Son, but gave Him up for us all, how will He not also with Him graciously give us all things? (Romans 8:32)

His divine power has granted us all things that pertain to life and godliness, through the knowledge of Him who called us to His own glory and excellence, by which He has granted to us His precious and very great promises, so that through them you may be partakers of the divine nature... (2 Peter 1:3-4a)

This barely scratches the surface, but there you go. Those are things I've always understood on a certain level, but not I'm standing on it, in His strength, and accepting His Word as truth in an intensely practical way. I'm seeing my own depravity apart from Him, but I'm also seeing the depths of His grace and power like never before! I don't just feel free, I am free!

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Here I am!

(I wrote this on yesterday but didn't have time to post until today.)

Hello from Windsor, CO! Let me just begin by saying that I love it here. It's only been a few days, but already it feels like I've been here a very long time in the best possible way. Someone asked me this morning what my favorite part of being here has been. That is a very difficult question to answer. I love the fellowship. Everyone is so genuine, and I've had the most wonderful conversations with some of the girls. What really makes it special, however, is how the environment is completely saturated with Christ. It's very hard to articulate, but the worship, fellowship, teaching, and ample opportunity to be still before Him are priceless. I am at the threshold of something amazing, and though it sounds cliche, I'll say it anyway: I am so excited to see how God is going to work in my life and in the lives of those around me. He promises that in His presence there is fullness of joy (Psalm 16:11) and I am beginning to taste what that means.

Several random things:
-My roommate's name is Karen, and she's from Australia. I love her.
-Our dorm room is very cozy, and we have a beautiful view of the mountains from our window.
-I have taken quite a few pictures already, and you can't escape seeing them when I get back! (haha)
-I never realized what a thrilling place Walmart can be when you're out on your own! I've never had such fun paying for soup and laundry detergent. (We'll see how long that lasts.)

Watch this video for a taste of what I'm hearing. (Seriously. Watch it.)

Friday, October 7, 2011


After months of planning, preparation, and prayer, I will be leaving for Colorado early tomorrow morning! I've spent the last few weeks saying goodbye and the last few days packing like crazy. I know it's only two months and it will go by quickly, but it's still hard saying goodbye. God has blessed me with a wonderful community here, and I will miss my family and friends. The support, especially over the past week, has been overwhelming. I can't thank you all enough for loving, encouraging, and praying for me!

This is probably the most dramatic life change I have faced so far. I will be leaving everything and everyone I know and going somewhere I've never been, not for a few weeks, but a few months. It's not forever, but much longer than I've been away. Am I nervous? Yes, a bit. I am facing many unknowns, but anytime I've started to worry, God has been faithful to remind me that He will never leave me or forsake me. Am I excited? Absolutely! I am amazed at the way God has brought me to this point, and I can hardly wait to see what He will do in my life over the next few months!

Here are a few prayer requests:
1. Safe travel! My flight leaves at 8:30 am and will arrive at 2:21 NC time. Pray that I will be able to make my connecting flight with no trouble!
2. Please pray that my allergies will not cause problems while I'm there.
3. Please pray that my focus will be on Christ, and that nothing will distract me from seeking Him.
4. Above all, please pray that God's purposes will be accomplished in my life and in the lives of those attending with me, that we will learn, grow, and draw nearer to Him during our time there!

Well, this is it! Now to finish packing...

Saturday, October 1, 2011

One Week and a Courageous Review

I leave one week from today, and the time is going to fly by. I have a week of packing and goodbyes ahead, and truthfully, I'm not a big fan of either. Both, however, are necessary when one is setting out on an adventure like this. My room looks like a semi-organized tornado came through and I'll miss the people I know and love, but God is moving in my life, and I can't wait to see where He takes me!

Last night was the opening night of the new movie Courageous, (from the creators of Fireproof and Facing the Giants) and I went to see it with a group of friends. In a world where most of what we view as entertainment is pointless at best, harmful at worst, it was so incredibly refreshing to sit in a movie theater and hear truth. The movie was very well done, the acting was wonderful, and it included a powerful presentation of the gospel. It addressed an issue that desperately needs attention. I don't usually cry in movies, but I was teary eyed literally within the first two minutes. I highly recommend it. However, I would like to share my thoughts on something I felt was lacking.

In the movie, a group of men sign a resolution after certain circumstances propel them into action. In this resolution, they state their intent to be the kind of fathers God would have them be. They have seen a problem, a truth, and rather than staying where they are and nodding their heads in agreement, they seek to live it. A very right response, but there is a very important something the movie barely addressed:

"I am the vine; you are the branches. If a man remains in me, and I in him, he will bear much fruit; apart from me, you can do nothing."
John 15:5 (Jesus is speaking, emphasis mine)

We can't just say that we want to be a better father, mother, sister, friend, leader, son, etc, look at God's blueprint in the Bible, and then make it happen. However great our conviction, however firm our resolve, our own efforts are not enough. Don't get me wrong, I'm not saying that change isn't possible. If God has called us to be something then He will enable us, but that is the key! He is the One who changes us, and it is only through His grace and His Spirit working in us that we could ever live the set-apart, world altering lives He has called us to live.

That being said, let me reiterate that I highly recommend the movie. (Although be aware that it does have some fairly intense gang related violence.) I would just like to encourage you to remember as you watch that it is only through our Lord that such change is possible!