Hey everyone...I started a second blog, it's called Nailed to the Doorpost. I'll be posting a bit of what life is like here in Africa and things the Lord shows and teaches me. All of your prayers are appreciated! We are extremely busy here, and just now finally starting to get a normal schedule. The first week here we had a Pastors Conference where pastors from all of Africa came to be filled up, and pastors from all over the United States came to teach. It was an awesome time of fellowship and a great, easy way to be introduced to a new culture. The second week we had a staff retreat, where the staff of Calvary Chapel Entebbe was fed and re-knit tightly. Today we had a meeting and were told where we were each going to be serving, and what our weeks will generally look like.
I will be focusing on Potters Field Kids Club on the islands in Lake Victoria, writing an AWANA like curriculum and planning games, songs, everything involved in teaching these children about the love of Jesus. I will be doing the same basic thing for the Saturday Kids Club, which takes place at Calvary Chapel Entebbe (CCE). I'm extremely excited to begin, but also overwhelmed. Please keep praying for the entire team, and keep checking in. : )
Wednesday, September 28, 2011
For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts.
Heaven is above the earth, yet Jesus came down. His thoughts are above ours, but He sends them down. Like I talked about yesterday, it is important to know the difference between my own will and the will of the Lord, to hear His voice and know it is His. But it’s also important to know that His voice and the words He gives us are a gift. A blessing. He is in heaven, high above us, with a will above ours and thoughts above ours, yet He spends His time speaking with us lowly beings.
Something that popped into my head while reading was that His thoughts are so superior to ours that He can see into our thoughts. He knows everything about every single one of us. That means He knows what we can and cannot handle. In the midst of desolate places when our spirits are downtrodden and mournful we can take comfort in the fact that He knows us, He knows that whatever we are going through, we can handle. It’s comforting to know that His ways are so far above our own that He can carry us through anything the world has to offer us, and anything our flesh offers up to our souls as a stumbling block.
Saturday, September 24, 2011
For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, declares the Lord.
Why would you want your master, protector, provider, first love, and best friend to have the same thought process as you? I thank God everyday that my ways are not His ways. My ways are selfish and weak. Jesus’ ways are selfless and strong. It is imperative to know the difference between the will of the Lord and the voice in my head. I get so confused, thinking the good things I want for myself must be from the Lord because they are good. I need to align myself with the will of the Lord. Align my heart with Jesus’ heart. I want to be able to know the difference between the things Jesus tells me and the things I tell myself. I am going to do this by continuing to draw near to Him through spending my mornings in His Word, which He has given to me, and be in constant communion with Him.
Let the wicked forsake his way, and the unrighteous man his thought; let him return to the Lord, that He may have compassion on him, and to our God, for He will abundantly pardon.
There is a battle that’s raging for all that I am. A battle going on around me and in me all the time, pulling my heart and mind in a million different directions. I begin my morning with wicked thoughts and they come in a continual stream throughout the day. In order to forsake my ways of this unrighteousness, I need to be willing to fight. If I return to the Lord he will intercede for me (Romans 8:26) and fight on my side. He makes wars cease to the end of the earth; he breaks the bow and shatters the spear; he burns the chariots with fire (Psalm 46:9)
Yes there is a battle after my life, and I know that I can obtain victory. But I need to prepare myself each morning to fight through the day. To do this, I need to “…be strong in the Lord and in the strength of his might. Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the schemes of the devil… (Ephesians 6:10-11). I need to take hold of the thoughts that are given to me from an unwanted source and give them up to the Lord. I need to take every step in line with my Savior. I need to align my heart and my will with his. I am going to strive to memorize 2 Corinthians 10:3-7 and apply it daily.
For though we walk in the flesh, we are not waging war according to the flesh. For the weapons of our warfare are not of the flesh but have divine power to destroy strongholds. We destroy arguments and every lofty opinion raised against the knowledge of God, and take every thought captive to obey Christ, being ready to punish every disobedience when your obedience is complete. Look at what is before your eyes. If anyone is confident that he is Christ’s, let him remind himself that just as he is Christ’s, so also are we.
Friday, September 23, 2011
Seek the Lord while He may be found; call upon him while he is near
The first thing that came to mind after reading this verse was what I learned at Freshlife Church yesterday. We studied Joshua 11. Verse 20 says “For it was the Lords doing to harden their hearts…” Pastor Levi talked about how the Lord seeks us out, He desires us to love Him, but He won’t wait forever. After forty years of seeking this people group the Lord finally hardened their hearts and stopped seeking them out.
If you put off making a decision, time will make it for you. You can get so good at saying “No” to God that you’ll come to a point where you wont be able to say “Yes.” A hardened heart will eventually get stuck.
Jesus is seeking you! Don’t waste that opportunity!
For me, I sought the Lord and found that He had been patiently waiting for me. I was overwhelmed with His love for me. Just because I am a follower of Christ now doesn’t mean I get to sit back and relax and enjoy the ride until I get to heaven. We are not called to be Christians just to have Fire Insurance. We are not called to be Saved Souls, but Wasted Life. Yes Jesus is inside of my heart and a part of my life, but He is still seeking me, seeking my life. He is near to me and I need to call upon Him and continually draw near to Him, especially now. I need to continually seek the Lord. It is easy to say, I have found Jesus therefore I don’t need to continue to seek. I need to seek Jesus daily because He always has new things for me.
Luke 17:10—So you also, when you have done all that you were commanded, say, ‘We are unworthy servants; we have only done what was our duty.’”
I am unworthy. I am an unworthy servant. None of us are worthy to do the work we’ve been called to. The only way we are able to accomplish anything at all is because of the Holy Spirit who lives within us. When left to ourselves we are nothing but filthy rags. My prayer is that the spirit inside my chest and my Jesus inside of my heart would prompt me to open my eyes to things that haven’t been asked of me, and do more than my duties. I want to be as useful as possible in Africa or wherever I go, I want to be tuned into the work that needs to be done without needing every single step drawn out for me. I want to be as effective a possible. Jesus, lead my hands and my feet to where the work needs to be done. Give me a cheerful spirit as I work at tasks that would not be my first choice. Help me to be diligent and rejoice in all that is placed in front of me.
Luke 17:9—Does he thank the servant because he did what was commanded?
Jesus asks this question so that we will stop and think? Am I taking acts of service that people bestow upon me for granted? Take the staff here at the ranch for example. Courtney, Jo, Berta, Justin, Kline, Kelly, all of the staff members and pastor here, it is easy to think that it is part of their duties, part of their job description to be here and make us food and clean the property, therefore it isn’t an act of service. But if you take the time to watch closely, as I have been lately, they put their heart into what they do. Yes, they have duties, but they do them out of love, and I find myself taking their service for granted.
I need to be appreciative for the things that people do for me whether or not they were instructed to do it, or if it was a simple act of service from their heart.