Wednesday, May 12, 2010

the problem with fear

Fear's definition: not trusting in God. I've been gripped pretty severly the past week with this thought. I thought I was trusting enough, but everytime we talk about africa and the stats of South Africa, I freak out inside. I put on a smile and laugh saying "God is Good, we will be safe", but I have not believed it in my heart.... He wants us to focus on statistics and what seems like "reality"-b/c once we get our eyes off of our father, fear sets in, we focus on it and give the devil a foothold, a ledge to sit and torment our minds, a place to mess with our dreams and our faith in Who God says He is.....

Praise God though- I can testify that He has broken the spirit of fear for me We are talking about spiritual warfare this week and just how proclaiming things in the physical realm affect the spiritual realm around us-so as we spoke out who we were in Christ and then what His plans were for Africa, what He sees in Africa, and I found myself crying out for the city of Johhnesburg and declaring hope, peace, love and light over that torn city. and the song "God of this city" was echoing in my heart as I felt God speak and declare "that city is mine-no longer will it be a city of violence, rape, murder, drugs, light will penetrate it and send the darkness fleeing....." I no longer want to look at the staggering stats but have hope and see that it will be redeemed, God IS NOT FINISHED THERE YET! There is hope rising, and I am going into that city and country bearing the name of Christ and HIS power in my life...darkness cannot stay hidden where there is team, along with many other ywam outreach teams and probably other missionaries going to world cup are bringing THAT TRUE LIGHT...the devil stands no chance...Our VICTORY is already WON! Hallelujah!!!!!!!

PRAISE GOD, I no longer have to fear our time there, for we are not given a spirit of fear but a spirit of love and hope...I am a bringer of LIGHT and cannot wait to see how the darkness tremble at GOD's HOLY POWER.......

please continue to keep our teams in your prayers, that we can continue to be devliered from the power of fear - I praise God something was broken today, but the devil is a roaring lion and I know he will try I ask for continual prayer as i embrace God's overcoming spirit!!!!!!

love you guys....

Sunday, May 9, 2010

byron bay outreach

Byron Bay is the stereotypical beach/hippie town where all backpackers flock to for extended periods of time. we had the oppurtunity to stay with a local church and minister to the community through 2 sport tournaments as well as serving alongside the Byron Bay YWAM team at the annual Nimbin festival and their weekend bar-b-ques.

Byron proved to have many interseting experiences. We arrived very tired and were sent straight away to helping with a community bar-b-que in the park downtown. Every friday, the byron ywam team sets up free burgers and music as a chance to get to know people and share their testimonies. our job was to go meet people-and i began to see that I have allowed myself to become comfortable with indivdualized living-i don't like when random people come and start talking to me, so I had trouble trying to do it myself. But it was cool to see the Holy Spirit work in the conversations I did have. I was just making small talk and without even knowing it, I was sharing with them about finidng my identity in Christ over things in this world and learning how to forgive others-and it flowed naturally, which to me was somewhat of a new concept. So that first night went pretty well-but the next day was an even more "different" experience.

We spent the day at the annual Nimbin Festival, which is a weekend set aside to celebrate marijuna, handing out free pancakes and chai. I'm to young to have gone to woodstock-but if i could imagine what it was like-Nimbin was it! I was quite out of my element to say the least-upon arriving, the parade was starting and a giant blown-up blunt was paraded down the street as everyone around us lit up and enjoyed oblivion. I really did not know how to start any conversations with people, but as I stepped out and tried, God once more blew me away with His movement, not mine. Twice during the day, I was able to share with people parts of my testimony-and thankfully I didn't feel like I was forcing it upon them, they just happened to ask the right questions...

and the coolest converstaion happened later at night-these 2 european girls were getting chai and really wanted to know why we were handing out free food, so my friend marcelo told them to come talk to me becasue he had to work on the chai station..and it this point in the night, i was tired and not really feeling bold in approaching anyone to talk- so it was totally God ordained for these girls to be close by and honestly seeking to hear about God. For the next hour my friend johnathan and I were able to share with them a lot about the gospel and again it was cool to see how God put us 2 together at that exact moment because Johnathan is more blunt and up front and was sharing a lot of facts and points from the bible and I was sharing a lot of personal testimony....julia, one of the girls was really really searching, not quite there yet, but she was asking the right questions and i encouraged her to keep asking and searching because God was the one giving her those questions-He too is searching her out, so I pray someone she meets in her travels will help shed some more light on that.

Lastly, in Byron we also held 2 sport tournaments on the beach. We had a great turnout from people and were able to break down a lot of walls against christianity. So many people kept saying, "you guys are christians?" and really surpsied that Christians can have fun and want to give out free food and want to love on people and would set up sports tournmanets on the many people just have a misconception of what we are all about. Christ came to give freedom and life-as a Christian I'm learning more and more just how much I have a responsiblity in showing that to people. and it is cool to see their face light up with that fact that being a christian DOES NOT HAVE TO BE BORING!

living in paradise!

It is so cool to look back and see how God moves! I had no idea what to expect for our 3 weeks of travel up north, but it turned out to be exactly what I needed at the exact time I needed it. The first week was spent living in an aborginal community on a quiet beach. In the mornings we had our normal lectures and in the afternoon we hung out with the pastor, learning different things about their culture (I made my first ever spear-but it didn’t really fly straight ha). The cool thing was though-our lectures this week, in the most beautiful spot ever, was on dreams, identity and pursuing God’s purposes-exactly what I left Melbourne fearing and praying about. And that fear of not wanting to dream because I viewed God has a mean dad was slowly remolded ( and still being remolded). And at the end of the week when I looked back over the last 3 weeks of lectures etc-I was able to see how God had used different speakers and friends in my life to lead me to where I was most receptive of what He wants to show me -which is His beauty and His love.

There could have been no other plan more wonderfully orchestrated in my eyes-it was the week I had been praying about for several months. Just a time of enjoying God-it has been really hard for me to do that with such a skewed view of Who He is. But surrounded constantly by His physical beauty in this community on the beach helped me step through that wall more than I had before. I don’t think I’m through the whole way, but I’ve broken through some hard bricks.

one of the really cool things was this lighthouse on a hill. It had been reminding me all week of the verse about God being a light unto our path, especially since we were talking about our God-given purposes etc. and one morning as I was running down from it, God showed me this cool picture----on the way down there was little steps and large steps and then a lot of fallen palm branches on the path and as I made my way down, God showed me that He will continue to show me the part of my path I need for now, but he wants to get the debrie and broken stuff out of my life first and will gently lead me to take small steps of faith which will lead to bigger steps of faith. And for me, the steps may not all fit together in my eyes, but once as I continue to travel down HIS path, it will become clearer to the beautiful picture He has in mind-which at this point was me running out onto the empty beach!....all i could do was stop and take it all in....

holy spirit week

Thumbs up:

Got to hear from a guy who helped pioneer the YWAM base in Melbourne where I am living. Had some cool ministry times with him, praying for us and really encouraging us in our individual journeys.

Thumbs down:

Realized I was living in fear of having dreams and goals for the future. I had spent the week really praying about some things I felt God had placed on my heart for the future but in the end was still not really finding any clarity about any of it. And oddly enough, a friend approached me the next week asking if we could sit down and talk because he felt like God really just wanted him to encourage me with something. So through our conversation, he began asking about what my dreams and aspirations were for the future, and more I thought about it, the more I began to realize I was not fully trusting God with my future- at all!. It hit me that I wasn’t allowing myself to dream about anything because I have a fear that whatever I dream about or desire, God will want to snatch away from me, because if it is what ‘I want‘, than it must not be what ‘He wants‘.

I’m not quite sure why I have had this skewed view of God as an angry dad wanting to take away all toys and forms of pleasure for His children-but I understand a little bit more why learning about the Father HEART of God has been such a process and journey for me through this DTS. I want to know and experience the Fathers love like it truly is-not live in fear of what I think it to be. I have been saying it with my mouth, but still not truly believing it with my heart that our God is a good God, a loving father who wants to work with His children. So the week was good but humbling and gave me a good, tear-wrenching heart check! But, I’m thankful that God is a God of Love & Mercy and doesn’t’ give up on us when we don’t quite believe in His goodness.

And moreover, I’m so thankful that my friend was obedient to stepping out in faith and approaching me about it all. He had no idea why God told him to talk to me-but he did it anyways, and for that I am truly grateful and also encouraged to live a life of faith more often. you never know what life you can impact if you obey God’s leading.