Thursday, June 30, 2011

Back from Costa Rica

Thanks for all of those who kept us in prayer while there. It was a great two weeks to see the missionaries down there, see the students before they left, and get to see a bit of the country there- green, mountainous, beautiful clouds, and friendly people! The three of us (Hollie, Carrie and I) flew down together and met up with the missionaries there (Ryan, Gerry, Sosi, Gabo and Vanessa) as well as Dave and Mark who were there teaching the last class. We got to see the ministry down there with Sunday night chapel now open to the community, the drug rehab ministry, and meet a lot of the locals that have been impacted by the guys down there.
Before going I had been asked to pray about serving down there this next semester as a missionary and Dean of Woman. I am still in prayer about this and ask that you would come alongside of me in praying! More pictures to come! :)

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

From Jacob to Israel

From ‘heal catcher’ to ‘God prevails.’ I keep thinking on the scripture where Jacob wrestles with God and the Lord changes his name to Israel. It’s a weird scripture to think on, but the sweet thing about it is the result from their wrestling. The Lord touches His hip and his joint was put out of its socket, and Jacob begs Him to bless him. The way the Lord blesses him is through the changing of his name. He will no longer identify himself as Jacob- Jacob with a history of trickery, but as Israel- one who is governed by God. Israel leaves with not only this blessing but with a noticeable change in his walk (a limp)- his walk with the Lord was different as well. It’s a funny thing in scripture to see Israel and Jacob used interchangeable, but through acts of faith Jacob was recorded as Israel.
The Lord brought to meditation on this area of scripture. I don’t fully understand it, but I’m amazed at Jacob's approach with the Lord to wrestle Him. I wonder what he was thinking in the midst of this. I mean, wrestling with God…? My relationship with the Lord is different than Jacob’s. I can’t imagine the guts to wrestle with God over something and expect Him to bless me. I usually result to “You’re God; You know what You’re doing.” But God honored his request for a name change. He changed his identity in his name; a name that stated that the Lord would thus be his identity.
I’ve been in that place of prayer. Lord, will you change my name in how I view myself? “I have been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me. And the life I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me” Galatians 2:20. It is by faith that Israel walked as one who was governed by God. It is by faith that I walk also as one who is dead to my old man and alive in Christ. This is a daily call to die to self, pick up my cross and walk after the Lord. The best part of dying to self is that we are already dead to self according to the finished work of Christ on the cross. It is an identity of ‘dead to sin’ that we proclaim by faith. By faith we recognize that Jesus took our place, and we walk as one who is not only dead to our old man, but alive in Christ. Not only did Christ die for our sins, but He rose again and is seated with God. If He was raised, we know that we will also be raised to be with God. “If then you have been raised with Christ, seek the things that are above, where Christ is seated at the right hand of God. Set your minds on things that are above, not on things that are on earth. For you have died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God” Colossians 3:1-3
Name change… I have been crucified with Christ!
From Jacob to Israel: Genesis 32:22-32, 35:9-10

Monday, June 6, 2011

Just because

I was recently introduced with this new world wide.. game? I guess you could call it a game. Basically you just lay facedown on whatever you can. If I could rate this game, I would say you get points for creativity and difficulty. Here are a few pictures of the first week of the facedown world! :)

Friday, June 3, 2011

The Discipline of Thinking

Analogies always allow me to understand things better. I’ve been thinking about thinking… go figure. But listen to this: If we were consciously aware of the Lord’s presence constantly with us, then our response would be different. For example: worry. Once we get to a thought that is true… our thought stops there. The end. We can then meditate on that truth. But with worry, it only leads to thoughts that train to other thoughts until our thoughts end up in China. Truth will always stop us and bring us to a conclusion to rest upon.
Hebrews 6:19 talks about Jesus being our sure anchor of hope. I’ve heard an analogy of drifting to be like one playing in the ocean in front of a lifeguard stand, and when they look back up that realize that they have been brought far away from that point. In Christ, we have a sure anchor of hope. He is our hope, He is our foundation- we will not be greatly moved! When I think of an anchor in the ocean, I think of a buoy attached by a chain resting on the water. When storms come, the buoy grows to recognize its foundation and the tightness of the chain that sustains it. My prayer has been that the Lord would grow me in the discipline of thinking; that I would grow as one who is conscious of the Lord’s presence, trusting Him in heart and mind at His Word. I pray that the anchor of our minds would be shortened to the awareness of God’s truths in every storm- so that we may quicken our trusting in Him!