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Monday, 18 February 2013

What is Reality? What is Truth? What is Love?

How would you answer these questions in a world where we are taught that everyone has their own reality, truth is relative and love can be whatever you want to make it?

This was the beginning of my Reality Check Seminar.  Although I had read up on what the seminar was about that hadn't prepared me for the questions and thinking that would be posed for me to wrestle with! 

Reality Check is a week long seminar that is being run on my YWAM base here in South Africa. I had heard that it was happening in February (a month that I would be in SA for! :) and was eager to learn more about it. I found out that it was hosted by The Template Institute whose founder also wrote the book, 'The Old Testament Template', which I quoted in my last blog. From what I understand, this seminar was 'designed to help Christians rediscover God’s principles for every sphere of life' and so far it is definitely accomplishing that goal!

Today has been mind boggling! We have done so much in just the first day! We went from looking at the 8 different 'Spheres of Society' to reading through Genesis 1 and pulling out characteristics of God to color coding Proverbs and then onto meditating on Romans 12v1-2 with a whole lot of other exciting things thrown in the day! I never thought my mind could receive so much new information in such a short amount of time. Thankfully we have the evening off so we can read the book, 'The Old Testament Template', finish color coding a few chapters in Proverbs, and mediate, or should I say wrestle, with all the thought provoking questions that were asked!

This is certainly not going to be an easy week but it will definitely be a challenging, thought provoking and transformational one! I started the day thinking that God was really just involved in the Church and Missions but after today I've already seen that He is involved in EVERYTHING, every area of our lives and our world! It was so eye opening to read through scriptures and see God's character, His view on how family should function, how government and politics work, how the media & arts could be... I had never realized how involved God was in all of these things and that He talks about ALL OF THEM in the Bible!!! We have such a cool God! He's incredible and wants us to be involved in the world around us and have His view on the world so we can bring His Kingdom to every area of living!!! What a task--- but I'm up for it!


 Romans 12v1-2 "I appeal to you therefore, brothers, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship. Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect."

Sunday, 17 February 2013

Dream Big

‘Towards the end of his life Jesus prayed this prayer, ‘(Father,) I have brought you glory on earth by completing the work you gave me to do.’ His Father had sent Him into time and space to accomplish specific objectives. He knew what they were, and He completed them. The entire work of reaching the world was not accomplished at His death, but Jesus understood that He was not sent to do everything. Much of the Father’s mission would be carried on and completed by the church he would leave behind. But, for the time being, His specific role as Son and Messiah was complete.’
-The Old Testament Template, Landa Cope

I’ve started reading Landa Cope’s book, The Old Testament Template. I’m only about 20 pages into it because there is so much information and challenging concepts that I can only read a few pages each day. This is the last paragraph I read that made me stop and ponder. A few questions came to mind that I’m still mulling over. They were:
1,What has God called me to do?
2, Am I doing it?
3, Will I do it and finish it well?

I think these are some of the hardest questions to answer! They are similar to the age old questions, Who Am I and What Am I Here For? I felt compelled by the Lord to just sit down and write a list of all my dreams and the things I desire to do in my life. Granted, some of them are just my own desires but I have no doubt that some are really inspired by God and are things He will accomplish through me in my lifetime. As I reread my list I realized that there were a few big dreams. I think that ‘normally’ you’d have one large goal in your life that you are working towards… I had roughly 5 large goals J It looked like a good list, but who knows what will actually happen! I wonder if the Lord sensed the doubt in my heart and decided to remind me of this situation, one of my proudest moments in missions.

The majority of the outreach team had been hanging out in ‘The Fellowship Hut’ at the Iris Ministry compound in Pemba, Mozambique. We were all chatting away to friends as we finished up our evening supper of rice and beans. As I look around the hut, I see a few women gathered around Hailey, my one-on-one (Mentee). As I wonder what they are all so intrigued about, I slowly make my way closer to hear what she’s talking about. I overhear her sharing her vision and desires of what she will do after her Discipleship Training School. After spending 3 months meeting with Hailey and discipling her weekly, I’m so excited to hear that she is pursuing what God has next for her in life. It’s been an ever changing decision of what she wants to do with her life and what steps she should take next to accomplish it. After imparting these words to her many times in our one-on-one’s, I hear her say, ‘If you’re able to accomplish your dreams on your own, you’re not dreaming big enough!’ I was so touched hearing those words come out of her mouth. She may not have realized it, but in that moment I knew that God had allowed me to touch her life.

Remembering those precious moments in Pemba, I realize that I need to start taking my own advice more! I need to dream big with God and know that the dreams and desires He gives me are possible and I need to have more faith in the one who is giving them to me! Looking at my own, ‘Dream List’, it all seems possible now. No matter how big my dreams are, I’m working for the one who makes everything happen in His perfect timing! I can’t wait to look back on this list in 40 years and see all the things the Lord has checked off!

Friday, 15 February 2013

The Lord's Prayer

Matthew 6v9-13
"Our Father in heaven, may your name be kept holy. Let your kingdom come. Let your will be done, as in heaven, so on earth. Give us today our daily bread. Forgive us our debts, as we also forgive our debtors. bring us not into temptation, but deliver us from the evil one. For yours is the kingdom, the power, and the glory forever. Amen."

Last night at our community worship night, the guest speaker referenced this scripture. Growing up in the Catholic denomination, I've memorized these verses and recited them many times. But over the last 15 years these verses have come more alive to me. They aren't just words to rehearse but they have deep meaning and reveal so much of God's purpose for us. Now, every time I read this passage, I have sooo many more questions about it!

Here are just a few questions that are challenging my thinking of how I view God and the world around me.

-If we represent God on earth as his children/Christians, how are we accurately or inaccurately portraying God's character to society?
-What does is mean to 'keep His name Holy'? How can we honor God's Name in our words and actions?
-What is heaven like? Was heaven the original plan and earth is modeled after it? Does heaven function similarly to earth with different areas of society?
-What does God do in heaven that can be done on earth, through me and other believers?
-What is God's will for the earth?
-What does 'His kingdom' look like practically worked out on earth? How will living out God's kingdom change/reform every area of our lives and communities?
-How do I trust God for the everyday things and in His ability to provide for me? What's hindering me from trusting Him completely?
-How is God's power and glory explained in other parts of scripture? What does it look like for us to walk in that power and have God be glorified through it?
-What are the differences between how God, as a King, would rule His kingdom compared to an earthly ruler? (Compare legal systems, care of orphans/widows/vulnerable, education & sanitation systems... etc.)
-How did God rule Israel and how can we learn from the principles/laws He set for them?
-How have we strayed from the laws God originally put in place for Israel?

Meditate on these verses and please post your own thoughts or any questions of your own! I'd love to hear of any revelation you got from these verses. Blessings!

Wednesday, 6 February 2013

Faith Journey - Part 1

God's been taking me on this crazy 'Faith Journey'. One month has felt like one year and I've been in this pressure cooker of fighting for what the Lord has spoken to me. Do you ever feel like you really heard God on something... but the more you think about it and chat with people the confidence you had at first starts to 'wear off'. I've come to realize that no one else will be as aggressive in pursuing what God has spoken to your heart as you would be. When He's called you to something--- you must persevere, you must keep faith, you must continue in prayer to see the fulfillment of what God has promised! There's no easy way to go about it--- it's all your tears, prayers and purest ambition that keeps you going full throttle after what you know is God's will for you! You do your part, God will do the rest.