Tuesday, May 4, 2010

The Past Few Weeks

These past few weeks in Salem, Oregon consisted of tulip fields, lectures, wednesday night soccer, homework, typhoid pills, drinks at thompson's and applebee's, introduction to skype, more homework, hanging out with my vroomie, trying to tackle group projects, painting, avatar, pulled leg muscle and gnarly bruise, hiking some beautiful waterfalls with friends, and learning so much about God.
God has been teaching me so much lately and most of it I cannot even express into words. The topic this past two weeks was Character and Nature of God and Ordinary Christianity. What it means tounderstanding God's heart and love for others, apathy, what it means to be passionate and truly seek God's calling for your life. Ultimately, His word is clear. He commands us to live not as the world lives. I love this quote by Francis Chan, from the book Crazy Love, "Something is wrong when our lives make sense to unbelievers." The question is not should we go into the mission field, it is should we stay home? Christ already commanded us "to go into all the world," why are we sitting around and what are we waiting for? This next week is Spiritual Warfare...to be continued...

Monday, April 26, 2010

Real life Exhibit

Went through a walk through of natural disasters, epidemics, and third world country issues.


Saw the Dodo's for free at Willamette University and got schooled on the instamatic...uh, I mean hipstamatic for the iphone!

The Character and Nature of God

This week I learned about how the world can taint how we view God's character. We sometimes take what we have experienced in people or situations on earth and view God in a negative way. Our generation is the least discipled generation in all of history leaving us apathetic. The enemy has planted the lie that following God is not worth the hardwork or that we are not worth it. In the new testament we are repeatedly told to go out and share the gospel yet, we tend to hide away in our comforts and stay where we are. Where does it say in the scriptures that the body of Christ is to live a comfortable life? We should not be praying should I go out and preach the gospel but should we stay home?
Our speaker was John Bills, he taught on God's Authority, Faithfulness, Generosity, Affection, Attentiveness, and Acceptance. The question was asked, do you fear man (and his/her opinion of you) or do you fear God? God is ultimate authority. We often let Him be our Savior but do we let Him be Lord of our lives. In the bible, Savior is mentioned 37 times and Lord is mentioned 7,836 times. Lordship means to let Jesus rule over area of your life. He is faithful because He never changes, never lets us down or leaves us, He is not mean or poor. He is faithful and accepting without any reason or expectations of something in return. Can you imagine the God of the universe wants to spend time with you? He knows the hairs on your head and created you in your mother's womb. We are attractive to God, there is something in us that turns God's heart towards us. God does not want distance from us, if He created something in His image He would want to be close to it. He is like no man on earth so His authority cannot compare to any authority on earth. Ask yourself the question, what do you think of authority? If it is negative, God is none of these. He is love therefore, He cannot do anything that is not loving. He loves us with an agape love. An agape love is an unconditional love, it expects nothing in return. This love is the greatest commandment and it is mentioned 8 times and is one of the most repeated commands in the scriptures. Why can't we love others the way God has loved us?

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Experiencing Injustice

Week 2 in the DTS was an introduction to social injustices. Our speaker Colleen Milsteen put a biblical perspective on how God feels about injustice. It opened my eyes and made me passionate about diving into the word and searching for God's heart on this lost and broken world. Colleen challenged us to sit down and read the old testament laws as ways to prevent social injustice. He created laws about land rights and building codes because He cares about our housing. He created laws about protecting widows, orphans, and the poor because He hates poverty. He created sex for marriage so disease and crime would not exist. She brought up the typical question of why does He let it happen and the real question is why did WE let this happen? Do you realize that God loves His people more than you? As christians we are called to glorify God and He commands us to love. How can we blame God or someone else for these injustices and then just sit back and complain about it? It is time to not only give a hungry person food or clean water, but an education and tools so they can learn to produce their own food, shelters, and clean water. It is time to give these people value so they can see God's love and stop hurting one another. We need to invest and be creative in our approach. Some of them have heard about God's love but have never seen it. How can we show the lost God's love?

On Wednesday night of week 2 we had an experiencing injustice demonstration. A few people from YWAM Salem created this presentation for youth groups and conferences. It was overwhelming. We walked through different scenarios for different injustices. We walked through a sweatshop, drank unclean water, there was a house with a pimp and some trafficked girls, an abortion clinic (where we watched a digital drawing of an abortion). We were kidnapped and blindfolded, thrown in a van and told our lives were over. As girls were screaming around us, there was shot and then silence, this all felt so real and it represented child soldiers in Africa. However, the hardest walkthrough for me was the christian bible store. They took our group through a room and showed us how America has 100 different translations of the bible, some languages have no translations. We were then ushered into an underground church which had no bibles just torn pages which was cherished and kept sacred. How convicting! I hardly have time to spend with the word of God and there are some in other countries dying just to read some of the scriptures. It made me rethink how valuable the scriptures are. The whole demonstration was meant to give us God's heart and compassion for the least of these. Pray for these injustices, your prayers will not fall on deaf ears, God will hear every cry out to Him. If you want to know more or hear more about this contact me!

The Unveiling

The unveiling was a process of choosing our outreach destinations. We all filed into a room, crowded together on the floor, and they began to present the two outreach locations. The two locations were India/Thailand and Kenya/Uganda. We were then realeased to pray over the two locations for half an hour. I took the time to pray about this decision but I came to the conclusion that these two countries have always been on my heart and this oppurtunity was a blessing. God is so amazing has given me this amazing oppurtunity to serve in this beautiful countries. I am not sure what the ministries will be...that is still being planned. I am praying that God will use my outreach team in ways we cannot even imagine.
Faith Day
Our first outreach experience was on April 4th in downtown Portland. We were given only $5 (that we could not spend on ourselves), a map, a partner, and envelope full of papers with assignments on them. We had no lunch, no cellphones, and it was cold. We were uncomfortable in every possible way. What a wonderful way for God to speak to us! My partner Mikaylah and I were touched in so many ways. We wanted to have a conversation starter so we purchased some coffees with our money. This was perfect because it was pouring down rain. The two we met first were Dirk and Rob. They were homeless, one in a wheelchair, and the other pushing. There was so much comradery between them. Throughout the conversation they told us that they loved Jesus and gave us some of their stories. We were told we were "beautiful, not just on the outside but and inner beauty." How amazing is God that He has such creative ways to express His love. Another assignment, was to bless a church. First we had to find one. Portland is one of the most unchurched cities in the nation. When we eventually found one we saw it barred and unwelcoming. This breaks my heart to see any church doors closed off. The church is God's house and He loves those "loiterers." We decided to pray for this church that their eyes would be open to the wonderful ministry oppurtunities they have being in downtown Portland.