Saturday, July 24, 2004

Recognizing the Battle

Well, I guess this is a perfect example of the battle.  This is the second time I'm attempting to make this entry because somehow I just lost the completed one a minute ago.  Here we go again.

Tomorrow (actually now it is today) we leave for Foursquare's U-turn Europe youth camp in the Netherlands.  I have been going to camp with young people longer than I care to disclose.  By now nothing should surprise me but for some reason I seem to hope that Satan will just give it a rest and realize that he doesn't stand a chance to win the war.  However, he still fights like he can win something.

The last week or so has been full of his antics.  One young person mysteriously backout on Thursday without any communication, we had to hunt him do so to speak to find out he wasn't going.  Another person's grandfather died this week.  One person had huge conflict with a family member that leave them in tears.  Two people were going to back out because they just couldn't humble themselves to receive scholarship money to go.  Satan truly roams around like a roaring lion seeking who he can destroy.  I'm looking forward to the moment we are all on the bus and on our way.  Only than will I be sure that everyone really is going. 

During this time I have been able to tell that I am on the forefront.  There have been moments when I have felt like an icebreaker.  It is as if my head is slamming headlong into huge chunks of ice.  Sometimes it is rigid religious thinking, or rude comments, maybe it is a hurtful piece of gossip.  There has been a pounding of the ice that has made it mark on my heart and my self esteem.  I found myself feeling small, unacceptable and unwanted.  I think that we all have such feelings from time to time.  However, this time the intensity is much greater than anything I have ever experience before. I wish I could say I handled these feelings like a pro...but all I could do was cry.  I am so glad that my Heavenly Father know how to comfort me.  Then I can feel the cleansing therapy of tears cried in safety and hope of a brighter day. 

My prayer for the next week is that these young people would be open to receive all that God has for them.  That somehow the Holy Spirit would help them to set aside their thoughts and expectations of what and how things SHOULD be, and be open to the adventurous life we can have with Jesus that is far beyond anything we can think or ask.  My hope is that each one of them would begin to see life as it is filtered through God's loving hands, vs. filtering God through how they have experienced life. 

Thanks for your prayers and support,

Thursday, July 22, 2004

Understanding What I do Best

One would think that after a person has graduated from college, had a career, obtained a Master's degree & even been a missionary for more than a decade I would have figured out by now what I am good at.  Yet, it seems that I am always rediscovering what I have been created to do. 

Yesterday, I realized I am a visitor.  That I am in my element when I am free to just listen to my heart and go.  I have always enjoyed it but I noticed that myself esteem was built up after being almost to tears.  It is one of those things that I can't explain but I just know that I need to do it.  The prompting in my heart is an imminent NOW.  Some have asked me how I know or how did I know to come at that particular moment when they needed help.  The truth is I don't know...But God must know because the end result is fruitful.

Even though such experiences are so empowering and uplifting, it is incredible how easily I can be convinced that it would be better for me to do things to please others instead.  Often I just set my personal desires aside to get approval only to be disappointed.  The result being, that I feel unacceptable, unappreciated and unwanted.  Then I start behaving in ways that only pushes those people I want to be close to away.

Last night as I walked home from my friend's house I was strengthen, encouraged, & feeling a bit taller.  Not because I had accomplished in great feat, or given any incredibly wise advise but just that I had been obedient to the Lord's voice in my heart to VISIT.

Tuesday, July 20, 2004

Life After 60

Most of my days are spent with young adults and I love it.  They are at that time in their life where they are searching for life's purpose. 
What will I be when I grow up?  Who will I marry?  Children?
And other such questions.  It is such a joy to help someone find their place in the world and even more so in God's Kingdom.  It is like they find a deeper peace and contentment when they understand who they are and what they are created for.
Today was a bit different.  I had the priviledge to encourage 3 ladies over 60 to pursue what God has for their lives today.  It was so cool to see a new spark of hope that even now they have a future.  That the God of the universe hasn't forgotten them although their bodies have already labored hard in this life. 
As they prayed for God to help them in this new endeavor...helping "elderly" people, it was as if they grew younger.  Their fears of inability and request for God's help were as if their were 20 again.  I pray that they will see the Lord's hand move mightily through them in the days ahead. 
I wonder what kind of an effect 3 ladies over 60 can have on this small tourist town? 

Monday, July 19, 2004

Journey of the Heart

Recently, I have discovered that life (my life) is really all about understanding what is in my heart and why it was put there.  I know that God has created me for a purpose, with certain specific gifts and talents (most of which are unknown to me).  When I live my life using those gifts and talents for His glory I experience a fulfillment deeper and wider than I've ever thought possible.  I'm on a journey to dig out the true desires of my heart from those wants that have been suggested through the thoughts & ideas of others, society, significant people in my past and present. 

"Delight yourself in the Lord and he will give you the desires of your heart.  Psalms 37:4