Sunday, February 27, 2011

ATW Video

Sometimes it's difficult to condense my trip abroad into a simple story or statement. Casey Sousa produced and edited this video to promote the Around-The-World Semester at Concordia University for future students. I hope it helps invite you into what God did in my heart and in the hearts of my team members.

Around-the-World Semester from Concordia University on Vimeo.

Thursday, February 24, 2011

The PRESENCE of the Lord

The subheading of my blog- Surely the Lord is in this place, is from Genesis when Jacob slept with a stone under his head. The Lord gave him a vision of a stairway ascending to heaven. God says, I am the Lord your God...I am with you and will watch over you wherever you go.

When Jacob wakes, he exclaims,
"Surely the Lord is in this place, and I was not aware of it." So he takes the stone, anoints it with oil, and sets it up as an altar for God. He called this place Bethel, which means House of God. (Genesis 28:10-19).

I have been recounting this section of scripture over the past few days. God has been revealing to me that His presence is in every part of my day and night. It's the very air I breathe. Without His presence, there's no meaning. It is the very love that we so need.

I love Exodus 33 when Moses says, God, if you're presence isn't coming with us, don't move us from this place. Because what would be the point? It would be meaningless. "What else will distinguish me and your people from all the other people on the face of the earth?”

And right after that declaration, God says, "Ok Moses, I will do the very thing you ask, because I am pleased with you and I know you by name." (!)

And then.......He get's to meet with God and see his true glory!!

Oh, Surely God, you are in this place. Make us more and more aware of it. Let us hunger for your presence. It's like a fire, a flood, fresh rain, precious gold. And if you aren't coming with us, don't lead us away. But if you're calling us to a new place or season, we will drop everything and go. May we be so in tune with your Spirit that we no longer say "We were unaware." Your presence is all we seek. All we desire is to know you and be known by you.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

It's expensive

"The life that Jesus led was not an aberration or a temporary statement of God's solution for humanity. He started something that we are to complete. Jesus said, "As the Father sent Me, I send you” (John 20:21). It's not complicated; it's just expensive. It costs us everything," Bill Johnson.

Thank you everyone for the prayers and encouragement in the question of attending ministry school in September. I am realizing more and more that everything is fading. It fades because we were actually made for Christ's love. We fit perfectly in His hand of grace and His heart of perfect love.

"King David was known for killing Goliath in His youth. Yet there are at least four other giants killed in Scripture—all killed by the men who followed David, the giant killer. If you want to kill giants, hang around a giant killer. It rubs off" Bill Johnson, When Heaven Invades Earth.

So I am going to BSSM to be a giant killer, to fill my mind with the Word, to direct my heart to what God thinks about his children, and to bring the promises of God from heaven to earth.

Isaiah 60:
1“Arise, shine, for your light has come,
and the glory of the LORD rises upon you.
2 See, darkness covers the earth
and thick darkness is over the peoples,
but the LORD rises upon you
and his glory appears over you.
3 Nations will come to your light,
and kings to the brightness of your dawn.

I'm holding onto that promise. Jesus declares "the knowledge of the secrets of the kingdom of heaven has been given to you," Matthew 13:11

"Everything that I learned from my Father I have made known to you. You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you so that you might go and bear fruit—fruit that will last—and so that whatever you ask in my name the Father will give you. This is my command: Love each other," John 15:15-17.

And so, let us pursue love, with the same power that raised Jesus from the dead. May we arise and shine. Though it costs us our lives, God's glory will triumph.

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Decisions:: But the Lord determines their steps

We all have major life decisions we have to make. Sometimes, the answer is simple. The answer is obvious. Sometimes God could be glorified either way. I have been presented with an amazing opportunity to attend a ministry school next fall. I'll graduate from Concordia this spring, and the timing seems to fit. 

When I was in Indonesia in November, God placed some people in my path that encouraged me to apply to Bethel's School of Supernatural Ministry. Bethel church is in Redding, CA only 3 hours from my home. I have considered this school once before, after my sophomore year of college, but I knew I had to get my degree first. It is similar to a Bible college, except it focuses on how we can do what the Bible says as we walk this earth.

Classes run from September to May. I would have classes Tuesdays-Fridays 12:45-5:30pm, attend two church services per week and one cell group per week. Students read through the whole Bible, along with 12 other books by various theologians. I really feel like God has been preparing me for a school like this. 
Here's the website to the school if you're interested:

It is an amazing ministry that equips people to walk in God's spirit and power. Practical skills are taught, as well as general teachings and spiritual growth. The decision isn't as simple as I would like. I believe God could use me in this decision to go, but also in a decision to get a fulltime job after graduation.

Pro Bethel:
       “Bethel School of Supernatural Ministry (BSSM) is committed to the truth that God loves people, gave Himself for them and has given His Church supernatural power to bring individuals and nations into wholeness.” !!!
       Encounter and experience Jesus in a deeper way. Learn to walk in the authority and power of my royal identity in Christ.
       Knowledge and experience: Bible, prayer, healing, prophesy, fasting, miracles
       Join a new church-Bethel

       New start-living in Redding
       9 hours/600 miles closer to home
       Cheaper cost of living
       Since the job market is difficult to break into, I get to spend a year discovering, cultivating and honing gifts, talents and abilities for a future career.
       I would gain valuable resources for a potential future career

Con Bethel:
       Leave my current community-Rock Harbor, my sister, Danielle, my friends,  and the Circles mentorship group

       Move to Redding…not exactly a big city
       Not an accredited school
       Potential negative or positive impact on future job positions in the church, because of the extreme nature/content of school

       Leave my current jobs, which I love!
       Have to find a new job

       Leave my amazing house and housemates in Orange
       Move all my stuff!

God can really work through pro and con lists. They're pretty spiritual. It's definitely a helpful way for me to organize my thoughts. Praying through this decision and trusting that God moves and redirects as we seek active and open communication with him and his spirit. I would love any advice or suggestions if anyone feels a pull in either direction. Thanks Slices,

Sunday, February 6, 2011

The New Name

George MacDonald, Unspoken Sermons
The White Stone-

I will also give him a white stone with a new name written on it, known only to him who receives it. Revelation 2:17

White because the man who receives it is accepted and chosen. In its whiteness is purity, and in its substance indestructibility.

The true name is one which expresses the character, the nature, the being, the meaning of the person who bears it. It is the man's own symbol,--his soul's picture, in a word,--the sign which belongs to him and to no one else. Who can give a man this, his own name? God alone. For no one but God sees what the man is, or even, seeing what he is, could express in a name-word the sum and harmony of what he sees.

In every man there is a loneliness, an inner chamber of peculiar life into which God only can enter. I say not it is the innermost chamber--but a chamber into which no brother, nay, no sister can come.
Every moment that he is true to his true self, some new shine of the white stone breaks on his inward eye, some fresh channel is opened upward for the coming glory of the flower, the conscious offering of his whole being in beauty to the Maker. Each man, then, is in God's sight worth. Life and action, thought and intent, are sacred.

Surely to know what he thinks about us will pale out of our souls all our thoughts about ourselves! And we may well hold them loosely now, and be ready to let them go.

"God has cared to make me for himself," says the victor with the white stone, "and has called me that which I like best; for my own name must be what I would have it, seeing it is myself. What matter whether I be called a grass of the field, or an eagle of the air? I am a stone to build into his temple. I am his; his idea, his making; perfect in my kind, perfect in his sight; full of him, revealing him, alone with him. Let him call me what he will. The name shall be precious as my life. I seek no more."

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

At just the right time, I heard you

After a possibly slightly over-dramatic blog post about being homeless, I stepped into Monday feeling better. My mom called me early Monday and said she has been praying, and felt like God said I would have a place to live by the end of the week. I told her, I receive that word, mom.

Two of my favorite things about Monday-I sat in on Dr. Schultz's Culture and Self class, an anthropology class by my favorite professor at Concordia.
And second-lunch with my Circles crew! Monday night I visited Caydin's house in Orange. Long story short, I slept here Monday night, and have started to move in!

I was homeless for exactly 3 weeks-since my birthday on January 10th, to the 31st. That was such an intense time of growth. Towards the end, I wasn't sure what else God wanted to teach me through that time. Perhaps that He provides. But more than that, He provides at just the right time. He was able to get the maximum amount of glory, rather than just a small amount of glory. And isn't that the goal of our lives-to know Christ, and to bring him glory, in all things display the majesty that is...Christ.

"For God says, 'At just the right time, I heard you. On the day of salvation, I helped you.' Indeed, the "right time" is now. Today is the day of salvation." 2 Corinthians 6:2

So, thank you Lord! You've blessed me with 4 amazing girls to live with. You came in and provided when I had learned I could not do it on my own. Your timing is perfect, I know that full well.