"He must increase, but I must decrease."

Monday, April 18, 2016

I'm Giving Up God's Promises.

"That's it. I'm done. I'm throwing in the towel. God gave me promises, and I don't see them happening. God has asked me to do things, and they don't make sense."

Those are probably things that came to your mind when you read that title, but rest assured, that is not the vein in which I'm moving.

I'm giving up God's promises, because He has so much more for me. I am a entering state of surrender, or at least I'm trying to. You see, I've come to realize that while God does keep His promises, sometimes, oftentimes, they don't look the way we want or expect them to look. Sometimes we get so focused on the promise we forget Who gave it to us, then it becomes an idol.

Would I be willing to go in a new direction even if it means letting go of a promise?
What if God is leading me on a path and we take a sudden detour that seems to lead directly away from the promises of God. Will I still trust Him?
What if I told everybody God is leading "here" and then, by God's direction, I end up somewhere else. Am I willing to stand the questions and look foolish before them?
What if God started to fulfill a promise and then asked me to give it up? Oh, flashbacks to Abraham and Isaac...can I do that? 

So what does it mean to give up God's promises?
To me it looks like opening my hands so that God may give and take away as is His plan. He may empty my hands; He may fill them.
It looks like climbing each mountain before me with my hands wide open. Giving up God's promises looks like throwing a stone in the depths and seeing the effects.

I am giving up God's promises that I may have God Himself.

I will fix my eyes not upon the promise, but upon the Promise-Giver.

Tuesday, April 12, 2016

A Call

O Christians, rise up!
Do not lay in the ditch of defeat. Your enemy cannot trample you; he does not have that power.
Reach out; take the hand of you Captain. Let Him pull you to your feet and renew your strength.
We are the victors; that is already set. We need now to claim the territoy that belongs to the Kingdom. Whether it be a whole nation or a small field of beans, let us fight until the sword sticks to our hands and the enemy is driven back!*

Sound the battle cry- Rak Chazak!

*2 Samuel 23:8-23

Tuesday, February 23, 2016

This Side of a Challenge

 A year ago I was in Zambia.

This is the week God did one His biggest works in my heart on the Race.

This is the week we were challenged by our squad leader to become more vulnerable with our teammates.

This is the week I faced my hardest feedback on the Race.

At the beginning of the week I opened up to my team about being unsure of how to tread this new terrain of having guys on my team, being vulnerable, and still guarding my heart .That night instead of our usual feedback we were asked to write some feedback for each of our teammates. When I later received my notes my heart fell. Several of them had to do with the very thing I had shared with my team. I was upset, mad, hurt, and wasn't sure what to do with it. I took it to God, but I was a little upset with Him too. After several minutes of tears and question I finally stopped long enough for God to speak. He asked one question.

 "Who has been guarding your heart all these years, you or Me?"

It took a week of struggle before I finally admitted the truth. I had, often in my own strength, tried to guard my heart and not completely trusted God. I still argued a little bit, but it finally came down to another question. This one I had heard often.

"Do you trust Me?"

I immediately knew that I had to. Not that God was making me, but because I knew that He is so much more qualified for the task than I am. When I finally relinquished it to God the freedom was so sweet. No longer did I have to fear crossing an indistinct line, because I was trusting the One that knew my heart better than I did, and He would guard it well.

That feedback turned out to be the hardest of my year, but also the best. It challenged my comfort zone and beliefs. It caused me to see that I needed to surrender so much more to my God and Beloved and allow Him to be my strength, provider, and guard. That week in Zambia taught me the freedom I can have when I walk in God's truth and not man's rules.

That lesson is still very precious to me now.

I still have those letters, and they are some of my favourite memories from the Race.

Saturday, January 30, 2016

Where Did My Expectations Go?

Once accepted on the World Race, one of the first subjects we are asked to write about on our blogs is our expectations. What do we expect to encounter? Do? Gain? Experience? Whatever our expectations, we are encouraged to share them, though, not required.

This is a snapshot of what I expected from my time on the World Race. Now, I will admit that I was an avid WR stalker. I had read many a blog from Racers on the field, getting ready for the journey, and back home. I had a pretty good grasp on what to expect, and that was to expect nothing and everything. When it came down to it, though, I knew I had expectations for the Race and myself.

I look back on this post now almost two years later, post Race, and I can see how God truly did bring each of this expectations to life, sometimes by seemingly tearing them apart. I expected a lot from God, because I knew He was bigger than any expectation I could have, and He met those and even went beyond them.

So now, in this moment I pose a few questions to...myself.

Where have my expectations gone?

Where is that spirit of expectancy?

Here I am seven months off the World Race with no sense of expectancy of the God I saw work mightily for the past year and a half. Oh, yes, I know He is working, and He is going to do amazing things. That's not the expectation I am missing.

Every expectation I had for the World Race was so big, yet He them in a way I couldn't imagine and so much better than I dreamed. I am amazed as I remember, yet also dumbstruck. Not a single one of those expectations is limited to the World Race. Those can still be realized right now, in the everyday American life.

Why haven't they happened yet?

The answer is, because I no longer expected and searched for God to move in the every day.
My God is still the same. He is still able to do whatever needs to be done (and sometimes what wants to be done) for His children and His church. I think it's time I stopped filing things away to pull out and remember later, and put my expectations back on the table.

Starting now I am laying out my expectations once again. I expect God to continue what He has already begun, because that is who my Jesus is. He is a fulfiller of promises, and He finishes what He starts!

Sunday, December 6, 2015

I crave foreign language. I realized it last night as I listened to two ladies converse in Spanish. I realized it when I landed back in the States where I was comfortingly surrounded by English yet uncomfortable. I realize it now as my heart aches and my tongue twitches to learn a new language.

I could go out and learn one, perhaps through a program or something, but that just wouldn't be the same. It would lack the hospitality of being invited into another person's world, the laughter of a miss pronounced word, and the joy of finally understanding a phrase.

I suppose along with missing the beauty of other languages, I miss the people that speak them.

Monday, November 30, 2015

My Christmas Wish List...seriously

As this holiday season has rolled upon us I have found myself somewhat excited but also overwhelmed. After spending this past year outside the United States, being thrown back into the materialism is slightly disturbing. Don't misunderstand me, I am super excited to be with my families, but I will miss the simplicity of not being constantly bombarded with the idea of needing or wanting stuff. As I've thought about it these past few days I have decided to make up my "wish list" just a bit differently. There are a few things I want or need, but if you were to ask what I really want here it is.
*Prayers and/or a donation for Together We Can Haiti and the Agape House
*Prayers for Bolivia and Hermano Lucho
*Prayers for the church in Huanuco, Peru
*Prayers for Paz y Esparanza, Bob and Lori Leek and MPF, Rachel and Ivan and YWAM Ecuador, and Inca Link in Ecuador
*Prayers for Pastor Ghent and his family and Bethel Chapel Mission in Malawi
*Prayers and/or donation for Kids Alive Zambia and the children there
*Prayers and/or a donation for Mark and Helen Begerly and my squadmate Jen Kaiser in Zimbabwe
*Prayers for the KJ Center in Malaysia
*Prayers and/or a donation for Lighthouse in Action in Thailand
*Prayers for the Roeung family in Cambodia
*Prayers for Daniel and Esther Ahn and the Vision English Café in Vietnam
*Prayers and/or a donation for Children's Hope Ukraine.
These would be the best gifts anyone can give! Gifts like this are actually helping the people that need it. The exciting part is I know exactly where these gifts are going and have seen first hand the way they work. It would bless me so much to know the people and places I love are being so blessed!