Sunday, November 22, 2009

DIOS ES.....(God is...)

So another week has passed, crazy!! It's flying by! This week was pretty laid back. Nothing super-inspirational or super-spiritual. God is teaching me the lesson that life won't just be fed to me, even in YWAM. One of the very first classes we had way back in October, was Intimacy with God. I had to really search that out this week. And as the week went on, I needed help with that more and more. God gave me two words to work on: Holy, and Helper. I am to strive to be holy; God is my helper. I have been trying to get to know more and more WHO God is, knowing characteristics about Him. It always seemed to be a challenge, and here God is giving me words to remember and to focus on.
Classes this week were very thought provoking, and challenging: things you have to CHOOSE to incorporate into your life.
Monday, we talked about Submission. It is about humility first and foremost...caring about people before yourself. One important thing to remember, and one thing that is very misunderstood in Christianity, is that submission is NOT subjugation. it is not forced. it is not demanded. it is done out of LOVE. Men and women BOTH do it. And when people are willing to do this to one another, there is UNITY and power. Think about how powerful the Christian community could be if they could unite with LOVE for one another. Phil 2:1. Without humility, we look at the cost of what we do, not at what we WILL GAIN! (like the world for Christ!) Submission is a weapon with a guarantee of victory. It is important also to note that when you are submissive to God, you are submissive to everyone. And this looks different in everyone's lives. This builds great integrity for us. When you submit for your well-being, so God can do His greatest works in and through you, you are showing how much you honor, and love, and respect, and appreciate yourself. And when serving God is your lifetime project, you will serve many people (with the Golden Rule!). It takes great humility to do this for people who love and care for you, but even more for people who don't (persecution will come, but you will impress them with your heart of servanthood and submission). You have to be constantly inserted into God's divinity so nothing else can enter you, it's a fire that will protect you! People will see you, they will follow you because you follow God...He is simply irresistible! So the question we have to ask is, Do you want to be a servant? or do you want to stay outside of God's glory?
That night, we also talked about a Spiritual Covering. Submission and covering go together. You can't move without a covering (like our skin!). Our covering watches over us, and acts as our protector of our well-being. I'm covered, like, I have life-insurance. It's a security that God is with me. If you give your life to God, you are covered by Him. He takes care of the things I can't. And by allowing Him to cover us, we are protected to do things we couldn't do without Him. God will cover you in your mistakes. HE WILL PROTECT YOU.
Tuesday we talked about Faith. It is God's power in action, it is dynamic, it can grow. It is a product of God. If we want to have faith, we have to go to the one who has it, otherwise, why would you need it? No human can create faith, it comes from Jesus. Faith is not seen. Faith works because of Love. True faith is founded on God's word, not man's. God's hand doesn't move because of our needs, but because of our faith in Him. If our situation with God is out of order, our faith is out of order and His power can't work in us. When you choose to walk with God and you want His blessings, you have to have FAITH that that will happen. Many people have Bibles, but how many lives does it actually affect? they don't have faith that it will. You have to have a faith big enough to believe in the things you are praying for. A BIG faith WILL change the circumstances for which you are praying. We live in a world of senses. We respond to our 5 senses. When we act according to faith, we ignore our natural senses and live in what God has for us. Hebrews 11:1 says, 'Now faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see'. This is present tense. God supports himself on our faith. It is real, and it keeps us until what we have faith IN manifests itself. AND: we CAN'T think, force, feel, or produce it, that's God's job. We create it in ourselves, in our hearts. It is a spiritual possession, it is invisible. So when we believe in our hearts that we receive something when we pray, God has begun to grow our faith in the amount of time that it manifests itself. If our faith fades, we don't receive what we prayed for. And the Enemy is afraid of people with faith. it gets stronger as it is used. The enemy tries to take our faith. If it is in our heads, where it can be reasoned, He can take it, but in your heart, it is safe! And the verse that I felt got me to Chile, is Hebrews 10:23. Let us hold unswervingly to hope we profess, for He who promised is faithful. Hope is future. Our faith gets us there. What is your measure of faith? We have the same Spirit and force that raised Jesus from the dead living in us, our faith is that faith! If you're a Christian and are looking for a faith that can get you anything you want, wake up! You already have that faith! Our faith moves God's hands. Your measure of faith will be tested. A persistent faith is not moved by temptation, and does not get prideful when God uses us. Our faith needs to be focused on God and expanding His kingdom, in everyone's lives, and our own first. If God is with us, who can be against us? And our faith, rooted in the word, WILL affect people. Know what God wants you to do. Obey what He shows you to do. Trust that He does what we can't. If we want to see God act in our lives, then we have to believe and have faith that He can.
Wednesday, we talked about Faith and Finances. To sum it all up, if God calls you somewhere, He wants you there, and He will provide the resources for you to be there. And tithing shows that you trust Him to multiply what He HAS given you. AND, our treasures are in heaven, and that is where our heart should be as well, not on our paycheck. Tithing gives money to God's kingdom, it opens heaven to send back blessings. We have money, He CAN multiply it, you just have to give it to Him.
Thursday, we talked about Loyalty. Loyalty and faithfulness go hand in hand. We have to have TRUST in God. And He needs to know that we will follow no matter what happens. And it comes with having a WILLING HEART!! We do face attack and spiritual warfare, and in these times it is hard to be loyal. When it comes to the Great Commission, it requires our whole life. If we have the truth of God, we have to give it. It's hard, God calls me to have the same enthusiasm I had when I got here, and at times that can be a challenge. But I do desire God to continue to change me and my character, and to be used by Him. And that requires loyalty. No matter what happens, I will follow. And I have to always have a willingness, because the blessings will be greater than giving in. You are being disloyal to God when you refuse to confess or repent of sin. You have to make it right, or God will not bless the path you are in to the fullest extent that He can! It is not easy to live in loyalty to God's word. Living in holiness is being loyal to God's word. Treating people right is living in loyalty to God's word. When you are loyal, God will give you what you reach people, to start a church, to pay your bills, to get a good night's sleep. This is for everything!
On friday, we had the challenge to teach our own class. But we were all given roles. And my role was translator! I guess I haven't talked much about my spanish, but I have had to translate a few times from spanish into english. And I had to that day!! It was so exciting! I understood practically everything, and was faced with the challenge of people who don't realize how much respect and patience is required for people in that arena. I was excited, and I'm glad my spanish is getting so good. BUT i still need to be working on my gringa accent.
THis weekend was awesome...we had the Olympics. For all the single people on the base....and here, single means not married, so engages people participated as well. That occupied most of saturday, and sunday was pretty laid back, played ping pong and learned a group salsa dance, so fun!!
This week has started off wonderfully and i´m gonna wait to write about it till the end because it is going to be lifechanging for sure!!!!!!! I´m over the hump, wish i was home for thanksgiving, but i´ll make some mashed potatoes and stuffing, maybe i´ll find a turkey too.

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Change is a Choice

Sorry it´s been a while, it´s been a busy 2 weeks. And i made a promise to myself to use the internet less...i get you guys when i get back home. And that´s so many more fun things to do than get on email, like go to the beach and lay in the sun for an hour before class.
So...let's start with classes!!
We've covered MANY topics over the last 2 weeks, and i've been able to see a change in myself, it's been really cool.
Monday, Nov 2, we talked about a Clean Conscience. We talked about whether our conscience is a good thing or a bad is something given to us by God to remind us of His principles and to help us stay on the right path: a weapon given us so we do not sin. However, when we repeatedly sin, our conscience becomes dulled. Proverbs 32:3 says, "When i kept silent, my bones wasted away through my groaning all day long."...Sin has it's consequences, when we try to silence the voice inside we experience physical suffering. After repeatedly silencing the inner voice, it develops a hard covering, and the only way to restore it is to draw closer to God. And if we have gotten to the point of searing our conscience, God will find another way to speak to us. As a result of our sin we may feel guilt OR conviction. Guilt is not from God, Conviction is. Conviction urges us to repent, to change what we did, and understanding the pain that we brought to God's heart. We have to silence the voice of Satan, Recognize our Responsibility, Confess it All, and Find Restitution (which has to be the size of the sin). And the greatest thing about Sin, and restitution, and a clean conscience, as well as everything else we do, it is a one is a victim of their character: you can CHANGE. And choosing God's path will always bring blessing to your life. AND we take away Satan's authority over our lives. that in itself bring confidence and peace, clarity and stability, power to overcome temptations, freedom to come to a new stage in our friendships with everyone, and it brings PHYSICAL health. Remember how i said that i was really changing? it's true, i'm experiencing all of this. And when it comes to the physical healing, i have a story about that. I have been harboring bitterness and sin in my heart and mind for a few years. I started cross country right after getting cut from volleyball my senior year of highschool. So running has alway come along with negative thoughts, and lies told to me that I am incapable. When I began to process through all of this and renounce all of this, I felt a physical change. I went running two days after and it was the easiest run I have had in as long as I can remember. I TRULY run better and lighter than ever!
The next day we had a class called Free Us From the Claws...very cheesy, but still awesome. It was to recognize and break the Enemy's strategy. We had to see Unhealed wounds, Sin, and Binds in our life, and get rid of the shame that satan brings. Shame is the first claw in the heart, and the last one taken out. It's hard to feel without shame. Because of these things, we have great FEAR...fear of man, fear of being hurt, fear of being rejected. People HAVE hurt us, they have not respected us. They have opened doors that Satan can get into and out of with great ease. The door stays open til we close it by repenting, or forgiving people who have hurt us and breaking binds that hold us. He went through different doorways we may have: early sexual awareness, sexual abuse, ignorance, neglect, disobedience, sin. We are to break any lies that hold us and to live and let people know that through the blood of Christ and through renouncing any of these things we are CLEAN and FORGIVEN, and we do not have to be held accountable to those things any longer. And we can't ignore open doors, and don't have to worry about doors that we have already closed!
We spent wed, thurs, and fri talking about SEX: the Lie and the Truth. VERY interesting. we went through the value of sex and of our sexuality, the purpose of it, Family values: what parents teach their kids about sex and how kids learn about sex. If parents don't educate their kids with the truth, there is a world FULL of dangerous and false information they turn to to find out about it. We talked about abuse of all kinds, myth's about sexuality, Sexual relations, fornification, masturbation, homosexual relationships, lust, the list goes on. We talked about the risks of youth having sex and premarital sex, STD's, birth control and lack thereof, abortion. We went through the 9 months of pregnancy, statistics on child development (results of abuse, information obtained, physical development). We talked about the physical side of relationships and the progress of relations while dating engaged, and married. And it was cool because she talked about all this Biblically, Culturally, and politically, financially...we looked at it from so many different perspectives and how people are hurting from what they have experienced in their lives in many of these areas. We finished by talking about marital relationships, adultury and the effects of pornography on your partner. It was very educational and gave me a lot to think about.
This week began with the Father Heart of God. Do you see God as a father? He asked us questions about our own parents (and I couldnt help but feelings VERY lucky and blessed to have the parents he gave me). The main theme was: Children have rights that servants don't. Many of us are just simply servants, we don't look to our Father the way we do our earthly fathers. But what God wants is a child willing to serve. If we are following Christ's example, God is FATHER. When we see Him as our father, we can move ahead in our IDENTITY and know or value in God, we receive Self-Esteem, and have SECURITY so we can rest in God. And then we dug deeper into the characteristics of God the Father. Think about all the things that your earthly father is willing to for you (amazing, i know), God wants to do all that for us too!
Tuesday we talked about the Authority of God. Authority is delegated and legal. God has all authority, and gives us authority as well. In the Great Commission, Christ gives us God's authority. That is HUGE!! we can do SO much with that power if we take hold of it. It is a gift, it is to bless and free and heal us, it brings redemption. It comes from our identity and from living and walking in integrity. Honor God in private, through time with Him, and He will honor you in public when you need Him. Don't worry about impressing people, God will do that. It doesn't matter if you have the approval of people, you only need the approval of God. Get to know God so you can use His authority. CHOOSE, resolve mentally and with determination to rid yourself of your sin. This DTS changes people, things are different. WE choose to live in God's blessings, as a free servant. And the authority we are using, with our testimony, will be backed up by a transformed character. Wednesday we talked about Obedience. This is the greatest thing God asks of us. Is obedience to Him. And when we obey, we live in God's blessings. My destiny is to live in God's blessings. And i CHOOSE to live in blessing by obeying God's word. And it's important to remember that obedience in parts is still disobedience. God will bless you in what you do, but he will bless you MORE if you choose to live in the dreams that He has for you. Ask yourself: DO you go after the blessings? or the God of blessing? the "consequences of obedience" are: We will be blessed, We defeat the Enemy, And it is a testimony for those who don't know God so that they may know Him too.
Thursday we talked about Self-Esteem. Who am I? God's truth about you is different than what you believe about yourself from your friends, family, and culture. God says we are: Created in God's image, His children, God's work of Art, Beautiful, Precious, And worthy of Honor. People look at appearances, but God looks at the heart. It is not wrong to think about how you look, what people think of you, but remember your motivations behind it. I AM A DAUGHTER OF GOD!
And Friday, we talked about Serving. Think about a stage. Do you ever think about who made the stage? NO! what matters is what happens on the stage, the hearts of those who perform, the hearts of those who see the performance and change because of the performance. If you built the stage you may want credit for it, but, as a true servant, you are happy to be building the stage because of everything that will happen onthat stage. We read the verses that made me get my tattoo...Nehamiah 8. the JOY that comes from serving. FOR THE JOY OF THE LORD IS YOUR STRENGTH. you should be affirmed for what you are doing, but that shouldn't be the focus of WHY we do it. We do it for God. Seek excellence, not perfection (only God is perfect). We are asked in the Bible to work as if we are working for God, not men, and that perspective changes the heart with which you work. Col. 3:23 says Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for men.
SO...outside of classes!!....I blew fire. It was amazing. We had the March for Jesus, where we walked through town singing and praying and dancing and holding signs, and blowing fire. We were supposed to have better training, we learned to spray with water, and then the first time i actually blew fire, i was IN the parade. SCARY!! but amazing. And sports have improved exponentially. Running is fun, i've gone surfing a few more times, played lots of soccer, and had more Jesus Boot Camp. The man named JuanDavid made a circuit for us in the gym, and then some sprinting stuff outside. IT WAS SO HARD! And I was so sore!!! for like 3 days! But i'm finally feeling stronger and more capable. love it.
I was a pingpong nerd for Halloween, thanks Kira! Some pics may be up soon from that.
I may have mentioned that the Directors youngest daughter has Down Syndrome. She is wonderful. Last thursday was special education day, and kids from her school came to hang out with us for the day. We played sports, did skits, ate snacks, and just enjoyed these kids. That day we were also fasting with all YWAMers all over the world....thousands of people were praying for leaders in China, for people to have religious freedom there. It was really cool to be part of that. My friend James had his birthday this week. And guess what kind of cake he wanted....German Chocolate. SO we made him one. It looked like Vomit, but tasted amazing. Brown Sugar is so hard to find here.
Early this week we had a cabana clash. The girls in my cabana, and me, all started clashing. Leaders vs. students. It was really bad. No one thought anyone was playing their role. So we had to work through that. Three cultures, six girls, 2 positions, all in different walks of God. Now that is a challenge. i am learning so much from these girls. The honeymoon was over. The director said this was normal for this time, so we just had to work through the glitches and learn what it means to love in spite of. It's all better now for the most part, and we have a girls night in a few hours. I'm excited.
The director, Mitch, has been asked to be in a movie. It's about a gringo who comes to pichilemu before the coup in 1973, and it's him here and everyone thinks he is part of the CIA. He is never seen again though.
So that's pretty much what i'm doing. Minus some details of everyday life. I came here without a life, and now I have one. I'm learning things, moving away from any bitterness and critical attitude, and really trying to CHOOSE to CHANGE. It's hard, but I'd rather face those challenges now with a great support team by my side than later on with no one to help me. I am very lucky to be where I am and to have lived the life I have. I do miss my family and friends, but the time will come for me to come home, so i'll just be here fully now. i'm speaking better spanish, eating better food with the frequent chocolate overdose, running more and more, trying to be less and less lazy, working on submission and punctuality and obedience. I want God's blessings! I want to be HOLY. So here's my verse to finish with
Revelation 3:20: Here I am! I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in and eat with him, and he with me.