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 thing...it 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 CHOICE...no 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.