top 20 things from week four

20.a critical part for us ‘in’ Christ Jesus is to have a demand that God is good ALL THE TIME.

19. the devil, he produces a counterfeit delight

18. Are you bored or facinated with your relationship with God?

17. how equipped are you to enjoy god?

16. I have a long way to go because GOD is  infinite and I can never stop enjoying him.

15. to get to any sort of delight, you must first pass through discipline, all starting with a desire.

14. courtesy is born from respect and honor

13. God is illogical  in his extravagant love

12. if you run away from one thing, you have to be running toward another thing. Stop focusing on the thing you are running from but where you should run to.

11. Our love is only a response to His, it’s not possible to initiate, He already did.

10. When Jesus said, “follow me” in Mark 1:17 he’s saying, “Dude, just follow me, I’LL make you fishers of men. You just have to follow me.” He’ll do the work in others when you trust him by just following.

9. before he was captured by her, he was captured by her value.

8. the fall has deeply perverted our ability to recognize value.

7. based on absolute truth, the more you submerge yourself in something or someone, the more you know and understand their value.

6. To undertand the real and true value of something you first need to see the true value of yourself.

5. What does your heart hold at the highest value?

4. Why is stil part of the what untill it fully becomes a revelation of understanding that motivates change.

3. You are held fully responsible for the revelation you recieve.

2. To believe is to act as if it is so.

1. Dont judge, you don’t know who your neighbor is becoming… remember the day Jesus changed your life?

week three: biblical restoration

ahhhh sooo good!!

this week I am finally no longer homesick. I have a favorite friend, am jacked about getting home but am so excited about 2 and a half months left here to grow and learn.

It was all about biblical restoration and healing especially in light of forgiveness. on tuesday micheal berg the director of YWAM orlando was our speaker (for the week) and we talked about 4 things.

to know God: the original language  for “to know” means that to know God is not merely knowing about him but rather to know him more intimately than a husband and wife know each other.

to trust God: firm belief or confidence in the honesty, integrity, reiability, and justice etc. of another person. to know their character. trust is LEARNED and EARNED; the more we get to know him, the more we trust him.

to love God:  love is an UNSELFISH choice for the highest good of God and his universe according to their real value. -w.a. pratney (matthew 22: 37-40)

to serve God: not on the basis of FEAR, not on the basis of a sense of DUTY. service is an act of LOVE, and humility but mostly OBEDIENCE as an act out of response to our love for JESUS.

the false concepts we have of God, especially those from which we have viewed in our earthly fathers affect how we treat our heavenly father.

we then went into talking about the nature and character of God, talking a lot about His father heart for us and it was a powerful powerful week. For a devo look at John chapter 14, 15, and 16 and see the work or jobs of the Holy Spirit. (super good) another good devo is studying through the names of God, which we both did in class.

this was my prayer wednesday night:

Father, I‘m blown away at your love! Your love is enough. I don’t understand how good you are, Holy Holy Holy are you God Almighty. I don’t have time to maintain these regrets when I think about how He loves us!! Thank you for breaking my heart towards yours. I am filled with your love, you are good, you are good, when I’m crying in the night. You are there, you are there, when not even me can I spare. I praise your Holy name. JESUS you stay the same through the ages. Pour out your love and spirit Father, your heart for the lost is ever present and ever lasting. It’s bigger than mine Father so please pour out your grace. -amen

on Friday, it was ministry day. we had intercessory prayer in the morning and class after break as always but then after lunch we got into our small groups and prayed prayers of forgiveness. Praying ” father I FORGIVE ___________, for hurting me in __________ even if/though they (didn’t) mean(t) to, even though it was (un)intentional.” we confessed lies to eachother that we believed. Satan’s biggest battle ground is the mind. If he can get you to beleive lies, he can twist the way you look at anything. So we walked through a list, confessing hurts we have from people who hurt us intentionally, unintentionally, things people were aware of and not aware of.  We started at one and at 5:45 stopped and were not even half way through the list. we spent that many hours in confession, and prayer for one another forgiving all kinds of people from our parents, to siblings, to uncles and ourselves, to teachers or the government, to babysitters and friends. So many things came out as I was amazed. After the night was over we took our papers of all the peple we had forgiven that day and sang worship around a bonfire, throwing the paper into the fire declaring freedom from the bondage Satan was trying to hold over us.

I have never felt more free in my entire life, this is what I wrote in my journal as I climbed in bed for the night:

today we forgave. I forgave lots of people and realized I was beleiveing the lie that touch from men was always completely inapropriate, that it only hurt me and Satan was keeping me in bondage by feeding me the lie that I couldn’t touch, depriving me of a way I feel love. (touch is my strongest love language). I stopped the group after talking about siblings and said I needed to tell them something now, because Michael Berg our speaker had just pulled charis aside to pray for her, and had asked to give her an embracing hug. Seeing the hug made me feel so uncomfortable that I wanted to tell my group right way before he tried to hug me. So as I’m telling them about my fear of getting to close to guys and feeling like I cant touch because it warms my heart and always stirrs up emotions, Mike Lennartson, my DTS director who is married and expecting a baby came up behind me and had put a hand on my back. My whole body starts to crumble as the smiles on my groups face continue to grow. I finaly turn around and Mike says, “Samm,  (with a smile) Can I give you a hug?” I looked at him with tears in my eyes, and nodded yes and as I turned around and stood up, he wispered, “The Lord told me to come over, because you needed a hug.” I started bawling as he embraced me. I felt so loved, Gods incredible timeing is beyond perfect. It was exactly what I needed.

There were many things that contributed to me feeling like touch from the opposite sex was not okay unless in the context of marriage, from an absent father in the first 4 years of my life when touch is the most powerful way to feel loved at that age (medically tested) and from male family who are unaffectionate physically, although very unintentional, as well as getting scolded from guys who blame me for being too flirty when I was trying to show friendly affection. Yes there is a fine line, but I now feel free to enjoy friendly touch with the opposite sex without feeling condemned like I did something wrong. I also was feeling physically neglected from a male very dear to my heart. As I was telling my group that, Sarah Lennartson, Mike’s wife came up to me and said the Lord gave her a picture for me. She said she had no idea what it ment but that it was a fluffy stuffed animal heart that was smiling, it had arms that velcrow shut and although they were shut, it was very unintentional. So I knew that the physicall attention I lacked from this male was the heart the Lord showed her. :):))

Praise and thank God for the freedom he brings in me, for the strength to forgive those who have unintentionally hurt me by feeding the lie Satan had me beieving.

 

HIS LOVE NEVER FAILS!

 

week two @ dts

This week was an answer to prayer. Thank you all who prayed for settlement in this new season of life. I woke up monday morning with a peace and confidence in this place. Sunday night, after a first long week away from friends I skyped quite a few from school and left the conversation very sad. I knew I was to be here, but I was having a hard time being content here. All week I was happy, excited and refreshed with truth over and over. I was content and at ease with the surounding so first, thank you all who prayed for that!!

Now im going to kind of jog through my notebook, trying to log all the things that happened so bare with me if its kinda all over the place.

This week was hearing the voice of God and learning about intercessory prayer. We are called to be the light in the darkness, and part of that is coming to Jesus with a clean heart. Acknowledging that Jesus is Lord over all, including our past, renouncing the power satan has over us and the things he has planned to keep us both ineffective and in habitual sin, and last but not least to forgive those who have hurt us, or whom we have hurt, either intentionally or unintentionally.

We are to wait on God, and listen to His voice because He DOES speak and wants to reveal His perfect and sovereign will to us. In this, we learned about dealing with things that are spiritually deadly (tongu twister!) in our past that force us to think negatively about God’s character.

We talked a lot about ways God speaks to us and things he uses to tell us things. It was neat to hear a lot of crazy stories. ( let me know if you want to hear anything specific and i’ll gladly respond to you!!) Part of these lessons were about asking God for open and closed doors. Sometimes we are too broad about asking God questions. For example we talked about asking God, “Should I do a DTS in Orlando, in Jan of 2011?” Instead we first need to ask if we are to do a DTS, then where and then when. because he may say yes to one, wait to another and no to the last part. So being specific with God is important.

We also talked about waiting on the Lord when He doesnt speak, and always going back to the last thing He said if He isn’t speaking. That was cool for me, because I learned how to be patient and not jump to conclusions, some times He wants you to wait because He’s waiting to show you something, in maybe a month or a few months, He wont speak untill that happens and you understand why He said the last thing He did.

On Monday I was praying prayers of confession as I was focusing on hearing God’s voice in prayer but knowing that he wants to speak, only when I am submidting to him with humility. It was hard for me to admidt to things this week to people about things that happned years ago. I had a few convos with people that needed to happen a long time ago and it was scary but so freeing to feel forgiven and clean. It’s hard to be honest sometimes when you know you are or were wrong but its the best feeling when you can come to the Lord knowing you did the right thing. So monday I prayed through those things but also for patience with the blind who have no idea they can’t see. So many people think they are Christians in America. And yes, they may believe in God. It says in James 2:19 that even the demons believe and shudder. They may acknowledge that Jesus died on the Cross for their sins but have they surrendered their whole heart to the Lord? Have they made him Lord of their life?? This is hard for me to share Jesus and His importance with people who think they know it all already when they arent living like He is number one. So i’ve been praying for humility and a loving heart like Jesus loves his children. Like the father loved his son in the parable of the prodigal son.

That afternoon in class, my teacher (Jon Bills) talked about the lost sheep and how Jesus said “My sheep hear my voice.” Jon Bills talked about how God’s voice is everywhere, but we are like tuners on a radio, we need to find the right station and zero in, getting rid of all the static. Turning the dial of your hearts away from the noise.

I wrote this in my notebook,

“It’s the little lamb who wanders. Who walks away ALL the time. The sheppard breaks the lambs legs and carries it around on His shoulders till the little lamb heals. Comforted by the shepard in being carried around and always hearing their sheppards voice. Just like Jesus breaks our pride, image and status, so we can get closer to Him. So He can comfort us and mold our hearts to hear and answer to His voice.

He doesnt allow bad things, or things that are hard to happen to see us squirm. He wants to see us utterly dependant on Him, relying on Him fuly without things in the way.

side note: God never asks us to consider IF we are to give. He tells us to give EVERYTHING

The Lord brought up relationships I needed to mend. I started working on that this week. the thing is when Jesus said, ” I made known to them your name, and I will continue to make it known, that the love with which you have loved me may be in them and I in them.” He was talking about us being as close to the father as He is. Jesus, the son of God is not only the human form of God but He IS God. and He wants to be that close to us. The creator of the universe, JESUS CHRIST wants to be THAT close to you.

Along with this we talked about having a personal revelation of truth from the Lord. I’ll kinda expand on this later cuz this will get too long if I share mine but yes again, ask me if you wanna know right away.

We were challenged to sit in silence some time this week and ask “God what do you want to speak to me right now?” and only giveing the silence two minutes, cuz yes we have imaginations that run wild. Don’t be afraid to ask this!! And dont run from the first thing that pops in your head, often thats the best. Then to ask God, “Lord what do you really think of me?”

all he said to me was “beautiful”   🙂

we went through the 4 voices we hear: God, the enemy, self and others. basically how to decern the difference between, we talked about examples of each and the significance of them all. We then wrapped up the week with how God uses his voice, ways he likes to speak, putting all into practice on Thursday during worship and warefare and then Friday for intercessory prayer time.

the things i found interesting and important about this lesson is remembering that you cant step out in faith against the enemy unless God calls you there. you cant beat satan on your own power. We have to always step out in faith, trusting and hoping (expecting) God will speak. You are cheating Him of glory and joy for yourself by asking out of anything but utter expectation; He will speak. He wants to show you the plans He has for you, BUT you have to wait and listen, willing to set aside yor own preconcieved ideas. During intercession God told us to pray for hungry children, giving us all images of little kids with sand around them. he brought up living and pure water to all of us and gave us pictures and verses of hope for these children like psalm 84:10 that says, “better is one day in your courts than thousand elsewhere.” (this is the reference i got, when i looked it up i was stunned to see how the Lord was showing us that its not just a physical hunger these children have but an eternal spiritual hunger for something more than life on this earth)

this week we also got into our sports dts group, it was fun to have small group with the girls and get to know our team better. Not a whole lot new but the team grew a little, another young married couple and 2 more guys my age added. We started learning about the westbank, and middle eastern culture which im beyond excited about. i have a new heart for the world.

thats all for now, this week i wil hopefully share two things: my story on expecting big things and what im learning about outreach.

please pray for continued growth, bonding for our team and cheap flights as we are hunting right now, and also for my heart to continued to be purified as this is the number one thing the Lord is showing me right now.

blessed be the name of the Lord. <>< keep seeking Jesus and dont be afraid to send prayer requests. i’d love to pray!!

last but not least, remember that God sent His son to die. He sent HIS SON to die for you. can you imagine sending your child to an utterly painful, shameful, excruciating death? what about your little sister or brother for those of you who are not parents? It would be so hard to do that. And HE did that for YOU because He LOVES YOU.

oh how he loves us, how he loves us so.

YWAM ORLANDO 2011

well I have arrived here safe in orlando and although I went to bed the first night after a very boring, sad, not-fun day I was honestly wondering what I reallY got myself into. Happily, Tuesday I had a much better day learning the basics of what Ywam really is and getting to know more people.

I have a lot to say so I will try to make it simple and sweet. First, and most exciting: for outreach I am going to the…..

WEST BANK (palestine) the regular DTs is going to East Asia. We leave at the end of March and will be gone till the end of May. Our trip isnt totally planned out yet so I dont know any furthur details, I’ll update when I find out. I honesty hadnt thought a lot about the secnd half of the DTS program because I hadn’t been aware of where we were going but now that I am, I’m getting more excited and thinking more about it. We have a team of 10 people: 4 guys my age, me and 2 girls my age, my outreach leader, kristen who is 23 and then a married couple who are in their early 30s and gabe, their one year old. We have yet to figure out our workout stuff but I do know we are teaching a community program through a local church called 50 days of fitness.  One of the eguys my age who wants to go to brazil and eventualy play professional soccer, Lighting, and I are going to teach a soccer clinic together and are really excited about that. None-the-less I am beyond excited to train with him and get better. 🙂

adjusting has been more difficult than I imagined. I try not to think about the length of time I will be here very often because It makes me miss home. I AM very very excited about what the Lord will do in my heart over the next five months but am also very sad I am missing out on the ways the Lord is working back home at school. I am trying to take one day at a time and just enjoy what the Lord has set before me each day.

While Im here I’m required to read the entire new testament, (so far I have one book down) I have 4 books to read for homework, one of the three being an outreach focused book for our specific outreach half.  We have to memorize a verse each week and are tested on it for an actual grade. this week is psalm 2:8 ” ask of me, and I wil make the nations your heritage, the ends of the earth your inheritance.” (no I didn’t cheat to look that up!) among book tests, lecure tests, punctuality, journaling and class notes.

The things I’m most looking forward to are:

1.Each week we have one teacher with a theme, I am most excited for the end of this month when we will be taught about the father-heart of God.

2. thursdays: on thurs morn we do worship and warfare. Basically we join together to worship and thank God for what he is doing while praying for a specific people or country. Today we got together to pray for the country Jordan. the king and his family. It was really cool to learn and see a room full of people pray for a person and family that has no idea who we are or what we are doing.

3. to grow in my relationship with the Lord. I have already learned so much and can’t even believe I still have 5 months to learn and soak everything up.

Every morning we have quiet time and I’ve been studying the book of joshua. The lord is continueing to show me his faithfulness through these passages as he was faithful to the israelites. I’ve been learning to sit and listen to the voice of God and its the craziest thing. He speaks to his children loud and clear, more so when you are in obedience. I’ve started to see how the Lord graces everyone with things everyday but when you obey, and continue to be faithful to him the more he will answer your call. the Lord has spoken to me this week about things i need to apologize for, things in my past i need to deal with,  conversations I need to have and even things I need to change. He specifically told me not to text someone I wanted to encourage, to delete certain numbers from my phone I didn’t need there to be a possible distraction later on and not make a phone call I was going to make. Its funny because I have felt his presence more and more the more often I seek to listen and ask questions.

I have a few goals in mind for going back to MN. I want to speak of nothing else but the blood of the cross and the freedom it brings. I have a friend that talks about nothing but jesus and his kingdom. I want to be like that, I want nothing else to matter but him and spreading his kingdom, I’m hoping to taste that the Lord is SO good I can speak of nothing else. So often I am plagued by being caught up in drama, most often occuring when I spend too much time talking about things I shouldn’t.

I also have grown a bigger heart for the world, the more stories I hear about the Lord working the more I want to give my life to the Kingdom and its only been 3 days!!

please please pray for me to feel at home here, to continue to adjust.  For me to seek wisdom and discernment when speaking boldly but also to spend ample time in prayer and listening to the Lord speak. Pray for the west bank, for political settlement, and for the hearts of the people. For our team to meet people that hearts can and will be softened to hand their lives to Jesus. Also pray for being a sponge, I really just want to soak up everything I have opportunities in to grow.

more to come later, please please send specific prayer requests I’d love to pray for you.