First time for tears

Today is the first time I’ve felt completely overwhelmed. I’m learning how to give up my own plans and own desires for the Lords ways.

This summer, I know will be one of joy and fruitfulness as I trust Him to provide for me each step of the way. I also know it’s going to be hard and a lot of work to prepare to move.

“When oceans rise, I will rest in your embrace, for I am yours and you are mine.”

Adventure is here

In the last week a crazy amount of things have happened.

1. It marked the halfway point between leaving and having had zero clue to how I would get overseas.

On Jan 14th I blogged about wanting to be on a plane yesterday and panicking on making a decision to get over seas. Now it’s four months later and I am starting Go-week my first official training for the big move. In just four short months I will be on a plane headed to the Middle East.

May The Lord surprise me and your with His faithfulness in this time as we trust Him in the adventure of Life.

Galatians 6:6-10

“6 Nevertheless, the one who receives instruction in the word should share all good things with their instructor.

7 Do not be deceived: God cannot be mocked. A man reaps what he sows.

8 Whoever sows to please their flesh, from the flesh will reap destruction; whoever sows to please the Spirit, from the Spirit will reap eternal life.

9 Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up.

10 Therefore, as we have opportunity, let us do good to all people, especially to those who belong to the family of believers.”

Cold Water Challenge

I just want to point out that I was nominated despite my best efforts not to be for the Cold Water Challenge. If you haven’t heard: on Facebook if someone nominates you, you have 24 hours to jump all the way under some sort of cold water. Here in MN even though its May, its still cold. If you don’t do it within 24 hours, you have to donate $10 to cancer research. Not that I don’t want to donate money, I had rather nominate someone else.

I chose to nominate Carly Sellberg and Cam Ensz; two really good friends of mine.

Here is the video from yesterday when I jumped in the water.

Hold up that peace sign.

yes I am back at Starbucks. Two thursdays ago though, I was not. I was among 7,500 other twin-citians getting their hearing dulled by the sound of vibrating strings, tapped white and black blocks and the rhythmic breathing into microphones. ok, ok, ok I was at the Mariucci Arena for UNITE.

On the National Day of Prayer there was an event held down on the U of M campus for those in the surroundings areas calling for revival in the Twin Cities. There was a speaker, some worship and time to pray for the city, schools, the nation and the world.

It was a really incredible night. Obviously it was cool to be there to worship alongside the leadership of Hillsong United; I think considered the most popular Christian Artist right now. (alongside Hillsong that is)

As you look through the pictures of this event and even watch the videos, think about the underground churches all over the world. As I stood worshiping the Name above all Names, I couldn’t help but think how wild it was to be praising the King of Kings next to 7500 believers. Only because I’ve heard more about the underground church in China than anywhere else, I couldn’t stop thinking about it.
There was a BLINDING flash in front of me at one point in the concert and I looked down to see a female taking a picture of her friend who was Asian. When he said “cheese” he held up the “peace” sign. I giggled because growing up my family hosted Japanese students each summer and they always held up the “peace” sign in pictures. It made me first think of those students we hosted but followed to press my mind with the underground church in China. I have no idea if he grew up in the United States or in an Asian country but I thank the lord for whatever kind of reminder it was to ponder the underground church.

I stood there and watched how many people were in that room. Wether those people were looking for an emotional or spiritual high due to the loud powerful music and cool light show or they came to see Nick Hall speak, or they love the popular song “Oceans” by Taya Smith. They were all there singing to Jesus.

A friend of mine once told me that Matt Chandler, A well known pastor at the Village Church from Texas. I was told that when he went to China recently, He gave a sermon the response he got was baffling. He wasn’t preaching at a church that was totally underground per se but it was protected and mildly secretive (hey have to be, China is a closed country.) They would not let Him stop, He ended up preaching on the book he was teaching from for 5 hours!

I thought about those people and how I probably couldn’t fathom what they would give up just to be at event like UNITE. I have no idea how small or big underground churches are, I’ve never been to one but I’m going to guess no more than 30 people in a little room, if that. The reason I guess that number is because if it were any bigger, it would be found and its very difficult to hide that many random people coming together when the government is watching you. Can you imagine the joy on the faces of those who have only ever experienced the underground church to be brought to an event where seven thousand some people are openly worshiping Jesus?

I cannot fathom that kind of Joy. Thats the kind of joy I seek to find as I move overseas to share the love of Jesus with people who are shunned for believing in Him. People who can be abandoned by their families for trusting in Him. People who are beat up for having a bible. That kind of Joy doesn’t come from anywhere else.

Hold up that peace sign and think of that unspeakable Joy.

Here are the videos:

OCEANS

FOREVER

LOVE IS WAR

INSIDE OUT

I’m sorry these pictures aren’t good, I took them with my phone from pretty far back.

blackandwhite

hosanna

boyonscreen

theredcross

lightandhands

cellphones

oceans

besties

worshipers

Nominated

Today I am back at Starbucks but I’m in Barnes and Noble which actually might be my new favorite place. For now.

As you may have seen logging into Facebook the numerous challenges going around, one being the cold water challenge which I’m crossing my fingers I don’t get nominated to do. And two the favorite Bible verse. I did get nominated for that one this week and it took me a day and a half to post but I had to think about it before posting.

Before I tell you what I said you MUST take a listen to this piece. If you like classical music or “spa” music you might really like this. Its my favorite kind of music to be productive to. (click the word “this” its hard to see that its a different color)

Here is what I said:

I’ve been challenged to share my fave bible verse. Thanks Kate Ofori-Mattmüller for the nomination

I have 3.

“The Lord gave and The Lord has taken away; blessed be the name of the Lord.” Job 1:21 because in trial, which will come, The Lord is the only thing that is constant. He is the only thing that will never change, He upholds is faithful character perfectly. It takes a while to learn this, but your life changes when you do.

Until you do…

“Let us then draw near to the throne of grace, that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need.” Hebrews 4:16

Jesus died on the cross and when He did the veil tore in the temple because God was no longer confined to reside in the holy of holies. Anyone can access Him anywhere because of Jesus, our perfect sacrifice. He stands by the fathers side interceding (praying on our behalf) for us. Let us draw near when we don’t know where else to go.

Lastly, “Come, everyone who thirsts, come to the waters; and he who has no money, come, come buy and eat! Come, buy wine and milk without money and without price. Why do you spend your money for that which is not bread, and your labor for that which does not satisfy? Listen diligently to me, and eat what is good, and delight yourselves in rich food. Incline your ear, and come to me; hear, that your soul may live.” Isaiah 55:1-3a

Jesus never stops calling you to come to Him; not that you would follow rules but that you would live.

These are my favorite verses not only for sharing the hope of the gospel story but also for my own encouragement.

He is living water
He is living water

May Day

Today is May first, commonly known as May Day. Last year when attempting to pick out flowers for a lady in my small group who was in the hospital, I informed a friend that I don’t really like flowers that much. He told me comically that if, “God forbid” I was ever in the hospital or sick he would bring me a bundle of asparagus. I laughed because it was funny and half expected him to show up on my doorstep this week because I had been in the hospital.

No flowers were on my door today, nor were any bundles of asparagus but as I was laying on the couch some yellow buds caught my eye. They were blooming in the back corner of my yard. My little sister and I decided to brave the cold in our bright colors, barely convincing us of the promised approaching spring.

We found some pretties and enjoyed playing fetch with our dog in the crisp air. It was an incredibly beautiful day to capture the blooming garb of May I’d been hoping for earlier this week.

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