Tuesday, 27 September 2011

Pride Rears It's Hideous Head

I was reading Isaiah 57 last night.

The note on (from my study Bible) verses 11-13 said, Maria's paraphrase, people do not fear God they fear humans, and cling to false assurances.

I am doing this.

I am fearing man over God. I am seeking mans approval over God's. In all I do, I want man to say good job, well done, I am impressed, you are so wise, I can see God in you, look at you, you are doing such great things and on and on. Sick sick SICK!

Be honest how many of you can relate?( Come on raise your hands, no one can see you).

Please forgive me Lord Jesus (Praise His name He has already forgiven me, thank you Jesus for your forgiveness). Holy Spirit please please please heal me of this deadly disease.

It really is a disease, it will eat away at your mind and heart, until you are fully consumed with yourself and have lost all focus on Jesus.

It is pride.

If you have this disease ask Jesus to do some spiritual surgery on your mind and heart. He is the only one that can and will remove all of this deadly mind and heart eating disease. Please take this seriously. You can not remain passive. If you just try and ignore it or think it will take care of its self, it can be fatal.

There is hope.

I heard Jesus say to me: I will tell you that you are beautiful, smart, intelligent, funny and incredible. I approve of you, more than that I delight in you Maria! I God of the Universe delight in YOU! Is this not enough for you?

I answered  honestly: No, apparently not … I am sorry, please forgive me (He has), please heal my wrong thinking and broken feelings (He is).  Jesus I need and want to be free in your approval and great delight.  Please help me to understand how deep, wide, tall and long your love is for me Amen.
   - It is in your love and approval that I will be free to worship you, free to be me, free to love you, myself and others, free to be free, free to glorify your name, to sing your praises! FREE!

Where the Spirit of the Lord is there is freedom AMEN!

Monday, 26 September 2011

A Case For Christ

I am watching the A Case For Christ documentary by Lee Strobel (for one of my classes, awesome!), based on his book by the same title.

I highly recommend reading the book. If you are not a reader (which you really should think about becoming) or just don't have the time (fair enough) than watch the movie.

I read this book shortly after choosing to follow Jesus, and I found it extremely insightful.

For those of you who are analytical and enjoy using a  scientific method I think you will appreciate the information in this book.

If you have been a Christian for some time, I believe this book will  better equip you in being a accurate witness for Jesus.

If you have a lot of doubts and/or criticism about Jesus and who He said He was, you are in good company because this is the same place that the author was at when he started researching what would turn out to be the content of this book.  I challenge you to read/watch A Case For Christ. Please let me know what you think.

I would love to hear what you all think, maybe we can share together our comments, questions, and concerns.

No matter who you are, what you do or do not believe I encourage you to take some time to look at A Case For Christ.

This book (or rather He) could change your life.

Thursday, 22 September 2011

I Am Blog Two-timing

Hi friends,

I will be blogging once a week on The War College website: http://www.thewarcollege.com/?p=1740

Check it out :) The other students will also be blogging, it will be cool to get different perspectives, not just me talking ALL the time! blah blah blah haha

Don't worry your pretty little heads I will continue to blog on this site!

Keep reading, please :)

Sunday, 18 September 2011

48 Hours Without a Home.

Last week I spent 48 hours experiencing in a small way what it could be like to be marginalized. 

Marginalized mean to be pushed to the margins, fringes, outside of society.  People are who are marginalized in our society can have an addictions, mental illness, physical or mental disability, be a  single mother, prostituted women, person with out a home, lonely, fatherless, abused, discarded, broken, hurting and bleeding.

These are the people that the followers of Jesus  (you and me!) are called to love.

Yes, we are called to love everyone, but my understanding from reading the Bible is that God has given us specific calling to love marginalized people.

On Wednesday afternoon we handed over our keys, separated into groups of four and headed out of the door onto the street.

We knew that this was coming, so we had time to pack a bag, and prepare. For a more accurate experience we should have been unexpectedly kicked in the gut, robbed and thrown out onto the streets, alone.

Also since we knew this was coming some of us had picked up a sheet that had all the free food available in the city. Again a more accurate experience would have us start with out any knowledge of the resources, needing to discover them, when we are cold, tired, hungry and miserable.

Despite these limitations (and many more, such as knowing this would only last 48 hours, not having an addiction ect.) I felt that I was blessed with a deeper appreciation and insight into what some of the marginalized in our society have to live through.

We had to line up for our meals, sometimes waiting as long as an hour and a half.

Your whole day is centred around survival. Where am I going to eat and sleep?

Our first breakfast was basically broth and half a stale bun. We tried to go to another place to get food, but we were to late. It was difficult to function on such little nutrients.

The first night we started the night sleeping in a park, on the pavement because the grass was wet, until it started to rain.

We got up at 3am, and I had to go to the bathroom so we roamed the city looking for a public washroom, we found one in a McDonald's. Thank you God or I would have had to pee on the sidewalk.

Next time you smell urine on the streets, think of me, and ask yourself  "is there anywhere for them to go to the bathroom?"

After finding the bathroom we tried to find some shelter. We found a store front that would fit us all. We tried to sleep there, but it was very noisy with traffic. At 6:30am a nice man woke us up by saying "wakey wakey time to get to work."

We wondered around for a bit before getting in line for breakfast.

After this night we had to go to class. We were expected to be alert and attentive. It was really difficult.

 I can only imagine what it would be like if you are living on the streets and you need to do something like  apply for a job or go to court. It would be extremely difficult to do alert and attentive.

Someone who might be trying to get off the streets can are at an disadvantage by the fact that they are living on the streets. It is a vicious cycle.

The second night we slept in a a different park.

I had a very bad sleep.

There was some kind of fight going on, the police and ambulance showed up. I was very scared. Not only was the fight situation frightening but I was tense the whole night afraid that the cops would find us and kick us out.

I was so tired I just wanted to sleep, I didn't mean anyone any harm, I just wanted to sleep.

Where do we expect some without a home to sleep? When the shelters are full, and they do fill up. It is illegal to sleep in parks and on the streets.

It is like saying to a homeless person "stop being homeless!"

On the streets there are more men than women. W hen  homeless counts are done they count less women.  This is not because there are no homeless women.Often instead of sleeping on the streets, because it is dangerous and it just plan sucks, many women stay in an abusive relationship, and/or are prostituted.  Because of this inaccurate picture there are not enough beds in shelters for women.

We were blessed with decent weather. Yes, we had a little  rain, but nothing compared to what it can be like.

Next time you are caught in the rain, think about those who are living in the rain.

Imagine being cold and wet, with no hope of drying off and getting warm.

Now try imagine need to "get your act together." How do you do things like get a job when you are tired, cold, dirty, and hungry.

This was me just after 48 hours.

Think about people who have been on the streets for longer, who often have additional barriers  such as poor health, little to no self worth, little education, possibly a mental illness (a high percentage of people on the streets have a mental illness), a history of abuse (again a very high percentage of people do), and the list goes on and on.

This is not about making excuses for people. I just want you to take a moment to consider the reasons.

Everyone has a story. The majority of the people living on the streets have a stories filled with abuse, suffering and loneliness, to an degree that most of us have never come close to experiencing.

Before you make a judgment about someone, take time to learn their story.

I am thankful that I have had a brief glimpse into the lives of people living on the streets.

I am looking forward to hearing more peoples stories, so that I can grow in my compassion and love for the marginalized of our city.

The only way to truly love people is to enter into their world, join them in their suffering and hear their stories.

 As Jesus did and continues to do.

2000 years ago Jesus entered into our world, suffered and listened to peoples stories. Since Jesus is alive today, He continues to be in our world, suffer with us, and listen to our stories, through His Spirit (that lives in us).

Jesus is God, He was in perfect Heaven. He left perfect heaven. He chose to lay down His rights and privileges in order to love us.

How can you in the place that God has placed you, chose to enter into someone's world, join them in their suffering and hear their stories. This will look different, depending on what community you are in.

I want to encourage you to honestly ask God "where do you want me to be? how do you want me to enter into  the world of a the lost and broken? how can I join them in their suffering? and please bless me with hearing their stories."

I believe God will speak to you, all you have to do is ask, listen and obey!

There is so much blessing in living in this way, because it is in the laying down of our rights and privileges that we are with Jesus, the greatest joy and blessing of all!

Monday, 12 September 2011

I Dare You!

I am living in the DTES, I have moved into my room at the Empress, sounds fancy, it's not! But it is not as bad as I thought it would be, God has been guarding me from the bed bugs, cockroaches and mice, I thank Him for that, and for all of you who have prayed.

Really I have only just started War College, I have not yet gotten into a rhythm, just trying to figure the schedule out, which is packed full!

Yesterday in went for a walk, and the theme of my prayer was Jesus be glorified, please teach me how to be in this place that glorifies your Holy name.

This a Prayer for anyone in any situation in any place: Jesus be glorified, open my eyes, ears and heart to where you are in this place and please show me how to glorify you in _________ (fill the blank).

I have the privilege of stepping out of my ordinary life and entering into a new place, really a different culture, so I have to ask, because I am like a fish out of water and I desperately need Jesus to guide, teach, and carry me.

This is not always the case, I have been in situations where I don't need Jesus to guide, teach, carry me because I have it "figured out." HA! Right! I thought I did, but silly me.

Praise Jesus that He loves us way to much to leave us the way we are, and if we co-operate with Him He will put us in situations that will give us the blessing, they are blessing even if it doesn't seem like it at the time, to lean on Him.

No matter who you are or what you circumstances are you can chose to ask Jesus do guide, teach and carry you. It can be messy and uncomfortable, even painful, at times but it will be worth it, because in it you will see Jesus!

So I dare you, double dare you, ask Jesus: how can I glorify YOU in my circumstances? Where are you? And what is my role?

Friday, 9 September 2011

baaaahh baaaah baaaah

Reflecting on Psalm 23

We are sheep.

Jesus is our Shepard. Jesus guides is, leads us to "food and water."

We do not need to try and provide for our selves, all we need to do is to fix our eyes on our Shepard. (Hebrews 12:2)

Jesus will lead us to rest, water and on the righteous path.

Our only "job" as sheep is to look at the Shepard (keep our eyes fixed on Him) and walk (follow Him).

Even if wen take our eyes off of the Shepard and wander this way or that, get ensnared in a trap, get tired of walking,  the Shepard will come after us, He will find us, He will pick us up and carry us back to the fold.

Jesus is your Shepard.

When you say yes to following Him. When you give up on your own way and invite Him to take over your life, completely and fully. You have joined  a family, you have been adopted (Galatians 4:5-7).

You are now in the flock and nothing, not your own stupidity, laziness or the big bad wolf (the enemy) can take you from Jesus (John 10: 27-29).

Jesus will provide all your needs (your needs are different than your wants, and even your idea of a need may be different than Jesus')

Jesus will restore and refresh your soul when you are weary.

Jesus leads you in actions, good works, a lifestyle of righteousness.


Even when the world is crashing in around us, we do not fear because Jesus is the strongest and most powerful Shepard and He will not let any harm come to you that is not for your good (Romans 8:28).

When we do suffer (and you will because we have an enemy who is out to harm us) and when you are hurt (you will be because we live in a broken world) Jesus will comfort you with His GREAT BIG loving and protective arms. Also we can cling to the Truth that Jesus is in control and He will work all things out for our good and His glory.

This is what Jesus the Shepard want to do for you.

Will you let Him?

Will you let Jesus provide for you? Give you rest? Refersh your soul? Lead in righteousness? Protect and comfort you?

All you have to do is turn to Him, look at Him and say YES! (But even if you say no, Jesus will continue to pursue you, He will get down o n the ground beside you and He will wait for you).

Saturday, 3 September 2011

I Don't Want To Go!

I leave for the Downtown Eastside to start War College in one week from today! AH!

I am freaking out! I don't want to go! I don't want to give up my clean safe warm bed. I don't want to give up my stocked up fridge. I don't want to give up my independence and ability to do what I want to do when I want to do it!

You may be asking "than why are you going?"

Good question! Despite my freaking out, I know in my heart and mind that this is the right and best thing for me to do at this time.

This morning as I am freaking out to God He said to me:

Remember the night before leaving on YWAM and waiting in the airport you were so very afraid and sad to be going that you thought you might break down?

 - Yes (me). 

All worked out for very good.

 - Yes, this is true, thank you Jesus Amen (me.

Remember when you first arrived in San Francisco with CSM and you wanted someone to get sick back home so you could leave?

-Yes (me).

All worked out for excellent.

 - Yes, this is true, thank you Jesus Amen (me).

All things that I have done (no matter how tough they have been) have worked out for my good… because I love Jesus, because He is always faithful to me.

Thank you Jesus. Thank you, thank you, thank you! Amen.

Are you going through some hard times? Are you facing a challenge?

Remember what Jesus has done for you in the past.

Stop, remember and be filled with the peace of God.