Saturday, October 24, 2009

So a lot has been happening in the last few weeks and it's so nice to have some down time today. I'd definitely say that the last few weeks have been the most tough so far. (I threw in some really random pictures from the last week that don't really go with anything I'm writing about, fyi) God has taught me so much in the midst of my frustration and trials. One thing that He has been showing me is that I am not in control. I know this in my head, but I continue to strive to fix my problems and not allow God to have control in the areas of my life that I think I can fix. Something that I am also learning is perseverance. I have been trying to tell myself that I've already learned a lot here and now I want to go home. (haha) This week I have been reading James 1 over and over and learning that it is impossible for me to develop faith if I don't persevere even when I don't want to and I must obey the word and not just listen or else my time spent in the word is spent in vain.
Last night our group got back from the Bay Area. We spent a week up there working with Habitat for Humanity in Oakland. I had no idea
what to expect and because I was not having a good weekend prior to our trip I didn't want to go. All I can say is that God is so faithful. I did not want to come home. It was definitely one of the most rewarding experiences so far. Habitat for Humanity builds communal neighborhoods for families in need. We were split up in groups and had a crew leader that was part of Americorps. These people we worked with were literally the most kind, humble, patient and loving people I have encountered in a long time. It absolutely blew my mind to see people who were not Christians acting in a way that puts so many believers to shame. I kept asking myself, "what keeps these people motivated to help others without the hope of Christ?" And I couldn't answer that question. I have hope and an overall responsibility as a Christian to have a servant's heart and I am lacking heavily in that area. The greatest lesson I learned from these people is the attitude of a servant. So many times throughout the week I caught myself with an attitude that was so awful and definitely not that of a servant. My prayer is that in everything I do I strive for servanthood and to be Christlike because I want to, not just because it is required of me.
Every morning at Joshua we have an hour of devos. We are required to spend 1 hour with God by ourselves. On our trip this week we didn't have that time and by the end of the week I realized how I didn't talk to God all week. I was so busy and preoccupied all week that I completely disregarded that time I needed with God. I know that God allowed that to happen to show me that I need to be in Joshua. I have been thinking lately that I've learned so much that if I left Joshua now I'd be equipped with all I need because I've learned so much but this week God proved me wrong, once again. Basically, He showed me how little I am in comparison to him and that I haven't come to the place where I crave that time with Him more than anything. I am doing it at Joshua because it is required of me. Coming back up the hill and getting back into routine made me miss that time with God and has shown me how much I need it.
If you are praying for me I ask that you pray for God to give me an untamable hunger for Him and His word. Also that I be mindful of my actions and thoughts and keep them all in line with that of a servant. Thanks to everyone who reads this and challenges me in the areas I need to be challenged. I am so blessed for wonderful, Godly men and women in my life. Love you all :)

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

So, it's Thursday night and the week has already flown by. It has definitely been an interesting week in discovering that there are actually going to be people up here at Joshua who teach, that I don't agree with! hehe. It's something I've never really dealt with or been challenged with in my life up to this point. I'm learning that instead of blocking those people out I need to learn what they are teaching me and be humble enough to seek God and allow the Holy Spirit to reveal truth to me through His word and not go by what I THINK is right. This issue has really shaken me to my core this week.
Also, I've been attending church up here, which is The Well Community Church's services being broad casted. It's been nice because it feels like a little piece of home with me. They have been teaching on Nehemiah and having a holy discontent. In my understanding, to have a holy discontent basically means to have an issue or circumstance weigh on your heart so heavily that all you can do is pursue and follow it however you are led by God to do so. I've been hearing it over and over from it being taught but I never could figure out what my holy discontent was. I've just been telling myself I don't have one. I feel like through all the challenges I've been faced with this week God has allowed a holy discontent to rise to the surface of my heart and has laid a persistent uneasiness within me for something certain. It's cool but at the same time really awkward and uncomfortable. I really need prayer that God reveals truth to me and that I am only guided by the Holy Spirit and not by the words of man. I also need prayer for discernment and being able to distinguish what is from God and what is not from Him.
The cool thing about being in Joshua and having the opportunity to learn from all kinds of teachers and speakers and knowing that none of them are the same. I know I am here to solely draw closer to God and gain a deeper understanding of Him and who I am in Him. I am grateful that Joshua is not a place where I am being "forced" to learn a certain theology or doctrine, but rather I am being exposed to opposite views and having to wrestle with what is being put in front of me and at the end of the day I have to chose to be obedient to the Holy Spirit and allow Him to show me what is true. I feel privileged because of this but it definitely makes things a lot more difficult. Thanks for everyone who is praying for me. Honestly, I can feel people praying for me. As weird as that sounds, I know that I have the positive attitude I have and the excitement I have only because of prayer. Love you all!

I'm too lazy to upload pictures but if you go to you can see some pictures! :)

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Hey guys. I can't believe it's already October 1st. Time is seriously flying already and week 3 of Joshua is almost over. We just got back from Wildwood last night. We knew that we had a leadership trip planned for this week but nobody had any idea on the details. Monday morning we were woken up by the lights turning on in the room and duffle bags laying on the ground telling us we had 30 minutes to be packed and downstairs (It was 4:30am).
We hiked to Wildwood and once we got there we found out that we weren't allowed to wear makeup, have any clocks or electronics and all the mirrors in the bathroom were covered. It was an amazing time of getting to know everyone in the group grow as a family. Each day we were split up into 3 co-ed groups to do group initiatives together.
Tuesday night we were sent out into different parts of the woods all split up with our Bible's, flashlight, and black garbage bag (cause it was suppose to rain) and we didn't know the time or how long we were going to be out there. It ended up being almost 5 hours and it was such an amazing time with God. I learned so much about myself and realized that even with electronics, people, music, movies, tv...etc, there are always other things that distract me from spending time with God. I also realized that when ready, He's always there but I need to spend the time with Him because I want to, not because I have to.
Last night we all sat around a bonfire and Bob Phillips told us stories about Hume Lake. It was a great time. Afterwards we were all given these red bracelets that say "HUME HPI LAKE" and only people who go through Joshua or Wildwood get these red bracelets. HPI stands for, "Honesty, Purity, Integrity." We received these as a group in order to hold each other accountable for the things we said we would commit to. I think it's really neat to be in a community of people who all have one goal in mind but I am also hoping that when I come home I will be surrounded by people who will uphold me to these things as well. To everyone reading this, thank you so much for your prayers. I know that I wouldn't be doing this well up here if it weren't for people praying for me. I hope that as you see me on my weekends off and even during holidays, that you hold me accountable to all the commitments I've made while at Joshua. Love you all so much! :)