Saturday, December 1, 2012

The Bells Are Ringing In The U.K

I am beyond excited as a few weeks ago I got news that I have been accepted onto the Bethel missions team for the England trip next April. England has always been a nation on my heart, and their rich heritage of revival has left a mark on my memory whilst igniting something within me to want to play a part in seeing fresh waves of revival fire sweep the nation.
As the missions trip options were given to us, I didn't hesitate to put England as my number one choice, and am so ecstatic that I am being given the honor of traveling to the nation with a team of fiery revivalists to impact the nation through love, joy and the good news of the cross!

As a team we will be ministering in a number of churches, leading a women's conference, doing street ministry as well as working with the police force in order to minster in brothels and other areas that could use some joy of the Lord!
Lately, I have been chatting to a number of my English friends who are over here studying at Bethel with me, and the testimonies of unity, revival and the good news that have been spreading across the nation have deeply stirred me and increased my excitement for the trip all the more.

Until April, the team and I will be meeting regularly, formulating our plan of action and praying into what God is doing in beautiful England. Also, in order for me to go on this trip, I am in need of some financial support, if you would like to sow into the fertile soil of what God is doing in England and partner with me in spreading the good news to this nation, then you are able to give financially towards my trip by clicking on this link
I will not be able to make this dream a reality without the help and support of people that believe in me and believe that God want to radically change the nation of England.

If you feel let to pray for us as a team, that would be so appreciated. Pray that we have open doors to be influencers of the influential, to ignite revival in the hearts of every man, woman and child and to see people saved, healed, delivered and filled with glory! It's going to be such an extravagant trip, my heart is brooding with expectancy!

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

He Lives In Me

A beautiful and passionate friend of mine who is ever falling in love with the work of the cross always inspires me with her childlike heart and view of Jesus. I am honored to be in class with her here at Bethel's 2nd year and she is one of those people who's walk with the Lord is so fragrant that it leaves you more in love with Him every time you encounter her.
I thought I'd share this beautiful quote of hers that was birthed out of her revelation of "Christ in me."

"Inside of me lives the person who loves you most in the whole universe." - Michal Langton

Isn't this so beautiful and life-giving? We no longer have to strive in our own might to love the world around us. We house Jesus himself, the sacrificial lover and he is dying to unleash his love onto every life that comes near to ours. Not only do we get to love people, we get to love them just as he would because the very Jesus that died for the world, has taken up residence in you and I. 

Before The World Began

Something that has been exploding my brain lately is the concept of time. Being intimately acquainted with a God who dwells beyond the constraints of time, and actually being held by him in those unfathomable realms could leave me dazed for eternity if I allowed myself to really ponder it's implications. Over the past week any time I hear the word 'time' or anything that implies it, I am immediately drawn into adoring the one who so effortless holds this creation of his in his everlasting arms.
This semester at Bethel, I have chosen the 'Exploring Ephesians' bible elective led by the incredible Michael Brodeur. I am two weeks into the journey to the heart of this book and I feel as though I've rather been on a journey into the heart of Him. Michael said something profound last week with regards to the ever-debatable issue of predestination, he stated "God is outside of time, but is interfering with time, all the time." This post is definitely not going aimed at trying to rationalize the concept of predestination and election, in fact, the opposite. The more I learn about the nature of our God and his unsearchable glory, the more I realize that I must approach the concepts of his Kingdom from outside the realm of time and human reasoning. If I peer at God and the things of the Kingdom through the lenses of time lines and the ticking hands of clocks, I will only ever see in part. The one who lives in the eternal realm invites us to leave our cloaks of time at the doorway of his presence and allow him to shape us with an eternal paradigm.

Two things that have always mesmerized me are the facts that we have been "in Christ since before the foundation of the world" and the lamb that has been slain "since before the world began." What value could these have to a being that only knows the confines of their own earthly timeline? I feel that these words are doorways; invitations if you will, into deeper realms of understanding our glorious Father. This past week I have been meditating upon "before the foundation of the world," and at times it is overwhelming, but mostly it is astounding. Most of us can barley handle the thought of an unknown future, but what about the fact that you existed to him before you even existed to yourself. Now that will blow any analytical brain out the water.
Every human being is eternal, whether saved or unsaved, the only difference is where we will spend our eternity. Some of us think that our the eternity of our being will begin only once we die and cross over into higher realms. But isn't the point of being eternal the fact that you have always and will always exist, outside of time? Is it possible that he has known us, held us, embraced us in himself long before we breathed our first breath? I'll let Ephesians 1:4 (NLT) do the talking "Even before he made the world, God loved us and chose us in Christ to be holy and without fault in his eyes."
Oh, to see like he sees and know like he knows! Our glorious Father has always been intimately acquainted with us and he even views us from outside the confines of our own timeline. God is with us in the present, he goes back to our past and visits our future. He knows how we started, how we are running and how we will cross the finish line, and he loves us just the same. He is staring over my shoulder as my fingers type these words, whilst simultaneously watching my formation in my mother's womb and celebrating the fulfillment of my destiny that lies before me. I want to sit upon His lap and I too want to have this same three dimensional paradigm. I feel he's inviting us in to be a people that transcends the limitations of time so that we can see as he sees.

In Revelation 13:8 we see the "lamb that was slain from the creation of the world," an innocent savior who's sacrifice was so profound that it echoed into eternity. As the nails were being driven into the hands and feet of our lamb, they pierced the unending realm and left an eternal mark. That's the security of our salvation, that's the impact of the cross. Oh, how I love spending time at the cross, I love running my hands over the cracks in the wood, smelling the fragrance of his sacrifice, and every time I gaze upon the cross I catch a new glimpse of His heart and a love so fierce that it endured a torturous death. This week as I've been enjoying the cross, I've seen it's timeless beauty. An eternal sacrifice. A lamb slain since before the world had been spoken into existence. How rich is the love of our Father that he had formulated a plan for our salvation and oneness with him even before we made the decision in this realm of time to betray him. The cross was not a retaliation plan. He was not taken by surprise. Jesus was always God's plan A, salvation was always his dream for us.
Isn't he beautiful.

Friday, September 21, 2012

Monday, September 17, 2012

Unity of Love or Unity of Belief?

Something that has been on my heart lately is the shift that I can see taking place in the church regarding theology and unity. For so long we have gathered around certain truths and our agreement has been mistaken for our unity. As soon as a disagreement arises, theological debates give way to church splits at least and broken relationships at worst. These days it seems as though two people can disagree on the color of the drapes and one of them will leave the church as a result.
As the body of Christ, we all know that we've been called to unity, but does unity look like total agreement? I'm not so sure. If we are rallying around theologies and doctrines and hoping that they will be our bond of peace instead of the love of Christ that knits us all together, then I'm afraid we may have missed the forest for the trees.
Our call as believers was never to all link arms and form a circle around perfect theology, but we were called to love unconditionally. I believe that the shift currently taking place is God elevating the importance of human beings over theology. Is theology and truth important? Absolutely, but I believe that people and relationships are of greater importance. Does the word say "by your great theology and boardroom agreements people shall know that you are my disciples?" No, the world will know our love for the Lord by our love for each other.
Paul in his wisdom described the church as a body not an assembly line. A body is the most intricately woven structure in all creation and every square inch looks different and was created for a purpose entirely it's own. I know that this example gets used constantly to refer to embracing our unique roles, so without beating a dead horse I wanted to use it again to reveal that differences can and always should equal unity.
Is Jesus coming back for a bride that is unified by her agreement or is Jesus coming back for a bride that is knit together through the kind of love that says "I value you too much to let our differences or disagreements stop me from loving you, working with you and honoring who you are."
I look forward to the day when churches rally around fathers and mothers, rally around Jesus himself, who resembles perfect theology instead of clutching at analytical straws that only provide a platform for disunity.
Something that I learn a while ago and that has set me free to love like never before was the understanding that to honor someone does not mean to be in total agreement with them. Should I love and honor a prison convict for the person they were created to be? Of course. Does this love mean I agree with their behavioral choices? Probably not. This even goes so far as to say that I will love and honor everyone who's theology is perhaps legalistic and religious. Why? Because they are a part of the body just as I am, and praise be to our good Father that he never waits for us to have the perfect balance of beliefs before he loves us, if this were the case, there would be a whole lot of unloved Christians running around this planet.
I believe that our challenge in these last days is to discover the depths of love, his love for us and his love for the ones we often times find it difficult to love. Will we try and build kingdoms around belief systems or will join together in our common love for the Lord Jesus? I await the day when the bride stands in the same unity that the trinity possesses,  with all differences embraced and celebrated.

Sunday, September 16, 2012

Back to Bethel

I arrived back in Redding, California a little over two weeks ago, and now my name tag testifies to the fact that I am a second year student at BSSM. A lot of people classed me as crazy for even doing round one of Bethel's world-renowned ministry school, I mean, who sells everything and goes to church camp (as some like to call it) for a whole year?... 
In my 20 years of life, I have come to realize that when you're guided by your passion, and when that passion happens to be God himself, you find yourself doing things that your logic screams is foolishness but your spirit knows is the pathway to destiny fulfilled. Last year, the sacrifices I made to be a first-year student paled in comparison to the eternal investment that was made with my time. I landed in Redding a girl in search of a greater reality of the King and his Kingdom and I left as one who knew her worth as beloved and knew His worth as owner of her heart. 
This year my floor is last year's ceiling, and this year's start line is last year's finish line. Glory to glory, it's always increasing when you're in heaven's pleasure centre. 
I began second year last week, and as someone who loves crafting sentences to convey thoughts, I'm struggling to find the vocabulary to give due credit to the past two weeks of my school life. If I were to go home today, I would sit on that plane assured that although only here for a few days, I met with the God of the universe. As my class of 500 burning ones has been gazing upon the face of God, we've had new meaning added to our existence and will not be the same again. Prophetically I feel that this is the year of grace, wisdom, supernatural invasions like no other, kingdom perspective, and face-to-face living. There is such a tangible weight of glory upon this class of mine and I can feel it upon me even now. It's a holy weight, although not a burden, and it feels as though a heavenly thunderstorm is brewing overhead and we are about to get caught in a glory deluge. Huge things are on heaven's agenda for this year and I cannot wait to fill this blog with testimonies of the wondrous works that our God is about to do. 

Saturday, March 24, 2012

He Was Never Angry With Us

I like this controversial title, so I think I'll stick with it. Before I tell you how I came to the above mentioned conclusion, I wanted to take an opportunity to rave about the unending goodness of God towards myself and all humanity.

This past week I feel as though I have received an intravenous shot of truth that has devoured any remaining traces of religiosity and futile striving in my life. I have been like a giddy, love-sick teenager, drunk with adoration and brim-full with joy unspeakable. The good news tends to have this effect on all victims that it grabs a hold of. I am fully convinced that the Gospel has a life of it's own and that it is daily getting better and better. Every time I hear it, it feels like the first time. Born again, again. First love jitters. 

The theme song of my life this week has been "He is so good. He is better than I could imagine." As I have been drinking the Gospel, straight up, with no additives, I realize all the more that this is the best of news. This is not news that you want to keep a secret. No way am I sweeping this one under the rug. This news belongs on the busy street-corners. It deserves to be yelled from the rooftops. 
A preacher I love once said "when I get to heaven, if there is anything I want to be accused of, it would be that I made God out to be better than he actually was." I love this. And if raving about his goodness is a crime, then I am guilty as charged. 

Recognizing truth has been a lesson I've been schooled on lately. With thousands of streams and branches of Christianity intertwined everywhere, I'd say that knowing how to separate truth from non-truth or 'half-truth' is a vital tool to have on your Charismatic belt. Good thing truth is a person and spending time with Him, makes seeing Him everywhere second nature to us. Whenever the truth is proclaimed, I feel as though Jesus himself has stepped into the building, probably because he has. His spirit rides on the words of truth for the substance of truth is Jesus. After all, he did call himself "the way, the truth and the life." 

One truth that has knocked me off my horse this week is that He has never been angry with us. 
When I heard this spoken, my brain jumped into action recalling stories of wrath laced throughout the Old Testament, while my heart sat comfortably in it's arm chair, not batting an eye-lid, knowing that truth himself had just been breathed into the room.

"If he was never angry with us, even while we were sinners" my brain protested "then please explain the countless scriptures of wrath in the Old Testament."
Am I saying that God had no wrath? Of course not. His wrath was as real as his love. But that's just it, his wrath was an extension of his love. We were not the object of His wrath, but the sinful nature that once occupied us was the worthy recipient of all the fury of God, and rightfully so. In his intense love for us, He saw how sin abused and molested his beloved children and he burned hot with rage against it. He hated sin so much, that he stopped at nothing, not even his own death, to abolish it forever. 
Jesus clothed himself in humanity, succumbed to torture, humiliation and even death in order for him that knew no sin, to become sin for us, therefore satisfying God's wrath.

As Jesus hung on the cross, he was not merely an example of humanity, but our substitute. In every way, he became like us, in order for us to become like him. It was a divine exchange, one for another. He allowed himself to be tempted, he knew human limitations, he got tired, his body needed food, in every way, he was just like us. In the same way, upon the cross as he cried out "my God, my God, why have you forsaken me?" Jesus had climbed into the emotional state of a human being in order to witness with us in every way. Had God forsaken Jesus upon the cross? Not according to Psalm 22:24 "For he has not despised or abhorred the affliction of the afflicted, and he has not hidden his face from him, but was heard when he cried to him."
In fact, in 2 Corinthians 5:19 it says "For God was IN Christ, reconciling the world to himself, not counting man's sins against them."Where was God when nails were being driven into the tender flesh of Jesus? He was INSIDE him. As Jesus cried out to God upon the cross, it was as if he had stepped fully into the state of a human being who was alienated from God in their mind. As he hung on that tree, the sins of the world weightily piled upon him, he was able to witness with the mind of a man who knows he is sinful. 

The key to unlocking this is the truth that sin never separated God from us, but it did separate us from God. Rewind back to Eden. Our forefathers, now conscious of their fallen state, run, hide, from the God that is everywhere. Does God fear nearness to them as if their state will contaminate His? No. We see a loving father come and find his hiding children. You see, their sin didn't keep God away from them, but it prevented their conscience from allowing them confidence before His Holiness.
In Colossians 1:21, Paul says "Once you were all alienate in your MINDS because of your evil behavior." God's wrath didn't alienate us, our sin-conscience did.
The good news is, Jesus skillfully through his broken body and shed blood sprinkled clean our conscience  and gave the boldness before the Father that was lost in the garden. No longer do we hide in the bushes covered in the blood of bulls and goats (our own attempts at holiness that could never justify) but we stand in the wide open spaces of his saving grace, knowing that he never was, nor ever will be angry with us. God is love, and all his affections are for us. Our shame and hostility of mind before the throne was what he murdered upon the cross. Who we once saw as a punisher, we now see as a loving father, empty of wrath towards his children as our eyes and minds have been cleansed by the spilt blood of His son. 

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Celebrate Immanuel's Name

There is so much glory on certain old Christian Hymns. Many of them are long forgotten or considered out-dated and boring, but this one I came across today, is anything but that. 
I have been brim-full with joy this week as I have been getting back to the basics of Christ crucified and all the bliss contained in the knowledge of the cross. This beautiful, glorious hymn made my day.

Celebrate Immanuel's Name:
(By: Charles Wesley 1707-1788)

Celebrate Immanuel’s Name, the Prince of life and peace.
God with us, our lips proclaim, our faithful hearts confess.
God is in our flesh revealed; heav’n and earth in Jesus join.
Mortal with Immortal filled, and human with Divine.
Fullness of the Deity in Jesus’ body dwells,
Dwells in all His saints and me when God His Son reveals.
Father, manifest Thy Son; breathe the true incarnate Word.
In our inmost souls make known the presence of the Lord.
Let the Spirit of our Head through every member flow;
By our Lord inhabited, we then Immanuel know.
Then He doth His Name express; God in us we truly prove,
Find with all the life of grace and all the power of love.