Tuesday, May 31, 2011

“You are covered by the blood of the One True Lamb”

So I have been trying to type this blog update for the past 5 days and I just have had a writer’s block. But now it is time, and I pray you persevere through this whole update even though it so long, because the way the Spirit has moved in the past day is miraculous. So here we go…

Jesus is moving in Uganda,sometimes it is hard to see because of all the devastation but I know He is still here. Every story that I tell in the rest of this update is a story about a living soul, a person, not just some made up story to make you feel bad. THESE ARE HUMAN BEINGS and they deserve much greater respect then they get. So I want to tell you all these stories as Joel has told them to me, not to make you feel bad but for you to be praying by name for each ofthese children.
There is this little girl name Hanifa that my mom spent a lot of time with while she was here and she has also captured my heart. She is 12 years old and when Joel (the principal of Rays of Hope where she goes to school, and also one ofmy best friends) found her she was sleeping in bars or finding any place where she could lay her head and men had been raping her. Now she lives with her uncle who sometimes comes home late late at night and beats her, and rarely brings her food. Today I noticed something about her that maybe seems to normally go unnoticed on most children but her shoes…should not even be considered shoes…theyare torn into pieces and have holes every where on them. This precious little girl was created by the Most High God, the One and Only we desire and LONG to worship, she was KNIT TOGETHER IN HER MOTHER’S WOMB. And her precious soul desires more than anything to be loved by somebody.

So if they felt the love of Jesus would their suffering make more sense? It would make it easier for her to endure in the hope of having an eternal life of joy peace and laughter outside of this world, but she doesn’t understand that. She sees what is in front of her: that she must do in the next hour what will help her through the hour after that. And this leads me to how I have felt for the past few days when I have tried to write to all of you.
I came here having already been before and I thought I was prepared to be amongst theforgotten, the lost, and the evil-doers, but I was definitely mistaken. I know not all of you have much experience with spiritual warfare so if you aren’t comfortable with it then you maybe shouldn’t continue reading, but this is important for all of you to know so that you have a prayer point. “For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places. So I believe and know now from experience that this country is lost in sin and evil, in the depths of Sheoul. It is a terrifyingly wretched place of witchcraft, and voodoo. The worst part about it all is how beautiful the country is from the outside. And then the Lord reveals Spiritual things to you and takes you into the deeper darker places where we are made aware of the spiritual battle going on.
It began when I stepped foot out of the plane. I was on cloud 9 so excited to be in Uganda and to feel the Lord’s peace about me being here. I found I was the last person in the line to get my visa but I made friends with the lady in front of me and we joked about our luck the whole time. After waiting and waiting and waiting for an hour I was finally reunited with my brothers and sisters! I remember so clearly praying on the way to Sozo, “Lord what would you like to do while I am here?” And the Lord kindly whispered to me, “great things like you would never imagine.”

For the next couple of days I went to Rays of Hope and the kids greeted me with loving arms—all 300 of them :). Joel had a lot he wanted me to do while I am here, so I began work rightaway, and I quickly realized I wasn’t doing what I felt I was called to do while I was here. I had been painting day after day, and everything seemed to take much longer here (T.I.A.right?=This Is Africa). In the evenings I was stressed about spending time with the Sozo children because they didn’t understand anything I was saying, and in postponing going to bed in order to hang out with Brendah, Aggie, and Mato, I found myself making up an excuse to not spend time writing. I see now, but didn’t see then that the enemy was already attacking me. I got sick the 3rd night I was here, was heavily burdened by that, but the Lord continued pursuing me. Joel would tell me the stories of the children and I would be broken hearted by the stories just for the stories not for the human being who was living the story out.
Every time I began to write I questioned my motive and began to realize it was not time. And then last night happened. Sunday I started feeling bad in the evening but I was so thankful to spend time with my sister Kelli on Skype, and to have her lift me up in Jesus’ Name. AndMonday morning I woke up feeling awful. I decided togo work a little later then normal at 9 a.m. and by the time I got there I realized how sick I was. I finished the painting of the logo on the side of the wall, and began sketching the flag but began feeling weak by the afternoon. I didn’t want to push it, well Joel didn’t want me to push it so I left at 1 in the afternoon.

I came back with Joan and Derrick who are being adopted by Amiee. Joan is a sweet little deaf girl who has so much joy in her heart that I am sure if she could speak her words would fill us all with tears of joy every time we heard her. And Derrick is her little brother who loves her no matter what she does to him. He is so patient with her, and has learned to speak to her via hand motions. I loved having them come to the Sozo house with me, but once I reached home I realized my sickness had taken a turn for the worse. I failed tosay anything to Brendah, Aggie, and Maureen until after dinner that evening. By that time I had had no appetite soI hadn’t eaten anything, and when I was ready to go to bed I went to take a shower. After the shower I realized I had a fever and checked and saw that it was a fever of 100.

Stressed, frustrated, and lonely, I decided to go into the girl’s room and say good night to Joan. I sat there for a while talking to Maureen and then we prayed with the girls, which the Lord used to prepare my evening with Him. After praying with the girls I went into my room and laid down with a HUGE desire to read the word. But, oh yea the power wentout. So despite my frustration and anger the Lord pursued me and told me clearly to read His word. So afterfiguring out that my awesome 1990s Nokia phone has a flashlight on it I spent some time reading and then came upon 1 Corinthians 6 and the Lord spoke clearly to me and told me to talk about this with the girls on Thursday. Praise Him. Then after spending some time in prayer and feeling the prayers that were being sent up for me to be healed, I went to sleep in peace knowing the Lord was going to wake me up with strength. And then this morning, found complete truth in His word, “the Joy of the Lord is my strength,” (Nehemiah 8:10). After spending time skyping with Amiee and her family and her new family (Joan and Derrick on my side of the computer) I felt tears coming to my eyes and felt the joy of the Lord filling my Spirit, and reviving my body. And He spoke to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made PERFECT in weakness.” (2 Corinthians 12:9)
So this day and the rest of my days here in Uganda, I pray His power is made perfect in my weakness, that in my weakness there is room for people to boast only in the Lord Jesus Christ. Today, I decided to go to work again painting at Rays of Hope despite my lovely Ugandan brothers and sisters telling me to rest. And I accomplished more today then I have in the past week :). This is a true revelation of the Spirit. And this evening, thanking the Lord for the darkness that He has overcome, and for those of you praying for me back in the States, I began to have a burden for those children at Rays of Hope as if I could see them through the eyes of our Savior.

So here are these little children, standing in front of me staring at me as if they wish they could live my life. Is it Jesus they see or is it me, as Lauren Bond? I pray with all of my strength with every last breath within me they may see Jesus Christ standing in front of them. And I pray the burden of having white skin would not prevent them from seeing the True celebrity and the only One worth paying attention to, Jesus Christ. And I can’t help but weep when I look intotheir precious eyes because I know they have lived a life of inhumanity. They have suffered things you and I would never imagine were possible.

Many of the girls at ROH have been raped at very young ages, and one of the girls even could not walk because she was so young when she was raped. Pray they may find peace knowing the Lord sees them as a pure child.
Another little girl named Fiona has both female and male external body parts but no internal body parts for either sex. Joel found out she will never be able to have kids. She has lived her whole life bragging about the fact she has both female and male body parts, only to find out that she is neither. She was born a girl and the male body part did not form until after her auntie had prayed her soul over to the witch doctor. Pray that she would become a woman despite this evil that has been cast on her. Pray the Lord will reveal Himself to her and herlittle brother, and their auntie.

A majority of the children at ROH have AIDS. And all of those who do have AIDS theirparentshave died or
are suffering through the final stages of AIDS. Pray these children may be healed of this ravenous disease caused by the sin and lust of corrupt human being’s lives. Pray these girls will stop selling their body’s to m
en for 200-400 shillings (10-20 CENTS).Pray they may be consumed by the love of the Lord and that this love may be proclaimed to all of those surrounding them.

A majority of the children at rays of hope have been handed over to the devil by their "aunties"(the women that take care of them). These aunties practice voodoo and visit witch doctors. The practice of voodoo is very prevalent here and causes the whole country to be submitted to spiritual persecution by the demons that eagerly wait for souls to fall into temptation. They wait fearcefully for the children to be sacrificed to th
eir father, the Enemy, the father of lies. “you are of your father the devil, and your will is to do your father’s desires. He was murderer from the beginning, and has nothing to do with the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he lies, he speaks out of his own character, for he is a liar and the father of lies” (John 8:44).
And this father of lies is telling these children they have no hope, they have no way to live unless they sell themselves or sell drugs to make enough money to eat one piece of bread a day. This isn’t true. It’s not true. Tell the enemy he has no place at Rays of Hope and that every one of those children are children of the Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. Intercede on behalf of the hearts of those children who are in a home right now where there is no bed, or their watcher beats them. Pray they may feel the Lord’s peace reigning o
ver them. Pray the Lord will provide a home for all of them all 250 of them, away from the sin that entangles Kabalagala (the slum the school is in).

Pray the enemy’s schemes to plant a mosque right next to the school will not have any strength against the strength and power of our Lord Jesus Christ at Rays of Hope. Pray all those who
attend the prayer services at the mosque may come to know Christ by the scripture being painted on the wall in front of their window. Pray the Lord’s peace will transcend and people will know it must only be from the Lord because it surpasses all human understanding we may have.

On June 18 I will be doing a women's day at Rays of hope where the aunties and grandmas of the children are going to come to the school and Jesus is going to feed them, wash their feet, and paint their fingernails. This will also be a time where the G
ospel is witnessed and shared. I am praying that those aunties and grandmas who have been practicing voodoo on their children will come to know and see Christ and see that He is
so much more worthy of the glory and honor and praise they have been vainly giving to Satan. So keep this Saturday specifically in your prayers.

Pray the Lord may continue revealing Himself to those at Rays of hope, and pray the Lord will continue revealing to me what He will teach the older girls on Thursdays.
O an the reason for the title of this blog: “You are covered by the blood of the One True Lamb”
This evening we were watching the news and they were showing the rituals the witch doctors do, and they even showed a video of the lady who is in charge of all the witch doctors in Uganda (Pray she will come to know Christ, because this would in turn lead
many others to come to know and experience Jesus Christ as their savior and redeemer). I felt a certain uneasiness with it being so accessible to see but the Lord consumed me with the
Spirit and as I walked away seeing a calf being sacrificed, the Lord said to me, “You are covered by the blood of the One True Lamb” Praise the Lord for I am indeed a sinner, caught in the amazing grace of our sweet Loving Savior, Jesus Christ. May His name resound through the heavens, and may by His power, I be found in weakness, only to rely on Him alone.

“Therefore take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand firm. Stand therefore, having fastened on the belt of truth, and having put on the breastplate of righteousness, and as shoes for your feet, having put on the readiness given by the gospel of peace. In all circumstances tak
e up the shield of faith, WITH WHICH YOU CAN EXTINGUISH ALL THE FLAMING DARTS OF THE EVIL ONE; and take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which i
s the word of God, praying at all times in the Spirit, with all prayer and supplication. To that end keep alert with all perseverance, making supplication FOR ALL THE SAINTS,
and also for me, that words may be given to me in opening my mouth boldly to proclaim the mystery of the gospel, for which I am an ambassador in chain
s, that I may declare it boldly, as I ought to speak.” Ephesians 6:13-20

Monday, May 23, 2011

Emotional beginning to an unforgettable journey

Is it not, for all it’s sting, a wonderful way to live [my sisters and brothers]? To dream, and want and pray, almost savagely; then to commit and wait and see Him quietly pile all dreams aside and replace them with what we could not dream, the REALIZED WILL? Jim Elliot

“I delight in knowing that there is something in me which must fall prostrate before God when He reveals Himself to me, and also in knowing that if I am ever to be raised up it must be by the hand of God. God can do nothing for me UNTIL I RECOGNIZE THE LIMITS OF WHAT IS HUMANELY POSSIBLE< allowing Him to do the impossible.”

Wednesday, May 18, 2011: I don’t really know how to start this because I have an idea of what I want to write about, but I just don’t know how to put it into words. This week has been the longest most emotional roller coaster I have ever been on. I went from having confidence that the Lord is sending me to Uganda, to full assurance that that is exactly where He wants me to be. I have said over and over again in full confidence, “I am going to Uganda and the Middle East this summer to work.” But just this week I realized that is not the way I should state it, in fact, it is a sinful thing to state it this way. How dare I leave out the most important reason I am going, and the only reason I am going. Jesus Christ, the son of God, the One worth living for, is sending me to a distant shore, to a beautiful place, to spread the Gospel to those who haven’t heard. And may I rest assured He has forgiven me for not speaking and praising Him every moment I get the chance.

Thursday, May 19, 2011: Today I turned 21 years old. To this world that means, I get to drink alcohol legally, and this moment is what so many 20 year olds and younger, wait for, to finally have a legal drink. But it doesn’t mean the same to me. In fact, it means quite the opposite, it means that I have wasted one more year in my selfishness, not showing the Gospel to all of the people the Lord placed in my path. Today has been a humbling day, as the Lord spoke to me and said to only boast in Him, and not anything that I can do. So what is it? Why is every single breath harder to breathe? Why am I struggling to maintain the weight on my shoulders, when I know that Jesus Christ has already carried the burden for me? Because I haven’t truly surrendered one last thing to Him, with the last of it in me. I want to give it all away. I want to surrender this last bit within me, and yet there is something holding on to it. Something within my flesh that just will not let go. Despite my attempts at surrendering it to the Lord the first thing in the morning, so I do not dwell on it all day long, I still think about it. It is so annoying. I will beg and beg and beg the Lord to take the burden away from me but He still doesn’t. Some days are better then others but my birthday just happened to be one of the worse days.

Sunday, May 22, 2011: It has been fully surrendered to the Lord. I now have all of the strength and encourage by the power of Christ within me to go to Uganda and the Middle East to spread the Gospel. May His praise be ever on my lips as I rejoice knowing this burden I have had has been lifted off of my shoulders. I am filled with an inexpressible joy that the Lord is sending me as a single woman, alone, to the uttermost parts of the world to tell of His goodness and worthiness. May He present me with Christian brothers and sisters in both Uganda and the Middle East to partner with and work with! I know this prayer is imperative, because I must have accountability with my Father and my brothers and sisters! This has been a beautiful and sacrificial day! And the peace that has transcended over me-as I relinquished my last burden I was holding on to-has surpassed any peace I could have manufactured myself. And now the road leads to what He has placed in front of me: wake up at 9 am, take a shower to wash away all of my burden, and know that His mercies are new tomorrow morning, get on a plane to Philadelphia, then a plane to Belgium, then a stop in Rwanda, then a flight to Uganda. These are the steps I know. All else and even in these He has the freedom to do as He pleases and wills.

Monday, May 23, 2011: And my journey begins today. I am 21 years old going to a place thousands of miles away. I had to say goodbye to my family and friends, and no matter how old I am, I still cry every time I think about leaving them. I don’t know why it’s so hard for me to comprehend the love of Christ in sending me to Uganda alone. I keep on thinking somebody needs to pinch me and wake me up from this dream. I may be seen as a righteous person for going to Uganda, but honestly when I see other people saying, “wow, she is going to Uganda” I almost think, “Who’s going to Uganda?” Not me. My biggest prayer during this time is that people only see the love and joy of Christ going to Uganda. I pray my flesh is broken and allows the Spirit to speak fluently. I feel the presence of the Spirit consuming my whole body, and if He makes me able to hold on to that this whole trip, I know He will perform many amazing miracles in front of my eyes.

I am trying to ponder the last few months of my life and the specific things He ordained to allow me to experience before being sent out to Uganda, and I cannot even begin to understand most of them. Especially the friendships He ordained. I did not even know Katelyn until the end of August, and we didn’t begin our friendship until a few months later. Now, I don’t know where the time went, and I can’t understand why we didn’t have more time together, but I am so thankful for all the Lord did in our friendship and sisterhood. I love her so much and praise God for our quick friendship. She is one of the most beautiful young women that I know, and I do feel safe calling her a young woman because she has taken on so many characteristics of Christ and matured into a God-fearing, loving woman. I know that while she is in Botswana, the Lord is going to do more work in her heart, and I probably won’t even recognize her when I return, but I know that we will still remain connected in the Spirit. “I therefore a prisoner for the Lord, urge you to walk in a manner worthy of the calling to which you have been called, with all humility and gentleness, with patience, bearing with one another in love, eager to maintain unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace. There is one body and one Spirit—just as you were called o the one hope that belongs to your call-one Lord, one faith, one baptism, on God and Father of all, who is over all and through all and in all. But grace was given to each one of us according to the measure of Christ’s gift.” (Ephesians 4:1-7).

And then there is Kayla, I literally have hung out with her 2 times since I first met her, and I cried saying bye to her on friday. It just never fails me how the Lord places people in our lives at the most opportune time to show His glory. This girl is on fire. I don’t think I have met somebody so devoted to the Lord and the Lord alone, to His word, and His love and adoration. I pray the fire that is inside her sweet soul continues to be lit by the believers that surround her in Malaysia, and that it would light a fire in the hearts of those around her nonbelievers and believers alike. Being around her is one of the most encouraging things the Lord has given me. And what a precious gift to be given before I left to go to Uganda. I am so thankful for the Lord giving her to me as a gift, to encourage me and pray for me as He sends me out, and I am blessed to be given the opportunity to pray for her as the Lord uses her as His vessel to spread the Gospel in Malaysia.

And my sweet, precious sister, Kelli. WOW. I can literally just sit here and laugh because I/we have no idea how our friendship came to be so centered on Christ. It came out of nowhere. One minute we were both jealous of each other’s friendship with Leslie, and then in a matter of weeks/days, we became spiritually united in a bond that cannot be broken. After praying for months to be sent to the Middle East with her, we came to realize she was not supposed to go. I think this was the most trying time in deciding whether I should go to the Middle East or not. I remember sitting in the car in Mississippi and Kelli texted me telling me she had “bad” news. She didn’t want to tell me then, but I knew immediately in my heart that it meant she was not going with me to the Middle East. At that time, I felt immediately upset/burdened, and felt I could not bear going anymore. Instantly the Lord said to me, “you were willing to go when your sister was going with you and you knew you would be able to lean on each other, but are you still willing to go by yourself, only relying on Me?” SO it seemed, I was being asked a question of obedience. What is the cost of obedience? The cost of obedience for me and for all who choose to believe in the perfect sovereign will of the Lord, is complete, and total surrender of every aspect of our lives, and being willing to go wherever He may call you, not matter how hard it would be. Kelli’s act of obedience was just as hard as mine, because she wanted to go, but in complete surrender she realized the Lord had special plans for her in the States. And I don’t know what I would do without her friendship. She helped me do everything to prepare for this trip. And she asked to be my prayer leader/warrior. This seemed to make perfect sense after a while because this past year the Lord has been showing us how our Spirit’s are connected and how we know when the other person needs prayer. It didn’t make sense to either of us that we both felt she was called to go with me, but then it make perfect sense, because the Lord needed somebody in the states interceding on my behalf for the Gospel to be spread in Uganda and J.
“Finally, all of you, have unity of mind, sympathy, brotherly love, a tender heart, and a humble mind.” (1 Peter 3:8).

And this is my prayer, that the 4 of us no matter how far away from each other that we are, that we would be united in one Spirit loving and praising the God that gives us life and breath. I praise Him for the past week at the beach with Kelli and Kayla and how Acts 2 was lived out: “And they devoted themselves to the apostle’s teaching and the fellowship, to the breaking of bread and the prayers. And awe came upon every soul, and many wonders and signs were being done through the apostles. And all who believed were together and had all things in common. And they were selling their possessions and belongings and distributing the proceeds to all, as any had need. And day by day, attending the temple together and breaking bread in their homes, they received their food with glad and generous hearts, praising god and having favor with all the people. And the Lord added to their number day by day those who were being saved” (Acts 2:42-47). I now that because of this past week at the beach and the unity that we had, He will be seen and exalted, and He used that time to prepare us for this summer. He is scattering us, so as Nahum 2 says, may we “man the ramparts; watch the road, dress for battle and collect our strength.”

“Thou whose almighty word chaos and darkness heard and took their flight hear us we humbly pray and where the Gospel’s ray sheds not it’s glorious day, let there be light!”

Is it not, for all it’s sting, a wonderful way to live [my sisters and brothers]? To dream, and want and pray, almost savagely; then to commit and wait and see Him quietly pile all dreams aside and replace them with what we could not dream, the REALIZED WILL? Jim Elliot

So we give you our dreams, wills, and aspirations, and pray expecting you to use our lives for your utmost glory! May you our Lord and Savior be praised throughout this world this summer and to the end of the age. May your kingdom come and your will be done. If you call us to the fire, you will not withdraw your hand, we will gaze into the flames and look for you.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

He has absolutely ruined my life.

He has absolutely ruined my life.

He has knocked me down so far that all I can see is His face. I can’t see myself I can’t see anybody else I can only see the beautiful glory of the most High God. Everything I once held dear, I count it all as loss. I can’t go to Uganda and Jordan and save everybody there. I can’t sit here and pretend that I can save the whole world. I can’t even sit here and tell people that I am excited about this trip, because right now in this moment the Lord spoke to me and told me how hard it is going to be. It’s not going to be a walk in the park. It’s not going to be a stroll in the city. It is going to be a scene of violence where the most beautiful angels anybody could ever imagine will face the enemy’s sword. It’s a warfare. It’s a battle between a worthy God, and a evil enemy. It’s a fight, It’s a fight for the lost souls in this world. There are too many for me to save. There are too many for any one of us to save, and so I rest knowing that He can do it all in a blink of an eye. He could blink His eye and this would all be over. He would create a new heaven and a new earth and we would rejoice in praising Him and worshiping Him for eternity.
But it’s not like that, because “this gospel of the kingdom will be proclaimed throughout the whole world as a testimony to all nations, and then the end will come” (Matthew 24:14). And so we must go. How do we go? He calls us. Where do we go? Where He calls us. How do we know where He is calling us. We listen.

It’s a tough thing to listen to God. It’s tough to learn to desire to hear from God. And He had created in me a desire to hear from Him, until He told me the thing I didn’t want to hear, “Go.”

It has been easy up until this moment to say that I will be gone this summer for 3 months. It has been easy to say that I am going to Uganda to preach the gospel to little children. It has even been easy to say that I am going to Jordan to reach Muslims. But it isn’t that easy to do. It had not hit me until this week, and I am not sure if it is because I am getting closer to the time I am supposed to leave, or if it is just a huge emotional rush. So here I am. I say I am happy to go for Him, but I wish that it was an easier place to go too. But that confirms the calling right? Why would He call us to a place where we wouldn’t have to rely on Him to sustain us?

That is it. He wouldn’t. I am called to these places because He knew I would end up being among the Ugandans as the only American, and that by His grace He would give me the strength to continue working for 4 weeks. He also knew that I would not have somebody right next to me as I traveled to Jordan and when I lived there. He knew I would have to pray and seek His guidance to ask for a Christian sister when I get there. He also ordained that I would live with a missionary family and learn what it actually looks like to raise children in another context. He knew that all of these things would prepare me for the next step He has for me.

As I was laying on the beach this afternoon the overwhelming truth that I am not ready to go, came over me, and became a burden so heavy that I could not bare it alone. But as I walked back to the condo with tears streaming down my face I realized that I am in the exact place I asked Him to place me a few weeks ago. I asked Him to break me down, make me nothing, and to ultimately put me in the most humbling place I have ever been. So here I am, a (almost 21 year old girl) about to go to places of spiritual depravation, completely different spiritual depravation, but depravation all the same. I can’t do it. I cannot go at this alone, in fact I can’t do anything in those countries, unless it is true that the Lord is within me, leading me and guiding me. It is Him in the slums of Uganda, it is Him leading the children of Rays of Hope in a prayer, it is Him bonding with the Muslim women in Jordan. Only He can.

As I walked back to the condo I felt the Lord wiping the tears from my eyes and making a smile on my face by speaking to me, “I have ruined your life.” And it didn’t bring more tears to my eyes, it revived me, and reminded me that I am exactly where He wants me to be, completely reliant on Him, unable to stand without His breath in my lungs.
Shout out to all of those friends who think I am crazy for going to spend my summer in another context, I am not the one you should think is crazy, the Lord is. I would not have it any other way. If He wasn’t doing unexpected things in my life, and changing my plans daily, then I would be worried I wasn’t hearing from Him. He has ruined my life, and then formed it into a better life then I could have ever dreamed of. I am running this race, but I am not running it alone, and I am thankful that He will be leading me every step of the way.

A life worth living is a life lost to the good and perfect will of our Creator.

Monday, May 9, 2011

I'll be waiting for you baby.


In the past few days I have completely given something over to the Lord, my worry for a husband/boyfriend/someone to satisfy my longing to love. I had fooled myself into believing that I was completely satisfied with being single, but truly the Lord has now transformed my heart and I have now felt complete and found sufficiency in love with the Lord and only the Lord. At the end of August 2010 I began a walk with the Lord that would lead me to a place of total surrender. I made a promise to the Lord that I would remain single for a year. Knowing that it seemed crazy, but wanting to take on the challenge as spurred on by the Spirit I began surrendering every opportunity to be with a guy unto the Lord. There have been good seasons and bad seasons on this road of singleness, but most recently (3 days ago) I hit a day of total surrender and the beginning of a good good season. I have been thinking upon this summer and the idea of me being alone throughout my 3 month adventure to Uganda and Jordan. I have thought of how much the Lord is going to transform my heart and make me into the woman He would have me be for my husband. I feel I am entering one of the best seasons of my life, as I completely rely on the Lord to be my sufficient grace, mercy, and protection. He is worthy. He is able. He will guide me as He pleases. And then I thought of my past and how there is no way the Lord could be using me as He desires to use me if I was with a man of God right now. He has created this season of singleness for a glorious reason! He gives me life, and breath, and I simply can’t seem to get enough of Him. He feels so close to me that my flesh can’t handle His presence, it simply trembles at the thought of my sweet precious Savior being so close to me. This morning at Brook Hills as I was worshipping next to two “strangers” I felt the power of the Spirit and the unity of the body as we sang Yahweh. Tears ran down my face because I knew everybody in that room was tied together as the body of Christ, the church, and the Bride of Christ. I felt insignificant, and completely reliant upon the body. This is God’s greatest desire right? To see His kingdom come on earth as it is in Heaven right? It gives me the greatest joy, and the greatest amount of manna.

My beloved, the one the Lord is preparing for me, cannot feed me manna, he cannot supply spiritual food for me, the Lord is the only one who can provide this for me. My Beloved cannot be my idol, my hope to marry someone cannot be my ultimate source of joy. I cannot find satisfaction by dreaming of my wedding or my honey moon, my Jesus, my Savior is the only One who can give me true satisfaction that will never fade or fail. My Beloved will be human, he will fail, but I know that the work the Lord is doing on his heart right now is far more important then me trying to find him right now. I should rest in knowing that at the right moment the Lord will present my love to me, and we will stand in front of each other, fully prepared for the work the Lord will give us to do together. We will work towards one goal, making Jesus Christ known in this world by going throughout the nations telling people of the death, resurrection, and sanctification of Jesus Christ our Lord and Savior. We will not have time to fight because we will only be worried about Kingdom causes not selfish gain. I pray the Lord is preparing me right now to be selfless and submissive. I pray the Lord is preparing my heart to serve my husband as if I was serving Christ. This summer, I fully expect the Lord to quiet my soul, to give me peace and understanding, and to create in me an undying love for His people. How can we let something so petty as finding a husband, or getting married, consume our minds, when we know there is only one reason the Lord has placed on this earth, to be a disciple and make disciples? There is more to life ladies then getting married and having children. Our hope is not found in these earthly things, our hope is found in Jesus Christ. Find completely and total sufficiency in our Savior, and at the right time, Lord willing, He will give you somebody you never dreamed you would marry, somebody better then all of your dreams. As Janette has said, “when he speaks you will be reminded of Solomon’s wisdom, his ability to lead will remind you of Moses, his faith will remind you of Abraham, his confidence in God’s word will remind you of Daniel, his inspiration will remind you of Paul, his heart for God will remind you of David, his attention to detail will remind you of Noah, your integrity will remind me of Joseph, his ability to abandon his own will will remind you of the disciples, but his ability to love selflessly and unconditionally will remind you of Christ. And my sisters, the word of God will be all over his heart and he will find you, where there is boldness of Ester, meets the warm closeness of Ruth, with the hospitality of Lydia, is aligned with the submission of Mary, and she is engulfed in the tears of a praying Hannah, we my sisters, will be the ones drenched in Proverbs 31.

BUT to our Father, our Father who knew us before we were born into this world, only if He should see fit. We shall desire His will above ours, so even if He calls us to a life of singleness, our heart is content in Him. HE IS THE GREATEST LOVE STORY EVER TOLD. THE GREATEST LOVE EVER KNOWN. He is forever our judge and we are forever His witness. And I pray, sisters, we are always found on a mission about our Father’s business.” (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=igCj3jsbcqs&feature=youtu.be) He is worthy of waiting for our entire life. He is returning and we must be ready. Will we wait always for our husband having our focus on finding him, or will we wait for our eternal Father, the One who will come back to receive us?

Ladies, if you think there is nobody out there like this, you are wrong. The Lord is preparing this exact man for you right now, we just have to learn to wait for God’s best. Love is waiting.

In the autumn on the ground,
between the traffic and the ordinary sounds
I am thinking signs and seasons while a north wind blows through
I watch as lovers pass me by
Walking stories - whos and hows and whys
Musing lazily on love
Pondering you
I'll give it time, give it space and be still for a spell
When it's time to walk that way we wanna walk it well

I'll be waiting for you baby
I'll be holding back the darkest night
Love is waiting til we're ready, til it's right
Love is waiting

It's my caution not the cold
there's no other hand that i would rather hold
the climate changes, I'm singing for the strangers about you
don't keep time, slow the pace
Honey hold on if you can
the bets are getting surer now that you're my man

I could write a million songs about the way you say my name
I could live a lifetime with you and then do it all again
and like I can't force the sun to rise or hasten summer's start,
neither should I rush my way into your heart



I thank my God in all my remembrance of you, always in every prayer of mind for you all making my prayer with joy, because of your partnership in the gospel from the first day until now. And I am sure of this, that he who began a good work in you will bring it to completion at the day of Jesus Christ. It is right for me to feel this way about you all, because I hold you in my heart, for you are all partakers with me of grace, both in my imprisonment and in the defense and confirmation of the gospel. For God is my witness, how I YEARN FOR YOU ALL FOR THE AFFECTION OF CHRIST JESUS. And it is my prayer that your love may abound more and more, with knowledge and all discernment, so that you may approve what is excellent, and so be pure and blameless for the day of Christ, filled with the fruit of righteousness that comes through Jesus Christ, to the glory and praise of God. Philippians 1:3-11

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Jim Elliot

What will hell be like enraged by unslaked lust and made seven times hotter with the vengeance of an outraged God? Oh, to think of these men and women these happy boys and girls going there. Father, save them I pray; grace only make me to differ. When will the Spirit's power make me a witness of the things which I have seen and heard?

Was sensitively touched at reading H. Taylor's love victory. I cannot understand man, even godly man. having been conquered by a power unseen and willingly owning the sway of the Absolute thus "finding himself" and satiating the ultimate longings of his breast, he can ache with a perfect fury to be subjected still further to the rule of woman's love. Or perhaps it is his desire to possess, having been strangely dispossessed by owning Christ as Lord. And within I feel the very same. Oh that Christ were all and enough for me. He is supposed to be, and I dare not say, "why hast Thou made me thus?" Oh, to be swept away in a flood of consuming passion for Jesus that all desire might be sublimated to Him. Copied out a few lines from "Born crucified" yesterday which I must learn:

The cross fell like a two-edged sword
of heavenly temper keen,
And double were the wounds it made
Where'er it glanced between.
Twas death to sin, 'twas life
To all who mourned for sin.
It kindled and it silenced strife
Made war and peace within.
L.E. Max well

~ Whole selection from Jim Elliots journals summer 1948

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

He must increase, but I must decrease

There is this feeling in my soul. It is an unstoppable passion, a passion spurred on by the Spirit inside of me. It never wants to stop, HE never wants to stop. My soul desires to be connected to the Father, in a connection bonded with chains that cannot be broken. I love my Father and my Father loves me. My Father loves His children, He is sovereign, and in His sovereignty over 300 tornadoes tore through the southeast, tearing apart families, homes, lives, and friends. Does this make Him a “mean” God? Absolutely not, it makes Him a sovereign God. This Saturday I stood in a room full of shoes, and I watched as family after family came into the room to pick out pairs of shoes they were supposed to consider “theirs.” But they weren’t their shoes; they were somebody else’s shoes who donated them. Everything these families had been given wasn’t “theirs” it was somebody else’s stuff. Nothing seemed right to these families, as if everything was a dream and they were walking through somebody else’s life. We always said, “it will never happen to us, nothing like that would ever happen in Alabama, it’s just Alabama, why would it happen here?” Tears ran down her eyes and a look of utter devastation came across her face, she felt completely hopeless. I saw her from across the room and the Spirit inside of me became heavy, I felt my flesh asking the question, “why her? Why? Why can’t I take this cup from her? Why did this have to happen?” and the Spirit answered within me, “watch. Watch what I AM is going to do.” Immediately the women I had been working with surrounded her with hugs, joy, and encouragement. The angels must have been rejoicing and praising the Lord for this beautiful display of His glory. I can just see the Lord looking me straight in the eyes and saying, “that is why. Because I am most glorified when you are most satisfied in me. When you see that this world will not stand on its own. When you see that I have power, and when you see that I deserve every person in this world’s devotion and praise.” The emotional weight of the glory of God upon our shoulders and in our hearts cannot be withstood in our human bodies, but as we feel weak, this gives God more opportunities to show us that we are nothing without Him. “I delight in knowing that there is something in me which must fall prostrate before God when He reveals Himself to me, and also in knowing that if I am ever to be raised up it must be by the hand of God. God can do nothing for me until I recognize the limits of what is humanely possible, allowing Him to do the impossible” (Ozzy Chambers—i.e. my man:) I would give my life if those around me would come to understand the Lord in the way my Savior has showed me to understand Him. I rejoice knowing that each of our walks is different then the other’s, but I pray the Lord is being glorified in all of my friends hearts, so that on that glorious day, we will have already had a glimpse of Heaven, and we will be able to continue worshipping Him for eternity! This desire within me comes from one thing, Him, my Father, my Savior, if you want Him ask Him to be manifested in front of you that you may see the King of Glory in all His Splendor. He will show Himself to you freely, He will appear in places you never thought you would see Him. Just be still and listen.

He must increase, but I must decrease. John 3:30