Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Thoughts from Whitney- It's not over

“The World will keep spinning even if you think your life is over” One thing I have learned over the years is throughout all the stresses/issues of life and at the times when it feels like your world is over, everyone keeps on keeping on…the world keeps spinning.

So it is at those times when you have to rely on God; turn to him through all troubles. The times when you are at your lowest are the times when God wants to mold you. God desires our hearts to be broken, because in brokenness is when God has the power to mold us into what he wants us to be.

This year has been hard, at times I didn’t feel God, and at other times I was overwhelmed by the Holy Spirit and all I could do was fall to my knees, lift up my hands and cry out to him. When I speak to God I don’t use fancy words, actually most of it is mumbling because there is no word in the English language that can give God the justice he deserves. There is a worship song I love, I can't remember what it is called but one of the lines is “and I'll let my words be few” I believe that we as Americans think that we have to have the right words to say to God for him to be “impressed with us” but NO that’s not true at all, try letting your words be few, and God will fill you with his words.
God gave me a vision this morning during prayer time for Desperation, it was of a jar that at one point in life was full of water, but throughout the troubles of life and throughout all the enemies schemes that have prevailed in our lives our jar has next to nothing of water in it. there is only a tiny bit at the bottom, and that tiny bit isn’t even us fighting for God, but it is God fighting for us, it is the part of our heart that God still dwells in, even though we have turned out backs on him. But throughout the weekend/week/month/years Gods love is going to begin to overflow our jar, not just fill it, but OVERFLOW it!! So Consider it pure joy my Brothers, and Sisters, He is coming!!! Our Redeemer is alive!

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Thoughts from Curtis- Foundations

I used to work in Construction work when I lived in Arizona, and I loved it. One thing I noticed while working one day was the foundation. The foundation is the most important part of building a house; you can not build on the foundation if it is not properly constructed. Everything depends on the foundation and how it was made.

A few things I have noticed is that if your foundation is not properly constructed, the inspector will not allow you to continue on with the construction of the building. I believe this symbolizes if you do not build a foundation right you will not grow. Its like the parable that tell about the seed that fell on bad ground. All of the seeds were the same...the only descriminating factor that changed was the foundation that the seed fell on. That determined the outcome of the crop.

I believe if our foundation is built on lies or misconceptions of who God is and how we are called to live, then there will be no growth. In order to have growth, we need our foundation to be in God and God alone. He is the only one we can fully trust and be certain that when the storms come we will stand on God, the solid rock and foundation, and not be moved.

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Thoughts from Whitney- Africa

Africa was a phenomenal experience, and Im so thankful that I had the oppertunity to go! Gods hand was moving throughout the whole two weeks we were there, and not just in the children/people living in the village of Salajwe, but also in the leaders that helped us. Living in America, the wealthiest country in the world, we dont really see a lot of true poverty. Going to Africa you see it everywhere you look, and you would think the people who are having to live in such horrible conditions would not have any joy or enjoy life at all. Surprisingly it is the exact opposite.
I have never met people my whole life who have joy like these people possess. Every time we would walk by them they all (inluding the old people and all the children) would wave and say "Dumela" (meaning "hello") with the biggest smiles on their faces. It was a life changing experience. I was finding myself thinking about my own life here in the States and how terribly ungreatful I am and have been. It brought me to tears when I began to think of all my belongings and how I really dont appreciate them. I am learning that every little thing I buy with my own money or recieve as a gift from loved ones I need to take the time and really think about how lucky I am for every little thing in my life... inculding the people I take for granted.
God is the only one thing that can truly bring satisfaction and joy in this corrupted world the enemy has blinded us from in almost every way possible. I am sorry I had to go to a different country to actually find true joy and what it really is God longs for us to have each minute of every day.
...but now that I have found it I will never lose sight of it again. I am going to fight for the joy God has so freely given to me, and I am not going to let the enemy take it away from me ever again. God is my strength and my shield... of whom shall I fear?

Friday, May 16, 2008

Thoughts from Alleli- Unconventional

1 Corinthians 1:27- Instead, God chose things the world considers foolish in order to shame those who think they are wise. And he chose things that are powerless to shame those who are powerful.

It's so evident! Littered all over the Bible are stories of people God decided to use. Take a look:

Joeseph, from the book of Genesis, was the youngest in his family. His dad favored him and gave him a sweet, colorful coat. His brothers got jealous and were planning on killing him, but instead sold him into slavery. After a few years of good times and bad times, he became second in command next to the pharaoh. Because of this, he saved basically the whole entire land from dying due to the 7-year famine.

God chose Gideon to be a judge of Israel. He claimed we was of the weakest tribe and the least of his family. He took 300 men willing for fight and annihilated a whole entire army of Midianites. We're talking a hoard of them...thousands.

David, the man who wrote a majority of the Psalms, was the youngest of 12 in his family. Yet God annointed him as King over Israel. He was a great military man, loved God, and was also a part of the Genealogy to Christ himself.

Timothy, of the new testament, was a young preacher. Youth was generally frowned upon by the public because it "reflected inexperience". Paul called him out and told him to keep pressing forward; keep doing what he's doing.

Honestly, how unconventional is God? If you haven't noticed, He likes to use the weak, the small, the unknown, unused, untested, irrational, irresponsible, immature, petty things to shame and humble us.

You haven't noticed? Maybe you're not looking.

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

Thoughts from Tiffany- Grace

If there has been one thing God has really been teaching me about the last few weeks, it has been His Grace towards me and just receiving it rather than arguing with Him !

I am one of those people who when I fail I am harder on myself than anyone else could ever be. I won’t forgive myself, and in so doing I couldn’t receive God’s forgiveness either. I thought God and I had already worked through all that with me, but it seems that it was just one step and this was just one more calling me to a deeper understanding of His GREAT love and grace.

I have been going through a lot of rough situations and have not always made the right choices. I would go to God with my frustrations and broken and tired of doing things wrong, the enemy was constantly trying to make me believe that my failures defined who I was before God, but I knew that wasn’t true. I started asking God everyday to tell me what really defined me in His sight and He faithfully started countering those thoughts and telling me that the only thing that defines who I am is His love and the price He paid for me. It was amazing, freeing, and gives me the strength I need to go through the rough moments and failures and really receive His forgiveness as well as forgive myself.

Thursday, May 1, 2008

Thoughts from Aimee- The Power of Prayer

I have so many thoughts rattling around my brain but I seem to have no words. How can I adequately express the depth and power of what God is doing in my heart? It goes so far beyond just a simple stirring to pray.
Just in the recent months God has really placed in me a heart to pray. It’s like suddenly a light turned on and I realized my prayers really do matter. By nature of being a Desperation Intern I spend a lot of time in prayer and I have always known that prayer is important. The truth is the idea that prayer is important has been so engrained in me and yet I’ve never had the conviction to pray.
The other night I was given the opportunity to pray with a student facing cancer. And suddenly the idea of prayer being powerful and effective really resonated within me. With everything in me I wanted to take away the burden that this young girl was carrying. I would have done anything to alleviate the fear that seemed to engulf this girl. It was then that I realized that aside from prayer I was powerless to make things better for her.
James 4:8 says:
“The prayer of a righteous man is powerful and effective.”

As I prayed for that student, internally I was pleading with God to make my prayers powerful and effective. Like never before I truly desired for my prayers to matter. I prayed harder that night than I ever have before. My conviction that my prayers make a difference was backed by the idea that my prayer might be her only hope. The more I pray the more I realize that my prayers can be effective. My prayers can change a situation, a life, even the course of history. There is no reason for me not to pray and yet it is so easy for me to grow lax in that area of my spiritual life. But my prayers can make a difference. And I pray that God would make me one whose prayers are powerful and effective.

Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Thoughts from Cassie- Submitting Control

My life has been a crazy haze of business lately, but I can’t say I’m the only DI that feels this way. We are all working hard, getting ready for furnace banquet, getting ready for our missions trip to Africa, and finally getting ready for this thing we have been working on all year called DESPERTION ’08 COUNTING ON GOD! I have been especially busy lately due to a lot of pressure concerning my future and my family who lives here in Colorado Springs.
A huge thing God has been teaching me through it all, especially tour, is how to find rest and peace when everything around you seems to be pulling you at light speed. When a storm hits, it is human nature to sink your fingernails into anything stable to keep yourself from flying away. But Jesus himself is a prime example that the opposite course of action is the one we are called to take. Jesus prays in Matthew while kneeling face to face with the biggest trial he ever faced, “My Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass from me; nevertheless, not as I will, but as you will.” And with those words released control of his life to God’s all knowing will.
It is the hardest thing to do, I think the most difficult decision Jesus faced, submitting his life in that way. This is the same decision we as Christian’s are called to every day. The words I hear in my ear every time I feel my heart beating fast with panic, or start clutching for something to hold on to “Let go and let Me be God” are the most terrifying and the most comforting. So what do I do in the mean time? Worship. In worship I have found peace, comfort, release, and most importantly an expression of my faith, my belief that God really is in control, He really does love me, He really is good.

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Thoughts from Curtis- No worries

Today I went out to my lunch with one of my friends and we started talking. During this talk I became worried about a few different things. I am moving back to my home town in august and was just worried about falling back in to complacency, school, work, ECT.
After our lunch I was suddenly reminded of the verse where Jesus tells us not to worry about our life (Matt6:25). After that verse jumped in to my head, I just felt like I didn’t care about anything...not in a hippie way. I think that when we put our trust in God and not worry about tomorrow and what we think it will bring.
God will lead us where we need to go and what we need to do. I want to challenge you right now if you are worried about school, college, work, ECT. If there is something worrying you right now, I want to encourage you to put your faith in God; trust in him and he will lead you through whatever you are going through. It says in the word he has a plan for us so if we believe that he does and put our faith in him we have nothing to worry about.

Friday, April 25, 2008

Thoughts from Kelly- Trusting

“The Lord is my strength and my shield; my heart trusts in him, and I am helped. My heart leaps for joy and I will give thanks to him in song.”- Psalm 28:7

Have you ever felt helpless, stuck in an unchangeable situation? I’ve recently come to a time in my life like this, but unlike any other time, I actually came out enjoying it. It’s weird, I know. I recently heard a message about living a broken life before God, no matter what your circumstances are. It’s in this state of brokenness when you can come before God absolutely desperate for Him, knowing that He is the only one that can fix it, that can put the pieces together for you.
This message was so timely for me. Early this week I came to a spot where I just stopped and asked myself: what is my life about, what’s my purpose, my vision? In all actuality I have no clue and that’s finally okay!! I am an achiever by nature, so I feel like that I have to have a plan, some course of action in order to be successful. However, God is totally shaking me in this. Can I not be content to just be living in His will?? Do I have to live up to the standard my flesh yells at me, or can I rest in God??
By no means do I believe I have passed this obstacle and conquered these questions, but I do know that the spirit of God inside of me has become stronger than my flesh these past few days and I have found myself completely broken in the presence of God, but living in a greater joy, each day better than the last. While truly relying on God, I have myself trusting Him and being filled in every way I could ever need. It’s from this goodness that my heart can “leap for joy” and I can live a fulfilling life.

Thursday, April 24, 2008

Thoughts from Whitney- Power

I’m learning that God placed power inside of me, and not just me. Everyone who claims Christ also have this power. We have the power to HEAL, yes HEAL the sick/hurting…I know it sounds crazy, but through Christ we can. We can also speak life into others, also known as prophecy. Growing up I always thought prophecy was so weird, but it really isn't if you think about it. It really is just encouraging words from God that people need to hear.
So with all of this power that has been given to us what are we doing with it? I know for me personally I'm not doing much. Don’t get me wrong, I will have my days when I totally feel the presence of God and I'll walk right up to somebody and God speaks through me.
It's not that some days you ‘feel” God, and some days you don’t; God is ALWAYS with us and always wants to speak to us. We just have to unplug our ears and listen…
He has so much on the other side of the door, and sometimes I feel like we just stand looking at the door…too afraid to see the treasures God has for us. Maybe our eyes are not mature enough to see them yet, but we need to take a step of faith and open the door that’s before us…The treasures are worth the pain.