Thursday, January 13, 2011

On Another Note

If any of you regularly read my blog you may have noticed this fancy new little gadget in the right column. Also, if you read my blog regularly you know that the Lord really burdened my heart last semester for kids involved in sex trafficking and prostitution. This burden has also translated into other areas where kids are living on the streets without homes, without parents, without food or shelter, kids involved in gang life, or kids that experience traumatic foster care situations. It would be such a blessing and is a dream of mine to own a safe home for kids off the street, kids wanting to get away from the gang life, from prostitution, from wherever that place may be. To create a loving environment where they can be nurtured for once and shown what is the love of their Creator, the One who knows them and loves them best. And so I found this great little gadget deal that donates money to the Los Angeles Youth Network to provide shelter for homeless youth in Los Angeles. All YOU have to do is click on it and do a couple of activities. This is such a neat way to use common technology, something we come in to contact with every day to support kids who are not geographically within our reach, and also such a great way those of us broke college students can serve kids without having to spend our much needed gas money, although on a side note we are privileged to be supported by our parents or even by ourselves and so lucky that we have enough money for gas!

I Feel Like I Do A Lot of Blog Posts About Prayer...

However, that is not exactly a reflection of my prayer life!

Last night after FCA, a group of us got together to pray about a Spring Break trip to San Diego where we will be sharing the gospel with the students of San Diego State University. Some of us are still considering the trip, some have definitely committed. But it was such a great opportunity for the whole team, or rather part of the team, to come together and get on the same page with each other! The verse I studied yesterday morning was Philippians 2:1-2 which says,
    "Therefore if you have any encouragement from being united with Christ, if any comfort from his love, if any common sharing in the Spirit, if any tenderness and compassion, 2 then make my joy complete by being like-minded, having the same love, being one in spirit and of one mind."

This was an opportunity for us to share in the the Spirit together, to be like-minded in our goals for this trip, to be of one mind and labor together through prayer towards furthering the kingdom of God on campus at San Diego State University. Anyways, meetings like this usually go as follows: someone will step into the leadership position, sort of make a general statement about why we are there, what we all want to be praying for, etc. Then we break up into small groups of about 2-3 people and pray out loud for the things previously stated and whatever else our hearts may be burdened for concerning the circumstances. As I listened to my own prayers and then to the prayers of the two freshmen girls on either side of me I realized something: we don't always come into prayer with a pure heart intent to be with God in this way, intent on sharing with God what's going on in our lives and what our goals for whatever the circumstance is. I feel like this is a continuation of what the Lord revealed to me last year when I wrote my blog post "So Here's the Story". But we especially don't always come into prayer with a pure heart when it involves praying out loud in a situation where others will be listening. Last year this was a huge pride struggle for me! I felt my prayers needed to be deep and meaningful and that pauses or stutters in my prayers were a huge no no and resulting in my own mortification when this did happen. Because of this my prayers were always rushed and hurried by my feelings of needing to fill in the silence. But, when we come in to prayer with a pure heart, not prideful, and we simply say whatever is on our hearts at the time, whether that may result in a long prayer or a simple short prayer, our time in solace can be sweet and revealing. I truly believe that listening to the prayers of others when they come before the Lord with a humble heart reveals so much about their relationship with Him: what God has burdened them for, what they are struggling with or are fearful of struggling with, their goals, their desires, etc. And I noticed that the longer someone has been walking with God, the more intimate their prayers become, resulting in, at least for me, a much sweeter time spent with Him. Observing someone's prayers is almost as if you are peering into someone's soul, because you catch a glimpse of what their whole life is about, generally and specifically. 

Monday, January 3, 2011

Matthew 28:19-20

"Therefore, go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age." Matthew 28:19-20 "The Great Commission"

So bloggers, a review of Christmas break:

Long breaks at home are enjoyed; I enjoy seeing my family and spending time with them however it also tends to be hard at times. My community at PC is so great, I am constantly surrounded by believers who love me, encourage me, keep me accountable, pray for me, fight with me, rejoice with me, and constantly show me why the Lord calls us to live in community, reassuring that His plans are so much greater than mine and coming to PC was such a huge blessing. But at home I really don't have any solid believers to provide any sense of community which makes it a hard environment to be in.
While cleaning up my room over break I stumbled across a postcard I had written to myself from last year's New Years Conference with Campus Outreach with a few things I had learned written on it. Our Campus Director has us write ourselves postcards and then places them in our mailbox at a later time during the semester. On my postcard, one thing I had written was "Christian contentment comes from Christ, not from circumstances." At home, I was wallowing in the fact that it is hard for me to be there and not continually fueling myself with Christ. I was discontent in my circumstances versus seeking contentment in Christ. Talk about convicting. But then on the bus ride home from this year's New Years Conference, I was talking with my friend Mel and another thought occurred to me. It was easy for me to see that at home I sought contentment in my circumstances instead of Christ, but what about at school? The Lord has been so good to bless me with such a wonderful community through Campus Outreach at PC but at school am I finding my contentment in my circumstances and the fact it is so easy to be at school? Or am I finding my contentment in Christ? Talk about convicting times two.

So after this years AL!VE conference, I thought about all the talks I heard. This year's conference was mission focused for me. In everything I really saw that the Lord was putting it on my heart to share the gospel. This summer it was easier for me to share, I had no fear about striking up a spiritual conversation with my coworkers. There was some sense of nervousness each time but I found so much joy in sharing what I was learning, sharing the gospel, and feeling burdened for my coworkers. Last semester I was so confused as to what my target was, I was hardly fueling myself with spending time with the Lord. I was like a little child who loves to get presents from their parents but are bored with just sitting on their lap and talking to them. They want to go play with their new toy, the object of their fascination and satisfaction for a short period of time until they need a new toy. My relationship with the Lord was like that of a small child with their parents. I wanted things from Him, prayers answered. That's what I wanted, not time with Him, not to enjoy Him for who He is.

So, I enter the new semester remembering the advice of a friend who graduated last year: Duty, Desire, Delight. Spending time with the Lord may feel like a duty at first but it is a duty we are called to take part in. But the more we obey our duty, the more we will desire to spend time with the Lord. And the more we desire to spend time with the Lord, the more we will delight in Him. And I also enter the new semester mission minded, with a desire to engage others in spiritual conversations, share with them through more than just this blog, remembering the joy I feel when I share with those I am burdened for about my personal relationship with the Lord and the love and joy they too could experience. I enter the new semester with a mission opportunity for Spring Break, and desiring to become a prayer warrior for a target ministry, for next year's target ministry, summer plans, and everything else on my long prayer list. My prayer journal needs a lot of love!