Friday, February 28, 2014

February 2014 Insta-Recap

BCS Night of Music


New York Cheesecake by the Santa Cruz Beach

Chocolate Mud Pie

Thai Food Goodness by Obey P

After all the praying & contending and a whole lot of generosity and sacrifice I only need $150 more to send me to Italy. What touches the heart touches the body!

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Africa the Beautiful Bride

I come to you slightly annoyed this morning. I think I've heard one too many, "no running water in Africa" stories to warrant my mood.

Africa. The dark continent, stuck in a cycle of corruption, slower economic growth and poverty.

Africa. The home of Nelson Mandela, Haile Selassie, Desmond Tutu, Wangari Maathai, Cleopatra, Abraham James Mwangi, Didier Drogba and me.

Africa. Highlands and Oceans. Hills and the Great Rift Valley. Orange dust and sunsets. Strident blue skies and greenest of green parks.

The problem is the rest of the world is stuck on the 1st definition. Most of the people I meet, who don't know me personally, immediately view me with African-colored glasses. The dark Africa...shown by their looks of pity on how I have never seen a running toilet or having water to drink. Stories day after day on the missionary that went to Africa and almost died because "they don't trust African hospitals" and had to, absolutely had to wait to get flown back halfway across the world, people that get off the plane and immediately get greeted by African warlords.or the old classic, "Oh My Gosh You Speak English!!!"

I'm sick of this picture that's being painted.

YOU chose to go to a village in the middle of the jungle, not the city, not the suburbs, the jungle, so the lack of running water in that jungle in Africa that YOU chose to go to is absolutely not a representation of the whole. Another thing, most of Africa gained independence within the last 70 years or so. Kenya for one is 50 years old. Where was your country at 50 years old? Growing pains mark the History of every single country in this world. Dare I say, maybe the cycle of corruption, slower economic growth and poverty is just that. Growing pains. A stumbling child trying to find it's footing.

To clarify, Jesus isn't coming for a washed up, hopeless run-away child, but for a beautiful bride. If you don't see Africa as that...don't come. Quite simple. If you do, you're fighting a losing battle anyway.

Africa doesn't need a bunch of misguided people, ignorant to it's real depth & beauty to land on it's shores to try to save us. Africa, like the rest of the world needs partners. Mutually dependent relationships. Don't let the politicians and media fool you. Most of us, know exactly what we're doing & if you ask us, we can let you in on the plan & who knows, maybe, just maybe, God will let you in on His plan for His Africa.

Sunday, February 23, 2014

A Captive of Familiarity

"When you choose to embrace a lie to bring you peace, you make a covenant with the spirit of that lie to comfort you. The devil's ministry is to steal, kill and destroy. Whenever we embrace one of these three elements that is is ministry, we invite demonic spirits to oppress us." Kris Vallotton - Spirit Wars, page 154 (paraphrased)

We've gone through a ton of deliverance stuff in 1st year. At the tail end of my school year though, I've entered a somewhat difficult season. With mission trip financial pressures and the lingering questions, "did I get what I came for?" or "what's gonna happen next?" plague my mind, I've realized how easy it is to slip back into what Bethel "lingo" describes as 'familiar spirits'.

Personally, for me, with a history of depression, depression is my comfort. Staying in bed, checking out physically & emotionally, solitude, moodiness, being quiet & withdrawn...that's my go-to. That's what I find easy to embrace to bring me peace; which is quite sick, because none of these things bring me peace, but that's just how the mind works. When I chose to embrace that lie, I make a covenant with the familiar spirit of depression to comfort me, only the devil's comfort is in reality torture. In my solitude & withdrawn-ess, the lies come quick & easy. "I'm not good enough." "I'm not pretty enough", "I'm not worth the investment", "My life is going nowhere" "I have no plan"...I could go on and on...

So, Kris in his book writes this prayer, which probably more people than just me need to repeat :-)

"Jesus, forgive me for making a covenant with the devil by inviting depression to comfort me. Thank you that you gave me the Holy Spirit, who is my comforter & my friend."
"You spirit of depression, I break my agreement with you. I no longer want you in my life. I command you to leave now in Jesus name!" (page 154)

You know what? It's's really gone!