service day!

Posted by Teen Bean

so today is normally are boiler house day, but has been changed to our community service day. God really has given me a huge desire to take prayer to the school. Of course that is going to take some time... tho i am praying that will just move crazy fast when it come to setting me up in the school! i just want to be wowed by how fast things come together. everyone keeps telling me that to get into the school will take forever, but i know that God can work miracle and that is what i need. So today i spent sometime writing out a letter of intent for volunteering at the school and a resume for that. In between that i made dinner for two families. One lady is a single mom of five kids... and the other a single mom of 2 kids. So the community asked me to make them dinner and deliver it. It actually was really fun getting the food and preparing it! I loved it!

the rest of this day will be filled with prayer slots, dinner, and going to bar and bus! i am excited to spend sometime in the prayer room today because there is tons of stuff to be praying for. can you believe that i have been gone for 5 months and my time here is half over. I have fallen so in love with life here that even thinking about it ending is really hard. but sadly i do have to think about it! wink wink.

well i have to get going... but wanted to give a quick up date of what today was like! 

God listens!!

Posted by Teen Bean

ok so check this. all week i have been doing massive prayer slots at the boiler house because we are hosting a 24-7 Prayer week! It actually has been quite amazing. About a week ago i had a really amazing experience with God. so i will just explain a little about what has gone on over the last couple of weeks. this will get a little spiritual so hold on!!!

so we came back from our break and for the first couple of weeks we really have been digging into this transit term. Morning prayers has been way better and prayer in general because we (or at least I) have come in with such a better attitude. I guess you could say that i just came in and decided to try Faith on for the first time in a long time. So things were moving along, i had some really good prayer moments sense i have been back, but i really just felt like God was calling me to more... but i didn't ever quite hear this call or feel it or even really understand. 

so about 2 weeks ago i started thinking that if i really was going to make this term different, that maybe i should invest into my relationship with the holy spirit. Lets pause here for a moment and reflect on what my inner inner self thinks about the holy spirit. Mostly i thought it was crap. All this holy spirit filling, shaking, moving, "getting words from the lord"... well it all just pretty much scared me and sense i couldn't reason it out, i did what most people do when they don't understand something or they are scared, i ignored it. If i found myself in a situation where ignoring was impossible i just would tell myself "this isn't real" (that way i didn't feel guilty about not having those experiences with the Holy Spirit). I really didn't trust "it" or the people that claimed to be filled with "it" or the experiences that happened when "it" showed up. Trust and control are my big issues. I want to have complete trust and complete control in order to be ok with anything. So that being said i always steer clear of any sort of encounter with the Holy Spirit. 

side note: There was this sweet period in my life when i did experience God in a way i totally didn't understand. It was back in uni when for the first time God really got a hold of me and i really clung to him. I would say that during that time I connected with the Holy Spirit and had a brilliant 4-6 months being best friends with the holy spirit. It was during that time that i found the love of scripture, prayer, and just hanging out with God. I was baptized during this time and let me say, out of my life that day hits top three!! 

so bringing us back to a couple weeks ago, i had this very twisted experience with the holy spirit. i knew he was real, but anytime people started taking about him, or in tongues or shaking or roaring... yes i said roaring (long story, that if you want a good laugh i can share with you, but here is not the place!) i would get a little lost. Because i hadn't connected with the holy spirit in along time, i lost all trust in him. I wanted to get back to that place of trusting him again, but that's the funny thing with trust, you have to be willing to risk your most vulnerable parts to see if the trust you hope for will protect them. and to say it plainly, i was scared shit less. The vulnerable place in me was somewhere i wasn't even willing to go, so i had absolutely no faith or trust that this "holy spirit" would want to go there. I mean for crying out loud holy is in the very title of this part of God... and there is nothing holy about that place in me. 

all this being said, for some strange reason, this logic that normally floats in the very front of my brain seemed to have evaporated. I found myself one sunday in church listening to one of my friends Natalie give a talk about building up a relationship with the holy spirit. about taking the time to pray to him and talk to him to hang out with him. I knew as i sat their i wanted this, but some unspoken fear was holding me back. Plus this church i was at is known for its "holy ghost" experiences on people and i was not going to be just another one of those wacky christian types. Regardless, the hunger for this experience this friendship with the holy spirit was still genuine. So when a lady Janet, got up and said she wanted to pray for people that want this experience with the holy spirit i couldn't help but go and pray with her. She said some really beautiful things about connecting with the Holy Spirit and everything she said i wanted, but i just couldn't trust the situations... i just couldn't trust the holy spirit. Even tho i wanted all the things she said i held back. The rest of that sunday i was pretty disappointed in myself.. but at the same time i was also a little relieved that i didn't "succumb" to the ways of those extreme christian types. 

Monday we had teaching and this is where God really shakes my world. Pete Greig the ever famous 24-7 Prayer guru was our teacher this day and he came down to talk about spiritual gifts to us. I really hadn't thought much on it because, hell, i know the spiritual gifts "love, joy, peace, patience... blah blah blah". it was quite interesting how that afternoon it just really got into this intense talk about who the holy spirit is, how we need to stop referring to him as an it... that he wants to be personal with us. The he is the part of God that is here to be on our journey with us. By the end i was wrecked. i didn't know who i was, who the holy spirit was, why the world is like it is. i was so torn up inside i didn't recognize myself. The worst part was how much trust i lost in everything that was surrounding me. 24-7 prayer, my house mates, this year out, me... I realized how little control i had in them, which made me totally afraid to trust, which took me to one of the darkest places i've been in, in years!! 

I left the boiler house running that evening... literally... running from transit, my friends, prayer, dreams, myself, God, the holy spirit. I ended up running down this road in our town that is being worked on so it was just completely empty. it runs right along this open field and i just cried out to God. I explain how i didn't trust him and i didn't want to and the fear that was wrapped around it.... then bammm! that was it fear!! I had nailed it on the head. I was afraid of the holy spirit. Like i explained before i had this incredible encounter with him back in uni... i could never deny that, but somewhere along the way i thought i had lost it. For the last couple of years i have been desperately trying to find it behinds Gods back. I didn't want him to know that i had lost this precious gift that he had given him in the Holy Spirit. For the first time ever it clicked. Pete Greig had mentioned how we are created like a cup with the hole in the bottom that leaks out the holy spirit. This is so that we are constantly needing to be filled by the holy spirit and also so that we spread holy spirit to the people around us. 

So in that moment, on that road, i felt God was asking me to show the gift he had given me. I came face to face with my worst nightmare of having nothing to show... i had "lost the gift of the holy spirit".  But then God, through the Holy Spirit, ever so calmly reminded me that I don't have to prove myself... that i didn't loose any gift but that i just have to keep accepting the gift he offers. That he loves me just as he created me and he created me to need to keep asking for more of Him. It was a beautiful moment. I was able to talk for honest with my best friend, my lord, my savior... i hadn't done that in pure honesty in a long time. i'd only really every put myself half in because i didn't want the holy spirit to take to much notice of me... but there on that road, being noticed by the holy spirit and having him want to spend time with me was the most intense kind of love. I'm not second best to him, he loves me just the way i am and he wants me to love him back in the way he created me to... not like anyone else.

This week as i've been praying the Holy Spirit has just been amazing. i still find it hard sometimes to trust Him... but because i know i can just be me, i just come honestly before him! The holy spirit has really given me some cool dreams to chase after and i'll explain that more later... but i am so excited and it is totally unexpected. Our relationship has become really sweet and more genuine then i have ever imagined or hoped for. And its effecting more than just me.

This morning i had a prayer slot at 9am to pray with a lady joyce. we spent all morning praying and i spent a large part praying for understanding for people loosing loved ones. I have a very harsh understanding of death and often struggle sympathizing at all when elderly people are dying. I really cried out to the holy spirit to just break my heart for people suffering because of death. As we were finishing up prayer a little old man named Les stumbled into our prayer room. He said that he had heard about the prayer house and just wanted to come down and be with christians and pray. He then told the most heart breaking story about his wife who is dying of cancer. She woke up this morning groaning in pain and there is nothing they can do. So he just laid next to her for 3 hours while her body was being crippled by cancer. Close to tears he told us how he loved his wife so much "it hurt" and how she is only 71 and to young to die. I sat with this elderly man and cried for a woman i have never met who is dying. We prayed together and the suffering of this man settled on my heart. Praying out loud was one of the hardest things in that moment as tears of sadness just flowed from our faces. We prayed for healing, for strength, for refreshening. He left still hurting, but encouraged enough to get through his day... i left hurting and amazed by how quickly God had heard my prayer and answered it! If you have a moment today to pray for Les and his wife please do! 

Trusting the Holy Spirit has been really risky... but so worth it... more to come, more to come!


Posted by Teen Bean

so it snowed today... well to be exact it started snowing yesterday late afternoon and continued on to today. and let me say it is one funny thing to see here. it prolly snowed about 2... maybe 3 inches and it has made history. it hasn't snowed this bad in 18 years! (or so i hear). i strictly was told when i got here that if it did snow (which it mostly likely would not) it would only snow in the morning and by the afternoon would be all melted. so it was quite a shock to everyone to have it start snowing in the afternoon of one day and CONTINUE INTO THE NEXT DAY!! shock shock!!! 

but yeah it was a good day. my labyrinth that i laid out yesterday with string in the front yard has been completely covered in snow... so i went down to the boiler house and spent like 4 hours clearing off the snow because i really wanted people to use it... then it started sleet/raining so most of the snow will be melted by morning... but whatever.

tomorrow is our service day and i think i will try and go down to the old peoples home and volunteer there. prolly just end up having tea with them and chatting. but that would be cool because i like old people for the most part. and it might be good to pray with them and so i really hope it works out!

well i should go do some reading. i am reading this book called "irresistible revolution" by shane claiborne... i really would suggest it. so far it has been a very interesting read. its all about how we can be radical for jesus... but how more christians should be radical so that radical is just normal!! i love it!

peace people