I realized recently that i have been blogging for a little over 5 years now, so I went back and was reading some of my posts…..and it was good to remember. I think that this blog is a good way to get to know me and I need to write more like I used to… anyway, I chronicled the last months of my dad’s life and I just wanted to remind everyone about him…..
He was a great man…..and I loved him more than words could say.
It is good to remember….
I was reading my favorite chapters in John today and stopped here…
John 14:27 “Peace I leave with you; My peace I give to you; not as the world gives, do I give to you. Let not your heart be troubled, nor let it be fearful.”
So many things jump out to me as I meditate on what Jesus is saying here…. Peace (quietness, rest, the opposite of strife with an element of joining that Peace)- Christ left us…is leaving me HIS PEACE…HIS REST…HIS DEEP BREATHE.- not as the KOSMOS (greek word) gives ….what does this mean? How does the Kosmos, the World give something to me? Temporally? Conditionally? And then He gives me a command….
We talk a lot about the promises in the Word of God, but how often do we talk about the direct sentences…the commands, the “to do” statements. Jesus is telling me….Charlene, ” DO NOT let your heart be troubled or fearful”- that means I have a choice. I can either let it be troubled and fearful or I can CHOOSE not to. I think I knew this somewhere, but I wasnt ever sure that Jesus commanded it.
Fearful here is the greek word that means to be timid…or to FLEE. When I get overwhelmed, when I disappoint people, when I feel hurt and confused….I let my heart get TROUBLED and FEARFUL and the only thing I can think to do in that moment is to Flee….hmm, not original.
So, today I choose to be Powerful. The word says that HE has not given me a spirit of Fear (or fleeing) but of LOVE, POWER, and a SOUND MIND. So…today, I choose to NOT LET MY HEART BE TROUBLED or FEARFUL…but to receive, live in, and bath in …..HIS PEACE (rest, assurance, love). So today, I stand a Powerful Child of the King, able to make good decisions.
What about you?
This month has been another month where I continue to grow as a disciple in my community. When I say friendships and community, you may see smiling people having fun and playing cards (which we do); but what I am really talking about is the iron sharpening iron type of friendships. When you rub iron together, you get friction and friction is hot and sometimes uncomfortable. I have several of these friends in my life, but it is here on the mission field that I am seeing the most intense growth opportunities than I have ever been faced with. I trust that I am growing to be more of a disciple of the Lord through these friendships and I am thankful that “Love covers” . I am excited to see how much sharper I will be by the end of the year thanks to these true friends and their consistent love, acceptance, and accountability.
IMPACT is our student leadership conferences where 20 leaders from 17 different schools come to learn more about how they can impact their schools and communities.
This month, IMPACT was all about these young leaders identifying needs in their schools and making plans to address them. Needs ranged from litter to chronic hunger and electricity.
These students brainstormed with their teachers and Thrive Africa staff and interns on how THEY can make an impact. It was incredible to see and hear them identify the problems and really BELIEVE that THEY can DO SOMETHING. As we ask people in the United States to DO SOMETHING about the problems that South Africa faces, we are seeing these Next Generation leaders also taking on the challenge.
It is time to jump out of a perfectly good plane……because in a few short months, I will be THIRTY FIVE YEARS OLD!!!! I won’t start with my diatribe on how did this happen? I had a dream last night that I really thought I was turning 25 and couldn’t be convinced other wise. I liked 25…
I am trying to think of this minor freak out a sign of my advanced mental status… I mean most people don’t do this until 40 or 39 at least, right? I keep telling my self to breath and thinking about all the things I have done in my life…and then I get more depressed thinking about how long I have had to live to do all those things. Vicious Cycle, I tell you.
The truth is, I have always wanted to do Sky Dive…but have been either too scared or weighed too much. I am 4 kilos (10 lbs) from the max weight for a Tandem jump…..so now I have motivation to keep the lbs coming off.
So..the plan is to convince my friend to take few days off with me, head to sunny Capetown…and have a great time..and then jump out of a plane..take the plunge…bite the bullet. She won’t be diving I am sure (she is a mom), but she can watch and pray that I my chute deploys!
Check out these views…..http://www.skydivecapetown.za.net/gallery.htm
I am not saying that…it is what Paul said to the church in Corinth. Seriously, catch this:
“Pursue love, yet desire earnestly spiritual gifts, but especially that you may prophesy”
I am so thankful that in 1999 God put me in a family that believed this….and a pastor who actually is more of a teacher. He loved us and taught us how to earnestly desire spiritual gifts. He helped us grow, he gave us a safe place to practice. Even now, when I talk to most people about prophecy “games” (terrible name, but I always hear my friend AJ when I say it), they usually look at me like I am crazy.
I have never said that I thought I had the Gift of Prophecy or walked in the office of a prophet, but I sure do know that one of my strongest gifts is encouragement. I can’t help but encourage those around me and that translates in my need for encouragement as well.
When I set “sail” from Texas to work in Washington DC and then was heading off to move to South Africa a few months later….my community (small group/leadership group) took the time to give me words of encouragement and then to prophesy over me. We recorded it digitally…so it sits in my iTunes. It started to randomly play the other day….WOW.
There was a lot of laughter and a lot of fun…but as I listened to the recording I couldn’t help but be encouraged. To know that God had allowed me to impact these lives gives me hope of other lives I have impacted here in South Africa …I counted the other day…to this point I have led 47 summer interns. I have had the privilege of speaking into 47 lives….not all of them were close and personal, but out of those 47…. one is on staff with us now, and God is still giving me opportunities to pour into her. She works for me, but more than that, she is a friend. It is fun to share what I have learned…and it makes some of those HARD LEARNED lessons…Worth it!
So, I guess I say all of that to say…I agree with Paul.
I desire all the spiritual gifts. I want to impact this Nation with the KINGDOM of God and I truly believe that it is my privilege and responsibility to pull heaven to earth here…through prophsey, healing, miracles and anything else God wants to lay out there. I know a SIGN will point to the SIGN MAKER…so let the SIGNS fall!
Romans 12:18 (New International Version)
If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone.
A few years before I moved to South Africa, I remember my pastor quoting this verse and making sure that if he felt like he had hurt someone or offended someone at all, he addressed it immediately. To be honest, it was hard to receive sometimes. I remember being upset with him about something small, like my perception of his opinion of me because of how he responded to me in a meeting (all of the details escape me). He could tell that I wasn’t warm towards him, though I didn’t approach him about my hurt. Since he could feel that there seemed to be a wall between us, he came to me and asked if he had offended me. He listened to the offense and then apologized. He didn’t defend himself or try to make me feel bad for being hurt…..but it was hard to receive his apology.
I have been thinking about this as I consider that David was diligently working on his character and trying to apply this verse in Romans. I find myself at this place where I think people may say, “Gee, Charlene….why did you need to apologize? That was a small thing“, but really….I feel ike I need to be quick to respond when I know the Holy Spirit is helping me be sensitive to the feelings of others in the wake of my personality. I don’t know if this makes any sense outside of my head, but I know that Gentle is not a descriptive word for me…YET… but that is what I want.
Since I am praying for that, I think that the Holy Spirit is making me aware of how people are receiving me and when it isn’t GENTLE, I literally feel a prick in my heart.