Time is growing short.

on Thursday, March 18, 2010

Our visit to Masaya Volcano

Well, it's that time again. I haven't written in a while so I should probably jot a few things down to fill you all in. Honestly, I have been so homesick lately that I have neglected the responsibility of being completely present in the moment. I don't know if it is the heat, the waves of boredom or just that it has been way too long since I last saw the people that I love, but my heart has been longing for home.

It is now a little over 2 weeks until our originally planned departure date. In some ways it feels too soon, but we can also see how things have started to wind down by way of access and opportunity. We have realized that we were here to plant seeds and stoke fires and we have had the privilege of getting to see some of the fruit of this already. We had some hopes ... maybe illusions? ... of a school of ministry starting before we left Nicaragua, but the Lord keeps reminding us that we are ground breakers and seed planters and that means that often our ministry comes as an introduction to revival. And then we move on to plough more ground. We will watch and pray ... hope ... and stay in relationship to encouraged local leaders in the pursuit of the kingdom when we leave. There are several people that we believe will be life long connections ... friends :)

This past Sunday was the first time I have done a formal sermon to a congregation. I preached in a church of the Nazarene in Managua. It was an evening service. There were probably 150 or so people there I think ... didn't really count. I was feeling like God wanted to empower the women of the congregation and that was why I was meant to preach. It was pretty cool too when I arrived and for the first time in our 3 months in Nica, there was a woman translator. Kind of a double whammy... lol. It was a little intimidating, especially to deliver some of the complexity of my sermon at the beginning through a translator .... talking about taking old testament scripture, comparing it to the greek, cross referencing it with the New Testament. I think that it was interesting enough but my need to get the idea across properly kept me focused and maybe a little monotone and a little less entertaining.

My sermon was about God's glory and how it was revealed in Jesus and the fact that Jesus gave it to us. Essentially it was this ... Christ in us, the hope of glory. My point was to value the presence and be so filled that the glory of God becomes a natural outpouring of our intimacy with him. Graeme said I was more animated in the 2nd half of the sermon when I wasn't so focused on my notes and just shared from my heart. I was starting to get comfortable up there. I was moved at the end of the sermon when the pastor invited anyone that recognized their need for more of Christ in them to come forward and just take the time to seek his presence. And the front of the church was filled with people who wanted more. I went up to. I may have preached the message, but that doesn't distinguish me from anyone in there! I want more! I want His glory to spill out of me. The pastor asked Graeme and I to go around and pray for people while they worshipped. There was one woman in particular whom I have been building relationship with. My heart went out to her. She needed to be transformed by the renewing of her mind and as I prayed for her she fell under the power of the spirit. She asked me later "What was that?" and I kind of laughed and said "That was the Holy Spirit!" She said, "I could feel my head getting warm while I was on the floor." She spoke to me about brokenness and adoration and the fact that she slept better that night than she has in a long time. She has struggled with insomnia. She felt like God removed some things that were wrong in her thinking and concluded that healing and release mean nothing if not for the presence! Even as I write I want to cry. It was like she could read my heart. All the things that I wanted to get into the message, but could barely get out were made plain to her in one encounter with His presence! Ohhhhh the presence!!!! OOOOOoooooooh the presence. This is what the Christian walk is all about! Connection with the Father. Everything else we need in life or we need to bring to this world will flow naturally from our time in His presence.

After the meeting that night, the pastor and his family blessed us so much. Ben had told their daughter the day before that he wished he could have his birthday in Nica so he could invite her. His birthday is not until Sept, so that wasn't going to happen, but they wanted to make it happen. So they had bought a pinata and filled it with candy and blew up a bunch of balloons. After dinner we went outside and had turns whacking the pinata. Ben was so excited and felt like a million bucks. When the evening was nearing it's end, we asked if we could pray for the pastor and his wife. They are presently at a corssroads in their ministry and during dinner God had given me a word for the pastors wife that was about activation and a powerful role in ministry. It fell in line with the fact that the Lord wanted to do something in the women of that church that night. When we prayed for them, I teased that maybe her daughter should stand behind her in case she falls. She laughed and said that she was a sensible woman. :) ... I wasn't sure what she meant by that, but I had the idea that she didn't think anything was going to happen. Her daughter walked away and we started to pray. And? .... yep ... you guess it. She fell! There was no one behind her and we were standing on a concrete pathway so I jumped forward to catch her ... I don't know if you have ever tried, but it is very difficult to catch someone when you are standing in front of them and they are falling backwards. But as I leaned over her and set her gently on the ground I couldn't believe how light she was! How easy it was to catch her! It was as if an angel? ... the power of the Holy Spirit? ... I don't know! ... was catching her and I was only helping. I felt that this was a message from the Lord for them that they did not have to worry about what road they chose to follow next. Not to worry about falling, for the Lord would be there to catch them. He would be their safety net.

I didn't know for sure how many people my message impacted, but I knew for a fact that 2 people would never be the same because of the way they encountered God that night. I have learned in the past couple years that whatever I do, wherever I go, it will be worthwhile, no matter the sacrifice, if I can impact 1 person. Would you be willing to do it for 1? I have to be willing. I have to be satisfied. Because if I impact 1 and they impact 2 and those two impact 3 and somewhere down the road one of those people impact a politician and he gets into office and impacts a nation!?!?! We can never underestimate the intricacy of God's plan or his ability to take one well invested talent and turn it into a kingdom! Math in the kingdom is far more rewarding that 1+1=2. The language of the spirit is multiplication. It's yes and amen. It's 5 loaves and 2 fish = 5,000+ stuffed people.

I am so thankful that God can take the life of one Canadian girl, born to a mushroom farmer in Kelowna BC and make it into a masterpiece painted across the sky... That's my life, that's yours!  Every conversation, every revelation can change a person. Whether you preach in a 3rd world country or someone overhears your testimony as you share with a friend across the table at Starbucks. Your life changes people when you allow his presence to impact your life. I love my life. I love my God. I love how God chooses to use my life. For we are God's glory. So Arise and shine for your light has already come and the glory of the Lord HAS risen upon you.

PS - There are more new pics in the last couple pages of my "latest pics" album. I think there are 7 or 8 pages in that album now. Click the button on the right if you want to view them.


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