August 28, 2009

Who knew?

Sorry I haven't updated in a while... kind of has been insane. Which is really no surprise.

Basically I leave in two weeks to go to Thailand and then to Indonesia. We spend two weeks in Thailand and then 6 weeks in Indo... then we fly back to Australia for only one week then I come home! Time is seriously flying by and it's hard to even explain half the things I have learned. I've been taking heaps of notes and reading a ton. By the time I go on outreach I will have read the whole New Testament, which for me is HUGE. I had no idea how impacting even that would be. I can't wait to meet Paul in Heaven and ask him lots and lots of questions. It inspires me to have a faith as unshakable as him... it CAN be done.

Thailand is going to be such a stretching time for me. If talking to the muslim girls about Jesus and seeing how hopeless love looks like in their eyes was heartbreaking... I can't imagine how I am going to feel when I am talking to a prostitute in Thailand who is in major spiritual bondage. What I didn't ever think about is... Satan knows how to blind people. These girls are completely blind and they don't see that what they are doing is completely wrong. The BEST part about God is that we can pray against that before we even go. We can already begin fighting in the war before we head out to physically put ourselves there.

Last week we learned about spiritual warfare and our jewish roots. I never knew half the stuff about our Jewish friends. They really are the root of the Christian faith. Without jews, our faith would be so different. They are the reason we have salvation... Romans 11:11-12.

The jews never crusified Jesus... you and I did. It was for all OUR sins... not just the sins of the jews. If that was the case then we would not be reviecing Gods mercy and grace right now. Because we would be left to just the law and the law by itself leads to death. God has always used the weaker persons...

1) Abraham = Old man
2) Isaac = Only son of Abraham (through the spirit)
3) Jacob = youngest

Jacob's name is then Israel and are you catching onto the pattern here?

Jacob had the 12 tribes and then Joseph came along and then BAM Egypt and Gentiles.

I honestly don't know where I was going with that... besides the fact that we are all gentiles and are under Gods grace rather than the law that the jews feel like they are under. But they only feel that way because they don't understand the new covenant that was brought with Jesus.

It's so incredible that everything that happens in the old testament leads up the the new covenant. All history proves how faithful God is. He isn't a mean God that is extremely distant... WE the people have been the ones to get greedy and screw things up. Which makes us need grace all the more.

I'm slowly grasping this concept that I truly need grace. I have heard that so much growing up that I think I became numb to how HUGE that really is. I didn't know the history behind it as well so that kind of helps me see why.

Anyways, this week is going to be reallll good. We are talking about the Kingdom of God and how we fit into this equation. During the lecture yesterday I had a few thoughts drop into my head of how I could start living out my ministry in Cincinnati and I think God was behind all those thoughts. Its such a simple concept... a minsitry doesn't have to be in a building. It can be doing what I have always done... I just change the way I think. Going to places with a prayerful conscience. I love it... its so easy and anyone can do it.

Anyways, sorry this is so scrambled. I have been given a TON of information and history and revelations have just been all over the place. Its hard to sum up two weeks and how I feel in my heart because there is just SO much going on.

All of this to say: I keep falling more and more in love with my Father. Each day no matter how I feel I choose to start new and pursue Him. No matter how bad I screwed up the day before... it doesn't matter because by his GRACE I have today.

God is merciful enough that He gave me another day to live...

August 22, 2009

Relationships Week.

This week was definitely an unexpected one. I know quite a few people that would say, "Oh yeah, Katie... relationships week is definitely something you need to be present in!" Hah, so glad I can laugh about that actually.

This week God changed my heart.

There is no "I think" or "I feel like..." or any statement that represents uncertainty. I know that God gave me a revelation of freedom that I just can't deny. This week started out slow for me and it honestly took till Thursday to make a huge impact on the way I thought about relationships. The first few days were talking about relationships with other people, ourselves and God. But it wasn't till Thursday when we talked about romantic relationships. Yeah, I know there are things I need to work on when it comes to loving my neighbor... but that wasn't the home run topic of this week.

It wasn't till the end of the speakers talk on Thursday when she did an example that seemed so cliche but that is where God came in and spoke ever so softly to my heart. I'm not going into detail because I have to also protect this new revelation in my heart, if I know you personally I will totally talk to you about it because I want to be able to give God all the glory in this story. But I also wanted to update and tell you all that God is a merciful God that is so much bigger than satan.

I will say that satan isn't a creator... he can only use what God has created. So therefore the temptations I fall into is handed over to satan to use against me. God is a just God and has to allow satan to use it because we gave him that foothold. But I now know that I can't try to forget my past or the sin I have allowed satan to have because then, how will I ever be released from it?! I have to accept that I am so incredibly fallen and that without Jesus... I would be damned to hell because I have SUCH weak flesh.

Praise Jesus that his Father would have such mercy on me that He would send His own son to die in order to force satan to release my sin from his grasp and hand me back over to my Heavenly Father!

I then have to admit that I have sinned, terribly. Especially when it comes to representing true love and all the sacrifices that come with it. And then allow God's healing to start taking over my character and heart. I can't count how many time my soul cried out for help while I deliberately chose to hurt my Father.

Thursday I defeated satan. He no longer has any foothold on a certain part of my life. It was all so subtle and very un-climatic on the outside but on the inside I became completely free! I'm never going back to how I used to be... it's just not possible because my Dad has allowed me to walk in freedom and I can make that choice. Faith is definitely a choice. I wish someone had told me that before... I'm sure they did but not in the way I am hearing it now.

I can choose to not think those thoughts, love an annoying friend, die to my own will, give glory to God in all circumstances, believe in healing, love myself even though I screw up big time.

I can choose that God is with me always and to walk in strength and not fear.

In 2 Corinthians 4:10 Paul says, "We always carry around in our body the death of Jesus, so that the life of Jesus may also be revealed in our body." It then goes on to say in 4:17, "Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom. And we all, who with unveiled faces contemplate the Lord's glory, are being transformed into his image with ever increasing glory, which comes from the Lord, who is the Spirit."

Basically, if I learn to contemplate openly and pray unceasingly to the Lord... I can understand what freedom is and what it means to feel his glory because I have the spirit inside of me.

I have began my journey of learning to seek God first, in my thoughts and heart before I think about anything else. When I do this... I can walk in freedom. Freedom from the bondage that past relationships have brought into my life... and I know whole heartedly that my future husband will be free from my bondage as well because satan has been defeated... since Thursday!

I love it.
I love Jesus.
I love my Father who sent Jesus.

August 16, 2009


Romans is officially my new favorite book in the bible. I just got done reading it today and I would have to say that God really pressed into me during that time.

There is so much I wish I had known earlier... and I know I can't regret anything so I'm definitely soaking it all in now for the future. I called myself a christian all my life but I feel like I'm JUST now understanding what it means to be a follower of Christ. I'm having daily revelations of concepts that I have heard all my life. I used to think that I "got it" but when I look back, just these past 6 weeks I have learned more than I have my entire life.

I tried to base most of my relationship with God off emotions. But I failed to remember that I am in a covenant with God and it doesn't matter how I am feeling... I should have unceasing prayer and press into Him daily. I can't count how many times I heard how much I should do a daily devotional but honestly... that makes it sound so watered down. I'd rather say I'm having a daily conversation with my Father who loves me so much that not even the angels or demons can separate His love for me [Romans 8:37-39].

Having a stable relationship with God gives me more hope than having scattered "God highs" that only lasts for a day or weekend. Although I'm sure those are nice, I am happy with where I am in my relationship with Him because it explains in Romans how Abraham did not waver through unbelief regarding the promise of God. Instead he was strengthened in his faith and gave glory to God, being fully persuaded that God had power to do what he had promised. Basically it shows he was human and wanted to doubt the power of God but didn't and through that God was able to be glorified through him. How great of a honor is that?!

I hope that one day God will trust me enough to give me an opportunity like that. I know right now I am still a baby and can barely be trusted with the little nudges He gives me. But hopefully I will be persistent with learning to walk in His truth and live a life full of faith that overcomes fear of man.

I made a beautiful illustration of something that stuck out to me that one of the speakers talked about:

:: We are the guy in the middle ::
:: Walking on a log (life) high above the rocky ground (death) ::

I am trying to use this illustration in my everyday thinking. Basically when we try to walk in our faith with Jesus Christ we have to be looking towards the truth... constantly. If we are looking anywhere else we lose our balance and fall off the log. So if I keep looking back at my emotions and worrying about them... of course I'm going to fall off the log because I wont be able to keep my balance. If we live off of trying feel all these emotions, our relationship with God will be a crazy roller coaster ride. Eventually we will just give up and that's when a spiritual death happens. But when I walk in faith and seek truth daily my emotions will always be following behind me and they wont be able to drive me anymore.

This is SO key, I believe. It makes for a more stable relationship with God and people will see the change in you because it's not so back and forth on your ideas. I wish I had known this before because I'm sure I have confused a lot of non-believers through my search for a constant "God high." I asked God for forgiveness and can't dwell on how bad I probably screwed how people viewed Christians. But I can say that I will never be the same after this whole experience.

I can already feel God starting to transform my heart and the way I thought a Christian should be. I think I'll just end like this...

It's only by God's grace that I stumbled into this adventure.

August 15, 2009

So I'm going to try to update everyone on the past couple of weeks without writing a novel.

I know quite some time has gone by and I haven't been able to catch everyone up. I had no idea we were going to be THIS busy all the time. I am having a hard time even keeping up with mom and dad. I've only been able to talk to Rachel once since I left. So this has definitely been an experience.

We went out about a week ago to do outreach every night to specifically the Muslims. Before we got to where we were staying I was pretty nervous about the whole situation. I just didn't know anything about the Muslim culture, let alone how to talk to people at random. First night we were there we were educated a bit and then shipped out into the streets of the Gold Coast. We walked around for a good while praying and asking God how in the world we go about this. Ended up asking a few muslim girls if they could take a picture of us. From there on we just started talking and they were so incredibly sweet. We prayed that we would run into them the next night and sure enough... we walk into the same area and we saw them! Talked again and made plans to hang out the next night. Got to hang out again and just got to know them, asked them lots about their culture, what dating was like, etc etc. By the next night they wanted us to come over for one of their birthday parties! So we got her a little gift and took her out to ice cream. That night we got into a real good conversation about love and what that looks like to them. We got to talk about Jesus and how we receive our love from Him and how its unconditional. It was a really good conversation and probably affected me more than it did them... God really was speaking to me during that and I loved being able to share without questioning myself or doubting.

Basically by the end of that week I made some great friends! I can't believe I was even scared in the first place. I love it.

This week has been prayer week and saying it was exhausting is barely describing it. We split into groups of 3 or 4 and had 2 hour prayer slots throughout the day. Each day we had different things to pray about specifically and the last day we did it was praying for what comes next for each one of us individually. It was pretty cool and we just sat and prayed and listened to worship music. I think those two hours of the days were definitely my favorite hours this week. By the end of this week I have felt completely exhausted but I feel somewhat encouraged? I never had any major "God moment" but by the end I knew that God was telling me to continue pursuing Him. I have a tendency to give up after feeling like I am not getting anything in return. But this time I am not giving up and I know why I shouldn't give up as well. Not like I ever really "gave up" because obviously here I am in Australia. But I would give up reading my bible or praying unceasingly. This time though is different.

All of this is so hard to explain.
Plus I'm sun burnt and exhausted from being knocked all around by the waves today.

Basically, God is doing really cool things but right now in the DTS I am definitely being challenged.

Only a few more weeks until we go to on outreach! That is definitely going to be an experience.

I can't believe I've been here 6 weeks. Time flies by.