Tuesday, September 14, 2010

God speaks, now I can listen

It's amazing, the things God says when you have an ear to listen.
Today, our speaker, Donna Jordan, an awesome woman, gave us three questions to ask God.
1)God, what do you think or feel about me?
2)Jesus, what do we have in common?
3)Lord, what plans do you have for my future?

So I walked outside of the lecture tent and had no idea where I was headed, but I was going to get there.
God says to me, "Go into the forest."
So I go into the forest.
God says, "Go sit on that bridge and I'll tell you what you need to hear."
So I go and I sit on the bridge, and before I can ask the question, God put the word "water" into my head. I went on to ask God, "God, what do you think or feel about me?"
No answer.
Only the word "water."
So, I looked in the index in my bible for the word "Water" and Psalm 23 was there. it talked about how God was the good shepherd, leading us beside still waters. And then it hit me. God is my shepherd. I am one of his flock. He takes care of me wherever I go. When I stray from the straight and narrow, he's there to pull be back on track with love and kindness.
So then, the next question. Jesus, what do we have in common?
But, before I could ask the question, God again had placed a word on my mind. "Wept" so again, I looked in my index. Wept, John 11:35, "Jesus wept."
So you and I have both cried, Jesus? Whoa. You're as human as I am? You would have loved a slice of pizza, an ice cold rootbeer and a movie? You would have partied and laughed with me? You would have cracked stupid jokes all day with me? You were fully human. That was what we had in common. We shared the same struggles (Kind of) and the same joys (Kind of).The same pain and fears. The same hopes and dreams.
Man, that's hard to swallow. It's hard to think that that idea had never occurred to me. Jesus as human as I am? Intense.
Third question, but again, for the third time, before I can even ask, God had a word on my mind. "Beauty."
"Okay, Lord. What do you have in store for my future? What plans do you have for me?... "Beauty?.. Uh... Okay...? I have no idea what that means. Well, there were scriptures for the rest of them, why not this one, too?" So I looked for a third time in the index. Two passages stood out to me. Isaiah 52, and Song of Songs 1 and 2. So I looked.
Isaiah 52:6-7 says:

Therefore my people will know my name;
       therefore in that day they will know
       that it is I who foretold it.
       Yes, it is I."
  How beautiful on the mountains
       are the feet of those who bring good news,
       who proclaim peace,
       who bring good tidings,
       who proclaim salvation,
       who say to Zion,
       "Your God reigns!"

The first thing I thought of as I read this passage was "Missionary work? You want to me to be a missionary, God? Really? That's the last thing I wanted to do, though."
I whined at God for a while longer and finally he says to me, "And missionary work is the last thing you will do." So, I'm going to be a missionary until God says otherwise.
And then, the passage in Song of Song was talking about a wife being all super sappy to her husband and I felt God telling me that a wife was in my future... So, That's that. So says God. More to come in the future.

Monday, September 6, 2010

First Blog from Germany!

That's really about all I can say about my experience in Germany so far.
One word.

First, I appologize for the randomness of these thoughts, I only write them as they come to me.

God is awsome, to say the least. Herrnhut is such a beautiful place, I have a hard time finding words to describe the beauty of this awsome, breath-taking, magnificent place.
The community I am surrounded by shocks me still; everyone is working together to better not themselves, but the community. Our dishwasher was broken, so dishes had to be done by hand, so what happened? Five students washed the dishes of 120+ students and 50+ staff without even being asked. They took initiative, and I've seen that more here in Herrnhut in 5 days then I saw in the states in years of my life.

Sad, right?


So what can be done?

What can we do to change our attitudes?

What can we do to teach ourselves that we are NOT the center of the universe?

I got a glimpse of the answer as I slept in a cardboard box outside under the stars on Saturday night.
The Base Leader, Jon, a very nice German man and a devoted Christian man, told us about a place in Etheopia called Garbage city. A simply horrible place that I won't go to describe in this post, but another.
The goal of sleeping in a box to raise questions like the ones that came into my head.

"Would I be willing to step out of my comfort zone to help those in need?"

"Would I sleep in a cardboard box in a 10 acre dump to teach young boys with bleak looking futures that God loves them?"

"Will I deny myself and allow God to move in on my person %100?"

Will you do the same?

Will you allow God to step in and run the show?

Will you step out to teach people that God loves them?

Personally, I don't believe that any of you can do it if you still have your hand on the steering wheel of your life. Control must be surrendered to God first and foremost.

That's all for now.

Joe Laurvick