Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Can you hear God's heart?

Do you ever feel the sadness inside of you? In your's not a feeling you want to stay in. But you do feel it, while it's there you want to explore it. To give it full expression.

Tonight I watched a film that has left me with this residue of sadness. It's called, “Beyond the gates.” It tells the story of what happened in Rwanda in 1994, when 800,000 Tutsis were killed by the Hootoos. The UN was there at a school. Because of the UN military presence at the school 2,500 Tutsi's took refuge inside the school. The UN was was told to pull out. There were Hootoo's waiting outside the gates ready to kill the ones waiting inside.

I saw reenactments of what happened...but the thing is it really did happen. When it happened it wasn't someone pretending...there wasn't fake blood...or sound effects. It REALLY happened. In our safe western society it is sooo hard to grasp. That it was real.

I can't place my finger on why I'm sad. What I sad about? Well in the story, there was a priest who lived through all this upheaval. He almost lost his faith, but when the UN pulled out, the white Europeans, he decided to stay. He stayed because that was where his soul was. He knew he was going to die...but he stayed anyways. He said that he felt God's love there more than anywhere else. He said God is here, and God is suffering. I think that's what made me sad.

It brought God down to earth. Down to the human level.

It made me think...

After the movie I looked at pictures of Israel. And I saw the Garden tomb. Some of my thoughts are why doesn't God stop stuff like that. I know it's because God wanted us to choose to freely love him. But I feel that isn't good enough. But than I know too God did allow Adam and Eve to sin...he could've stopped them.

Free will huh? I don't understand. Show me God...I guess Jesus freely laid his life down. He said He chose that. He didn't want to die, but He chose God's will. He said that he laid his life down of his own free will. Free will to love. Jesus ultimately chose love. He chose to love us because Adam and Eve couldn't choose to love God above themselves. So he stepped in to offer God's love to us again.

Will we do that and lay our life down for others? What does that look like? For some that means throwing off the comforts of the west and laying your life down for Refugees in Thailand...or teaching Art in a prison in Sierra Leone, or giving up time to love and minister to people. Laying your life down, ask God what that looks like for you? Are you doing what you can, what God is asking you to do. Are you choosing to love? Am I choosing to love?

I've read that the answer to suffering in the world is Jesus. Is Jesus. I am not saying he made the suffering I'm saying he is the answer to it.

I guess God chose to allow Adam and Eve to choose between God or ...what did they choose between...? God and sin. To believe God or not. The bottom line was freewill. Why? Because without freewill you cannot love.

Jesus through his freewill, came and laid his life down, to redeem our in a sense we're back at the garden again choosing between God and the apple....but we see what it has cost God. His bring us back into fellowship with Himself. The fully God and fully Man, Jesus Christ chose, as did Adam (Adam chose).... to in a sense go back to that moment when Adam fell...and eat the apple...and take the full punishment upon Himself.

He is the 2nd Adam.'s like history folded itself back upon itself and Jesus redeemed what Adam did. He did redeem what Adam now it's up to us to choose God or to choose the “apple”, to choose sin, to chose death ultimately.

But the 2nd death is so much worse than the 1st death. The 2nd death being hell...which we inherit, generational sin, unless we get adopted into Jesus' family...and inherit eternal life-the your seed the nations will be blessed, God told Abraham.

Even though our world is so evil...the 2nd death is far worse.
So where does this leave us with the question of suffering. Sometimes I don't think we can get answers to a specific question...but sometime we can get an answer that satisfies our heart.

God came and in all ways experienced our suffering through dying on a cross. He took the sin of the whole world on himself...that includes...all the killing, rape, genocides, holocausts, adultery, abortion, lust, greed, selfishness, lying, disobedience...that as a human race we have taken a part in. He carried it all to the cross.

As the world suffers even now God suffers... as I now sit here silently breathing...I can feel my chest rise and fall with every breath....God's breath rises and falls... and he feels and knows and sees all the suffering, all the individuals right now being beaten and raped, and killed....the blood cries out to him from the ground. He hears it. He feels it. He knows hurts Him. That's why he sent Jesus, to bring us into his kingdom and wipe away every tear....and so that we would know that Jesus was a man of grief and acquainted with sorrow. Deep calls to deep...the suffering of the world echoes inside God's heart....he is the only one that can fully encompass, fully feel it. Will we draw near to God and see where his heart beats and bleeds? It will hurt. Have you ever felt the heart of God? Would you choose to feel at least a part of what God is feeling? His heart...your heart...are they connected?

I know I am selfish. I know I do not fully embrace other people's sufferings.... callousness maybe?... I know i am finite...I know I can't solve all the problems of the world. But I do want to be do what God would have me do.... are you available? Are you willing to be used?

Part of God's heart is justice and healing for the nations... is that your heart?
Freewill you remember....He wants us to get involved...because He gave us freedom.... we can either abuse it or embrace it and choose to bring God into the situation- the situations of a dying, starving, broken, bleeding world.

He wants us to see what He sees...He wants us to be the hands and feet of Jesus and go to a dying and broken world. Jesus was taken from the earth but he left us. His body to go into all the world...and heal the broken hearted (Is. 61) to bind up the wounds. How many of you have taken that literally....I hardly have.

When Jesus walked this earth he went to the diseased...the broken the lame...he healed them. He saw them, he loved them. He came to seek and to save the lost. But now he has us, his Christians, “little Christ's” to do the same. But are we doing that? Are we going? Are we going.....

We're told to love in deed and truth...not just our words.

I know it's overwhelming to look at the world's realize how many many people are killed, are beaten are abused.... but if we do what we can do... we can't change the whole one day... don't focus on the enormity of it...maybe for a little...but listen to God's heartbeat and see where your's lines up with his. Follow it. Go to that place, bring Jesus to that place. And you can and you will change somebodies world.

I know right now I feel overwhelmed by it. But if everyone did their little bit.... we could change the world. If we all realize as we do our little part, we can change the world. The body of Christ must come together and walk in the footprints of Jesus. We are his disciples right...why don't we look like him.

Why doesn't the dust of our Rabbi our teacher cover us? Aren't we suppose to be walking so close to him that the dust of the roads he walks covers us? He left us, His body here to change the world. To go out and do what He did. Just go...the world is waiting. Be the answer.

Friday, November 16, 2007

Marie in Manhattan

Hey guys! Wow! I'm finally updatin' ya'll. Yup I've been living in NYC-Manhattan since Sept. 15th. So that's 2 months and one day exactly that I've been on staff with YWAM.Being staff isn't just a lil' walk in the park. I'm also learning alot from the classes (we have our teachers come in. We get people that are doing what they teach, what they are truly active in, unlike some professors in college that just teach "theory" on something they've never done.)

And I believe being in NYC is also a more pressurized place spiritually so I feel that...especially in my own weaknesses. So pray for me along these lines. That God will really bring me victory in these areas. And too just the dynamics of the school has it's own pressure. I live with 11 girls in a 4 bedroom apartment and if the whole school is there, than we have 16 people hangin' out...there's not alot of personal breathing space.

Let me give you a bit o' info on our students. We have 8 girls, one from England, another from Switzerland and the rest from the US. We have 3 guys; one from Canada, one from Australia and the 3rd from the US. Our leaders are originally from Swedan and Australia. And than me and the other staff girl are American.

The part of the city we live in is more of a spanish speaking part of town. Alot of people from the Dominican Republic. You know those shirts everyone has from NYC, that says "I [heart] NY" they have "I [heart] DR" (Dominican Republic.)I've had some interesting experiences already.

Some old guy told me he loves me, "I love you with my soul. I love you with my mind. I love you with my body." Than I saw him days later and he told me he loved me it's not mutual don't worry.(weirdo):)

One time I helped a bit after a drunk fell down the subway stairs and a lady called 9-11. He was stumbling at first when we saw him, then he just fell head first down the stairs. He was bleeding out of his nose, he probably broke it actually. There was a puddle of blood on the stairway. Then emergency people showed up. It was kinda sad how they reacted because he was "another" drunk to them. I bet they've had alot of calls to help drunks that get hurt cause they're drunk.

We've also been involved in some ministries in the area. We've joined in with an international ministry and a ministry to women and children from a shelter.
One of the ministries to the women we worked with was this big Halloween party. We had over one hundred people there. It was crazy and people every where, and loud too. I did face painting for awhile there, like one or two hours.

One of the things I like about NYC is traveling everywhere on the subway. Hey I like it. I like seeing and being around all those people. It's definately very different than being at home and having my own car and drivin' everywhere by myself or with only 1-3 more people.

It's almost like living in a bubble, a BIG Manhattan bubble. We're like these little moles that travel every where under ground. Runnin' here and there and back again, stumbling and running over each a frenzied unfocused busyiness. So right now I'm at home for Thanksgiving break. Actually the whole school is here too. We're driving up from a big conference down in North Carolina. We divided the travel time into 2 days.

So my leader gave me permission to stay here and not travel up with every one. I'll be missing 3 days of teaching this next week, but I'll be here with my family! God is teaching me alot and expanding my territory and my soul. It's been good.

Keep me in your prayers. I'll be back in NYC not this Sunday but next. Come visit me!