God’s Word

This weeks speaker was Alan Dunbar. He spoke on God’s word. He taught us how we can search back through documents of times past to prove that the Bible is legit. He also told a lot of stories of archeological finds that prove the old testament isn’t merely stories but is actually true and these people really lived and the things that we read about really truly happened. It was fascinating but honestly? I was pretty bored all week:) I would enjoy going to the Holy Lands and seeing these things for myself but sitting in class simply hearing about them wasn’t something I really enjoyed. But I must say, knowing that they actually have bits of rocks with greek writing on it, that says the names of some Bible people is pretty cool.:)

This week was short because of Thanksgiving. We had lectures Monday morning and afternoon, Tuesday morning and evening and Wednesday morning. So Wednesday after 12:00 we were free to do whatever we pleased till 8:00 Monday morning! YAY!:) Thats pretty exciting:) Some of the students actually went home to be with their families for Thanksgiving, while others (like us:) had their families join them here. And the ones that stayed on the base got invitations to the homes of some of the staff for a Thanksgiving meal. The staff also planned some activities to fill the long weekend. These included: A movie at the Wilkes (DTS leaders) on Wednesday night. Going to the Christmas Parade in Kalispell on Friday night and ice skating on Saturday night. So I think everyone will have a fun weekend and will be refreshed for our last week of lectures.:)

As for us… My family is here!:) And its AWESOME!:) Wednesday afternoon we went to Wal-mart and got the rest of the things we need for Thailand!:) That was exciting! Then Wed. evening we came over to the cabin my family rented for the weekend. It is beautiful! Inside and out. It has huge glass windows that overlook the lake and with the mountains in the background. It is a gorgeous view. My family arrived around 4:15 Thursday morning.  Some headed straight to bed while some stayed up till almost 6:30. Eventually I think everyone got to bed but by 8:00 everyone was up and ready to go again:) We didn’t do much all day other then chill here at the house.

Lakenzie wasn’t sure what to think. I got her out of bed at 6:00 because everyone could wait no longer to see her!:) She laid against me and just stared at all of them, she didn’t utter a word, but Josiah did eventually get a smile out of her. Eventually I took her back to bed and when she got up the second time she was all excited to see them and had big smiles and lots of happy gibberish.

So now we will enjoy the rest of this weekend and then my family will leave on Sunday night or Monday morning (they can’t decide:) Then we have one more week of lectures and we will be packing up to go to Thailand. We leave in a little over a week and the feeling is bitter sweet. We are so ready to move on now because after sitting in lectures for weeks and weeks ones brain starts feeling foggy and overloaded. But believe it or not we actually became rather fond of our two tiny rooms and the community living where we share everything with everyone:) Oh and by the way… We finally hit the halfway mark for this five month adventure!:)

Anyway, I’m sitting at the table in the kitchen and as people are getting up one by one it becomes harder and harder to focus on writing this blog. So I hope you all had a lovely Thanksgiving!:)

And that concludes week 10! Be Blessed!

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The Foundations of Christianity

Ron and Judy Smith were our speakers this week.They founded the YWAM School of Biblical Studies (SBS), and they are currently serving here at YWAM Montana. SBS is a nine month school where you study the Bible by going through it verse by verse and also going back in time to when the books were written. You learn about the culture the book was written to etc. Its pretty fascinating:)

This week Ron and Judy taught on The Foundations of Christianity and also spoke just a little bit on Spiritual Warfare. This was fascinating to me because I never really knew much about Spiritual Warfare, I did believe that it existed, but had very little knowledge on it. They explained it quite simply, instead of it being this crazy, out of control, demonic episode that we often picture it to be, it can be found in the simple little everyday experiences. The conflict we have with each other? This is a form of spiritual warfare. Last week with Jackie Pullinger was a powerful week for us, this week a lot of people were tired and had a hard time focusing in lectures, it seemed as if our hearts just weren’t quite as into as they are most times. This was explained to us as spiritual warfare. The devil did not approve of the impacting week we had so this week he put in double the effort to throw us off track! Isn’t that crazy??!! So we learned that spiritual warfare comes in ways that we don’t even realize we’re in it until we’re caught up in it. But if we know how it looks we can recognize it for what it is and be so much more equipped to fight the battle. Oh and the good news? Jesus already won the battle. He laid down his life on the cross and defeated the devil. All we need to do is believe and follow him until that day when the final spiritual battle is fought and the devil is bound forever. Interesting fact of the week… Did you know that the devil did not know what Jesus was doing on the cross? He actually thought that when Jesus died he had won the battle! But in reality he lost in a big way! The devil might be mighty but God is ALMIGHTY!

The Foundations of Christianity. They taught that if you don’t understand the first 3 chapters of Genesis, you don’t understand christianity, Because if you don’t understand the fall then you wont understand the need for a Savior. It was rather fascinating going over these three chapters because we know the story well but the details in it are fascinating if you take the time to pick it apart. Did you ever consider… ‘Where was Adam when the snake tempted Eve?’ He was standing right there and he sinned with his eyes wide open. The snake actually ‘deceived’ Eve, and she in that moment was actually blinded from the truth and believed the lie that was presented. Adam on the other hand recognized it as a lie but he still ate the fruit! This doesn’t make Eve better then Adam because, ‘How did she become deceived in the first place? Yea, I just found all that rather fascinating:)

How about Thailand? We leave here in about 2 1/2 weeks! Thinking about it scares me a bit. Ok actually it scares me a lot! Because we have a 14 hour flight and thats 14 hrs all at once. and we have, I think, 3 layovers with only a couple short flights between them. Heres the scary part… how do you get a one year old (who thinks she has to be in her “own’ bed to sleep) to sleep in an airplane or at an airport?:/ Oh, and did I mention that she turns into a fright if she doesn’t sleep?:) And when we are finally done with the airplane thing I think we’ll have a day or two or three in Bangkok, (the city we are landing in) so that will help a little, but then we will have a 12 hr bus ride to our final destination. And Im not sure how that will go either:/ She will probably do absolutely wonderful, but thinking about it makes my heart skip a beat because I imagine the terror of having my child screaming at the top of her lungs in an airplane and I can’t calm her down and everyone starts glaring at me and I can’t leave the room!:-p Haha:) Once we are in Thailand I think we will have a pretty full schedule so that could be interesting as well. And, yes, even with all these uncertainties we are still super excited to go to Thailand and meet the natives and share the gospel!:) And once again we believe if God called us to it, he will help us through it!

Life here is good, this week was a lot more chilled and less busy then last week. Last night we had cafe night. The lecture hall was set up with couches and tables. Then we enjoyed all kinds of different coffees and some snacks, and everyone got to share their tracks, some through videos or pictures. And the dance and music tracks performed live on the stage. It was so much fun.

Miss Kenzie is at a very interesting stage right now. Since we are here she started talking a lot and is now saying complete sentences and says almost anything. She can express herself very well. The challenge right now is every time we tell her no, she can’t do something, she will whine: “Why not?’ And trying to explain gets us nowhere because to whatever we say she whines again ‘Why?’:/ But I love this stage! I love watching her personality come to life:)

And that concludes week nine! Be Blessed!

Spiritual Gifts and the Poor

Jackie Pullenger. Maybe her name means nothing to you (it didn’t to me before DTS) but she’s a well known and respected missionary who serves the poor in the slums of Hong Kong. (She also wrote the book: ‘Chasing the Dragon’) At the age of 21 she got a one way ticket to Hong Kong and now at almost 70 she still lives there. Apparently it’s a huge honor to have her speak at a DTS because she feels if she doesn’t do the work she teaches about, her teaching holds no value. So having her agree to come is almost a miracle:) I think every single speaker we had mentioned the fact that she was coming. “Jackie Pullenger! How’d you manage to get her to come?!” So everyone was excited to meet this amazing lady but at the same time everyone was a little nervous and on edge about it to because the stories we heard about her, well they just sounded a bit intimidating! Once we met her we learned she really isn’t that ‘scary’ because she has a big heart and you can feel her love for the people around her. BUT like the stories we had heard she really is a bit intimidating. She is a no-nonsense kind of person, who speaks her mind and is very much in tune with the Holy Spirit. If she feels you are holding back when God is asking you to do something, she won’t hesitate to let you know that, ‘that simply won’t do!’ But even though she’s opinionated and outspoken she’s not forceful because she still believes, that its between you and God, and if you’re saying no to God, well, u shouldn’t do that! But thats your problem! Not hers!:) So it was an interesting week. Instead of 5 lectures(12 hours) we had 8 lectures(22 hours) So she did almost double what the other speakers did, and I think everyone was pretty much completely exhausted by Friday night. And that’s not counting the times when lecture should have ended at 9:30PM but went till 10:00PM and then there was worship and/or praying till 11:30PM. But it was so worth it. We learned so much.

She taught on the spiritual gifts that are listed in 1 Corinthians 12:28. She had very detailed teaching on this, and it was awesome because it made sense. Often it seems teachings on this passage leave me with more questions then answers. She says you only have these gifts from time to time. They are never permanent. Today the Holy Spirit might give you the gift of healing because theres someone he wants you to pray for, that he wants to be healed. Tomorrow you might pray for someone and they won’t be healed because God only gave you that gift for that one person yesterday. Today you might speak in tongues(publicly) we can always pray in tongues privately. Or do a miracle or heal someone, tomorrow u might not.

What is speaking tongues? When do u speak in tongues? When your heart feels heavy but you don’t know what words to pray, thats when you pray in tongues (which is praying through the Holy Spirit). Publicly speaking in tongues is ok but should be done with great caution. It should only be done when someone has the interpretation. Because if someone is there that doesn’t know about tongues, they might feel excluded, and that isn’t loving, and as christians we need to be loving!

Thursday evening Jackie was speaking at Canvas Church in Kalispell. Normally we have a Thursday night service here at the base and its open to any locals that want to come, but since it was Jackie they were expecting lots of people, therefore it was in a church because then we would have more room:) Before we went she told us that since she was speaking to us all week it was now our turn to be her ministry team. So after the service we got to pray for the people that came out. And Jackie got to stand up front and coordinate. And coordinate she did!:) She pointed to a guy in the crowd ‘You! In the red jacket!’ she said. The guy awkwardly looked around before realizing ‘she really is talking to me!’ So he went up front for prayer and I’m not sure exactly what she said but something about ‘that he will do great things for God! She also pointed out a few other people and told them what she thinks God is saying: ‘You! You will walk a path that no-one has yet walked! I’m pretty sure people were probably sinking down a little deeper into their seats thinking ‘ I hope she doesn’t notice me!’:) Like I said she’s a bit intimidating but she speaks truth! And we were blessed to have the opportunity to hear her speak.

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This made me smile:) When it got cold outside she was not about to wear a beanie! She didn’t like having ‘that thing on her head at all! But as time went on she got used to it and now she’ll wear it any time she can:) And if Checkers lets his lay around she’ll pick it up and wear it. she calls it a ‘hap’. We call it her hat or cap, so she decided why the confusion?! Ill just call it a hap!:)

It got COLD around here! This week the temp was mostly in the teens. But Kenzie didn’t mind. She still wanted to go outside!:/ We would eat lunch then head back to our dorm and since it was so cold we would try to hurry, but she was never in a hurry! She seemed to think ‘whats the big rush, its awesome out here!:) I really do wonder how long she could stay outside before she’d decide that it really is cold!

The countdown is officially on: 12 days till Thanksgiving and then my family is coming! And 3 1/2 weeks before outreach! Wow!

And that concludes week 8! Be blessed!IMG_3851

Holy Spirit

This week’s speaker was Nick Gough and he taught on The Holy Spirit. His ministry ,mostly though, is prophecy and miraculous healing which, of course, is done through The Holy Spirit. While it was incredible, it was also a ‘heavier’ topic and that made this week rather emotionally draining. Honestly, I decided, it was easier being an ignorant christian even though ,I know, that’s also a dangerous place to be. But before coming here there was a lot of things about God that we knew nothing about, and we have no real desire to go back to that, but now that we know these things, our lives really are forever changed and I know that we will probably never again be able to, without guilt, live just a normal, everyday, go to work, make money and follow the latest fads kind of life. Because God’s work is not done, and we are needed and called to the mission field. Nick spoke of healings that he has seen take place, these things happen in todays world too. Why don’t we see them? Is it because America is so self-efficient that we think we don’t need God? We have some of the best hospitals, Doctors etc. so do we think if they can’t fix this or that, then that’s just how it is and it will always be like that? Is it because we forget to even ask God for healing? But these things really do happen today even in America. Nick spoke of several people in his church who were healed, through prayer, of cancer or other diseases, defects etc.

He also teaches a lot on phrophecy. When he does street evangelizing, he’ll ask God, who do u want me to speak to? And what do u want me to say? He then walks up to the person he feels God is leading him to, and then proceeds to tell them whats happening in their life right now, to which they most times start crying and ask how did you know? And then, this gives him the opportunity to share the gospel because who isn’t interested in knowing a God that ,not only, knows all about your life, but also sends someone to encourage you in one of your darkest moments. And we can do this too, you and me, or anyone else that is willing to step out on faith and listen to The Holy Spirit’s guidance. And yes, It’s possible to get it wrong. Nick shared a story about one time when he prophesied over five different people and they all said, “No, that’s not my story. So he asked God, what’s this all about? And he felt God was saying ‘ I wanted to remind you, that you can only do this through me, it’s not something you are capable of doing on your own.

Life here is still good, living in the hills of Montana is something, I think, we could do permanently:) The base is located at the foot of a small mountain and theres a huge lake about a 7 minute walk from here. And theres pine trees everywhere, theres other trees as well but mostly its forests of pine trees and heres the cool part, they turn orange in the fall! And it is beautiful! I always thought all pine trees were evergreens, not true! some of them actually change their color:) So yes, fall in Montana is GORGEOUS! We don’t actually have snow here yet, but if u drive down the highway you can see snow capped mountains in the distance, like I said, ITS BEAUTIFUL:) And the sky is never-ending, It sits on top of the earth like a huge dome. And I think its always glamorous looking:) At home we might see a few clouds in the small space of sky we can see, but ,here, theres ,almost always, streaks of clouds, everywhere you look and its beautiful! Just take my word for it because its really indescribable, you pretty much need to see it for yourself:)

As for us, right now we are counting down the days till outreach because it is coming up in about 4 weeks!:) Which, means our time of DTS is also winding down, (I know we aren’t even halfway through yet:) but that doesn’t stop the question of ‘what are we doing after this?’ from coming up. What we know for sure, right now, is that since our house didn’t sell, we are definitely moving back to PA for now. But will we stay there? If God wants us to, yes, we will. But we feel pretty certain that God’s plans for us are not in PA. Where exactly he wants us to go, we honestly have no idea. But we feel pretty sure, that he wants us to go home for awhile then come back to the mission field. Maybe that means working here at YWAM Montana? Maybe it means helping pioneer  the YWAM base in Thailand? Or maybe it means getting involved in the work that’s being done in Taiwan? We really have no idea where God wants us to go, but we feel, he’s saying, just take a day at time, when the time is right, I will reveal my plans for your future.

Last night we had ‘giving night’. The students whose school fees still weren’t covered totaled to $15,710. As each person gave what they felt led too give, the number kept coming down, after 90 minutes the amount of money still owed hit $0.00!! Praise God! Because it’s beyond me how a bunch of broke people could come up with $15,000 but God is good:):):) There was also giving done in the form of encouragement notes, art, jewelry, and a couple people even gave away their guitars, both of them as they gave away their most prized possession, the amount on the board that they still owed, started going down by huge amounts at a time, it was really mazing to be a part of. And the celebration afterwards was crazy, as the whole school ended up doing some crazy dancing:)

And that concludes week 7! Be Blessed!