Joy is the Victory

rejoice

Oh what fun the past few months have been. I’m so glad that though there are spiritual struggles and battles, we have so much to celebrate. Filling a bedroom with balloons for a welcome home surprise, decorating office desks with streamers for birthday and anniversaries are some ways to celebrate the Lord’s faithfulness in the lives of GFA family! God is so good and He gives us so much to rejoice over.

Rejoice in the Lord always. Again I will say rejoice! Philippians 4:4

I struggle to remember to rejoice, often, though I know that I’m saved and that the Holy Spirit dwells within me but I forget so easily that the battle is the Lord’s and He’s already won! I get caught up in areas where I fail that I forget to rejoice in the areas where I have experienced victory.

Being at GFA Canada where we celebrate continually is a blessing. Whether it is a birthday, anniversary or a Friday, there’s always something we are thanking the Lord for, through cake, decorations, or songs. In the Old Testament, the children of Israel were given feast days in which they were to remember the Lord’s mercy and deliverance. I think God knew we needed to have these days in order to rejoice, so we wouldn’t dwell on the negative and continue striving in our own strength.

Nehemiah said, “Go and enjoy choice food and sweet drinks, and send some to those who have nothing prepared. This day is holy to our Lord. Do not grieve, for the joy of the Lord is your strength.” Nehemiah 8:10

Written by a Discipleship Program Student

Does Fashion matter?

Does-Fashion-Matter-TD15-02125I haven’t yet figured out why girls go to the bathroom in pairs/groups, but I do know that we often go shopping in twos or more so that we can get a second (or third, or fourth) opinion on an outfit – to ask “Should I buy this?” Our friends often hold a place of an advisor.

The other day I saw a jacket that I really liked and was reasonably priced. Now, you must understand that I am not a fashion-conscious person at all and I hate clothes shopping, so if I see something I like that fits and is decently priced, I will buy it.

I wanted to get this jacket, but then I started thinking… do I really need it? No. But I really like it. The price is good. However, the money could be better used elsewhere. I would definitely wear it a lot and get the value’s worth of it. I went back and forth, and finally, I said, “God, should I get this?”

I’d never asked God for fashion advice before. (Not that I usually ask fashion advice much of anyone.) But I realized that this is what it means to seek God in … everything. Even in something that seemingly is as trivial as “Should I buy this jacket?”, if I ask God whether it honours Him, well, the question itself honours Him if I follow His (fashion) advice.

—School of Discipleship student

Adventures in Toronto

As School of Discipleship students we have a pretty packed schedule: class multiple times a week, doing assignments in the evenings, prayer meetings almost every day, working full time at Gospel For Asia, and then community service projects or evangelism on the weekends.

A few weeks ago my classmates and I also did some religion training sessions! We learned from people with Operation Mobilization about some different religions prevalent in Asia. We’re now better equipped to be witnesses for Christ here in North America, and also to better know how to pray.

Fun and Fellowship In Toronto

Since we were learning about Asian culture and religion, we spent part of one Saturday afternoon visiting downtown Toronto’s Asian community town! We dressed in the cultural clothing, visited some different shops, and also enjoyed a delicious Asian meal.

Fellowship In Toronto

Then we visited the CN Tower in Toronto!

From Texas to Toronto

We are both from Texas, so it was our first time visiting the CN Tower. Our group had a blast walking around downtown Toronto!

Fellowship Music and A Coffee Shop

Bible Reading

Tonight was the last night that my three roommates and I went out for a time of fellowship together as roommates. However, I think this (and the first time) was my favorite of all. We travelled to a coffee shop that a friend had visited a while back. We were all kind of dragging ourselves out the door because it has been a rather long week and our tiredness was catching up to us. Once we arrived, we all got ourselves some yummy snacks, coffee beverages and a small dinner, sat in the back of the cafe, and proceeded to talk, play games, and have a grand old time.

Soon, two men started to perform some live music, which was kind of loud, but rather enjoyable at the same time – though we had to talk louder so we could hear each other. We didn’t mind. My friend beat me at Ultimate Tic-Tac-Toe, we played a few rounds of Kings in the Corner, sang along with some of the songs the guys were playing, shared some goofy times of nonsense laughter, and then discussed what verses the Lord had been pointing out to us lately. Soon enough, we decided to put away the game of cards and read through a book of the Bible. Ephesians was chosen, and so we proceeded to read through it chapter by chapter (passing it to the next person at the start of a new chapter).

As we read through the Word of God, we stopped to comment on certain parts as they came up in our hearts. A lot of “AMEN!”s were said before we even finished the first chapter. It was so refreshing to open up this book after hearing two messages by Gayle Erwin who came to share some words of encouragement with the Gospel for Asia staff yesterday and this morning.

When the musicians took a break, one of the guys came back to our table (we had been applauding their music the whole time and so they decided to come say “hi”) and asked what we were doing. We told him that we were reading through Ephesians and he was glad to find out we were Christians as well.

As our time drew to a close (it was getting kind of late, and we were remembering how tired we were before discussing the Lord and His goodness) we closed the Word and drove home discussing how refreshing it is to meditate on His promises and remind ourselves of His truth.

Now it’s time for me to go to bed, but I wanted to reflect a little longer on this great time of fellowship that we had as roommates, but further than that, sisters in Christ. One Body. A Unity that can only be accomplished through the Spirit of the Lord that dwells in our hearts. I’d say this was a good way to “end” this chapter of my living situations, and I very much am looking forward to my next.

Thanks for listening!

Doing What We Do Best – Having a Good Time!

The School of Discipleship had a car wash for missions!

All the students paired up and walked the streets of Stoney Creek and
put flyers in people’s mailboxes for that coming Saturday.

flyers

We were all looking forward to washing cars since it was something we hadn’t
done all year!

students ready to wash away

I love doing outdoor activities and just working a long with my fellow students. We also had cookies and iced coffee that we had prepared and were selling for those who came by to get their car washed. We prayed for lots of cars to come and there was quite a few, not a lot – but it was still great! I personally prayed for a black 2012 Dodge (my favorite vehicle). And you wouldn’t believe it! YES the last vehicle that came by was…… A 2012 black DODGE! No joke! God is so good to us.

I am very blessed to make so many good memories this year! We do many different kinds of things and it always involves serving our great King! Praise Him forever, Amen?

So Much learning!

I am learning a ton of new things here at School of Discipleship…. but don’t worry…. I still do manage to have fun 🙂 Like today, for example… we got to start our house meeting before supper, then have a wonderful supper of barbequed burgers, macaroni salad, chips, and pickles….

Then, best of all 😉 ice cream, chocolate sauce and bananas for dessert 🙂 It was scrumptious!! While enjoying our dessert, we finished our house meeting. Tonight was an evening where a few of us girls were having tons of fun just being silly 🙂 After fooling around for a bit, we got down to doing our assignments…

Right now, we are going through the book Before You Hit the Wall, along with the booklet Learning to Pray, the combination of these two are called Spiritual Disciplines. Prayer is a huge part of the ministry of Gospel for Asia, and it is an area that I consistently need to work on at this point in my life. Going through this book has been quite helpful, it has given me quite a bit of head knowledge, but the issue is that now I need to get down to it and make the choice to apply what I am learning, otherwise this year will benefit me very little!

Sometimes the choices that we have in life can be aggravating, and we complain that we have too many, but then when we were not given as many choices…. we complained that we didn’t have enough choices! I am so glad that God is in heaven, and that He knows what we are in need of and what will be a hindrance to us! May God be praised!

 

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