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!
“Lay Me Down” by Chris Tomlin has been like the theme song of the 2013 January class of School of Discipleship. At the beginning of the year we all went to different churches together and almost every Sunday we heard this song playing. Either we would sing it in the service, hear it playing after the service, or someone had it in their head and was singing it.
At first, we just thought it was a great song. I had never even heard it before coming to the School of Discipleship. Then, as we continued to hear it we figured maybe God was speaking to us through it. After hearing/ singing it over and over and over again, I thought, “Hey – this could be our theme song!”
The whole song talks about giving up all we are for the Lord to use however He chooses. The motto for School of Discipleship is “Can you die to yourself for one year?” I think this song is the answer to that question. Not only does this song talk about laying our lives down for Christ, but it says “It will be my joy to say, Your will, Your way, ALWAYS!” Those are some pretty powerful words and they have challenged me a lot. Am I willing to joyfully lay down my entire life and say “Lord, whatever You want me to do and wherever You want me to go, my answer will always be, yes Lord, send me?”
This is what Jesus Christ, the Son of God, did for me and you. What choice do we have, but to give it back and die for Him. He has promised the greatest reward if we do. Praise the Lord for salvation and the sacrifice of Jesus’ blood on that cruel cross.
May our prayer be, “I lay me down, I’m not my own, I belong to you alone, lay me down, lay me down. Take this life and let it shine, lay me down, lay me down, Jesus.” – Chris Tomlin
Singing around the campfire while camping!
I recently had the privilege to travel to South Asia with my fellow School of Discipleship students to see some of the work God is doing through Gospel For Asia. Something that stood out to me about the trip was the contrasting realities I saw – while I observed signs of extreme poverty and suffering, I also witnessed the light and hope of Christ, shining through ministries like Bridge of Hope, as well as people like the women missionaries, bible college students and pastors. The distinction between the rich and poor was at times, pretty surreal, and was well demonstrated one day as our group drove through some busy city streets. At one point on the drive, I looked outside my left window to see a school bus full of children from seemingly well-to-do families. At the same time, outside my right window, were a few children running along with the traffic, stopping every once in a while to perform a song and dance, most likely to make some money. It was a bit difficult to process, but that experience and others like it have given me better understanding of the reality faced by so many in South Asia. I praise God for the opportunity to have had visited the mission field, as well as for the privilege to have been a part of the work He has been doing through Gospel For Asia throughout this past year.
“How Much is God Worth to You?”
This question has been rolling around in my mind recently since I have been going through the book ‘True Discipleship’ by William MacDonald… I think it is a very good one to ask as well as a hard one to apply!
I have also had to ask myself, am I really willing to forsake all for my relationship with God? I really want to be able to do this, but it is something that is not achieved overnight! (Or at least not for me!) I take encouragement from the message Pastor Danny Punnose shared with us when he was here. He shared with us that although willow trees grow fast, they have a very short lifespan of 20-30 years! In comparison, California Redwoods take years and years to mature, but they last for 500-700 years! This analogy shows us that even when we feel that we are taking an excruciatingly long amount of time to learn a lesson, we can be confident that if it is done in God’s strength and for His glory, it will surely most last! Praise the Lord! This message was and still is a great encouragement to me to continue pursuing a deeper and more sacrificial relationship toward God. I hope this will encourage you in your relationship with God as well. God Bless!!:)
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.
We were all looking forward to washing cars since it was something we hadn’t
done all year!
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?
Grace is so amazing! It completely boggles my mind! I don’t understand how the God of the universe could bestow grace upon us humans. To think, that because of His grace, I get to spend eternity with Him forever! If he would have given justice, hell would have been our destination after death. If it was mercy, God might have let us just live in an earth state for eternity. But no, He gave us…me grace! I can look forward to being in His presence till the end of time and beyond!
Looking forward to being with Him forever is staggering as it is, but I also have the chance to live in freedom until I wait for that day. His grace frees me to be no longer have to obey the enemy with his temptations, or my own fallen flesh. Through grace, I can live free from the bondage of these things, as well as my own pride and legalistic thinking.
Knowing all this, my mind (like I said before) is completely blown! I am reminded that the Lord loves me (I will never be able to understand how much He does) This makes me want to spend all my time with Him, alone. Just the two of us. To have no distractions keeping me away from knowing Him more.
This amazing grace is, well…amazing to know about, but it is so much better to live! Jesus has helped me to, more or less, chill out. I tend to be very legalistic, and when I make a mistake, I feel like a failure (which is not true). As I apply this grace, I am reminded that I will make mistakes, but God does not view me as a failure. He views me as what I will be when He is done perfecting me. I can’t tell you how encouraging and relieving that is!
When I am reminded of this grace that God has shown towards me, I find it easier to have grace for others as well. I need to continue to have grace for others, because the Lord is working in their lives as He is working in mine. He might be working on different characteristics or sins hidden deep down inside. I should let God be God and not judge my brother or sister because they might not have the same opinion on the issue being discussed. Grace gives me room to respect, and even more importantly, to accept their opinion. To have an open mind that is ready to hear different views on a topic. I know, and am reminded how much I didn’t deserve God’s grace, and this allows me to give grace to others.
I can’t say that I have attained the grace yet in all areas of my life, but I sincerely hope that one day, I will be able to say I am completely free. Free in Christ, free indeed. Free at last.