Sunday, November 1, 2009

The Glory and the Mess!'s been a while since I've been on here! So...I guess I owe you (LOL!). Let me explain something to all of you who follow our BLOG...we love talking about what's happening here and there is ALWAYS something to say. However, getting still or focused long enough to actually get it done, seems to be a huge struggle for all of us. It's not personal and it's certainly not because there's nothing to write's just planning it into our schedules and remembering to do it. So, it is the team's desire to be a little more proactive in this area and to post an entry at least twice a week from here on out. So...please be looking for the updates and we'll try our best to keep up with it.

Now...let me tell you about my last couple of weeks...wild, but wonderful; exhausting and exhilarating; miraculous but messy. I still haven't captured the paradox for you, but in telling a few stories, hopefully it will help paint the picture.

Me Tteaching on the DTS
Almost three weeks ago I spent a week teaching on the local Youth With a Mission (YWAM) base here in Barbados. YWAM is the largest missionary organization in the world at present and is about to celebrate its 50th birthday. I spent nearly 7 years on staff with them based in Amsterdam and loved it in nearly every way. Since I've been living in Atlanta I've been still connected to the mission through teaching on various training schools they offer to people. So, this week I was teaching on the Discipleship Training School (DTS) which is the entry point for anyone wishing to participate long term in YWAM. I taught on the subject of "Dealing with the Past." The main focus was understanding how we come to believe what we do about ourselves, God and others based on our experiences in life. I taught on subjects like "Why Do We Do What We Do?"; Emotions and Beliefs; Forgiveness; and Identity. It was a powerful week and also very challenging for many of them as their "understanding" was shaken and challenged sometimes at the core. However, in the end, I had some amazing feedback about how many of them had come to see themselves totally different and as the true "beloved sons and daughters" of God that they are. Cool!

An amazing God-connection happened during the week on the DTS as well. One of the young gals on the staff of the school had her mom visit during class that week. They are from Barbados and "mom" (Jasmay) is a school teacher and local preacher. Towards the middle of the week she began telling me of what a divine appointment the week had been for her. She said, "I think this week was more for me than anyone else." As we chatted a bit I learned a little about her life and her experience in the church. In the end, we recognized clearly that this intersection of our lives was no coincidence. So, we're going to get together soon (for coffee of course!) and she has asked me to come speak at the church. In my heart is a desire to watch what Father has planned in our connecting, not just for us, but even for how BGF and this local fellowship might have a future relationship. Wouldn't that be spectacular?

As well as teaching that week I was also still with the WAVE groups in the evenings, meeting with the leadership of BGF and those with whom I'm mentoring. you can was a very full week. And, at the end of it, as we were having a Project Day with Wave #3, I jumped on a plane back to the USA in order to speak at a retreat in Minnesota and just catch up on life in Woodstock. It was a very full and fast week.

I spoke Sunday morning at Grace Life church (after only getting to bed around 2am so I was a little fuzzy) catching them up on life in Barbados and the wonderful privilege it has been so far. I shared that morning on the ever-pursuing love of Jesus, coming to us to convince us at every moment of His delight in us. It was a good morning. From there, it was people as much as I could fit in (along with a trip to the dentist to crown a broken tooth!). I was able to be with both of The Rides and my Wednesday night Grace group. So good to see everyone and hear about their journeys of late. In between I was shopping for all the stuff we "NEEDED" back here and preparing for the retreat in Minnesota. Like I said, crazy week, but oh so rich!

Me Teaching on the Retreat

The Wonderful Ladies of Open Arms COG

I landed in Minnesota to a pretty amazing snowfall. It didn't stick, but it was coming down. I liked that even though it was pretty dang cold to my Barbados adjusted thermostat. The theme of the retreat was "Amazing Grace!" Now I'm sure you must have know what a struggle it was for me to speak on that - LOL! I had such fun with these ladies right from the start (we played BUNKO the first night - and I was the champion - and it took so much SKILL - right!). I concentrated throughout the weekend on Grace is...Jesus! We looked at how He came to us to reveal life and grace to us, completely as a gift, totally because He wanted us free, and to give us a miraculous destiny in Him and through Him. All throughout the retreat I was overwhelmed at the preciousness of His presence with us and His revelation happening in the hearts of us all. What an amazing bunch of ladies these dear Saints are and I felt so fortunate to have those three days with them.

By the lake at the retreat center

Then began the long (and I do mean LONG) journey back to Barbados. I sat at the airport in Minneapolis for over 5 hours waiting for my plane to take off. Finally arrived in Atlanta around 12:15am (and of course it took them 45 minutes to get the luggage to us weary passengers) only to get in bed at 2:15am. Was up at 7am to make my final dentist appointment and get packed up for my return to Barbados. The flight from Atlanta made it early to Miami and I even had three seats to myself. However, after arriving in Miami I soon realized the plane to Barbados was not going to leave on time. And, it was again a long and frustrating wait, and again it was a 2am bedtime once actually getting back. And, we had the morning WAVE the next day so no sleeping in! But, despite the long trek I was thrilled to be back.

This past week has been so good, and once again, very full. It was GREAT to be back with the WAVE groups, catch up on what was happening in their lives, and just be together. Along with that I've met with individuals and heard more specifically what God has been up to in their journey, and it's nothing short of a miraculous mess. Yep, messy and miraculous all at once. Can you relate?

Often times we have a perception of the way life in Jesus is supposed to go. Surely it might be a bit of a struggle when we begin, after all we're only rookies...but, after a while, most certainly it will begin to look at least a little like we know what we're doing. However, I think that's deception at its best. Life (in Christ and on earth) was never supposed to be "together", tidy, and/or perfectly controlled. However, most of us, ok, well ALL of us, have at some time bought into the idea that if we just work at it hard enough and long enough it will get there at some point. So, we live with this elusive (and unobtainable) goal somewhere out in the future, and we spend our time and effort to just even just get one little bit closer, only to find the horizon is a lot further away than we had originally determined. And so we redouble our efforts and try again...and fail again...and try again...and fail again! It's a ridiculous and insidious cycle! But, it's NOT Life.

Yes, the journey can be a grand adventure and a grand mess all at the same time. That's what makes it amazing and Jesus the miracle worker. If it were as simple as us getting it all together and making "right" choices, we wouldn't have needed a Savior and we wouldn't have chosen independence from God. We would all be living in the Garden of Eden, naked and unashamed. But, that's not our reality. We are inheritors of THE LIE and and without the mystery of the Living Christ in us we would be bound to live by it forever. BUT GOD! Just at the right time...He came and brought us, in us and now through us...IN CHRIST. But, living out of that Life is a process (some call it the "P" word around here!). And, it is often messy. However, it's no surprise to God and He is completely able to deal with the mess, and believe it or not, He doesn't even need your help to do so. Spend some time with that thought for a while.

So, a new week begins here in Barbados, on the Wave, in my life and yours. I wonder what it will hold? I really don't know but more than ever I'm believing it's going to be GREAT! (I sound like Tony the Tiger!). So, relax, enjoy the moments that make your heart come alive, embrace the struggle that brings your self-sufficiency to naught, and most of all, let it all remind you of the ONE who thinks so highly of you that He calls you His Child! And I don't know about you, but the last time I was around a child, it was not without dirty hands and faces, toys strewn all about, and lots of spills and falls...but, the delight and laughter within it, couldn't make me wish for a clean and organized life...not one bit. Till next time...

1 comment:

  1. Thank you, Lolo for this wonderful reminder about life!!! You are's always messy in one way or another, and that's what makes it worth it!!!!