Tuesday, August 31, 2010

It's been WAY too long!!

I am SO sorry it’s been so long since I’ve updated all of you!!! It’s been CRAZY busy, and It’s only getting busier!!! It’s INSANE! But great! :) Please pray for strength and rest for me! It’s already been really rough only having one day a week to rest, but now I don’t even have that!! I already got sick last week, and I pray it’s the last time while I’m here, but who knows with my schedule!! So please just pray for protection from sickness and strength and alertness during my VERY long days!!

SO… here’s what’s been going on!! Where to even start??? I GOT A JOB!!! :) Every wed. from 9-5, I will be at the church taking care of the Children’s minister’s baby boy, Orlando. I’m not sure how much I’ll be making yet, but the Lord’s provided the job, I know he’ll provide the amount I need, and if not here, he’ll provide the time and the place to get another job. YAY GOD!!! :)

Church has been incredible!! God’s just been DOING work in my heart and with things I didn’t know still chained me!! Not there yet, but I know he’s gonna free me from them SOON!! It’s been hard, but that’s why he brought me here!! I have SO many things I didn’t even know I needed to sort through!

There’s lots of stuff going on around me that’s testing my personal beliefs and it’s been REALLY trying challenging, but it’s got me digging and finding the truth for myself and shaping MY thoughts. It’s been a struggle, to even find the time to personally seek out my questions, but it’s been good when I have!!

We’ve got the new CD recording the first weekend in November and I’m PUMPED!!!!!!! :) It’s gonna be awesome!! I can’t wait!! The only issue with Worship here, is it doesn’t go long enough!!

Honestly though, I can’t even begin to explain ALL that God’s doing!! He’s testing and trying me in ways I didn’t think I needed to grow in!! He’s FOR REAL!!!!!!!!!! Teaching me how to love ALLLLLLL people!!! Different personalities, different ages, different hygiene, different cultures, different understandings!! It’s been SO hard!! Especially Saturday mornings with the Embrace team (going to nursing homes) I HATE it, but I know God has me there!! I’m just praying and asking that it’s not longer than it has to be!! OH, ONLY JESUS!!! Have you ever had those?? ONLY because Jesus is putting you there, are you capable… this is my ONLY YOU JESUS!!!

OH gracious!! It’s past the roses and green pastures!! Still in them, but the shock and newness of them have worn off, it’s becoming familiar in a sense, but God’s still God!!

It’s been really weird for it to wear off, because it’s HILLSONG, It’s AUSTRALIA… my DREAM and ambition for the last 5 years, and it’s here!! I’m here!! It’s weird!! Honestly, God’s teaching me that things WILL wear off, regardless of how long we’ve wanted them!! Things will become familiar, BUT He’s still God regardless! He’s still placed us there, he’s still IN control, and has purpose!! He still died, and I’m still unworthy without him!! The issues I had back home WILL follow me and won’t just not be an issue anymore because it’s a new place, but they’re actually something I’m going to have to work and process through, and I can!! Regardless of how much work some of the things are, because of CHRIST, I can!!! It’s worth it, because my life has purpose, and can be used to make his name more famous, because I choose to go through the fire!! “This is my prayer fire, in weakness or trial or pain…. There is a faith proved of more worth than gold, SO REFINE ME LORD THROUGH THE FLAME!!!”

I was reading in Ecclesiastes 2 earlier last week, and God totally just WHOOSHED down on me!! It was just me and God, at the coffee shop, I was reading my bible, already journaled, just wanted to spend time with him, and he totally gave me a glimpse of how worthy he is. The author is talking about what’s the point of life under the sun? Some people of wise and some are foolish, some people bust their bums to succeed and achieve and prosper… for what?? To die and pass it on to someone who could destroy everything you strived for your entire life in a matter of a few years?? It’s crazy!! REALLY, what’s the point???? The point is, he revealed to me, that the wise and the foolish ALL face the same day of judgment!!! Being knowledgeable and successful in this life, doesn’t save you from eternity!! Being wise doesn’t set you apart from the world, what sets you apart is HIS name, and how you live under it!! Life, LITERALLY has NO PURPOSE, without his name attached to yours!! It’s one of those “BUT God…” things!! Nothing under the sun means anything, none of it has a purpose, BUT because GOD chose us, we can have life and know purpose!! ONLY through HIS name is that possible!! It was a way cool moment, and it’s been a daily revelation since then, just a little more and more each day!! SO cool!!!! :) That’s our God!!!

Anyways, this is long as usual!! Please just be praying over provision in finances and in my time management and strength and rest!! It’s already been challenging, but God’s got it!! I miss you ALL SO MUCH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I’m excited to be home in December, even if it’s just for a bit!! :) Australia is great, but there is NO place on this earth like home!! Especially not when all the people who have a piece of my heart are all in that place!! :) I love you guys, and am praying for ya’ll!!! (FYI… Ya’ll is totally a southern thing, I get picked on ALL the time from everyone for saying it, minus the few who are actually from the south too!!)

Sunday, August 8, 2010

Hope it was worth the wait for ya'll!!

I’m SO Sorry it’s been so long… it’s just been SUPER crazy… and God’s been doing so much!! It’s hard to sit and think after he completely rips you apart! (In a good way!!)

I’m not even sure how long it’s been since I updated everyone!! Basically though… the Lord is beyond GOOD!!! And love his children enough to teach them how to be more like him and glorify him with our hearts! Because if our hearts aren’t behind it, our actions are void!! It’s not by our works but by our faith and belief in him he recognizes us!!

SO… the last 2 and a half weeks… Sum it up for you…

God sent strangers to me at a coffee shop to encourage me in what He has planned for me! I wasn’t suppose to be at the coffee shop, and it’s by chance I was by myself… I love how he knows what he’s doing!! :) Funny story… yours truly totally busted it on the way home from church one night, totally face planted while walking with my friends and landed on my hand!! I was cracking up but it pain… thought I broke my pinkie but it was just jammed, and SUPER swollen… could bend it but it hurt really bad!! God healed it the next day after my roommate prayed over it! Swelling was comparatively down a TON, and I could completely fist my hand, every finger!!

I started classes, which the first two weeks are something they call intensives! Had my last day of those Friday, and start for real classes tomorrow! Intensives were INSANE!!! SUPER long days, but overflowing with truth and Jesus doing WORK in the hearts of everyone I’ve talked to, me included!!

They basically… wanted to set us all straight before we started getting involved in the church and working in groups together! Bottom line, it doesn’t matter WHERE we’re serving or how small our part feels… we’re all just as equally important as the person standing beside us! Just as important as the person with the guitar and mike in their face, just as important as the person handing out the bulletins, just as important as the person making coffee!! Being in the choir is just as important of a role as being in the front ensemble! We’re all part of his body, and all of our desires are to bring people to JESUS! Not for our own fame, but for their lives sake and the fame of the one we call savior!! It doesn’t matter if we’re up front or in the back as long as we’re giving our best in the area that we’re serving!! Because in the end, God has called us to love HIM, and love people!! (Hillsong’s motto!!) What we should all live by!! It’s the biblical call of God’s children in simple terms!!

It’s been INCREDIBLE!! I can’t even begin to explain all that the Lord’s been doing in my heart and all that he’s been teaching me!! That’s the last two weeks in SUPER summary form!!

I’ve served two weekends now, and LOVE it!!!!!! I sing in choir, work with the kids, and am part of what they call street teams! Which is out of church ministry!! They go into the surrounding communities every Saturday, and clean houses and provide company and do yard work for the people who are physically incapable, can’t financially do, or just need someone to invest in them as a human being!! I’m in a branch of that ministry which is called embrace!! And instead of going to surrounding houses, I go to surrounding nursing homes and spend time with the elderly!! It’s crazy how different each culture is!! If I thought sticking someone in a nursing home back home was bad… having that done here basically means, no one cares!! The people in them never have visitors!! It’s like they’re completely forgotten about!! SO… the mission of the team I’m on is to go and love and invest in the lives of the older community!! I had my first Saturday!! It was interesting!! But SO good!! It seemed so simple to me for it to be something Hillsong does… but it’s loving people in Jesus’ name!! I felt like a middle schooler at camp again, because we sang some songs for them and then just chatted with them!! SO simple, but SO vital for that community!! For someone to actually take the time out and come see them and spend time with them!! The man I spent majority of my time talking to was Mr. Cooper!! It was a little hard to understand him and what he was saying… but what I did get was that He has two sons and one was suppose to have come to visit the last few Saturdays and has yet to make it!! He said, “I hope he’s able to make it! I’m not sure what happened but he hasn’t made it yet!!” He hasn’t seen his son in over a year!! UGH!!!!! It broke my heart!! That’s someone DAD!!!! Took everything in me not to fall apart!! And it is now!!

SO… anyways!! Onto a happier note!! I’ve so enjoyed every BIT! Of school and church and life here!! Well… maybe not all of life here… it’s SO different, but the joy of church and school completely overshadows it all!! God is so good and I’m amazed at his love daily!!

I had my first connect group meeting this week, their version of home-teams or FE groups! And I LOVED it!! My leaders are 1st year 2nd semester students and I love them!! They’re so precious and our first time together as a group was precious!! One of my leaders dad had a brain aneurism in May… after she’d been here 5 months… and she was told there was a 1% chance that he would be a functioning person again!! He had no brain activity or anything!! After TWO months… he’s now learning to walk again and is talking a bit!! PRAISE GOD!!! When I was talking to her, she said, “I never in my life thought I’d be happy that my dad could pee, but he peed on his own for the first time last week!! PRAISE JESUS!!” She then went onto say though, that anything that could go wrong back home, WILL why you’re here!! Because the enemy is going to try and knock you down and take you back to prevent what the Lord has in store for you over here!! I’m totally praying for protection against that!! I ask that you do the same!! And pray for protection over everyone around me back home, and the family God’s blessed me with over here!! That SAME night, my flat-mate, who is in the same connect group as me, got a call from her mom telling her that her dad was moving out for at least two months to figure things out!! Please be in prayer over her heart, Kristine, because she has no relationship with her dad as it is, and her not being home for her mom and dealing with other family stuff… she just fell apart!! The enemy is already trying to tear it apart before it’s really even begun, but I ask for you to PLEASE partner with me in prayer against the attacks!! I’ve been constantly covering Kristine and her parent’s marriage and her family since I found out!!! The enemy is trying, but we won’t give way!!

MRS. JEANNIE… I just want you to know, BEAU IS BEING COVERED!!!!!! This morning in the prayer meeting the choir covered him with healing and believing the Lord will bring it!! Ya’ll don’t understand HOW much the belief that God is ABLE, is over here!! And the entire school and church is praying and believing that God is able to take the cancer and tumor out of Beau’s body forever!! I’m not exaggerating when I’m telling you the ENTIRE Hillsong City Campus Community is pleading the blood of Jesus over Beau’s body!!! No more sickness!! I can’t WAIT to see how the Lord is going to use Beau more than he already has, because the enemy is very aware of God at work in Beau’s life!! (Totally listening to Desert Song right now too….) GOD IS SO GOOD!!! :)

Anyways… I’m about to have to head out for Sunday night service!! It’s my 4th service this weekend… close to prob. my 50th in the month of being here… and I’m still ready for more!!! When God’s in it, when people around you love you and treat you the way Jesus does, you can’t get enough!! When the leaders are transparent and practice what they preach, God is revealed even more!!

This whole entry is prob. crazy sounding and doesn’t make a lot of sense because it’s so scatter-brained!! But it’s what the Lord is doing!! I’m praying for you all back home!! I love and miss you all the time!!

It’s only been two full weeks of classes and its already completely indescribable what the Lord’s been teaching me!! Like honestly… all I know is that he IS, and all I pray is that my life testifies to that, and that he’s seen through me!! Words can’t describe it, but communication isn’t what’s said, it’s how its said and portrayed!!

Believing that the joy he brings me is evident enough in my life words aren’t needed for people to be curious about what’s different!!!!

Michelle!! :)