Sunday, November 21, 2010

You Are a Treasure Chest

God loves me so much that He sent His only Son to die for me, not because I was worth it but to make me worth it. I am learning that I am more than just a child of His. What more does God think of me? According to 1 Peter 2:9, I am "a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for God's own possession."

God gave me a song, through the help of a dear friend by the name of Kayla Rasmussen, to better describe this phase of discipleship I'm going through. The song is "Finding Your Feet Again" by Denison Witmer.

"This is what it's like
Finding your feet again
The part of you that couldn't
Finally thinks you can

You're taking off some time to do this
A small apartment bedroom rearranged
To know that you are loved
You're finding your feet again
The part of you that couldn't
Finally thinks you can

A brownstone on a street in Brooklyn
The light tier flash from temperature to time
And people do the same
You're falling asleep again
Part of you a dreamer
And part of you is dream

And you said...

Go now in the light of your God
Go now in the love of your God
Go now in the peace of your God
Go now in the joy of your God."

I'm finding my feet again. My feet are to "walk in a manner worthy of God who calls you into His own kingdom and glory" (1 Thessalonians 2:12) I pray for every footstep to show that I am walking and abiding in Jesus Christ.

I've been seeing several things repeatedly coming up that aren't just coincidences. Nope. I don't think coincidences come in such an overwhelming abundance of repetition. Oswald Chambers said something similar to when things come with a constant repetition or a strong persistance, God is desperately trying to communicate with you.

About a month or two before I left for DTS, I had this crazy idea to bring my violin. WHAT??!! Most common question EVER: "Kari, YOU play the violin??!" Yep. Given, I hadn't played since high school, but yes. I started to play when I was ten. Maybe I had let the amaziness of other musicians surrounding me create a bit of insecurity. (cough, cough, my Dad, Voetbergs, Puyallup Crew, musicians everywhere, wink, wink). Not a bit of insecurity. Yep. Complete intimidation of amazingly wonderful musicians. Yep. Fear of man mixed with a ton of pride. Eww.

In fact, during this time before I left, I had even realized then I had put the musical gift that God gave me on the back burner. Why? Because I wasn't satisfied with my performance, I feared the humiliation that comes with people being better, and I wanted to be the best. You could say I was slightly a perfectionist. Slightly. Nope. Definitely-I was a perfectionist (still have my tendencies; God grace is more than sufficient).

Don't get me wrong, I absolutely love singing songs during worship but I've noticed that something is missing. My violin. Nope. I didn't pack it. And since this DTS, God has given me several different "coincidences" to remind me of how much I so wish I had brought it. Every place I've been, God has given me a reminder of what I have from Him. He placed a treasure inside of me. I tried to place this particular treasure out of my chest when really God wanted me to use my gifting to bring Him praise. I'm now understanding that He gave me more than I am giving.

He is giving me eyes to see that He will never remove the gifts He has given me. My violin is just about in reach, give or take a few thousand miles. I'm so excited because as I wait for a violin to have to play, now is the time that God is really growing a desire in my heart to play music for His glory. Now I'm just starting to wonder how much longer He has to stir up this inside of me. Don't worry. It's a work in progress, but I'm hoping to have a violin to take with me on outreach. Mom, Dad, and I are working out the details to make this possible. Who in Africa wouldn't want to hear my grooves? (Yep, Africa! Duh. ;-) Little rabbit trail, but I wanted to SECRETLY let you all know my outreach continent; specific location to be announced-->figured out...)

I'm staying with an incredible family in Brussels, Belgium. They love to play music and worship God! The daughter plays the violin. Of course! Tonight, we just enjoyed fellowship together and worshipped (I haven't played the violin yet...but I will). Once their daughter went to bed, I shared how God is revealing what I've been trying to deny and hide. Despite the past two years and not missing it, I miss playing the violin now more than ever. I now desire to play with a different heart. "The part of you that couldn't finally thinks you can." I don't care how awful I am or how awful people may think I am. My heart is for Him and I want to bring Him joy. I want to, I can, and I will play for Him.

Before we headed up to our rooms, our host parents prayed for Martha and I to be musical vessels; bringing glory and praise to God. Russ, Mr. FamilyHostMan, mentioned that earlier today, someone from church shared an impression from God. "Coincidence is God is trying to let you know something." Yes indeed.
So now, after listening to that one song over and over while writing this, I'm going to bed in the light, love, peace, and joy of God. Hallelujah!

Praise God!

Thanks for all of your prayers! I'm loving this YWAM craze! I have a treasure chest inside of me. This DTS is only the beginning of discovering all the other treasures God has woven within me. Start preparing yourself for what you will see from my life after this DTS. In other words, I'm dreaming bigger and I'm going to do things in life I never thought I would do because God's plan for me is bigger and better than even I or you could imagine. It's only the beginning folks...GET READY!

I am...

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Who Am I?

I love people who are filled with life. They are the kind of people that draw others in and bring joy into the room. I admire those kind of people that are just on fire for God. I love people who are passionate and completely in love with Jesus. I enjoy being around people who are willing to step out of their comfort zone with confidence. I love people who are bold and courageous because of their trust in the Lord.

It's amazing how God can give you the desires of your heart. All the things I love about other people, I've always wanted for my own life. I want to be filled with life. I want to draw others in and bring joy into the room. I want to be on fire for God. I want to be passionate and completely in love with Jesus!! I want to be bold and courageous and willing to step out of my comfort zone because of my trust and hope in the Lord and my love for Him.

Well, God is revealing so much of who He is but even more of who I am.

A few nights ago, I had one of the first dreams that I could remember. My family and I were in Hawaii for something. It wasn't vacation but that definitely wasn't a problem. It's Hawaii! In the dream, I climbed this huge mountain with who I thought was my dad. The climb was WAY easier than I thought it would be. I wanted to climb it again the next day but no one else wanted to join me. There were other random things that were in the dream, including Staci informing me that she had painted one of my bedroom walls red while I was gone on my DTS. (Staci, that would be a horrible color to paint one of my walls. However, if you get the sudden urge to paint my room-do it! I would just ask that you pick colors that would look nice. Yellow and red is too much like McDonalds.) But really, the only awesome part of my dream was climbing this enormous mountain.

And then the morning after my dream, Kawika Drummond began our first lecture session on the Kingdom of God. Didn't realize that my prayer earlier that morning for God to reveal Himself more and more on a daily basis would come at such an abundance and urgency. That's what you get when you pray; God answers because He is faithful. Before digging into lecture, Kawika led us into a time where we each spent some time with God. During the quiet time, God brought clarity about the last night's dream. God told me that it wasn't my dad who climbed the mountain. God climbed the mountain with me and provided me with strength through the Holy Spirit. Then Kawika had us ask God what He thought of us. When I asked God, what He thought of me, He said, "Yes, Kari, you are a child of God, but you are more. You are a strong and courageous warrior who is willing to climb the mountains no one else wants to." After the short exercise, Kawika asked if anyone wanted to share. One of the guys, Brandon, shared and then he asked for any others to share. No one. And that's where God showed me, I'm willing. So I shared, as I have done so many times before.

And not only that, but students and staff, who I've know for less than two months, are coming up to me and sharing so many words of encouragement and prophesy. They don't even realize that what they are saying about who I am is what I've always desired to identify as with Jesus. God gives life abundantly. The more I learn about who God is, the more I learn about who I am. It's time that I start to grow out of the false identity I have been perceiving about myself and step into the fullness of who God has created me to be.

Oh yeah, and God has fulfilled another dream of mine. DTS? Check. Backpacking in Europe? Check. Pizza Party with the Homeless? Check. Yep! In Hamburg! Not only was it a Pizza Party but a whole other exciting adventure that God took me on (along with the other students that came-Mom:-)). And this my friends could possibly be the story to ask me about when I'm back: Pizza Party with the Homeless and MORE! I would need to be physically with you in order for you to truly understand how AMAZING my Pizza Party night. But until then, just know that God blew my mind (again) and gave me more than I could ever dream of! I can't explain it in writing and I'm far to lazy to type it out. I don't have video of it but I will never forget it.  I love homeless people, and Reggae people (WINK WINK HINT HINT). Awe! God is SOO good!

Okay, bedtime it is. I'm looking forward to setting up skype dates with you during my Christmas break (December 18-28) After Christmas break God is giving me the BEST birthday gift EVER! Outreach is planned to begin January 4, 2011. Not sure yet where I'll be but I'll be celebrating my birthday during outreach.

Keep praying! Love you guys. You rock!

Monday, November 1, 2010

In Hamburg...

I can't believe it. The first month in Herrnhut is over and we've now had two nights in Hamburg. It is so crazy how fast time goes by. I don't think we'll ever fully understand how time works. Sometimes it's too fast to keep up or too slow to function. Other times, the time seems to be at a perfect pace. Well, this last month seems to have gone by far too fast but I guess God knows best.
On Saturday, October 30th, we had a very early morning. Luckily, Silas, Sam, Man Sam, and I made homemade brownies and granola for the trip. That was a fun thing to look forward to during the long trip. Also, we were able to save some time by packing the night before but still had to wake up fairly early to start our ten-hour journey from Herrnhut to Hamburg. The morning began at 5:25am for me (slept as long as possible), breakfast at 5:30, deep cleaning of our rooms at 6, and then a normal fifteen minute walk (25 minute with the junk we all thought was important to bring) to the bus station by 7:45 to take us to the train station. Rather than spending a ton of money for the whole school to take a bus, we took the train. Maybe I should say "trainS" because we had at least six different trains throughout the little trip. But man, road trips (train trips?) are SOOO much fun! I love traveling!! At one point, I got to listen to 30 Seconds to Mars in a Burger King. Oh sweet Jared Leto. I've missed him...

Once we finally arrived in Hamburg, we had about a fifteen minute walk from the train station to the church we are staying at. I wish you could have seen all of us backpackers. After walking with our load, we are all convinced we packed far too much. Oh well, more to give. When we finally got to the church, all of us just wanted to sleep. We had dinner and then that's exactly what most of us did. By 8:30, we were out. Aww! REI! I love REI. My backpack, sleeping bag and sleeping mat. I can't even describe how amazingly great it is. That may change when I'm not completely exhausted, but for now, I'm very happy with what I have. Almost forgot, God gave me some of the coolest boots ever! The day before Mobile DTS left, MoTA students made a box for us to take stuff out of. And sure enough, the boots I had been praying for (my size, adorable, tall boots) were in the box. So thankful to the girl, whoever she was, who gave them up and I am VERY thankful for God to have put it on her heart to give up her boots. Yeah, God is AWESOME! Have I mentioned that throughout this yet?

Since we are living in a church, we can't really unpack and make it feel like home, but with this group starting to feel like family, I don't really think unpacking our stuff is the key to feeling at home. I think I'm really starting to like these kids. I might even love them at some point. Maybe. Don't want to make any promises. Sweet!

Sunday was such a great day. Since it was Halloween, our DTS leaders really felt led to have a night of worship. At 8pm, we had an hour of worship and then we also had prayer all through the night from 8pm till 8am.What a better way to celebrate Halloween then to praise God? There were 30 minute increments of prayer times throughout the whole night with at least two people praying each increment. I think we should do this every night. Prayer is so powerful. Probably because it's instant communication with God. And the night was a lot of fun. We played ridiculous games including the fruit game where you can't show your teeth and we played the faith/trust fall game where we had a person stand on a chair on the stage and then fall backwards to be caught by a group of people. At one point, the game became a human trampoline. So great! We're crazy, but safe (**Mom). I'm really diggin' this.

Yep. I'm having a wonderful time and can't wait for our speaker this week. Kawika Drummond is speaking on the Kingdom of God. I know God's going to rock my world even more. Now I have some bum deal we go...dun dun duh...

So, dearly beloveds, my wonderful family and friends, I don't have internet. Now, you may be asking, "Kari! What are you talking about?!! You put a blog up!!!" Yes. That is correct. I did put a blog up after I walked 45 minutes to the nearest Starbucks to use wifi for free. I love you all dearly and would love to skype, but there's kind of a little (BIG) problem. I would love to skype, but it just isn't going to work out with time difference and strict guidelines of when we can leave the church.

Hopefully I'll be able to skype in Amsterdam, Brussels, or Paris. If not, I'm on Christmas break from December 18-28 and I know that I can skype. I also know that I said to a few people that I would skype last week or I promised that I could skype while in Hamburg. I spoke too soon. I'm really sorry (especially to Aunt Sandy, Christine, Craig, Michal Paige, Kenny, Ashley, Terassa, and Kayla). I hope you can all still love me and continue to be praying for my whole DTS. I'll be keeping you all updated as best as I can. Infact, I can still write blogs...just have to wait for internet in order to share it.

And until next time, whenever that may be, know that I've been thinking about you all a lot. I'm so thankful for you all. You guys are such incredible friends. It's amazing how many of you folks I think of throughout each day. If your reading this, know that I'm praying for you and I've been thinking about you.

And Andersen family that lives on Pleasant Hill, expect a package soon. I may have already told you, but thought you might want to know...again....

Again, I love you all so much. I wish you all could be with me to see and be a part of all the cool things God is sharing with me. Now you guys just have to live dangerously and travel EVERYWHERE!!!! I love traveling. I love traveling and learning to trust God. I love traveling and learning to trust God and sharing the gospel amongst the spiritually dark places of Europe. Almost forgot to say, I shared my testimony last Thursday night where we did a mini-outreach in Zittau, Germany. God gave me boldness and confidence to speak with authority and share my testimony. I'm also really excited for God to give me a new way in expressing my love for Him. Our experience in Zittau made us all so hungry for what God is planning for us throughout the rest of lecture phase. Pray that God will continue to reveal Himself as I continue to seek Him whole-heartedly.

Well, I better sign out. Peace!