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Heart of Worship

  |   DTS, Lecture Phase   |   No comment
How to even begin…

 

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I’ve been contemplating\procrastinating about this blog post all week. There are many reasons for this: 1. THERE IS SO MUCH MATERIAL TO CHOOSE FROM. God is teaching me what feels like a thousand or more things a day, and it is almost impossible to decide which one I’d most like to talk about. They all feel equally important. 2. I tend to overthink and, if I’m honest, just really don’t want to mess this post up. 3. I’m a procrastinator. I thrive (or like to tell myself I do) off of the adrenaline that comes with completing a task within 24 hours to the deadline. However, I really am eager to write this post and share it with the world! So I am currently employing the “glue-yourself-to-a-computer-until-the-task-is-completed” method in full swing.

 

Our speaker for the week, Chris Toney, is guiding us on the journey of diving deeper into the Bible. He briefly mentioned something we’ll be talking about more our last two days of lecture: how the Bible is an inspired work of our Creator. In light of that, I’ve decided that (while not on the same level as the Bible) I’m going to let God inspire my post as well. He is much more qualified than me to write this post.

 

image2With that in mind, I cannot deny the Holy Spirit’s nudge to share a little bit about what I spoke on this Monday in academic groups. Each student had to pick a Biblical topic and speak on it for between seven to ten minutes. I chose the topic of ‘Worship.’

 

“I think there are basically two types of people in this world: complainers and worshipers… complainers will always find something to complain about. Worshipers will always find something to praise God about.” (Mark Batterson, In a Pit with a Lion on a Snowy Day: How to Survive and Thrive when Opportunity Roars) (I would encourage everyone to read Mark Batterson’s book– it has transformed my thinking in radical ways!)

 

I chose to begin my presentation with this quote not only because it’s wholly relevant in my own life, but because I believe God is calling all of his followers to a higher standard and understanding of true worship. The Western world, in my experience, likes to limit worship to a session that we visit once a week on Sundays – and maybe twice if we’re “good” Christians. Mark, however, would beg to say that we’re always living in either a state of complaining or a state of worship. If I posed the question about which one God calls us to as Christians, I know I would get a unanimous vote for the second state. But of those who answered “worship”, how many could honestly say that they live that out?

 

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Personally speaking, my life has contained a lot more complaining than worshiping. The past few years of my life have not been particularly easy. In fact, they totally sucked. My reality was that as soon as things didn’t go my way, I complained. I knowingly played the victim. That is not to say that sometimes my situation didn’t deserve some lament, or that it was morally wrong to express my pain to anyone (who better than God?), but I completely missed what it meant to be a worshiper of the Living God.

 

Throughout life we’ll have to decide whether we are going to dig ourselves deeper into bondage with complaints or allow the truth of who God is to blow apart our chains. One option brings despair and cynicism, the other freedom and joy.

 

God was so good in revealing this simple, yet overlooked, fact of my life to me. He made it possible for me to say that I decide to be a worshiper and not a complainer! Thank you Jesus!

 

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If you’re like me and desire to live as a worshiper, I’ve condensed the rest of my presentation to a few points about what worship must contain in the format of an acronym:

 

Worshiper: We already covered this. Worship is a choice and if we’ve given our lives to Christ, he deserves our worship. We have to decide between being a complainer or worshiper. It’s as easy as that.
Open your eyes to His glory: The entire Bible is a testimony to the magnificent God we serve; dive deeper into that with the goal of seeing His glory. Or take a look around you: God’s handiwork is unmatched! He created everything in this world and yet he chooses to value each person unmeasurably!
Reduce yourself: John 3:30, He must become greater, I must become less. “Don’t let what’s wrong with you keep you from worshipping what’s right with God” (Mark Batterson, again). Simple enough. It’s not about you, IT’S ALL ABOUT HIM.
Surrender: Worship requires surrender! Check out Job 11: 13-15. Stop letting your current situation dictate what you’re controlled by.
Holiness & Humility: 1 Peter 1:15 calls us to be Christ-like (hint: holy). Psalm 25:9 encourages humility which allows God to shape us into who he’s created us to be.
In Spirit and in Truth: John 4:23-24- Acknowledge God’s Spirit in and around us. Revel in Him, the only source of infallible truth in our world!
Priorities: “Through worship we realign our priorities with God’s.” While I wish I knew the source of this quote, it’s message is still clear. Worship means getting our priorities straight. Ideally, they would look like this: Know God and love him. Love others and make him known. Done.

 

In conclusion, God’s teaching me that true worship is not about me. It’s solely about bringing him the glory he more than deserves. It requires me to have a holy and humble heart. I cannot do it without full surrender to him and the leading of the Holy Spirit. Worship IS NOT a session; it IS a lifestyle.

 

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Lydia Detweiler – DTS Student, October, 2015

Renew, Restore, Report Back

  |   DTS, Lecture Phase, News, Outreach   |   No comment

12277983_1208962902453605_2146376080_nRenew, restore, report back. Say goodbye to the normal routine of 6:45 breakfast and four hour lectures and hello to an extra hour of sleep, lots of volleyball, and 22 new faces. This week the July school came back from outreach-a team from Uruguay and a team from Mongolia. Two schools were merged for the week, and there was much laughter, forgetting names, and rain.

On Monday my DTS had a big team building session. We split off into respective outreach teams (Ecuador, Japan and Costs Rica) and had to take our “sick, dying leader” to the hospital. They laid on a pool lounge chair and we had to carry them (blindfolded) out to the dock, onto a kayak and swim them to shore (without getting a single drop of water on them) then communicate with a “local” who didn’t speak English and ask them to help us lead them to the hospital. The whole thing took an hour full of sweat, laughter and some yelling. This was a hypothetical scenario for something that could actually happen on outreach, and it was to get us all working together as a team, instead of a bunch of individuals.

12270248_1208963295786899_1844214645_nTuesday we split up girl students with guy staff and guy students with girl staff and got to ask them questions. Wednesday we had an hour of quiet time with Jesus and then shared with everyone. In the afternoon was a volleyball tournament that lasted about 4 hours. There was loud music, lots of sand, a slackline and, in the end, a winning team. It was a grand old time. Thursday we had a bit of debrief, where we were all given questions to answer and then came back and shared some. It got me thinking about how we’re over halfway through lecture phase, and soon we’ll be heading out on outreach.

Thursday evening the July school graduated! It got me thinking about how in a couple months that will be me-and that’s nuts. And Friday is ADVENTURE DAY! Heading off to the mainland for a day of sick activities, like zip lining, cave tubing and seeing the Mayan ruins. Also a 5:00 wake up.

12270033_1208963409120221_774737864_nThis week was full of lots of free time to spend with Jesus. He has continually been teaching me to rest in his presence. To take time out of my day and just listen to him. It’s been a bit hard for me since I like answers and I like knowing them when I want, but lately he’s just been telling me to rest and he will reveal things later on. Psalm 46:10 says, “He says, ‘Be still, and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth.'” It also gave lots of time to reflect on what I’ve been learning. I’ve learnt a ton and I’m already at a totally different place than before my DTS, but I still have a long way to go and can’t wait for what God has in store for me!

12255265_1208963902453505_1757661780_oMaddy Ackermann – DTS Student, October, 2015

Fearless Trust

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image4 (3)Something I’ve been learning a lot in this season is to be fearless. To have the courage to take risks, to go places that I never thought of going. It is in these moments when my character is truly tested, when I find and accept who I really am and what I am capable of.. But God doesn’t call us to be comfortable. He has called us to trust him so completely that we are unafraid to put ourselves in situations that bring us shame or don’t feel comfortable at all, knowing that he will always have our back.

Last Friday my team and I got ready for a prayer walk. Travis, Grace and I started walking and came to a park. While we were praying, God kept telling me to go in and pray over the building that was I front of us, what looked like a school. We were afraid of going in because we didn’t know if we were allowed or not, so we just stood there and prayed… prayed for protection, joy, relationships and against  FEAR! People came in and out, but no one spoke English. And so we walked away.

image1 (9)But as we were walking away Travis reminded us that before we left the house we had agreed to be bold, to step out and get out of our comfort zones. We needed to stop being afraid and obey what God was calling us to do. So Travis asked me, “Are you sure that God said to go into that building?” and I said, “YES”. So we turned back and walked straight into the building.

After some wondering, we met a teacher who spoke english. We told her about ourselves, that we were on a prayer walk, and that God told us to walk into the school but we didn’t know why. She took us to her supervisor’s office, who she said spoke perfect English, and then returned to class. Though her supervisor was a little surprised by our visit, she gave us permission to walk the halls and pray over the teachers and students. It may have been crazy, but it showed us that if God is telling you to do something, even if it is crazy or weird, you should step up and do it.

image3 (4)If God is asking you to step out into something that is uncomfortable for you, I can assure you that when you take the step of faith, you will find Him walking right beside you, showing you which way to go. Be positive and think about the amazing things that happen when you choose to be fearless. All you need to do is listen and follow God’s voice. It may be difficult at first — believe me, I know that — but it will be worth it in the end.

“Courage comes from the heart, and our hearts will always be the object of a great fierce battle. Without your heart you cannot have God. Without your heart you cannot have love. Without your heart you cannot have faith. Without your heart you cannot find the work that you were meant to do. In other words, without your heart you cannot have a life. To find God, you must look with all your heart. To remain present to God, you must remain present to your heart. To hear his voice you must hear with your heart. To love him you must love with all of your heart. You cannot be the person God meant you to be, and you cannot live the life he meant you to live unless you live from the heart. “ – John Eldredge

image2 (8)Maria Recaman – DTS Student, July, 2015

Proyecto America Ministry

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image1 (10)Over the weekend we were on the road again, this time to the town of Durazno (which is Spanish for “peach”)! Our team and a couple of the guys we met in Montevideo bussed up to take part in Proyecto America Durazno 2015 from October 30th to November 2nd. We arrived on the 31st, however, due to a bus drivers’ strike that left a lot of people coming in on Saturday instead of Friday.

The project took place in Durazno this year in order to aid people who were affected by major flooding and a tornado in the area. Throughout the weekend there were construction projects going on to build small houses for people and basic furniture like beds and shelves. The Saturday also had many people setting up services for the people including a medical aid trailer, clothing donations, haircuts, and games for the kids. The Sunday some people packed up and moved the show to a different town an hour away to help those affected there. The Monday saw everyone who hadn’t yet gone home head to the neighbourhood of one of the construction sites to do street evangelism and explain a bit about Proyecto America.

image2 (7)It was an exciting weekend for all of us. We got to help build the walls of a house, build some bed frames, and work with kids and adults in need. I even convinced the guy in charge of constructing beds to let me use the skill saw! I never actually thought I would use what I learned in Industrial Arts in real life, but I guess I was mistaken. As well as the work we were doing, we also got to see our friends from the Rivera YWAM base again! It was happy reuniting with them one more time before leaving Uruguay.

image4 (4)It was a rewarding time spent working in Durazno. Despite the frigid nighttime temperatures in the gymnasium we were camped out in with around 200 other people, we had a great time meeting and talking with the other people there – there were even some Americans from Florida who spoke fluent English and Spanish, and some Germans from one of the German colonies here in Uruguay (SHNITZEL!). It was nice to have some tangible evidence of our work – the building and beds we helped make. It was also interesting and different to be doing a different kind of “traditional missionary” work. We’ve mostly been doing relational ministry and evangelism rather than hands-on labour, so it was a bit of a change. We’re also yet to hold any babies in our ministry, except one little girl named Pilar who screamed as soon as she was handed to me and Charis.

If you would like to know more about Proyecto America, please visit proyectoamerica.org. Once again, thank you everyone who is supporting us. We’ll soon be back in Belize and our respective countries to tell you all about everything!

Kimberly Gorgichuk – DTS Student, July, 2015image3 (3)

Son, not Servant

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12204653_1205421722817936_656618954_nI’ve been learning so much about what God thinks about me, about humility, and about sonship. In his book, “The Secret Romance,” John Eldredge tells us how God pursues us because he wants relationship with us and just wants us! God’s love for you is deeper and wider than the very limits of our universe.

I’ve learned the difference between being humble and having inferior pride. Humility is having an accurate assessment of yourself; inferior pride is thinking lowly of your self or not worthy.

I also have been learning about the difference between sonship and servanthood. Sonship is relationship based, it is ownership, and sons are family oriented. Servants are requirement based, they have no ownership and are issue oriented.

Being relationship based means doing things out love for the Father and love for others while requirement based means doing things out of obligation or because you are required to do it.

12212519_1205421699484605_852195753_nOwnership is acknowledging your actions, taking ownership in the kingdom of heaven and ownership as sons. Being family oriented means caring more about the person and their value as a son or daughter of the King, while being issue oriented means caring more about the behavior of the person instead of actually caring about the person.

Are you living in sonship or servanthood? Are you walking out humility or pride? I dare you to ask God how much he loves you, then silence yourself and Satan, and just listen to God.

Seth Kasper – DTS Student, October, 2015