These past two weeks have been an emotional roller coaster of challenge, joy, and revelation. Carolyn will go into more detail about the classes we have taken over the last two weeks. Please go to the "AS YOU GO" page to learn more.
In order to share with you the last two weeks, I want to provide a small snapshot of our excursions, as well as our classes. The topics of the last two weeks covered the "Lordship of Christ" and the "Fear of the Lord." The topic of Lordship forced us on truly working toward, with our entire heart, placing Christ as our only Lord and Savior. We spent a week learning to die to ourselves and placing Christ in the driver seat. I used the word "truly" in the previous sentence. I say truly simply because too many of us live with an understanding that we are following God completely. I believe that many are loving God completely given their capacity to love at the time. We have a much greater capacity to love because God who is love (1 John 4:8).
To completely place God as true Lord in our life we must be willing to let go all that God asks of us similar to the Rich Young Man parable (Matt 19:16-22). God is not calling all of us to sacrifice all our possession, but he may be asking to let go of friendship, hobbies, habits, etc. that prevent God from being the only one you serve. Especially in the west, we depend more on ourselves than we do God himself. We even go so far as fooling ourselves that we completely depend on God when we don't. For example, we love God and all who he is in character and nature. However, we push aside Jesus Christ and think we can know God completely without him. John 14:6-7 states, to know God we must know Jesus first. The Lordship of Christ begins with understanding who and what Jesus did so we may truly know God. To do so will tenderize our hearts to a point in which God is the reason we live and not simply something we do (if that makes sense).
The week on the 'Fear of the Lord" backed up our week on Lordship. It was a great 1 to 2 punch combination. We stepped before the cross and tore down the veil in a new way. We entered a new place and relationship with God as a class. We than wrestled with the question of who do we fear more: God or Man? We worked through the idea of what it is to fear (revere) God and how much of a snag it is to have more fear of man than the God who created man (Matt. 10:28). Needless to say, as I am sure you can tell, the past two weeks of class were bountiful in transformation and challenge.
The classes we took were powerful. The excursions we took balanced the challenge with blessings. We were able to go to the zoo and a kangaroo reserve. In between these excursions was a night of street evangelism. The zoo was amazing. If anyone has gone to the San Diego Zoo, than you will understand what it is was like. The Perth Zoo is not nearly as large, but it is like walking into a tropical environment that has animals along the way. It even has an elephant that comes out for a walk around the zoo for exercise. This was a great day for many reasons. The day we went was Mothers Day, which meant mothers got in free. Hallelujah!!! We also got to spend the day with two other families from our class, and our Rieko (Fantastic Women!).
The Kangaroo Reserve was a great trip. Our journey to find the reserve was a two day venture. A trip that should have been 20-30 minutes to get there took almost 2 hours. Here is a great reminder for all of you. Be sure you know where you are going before you leave. With that be sure your direction given to you by another make senses. Moving on….Round 1. Round 1 of our journey ended up at the Reserve in the darkness of night. After a many mile walk that now we now is a 5-10 minute bus ride, and wondering around the reserve in the dark, we did find two roos. Unfortunately we didn't get any pics of the family with the roos, which led us to Round 2. Round 2 took us 20-30 minutes to get there. In total the trip was 2 hours round trip unlike the four hour first trip. Round 2 left us with great pics and videos.
Our last big event was a night of Evangelism. We are working towards going out every Friday night for a few hours to share the gospel and pray. We joined with the MAPS class (Media, Arts, Photography School). They used a game, a dance, art, skits, and open air preaching to share the heart of God. We joined there efforts as support to pray and speak with people as we could. What a great, challenging, and eye opening moment when you hit the streets to gain the eyes of God, and attempt to break through your fear of man to try to share the gospel. These nights are wonderful and painful at the same time.
Overall, we are doing well. We have been challenged a lot, gained greater insight into God, as well as ourselves. In addition, we had some fun times. We have definitely pasted the "honeymoon" period here and are feeling the pressure of wanting what is familiar. We are good, but have hit a bit of a wall. This is to be expected. Although it is expected it is still difficult at times. The kids got to speak with grandma and grandpa, and their "Aunt, Uncle, and Cousins." This was a great time, but left them home sick. All was okay the next day, but needless to say we are feeling as a family the desire for home. We know we are exactly where we are supposed to be. This is a great feeling. It is a great feeling, but does not make it easy sometimes.
I hope you all enjoy where you are at no matter the situation. God is good all the time. Sometimes it is hard to want to believe that at times. God is always good and we have the choice to recognize that.