Thursday, October 28, 2010

MWSB 2010 "Special Olympics"

(Yes "special" they were! Students had great time participating in the Olympics. Thanks Ventures and planning committee for putting it on.)

These past few weeks have been so good. Thank you all for your prayers. Just a brief update on what the Ventures have been up to. Classes that they have been doing are Biblical Geography, Absolute Purity, and this week is the Church Body. We have continued to see the Lord moving in each of their lives. We have finished going through the book "Counterfeit Gods" for our bible study times and are winding down the year. Only 3 1/2 more weeks and students will be out on Christmas break. You can be praying for all of the students as there is often mixed emotions about leaving. The 6 week break is a long time, but it is often revealing to them where they have truly grown, and where they have conformed to this place. Pray that they would be strong and prepared to face the challenges at home. We will be updating the blog one more time this semester to wrap it up until the next semester. Thank you again for all your support and prayers. Please be praying for the Ventures in the next few weeks of class. God has often used the upcoming weeks of class to do a lot of "heart" work in them. Pray that they would be sensitive to Him and would not quench the spirit.
"He saved us, not on the basis of the deeds which we have done in righteousness, but according to His mercy, by the washing of regeneration and the renewing by the Holy Spirit, whom He poured out upon us richly through Jesus Christ our Savior. " Titus 3:5-6

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Facing Fear

Thank you everyone for your prayers. I have to say God has been doing an awesome work in these Ventures. Starting with the week of Spiritual Disciplines God was revealing some truth and challenging the depth of their relationship with Him. As we asked for prayer that they would “count all things loss in view of the surpassing value of knowing Christ Jesus…” I believe He is really doing that. “Discipline without direction is drudgery” is the first line in their textbook and was an essential point they needed to get. I would describe Spiritual Disciplines class as a road map. Each discipline points out a direction to walk in order to get closer to the Lord. If you parents and friends are interested in that for your own life we recommend the textbook from this class, “Spiritual Disciplines for the Christian Life”, by Donald Whitney. I would encourage you as you talk with these students to continue to challenge them in asking how they are growing in spiritual discipline.

Once the week of Disciplines was over we headed into our 48-hour Solo class. That time with the Lord is irreplaceable. We headed out Monday after lunch and camped up the Dearborn canyon. We spent the evening at a central campsite sitting around the fire discussing what was to come. There was excitement, anticipation, fear, and curiosity in the faces of these students. Each of them was wondering what was to come in the next two days alone. As the evening began to close we began discussing the issue of fear that comes out of being alone. One student was bold enough to share her immense struggle with the whole idea of being alone in the woods for 48 hours. As we talked through the evening God began to reveal truth to all of us about what his word says concerning fear. We are commanded not to fear, but to only have a fear of the Lord. His perfect love cast out fear. We discussed how fear is a controlling emotion that captivates our hearts to believe its lies above God’s truth. Have you been there? Paralyzed by fear and not know the way out? Praise be to God that there is freedom and truth. He has come that we might have life and have it abundantly. Romans 6 says that you are a slave only to the one whom you obey, either of sin resulting in death, or of obedience resulting in righteousness. When dealing with fear the most important part of claiming freedom is to replace the fear with TRUTH. God’s word is divinely powerful, able to defeat strongholds (2 Cor 10).

Let’s hear first hand from our Venture student Lori Halldorson:

“Fear. It is the secret monster that controls the way you live without even realizing it is taking effect. Fear has been clouding my vision and leaving me victim to my own imagination for years. This struggle in my life has come to the surface just last week during our class, 48 Hour Solo. The reason for the Solo was to practice the spiritual discipline we were taught in a previous class by spending two days I the wilderness alone. This experience was a challenge and a stepping-stone for me in my fight against fear. I had to ask myself, “Do I really trust God? ”Along the way I kept a journal of my experiences. Here are two of my entries that will hopefully give you a glimpse into the process of trusting the Lord:

I had no idea even how to fight the battle I was about to face. The Lord wanted to give me the spirit of courage, but first I had to give up the spirit of fear I was clinging to. I had two choices before me, either to believe what God’s word says is truth, or to disregard it and be overcome by fear. I wanted badly to believe the Lord, but again I was fearful to leave the very comfort of having fear because that would require me to actively practice trusting God with everything.

The process was truly life altering because of the choice to place my trust in the Lord instead of myself. During the solo, not once did the spirit of fear overcome me. The Lord carried me through and I realized that in order to trust the Lord I must allow Him to be my full confidence. I encourage you to read psalm 91 out loud when battling fear. Allow me to leave you with this challenge, “What can you do today to actively test your trust in the Lord?”

We thank Lori for being willing to share this with you all. It’s just a neat insight in to the work God is doing in their hearts. Keep calling and writing your children letters of encouragement and challenge. They have expressed excitement about the recent care packages and letters they have received. Thank you for taking the time!

Trust in the Lord and do good,

Dwell in the land and cultivate faithfulness.

Delight yourself in the Lord; and He will give you the desires of your heart.

Commit your way to the Lord,

Trust also in Him, and He will do it!” Psalm 37:3-5