Friday, November 20, 2009

Campus for Christ & Winter Conference '09

Winter Conference is an annual event with Campus for Christ, where students from all across Canada gather in one place to hear speakers, attend seminars, make friends, and worship and experience God in new and exciting ways. It takes place during the last week of December in Toronto, Ontario. I have never gone before, but I was asked to give a testimony to my Campus for Christ group as to why I want to go this year. What follows is generally what I said:

I am going to Winter Conference this year. I've never been before, but I wanted to tell you why I wanted to go this year.

It all started at the Summit retreat in October. I've never been to Summit before either, and this is my third year in university and involved in Campus for Christ. But during Summit, I learned a lot about where God wants me to be and what He wants me to do with my life, and I felt that God was compelling me to take action. One of those actions was attending Winter Conference for the first time.

So I registered for Winter Conference, and I asked God that if He wanted me to go that He would show me, and He did. There was a drawing for a free plane ticket and $100 off of the registration fee for those who had signed up for Winter Conference at Summit.

I won the $100.

I feel very strongly that this was God's affirmation. I am sure now that God wants me to attend Winter Conference. For what reason, I'm not sure, but I know it is for something great.

At Summit, we watched a video that described the beginnings of revival movements and the people that God used to bring those about. Watching that video and seeing the people who had given their lives for Christ moved me to ask what I can give, and what I can do for Christ.

It is my hope that Winter Conference will be a step towards beginning a ministry that will last a lifetime of service to God. This is my hope. This is my desire. This is why I am excited to go.

I am trusting God for great things. He has brought me safe thus far, and He will bring me the rest of the way.

<3

Thursday, November 19, 2009

YJNK - You Just Never Know

This is to explain why I'm always wearing an orange bracelet that says YJNK.

YJNK stands for You Just Never Know.

The bracelet was given to me by Mike Woodard, the Canadian National Director for Campus for Christ, at the end of Campus for Christ's Summit retreat in October. A bracelet was given to everyone who identified faith barriers in their lives that they would like to see God help them overcome.

You Just Never Know means that we do not know how God will use us.

We cannot predict what sort of far-reaching effects the simplest step of obedience will have on the lives of those around us. The power and grace of God are far more than any of us can comprehend, so it makes sense that we would not be able to guess the outcomes of that power and that grace. We can, however, trust that they are and will be good.

So, I wear my YJNK bracelet always to remind me that You Just Never Know what God will do, and because I never know what He will do, I can be confident in taking small steps in obedience, trusting that He will bring something out of it that is truly glorifying to Him.

~

"Oh, the depth of the riches of the wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable his judgments, and his paths beyond tracing out!" - Romans 11:33, NIV

<3

Monday, November 2, 2009

When God talks

I have heard it said that 'A miracle is when God chooses to be obvious, and a coincidence is when God chooses to remain anonymous,' but I would argue a third category of occurrences: not as grand as a miracle, but not as subtle as a coincidence. You could perhaps call it a help, a hint, a poke, a prod.

It is definitely when you can feel or you know the hand of God to be working in your life. He speaks to you, and you can almost hear His voice.

I think this is a purpose of the Holy Spirit--to give us access to the voice of God--for I have not heard of nonbelievers ever experiencing this; if they do experience it, they aren't aware of it until after they become believers. I have heard stories of times when something happened to someone when they were an unbeliever that they could not explain at the time, but which makes so much sense to them now that they believe. This is a purpose of the Holy Spirit--to make sense of spiritual things.

Recently, there have been many of these occurrences--these nudges from God--in my life, as well as in the lives of those around me. I cannot call them coincidences. I cannot call them miracles--at least, not as I define them: being visible to all, believer and nonbeliever alike. These occurrences are visible to believers alone. They are the every-day proddings of the Spirit. He is keeping in constant conversation with me; showing me that He is here with me.

It is a conversation. Except that when God talks, it is never idle chatter.

Sunday, November 1, 2009

The LORD is here

Jehovah-Shammah. The LORD is here.

This morning in church, my pastor said something that stuck with me all day--"You will find what you look for. If you look for the negative, you will find it. If you look for hypocrisy, you will find people to be hypocritical. If you look for God, you will find Him."

Indeed, God promises: "You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart." Jeremiah 29:13, NIV

It is amazing just how present God is... it got me thinking... He is always with us; and that in itself is an amazing thing--that He should choose to be present among sinful creatures such as we are.

Remember the name of Jesus, given in Matthew 1:23: "The virgin will be with child and will give birth to a son, and they will call him Immanuel--which means, 'God with us.'"--God present among men... isn't that amazing?

We are not alone on this earth... we are not alone in this life... we are not alone in this moment... for we have Jehovah-Shammah! The LORD is here!