Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Refreshing weekend at Wood Lake Bible Camp.

I had an absolutely amazing time this past weekend at the women's retreat at Wood Lake Bible Camp. It was so fabulous to get away for a weekend and spend time with God and connect with him in nature. There were no distractions in the form of electronics, ministry, or two year olds. It was just me and God and other women longing to see his face as well. I want to send a HUGE thank you to my WONDERFUL husband who signed me up for the retreat without telling me because he knew I would say that I was too busy to get away for the weekend. Not only did he sign me up for this great getaway, but he made arrangements for our son so I could be child free and concentrate on myself. Sometimes as women (especially when you are a mother, minister, student, AND wife), we can lose ourselves in the service of others and always put other's needs before our own. We need to make sure that we are taking time for ourselves, and make sure that our relationship with God is solid so that we can be a spiritual help to others. I am truly grateful, blessed, and refreshed after this weekend, and thankful for my wonderful husband giving me the opportunity. I can't wait until next year!

Wednesday, September 16, 2015

Why do we do what we do?

This week has been one of those weeks in CROSSroads that has been utterly crazy and completely exhausting for me. It has been wrought with emotion, fervent prayer, and non-stop running. People have been experiencing crisis non-stop, and we have dealt with situations that are so crazy that you wouldn't believe me if I told you. I couldn't make this stuff up if I tried. God has ways that are incomprehensible, no matter how well prepared we may THINK we are for situations that may arise.
If there is one thing that I have learned about God, it's that he NEVER fails. He always comes through. And it seems like he always shows up in a FANTASTIC way right before ministry gets into a season of being really hard and really busy, to remind me that He is in control, and He is the one directing my path, and removing EVERY obstacle and crushing every opposition that sets itself up against this God ordained ministry.  His word in Psalms 105:15 has been proven time and time again in my life: "Do not touch My anointed ones, And do My prophets no harm." We have had many, many demonic obstacles come up against us lately, but it's par for the course in on the spiritual frontlines. Spiritual warfare is an everyday thing. Yet those who try to cause us trouble end us helping us in the end. God ALWAYS stands in as our defense, and plots of our enemies backfire onto them. People continue to come against us, and God continues to use their plots to our advantage and their disadvantage. He shows us whose side he is on.
"Whoever digs a hole and scoops it out falls into the pit they have made. The trouble they cause recoils on them; their violence comes down on their own heads." (Psalm 7:15-16)
Being in the front lines as soldiers for God, we have huge targets on our back. We are under constant attack from multiple areas. So with all of the spiritual warfare, craziness, non-stop running, and feeling stretched my means- I found myself this week thinking about why we do what we do. I one of my CROSSroads girls this week that we have to be crazy to take all of this on. It's emotionally exhausting. No one in their right mind would volunteer to do this. There are no boundaries. There is no schedule. There is no saying no. The situations we find ourselves in leave us in almost a near state of shock. We could say no and walk away and our lives would become much easier and much less chaotic.
But we do it because we wouldn't have it any other way. When it comes right down to it, all we are doing is befriending broken people (and we are  ALL broken) and inviting them into our lives. We offer to be there as any good friend would. It's just that these friendships involve a lot of crazy circumstances. We do it because the payoffs are SO huge and eternity changing. Seeing God penetrating hearts and setting people free from addictions is something that touches our hearts in a way that we could NEVER give up hope that there are more people out there that he wants to save and free from the bondage of addiction. More people that he wants us to tell about him. More soldiers for God in the making, more lost causes getting ready to be turned into miraculous transformations.
We do it because God has empowered us to do it, and placed a call on our lives for this very specific purpose. God has called us to preach liberty to the captives of addiction- and we don't say no to God. We could, but it would be a huge mistake on our part. He wants to use the testimony of our past to speak to people who are in the same place we once were. He wants to show them that there is hope, and there is a way out.

Philippians 2:13
for it is God who works in you to will and to act in order to fulfill his good purpose.
We do it because someone did it for us. There was a group of Godly people in Milwaukee that sacrificed their entire lives to serve God by ministering to drug addicts. They gave up everything in order to be there for addicts and offer them a place where they could have a head on collision with Jesus. They sacrificed so that I could live free from addiction in the freedom of Christ. I am too grateful and thankful to not do the same for others that God places in my path. We have the ability to offer them an exchange of death for life through accepting Jesus Christ, and we must proclaim it. 

We do it because we used to do the same thing for the devil. When we were in our addictions, there were no boundaries. No breaks. There were tons of crazy situations, but nothing deterred us because we were committed to being drug addicts. There is a saying in AA that you have to put as much work into your recovery as you put into your addiction if you want to be successful. You have to be as determined to live as you were determined to die in your addiction. Well, we are as determined to live for God as much as we used to live for the devil. Where we used to bring chaos and heartache, we try to bring peace and healing. Where we brought lies and destruction, we bring truth and restoration. We used to knock people down, and now we spend our time lifting them up. Because we have been given a second chance at life, and we want them to know that they can have one too. And that's why we do it.
And it is so beyond worth it.
              Philippians 4:13               
I can do all things through him who strengthens me

Tuesday, September 8, 2015

CROSSroads' labor day- donkeys, dirt, and dinner!

For most holidays, CROSSroads likes to gold sober gatherings so people in recovery have something safe and fun to do. This labor day, we got down on the farm (literally)! What a blast we had! Who says you need alcohol on labor day?