Friday, December 14, 2012

Treasure Hunting (prologue)

I’ve been pretty into this trilogy of documentaries over the last number of years, the final one has only just recently been released, “Father of Lights” and the first and second were, “Finger of God” and “Furious Love.” They’re an important part of my ever-growing personal resource library and I show them to our Summer Students every year. They are real eye-openers and faith-stirrers. To others, they are controversial. 

One year, the faith in the room was so stirred by the powerful testimony presented in the movies that shortly thereafter, under a beautiful moon on the back lawn of the student residency here in Ontario, at 10:30pm at night just before another full day of asparagus madness…one of our students was instantaneously healed of a very severe case of carpal tunnel. Right on our lawn, right in the middle of nowhere, right with a bunch of 20-somethings, right here in Ca-na-da. Three years later…she is still healed.  

Now the reason we were so stirred to even consider praying such bold, faith-believing prayers that we did that night, was largely due to a section of the movie where we watched people our own age, young adults, off doing street evangelism and praying bold prayers for total strangers and incredible things happening. And that happened right in Redding, California.  It wasn’t in Sri Lanka or anything and they weren’t some crazy latinos, It was the United States of America and a bunch of awkward looking white people. Just like us! Nobodies! Those documentaries were the first I ever caught a glimpse of the ministry “Bethel” that operates there in Redding under the leadership of Bill Johnson. “Incredible” and “of the Lord” would be two ways to describe what is going on over there on the west coast.  [If you are up on your worship music at all, you have probably been listening to/singing much of the music arising from there and possibly didn’t even know it.] 

In that section of the documentary showing these students going around the city “treasure hunting,” following clues to find specific people and then praying for them…I was totally intrigued to say the least. You see, just prior to that time, God started doing something a little bit radical in my life, it was a gradual lead up to a pivotal turning point and then all of a sudden, it was not gradual anymore. It was kind of a…supernatural earthquake in my faith journey that brought not devastating, but glorious results. A one-time pivotal turning point, but not a one-time event if that makes any sense. Since that time (4 years later) I’ve been playing catch-up to what the Christian walk is all about. 

Somewhere along the way in those four years, evangelism began growing in my heart.  It really is not rocket-science to figure out why, but that would make a great topic for another blog some other time. Needless to say, I kind of knew that I was going to become one of those people. Who was really bold in my faith. And went and talked to strangers. Here in my own culture! And it would be in the same spirit of those students from Bethel: going out willingly, with joy, to share the love of Christ.  An overflow, really.

Anyways, back to four years ago. So this building of evangelism started there. And I really wanted to incorporate evangelism into our Summer Program somehow with our university students that we work with for four months, two months of which are a missions trip to Guatemala.  But I didn’t seem quite ready, or maybe I was stalling because of the fear of man, who knows. Anyways, we finally took the plunge this summer. And we had “Evangelism Wednesdays” where we headed into Antigua to…evangelise. With no tools, equipping sessions or really anything. But we had to start somewhere, and the group this summer had the disposition to be our guinea pigs. We prayed a freaked-out kinda prayer every week, something like, “Lord…we’re freaked out! And this is….scary. but….we love you! And loving you means obeying you! And there’s just no way around the fact that you commanded us to GO! GO GOG OGGGOG GOOO! And share about You! So receive our love! And we believe you have divine encounters for us this day. Amen.”

And….BREAK!

And then…God did some really cool things. And you can read all about that on our ministry website, there were five stories penned out and posted. They are titled “Evangelism Story #1” …”Evangelism Story #2”… and onwards to #5. Click here and catch up: http://www.globalshore.org/category/blog/ 

[WOW. This background is taking more time then I thought it would.]

Now, because of our extremely positive results in our experiences this summer, we as a ministry want to incorporate evangelism all the time. On every trip! And see Christians participate and grow in this and become a vocal piece for Jesus.  And love on people in the process. And pray for people! And share Jesus with people! HELLO PEOPLE: mission of Jesus! SOULS. Right. Onwards! 

So we are developing resources to prep teams to do this. But I’m just a baby evangelizer myself, but the truth is folks (here’s the truth) you don’t learn how to walk out your faith by sitting in a classroom. You learn to walk out your faith by walking! Getting off of your butt, out of your house, into the world, dependent (not on yourself) but on the Holy Spirit. And that’s where you learn. It takes. A little. Bit. Of. RISK! (I am all for teaching and equipping and discipleship; don’t get me wrong. But at some point…there’s a practicum.)

And so I am learning. But I need to learn more. And fast. And our teams will be involved with this. And I host those teams. And one strategy of evangelism that is good for newbies/babies is “Treasure Hunting.” 

And…this blog is way too long already. Consider this a prologue.

(a great song: "I See Heaven" by Bryan & Katie Torwalt.) 

Monday, October 01, 2012

Banks House 2.0

Allow me to use this virtual soapbox as a platform to introduce you to a really sweet, grassroots worship movement going on in Knoxville, Tennessee.

I have been so blessed and ministered to by the sounds coming out of United Pursuit. Simple lyrics and choruses that meditate on the truths of God, United Pursuit began as a group of good friends who decided to come together to worship Jesus on Tuesday nights in their living room. They purchased a house together on Banks Ave and had their worship nights there. Then more friends started coming. and then some more again, until they had 40 or so friends packed in their little living room. They tore down some walls to accommodate 75 friends and there reached capacity. Then they recorded some of their live worship music and it made it's way around the world and has touched many people.

they are now trying to buy a new "house," a warehouse, that they want to convert to be a giant living room able to accommodate 400 friends to worship God together. it is called the Banks House 2.0

they need to raise $100,000 by October 6th. they are just over halfway there. Check out their music, check out their campaign. it is goodness. please give. we've all got a little extra in our back pocket. this is Kingdom stuff.

campaign: http://en.indiegogo.com/bankshouse2?c=home

Some music samples:
"Set a Fire" (here's the living room)

"Give me Your Eyes"   (a personal favorite, from an album cut with all proceeds going to Iris Ministries)

hot off the press: http://soundcloud.com/unitedpursuit/people-of-god-teaser

katrina


Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Tuesday, April 17th: Canada

A friend had passed me a brochure on a series of meetings that were going on in the Burlington area with several prophetic couples present. I had interest in attending, but wasn’t sure it would happen as Burlington is an hour and a half away, round trip three hours, and life is picking up in busyness with spring upon us and the Summer Student Program under two weeks away.

I said I’d think about it.

Well, it kept coming to mind. So I thought, “Saturday’s my day, if I want to go. Maybe Leah will come with me.” House-mate, co-worker, sister-in-the-Lord, I asked Leah if she’d like to come but she had plans to go to Cambridge. Hmm. Well, maybe I won’t go after all.

I messaged a friend to see if he wanted to meet me there from St. Catharine’s, but no; he was studying for finals.

Saturday morning, I woke up. A little late. Leah and I made coffee and she asked me, “so, are you going to Burlington?”

“I’m undetermined. Are you going to Cambridge?”

“I’m undetermined.”

I really was in that 50/50, I could go…I could not go…space. It was Saturday; one is permitted to be undetermined about their Saturdays. But something in me, I am sure it was that spirit-part of me, wanted to go. By myself? Sure. I’ve done that before. Why not.

Maybe I can spend the night with Elise and catch a church-service in the morning, I thought, so I texted my friend. No good…she was living in Guelph. Maybe Karla is home, I thought, and I messaged her, but didn’t hear back. Well…maybe I’ll just pack an over-night bag just in case. Who knows.

So I did. And I got in my car and drove to Hamilton, en route to Burlington, to run some errands. (sidenote: actually, to pick up some new worship music…”The Loft Sessions” by BethelMusic. Get it!)

Ran my errands and was heading to Burlington for the meeting when I thought, I should grab a bite to eat. I’ll go for sushi quick. (sidenote: I always eat sushi when in the city because the nearest sushi joint is FORTY-FIVE minutes away from where I live out here in the Sticks. So, as a rule, I always eat sushi when I’m in the city. This is just to say that…I really wanted sushi.)

I searched “food” in my reliable GPS, found a restaurant 5km off my current route, hit, “Set as new destination point” and off I went. Around the block and on to King St E.

Halfway there, I passed a sign that read, “Randy’s Burgers: grass-fed cattle” and I thought to myself, That place is legit, immediately associating the whole hipster, enviro, organic culture to it. Obviously. What else could it be. And I thought about turning around but…no. I wanted sushi. I was going for sushi.

So I passed it but then I thought, well…maybe. But no! I wanted sushi! I could have burgers whenever I wanted, but sushi…that’s something special.

Next thing I know, I’m going around the block, parking and walking to Randy’s Burgers. I guess something in me really wanted a grass-fed-cattle burger.

I order my burger, get it, and sit at one of 4-bar stools that provide the total sum of seating in this little corner restaurant. (sidenote: told you: legit.)

Now at this point I should mention that I was wearing an IHOP sweatshirt, which is a ministry that I am studying with in the States, the International House of Prayer.

A young couple with a baby sat down to my right. He then says to me, “I see you’re wearing an IHOP sweatshirt.” To which I reply, “yes!” and we begin to converse.

WELL, turns out they have been to IHOP and love the Lord Jesus. Their names? Danny and Sarah.

“why are you in town?” they ask.

“I’m going to an evening service tonight in Burlington.”

“oh, is it with the Bethel ministry team?”

“No…is Bethel doing something in town?”

(sidenote: Bethel is a really powerful ministry out of Redding California. I also follow their ministry. Young people on fire for Jesus = goodness. I’m sure if I was on Plan C for my life, it would involve me studying there. But I am on Plan A, but still…I follow their ministry keenly. And all of their music. And will…one day…roadtrip it to Redding.)

“Yes, Bethel has a ministry team here from their Supernatural School of Ministry and they are doing some services here. They will be at a church tomorrow in Stoney Creek.”

“Huh. I would really like to check that out. Hopefully I’ll hear back from my friend, I packed an overnight bag hoping to spend the night in the area, and if it works out, I’ll totally check them out tomorrow.”

“well…if this doesn’t weird you out, you can crash on our couch; we just live around the corner.”

!

Thus ensued a swapping of phone numbers and email addresses and a more or less guarantee that I would be contacting them later that night.

I drove away pretty shocked in my spirit at how the Lord orchestrates things. I shouldn’t be surprised by these things, but…I was. Seriously. New, immediate friends met in a burger joint? Bethel in the area? Finding out about that because of a random, seemingly coincidental turn-off from my sushi teasure hunt for a sudden, not even really founded, desire for a grass-fed-cattle burger?!!?

Seriously people.

The evening service was great. That’s for another blog.

Sarah had sent me an email with directions to her place and she wrote, “Also we live with another couple, (Jared & Michelle) and when we were telling them about the asparagus farm and what you do, Michelle was so excited because she knew a few students who have been there & worked on the farm."

What?

I arrive. I meet Jared and Michelle and it’s true; they know three of our summer alumni. what? Random. Remember…we are a pretty small ministry from the Sticks. and Southern Ontario has the largest population in Canada and I happen to meet people who know some of our alumni through new friends that I met in a burger joint?

Another couple was there visiting, and he looks over at me and says, “so what do you have to teach us? Because God has brought you here for some reason.”

Yes. These people are tracking with me. It is obviously clear to not only me, that the Lord has set this up.

We stayed up talking until 2am. Sharing, dialoguing, testifying. Praying. Their hearts were pure and love for Jesus evident. I had opportunity to share about some of the miracles we’ve experienced in our ministry, some of the healings, my own testimony and journey of growing in the Holy Spirit. That really intrigued them and I believe the Lord had that on the agenda for the evening. Closing in prayer, Jared said, “Lord, we just thank you for what we consider to be a miracle…bringing Katrina here this evening.”

what? How in control is our God?

The next morning, we say our farewell’s (only temporary. I’m sure I’ll be seeing them again) and I headed out to the church where the Bethel team was to be ministering.

Small church. 100 – 150 in attendance. Good teaching. And then, they brought the ministry team up. 5 young people, I’d say 20 – 25 in age, but growing in the Lord, being led by the Spirit and with a strong conviction that the giftings of the the Spirit are still in operation today. (a-men.)

The five of them had basically spent the service listening to the Lord, listening to what He was saying about the church, listening for words of knowledge to give to the congregation.

They got up, gave their prophetic words over the congregation and then began to share words of knowledge (information given by the Spirit that they would otherwise not have known) which often have to do with healings that the Lord is looking to perform. So they listed off several physical ailments that they believed the Lord wanted to heal that morning and invited those to whom they referred to come up for prayer. I was sitting there thinking, I don’t really have any ailments. I guess I won’t be going up for prayer for anything.

But then the last girl of the five gave two words of knowledge, one to do with healing and then… then she gave another one. It was different than the rest. She said, “If there is anyone here who … or knows someone who…then come up for prayer. The Lord wants to heal that.”

At this point, I must apologize because I’m not actually going to tell you what she said. It is personal and private and isn’t actually mine to tell, because that word wasn’t for me, but was for someone very dear to me. I was just there to receive that word on her behalf and receive prayer for it.

And this is my elaborate story of how the Father of Every Good and Perfect Gift had totally and completely set me up this weekend. So completely. So obviously. In so many ways. And I spent much of my drive home on Sunday utterly filled with joy and laughing and crying to this song as I rejoiced in my personal, loving Father who delights in me and in whom I delight.

p.s. on my way into Hamilton, I tuned into a podcast that I had neglected since last summer. Downloading the most recent sermon, my joy was added to greatly when, in hindsight, I reflected on the sermon entitled, “Expecting the Unexpected” that I had listened to.

I hope this testimony brings encouragement to somebody today.

Post accompanied by song, "This is What You Do" by Bethel Live. (sidebar and in-text link.)

Friday, March 09, 2012

March 9, 2012: Guatemala

What I cannot figure out is how people cannot be Christ-followers.

The wind just blew in so strong through my windows that the tissues for my runny nose went flying.

Well, biblically, I understand. It could be any number of things but you could probably break it down to a base level of hardness of heart and demonic veils.

But once those things are gone, seriously, there is no option.

As a Christ-follower, I am brought again and again to Jesus. The cross does not get old. It is the place of perpetual encounter. With someone real. My heart may grow distant for a time or develop a subtle, thin layer of frost undetected, but Jesus woos me back and dethaws me with his Love. His Cross. It is disarming. It is true. It is healing. It is LIFE. It is Really Good News.

I have been thinking lately that "religion" (here used negatively) is... .... just...always ready to step in. I could say (and I have said), "that person is religious" (again, in the negative sense) meaning that they are caught up in the systems of faith, have forgotten why they do the things they do, and have lived with a disengaged heart for a long time. And that kind of person is difficult to be around.

To be a Christ-follower is to have your heart involved with the Lord. It is to love Him. It is to obey him out of love for Him. It is to live for Him because you love Him. Because His way is good and right and true and way better than my way. When the things that make up relationship with Jesus, talking with him (prayer) adoring him (worship), hungering after him (fasting), learning about him (Bible study) actions of love for him (service) are done out of disengaged heart, you have nicely stepped out of relationship and into a religious system.

And I find that can happen very easily. So easily, in fact, that you might be in relationship with Jesus in the morning, stuck in religion in the afternoon, and then back in relationship in the evening.

You go to church and your mind is distracted during worship. And you're just... singing. But your heart is not engaged. And that then is not worship.

Fill in your own example.

Today...all day...my heart lives engaged. to my Beloved! Because he has washed me again and I am clean again and He still loves me. And I sit and "stay amazed" at the cross again.

Here in my mind I love the Lord with my thoughts directed at Him and thinking on His goodness.

Here is a song for anyone reading this that does not know Jesus or for those who do know Jesus but find that religion has crept in and their heart has become disengaged.

In order to listen to it, it is required that you have 20 minutes of uninterrupted time and preferably are stationary so that you can have your eyes closed. I present: "The Harlot" by Misty Edwards.


Sunday, February 26, 2012

February 26, 2012: Guatemala

It is the dry season in Guatemala right now.

I woke up to the sound of rain.

I thought I was dreaming. truly. I thought I was making it up in my mind. So I rolled over and went back to bed.

But then I was sure that it was rain. But it's the dry season! so i got out of bed and looked out the window. and it was raining, most definitely raining, in the middle of the dry season.

and in my half-comatose state, the strong and seemingly very logical thought that came to mind, unrivaled, was that the Spirit was raining down. The Spirit was raining down. And it had to do something with the Young Adult group that was just with us and who has now returned to Canada.

And that was the only thing it could be.

-----------

During worship this morning at church, my mind was supremely distracted. Supremely. I was exasperated with catching my mind wandering to all the work-related things that have to be done this week and finally I just said out loud to the Lord, "Jesus, this is YOUR time. This mind is yours, help me to worship you with my mind."

And what happened next was this: the Lord brought me into a deeply focused meditation on the cross. I couldn't tell you what song was playing or for how long I sat there with my eyes closed, but the Lord brought me into a meditation of Christ on the cross and brought great revelation to my heart. And it was precious.

Saturday, February 11, 2012

I have been thinking about a lot of things lately.

Many of those thoughts have arisen from the Book of the Year, "The Knowledge of the Holy" by Tozer.

One thought I will write briefly on is the Eternity of God.

I will paint something soon that will depict the following:




------------------------




This line is the history of the world.

The white space around it is eternity.

Extending outwards. Forever. For eternity.

And my life and yours, while in these finite bodies, move in one direction along that line.

But eternity engulfs that line and is not limited to time in the same way. It is all of it at once.

And God inhabits eternity.

And meditating on this has brought great revelation to me lately.

And part of that revelation is really understanding for the first time how my words echo throughout eternity. Because my little life on that little line, when I send up a prayer, a declaration, when I "speak blessing or cursing" (hopefully the former and not the latter) that sound wave comes up from that little line into the white space.

And echoes for eternity.

And I didn't totally buy into that the last two years until I meditated on my life as a line within eternity.

And now I can't stop thinking about it.

And that's why what I do matters. and what I say matters. And Praise the Lord He wipes my sinful acts out of the eternal picture when I am found, and remain, in Jesus [as far as the east is from the west...(that's a really long way when eternity knows no limits)] But only he can erase eternal things. and Praise the Lord he counts faith as righteousness, and righteousness lasts for eternity. Because that's a quality of the Godhead and faith, to begin with, is authored by God.

Wednesday, February 01, 2012

What's with this. Kat? updating? Never.

Inspiration comes from strange sources sometimes. The inspiration to update this time came from a friend studying abroad in England who himself is keeping a blog and his witty, humorous, well-written post that I read this morning has been, I believe, the catalyst for my own entry.

Some other time I will bear my heart online, at least my spiritual heart, but for now I will simply do what I tend towards too often (apologies), and that is: to link you elsewhere.

The good news is my links always lead to (in my opinion) worthy rabbit trails.

The other good news is if you read this blog, which is about me, myself and I (SHEESH. how narcissistic can our culture get), the links usually lead somewhere that is also related to...me, myself and I. Ha.

This time the link will lead you to the Global Shore ministry webpage, especially to a link on the current house project that we are doing down in Guatemala. A family donated the dollars to fund this house project and I am just returning from leading a two-week long missions trip down south (January 16 - 27th) where we tore down the existing cornstalk structure and began the ground work for a new, block home. I wrote the update for that page so it's sorta like me blogging...right?

It's good stuff building homes for people.

That project will be completed early March.

I'll be heading south again on the 17th with a young adult group to carry on with it and other God-honoring goodness.

Check it out! Germana's House.