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Thursday, 18 August 2011

Ugh - in the top five worst things to ever happen to me...

Yesterday Alan and I decided to have a day of prayer and fasting to pray over our ministry here and our friends/family/supporters, etc. I was heading downtown to the University to spend the day talking to students while he watched Chloe at home but first I had to go to the health club I was joining and sign the contracts.

While there I decided (since drinks were ok on our day of fasting) that I would buy a protein shake to have on the bus downtown. I chose the strattiatella (sp?) which is basically like chocolate chip but instead of mixing it with ice they just use straight skim milk and this whey protein powder.

As most people that know me know, I love to have things really cold so I thought the best thing to do would be just to drink it fast so it wouldn't get hot. Mind you it was like a 16oz protein shake - huge! Still it tasted alright and I went down to the University to meet with the students.

About two hours later I became overwhelmingly tired - like I literally thought about climbing up on the table and falling asleep.

Then I felt like I was starving to death.

I called Alan and told him what was going on and I asked him to pray for me that I would not be so tired or so hungry and that I could continue to meet with students and share my faith with them, survey them about their beliefs, etc.

The night before I had felt an incredible amount of depression-like feelings, anger toward my husband for absolutely nothing and major, major homesickness. Alan and I agreed that it was spiritual attacks and that we should pray against them and sure enough after we prayed I felt a ton better.

Then this happened. Overwhelmingly tired, then starving like I hadn't eaten in weeks. About 10 minutes later I got this feeling that I was going to be sick. I just knew within the next 30 seconds I was going to throw up. Well the bathroom was about 500 yards away from where I was sitting and I still had to pack up my laptop and all my junk but for whatever reason it simply wouldn't go into my backpack and zip up so by the time I finally did get it all packed away I knew I wasn't going to make it to the bathroom.

I saw a set of double doors nearby leading out back and I ran for them but as I approached the first set of double doors I just projectile vomited all over them. All 16 ounces of that protein shake came out of me. I pushed through the double doors trying to get outside but the second set was locked so I ended up throwing up in my hands and all over my clothes, hair everything. WORST.MOMENT.EVER!!!!

Ugh, at this point I ran back to the bathroom and fortunately didn't pass too many people and was able to get myself cleaned up (relatively) and then I made my best attempt at cleaning the glass doors that I had destroyed. Unfortunately I think I only made it worse.

Smelling and tasting like puke is probably not the best way to continue to talk to students so I bought a pack of gum, got on the bus then then tram and then drove the 45 minutes home.

Alan was waiting for me and I was able to shower and sleep the rest of the day off and on and today I feel much better but talk about embarassing and such a horrible, horrible experience.

Do I think the physical things I went through yesterday were also spiritual attack? Yes I actually do. There's no doubt in my mind that my enemy does not want me sharing the hope that Jesus brings with the sweet atheist, catholic and buddhist I talked to yesterday nor the many atheists, agnostics, catholics, humanists, etc. that I've talked to in the last few weeks.

Still, Alan and I had a great prayer time together yesterday once I woke up from my nap and I felt God blessing me for going through it. Would I rather that not EVER, EVER happen again? Uhhh I think you can guess the answer to that. ICKY! :)

Friday, 12 August 2011

Riots, Looting, Stock Market Crashes and Grace

This last week has been one where worldly securities have vaporized. Families in the UK have lost their homes and their livelihoods when disturbed youths decided to riot, loot and rampage their communities. Alan and I watched in awe as teenagers and young adults swarmed and looted a Debenham's in downtown London while police watched from a short distance away. I actually found myself yelling at the tv - "why don't they DO something?!" Alan said, "like what?" "Arrest them! I said. "Throw them in police vans! Don't just sit there watching criminal activity taking place!" It was clear who was in control from seeing the pictures and at least on day's 1, 2 and 3 -- it wasn't the police.

So why did they do it?

In all honesty no one really knows. David Cameron says they are all vigilantes that need a strong hand and stiffer punishment and that it has nothing to do with his policy changes and budget cuts. Others say it's a combination of things. In my opinion, being poor and underprivileged gives you no right to ruin the livelihood or physically harm someones property or even worse, their person. Peaceful demonstration - I'm all for it. But not this mess. This to me shows a generation of youths that are selfish, spoiled, lazy and have no sense of shame. They need their benefit checks revoked and they need to be required to find a job which they are then motivated to work hard to keep. Only when they are effective contributors to a society will they realize the value of what they've destroyed in the last week.

All this was going on in England while the stock market was falling like mad in the United States and around the world. I began to think we might start seeing stock brokers and ordinary people throwing themselves from the roofs of buildings as their fortunes disappeared but fortunately (at least this time) it didn't get that bad. It was however, a roller coaster week.

So what was learned?

Hopefully, that putting your trust in anything besides Jesus Christ is simply the biggest waste of time imaginable. My mom said my dad was stressed about it and I said, "the way I see it we should all be looking at our stock accounts as if tomorrow they could just evaporate and disappear. Those antiques you plan to hand down to your children may have to be sold one day to buy bread!" My mom chuckled - "yeah or be burned so we can keep warm". We laughed about it but there has never been a time in history (with the exception of the day after 9/11) that has felt more like the start of the end times for me.

It's not just the riots and the looting and the stock market crashing. It's everything. It's the natural disasters and the global warming that is affecting our weather systems like never before. It's the fact that the US owes 1,200,000,000 to China. It's the persecution of christians around the globe and the spread of Islam like wildfire. It's the rise of false prophets (or pastors of mega-churches in America that advocate a different gospel to what Christ preached). It's even seen in an organization like Pioneers that is committed to taking the gospel to every people group on the planet and has nearly accomplished it.

What is interesting to me is the fact that the bible did foretell and forewarn ALL of this.

Take a look and see if you don't agree. Matthew chapter 24 starting in verse six says, "You will hear of wars and rumors of wars, but see to it that you are not alarmed. Such things must happen, but the end is still to come. 7 Nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. There will be famines and earthquakes in various places. 8 All these are the beginning of birth pains. 9 Then you will be handed over to be persecuted and put to death, and you will be hated by all nations because of me. 10 At that time many will turn away from the faith and will betray and hate each other, 11 and many false prophets will appear and deceive many people. 12 Because of the increase of wickedness, the love of most will grow cold, 13 but the one who stands firm to the end will be saved. 14 And this gospel of the kingdom will be preached in the whole world as a testimony to all nations, and then the end will come."

Did you catch yourself saying - check, check, check like a list of to do's although this is a list of "will happen's"? Ugh. On the one hand I want Jesus to come back and to put a final end to suffering worldwide and to judge those that have done evil things like the man who raped the two year old little girl outside a day care in North Carolina this week. Heaven help that man and if it was my little girl? Oh I can't even think about it without going nuts.

Of all the students I interviewed at the University of Heidelberg when I asked them what one question was they would ask God if they could ask, the majority said, "why is there so much suffering and bad stuff that happens?". Well, Jesus had an answer for that. First, he knows the meaning of suffering because He suffered far worse than we suffer and he was completely innocent of the charges brought against Him. Secondly He promises justice will be done in the final judgment. There will come a day (and it looks to be very soon) where he will judge all those that caused suffering or pain here on earth. I am so grateful that when God sees MY sin that He sees Christ who voluntarily takes my place because I accepted His free gift of grace.

In this world of uncertainty, have you accepted His grace for the evil that resides in you? Nevermind the evil in the world around you. God will deal with that. What do you do with the evil that lives within you? No matter how much of a better person you may think you are than Joe Schmo down the street, Jesus said the only way to heaven was through Him. If you died tonight can you rest assured you would spend eternity in Heaven? If not, you can be. Ask Jesus to forgive you for your sins and come into your life. The bible says, "if we confess our sins He is faithful and just to forgive us of our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness." Message me if you want to know more. I'd love to talk to you.