Trusting God to lead through the Desert

I wish I could say that as I have walked with God for the last 7 years, my trust and faith in Him were stronger than they are. I know that all christians go through highs and lows in our walks with the Lord, but that doesn’t mean it isn’t discouraging sometimes as new challenges arise, to see that you are still prone to the same tendencies as before.

As I allow the Lord to direct my steps and as He has called me into a new season helping with a church plant in Torino Italy, the more and more I realize I continue to falter and lose heart because I am looking at myself and not at Christ. I start out trusting that He has called me, and He is faithful to provide all my needs, and equip me for the work, (Which is true!) but then, I become like Peter when he was walking to Jesus in the storm. I start worrying that I won’t make a difference in such a huge place, or bring anything to the team or that I won’t be bold enough, or I will get depressed from living surrounded by grey buildings with no nature around, or that I won’t have enough financially for every month, etc. If I let my mind wander, I know I could fill this whole page with reasons why it could be better off if I didn’t go, or why God chose the wrong person, yet I know as believers we can’t follow our emotions!

The Bible tells us that God chose the foolish things of the world to shame the wise ( 1 Cor. 1:27) which means He will get even more glory through using those of us who are broken and unlikely characters for His will. Knowing this truth is very reassuring, especially when I think of other promises in the Word which reaffirm it’s His work, not mine-

«He who calls you is faithful; he will surely do it.»

‭‭1 Thessalonians‬ ‭5:24‬ ‭

«You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you that you should go and bear fruit and that your fruit should abide, so that whatever you ask the Father in my name, he may give it to you.»

‭‭John‬ ‭15:16‬ ‭

So in the midst of these anxieties and fears and transitions, one thing the Lord has made clear to me, is the fact He is still leading me, and will not allow me to be “in want”.

«They did not thirst when he led them through the deserts; he made water flow for them from the rock; he split the rock and the water gushed out.»

‭‭Isaiah‬ ‭48:21‬ ‭ESV‬‬

I’m grateful that God gives us promises in his Word such a this, so that when, not if, desert seasons happen in the life of a believer, we are not caught off guard.

If you look closely at this verse, it’s God Himself who is leading the Israelites into the desert, and it’s not just one, it’s multiple! So even though it’s not ideal or comfortable for us, The Lord clearly has a plan, and knows we need a season of growth. He wants us to walk by Faith and Trust that if He says he will provide water from the Rock, and lead us through, than He will do just that!

So even though I am still not thrilled with the idea of going through a desert season as I face moving to Torino, I know this will refine me, and grow me in my dependence on Christ and in His Strength, not my own. Also, I know it’s important as believers to share this “living water” we have in Christ with others who may be in the desert as well, yet don’t know how to quench their thirst.

Jesus said to her, “Everyone who drinks of this water will be thirsty again, but whoever drinks of the water that I will give him will never be thirsty again. The water that I will give him will become in him a spring of water welling up to eternal life.”»

‭‭John‬ ‭4:13-14‬ ‭ESV‬‬

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Crossing the Jordan

I used to think I was really good at ‘change’ and all that it entails; However I have been learning lately, that is not completely accurate. It depends on the circumstances of course, and whoever else may be involved, or how big of a change etc. And as difficult as external changes can be, especially when we are far away from the people we love and the have no control of the situations, the more difficult changes seem to always be internal.

Its been very challenging for me lately, to say the least, as I feel the Lord has been leading me in new ways over these last few months, and stretching me in my faith than He has before. But in each situation, I am always learning to know Him so much more intimately and for this I am grateful for the changes and the challenges. He has become to me so tangible, as my Daily Bread and Provider, when the cupboards are empty and so are my pockets; as my Strong Tower and Refuge, when the spiritual battle is overwhelming and the darts from the enemy are relentless; as my Good Shepherd and Father, when I stray and need His loving hand to guide me back and remind me Whose I am.

I also have been realizing the Lord doesn’t always lead us in the same way as He has done in the past. For example when the Israelites wandered in the Wilderness, they had the pillar of fire by night and a cloud during the day; but when it was time for them to enter into the promised land, and cross the Jordan river, God sent the Ark of the Covenant before them first.

«And Joshua said, “Here is how you shall know that the living God is among you and that he will without fail drive out from before you the Canaanites, the Hittites, the Hivites, the Perizzites, the Girgashites, the Amorites, and the Jebusites. Behold, the ark of the covenant of the Lord of all the earth is passing over before you into the Jordan.»

‭‭Joshua‬ ‭3:10-11‬ ‭ESV‬‬

This for me has been very comforting, to see that God doesn’t abandon us when the waters are running high, and he calls us to step out in Faith. He himself goes before us and prepares the way, and will not fail to lead us through to the other side- what a Mighty and Loving God we serve! This also gives me such encouragement as I know God is continually wanting to do new things in me, or use me in new ways that I feel so under qualified for; because it helps me to cling to so much more to Christ and His power, and Abide in Him daily.

I want to share a quote from the book “Christ Indwelling and Enthroned” by J. Oswald Sanders, which really expounds more on what I feel the Lord is teaching me in this season, which I pray will be an encouragement to my other brothers and sisters in Christ as well.

“The Christian who imagines that life in the Promised Land is one of rest from temptation and conflict, has a great disillusionment awaiting him. There is not less temptation, but more strong and subtle temptation. There is not less conflict, but more constant conflict. The difference lies in the fact that in Canaan the battle is not fought under our own leadership,but under that of the Victorious Man with the drawn sword, Who has never suffered defeat. It is not rest from conflict but rest in conflict.”

Refinement, Reflections and Reassurance 

«Examine me, O Lord, and prove me; test my heart and my mind.» ‭‭Psalm‬ ‭26:2‬ ‭AMPC‬‬

If we decided to be wholly  honest with ourselves as believers, I would say most people don’t readily jump in excitement to ask this of the Lord. Asking God, our perfect and spotless creator and sovereign judge of the whole world, to test our hearts and minds, and see if there is any wicked ways in us, to see if we are measuring up to His perfect standard of Holiness… that’s a scary request! But it’s not scary because  God is some sort of  mean tyrant, waiting to punish us mere mortals for not being perfect…that’s not who God is. He is our loving Father and always has our good and His glory in mind, so that nothing we go through is without a purpose, which is what we need to remember as we go through those hard times of refining-

«And ye have forgotten the exhortation which speaketh unto you as unto children, My son, despise not thou the chastening of the Lord, nor faint when thou art rebuked of him: For whom the Lord loveth he chasteneth, and scourgeth every son whom he receiveth. If ye endure chastening, God dealeth with you as with sons; for what son is he whom the father chasteneth not?»

‭Hebrews‬ ‭12:5-7‬ ‭KJV‬
The reason ( at least for myself) that it can be a scary request, is because there is hardly ever a time that we are completely blameless, that our lives are free from sin, that our hearts have no hidden motives, and that our thoughts are 100% pure according to the Lords Standards. We are callled to be Holy in all we do as He is Holy (1 Peter 1:15-16), and for that to take place, we must go through the sanctification ( refinement ) process as we live here on earth. Even when we may be ‘walking worthy’ with the Lord, the more that we ask Him to examine our hearts and test us, the more He reveals the deep roots we have yet to allow Him to prune away- maybe there is Pride and love of Self, or unsurrendered desires, or areas of compromise..the list can go on forever.. We will be continually needing the Lord to purify us and work in our hearts to make us more like Jesus every day that we are in this body, until we are no longer here on this earth. 

Some times that can be a discouraging thought, yet God never intended it to be something that brings us to despair and ‘giving up’, unless it’s the giving up of trying to do it in our own strength, instead of the Lords. He uses it as a means for us to depend more and more on Him and the Holy Spirit, so that in all things He is glorified, and so that we only boast in the Lord, not in ourselves; and through this whole sanctification process, He always gives us Encouragement and Hope. 

«Now may our Lord Jesus Christ Himself and God our Father, Who loved us and gave us everlasting consolation and encouragement and well-founded hope through [His] grace (unmerited favor), Comfort and encourage your hearts and strengthen them [make them steadfast and keep them unswerving] in every good work and word.»

‭‭2 Thessalonians‬ ‭2:16-17‬ ‭AMPC‬‬

This eternal consolation and encouragement really sticks out to me because it shows how much the Lord knows we need that; plus the fact that Jesus Christ Himself and God the Father is the source of that comfort and encouragement should be something that strengthens the heart of every believer because what more could we ever need or ask for? We know that God will never leave us  or abandon us, that He has a plan and a purpose for each one of us on this earth, and that the work He started in us, He will complete it ! ( Heb 13:8)( Jer 29:11)(Phil 1:6) So let us not be afraid to ask the Lord to search our hearts, and do that necessary purifying work to make us Holy as He is Holy; and in the midst of whatever refining process we may be experiencing, whether it’s all internal and just between you and the Lord, or it’s a result of external circumstances and involves other people, let’s continue to cling to The Lord, His Truth and Look to Jesus as our source of Hope and Encouragement. 

«Consider him who endured from sinners such hostility against himself, so that you may not grow weary or fainthearted

‭‭Hebrews‬ ‭12:3‬ ‭ESV‬‬

Lessons I am Learning…

  I can’t imagine living life without the Lord, life is already exhausting and complicated , but having to face that alone-choosing to face that alone- is miserable. Mamma Mia. 

In these first few weeks here I continue to just learn more and more of my need for Jesus -His strength, His wisdom,etc-and how Competely dependent I need to be on Him, if I want to be an effect witness and do anything that will have eternal value.  

One of the main things God is teaching me, is that I need to just be ‘seeking His face’ and leaving the rest up to Him. I can get so wrapped up in the doing and forget that it’s about just being. Being in His presence, being at His feet, being the woman of God he created me to be, just being content and trusting that He is in control. When we do this, He promises He will take care of the everything – including the little details!

“Then shall ye call upon me, and ye shall go and pray unto me, and I will hearken unto you. And ye shall seek me, and find me, when ye shall search for me with all your heart. And I will be found of you, saith the Lord…”

‭‭Jeremiah‬ ‭29:12-14‬ ‭KJV‬‬

  
Another lesson- Prayer. So crucial. The mental image that keeps coming to my mind is an IV bag with the hose that the medicine runs through. The Lord is obviously the source of all we need to live, and Prayer is that very essential hose which connects us. 

It’s easy to be overwhelmed and not know what to do, because every situation we face is diverse and needs to be handled a different way. Whenever we work with other  people, we have to be Delicate, because feelings can be easily get hurt or maybe someone’s intentions aren’t communicated clearly, etc. People were created as emotional beings, (whether they choose to show and accept it or not),  so it’s very easy to say and do things that cause hurt to one another, and it’s not always easy to reconcile afterwards. Prayer is So necessary in these situations! Before we even try to fix these problems, or before we decide to say anything else to that person, we must pray. It is through this IV hose that God is faithful to show us how to approach them, what to say, what not to say, and when. God gave us His Word as the instruction manual for this life- now it’s our job to read it and use it properly. 

«When pride comes, then comes shame; But with the humble is wisdom.»

«He who is devoid of wisdom despises his neighbor, But a man of understanding holds his peace.»

‭‭Proverbs‬ ‭11:2,12‬ ‭NKJV‬‬

«Blessed are the peacemakers: for they shall be called the children of God.»

‭‭Matthew‬ ‭5:9‬ ‭KJV‬‬

   

         

The Convicting Work of the Spirit…

I don’t know about you guys, but the word ‘conviction’, isn’t really something most people like to hear, especially when it pertains to something about ourselves. There is always negative thoughts with it, like someone who is a convict, who has been tried and found guilty of a crime; and we don’t like to think that in some way or another we could have done something wrong, or that we also need correction or discipline. But how wrong we are…sin is so deceptive. Especially the sin of pride. 

«In their own eyes they flatter themselves too much to detect or hate their sin.»

‭‭Psalm‬ ‭36:2‬ ‭NIV‬‬

«See to it, brothers and sisters, that none of you has a sinful, unbelieving heart that turns away from the living God. But encourage one another daily, as long as it is called “Today,” so that none of you may be hardened by sinʼs deceitfulness

‭‭Hebrews‬ ‭3:12-13‬ ‭NIV‬‬

 I can’t even begin to tell you guys how much the Lord has revealing the gross things in my heart, and convicting me of just so much deep rooted sin that is based in a greater love of self and my desires, than in Christ. It seems the more and more we walk with the Lord (in years) , the easier it is to feel we are ‘doing good’, not really sinning in a ‘big way’, because there is nothing outwardly that would look like a sin. Yet on the inside…wow. We know Jesus was always more concerned what is on the inside of a person, than on the outside. 

For it is from within, out of a personʼs heart, that evil thoughts come—sexual immorality, theft, murder, adultery, greed, malice, deceit, lewdness, envy, slander, arrogance and folly. All these evils come from inside and defile a person.”»

‭‭Mark‬ ‭7:19, 21-23‬ ‭NIV

How in need we are to realize that we, just as human beings, are so unholy and so in need of a Savior! It doesn’t  matter how long we have been a Christian, our dependence on the Lord should be ever increasing, not decreasing! If anything we have more need of His Grace, because we start to think of ourselves more highly than we ought (Rom 12:3), and are blinded by our self righteousness, just as the Pharisees and religious leaders of Jesus time. 

«To some who were confident of their own righteousness and looked down on everyone else, Jesus told this parable: “Two men went up to the temple to pray, one a Pharisee and the other a tax collector. The Pharisee stood by himself and prayed: ‘God, I thank you that I am not like other people—robbers, evildoers, adulterers—or even like this tax collector. I fast twice a week and give a tenth of all I get.’ 

‭‭Luke‬ ‭18:9-12

Maybe this rings a bell for someone else besides myself- because it’s easy to say, ‘this isn’t me, I’m not like that, I would never look down on others like that’. Yet maybe it’s not so much that you are looking down on others, but it’s that you are looking too much at yourself instead of Christ, the very reason for your existence and the very reason you can even claim righteousness. 

«What is more, I consider everything a loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whose sake I have lost all things. I consider them garbage, that I may gain Christ and be found in him, not having a righteousness of my own that comes from the law, but that which is through faith in Christ—the righteousness that comes from God on the basis of faith.»

‭‭Philippians‬ ‭3:8-9‬ ‭NIV

Oh…Did I mention this has been a painful refining process? Yet So necessary and So good. It shows God is still working on me, that He hasn’t given up on me, and that He loves me enough to not let me remain ‘the wretch that I am’ without Christ ( Rom 7:24-25); so praise the Lord for the work of conviction from the Holy Spirt! Praise the Lord that the Word of God is sharper than any double edged sword- that it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart ( Heb 4:12).Praise the Lord that when the body of Christ functions properly, we can in honesty and love, confront,rebuke, and correct one another with the Word; so that we can all grow together in the Lord, becoming more and more like Christ, as we humble ourselves and choose to depend on Him, not ourselves, daily. 

Learning the meaning of Sacrifice…

«This is my commandment, That ye love one another, as I have loved you. Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends.

John‬ ‭15:12-13

Laying down your life for your friends..what does that practically look like? 

Obviously we can use it in the literal sense, like jumping in front of a bullet for your loved one, or pushing your child out of the way of a moving vehicle,etc. There are plenty of real life ‘ heroic deeds’ done all the time in the world that display that love; But not all sacrifice is demonstrated in this way. 

Sometimes sacrifice is as simple as Obedience- Laying down your will and desires for someone elses. Obviously as Christians that is a crucial part of our walk with the Lord, ‘dying to self, and picking up your cross daily’. It’s not easy to say no to self, yet it’s not supposed to be-that’s why it called a sacrifice- something we don’t want to give up because it’s ‘ours’, something precious to us, something we don’t think we can live without. Yet, we know even our Father God chose to sacrifice that which was most precious to Him, for us( John 3:16) ( Gen 22:1-16), so how can we not also choose give up anything He asks of us? Even Jesus chose to lay down his will for his Fathers will. 

«And he went a little further, and fell on his face, and prayed, saying, O my Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass from me: nevertheless not as I will, but as thou wilt.

‭‭Matthew‬ ‭26:39

«Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus: Who, being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God: But made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men: And being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross.»

‭‭Philippians‬ ‭2:5-8‬ ‭KJV‬‬

The ancient streets of Pompei

During this season of my life, I am realizing more and more my need to have mind like Christ- being willing to be humbled and obedient, even to the point of death, whether it’s a physical death, or the harder choice, daily choosing death to ‘self’ and sacrificing my will, for the will of God; Knowing that ultimately His Will for us is perfect.Even if it’s hard, and seems pointless- there is always a reason, and He is always Soverign, He is seeing the end result of the refinement and sanctification we endure for His sake- let us Trust in His Soverignty and Goodness for His children and choose to joyfully walk in  Obedience as Christ did. 

«And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.»

‭‭Romans‬ ‭12:2‬ ‭KJV‬‬
«Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God.»

‭‭Hebrews‬ ‭12:2‬ ‭KJV

Sunset over Mount Vesuvius

A new view of Bible College

Over the past 3.5 years, bible college has been a very major part of my life, and a thing I would’ve never expected to do,yet alone serve and work at now. It was a choice that my parents ‘helped me’ make – and my attitude was less than thrilled, after having just went through my divorce and being a rather pathetic excuse of a ‘ Christian ‘. Yet God knew it was where I needed to be, He knew it would forever change my life- obviously it is not Bible college in and of itself that has done a changing work inside me- it’s God’s Word, it’s Jesus and His grace in my life- but bible college was a huge means to accomplishing that purpose and starting me on that journey of a transformed life. 

I say all this because this week was the start of our Fall Semester 2016 at Calvary Chapel Bible College Italy; and it’s been so beautiful to see everything, no longer from the  perspective of a student, but as part of the staff. 

Ephesians Class – Day 3

I feel very privileged to see how God has brought each student to this campus,’ for such a time as this’ in their lives, knowing it’s exactly where He desires them to be – for His both glory, and their good-whether they believe in that or not at this moment. It can be very easy to get discouraged during the first few weeks ( or the semester in general) , as the enemy is never a fan of Christians studying the Word ,and growing deeper in our relationship with Jesus; yet discouragement doesn’t mean we should stop running after what the Lord has for us or what He has called us to do. It’s not a closed door, it’s just a chance to cling to the Lord that much tighter, to persist in prayer, and to wait joyfully and expectantly with the Hope that we have in Christ. 

«Rejoicing in hope; patient in tribulation; continuing instant in prayer;»

‭‭Romans‬ ‭12:12‬ ‭KJV‬‬

«Now the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, that ye may abound in hope, through the power of the Holy Ghost.»

‭‭Romans‬ ‭15:13‬ ‭KJV‬‬

Another awesome perspective I feel so blessed to experience ,is seeing the way God uses these students to shine His Love, Light and Hope all over Montebelluna and wherever they go. Whether it’s through stopping to help a girl who crashed on her bike in the middle of the road, or being willing to buy medicine for someone’s child ,when it seemed like a ‘farce’, and sharing that it’s all done in Jesus Name ,and with His love; Or even the fact that Americans and large groups of students draw attention in little towns like this, and people are curious to know why they are here- all of this, and so much more, is just a small way God uses them to further His kingdom and grow us all. 

By the way, did I meantion its hasn’t even been a whole week yet? And look what God has already done :)! 

Please continue to pray for both students and staff alike as we take life ‘ giorno dopo giorno ‘ here ( day after day).

  

Living life in fast forward 

Last week I had the privilege to attend the Calvary Chapel Missions Conference 2016 in Millstatt, Austria, which was a chance for all the missionaries across Europe ( and some from Israel), to come rest and be refreshed by the Word, while enjoying the gorgeous setting of Schloss Heroldeck  for a whole week.  

  

Calvary Chapel owned ” Schloss Heroldeck” since 1989
 

It was a bit of a flash back for me, as I had already been to this particular place 3.5 years ago as a student with the bible college. I came to work/serve for a week with 5 other students, scrubbing Alge off of the boat dock, painting, and so much more. This place holds a special spot in my heart, as it was here that God spoke so clearly to me about continuing  bible college and learning more of ‘Who He is’ through His Word. Also, it was here that He spoke to me of the need for more boldness in proclaiming what He had done in my life( which He did using this verse): 

«I have proclaimed the good news of righteousness In the great assembly; Indeed, I do not restrain my lips, O LORD, You Yourself know. I have not hidden Your righteousness within my heart; I have declared Your faithfulness and Your salvation; I have not concealed Your lovingkindness and Your truth From the great assembly.»Psalms 40:9-10 

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The view overlooking ‘Millstatt Am See ‘

But as beautiful as it was to look back at what God has done there already, and since that time, it’s also beautiful that our God is about ‘making all things new’. As believers in Christ, we receive new lives, new ways of thinking and living, new desires, new strength, etc. All of these things and so much more are available to those who decide to trust in Jesus and we will never be disappointed when we trust and lean on Him and His grace to make this transformation happen in our lives. 

«Therefore we were buried with Him through baptism into death, that just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life.»

‭‭Romans‬ ‭6:4‬ ‭NKJV‬‬

This is definetly something I feel that the Lord is teaching me, and showing me how to do so much more; just knowing who I am in Him, trusting in His Good nature,and realizing everything else will fall into place in this life. We do not have to strive to be a new creation in Christ, because in Christ we already are-It’s a completed and finished work! When we realize how God our Father sees us, (Jer 43:1-4)(2 Cor.5:7)(1 Pet. 2:9)(Zech. 3:1-4) then the only thing left to do is live in this newness and not let the old self drag us back into slavery. 

«knowing this, that our old man was crucified with Him, that the body of sin might be done away with, that we should no longer be slaves of sin. For he who has died has been freed from sin. Now if we died with Christ, we believe that we shall also live with Him,»

‭‭Romans‬ ‭6:6-8‬ ‭NKJV‬‬

Obviously this is a topic that the Bible speaks about heavily, and I feel like I have barely scraped the surface of this exciting freedom and newness in Christ; yet it’s also a something We must learn  practically as well. Through His Word, through diligent and purposeful prayer time, through personal devotions and just following the example of my Lord and Savior.

«But now since you have been set free from sin and have become the slaves of God, you have your present reward in holiness and its end is eternal life. For the wages which sin pays is death, but the [bountiful] free gift of God is eternal life through (in union with) Jesus Christ our Lord.»Rom 6:22-23 

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A brief thought on prayer and ‘the struggle’

Does it ever seem to anyone else that the thing we know we need to be doing, is the hardest thing to do, even if it’s the best thing for us? 

I have been studying in the Bible the of Romans lately and completely relating with Paul when He speaks about this very real struggle…

«For I know that in me (that is, in my flesh) nothing good dwells; for to will is present with me, but how to perform what is good I do not find. For the good that I will to do, I do not do; but the evil I will not to do, that I practice.»

‭‭Romans‬ ‭7:18-19‬ ‭NKJV‬‬

One of the things personally I have been struggling with is my prayer life. Truly, it’s something that I want and I know I need more of-especially when it comes to being in ministry- but it’s been so hard for me to do lately. I’m not saying I’m not praying or that I have stopped talking to God; but it’s having that real, intimate, and personal prayer time with Jesus that I am missing out on.  Whether it’s out of me over scheduling myself, and ‘not having enough time’, or maybe feeling anxious about what God will say during that time..I don’t know, it’s probably a mix of both, if not other reasons. But I know it’s So necessary. Jesus was very aware of the power of prayer, and how crucial it was for him to spend that alone time with His Father. He gives us fantastic examples of how he was diligent to rise early, just so he could spend time with Him. 

«Now in the morning, having risen a long while before daylight, He went out and departed to a solitary place; and there He prayed.»Mark 1:35 NKJV 

Then we see Jesus was also obedient in doing the will of the Father, which He knew from what had been communicated to Him through his prayer time. 

«Jesus spoke these words, lifted up His eyes to heaven, and said: “Father, the hour has come. Glorify Your Son, that Your Son also may glorify You, as You have given Him authority over all flesh, that He should give eternal life to as many as You have given Him. And this is eternal life, that they may know You, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom You have sent. I have glorified You on the earth. I have finished the work which You have given Me to do. And now, O Father, glorify Me together with Yourself, with the glory which I had with You before the world was.»

‭‭John‬ ‭17:1-5‬ ‭NKJV‬‬

If Jesus knew the necessity of spending that intimate alone time with the Father, so that He could know the His will and recieve the strength to live out His life in obedience to that will-shouldn’t that humble us even more and drive us urgently to our knees in prayer as well? 

I think that’s my cue to go pray lol.. 

  

The new perspective…

Like stepping back into time, this island is not what I had expected-in all reality I don’t even know what I expecte from Sardegna ,but it took me by surprise. Gorgeous beaches, sandy and clear, or with red rocks and cliffs, and even a beach full of Quartz. Also, many types of diverse terrain -such as mountain peaks,tropical beaches, desert, forests and little towns ‘supposably’ founded  in the middle of a volcano- such as Santu Lussurgu. A little town that seems uneffected by the outside world, still maiteining their traditions and a place where everyone literally knows everyone…so that means when this American came to visit, it was pretty obvious. 🙂 

  

I was blessed to spend ten days there with my dear friend Gianna, after 3yrs of first meeting each other at the bible college in Montebelluna Italy. This was something we had talked about and planned ever since then, but it’s amazing how God’s timing is always perfect. I may not be completely fluent in the Italian language yet, but I know that even through my poor grammar and broken words the Lord has been planting seeds in people’s hearts and minds about Him and His Word; but even more than that, I have been able to see how He is using Gianna and her boyfriend Mauro so much more, to show this whole village how Jesus changes lives. They may not realize the impact they are having as they continue to just live their lives normally , but it’s obvious something is different; and when we have Jesus in our lives, it’s not something you can hide.

“…the master of the banquet tasted the water that had been turned wine. He did not realize where it came from, though the servants who had drawn the water knew.”

John 2:9

Something I’m realizing first hand during this trip (in Sardegna, Sicily, and Rome) ,there is a huge void of the Light and Truth in many places in Italy. It’s not not like America where many you have many solid churches in one town, or other fellow believers for encouragement ,or even easy access to music and material in these places. From what I heard and experienced in Gela, Sicily, there is much deception and false doctrines creeping into to what was once Truth…( as in many places around the World- Word of Faith, Prosperity gospel etc..). This makes it obviously difficult for believers there to live in these places-not to mention the normal hardships of life..family problems, job scarcity etc. (please don’t forget to be praying for our brothers and sisters in Christ in these islands of Sicily and Sardegnia-also Italy and the rest of the world..) there  is such a need for solid bible teaching and for people to know the Hope and Joy we can have through salvation in Jesus Christ Alone.  

«Pray ye therefore the Lord of the harvest, that he will send forth labourers into his harvest.»‭‭

Matthew‬ ‭9:38

  
Even though it’s been a very eye opening trip in the realm of spiritual darkness- it’s also been very fruitful and full of divine appointments to encourage, help, bless, and share the Word of Lord, with both old /new friends, and total strangers. I love how if we are willing to be open our eyes to the conditions around us and step out of our comfort zone, God is willing to use us and give us the right Word to speak. Whether it be to a jewelry maker on the street from Mexico, who said he’d choose going to Hell over a Heaven, or a elderly grandma from Bulgaria who just wanted some bread and cheese to eat for the day, or even just sharing what God has done in your life and giving them a bible so that they too can discover Gods Love for themselves through His Word. Don’t be afraid to let the Lord use you.. Nothing we do in the name of Jesus is ever wasted. His Word never returns void, continue to sow the seeds of His Gospel and Trust He be the one to make them grow and bring them to Harvest. ❤

«For as the rain cometh down, and the snow from heaven, and returneth not thither, but watereth the earth, and maketh it bring forth and bud, that it may give seed to the sower, and bread to the eater: So shall my word be that goeth forth out of my mouth: it shall not return unto me void, but it shall accomplish that which I please, and it shall prosper in the thing whereto I sent it.»

‭‭Isaiah‬ ‭55:10-11‬ ‭KJV‬‬