Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Refreshed. Redeemed.

God reminded me of some truth, so I thought I would share it with you.

2 Corinthians 12:9 is a verse that will probably continue to shape my faith and walk with the Lord this year... It says,

"My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness."

I struggled with understanding what Jesus actually meant by saying that. I probably wrote a blog about it a few weeks ago. Anyway, at one of my lowest points this summer, Jesus spoke to me in a dream. Now, this wasn't a dream that was all smoke and mirrors... we were simply having a conversation. There was specific sin that I was struggling with and attempting to punish myself for. I said to Him,

"Is that it? Do I really just get off the hook and walk away like that? How is that fair? Don't I deserve more?" His response to me was, "Michelle, this is what I meant by my grace being sufficient for you. I took care of the punishment by going to the Cross."

Later on, I read in Psalm 89:30-34

"If his children forsake my law and do not walk according to my rules, if they violate my statues and do not keep my commandments, then I will punish their transgression with the rod and their iniquity with stripes, but I will not remove from him my steadfast love or be false to my faithfulness."

When I read that verse, I felt an incredible amount of refreshment. God punished my sins in Christ. His grace is sufficient. I am redeemed. That's all that I need.

Hmm... segue?

Tonight, I sat with my roommates of the House on the Hill and watched a trailer for the movie "College". After seeing this, I'm even more convinced of the need for my job...

I also wanted to include some prayer requests I have for us here at CSULB. Students are moving in at the end of this week and I'm absolutely shocked at how fast this summer has flown by. So if you think of it, could you be praying for the students who are arriving this week and next?
  • Pray that people would know and trust Christ.
  • That we, as Navigator staff and followers of Christ, would boldly encourage students to passionately run hard after Jesus and to work hard to know truth.
  • For energy during Welcome Week and excitement to build new friendships.
  • For our staff team to be on one accord as we show love and truth on campus.
  • For our team to trust the Lord as He leads us and our director, Don.
  • That we would also trust Don as he follows God's guidance.
  • For all of us and our fund-raising... that we would continue to work hard at this and trust in the Lord for His provision.
  • For our relationships with our financial partners...that we would continue to represent the Good News of Christ to them.

I think that's it for now. Be on the look out for my next newsletter. Oh and if you aren't receiving newsletters from me but would like to, please contact me and send me your address. I'd love to add you to my mailing list.

Thanks for reading. Thanks for praying. I love you and I miss all of you in Tempe. And if you're reading this and live in Cincinnati, remember, I'm coming into town September 17th - 30th. We should meet up.

Friday, August 15, 2008

External processing & A need for prayer

If I'm not honest with myself... who will I be honest with?

I love living here. Everything is different and its cool. I am beginning to adjust a little and getting used to living in Cali.... although, last night when we put together Esther's armoire, (sp) we had to earthquake proof it... which was a bit weird for me. I'm not used to earthquake proofing things.

The thing I need to be honest about is the fact that I am overwhelmed. I'm sooo overwhelmed with moving, being involved with a new/different ministry, the need to be vulnerable with new people who don't know me yet... everything. Please pray for me. Pray that I would find my comfort in the Lord and not any other place. Pray that I would feel okay to cry and be emotional. Lately, I've been telling myself that I can't cry and admit that I'm overwhelmed because when I do that, I'm doubting that the Lord is capable of working... there can't be any truth in that statement.

Anyway, the latest stress is funding...(isn't that always my stress?) As I said yesterday, I have to leave California in a month to head back to Cincinnati for 2-3 weeks to work more on my fund-raising. (September 17th - September 30th...possibly even through October 6th) Currently, I'm at 59% of my fully funded goal. 70% allows me to minister full time on campus for the fall semester. That means right now I've raised a little over $36,000. To be here for the fall I need at least another $10,000. To have 100% would be $62,000. Big numbers? Yes. Does it look ridiculous? Possibly. Do we have a big God? Yes. And, He does things that ALWAYS seem impossible. I'm excited because I've never raised this much money before, and I've seen the Lord do incredible things and bless me throughout these past few months. I'm discouraged because I unfortunately look at my percentage and realize I still have a long way to go. So, all this to say I need your prayer. Please pray with me in seeking the Lord for strength. Please pray that I will finally deal with emotions and fears and how I'm feeling. Please pray that the funding would come in... soon.

Thanks for reading. Thanks for praying. I'll see you soon, Cincinnati.

Here's an upside... I'll at least get to be there at the start of football season. WHODEY!! (that's for you Randall ;P )

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Lets pack up and move to California :)

So... I MADE IT!

I live in Southern California! That's such a crazy statement for me. Three years ago, I would have never thought of leaving Cincinnati for a job. Now... here I am. I have a job and roommates and tons of new opportunities ahead of me.

I guess you're wondering what its like and how I feel and what I thin of everything... well, so far... I haven't seen much. People here are SOOO different and so is their driving. So, I don't like to venture out much. It's always intimidating when you see people speeding up behind you only to switch lanes, pass you and cut back in front of you. I'll have to get used to the aggression on the roads out here. My roommates are amazing. I have 4 of them... Valerie, Esther, Holly and Stephanie. Together we make up the Hill House and its been pretty cool so far. I haven't spent much time with Steph yet because she's actually been out of the country for the past 10 days. I'm hanging out with Esther tonight... we're going to Ikea with hopes to find a wardrobe for the upstairs bedroom. Holly is so sweet. She laughs all the time and I love hanging out with her. Valerie encourages me to go after things and to not be afraid. We get the most time together since our schedules line up the most. She's full of suggestions for places to see and where to drive and things to explore. Its pretty cool. My first day, we went down to the Queen Mary and attempted to walk in... but it was like $25 just to WALK IN THE DOOR! Lame. We decided against that and just roamed around downtown for a bit. I think I could get used to living here.

So... I think that's all the updates on Long Beach for now. I'm hearing all about how ASU is starting up with their semester planning and I'm sooo sad to not be around for that. Its been hard to know that once again I'm starting with a ministry in a new location and I'm walking through that whole new and uncomfortable feeling... but as Eddie Broussard said, "There's no comfort in the growth zone and no growth in the comfort zone." So... here's to growing!

Other updates: Funding... wow, this has been a crazy challenge for my life. But the cool thing is I'm learning to look at it with different lenses. I mean, I could choose to look at the total number I need to raise and call the Navigators and the Lord crazy for expecting me to raise that much money as a single woman. (Honestly, I tend to do that... often) But then, I realize that what I do is NOT about money. It is NOT about fund-raising and it is NOT about being comfortable and living a life of luxury. What I do is not even about myself. Its about the Lord and His good news going out to the ends of the earth. I care a great deal about people knowing Truth and knowing that this Truth will set them free. We have been freed from the holds of our sin (no matter how big or small) and we have the chance to live new and redeemed life.

Now, the part that I do get tripped up on is doing this alone. I've been saying for the past three years, I don't know how much longer I can do this by myself. The new lesson I'm learning is that I'm not alone. I've got a continually growing base of people who want to take part in this same vision. They too want to have an impact on someone other than themselves. These people want to see my life changed and the lives of college students changed. They want to see the message of Christ go out through the nation and through the world. So I'm not alone. I never will be. I have the Lord who is fighting for me and I have a base of friends and family who are also extremely supportive. Now, because this base does need to grow and I still have a fully funded goal that I do need to reach... I will be returning to Cincinnati.

In about about a month from now, I'll be back in the city that I love. I will be meeting face to face with people and getting excited about this vision of impacting lives. So take this as my first notice. I will be in contact with you when I return home. I'd love to sit down and talk about what the Lord is doing in my life and the lives at Cal State Long Beach. If you wanna get some time with me, please please please let me know!

I think that's it for now. I promise to add pictures and more updates as I get more comfortable and explore. Lets talk soon! Thanks for reading. Thanks for praying. I love you and I miss you.

Colossians 3:16-17"Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly, teaching and admonishing one another in all wisdom, singing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, with thankfulness in your hearts to God. And whatever you do, in word or deed, do everything in the same of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through Him."