CDTS

Posts

A Call To Prayer

Caleb praying for a friend in Central Asia

Caleb praying for a friend in Central Asia

One of the great privileges that we have in our work is meeting some amazing people who live and work in some fascinating places around the globe. While we miss these folks incredibly when we aren’t with them, we strive to maintain relationship with them even when we are in another part of the world. This week we are learning of three situations from three of our friends that desperately need prayer.

First, for the amazing family that hosted us in Central Asia this past summer. Each of the three members of this beautiful family are having health issues. It is clear that these issues go beyond physical and are nothing short of a spiritual attack on them. These folks are involved at a foundational level with one of the agencies leading the work in that particular country. Additionally, they are instrumental in aiding the church in that very closed nation to establish wholly indigenous forms of worship. In this family, the husband is in need of surgery on his shoulder. The wife is struggling with a protuding disc in her back. The daughter has a rash and some occasional bleeding.

Second, for a family that we spent the spring of 2012 with in Colorado Springs who are now serving in Thailand. This family is in the midst of a process of revisioning with God. New strategies have been given to them and they are beginning the process of walking those strategies out. The enemy clearly sees the risk to his kingdom that these new strategies are, and is attacking this family in physical and emotional ways to stop them before they get started.

Finally, for a young girl in a very closed nation in Central Asia. This young girl needs an appendectomy. However, because of the disastrous state that perpetual war will put your medical system into, it will be four weeks before she can have this surgery performed. Yet, this positions itself as a huge opportunity for God to reveal Himself to a lot of people who desperately need to see Him. It is truly an opportunity for His Kingdom–that place of orderly order–to come to a war-ravaged chaotic mess.

So, please join with us in prayer for these situations. Each one of them is poised to become a testimony of God’s greatness, mercy, and love. Each is an opportunity for Light to break into Darkness and Orderly Order to emerge from Chaos.

If, in your prayers for these situations, you are given scripture, words of encouragement, or other things from The Lord, then please email them to us at prayer@ledbytheword.com and we will pass them forward.

Thank you for standing with us for our friends.

 

Jesus and His Personality

This week’s topic in our Crossroads Discipleship Training School is one of my “passion topics”–team dynamics, interpersonal relationships, personality typing, etc. I love this stuff!

In our class, we have been examining the Meyers-Briggs Type Indicator. For Steph and I, we have found that we are polar opposites (she is ISFJ and I am ENTP).

It got me to thinking about the team that Jesus put together to aid Him in His ministry. What an interesting group of people. For some of them, they found within the team opposing political views. Some were fishermen and others were business men. Some were educated and some were less educated. You get the idea. It was a diverse group.

While we have a lot of stories of a couple of these individuals, and could likely deduce from those stories the root behavioral types, I have been thinking more about their Leader.

So, using the Meyers-Briggs Type Indicators, I have come to theorize regarding how Jesus would score on this test.

The stock answer in many Christian circles is that Jesus was a perfect blend of all. While I used to think that same thing, I’ve come to believe that to be an easy way out. So, here is my observation and why I think it.

Jesus was a ESFP.

ESFPs are people who tend to live in the moment. Their focus is on the moment. While they can see the larger picture, they thrive on working from moment-to-moment. They take interruptions in stride (most of Jesus’ recorded work was interruptions). They work to ensure that everyone (even the interrupter) are included.

When controversy arising, the ESFP will tend to use diversionary questions to change the course of the discussion. We see Jesus doing this often when confronted by the religious leaders of His day. He chose to teach in parables that purposely (Matthew 13:11-17) were not completely understood by many of the people to whom He was speaking.

Jesus loved life and people. He made His (and the Disciples) work fun. He enjoyed a good laugh.

Unchecked, the ESFP would struggle to get their goals accomplished. They need a benchmark and a constant reminder of the mission at hand. Throughout His recorded life, we find Jesus in times of communion with His Father. I have come to believe that these conversations, the Mount of Transfiguration, and Gethsamene are examples of Him returning to the benchmark to find how He was progressing in the mission.

Now, the disclaimer.

I could easily be totally out in left field. And I’m ok with that. Jesus’ personality traits do not diminish the work He accomplished on the cross. So, feel free to disagree. I’m just a highly theoretical person theorizing (which for my personality type is how I process and recharge).

So, what is your MBTI? You can find out here.

 

What’s Been And What’s To Come

It’s been a few weeks since our last update, so we thought we’d take a few minutes to give you a quick look into the past few weeks here at YWAM-Strategic Frontiers.

I had kitchen duty.

Emily had Crazy Hair Day.

Stephanie received flowers from Jesus.

We attended a Baptism Service.

Thanks to our friend, Steve Schram, Caleb and I got to go flying in a Cessna SkyHawk.

And we’ve been learning a new language.

 

In addition to all this fun, we have had some fantastic weeks of teaching on God’s Kingdom, the Fear of the Lord, and what the Bible says about the Body of Christ. We have this week and one more week of lectures and then we head into the nations.

So, now that our Crossroads Discipleship Training School Lecture Phase is about to come to a close, what’s next?

We leave on June 25th for Central Asia. We will be spending two months working with front-line missionaries in a predominatly Muslim nation. Our work will entail serving at local Houses of Prayer, meeting with locals, assisting other missionaries in any way they need, and a variety of other tasks.

If you would like to help us financially on this journey, you can donate to this work by clicking over onto our Partner With Us page, or clicking the “DONATE” button on the right-hand side of this page.  All gifts through Get the Word Out! (our covering ministry) are tax-deductible, and any amount is gratefully appreciated.

Emily’s Prayer

Sunday afternoon, we had a scare with Emily’s eyes.  They had symptoms that resembled the dreaded Pink Eye.  We all went into what has become a standard procedure for moments of pressure.  We prayed.

And prayed.

And prayed.

And asked others to pray.

Throughout Sunday night, Emily struggled to sleep.  She kept waking up with her eyes stuck shut and saying that she just wanted to be able to open her eyes.

We kept praying.

We also had a Get The Word Out “Healing” Word CD playing all night in her room.

And, once again, the morning brought us news of His unfailing love!

Emily woke up with her eyes looking better.  They were still puffy, but the draining was gone.  The redness in the eyeballs was gone.

By late morning, even the puffiness was gone.

Emily's Prayer

Emily's Prayer

As we were having our quiet time yesterday morning, Emily was praying for God to complete the healing process on her.  She wrote a letter to God as her prayer.

Then, during worship time yesterday morning, the kids were asked to go to the front and pray over adults that came to them for prayer.  It was quite special seeing our daughter laying hands on people seven and eight times her age and praying over them.  What a moment!

All made possible, by God’s unfailing love to once again bring healing.

We were asked yesterday what our gut reaction was when troubles come our way.  As Steph and I thought about it and talked about it and remembered the last several storms that we had been through, we said that our reaction was to pray and trust.  We have learned to not hang on to that which we can’t control.  We have learned to immediately turn it over to God and then leave it on the altar.

As I laid in bed and thought about all of this, and prayed through the other “storms” that are hovering around, I went back to the prayer of Jehoshaphat.

O YHWH, God of our fathers, are you not the God who is in heaven?  You rule over all the kingdoms of the nations. Power and might are in your hand, and no one can withstand you.  O our God, did you not drive out the inhabitants of this land before your people Israel and give it forever to the descendants of Abraham your friend?  They have lived in it and have built in it a sanctuary for your Name, saying, ‘If calamity comes upon us, whether the sword of judgement, or plague or famine, we will stand in your presence before this temple that bears your Name and will cry out to you in our distress, and you will hear us and save us.’

But now here are men from Ammon, Moab and Mount Seir, whose territory you would not allow Israel to invade when they came from Egypt; so they turned away from them and did not destroy them.  See how they are repaying us by coming to drive us out of the possession you gave us as an inheritance.  O our God, will you not judge them?  For we have no power to face this vast army that is attacking us.  We do not know what to do, but our eyes are upon you.

— 2 Chronicles 20:6-12 (NIV, emphasis mine)

Blessing on a Bun

Yesterday afternoon during my work duty, I was really craving a hamburger. I mentioned it to my work partners even. It was a mad craving.

Juicy burger.

Cheese.

Bacon.

Mustard.

So, last night while I was laying in bed talking with God, I said, “I’d really like a hamburger”. I wasn’t really asking. Just more of a statement.

Well, when our class broke for lunch today, one of our staff members said that lunch was hamburgers! I was stunned, and laughed.

“Seriously?”, I asked.

“Yeah.”

“Last night, I mentioned to God that I’d like to have a hamburger.”

“Really?”

“Yep.”

“Wow! They rarely make burgers. They take too long to prepare. Plus, today is a staff meeting day so time is even more limited.”

Well, I have to say, that was one tasty burger. Not even a prepackaged frozen burger. It was the real deal. With cheese. With bacon. Even guacamole for those who like that on their burgers.

God looking out for His kid.

I’m convinced that when God does things like that He chuckles. Almost like a parent when their kid opens a gift that’s been on the wish list for awhile.

God chuckling at me.

It’s amazing to think that God would take time out of His schedule sometime last week to mention to the Kitchen Manager that one of His kids was going to want burgers the following week. Yet, that is exactly the kind of God I serve! One who cares about hamburgers with cheese and bacon,

So, Father, thanks for the burger! It was a meal that I will never forget!

 

Being the Church

This past Sunday a group of us (most of us actually) from our school decided to do something different for church.  We headed to a beautiful area in Colorado Springs called Red Rock Canyon.  Our order of service went like this:

  • Worship by reading aloud the Psalms of Ascent
  • Prayer for people needing/wanting prayer
  • Message from one of our own: Dan Blanton
  • Prayer for healing
  • Communion
  • Lunch
  • 2.5 Hour Hike

It was a fantastic time of worship and prayer and communion.  It’s the image of communion that I most like–dinner with friends.  And so, we didn’t go to church.  We were the church.

Here are a few pictures from our time together.

Dan bringing a message on God's love.

Dan bringing a message on God's love.

Our Church

Our Church

Our Family

Our Family

Our friends, fellow students, and breakfast partners, Don and Barb Roome

Our friends, fellow students, and breakfast partners, Don and Barb

Caleb and his new best-friend, Jacob

Caleb and his new best-friend, Jacob

Steph climbs the quarry steps

Steph climbs the quarry steps

"The heavens declare the glory of God; the skies proclaim the work of his hands." -- Psalm 19:1 (NIV)

"The heavens declare the glory of God; the skies proclaim the work of his hands." -- Psalm 19:1 (NIV)

Family Update in Week 3 of CDTS

Wow!  It’s been a busy three weeks!

Emily and her classmates learning about Kashmir

Emily and her classmates learning about Kashmir

We are doing quite well.  We have been surrounded by the four truths that the Bible tells us about: Who God is, Who I am, Who We (the church) are, and What’s going on in the world around us.  Such depth of truth by which to be surrounded!  And we’re thankful that the kids are learning those truths as well.

Caleb is doing very well in Preschool.  As you saw in the video from last week, he  and his classmates have planted their garden.  Today, he and I are going to go out and pray the Blessing of the Land or a Garden from Common Prayer: A Liturgy for Ordinary Radicals over it.  He loves his teachers, Mr. Nick, Mrs. Rene, and Ms. Rahel.  In addition to learning about gardens, he gets to learn about God and His nature and character, and gets to paint, color, play with trains, and play outside.  It’s a pretty good life.

Emily and her classmates learning about the "Tent of Meeting" (prayer).

Emily and her classmates learning about the "Tent of Meeting" (prayer).

Emily is also doing fantastic in her classes. Each Tuesday, she gets to hear an abbreviated version of the teaching that Stephanie and I are receiving.  This has proven to challenge her own relationship with God.  It has been amazing to watch her as she is coming to the realization that God desires more than anything to be in relationship with us.  On Mondays, someone from the Nations Team (the liaisons between the states and the front-line missionaries in the 10/40 Window) comes in and teaches her class about their particular focus.  This past week, the Kashmiri team came in and taught about Kashmir.  They transformed a part of the room into a typical Kashmiri living room and allowed the kids to dress as Kashmiris.  They had even made a typical Kashmiri rice dish for the kids to try.

Stephanie and I are also doing well.  Our teaching times have been rich.  We are learning a lot about trust–specifically with the house back in Little Rock.  Yet, of all the teaching, game playing, talking, and fellowship we have been a part of, my favorite moments are those when we get to sit one-on-one with other missionaries and ask, “What are you dreaming?”  So beautiful hearing them share the dreams that God has planted within them for the nations.

Please continue to be in prayer with us as we traverse through the coming weeks.  We have nine more weeks of lectures to go through, and then we head overseas for a couple of months.  We expect to find out where we’re headed in the next couple of weeks, and will let you all know where that ends up being.

That should provide you a quick update.  We are grateful for your prayers and support!  May God bless each of you!  And, as always, if you would like to partner with us in this work, then jump over to the Partner With Us tab.

 

Children are the Church of Today

This week in our Crossroads Discipleship Training School, we have Paul Hawkins teaching on the Character and Nature of God. Within his teaching today he made the following statement:

We have to stop viewing children as the church of tomorrow. They are part of the church today!

Often, within the church, children are looked at as the “church of tomorrow”. Yet, because children haven’t had time to have their spirit-man totally desensitized to the voice of God, God can often speak to and through them more easily than many adults. Thus, it is important that we not view children as the “church of tomorrow,” rather we make them a part of the church today. We need to teach them to cultivate their abilities to hear and obey the voice of God.

The Psalmist points out that out of the praise of children and infants, God establishes strongholds against the enemy (Psalm 8:2).

In Joel 2:28-32, we find sons, daughters and young men specifically mentioned as a part of those on whom God will pour out His Spirit.

Jesus told His disciples in Matthew 18 that they should become as little children. Children have a keen ability to hear the voice of God and to trust His word (they haven’t been taught to do otherwise). Jesus wants us all to be able to hear God’s voice and then obey what He says. The challenge then is that we must (as Nathan Kilbourne pointed out in our final Lenten blog) unlearn all the things we “know” about God, and move from a knowledge of God and into a relationship with God.

Family

Today was our first official day of teaching here at our Crossroads Discipleship Training School at YWAM Strategic Frontiers. What a day it was!

Every Tuesday morning, we will be receiving teaching from two wonderful staff people, Steven and Nancy Schram, who have a heart and ministry for families. Today, they gave us a perspective on family that I had never really thought of before.

When we look at the various types of injustice in the world–abuse, orphans, human trafficking, etc–they all share the same root. That root is a fundamental breakdown in family. It all goes back to family. God created the family structure for a specific reason. Ultimately, if we lose family, we lose every other sphere of influence.

The second thing that struck me in this teaching on family was that regardless of whatever spheres of influence you might have, we all–everyone–has one in common.

Family.

We all are a part of a family. We all have parents–even the orphans. Not all families, however, operate in the way that God intended for them to operate.

Family.

God is a family God. He’s all about the family. So much so, that when Jesus taught us to pray in Matthew 6 and Luke 11, He taught us to begin by calling God, Father.

YWAM – Colorado Springs

We are so excited to report that we have been accepted into the Crossroads Discipleship Training School (CDTS) at Youth With A Mission – Colorado Springs!!

First, we’d like to say a big, “THANK YOU” to all of you who have been lifting this arrangement up to the Lord.  We are so very grateful for your prayers, and would ask that you continue to pray for us and this school.

The program we will be attending is called Crossroads Discipleship Training School.  Essentially, the school’s aim is to help you to see the Father’s heart for yourself and for the nations, and to respond to that which you see.  God is a Global God with a Global Vision, and we are called to be Global Christians who share in His Global Vision.  The school is designed to help that become reality.  A great deal of the program is built to help you learn to more clearly hear God’s voice.  Courses within the school include, the Father Heart of God, the Character and Nature of God, the Fear of the Lord, and Family.

The four of us will be heading to Colorado Springs on April 5, 2012.  While Stephanie and I are in the CDTS, Emily will be in an age-appropriate version of the same training, and Caleb will be in a preschool program that is also on campus.

Emily and Caleb were very excited to learn that there are over 100 children on the base!  They have already begun to imagine the numbers of new friends that they will meet!  What an exciting opportunity for our children!  They will have friends from all over the world, and will be able to see the world firsthand!

If you would like to help us in this journey, then please click over on the Partner With Us tab.  The CDTS requires tuition for each member of the family.  This tuition will cover room, meals, teaching, and learning materials.  In addition to the tuition costs, we will also need to purchase four round-trip international airfares and international traveler’s insurance.

Here is a short video that gives you a bit of a look at the YWAM base to which we will be headed.