Wednesday, August 31, 2011

18 inch Journey

"Any fool can count the seeds in a apple.  Only God can count all the apples in one seed" 
               -Robert H. Schuller

This summer we hosted our fourth 18 inch Journey with 38 students and staff from all over the world.  They came from South Africa, Norway, Sweden, Switzerland, Germany, and over half a dozen states.  I could fill a book describing each moment we experienced this summer, but really, that would be like counting the seeds in the apple.  This school was truly a time where lives opened like seeds and unfolded into the fullness of what God made them to be.  The fruit of this summer can only be measured in eternity.  I wish I could describe with words the way the kingdom of heaven invades this school, but I come to the same dilemma as Jesus.  Over a dozen times Jesus says the phrase, "The kingdom of heaven is like..."  Mere human words can not explain heaven.  Words can just point to what is is like and your heart must open its eyes to see its indescribable wonder.  I asked some of our students to share what there 18 inch journey was like,  I hope you can taste fruit of heaven in their words.

 "The best way I can think to describe the 18 inch journey is that it's like everything was taken and stripped down to the basic colors; primary yellow, red, and blue.  And then those were taken and re-exploded into a myriad of colors, including countless new ones I had never known existed  I feel like I have always instinctively known that worship like this existed; that community like this existed; that being loved by God like this existed…but now I have seen and experienced it, and I am forever changed."
                -Ella Roselt, South Africa

"The 18 inch Journey has truly been a trip from my head to my heart.  It has been a place where I found and discovered who God Is and has always been, and who I am and what I was always meant to be.  My relationship with the Trinity has become more real than words on a page.  I've walked out of keeping a "safe" distance and walked into close and honest intimacy with the Lord.  The 18 inch Journey has opened my eyes to see that my heart matters and that I have a voice.  I've come to know and be lead by the nature of God, depending on him moment to moment.  I've come to truly see with the eyes of my heart and to encounter God in the ordinary and simple things.  Words can't describe the freedom, weightlessness and rest I have experienced.  I've come to know what God's family looks like and what it means to fight for each other."
                   -Jordan Wilson, Florida

"My favorite moment at the 18 inch Journey was the morning I learned to hear the voice of God.  It started with a simple task that Melissa asked us to do during our quiet time.  She asked us to go sit and simply ask God, "Father, what are your thoughts about me?"  In my mind I thought of some things, but God had a different plan.  As soon as my pen touched my paper I started writing things that I knew weren't my voice. Through that simple question he ended up answering so many more questions.  This was my first time journaling and being confident that it was God's voice I heard and not mine.  I now love quiet time with Papa because it is an actual conversation instead of just me speaking."

                  -Camryn Cornett, Tennessee

Thursday, August 25, 2011

The Reward-A Song Story

I was riding in the back of an old astro van cruising westward on I-40 to Nashville in the spring of 2005. Faster than the cars passing our old van, a story of revival was racing through my heart.  It was the story of the first two Moravian missionaries.  In 1732 a Dutch ship left the Copenhagen harbor bound for the Danish West Indies. On board were these two young missionaries ready to sell their lives into slavery to reach the slaves of the West Indies with the gospel.  As the ship slipped away from the harbor they stood on the bow of the boat and cried out "May the Lamb that was slain receive the reward of His suffering."  Their voices rang in the ears of their families and loved ones gathered at the harbor to say good bye.  Soon this cry become the rallying call for all Moravian missionaries. 

As this story ripped through me and this cry rang in my heart,  a melody begin to grow wings inside me. I grabbed my guitar and before the van reached Nashville this song was written.

In a garden we fell, but in a garden he prayed,
Not my will but yours be done.
My sins he became so I could be like him
To go beyond the veil and see his face

The cross has made a way so we can enter in
To go back to the garden once again
The cross has made a way, forever I will say
Worthy is the Lamb that was slain

Worthy,  Worthy,
Worthy is Lamb that was slain
To receive the reward of his suffering
Worthy is the Lamb that was slain

Receive the reward, Oh Lamb of God

You can find this song on itunes by clicking here