Ch-ch-ch-ch-changes

Exciting times here at YWAM Pismo Beach and Central Coast.

We will not be able to offer our summer DTS due to lack of student enrollment.  Before last year, our DTS’s ran in the winter/spring, so while it is disappointing that we will not do two DTS’s this year, it is not unusual for us to have the summer to focus on the Central  Coast.  This comes as a surprise to us, but not to God, so I’m excited to see what He has planned for us.

The justice DTS arrived home very late last night.  This next week they will regale us with tales from their international escapades, while we prepare them for the next step in their lives.  It’s a very important week.

Transitions are always hard.  We will need God’s grace as things are changing around here.

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Spring Cleaning

This week the speaker on the DTS, Donna MacGowan, spoke on Fear of the Lord.  Due to me being sick, I didn’t get to spend as much time with her as I would have liked, so maybe some of our amazing students can fill me in on how God moved in their lives this week.

Fear of the Lord is a topic we like to have on every DTS.  It is about honoring God in every area of your life, submitting all things to His loving discipline, and ridding yourself of the impurities, however great or small, that God brings up.  I say the words, but so many of my friends have been so hurt by churches that meant “Fear of Leadership and Our Opinion” rather than “Fear of the Lord”, that I know some of these words land in tender spots.  Many of you know that I have struggled long and hard with some of these battles, and the only freedom from other’s opinions can be found in a healthy reverence for God.  If it helps, I have been thinking of it as spring cleaning.  And God has been doing some spring cleaning in me.

Tom Gaddis, the pastor at Father’s House Church, mentioned last week that “When words are many, there is much sin…”  He himself was feeling convicted of some things, and something in my spirit stood up and took notice of this Proverb.  “Hey…I talk a lot…I ought to keep that in mind.”  I have been finding myself, for the past several weeks, with my proverbial foot in my mouth…and some times are more serious than others.  I have been confronted internally for things I have said to others, and have had others confront me regarding thoughts about myself I have verbalized.

I keep thinking of this kneeadable eraser I have.  It is a grey, sticky, elasticy putty.  It turns black when I use it to erase charcoal or graphite, but as I pull it and fold it and squish it back together, the black marks magically disappear.  Due to it’s stickiness, it also collects carpet fuzz.  And hair.  And sand.  And wood shavings.  And pretty much any other small debris it touches.  So in college, when I was doing more charcoal drawing, I would sit and pick all the little fuzz bits out.  You have to stretch it like bubble gum, then fold it in on itself over and over again to even find them.  That’s how I feel now…like God is stretching and then folding me and picking out all the dirt.

I wish I could say it was wonderful and refreshing, but it’s actually a little awful.  Sometimes I wonder why God and others even trust me, and I could sure use an angel to come burn my mouth with a coal*.  I am painfully aware, after many tries, that I cannot pull myself out of this one.  Repentance (rising above) is going to take an act of God.

Fortunately He has already acted.

Here I am, back at the cross, to be made new.  Forgiveness for sins isn’t just wiping the slate clean…it is changing my very nature, one foolish, careless thought and word at a time.

The people in my life have been so gracious and God has been so faithful to push me back on the path each time I stray.  I am not thrilled about this season, but I am grateful for it.  A thoughtless word and a sharp tongue can do so much damage, and my life is primarily about loving people.  Among other things, I am staffing the DTS this summer.  I know I won’t be “all better” by then, but I know this season is a very timely preparation for leadership.

Pray for me.

 

*From Isaiah 6,  “In the year that King Uzziah died I saw the Lord sitting upon a throne, high and lifted up; and the train of his robe filled the temple. … And I said: “Woe is me! For I am lost; for I am a man of unclean lips, and I dwell in the midst of a people of unclean lips; for my eyes have seen the King, the Lord of hosts!”

Then one of the seraphim flew to me, having in his hand a burning coal that he had taken with tongs from the altar. And he touched my mouth and said: “Behold, this has touched your lips; your guilt is taken away, and your sin atoned for.”

There was a little girl, who had a little curl

We interrupt this stream of pithy and somewhat vulnerable posts reflecting on Bible week to bring you news of a wee miracle I discovered this morning.

For those of you who don’t know, I have alopecia.  I lose hair in patches, have since I was a little girl.  I was bald in fifth grade.  All of my hair on my head had grown back by high school, but to this day I do not have to shave my legs.  This was an answer to a prayer I prayed when I was only 11.  I told God I was willing to be bald as long as He needed me to be, to accomplish what He wanted to accomplish through it, but I didn’t ever want prickly legs!  My church family also prayed for my healing for years.

I still get small bald patches, usually due to stress, usually around the sides and back of my hairline.  I have had two appear since being in California.  (Oh, stress…)  Months ago one appeared in my hairline along my bangs, and it made me very very sad.  So I asked my church family to pray, and only two days later I thought I saw fuzz (the new hair comes in so soft) in the center of the spot.  That’s quicker than a prednizone injection!

I wasn’t sure, though, and I determined not to worry about it.

A few days ago I was wondering about that bald spot, and this morning I saw a tiny curl, about an inch long, right where the patch had been!  See?

Okay, that picture doesn’t show it so well.

I just thought it was cuter than the one that does.

Maybe this one is better…

Still no?  There was a longer piece with the little miracle curl.

This picture shows the curl best, but my hand was over the flash.   It’s kind of a terrible picture.  Don’t be alarmed or distracted.

I’m so happy!  I feel so loved…by God and by the people who have prayed for me over the years!

Thank you!!!!!!!!

In the Beginning (Bible Week…Day 1)

This week we have a speaker coming to lead our Discipleship Training School through reading the entire Bible in a week, Saturday to Saturday, sun-up to sun-down.

Our staff are so excited that we’re closing down the office and base functions for a week so we can attend with them.

This last week or two on base has been a little crazy.  I feel like God is stirring things up (and allowing things to be stirred) so that a lot of junk is at the surface and He can deal with it as we experience scripture in such an intense way.  I just pray that we are not distracted, but are able to bring these things before the Lord and be open to what He is doing.

I’m going to try and post here as often as possible. I feel like I’m going on a road trip or something.

Today we begin at the beginning…

 

Genesis.

New Things

Happy Resurrection Sunday!  (Even if it is a week late.)

After much prayer and consideration, I have decided to begin a search for new church home.  I did not spend time doing this when I first arrived, and I look at this as an opportunity to get a better view of the Body of Christ in this area.  Please pray for wisdom and insight as I meet people and make connections, that I will learn more about this area and myself in the process.

We had our first staff in-service this Thursday!  Life time YWAMer and long time friend of the base, Troy Sherman spoke to us his perspective on YWAM’s 50th year and the Jubilee celebration.  Jubilee is a tradition from the Old Testament, where every 50th year all debts are forgiven, slaves are set free, and the land rests fallow for a year.  With forgiveness comes the responsibility to learn and grow from our mistakes, and Troy urged us to consider how we can mature as individuals and an organization.  One of the things that really stood out to me is how we steward our treasures…first how we invest the resources God has provided for us, and most importantly how we steward God’s most important treasure: the people He has entrusted to us.

The discipleship training school left for their two month outreach this morning.  I am excited for them, as I have gotten to know them and invest in them through my involvement with the school in the first couple months of this year.  Even though I myself had been planning to leave for Africa with the team today, I know that I am where I am supposed to be.  Just as I myself am in a season of personal transformation, the base is also in a season of transformation.  We don’t know yet what the end will be, but I feel that I am to be an integral part of what is unfolding.

Bless you this week!  Please pray for:

  • Personal growth in this season of seeking intimacy with God
  • Clarity on the direction for my ministry in YWAM Pismo Beach
  • Clarity for the base as we go deeper in God’s call for us
  • Provision as I seek to expand my monthly financial support
Beth

First Day on Staff!!!

Woooo!!!  Today is my first day on staff with YWAM Pismo Beach.  The last two to three weeks at work have been crazy…getting all the lose ends tied up and preparing for this transition.  I found myself lacking in sleep, rest, peace, and joy, but every day here has been better than the day before.  Just driving into the region I found something that had been unsettled within me was set right…I am where I belong.

I am excited about orientation, about my ministry coming into focus, about preparing to staff the Discipleship Training School next spring.

Please pray…

  • for confidence as I step out into a new season in my life.
  • to grow in love for my YWAM community.
  • to get God’s vision for the Central Coast of California and my place in it.
  • for wisdom, clarity, and joy as I budget my time, finances, and other resources.
With Love,
Beth