I know I just posted a few days ago, but so much has happened that I just need to tell you all about it! Geez, God is showing up in so many huge ways! I have never felt more driven or purposeful in my life. It’s like He’s giving me purpose, giving me HIS dreams. I am so excited about this! 

To start out, I went with a group of other students to Succat Hillel (a part of International House of Prayer) across the valley two nights ago. Let’s just say, I had no idea what I was getting into! I thought it was going to be a normal worship and sermon deal, but it ended up being a charismatic healing service. I have never been around that before! The worship to begin with was fantastic! People had no inhibitions, and were just worshiping God with their whole heart. It was so amazing to watch people dance because of the joy of the Lord in their hearts. People were just letting go and allowing the Spirit to move within them. It was amazing, I’m telling you! I was able to just praise God freely and let my emotions show! I have such respect for that kind of worship, although I don’t know if it would be where I would go every week. It was just a great way to let my joy of the Lord come out and praise Him. 

After that, things got interesting. The pastor started talking about his healing school that he is the head of in Bethel, California, and the people that he had healed. I mean, I started getting really critical. I guess that’s just my nature because everything he was saying was unfamiliar to me. Then he called people up to say words of knowledge, and people said things like their back was hurting or their eyes felt like they were twitching, and then the pastor would turn to the congregation and ask who had that problem. Then people with that problem would stand up and he would ask them if they felt better, and a lot of them said they did. That’s when I got really critical. I mean, were these people faking? Were they truly healed? How am I supposed to know? I really didn’t like the way the pastor went about it, but who am I to tell the Holy Spirit what He can do? After that service, I went back to campus reeling. I could not get it out of my head. Maybe it’s just because it’s so new of a concept, but I had no idea what to feel about it. I mean, the disciples were given the same Spirit as us, and if they healed people, can we? Or is that only for them? But yet, God does amazing things, beyond our comprehension, and we can’t even begin to say that we know. I believe that God can work through things like words of knowledge, but we cannot take any responsibility for the healing, because it is the Holy Spirit working through us. Since I was so confused about the subject, I turned to a few of my friends to see what their takes was on it. And one view that I really appreciated was that we have to look at those services with discernment, because God can use them to teach us and to work through. But we have to look for what is Biblical, and what is not, and ask God for discernment to figure out what He wants us to get from it. We cannot discredit that the Spirit dwells within us and moves and still works. So that’s why I can’t just say that those people weren’t healed, because who am I to say what the Spirit does? However, this is not the kind of church I think I will attend. It really opened my eyes, though, which I appreciate. Being open minded is one big lesson I’m taking from living here. 

Being from America, I think we are so engrossed in our American paradigms and beliefs that we look at every other sect of Christianity, like the Eastern Church or even the Charismatic as lower than us, or even heretical. But I think I have learned that there is so much more to Christianity than the contemporary church of America. There are so many lessons we can take from these other churches. I mean, there’s definitely issues with both, but we can learn from them how to worship without inhibitions, or how to worship through tradition. I know that I will be coming back with a different perspective on what the church really is and our mission as Christ followers. 

Then today a group of us went to visit a lawyer named Calev Meyers, a Messianic Jew who is part of the biggest law firm in Israel. He has helped get the prostitution bill into the Knesset (Israeli government) and he works for the discriminated religious population and also for human rights. This guy was so profound! He spoke truth into many of the issues that I have been struggling with. He spoke of the Palestinian and Israeli conflict, which is something that I knew nothing about before coming here, but after living here I’m not sure what to do with it. He spoke that he is not pro – Palestine or pro – Israel, but he is looking to bring dignity to all people here. He said that the best solution he can think of is to have the Palestinian Authority start to attack itself from within, with righteous Palestinians challenging it, trying to bring around social reform. Because most of the injustice of the Palestinians is from the Palestinian Authority itself. Calev is working on challenging the Israeli government and the religious radicals in order to bring social reform to Israel. By each side turning within and not to each other, we could have reconciliation in the future. This is the first solution that I’ve heard that actually has promise. 

He also spoke of why he is so passionate about human rights. He said that Jesus came and brought dignity to people. Jesus came into a time where the sanctity of life was almost non – existent. Men were torn by lions in front of crowds, babies were thrown away like garbage, and women were treated as property, even in the Jewish realm. Jesus showed that the sanctify of life is important, and that women should be treated with love. Jesus sat down with Mary and Martha and shared Scripture with them. He was bringing dignity to their lives! And that’s what Calev is trying to do with his work. He’s trying to bring the Kingdom to the people here, helping to remove them from social injustices and show them their worth in God. And this REALLY spoke to me. I’ve always been passionate about human rights, and I want to be a counselor and work with abused children, trafficked childen, broken families, etc. And listening to him made me so inspired! He is making such a difference, and so can I! Even now, in college and broke, I can still make an impact. I really want to get involved with this when I get back, maybe just by raising awareness at my college about persecution in the Middle East or the Palestinian conflict. I just am so joyous at this moment, I can barely contain it! God is showing me His purpose, and it’s so much bigger than I could even imagine! I hope someday I can use my counseling practice to work with injustice issues and serve an international purpose. I can’t wait to see what plans God has for me…I’m only getting a glimpse! 

On a sad note, soccer has been canceled. The girls have been complaining and giving lots of excuses to not come to practice, so yesterday it was a bit cold and rainy and a lot of the girls had complained to the principal. He was tired of it, and he told them if they didn’t show up to practice he would cancel soccer. So Ian and I get there, and only one girl showed up. So Terry (the principal) stuck to his word and canceled soccer. It’s a bit frustrating because I’ve spent so much time investing in it, but I have to trust that God is in control and hopefully something redemptive can come out of it. Now I have other opportunities to help the school in other ways, and I’m going to throw myself into that and serve where I can. 

Well, three blog posts in three days! I hope you have enjoyed them! I just had to write about this, it’s been taking over my brain waves for the past few days. I just thank God for the clarity I’ve gotten this week, and the reassurance of His love. He is amazing.



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