Where’s the Excitement?!

29 01 2009

Hey guys,

 

I hope you’re all getting shoveled out from our winter weather here in central Indiana.  I felt like a little kid yesterday morning, so excited that I got a snow day and could sleep in.  Have you felt excited about what God is doing in your life recently?  Or has it been a while since you’ve had that passion and joy about the living Christ working in your life?  Have you had time to worship?  To listen?  To pray?

 

It’s so easy to get too busy.

 

Too busy to read God’s Word.

 

Too busy to stop and listen.

 

Too busy to spend time with God.

 

If you’re feeling far from God right now, or spiritually dry.  Take some time to slow down and listen and pray and read.  If you make time for God, He will show up.

God, my shepherd! I don’t need a thing.
   You have bedded me down in lush meadows,
      you find me quiet pools to drink from.
   True to your word,
      you let me catch my breath
      and send me in the right direction.
Even when the way goes through
      Death Valley,
   I’m not afraid
      when you walk at my side.
   Your trusty shepherd’s crook
      makes me feel secure.
You serve me a six-course dinner
      right in front of my enemies.
   You revive my drooping head;
      my cup brims with blessing.
Your beauty and love chase after me
      every day of my life.
   I’m back home in the house of God
      for the rest of my life.

Psalm 23 (MSG)

To the King!

Katy

 

 

P.S. Announcements/Updates!

            *WYM Winter Retreat – Understanding Friends’ Discernment

Feb. 14th (free to Sundesmos people who pre-register through WYM

Office, free book as well)

Yes, it’s V-Day…so bring your sweetheart along for a heart filled discussion on how we hear God speaking to us and discern His will.  Sounds romantic right?!  In all seriousness though, this is going to be a great chance for you as Young Adults to really take some time to look at this idea of discernment and how we find out what it is that God wants to say to us individually and corporately.  See attached brochure.

 

*WYM Summer Internships

Applications available Feb. 1st and due March 1st

This is an opportunity for you to explore your gifts in ministry.  Whether you already know what your gifts and passions are or you’re still trying to figure it out, make your summer plans now to join the WYM Interns Program.  See attached brochure.

 

*Urbana Student Mission Conference 2009

Dec. 27th-31st, 2009

This conference is one of the top conferences in the nation bringing 25,000+ college students together for worship and to look at how we can change the world in Jesus’ name.  Start praying now about this opportunity…it only happens every three years…you don’t want to miss it!  More information to come.  You can watch the promo video on Facebook here:

http://www.facebook.com/home.php#/video/video.php?v=52315563293&oid=2362692918

 





The Breath of Aslan

26 01 2009

Hey guys,

 

So I got out of my car this afternoon after lunch and I heard this horrific bang coming from the direction of the Plainfield Friends Church.  I looked over and saw gigantic pieces of ice falling from the roof of the building.  I had to stop and ponder this image for a moment.  The ice is thawing and falling from the church.

 

It made me think of some of the final scenes in The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe.  Aslan has risen from the dead and is breathing on the saints, melting them, and getting them ready to join them in battle.  What a beautiful picture of how Christ can bring revival to the church, even to Western Yearly Meeting.  I know as Quakers the battle images of scripture often fly in the face of our pacifism and don’t make sense.  But there is a clear view through out scripture that there is a spiritual war to be fought and that God calls us to stand firm in our faith and united against His enemies.

 

God is strong, and he wants you strong. So take everything the Master has set out for you, well-made weapons of the best materials. And put them to use so you will be able to stand up to everything the Devil throws your way. This is no afternoon athletic contest that we’ll walk away from and forget about in a couple of hours. This is for keeps,  a life-or-death fight to the finish against the Devil and all his angels.

 

Be prepared. You’re up against far more than you can handle on your own. Take all the help you can get, every weapon God has issued, so that when it’s all over but the shouting you’ll still be on your feet. Truth, righteousness, peace, faith, and salvation are more than words. Learn how to apply them. You’ll need them throughout your life. God’s Word is an indispensable weapon. In the same way, prayer is essential in this ongoing warfare. Pray hard and long. Pray for your brothers and sisters. Keep your eyes open. Keep each other’s spirits up so that no one falls behind or drops out.

Eph. 6:10-18 (MSG)

 

I wonder if we, as the Church, need to fall to our knees and ask for the breath of the Holy Spirit to fall on us so that we can find the strength to stand, to fight, to be the Body of Christ once more.  So that we can remember who we are fighting for and why we need to stand.  This song “Breath Me” from Sia seemed like a fitting confession and petition if you look at these words as a plea on behalf of the Church.

 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=00fsUxcHGNM

 

Help, I have done it again
I have been here many times before
Hurt myself again today
And, the worst part is there’s no-one else to blame

Be my friend
Hold me, wrap me up
Unfold me
I am small
and needy
Warm me up
And breathe me

Ouch I have lost myself again
Lost myself and I am nowhere to be found,
Yeah I think that I might break
Lost myself again and I feel unsafe

 

Announcements/Updates!

            *WYM Winter Retreat – Understanding Friends’ Discernment

Feb. 14th (free to Sundesmos people who pre-register through WYM Office, free book as well)

Yes, it’s V-Day…so bring your sweetheart along for a heart filled discussion on how we hear God speaking to us and discern His will.  Sounds romantic right?!  In all seriousness though, this is going to be a great chance for you as Young Adults to really take some time to look at this idea of discernment and how we find out what it is that God wants to say to us individually and corporately.  See attached brochure.

 

*WYM Summer Internships

Applications available Feb. 1st and due March 1st

This is an opportunity for you to explore your gifts in ministry.  Whether you already know what your gifts and passions are or you’re still trying to figure it out, make your summer plans now to join the WYM Interns Program.  See attached brochure.

 

*Urbana Student Mission Conference 2009

Dec. 27th-31st, 2009

This conference is one of the top conferences in the nation bringing 25,000+ college students together for worship and to look at how we can change the world in Jesus’ name.  Start praying now about this opportunity…it only happens every three years…you don’t want to miss it!  More information to come.  You can watch the promo video on Facebook here:

http://www.facebook.com/home.php#/video/video.php?v=52315563293&oid=2362692918

 

Stand firm.  Feel His breath breathing over you.  We are called to be His people.

 

To the King!

Katy





God’s Call

15 01 2009

Hey guys,

 

I hope you’re keeping warm on this frigid Indiana winter day.   I was listening to the news this morning and they were speaking with the authorities in New York City about how they were helping the homeless of the City get shelter from these ridiculous temperatures.  It’s a cold day for someone without walls to block out the wind and warm blankets and clothes to keep the body from chills.

 

I’ve been trying to prepare my heart for our upcoming trip to Kenya in May and at the same time looking at the potential for ministry to the folks in the community around Second Friends Church here in WYM.  The needs are so great and at times it feels too overwhelming to even think about, let alone actually address. 

 

God brought this devotional to me this morning that I wanted to share with you all.  It was written by Frederick Buechner as he was a seminary student assigned to work in an East Harlem parish.  He makes these observations about the parish staff he worked with.

They had caught something from Christ, I thought.  Something of who He was and is flickered out through who they were.  It is not easy to describe.  It was compassion without sentimentality as much as anything else, I think – a lucid, cool, grave compassion.  If it had a color, it would be a pale northern blue.  They never seemed to romanticize the junkies and winos and deadbeats and losers they worked among, and they never seemed to let pity or empathy distort the clarity with which they saw them for no more if no less than what they were.  Insofar as they were able to approach loving them, I got the impression that they did so not just in spite of everything about them that was neither lovely nor loveable but right in the thick of it.  There was a kind of sad gaiety about the way they went about their work.  The sadness stemmed, I suppose , from the hopelessness of their task – the problems were so vast, their resources for dealing with them were so meager – and the gaiety from a hope beyond hope that, in the long run if not the short, all would in some holy and unimaginable way be well.  If, as I suspect, they looked at me and at the others who worked there only part-time as less committed that they, farther away from where the real battle was being fought, then I can say only that, of course, they were right.  But they seemed less to hold the difference against us than simply mark it and leave it for us to come to terms with as best we could.

 

God is calling us to something greater…to a great compassion and gaiety about His work.

 

What will be your response?

 

It doesn’t have to be overseas in a mud hut or living below the poverty line…but it might be.  God has a plan.  He has a plan for you and a plan for His Church.

 

Watch this video that was put out by a group from the International Mission Board of the Southern Baptist Convention called Go West Africa.  I think you’ll get the picture.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XsO8BYXzkxo

 

In light of all this, here’s what I want you to do. While I’m locked up here, a prisoner for the Master, I want you to get out there and walk—better yet, run!—on the road God called you to travel. I don’t want any of you sitting around on your hands. I don’t want anyone strolling off, down some path that goes nowhere. And mark that you do this with humility and discipline—not in fits and starts, but steadily, pouring yourselves out for each other in acts of love, alert at noticing differences and quick at mending fences.  You were all called to travel on the same road and in the same direction, so stay together, both outwardly and inwardly. You have one Master, one faith, one baptism, one God and Father of all, who rules over all, works through all, and is present in all. Everything you are and think and do is permeated with Oneness.

Eph. 4:1-6 (MSG)

 

As you are thinking and praying about all this, I want to let you know of some opportunities that are coming up that can help facilitate some this…

 

*WYM Winter Retreat – Understanding Friends’ Discernment

Feb. 14th (free to Sundesmos people who pre-register through WYM Office, free book as well)

Yes, it’s V-Day…so bring your sweetheart along for a heart filled discussion on how we hear God speaking to us and discern His will.  Sounds romantic right?!  In all seriousness though, this is going to be a great chance for you as Young Adults to really take some time to look at this idea of discernment and how we find out what it is that God wants to say to us individually and corporately.  See attached brochure.

 

*WYM Summer Internships

Applications available Feb. 1st and due March 1st

This is an opportunity for you to explore your gifts in ministry.  Whether you already know what your gifts and passions are or you’re still trying to figure it out, make your summer plans now to join the WYM Interns Program.  See attached brochure.

 

*Urbana Student Mission Conference 2009

Dec. 27th-31st, 2009

This conference is one of the top conferences in the nation bringing 25,000+ college students together for worship and to look at how we can change the world in Jesus’ name.  Start praying now about this opportunity…it only happens every three years…you don’t want to miss it!  More information to come.  You can watch the promo video on Facebook here:

http://www.facebook.com/home.php#/video/video.php?v=52315563293&oid=2362692918

 

Lastly, the song “Surely We Can Change” by David Crowder really seemed to fit with these thoughts.  Go listen to it and pray about the next steps God has in store for you.

 

Blessings!

 

To the King!

Katy

 

P. S. We could use your prayers for our WYM Board Meetings this Saturday…for discernment, wisdom and truth.  Thanks!





Retreat Wrap-Up…Our Bond

9 01 2009

Hey guys,

 

Happy New Year!  I hope you had a great break and were able to spend some time resting and celebrating the birth of Christ with family and friends.

 

We had a very fulfilling Sundesmos Winter Retreat this past weekend looking at the question: What is a Quaker?  Going into the weekend I was praying up a storm that God would do great things among the Young Adults of WYM.  I was praying for a new passion and revival among us, a purpose and direction and most of all that we would be able to worship and understand our God.  I had told those helping with the Retreat that there were three things I hoped we could apply to Quakerism after the Retreat was finished.  That we could see Quakerism as:

*Attainable – That Quakerism is not something that took place in the past with a bunch of old English people but something that we could have here and now in our lives.

*Relevant – That Quakerism is something that has a place in our current post-modern society and that it meets the spiritual hunger we see our peers longing to fill.

*Hopeful – That Quakerism can move past all the conflict and drama and do the work of Christ in a needy culture and be Church instead of just playing Church.

 

God is good.

 

The whole weekend I kept thinking…man I wish other people were here to see this group, to hear this discussion, to feel this passion and urgency.  The whole weekend I kept thinking why is this working so well…how can we duplicate this throughout WYM and beyond.  And the answers to those questions didn’t really come to me fully until today.  The answer was Jesus.  We had no theological debates about who He was or how we were suppose to respond to Him.  His divinity was assumed, instead of questioned.  His sacrifice was held in reverence instead of mocked.  And it was directly from these understandings that sprung the passion and urgency for a Quakerism that is alive and healthy, living out the words of George Fox “there is even one Christ Jesus who can speak to our condition.”

 

You know the word Sundesmos, comes from the Greek word for “bond” or ‘ligament” used in the New Testament.  We experienced that this last weekend.  But it wasn’t a bond merely held by friends or family, by tradition or obligation, by name or ritual…we were held together by the bond of Christ.

For in him [Jesus Christ] all things were created: things in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or powers or rulers or authorities; all things have been created through him and for him.  He is before all things, and in him all things hold together.  And he is the head of the body, the church; he is the beginning and the firstborn from among the dead, so that in everything he might have the supremacy.  For God was pleased to have all his fullness dwell in him, and through him to reconcile to himself all things, whether things on earth or things in heaven, by making peace through his blood, shed on the cross.

Col. 1:16-20

 

A friend sent me this video by Louie Giglio, a pastor and evangelist who is behind the Passion Movements (national conferences for Christian College Students), who gave this talk that really explained what happened this weekend as we attempted to look for answers and saw our purpose as Quakers through Jesus Christ and what He did for us on the cross.

Check it out:  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=F0-NPPIeeRk

 

We have a purpose!

 

To the King!

Katy