Pam again, ready for Part 2?
David began to pray a few years ago words like “We are yours…completely…we lay our lives down before You…we pour ourselves out as an offering to You…” I stood beside him, held his hand, nodded my head, but held my tongue. What was he saying??? What would that REALLY look like? This was a whole new level of letting-go-of-self and I was just simply not there!
This is me, Pam, the same one who has been hearing “come to Me…come closer to Me…there’s still more of Me…keep walking towards Me…lift your head up…higher…daughter…I love you…I’m still here! I don’t change! I’ll never leave you!” and more, much more, from the heart of God since well…since my Mimi took us to church and my parents prayed with us even before they understood what they were saying and since my best friend drug me to church with her as a little girl and certainly since I called Him Lord for the first time when I was 12 or repented of rebellious sin when I was 16 or when I was baptized at 19 or when I spent a year on the mission field or cried out to him as a hurting young wife, or broke as a mom-in-over-her-head.
YET I still stubbornly thought I needed to figure out what to do and how to do and when to do and it’s just not about doing. It’s about being the daughter of the King and when you are joint heirs with Christ, you lay your life down because what else could be better? He doesn’t want my works; He wants my heart. He doesn’t want me to figure out how to really live this Christian life. He wants to so fill me with Him that I overflow…literally…overflow right into the lives of those who need Him…which is all of us, all the time, on the good days and on the bad days. So…today I can say with confidence that if it isn’t up to me, if I’m starting to grasp correctly that it really is all about Him and His empowering and simply my surrender, then those prayers of David’s could become my own as well.
Those prayers, they really are in my heart but the thing is that my heart can turn, on a dime, if I’m honest. I don’t think I’m the only one who struggles with consistency in this walk. The really GREAT news is that He has whispered to me that He is ever consistent and that His nature wants to grow bigger in me so that my nature lessens and loses power. And I say AMEN to that and am thankful that He has given me time for old habits to die and new trusting habits to form. His Word is very much alive. He has told me wonderful things about myself, that many of you have affirmed in me over the years, but when His Spirit speaks it directly to my spirit, there is no room for doubt.
Jesus loves me, this I know.
Some other details of a typical NETS trainee:
1) Morning worship with 60-70 people how cool is that?
2) Small group Bible studies 3 mornings a week, led by the 11 NETS Stage 3 trainees. These help prepare us for the teaching of the day. Hey! In 5 months, we’ll be facilitating those with the new Stage 1 class!
3) Two or three nights a week, we have optional Bible study groups that we very much enjoy. One of the classes is called Bible Study Forum and the teacher is just great. He’s literally teaching how to study the Bible. Another one is on the Gospels and it’s very neat to see them laid out in all the similarities, differences, authorship, context, etc…. Kimry has been going with us to those two studies in particular. Jocelyn went to one special speaker we had on forgiveness. He is a Holocaust survivor. It’s pretty incredible to have the big girls sharing some of this with us!
4) One thing about this campus is they host A LOT of conferences / workshops / seminars. Sometimes we are invited as students to participate, other times not. Sometimes we are part of the ministry team! I’m sure Jocelyn will blog about this past weekend, so I will leave you in suspense… :)
5) Cleaning rotation in the dining hall so we can help somehow while we are here. :)
6) Every Friday morning, the entire base meets in the conference hall for a service. Worship, preaching, communion, announcements for the whole base, praying for/commissioning new people and praying for/decommissioning people who are leaving. All of this is done during this service. It’s quite lovely! I especially love the decommissioning prayers. This is a training base and people come and go. The deputy director just so powerfully prays blessings for them and for what the Lord has for them and releases them from their responsibilities here. It’s a beautiful sending! The kids go to that with us. It’s not called a church service because this isn’t a church, but it feels like a Sunday service. We are very thankful that our whole family can go, learn together, have communion, etc.
7) Sundays and Mondays typically are our days off. We have decided for now that huddling together as a family on Sundays, sharing with one another, praying and praising together, is what we need more than walking to the nearest church for another service. I’ve also started reading some Bible stories nightly with Elise and Abby. We are really missing our LifePoint class! I felt like they needed something extra AND some Mommy time. Win-win! Jocelyn and Kimry are a part of a small local youth group… I’ll let her tell you about that!
I’m so thankful to have Rachael…
I’m so thankful to not have to give food one thought…
Rach is doing a GREAT job… Can I just say that again?
Quick prayer request: the Stage 3 students left yesterday for a 19 day mission trip to Malaysia. They will be in 4 different towns and can use all the prayer covering they can get! Let’s get some USA prayers going for them!
We’ve just ended a 2 1/2 day intense workshop. My group actually had the morning off, so I’ve enjoyed writing this blog and doing some studying. We have testimony time at 2:30 and I can’t wait to hear what all God has been up to! :)
May the Lord bless you and keep you, my friends… I love you and miss you!