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Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Serving one another... (by Brandon)

On Monday we had a very intimate time of worship. While we listened to worship music in the background, we read in scripture the passage about Jesus washing the disciples' feet. While Jesus is washing his disciples feet, he then instructs them to do the same. It's funny how we as a church body pick and choose which of Jesus' instructions we will do. During the last supper after the disciples take communion, Jesus instructs them to continue doing this to remember him. And, traditionally, we do communion once a month in church. So why don't we wash one another's feet?

So, during worship we set up washing basins so the students and staff could wash one another's feet and pray for one another. It was a very powerful time and quite a humbling experience, both washing and getting your feet washed. It is amazing the connection you feel when you wash someone's feet and serve them. It was really a good time and a good reminder that our role is to serve one another.

Logan washing my feet, and then praying over me.

Lisa washing Hoover's

Cat washing Lisa's

Justin washing Andrew's feet

And praying for Andrew

Washing Cat's feet

Serving and blessing Cat

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Monday, March 23, 2009

On the mountain top...

On a wonderful little outing with a lovely friend, I was reminded why I neeeeeed to be out in God's creation.  My friend and I took a great hike up to a hilltop in SLO.  I had become so consumed in my daily life that I had forgotten just how beautiful California's mountainous landscape is.  Since I enjoyed it so much, I then decided I would share the experience with my one-on-one girl, Lisa.

So, on Saturday, we woke up and I took her to the always beautiful Mount Bishop.  It was a colder day, with a foggy sky.... not exactly the desirable conditions, but, nonetheless, we were determined to enjoy our day.  The hike is probably a favorite of mine, and I was hoping to share the fun with Lisa.  She quickly began to enjoy it, marveling at the ever-growing view as we climbed the lower fields.  

The trail begins in a cow farmers field, and actually gets very vertical very fast.  It tapers off in a brushy forest resembling the Lord of the Rings... but the best part lies just up from that... the trail begins to become a dirt laden rock climb, as you crawl in between boulders and up through what resembles a dried up waterfall path.  Its absolutely stunning.  Lisa's excitement kept growing.  Finally we emerged to the actual "hiking trail", which is a winding back and forth path along the mountain side, bordered by stones, and rocks, ironically fenced off for safety purposes by barbed wire.  This part of the hike becomes super social, as more and more people seem to magically appear.  We followed it up, and around, and up, and around, until, yes, FINALLY, we hit the tip top.  We turned around, and.....      silence.... the fog had lifted just enough to see the city of SLO below, the mountain range in the background, and the ocean lining the horizon.  It was stunning.  On the top of the mountain are massive boulders, so we, being oh-so-adventurous, climbed all around on them, discovering little caves, and testing our fear of heights.  

It was a huge reward... and it made me think of how many times I have climbed a mountain with God, how many times I have walked through tough seasons, and when I have made that hard, tiring, uphill climb, and I stand on the top, I don't appreciate the view and perspective that standing on the top gives me.... but as I looked around that day, standing on the top of Mount Bishop, I realized that I could see so far, it was a beautiful place to be, and all of a sudden, I had a new appreciation for the mountains in life.

"the mountain peaks belong to him"
~Psalm 95:4

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Saturday, March 14, 2009

Gettin' along and fearing the Lord.

Our team of surf students just finished their 10th week of lectures!  And for some, it was a pinnacle moment of their DTS.  We had a speaker named Donna Macgowen, from the Denver base, travel out here to speak and teach on 'Fear of the Lord'.  And a fearful week it was!

Most of the students were skeptical of a female speaker, but by the end of the week, she had left a huge impression on them.  She made them come out of their comfort zone, and gave them new ways to express themselves before God.  Her perspective on fearing the Lord was exactly what some needed to hear.  I watched as several of them let go of so many burdens, grudges, or insecurities.  Tears flowed, anger was dealt with, and they slowly grew closer and closer together as a team.  Come Wednesday night, I had to sit everyone down for a "family meeting", which was not well received.  Apparently some of the students had been holding in some complaints against us staff, or the school in general.  So we talked.  And talked.  And talked.  Argued.  Compromised.  Made peace, and from that moment on, all the attitudes in the house changed!  It was a victory in the waiting!  

We ended the week by going up to the highest rocks behind our house for a breathtaking view and a debrief time.  I loved seeing the refreshment in the students faces, they met God in new ways because of lectures, and they met each other in new ways too. 

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