They have been giving us so much to read, I haven’t had time for much else.
I did go to dinner with Skip and Janet on Monday. It was so fabulous to just sit and talk with them. We had a good time.
Tuesday night (Wednesday morning) I played piano on Dan Ricketts team. It was fun. But the hard/weird part about it was everyone has headphone monitors that they mix themselves. Which I think is a great idea, but it’s weird to not know how well you are blending with the rest of the group. I had no idea how it sounded in the room, that part was totally up to the sound tech. Which I suppose is always the case, but still, it was weird to not have even the slightest idea of how the mix sounded. Other than that, it was a great experience. They use talk-back mics so that the band can communicate with each other. It’s a great thing.
So for everyone who’s been bored by the above paragraph, I apologize. I really enjoyed playing and in 2 weeks I am subbing again.
I wanted to give you guys an idea of what my schedule was like, but it is so different everyday. But basically, Monday and Tuesday I have class at 10pm, except on Tuesday there is an all-staff fast meeting from 4-6. Wednesday class is at 7pm, Thursday is our “Sabbath” so I don’t even have to be in the prayer room until 4am. Friday-Sunday we go to the Forerunner School of Ministry building for the Encountering God services and their Sunday evening service. Friday’s focus is on intimacy while Saturday’s focus is on the end times. They are big on being aware of that here largely because they believe that we are coming quickly upon the last days. Which, I know, everyone since Jesus left has thought that they were in the ‘last days,’ but it’s going to happen sometime and you can’t go wrong in knowing what the Word says about it. In fact, Revelation 1:3 says “Blessed is everyone who reads aloud the words of this prophecy, and blessed are those who hear, and who keep what is written in it, for the time is near.” There are a lot of people with a lot of knowledge and understanding about what the Scriptures have to say on this subject, and it made me realize how little I know, how little I have studied or asked God for wisdom about this. There are a lot of assumptions that I’ve picked up along the course of my life that just aren’t scriptural.
But since that’s not the focus of this track, Saturday night is the only time we have a teaching on that, except for where it comes up in conversation.
It has been so incredible to just sit at the feet of Jesus and know His love in deeper ways. He is so passionate about His bride.
Last night I was studying John 13:20 which where Jesus says, “I assure, most solemnly I tell you, he who receives and welcomes and takes into his heart any messenger of Mine receives Me [in just that way]; and he who receives and welcomes and takes Me into his heart receives Him Who sent Me [in that same way].”
It made me think a lot about hospitality and brotherly love and how important it is. The same way that we treat each other is directly how we are treating Jesus and the Father. It is very sobering.
Right now I am sitting in High Grounds Cafe' sipping a heath mocha avalanche. Mmmmm.
"Jesus, I plead your blood over my sins and the sins of my nation. God, end abortion and send revival to America."
I auditioned on Monday and was approved to play piano with a worship team. Next Thursday morning I am playing from 2-4am because one of the keyboardists is going out of town.
Right now there isn’t an opening for me to play regularly, but I am praying that I get involved with a certain team.
I saw Cory and his parents yesterday. He had been in D.C. leading worship at an event. Skip and Janet are over here looking for a house. It is nice to see familiar faces.
This week during our 12-6 prayer room time, my core leader has us all reading John 13-17, and then picking a few verses from John 13 to meditate on for a couple of hours. It is a discipline I have never tried to develop before, and the rewards are unbelievable. Spending hours on the same 3 verses forces me deep into the heart of God. I ask Him questions about it and read other verses along the same lines or that help me understand those verses. I write down thoughts that come to my mind.
For example, last night one thing I was focusing on was John 13:21, “After saying these things, Jesus was troubled in spirit, and testified, ‘Truly, truly, I say to you, one of you will betray me.’ The disciples looked at each other, uncertain of whom He spoke.” And the fact that even though Jesus had known for eternity that He would be betrayed by one of His own, when it came to the moment, His spirit was troubled.
I think if I was Jesus and I was about to be brutally beaten and killed and have the sin of the world put upon me and have my Father turn His face from me for the first time ever, I don’t think I would be so concerned by the little thief who was going to turn me in.
But He was. In the light of all of that was coming, the fact that Judas was going to betray Him hurt Him. And I think even more than that, I think He was grieved for Judas. He had invested 3 years into his life, taught and loved him. And Judas was lost to the devil, forever.
Anyway, all that to say, until I sat down and meditated on this verse, I never considered what Jesus thought about Judas. In my mind, since He always knew the little burger was going to turn on Him, He didn’t really care much for him or put a lot into him. But that wasn’t the case.
So I am glad that I am being forced to learn this discipline. I am very excited about all that it will teach me about God and His ways and deeds.
Love you all,
King's Dream The Good Society and the Moral Law January 16, 2006
More than forty years ago, on August 28, 1963, a quarter million people gathered in front of the Lincoln Memorial. They marched here for the cause of civil rights. And that day they heard Martin Luther King Jr. deliver his famous "I Have a Dream" speech, a speech in which he challenged America to fulfill her promise.
"I have a dream," he said, "that one day this nation will rise up and live out the true meaning of its creed. We hold these truths to be self-evident that all men are created equal."
While we know of the speech, most people are unaware that King also penned one of the most eloquent defenses of the moral law: the law that formed the basis for his speech, for the civil rights movement, and for all of law, for that matter.
In the spring of 1963, King was arrested for leading a series of massive non- violent protests against the segregated lunch counters and discriminatory hiring practices rampant in Birmingham, Alabama. While in jail, King received a letter from eight Alabama ministers. They agreed with his goals, but they thought that he should call off the demonstrations and obey the law.
King explained why he disagreed in his famous LETTER FROM A BIRMINGHAM JAIL. "One may well ask, how can you advocate breaking some laws and obeying others?" The answer "is found in the fact that there are two kinds of laws: just laws . . . and unjust laws. One has not only a legal but a moral responsibility to obey just laws," King said, "but conversely, one has a moral responsibility to disobey unjust laws."
How does one determine whether the law is just or unjust? A just law, King wrote, "squares with the moral law of the law of God. An unjust law . . . is out of harmony with the moral law."
Then King quoted Saint Augustine: "An unjust law is no law at all." He quoted Thomas Aquinas: "An unjust law is a human law not rooted in eternal or natural law."
This is the great issue today in the public square: Is the law rooted in truth? Is it transcendent, immutable, and morally binding? Or is it, as liberal interpreters argue, simply whatever courts say it is? Do we discover the law, or do we create it?
Many think of King as a liberal firebrand, waging war on traditional values. Nothing could be further from the truth. King was a great conservative on this central issue, and he stood on the shoulders of Augustine and Aquinas, striving to restore our heritage of justice rooted in the law of God.
Were he alive today, I believe he would be in the vanguard of the pro-life movement and would be supporting Judge Alito. I also believe that he would be horrified at the way in which out-of-control courts have trampled on the moral truths he advocated.
From the time of Emperor Nero, who declared Christianity illegal, to the days of the American slave trade, from the civil rights struggle of the sixties to our current battles against abortion, euthanasia, cloning, and same-sex "marriage," Christians have always maintained exactly what King maintained.
King's dream was to live in harmony with the moral law as God established it. So this Martin Luther King Day, reflect on that dream -- for it is worthy of our aspirations, our hard work, and the same commitment Dr. King showed.
The original commentary first aired on August 28, 2003.
Today we have a meeting with Sarah and Sarah Beth, our apartment‘s core leader and assistant leader. There are 5 Sarah’s in FITN and 3 Hannah’s.
I just learned the break-down of track 1 and track 2 FITN interns: Track 1 has 40 and track 2 has 37. I still don’t know who half of the interns are.
I met someone from Teen Mania this week. She knows Melissa. So Mel, if you’re reading this, Sarah N says hey! See what I mean, there are a lot of Sarah’s.
This is going to be a short post. In fact, perhaps today didn’t warrant a post at all!
Good luck at your meet NVG girls!
I don't think I told you this, but yesterday I was awakened by a loud screeching noisy noise. It didn't go away. After a lot of annoyance and some skilful investigation, I discovered a construction crew right below my apartment putting a wall in the basement. I thought of saying, "You know, this is exactly the same as if I came to your house and played on the pots and pans right outside your room at 4am." But then I realized, it was 1 in the afternoon, and people have to work sometime. Just because my schedule is upside-down doesn't mean I should expect the rest of the world to cater to my habits. :)
We had lots of meetings yesterday.
Stuart Greaves, the director of Fire in the Night, has been handling all of our orientation meetings and will also be teaching most of our regular classes. He is a good teacher, and I like him because even though he is fairly inaccessible due to his many commitments, he has had Q&A time for as long as we want every day thus far and is never put out by any question, no matter how ridiculous. And the questions have ranged from what is your favorite color, to how did you propose to your wife, to biblical and spiritual questions to why do you think there isn't a "the one." It's been really good but I think if I was he I would have gotten irritated with some of the things people ask. But he is also really good at letting someone know when they have crossed the line without making them feel bad. He is also good at saying, "I don't know."
As I am sitting here in the Cafe' I see a table of people playing UN. I want to go ask them if they know how to play killer uno. I really haven't found people who play games here yet, but then I really haven't had time for that so far. I did buy a deck of pink bicycle playing cards the other day, since I had forgotten to bring anything like that with me. And I lost a game of solitaire with them.
Last night in the prayer room was great. I got to pray for one of the girls for a revelation of God's love. It was significant because one of the things I prayed over her was something that God had taught me about a year ago, and afterwards, she said that was one thing that really resonated within her. It really shook me because I felt I had said the right thing at just the right time, and that is an issue I have struggled with for years. I don't feel like I have a grip on discernment so it makes it difficult for me to see what is really going on and to know what the appropriate response is, no matter how much I want to help.
Ok, all that to say I know God is working in me here, everyday is better than the last (which is really weird to say after 5 days) and I am very excited about all God is going to do and change in me. I don't know what it is going to look like and it doesn't really matter.
One more thing I wanted to say before I wrap up this incredibly long post, is that there is nothing special about this place. Anyone who has a heart to know God and who has the determination to pursue Him can experience Him. It is hard work to fight for a quiet space in your day to spend with Him, but the rewards are infinite. So I guess the one special thing is you don't have to fight so much for your time with God, it's the reason you came here. But I know God hasn't given us so much to do that we can't find time with Him in our daily lives.
Something Stuart said that I have been thinking about is our tendency as Americans to fill our minds with empty things when we are tired. Sitting and watching a movie or engaging in some other mindless activity after a long day at work is not going to refresh or encourage me. Spending time with God will always refuel. It makes me want to re-think the way I view entertainment in light of the kingdom of God.
Today I learned how to get to Wal-Mart and the post office. The post office was out of 1 and 2 cent stamps. So gradually I am learning my way around this area of
Katie’s parents live nearby, and her mom said we could do laundry at their house, which will save on laundromat expenses. Katie lives in my apartment with me. She is 18. There is also Hannah (20) from
Yesterday, I had a 3 hour nap (yea!) and I made sure to get a cup of coffee before going to the prayer room. Also, I prayed and asked God to help me through the night. What a novel idea!!!
The time spent in the prayer room was great. I never felt sleepy or tired like the past 2 days.
In the prayer room, I alternate spending time in worship, Bible reading and meditation, prayer and intercession. Last night we had 2 hours of intense intercession for a variety of subjects. How it worked, was the worship team did 10-20 minutes of worship, and then they opened up the floor mic for anyone to pray whatever is on their heart. People go up to the front and pray out their prayer and then the singers capture one or two main phrases, normally from the verse that the person prayed and dwell on that for a while.
Last night, some of the topics we prayed were asking for revival in individual cities/states as well as for abortion to end in
The way they do things varies, of course. Sometimes there is a specific topic, sometimes the guy on stage leads prayer…lots of different things.
Leave me a message, I would love to hear from you all!
Monday night I was exhausted all 6 hours in the prayer room, last night the first 2 hours were fine, but after that I felt even more tired then the previous night. I actually fell asleep.
I haven't been able to get more than 6 hours of sleep since I arrived, and I didn't get much more than that the 2 days before I left. It is really hard to be so exhausted every day.
Please pray that I am able to get the rest I need so I can be alert and focused.
I think everything else is going well. I'm not putting a lot of stock in my thoughts and feelings right now, because it's such a change and I am so tired...I want to give it a week or so to level out.
That's all I want to say right now.
I am here in Kansas City, MO and it is snowing!!! I woke up this morn....afternoon to a wintry white world. Very beautiful. I made a trip to Wal-Mart with 3 other interns and we were singing "Walking in a Winter Wonderland" as we drove. * * *
Last night we all stayed up until 6am, like we will be doing for the next 3 months. It was very hard to stay awake since I had been up since 4am EST, but the last 2 hours had more lively worship music and we prayed with our roommates which helped keep me alert.
There are 8 people in my apartment, 2 bedrooms (with 2 bunk beds), 2 bathrooms, a kitchen and a nice livingroom. We also have closets.
Oh, when I said "8 people," I meant girls. ;)
Our apartment complex has 4 similar rooms and they are all Fire in the Night girls, which means we are on the same sleeping schedule.
My apartment is a 2 minute walk from the IHOP Ministry Center, which is where all our classes are as well as the prayer room, cafeteria and coffee shop.
Because so many of you asked, here is my mailing address is:
3517 E. Red Bridge Rd.
Kansas City, MO 64137
(But if you wanted it to send me money, please give it to my parents instead. They are handling all that for me.)
I really don't have much more to say right now, I am still getting use to how everything works and dealing with the exhaustion of the past several days. My roommates are all very nice, and there are abour 70 FITN interns, although 2/3 of them have already done the first 3 months and are on their second set. I haven't met too many people, but I think that will come.
I was going to try and see Cory do worship today, but I don't know when he plays.
I appreciate all of your prayers so much!
Love to all,
Amanda Joy :)
My sister is spending some time with me this weekend, which will be nice.
I am planning on spending all day Saturday packing and cleaning and doing whatever last minute errands still need to be done. Actually, I haven't done a great job planning ahead on what all I will have to do, but I am not anticipating a whole lot since it's just 12 weeks and I'm not taking furniture or anything like that.
I haven't done a very good job of emotionally preparing for this either, which is why I suddenly realized today that I only have one more day to teach and that was very sad. I expect I will have an emotional next few days, but that's ok. I can handle that.