My eleventh week (December 5th – 11th) here at the YWAM LA base for the SOMD (School of Ministry Development) was really great and I am so very thankful for all of the things that God is continually teaching me throughout this time both in the classroom and out of the class time as well. This week it was such a blessing to be able to spend a lot of time digging into God’s word and reading the New Testament. I am just blown away that we actually finished reading the rest of the New Testament this week which means we have finished reading the entire Bible in less than 3 months. I can honestly say this is the first time in my life to be able to read the entire Bible this fast which has been incredible to really get saturated in the scriptures like this and I am so very thankful of how much God has spoken to me through reading His word in such a short amount of time as well.
This week we were blessed with having Joseph Avakian come from Germany and teach us on communications. It was a real blessing to hear all of the experiences that Joseph has with YWAM and I also enjoyed that he brought a lot of laughter and joy in the class as he taught with so much wisdom as well. There were a lot of things that I learned this week during the teaching time which I would love to share in this blog and I would also like to share some of the things that God did in my life outside of the classroom well.
Some of the highlights that I learned this past week:
- Just because you may know many different languages it doesn’t necessary mean you can communicate effectively. To communicate well it is really important to know the content, the values, the environment you are in, the culture, the subculture, the generation you are in and it is also really important not to filter things that you hear as well.
- It is really important that we check with the person that we are communicating so that we understand what we are hearing from the person because there is a giving and a receiving of information when communication happens between two people.
- The words that we speak have the power of life and death. Our words can bring declaration and also prophetically bring something into existence as well. We need to remember to be very generous with our encouragements with each other.
- It is not just about communication but it is also about the spirit behind the communication. When Jesus came to earth he redefined the context when he communicated with people so we need to take time to learn how Jesus did it and to always be listening to God of how He wants us to communicate with people.
- It is really important that when we communicate we learn to do it effectively with individual people first and then with a group.
- The world looks at our skill first but we also need to work on our character too because these two go hand in hand when we communicate with people.
- We are what we communicate and we communicate what we are which all comes from our identity of who we are as individual people.
- When we communicate something that is very valuable it is really important that we own it.
- We need to learn to pull from the wisdom that we are learning and to apply it to our lives.
- When we communicate cross-culturally it is like clouds overlapping each other. We often communicate the culture and the “package” of God more than who He is. God is really the ultimate communicator and He is the creation of communication so it is really important to take time to learn from God to developing our communication skills with people. We will get to know God more than we will be able to communicate His heart.
- We cannot, not communicate. Even silence is a way of communication.
- Revelation is taking the blur away and you can see clearly what is being revealed.
- When there is good communication than it allows it to have good connection with other people especially in our relationships with people.
- If we can communicate the way God does than we will have the key to how we can communicate more effectively and to also understand people better as well. We need to learn to be God’s mouth piece and we can do this by constantly be listening to his voice everyday of our lives.
- It is really important to learn to say much with little and much with much.
- Sometimes our communication is to sow seeds when we share the gospel with people, sometimes it is to water, sometimes it is to reap and sometimes we have the privilege to do all three.
- God knows how we are wired so He will tell us something that He wants us to know in His timing because He knows us better than we know ourselves. Our part is to be prepared and God will open up the doors in His timing.
- Godly communication is all about doing it with integrity.
- God wants us to use the gifts of the Holy Spirit not only in the church but also in the market place. For example, you don’t have to explain it is a prophetic gift when you receive a word for someone but you just need to be open to letting the words God gives you to come out of your mouth so you can bless people and speak life over people whenever you go.
- It is really important that we name the strongholds in our lives, confront them with God, declare the truth and walk in the opposite spirit.
- God wants us to get out of the box and He wants us to totally set us free from any fears, comparisons, criticisms, egoism, arrogance and also from us having control over these things as well.
- God doesn’t want to “fix us” but He wants to bring transformation to our lives.
- We put what is precious in our box. If someone were to open up your box what would they find? For example, would they find fear or the opposite of it which is agape love, criticism or the opposite of it which is exhortation, egoism or the opposite of it which is generosity, arrogance or the opposite which is humility? We get out of our box by moving in the opposite spirit of the things that have strongholds in our lives and this also affects how we communicate as well.
- Agape Love – God wants us to walk in His perfect love every day and at every moment in our lives. He has created us in love and to be in His love. People need to have the freedom to process things so it is really important that we are always creating a culture of love and of honor. When people feel loved they will also feel trusted and heard as well. Agape love is to love without any conditions. God’s love is always consistent and steadfast. When we truly know that we are loved by God than we are free to be ourselves of how God has created us to be and then we are fully walking in our identity that God has given us. It is God’s heart beat that we are carriers of His love whenever we go especially how we communicate with people.
- Exhortation – This is when you speak the truth in love and it is also bringing restoration to people’s lives as well.
- Generosity – It is being generous with what we have (e.g. to give love to people), going the extra mile when someone asks you for help and when your tank is full than you will be able to pour out even more to people.
- Humility – Jesus didn’t save us so that we become invisible but for us to be redeemed and to co-create with Him. God wants us to walk in humility and the more He is in us, the more authentic we will be of how God has created us to be.
- The only true way to open the box in our lives is the true freedom that is only possible through the cross. – Matthew 10:38 and 1 Corinthians 1:18
- When we travel to different countries in the world it is really important that we see people as God sees them as His children and love them as He does. Jesus came to restore our relationship to Father God and He wants us to communicate this to the world.
- Without a healthy communication than any relationship will not be able to function.
- When we value someone than we will be able to talk to them differently and also see them differently as well.
- We shouldn’t be shocked when we are in a season in our life is winter because God will bring us into different seasons in our lives just like nature has different seasons.
- Healthy individuals will create healthy communities.
- God is a part of all of the different culture values in the world (e.g. time or event, individual or community, honest or polite, low distance or high distance, task or relational, reasoning or feeling, quiet or loud and structure or flow) and we need to remember to learn to communicate in the different ways that we can effectively reach people for Christ in the different cultures.
- We need to say to God to not stop the work that you are doing in us so we can effectively communicate His heart to people.
- The journey of transformation in an individual person is really important so we can also see transformation in the community that He puts us in.
- It is not necessary how much we communicate but what you say that matters.
I am so very grateful for all of the different things that God has spoken to me and revealed to me from the teaching this past week. Communication is definitely an area in my life that I need to grow and develop more in as well so I would really appreciate your prayers that God will help me to daily learn how to communicate His heart to people every day and also how I can be more effective in my communication skills as well.
My heart is also filled to the overflowing with so much gratitude to God for all of the things that He is doing in my life outside of the classroom as well. Last Sunday (December 4th) I went to another church with my SOMD class at the Awaken LA church for their young adult evening service which was so good. The sermon was about living the miraculous Christian life which God spoke to me a lot through that message and then afterwards I asked the pastor if he could pray for me. One of the things that he prayed for me for was that God would give me more boldness and courage to be able to step out more to do what God is asking me to do.
Then on Monday of this week at our base worship time in the morning I ended up doing something that I wasn’t expecting on doing at all which was God nudged my heart to share something with everyone up at front. I am still surprised that I did go up because usually I get extremely nervous when speaking in front of a large group of people and also speaking into the microphone as well but when we were given an opportunity to share any words of encouragement that we felt that God wanted us to share I actually didn’t struggle with fear of going up like I usually do so I really would like to praise God for this.
When I went to the Harvest Mission school in Pemba, Mozambique in the fall of 2012 I will
never forget when one of my house Moms prayed for me and she received a word from God that He is saving the best wine for last for my time there (specifically how God is going to bring breakthroughs in my life at the end of the school) just like Jesus turned water into wine and He saved the best wine for the end of the wedding (John 2:1-11). Lately I have been having this stirring in my heart and my spirit that God is also saving the best wine for the end of my time here during my SOMD school at the YWAM LA base but when the worship leader encouraged us to go to Nigel who was leading the morning I felt God nudged me to go to Nigel to share this with him that it wasn’t just for me but for all of us as well.
I really would like to thank God for giving me the courage to share this with everyone and I also wasn’t expecting Nigel to also ask me to pray for everyone right after I shared either that God will give us the breakthroughs that we are seeking Him for. I really believe in my heart that God gave me the words that He wanted me to share on Monday morning and I really sensed His presence as I shared and also prayed out a prayer too. Yes, God is so good and I really do believe in my heart that God is longing to bring the breakthroughs in our lives and He loves to save the best wine for the end!
On Tuesday of this week, God gave me a very special and divine appointment when I went to Pasadena to receive a Sozo ministry by three women who are filled with so much love and compassion. Sozo is a Greek word that in its fullest use means salvation, healing and deliverance. I received the Sozo ministry at the HRock church office in Pasadena and my appointment was on Tuesday evening from 7:30 – 10:00pm. I heard about the Sozo inner healing ministry before and I also got teaching on what it is when I was at the YWAM conference in Chico last month so I got more interested in doing this for a future ministry tool especially with woman who have been wounded and hurt by the injustice of human trafficking.
After the woman taught on this at the conference I told her that I was interested in doing this in the future for women who need healing in their lives, she told me that is really great but she encouraged me to receive a session for myself first before I do it with other people.
I am really glad that God had opened up an opportunity for me to receive a Sozo ministry for myself before the end of my time here at the YWAM LA base during the time I am doing my SOMD this fall. I am so very grateful for all of the healing that God did on Tuesday evening especially as the Lord gently reminded me that I needed to forgive different people in my life that I have hurt me. God also taught the importance of having a more intimate relationship with not only Him and His Son Jesus but also the Holy Spirit too. The women encouraged me to ask different questions to Father God, Jesus and also to the Holy Spirit during the session that I had on Tuesday evening.
I am so very thankful for all of the different things that God spoke to me and encouraged me with as He spoke His truth to me during the Sozo ministry I received. These are some of the questions that I asked during my session and this is something that I would like to continue to ask in the future: 1) Jesus what lie am I believing about myself or this situation? 2) Jesus what is your truth? 3) Jesus how do you see me? 4) Jesus where are you right now? 5) Holy Spirit what do you think about me? 6) Holy Spirit who do I need to forgive? I would also like to encourage you to ask the Lord these questions too as a tool to grow in your relationship with Him as well.
This past week I also had a couple of other highlights with my class when we read all of Paul’s epistles in the New Testament and enjoyed pizza on Wednesday evening at our school leader Lisa’s house, on Friday afternoon we loved on people by giving them hugs, high fives and prayed for them for our outreach time and then on Friday evening our class
joined the whole base for the annual YWAM LA Christmas party which was a lot of fun especially when we made ginger bread houses. I am definitely going to miss my class when it will be time to say good-bye in a week’s time.
Well, it is hard to believe of how fast this week has gone by and I only have one more week left of my time here this fall for my SOMD school. I am really believing by faith for God to do some huge breakthroughs next week and I am also so very excited to see what He has in store for my last week here at the YWAM LA base! I really would like to say thank-you to everyone who has been lifting me up in your prayers during this time. I really appreciate it so much.