Thursday, March 30, 2006

1 WEEK!!

yes! in just one week, i'll be on a plane!!

It's hard to believe it's almost here! I'm so excited I can hardly stand it!

that's right, in a week, i'll be walking these streets...
Just just streets like this one, but i'l be *on* this street! this is Leidsegracht, one of the main squares/centers in Amsterdam.
it's been almost 6 months since i was last in the city, and i can already hear the noises, smell the waterways. i can close my eyes and be in the zolder. just one week.

our team is great. all such servants.

i can't wait.

just one more week.

Monday, March 27, 2006

i'm done

a couple of interesting things happened to me yesterday and a switch finally flipped.
i'm tired of being so cynical about God's church. i'm sick of it. i'm tired of dwelling on all the things that are wrong. granted, they're plentiful, but i'm tired of being so focused on it.
i constantly tell people that the key to counseling and helping people heal is not dealing w/the action, but the cause the of the action. "healing can only happen from the inside out. the action isn't the problem, it's just an indicator that something's wrong inside." it's true of people, and it's true of the Church. yet i've been outside for two years. looking in, pointing my finger, playing the "prophet" and calling out all the downfalls, mistakes, selfishness.
i meant to be formed in the image of Jesus, and Jesus desperately, passionately loves His Church. i don't. i don't really even like the Church, and because of that i've played around with my commitment, involvement and sacrifice. yes, there's a lot wrong. but God promises incredible things for His Church. i need to start learning about those promises, claiming them for His Bride and loving her the way He does.
so i'm done. i'm done delving into the abundant list of what's wrong w/the Church. we all know what's wrong. it's obvious. i'm done dwelling on and talking about it. healing can only happen from the inside, so i'm going in. through whatever route God opens for me, i'm going in. i'm going to learn to love the Bride of Christ. and i'm going to treat her with respect, love, and admiration. not for what she is, but for what God promises she'll be.

Thursday, March 23, 2006

keep your balance

I hear that a lot. "keep your balance", meaning - keep your life balanced. I've tried hard over the last six months or so to do that. Keep everything neatly balanced - my work, ministry, spiritual life, relationships, etc. It's been hard and I haven't felt well or been very happy. Over the last week or so I've been doing some reading and some praying, and I think I've figured out why things have felt so hard. One the one hand, I want to make a difference. I want to be a powerful force in God's army, prevailing against the gates of Hell. On the other hand.. I'm trying to build some kind of normal life.
The simple truth is that I'm having a difficult time find examples of people who made a significant difference *and* had a balanced life. Most were so caught up in God's vision for their lives that there was little or no "balance" at all. And I don't think that's a bad thing.
We don't have much time here. There are billions of people on this earth, most of whom don't know what it means to really know God and live victorious lives. I'm reminded of the verse in Hebrews about casting off "the sin that so easily entangles".. or something like that, and "running the race". I'm not saying that wanting a balanced life is a sin. Not at all. But I do think it entangles. At least for me personally. I start worrying about sleep, and "getting filled", "getting fed", or "getting rejuvenated". Having my "personal time". And yes, it's necessary, but shouldn't be my focal point.
So as of today I'm "casting off" the need for a balanced life. If I work too much, or spend too much time in ministry, or too much time with students and the people at church who are working to build a solid student ministry, then so be it. I spend too much time. If I spend too much time locked away writing my book, then I do. But when all is said and done, I trust God to take those efforts, measly as they are, and multiply them, making them into something great. I want to run the race and crawl across the finish line, having spent every last ounce of my unbalanced life.
And away I go...

Monday, March 06, 2006

God is so amazing!

Yesterday I spent more time in prayer than I have in a while. While I was praying for the Amsterdam trip, I felt God prompting me to turn to Psalm 78. This is what it says:

Psalm 78: 1-4,6-7
"My people, hear my teaching. Listen to the words of my mouth.
I will open my mouth with a parable. I will teach lessons from the past-
things we have heard and known, things our ancestors have told us.
We will not hide them from their decendants;
we will tell the next generation the praiseworthy deeds of the Lord,
His power, and the wonders He has done...
so the next generation would know them,
even the children yet to be born,
and they in turn would tell their children.
Then they would put their trust in God, and not forget His deeds,
but would keep His commands."

isn't He incredible!!! my heart leapt as I read this! it seems that at every turn there are confirmations that God is sending us to speak to the young people of Amsterdam. and the promise that He'll create opportunities for us to tell our own "parables". for all the missions trips i've gone on, this is a first for me. God so specifically speaking to our calling and the reason He's sending us. the reason He's sending me. i'm amazed. and so delighted. i can't wait to be there.

Saturday, March 04, 2006


it's 1am

well, not really wide awake, but that's the opening line of a poem i wrote once. it popped into my head and so... there it is.
sunday i'm having lunch w/ friends i haven't seen in probably a year. i told them about amsterdam and they immediately agreed to support my trip. i'm amazed at how many people have a special burden for amsterdam.
as for me... i can't stop thinking about being back. in just over a month, we'll be on the plane and on our way. i'm desperate to know once and for all if i should move there.
the thing with amsterdam is that it's an easy place to fall in love with. it's beautiful. stunning. the architecture, the waterways... it's romantic and captivating. and it's full of young people. amsterdam is where the youth of europe go to "find themselves", so it's teeming with high school and college students.
my prayer is that this would be a "the honeymoon is over" kind of trip. i want it to be hard, so that i know for certain if i'm drawn because i'm called or simply because it's such a beautiful place.
i've never wanted so badly to return to a place. and even now, the thought of leaving at the end of our trip makes me sad. and we haven't even arrived there yet! i can't wait to walk the streets... pass the cafes and the silly theatre between the zolder and leidesplein. see the cobblestone and brick streets, the tiny cars.. and all the bikes. i can't wait to hear the language, see the zolder, see the people again. i can't wait to see heidi and linda. to smell the water, and the coffee.
i'm excited, but i'm also scared, because i know i'm not ready. not emotionally, and certainly not spiritually. this trip will be intense. and i'm not prepared.
so if you think about it, send up a little prayer. for me. for the people on our team. and the people of amsterdam. pray for wisdom, for spiritual fortitude, and for genuine love. we can't go and just pretend. it won't work. if we're not real, we're doomed. and pray that i would know for certain why i'm so drawn, and what i'm meant to do about it.

Friday, March 03, 2006

what if?...

what if you're right
and he was just another nice guy?
what if you're right?
what if it's true?
they say the cross will only make a fool of you.
and what if it's true?

what if he takes his place in history
with all the prophets and the kings
who taught us love and came in peace
but then the story ends?
what then?

but what if you're wrong?
what if there's more?
what if there's hope you never dreamed of hoping for?
what if you jumped?
just closed your eyes?
what if the arms that catch you catch you by surprise?

what if he's more than enough?
what if it's love?

what if you dig
way down deeper than your simple minded friends?
what if you dig?
but what if you find
a thousand more unanswered questions down inside?
and that's all you find?
what if you pick apart the logic and begin to poke the holes?
what if the crowns of thorns is no more than folklore
that must be told and retold?

but what if you're wrong
what if there's more
what if there's hope you never dreamed of hoping for
what if you jumped
just closed your eyes
what if the arms that catch you catch you by surprise?

what if he's more than enough?
what if it's love?

you've been running as fast as you can
and you've been looking for a place you can land
for so long.
but if you're wrong?

what if it's love?
what if it's love?

-Nicole Nordeman