Life in the End Times

Shin's gift to Annie on their One Year Anniversary

Kansas City Neighborhood

Filed under: KC-Comission — Annie at 4:53 pm on Thursday, February 14, 2008

img_5676-3.jpg

img_5673-3.jpg

Ephesians 3:16-19

Filed under: KC-Comission — Annie at 3:09 pm on Saturday, February 9, 2008

My right hand is more masculine than my left hand. I’m right handed so the muscles are bigger, the bones have been hurt more from sports injuries. The skin has come into contact with cleaning chemicals and become more wrinkly. Versus my left hand that has played violin notes for the majority of my life. It’s gotten a good stretch and aerobics workout. It’s slim and fair from having been spared hard work.

Last night we were in a worship service. It was very enjoyable message and I was feeling content. Then I looked down at my hands and started gazing at my wedding rings. I started playing with them and looking at them one at a time. I started to think, the diamond would look a lot prettier by itself. I should wear the band on the other hand! I easily slid the wedding band off my left finger and moved it to my right. The first knuckle swam through the hoop easy. Then my second knuckle hit the ring’s diameter like an oversized armchair unexpectedly hitting the doorframe. I figured, once it gets to the narrow base of my finger it’ll be fine. If it doesn’t come off I could wear it there the rest of my life. In the worst case scenario I could get it cut off- but I didn’t think that’ll happen.

Well after motivated effort and a little tugging of my skin here and there, and a moment of sharp pain, VOILA! It looks beautiful, oh… it’s … tight! My finger started to turn red and I could feel the build up of pressure in my fingertips. I was seeing it turning red to purple hues in slow gradients. My left hand shot out and whipped Shin on the knee frantically and pointed at my finger. I was about to get up in search of some liquid soap when he whispered, “Do you have any lotion?” So I rapidly rustled in my backpack and grabbed the lotion. I globbed it all over. Then Shin said, “This is gonna hurt a little” and grabbed my hand. I recalled all the moments he fixed various household appliances, which gave me hope, followed by the afterthought that he’d broken countless things as well. and started to tug. It hurt and wasn’t coming off. I started to contemplate, maybe I should dislocate the joint, get the ring off, and relocate it afterwards.

Seeing that it wasn’t coming off Shin whispered hurriedly, “You HAVE to go outside in the cold so your finger contracts!” So I yanked my boots on untidily over my pant legs and jogged to the bathroom to run my hands under ice cold faucet water. I also raised my hand over my head to help the blood drain down. Finally with wet hands I went outside and stood in the cold night air shivering. All the while I was wrestling the ring to no avail. In fact the struggle might be likened to trying to maneuver a tight dog collar off the head of an unrelenting pug(sharpe?).

Desperate, I ran into the bathroom of the cafe and got soap. The ring glided around it’s captive as easily as my other fingers lost their grip. There was a part of me that was asking, “WHY God? How come you’re making me miss service because of this? I remembered when something similar happened in Paraguay where a key got stuck in the office door after I had gotten done sending a complaining and vicious email against someone. But what was the lesson to be learned in this case? Maybe it’s because I was vain during God’s worship time. Of course my instinct was to feel I did something bad. Only then did I remember one more important thing I could do PRAY!

The sermon was on Ephesians 3: 14-20 so I began to pray the words, “And I pray that the Lord would strengthen me with might in my inner spirit that I would know the width, heighth, and depth of God’s love” (paraphrased). I kept praying this over and over and the ring started to work closer to my knuckle! Presently service ended and Shin came out to see how I was doing. I had worked the ring past one side of the knuckle. I knew it was just a matter of time and a little help. Shin took over and pulled firmly until it popped off!

Then, in a sweeping, majestic manner he said as he put it on my rightful left hand, “With this ring… I thee wed…. again.”
I just laughed and sighed in relief.

Afterwards he said, “You know why this happened, right?”
And I said, “Why?” just to hear what he thought of the matter.
He said, “How did the ring get on your right hand?”
“I put it there”
“Why?”
“Because I thought it would look prettier!”
“Which is…?” he asked in a you-know-where-this-is headed voice
“Vanity” I conceded flatly.
“Yeees.”

One part of me thinks so. But my conscience doesn’t prick me.
I think maybe God wanted me to pray this prayer and this was His vehicle to invite that response! This verse as a prayer request had a powerful impact on my life. It was my hearts desire and I especially asked Pastor Che Ahn to pray this passage over my life. That seeking was followed by our seeking and eventual mission trip to Paraguay. Last night’s sermon was about the necessity to pray this request daily and I started halfway through the service! Thank you God!

Singing God’s Love

Filed under: KC-Comission — Annie at 11:06 pm on Friday, February 8, 2008

This first month of training at KC-Comission is based on Song of Solomon. From what I heard, chapter 8 is what birthed this entire movement. The basis of intimacy with God, so far, seems to be that we are loved by God. We need to receive God’s love in order to impart God’s love. So we’ve been looking at chapter 1 and listening to the different interpretations and meanings and learning how the story relates to God and us. The speaker also emphasizes that because all Scripture is inspired by the Holy Spirit, then this book has to point to Jesus! The Bible will endure throughout eternity and Song of Solomon will always be the Song of Songs. So it’s important to look at it’s significance for us as the Bride of Christ.

Well, midway through today’s session we each had a chance to pray about our inability to receive God’s love and release that through confession, and to break any enemy strongholds that were disabling us from being able to sense the love of God. Also, one of the things he said was that often we receive prayer and prophecy where the praying person will say, “The Lord loves you” and sometimes it’s disappointing because we’d rather hear something that seems more “profound” or directional. But it’s because the truth that God loves us has gone dull.

At the end of the session the speaker led us in a practice they call, “Harp & Bowl.” We went into spontaneous singing and worship from meditations on Song of Solomon 1. Everybody participated and sang their own melodies. I think mostly there was a harmonious sound, but some people sang completely on another pitch. But it was a very moving exercise because it brought our heart into the prayer. Once we got over the self-consciousness, it was like, very freeing. And to say some of the scripture back to God was powerful. It’s almost like the heart and mind hone in on a certain passage and it registers in your brain and heart. Many of the praise team lead worship that way. They will have a Bible open in front of them and they will open to a passage and begin singing the words. It’s very poetic and still scriptural.

The parts that really touched me during that time of singing was that I started to remember the affirmations I had received of God’s love in my life. I could remember three.

One was when Pastor Paul invited his friend Pastor Karen to come and share her testimony and to minister to us in prayer. She prayed for me and said, “You feel that you are undeserving to be loved but God loves you like a mangneh dahl which connotates the last child of a family who is adored. I remember at that time being shocked to hear that and unable to believe it. But when I accepted it I started to think of God as a father who really does love me.

The second memory or gratitude that came to mind was donating bone marrow. I felt God’s love and grace on my life evident in his perfect timing and the clear symbolism of this incident. For at least a year and a half prior, I was in this horrible cycle of hopelessness, and worthlessness. But I had a desperation for God and he put a desire in my heart to register. All of a sudden beyond human decision or planning- I was found to be a match! God showed me in physical terms that I was created uniquely and with purpose. He showed me that in obedience and sacrifice there is joy. He showed me that no detail of our life is ever outside of His plan for my life- even the seemingly Godless moments.

The last clear memory of God’s love was one day when Shin and I were both in the same room silently doing our own thing. I had been really depressed and I finally began to conjecture that maybe God didn’t really love me. I felt sorrowful and heartbroken when all of a sudden Shin came and gave me a hug and said, “I just wanted to tell you that God loves you” I just had misty eyes and open mouth. “How did you- what? I was just thinking that- how did you know…? why did you say that?”

He can’t explain it to this day. He was just having time with God and acted on the holy nudge.

I was thinking today, Yea, I’m pretty sure God loves me. As of yet, I experience it when I remember those loud instances. And I experience love moment by moment. How do I live it?

KC Comission in Missouri

Filed under: KC-Comission — Annie at 8:47 pm on Thursday, February 7, 2008

We’re back from Paraguay and after 3 weeks of rest we are in Missouri for a 3 month conference at a seminary called International House of Prayer www.ihop.org The event is called KC-Comission or Kansas City Comission.

So far it has been a new and eye opening experience. The teachings and way of worship is really different than I’m used to. There is a 24 hour global prayer room where there is always worship going on and “rapid-fire intercession”, which is 5-10 second prayers by a large group of people. Also children take a large part of the worship. They go up to the mic and intercede for others and also worship through spiritual dancing using cloths and flags.

Also, the praise is very Biblical. I believe alot of the teams write their own music using scripture. There is more than one team, and each team includes someone with a cool voice that just speaks the verses. They call it, “Worship with the Word.” Usually the other 3-4 singers will improv or harmonize. The style varies but a lot of them have an airy, Celtic style voice. In between they will integrate intercession and praise with someone leading a topic and the singers repeating phrases that affirm the prayer request. It moves the congregation to pray and leads into a heartfelt prayer time.

The themes they pray for and sing about are unique too. Yesterday, for example, some intercessors were praying for specific leaders, like the president of Zimbabwe and Haiti. It was really touching to hear them caring so much for world leaders. And some bad people too- people responsible for genocides and such! But God loves those world leaders!

Yesterday, we attended the orientation. There’s a training center just a shuttle bus distance away. We are in a group with people here for only 10 days, one month, two months, and three months. There is also a customized training session for a large group of Koreans. There were around 13 different countries represented in this small room. We met some interesting people. Among them, a Korean teenager whose been living in Africa for 14 years with his missionary parents. And then a funny thing happened. We started talking to the people around us and found out that the man on our right was a Korean from Paraguay, and in front of us, two Korean pastors- one went to seminary with Missionary Cho in Paraguay, and next to him was a Brazilian Korean who spoke to us in Spanish with us and asked us if we happened to bring any terrere!

Well, one thing is for sure- I’ve been receiving a challenge and invitation to fast. Even though its an invitation to draw closer to God, I felt the need to run away as far as possible. I hit a dollar general store and hoarded up on JUNK food. Pringles, raisinets, synders pretzels. Then I came home and ate a ramyun. Ok. That was straight up fear reaction. So today I started fasting since waking up. In the meanwhile I read a book called “The Rewards of Fasting” by Mike Bickle and Dana Candler. It’s EXCELLENT for someone who is intimidated by fasting like me. You know what I realized already? I really eat to entertain myself. Like to avoid boredom or to feel like I have something to do. The book addresses that too.

I’m starting to understand the principals more. And this author is for fasting as a lifestyle. It’s an exciting challenge when you realize how much spiritual impact it has. I also came upon a Bible verse from Deuteronomy 8:2-5 during the service that touched my heart. Vs 3 says, “He humbled you, causing you to hunger and then feeding you with manna, which neither you nor your fathers had known, to teach you that man does not live on bread alone but on every word that comes from the mouth of the Lord.” which backs up what the book says. It was neat to get confirmation.

Well, we’re here for 3 months and I’m excited to keep learning and meeting God and being in the presence of God. I am setting my expectations high and I want to seek hard too. So I’ll definitely be practicing the disciplines more.