Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Worship is not about you



Well, we have made it into another wonderful week here at YWAM Haiti.  This discipleship school has been exactly what we needed.  Bryan and I have been so blessed and have had so many revelations and transformations are taking place.   God is good yall!  This week was a welcomed break after the mountain last week.  This week was worship week.  We started out our week on base where we all live in our classroom on Monday and Tuesday and then we headed on a bus to Cap Haitian in the northern part of Haiti for the remainder of the week where we got to do touristy things and worship the Lord too.   It was great!  Ill give you some details and maybe I can post some pics on here soon.  If youre my fb friend I have posted many more pics that you can go see on my profile.  Thankfully, we have our own internet now and it is a bit more reliable than the wifi we were using before. 

So, we started out in the classroom on Monday with a team from Mendicino, CA that is here for the outreach portion of their DTS.  (Discipleship training school)  They have been here for about 4 weeks and will be here through the end of February.  When they came in to teach our class we werent sure what to expect.  We have enjoyed having meals with them daily and visiting but they have been doing their outreach mostly off base where they are out in villages.   They came in and told us they were going to be teaching on original design.  I didnt know what that meant really.  As they began sharing their testimonies and how this teaching had changed their lives I became rather intrigued.  The idea of original design prayer is to seek the Lord and ask who it is that he created you to be - in this case others do it and tell you.  They ask the Lord to tell them just how he made you to be and how he see you what his original design for you was. 

This is a form of intercession prayer that is so powerful.  It speaks life into you.  It calls up in you the person God created you to be and gives you insight into Gods heart for you and how he wants you to live.  The teaching then moved into strongholds and how we are affected by the attacks of the enemy in different areas that we call strongholds such as fear, rejection etc.  They gave us each a questionarre that helps you to take inventory of the things that are signs that you might struggle with fear or rejection etc.  We went through the first one together which was the stronghold of fear.  It is amazing to me how many Christians struggle with fear and live their lives in this stronghold..me included.  I knew I had a little fear that I struggled with but as we went through each area I checked more and more boxes.  I was feeling deflated and sad that this was my reality; then they said lets break this off!  I was elated!  We stood together and prayed against the fear we were facing and cast it off.  We prayed for the Lord to fill those areas we had just evicted the fear from with his Holy Spirit and to fill us with joy and love and peace instead.  This was so freeing and powerful.  However, when the prayer was over I still felt that I had some fear.  I had felt so heavy before, but this was a lighter load, but still a load.  I wanted it all gone and yet it wasnt.  I figured Id deal with it later as it was time to move on to the prayer time. 

The DTS staff and the Mendicino team divided up into groups of 3 and they each came prepared to seek the Lord on our behalf and get words from the Lord for us.  I was excited and a bit skiddish at the same time wondering was this really going to be personal to me or was it going to be some sort of generic, you are his, he loves you thing.  I was called over to my group and sat down nervously.  The things that God spoke to each person were things that Ive always wanted to hear said of me.  God was reminding me that I am his masterpiece - as are you - we all are his masterpiece.  Read Ephesians 2:10.  He is the master and he hand fashioned each and every one of us.  I was reminded I am not a mistake, I am seen and known by God. 

I will share with you some of what My Daddy in Heaven said about me.  I was given many encouraging words which they then had us turn into I am statements claiming what God designed us to be as who we are.  So, here we go..  I am a woman of prayer and that my prayers avail much.  My prayers demolish strongholds and make things happen in the heavens.  It was also said that I am a cheerleader and encourager. I champion everyone elses dreams.  At the same time, God wanted me to know he is championing mine!  He his cheering me on and believing in me and my dreams.

I am a woman of Joy.  I have a huge mothers heart.  I was called a mother to the orphans.  I am called to be hope to the hopeless.  I am known and seen by God.  I am a woman after Gods heart.  I am hungry for righteousness and am a lover of God.  I am beloved by God.  I am a dancer upon injustice.  I have a heart like David.  I am Gods - I am his real daughter. 

These words spoke such life and encouragement to me.  They then sought the Lord to ask what my stronghold was and it of course came up that I was still struggling with fear.  I repented of that, cast it off, in its various forms, and asked the Lord to replace it with his love and his joy.  I have been walking in such freedom since then.  Thank the Lord!

Bryan wants to share with you some of what the Lord gave his team about his original design as well.  He was called designed to be a Johnathon type leader and friend.  Davids best friend- how cool is it that God designed me to be like David and my husband to be like Johnathon!!  Match made in heaven?  Yes!  Literally! 

He is a servant of the weak, a caller of destiny and has a great fathers heart that models the Father heart of God.  He is a spring of joy.  He is a powerful warrior who is known by his intimacy and transparency.  He has a servant heart.  He has a heart for the lost and the broken.  He is one who will declare the word of the Lord and is a protector of truth.  He is a man of wisdom and understanding.

This prayer time was so powerful and so uplifting.  I cant wait to do it again and again.  I was also able to join in and be on the other side of the prayer for one of our DTS staff and that was also very intense and encouraging to hear how God saw my sister in Christ and what he originally designed her for.  It was so neat that we all received words of affirmation and confirmation for our lives.  God loves his kids and loves to brag on them. 

After the class time was over I was thinking through the worksheet we had completed and feeling convicted in one area.  I had been feeling convicted about a past sin that I needed to confess and deal with once and for all.  God gave me the courage to not only face it but to confess it aloud and to ask for forgiveness from those necessary.  I have seen the Lord in this all and his loving forgiveness and grace has been lavished upon me and I am now walking in a freedom that I havent previously known.  It is great when you have nothing to hide and you arent concerned that you will slip up and say something or let on that something is wrong in one area or another.  The staff and students and my husband lovingly came alongside me and forgave me and loved me through it all.  I am so thankful. 

Moving on from there we packed our bags, including our hair brushes and all our personal care supplies this time, and headed for Cap Haitian.  We were staying in a hotel this time instead of tents where we had comfy beds and even air conditioning!!!  WOAH!  Of course, its still Haiti and we dont have power all the time, but we did enjoy a cool room most of the time!  We went up to the Citadel and took a tour of it as well as San Souci Palace.  Both were amazing historical structures.  We heard of the history of this great nation and walked through the rooms of both places.  We learned something that Ive never really learned before and isnt really taught in most churches in the way it was taught to me this week.  Are you ready for this?  Worship is not about you.

Worship is not about you.

Worship is meant to bring glory to Gods name.  It is meant to lift him up and not for you.  It is not for what I can get out of it.  It isnt about what good things he blesses us with while we worship or as a result of our worship; but it is truly all about him.  It is about joining with him in spiritual warfare and shaking the heavens.  When we truly praise the Lord and worship his name, things change.  Lives change. God moves!  I was in awe of this.  I have always loved worship; mostly because I feel loved on and blessed and I receive breakthroughs etc.  This week I came to a new realization that worship is about so much more and in fact is not about me at all.

I learned to worship in new ways this week acknowledging that it is actually a time for me to exalt God for no other reason than he is God!  There is such power when we truly worship the Lord for who he is.  We are moving things in the spiritual realm when we worship the Lord correctly. 

We had several unique worship opportunities this week which stretched our limits of our comfort zone and truly put God on display.  Each time I prayed and asked the Lord to make himself known and to change the place and the people who were where we were at.  I had to lay down my selfish ambitions and self righteousness and remember who I was doing it for and why I was doing it.  When I did that there was much more power in my prayers, umph in my praise, and freedom in my worship of the Lord.  I sang louder than ever before, danced with flags without inhibition and felt the presence of the Lord in a new way. 

Instead of me coming seeking what good things God had for me I came seeking to honor him and in turn got to join him in his work.  I was able to pray his vision for Haiti and the people as I declared him King of Kings and Lord of Lords, Ruler of Rulers, and Lord of all!  I really loved seeing this new for me side of worship.  I got to see how great God is and understand that in my worship of him, he was truly exalted and it does make a difference. 

This week has been so special for me in so many ways.

I enjoyed going up the mountain this time- on a horse of course!  ;)  We took time at the top of the mountain outside of the Citadel to do an original design prayer for Haiti.  It was so neat to see how God originally designed Haiti to be.  God designed Haiti for so much more.  It is to be a sending station; to be a beacon of light, of hope.  A people of passion after his name.  This country was meant to be Gods majesty on display.  God has big plans for Haiti yall!  I am excited to see the changes coming to this country!  God is on the move here and we are going to continue to intercede on behalf of this beautiful nation and these beautiful people reminding God of his promise and his people.  I am so so very excited for Haiti yall!

We would continue to ask for your prayers as we move forward in our DTS and seeking the Lord with our whole hearts.  We want nothing more than to be in his will and doing what he has designed us to do.  Please pray about joining with us in prayer, interceding on our behalf during this time.  If youd like to join our intercession team and can commit to praying for us daily we would love to hear from you!  Email us to sign up by sending an email with intercessor in the subject line at newhornerfamily@gmail.com or visit the website and sign up there at www.thehorners.yolasite.com

Love you all!

Alecia 




Saturday, February 15, 2014

Mountain Top Experience



Most of you may not know, but about 1 1/2 years ago I was unable to walk. I needed extreme assistance even in getting dressed and getting to and from the restroom. I was very ill and began to think I was going to die. After being sick for a very long time I was able to go to church one day. I was so weak that I couldn’t stand during the worship and during the service there was a prophetic word given that God wanted to heal a young woman who had been to the Dr. in the last 10 days and received bad news. I had been exactly 10 days prior and they were at a loss as to what was going on and it didn’t look as though it would get any better. I went forward for prayer with much assistance making it to the front and as I walked away from the prayer time I could walk with less assistance and still a severe limp. As we continued to walk to pick up kids from classrooms the limp lessened as did the need for assistance. By the time I made it to the parking lot it was a minor limp and over the next few days it completely disappeared. God miraculously healed me! 




Over the last year or so I began to walk and even run training for a 5k. I have completed two 1 mile walks (which I ran 1/2 of one of them just to prove to myself I could do it) and then two 5k walk/runs of which I also ran about 1/2 of. If anyone would have told me I would ever run I would have laughed at you; especially after being bedridden and thinking about options of wheelchairs. This is all to God’s glory! Now, if you would have told me that only 16 months from the day my healing began that I would be hiking up a mountain in Haiti none the less, I would have told you that you had lost your ever lovin mind! There was no way. But God. God makes a way where there seems to be no way. It was strenuous, it was hard, it was challenging, but I made it to the top of that mountain and I stayed there for 5 days living out of a tent until it was time to come down again on Friday. 




Coming down the mountain was something I wasn’t as worried about as you think it’s always easier to go down that to come up. Well, it rained a torrential rain Thursday night which made the ground incredibly muddy and the rocks super slippery. (as I say slickery!) The trip down was so hard - maybe as hard as going up if not harder as I had no traction and kept sliding. I twisted my ankle so many times and yet it never got injured and that my friend is the grace of God. I am praising God for getting me up and down that mountain with no injury and that I was able to do it in a reasonable amount of time; although with my past you’d think any time would be reasonable but we made it within our 5-6 hour time frame allotted and that blew my mind. 




Bryan, Austin, Aliyah, and I all hiked up the mountain and the others rode in the truck to the top and cheered us on as we crested the mountain coming up. Ayden was a sweetheart and saw his mommy coming and he ran down the side of the mountain and grabbed my hand and walked with me the rest of the way back up the mountain telling me I did good. I love that little guy! The other kiddos were up top and saying “You did it Mommy!!” I loved it! If you are unable to run/ walk/ climb in a race or hike that is for a cause, you should go anyway and cheer along the way or at the end b/c that fuels us to go along. Just a PSA for ya! :) 




Now, I have to be honest and say that the hiking was incredibly difficult for me and I had a very poor attitude about it. I didn’t want to do it. I didn’t think I could do it. I wanted to do it to say that I had but I didn’t WANT to do it. Know what I mean? I was exhausted, hot, and sweaty, and they just kept going! I swear, the majority of the team seemed to be like the energizer bunny! As we went up people would ask how I was doing and I wanted to be positive about the situation and say I am making it, I’m here etc.. as positive as I could get in that mode lol.. Inside I was not thinking such nice things - I was frustrated and I couldn’t talk and walk and I wanted them to stop for a minute and let me rest.. ok, truthfully, I wanted them to stop for a couple of days and then start again! 




We went up Mount Guavia - if you want to research it for me and see just how big it is - may not be big at all for some; it was a giant for me! Anyway, I think I would enjoy it better if it wasn’t on a time frame and we didn’t have to carry our backpacks the whole way. Unfortunately, this week was laying down your rights week and I did not have that right! We laid down our rights to many things this week in efforts to learn what it is to be a true servant of the Lord and to live like Jesus. We laid down the right to drive to the top; to carry snacks, to eat what we wanted, to have modern day camping equipment, and even the right to know what time it was. We were not allowed to take showers, look in a mirror, brush our hair.. yeah, it was intense. Honestly, I didn’t see the point in most of it at first. I still have things that I don’t understand about the trip and am asking the Lord to reveal the point in it and what he wants me to learn from the experience. 




Once we got to the top of the mountain we were divided into our teams - team A - me, Kirsten, and Kelsey as students and then Rose and Wayne as our Staff leaders; team B - Bryan, Alex, and Michaela as students and then Christian and Lizzy as Staff leaders; team C - Adrian, Austin, Aliyah, Alexis, Ayden, and Aaron as DTS Kids and Sarah and Marjorie as Staff leaders. Teams A and B were responsible to take turns daily with getting water down the side of the mountain from the cistern, purifying it and other tasks that would be assigned throughout the day and the other team would be responsible for preparing all of the meals that day over charcoal. We made authentic Haitian food - or that was the plan.. we were given no instructions, just ingredients and a menu saying what it was supposed to make. We were to work together as a team and figure it out. The staff were not able to answer questions or give instructions; only ask questions that may spur you to think and figure out certain things. Challenging for sure! 




So, first thing that happens when we get on top of the mountain is they announce Team A has water duty and each student needed to get a 5 gallon bucket and quickly get water and purify it so we had some for dinner; which thankfully was already being cooked by Team C (Marjorie with some help from the kids here and there) and Team B would be responsible to set up our tents. I was so sad about this. I was so tired. I had just climbed a mountain and now, they want me to go back down part of it and get water in a 5 gallon bucket and carry it back up?! I didn't lose it on the way up at all; this, this broke me. I cried as I went down the side of the mountain with Kelsey to get the water. She was so gracious to me and rubbed my back and reminded me it was only one time tonight we had to do this and we could work together and get it back up. I just wanted to eat and sleep! 




We got down to the cistern and the man unlocked it and we washed out our buckets and then filled them. Kelsey and I tag teamed it up the mountain with several stops along the way as we had to catch our breath. I smarted off can we take an hour to do this? To which Wayne kindly replied, sure! I felt some relief and some frustration that he was probably being sarcastic. I didn’t have the energy to think about it and figure it out so I let that thought go and we trucked it up the mountain. There were some guys that wanted to help and of course we had to tell them no thank you and do it ourself. I so wanted to say “Wi Mesi!” We made it up and then worked to get it in the purifying bucket and it was time to eat. I was so excited about eating. Until I found out it was only rice and beans. No meat. No sauce. Wow. I was getting a taste of what it was like to live without. 




Just before we started to eat I had seen lightening on the other mountain across the way and was a bit nervous about rain coming. It is dry season here and we shouldn’t be getting much rain at all. When we were on the ground at base, it would be nice to cool it off; however, on top of this mountain it was COLD. We didn't need any help cooling it down! We began to eat after Team B set up the tents on the edge of the mountain and just a few bites in the rain came. It came with a vengeance! Thankfully there was a marketplace on top of the mountain that had a covering and we were able to move the tents and all our things under it; unfortunately, it was pouring rain as we had to run back and forth gathering things in the pitch black with our little flashlights and the freezing cold. We set up the tents under the covering and as the rain continued to pour we realized our tent was going to be flooded if we left it where it was so we had to move to the other side of the market place as there was a huge leak in the roof where we were. We moved it and got stuck and ripped the rain cover. 




I was so over this night and just wanted it to be done. We got the tents all set up and laid out our sheets.. yes, sheets on the floor of the tent. No pillows. We hadn’t brought sleeping bags or pillows. The rain was so loud and heavy that they cancelled class for the night and allowed us to go to bed after setting up the tents. I was thankful for this but that also meant that I now had to face the fact that we were soaking wet, freezing cold and had no comfortable place to lay down. We spent the night on the cold, hard, wet floor shivering and doing our best to keep warm even with all of our clothes we brought on our person and the light blankets we had with us. I didn’t sleep much at all and as a matter of fact I sobbed as I lay there with every muscle and joint in my body aching. I couldn’t believe this was happening and that this was going to be my reality for the next 4 days. I was miserable. I didn’t want anything to do with any of it. I shivered most of the night and tried to cuddle up to Bryan and the kids and yet still couldn’t get warm as I was wet and we had rain still dripping in through the hole in the cover. 




Every time I heard someone get up to go to the bathroom in the night I would pray it was time to get up and yet it wasn't time and time again. I had no idea what time it was so that I could even tell myself it’s only so many more hours till you can get up. I finally fell asleep for a short time and even then I had a nightmare that I was in my house telling Rose about this horrible dream I had that they made us hike up a mountain and then it was pouring rain and we went to bed on the ground and it was cold and we were wet and then I woke up.. and I was on the ground, cold and wet; this was my reality. I hurt so bad and had a horrible attitude about it all. I was so mad that we weren’t prepared for the cold and we didn’t have adequate sleeping arrangements in my opinion and all of this on top of having to come up the mountain on a time schedule that I didn’t even know but just had to keep going. Let’s just say I was not happy.




We were awakened while it was still dark outside by the banging of a rock on a big metal pan repeatedly and yelling from Wayne saying it’s time to get up you have 10 minutes to get out of your tent, all things packed up and Team A to start on breakfast while Team B tears down the tents. I had never cooked corn porridge before; much less did I really like it. We lovingly referred to it as corn mush. Kelsey has lived in Haiti for 2 years and recently married a Haitian YWAM Staff member, Phillipson. Anyway, she had the most knowledge about how to potentially make the porridge so I was given the task of starting the fire. I was given charcoal and a bag with matches and kindling in it. It was so cold and windy that it was incredibly hard to light it; not to mention the matches in Haiti aren’t the best quality. I worked and worked to light that stupid fire and it just wasn’t happening. Christian and Wayne stood over me with flashlights as I worked to figure it out and that set me off. I was not happy that I couldn’t figure it out and here were these two guys, perfectly capable (as was I but I didn’t know it yet) (see God is showing me things here) and yet, they watched. Didn’t they understand I was tired, and cold, and still wet from the night before and now they want to just watch me?! I smarted off - “So, I guess I’m your entertainment for the morning.” Christian turned and walked away and Wayne stood there holding the light not saying a thing. I was livid. I finally got the fire started and was so glad to be done with it while at the same time feeling a sense of pride but not wanting to show any sort of emotion other than the frustration I was feeling. Why? I don’t know. I was acting out of my flesh instead of living like Jesus would want me to. 




We cleaned up from breakfast and then we had a class time and anyone wanna guess what it was about? Attitude. Yeah, I didn’t want to hear it at all. I tried to engage in class and read a scripture about how Jesus didn’t have a place to call home or even a soft place to lay his head at night and I said “Oh great, this is where you got the idea huh?” I was mad about it. I shouldn’t have to live like this. I don’t want to live like this. I have the ability to have a pillow and extra clothes, dry clothes, and I even have an air mattress, all be it in America. My kids shouldn’t have to live like this. We have worked hard to provide those comforts for them and where I come from it’s travesty to not have those things. I have the right to have those things and how dare they take all of that away. WOW. I want to live like Jesus; but not LIVE like Jesus. I was seeing more of my character flaws and I didn’t like it. I felt convicted and yet I didn’t want to move on and get over it. Some time passed that day ( I have no idea how much as we had no way to tell time) and I finally was able to deal with the issue of my heart and my attitude and went and apologized and asked for forgiveness for my poor attitude. Hello humble pie. 




Tuesday and Friday are the market days for the residents around Mt. Guavia and we had a few items on our menu that were not included in our boxes of ingredients.. such as chicken and fish and some spices. Now, remember we don’t have any modern day conveniences such as a fridge. Can you guess what kind of chickens we had to buy? Oh, and they don’t sell canned chicken in the market on top of the mountain. Yep, live chickens. Wanna guess what we then had to do to prepare them for dinner? Yup! We were sent through the market with our list of items to get and our envelope of gourdes ( said goudes) (Haitian currency) we were given an average of what each item should cost and that was it. No translator, no help to know what was what - like this specific type of dried fish - although it was hard to miss the stench of. Thankfully, both teams had a member that could speak and understand some creole and that was immensely helpful. I actually enjoyed the market trip. I liked looking at all the different items and bargaining with the vendors as well as the excitement of finding what was on the list when we had no idea how to navigate this mass of vendors that had encamped on the mountain for the day. We had some extra money left in our budget and were able to get some treats for the entire team and that was fun and a welcomed thing. We got some chips that are like cheesy puffs and we got some really delicious popsicles that are like pop ice on steroids! They are so big! 




After lunch it was time. Time for Team A to start the dinner process. This meant that it was time to learn how to slaughter and clean a chicken and then cook dinner which consisted of rice, and chicken in red sauce. I was actually looking forward to this part as I have wanted to learn how to do this for a long time so we could better live off the land whether in America or wherever the Lord sends us. I was a bit nervous and worried I’d get grossed out by the process but I did really good! There are pictures out there somewhere - we gave up our right to have cameras; but the staff did take pics! - try to find YWAM Haiti on fb if you want to see them they should make it there eventually! Christian showed us how to hold the chicken properly and proper slicing etiquette and then it was our turn. One by one we went. I went first and I had a talk with my chicken first. It was a beautiful chicken - his name was Franco. I told him he was going to meet his maker and not to fight me and be a good little chicken as I did my duty to the team in preparing him for dinner. Franco was an excellent participant. He didn’t backtalk at all and was very cordial as he went to his final resting place. I braced my foot on his chest, stretched out his neck and sawed away with a fierceness necessary to do such a task. His head came off and I jumped back to avoid the splatter and we watched and laughter erupted as he ran around into the crowd that had formed with his head cut off. I caught him and laid him to rest on the ground as we waited for the others to do theirs. 




I had started the pot of water before we started the slaughtering process and it was just about boiling when we completed the slaughter. We then took our chickens and dipped them in the pot of hot water and let them sit in the “hot tub” for a couple of minutes and then it was back to the side of the mountain to pluck their feathers. I was amazed at how easily they came out with the hot bath. The group of people around to watch and encourage and give instruction was so massive and so lively. I really enjoyed the crowd. I felt like I was on an episode of survivor or something and yet it was before a live audience! Anyway, I plucked him clean and headed back to start the rice. Kirsten and Kelsey finished theirs along with Christian and then Kirsten volunteered to gut them all while Kelsey and I worked on rice and red sauce. 




We got our rice done way early, but thankfully it stayed warm with the huge pot it was in and the bag we placed over it. We made the red sauce and that’s about the extend of the similarities of ours to the authentic Haitian red sauce we have become accustomed to. Ours tasted great, but definitely not Haitian at all. We had taken quite a bit of time with the slaughtering process and gutting that we weren’t able to boil the chicken as long as we needed to so it was a bit rubbery but the meal was still enjoyable and enjoyed by everyone. I was so proud of our team and proud of myself for truly making a meal 100% from scratch all the way down to the chicken! 




The next day we were back on water duty and my attitude about it was much better and I actually got more sleep that night as God had given me some ideas of how to better pad the ground and of course I wasn’t wet that night so that was a great thing as well! That meant it was team B’s turn to slaughter their chickens and this was something none of us as students had ever done before. The crowd was much smaller today and that worked well for team B. Bryan had to close his eyes when he slaughtered his chicken but he did it well and they made an excellent meal as well. 




Both of those days we had class times and we had encouraging times where we went around the circle and told each other strengths and things we love about each other. This was so powerful and such a good thing to hear; especially as we were all struggling with exhaustion and feeling gross and dirty as we couldn't wash and fix ourselves up at all. I wish we would grab ahold of what a positive word can do for someone and really make an effort to constantly build each other up and call out the good in one another rather than the negativity that comes so easily and the silence that is so rampant in many circles where we then live with regret for not saying the things that we truly feel. We could truly change lives by just doing this little thing. Seeing people for who God says they are and calling out the good character traits in them. 




By the end of the trip God had really worked on me about my thought process and my attitude. I was struggling with feeling left out and not accepted. I felt like my opinion wasn’t valued and that I deserved to be heard. Coming down the mountain I visited with my one on one leader Sarah about these feelings and she challenged me to seek why I really thought I needed or deserved to be heard and accepted. She said one simple statement that had such an impact on me and I don’t think she really thought about it or put any value in it but she at one point said “well, I think you are in a discipleship training school.” I asked and what is that supposed to mean. She said that God was going to be teaching me things and that is that - I am in a DTS. I realized at that point that I was going after the wrong things. I was seeking man’s approval and acceptance rather than keeping my focus on God and seeking him. 




God gave me a picture later that better describes this breakthrough for me on my terms and that is that one of my favorite things we made in our bakery was a warm sugar cookie with cream cheese frosting and pearl sprinkles on top for that added crunch and sweetness. God told me that while I really enjoy the sprinkles on the cookie, they aren’t vital to me enjoying the cookie itself and are really a bonus. You see, I have a Martha spirit in so many ways and in this time in my life and over the past several months God has been calling me to have more of a Mary spirit where I will sit down at his feet and stop running around worrying about all that has to be done. I am such a mom and such a lover of people that I want to help everyone and I want to take care of everyone and make everyone feel included and loved. While those are all good things, they are not the most important thing. My relationship with God is and out of that all of those other things flow. I can’t do all of those other things without first having my relationship with God first and foremost. So, the basics of the best cookie ever are the sugar cookie and the cream cheese frosting.. Me and God. While the sprinkles are great - relationships with others - they are not the most important thing and they are a bonus that comes out of my great love for God he will build those great, Godly relationships. 




I have seen even more things, as I pointed out, in this post that God was trying to teach me on the mountaintop and I pray that he continues to reveal himself to me in new ways and even more through this experience. Thank you all for your continued prayers. They are so felt and appreciated. If you haven’t signed up and would like to - we need more intercessors to join with us and pray for our family daily as we pursue the Lord wholeheartedly throughout this DTS and into the future. You can do so by visiting our website and clicking the link on the home page to sign up at www.thehorners.yolasite.com or you can just email me with intercessor in the subject at newhornerfamily@gmail.com and we will get you added to the email of prayer requests. 




Much Love,






Alecia

Sunday, February 9, 2014

Father Heart of God

I have a couple of updates to post but have been away from the base all this week living on top of a mountain and this next week we will be away from the base living in a hotel in Cap Haitian for the week. I will update you on the week prior to the mountain first and if I have time and energy to do so - and it’s not incredibly long - I will update with the mountain top experience update as well. If not, we’ll get one week down this time, another next time, and then hopefully get caught up with updates from that point. We have been here for a full month as of today. So much is happening. God is at work! I can see significant changes in us all. It is so hard to believe on one hand that we have been here only a month and on the other it seems like we’ve been here forever. I am learning so many things that are changing my life and habits and I am really enjoying it. I have seen substancial and significant changes in Bryan as well. 


We had a week on the Father Heart of God and I was really wondering what on earth this would look like for me as I didn’t feel I really had “daddy issues” and thus I don’t feel I have a wrong perspective of God as a bad father etc. Thankfully, growing up I found God at an early age and learned about his love for me and while I was away from my earthly father I learned that God was the best father a girl could ask for. I learned that he loved me better than anyone on this planet could and that he would never ever ever leave me or hurt me. So, that being said, I thought this week would be a refresher course for me and I would just get through it and hope for some sort of growth and seek further breakthroughs in future weeks. Boy, was I wrong! God is so good! He had something for me this week even when I thought it wasn’t likely. 


This week was not mainly focused on “daddy issues” although we did touch on them as well as “mommy issues” and we acknowledged that our past does affect our future. I actually read a book that had a quote I loved in it and I’ll share that with you now. It was actually from Beth Moore if I remember correctly. It says: You cannot amputate your history from your destiny… my past is something Jesus takes hold of and makes in to a destiny; that’s called redemption. Beautiful! The book it was in was also a great read if you are looking for one - it is Mary Beth Chapman’s book Choosing to See. I could relate with her on so many levels and her story really touched me. 


Anyway, we had a sweet father of 12 children and husband of one wife come and teach us about the Father heart of God - his name is Ray. I really felt like this week would be a breakthrough week for so many and that I needed to step back and watch God at work in the lives of others around me. I hoped to gain a little piece of something life changing but wasn’t really expecting much. As the week went on Ray talked a lot about past hurt and healing. He said something that hit home with me. He said when we don’t process hurt correctly we don’t open up; we don’t get to know others and they don’t get to know us. He then talked about how when you have a broken bone, for example, and it doesn’t heal right.. everyone knows it has to be re-broken - a painful but necessary process to ensure appropriate healing. He said he knows many people walk around in life saying “Oh, I’m good, been there, done that, got the T-shirt; I’m healed, I’m fine.” and yet the same old hurt rears it’s ugly head and we are broken and don’t know why it still is affecting us. He explained that it hasn’t healed fully or properly and may need a re-break and set. 


I was dumbfounded by this. I have dealt with this all of my life where I pray over something and think that situation is resolved, I’ve forgiven, I’ve been healed, I move on and then it comes up again and I bawl my eyes out or start with the shakes all over again. I have been so frustrated with this process thinking it’s a one and done thing and wondering why I am still hurting from it if it’s been healed. I would get so upset with myself and feel like a failure in my faith or my walk since I am allowing those things to still hurt me. What he helped me to realize is that is not the case at all. The truth of the matter is, I was severely wounded and severe wounds take time to heal and sometimes lots of treatments to do so. I may have one level of healing in certain areas but God has more for me. I began to be real with the Lord and unpack some of those old hurts and wounds that have been festering inside of me for so long and really deal with them. 


God revealed to me that I was still struggling with roots of unforgiveness in several areas of my life. While I may have forgiven some things, others I was holding on to. Why? I don’t know. Well, that’s not true, I do know. I do it because my flesh doesn’t want to let it go. I want to have the ammo ready for when that person wants to turn on me and hurt me again or hurt someone else that I can say “look what they did to me” or even to that person “look what you did to me” in hopes that they would truly be sorry and repent and then it’d be all good. Well, God got on me for that one. He reminded me that he gave his son for me for forgiveness of my sins long before I ever acknowledged I was wrong or said I was sorry. He reminded me that it’s not about them saying sorry. It’s about me moving forward in the freedom that comes with living a life according to his word and his ways. When we allow the Lord to use our warped structure, he can break it and fashion it into something truly beautiful. Jars of Clay. 


With that being said, I spent several days talking with the Lord about what this looked like for me and how to process all of this. I took time to write a letter expressing my thoughts about it and why I do what I do and how I don’t like that. I then took time to write out offenses I’d held onto for no good reason. I felt such anger and anxiety when I did this and it just upset me so. I shared it with Ray, our teacher for the week, and told him how God was working on my heart and that I wasn’t quite ready for the next step yet but that this was a huge realization. Ray read my letter and my page of scribbles where I had wrote one offense over the other so it wasn’t legible and after a pause, he rubbed his face with his hands, holding back tears, he looked me in the eye and said, “I want to ask you for forgiveness on behalf of every man who has ever hurt you. I am sorry. You didn’t deserve any of it. What has been done to you is horrible and wrong and I am sorry.” I lost it right then and there. I sobbed and sobbed. I have been holding onto these things for so, so long hoping that someone out of the bunch would ask for forgiveness and admit the wrong they did and here was this man, who didn’t do a thing to me stepping up on behalf of all those who had and asking for my forgiveness. I couldn’t believe it. It took my breath away and as my body tempature began to rise with all of the emotions swirling around in me, I couldn’t do it. I said, “Wow. I don’t know why you would do that but thank you. I don’t even know what to think right now. I hope that I can forgive soon.” 


It blew my mind that this innocent man would come to me and take the blame and seek my forgiveness for all the others who could care less or just haven’t come on their own. I saw Jesus that day in Ray. God reminded me that this, this is what Jesus did for me and for you. Long before we ever even knew we needed it; he did nothing and yet took the blame and the shame and he loved us fiercely and he took it all. I was so touched by this and it caused me to push further into the Lord and keep digging and get all the offenses that were buried deep and packed away in the darkest corners and get them out in the light. I did this and prayed over them and asked the Lord to help me to forgive them fully and finally. As I prayed over each one, I then pictured each person in my mind and looked them in the eye and said “I forgive you for….” This was such a freeing experience and I am so thankful the Lord brought it to mind. There was still one thing left to do though.. Ray’s request for forgiveness was still unanswered. 


On our final day in class we took time to listen to the Lord in his love for us as his children. We sat down with pen and paper in hand and asked the Lord to tell us what he thinks of us. God was so good and gracious and loving. He lavished his love on each of us and we took time to share with one another the letters we got from our Daddy in Heaven. Once we shared Ray was there to give us a father heart hug and close out the week with that. Once I was done, I went to get my hug and as I did I was able to say.. “I forgive.”