Kallie Larson is live-in staff at YWAM Minneapolis’ Maternity home called The Nest, where she has been serving for just over three years. Here, she relates what God was speaking to her through worship to her experience working in the home.
Kallie Larson is live-in staff at YWAM Minneapolis’ Maternity home called The Nest, where she has been serving for just over three years. Here, she relates what God was speaking to her through worship to her experience working in the home.
His greatest gift was gifted brokenness.
Allowing himself to be broken. To be in pain, and yet to be seen.
His brokenness, his humanity was his gift to us because it was symbolic of His deep, unending, sacrificial, abiding love for us. Teaching us by example of how we should live. How to love so deeply that it hurts.
During his life on earth, He showed us how we should live. Teaching us the importance of honesty, transparency and vulnerable. Embracing relationships and community. He taught truth and only truth. His life was our example. His life was our gift and we are his.
There's a hidden strength that is found in the feeling of weakness. A strength that often has to be learned and isn't easily achieve. A strength to be seen and known. To kneel instead of stand. To be held. It's a humbling of your soul and your pride.
Our pride in our humanity often keeps us from the greater gift found in humility.
This mentality, this lie that we can do it by ourselves must cease to exist. Because we can't. We deceive ourselves and end up shaming ourselves over our weaknesses, failures and mistakes. This was not the way it was meant to be.
He created us with a desire and a need to live in coexistence. To do life together and not alone. Yet, today, so many of us strive to do it alone as if it is an accomplishment and something to be celebrated. And it's not.
It feels like a sin to admit a weakness. We strive for excellence and hide the mistakes, and pitfalls in ourselves. The places we know exist but pretend to ignore.
We pride ourselves in the "I can do it." independent human mentality. But what if, for just once, we humbled ourselves for a mere moment to share in the brokenness of another. To share. To allow yourself to share with them the brokenness of their lives but also of yours. What a gift.
To humble your humanity and share in His gifted brokenness that He has for each of us. Gifted brokenness. Yes. This is a good thing. He knows us.
We were not meant to be alone. Created for perfection but so missing the mark that we set too high and can never attain. He comes down to us. Embracing us for who we are. Sharing in our brokenness. Healing our broken hearts. He comes down. He calls us His.
He humbled himself and lifts us up.
He calls us to more. So much more. What a gift He gives and what a gift it is to share in His gift of gifted brokenness.
You were not meant to be alone. Share with Him and with others in your brokenness. Share with other's in theirs. Encourage one another and let someone know that they're not alone.
Share in His gifted brokenness.
Walking around the lake in the early evening, my heart yearned to reflect clearly the heart of God even as the lake reflected the heavenly masterpiece of white clouds, sunshine, and colors of dusk above.
“How do I walk in a way worthy of Your gospel?”
This is the question I asked my Lord as I walked. The path in front of me curved and bended winsomely in different directions, but always stayed inside the boundaries true to itself. Its width never changed even as it lead me sometimes in unexpected directions. Without seeing it with my eyes, but somehow knowing it in my heart, I knew the Lord responded to my question with a gentle, kind, and just a bit rueful smile as I walked upon this winding path. He knows me so much better than I know myself, and sometimes chooses to lead me on adventures that challenge me to leave behind boxes or safety nets, ways of thinking about Him that leave me comfortable but truly knowing and experiencing His almighty goodness. He doesn’t frighten me with these adventures, because His way may take many turns but its boundaries don’t change. The way of truth is a narrow way with a broad path to my feet.
Bringing my ponderings back into focus of the present moment, I chose to simply be aware of the Lord’s presence, His closeness with me, as I waited to understand what it was He had for me to do. Soon I came upon a group of partiers taking advantage of a hot Friday night by the lake. I continued past them, but stopped at a small, vacant gazebo several yards off. The only specific action I sensed the Lord give me was to worship. To dance with Him, just like I love to do. So I turned on worship music from my phone and began to dance, expressing to God the highest magnitude possible of my gratitude to Him, my faith in Him, my love for Him. For me, time stands still in these kinds of moments. However, reality soon sped up, and each of those precious moments of exchange - expressing love to Him and receiving more and more of Love’s expression - became invaluable to prepare for the next moment’s encounter.
A scantily clad young woman from the partiers’ group ran up and began dancing beside me, but not with the intention of worship. She was booty dancing and seeking the attention of the group, receiving cat calls and laughter as a response. As she started dancing I stopped and, quite honestly, took a moment to give a rueful glance back to the Lord as I asked Him about the best way to respond! What I received from the Holy Spirit in that moment was wisdom as to the spiritual atmosphere. I realized that Satan wanted to place the attention on himself and take it away from the Lord, but the Lord would use the opportunity to take what was exposed as darkness and expel it with light.
After several moments of the raucous dancing, the young woman stopped and looked at me. I looked at her, and waited for what she wanted to say.
“What are you doing?” she asked me. “I saw you dancing. It was a really interesting kind of dance. Were you doing ballet or something? What were you doing?”
Meekly yet straightforwardly I replied, “I am worshipping Jesus.”
“Oh...” was her initial response. I could see in her face she wasn’t sure what she should think about this, and she was nervous about what I thought of her.
“Sorry if what I was doing offended you,” she said.
I shook my head to indicate she had nothing to worry about, and quickly stuck out my hand for a handshake before she could run back to the partiers’ group. “What’s your name?”
She told me her name, and I told her it was beautiful. She took another look at me. Then she asked me a question I wasn’t expecting.
“Will you teach me to do that?”
“What?” I replied.
“Will you teach me to do that kind of dance you were doing? It’s beautiful; I want to try.”
This was one of those twists on the path of this adventure, but I knew the Lord was holding me safe within the boundaries of His love, so I said, “Yes, sure I’ll teach you!”
I turned my worship music back on, and took her hand as we did simple pliés together standing under the gazebo. Soon another woman from the group came over and asked what we were doing. “She’s worshipping Jesus, and teaching me to dance!” my new friend explained. I thought to myself that I was grateful that if nothing else, by the end of this encounter this precious young woman would have a new perspective on dancing!
There we were, three of us hand-in-hand under a gazebo on a hot Friday evening, practicing pliés and relevés and tendus to the rhythm of “You were the Word at the beginning, one with God the LORD Most High! Your hidden glory in creation, to revealed in You our Christ! What a beautiful name...” (Hillsong “What a Beautiful Name”)
My new friends later walked back to their group and had a few more sips of beer and some more raucous laughs. But I know that through even a moment experiencing the glory and presence of God something was changed in their hearts. It will be their choice whether or not they choose to seek Him out more, and with that unknown I simply entrust it to the Lord. I know He will never stop pursuing them, even as I remember back to His relentless pursuit of my own heart. I pray for them. I have faith for their salvation.
And as for me, I continue to stand in awe of His brilliance, and with humble delight reflect His glory even as the heavens glisten their reflection off of the still water.
- Emily Elling
Here are some great comments from Greg Koukl (Founder of Stand To Reason) on the four big questions:
All the big questions, —issues of origin, meaning, morality, and destiny—and all the secondary concerns, too—issues of sex, gender, liberty, equality, bodily rights, etc.—eventually come down to one. Are we our own, or do we belong to Someone else? If there is a God, then, to borrow from C.S. Lewis, we are the tenants and He is the Landlord. If there is no God, then all is clay and nothing but clay.
Thus, the God question is the first question whose answer lays the foundation for answers to all the others. That foundational question comes in two steps for modern people: Does God exist? If so, is He good? For Christianity to make sense in the face of the social pushback and the spirit of this age, both issues need to be addressed.
Let me offer you, in a nutshell, what I think is the easiest, most powerful way, strategically, to make your case for God. I have been using it a long time in a variety of ways, though it really came together for me quite by accident when my eldest daughter, then about eight years old, asked me an important question.
“Papa,” Annabeth asked, “how do we know God is true?” She was already a Christian, baptized at six, but was now trying to connect the dots, not regarding the “What?” but regarding the “Why?” “Why God?” was her question.
What do you say to a youngster who already believes in God but is not sure why belief in God is defensible? That was my challenge. And nothing technical would do, not at her age.
I thought for a moment how I could say something meaningful in a simple way. Then an idea crystallized in my mind. “Annabeth,” I said, “the reason we believe God is true is that God is the best explanation for the way things are.” The minute I said it I realized I had summed up in a single sentence a major thrust of how I had approached defending Christianity for decades.
You might call the principle the explanatory power of Christian theism; that is, the important details of the Christian worldview make good sense of what we actually discover the world to be like. It turns out that the picture of reality the Bible presents fits the world as we discover it and resonates with our deepest intuitions about origin, meaning, morality, and destiny.
Note the advantage to this “best explanation” strategy. There’s no need to dismissively deny the possibility of other options. We can give fair consideration to the alternatives. We’re not offering the only explanation, just the best one, all things considered.
Our confidence is based on a point I have made before: Reality is on our side. My point with Annabeth was that Christianity explains reality best, that the existence of God makes sense of features of the world that, without Him, would be unlikely in the extreme. Other worldview stories do not fare well by this standard because certain obvious features of the world simply do not fit into their narrative, putting them on a collision course with reality. So fix this fact first in your mind: God is the best explanation for the way things are.
The Question of Origin asks, “How did life begin?” and “How did the universe and mankind come into existence? The Christian worldview holds the belief that every existing thing, including humans, is the result of a personal God and Creator.
A secular humanistic worldview rejects any thought of God and denies His existence. It says we are the product of random acts of nature with no real purpose.
The issue of origin affects how a person understands identity and human value. The question of identity seeks to answer, “What does it mean to be human?” and “Are humans more important than animals?"
The Christian worldview holds the belief that mankind is a special creation of God who has created the human race above the animal kingdom with the responsibility of ruling over the animals and taking care of them. In contrast, the Secular Humanism worldview does not consider humans greater in value than animals because they are viewed to come from the same species. Their belief is that only through evolution have humans become more sophisticated animals.
Secular Humanists believe that there is no God, that science and the scientific process have made God obsolete. Humanists believe that only matter – things we can touch, feel, prove, or study – exists and has always existed. A human being is only matter (no soul or spirit). No supernatural explanation is needed for the existence of this matter.
The Christian worldview affirms of the existence of an intelligent, powerful, loving, just, and awesome God who exists in the Trinity of Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. From the Christian perspective, “In the beginning God” (Genesis 1:2) is the foundation for all meaning.
The Christian worldview sees every human being as intrinsically valuable because each person has been created in the likeness and image of God. Each person has been formed by God and is a unique, priceless "masterpiece." God "breathed" into the first human the breath of life and created humans with a soul and spirit. Thus, as opposed to animals, humans have the capacity to have a relationship with God.
There is obviously much more that can be said about the question of origin, but I want to keep my message short, so that's it for now.
Love you, Grandpa
A few weeks ago the Lord stirred my heart to begin writing to my granddaughter, Aby, in order to prepare her for the mindsets she may encounter as she goes to college. I spent many hours researching these topics, knowing that my granddaughter would probably not take the time to do all this research, however, she will read these short e-mails from her grandpa. - Larry (Aby's Grandpa)
It was nice to see you at the Basketball game on Saturday and to visit briefly. As I said, I have been thinking about you recently as I have been listening to several lectures on apologetics. (Apologetics simply means giving a defense, or a reasonable argument, for your faith.).
One of the speakers mentioned that 7 out of 10 young people walk away from their faith when they go to college. To which you replied that you plan to be one of the three that doesn't!!! Good for you. ☺
I want to support you in that commitment by sending you some information that could prepare you to deal with questions and issues that may come your way in a university setting. You may be challenged by professors and fellow students about your faith in ways you haven't been during your high school years.
1 Peter 3:15 tells us that we are always to be prepared “to give an answer (make a defense) to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that is in you.”
If you have a test coming up in a course, but you know ahead of time what the questions will be, you will have no problem with the test. You can look up the answers ahead of time and be confident when exam time comes. So, I want to give you some of the questions ahead of time. Hopefully, some of my input will help you think about these issues.
Maybe you have thought about some of these things already and you are more prepared than I think, If so, then my input will be a good review for you and a confirmation of things you already know.
Every person has a way in which they interpret and view the world they live in. It is called their Worldview. You have grown up with a Christian Worldview. You interpret your world from the perspective of Christian values and teachings found in the Bible. As you know, many people in our culture no longer have a Christian worldview. They have a secular or humanistic view of the world.
Every worldview seeks to answer four big questions, as I told you on Saturday. They are the question of:
So, lets start with the big questions and then look at some other ones later. How would you answer these four questions and how do you think a secular humanist would answer them? Why do you think your answers are reasonable and why are they superior to a secular worldview? You might want to consider writing out your answers to make them more concrete in your mind.
I will send you my thoughts about these questions in my next message.
by Belinda V. Kuhn
As a worship leader, I often extend the invitation to "Come and praise Jesus" and, just
as often, get the reaction of faces staring back at me like animals frozen in my
headlights. What follows next is comparable to waking up a sleepy teenager on
Saturday morning as the music team attempts to stir souls into expressing their
Why is it so difficult to enter into worship? Why it is difficult to voice our praise, give
thanks or even to focus our attention on God? One of those reasons may be that
worship is an old battleground and that there is unseen resistance to our praising God.
Several years ago, on a summer mission outreach in Prague, Czech Republic, this
resistance became very visible…
Our team’s objective was clear: to lift up the name of Jesus in the city. Each
day we asked God to show us how we could exalt His name. So it was that one
afternoon all nineteen of us zigzagged through the city streets, praying and singing
As I led our convoy, flanked by the four young children in our team, I suddenly saw a
very dark character ahead: an artist who painted devil paintings. I was concerned for
our kids and kept my eye on him as we approached. While we were still out of earshot
I suddenly saw a most amazing display - the man looked towards us and then bowed,
covering his eyes and ears until we passed by! What I saw and will never forget was a
visible demonstration of what was taking place in the unseen spiritual realm – the
forces of darkness in his soul were bowing before the presence of Jesus!
Since that day I have sought to gain a greater understanding of the power of our
worship through studying the Scriptures.
In the Bible we can read about the Ark of the Covenant as an visible example of what is
actually taking place in the heavenly realms, or the unseen world (Hebrews 8:5; 9:23,
24). On top of the Ark (Hebrews 9:5), the presence of Almighty God is encircled by
special angels called “cherubim” (Exodus 25:22) whose purpose it was to worship God
and to lead the heavenly host in worship. (Rev.4: 6-11)
One of these cherubim ‘worship leaders’ was Lucifer. (Isa.14:12-14; Ezek 28:12-19).
Being so close to God’s glory night and day, Lucifer made a fateful decision when pride
rose in his heart - he wanted to be worshipped and was able to persuade at least onethird
of the angels into idolatry (Rev.12:4). Consequently, the other two-thirds of all
created angels, led by Michael the archangel, threw Lucifer and his minions out of
heaven (Rev.12:9). Now there were thousands upon thousands of fallen angels exiled
to earth, committed to worship Satan, and Satan planned his revenge.
In the Garden of Eden, Adam and Eve were created to be in loving relationship with
God and to worship Him (Genesis 1:26, 27). God gave them a free will, so they could
freely choose to obey and love Him. This is the prototype of God's design for love –
unconditionally giving your heart to another.
God also delegated some of His authority to Adam & Eve to rule the earth He had
created for them. As long as they lived in right relationship with Him, they remained
under His protection.
Satan’s diabolical plan was to tempt Adam and Eve into disobeying God and in that
way he would obtain a legal right to gain some of their God-given authority and even, if
possible, their allegiance. In Genesis three, we read the tragic story of how Adam and
Eve disobeyed God and came into Satan's clutches. Sin entered the heart of man
and caused a separation in his relationship with God.
Much as we like to think that we could have passed that same test, our daily lives
prove otherwise. The devil is constantly enticing us to choose against God by being
selfish and serving his purposes. We cannot worship both, as the angels found out
long ago. Our choice to love and obey God is at the core of worshipping Him.
Knowing all this, we can clearly see what unseen forces are truly at work when we
intend to express love and praise to God. The enemy is resisting us, trying to silence us
or make us apathetic. Our choice to worship God, to lift up our voice and our hands
and whatever else we need to in expressions of love will defeat Satan's forces in our
lives… and often in the lives of those around us.
Praising God is the act that silences the powers of darkness around us, because we
bow to the truth that Jesus is Lord!
by: Jeff Herringshaw
The first three of YWAM’s Foundational Values are 1) Know God; 2) Make God Known; 3) Hear God’s Voice. These are truly foundational to any meaningful connection with God. They work together to provide a picture of what it takes to have a living, intimate relationship with our Maker and Savior.
Jesus, whom we are told is the “visible image of the invisible God” (Colossians 1:15) clearly expects those who follow Him to listen for and respond to His voice. Using the metaphor of a shepherd, He says in the Gospel of John, “My sheep listen to my voice; I know them, and they follow me” (John 10:27).
But how is this done? I’ve heard this question often. When I’m praying, how do I know the difference between what are merely my thoughts and what is the actual voice of Jesus? There are lots of “voices” that go through our heads at times – some condemning, some prideful, some self-serving. The answer to the question, however, is similar to the way you distinguish between the voice of your mother or good friend and the voice of a stranger. You just know that voice because it’s so familiar. Yes! It’s because you’ve been listening to them for so long. But that’s only part of recognizing who’s speaking.
You also know the “voice” of your family member or friend according to your experience with his or her character – what that person would or would not say or do that fits with who you know him or her to be. There are some things I am certain would never come from my wife’s mouth, even if others told me that she had said them. I know her that well.
Awhile back, I read a news article that illustrates this.
A young girl was walking home from school one afternoon when a car pulled up beside her and a man rolled down the window. He called her name, telling her that he worked with her mom who had just been in an accident and was being rushed to the hospital. She had asked the man to pick her daughter up from school and bring her to the hospital immediately.
The child was gripped with panic, tears in her eyes as she ran over to the rear door of the car that had been opened for her. Then she stopped. “What is my mother’s name?” she asked with a shaky voice. The man looked at her blankly for a moment, frowned and then hurriedly opened his door to get out of the car. But the girl was already running down the sidewalk back toward the school. The man followed a few steps but quickly returned to his vehicle and drove off.
School officials called the police and the child was soon with her mother who had been at work the entire day and was fine. It was pointed out that the girl had her name written in bold letters across her backpack, easy for someone to talk as if he knew her. But the police were curious to determine what had caused the child to stop and not get in the predator’s vehicle. Her answer was simple: her mom had told her to never get into a car with a stranger. She knew her mother well enough to believe that even in an apparent emergency situation, the woman who loved her would send someone the girl was familiar with to pick her up. The child’s knowledge of her mother’s “voice” had saved her life.
How do we know the voice of Jesus? We start by getting to know His character. What does the Bible reveal about who He is? What does He value? What do His actions that are recorded in scripture tell us about His goodness? His goals? What are some of the things He would never say because such things don’t fit who He is? We can then measure anything we “hear” as we pray against what we have reason to believe to be true about the identity and character of our Good Shepherd, Jesus. This then becomes the foundation for intimately knowing Him and as a result, rightly making Him known.
Jesus is speaking. Do you know Him? Are you listening?
We have 49 guests and no members online