Monday, May 22, 2006

This, That and The Other

Last week I was the "leader" of our group, along with Aaron (one of the single guys). Our job duties included handling the team finances, facilitating the meetings, keeping track of what everyone was doing and the schedule for the week and generally encouraging people. I enjoyed it and think I did a pretty good job.

We'd had a 3-day weekend after the VBS, so we had plenty of time to shop and swim and relax before we got started. We ended up working with the Emmanuel Worship Center and going out to visit families, bringing them food and encouragement. Most of the families were Indian, and we all really enjoyed spending time with every one of them. One family I visited that I fell in love with have a young boy who came to VBS - he was one of the kids who stood up to accept Jesus. His parents and younger brother don't go to church, so he is very brave and goes all alone each week and is being a witness to his family. They live in a rural area, and their house is an 8x12 foot shack made of corrugated tin - no water, no electricity. His mom cooks on a peice of tin set outside, and the house is just one room with 2 beds and a chair. I'm constantly amazed at how blessed we are financially in the United States. Sierra, too, was quite moved as she realized their entire house was 1/2 the size of her old bedroom. Reality checks are good!

We also were able to go to visit the leaders of various small groups (called cell groups here) to encourage them and help them to infuse some "fire" back into the groups. Everywhere we go, we are invited in and given juice and food. People just love to visit, and so do we!

People are starting to wind down and are looking forward to coming home. I'm trying to be a cheerleader for everyone to stay focused and finish strong, but I think it's a losing battle!! So, I've decided not to do that anymore as I don't want people to get annoyed.

This week we are having another medical clinic with Marine Reach in another village, and then we'll be having a crusade there over the weekend - so it's a busy week, but we are doing things I love to do! Today we walked around the village letting the people know about the clinic. We were invited in at most houses, and spent 20-30 minutes visiting. When we got ready to leave, a few people actually began to cry and tell us how priveleged they are to have us in their house and how much they will miss us. Such a different perspective, and wonderful to be a part of it!!

I will add more pictures soon...Sierra also learned how to husk coconuts and drink the juice, and extract the milk...she's so into coconuts now!!

Friday, May 12, 2006


This week we hosted a Vacation Bible School (VBS) at the church we've been working with - each day we had between 60-70 children show up, ages 3-14. I ran the arts and crafts area and Sierra worked with the pre-schoolers.

The theme was "BUGS" and catching the "buzz" about God's love for us. Each day featured a different bug and a different message. The team really pulled together and did a great job - this was really a stretch for a lot of our team as working with kids is difficult for them! We were all blessed, however. I made a lot of the decorations for the VBS and I was really happy with how everything turned out. Kim also made a lot of them, and everything was so cute.

The kids had a great time and really got into it. They loved doing the crafts and it was a lot of fun, although my helper didn't show up Wed, Thurs or Fri!!! So, I was a little hectic, and felt stressed - especially today when we did a rather difficult craft and none of the kids got done within the time alotted and they were all swarming me for help - AACK!! Although I do well "under the gun", I really don't like it as I turn into a drill seargent and get "super-efficient" and "hyper-focused" on the task and lose out on the relationship building...which is really the point, isn't it?

Out of all the kids, we had about 12 stand up yesterday to accept the Lord, and another 25 today - so it was really fruitful and we're excited to see the kids really interested in God and His love for them. It was amazing how these kids took their Bible verses so seriously and really held onto them as a real treasure (we gave them each day's verse glued onto a small peice of construction paper).

This weekend is Mother's Day and I'm missing my mom. Sierra has been planning for 2 weeks all the "surprises" she has for me - she is so generous of heart and just loves to bless people. I am planning to do a little something for the ladies on my team as they are all (except one) of the age of my own mom, and are all missing their children back home who are my age - so I figure I can be the "representative" daughter to them for this special holiday that honors our mothers.

We have a 3-day weekend, which is a rare treat...Si and I really don't have any plans, but hope to get to the beach and maybe a little shopping done.

Last night the DTS team (the 18-15 yo's) left to return to Sacramento - they will work in Sac for 2 weeks before returning to Chico. It was a sad time to see them go as we might not ever see them again and they are all precious to us. Sierra has gotten especially close to a few of the girls and was really broken-hearted. Saying good-bye is truly the hardest part of the missionary life. Although we realized, and were so thankful for the hope...that with our Christian brothers and sisters there really is never a "goodbye", but always "I'll see you soon" as we realize that we will spend eternity together in heaven. That is quite comforting and offers so much hope.

I can't believe out time here is coming to an end so quickly - only 21 days left until we return home!! I think, as I look back over the outreach portion of the CDTS, that God has been teaching me about perseverance...the outreach has been much harder than I'd anticipated. I really thought I would "shine" in this atmosphere, but I struggled with it, and there were times I wanted to fold up and go home! It wasn't the work or the culture or anything like that - those things were was more the aspect of putting aside my independence and working as a team, dealing with disappointments and conflice within that atmosphere and keeping steady along the course. I realized that when I get disappointed, I tend to turn my back to God and expect Him to come and "woo" me back and I retreat into a shell of self-pity. Not nice things to realize about yourself, but God is good!! I asked Him to come in and clean up the rough edges of my heart, and He took me at my word! I wanted to learn to be a person who perseveres and doesn't give up, and he's taking me through that. So, it's all good!

Please pray for me as I continue to seek direction about what we are doing next. I have a few things I'm praying about, but have not felt any direct answer from the Lord as to His tendency is to push things through and make them happen, but I want to wait on the Lord and hear His will for us, and do that.

Well, that is all for now - have a blessed Mother's Day!!

Thursday, May 04, 2006

A Visual Journey of Our Outreach

We had a day off last week, so we went on this ship out to another island - it was a lot of fun, espcially when we found out that over 2/3 of the people on the ship were Christians!

They allowed Sierra to steer for awhile - Captain Sierra!

Here are our new friends aboard the ship - some of them had guitars, so we sang praises and fellowshipped for the ride to and from the island. It was so great!

This is Sarah and Sisa - they run a program for single mother's and are generally very, very busy doing Kingdom work! I've gotten close to them and really love thier family.

One night Sarah and Sisa invited me and Sierra over to work with the youth of their village and teach them some skits and songs - the kids had a blast, and so did we. We will be going back for more teachings!

There is a Crossroads class just starting in Latouka, a half hour from where we are staying - we went there to encourage them and spend time getting to know them. The sunset was beautiful that night - this is taken from the top of the building where everyone hangs out.

A few of us went to the Namaka Public School to talk to the children about sexual purity - this is a skit that Reanna and Jacob did about the different types of love.

This week we took part in a medical outreach, and helped to bring a clinic into one of the villages, called Nawaka Levu. We went home to home inviting people to come for free medical care, and set up this "jungle clinic" with exam rooms made up with sheets over poles. It was amazing!

This is the prayer room where people at the medical outreach could come for prayer. Paul, in the forefront, is leading the young man in red to the Lord. Behind is Marcus (sitting) and Susan (in pink) praying for the sick. We saw 9 saved and many received encouragement and medical care - over 200 in all!

The kids really shined at the medical outreach - they spent all day for 2 days entertaining the children with face painting, making cross necklaces, telling stories, balloons, stickers and just being friends with them. It was really a blessing.

These are two little girls that really loved me and Sierra - they spent all day with us. They were here with thier grandma. In the back left you can see the makeshift pharmacy where medicines were handed out for free. In the back right you can see Mila acting goofy as she registers the patients for the doctors to see.
Well, this is a taste of what we've done so far - there is much more to do! Please keep praying for us. For more pictures and stories about what the team is doing, click on the link to the right that says "Fiji Team Blog".

Tuesday, April 25, 2006

Mystery Island

This past week has been a chance for increasing ministry time, which has been wonderful. We've had the opportunity to visit families and single mothers in the community and to encourage them. Some of us also went out to visit a village of widows and single mothers who are fleeing domestic violence situations and to spend some time with them. I'll be returning there weekly. Sierra really did great out there with the kids - she read stories and led art projects and left all the kids with some play-do. The really loved it!

Last Thursday we were able to go an elementary school for World Children's Day and we did a puppet show while Mirriam told the story of David and Goliath. Boy, was my arm tired from holding up that puppet!! Then the kids gave their testimonies. I was so proud of Sierra...she shared about how God helped her with her feelings of being rejected by her real dad and her step dad when they left her and didn't try to stay in relationship with her. I think this is (tragically) such a universal thing that is happening and she really was brave to share this personal thing.

Yesterday was a real blessing - it was our day off, so we took a sailboat out to Mystery Island. I ended up meeting a wonderful woman from Ireland, Tresa - I was able to share my testimony with her and we prayed for her and spent the day hanging out together. Also, we met some other missionaries, so we ended up having a time of praise and worship on the ride out to the island and on the way back - it was wonderful. AND we met a youth pastor from a town about 1/2 hour from here and he is having a youth rally this Saturday for 200 kids, and he's asked us to bring our presentation on purity to the kids! It was a great day and felt like there were many "divine appointments".

We are picking up the pace, which is exciting. Tomorrow Sierra and I will be teaching some kids a few dances and skits for an "open air" out in the village. Thursday we are making our presentation on purity to some junior high kids. Next week we'll be working with Marine Reach to bring medical care into the remote villages and the week after that we'll be hosting a VBS. This weekend we'll go to the youth rally and the weekend after we'll go to the capital city of Suva to do outreach with street kids. That happens to also be the weekend the elections start, so we are praying into that. I'm so glad to be having the opportunity to try out all sorts of different things!

Tuesday, April 18, 2006

Easter in the Islands

Happy Easter!

We had a wonderful Easter here in Fiji. The week before Easter, we went door to door in the surrounding neighborhoods to invite people to church and to talk to them about the Lord. People are so friendly and welcoming. Everyone invited us in and gave us juice while we sat and visited for a few hours. That is the island way! Each day we were lucky to get to 2 or 3 houses! It is wonderful how people really put relationships first here.

I was able to help the ladies to decorate the church for Good Friday, and Sierra sewed the hangings for the cross. On Good Friday, our team was able to give some testimonies and I gave the communion mime with Sierra and Mitchell (there were a few hundred people, so we had to modify it a bit, but it went really well). When the people recieved their nail, they were just blown away and most began to bawl. Many could not take communion for many minutes as they stood there, clutching their nail and coming face to face with what Jesus did for them personally. It was really powerful and moving. I was so proud of the kids, who did a great job and did not giggle or laugh at all - we prayed about this and they did so great. Many in the worship team could not continue to worship as they fell to their knees weeping. It was really beautiful and I felt so priveleged to share it!

On Easter we had 4 other churches from other cities join us, and after we all had lunch together. We were able to do one of our songs (Redeemer) along with the youth group, which was great. The worship music here is lively and fun, with a strong reggae/island beat to it - I love it!

This week is getting busy with building on the church, the hospital ministry, an outreach to the local schools teaching on sexual purity, working with the youth group and many other things - we are all glad to be working hard! Today I went to the hospital to pray with people and tonight we are doing a home visit with a family.

Wednesday, April 12, 2006

Greetings from Fiji!

We are doing well! It is hot, Hot, HOT in Fiji!! It is so beautiful here, and the people are beautiful, too. We've gotten settled in and have started doing some ministry - it's been a bit slower than we'd hoped, but I think that after Easter is over we'll get going pretty hard. We did have one person give their life to the Lord today - Paul has been going to the hospital to pray with people. One man he met is in the hospital after his house burned down this past weekend - his 8 year old daughter accidentally set teh fire, and they lost everything they owned. This is the man that Paul prayed with this morning to receive Christ.

We are all starting to build relationships with people and have been doing some prayer walking around a Hindu neighborhood - tomorrow we will go out and invite them to church. We are also doing some prayer walking around an area where there is prostitution that is quite near our hotel.

I have an Indian friend I've met here named Mona - she is married and has 4 children. She is severely malnourished, as are her children. She and her family live in 1 room, and Mona and the girls sleep on one bed and her husband and the boy sleep on another. Her son has a hole in his heart and requires surgery. They do not even have plates or utensils, so all eat out of one bowl. Mona recently became a Christian, but her husband is still Hindu. Please keep her in your prayers. Mom - I'll be giving each of her children a teddy bear on Easter Sunday.

The physical needs of the people here are overwhelming and I'm praying for Jehovah Rapha, God the Healer, to show up. He asks "whom shall I send" and I respond "here am I, send me"...I am praying for God to send his healing powers through my hands in accordance with his command to "go out into all the world and preach the good news, casting out demons and healing the sick"...please pray for me to hear God clearly as to who He would have be healed.

Sierra is doing well and is OH SO GLAD that we have a pool at our hotel! Our hotel is great - we each have our own bed and there is a little kitchenette so we make our own breakfast and lunch, and then a local lady here is making dinner that we all eat together. We are handwashing our clothes in the bathroom sink.

The kids are all doing well - we've had a few people get sick with colds and whatnot, but mostly all doing well.

The people here are friendly - the men all went out and got sulu's, which is the traditional bottoms men wear - it's a skirt, but we don't say that in front of the guys!! Haha. They all look great in them! The women all wanted a traditional island dress as well, so we went and got the fabric and a much, you might ask? All told, the dresses will be about $14.50 US each!! They are called Sulu Enchamba's. I also want to get a traditional Indian outfit.

Sunday, April 02, 2006

Coming down to the wire

Wow, time really does fly when you are having fun! I can't believe we leave in only a few days.

The past two weeks have been great - the teaching continues to be amazing and it's crazy how much we are trying to cram into our heads and our hearts! About two weeks ago a lot of people in class sort of "hit the wall" and were struggling - we all just want to get out in the field!!

Personally I was dealing with a really difficult personal issue and for about a week I was isolating myself and trying to struggle through it. I realized that my gift of mercy sometimes gets me in trouble! I step in and try to "fix" others pain out of my own sense of making things right rather than leaning on God to direct me. I had done this at a time I shouldn't have, and really struggled with the after-effects. It's so easy for me to step in and take up other people's crosses and offenses and to block them from the pain of real life - but sometimes God has them in that place so He can reach them, and when I step in I am actually blocking the Spirit from working. I was really saddened realizing how often I've done this in my life and seeing how the misuse of the gifts we have can be damaging to ourselves and others. I also realized that another gift I have, the gift of giving, can also be this same situation I had given something away that wasn't meant to be given away - and it was done out of a sense of unworthiness rather than a sense of love - God gives us things that are for us, and instead of appreciating it, I turned away from it in unworthiness and gave it to someone else. Again - the misuse of giftings.

This struggle was very eye-opening for me and I see how much I work out of a sense of feeling unloved and unworthy - STILL!!! It is a process, and one I am sure I will continue to go through for many years. I am so grateful to God that He loves me enough to continue walking with me through this process, and teaching me more of His ways. This was by far the most personal and closest to my heart thing I've worked through thus far here at YWAM, so it was really hard - but the fruit is worth it!

This past week was a really wonderful week of teaching about missions and was very "real life" about what happens out there in the field. I really appreciated it and learned so much. One thing that we talked about was the satisfaction level of missionaries and how long they stay in the field. Basically, missionaries who have been in the field 6 months or less tend to "LOVE" everything...oh, the food is so exotic and all those doe-eyed children begging for money are so cute and it's so quaint how you share the bus with 75 other people and chickens, too!! These people are basically in the "tourist" stage. Missionaries who have been on the field from 6 months to 2 years are just the opposite - they "HATE" everything...I'm so SICK of beans and tortillas! Those darn kids won't leave me alone! If I have to get on aonther one of those broken down excuses for a bus I will PUKE! In this stage, all the newness has worn off and you are faced with living in a culture completely different than your own. All of your comforts are far removed. Many leave during this stage with a bad taste in their mouth. There is no fruit from your ministry, only frustration...and your church and supporters are crying out "Show me the money!!" in - show me the evidence of why I'm supporting you out there!! But often, the missionary is just starting to figure out the cultural differences and the language, and might just be at the place where they can figure out how to get on the right bus! Finally, there are the people who stay on the field 4 years or more...they report a high level of satisfaction with their experience, but it's different than the "tourist" stage. It's a deeper, more mature satisfaction of having "made it" and triumphed over the difficulties - the ministry is bearing fruit and the missionary has become bi-cultural and bi-lingual and is accepted as part of the culture they are in.

I thought this was so encouraging to see what's coming down the pike and to know that as hard times set in if you just press in and continue on that the light will come!! I imagine it's much like couples who have fought throught the hard times to stay committed to each other and remain married...they come to a point of sweet remembrance and maturity as they truly enjoy the fruits of their labors. I think that's SO COOL!!!!! I hope someday I can be one of those people, too.

I've been thinking on what I'll do next, and praying a lot about it. I really sense that God is calling us to long-term missions and I'm excited. Sierra also feels this call, so it is a wonderful time of imagining what God has in store. I am looking into some different possibilities, but mostly just am in prayer asking God what HE wants of me. Some areas of ministry I'm interested in are Kings Kids or DTS leadership. I really havea passion for kids and families - I just believe so deeply in the ability and zeal of kids and in giving them the tools and ability to impact our world! Kings Kids takes kids 8-18 (although 8-11 are with a parent or other guardian) and trains them for a week to 2 weeks in evangelism, and then goes into the world to do it for a month at a time...through sports ministries, dance, skits, sign language, practical help, etc - it's really amazing what these kids do and what they can accomplish!! DTS is the class I've been doing, but for young people age 18-25. As for - what can I say - the world is so amazing!! I want to go anywhere and everywhere! Mexico or here in Chico seem like good starting points, though...I'll keep praying into it and see what God has for us.

You'll notice that I've put some new links on the is Fiji Team and the other is Guatemala Team blogs...each team is keeping a blog of our experiences - so please, check them out and comment and see what we're doing! I will continue to update this blog, but please be aware that in Fiji we have extremely limited access to the internet so I won't be able to update it much. We will go into town once a week for check email, but I'm told that the connection is really, really slow - like, one email in an hour slow, and that it costs $5 an hour to use the internet!! So, just to let you know that I'll do it as much as possible, but it won't be quite at often or as long (maybe that will be a blessing! Haha).

Tonight we are having a "Love Feast" with the whole class, and it is a pretty fancy affair. We'll all be showing each other our skits and songs, so it should be fun. I hear there are a few surprises in store, too!!

I have a big request for you good friend Rachel (not her real name) is getting ready to return to her country. She is from a "closed" country - it is muslim - and is very dangerous. They do not allow any people in, so she is really the only type of person who can talk to her people. I am not naming the country for her safety. Please pray for her - pray for safety, for provision and for opportunity. She is an amazing person and we are behind her all the way! She is aware of the danger facing her and is counting the cost right now - it's a hard time for her to be realizing what she is leaving here and what she is going back to. Being with her has helped us all to really and truly understand and appreciate our freedoms here that we take so for granted - the ability to speak openly about our beliefs, to say we disagree with the government, to wear a cross around our neck - things that people in other countries cannot do, and in fact will be imprisoned, beaten, tortured or even killed for. So please, pray for my friend...she is very special to us here.

Sunday, March 19, 2006

Jehovah Jireh


That is the number written on the whiteboard two weeks ago in front of my name. It is the amount of money that I was short for outreach fees. I had no idea how I would get it.

Should I empty out my emergency savings fund? Should I empty out my little bit of money in my checking account? Should I call my Dad and ask him for the money? Each time I took it to the Lord, I felt a holding back in my spirit. I continued to pray about it, waiting for Him to show me what to do.

The money was due Friday, March 10. A few days before that I received two anonymous donations to my for $55 and one for $25. My balance went from $1,033 to $953. Still a long way to go. Maybe God would direct someone from church to give me money. I was believing Him for it, and I was being obedient in my waiting. Sunday came and went - nothing. What's up with this, Lord???

The deadline was extended to March 17. Another week. How would God provide? I continued to ask what I should do. As I would get caught up in worry I felt pulled back to trust God for this. I wanted to just jump in there and make it happen myself, but I've had enough bad experiences to know that I shouldn't try to make this happen in my own effort - but I was frustrated! Impatient!!

Thursday came. One more day til the money was due. Would you do it for me, God? I was railing against the limits of myself. I couldn't hold on any longer. I'd been saying that all week, but then would find the strength for one more day, but this time I really felt at the end.

I threw a temper tantrum with God. During the tantrum, I knew I'd have to repent for it, but I just didn't care - I was mad, and He was gonna hear it! I reminded him - YOU told me to come here! YOU SAID you would provide for me. YOU SAID you wanted me to trust you. YOU SAID, YOU SAID, YOU SAID. You said all this stuff, God - so WHERE ARE YOU? Why aren't you doing what you said? Oh yes, I was railing against God. I was really intense - I wanted to hit something or kick something or scream. I shook my fist and demanded He answer me. I cried and cried. Eventually the fight was drained out of me. I felt that I was given two verses...the first one was "you have been saved by GRACE, and NOT by works, so that no man can boast"...the second was "what you have begun in the spirit, do not finish in the flesh". Okay, loud and clear - Dayna, do not try to figure this out in your own strength...wait on Me. Ok, Lord - I will wait - but I am feeling like a racehorse at the gate, straining against the door, wanting to run out and do it myself, wanting to break through that door and make it happen. But I will wait.

I went to dinner and was telling Paul and Susan about my temper tantrum - Paul could understand - he's had a few himself. He reminded me to be patient, to wait on God. He laughingly told me I'd have to repent for my tantrum and I told I knew it, and I hoped it would have to be soon!

Later that night I was meeting with one of the teachers from the week and she gave me $20 - it was a start!

Friday morning arrived and I was the only one with outstanding fees due. The class prayed for me. Later, I handed the $20 over to Marleen, the girl who is in charge of outreach fees. At lunch she brought me a receipt - but wait...there were two receipts. I opened them up - one for the $20 and another with an anonymous donation for $300! I was excited, but still...there was another $633 to go - a long way.

Friday afternoon my small group went into town for some Jamba Juice and just to relax. We got back just before work duties were to start, but George told me that Ken had called and I needed to call him first. I called him in his office. Ken is the leader of our Crossroads class. He told me that a check for $100 had come in and I needed to come and endorse it. Then he told me that another $500 anonymous donation had been pledged, but had not yet come in - however, it was on it's way and so my outreach fees still outstanding were $33, which were waived. $920 in one day!!!!!! And of that, only $120 from people I knew. God DID come through...He took me to the very end of my rope, and then came in to rescue me.

Why did He wait so long? I'm convinced He's teaching me to trust in Him, stretching my faith. Teaching me not to do things in my own strength, but to wait on Him. It's a hard lesson for me. No. Really, it is a HARD, HARD lesson for me.

So, the end of this little story is that I'm all paid up for outreach!!! I'm excited! God came through! And I even learned a little something in all of it. Besides the stuff already mentioned, I also learned that God can use my anger to get me to be really, REALLY honest and real with Him, and through that He can work with me. I also learned that God has big shoulders and He can take it when I throw a fit. He doesn't punish me or impune me or tell me to get over it - He just lets me get it all out and then deals with me when I've calmed down.

There is more about what happened this week, but I'll save that for another time. For now - have a great weekend!!!

Friday, March 10, 2006

The Giftings of the Holy Spirit

This week our Crossroads class is combined with the DTS class, which is essentially the same as what we're doing, but for the "younger set"'s been fun to be combined with them, because I guess I'm just young at heart and like to get right in there with 'em! It's been fun to razz them and throw paper wads at the guys in front of us who like to tease us and give us a hard time.

Our lectures this week have centered around the giftings of the Holy Spirit, with the basic premise of "demystifying" the gifts. I admit that I've had that "oooh aaaah" feeling about the more "out there" gifts...the twilight zoney ones (you know...prophecy, speaking in tongues, healing, etc...). It's been good to bring them into the everyday, normal living sort of framework.

We started by talking about the "office" evangelist, pastor, teacher, etc....the ones that are for equipping people to do what they've been called to do - those are pretty straight forward. Then we moved on to the motivational gifts, which are the gifts that we are created for - prophecy, helps, teaching, exhortation, giving, administration and mercy. As suspected, my gifts are in the area of mercy and hospitality (giving). These are all pretty easy to grasp.

Today we moved on to the manifestation gifts, which are tools that help you to fulfill the motivatinoal gifts....these are the ones that can seem a little "twilighty", but our teacher was really able to put them into an everyday context. For example, have you ever been talking with someone and as you're talking you say something and they are like "wow - how did you know that?" or "you don't even know how much that means to me, what you just said"...well, that would be the gift of a word of knowledge. Or, another example...say you are having a problem and trying to figure out a way to deal with it. Suddenly, an idea comes to mind of how to resolve it...that would be a word of wisdom. Pretty simple, huh? It sure made me see that I've had these gifts and used them, but never had identified them as such before.

One thing that was SO important to me personally was talking about when people abuse the gifts of the Holy Spirit - I have been so suspicious of people who do all that "voodoo" stuff and knock people over and get all wild and crazy, yelling and talking in tongues and the total chaos - I've been hurt by this personally, but I've also just seen such a negative impact it has. I think this has kept me from embracing the Holy Spirit - but it comes down to the fact that I was judging the Holy Spirit based on man, not on who God is. Well - as it turns out...when people are working in the Holy Spirit, they can become knowledgeable as to how to "tap into" that power, so to speak...and so then, even if that person starts going down the wrong road - with control or immoral behavior or manipulation or whatever...all the bad things we associate with people who misuse the name of God - well, they can STILL tap into that power...God doesn't take it away! In the Bible it says that the gifts are essentially non-returnable - so once you have them, you can continue to use them - EVEN IF you are not living out a Godly life. It comes down to the fact that God is so DESPERATE to communicate with us that he'll even use really screwed up people - I guess just like he used the donkey, huh? Haha. But, the bottom line is that we ALWAYS, ALWAYS need to test the spirits and we ALWAYS need to remember that just because someone can work within the power of the Holy Spirit and can use these is NO reflection on their moral character! I really needed to hear that and keep that one in my mind, and it relieves me from feeling like I have to believe someone just because they "seem" powerful in the Lord...

Today we got into small groups and, once again, prayed over each other. I just love that so much - it's so awesome to get a word from God through someone else! It is always very encouraging. We got into our outreach group for Fiji...we have such a fantastic group - it's going to be so awesome!!! As I am listening to God more, and recognizing His voice, I'm getting all sorts of pictures in my head, and my art has really taken off!! I've started a journal just specifically for pictures I see, so it's cool.

One area I continue to be so blessed in and feel such privelege to be part of is to watch Sierra. It's just been amazing. As you might remember, she is just crying OUT for a daddy from the depths of her heart and we've been praying about this and also just talking about the fact that a human daddy will not meet all of her needs or make her life perfect and that he'll be flawed and imperfect, but that God still wants to meet that desire of her heart. God is her perfect daddy, and to learn to really lean on him and trust him and let him love her (sort of like me...and all of us!!). Anyway, as we are continuing through the school it is just so awesome to see her opening up to that and to see her stepping out in faith - she's been raising her hands in worship and praying really awesome and intense prayers - even with other adults and kids around! She and two of her friends have started a Bible study and devotional time after school and she is just thrilled to go to Youth Group on Thursday nights. She's been seeing visions and hearing God speaking to her, too! It's just awesome. It's also just such a privelege to have her in the ICS school here on base where the kids pray together and the teacher prays with them and over them and encourages them in their faith - it really is just an amazing thing.

We've been working on learning some sign language to songs and some's really fun!! That is definitely an area I will enjoy!!

Well - that's alll for now...hope all are well! God Bless!

Sunday, March 05, 2006

More Onion Peels

This week was so great, although it was quite intense!! We went over several topics this week, including things like living in the Spirit, the giftings of the Holy Spirit, Forgiveness and Maturity. On Thursday we prayed and asked God to reveal any areas of unforgiveness in our hearts. Well, we've been working in this area for some time, so I figured I was all done and didn't have anything else to forgive. Guess God had some other ideas!! I started getting all sorts of the dumbest things from way back when...I was actually laughing because they seemed so lame, but I figured "hey - I want it all out! I don't want any obstacles to getting all that God has for me", I went ahead and wrote them down.

Later that night we got together as a class and we spoke out forgiveness to the people we needed to, and then we spoke blessings out for them. After this we tore up the papers and proclaimed "it is finished!" and then we were each prayed for.

As Dick was praying for me, he said he felt the Lord was saying that I am suspicious and lacking in trust and that he wants to heal me of this. He also claimed the scripture over me and Sierra that God is a father to the fatherless and a husband to the husbandless and that His love be sufficient for us in this time. Another scripture he felt God was giving him was the God sets the lonely into families and also that he is making me to be a spring of living water, flowing from my innermost being and that many people will come to that for rest and refuge.

Well, that was all well and good, but I was having trouble getting over the first part of that prayer. I thought "Hey, I'm not suspicious. I trust. What is he talking about? He's obviously off base" (you know...we do that! Haha) I went home and was questioning God about it - what does that MEAN, God? Do YOU see me like that? Show me if you do, but it doesn't seem right to me." Later Sierra came home from Youth Group and I asked her - "do I seem like I don't trust people?" and she said "Oh no, momma, you trust" (which was the right answer, right?? hehe). I was really troubled by it and asked the Lord to show me if I was that way.

The next morning (Friday) we were in worship and I was worshipping and all of a sudden it hit me...I knew what it meant. God had been faithful and shown me. I don't trust that people actually like me or that I can be loved by God or others. I am suspicious of anyone's love for me and am constantly looking for (and finding) the evidence that they truly don't love me or even really like me. Earlier in the school I felt that God had revealed to me that I don't even know HOW to receive love, so this was a deeper revelation along those lines. I was devastated and crying out to God to show me HOW to receive love, to teach me to feel secure in the love others have for me. I spent a good, long time crying about it.

Later during a break I went up to our speaker Dick Schroeder, the man who had prayed over me. I told him how I had felt when he prayed that over me and the revelation I'd had about what it meant and asked him to pray with me for God to heal me in this area. He says "well, would you be willing to share this with the class?"

Oh man. I must have had a "deer in the headlights" look to me, but I remembered that God had told me that he would give me specific steps, and I would need to be obedient to them. I just didn't realize it would include public humiliation!!! Well, I wanted to be obedient - but more so, I wanted healing, so I agreed to share it with the class.

After break, Dick had me come up and share what was goin on for me - I had a hard time getting it out as I was crying and embarrassed and ashamed. "Hello, my name is Dayna and I feel unloveable" was hard!! Then Dick said he'd like to pray for me and asked if anyone would like to come up and lay hands on me and pray with him - well, the whole class just rushed up to the front! I was kind of embarrassed, but it was really neat. There is this man Paul who I just adore - he's a great big bear of a man and just as tender as can be. He made a beeline for me and just enveloped me in his arms while everyone else gathered around me and started praying. I was bawling, Paul was crying and I think others were, too. The whole time Paul was just whispering affirmations to me while everyone prayed. This went on for about 20 minutes. After, Dick said that this is an example of New Testament Christianity and living by the Spirit. It was really awesome and I so appreciated it - so I am trusting that God is healing me in this area and that the love of others and of God will begin to soak into my innermost being now. Amen!!

Yesterday afternoon I was in town and crossing the street and there was a car that was coming on pretty fast, so I started to jog across - all of a sudden there was a "SNAP POP" in my ankle and I thought I was going to go down - the oncoming car kept me motivated to continue forward, but boy did it hurt. I have no idea what I did to it, but it's all swollen and sore now. Please pray for me!

Another area I need continue prayer support is in the finances for our outreach - the cost is going to be approximately $1000 more than anticipated! Please pray for me in this area, too.

As promised, here are some pictures!! I know, I know...FINALLY, right? Haha. Well, here goes -

This is Sierra's class - they lead worship for our class sometimes. This was the first time they did it and they did so well!! Sierra is singing - she's the one with the Superman sweatshirt on.

This is me. Sierra and I hiked up to the crosses that are way (waaaaayyyy) up on the hill - it was a pretty steep hike. There are three crosses up there. There were some big rocks around the base of the crosses, so we scratched some things into them that we were laying down at the cross and left them there symbolically. I figure if I want to pick that stuff up again I'd have to hike way up there and carry that big old rock down with me, so it's a good motivation to leave it for God to deal with!

This is Reanna - she's 15 and is one of the kids of another family in my class. The teacher for the kids school was leaving, so they had a surprise going away party for her - this happened while we were getting the room ready - they had way too much fun with that silly string!!

Here are some of the kids on base - we went on a hike one day to Mushroom Rock, which is really cool. Just under the top there is this little keyhole opening you climb through, which is fun. The kids are (front left) Reanna, Jenna, Malina, JP and Sierra is in the back.

Well, it seems that the internet connection is getting fussy - the last three attempts to add more pictures have been unsuccessful - so I guess that's all for now, folks! Have a wonderful week! And THANK YOU for the wonderful comments and emails to encourage me - I appreciate it so much!

Thursday, March 02, 2006

Home Again Home Again Jiggity Jig

Over the weekend I rented a car and Sierra and I went home for the weekend!! It was so great!! We took off on Friday afternoon and came home Sunday night.

At the last minute, a girl asked us for a ride to Sacramento, so we also took her to Sac. We ended up getting home around 8 o'clock or so, and I was so touched because my sister and her whole family were there waiting for us! It really blessed me. My dad had also stayed up to visit with us, which was so cool because he had to leave at 1:00 in the morning to go test the car and wasn't there the rest of the weekend.

A few weeks ago I had purposed it in my heart to cuddle with my dad and to hang out with him and visit more. Now, my dad is not the cuddly type and I haven't EVER done this, so it was a big deal!! I told him I was going to do it and we'd both feel weird about it, but we'd just have to get through it. So, I got my first opportunity on Friday night and laid up against him on the couch and put his arm around me! It was cool - ok, it was a little awkward, but it was still cool!! A great start!

It was just nice to be with my family and visit. I went on a long walk with my mom (paid for that for a few days!!) and Sierra got to spend time with her cousins. All the Murphy Women took a special communion together on Saturday with our friend MaryAnn, who taught me a new way to do fact, I'm going to be sharing it with my class tomorrow! It's called Mime Communion, but that's all I'll tell you.

We went to church on Sunday and I kept getting comments from friends about how they saw me dancing during service!! Haha - that was funny - I told my friend Angie that YWAM makes you a hyper Christian, and she thought there was real truth to that! LOL.
The funny thing is that the service was about the Extravagent Father Heart of God...which is what we've spent the last 6 weeks learning!! In fact, the sermon centered around the father from the story of the prodigal son and that is exactly what we were learning about last week! Isn't God funny?? Apparently I'm a little slow at this concept, because he just keeps bringing it. Haha.

We headed home on Sunday and tried to stay in front of a big storm that was coming in - we made it home safe and sound and everyone was glad to see us home safe.

This week we are learning about living a Spirit filled life, and it is just awesome. I was hit really hard on Monday with all of that old *stuff*....rejection, doubt, identity crisis, feeling useless and out of just comes, doesn't it?? Sometimes it is hard to be a single mom - you always need to be strong even when you don't think you have any strength. You are always "on" whether you have the energy or not. You don't fit with the singles and you don't fit with the marrieds. It seems like everyone else can be used but you. Oh yes, it was hitting me heavy!! I prayed and was still feeling down so I went to my friend Mirriam who was a single mom for many years (her kids are all grown now) and she was really able to minister to me and pray with me and encourage me - this is one thing I just love about community!!! The next morning we had intercession and, come to find out, a couple of the guys in my prayer group had been having similar stuff go on the day before. Then at break I found out my other friend was also having similar stuff going on - so many of us under attack!! We all prayed together and were encouraged. We decided that the enemy only comes against us when we are a threat or when something is coming to us, so we counted it as all joy the trials!

So, all is going well - we are preparing for Fiji. This week is really hectic and we've had night meetings every night all week, plus our houses are being inspected today so we had to get them cleaned up. This weekend a few people are going to Yosemite, but most of us will stay here and relax.

Thursday, February 23, 2006

Lotsa Stuff

So much is happening so fast that it is hard to get it all in!! I will try, however...let's see - I think I was last talking about Plumb Line - wow! That was over a week ago!! To be honest, it's hard to keep up this blog when it seems that no one is reading it. I have my own personal journal plus the class journal I am keeping, so it seems silly to keep this blog just for myself. However, there were several people who said they were reading it and enjoying it when I went home over Christmas, so I am continuing to post here because of that.

Well, back in Plumb Line - wow, what a week that was!! Such healing! The basics of Plumb Line is that God's perfect Love is the Plumb Line, and then examining where we get off Plumb with different things that happen in our lives...I'll try to demonstrate it below...


Sadness Hostility
Self-Pity Conceit
Self-Hatred Sophistication
Depression Elation/Deflation
Apathy Superiority
Inferiority Competitive
Insecurity Dominant
Failure Rigid
Guilt Manipulative
Dimness Stubborn
Dying Unteachable
Despairing Delusion
Discouraged Bitterness/Resentment
(put out) Critical
Suicide Controlling

The sin: The sin:
Unbelief Pride

The entire thing is then split into 4 quadrants, wiht each indicating different directions people go with these feelings...on the Rejection side there is a Compliant and a "Can't Do It" Mentality. On the Rebellion side there is Competitve and Critical. Each of us spent time thinking about where we were at - I was definitely acting out of rejection and had a compliant spirit (yes, I know I hide it well! HAHA). A lot of people swing between different things, adn we all manifest all of them at different times, but the one you go to most is the root one.

Anyway, on Thursday we had a time of healing and it was so awesome. Everyone had a chance to go forward and just receive prayer for things that had happened in their lives - it wasn't a big "tell all" of all our deepest sins or anything - but a really supportive and uplifting time. On Friday we then talked about how to "walk" in the healing. This was really tough for me and I was under a huge amount of warfard throughout Friday, the weekend and Monday. Everywhere I turned I was feeling rejected and lonely. Comparison was coming in the back door and I was discouraged that everyone else seemed so free. Finally on Monday night I was able to pray it through with my mom and I really finally felt the breakthrough and the Freedom came! Amen! So, I can say that I am FREE of rejection, comparison, self-hatred, unworthiness, loneliness, unbelief, fear, lust, guilt, fear - gone!! Oh, I know they will still come knocking, but I don't believe them anymore...I'm finding my identity in Christ, and it is overcoming the lies I've believed my whold life!

So that was an exciting week!! Then last week, we were learning about "Hearing God's Voice" and the ways in which God speaks to us. Since I know you are interested (hehe) are some of the ways -
1. Through His Word
2. Through the inner witness fof the Holy Spirit
3. Through our conscience
4. Through circumstance
5. Through visions
6. Through dreams (be careful it wasn't just the pizza)
7. By His audible voice
8. Through Angels
9. Through gifts of the Spirit
10. Through songs, hymns and instruments
11. Through others (test this as we are all human and make mistakes)
12. Through feelings and emotions (REALLY test this as we get caught up in them, but they can lie to us!)
13. Through creation
14. Through the arts
15. Through supernatural signs and wonders

So, that was so encouraging and really helped me to see that, Yes, Indeed, I can hear God's voice!! Very cool! Then on Thursday we had a day of the leaders prophesying over - was that cool or what??? These were leaders here in the school who really don't know us at all, so it was really interesting what some of them said. They prophesied over me and it was so uplfiting! Then on Friday we had a time when we were to ask God some questions of our own...specifically, what does he thinkg of me and what are his plans for me? We had only 20 minutes to do this, and then we got into a group and shared what God had was awesome. Some of the things he said to me where that I was joy, and encourager and a love-giver, that this is my Spring season and there is pure, sparkling water pouring forth. There was lots more, but that is an idea. If you'd like more specifics, email me! ;)

We've begun to see some really powerful stuff happening in our group. It all seemed to be happening to one girl Tracy, but now others, too! She was struggling financially and had some money come in at really *coincidental* times. Then, she was led to Esther and at the same time her prayer partner was also led there...and so gave her a card with the verses in it...well, the card happened to be a "Bridal Shower" card...and guess what happened that same night??? Yep...her boyfriend propsosed! Now, note...her prayer partner had no idea about the Esther passage. Her boyfriend is in Colorado going through another school right now and also knew nothing of this. She's sooo excited!!

Sunday we went to this big church up in Redding and me and this guy in our class, Marcus, went and bought hot chocolate/coffee to drink during service. Everywhere we went, we were in the way and it was a little frustrating. Then, there was no Sunday School for the kids, so Sierra was in the service and was having a bad attitude about that. We had driven an hour and a half to get there. As we were waalking ot our seats for service, they told us we coulnd't be in the sanctuary with drinks and so we had to go outside. We were pretty irritated!! Finally, we go back in and go to our seats we had reserved....only to find people sitting in them!!! So we then had to go and find seats in the very last row. Well, you know I had to spend the first 10 minutes just repenting for my bad attitude!! A little later we were asked if we wanted prayer for healing for different things....Marcus ended up raising his hand for finances and I also raised my hand for some physical healing. They had people around us pray for us and this lady prayed for Marcus. A little while later she asked him if he needed a job, and explained no, we are an hour and a half away and studying full time to be missionaries. Then, a little while after that she turned around again and said she and her husband had been really blessed and handed him a check.....for $500!!! I was so excited!! He was just sort of in shock! After he told everyone and the whole class is really jazzed. The next day some lady went to his mom's house and gave her a check for $400 to give to him - another total stranger! So, like I said - things are happeneing!!!

This week we are going deeper into the charachter of God and his Father's heart. Every weeek is just so wonderful and we are really learning so much and it is moving so fast. I can't believe it's been 6 weeks already!!! We are coming home this weekend to see everyone, so that'll be cool. I'll post some pictures soon, too.

Thursday, February 09, 2006


Okay - just a reminder - PLEASE PLEASE leave comments for me!!! I need it!!

Well, my mom wanted me to put in here the prayers she's been saying for us, so here they are...the first one here was done this morning about the same time I was having my journal time that I went over in my previous post. The second was done before she read my response and didn't know that I was doing a lot better yet....kind of fun to see, huh?

(First one)


And now here is the second one.....


Wednesday, February 08, 2006

His Joy Comes In The Morning

Yesterday was SO spirit has just been so heavy for days now...but I had a breakthrough yesterday is an excerpt of what I wrote in an email to my mom yesterday:

Hi Mom,

Your email made me laugh - which is good because I've been crying and intense for 2 days!! No, my weekend wasn't very good...I'm getting hit hard by the enemy - I think he knows something big is in store for me, but I am having a hard time standing up under it. I don't know why I'm crying, really. Sierra was up most of the night with nightmares, I'm real intense. She made 3 pictures last night all about wanting a daddy, not having a daddy, how confusing her life is without a daddy, what she wants in a daddy - it's heavy, real heavy, and I don't know what to do with it. I'm praying and feel like God isn't answering - so, please pray for us, we're in it pretty deep. Feel free to share this with Diane, too - it's fine - I need all the prayer I can get right now!!

All day I was just broken over this issue with Sierra and her deep, deep desire for a Daddy. I'm also realizing some of my own stuff...the main things are that I haven't trusted God with my heart, that I don't know HOW to be loved and that I've lived out the lie that my feelings are unimportant and that my responsibility is to care for other people's feelings. Well, yesterday there were many people praying with me and talking with me and loving me...what a wonderful thing!! I began to feel lighter and then last night we had an awesome worship service and it was great!! Here is an excerpt from the email I sent this morning!!!

Hi Mom, Hi Diane!!

I LOVE This!! Thank you!! This is in line with what I am feeling is going to happen - our big day of healing is tomorrow, but I feel God working in me already. I had a breakthrough yesterday afternoon and was able to come against FEAR - then last night we had worship and it was awesome - we all bowed down together and I was flat on my face and crying out and for the first time I callled out to DADDY from the depths of my soul and cried out "hold me daddy!" and it was spontaneous and sincere. Here is what I wrote in my journal last night:

Tonight I called you Daddy for the first time from my heart. I held my arms up to You and asked You to hold me. I say "yes" to you. I choose You, I trust You. I want to get out of the boat. Amen!

In my journal I drew the picture I bowing in front of the cross with fear hightailing it out of there!

Then this morning (God is really funny...getting me up in the middle of the night or really early!) I saw a dam and it was holding back the LIVING WATERS...first a drop made it through. Then two drops. Then a tiny trickle, and a little bit bigger trickle. Before long, the living water was rushing through my heart and cleansing me, bringing forth life - The streams of Living Water were running freely - AMEN! I believe as I am healed that my weight and body will be restored to where God wants them and I will be healed of those issues as well.

I am learning how to be "real" with God...I see that something I've lived by is that my feelings are not important and it is my job to fix everyone else's feelings...I've denied and pushed down my own because I thought they were unrighteous and unimportant. I want to make them "pretty" and "acceptable" and "palatable" and it's hard to leave ugly feelings "out there" without cleaning them up. This is tied up with my not knowing how to receive love and be loved...but I feel God moving! The darkness lasts for a night but his joy comes in teh morning!

The song of my heart right now is

Yes Lord, Yes Lord, Yes Yes Lord!
Yes Lord, Yes Lord, Yes Yes Lord!
Yes Lord, Yes Lord, Yes Yes Lord, Amen!

I am crushed but not broken
persecuted not abandoned
struck down but not destroyed

I am blessed beyond the curse
for His promise will endure
His joy's gonna be my strength!
Though the sorrow may last for the night
His joy comes in the morning!!

I'm trading my sorrow
I'm trading my pain
I'm laying them down
for the joy of the Lord

I'm trading my sickness
I'm trading my shame
I'm laying them down
for the joy of the Lord!


AMEN!! Praise the Lord...Thank you for your prayer and support and encouragement!!

Tuesday, February 07, 2006


Last week we learned about the Father Heart of waas really good and Jim May, the guy who spoke on it was just a big teddy bear grandpa type. At the end he asked if anyone needed a daddy hug, so I jumped up and got one!!

Over the weekend, our group went to a place called Turtle Bay in Redding and then on Sunday everyone watched the Superbowl. I felt that I didn't get time to really soak in and press in and meditate on all this daddy stuff, and Lord knows I need to - this is a big topic for me. So, I came into this week feeling intense and under pressure.

Now we're in Plumb intensity has only increased and I'm just crying, crying, crying - why?? I couldn't even really tell you - just really emotional and intense and being barraged by a storm of emotions (none of them good). Yesterday one of the ladies told me to "take it slow", so I'm taking that advice...she says it doesn't happen in a day. My response was "God made the world in 6 days, he ought to be able to heal me in one!!"....but I was (mostly) kidding...haha. So, I'm trying to slow it down.

Ok...time to go in for day 2....pray for me!!

Thursday, February 02, 2006

Truth Box

Our topic last week was "Truth Box"...the idea is that we each have inside of us a "truth box" in which are the beliefs we hold. Most of the contents have been put in there throughout life based on our experiences and what people we trusted have told us. The rub comes when what we hold in our box doesn't line up with reality. We talked a lot about the character of God and were challenged to examine our box to see if the beliefs we held lined up with the character of who God is. As you can imagine, many do not.

This sounds simplistic and easy, but let me tell you - it was not! When you believe something, it is very hard to change your view on it. Last week was exhausting and by Thursday I felt totally drained. I took probably 40 pages of notes throughout the week! Of course, I'll never be able to give justice to the teaching - being directly involved is really the only way to have it soak in deep - but I will try to summarize my (FORTY PAGES) notes here...

We began by just simply asking the question "How do you know the things you know?" There were lots of answers; school, experience, logical expression, reading, etc. Essentially, everything we know came from outside of us, and was then put inside of us - in short, by someone telling us or by experience. From there we went down a philosophy trail a bit. We discussed the possibilty of a square earth (as opposed to round). We each had to admit we had not actually seen the entire earth, nor measured it out, but in fact had trusted teachers, books and pictures as being a true representation of the earths' shape...essentially, we were told so as children and we trusted the person who told us, so we believed it.

We then defined truth as "agreeing with reality" and we defined reality as "the thing that is" (are you having fun yet?). Therefore, untruth would then be defined as disagreeing with reality, having a false perception, believing a lie.

We also agreed that truth can be complementary, but never contradictory, and that two opposite realities simply cannot exist (logic...always the most fun class in college!). A real issue in the world today is the question posed by Pilate, and that is "WHAT is truth?"...this question is based on the assumption that truth is subjective and unable to be proven. It boils down to a morality that says you can never be deceived, and that there is no right or wrong. This was big with me as I see a lot of this in my area of the country.

It comes to this - that our "truth box" becomes the authority in our lives by which we live our life and make all of our decisions. The two areas in which the most important beliefs come in are our pictures of God and our pictures of ourselves. Basically, we had to come to the place where we admit that everything in our truth box is NOT necessarily true! To me this is a big "DUH"...I think any woman could honestly say this as we come to the place where we look honestly at ourselves and realize that we are not seeing ourselves (our bodies) for what they really are - we focus on the negative so much because the media presents this impossible picture of beauty (a lie), and we buy into it.

As we spent time examining our truth box, we also spent a lot of time examining the character of God and what lies we have in our boxes regarding Him. The biggest one I got, I already shared - that is, that I wasn't trusting Him to bring a daddy into Sierra's, I've had to get real with myself about some trust issues I've got with God!!!

This week we are looking at the Father Heart of God, so going deeper into our boxes with regard to how our views of our heavenly father have been formed based on misrepresentations of Him, and getting the right picture of Him based on who HE says He is.

We hear that next week is "Plumb Line"...I'm guessing my dad will know what that means - it's a term in construction where they use a string with a weight on it to determine if something is straight. We keep hearing things about how powerful the week will be...we're all a little anxious! Hehe.

Saturday, January 28, 2006

Hiders of The Word

Yesterday we had this couple in our class, Rod and Jenn - they have a ministry doing scripture presentations. They call themselves "Hiders of The Word" and they present entire books of scripture from memory. It was very cool! Last week Rod did the book of James for us - it took me a bit before I realized he was quoting scripture. Then yesterday his wife did Philippians.

It got me really excited to hear the entire book all at once and to consider scripture in the whole that way. I went home last night and read Colossians out loud and it was definitely really cool. I have struggled for years to find joy in reading the Bible, and to understand it and to carve out time to do it regularly - but it's always been very difficult for me. Last night as I was reading Colossians, I began to feel the joy and the fire start burning inside about reading scripture, so I was really excited!! I told Rod today and he was really happy.

Sierra is still saying she wants to go to China someday, so I think if we begin to memorize entire books at a time, it would really help us if we ever get there. Cool, huh?

Thursday, January 26, 2006

A Picture Says A Thousand Words

For anyone who isn't aware, my original camera was stolen back when we were in Mexico, so I ended up buying a new one before coming up here to Chico. I've got a few pictures downloaded and figured I'd share some of them with you to give you a better sense of where we are at! So, with no further adieu...

This is the hotel where conference guests stay - also, our classes are here and this is where we go to eat. It has a mammoth fireplace and lots of couches and chairs in the lobby, so everyone hangs out there a lot. The whole base takes break there from 10-10:30

This is Cooper House, where I live...a few days after we got here it was raining and sunny at the same time, so we all came out in search of rainbows and were rewarded with this one! God's promise of something!!

This is the river that runs behind the hotel...isn't it pretty?

This is a bunch of us having our journal making lasted for several days!! In the picture, starting from the left are: Mirriam, George, Me, Angela and Doris. Lots of people came and went over the course of our party.

Here are Marcus and Aaron - Aaron is on the left, Marcus on the right. They live up the hill a ways, across the river. It's quite a hike, but they're up to it. They're the two single guys in the bunch.

Far, far up above the property are these crosses, looking down on us. Sierra went on a hike with some of the other girls up to them and took these pictures. They said it was quite a hard hike!!

Well, there are lots more photos I could show you, but I will save them for another time!! It's almost 3 o'clock, so time to get to my chores. By the way, my chore is to clean the bathrooms for the kids''s pretty easy, really. Sierra and her friend Jenna are helping me and they are so cute - they jump right in there and clean the toilets, even the boys urinals, without complaint! I'm really proud of them. So - it's off to work I go, heigh ho heigh ho!

Wednesday, January 25, 2006

A Little Tumble

Oh yeah - ok, if you don't know the scoop - before I came to YWAM someone told me that going through the DTS program is like being a rock in a rock tumbler. Well, I had my first little tumble today!!

This morning we had a guy come to speak to us about intercessory prayer and what that means. Through it, I just really began to see my doubts and my lack of faith in God to answer my prayers and in myself for my inability to know God's was like a lightening bolt to my heart, to see what a doubting Thomas I am!!!

Specifically, I was brokenhearted about a particular issue going on - and that is Sierra's deep, deep desire for a daddy. She just wants a daddy so much and often cries at night because she doesn't have one that loves her and is in her life. I have felt frozen in fear as to how to pray - I didn't want to begin fervently praying for a daddy for her and then not have it happen and have that hurt her faith. The bottom line is that I was working out of FEAR and not out of faith in God's desire to fulfill the desires of her heart and His own desire for her to have a daddy. After Steve (the guy who talked) left, we had a break and I went looking for him directly to talk to him about what was on my heart. I couldn't find him anywhere, and then I noticed Kerry sitting by himself - Kerry will be one of the leaders of our class, but he and his wife just joined us yesterday so we don't really know him yet. Anyway, I went over and just started talking to him, but was totally broken down in tears within seconds. He helped me to see that Sierra's desire for a daddy is a desire born out of God's own heart - it's not from Satan, and it's not selfish - it's what God would want for her. Also, how fear was at work and that I need to stand against that. We also talked about how I was holding onto fear about relationships and marriage because I'd "drowned" previously in my two marriages (from a story he related yesterday...I'll clarify in a minute). I realized that I WAS holding onto fear and confessed that immediately. Now I am working on trusting God to bring Sierra a daddy, but to take out of the equation my own timeline, how I think it will look, etc.

We went back into class and I was still pretty weepy for the rest of the morning. At lunch, Sierra came up to me and knew I'd been crying right away - so we ate pretty quickly and went on a hike to the waterfalls where I was able to confess to her my lack of faith in that area and how I'd been afraid to pray. Being the great kid she is, she immediately forgave me and encouraged me and we agreed to come together and really pray about this area and to release our expectations of when or how it might come about. We talked about the many different ways God could answer that prayer and realized there were many more than we could even imagine. So, I'm feeling a lot better about it now.

After my chores were done, I came home and Sierra had shared with her friend Jenna about it and they had made me a really sweet card. The inside reads "Hi Mommy, I just want you know that God is with you always. Just keep your eyes on God!!! Love, Sierra". It was all decorated all over and was so sweet.

Regarding the "drowning"...yesterday Kerry shared with us about 2 women he had met who had been Christians for a long time, but absolutely refused to do a water baptism. Upon talking with them, he found out they had both almost drowned as children and had a real fear of going underwater (sound familiar, mom?). He talked with them about fear and the end result was that one of them gave it to God and had a water baptism and was set totally free of her fear as she was baptized. The other one would not give up her fear and continued to believe the lie that her fear was for her own safety and would keep her from drowning. So, the correlation for me was that my fear is based on my belief that it will keep Sierra safe - and me, too. There is a place for fear, and it is the beginning of wisdom - but it should not rule your life, and that is what it was doing to me in this area. It was quite humbling as I really had thought I had dealt with my fear and overcome them...but obviously there is more in there to root out! Praise God!

So, that is my very transparent rock tumbler story for today...whew!

Tuesday, January 24, 2006

Come, Now Is The Time To Worship

Last week the theme of our teaching was "Worship Is A Lifestyle"...this is a bit different than "worship AS a lifestyle" because the "as" makes it optional, while the "is" makes it something inherent in what you do, and becomes natural (hopefully!). Our speaker was Dale Harrison, who happens to be the Director of this particular YWAM base.

The topic was interesting, and we discussed a lot about worship and really dug down into it. I'll never do it justice here in this short space, but I'll try to get out the basics - which really is just another way of saying that I'll go over the things that stick out in my mind because they impacted me in some way.

The first thing we went over is just the simple fact that worship is not only music. I know that is really basic and simple, but so often when we think of worship, we identify it with music...worship service is a service of music; worship time is the time we sing in church; etc. One thing Dale said that really resonated with me is that Satan wants to take the Holy things of God and make them common. Think about that and how true it can be.

Of course, worship can be a form of music, but there are so many other things that can be worship. Basically it boils down to a heart thing...and that anything you do - be it scrubbing toilets or raising your hands and singing - can be worship. The key ingredient to it is that it is directed TOWARD God - it is a vertical relationship and it is ABOUT God...His goodness and His holiness and all of the things that He IS.

A big theme of what we talked about centered around relationship, and God's desire for a relationship with us...that He created us to be relational because He is relational. A love relationship (or any relationship, I guess) has many levels, from very shallow to much deeper - what we strive for is a deep, personal and intimate relationship with God. And that is something He ALWAYS wants, and has wanted since before time began. So, it begins with talking and just the simple fact that lovers talk - and Jesus is, after all, the lover of our soul, right?? It also points to transparency and honesty with God - He's not surprised by ANY of our feelings, and isn't it pretty silly to NOT be honest with Him, since He knows anyway? Haha...easy to say!! But we just talked about how everyone will say (or at least Christians, I guess) "I Love God"....but are their actions showing love? Is there substance behind those words?

We also talked about how feelings are not worship - this was a big one for me because I am so wary of "emotionalism" and that sort of thing - yes, worship can be emotional, and we worship with all of us - including our emotions - but just because we don't get overwhelmed with emotion doesn't mean we are not worshipping - sometimes it is a choice, and not a feeling. I guess these are all basics on many levels, but always good to be reminded of the basics!

One thing we talked about was how Moses wore the mask over his face when he came down from the mountain after his encounter with God and that he wore that to hide the glory of what had happened because it was too much for the people to bear...but he continued to wear it after the glory had worn off of his face and that he might have done this so the people wouldn't be aware that the glory had faded. We discussed how this is parallel to the "mask" of religion we often wear to hide the last encounter we had with God - this was a really interesting idea that got a lot of us talking!! We all realized how easy it is to slip on that mask of religion, and how we need to guard against that - it is not honesty.

Another thing I thought was cool was that the tabernacle doors were set at 5'5", which forced the priests to bow as they entered the doors - thus taking on a stance of humility and reverence toward God.

Something I really love is learning the Hebrew and Greek meanings of the original text - I think it gives so much more breadth and depth to the reading and helps me to understand God's heart more fully. As we studied worship last week, we went over 7 different words that were translated from Greek and Hebrew into "worship" and what those different meanings were - it was fascinating (to me anyway!). From meanings of raising your hands to dancing to quiet contemplation, it's all in there - but the cool thing (for a wild thing like me) is that the most COMMON form of worship mentioned in the Bible is "Halal", which means to shine, to be clamorously foolish - you KNOW I love this one! Haha!! It really ties into a favorite song of mine..."I will dance, I will sing - to be foolish, for my king...oh yes, I'll be even more undignified than this! Some may call it foolishness, but I'll be even more undignified than this!" Oh yeah - a song right up my goofy alley!

ANYWAY, that is just a brief overview of what we went over - pretty good stuff. My "practical application" is to really commit to reading God's word for at least 20 minutes 3-4 times a week (this is a historically very difficult habit for me!!!) and also to spend 10-15 minutes a day just being QUIET and listening for God's voice and trusting that He really wants to talk to me and communicate with me - afterall, lovers talk!!

I would say the main theme I see emerging is the Father Heart of God and Relationship and what that means. Both very good ones for me!

Sunday, January 22, 2006

oh yeah

I guess I forgot some of the stuff we do around here, huh? Hehe.

But FIRST of all, I want to say something, so LISTEN UP!! When I was home over Christmas there were a LOT of you who said you loved to read this blog and all that...but really, let me tell you - I had no idea anyone was reading it!! Please, please, please post comments for me because I really do love to get your feedback. Also, it keeps me motivated to continue posting, otherwise I just feel like I'm just writing into thin air and will skip it. So, that is my request - let me know what you think and all that jazz! Thanks.

Okay, now back to our regularly scheduled program. is what our days look like, at least Monday through Friday.

6:00 am - Wake up
6:45 am - Breakfast
8:00 am - Class Starts - Worship until about 9:00
10:30 am - Break for 1/2 hour
12:00 pm - Lunch
1:00 pm - Lecture
2:30 pm - Class lets out
3:00 pm - Chores until 5:00 pm
5:30 pm - Dinner

On Monday mornings the entire base (schools, staff, volunteers, etc) gets together at 8 am for worship. On Tuesday evenings there is service for the entire base plus anyone else who wants to come from 7:00-9:00 pm. Friday mornings the base gets together for intercessory prayer. Also, on Friday nights (call it Saturday mornings) from Midnight-3:00 am they have "through the night" prayer for anyone who wants to join them - count me on the short list for that one!!

Saturdays we're free to do whatever, and Sundays we can go to church wherever we want in the community - Sunday afternoons are also free.

So, that's the basic schedule. We are required to keep a journal, so we have all been getting together all week to decorate our journals and prepare them. They are due each Monday morning and we are required to keep 4 pages....2 pages that include the following concepts from our lectures: confirmed beliefs, new ideas and practical application; another page of meditation with at least 3 scriptures and the last page where we process the challenging and the satisfying times we had during the week.

In addition to the journals, we have quite a bit of reading and will be required to turn in 4 book reports - one of which is to be a research report on our outreach country, which is Fiji. So, as you can see, our "free time" after 6 pm isn't really so free after all!! Besides all of this, there is, of course, time with Sierra, visiting, going on walks, Sierra's homework, etc. Needless to say, our time is pretty well packed. Getting up so early definitely has us in bed by about 9, or even earlier - I think just everything we're taking in is also tiring.

Okay, so that is pretty much the complete picture of what our "daily lives" look like. I will update more tomorrow (hopefully) with pictures and also with some more of what we talked about this week. Remember to give me comments!!

Saturday, January 21, 2006

Nuts & Bolts

I'm sure everyone is curious about the nuts n' bolts stuff of what we're doing here, so I'll start there today. First of all, there are 18 people in the Crossroads course - 15 adults and 3 kids. The kids are Sierra, Mitchell (14) and Reanna (15).

There are 4 couples, 5 single women (including me), and 2 single men. Most are from the US, but we have one woman from Canada and one from Switzerland. Another one of the women was originally from the Philippines, but is now living in the US. Now let's see if I can remember everyone's name, age range and location!! Haha...ok, here goes.

Well, there is ME...My name is Dayna and I'm 36 years old. I am from Northern California, but most recently spent 6 months in Mexico. I am here with my 11 year old daughter, Sierra. Doing pretty well so far, don't you think??

In my house are the four single women - Tracey from Canada, Doris from Switezerland, Mirriam from Los Angeles and Angela from Sacramento. There is also a couple from Michigan, George and Elaine.

The two single guys live by themselves on the other side of the crick - they get to take the long hike in and out of camp. They are Marcus from Texas and Aaron from Hawaii.

We have two couples who are staying in their motorhomes and they are Bob and Mila from New York, and Paul and Susan from Idaho.

The other family (besides me and Si) also have a house by themselves a few doors down from the community house (called Cooper House) - they are Dale and Kim. They will be moving to Panama after Crossroads, so are in the process of selling off their stuff, including their home. They have the other 2 kids in the group.

The property is beautiful - it's about 10 miles outside of Chico and feels pretty remote. There are several buildings on the property - the main building is the hotel which was built back in the 1920's. It is brick and very stately. There is a mammoth fireplace and couches all over the lobby, so it is a main hangout (and where I happen to be right now, as a matter of fact - right in front of the fire!). Our classes are in this building. There is also "The Lodge" which is where the younger DTS students are housed...they have air hockey and pool tables and whatnot, so it is also a hangout. Then there is Cooper House, where a lot of us Crossroaders are. It's a really pretty old house and there are lots of games and couches and a big fireplace and a kitchen and big table and it's all set up, so it is a hangout for us people in Crossroads.

Then there is Ebenezer Hall, which is where we meet for worship on Monday mornings and Tuesday nights, and for intercessory prayer on Friday mornings. It is down the hill....86 stairs!! It is right next to the ICS, which is the International Christian School, where Si goes to school. The pool, tennis courts and basketball courts are also down by there. All of this is on the western side of the creek, along with several houses where staff live and also some cabins for visitors. On the other side of the bridge are more houses for staff and a baseball field.

There are also lots of trails and places to hikd and explore, which we hope to get a chance to do this weekend. I'm hoping to get out my GPS machine I bought and try some geocaching!!! Maybe we'll even hide something!

This weekend we are getting the whole group together and we are going to go see the movie "End of the Spear" about Jim Elliot and the missionaries who were killed in South America...I'm really excited to see it as I had met Steve Saint (the son of one of the missionaries) at the Spirit West Coast concert a few years back.

The household seems to be doing really well together and not having any problems with the whole "communal" living situation. All of the kids have taken to hanging out there, which is fun and infuses the house with lots of energy and life...and NOISE! Haha. I'm always concerned about Sierra bothering other people and being too loud, but they seem to really enjoy her for the most part. I really am impressed and just love how much YWAM as an organization realizes the importance of children and their place as missionaries right alongside us and that is great and really sits well with my own heart.

I am finding that I am really infused with a lot of excitement and just want to have so many people come up here and experience the whole really get infused with God's love and to know his heart's really cool.

Okay, well, there's some nuts n' bolts for y'all! Tonight Sierra is having her friend Jenna spend the night, so she had to go to each person and ask their permission and they are all okay with it. She is really rising to the occasion and seems to like the community thing. One funny story....on Tuesday night when we went to the worship meeting, they were talking about how worship takes on many "looks" and to do whatever you felt led to do, whether that was dancing, singing, being still, raising your hands, waving a flag or whatever. The kids were in the back with those dancing flags and having a grand old time waving them and running around. At some point they began to play tag and were generally getting a bit out of hand and one of the staff members went to talk to them and tell them to quiet down a bit. Afterward I was talking to Sierra and asked her what happened...she and her friend Jenna said that all they were doing was WORSHIPPING, because after all, they had said anything you did was okay!! was pretty funny. I guess that qualifies as "be careful what you say", huh?

Wednesday, January 18, 2006

Day 2

It's Tuesday, and we got out of class a bit ago. I've been visiting with a woman named Angela and getting to know her - it's great to be able to spend time with people and get to know them on a deeper level. It's encouraged and there is plenty of time set aside to do it, so it is really cool.

Sierra started school yesterday and has made friends with a girl named Jenna who is 10 years old. Jenna was born here on the base and has been living here her whole life. Her mom is from Brazil. Both the girls are so excited to have a friend, and it's a real answer to prayer! Sierra is enjoying school pretty much - although she says it's "boring"...haha, don't they always say that?? She tested to see where she was at, and she seems to be right where she needs to be in Language Arts - we'll find out in Math today or tomorrow. They went on a hike yesterday, and I guess that's something they do a few times a week, which is really cool. I guess one kid got too far ahead of the others and had to write 25 sentences! There are only 7 kids in her school from 3rd through 12th grade - there are more in the Pre-K through 2nd grade, I guess, but not a lot. All together there are probably about 15 or so kids on base and a couple babies. The kids all play really well together and have a lot of freedom to play and run around having fun - it's a great enviornment for them to be able to do that and it's really safe, too.

After everyone left on Sunday, Sierra just broke down crying immediately and was saying "I don't want them to go! I don't want them to go!" It was so heartbreaking. I just let her cry and held her tight and after a few minutes she was okay and ready to get going again.

The people here are so, so friendly and kind and really a testament to God's love and grace. They are from all different backgrounds and circumstances, but you can really see the love of God in everyone. There is another single mom here who works on base and we seem to be drawn together, so I'm hoping we can get a chance to get to know one another.

So far, we've mostly been doing orientation sorts of stuff, so not really into the depths of what we'll be doing yet. However, everything that's been said so far has really resonated with my spirit and seems right on and really coming from a balanced perspective. We'll be keeping journals and having more in-depth study starting tomorrow.

It's really cold here today, and we went out on a tour of the base...BRRRR. I thought I would get whipped right away with all the wind! I don't think I got nearly anything out of the tour because I was just so cold. Now I'm sitting in front of the fire and it's much nicer. For some reason it is really quiet, so enjoying just relaxing and reflecting a bit.