Many Nations, One People

I have a few pictures, but being at a conference, there isn’t going to be much for the next several days. I also managed to lose my data cord for my camera somewhere between Austin and Israel, so I’m going to have to rectify that soon.  But here is one of my favorites below that I took on my phone:

Heart for the nation and for the nations

Heart for the nation and for the nations

The facilitator at our table gave one of these to each of us, carved from the wood from the Israeli olive tree. It was a symbol of how we are sharing our heart with one another, as well as our heart for Israel, the people and the land. It was something that touched my heart, for sure.

 

 

The conference here has 15 nations represented: Australia, Indonesia, Fiji, Belgium, Holland, Netherlands, Sweden, Switzerland, Germany, England, Israel, Jordan, South Africa, USA, and Canada. These are people who have a heart for the people of Israel and a desire to dig deeper and see what that looks like on a global scale, as well as in their own country. I love the interaction here, and I love the fact that it feels like family. There have been some great teaching, wonderful scripture study, and abandoned worship! And this is only day two! I am certainly blessed by being here, and I look forward to sharing more of the journey as I go 🙂

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A Love that Changes a People

Recently, I was talking to a friend about movies and Braveheart came up. I watched it once and thought it was good, but not one I’m gung-ho to see again. My friend was not of the same opinion at all. He said that it was the most romantic movie he had ever seen. Yes, he’s a he, and as far as I know, very straight. He went on to explain what he meant. Mel Gibson’s character was a peaceable man, not wanting to get involved in the struggles that plagued the country. He falls in loves and marries a girl he has known since childhood, and when she is killed, he changes. Because of her love and his love for her, he rallies a whole nation to stand up and fight for their freedom. To change from being overpowered and cowed under, to a people of pride. Then my friend said something that has stuck with me for these last several weeks; he said to name another movie/story where love so changes a man, who changes a nation (or words to that effect). I thought of some good movies with great love stories, but he was right. When I thought about it, he was really right.

So, I’ve got this friend who’s got lots of relationship problems, and her main issue is that she doesn’t see herself worthy of a decent guy. She keeps getting into these bad relationships, keeps getting hurt, and doesn’t understand why. I’m trying to encourage her, help her understand that she needs to like and respect herself before she can expect anyone else to. She once asked me how I can be so confident and self-respecting, so sure of myself. I didn’t consciously think this before, but at that point and ever since I realized what it was. Abba loves me unconditionally, no matter what, and when the Creator of the Universe is madly in love with you, you can’t help but feel loved, and appreciate the person He loves. Because of His love, any guy who treats me with less than that respect doesn’t even stand a chance. The Messiah’s love is so deep, He went through hell to get me (yeah, literally). That’s kinda hard to live up to…

I found it very interesting that these two subjects have come up in the last couple weeks, because yes, I found the one story that compares. I’m sure you saw this coming. God’s love for us was so compelling that he changed from Godly form and took on the form of a man to go to the cross, take on our sins, and reunite us with Himself. That’s a very blasĂ© summary that doesn’t touch on a fraction of the passion involved, but there you are. A love that changes a man (in a matter of speaking – changes the Creator into a man), which has changed and continues to change not only a nation, but nations. That is the ultimate love story. That’s Who loves me, and with Whom I am in love.