Regeneration.

“And if your right hand leads you into sin, cut it off and throw it away – for better you lose one part of your body than march your entire body through the gates of sin and into hell.”Matthew 5:30 (The Voice)

I cannot tell you how many times I’ve thought about this verse and tried to make sense of it.
Some people are really gifted at discerning scripture and picking things out of it.

I am not one of those people, I can assure you of that.

The other day I was reading my devotional “My Utmost For His Highest” by Oswald Chambers and good ole’ Oswald explained it in a way that really made sense to me.

How it makes sense in my brain…
You have things in your life that aren’t of God but appear to you and others as things you need.
But God didn’t ask us to live a life of 95% devotion to Him. He has called us to live lives TOTALLY devoted to Him. 100%.
That means, no matter how ridiculous it seems and how much you think you need it, if it is not of God, it needs to be cut off.
There are so many worthless things in this world that we’ve become immune to! Things that you can try to justify the heck out of, but once you come down to it all, if it’s not glorifying to God, there’s no need for it.

“So, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God.”1 Corinthians 10:31 (ESV)

ALL.

We cannot come before God whole.
We need to cut off those things that keep us attached to the world. We need to trust that God is going to take our maimed, broken selves and regenerate our limbs.
He wants to grow these new things in us but we must first take the steps to break ourselves.
If we’re not putting ourselves in situations where we would fail in our own power and abilities, then there is no room for Him to create new life in us.

How humbling it is that He has complete power over us and it’s up to Him whether we have that new life!

We can never be the judge of ourselves, we are too biased.
I think deep down, we all think we’re good people at heart.
But the fact is, we were born into sin.
And it was never us that made the first move to becoming a better person.
We had to have this example:

“We love because He first loved us.”1 John 4:19 (NIV)

Simple as that.
It’s so simple, that in almost every version of the Bible, those are the exact words.
No fancy extras or dumbing down.

There is no growth without surrender.

By emptying yourself of pride, of the things that seem necessary, you are telling God,

“I am empty without you. You need to fill me for me to experience joy.”

When we’re giving Him all the control and making sure all the credit goes to Him, what can stop us?
Where do our limitations end?

Saber y Conocer

“The reason we see hypocrisy and fraud and unreality in others is because they are all in our own hearts.”
–Oswald Chambers “My Utmost for His Highest” (June 22)

The other day I was thinking about someone.

Someone who has wronged me in many ways and who I am VERY judgmental towards.

This past week God has been healing me of that and soothing my heart towards the situation, impressing on me to (as always) take the plank out of my eye before telling that other person about the speck in theirs and letting me know that His love is enough to take care of every wound to my heart.

So I already had this on my mind….when BAM.
Oswald slaps me in the face (yet again) with this devotion. Particularly that quote at the top of this blog.

It got me thinking….

How true that the only reason I recognize sin in other people is because I have it in myself and I know what it looks like. I KNOW sin.  I know it’s attributes, how it acts, what the thought process behind it is, why it does what it does…

I KNOW sin.

How awful.
What a terrible thing to think of.
If I was completely pure, completely free of any stain or tarnish to my innocence, would I even understand sin?
I don’t believe so.

There’s a verb in Spanish…well a couple of them actually. They both mean to know. Saber translates like you know OF. You possess knowledge of. Conocer means you KNOW . You are familiar with.

See how there’s a difference?

Well, I am really uncomfortable with the fact that I KNOW sin. I don’t want to! I can see now how sin has left lasting impressions on my mind, my thought, my actions.

Consider how Jesus talks about hating your brother in your mind being the same as killing him in real life.

Sometimes I can sit for awhile, thinking about and being angry at people, judging them…all these nasty things. That, as I have come to believe, is DWELLING in sin. I am letting it soak into me, permeating the joy that God is trying to give me.

Every time I am judging someone on their sin, I am experiencing sin myself. EVERY TIME. And…let’s be real, that’s a LOT.

The more I dwell in sin, the more natural it becomes, it doesn’t feel uncomfortable or wrong anymore. It’s near impossible to control your mind. And that’s just depressing.

The more I DWELL in sin, the more I come to KNOW sin and everything about it.

It all comes back to not letting yourself get into that trap. You can undo the damage you’ve done, believe me. With Christ, there’s always a way back to Him. He’s always waiting for you to figure out what you’re doing wrong and come alongside you to help you get to a different place.

For me right now, I’m just discovering that I conocer sin way more than I feel comfortable with. Actually, I would rather not be familiar with it at all. I would rather saber sin and only be aware of it, not become connected to it.
I’m working on cleansing my mind each and every time I get that bitter feeling in my thoughts.

We’ll see how it goes. Pray for me please?

Donation jars for spare change!

OK, next fund-raising opportunity!

A friend of mine gave me this idea to make change jars and give them to people and businesses. So, I put together these in hopes that I could get some of you to take one (or 5!) and put them in your house, school, local businesses…wherever you can find!

If you have any friends or family that would like to just have it in their house and throw their spare change in whenever, that would be a great opportunity.
Same with businesses, if they allow you to set one up on their counter or wherever for people to put spare change in, that would be awesome!  

Obviously….they are free, and I can give you as many as you think you can give to people! 

Just let me know and we can make it happen 🙂

Breaking Every Chain

“There is power in the name of Jesus to break every chain.”Break Every Chain by Will Reagan & United Pursuit

I learned this song at training camp for my trip to Nicaragua in January. It had an enormous effect on me with all its simple phrases and repeats. It was one of the songs that my heart of worship began to expand. There is so much freedom in this song, so much room for God to speak to many different people at many different places of life.

OK but seriously, it’s unreal how many chains God has broken in my life from that freezing January day until now.
Cheesy, but I don’t even recognize that girl at the beginning of 2012.
Crazy, but that’s how my relationship with God works, I just can’t explain things sometimes.

 Every time a chain is broken, it is a long process, an exhausting battle between my human desire for control and my yearning to trust God with everything.
Once broken though, there is such peace. The Holy Spirit lays such an understanding on my heart.

….until the next time

Sometimes, I’m like, “Seriously God, again? I thought things were good, everything was settled!”

And time after time I find myself closer to my savior, more aligned with His will. Like I keep saying, He is just shaping and transforming me in every second of every day.

Can I just tell you how long I’ve been hung up on money?
My whole life.
OK, so that’s only almost 19 years.
But my whole life sure feels like a long time.

It’s beyond frightening to trust God with finances. Everything everyone has ever told me is that I need security. I need security AND a back-up plan in case something goes wrong. Really, I don’t give a flying fig what I’m doing, I just need to be making some sort of money to make sure that I don’t fail in my life.

How backwards does that sound compared to God saying that we need to trust Him with EVERYTHING?

Recently, this has been the biggest chain that I needed to break.

Honest moment here: I am so uncomfortable with having to depend on God putting it on other peoples’ hearts to donate.
But lately, God has been impressing on me that it’s HIS money and He is the one in power over every single dollar and cordoba that I am ever going to come into contact with.

My latest fund-raising event was a yard sale. I have a fellow missionary friend who is also raising money for a trip although his is to Russia. He let me use his yard and I am so excited to let you all know that I made a little over $600! The morning of the sale I woke up with so much discouragement from the devil. I kept thinking about everything that could go wrong and how it might end up being more work than it was worth. Feeling empty, I prayed and prayed over that sale, as ridiculous as it sounds. It turned out so well and I had great conversations with lots of people as an added bonus.

More exciting to me than the money though was the feeling of breaking another chain. These crazy small things have me so attached to this world, but little by little, I am breaking free…I am slipping away and crawling closer to my Father’s kingdom, where there is absolute trust and complete abandonment to human ways.

Money…what is it worth?
Nothing to me now. 

I am holding out for things that are going to fulfill me so much more than having a comfortable sum of money sitting in my bank account.

Thank you so super much to those of you who donated items to the sale! You are making my dream of going back to Nicaragua in the fall a reality. You should know that your help is inconceivably appreciated and you are absolutely furthering the kingdom. It means so much that y’all are willing to help me out in whatever ways you can.

Please remember that you are supporting me so much with your prayers. I have nothing to be afraid of with Jesus and his mighty army of prayer warriors behind me.

Te Amo Con Todo Mi Corazon,

Making the most out of…everything?

I figured…since being home I’ve talked a lot about my spiritual life.

And…..how you can support me on my next trip and all that junk 😉

Some people have asked me how I’ve been since I’ve been home. They want to know what life’s like and how different it is.

Well I can tell you right off the bat:

  • It is extremely socially awkward to walk around with a sort of mullet here. I’ve learned to kind of pull the long part back into a pony-tail, braid my bangs, and hope for the best.
  • Apparently, I’m pretty tan. Apparently, Americans never believe your tan’s real.
  • It’s normal to drop a couple hundred bucks at your local Gap. On clothes. On pieces of fabric. On things to add to your busting-at-the-seams closet.
  • PEOPLE ARE NOT AS OPENLY FRIENDLY
  • I have to use 2 blankets because of a little luxury we like to call A/C.
  • Public transportation is NOT the same. Obviously, but really. Why is there so much room in the bus?
  • Sometimes, I sit around and think.
  • Then I beat myself up for not being productive….back into that cycle again.
  • Then I realize, quiet time, time spent doing nothing is good sometimes. Central American time will teach you that valuable lesson.
  • Google Translate is a hit or miss. General rule: Try to translate it by yourself FIRST…and then let Google have a go. Most times, you end up understanding it better with your limited Spanish vocabulary than with some fancy, professional, “correct” online translator.
  • I miss abundant physical touch and affection.
  • American TV is boring. Spanish soap operas are far more dramatic and amusing.
  • WHERE ARE THE LITTLE MANGOES
  • I am rich.
  • God is good.
  • He is everywhere.
  • He is everything I need, at every time of day and life.

You know, it’s been HARD. I miss things like community, the craziness of never knowing what you’re going to do, the freedom, the abandon, the tangible God moments.

When I can home, I was bitter. I was so sad and heart-sick. I want to go out the next day and get back to what I had been doing. I kept thinking, “I have nothing. I have to make the most out of this unfortunate situation. I don’t want to. Where did my wonderful life go?”.

It’s amazing how loving people are though. You treat them like absolute garbage because you’re so confused about life now and they still try to make you happy. They don’t really understand what you’re going through but it doesn’t matter. But because you are important to them,and you matter, so they keep trying.

Asi que, my family is the greatest thing since sliced bread.
Actually, you know what, I really prefer un-sliced bread. There’s nothing like a freshly ripped off of chunk of bread.
OK.

Obviously the point is, I just appreciate them. A whole flippin’ lot.

And, I’m STILL learning about seasons. Mostly about how sometimes you need to adapt. Also, how your faith should not be built on experiences.

It was very easy for me to feel close to God in Nicaragua. Basically everything I was doing involved Him in some way or another, and being in a team, we were constantly seeking His help and provision. I had time every morning to get up and do my devotions…in the quiet morning hours…surrounded by the beauty of nature…interrupted by some very precious women named Antonia & Estella wishing me a good morning…listen to worship music in a hammock…
You get the picture.

My 4 months was filled with crazy moments, instances where God was very visibly at work. Sometimes it was within our team, sometimes at our work areas, sometimes in the little villages, and a lot of times in my own heart.

My mind was blown…it was overcome with love…I experienced life like never before.

And now, I’m trying to play the comparing game. That’s why I say I’m trying not to base my faith off my experiences. If I think one of those amazing times was the peak of what God can do, if I’m always looking for that same spiritual high, I am going to be sincerely disappointed.

God’s like, “Um, Haille, I’m kind of way more vast and incredible and complex than your little human brain can comprehend. It’s OK that you don’t get it, but trust me on this one. Let me work in my ways, and you’re going to find peace, rest, love…JOY. I will continue to amaze you if you let me!” 

So being home is a lot about adapting to the different things are going on here. I’m going to have to work harder to make my heart focused on Jesus, it’s going to need to be a more intentional thing.
And God is still going to be slowing shaping me into the woman He’s created me to be, perhaps in a more day-to-day “I will provide” kind of way.

But really. I have everything I could ever want. Absolutely everything. Just so you know this is credible stuff…
Philippians 4:19 (NLT) says, “And this same God who takes care of me will supply all your needs from his glorious riches, which have been given to us in Christ Jesus.”

                                                                           

If you are the praying kind….I would be super grateful if you could pray for a garage sale I have coming up. Yes, I really am asking for prayer about a garage sale. It’s going to be a fund-raiser for my trip to Nicaragua, and I’m really hoping to raise a bit of money from it. So…please pray it goes well and I meet some people and have great conversations through all of it!

Right now I’m at about $400 towards the $10,000 I need to leave in the fall. Please prayerfully consider donating as a one-time or monthly supporter. I could really use prayers on meeting some people who are in a place financially where they can donate a substantial amount.

Thank you so much to my  prayer warriors! You guys are incredible and I can absolutely feel the prayers coming my way  and I know God is going to use y’all to speak His words to me.

Te Amo Con Todo Mi Corazon,

Helenita

This girl is the best reason for being home!!

Trusting is about believing those promises!!

I am always open for prayer requests and praises. I am a big believer in community, and I believe one of the ways God brings people together is through prayer. Lately, a lot of the requests for prayer that I’ve received have been for trust in God. Trusting that He will provide and that He will not let His children down. I think this is something that probably every Christian struggles with every now and again, perhaps more often than that. I know I have! Plenty of times! Honestly, even when He has shown me time and time again that He’s got control and He’s taking care of me.

So basically, we start to doubt God and his abilities. That’s when scripture is in desperate need.

I’ve compiled a nice little selection of some of my favorite verses about trust. Of what He promises us if we trust Him! First, here is a verse about promises:

2 Peter 1:3-4 (The Voice)

“His divine power has given us everything we need to experience life and to reflect God’s true nature through the knowledge of the One who called us by His glory and virtue. Through these things, we have received God’s great and valuable promises, so we might escape the corruption of worldly desires and share in the divine nature.”

So. Take heart. You have received ALL, that means every single one of God’s promises. He is perfect, and He will always fulfill those promises. I know I go on and on about this all the time, but seriously! It’s a big deal. I know I’ve had a lot of experiences where people, as humans, don’t or just can’t make good on their promises. It’s so special when someone cares about you enough to keep to their promises.

Just read these next verses and revel in the amazing love of the equally amazing God that it comes from! I hope a smile starts to spread over your face when you realize there is someone who really cares and really wants to explode, transform, perfect your life.

2 Corinthians 3:4-6 (The Voice)

“This is the kind of confidence we have in and through the Anointed toward our God. Don’t be mistaken; in and of ourselves we know we have little to offer, but any competence or value we have comes from God. Now God has equipped us to be capable servants of the new covenant, not by authority of the written law which only brings death, but by the Spirit who brings life.”

Nahum 1:7 (NIRV)

“The Lord is good. When people are in trouble, they can go to Him for safety. He takes good care of those who trust in Him.”

Psalm 9:10 (LEB)

“And those who know your name will trust in you, for you do not forsake those who seek you, O Yahweh.”

Isaiah 26:3 (ESV)

“You keep him in perfect peace whose mind is stayed on you, because he trusts in you.”

Psalm 37:5-6 (ESV)

“Commit your way to the LORD; trust in Him and He will act. He will bring forth your righteousness as the light, and your justice as the noonday.”

Psalm 62:8 (NLV)

“Trust in Him at all times, O People. Pour out your heart before Him. God is a safe place for us.”

Please, take me up on my offer of prayer requests! I’d love to know what’s goin’ on in all y’alls lives and how I can be lifting you up to Daddy. He likes to share things with me about you guys, what He sees in you and how wonderful you are to Him. Just send me a message on Facebook or e-mail me at haillekrieg@gmail.com

If you could just be praying for me about fund-raising…it’s going kind of slow! I’m at about $300, which I am so thankful to God for helping me raise. However, I’m looking at needing to raise $9,700 more! So prayers would be so appreciated for that. If you can’t help out financially, I absolutely understand and I just appreciate all the encouragement I’ve been getting! I have the best friends and family! And even complete strangers who have just the most precious hearts.

Remember, you can always donate at any time by clicking the Paypal Donate button on the right side of my blog. You can also send cash and checks to:

Haille Krieg
32925 Lyndon St.
Livonia, MI 48154

Also, I would love for you to share this with your friends, family, Facebook, Twitter…whatever you can think of! I love connecting with people who are interested in this, other missionaries, friends of friends, people who just feel led by the Spirit to share encouragement, people I can encourage…anyone. I really…I just love people, ok? 🙂

Thanks for all your continued support and prayers!

Te Amo Con Todo Mi Corazon ❤

Mi Padre in Nicaragua, Juan Carlos!

 

Sometimes, you just need to build a bridge and……….

“Supposing God tells you to do something which is an enormous test to your common sense, what are you going to do?”
–Oswald Chambers “My Utmost for His Highest”

What is your biggest fear?

Heights? Deep water? Birds (shout out to my girl Kacie)?

A lot of times, in order to break ourselves of these fears, we face them, over and over.
You overcome that dry mouth, stomach drop, sweaty, shaking  event many times until you finally feel comfortable. Most likely, that fear will never completely go away, there will always be a little hesitancy, a quick flash back to when things didn’t used to be so easy.
But you have trained yourself to be more confident. You have trained yourself to believe that things will be ok, if only you try it one more time.

So maybe your method of dealing with fears isn’t to….deal with them.
How about physical activities?
Have you ever wanted to be really good at a sport? Or lift bigger weights, or build up your endurance, or run a marathon? 
I watched as my friend Josh spent time every day while we were in Nicaragua, kicking a soccer ball around, and striving to be the best soccer player he could possibly be. He pushed his limits and tried over and over again to do more tricks, kick the ball harder and further, run faster.

The thing is, we all get into habits.

Habits of being afraid of irrational things, habits of sitting around, choosing to go on our computers or watch tv instead of getting up and trying something new, bettering ourselves.

And man, do we get into some dangerous spiritual habits.

I can point my finger first and foremost at myself. If I’m being completely honest, I am the biggest chicken when it comes to putting myself out there, talking to people and sharing what my life is about, who I live for. I am so scared of what people will think, scared that I’m bothering them. I make up so many excuses and rationalize that it’s not what normal people do. It’s so out of the ordinary.

God asks me to do some crazy things. Like leaving the country for a year to live somewhere where I will not get paid, I will actually have to raise support to go there. I’m not going to school, not staying to work until I am rich and successful. Common sense and society tell me that it is foolish. It doesn’t make sense and it’s ridiculous.

To be honest, that FREAKS me out! It makes me want to plant myself right here in Michigan and stay comfortable for the rest of my life, pleasing people.

But see, that is the test.

God is pleased with His daughter, Haille, but he is trying to better her.
He’s trying to see how far I would go just to serve Him and praise His holy name. Even if I go and only impact one person, is it worth it?

That’s when I have to get up, and go. I have to make myself so uncomfortable. Because it is all worth it. I have so many great rewards waiting for me in heaven. I don’t even know what they all are! But I trust my God and His love for me, and that is all that matters. I know that the greatest gift I already have is eternal life with my Abba and it’s going to be better than I can imagine.

So…..what am I going to do when these tests come up? I’m going to GO.

I want to ask you guys to join in this with me. Let’s start a generation of people who are willing to fight past their fears of failure to become warriors against discouragement, hopelessness, sickness, violence, spiritual death…anything we can think of that is of sin.

God has given us so much ability to do more than we believe ourselves capable. 

I’ll close with a little story from Acts chapter 5:

This is after Jesus ascended to heaven and left the disciples with the Holy Spirit. They were planting churches, performing miracles, and spreading the name of God everywhere they went.
The pharisees aren’t happy with them for teaching in God’s  name. They threw them in jail, but God freed them by opening the doors. Of course this made the pharisees furious, and they would’ve killed the disciples, when a man named Gamaliel stood up and talked about a man named Theudas who became someone important and acquired a big following. When he died, his entire movement fell apart. He closes with,

“If this is just another movement arising from human enthusiasm, it will die out soon enough. But then again, if God is in this, you won’t be  able to stop it – unless of course, you’re ready to fight against God!” (Acts 5:38-39, The Voice)

AND

In John 16:33 (NLT) Jesus says:
“I have told you all this so that you may have peace in me. Here on earth you will have many trials and sorrows. But take heart, because I have overcome the world.”

He has already overcome the world!

So GO, live without fear!

                                                                                                                                          

    I’m still really needing support for my trip back to Nicaragua in the fall to minister to kids like Megan here, youth, adults, the elderly…you name it. If they have a beating heart, I’m going to hang out with them 🙂
I’m trying to raise $10,000 to live for a year in beautiful Nicaragua.
If you are in a place where you can and would like to support me financially, please click the Donate Paypal button on the right side of my blog. I appreciate any amount you prayerfully consider to give.

Thanks for you support, in whatever way it is being given!

I love you all 🙂

–Helenita