Friday, September 28, 2007

M o v i n g

I have decided, after little consideration, to switch a Wordpress blog and discontinue this one. Please go to ihopbecky.wordpress.com for all future Becky Hill blogging. Blessings and the grace of the Lord be with you all!

Sunday, September 16, 2007

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Christology 12



I am going to be starting what I am calling a "c12." For me, this is totally exciting... well more than exciting. Many posts ago, I commented on my experiential discovery of how the revelation of Christ is premier by saying, "There is a power on the prayerful study of the Person of Christ that really does supernaturally exhilarate and strengthen the heart." Amanda Beattie is actually starting a similar group as well, which I might look into for ideas (see Word of Life Bible Study).

I am trying to hash out how I will do this thing, so really this post is essentially to ask for suggestions. So please, comment with your thoughts about what this could/should look like. Basically, what would you do if you wanted to study the highest revelation of God (Jesus Christ) over a long period of time with a group of people that love the subject.

In the meantime, here's a great quote from Pere Jacques, a Jesus fanatic:

We cannot see Christ and remain as we are. We cannot exchange a look with Christ and not be overcome with a total conversion.

This is what I would like to help you to do: to lead you to Christ so that you might, in the silence of retreat, exchange that glance with Christ; a true, living, and real contact that is not the fruit of the imagination, but rather reaches the heart of things as they are. Christ is a living being who is here, there, and everywhere. To see Christ, we must become poor. Riches drag down the soul. One has to become small in stature, that is, detached from the goods of this world, for such riches foster earthly desires. As you are well aware, Saint john of the Cross warns: "Whether one is attached to earth by a silken thread or a old cable, the result is the same: one cannot soar to the heights." One attachment, however small, that violates obedience, poverty, or chastity, and draws us away from God, may be nothing by worldly standards. Nonetheless, that attachment comes between God and ourselves and impedes our ascent toward sanctity.

Christ is all in all. Through him, all is made; through him all comes to us. Therefore, we must see Christ. I stress this point; we must truly see Christ. I sometimes think that we should define the term Christian as "Someone who has seen Christ." There are only a few genuine Christians, because only a few souls have seen Christ. Countless baptized persons, including even ordained priests and professed religious, remain lukewarm in spirit. Such tepid souls do not pulsate with life nor are they enthusiastic enough to give their life for Christ. They have never seen Christ. Their knowledge of the Lord is verbal, not vital. However, we must strive to love Christ passionately and prepare to see him face to face when we die. The soul that neither misses Christ now nor longs to see him at life's end does not honestly love him. To make such a claim would be a lie. When we love someone, we long to see that person, even at the risk of death. All the more so, given him limitless love, we want to long to see Christ face to face.

Let us now turn our attention to Saint John of the Cross. In his splendid writings, he explains how the person who loves God gradually pierces the veil that keeps us from seeing the Lord. Eventually, the moment comes, when that veil is totally sundered and the person goes forth to our beloved God. When I speak of seeing Christ, I mean the mysterious, misty vision of faith, which is the fruit of the prayer of simple regard and not the result of any activity on our part. I mean the experience of being "Swept up" by Christ himself. When we have diligently devoted ourselves to charity, obedience, service, and self-control, and when Christ has seen the constancy of our commitment, then he himself comes to us. On that day, we become enveloped in the divine being and ecstatically discover the presence of God himself. We know that the Lord is there. He speaks to us, but not in words. The human heart communicates directly with the heart of Christ in the blissful adoration of simple regard. This eartfelt vision of Christ compels the soul so to love Christ and so to make him loved that nothing else on earth can inspire greater love than the Lord. Wealth then is as nothing and poverty is prized precisely because is allows us greater intimacy with Christ. NO other comfort, no other countenance and no other solace suffices. Christ alone provides satisfaction.

How glorious is this intimacy with Christ!

Friday, August 31, 2007

The Wasted Life


For three hours today I got to listen and discuss the foundation of night & day prayer, which I like to call 'The Wasted Life.' Stephen Venable is the one who did most of the talking (since he lives and breathes this reality), so here's a snippet from some of his thoughts,

"The testimony of heaven is that Christ is worthy of all glory, honor, and affection. This truth concerning the One that sets the angels aflame stands at the center of night and day prayer and all expressions of love for Him. The beauty of His mercy and majesty begets love in our soul, and we are compelled to abandon ourselves to radical selflessness in order that He might be adored incessantly. We must find our strength and resolve outside of ourselves and within the consuming beauty of Jesus Christ - He is our portion and reward. (Numbers 18:20) All that is lovely and comely originates in Him, the perfection and consummation of all beauty. When His ineffable worth strikes us, no sacrifice seems unreasonable.

"Such vehement love appears to be a waste to others only because they cannot perceive His beauty. In stark contrast to the awe-struck angels and enraptured saints in the cloud of witnesses, on the earth Christ is largely forgotten, mocked, ignored, and despised. When He is revealed and all eyes see His splendor, the wisdom of devotion will be vindicated. Yet now, in this age of waiting, to throw our lives into expressions of love that cause us natural loss appear absurd on the surface...

"As we give ourselves to this occupation [night and day prayer], there are no eyes watching our act of service and no one to applaud our devotion. It is in relative silence and hiddenness that we spend our strength in groaning and tears, loving One we cannot see and pleading to Him on behalf of those we will never know and who will never repay us. As in the story of Jesus' anointing [by Mary of Bethany], the Church looks upon the offering of love in night and day worship and views it as a misuse of time, money, and resource. The day will come when tens of thousands will be gathered to Kansas City and the cities of the earth and many will be indignant because all of those people could be sharing the gospel, feeding the poor, or training other believers...

"As stated above, the testimony of heaven is that God is worthy of incessant adoration and ceaseless praise. Night and day prayer is inevitable when the saints on the earth acquire a living, consuming conviction of His immeasurable worth."

Sunday, August 26, 2007

How I Miss Those Hood Boys...

video

Now that I've moved out, my life is sadly a little less eventful due to the lack of small children living in my home.

Thursday, August 23, 2007

Coolster!


I got a sweet ride today--a blue moped! It has a totally rad name. Prepare yourself for... the Coolster F5 *flash!*

With the gas prices the way they are and my budget the way it is, I have been looking to get a moped for some time now. The past two weeks have been more of a intentional effort than usual though, with the start of my rigorous school schedule and all that entails, so I've become well acquainted with eBay and Craig's List. After much searching and a little heart ache with deals that fell through, I finally got the seemingly perfect one.

This great bike is produced by the ChuanL Motorcycle Company in China, which produces over 300,000 motorbikes a year, and is a very reliable form of everyday transportation with very low maintenance costs. Oil changes are more frequent in these bikes than the family car. And the drive belt may wear out after a few thousand miles of use. But compared to the cost of driving a car, these bikes are very cheap to own and operate. The Coolster is a large moped/motor scooter at 71 inches, which compares against many mopeds at just 48-53 inches. A trunk kit is included with the Coolster F5 as well, which is a $59-99 option on many brands. This little moped gets anywhere from 70-100 mpg, and it's only a 50cc, which means I don't have to have a license or insurance to ride it around Missouri. It goes up to 50 mph (that's really fast for a 50cc), so it's perfect for my life within the context of IHOP.

From now on I'll be zipping around with my awesome Chinese scooter, so watch out!

Friday, August 17, 2007

Leadership


This week was the first week of my third year at FSM, and I am very excited about it. The Lord has definitely set me on a different path than I envisioned at the first, but I am so thankful for it! This year, I will be having a more "hands on" experience with my training, and this basically means a lot more work (the good kind).

One of the main aspects that I will be learning this year is leadership, which has been a common theme throughout my life. People have told me ever since I was young, "Becky, you are such a leader," and for some reason I always agreed. Much of what I based my assessment on has been my personality type, since I have a natural ease of speaking and interacting with people, as well as the ability to take charge in necessary situations.

However, since I have been at IHOP, I have had quite the wake up call as to what leadership actually means and looks like. Serving in a house of prayer is like taking a crash-course in leadership, and I've been kind of thrown into areas of leadership that I never expected to have. With most institutions, you only have to see those you're leading and those over you once or twice a week. With a house of prayer, you see them day after night after day, rain or shine, grumpy or chipper. Though I am so grateful to the Lord and those around me for the positions I've been given, I am not grateful because I like to lead but because I need the purifying fire it brings to get the level of sanctification I'm shooting for.

Because I'm in the Worship and Prayer Program at FSM, I'm getting training to lead a house of prayer for myself. That's right... I'm being trained to be the Mike Bickle of an IHOP of my own. The thought of this used to be exciting to me, but now it is quite sobering if not terrifying. The level of humility and perseverance it takes to establish, sustain, and further an IHOP is far, far beyond language, and I have felt the burden of it in just the one year of lower-level leadership. It is very painful to lead, but if the pain is brought to the Lord, it is redemptive.

How is it painful? Leading takes up your time, emotional energy, prayer, resources, and much freedom (whether you do it in a right or wrong way). Without the Lord's grace and sustaining hand, there is no possibility of doing it the right/redemptive way. Is it always painful? Yes. Jesus Himself is the ultimate and final Leader, and He showed us that the only way to lead is through humility, which usually means laying down what you think is best for the sake of others. He, being God incarnate, laid down His status and His very life in order to bring us to glory.

Throughout Scripture, every leader that is committed to following the Lord feels the weight of their own weakness and yet is commissioned to lead anyway. How is it that a perfect God would use very imperfect vessels to fulfill His perfect will? It is not simply that He uses people that are imperfect to begin with and then do better. Actually, as leaders mature (both Biblically and in my experience), they are ever-increasingly aware of their weakness.

How then is leadership redemptive? Paul is one of the ultimate windows into this reality, in that the Lord made it very clear to him saying, "My grace is sufficient for you, for power is perfected in weakness." Who is this God who uses our weakness to not only show how perfect His leadership is but also to actually perfect us?

As I grow and have more responsibilities given to me, I have many times felt like Moses (though probably not to the same extreme) in Numbers 11. The key phrase is at the end of the prayer when Moses reveals the source of his anguish, "...do not let me see my wretchedness." However, the Lord is teaching me not to stop at the place of my own wretchedness but to persevere unto redemption. Humility is more than a mindset, it's a commitment.

All that to say, please pray for me as I delve more into the leadership of a house of prayer this year!