Wednesday, October 29, 2008

October 29

 Man, this morning was a great morning. Our team, and Brazil woke up at 6 30 this morning to go to a prayer meeting, with the elderly people at Central heights church. Amazing people, than after they took us to A & W for breakfest. It was just amazing to connect with people who have gone through life, they are in there 70's-even 90's. They had amazing stories and they just loved on us. I got to pray with them as well. There is something special when older generations and younger generations can just come together to praise God. Just through talking and praying. It was a really cool morning. 

 I know I said my last update would be the last one till I am in Thailand but God has helped me realize something. If you read my very first blog, I talked about how I was walking and these versus of Luke came to mind I had herd earlier that day. 
 Luke 12 verse 24 and Jesus is talking and says "Consider the ravens: they neither sow nor reap, they have neither storehouse nor barn, and yet God feeds them. Of how much more value are you than birds!" Then later in verse 28 Jesus says "But if God so clothes the grass, which is alive in the field today, and tomorrow is thrown into the oven, how much more will he clothe you, O you of little faith." 
 That day was one of my most memorable days on my training. God had never spoken to me so clearly before. For me that message was clear, that I needed to put my trust in God. 
 Then the second week of Trek training, God spoke to me again on the silent retreat. I went back to that scripture in Luke from the first week, I was told Josh, either give me ALL or NOTHING. If your going to trust in me give me all of it, not just little pieces, give me EVERYTHING, SURRENDER TO ME.
 Now 6 weeks later, I have found myself having to put all my trust in Him. I am going to be going on a plane in 2 days, to a country that I am unfamiliar with, don't know how to speak the language, don't know fully what I will be doing, all I know is I am going on a plane on Saturday Morning. And Brazil team, well they don't even know when there going to leave or what they will be doing in the next month. The only real thing I can do, is put my trust in my father, that He has control and his way is good. Now if you connect the two, surrendering and trusting. Well in order to surrender, you have to trust. How can you surrender your all to someone if you don't trust that person. And the opposite, if you trust, than you have to surrender because if you aren't surrendering you are obviously not trusting. That is the theme for me in the last two months, TRUST and SURRENDER. 

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Last Week of Trek Training- Prayer

 map_thailand_ip.gifIt is now October 25th and we are heading out in about 6 days. Time has flown by from the day I was thinking about doing Trek until now and I cant believe it has come this fast. To be honest it still has not hit me, I don't really feel like I am going anywhere. If you guys could just pray for our team as well as Team Germany, Team India and Team Brazil. Now team Brazil really needs a lot of prayer rite now. As of 2 days ago there Visas got rejected. They tried pleading to them at the Brazil embacy in Vancouver but would not budge. The most likely to happen is that they leave early December. The reason being, a tourist Visa for Brazil has a maximum of 6 months. We trust that this is in God's hand and he is doing something in this. God does not operate under time, this just goes to show that we have no control over what happens it is all in the hands of God. 
 I am really excited to see what God has in store for me in Thailand. Pray that God would essentially wreck me. I don't mean physically, I mean spiritually. Humility, strength because it is going to get hard and there are going to be times where I don't want to go anymore this is where I need God's strength to help me and not rely on my own. If I rely on my own strength then things aren't going to go to well. For our team. This is huge, we want to be a solid team so nothing can get in between us because were are going to have a lot of things thrown at us and we need to stay strong in order to cary out our ministry. As well for Thailand, pray for the country that God will truly be shown. It already is, God is doing some cool things in Thailand. In fact Thailand has gone from only 0.5 % Christian to 1.5 % Christian in the last few years which is awesome. God is in charge of this team, so whatever his will is for us pray that it will be done. Thanks so much for your prayers, it is truly needed. Next time I write in this blog will be in Thailand most likely. You are all more than welcome to attend the commisioning service, which is being held at CBC Chapel, On Thursday October 30 at 7 pm untill about 9 pm. Remember, I am only going to another country to share God's love on others because I was called there. You are all doing the same thing but in Vancouver. 

Love you all, God bless

Joshua Olsen

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Trek Training: Week 6

Normally I write about what I have learned from our theme this week. But to be honest at the top of my head I wouldn't be able to tell you what I learned this week. It seems that in the last 6 weeks, I have been just thrown with a lot of stuff, a lot of good stuff, but it is so hard to take in everything we have learned in the last 6 weeks. This week I was in a real time of doubt and distance from God. Some people would say, O that's from the devil. That is evil blah blah, but you know what, most of our suffering or times of separation are usually from God. People would then say O why would God do that if he cared about you so much. Some people don't understand that through suffering God can be showing us mercy through that. Highly unpopular view but it is true. God is our father, suffering molds us into who we are. If we went through life and everything was all good and we didn't have any pain we would turn into spoiled brats. Like those kids from who get everything handed to them. You know the type of people I am talking about. This isn't a new thing, everyone knows the world is screwed up. I think everyone would agree that somewhere along the way something went wrong. I mean people are always writing books on how to be happier, look at Oprah. She is always coming out with a new book on how to be happy. We all know it never works. The only way we can find true meaning and joy is in Christ Jesus. But God never says that we won't suffer, in fact he says we will, following Jesus isn't a less painful life, it is just less lonely. I think back to all the suffering I have had in my life and the result of it has ended in being closer to God. This week, it seemed like I couldn't find God anywhere. I felt so distant from him. I felt like I was just getting into a routine and rather than actually focusing on what matters. I have been thrown at with all these questions that I have been wrestling with and ended up forgetting all about Jesus and what he did. Just the simple illustration of the cross. For example, in the last few weeks for me working out, I have felt that it has become a routine where I don't come prepared and I don't give it all I got because it has just become another thing in my life. I got so use to it, I forgot the actual point of working out. Until the other day, Jordan told me, you need to go hard, don't leave that gym until you cant lift a thing. Just that reminded me, wow I totally forgot about actually working out, like actually giving it all I got. Then today at the gym I was just woken up with a sermon by pastor Matt Chandler. Sometimes you need that. Just a person to come along side and point you back in the rite direction. God just simply reminded me of the cross and about how much God loves us and what he did for us. We get so rapped around certain logistics that we sometimes lose site of the cross. I even questioned is God really a fair God, then this week I just herd a bible verse talking about how Jesus died for us. I have herd it millions of times but there is always new things that God speaks through his word. You know what came to mind. Try asking Jesus if he is fair, the one who died, bled for us, and still said forgive them for they no not what they do, and still shows love to those who are crucifying him, tell that to Jesus, if you think He is an unfair God. He leaves the choice up to us, either we want to be with him or we don't, the choice is in our hands, not anyone else's, we need to stop making excuses for ourselves to keep continuing in our sin. Lets stop pretending for a second and lets be real with one another. Stop and actually think about life for a second. There is so much more to it then money, cars and materials. I mean if that was it how sad is our lives. It is absolutely pointless.
Two weeks now until I go to Thailand. I can tell you I am really excited. It is going to be a hard 7 months though trust me. I know it is not going to be easy, there are going to be times where I feel so far from God. Or I will be just so tired and feel like I cant go anymore. There are going to be times of suffering and pain. There are also going to be times of rejoicing and joy. There are going to be times of fun. But you know what, in it all, God is good. Through it all God will be rite there with me. I know he will never abandon me. Check out this video this is what is all about:

Psalm 94:14, For the Lord will not forsake his people; he will not abandon his heritage.


Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Walking in the spirit

Something I was thinking about today was what made my heart change. Like what was it that made me want to do what is rite. What made me change my thoughts and way of thinking. I remember not to long ago about 2 years trying to be better. I was trying to do the rite things, I wanted to do but I couldn't, my mind couldn't understand, I was not walking with the spirit. PastorSs and teachers are going to teach things from the bible, we are going to read the bible and it is going to tell us to live a certain way, but what makes us want to follow that way. What is it that changes are whole concept on life. I know Jesus has changed the way I think about everything but what makes my heart change what makes it real? Cause I struggled with this in Highschool, I was always asking, How can I do this? Jesus I want to do this but I cant. I was really thinking about this today because I know there are so many christians and I was one of these who believe in God, but was I legitamitly Standing in it. Not if I believed but actually STANDING in it. I know I wasn't, I knew of Jesus, and liked to hang with him when I felt like it, but thats like one of those friends you hang out with when no one wants to do anything, when your bored out of your mind and you have to phone that friend that isn't the popular one. You all know what I am talking about... I know alot of you want to stand in the gospel. Not just know it, but actually stand in it. We try so many things, we try to be better, we will say for example, I am not going to do this anymore, what ever this is, doesnt matter. Then before you know it, your doing it again. Or even if you don't do it again, there is still something missing. You can do so many rite things, so many good things yet be so far from God. There is a scary verse Jesus says that really has got to make us think, 
Luke 13:25- When once the master of the house has risen and shut the door, and you begin to stand outside and knock at the door, saying, ' Lord open to us', then he will answer you, 'I do not know where you come from. 26 Then you will begin to say, we ate and drank in your presence and you taught in our streets. 27 But he will say, I tell you, I do not know where you come from. Depart from me, all you workers of evil!

Is this you, knocking at the door, eating and drinking Jesus presence, but not actually walking with him, or let me put it this way, we can know about your favourite sports athlete. For instance Roberto Luongo, you can know all about his background, all his stats, his wifes name, his kids name, what school he went to etc... You know of him, but he has no idea who you are. And you know about him, but you dont have an actual relationship with him, are you getting me here?... So there is a difference with knowing who Jesus is, and actually standing, walking, in a personal relationship with him. He is inviting us in, but we have to choose weather we want to be in relationship with him. Lets be real here, life is short, and this isn't a scaring tactic, this is real, this is eternity were talking about. There is a difference in believing and standing. Now what makes us stand in Jesus Christ, thats what I wanted to get at. 

1 Corinthians 15:1 - Now I would remind you, brothers, of the gospel I preached to you, which you received, in which you stand. 

SO are you STANDING in the gospel, not do you believe, but standing. The thing that changes are heart, our way of thinking is the holy spirit. 

Acts 1:5 for John baptized with water, but you will be baptized with the Holy Spirit many days from now. 

We were designed to live in the world in the spirit. Through Jesus Christ and the cross the door has been open to the spirit. 

Ephesians 1:17-18 says it all here, 17 that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the father of glory, may give you a spirt of wisdom and of revelation in the knowledge of him, 18 having the eyes of your hearts enlightened, that you may know what is the ope to which he has called you, what are the riches of his glorious inheritance in the saints. 

John 16:13, When the spirit of truth comes, he will guide you into all the truth, for he will not speak on his own authority, but what ever he hears he will speak, and he will declare to you the things that are to come. 

Guys we need to be walking with the holy spirit. Think of it like a wild goose chase. You are chasing the goose all over the place, its quite an adventure. The holy spirit doesn't follow us, we follow the holy spirit. When Jesus left the earth, he gave us the holy spirit. We need to realize that. This doesn't mean we aren't going to sin, were screwed up, sinful people, but the holy spirit will give you the knowledge and understanding. The spirit will change the way you think trust me, well actually don't trust me, but trust the bible, because it says it in the bible. Romans 7:25. Thanks be to God through Jesus Christ our Lord! So then, I myself serve the law of God with my mind, but with my flesh I serve the law of sin.
Do you get this? This is amazing, thanks be to Jesus Christ our Lord, that he died on that cross, so we can be forgiven from all our sins. See because before they were judged according to the law, now we are judged under faith, with grace. See the law shows us what sin is. But once Jesus died on the cross in Matthew 27 it says the curtain of the temple tore into two. This opening up the way of the spirit. Our flesh wants to sin, but the mind serves the law of God, and what do you think makes are minds do that? The spirit. We need to be walking with the spirit. Last thing, do not focus on your sin. Do not dwell on it. I know alot of times I am like, K I am not going to do that anymore, what ever that is, then I end up doing it again. Focus on the spirit, who will lead you on a path of righteousness. As you walk in the spirit, you will see a difference. It is the same power that raised Jesus Christ from the dead! Think about that. Man, that should get you excited. 

Sunday, October 5, 2008

Trek Training: Week 4- The Church

 So this week we learned about the church. In this culture we have our thinking that the church is a building where we go on Sunday's, hear some one speak do some worship then peace out. In some church's even now a days you have to even dress a certain way, in some church's if you wear a hat, a due rag or a bandanna then you have defiled God. Which is not true. Now you have the legalist church's where there are alot of rules, cant do this, cant do that, dress like this, talk like this, be a fake pretty much, it can be a very detrimental thing. Then you have church's that are really heavy grace, which is good and its true God has alot of grace but people take advantage of that and just have the attitude that I can do whatever I want because God will forgive me. Now Romans 6:1 - What shall we say then, are we to continue in sin so that grace may abound? By no means! 
 The church has a bad rep behind it but thats our fault. Acts 17:24- The God who made the world and everything in it, being Lord of heaven and earth, does not live in temples made by man.
 We find two places in 1 Corinthians where we are told what God's temple is. 1 Corinthians 3:16- Do you not know that you are Gods temple and that Gods spirit dwells in you.
 1 Corinthians 6:19- Or do you not know that your body is a temple of the holy spirit, with whom you have from God.
 I think the bible is pretty clear on where God's temple is. We are the church as believers. It is not some building made by man. Alot of people believe that because they walk into this building and think they are all good with God, stepping into a building is going to make them rite with God. Now Hebrews 3:6 goes on to say that we are his house. So we are the church, not a building. We are God's home, God's home is a group of people. It is an invitation going out from God almighty to come inside is home, to find rest, to drink, to be fed. God is standing by the door asking us to come in. And hopefully once we start to understand that more we can start meeting groups of believers at peoples houses for small group. Grow and learn with God together. Church is not just a Sunday thing. Its an everyday thing or as my bro's Kevin and Jordan would say, a 3-6-5 thing. 
 I want to also talk about how important the church is to God. The church is referred to as the Bride of Christ. First and for most, God sacrificed his son for the Church. If we are the church and Jesus died for our sins then he died for the church. That is how much God loves the church. 
 Ephesians 5:25- Husbands love your wives as Christ loves the church and gave himself up for her.
 So God loves the church and so should we. Before I write any more on the church something we have to realize and I include myself is, the church is NOT ABOUT ME. I emphasize that because the way our culture is, we can be very selfish people, the Church is about Jesus not us. On that note alot of people complain about the church. I would agree that some church's need to change and may be doing a poor job. Reason's being, could have poor doctrine, arent missional. It is important for church's to be missional, going out into the community, that is what God commands us to do, we hear the message, we live it out and bring it into the community. But there are alot of great church's out there that people like to rag on. The reason being there is something we don't like about it. Such as, I don't like that type of worship style, I don't like the style of the preacher, I don't like this I don't like that alot of Wah, wah, wah, complaining. Again thinking the church is about us. Now this is not new. When God was leading the Israelites from the egyptians the Israelites did not want to rest, God was inviting them but they didn't want accept his invitation so God lets them wonder in the desert and even then God provided for them, feading them, literaly birds falling from the sky for them to eat, bread etc... They just could not see God blessing them there hearts were so hardened and they went on complaining as they eat, not much has changed.  If it is that big of a deal for you then switch church's. Now I know this feeling of being angry with the church at times. But just realize like no marriage is perfect, neither is the church. But we all have one common thing, we all love Jesus. That is the great thing about church, all around the world no matter what language you speak there is a sense of connection because of the spirit and the fact we all love Jesus. I love it. I mean you can just go up to another christian and give him or her a big hug and it would be fine but if you went on the bus and gave some random stranger a hug, he would first think your high, then probably knock you in the face. Church's aren't perfect, if you ever find one that is please tell me, the only perfect church is in heaven. Instead of complaining about certain church's and gossiping about them, you can make an attempt to do better in the church. Because yeah we can complain all we want about how we want change, if so, do something about it. Get involved in a church, make a difference in the church. I know alot of people who claim to be Christians but aren't actively involved in a church community. And then guess who are the ones actively complaining about the church, the ones who aren't involved. I encourage you to get plugged into a church, start going to home groups, serve in your church's. Trust me there are always open positions for people to serve in the church. Also find a church that is suitable for you. Today I went to Mars Hill Church in Seattle. I love the work God is doing through Pastor Mark Driscoll. He started a church in Seattle and its a very modern church. Rite in the city. We need church's in the city. We need Christians in the city. Alot of Christians like to run off in there little communities, or something that I have seen alot of christians in Abbotsford, not saying that we dont need christians in Abby, but we need alot more in the city of Vancouver, lets be in the world but not of it. We need more Christians in the city. Anyway, Mars Hill is a very modern church, it has electric guitars, drums and louder music then we are use to in church. As I looked around it was so awesome to see College students, people my age fill up the building. I know when I go to church and I look around I mostly see older people or families. Rarely do I see people my age going to church. I pray we will start seeing church's rise up in Vancouver where we can see church full of college students. I actually deleated alot of what I wrote on this note, the reason being I caught myself describing a church that I want and think should be like. Again thinking church is all about me. Perfect example on seing how we think about church. You know what, it doesn't matter what music is playing, just as long as its always about Jesus, thats all it should be about, Jesus, he is are main focus, and what I wrote is I hope to see more modern church's rising up, which I think would be sweet, thats what would be ideal for me, but if I don't find a church like that in my area, I am not going to decide not to go to church, and detach myself from that church. Just remember church is all about Jesus. I am so excited to see the future of God's church, he is doing some amazing things in the church that are really exciting, so get involved, get plugged in and love the church. This is what God has put on my heart from this week and what I have learned, this week we are going to be talking about spiritual authority, should be fun. A very touchy topic for alot of Christians, we don't really hear alot of preaching about this in church because well some people may get freaked out and run, but the spiritual realm is real, it is among us, and I am excited to learn about that this week. Thanks for taking the time to read my blog, please continue praying, I appreciate all the prayers that I am getting.