Sunday, August 29, 2010

Inspiration From the Week

A beautiful song by Kari Jobe that I can't seem to get out of my head (and that's okay).

Hebrews 11:1, 8-10
"Now faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see.
By faith Abraham, when called to go to a place he would later receive as his inheritance, obeyed and went, even though he did not know where he was going. By faith he made his home in the promised land like a stranger in a foreign country; he lived in tents, as did Isaac and Jacob, who were heirs with him of the same promise. For he was looking forward to the city with foundations, whose architect and builder is God."
(Read that again, slowly)
These two:
They've been an incredible source of encouragement to me this week. Love you both so much. 

A Little About Week #1

What a week it's been! Today marked the completion of my first week in Gettysburg.
Here are just a couple things that have really stuck out to me this first week of GMC:
This water bottle has caused me to stay so hydrated this week. Good choice, Anne!

1) I am going to spend A LOT of money on journals this year. I feel like I'm writing all day, every day. It's great. If you're not journaling about daily life and what the Lord is doing in you and speaking to you, give it a try. Today as I prayed about some exciting things God has placed before me, I referred back to the past couple days' journal entries and was absolutely amazed seeing, in writing, how He's been preparing me and speaking to me even before I began to sense His leading about these dreams He's giving me. (Sorry for the vague-ness... haha I'll write more about this later)

Covered Bridge near Battlefields
2) I never realized I could love a drive so much. Each morning as I head out to the church for prayer, class, and GMC activities the beauty of the area grabs a hold of my heart all over again. I love it. There is one sweet old church I pass that is preceded by the most picturesque field of purple wildflowers. I look back in my rearview mirror every day as I approach the field to check if anyone is behind me. One of these days I'll stop to get a picture to show you all. Ah! I smile just thinking about it! It's so perfect.

Devil's Den @ The Gettysburg Battlefields
Yesterday was my day off! Friday serves as the GMC sabbath and it was a completely wonderful day. I knew I needed to spend the day praying about a few things the Lord was laying on my heart (that same vague thing in the beginning of the post), so I decided I'd do that primarily at Devil's Den on the historic Gettysburg Battlefields. I know, I know, it sounds a little strange to go to a place called Devil's Den to pray and spend time in the Word. That's why I am now officially referring to Devil's Den as "Jesus's Living Room". (He he he, creative, eh? :) So, I ran a few errands, picked up a sub to go, and found my way out to the Battlefields (without a GPS ;). The weather was gorgeous and after navigating from my handy little map to "Jesus's Living Room", I climbed some steps and found the perfect boulder about 30 feet up to eat lunch on. Lunch wasgreat and my time writing, reading, and praying was even better. The Lord made Hebrews 11 so real to me, taught me, challenged and encouraged me as I sat on that rock enjoying the beauty of my surroundings. Ah, it was so refreshing. In the evening I was blessed again to spend some time with my home openers, eat a delicious dinner, and just reflect on the wonderful people and opportunities God has so graciously brought into my life.

GMC girls.
I'm getting pretty tired right now and I feel like there is so much I could share tonight. I had a great evening in the toddler nursery followed by a trip to the Lincoln Diner with our director's sweet wife, Rachel, and GMC girls. I am experiencing what it means to follow the Lord like never before and my heart is full of joy and dreams that could only come from His hands. He is so good!

Ah, so. There's a little update. Not too much organization or purpose.. just a few things going around my mind tonight. Hope you've all had a great week!

Another blessing: Lady Grey Tea from Mrs. Benkovich :)

Monday, August 23, 2010

First Weekend at GMC

Mom and I a few hours before leaving
It's been an incredible and very quick day and a half since I arrived here in Gettysburg. I've met some truly wonderful people already, including my GMC group, my home opener family, and many members of the church. Everyone has been so warm and welcoming and they've really made me feel at home. The past two days have really been a blast. It's hard to put into words the peace in my heart about being here. It's so funny to think that I place I told God I wasn't right for already has such a tight grip on my heart. I mentioned in my other post that within 20 minutes of arriving at Freedom Valley Worship Center this past March I felt right at home. Not just comfortable, but at home. That feeling continues to grow in me this weekend with every passing hour, conversation, and prayer. God is so good.

It's been a great weekend of spending time with my family, my home opener's, my team (including our director and his wife), the church body, and of course, the Lord. I feel so blessed already to have met everyone I've met and I am really excited to build friendships and minister with everyone here.

A portion of my room here, so cute.
Last night after moving in and meeting my host family, my parents and I headed out to East Berlin for a cookout at the home of a family from the church. It was a really fun time with all the students, parents, and home openers, made complete with uplifting, God-praising conversation and great food. Later the group of students headed out to Bruster's while the parents met with Lance (our director). My parents would head home from there for the night and I would go back to my home opener's. After leaving Bruster's and traveling through Hanover I got really lost. I made a stop at sheetz to ask for directions (that didn't exactly work out) and later a stop at Giant where the WONDERFUL customer service girl gave me some awesome directions to get home. I thanked her as if she saved my life haha. I was just so thankful after being lost for so long. It was dark and I was cell phone-less and alone, so things weren't looking great for me until that stop at Giant. But long story short: I got home! I'm not writing this from a curb in Hanover or the trunk of my car! :) Atleast I got to know the local roads well! (Oh, I also locked myself in my room later that night. My home opener's and I got a good laugh from that one though!)

This morning (Sunday), I met my family at Freedom Valley for the 11:15 service. It was really nice to be with them and allow them to see the church I'll be at this whole year. Service was excellent. I was so happy to see some familar faces from the day before and also meet new people. Worship was fantastic, our team was introduced and prayed for, and the sermon was very challenging and eye opening. It was about influence and with every note I felt God was preparing my heart more and more for this upcoming year.

After hanging around the church for a little while, my family head out for lunch then onto Walmart for a few supplies I needed. We said a tearful (but still joyful) goodbye, hugged a lot, and I was on my way. I am endlessly grateful for my parent's support through all this. They're the best and have taught me so much about courage and the beauty of following the Lord, wherever He leads. Love you guys!

Tonight, my team did some "team building". We traveled to the battlefields, did some fun ice breakers, prayed together, and went out for Rita's. It was really such an enjoyable night and I'm loving spending time with Lance, Rachel, and our team.

Thanks for reading! Most posts will be shorter than this, I hope! I'm so excited about what the Lord is teaching me already and the way He's renewing me and preparing me to follow Him more completely.

Sunday, August 15, 2010

The Background Story

Hi everyone!
Well, this is the first post. My name is Bonnie and in 6 short days I'll be starting my first year of Gettysburg Master's Commission. I hope to use this blog to share with family and friends the adventures, lessons I'm learning, and times of growth that I will experience as I enter into this new season of life.

The Lord first started leading me to apply for Master's Commission somewhere around the start of my 11th grade year. I had always planned to go college and major in psychology the fall after graduating from my High School,Bible Baptist. Occasionally I would add in "If I don't know what school to go to near the end of my senior year, maybe I'll apply for Master's Commission or something." (I'm not sure I really meant it at that point.)

So I kept searching for schools, visiting in person and online, and I couldn't find any school that I truly felt a peace about applying to. Now, I understand that I didn't need a big banner in the sky saying "This is the college for you!" or anything like that, but I am a big believer in the power of Prayer and the importance of being sensitive to God's guidance. As much as I prayed about each school I liked during that year... I knew that those schools weren't right for me just yet. All I wanted was to go where God wanted me to go.
One day, out of curiosity, I looked online at the Master's Commission website and searched for the MC's in my home state. Gettysburg was the first result, only 48 minutes ( I've timed it :) ) from my driveway. I think God flipped some kind of switch in me that day... I've never been able to get Gettysburg Master's Commission off of my heart or mind since then. Little by little, prayer time by prayer time, it became so completely clear to me that this was the place God wanted me to go. I went through times of doubt (a lot of times of doubt, actually) and several times I was overwhelmed by fear and uncertainty about doing something so different than I had initially planned. But God was so good to me. He taught me how to trust Him and reminded me over and over that fear was no reason to not be obedient. God filled me with so much joy as He revealed to me that I was not to doubt or fear or make my own plans anymore... He knows what He's doing and I've learned it is such a blessing to be living in obedience to God.

In December of 2009, my parents and I attended a service for the first time at Freedom Valley Worship Center (the church that runs the Master's Commission Program in Gettysburg). Near the end of March, my Mom and I attended a GMC discover day where we spent the morning with the GMC students and staff, worshiping, learning, and praying. I felt at home within 20 minutes of entering the church. Both of these experiences confirmed more and more that applying to GMC was right. God exceeded my expectations and showed me how much He cares for me. This time was so precious to me, and still is, as I reflected on God's sweet heart and His deep, endless understanding of what I needed to see and experience to know Master's Commission was really right for me.

So, there's a little background for all of you. I know it was long, but thank you for reading. I love to share this story about the life-changing power of the Lord. He has absolutely changed my heart, renewed my mind, and made me so so so excited for ministry. He's taken something I feared and tried to run away from and He's made it the desire of my heart. I know God is already developing in me a heart for Gettysburg and for the people I will encounter during my first year in Gettysburg. I am so looking forward to starting this new adventure and I hope you will be able to share in this experience with me through this blog. :)
Check back often for updates and always feel so welcome to leave comments.

"Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen."
Ephesians 3:20-21