November 9, 2014
Have you ever felt like every decision you make the Lord completely agrees with? Or maybe the opposite? I find it amazing how the Lord leads and directs us with such a high level of patience and grace. While we all operate under God’s grace, wouldn’t it be amazing if we could tap in to a deeper well of grace and keep a steady flow going?
While in Nicaragua, our US Team – (Scott, Yuri, Greg, Luke, and myself) found ourselves, together with our Nica team – (Ixil Borter Torrez, Jairo Miranda, Pablo Altamirano, Earl Rutledge, and others I am probably missing) being caught up in this flow of grace and it was awesome!
The Nica Young Leaders Retreat held at Bigfoot Hostel in Las Penitas, Leon was a great start to this style of event. Scott and others in our group have held many youth events and conferences over the years, many of them impactful and captivating large audiences. This retreat was designed to be smaller in hopes that the group would be able to engage on a personal level with the Lord and each other.
I, for one, found myself connecting with the Lord in a way that I had not experienced before. It was re-igniting to see the Lord give purpose and vision to the hearts of the youth. The young leaders who were with us became vulnerable and shared their thoughts with each other in small group settings. Throughout the 4-day event several of these young adults had incredible life changing experiences and were able to leave knowing exactly what their life’s callings were.
It was amazing to be a part of this. Many tears were shed, laughter was heard, and the local Nica hospitality team at the hostel we stayed in experienced a good dose of the presence of the Lord. We stayed right on the beach amid the sound of crashing waves: so refreshing to my surfer’s heart.
For my part of this week I felt the Lord with me the entire time. During times of leading worship, with a good amount of Spanglish coming out of my voice while we switched from English to Spanish in praise, I was able to share with the group what I felt the Lord has been teaching me recently: identity or who the Lord calls us to be. Shame holds us down and keeps us from growing closer to the Lord and closer with those around us: our family and friends.
There is a huge difference between holy conviction and shame. I wrote a spoken word regarding this subject with a few lines from my good friend, Yuri. I hope you enjoy and that it speaks into your life as well. Thank you for your prayers and support! Click Here for Photos that are available on my facebook page.
Holy conviction vs shame
Conviction leads to freedom
Shame leads to condemnation
After feeling conviction we walk away feeling like there is a clear goal
Shame makes us feel like we're trapped and have nowhere to go
Conviction brings hope it makes me feel like I have a future
Shame bring thoughts of despair like I'm never going to catch a breath of fresh air
Conviction brings us closer to the Lord
Shame makes us feel like we never knew him
Conviction brings clarity and addresses one thing at a time
Shame brings confusion and makes you feel like you can't do anything right
It was definitely conviction when you when know you have nothing to fear
But shame leaves you in a panic wanting to go run and hide
Conviction puts away all thoughts that I am unworthy
Shame takes everything holy and distorts it beyond recognition
Conviction is a result of righteous living
Shame takes away everything right and can lead you to the edge of your life
Conviction shows us who we were created to be and give us a name
Shame makes us run away from our identity completely unable to tame
Conviction collects our thoughts with perspective
Shame respects no one and scatters wisdom from logic
It comes down to being real with who we are
Christ named us the bride, His bride
There is no reason to hide
Christ's blood was shed, the battle is won