The Power of Paradigms

As one with a motivational gift of “teacher”, I’m always analyzing ideas and, a little like really smart physicists, I like to find ideas that help make sense of many things in life at once…unifying theories if you will. My unifying theories tend to be theological ones as opposed to scientific or even philosophical. In my book, God is what makes everything make sense. That’s still a bit broad though. So, when I hear a truth that helps make sense of life in a broad and profound way, I try grab a hold of it and hopefully integrate it into daily life.

Often times one will hear a teacher/preacher say that something is the key concept to embrace. I’m one, however, who sees nuances and shades as opposed to black and white distinctions. Therefore, I think it’s highly unlikely that anything is the key when it comes to God…who He is…how He moves…the Kingdom of God…etc. In fact, my perspective of God and His Kingdom is that it is so incredibly vast, deep, profound, etc. that while there are certain truths that are probably more foundational than others, we cut ourselves off from further understanding of God and His Kingdom when we decide that we’ve found the key. My feeling is that God does give specific revelation to specific people to study, experience, and share deeply. They become the “equipment distributors” of the Kingdom (“equipping the saints…very similar to the concept of Ephesians 4:11). I find it frustrating, however, that some “equipment distributors” find it necessary to tout their equipment as the most important. Let’s let God decide that and announce that. God is so vast that we need to be celebrating how He’s moving everywhere and in so many ways throughout the earth! We need all his equipment distributors.

This series of 4 teachings by Richard Hays, and American missionary living in Mexico, gives a pretty good overview of “Kingdom keys” that he’s been studying, experiencing and sharing. I say overview because they have a series of in-depth training courses at their church in Mexico that obviously dig much deeper. The keys/paradigms/unifying theories that Richard has been entrusted with are righteousness and identity. I recommended repeated listening to help get the multitude of good points he makes and to be able to experience the power of these paradigms.

He’s speaking in English and it’s translated to French, so it’s also a good practice for learning French or English.

This link will take you to the page on our church’s site where the 4 teachings are.

Freedom Walk

(This post is an excerpt of my daughter Rachel’s Facebook post about her participation in the Freedom Walk in Lancaster County, Pennsylvania a couple of weeks ago)

Around 300 years ago, a religious group of people suffered severe persecution in Switzerland. A certain Lord Ribeaupierre invited those people to come and live in Alsace, France and farm the land. Among his conditions were that the people take a ‘vow of silence’ and refrain from any kind of witnessing or proselytizing. They agreed, moved, and withdrew as religious communities from the outside world. Later, many emigrated to the United States.

This story is about the Anabaptists, who are still around and known as Mennonites, Amish, and Brethren. And strange as it may sound, this is the reason I went to Pennsylvania last week.

Sins committed in the past can be confessed, repented of, and forgiven in the present. God leads individuals and groups today to stand humbly in the place of their ancestors and deal with these sins. This work of reconciliation breaks off generational curse of sin and spiritual strongholds that affect and imprison places today.

A team of people from my church in France flew to Pennsylvania to ask forgiveness for having imposed the ‘vow of silence’ and to intercede (pray for) Lancaster by joining a group of various believers to complete a prayer walk around the perimeter of Lancaster county.

I was invited to join by the leaders of the prayer walk (who are good friends), and to help with translating for the French team!

And it was awesome.

Revival is coming to Lancaster.
Revival is coming to the Amish.

We saw some of the beginning signs of this in the 5 Amish families who prayer walked with us! A few years ago, they were given a supernatural healing ministry and were consequently excommunicated from the Amish church. Now they are a community and call their work Light of Hope Ministries. They see themselves as bridging the gap between the Amish and the rest of the Christian community. I LOVED (lovedlovedloved) being with them, spending time with the children, mixing with another culture, and being challenged by their passionate spirituality and vision.
Read more about them here: http://charismamag.com/articles/index.php?id=17482

Because of the French team and their need for translation, I feel like God has also used this week to give me a second chance – (that I really didn’t deserve – to appreciate the French and the French language. For the last few years, I’ve generally resented speaking French and feeling doomed to substandard communication. Despite what people say, I know just how far from fluency I am! Not only that, but my confidence had gone way down after being away at BFA for two years…

So, knowing that He could, I asked God to help me translate beyond my abilities this week. There were MORE than enough opportunities to serve, and of every variety – French to English/English to French, simultaneous/phrase-by-phrase, informal/formal, one-on-one/group situations… and yes, many times it was easier than I anticipated. God was helping me! I learned several things: first, that I may actually be gifted in translating. Second, I learned better to dismiss the fear of being judged for my mistakes. The fact that the people in the French team all know and love me helped. I had to think about others first, and realize when they weren’t understanding… forcing me to be very NOT self-centered. Not always easy.

I’ve been on a total of eight plane trips this summer, and – what are the odds – been given a window seat every time. I know heaven isn’t really a straight up shoot from earth (more of a parallel realm), and yet, there’s something about that “God’s eye view” that takes my mind outside the box… and I smile at the big screaming deal we think we are.

Do you ever wonder what it would look like to fly over the US on July 4th in the evening? I do.

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