MOUNTAIN HAVEN- MINISTRY AT A GLANCE
Financials: Monthly Revenue Required: $7,100.00 and Monthly Revenue Received: $4,607.00 Remaining Need: $2,493.00
If you feel led to give please do, all our services are donation based and we don’t turn any person away due to inability to pay. All donations are used for direct service costs associated with running Mountain Haven. None of the donations are used for staffing needs, so your donations really go a long way. We know God will continue to provide.
Current Ministry/ Ranch Projects: The 2nd annual Women’s Awakening weekend is coming up August 4-6, please look out for the flier and think about registering. Space is open to 5 women. It is a time of adventure, awakening, laughter and fun.
Something Interesting or Unexpected that Happened Last Month: June brought us Kaisha’s 13th birthday, the end of school, and registration and testing into a new private school for the girls.
Top Prayer Requests: Pray that becoming a new creation isn’t something we wait on, but rather that it is something we contend for. Pray for tangible and lasting change for all of us, in ways that matter.
Drawing Near to God
Newsletter June 2017
Augustine wrote in Confessions in A.D. 400, “How can you draw close to God when you are far from your own self?” Often we see God as a mythical, mystical, untouchable, sovereign creator who is somewhere “out there”. We mix up doing the things of God like serving, worshipping, reading the sacred scriptures, and praying, as being close to God. I believe this is one of the great travesties of today. We are out of touch with ourselves, but busy, busy, busy with things that involve service of God. We balk at self knowledge because it feels hedonistic and self-serving, and yet we are living out many unwritten narratives of our upbringing or culture without so much as an acknowledgement that these ways of living may not actually reflect anything of Christ.
Where this comes into play is in the realm of emotions. There are virtually hundreds of emotions that we feel; they are there to give us information, to compel us to action Because of the varying range of emotions, and the nuances of how they operate, many people spend their life suppressing, or ignoring emotions that are trying to tell them something. We spend time talking ourselves out of anger because we are worried about holding a grudge; but we then overlook destructive and harmful behavior from another person. We tell ourselves about loving our enemies and blessing those who curse us, and ignore other biblical descriptions that tell us to speak truth in love, or to look at people for the fruit of change. We misunderstand reconciliation, which requires mutuality, and instead lay ourselves on the altar of defeat in a relationship because we have gotten used to playing the role of the martyr. We never ask ourselves if God is speaking to us in the “feeling” realm: the realm that he actually created. That He may be trying to jar something loose or bring something to our attention, but because of our fear that emotions should not be indulged, and our fixed pattern of living, we stay stuck usually somewhere in our family of origin experiences and damaging belief systems.
Emotions such as contempt, rage, disgust, vengeance, fright, euphoria, terror, amazement, surprise, shame, remorse and guilt are but a few of the experiences that we face. When we aim to know ourselves, aim to draw near to our creator; we aim to pay attention to those feelings inside us. If vengeance is popping up, and we just try to use a mantra like “just forgive”, we are ignoring a plea inside of us for justice. We are ignoring an opportunity for change, an action that we may engage in that is unexpected. Perhaps a course different than ignoring, suppressing and not confronting the person who hurt you is in order. If fear is coming up in your marriage, and you ignore it for too long, you find that later on you are spilling your anger all over the place on your spouse in undeserving and unkind ways, all because you ignored the very real emotion of fear that was compelling you to action. If feeling small and alone comes up for you a lot, and you try to self help yourself, talk positive, don’t speak negative, you may be missing an opportunity to connect with another person who feels small and alone and could be encouraged through your vulnerability. If disdain towards a certain person is coming up over and over for you, it might be an opportunity to learn to speak truth, to step outside of your norm of suppression and ignoring for the sake of peace making.
Self knowledge is a gateway to drawing nearer to God. It is a difficult path of undoing yourself from the inside out and being remade. Its challenging yourself to contend for the faith, move from a new level of growth to the next. Surrender and prayer are vital parts of this drawing near, but I think all too often we have ignored our emotions and chalked them up to sin, or “things” to be controlled and ignored without paying attention to how they are leaking out all over the place, despite our best efforts. Many of these emotions and emotional patterns we learned in our family of origin. Patterns such as peacemaking, not confronting, holding things in, using spiritual language to cover pain, running rampant with emotional outbursts, getting stuck, indulging emotions, being strong, being weak, staying stuck, and not growing; to name a few.
Aim to draw near to God, to understand the new creation that is promised to you when you engage with a Holy creator and a suffering savior. Status quo probably won’t do it for you anymore, holding tight to old beliefs, values, and ways of being may be exactly why you are stuck. Dig deep today to know yourself to become wise by exploring yourself more intentionally and knowing God more deeply. You will be surprised how interconnected those two ideas are; but most importantly how freeing it feels to acknowledge and recognize your entrenched belief systems about emotions, feeling, expressing yourself, others expressing themselves; and how challenging those belief systems will bring you a deeper level of freedom.