Few things change a person’s perspective more than participating in a mission’s trip. We live out of our comfort zone while sharing life with strangers. Traveling, we experience a new culture, environment and values with those around us. Yet most valuable is the self-examination that tends to happen every time.
Those things we take for granted gain value. Our possessions become as clutter. Our selfish ambition becomes disgust. We view ourselves through unfiltered glasses and are compelled to have a heart change.
Although I didn’t leave the country or even my county I have gained a whole new perspective right here in the Coachella Valley. God used some everyday things to change my bruised heart.
My perspective on forgiveness changed.
My pastor was teaching on iniquity recently. He shared one of the definitions was gross injustice. Of course I began dissecting the words.
· Gross means: disgusting, unpleasant, rude, foul, dreadful, vulgar and nauseating.
· Injustice means: unfairness, a wrong, prejudice, unjust act, violation.
I felt the Lord say to me that Sunday, “Not only did I die for your sin but as long as you hold onto hurts (gross injustices) from your past, you stand before the cross and don’t believe that I died for those things also. It’s as if you are calling me a liar and don’t believe me.”
My perspective on false humility changed.
During a mid-week service titled Heart and Soul, we broke up into groups of 2 or 3 and prayed together. A strong young man of faith prayed for me. Chris took up most of the time that was allotted yet it shattered a stronghold I have struggled with.
While he was praying for me I wanted to open my eyes and ask him WHO he was praying about. I had never heard someone pray like that for me. As Proverbs 16:24 says, “Kind words are like honey, sweet to the soul and healthy for the body. His healing words trickled down into my soul to an area that had been damaged. When he was done I said to him, “I don’t know who that woman is that you just prayed for but she sure sounds awesome. I’d love to meet her.” He smiled as I fought back tears.
My perspective on my church changed.
This week after church Don and I were standing outside talking with a new couple that was visiting. They live in the valley and are looking for a church. He asked Don and me what we liked about the church and we answered. But then he asked another question: Are you growing here? In unison Don and I both said absolutely!
My perspective on grumbling changed.
That afternoon during a discipleship class, we discussed the values, core beliefs and structure of Champion Life Church. I had to fight hard to stop comparing my former church to my new one. Because all it did it churn up old hurts on a new day.
Because of the many years I was at my previous church, I’ve battled this comparison game for a while. During class I wrote down a quick note. I fed my flesh at my old church while now I feed my spirit. And as long as I keep pondering, comparing, complaining and putting down my old church I continue to feed my flesh.
I feel like the windows of heaven opened for me to see things through God’s eyes:
- Forgive and let things go.
- False humility is pride.
- Go where you grow.
- Walk in the Spirit.
Thank you Lord that you took me on a two week mission trip right here in my own area to see myself through your lens. Continue to change my heart. Bless those that you use to speak into my life. Thank you Don Rausch. Thanks to Champion Life and Pastor’s Eddie and Tammy. Thank you Chris Fling. Thank you Kathy Collard Miller. Thank you Gabe & Shawnine. But mostly, thank you Lord that you never give up on me and gently take me where I need to be.