Tag Archives: World Race

Do Not Support Us. We Cannot Make A Difference. Part 1.

These are the days of Elijah, declaring the word of the Lord. . .

We cannot do this. I know I cannot do this. I look around at my messy apartment, the yoga DVDs that barely get used, and the fridge that should probably hold some healthier eating options. I have been meaning to change. I have been meaning to keep a clean house, work out more, and eat better. However, I find it hard to make a change in my own life. And then I wonder, if I cannot even change my own life for the better how do I expect to help change lives around the world.

James and I cannot make a difference. Our Squad cannot make a difference. Do not support us.

We cannot make a difference in this big wide world. When we go out to these 11 countries we will be as one rain drop in the ocean. I repeat one more time, WE cannot make a difference. And we are perfectly okay with that. When you support us, you are not really supporting us, you are supporting the work that He is doing.

img-resize

I have been fearful lately. I have been downtrodden. I have been asked some hard questions from those who have considered supporting us. And as we struggled to answer some of them we realized that these hard questions are good. However, I look back and worry that I did not answer them as well as I should have.

Our mighty God, in all of His loving wisdom, knows what I am feeling. During the past three weeks He has filled my days with Bible stories, scripture, and blogs that have lifted me up during the times I need it most.

So with confidence I can tell you that God will make a difference in this world through us and our team. As we go into these countries we do not go alone. One of the ways we will not be alone is that when we reach our destinations we will be meeting with churches and local organizations that are doing God’s great work and who will be continuing that great work when we leave. We will work with them to build, care for, love, and evangelize.

But more importantly, we go with God and with His Spirit. Jesus gave a command to his disciples back in the day, and I believe that command still stands for us now “ Go then and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them into the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, Teaching them to observe everything that I have commanded you, and behold, I am with you always to the very end of the age. Amen.” Matthew 28:19-20

One of the great encouragements that God has given me lately is that we are learning from Elijah during Youth Group the last couple of weeks. The first story we discussed is when Elijah went up against 450 of Baal’s prophets. They built altars and cried out to their god/God to provide the fire.

Elijah was outnumbered and alone. He had no escape plan, no plan B. This was it and as he had people dump three rounds of water onto his altar he knew that he could not make a difference. Elijah, a mighty Bible character, was not going to make a difference. The rules stated that he could not set fire to his offering, and after having three rounds of water poured on his alter, he was not going to get that bad-boy started without a flame thrower. No one should support Elijah in this story. He was helpless.

However, the story tells us that Elijah was commanded by God to do this. So he did it. And guess what? Elijah might be helpless, but the God we serve is not. Our God sent down a mighty fire that consumed not only the offering but the whole altar.

HOW AMAZING! HOW AWESOME! ARE YOU NOT ENTERTAINED!?!?! 

I cannot make a difference. I cannot set a blaze that consumes. All I can do is carry my small candle and go.God will be the one to make the difference and I am excited to watch what He is doing for His people all over the world. James and I both truly feel that God has given us this opportunity, and when God commands He will truly do great things through us.

___________________________________________________________________

A big thank you to everyone who has supported “us” (aka God’s work) so far!! If you have any hard questions you would like to ask us feel free to contact us and we will try to answer them! Please pray for us now as we prepare and keep us in your prayers as we go out to be God’s hands and feet. If you can, please prayerfully consider supporting the work we will be doing for these 11 months.

We are getting really excited to learn how to be God’s disciples in all the nations and we are looking forward to being more like Elijah, declaring the word of the Lord.

“Days Of Elijah”

These are the days of Elijah
Declaring the word of the Lord, yeah
And these are the days of Your servant, Moses
Righteousness being restored

These are the days of great trials
Of famine and darkness and sword
Still we are the voice in the desert crying
Prepare ye the way of the Lord!

Say, behold He comes, riding on the clouds
Shining like the sun, at the trumpet’s call
Lift your voice, (it’s) the year of Jubilee
Out of Zion’s hill, salvation comes

And these are the days of Ezekiel
The dry bones becoming as flesh
And these are the days of Your servant, David
Rebuilding the temple of praise

And these are the days of the harvest
The fields are all white in the world
And we are the laborers that are in Your vineyard
Declaring the Word of the Lord

Say, behold He comes, riding on the clouds
Shining like the sun at the trumpet’s call
Lift your voice, (it’s) the year of Jubilee
Out of Zion’s hill, salvation comes

Behold He comes, riding on the clouds
Shining like the sun at the trumpet’s call
Lift your voice, (it’s) the year of Jubilee
Out of Zion’s hill, salvation comes

There’s no God like Jehovah!
There’s no God like Jehovah!
There’s no God like Jehovah!
There’s no God like Jehovah!

Advertisements

The Gloves Are Coming Off

The gloves are coming off . . . because it is spring here in Fargo!

I know it is springtime in Fargo when I can step out of my apartment with a light jacket, strappy high heels, and no mittens. You know it is springtime in North Dakota when I smile at the beaming sun, think about ditching my coat, and as I start up my jeep I smile at the temp and think “What a beautiful warm day!” Now if some of you checked your dashboard thermometer and saw 32 degrees you would be grumbling. But in Fargo with the sun shining and no wind there are bound to be people out in shorts today.

For the first time in, well who knows how long, Fargo found spring a week before the calendar told us too. March 20 tells us it is spring, but last week the high of 70 forecasts already told us it was coming. It was a weird winter. The schools never saw a snow day, some kids never took out their sleds, and only a few snowmen found their way into being. However, even though the snow was scarce the usual sub-zero temperatures were readily available.

Temperature is relative . . . well, relatively. It can be measured, but 32 degrees to a Minnesota born and now North Dakota resident is a spring day and to some of my southern squad mates it is a no good, terrible, horrible, very bad winter day. (Oh, and of course 32 degrees in March feels very different than 32 degrees in October! brrr)

The Bible takes a stance on our temperature rating. The following verse is one that I have grown to love, mostly because of the exegesis and the story behind it. I have heard many different interpretations of Revelation 3:14-22. There was one that I learned in college that stuck with me and I hope that James and I will carry its meaning with us as we go out on our mission trip to 11 different countries and unite them under one Kingdom.

“14 And to the angel of the church in Laodicea write: ‘The words of the Amen, the faithful and true witness, the beginning of God’s creation.

15 “‘I know your works: you are neither cold nor hot. Would that you were either cold or hot! 16 So, because you are lukewarm, and neither hot nor cold, I will spit you out of my mouth.”

I have been told, time and time again, that God would like us to be on fire for Him or be turned off from Him. I have heard it said that this verse tells us that God would rather have us not believe in Him than to be a wavering Christian who does nothing, knows nothing, and has no passion for their faith. However, in college I learned a deeper meaning that has stuck with me.

There is wisdom in the saying “Learn from your mistakes”. But I love the saying, “Learn from the mistakes . . . preferably someone else’s!” This verse in Revelation shows us one of the Laodiceans mistakes, and I am trying to learn from it.

Laodicea was a wealthy trade town. The people there had every luxury they could dream of. Well, almost. When Laodicea looked to their left they saw a neighboring city that had natural hot springs. People would visit there to find healing and relaxation. “Can I get HOT-TUB!” Thought the Laodiceans (reference to “Like a good neighbor, State Farm is there” commercial . . . anyone, anyone? I crack myself up).

When they looked to their right they saw a neighboring city that had naturally cool, refreshing water. People would visit there to be refreshed and rejuvenated in the fresh to freezing waters. And like a few of our Youth Group kids eager for the winter retreat the Laodiceans wanted to enjoy a Polar Plunge. They wanted that cold water as well.

My hubby’s ancestors must have lived in Laodicea (except this one was willing to work with plumbing, one of Jim-Dear’s least favorite jobs). They had their engineers and plumbers (not sure how they showed plumbers butt in their robes, but I’m sure they found a way) built a system of piping to bring the hot water and the cold water into their city so they could finally have it all.

However, hot water does not stay hot and cold water does not stay cold when it travels miles and miles. When these waters reached Laodicea they were stagnant, lukewarm, and good for nothing. No one even wanted to drink it. They would spit it out of their mouths.

“17 For you say, I am rich, I have prospered, and I need nothing, not realizing that you are wretched, pitiable, poor, blind, and naked.”

These words about hot, cold, and lukewarm were poignant to the Laodiceans and they made an impact on me. There are days were I look at my life and feel truly blessed. I feel rich beyond measure. It is amazing how God provides for us! I have a very wonderful and relaxing life.

Oh . . . hold that thought, a commercial! Wait, that thing is cool. I want that. I wonder if I could afford it. I need it! How long until my birthday. I’ll post a link to it on Facebook and tag James in it for a little hintidy-hint-hint. Oh . . . look all of my friends have been traveling! I want to go on a fun vacation. I wonder how much room I have on my credit card. I want to go someplace warm. I need to go on a vacation. Look how stressed I am!!

“18 I counsel you to buy from me gold refined by fire, so that you may be rich, and white garments so that you may clothe yourself and the shame of your nakedness may not be seen, and salve to anoint your eyes, so that you may see. “

Gold and possessions will do nothing for me in the end. However if I am refined by the fire of God I will become more precious than gold. If I clothe myself in the spirit that God gives me my life will bring glory instead of shame. If I just let God heal my eyes I may finally be able to look at this world without envy, without want, without jealousy. The Laodiceans were blessed, yet they wanted more. I am blessed, very blessed, yet being content with what I have can be hard.

When we leave in September we will leave with light-weight Bibles packed in our bags. I hope we also leave with this verse, and many others, packed away in our hearts. We will learn firsthand how blessed we truly are and how many things we take for granted.

Not only will we learn this about our physical possessions, but we will also learn to be content with the talents and gifts that the Lord has given us. If I have a spiritual gift, I should not be jealous of one of my teammates’ spiritual gifts. I hope to encourage them in their gifts as I rejoice and grow in my own. As we get to know people around the world I pray that we can show them how God can bless them with gifts and riches that go beyond this life.

Oh, how I truly hope that we can show many people the joy that awaits them in God’s embrace. It may not always be easy, as the next verses in Revelation tells us that discipline is a big part of this process. However, it ends with us being conquerors, sitting around a throne. What a glorious thought.

“19 Those whom I love, I reprove and discipline, so be zealous and repent. 20 Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and eat with him, and he with me. 21 The one who conquers, I will grant him to sit with me on my throne, as I also conquered and sat down with my Father on his throne. 22 He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches.’”

Thank you to everyone who has supported us in some way. We have received items from our Amazon wish list, we have received your donations toward our $32,000 and some goal, and we have been feeling your prayers.

Please consider supporting this ministry as we go out and become better disciples. You can learn more at our World Race adventure here.


Earth Has No Sorrow That Heaven Can’t Heal

We have an enemy and he is very real.

I encountered this enemy last weekend and unfortunately I emerged with more wounds than victories, but still I emerged. It was last weekend while I was at a spiritual retreat that Satan decided to attack. We were filling the place with prayer 24/7 and I had signed up for my hour of time in our prayer chapel. I had my journal out and I was praying over the list of ladies who were there. My page filled with pictures and words for each one of God’s princesses as I hoped to get through each one.

I was blindsided. My pen stopped my mind wandered and my prayers became difficult. My mind was filled with reasons why I did not want to be there. I was overwhelmed with thoughts of why this weekend was useless, how I was useless, and how prayer is useless. I finished my hour in the chapel, left, and spent most of the day fighting back tears and depression. Later in chapel I was supposed to finish writing down how I had found healing through God. That morning we had contemplated struggles and problems in our lives and we were encouraged to see how God had healed us and helped us overcome. I had thought about my depression and anger. I had written these words down in the morning thinking that by afternoon I would have time to write down that I was now filled with God’s peace and joy. Now felt hypocritical as I stared at a blank page and all I could think about was that I was depressed and angry.

We will be attacked. Our squad, James, and I are going out into the world to bring God’s love and healing. We will be working with orphans, widows, prostitutes, and pimps. We will help the poor and the sick. We will join together with Christian brothers and sisters around the world to worship the one true God. And Satan will be there. We will be deceived, tricked, and wounded. We will be broken and we will be hurt.

As we go out on this journey we need your financial support, but more importantly we need prayer warriors. We cannot do this alone. Your prayers will carry us around the world and will protect us from the worst of the wounds. Satan can attack, but the victory has already been won and we are carrying the banner of the victor!! When he taunts us we get to yell “SCOREBOARD!!” as we are on the winning team.

(To learn more about the 11 months we will spend in 11 countries you can visit our blog for the World Race at JamesAndKristinFraser.theWorldRace.org)

After I realized I was being attacked last weekend I went outside, made some phone calls, received encouragement and prayers and then I went back to be supported by my spiritual sisters. I left that weekend feeling better, feeling stronger, and feeling the power of prayer.

I woke up this morning with “Come As You Are” stuck in my head. I think it is a great encouragement to know that even when we do fail, even when we still feel like a work in progress, God will take us as we are and heal us. It is a great encouragement to know that as we go out on this Kingdom journey that God is truly the one making the difference and healing the hurts. We can come as we are and find healing. We can go out as we are and bring healing. All in God’s name.


Color Me Green

I read this blog post while reading through the World Race website and pondering about what it would be like to go on such a journey. Kacie Lester blogs at Color Me Captivated and she shared this story about learning to live in community. It is a lesson I desperately need to learn. We should all strive to say, “color me captivated”, but most days as envy sneaks in, I just find myself thinking, color me green.

instant coffee & not-so-instant-friendship

– posted on 10/10/2012 by Kacie Lester

I learned a lot about comparison last year while I was on the World Race.

Mainly that I needed to wage war against it. And, that my short-ish, rounder-than-Victoria’s-Secret-model-shaped figure, turn-a-shade-of-fire-engine-red-when-I’m-embarrassed face, and alarmingly loud laugh aren’t just beautiful in theory. They’re actually stunning.

And I had to learn this all while living with a beautiful woman who is in every way my physical opposite.

I was particularly upset one day early in the Race as I watched my beautiful teammate go about her day flawlessly – even her messy crying fits and bouts of insecurity were beautiful – and I often wondered how it could be possible at all that I could also be beautiful with my pale skin and boring hair and short (and admittedly thicker) frame.

I’m so different – I speak and think and act and look so vastly differently than this girl who is, in every sense of the word, beautiful.

I would ask myself constantly, “How can I also be beautiful when I’m nothing like this girl who embodies the word?”

From updates.theworldrace.org

I actually sat Stephanie down the week we met and I told her to her face that I probably wasn’t going to like her. She was too perfect and I was sure she knew it, and I cannot get along with conceited girls (which I figured she was, without a doubt).

Then I learned that she wanted to write, I wanted to write – she wanted to sing, I do sing – she used to dance, I used to dance – I paint, she likes to paint – I play guitar, she wanted to learn. Initially, I just saw my obvious inferiority to her, so I saw everything we had in common as threatened. She obviously looked better doing it, so I had to prove that I actually did it better. Competition stacked on top of comparison, and everything got bitter.

That battle with comparison wasn’t just a battle over me. The spirit that was bringing up fear and judgment towards her wasn’t just attacking me. It was attacking unity – the body, the bride of Christ.

It didn’t want me to feel equal to her, and it certainly didn’t want me to love her.

Envy, absolutely. But not love.

And I did not love her.

In fact, there was a night in Romania that I and my blonde, beautiful teammate walked up to our leaders separately, without having discussed it, and calmly informed them that our team simply would not work because we could not live together, and they need to change it. Please and thank you.

From updates.theworldrace.orgWe left Romania on the very same team we’d been on when we had arrived. Our eloquent leader had a brilliant (miserable sounding) idea: “Seeing as how you certainly aren’t being separated, you need to decide to love each other. Really love each other. Like, put effort into loving each other.” 

I won’t pretend I didn’t begin that endeavor with a “love your enemy and pray for those who persecute you” justification, but motivation being right or wrong, every other morning for a month I gave her a Nescafe 3-in-1 instant coffee packet.

The mornings I didn’t give her one, she gave one to me. There wasn’t coffee where we were living, so these coveted gifts were delicacies. We could have each just kept our own coffee, but giving and receiving it every morning meant sacrificing our treasures and our pride. And, slowly but surely, we learned to love each other over these tiny gifts.

From updates.theworldrace.org

Gift giving turned into praying for each other. As a wise woman (Stephanie) once said to me: “It’s impossible to not be on the same team as someone else when you’re praying for them.”

Praying for each other turned into delivering one another’s notes after we’d prayed, including a word of encouragement. Then we were loving each other – and loving each other well – as sisters and as friends.

Two months later, we were granted our long-gone wish and were put on separate teams to travel and serve with, and we didn’t have a chance to live together again for the remaining eight of our 11 months abroad. We arrived back in America at the end of the Race, and two months later, we became roommates.

From updates.theworldrace.orgNow that I know her heart, I see how often the enemy tries to tell her she’s ugly and awkward looking. The fact that she can look in the mirror as often as she does and see imperfection and ugliness in herself proves to me more than anything that the enemy exists. I ended up teaching her to play guitar and now we worship together in our adorable little Georgia apartment when the enemy tries to get in our business.

Comparison almost robbed me of one of my very dearest friends, simply because I didn’t know she was my very dear friend, yet. All I saw was all the ways we were starkly different, the ways I wanted to be like her, and wasn’t. And the very few ways she wanted to be like me and didn’t yet know how to be.

But the Lord calls us sisters. He calls us united by one body, one spirit, one hope. (Eph. 4:4)

He sees her as flawless – and he sees me as flawless.

My flawlessness doesn’t give her flaws, nor does her flawlessness negate mine. They don’t look the same – but that isn’t a truth that limits the definition of “flawless.” Rather, it infinitely expands the capacity and depth of the perfection of God.

Redemption is perfect in Christ. I am perfect in Christ. She is perfect in Christ.

Who are you competing with? Who do you feel is beneath you? Who are you trying to out-rank?

He or she could be your best friend, your next roommate, the loudest voice of truth in your life, or your very biggest fan. You just might not know it yet because an enemy who hates you is actively trying to change that reality.

Love intentionally. Pray. Encourage one another. And if you aren’t sure where to start, it might be time to start buying some instant coffee packets!