Spring Retreat 2018 Havasupai Falls Hike Part 2

Even when led by the still small voice of our perfect God, real life messes are unavoidable; we are imperfect people living in an imperfect world.

Havasupai-Falls-Havasupai-reservation-in-Grand-Canyon-e1329928783888

When I began researching the hike to Havasupai Falls in the Grand Canyon, I learned that the falls were on the Supai Indian Reservation, the only community in the entire canyon. This hike is so remote that the only way to get specific information about it is through a Facebook feed. People who have hiked the trail post pictures, videos, and swarm the site with incredible information based on individual experiences.

I learned that the Supai Tribe allows outsiders to come on their land to view their water falls but they do have restrictions. They do not allow folks to hike in and out the same day, everyone must backpack down, camp at least one night, then hike back out. They have random check points on the hike down and if you are caught without a registration, then they will make you turn around and leave. The campsite holds 250 people per night, so the space is limited and the cost to camp is $70 a night, per person. Hikes range from 2 days to 5 days.

Camping in a Canyon is way different than camping in a park. Usually when I think of camping, I think of a nice camp fire to grill food, lawn chairs to get comfortable around the fire at night after a nice swim, someone bringing their guitar and singing campfire songs, etc. Not here, here there are no fire pits because there are no first responders in case of an emergency. With the camping thing in mind and having to carry all of our necessities on our backs on the way down, our team decided that a one night stay was perfect for us. However, we were not even beginning to think about the hike itself, the temperatures, the terrane, the miles. Nor were we thinking about safety issues, what happens if we get hurt? What happens if we get dehydrated? What happens if we get robbed? What happens if we get lost?

To be continued…

Spring Retreat: Havasupai Falls Hike Part 1

Even when led by the still small voice of our perfect God, real life messes are unavoidable; we are imperfect people living in an imperfect world.

One morning while sitting with my coffee, I saw that Maria had shared a picture on my Facebook page of a spectacular waterfall. I was captivated by the tranquility of the water in this photo. The turquoise colors looked as if the picture had been edited to enhance its beauty. I gazed at this picture for a while wondering where in the world this fall was located.

Havasu-Falls-960x640

Last year on our spring retreat we took a field trip to the Grand Canyon.  Since we only had one day, we scheduled a Pink Jeep tour to be sure to see the most majestic look out points.  Maria and I fell in love with the mysterious beauty of God’s creation and decided that soon, we were going to train and plan a hike to explore this monstrous cavity.  

When I saw the stunning picture of the waterfall that Maria shared with me on Facebook, I asked her where the picture was taken. Maria responded by saying the waterfall was in the Grand Canyon. I thought, in the Grand Canyon? How in the world is this waterfall in the Grand Canyon? I had heard of people hiking in the Canyon but I had never heard of this in the Canyon before.

That was the moment it clicked, on our next Spring Retreat, we were going to hike the Canyon to see one of the worlds greatest kept secrets, the Havasupai Falls.

To be continued…

 

This is Me, Who Are You?

Sanctification is growing in knowing who we are

By knowing who God is

By receiving His love for us

 

After two years of playing tennis, I have realized who I am on the court and what my role is.

The Lord showed me that who I am on the court, is who I am on the mission field.

I am a player who stays focused on each point and is not distracted by the score.

I am a teacher who loves one person at a time and is not distracted by the number of people who believe.

 

I am a player on the court who sees others like Jesus sees them regardless of their behavior.

I am a teacher in the kingdom who can get to an issue of the heart undistracted by others’ life choices.

 

I am a player who is consistent with the return.

I am a teacher who is consistent with the delivery of the truth.

 

I am a player who does not make many unforced errors.  

I am a teacher who does not make many diversions off the paved path.

 

I am a player who can put away a lob shot.  

I am a teacher who can close the door to evil by speaking truth.

 

I am a player who can set up my partner with a flashy kill at the net.

I am a teacher who can lead others to Jesus so they’re victorious in the battle, one lie at a time.

 

I am a helper on the court.

I am a helper in the kingdom.

 

I am a player who is working the base line, not upfront and noticed.

I am a teacher who is discipling one on one teaching leaders so that they can be seen and heard.

 

I am not flashy with the hard angle, put away shot.

I am the teacher who will remain unnoticed by many.

 

I am a player who makes mistakes and learns from them.

I am a teacher who makes mistakes and learns from them.

 

I am a player who will not be recognized as the one who wins the point.

I am a teacher who gives all the glory to God.  He is worthy of it all.

 

When I agreed with who I am as a tennis player, I started winning matches.

When I agreed with who I am as a kingdom builder, I became satisfied in life.

Think About What You’re Thinking About

Sanctification is growing in knowing who we are

By knowing who God is

By receiving His love for us

 

When we are not performing well on the court or field, it’s no different than if we are losing in our marriage, our finances, our job, because Satan uses the same lies to attack.  Therefore, I know what people are thinking when they start out the match losing and cannot seem to get their game back on. They are believing things like, I’m no good, I shouldn’t be playing at this level, I’m causing my partner to lose, I should just go home, I should quit tennis etc. and sometimes, the lies can even resort to how they are struggling in other areas of their lives, my husband was right, I’m not good at anything, my dad was right, I’ll never measure up.  

 

Simply not performing well one day, is all it takes to open a door to a cycle of depression.

I know this sounds crazy but it’s true; lies in the spirit are daily spoken over every human being.  People will not even notice what they’re thinking until they intentionally pay attention to it. When we begin to practice paying attention to what we are thinking about and then intentionally doing something about it, we will begin to respond differently.  Bad things will happen to us in this life but how we respond to those things is what sets us apart.  

 

The only way we will respond with power, is if we hear the still small voice of the Lord, and are obedient to His voice.  

 

The Put Away Shot

Sanctification is growing in knowing who we are

By knowing who God is

By receiving His love for us

 

Do you know Who or what defines us?  

Things that happen to us do not define us, but did you know that the way we respond to the things that happen to us doesn’t define us either?  

We are defined by the One who created us, Jesus.  (Lesson 4 in my curriculum explains this in full detail.)  

Our personality is an outward expression of the inward us, our soul.  When we grow in knowing who we are, our soul (the inward part of us) is sanctified/changed.  As our soul changes, so does our personality which is how others see the work the Lord has begun in us.  Some parts of our personality never change. Some of the parts of our personality that never change make up our spirit.  This is the part of us who we refer to when we say things like, “I can’t find myself.”  The only person who can get a hold of this part of us is Jesus and the day He does, we are able to receive from Him our identity, who He created us to be.  

There are some parts of us that we don’t see in ourselves, called blind spots.  Others can be quick to see blind spots in us and be more than happy to tell us about them. This usually occurs without our asking so most of the time, our knee jerk reaction is quick to disagree.  

I think it’s interesting how some of these blind spots in our personality can be revealed to us by paying attention to how we respond as an athlete on the field or court.  I’ve realized that when I play tennis, and someone hits the ball hard to me, I can return the ball hard back to them. I noticed that my shot is not very hard unless the power is coming from my opponent first.  After realizing this, I felt like I needed to learn how to hit the ball harder to improve my game. I began striving to hit the ball hard which led to many unforced errors and lost points. I began focusing on where to hit the ball and tried to hit it out in front of me which I thought would give me more power.  I also tried following through with a full swing which I thought would also help.

While all these things were helping improve the power of my forehand, I still found myself thinking that I wasn’t that good because I didn’t have a hard put away shot.  When I started to entertain the thought that, I wasn’t that good, I heard the Lord say, “You do have a put away shot, it’s your left corner lob.”  I thought, oh, wow, I didn’t realize a lob could be a put away shot.  

When I agreed with the Lord that the lob was my put away shot, I found that I had much more success in my game. The back-corner lob began to come easy to me and I started hitting that mark nearly every time, like muscle memory.  

The Lord was beginning to show me something about myself that I wasn’t aware of, but at this point I hadn’t yet put 2 and 2 together.  I was just happy to see that my put away shot was working.

 

Love Loves What Others Love

Sanctification is growing in knowing who you are

By knowing who God is

By receiving His love for you

 Jesus cares about tennis because He cares about me and I care about tennis.

 I get a burst of excitement in my gut on Monday evening because I get to wake up on Tuesday morning and play tennis.  Tennis is good for my soul; I call this activity a mind eraser because every time I leave the club after a match, I need to purposefully recall what day of the week it is and what I have on my agenda for the day.

 The first day of playing tennis was stressful so I called on Jesus to go first and pave the path for me.  I could see through the eyes of my heart, Him sitting on the side lines by the net cheering me on with a smile on His face.  This brought me comfort. From that first day on, I’ve chosen to invite Jesus on the court with me.

 One time, after noticing who my opponents were, I realized a thought crossed my mind that spoke, “You are the weakest link on the court.” I felt defeated before the match even began and thought, dang, I’m going to lose.  Then, I heard another thought cross my mind that spoke, “Who said you were the weakest link?”  I was taken back. I immediately knew the second thought was from Jesus and instantly my mind went to the vision of Him sitting by the net.  I knew the Lord was revealing to me how important it was in that moment, to choose which thought I was going to take captive, (1Cor. 10:3-5) because what I choose to think is how I will respond, and who I will become. (Pro.23:7)

 I ended up winning that match, no lie.  I was in complete awe of what the Lord just taught me.  It wasn’t about winning the match that brought more freedom to my soul, it was about what I learned through the process.

By playing tennis, I’ve realized that sports are a parallel to life in many ways. My tennis game means more to me than the victory or defeat of each match; It’s the learning and experience of each game that builds my character.  Just like my life is more than the victory or defeat of each circumstance; It’s the journey, each individual choice that I make, beginning with what thought I take captive, that builds my character. (Rom.5:3-4)

 There is no wonder then, that Jesus cares about tennis, right?  When I take delight in the Lord, He gives me the desires of my heart and leads me in a way that is beyond my own knowledge. (Psalm 37:4)