Welcome to weeks 8 and 9 of our DTS blog! Sorry for the lapse in posting – Lordship week was intense (see below), there has been a lot of extra time spent in our outreach groups, and we have both been sick!
Basically, Lordship is living your life with God at the helm. It is a step beyond merely ‘getting saved’ and accepting Jesus as your personal savior. It is acknowledging Jesus as the Lord and King of your life and actively following him. This is accomplished in a variety of different ways. One aspect is fear of the Lord, which consists of awe & respect for God, continual awareness of His presence, hatred of sin, and obedience when God speaks. Another way to achieve Lordship is by denying yourself and taking up your cross daily. Pardon the ‘Christianese,’ but this means looking toward God’s guidance in each and every situation rather than your own often sinful and self-serving ways. God is good and He has good plans for your life if you let him lead you and if you take the literal leap of faith into Lordship! One major leap we took this week was getting baptised!! Connor for his first time, and Alix re-confirming hers. It was amazing taking this step of obedience and committment to Christ as a married couple.
Lordship week involved a lot of extra teaching time because the topic is at a higher level of understanding than most other weeks, so after such a full-on week (e.g. classes every night and one until 1a.m.!) we both were exhausted and caught a sickness that’s been going around. Despite the difficulty of the week, it was sandwiched in between two easy weeks, and we also had an awesome speaker on that Wednesday who holds the Guiness World Record for fastest person to travel to every country! He also created a guitar with drums in it, and he owns an incredible chai shop in India called Chai 3:16. All of this because God told him to and provided for him!
Identity, Destiny & Calling
What are we supposed to do after DTS? That’s a question we’ve been asking God this entire time. This week’s teacher didn’t give us an answer, but provided some great insight into the decision-making process. First, he related life to a drama movie. There is always a hero, a villain, and a victim. In each of our lives, we often play each one of these roles in many relationships, and the vicious cycle never ends. We become addicted to the struggle and think it defines our lives. We must instead replace the drama with interdependence on God and one another, seeking Jesus’ example of love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, and self-control. This way, we live in our true Christ-given identities rather than the one given to us by our situations or surroundings.
Another way to live out the destiny that God has planned for you is to not put God or yourself in a ‘box.’ There are 6 strongholds that keep us in a box. Fear, comparison, criticism, egoism, arrogance, and control. You can break each one of these by moving in the opposite spirit of each one. Fight fears with unconditional love: God loves us no matter what, so out of this, we’re allowed to live and take risks in what we desire to do. Break comparison with identity: you are created in God’s image – find your identity through him and not what others say. Deny criticism with exhortation: speaking truth and love; championing, discipling, and empowering others. Get rid of egoism through generosity – of words, money, faith, acts, etc. It is better and more blessed to give. Destroy arrogance through humility: humble yourself to God’s grace and love for each day. And finally, let go of control by recognizing freedom: not doing whatever you want, but being who you are in the framework that God provides, and not letting circumstances ruin your day.
Since I’m once again sick with a cold, I’ll keep this pretty short. The biggest take-away for me this week was realizing that God isn’t boring. In fact, He is the most fun-loving person in the universe. I always thought that God wanted me to sacrifice all my dreams to do “churchy” stuff. This week’s speaker taught me that not only did God give me all my dreams, but He wants to do them with me. I love things like videography, soccer, and outdoor sports, but God loves them even more than I do because He created them all! This week during a corporate prayer time I felt like God asked me to dream with Him and that He wanted me to write down all my dreams and hopes for my life. So I started a very long list and I’m sure it will keep growing. I know now that God wants me to take Him along with me in whatever I do and wherever I go. To lead me into greater love for Him and for people. To use my talents to glorify Him and to tell people about how cool He is. This week’s speaker also taught me that if you strive for excellence and creativity in everything you do, even in the mundane, joy can be cultivated.
What Alix said! It was also revelationary for me to realize that God is a fun, creative God that has given me all of my passions and talents. To give God Lorship of my life sounded at first like never doing anything I wanted and just doing boring God stuff. But now I see that God wants to do whatever I like doing right alongside me! God is jealous of our attention though, so I must not make my passions idols that rule me instead of God. Through Lordship week, I made some vows and sacrifices like reading my bible daily, not idolizing bicycles, and not using social media before lunch and at all on the Sabbath, but connecting more with my wife, people, and God instead. During Calling & Destiny week, I enjoyed the structure, depth, and relativity of the lectures. I identified my weaknesses and the strongholds on my life and how to oppose them to live more fully in my true Christ-given identity.
Outreach, Fundraising & Other News
We have been meeting with our outreach team nearly daily in preparation, prayer, thanksgiving, and team-building. We love our team (definitely handpicked by God), and we are ready to leave as soon as possible! We got our immunizations last week, and we receive more information regarding outreach each day. To stay up to date, let us know if you’d like to be invited to our outreach team’s facebook page! One new thing we learned this week is we will begin our outreach with 2 weeks in Australia pouring into a nearby community, while letting airfare prices drop after the Christmas season.
God’s hand has been in everyone’s fundraising efforts including our own. We still have some more to raise, but we are extremely thankful for the support received so far. This Christmas season, would you pray about sending a gift in support of our journey to help the Syrian refugees in Greece and Germany? No amount is too little, and prayers are even more welcome! You can send donations via PayPal to firstname.lastname@example.org or use our donation website at https://www.youcaring.com/connor-and-alix-bruson-391046. Finally, thank you for taking the time to read our journey with Christ! Bless you!