Thursday, December 5, 2013

His Sovereignty!!

So, I haven't blogged in awhile!!! Partly this has been because of just not being sure what to write, partly because of going through some harder situations lately which made it hard to write, and partly it has been because of waiting on the Lord... Partly it has been even that I've sort of felt like I don't have any really "exciting" amazing miracle stories to share. Yet even then there is so much I would have liked to share had I been able to write... Anyway, I was sitting down a couple days ago with a friend/mentor of mine and she reminded me of the importance of journalling. Of journalling what the Lord is sharing with me, of little breakthroughs here and there in my current faith journey of getting to another country, and even the impact of blogging as so many are impacted and encouraged by the testimony of what HE does in our lives... So, here I am again! and I will try to do better with speaking forth those things He has me share!

A few little things I'm excited about:

For the past 2 to 3 years I've been asking the Lord here and there about visiting a certain amazing ministry here in the states, or even interning with them. It's not like I haven't had opportunities to go, yet the Lord has not yet released me. Yet here I am now and the Lord asked me to go to a different country far away; impressing on me a friend who has recently moved there (except I haven't met her yet, but I love her already!), to join her for a short time in whatever HE is doing! It just so happens to be that she was with this ministry in the states for 2 years, and therefore has the DNA as well as Iris DNA... Basically what I'm trying to say is, HE hasn't asked me or released me to go visit this ministry which is right here in the states, yet HE has provided for me to GO and visit a friend and connection of that ministry in a country way far away!

Sometimes there may be opportunities that are closer and easier and along the same lines of what you feel called to and want to do, yet they aren't what the Lord has for you. WAIT on HIM and HE will guide you to the right place and time!

Basically, I've had another miracle story of provision... HE has provided a cheaper flight for me just this morning, saving me a few hundred dollars in airfares of the cheapest flight I could find earlier on (the new fare is just over 2 thirds of the original price which is huge!) and while I will have to take a bus to a train to a plane in a different city instead of just going to the airport here, it is still WAY cheaper and kinda more fun, more dependent on Jesus to do it this way :) This is just truth here by the way. Some people wonder how I can be continuously "travelling" all the time... Well, He provides when He wants me to go somewhere. And honestly sometimes it takes more effort and time and long overnight layovers at different airports... and choosing the simple lifestyle :) HE always provides for HIS daughter though :)

I'm writing this at my bedtime on the nightwatch schedule, so I apologise if it isn't very well written!  Thank You Lord I get to go to bed after this!

I just really felt to share about His awesome sovereignty in knowing exactly where we are meant to be at the right times! I'm going to blog again in the next couple days and share the story of how I ended up committing to go where I'm going! It was HIS idea not mine!

Love you all who read this!!

Please pray, for INTIMACY; STRENGTH to keep pressing in and believing for HIS heart for the people and nation I am going to; for GRACE to finish up with school finals well; for my BROTHER's visit in a few days time!!! for HEALTH - big one; for HIS WILL on earth as in HEAVEN!; for PROTECTION and for PROVISION - I still need provision for a visa, for bus tickets (cheap), for another plane ticket inside the destination country (cheap) and other expenses... :) :) I am SO excited about all HE is doing!! Thank You JESUS!! Pray for my family, too :) :)

...HE WILL have HIS way in the nations, whether we partner with HIM or not!! But oh, that HE would have HIS way fully in my own heart... this privilige we have, to partner with HIM... to be friends who pray, weep, love, rejoice with Him!

Be still, and know that I am GOD.
I WILL be exalted in the nations, I WILL be exalted in the earth!

Psalm 46:10

Saturday, August 17, 2013

August update

At the moment, I'm in the middle of half switching to night watch (and waiting for approval to be on the Night Watch as it is a very intense schedule for a Music student at IHOPU. I have to write out exactly when I'm going to be eating and sleeping etc)... My heart is yearning to go deeper in my relationship with my God, and to be deeper in the word. I want more change from the inside out and know that I will find that in the Night Seasons. I also know it will enable me to pray more effectively for my friends in the nations.

This means I'll be in the prayer room 5nights a week from 2am-6am, plus Sunday's from 6-8am and extra briefings which I'm so excited about! I am also approved to worship lead in some capacity this semester, which is in my student worship labs 3 days a week 8am-12pm.

This semester in addition to music classes, worship/intercession labs and Sacred Trust (prayer hours), I have a class in 'Basic Christian Beliefs' which is like Systematic Theology and also another class on the 'Song of Solomon'. I am really excited about the Basic Christian Beliefs class because it's taught by Jono Hall who I've heard marks really hard- he's British and has a degree in Law from Exeter University. I'm excited to write papers for someone who marks hard!! I am also so excited because Shelly Hundley is teaching my song of Solomon class and she used to be a missionary kid in Colombia and she loves Holy Spirit as a good friend and is really prophetic.

It has become my heart to be able to do all 4 years of IHOPU and be able to be a part of the House of Prayer Leadership track - which starts in 3rd year... I'm beginning my 2nd one. My goal IS to become a HEALTHY leader who LOVES WELL even under pressure. We will see, semester by semester, if that is the Lord's plan for me to do all the rest of the 4 years in one go :) I do know that I am meant to be here in THIS season at THIS time.

I really feel that this is a season of training the Lord has set me in to help me become a better leader who LOVES people WELL. I feel it's a lot about heart surgery, healing and character development. Lessons in humility, self-discipline, loving and serving my worship team well... I want to make the most of this semester with what the Lord has put in my hands to do and most of all to go deeper in the place of intimacy with the Lord. I want to be a Friend of the Bridegroom and be entrusted with the secrets, burdens and joys of HIS heart! (this is the JOY of Intercession!! being HIS Friend!!)

So again, thank you for praying for me and supporting me :) I really value your friendship in my life :)

SIDE NOTE: Extra because I feel this could encourage someone :)
School starts Monday morning!! I am truly so grateful to the Lord for the delay in provision just because of the amount of sifting and searching He has done in my own heart... I became open to the thought that maybe I wasn't in the right place? Maybe the Lord didn't want me in school this semester and wanted me back in Mozambique? Or Nepal or even Lord, if YOU want me in a completely new place... Maybe now was the time that I was supposed to make the "long term committment" of 2 years in whichever country with Iris? Through the last 2 days of intense time spent with Jesus - I've gotten to the point of surrender, knowing that JESUS IS WORTH IT ALL, EVERY NATION, EVERY SOUL, and that I am willing to go ANYWHERE HE WANTS me to be! For the sake of ONE nation, and even ONE soul... and I have also gotten to the point of KNOWING again that I am supposed to be here. As soon as I got to that point of KNOWING within myself that I'm in the right place... literally within about 1/2 an hour, the bulk of my down payment came through from somebody I don't know who!! So, the LORD KNOWS our hearts! I do want to use this testimony to encourage YOU that if things are hard right now, USE this opportunity from the Lord to really let HIM do some soul searching, and do it yourself - find out if you really HAVE given this season in your life completely to the LORD - find out where your heart REALLY is in HIM!! OH there is so much JOY in the pressure and squeezing and delay!! Thank you JESUS!

Also, this reminded me of the time I was in Mozambique waiting to get my passport back from Moz immigration so that I could have my interview with the US embassy to get into America for IHOP for the first time... the breakthrough came once I decided in my heart - once my MINDSET shifted - and I KNEW I was doing exactly what the LORD had for me. There is no plan B.

Monday, April 29, 2013

Falling in Love With the Task...

Falling in love with the task: if your compassion for people exceeds your passion for Jesus you will end up opposed to Him on the day of His coming. William Wilberforce hardly prayed for the ending of slavery as his prayers were mostly prayers to KNOW JESUS more and to keep up the good fight. - notes from an Abolition conference earlier in 2013

Lately I've been kept awake at nights - partly because the heater white noise isn't coming on because it's trying to becoming Spring (it was 82F/27C today.. Thursday it might snow :/ ) - and partly because I am lying awake consumed with thoughts about this latest vision the Lord has given me and this week just happens to be very crucial in the timing of it all. (I'll share more as it happens! Just know it is VERY on the Lord's heart). 

I've been worried that this vision has been becoming larger in my heart than God Himself, and I NEVER want that to happen. Yet it is just taking up SO MUCH of my thoughts, mental space and emotions!! 

I'm one of those people you might call a "visionary". These people are such that once they get an idea, they run full force ahead with it, at least in their minds, researching it and finding out as much as they can, even connecting people together if it involves people; they look at all angles and possibilities to see how this idea CAN come to pass and it CAN be done! Because of course it can! Anything, if it's from the Lord, is possible! It is all possible in HIS perfect timing and HIS perfect wisdom, strength and ability! It just takes chasing HIM first... 

So, I'm lying here tonight, and thinking of how I don't want my passion for the task to exceed my passion for the Creator... Im saying to Him how I want to know Him and to run the race well, to fight the good fight. And He says to me,
"Serena, you just keep Chasing after Me. Go after what I've put on your heart and seek to Know Me in the middle of it all, seek to walk in the way I would do it... Seek to know Me in the middle of it all. And I'll take care of your heart."

You see, I've been worrying about my heart. And yet HE is the only one who knows my heart. I actually don't even know if this vision He's given me is becoming bigger than Him. Of course there's some times when you KNOW that it's bigger and more important and of course then, you are responsible to know your heart and talk to Him and do what you need to to make JESUS first again. But when there's times where you're not sure... He says: "[your name here], just chase after me and seek to live out My heart in My ways... And I'll look after your heart." phew. 

Let's not get all tied up in knots needlessly. Yes we need to work out our own salvation with fear and trembling. Check our hearts. But if we're not sure - the answer is, bring HIM into everything. Continue to READ His WORD back to front. Talk to HIM constantly. Have HIM constantly before your eyes and your thoughts. And It will be okay :)

I bind my mind to the mind of Christ. I bind my heart to the heart of the Father. Holy Spirit, thank You that You are with me. Please remind me of everything that Jesus taught and how to live imitating HIM. Let me flow with You minute by minute, breath by breath. Let my only thoughts be Jesus' and my only emotions be out of the Father's heart. In Jesus' Mighty Name, Amen!

Friday, April 26, 2013

Heavenly perspective in the midst of change

Jennifer Roberts has been here in Kansas City for something like 14 or 15 years, and before that she was IN THE NATIONS for something like a decade (I only just found out about her), and is now going to pioneer the International House of Prayer in Brazil... For anyone ESPECIALLY who has done Harvest School, or YWAM... This podcast is so good and so relevant! Especially if the Lord has called you to somewhere like the west, for a season (like me!). Enjoy!!

Sunday, April 14, 2013

I will Tell the World... for I carry you in me

Now that I have seen
I am responsible
Faith without deeds is dead
Now that I have held you
In my own arms
I cannot let go till you are...

And I am on a plane
Across a distant sea
But I carry you in me
In the dust on... the dust on... the dust on... the dust on....
My feet

I will tell the world
I will tell them where I've been
I will keep my word
I will tell them, Albertine
I'm sitting down to finish my assignment on worship due tomorrow... and put my itunes on shuffle to help me concentrate. The first song I played was "Albertine" by Brook Fraser. This song has been special to me for awhile mainly because of the lyrics posted above. There is more to the song which you can find if you want to google it, however these lyrics resound with me the most... I think you would understand why! If you don't, you probably don't know about the last 2 years of my life. Feel free to start at the start of this blog and read onwards!

I carry the children of Mozambique in heart. I carry the faces of those on the streets, from the poorest to the richest of that land. The Lord has given me His heart for them all... Maybe one day I will be long term there (meaning, a couple of years all in one go!), or maybe not.

You see, I also carry the children on Ukraine in my heart. Oh wow I felt it, even just then as I typed those words out. The children and the teenagers of Ukraine are just soo hungry for the breaking in of the Lord! They are hungry for His love and His truth!

I carry the people on Nepal, the people of other south-east Asian countries, I carry the children of Mexico and Guatemala in my heart. I carry those ones in my heart who I have not met yet... and, most recently I carry the children of North America in my heart...

I feel the burden of those children who are in the foster care system. Those ones who are orphans by very definition ---- Those ones who may have been waiting a year, 5 years, 15 years, in foster care just hoping for a permanent family to choose them as theirs. It is said that 75% of these kids who grow up without being adopted end up homeless. In fact, half of the homeless population of (Canada of the US, I can't remember for sure) is made up of foster kids who have "aged out" of the system without being adopted. Would we, as the ones who are meant to be the extended body of Jesus, accept His heart to set the lonely in families? To take care of the orphans?

I just want to put this out there and make it known. If you're worried about expense, it can cost pretty much nothing to adopt from the state foster care system (and I know this from friends who have done it, and would do it again)! Of course if you feel called to adopt internationally or to go start a children's home overseas, DO it! The Lord is WITH you! But there is an EXTREMELY legitimate need right here in the States, even in Australia, in the UK, and everywhere else you wouldn't normally think about - for children to have families to support them not just until 18 or 21, but even for life.

Bless you as you go about your day and lean closer into the Father's heartbeat :)


Tuesday, April 9, 2013

The cry of my heart...

God, release the sound
Release the movement
I'm laying down everything

God, you promised nations
I want the nations
I am not gonna settle, now
I, I hear the cry
I hear the longing
This is the sound of freedom

I stand in the gap
I stand here praying
For the next Great Awakening

Jake Hamilton - "The Next Great Awakening"  - Marked By Heaven 

Saturday, March 23, 2013

Following the River

I'm starting a blog over on The main reason I'm writing is because it's required for school. If you're interested, you can keep up with it, here

A preview:

We will not experience the fullness of the river until we step over to the other side. However, the Scriptures make it clear that we can drink of God’s river now, here, in this life, even if it’s only in a measure // Bob Sorge // Following the River // p3
We can have a taste of the river now, not just at the end of time. It won’t be to the fulness, but it is to a measure! Just like we see now in part, yet then, we will see in full (1 Cor 13:12)!

I remember being in college back in Australia. I had great big gaps between classes and used to spend them all in the library… One day I happened to stumble upon the section on REVIVAL and RENEWAL. This was where I first found out about the Toronto outpouring, and also where I first read about Rolland and Heidi Baker (I smile, just thinking about it because who knew then that I would ever end up in Mozambique, let alone other nations with Iris).
He who believes in Me, as the Scripture has said, out of his heart will flow rivers of living water // Jesus // John’s Book, 7:38 // God’s Word
It started then. Then is when I started to hunger after seeing the Kingdom manifest in my world. I hungered to see the Lord break in in supernatural power. My prayer became, “Lord, please make me a conduit. I want to be a conduit of Your presence, Your love, Your power… I want it to happen so that even if people walk past me they encounter You. So that even just one touch, causes them to encounter YOUR love Jesus, YOUR healing Jesus… so that they get hungry for You…”
Every time I move house. Every time I move states. Every time I move countries. This is the prayer that I always come back to. Lord. It’s all about You.

Click here to keep reading my blog for school

Monday, March 11, 2013

Forest Lake, Minnesota! Partnering with and Strengthening Houses of Prayer...

Twin Cities Ministry Trip
In the first week of April, I'll be travelling with a team of IHOPU students to Forest Lake, Minnesota. There is a local church there who have invited us to come and partner with them in strengthening their ministry to the Lord. There will be a gathering of around 20 houses of prayer from all over the state who are coming to be trained, equipped and ministered to! Some of what we will be doing: training in tools for ministering in a House of Prayer; running a youth conference and adult conference at nights; ministry to children; training in outreach and tools for living a life ABIDING in the Love of GOD! We will also be running a 3 day burn - so 24/7 prayer for 3 days. We will be split into three teams for 3 different sleep schedules. I'll be part of the Night Watch so will be sleeping in the mornings. I am so excited about what the Lord will do through us. Not really sure exactly what to expect but I do know that it's conferences and events like these that have impacted my life as a teenager/young adult, so I know that the LORD will impact many hearts from all over Minnesota, as well as our own!

Thank you so much for continuing to stand with me in prayer, love and support :) Please continue to Pray, that I would only be taken deeper and deeper and be filled with such a deeper HUNGER and THIRST for JESUS - the ONE who is WORTHY of it all!!
Much Love and Joy!

Serena xo

You can see the website for the event, here

Saturday, March 9, 2013

Life in KC...

Dearest Beloved Friends!

Hope you are all doing great!! Whether you are in a season of smooth sailing or a season of challenges (or both!), may you find JOY in Jesus!!

    "All the Nations they will come, holding broken chains above their head
    They'll be singing: 'We have overcome! By the blood of the LAMB!'
    Jesus YOU, YOU'RE worth it ALL!
    Every Nation, Every Soul!
    All the people will sing Your praises, Glory to the LAMB of God!" - Circuit Riders - "Every Nation, Every Soul" - Lindy Conant

At church last night we were led in worship with this song, and you could feel the power in the song as well as how it seemed that almost every person in the place was really connecting with it. Lord, thank you for continuing to stir up a passion for the nations in Your House of Prayer for all Nations!! This week we have over 40 houses of prayer and ministries from all over America and the world, coming to recruit graduated IHOPU students for their prayer houses and ministries. I am so so excited as we are here to be trained up and sent out to strengthen those who are already out there pioneering new works, as well as to pioneer news ones ourselves.

Visiting the Night Watch!
Not sure if you all know this but this time in Kansas City has been different: I've been doing days, for the first time not on the Night Watch!! It has a definite different feel to it! Also as a music student instead of an intern it's totally different, too.

For example:
FITN Intern: 36 hours a week in the Prayer room
Music Student/Full-time missionary: 24 prayer room or "Sacred Trust" hours to fulfil: 12 of which are completed in the "labs" where we have student worship teams and run our own prayer room sets. 6 more of my hours are done serving either on keyboard or as a group singer in the Hispanic/Spanish teams in the "All Nations Prayer Room", and I therefore only have 2 hours a week in the "Global Prayer Room"! (I know, there're a lot of names. That's why we have all the acronyms..).

I've started getting up at 3am this past week to go to the 4am sets (last set of the Night Watch), and it has been brilliant. The sweetness that I get from being able to spend more time sitting before the Lord and not concentrating so much on the music, or trying to translate the small amount of spanish in my head that I know, is more than worth it.

Yesterday our music classes were canceled because of an inner healing seminar that the school was running, so my day looked like this:

4am Intercession set - Ashley Prior's team was leading, which last week the Lord was so moving in that set that although they're meant to transition teams at 6am, they kept going all the way til around 7am! Contending for a culture of LIFE. This is one of the issues which is SO on the Father's heart! Please pray for the Nations' babies, as we have a voice to speak and they do not!! Speak up for the silent!  Watch the 4:00AM Fri March 08 session. Try watching from 1hr 34 mins. Praying for LIFE starts at 1hr40min.

6am - spent some time working on homework in the cafe next door, where my friend who works there so sweetly brought me a mango smoothie! Thank you Jesus!!

7.25am - got picked up to ride to the JPR (Justice Prayer Room, where the All Nations PR sets are held) where we had briefing and then did another intercession set, praying for Venezuela also for the Hispanic intensive starting on Monday! (Pastors and leaders coming from all over, including Juarez, Mexico! Please pray for them for the LORD to encounter their hearts! Open hearts for revelation!)

10.15am - Spent time with another Iris family member, who went to Harvest school and staffed the next one in 2009. It's the first time I've gotten to spend time with her apart from during spanish sets! Yay Jesus!! She and her husband have a heart to move to Spain and be involved in House of Prayer/other Missions work there!

12pm - This is normally my "lab" time in the student worship teams. Because of cancelled classes, we spent it in the Global Prayer Room instead. Two Worship with the Word sets in a row, with Justin Rizzo's team leading first (one of my FAVOURITE teams as a lot of the time they have orchestral instruments such as french horns, strings, flutes/whistles, percussion... think film music/celtic/hip-hop/rap :) and Misty Edward's team leading at 2pm. I had to walk up and down a lot so I wouldn't fall asleep, and got to partner with JESUS in praying with what was on HIS heart!

4pm - got a ride back to my place, where my landlord was working on pipes to get them to unblock... seems like America isn't so far from Africa after all ;) sat down to eat some dinner and write to all of YOU!

6pm - Encounter God Service at Church. The current theme the Lord is having most people dig into around here at the moment is John 14-17, about Abiding in Love...

The same love the Father has for Jesus, Jesus has for us!!  Let that sink in for a bit... The intensity to which the Father Loves Jesus, Jesus loves YOU (and your friend, or not-yet-friend...)

Friday, February 1, 2013

Training for the Nations!

I don't think we EVER get over the training stage! Life with Jesus is a constant, never ending training and learning to go Low, to receive HIS love (this one, yet again, I've realised I need help in!), to love Him, to Trust Him, to obey His voice...

I'm here in Kansas City, Missouri having just moved house 2 weeks ago and getting ready to move house again in another two weeks!! Apparently this nomadic lifestyle just never ends either :) We ARE sojourners and foreigners on this earth - just passing through - so I guess this makes sense!

After obeying HIS voice and heart, to rest for 2 weeks in England, I arrive in KC on the 20th december and spent the next 4 weeks sharing a twin (single) bed with one of my best friends. Thank you Hannah for your generous heart and thank you Daddy for always providing! Moved into my current place ready to start school...

Once in a while I still have this thought of: wait. What am I doing here again? How is this to do with my call?? Then I have my first class. Our teacher starts talking about seeing Houses of Prayer raised up in every single nation. My KeysETT (Keys, Ear Training and Theory) teacher starts talking about teaching us how to teach so that we can go and teach children in dark, far away places how to play and sing to the Lord. I get to my audition for another class and the guy auditioning me says: "Imagine you're trying to lead a prayer meeting in some nation like Papua New Guinea and you have no electricity and you're the only instrument." and in my mind I'm like... oh! I did that already! in Mozambique...

Lord, send me. Here I am. Send me.

some Praise points:
Jesus is teaching me about TRUST. and LOVE - HIS Love :)
He is providing!!!
I'm getting connected with some of the Hispanic ministries community here - and it's stretching and growing and good!

some Prayer points:
the roommate HE wants me to have, in the place HE wants me to live :)
Oh that I would go deeper, and Love Him to my full capacity, and receive HIM to my full capacity
my studies :) :) TIME with Him in the secret place
continued health


Random fact: one of my classes is "Life of a Worshipper". or LOW. . .  It's all about going LOWER still :) :)