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I just wanted to give a little update on my summer so far and let you in on my prayer requests.  First of all, I had the awesome opportunity to go to OneDay in Texas over Memorial weekend.  It was far beyond anything I could have imagined.  The focus was on God’s holiness.  I don know what I was expecting, but I can say that it turned out way different than I expected.  I guess I thought that worship would be joyful and would feel good.  And it was like that eventually.  But first we really focused on the holiness of God, which when you look at it honestly is uncomfortable and humbling.  That is probably what I felt most that weekend – humble.  
The key phrase that I remember was what one of the speakers said: the best and most powerful thing that we can do is to agree with God that He is God and we are not.  I wrote in my journal you are “I AM.  I am I am NOT.” A girl read a poem that really touched me.  She read a long list of things she wanted God to do in her life (teach me, guide me, strengthen me) and then she said, “Decrease me.  Decrease me.  Until there is no me left. I guess at times it is easy as Christians to think that God does things in our lives for us.  To improve us.  But in reality God does things to glorify Himself.  I am just a tool that He can use to glorify Himself.  And if I’M unwilling to be used, He will use something else.  That’s what that verse means that says the rocks will cry out if we don’t praise His name.  I always thought that was to motivate me to praise Him. But It’s just a statement affirming that God’s name will be praised, regardless of me.

So in response to that, I feel a little different about spiritual maturity.  The point is not for me to achieve some great level of spirituality.  It is for God to be glorified best.  It’s not a checklist for me to try to complete.  It’s about allowing God to do in my life whatever will best glorify Him. And His will for my life is not about a job or a husband or a church.  It’s for God to be glorified in my life  or in spite of my life (That’s up to my choice).  That’s His will for me.  And I cannot achieve any of it.  I am powerless to glorify God.  Only Christ in me can glorify God.  I think God supplied OneDay for me as a tool to learn how to glorify Him better.  He seems to have provided a whole toolbox for me this summer  the conference, several books, the summer program at my church  I guess He wants to build something in me.

One of the books I’m working through is a Twelve Step program.  Those of you at the Rock are familiar with the Twelve Steps, since John has been doing a series on them.  I was really feeling that the Twelve Steps could help me, so I bought a book about them.  So this summer, I am working through the Twelve Steps along with a friend.  I’m really focusing on the first three steps right now.  The first is to admit that I am powerless and that my life has become unmanageable.  OneDay really helped me to see that.  To see that I can do nothing to improve my life.  I am not capable of glorifying God.  Only CHRIST IN ME is capable of doing that.  The next step is to believe that a Power greater than myself can restore me to sanity.  That was also a big emphasis at OneDay.  God is powerful.  He can make changes in my life that I could never make.  And with Him it is possible for me to make it until noon.  Or until sunset.  Just a few hours at a time.  I’m about to embark on Step three, to make a decision to turn my will and life over to the care of God.  Later in the Twelve Steps, I might be coming to some of you for more help and for forgiveness, among other things.

So please keep my spiritual journey in your prayers this summer.  I don’t even know if I will finish these Twelve Steps this summer – it might take longer than that.  And I know that the Twelve Steps aren’t a one-time solution.  I must keep the principles in mind every day.  I have to remember that I am powerless every day.  I have to turn my will over to God every day.  Please pray that I will be diligent.  Pray that God would draw me, attract me, pull me, motivate me.  (Decrease me)

Other happenings in my life.  I’m trying to find a job.  The job I really want is in Jefferson City (just a half-hour commute from Columbia).  It’s with the Missouri Baptist Convention as a Women’s Ministry and Missions Specialist.  Please pray that I will do what is necessary to get the job (interviews, etc).  I keep going back to the talk Boyd gave in the fall about making decisions:  God’s will for me is to do what I want, provided these three things 1) My life is consistent with God’s commands, 2) I am consistently pursuing Godliness, 3) my desire is consistent with Godly principles.  If I don’t get that job, pray for other opportunities to present themselves, and that I will be observant enough to notice them!

I am also considering adopting another cat.  I feel crazy for even thinking about it.  But, the opportunity presented itself and I really feel that Toby would benefit from having a companion.  So pray for wisdom on this matter because I know it’s a huge decision & responsibility.

Other prayer requests include:
* my Mission Trip to Mexico on July 19-26.
* my brother, Miguel and his spiritual journey
* my friend, Aaron and his spiritual journey
* a place for me to live in the fall
* my health (migraines especially)

If you want details on any of these, please feel free to ask.  I hope you are having a great summer so far.  Sorry this got to be so long.

To God be the Glory,
Stevi

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