Thursday, January 9, 2014

Looking Ahead

God is so good! He has blessed me so much over the past few weeks! I traveled to Kansas City, MO to attend the Onething Conference through the International House of Prayer (IHOP). It was four days of renewal. I really felt like it was a time of celebration and thanksgiving for all that God has done this last year. I sang my heart out and poured out my praises. There was such freedom in the worship. The speakers were challenging. Creating real conversations within minutes of meeting people was something that reminded me how crucial community is, and also how much I miss it! The sights and sounds of 25,000 people exalting the King was breathtaking and encouraging. It filled me up! Those four days is what life should be like! Prayer, worship, thanking strangers, being renewed and challenged, wrestling through things, being real and letting others in, meeting new people, praying for strangers, having strangers pray over me, worshipping with total abandon...all of it! That's what I long for!

So now I'm home. Long and quiet days by myself. How do I incorporate the two? How do I worship wholly in daily life? How do I live in awe through the simple and normal? Where do I find community when I feel like it doesn't exist? It's all found in the four hour conversation at Starbucks. Sharing life, dreaming of the future and giving all of the glory to God over a cup of chai. It's in the quiet moments of the morning, before you feet hit the floor, when you quietly talk with Him. It's also found when you're driving down the road singing your heart out and you just can't help but take your hand off the wheel and raise it in the air. Worship is found in the normal. Community can be found over a cup of coffee. And Christ can be found anywhere that you are willing to look.

God is good. God is faithful.

He is worth the sacrifice; the hard, long and in the waiting. He is worthy of everything, if only I wouldn't forget sometimes.

But this journey isn't meant to be done alone. We need each other! Did you hear that? Independence is good in some situations, but when it comes to the things of God, it can kill you. It is killing us. It's killing me.

I learned a few years ago in Liberia during my "month of darkness" that solitude is one of the best weapons of the enemy. I was constantly surrounded by people, but yet I felt utterly alone. After days and weeks, I was dead. Paralyzed. Thankfully, my community rallied around me. But not until after I was open and honest and asked for help. I let them in. Isolation is constantly being used to tear down, divide and destroy. Why? Because it's something unseen and goes unnoticed, and then it's too late. How can you fight against something that you can't see? And it creates a bigger divide among the Body by the second.

Friends, in this new year, let's make an effort to join hands and fight for one another. Let's fight for relationships, friendships, marriages and community. We must be willing to fight. We must look at the situation as an urgent, nonnegotiable necessity! This fight, and joining of hearts, is where we will find true joy, life and purpose. Isn't that what we all desire?

I'm begging you (and myself) to fight for the people and things that matter. Slow down and stop for the person in front of you. Listen to them. Look them in the eye. Let our lips overflow with encouragement and our hearts overflow with thanksgiving and praise.

It's a new year. We only get one 2014. Let's make the most of it and live it well. Be faithful. Seek joy. Celebrate beauty. Just be honest. Make 2014 a year of wholeheartedness. In everything. And don't forget to tell His stories!

Happy new year! I am so expectant for all that God has in store for 2014!

Join me the the fight!

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