Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Purity

I have a crazy life story. With ups and downs, walls and trenches, mountains and significant moments. There were my parents that I thought were perfect who got divorced. The friends that had their lives stolen by cancer and those that killed themselves. There were the boyfriends that treated me like trash and the boyfriends that treasured the ground I walked on. There were the friends that empowered me and called me to be better, then there were those that made me rebel and shut people out. There were the drunk nights in college and the early mornings of prayer. There were the seasons where everywhere I looked I found God's presence, then there were seasons where I wanted God to stay in the box. To stop telling me He loved me. To stop getting in my way. There were days that I wanted to go to the nations, then days that I wanted to go downtown and drink until it was time to go to sleep. There were teachers that saw my potential and teachers that thought the worst.

My life has been full of gut-wrenching moments. Moments that take your breath away. Where the pain scratches at your heart and makes you want to never wake up. Snippets of time that seem to stand still and never pass.

Without going into too much detail, I want to share something that stops my world from spinning.

The lack of value that people have for purity.

Purity to me is the biggest deal in the whole world. It is weighty. It incredibly valuable and significant, yet we tend to throw it away so quickly. When I hear stories about people and the decisions they've made or are making in their relationships, I can't stand it. I want to leave the room and weep because they have no idea how valuable they are and that they're worth so much more!

I've learned that people will only let you love and value them as much as they love and value themselves. I can't make people see how loved they are. But it just takes one glance at real love... because people who know they are loved don't compromise for seconds. They see the best and believe the best and hope the best. God is just so good. And He brings redemption and He brings restoration. But He also brings the Truth and love. But we have to be willing to face the love. And see how much we really matter to Him. And how much our hearts matter and the value we place on ourselves.

We were destined for great things, but until we know how loved we are, we will always compromise for less than our intended destiny.



Sunday, April 18, 2010

The Lion's Roar

Worship has gotten more and more intense with each passing Sunday. I don't know what the tipping point has been, but people are pressing in and going deep. People are laughing and crying, people are stretched out on the floor. People are dancing and jumping. The demonic in the room has gotten more active, which tells me we're reaching a place in worship where the demons can no longer be silent. It sounds intense, but it's been amazing. God is really showing up and shaking the ground. Awakening the sons and daughters of God. Blowing the winds of revival. We can no longer be silent, we must arise.

Here are some lyrics that we sang this morning that really resonate deep in my spirit:

Let heaven roar and fire fall. Come shake the ground with the sounds of revival. Let hope arise and make the darkness hide. I'm lost in your freedom, this world I'll overcome. My God is not dead, He's surely alive. He's living on the inside roaring like a lion. Let love explode and bring the dead to life. A love so bold to see a revolution somehow.

This is a video of our pastor and a clip of this song that I just posted lyrics to.

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Sweet Friends

If you know me, you know I love people and community. I never tire of being around people. I love deep conversations. I love externally processing. I love being pushed and challenged. I love feedback and encouragement. All things people related I LOVE.

And this week I've been blessed to hang out with a close friend every day for the last 4 days. What an amazing treat. Wednesday I hung out with Kristin, my dear friend who's getting married in 5 months!!! She and I went to teach the girls at Wellspring then went to Yoforia. If you're wondering what heaven will be like (and Judy Franklin hasn't taken you on a trip) then you should stop in yoforia and get pineapple frozen yogurt. Its delish. (Kristin is in the white shirt).


Thursday Christina and I went on a walk by the river, then to Panera. She is the kind of friend whos not afraid to walk through the valley with you. She'll roll up her sleeves and get dirty while the storm winds blow in your life. She's incredible. (This is her and I in Buenos Aires, Argentina).

Friday I hung out with Natalie- my work buddy. She and I went to Fellini's with Libby Gray and Walter then we made cookies. Libby Gray loves to help with projects so we had fun. Natalie sees me at my best and my worst every day. I should apologize for the poor influence I have on her while at work.

Tonight I hung out with Evie, one of my closest and most sincere friends. We went to Blue Moon Pizza then came back to my place and chatted. She's an amazing woman, full of wisdom, grace and peace. I love just hearing her talk and process. Sometimes I want to take notes on the comments she makes because she's so intuitive. She's on the far right of this picture.


There you have it, a week with great friends. I realize this blog won't mean much to many people, but I LOVE FRIENDS and this week (albeit hard bc of work) was made better by 4 sweet girls that I love more than anything.


Thursday, April 15, 2010

His Glory Appears

There are some days where all I want to do is steal away. Get some good worship music and my journal, and let life fade into the distance. God is stirring things up in a big way. The atmosphere has started to shift. The worship has started to go deeper, and the deepest longings of my heart are starting to bubble up to the surface. God's presence is addicting to me. His love, His kindness, His sweet words... It has gotten harder and harder to go into work in the morning because I am always worshiping in my car. I hate to break the intimate feeling I have with God...I know that I live out of a place of intimacy with Him, but when I'm working my attention is divided.

I just love God's presence. He is so good. He loves to give good gifts to His children. He loves to tell us what's on His heart. He loves to heal our darkest recesses. He loves to help us forgive. He loves to give us peace that sinks down deep. He loves to turn tears of sadness into shouts of joy. He longs for us to know Him. To desire Him the way He desires us. To crave His presence. To love the things that He loves. To pray the things that are on His heart. To declare His promises to all tribes and tongues.

How do you develop that kind of intimacy with God? Spend time with Him. Love on Him. Let Him love on you. Soak in His love. Ask Him why He loves you. Ask Him what He calls you. Ask Him what you're wearing when He looks at you.

And I promise...you'll never be the same again.

Check out this video- it's a song I've been listening to recently.

Sunday, April 11, 2010

The Vision is Jesus

The Vision – By Pete Greig, author of Red Moon Rising

“So this guy comes up to me and says:
“what’s the vision? What’s the big idea?”
I open my mouth and words come out like this:
The vision?
The vision is JESUS – obsessively, dangerously, undeniably Jesus.

The vision is an army of young people.
You see bones? I see an army.
And they are FREE from materialism.

They laugh at 9-5 little prisons.
They could eat caviar on Monday and crusts on Tuesday.
They wouldn’t even notice.
They know the meaning of the Matrix, the way the west was won.

They are mobile like the wind, they belong to the nations.
They need no passport.
People write their addresses in pencil and wonder at their strange existence.
They are free yet they are slaves of the hurting and dirty and dying.

What is the vision ?

The vision is holiness that hurts the eyes.
It makes children laugh and adults angry.
It gave up the game of minimum integrity long ago to reach for the stars.
It scorns the good and strains for the best.
It is dangerously pure.

Light flickers from every secret motive, every private conversation.
It loves people away from their suicide leaps, their Satan games.
This is an army that will lay down its life for the cause.
A million times a day its soldiers choose to loose,
that they might one day win
the great ‘Well done’ of faithful sons and daughters.

Such heroes are as radical on Monday morning as Sunday night. They don’t need fame from names. Instead they grin quietly upwards and hear the crowds chanting again and again: “COME ON!”

And this is the sound of the underground
The whisper of history in the making
Foundations shaking
Revolutionaries dreaming once again
Mystery is scheming in whispers
Conspiracy is breathing…
This is the sound of the underground

And the army is discipl(in)ed.
Young people who beat their bodies into submission.
Every soldier would take a bullet for his comrade at arms.
The tattoo on their back boasts “for me to live is Christ and to die is gain”.

Sacrifice fuels the fire of victory in their upward eyes.
Winners. Martyrs.
Who can stop them ?
Can hormones hold them back?
Can failure succeed?
Can fear scare them or death kill them ?

And the generation prays

like a dying man
with groans beyond talking,
with warrior cries, sulphuric tears and
with great barrow loads of laughter!
Waiting. Watching: 24 – 7 – 365.

Whatever it takes they will give: Breaking the rules. Shaking mediocrity from its cosy little hide. Laying down their rights and their precious little wrongs, laughing at labels, fasting essentials. The advertisers cannot mould them. Hollywood cannot hold them. Peer-pressure is powerless to shake their resolve at late night parties before the cockerel cries.

They are incredibly cool, dangerously attractive

Inside.

On the outside? They hardly care.
They wear clothes like costumes to communicate and celebrate but never to hide.
Would they surrender their image or their popularity?
They would lay down their very lives – swap seats with the man on death row – guilty as hell. A throne for an electric chair.

With blood and sweat and many tears, with sleepless nights and fruitless days,
they pray as if it all depends on God and live as if it all depends on them.

Their DNA chooses JESUS. (He breathes out, they breathe in.)
Their subconscious sings. They had a blood transfusion with Jesus.
Their words make demons scream in shopping centres.

Don’t you hear them coming?

Herald the weirdo’s! Summon the losers and the freaks.
Here come the frightened and forgotten with fire in their eyes.
They walk tall and trees applaud, skyscrapers bow, mountains are dwarfed by these children of another dimension.
Their prayers summon the hounds of heaven and invoke the ancient dream of Eden.

And this vision will be.
It will come to pass;
it will come easily;
it will come soon.

How do I know?

Because this is the longing of creation itself,
the groaning of the Spirit,
the very dream of God.

My tomorrow is his today.
My distant hope is his 3D.
And my feeble, whispered, faithless prayer invokes a thunderous, resounding, bone-shaking great ‘Amen!’ from countless angels, from hero’s of the faith, from Christ himself. And he is the original dreamer, the ultimate winner.

Guaranteed.”

Saturday, April 10, 2010

All the Single Ladies Hilarity





If you know me well, then you know I'm a stalker. In the worst way. I love looking at people's facebook page, reading countless blogs... anything I can do to make myself feel a part of someone else's life. There are some people I even claim as a close friend, although we've never met just because I'm enthralled in the things that they write and the pictures that they take.

One of my favorite blogs belongs to Heather Whittaker. She has an adopted boy from South Korea and their story made me fall even more in love with the idea of adopting a child. One of the funniest videos I've ever seen was done of her sweet Losiah in the car one day. It was so funny that it made TWO news stations in Atlanta. If you like Beyonce's song All the Single Ladies, then check this video out here. You'll laugh so hard you might cry. Or wet your pants.


Thursday, April 8, 2010

Safe House Teachings

Yesterday was the first step to the fulfillment of a dream I've had for years.

My friend Kristin and I went to Wellspring Living's Safe House to teach women who have come out of prostitution and the sex slave trade. We taught on who God is and who He says that they are. We gave them opportunities to share their dreams and talk about what they want to do in life. We affirmed them and prayed for them. It was amazing hearing their stories. We only encouraged them to share about hopes and dreams and inspirations, but they were more than willing to delve into some of the rockier life issues they've had. Most of their dreams were birthed during their darkest seasons, so it was incredible to hear the passion that was behind their words.

These women have BIG hearts and BIG dreams. They want the most out of life. They've seen the worst that the world has to offer and now they're ready to dance to the beat of a different drum. Show the world who they really are and what they have to offer. They are meant to bring hope to other women, to inspire destiny, to empower and champion those around them. To make a better life for those that come after them. It's going to be incredible once they start believing in who they are and start walking it out.

The world needs more women like these. Passionate. Generous. Loving. Gracious. Compassionate. Women like these need our help, our encouragement and prayers. We have to believe in them and continue to empower them. They need us to stand behind them and with them.

So I'm in. Are you?