In the midst of a huge, wearying season I have sensed God encouraging me to take my eyes off myself, my perceived problems, anxieties and needs and spend time in prayer for others.
There is something about the action of intercession that sets my priorities in order. Intercession shifts my heart to listen and care about the people, places and issues on God’s heart and gives me great joy, hope and faith to believe for His Kingdom to come on earth and bring life to death. He desires to bring life into every situation.
Something that has caught my attention recently...
We are hosting a gathering this Saturday night, 7pm at the River Church Community on 670 Lincoln Ave. We're planning to tell the story God has been writing during our time here and we'll attempt to do it in the most creative way possible!
We would love to see you make it, no need to RSVP, but if you plan to make it you can do so here, so we know how many chairs to put out!! We will be continuing to raise money and pray into our dream of opening a YWAM Youth Ministry Center. If you cannot make it on the night would you consider a donation towards our goal of seeing $75,000 released by the event? We currently have raised $52,000, God is SO good!!
To make a donation to the facility fund you can click here....
There are a few opportunities coming up we would love to share with you.
1.) If you are living here in the Bay Area and feel called to business or the workplace and want to be more connected into the Kingdom and God's people's mission and meet others with the same heart, I want to invite you to participate in a conference we are helping to host on October 4-6th. You can register here at www.bamconference.com .
2.) YWAM Ember Ink is hosting an informal gathering on October 12th, 7pm at The River Church Community where we will be sharing some vision and opportunities that are coming up. You will have a chance to hear the vision and give towards our goal of opening up a Youth Neighborhood Ministry Center, as well as discover ways to come alongside what God is doing through YWAM in the South Bay.
3.) Our annual Halloween Outreach is fast approaching,...
We just got home from our annual YWAM Bay Area [Website] Staff Retreat where the the theme was 'Faith the Move Mountains'. I was totally on board with this and felt that it was a power proclamation of what I want to see happen in my faith life... I WANT BREAKTHROUGH!
I've been praying for movement on so many things I have kept close to my heart, words from the Lord about myself, my marriage, my family and the ministry. I'm believing for BIG things! In the mean time, I've invested prayer and have fought off the things that have tried to squash these words. I've held hope and faith in my heart but, in all truthfulness, I have wanted to let my faith be jaded by disappointment and fear. So, this staff retreat came at the perfect time!
While at the retreat, I was asking the Lord for not only an increase in faith but wisdom to see through His perspective and not my own. I spent a lot of time in reflection and just listening. I was listening to Hillsong United's 'People' album (album) and one song in particular stood out to me as I was asking my questions.
In the chorus of the song called Highlands (lyrics) it says:
I will praise You on the mountain
And I will praise You when the mountain’s in my way
You’re the summit where my feet are
So I will praise You in the valleys all the same
No less God within the shadows
No less faithful when the night leads me astray
You’re the heaven where my heart is
In the highlands and the heartache all the same
The question I asked myself was, "When I feel like the mountain is in my way... am I still praising God?" God is God. He deserves the praise no matter what so am I letting any mountains prevent me from doing that?
I was also reading Psalm 46 (read here) at the same time, which says:
vs 2 Therefore we will not fear, though the earth give way and the mountains fall into the heart of the sea,
3 vs 3 though its waters roar and foamand the mountains quake with their surging
I felt like my gaze was widened. I keep praying for mountains to move or fall... or whatever but I have not taken into account the aftermath of it all. It probably feels like a scary surge. There is usually destruction before the land is cleared. There is a forging that happens before the path is made. Is my heart and posture ready for that? Have I been in a state of gratefulness and praise even if I feel like things are in my way because circumstantially it's not going to magically get easier... its just going to be different. But it will be easier if I realize that God is God. He is with us. He is strong. He is present. He is a refuge. He is almighty. He is the one doing it. Praise be to Him, and to Him ALONE... whether in the valley, on the summit or looking from afar.
Today, are you praising Him? If you aren't sure the, take a moment... be still....know Him... praise Him! Because when he moves those mountains and they crumble into the sea, its going to kick up a big wave and you'll either drown in it or ride it. I want to ride it!
When I was a kid, we had the D.A.R.E. (Drug Abuse Resistance Education) program in school. It's common message was to "Just say NO". Although this is a very good message when referring to drugs and protecting yourself from harm, I have seen so often that people (myself included) have let this message to seep into their lives to protect themselves from being uncomfortable by serving others... I get it. Trust me. I'm not a "yes" person AT ALL. In fact, when Luke says 'yes' to things I'm usually the voice of "reason" and I try to balance the yeses with the nos.
Recently, I have been hit with the Matthew 25 passage that makes me almost cringe at the thought...
TODAY IS NEW DAY! We've all got so much to look forward to! Summer here is at its half-way point and there is a temptation to look forward with a growing to-do list as school nears or even look at it with sadness as summer nears its end. Today, we look at it as another new season about to begin! How exciting!
I think I find it most encouraging as I'm reminded that amidst all of the struggles and joys of daily life, He (Jesus) promises He will be with us! As we remain in the Vine (John 15), let us continually live our lives and make decisions to further the spread of faith, hope and love around this earth! Be encouraged as you opt into Jesus that our neighbors, friends, colleagues, and families will all experience the love of Jesus as we daily say "yes" to Him. Remain in the Vine friends!!!
For us here on Vine Street (see what I did there?😉)...
How far can you go? Well, as far as you've got the guts to go... This is a long update, but I hope you get a chance to be encouraged today as you read.
I was watching an old video of myself a friend sent me yesterday... Watching it was wonderfully beautiful, fierce, and weird at the same time. I had just turned 20, had confusing hair/facial hair (nothing much has changed) and I was getting married in a few months. I was asked by my friend behind the camera,
It’s been such an interesting year. For me. The past little while I’ve been almost overloaded and overwhelmed by the myriad of emotions life brings. Seeing off my Grandpa into eternity was so beautiful, challenging and at the end of the day I can only sit in gratefulness as I realize how much I and my family were given by this extraordinary man. ( I include my grandma in the same breath as they were TEAM, and while she is still with us, it won’t be long before she is home with Jesus too.)
This Easter was hard for me to enter in per my normal. Normally it has been quite frantic for me. I’m usually occupied helping design the experience and set the table for many. This year, I was sitting in the congregation coloring a page with my adorable son who with not a quiet whisper was asking questions throughout. Then as it dawned on him what was happening I saw him engage like I’ve never seen before. It started some time during the Good Friday service and continued as I heard his little voice singing loudly during Easter Sunday.
I’m used to providing value wherever I’m at. I’m a 2 on the enneagram and I guess that matches up with my personality. This weekend though, not so much. In fact my life at the moment is not seemingly producing much except a ton of reflection and wondering.
Then it hit me. Monday morning I was overwhelmed during a quiet time with Jesus. As I sang and worshiped it all hit me at once. Gratefulness, grief. Gratefulness in the before, now and not yet. Grief over my failings and imperfectness. There was gratefulness in the grief. Grief woven throughout the gratefulness. A war in my heart to hold onto hope as at times I sink into depression of how big the mountains seem and then in the next moment pure Joy, euphoria and elation on how good Jesus was and is and will be.
I know I sound crazy, and yes, I may be a little crazy. Aren’t we all??
So much of my life seems to be about waiting for Him to come. And so much of my life seems to be about stepping out when I’m not always sure if He is there. But the truth is HE is. HE is always there.
I’m all for the grief and gratefulness of the Friday and the celebration and euphoria of the Sunday. But the Monday. When Jesus made his disciples breakfast on the beach. (Now I know it was technically the Monday probably, but you get my drift) The fact He was still there. The fact it was so normal but so different. This sealed the deal for me this week. And brought hope into my life with such a gust. This filled my need. This took care of my want. This reality helps me take my moment today.
Two weeks ago I was leading worship for an all-morning vision and prayer gathering with YWAM Bay Area. I entered the room thoughtful but expectant. I didn't really have a strong word or sense as we began our time.
Quite often I find it's like that. This life. This communion with our Father. We always seem to want more. To have an inside track on what He is doing, what He is saying. Maybe more details. More surety or assurances. You name it, there is almost always a 'more' we are looking for.
You guys, it is a new season! I’m not talking about the actual 4 seasons that mark the passing of our year. I’m talking about a season in the Spirit which not only calls us to rise up... but PROMISES fruit! And not just fruit - but fruit in ABUNDANCE!
As I walked past my poor neglected garden today, I had forgotten that I had planted things. I completely forgot. The busyness of life took over, then the rain came, and I eventually just forgot. But 4 things came to me today.
It matters what seeds we plant
God is the one who grows things, not me! (Clearly)
It is within His timing, so I can trust in that
The word I received for 2019 was “fruition”. Not 100% sure what that means but I can tell you that if I’ve been planting good seeds... I’m super excited! Other similar words within my community have been “Abundance”, “Reclaim”, “Expand”... they’re all in the realm of not only God’s Goodness and Bigness, but about His Faithfulness! Now is not the time to walk in fear or skepticism, waiting for something to go wrong.... NOW IS THE TIME FOR US TO STEP UP AND TO GRAB THE GOODNESS OF GOD - EXPECTING TO SEE IT IN YOUR LIFE! I’m so excited for this season! Hope you are too! #fruition#abundance#GodisGOOD#Allthetime#Hopeintheunseen