Blessed Are They That Mourn…

Mourning. 

We deny ourselves this opportunity. We try to clean up our lives and pretend everything is alright. 

Jesus painted a different picture. In the Sermon on the Mount, He proclaimed that those who mourn are blessed, because they will be comforted. He wasn’t afraid of the mess. He wasn’t afraid of the real pain that comes with grieving, with mourning, with running in to the pain. He came here to come near to those who were broken, and to show us to do the same. 

Tonight I got news that a dear, dear friend of my family died in his sleep, taken by the cancer he has been battling for some time now. 

I am in mourning, many are. He was a very kind and gentle man who took me in and made sure I was ok while my family was crumbling, and has continued to see himself as a sort of father in my life as I’ve grown and become and adult. (more…)

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Published in: on August 18, 2014 at 12:56 am  Leave a Comment  
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A Year (or two) in Review

Where to begin? The past couple years of serving with IHOPKC have been jam-packed with a wide variety of experiences.

I joined staff in Summer of 2012, and went to Arizona for 3 months to meet with friends and family and build a team of ministry partners. I spent the summer sharing about the prayer movement and my journey in the Lord, and returned to Kansas City in early October. I immediately hopped back in to service with Hope City, the inner city ministry of the International House of Prayer. I spent time there every week day, and when I was not there, I was engaging in the perpetual solemn assembly that is going in IHOPKC’s Global Prayer Room. With Hope City, I primarily served by helping run their prayer meeting, whether it was as a musician on various instruments or as a worship leader. At one point, I was serving in various roles on 10 different worship teams to help keep a prayer and worship service going in the heart of the inner city Monday through Friday from 8 am-10pm every week. This was a very exhausting but a very rewarding period of time. I was only able to run at that pace for about 3 months when I felt the invitation of the Lord to pull back from that level of intensity in that arena and transition into service with our Media team.

Let me explain a little about our perpetual assembly, because otherwise this next part won’t make as much sense. (more…)

Published in: on August 16, 2014 at 5:57 am  Leave a Comment  
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Walking by Faith

Dear beloved blogosphere,

A few thoughts on walking by faith.

Earlier this year, I set out on a journey by faith. Really, that journey goes back much more than just this year, but for the sake of brevity, I am going to start at what has happened this year.
For the past two years, I have been living in Kansas City and have been involved with the International House of Prayer in a volunteer capacity. I know that the Lord has called me to full-time ministry – one must be fairly certain to take a fork in the road that is either medical school or ministry! It has been an arduous journey to walk it out, though. This past spring, through several situations in which “fleece” a la Gideon had been confirmed, I knew it was time to make that transition fully. I left my job and I enrolled in a training program called “Intro to IHOPKC.” Months later, I emerged from the program, ready to hop on IHOPKC staff in a full-time capacity.

Except there’s one more thing: Every member of IHOPKC staff has both the wonderful privilege and faith-building responsibility of raising their own monthly financial support. This helps us keep the prayer room free, the webstream free, our yearly Onething conference – you guessed it – free. It also functions to bring others in to the ministry we are doing, for one plants, another waters, but God brings the life. It is a ministry in itself! Our partners are just as much a part of what we are doing as those people on stage leading the prayer meeting, as those people off-camera running the sound and technology that allows us to broadcast to 200 nations, as those driving shuttles making sure the people who come to hear teachings have a way to get downtown to the Onething conference!

Faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the evidence of things unseen. In order to walk on water, one must step out of the boat. So step I have, and I shall continue stepping until I have sought out and claimed the provision the Lord has for me.

One step of faith I am talking is in posting this blog entry – I know many of you have been blessed by the chord chart transcriptions I have posted, or by various thoughts I have shared. I want to ask you to prayerfully consider being a part of my partnership team. If this has stirred you, please look over on the sidebar to my pages and follow the “Support a Missionary” link to further instructions about how you, yes, YOU can become a part of my ministry team and help the incense of prayer and the songs of worship arise before the Lord day and night, night and day, until we see Him face to face.

Bless you and thank you

The Beautiful King, the Beaten Man

Hello, all. I wanted to share a bit about something I was meditating on today… by accident 🙂

I was on mikebickle.org and decided to listen to the series on prayers to strengthen your inner man. I recommend it – I’ve included a link to the teaching series later in this post. I was listening to it while in the prayer room, and got to the 2nd session, which is on studying Jesus in the book of Revelation.

Meanwhile, the worship team in the prayer room changed out, and the team that came up began singing through Isaiah 53. So, I am sitting there studying the victorious and glorious Jesus who is coming again in all authority and power, and every eye will see Him, even those who pierced Him… and then the worship team is singing about this broken man, who created human hands and then was beaten by the very hands He formed, who created mouths to praise him, and they cursed Him.

I was undone. Simultaneously meditating on Jesus in glory and hearing them sing about how low He came. I’ve been so moved all day by this, to the point of weeping, and so I am sharing it with you. I recommend taking a full 3 hours to listen to the teaching (Descriptions of Jesus in Revelation) and then listen to the worship set, which I have uploaded here.
I hope it moves you as much as I was moved.

If you don’t see, you die…

If you don’t see, you die… or, in other words, without vision, the people perish. This isn’t to say that those without physical sight are condemned… but it is to say, that without looking ahead, without having a goal to progress towards, without having some sort of plan of action, one will easily perish into obscurity, into nothingness. The less vision you have, the harder it is to stir some up.

I graduated college 2 months ago, planning to move to a certain city. Those plans fell through. I ended up living with one of my parents. Here I am. More than a thousand miles away from where I want to be. No job, nowhere near the people and activities and place I want to be. This wasn’t the plan.

So, on one hand, we’re to have vision. On the other hand, God seems to be in the business of upsetting the plans of men. What to do? It seems the only way I will survive this intact will be to make Christ my sole vision, not some place. Not to numb myself into a media stupor killing time and avoiding my ache over my situation by drowning it out with the drone of a thousand other voices, but to run to Him in the midst of this place I hate to be, and to tell Him how I feel about it, and to ask Him how He feels about it, and to ask Him what His reasons are for it, and then to do something about that.

It is not fun. I hate my life right now, in all honesty. This isn’t what I wanted. I do not like being here, and every fiber of my being is offended. I am a college graduate, I just payed an exorbitant amount of money to go to school, put in four years of work, have to actually start paying on that exorbitant fee of student loans I borrowed for school (a rant for another day), and I am unemployed, haven’t heard back from anyone I’ve submitted and application to, have had a few prospective jobs fall through (ok, so I’ve been unemployed for over a year and have had all sorts of problems with jobs falling through for the past year, but that’s our economy right now) and all-in-all I feel rather discouraged. I’m living with my mother. I am a college graduate and I had to move home to live with my mother because I have maybe $100 to my name. I’ve been donating plasma for money, but couldn’t even do that for a while because the last time I donated I ended up getting a large bruise and they won’t let you donate if you don’t have both arms ready to take a needle. And in the midst of this, I haven’t been as active as I was in school, walking from home to class and across campus a few miles a day, and so my weight has ballooned by a good 20 lbs. I don’t think I could go out and exercise if I wanted to, and I do want to, for I’ve moved to the desert and 105º is considered a cool day out here. At least I have the fall to look forward to, because I live in a place great for outdoor hiking and such… But for now, I am stuck inside because of the heat, and trying to get by on pushups and crunches when I remember to…

So, all of this is really not the best of situations. When I look at the situation, I don’t want to be alive. Hope is hard to find. Motivation is hard to muster. But when I look at Christ, it gets easier. Hope whispers softly, which is better than not at all. When I spend time with Him, I remember why He is so worth it. Just one word from Him is enough to overcome a thousand lies. It’s amazing how it works.

Be thou my vision…

Note: i think the title quote is from Cory Russell’s “Eyes Opened.”

A Change of Seasons

“All I can say is I feel that there’s a new season…”

I was visiting International House of Prayer KC over Thanksgiving break, and ran into a friend of mine who is on staff there, who is very prophetic. There’s a certain rule there about people prophesying to visitors about coming to live at IHOP. It makes sense. He has asked me my plans, and I had jokingly told him “You’re prophetic, you tell me!”

That was his response.

I didn’t blow it off, but I didn’t know what to make of it either. I lived at IHOP for the summer of 2009 and I love that place, I would love to spend a season of my life there, at least a few years, even 10 years, and preferably a very near season!

Then I got back to Texas, and in more than one conversation the idea of a new season came up. “Ok, Lord, I get what You’re saying.”

But I still don’t know what it looks like. I can definitely feel the shift in the air, like that subtle warm sun on a chilly winter day indicating new life is just around the corner. Indicating that the season of rain is coming. Indicating that the seeds that have been sown, that have been buried under drifts of snow and that have died, will soon be springing to life.

Ok. I hope there’s more than just poetic language to those statements. I hope it’s time for new life. I pray that the change of seasons is upon me. I wonder what it means. I wonder if it means that He’s paving a path to IHOP-KC for me.

Or not?

Whatever He has planned, He knows best. I deeply desire to be in Kansas City.

Right now, I am listening to Cassie Campbell & team in the prayer room, and they are singing “You who started a good work in me will be faithful to complete it, and on the day I see Your face I will shine.”

It’s very applicable. Wherever I am, as long as I remain with my gaze fixed on His face, I will do well. He’s the purpose. He’s the same wherever I am. . .

So here I am, just waiting for what He has in store… looking for signs of a new season….

Published in: on January 13, 2010 at 12:43 am  Leave a Comment  
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Insight: Biochemistry, and how it relates to my walk with Jesus

I have a key stuck in the drivers’ door of my car. It’s not a car key. It kind of looks like one, and it sure slid into the keyhole(put there by a roommate while I was gone), but the thing will not come out. I even had one of those lock picking companies take a look at it. They said that, in order to get the key out, the lock would have to be removed from the car, disassembled, the key removed, and the lock reassembled. I promise, this plays in.

(more…)

Ephesians: My Identity

Yesterday Misty was talking about a golden thread of the Bridal Paradigm and Song of Solomon being weaved throughout the rest of scripture – she made the excellent point that our intimacy with the Lord really hinges on keeping that Song of Solomon “I am the beloved of God” view as a view threaded throughout the rest of the Lord’s interactions with His people, because it really is. So much of the Word is the Lord talking about His people as His beloved bride, and what He’s doing for her and what He’d do for her and what He did for her and how she responded.

 

So, in keeping with that, today during the 2pm WWW, which was on SoS so kept me in that viewpoint, I took the book of Ephesians, the first two chapters, and did something I’ve done time and time again and ought to do every day because it still is so rich and such a good reminder, and I easily forget it…

and I thought, “Lord, my heart is dark, but you have called me lovely. I see dark, but You see lovely, I say dark, but you have said…”

I have said dark, but He has said… and take Ephesians 1 & 2 and look at what the Lord has said of His saints through the book of Ephesians!

 

I’ve done this list several times. Here’s one of them…

I say dark, but You say…

I am blessed; chosen; holy; blameless; loved; predestined; adopted; under grace; redeemed; forgiven; shown the mystery of His will; given an inheritance, a hope, and a praise in Him; saved; sealed; pledged; His possession; made alive in Him; seated in the heavenly places; His workmanship; reconciled; a citizen; a saint; of God’s household; founded on Him; a dwelling of God in the Spirit

Ephesians 1&2 (NASB)

I highly recommend it!

Published in: on November 27, 2009 at 5:52 pm  Leave a Comment  
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The Obesity Epidemic and Our Souls

As a health sciences major, I hear about the prevalence of obesity in our culture quite frequently class to class. “How is it,” it is so often proposed, “that such a thing has come about so quickly?”

(more…)

Overthought.

I began a crusade for myself this month to go through Scripture with fresh eyes, looking only at what it says and ignoring what I’ve been taught about it to the best of my ability… interpreting the Word through the lens of the Word. I plan to continue this and read through the Bible a few times. It’s kind of insane. It’s writing itself on my heart, though.

I highly recommend it.

Published in: on September 30, 2009 at 10:00 am  Leave a Comment  
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