Well, the hustle of the elections is dying down in the city, and I thought it might be time to share some of my thoughts. Today, as a team we processed a little as to how we feel about the results. I enjoyed hearing the wisdom and understanding from different brothers and sisters in the room. The verdict is America made it’s choice, clear and simple. It is a great victory for African-Americans no doubt. We will pray for this man, possibly more than any other leader. (1 Timothy 2:1-2) Yet we do not fail to realize that his values and the principles we choose to live by do not align. When given the choice we will stand for righteousness, and fight for life. We see the value in the most vulnerable lives in our nation. We also realize that hope for us as well as these children does not rest in the President-elect, but in God alone. So we will “press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.” (Philippians 3:14)
Where does that leave me?
The day after the elections we were having a worship time and I was reading through the Psalms. This verse stood out to me.
One thing I ask of the LORD,
this is what I seek:
that I may dwell in the house of the LORD
all the days of my life,
to gaze upon the beauty of the LORD
and to seek him in his temple.
Something struck me. This verse is basically my job description. In turn, I have not failed. I have sought the Lord with all my heart, soul, mind, and strength this year. And he promises that “you will find Him if you search for Him with all your heart and all your soul.” (Deuteronomy 4:29) I continue to seek the Lord, and to find Him. In so many new ways and new places, from feelings within me to in the faces of new friends I met in Pennsylvania, I have found Him. And nothing this world has to offer can compare to Him.
Finally, please be praying with me as I seek the Lord concerning 2009. My commitment to DC ends December 15. I will spending time in prayer over the next couple days and covet your prayers. I am wrestling a bit with the Lord, but hopefully will quickly surrender to His will. I will keep you updated!
“Less of me and more of you.” From time to time I hear this in the prayer room. I would have to say this may be the best summary of what the Lord taught me in PA. It was my first time leading a group of peers, and I learned quickly that this was key. One morning I got up early to spend time with the Lord. I had grand thoughts of sitting down and planning out the day ahead. The Lord quickly humbled me in the form of a question. “Are you leading this trip, or is my Spirit?” I repented to the Lord for my attempt to take over, and went back to my team. I looked at the team a few hours later and admitted, I am not sure what we are supposed to do today, and I need you and the Lord to help me figure that out. The Lord very clearly showed us what He wanted us to do that day, I just needed to step out of the way. There are many other things the Lord is faithfully teaching me, but for now I will just summarize with this verse.
He has showed you, O man, what is good. And what does the LORD require of you? To act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God.
“Humility before God is nothing if not proved in humility before men.”
Well, this weekend was packed full of opportunities. We had dinner with friends, led worship, prayed for the nation, worshiped at a river, and even shared at a church instead of the sermon. The Lord has been so good to us since we have been here in Pittsburgh. I am amazed at the connections that the Lord has brought our way. I feel so blessed to not only enjoy the beautiful fall scenery here but to be able to see the beauty of God in people’s hearts. Our schedule is often last minute, the Lord is teaching me how to walk in step with His spirit. Sometimes I try and plan things out, until I realize I am not the one in charge here. There are little gifts along the way, things like bright red trees, warm apple cider, cozy farmer’s markets, and belly laughs. God you are good.
I want to take a moment to share with you a story from this week. Monday, I felt it would be good for us to go a university here in the Pittsburgh area and pray. So that night we wrote out a list of local universities. We weren’t sure where to start so we tore up the paper and decided to draw three. One of the girls grabbed the coffee pot, instead of a bowl, and gave it a quick shake. One fell out, proceeded by 2 more. Pittsburgh University was one of which. So we decided the next day to go and pray there. The next morning I was on the phone with a local pastor’s wife. I told her where we were going and she got excited. She told me that she was going to be sharing there that night about justice and invited us to come. We went to the campus and settled down with the guitar on the Heinz chapel steps facing a building called the Cathedral of Learning. We worshiped and prayed there for a while. Later that night we met the pastor’s wife and went with her while she shared. The group she was sharing with met in the Cathedral. The next morning at the grocery store the newspaper caught my eye. The front page boldly read, “Cathedral of Lights.” I couldn’t believe my eyes. We had no idea, but while we were in the building there was a light show right outside lighting up the entire cathedral. The previous afternoon we had been praying for God’s light and truth to penetrate this campus. We didn’t know the Lord would take us so literally!
Well, I am humbled by the lack of updates on this thing, but I’ll try to make it up to you! We have been super busy, and it’s been a little hard to sit down and share what’s going on. I am currently in Pittsburgh, PA. Through circumstances that were nothing short of divine, I find myself here with a team of 6 other girls. Everything about this trip has been undeniable the Lord. He has provided housing and so much more. We will be here for 3 weeks. We will go back to DC to join up the rest of the team for the for the final days before the election. We feel that this is a pivotal city in the election, and are praying for the Lord’s will in this place!
Remember… this is the word that is echoing through my mind this morning, as I sit down for a moment with the Lord, before the day takes over.
Honestly, I have found myself a little weighed down lately. Trying to analyze the problem my mind goes to a thousand possible breakdowns. How did I get this way? Why do I feel this way? There are many targets the enemy brings to my attention, maybe it was this or maybe it is even that person. Oh, how he loves to play the blame game! One of his oldest tricks going all the way back to Adam in the garden… she made me do it. Adam is not alone, it creeps into my life as well.
All this to say the heaviness I feel may be more of a memory problem than a relational rift? You see somehow I forget so easily who the Lord is and what He has done for me. How different really am I than those stubborn Isrealites we learned about as kids in Sunday School. This morning, I must say I resemble them in more ways than I like to admit. I find myself looking inward more than upward. My situations and life may look very different than the deserts of Egypt, but my heart is a little too similar. I think there is something very significant in the Lord’s command in Deuteronomy to “remember.” It is the subtle things that pull my eyes off my Savior. But the effect it has on my heart and my outlook on life is anything but subtle.
Today I hope to pause for a bit from the hustle and bustle of American life, and reflect upon the goodness of the Lord. He has been infinitely kind to me. He know me better than I know myself, and is working all these things together for good. I encourage you to take a moment and remember. I am confident it won’t take long to discover the riches of His love for you.
“The LORD your God who goes before you will Himself fight on your behalf, just as He did for you in Egypt before your eyes, and in the wilderness where you saw how the LORD your God carried you, just as a man carries his son, in all the way which you have walked until you came to this place.”
Our corporate “Show me your glory” fast just ended on Friday. After time reflecting this weekend, I find myself very grateful. We ran an intense schedule, yet I am thankful for how much we were able to pack into it. We as a team have now read through the entire Bible together. We finished on Friday night at the World War ll memorial here in DC. We each stood representing our home states as we proclaimed the last few chapters of Revelation. “Come, Lord Jesus.” We also went to through two teaching projects during the fast. They were super challenging. The Lord has revealed so much to us. I walk away from the fast with a greater hunger for the truth that only Jesus offers. We are preparing for The Call (a national day of fasting and prayer here in DC on Saturday) this week. Our schedule for the Fall is beginning to form, and I am looking forward to all that is to come!
“And there was a prophetess, Anna… She never left the temple, serving night and day with fastings and prayers. At that very moment she came up and began giving thanks to God, and continued to speak of Him to all those who were looking for the redemption of Jerusalem.” Luke 2:36-38
I love it when the Lord brings me back to a place of simplicity. What do you have for this Anna today thousands of years later Lord? What does it look like for me an intercessor in the 21st century? The answer draws me closer to the One who knows me best. I feel 2 things, one to simply seek Him first, and all these things will be added unto me, and second to recognize Him. Anna in the temple knew that her Savior had come. She glanced at that swaddled newborn, and knew her prophecies had been fulfilled. With this, I am asking for a heightened sensitivity. How often is He in my midst, yet I don’t even recognize Him? Thank you Lord for the privilege of seeking you daily. Open my eyes to see you!
Last week, we had a devotional set on the parable of the sower (see Matthew 13). I prayed to the Lord, “make my heart soft soil for your word to fall into.” The week following was rough. I got sick, and felt weak in every sense of the word. I found myself crying often, and feeling so frustrated. Lord what is wrong with me I thought. Late in the week, He put the mud to my eyes and the scales fell. I realized He was simply anwering my prayer. For making hard soil into soft fertile soil isn’t exactly a gentle process. It requires slamming a heavy metal shovel to break up the hard ground. Through this process the Lord showed me some of the contrasts of hard soil and fertile soil.
Fertile soil embraces the water poured upon it letting it seep deep into every dry crevice, while the water can barely penetrate hard ground. Fertile soil is vulnerable to the elements. Fertile soil is easily mixed with other soils, how well do I mix with my teammates? Fertile soil is easily transferred into other pots, do I move easily through the circumstances and situations the Lord brings me?
I challenge you to ask the Lord where the soil of your heart is today. I want to hear and understand the word as it falls onto my heart. Love and Blessings!