To my daughter , Love Jesus

I remember the day my father and I decided to make you.

It was a few thousand years ago now.  We sat around the table drawing our plan of just exactly how you would look, the family you would have and the passions you would peruse.    At first we thought you would be perfect for the middle ages because you make a perfect princess.  But then we thought having you live in a time of air conditioning would be better….you’re welcome.

Since creating our first daughter in the garden we have loved each one.  Some drew close to me and I loved showering her with heavenly hugs and my still small voice guiding her steps.  Some of my daughters have ran away from my arms determined to chase after counterfeit love and have her heart broken and disappointed every time.

The enemy puts a shiny coating over the things of this world.  It looks at first that being beautiful, or finding love is what you need to be complete.  When you get behind the cheap veneer you realize nothing the world offers will satisfy.

I’ve watched you cry when you found out the “forever” he promised what so much shorter than you thought it would be.  I’ve hurt when you gave your heart to men who were not able to love you fully and completely.  I cringe when you look at your face in the mirror and tell yourself it’s not enough.

Sweet daughter.  You are enough.

I have looked at what you call less and met it with my “more”.  I have looked at your broken and made you whole.

I want to hold you and pour into your broken places.  I want to ask that you see the difference in the temporary dime-a-dozen offers of “happiness” from the world and my offer of eternal fulfillment.

I have created you to for such a time as this, for such a day as this, and to be such a girl as yourself by no accident.  You have a glorious invitation to be a part of something so much bigger than you could ever imagine because I think you are worthy.

Every name you know from 2,000 years ago is remembered not because their name is great, it is because they took the invitation to be part of my story.

I’m inviting you to be part of an adventure so much bigger than what you see around you.  An invitation to be part of the biggest motion picture that was or ever will be.  The story is already in progress, but it would be so much more exciting with you.

 The story of God is in progress and your invited to be a supporting role. 

I love you too much to see you work so hard for all this unattainable happiness that won’t last.  I see a perfect daughter in you, and I want you to be apart of this adventure.

The way your passionate about the things that matter to you, your infectious smile and your gentle voice.  Every detail about you can be used for the bigger story.     Come be apart of something bigger.  Come join my story.

When I consider Your heavens, the work of Your fingers, The moon and the stars, which You have ordained; What is man that You take thought of him, And the son of man that You care for him? Yet You have made him a little lower than God, And You crown him with glory and majesty! Psalm 8:3-8

Thirsty

When Jesus walked the earth He talked about money, love, Heaven and Hell. He talked to Kings, Religious leaders, his Disciples and even his mother but the LONGEST recorded conversation was with a heartbroken girl.

The woman at the well story in John Chapter 4 is the longest recorded conversation with Jesus in Scripture.

The calendar has a different date, the cultural is distant, and thank you Jesus we now have cell phones, but the struggle is exactly the same. What I love about this woman is she is me, and you, and so many other women I have talked to who all share her same testimony. Searching for significance in the arms of a man.

“I just kept looking to feel whole everywhere but through Jesus” confesses a 21 year old heartbroken girl I had coffee with recently. The struggle is the same today, as when I was her age, as when the woman came to draw water 2000 years ago.

I think Jesus knew, centuries later, an equally heartbroken girl would be in desperate need to hear the words directly from Jesus to pour into her broken places.

modern-woman-at-the-well

The woman at the well was married 5 times and having slumber parties with a guy she wasn’t married to. She comes do draw water,maybe doing the walk of shame in her boyfriends toga. She is thirsty, in more ways that one.

At the well she meets a very unlikely friend. Culturally He shouldn’t even give her the time of day. Jesus is a powerful, strong and respected leader. She is a woman of questionable morals from the wrong side of the wrong town. Thankfully Jesus was never one to follow the crowd and do what everyone else thought he should do.
He looks at her with dignity and says:

“Everyone who drinks this water will be thirsty again, but whoever drinks of the water I will give him will never be thirsty again.”John 4:13

Jesus looks at the woman aching to be beautiful, yearning for popularity, and thirsty to be loved fully and completely and asks:
How can another sinful human fulfill a void that big? Even when you think you have found your happily ever after, it will only fulfill you for a short while, then you have to come back for another guy, another “the one” and another heartbreak leaves you more thirsty than before. I want better for you my sweet daughter.

“The water that I will give will become a spring of water welling up to eternal life.” John 4:14

Imagine you have arrived at perfection. Your body is a 10, your hair is just right, not a blemish to be found from head to toe, you’re hilarious smart and turn all the guys heads. Awesome right? Now all your problems are solved and you will have a line out the door of men who will love you forever.
Only this:
1)we all have different definitions of what “perfection” looks like
2) How is this working out for all the perfect women in hollywood?

The woman said to him, “Sir, give me this water, so that I will not be thirsty” John 15

AMEN SISTER!
YES GIVE ME THIS WATER!! It is still free flowing on tap in John chapter 4 and on your knees ready to be poured out to fill your brokenness.

Dear ladies searching for significance in the arm of a man. I get it, I was there. The man, woman relationship is designed to COMPLIMENT us, never to COMPLETE us. God gave me a wonderful husband but I can not expect him to make me whole! He is a (very handsome) but flawed human just like me. Where in the world did we ever get the idea that the “right person” would quench all that we thirst for?

Jesus says everything we are searching for is so temporary and won’t last. He offers Eternal water, a promise to never thirst again. A promise of no more heartbreaks and empty searches for what your heart truly needs to feel whole.

Jesus, give me this water so I will never thirst again!

Following Jesus can be scary

“Better than a crack house I suppose?”  I told myself as I walked my way to room 225 of the unsightly motel on the back side of town.  I had been working with the local homeless mission for a few months when the director called to tell me about  Sarah, a young mom they just place in a hotel for 2 weeks.  Sarah and I had kids the same age and the director knew Sarah was desperate for a friend to help escape the crack house.

Knock Knock

In 30 seconds that felt like 3 hours I questioned my sanity and thought about running away, but then a 5 year old boy opened the door with spiderman pajamas.  He gave me a hug and invited me in.

This began my dive into the deep end of the rich and poor divide.
I fell in love with this little family.  I learned her husband left her for drugs and other women.  She had no education, no car, no home, no bank account, terrible credit and all her friends and family were in similar situations.  We grew up only miles apart but it just as well could have been different planets.  When I was a kid, I came home from school my mom greeted me with snacks and homework help, when she came home from school her mom was passed out on the couch from trying to OD…again.

I’m an “all in” kinda girl.  When I decide to commit to something I pour all of my blood sweat and tears into it.  I pull long hours and recruit everyone I know who may possibly even have a hint of passion along with me.  With the help of the amazing community and my overzealous, determined, persistent  phone calls, we got her an apartment, a car, a great job, child care, and a housewarming party to boot.  My husband taught her how to handle money and I watched her kids so she could go get her GED. I poured my everything into this girl and couldn’t be more proud of all she would be able to accomplish.  She was going to overcome the chains of poverty, she would be a success story! 

The only problem was, I wanted her success much more than she did.

Almost as quickly as it came together I watched her let it fall apart.  She stopped showing up for work, She had excuse after excuse of why she couldn’t make rent.  Finally facing eviction of the apartment so many people helped her furnish. I woke up early calling all hands on deck, how could we help her, what could we do?  At 11am when I still hadn’t heard from Sarah I went to her apartment.  I figured she would be frantically working trying to find an odd job to make the rent payment,  No, she was asleep.

She was able to glimpse what it looked like to be on the other side of poverty, it was different, it was unfamiliar, and it scared her.

I felt like I was watching a bad movie. I was pleading and crying, “can’t you see you are making terrible decisions, can’t you see the amazing life you can have?” but she wouldn’t hear it.  She pushed me out of her life and went back to her old self.

Lessons learned

I have been just like Sarah, the only difference was the circumstances.  How many times has God shown me a better way but I was just too scared of the unfamiliar path so I didn’t take it?

How many times have I been offered a chance to sacrifice something small for the chance to have something better?

How many times did I, as a college student, throw up after drinking too much swearing there was more to life than this but scared to take the road less traveled?  How many times did I say I wanted a good Christian guy but I thought I would find him on the highway of kissing too many boys?

Just like Sarah I too wanted the more abundant life but none of my friends went down that road, It was unfamiliar and scary.  While the road of hangovers and heartbreak was collapsing in on me, at least it was familiar.

All the while Jesus is pleading, there is a better way my sweet daughter!

If God is all he claims to be then i lose NOTHING for putting down my lesser ways to follow his much more abundant ways.  Let’s live that abundant life we are called to live! Let’s hold hands and walk together and chase Jesus through the scary parts to find the abundance on the other side of scary.

Everything worth having requires sacrifice.  What am I holding onto that is so much less than what God is offering?  Can  I put down the less so I have room for the more? 
abundant-life-copy

One brave girl

At Georgia Southern University there is a revival happening on Greek Row.  Men and women in sororities and fraternities are rising up tired of the stereotypes and wanting to stand for something bigger than themselves.  They have tasted the hangovers and heartbreak and find, quite frankly, it is not all it’s cracked up to be.

At the beginning of the year they gathered together for a worship night.  Shut down the road and prayed over each house, each other and for the God of the universe to rule the row.

What struck me was the 3 times they had people come to the alter to pray.  The music was playing, the sun was set, the stars were rising and hearts were stirring.  And then….one brave girl would come to kneel in pray.  I can imagine inside her she is thinking, what will people think, maybe I can just pray where I am.  Do I really need to step forward?? But she does.

brave girl

A few seconds that feel like a few hours later her friend comes to pray beside her.
AND THEN
SOMTHING
REMARKABLE
HAPPENS

the flood gates open up and the alter is full of people praying.

This exact same series of event happened each of the 3 times there was an opening for people to pray at the alter.

One brave girl, then one brave friend…and then a movement starts.  EVERY TIME

I was so inspired by what I had seen happen a hundreds of times before but never fully grasped until that moment.  All it takes is one brave soul.

During the prayer walk our group prayed this over each house;

“May ONE BRAVE girl rise up in each sorority and One Brave guy in each fraternity, though they may be scared, though they may not have all the answers or know what this will look like, may they be brave enough to take a stand for Jesus and look different than their peers.  May that one brave and scared leader immediately have a friend to follow and encourage each other that normal is overrated and leaders never settle for status quo.”

While it’s important for leaders to rise up both for men and women I believe this social movement starts with women and here is why.

Huffington post put it this way:

“Easy” women are easy to get. The supply exceeds the demand. Now, it’s the sexually modest woman that stands apart in the dating world as a rare and desirable thing.

From the Good Man project, author Dave Booda says it this way:

Ladies, if you really want men to step up and become the real men you talk about, you must demand it. I’m not saying ask for it, I’m not saying hope for it, I’m saying demand it.  What does that mean? It means you don’t settle for anything less. It means if you aren’t satisfied, you walk away. Men will rise up and meet your challenge, I promise, it’s what we do best. We love challenges. We love it when women make us step up and work.

When one brave girl decides to have fun in a different way than puking up tequila all night.  When one brave girl say no to going home with a guy because ummm we all know what will happen.  When one brave girl decides she is worth more than the way she is being treated by a guy.

When a brave girl looks different than her peers.  Guys take notice, other girls take notice, and changes start to happen.

I must note It is impossible to do this alone and IMPOSSIBLE to do this without Jesus. But with the Lord on her side…you betta watch out because NOTHING will stand in her way. 

joshua-be-strong-and-courageousI have seen numerous interviews done with people in hospice care.  Those young and old facing their final days are asked what they would do differently.  You would think it would be spend more time with family, work less, etc.  And while those regrets do make the top 5 the NUMBER ONE regret of they dying as concluded by several different surveys is this:

I wish I’d had the courage to live a life true to myself, not the life others expected of me. I wish I could have been BRAVE. 

I know when your 20 you feel invincible  but this is the time when you will make some of the key decisions to shape the REST OF YOUR LIFE!  NOW is the time to be brave.  NOW is the time to be bold.  Look around you. Everyone is just waiting for someone else to be brave.  Are you willing to be one brave girl?

When we operate in faith, we aren’t risking our reputation. We’re risking God’s reputation! And God can handle Himself just fine, thank you. You may doubt yourself because of your lack of education or lack of experience. But if God has called you, you aren’t really doubting yourself. You’re doubting God. God doesn’t call the qualified. God qualifies the called.”-Mark Batterson

How far is too far

I’ve worked in college and youth ministry for about 10 years now.  Time after time I will have a girl pull me to the side and shyly ask me, “When it comes to guys and…ya know making out and stuff, how far is too far?”

Awe sweet sister,  I get it.  

But I have come to the determination the real question is. “How close can I get to sin without falling?”

How-Far-Is-Too-Far

Basically we are saying I don’t want to fall over a cliff but I would like to dangle my toes over the edge and lean forward just to see what it looks like.

I’ve been there girls. Every guy I dated before I met my husband there was this unspoken timeline to how far we would push things physically on each date.  At first he seemed like a gentleman and wouldn’t even kiss on the first date.  But eventually when a couple, who likes each other, are put in a private room with the lights dim, close to each other, wearing perfume or cologne, articles of clothing are likely to come off.  When articles of clothing come off, lines of sexual immorality get very blurry.  When lines of sexual immorality get very blurry lines get crossed. 

Does this sound like the “If you give a mouse a cookie book?”

The short of it is this:

It is much easier to avoid temptation than to overcome it.

There are guard rails on the side of the highway to keep you from going off a cliff.  They are there for protection but you don’t want to drive your car against them either.  Guard rails are the line but I prefer to not even touch a guardrail.  I’m not here to tell you what is too far.  You need to establish that for yourself.  But I can tell you once you draw the line you need to stay 3 steps away from it or that line will become a crashed guardrail.

My husband was un like any other guy.  He never even put us in situations to set us up for failure.  We would hang out in groups, public places and never in the bedroom with the door shut.  He understood this guardrail concept and honored both of our bodies as being worth something more.  You loose NOTHING by rushing anything.

In 1 Corinthians Paul is speaking to a culture much like ours today.  He is writing to the church in Corinth where women were viewed as a commodity.  In this time there were actually “temple prostitutes”  Yes imagine that if you will. “Hey hun I’m going to church to…ahhh… worship.  Yea that’s it worship.”  People would pay a temple prostitute as a form of “worship” to their God’s.  I’m not making this up, you should read your Bible.  Here is what Paul says to them:

FLEE from sexual immorality.  Don’t get so close that you have trouble defining what is sex and what it isn’t.  FLEE as in RUN THE OTHER DIRECTION.

Flee from sexual immorality.  Every other sin a person commits are outside the body, but whoever sins sexually, sins against their own body.  Did you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God, and that you are not your own? You were bought with a price. 1 Corinthians 6:18

Do you catch that? This is so huge.  If you haven’t paid attention to anything else, pay attention now. 

“Every other sin a person commits are outside the body, but whoever sins sexually, sins against their own body.”

So we are saying something is different about sexual sin.  And there is.  But I think we all already knew that.  It’s not different because God judges you harder for it.  It’s different because of the depth that it scars.  This is why you would rather be beat up than raped.  This is why sexual sin 10 out of 10 times stays with us longer and scars more deeply than any other sin.

Then the verse says” Did you not know?

No they didn’t know.  Just like our culture today doesn’t know.

Your body is a TEMPLE of the HOLY SPIRT.  That’s huge!  Just like the culture Paul is talking to, our culture today thinks our body is just our body.  We do what feels good  Whenever we want with whomever we want because it only our body.  We think sex is just sex, it doesn’t hurt anybody.  But it never, ever, ever is just sex.  And if you have had sex outside of marriage, you already know this to be true. 

You are NOT your own, you were BOUGHT with a price. 

Paul drives home his point by saying…Even if you thought your body was just your body.  Even if you don’t believe in the Holy Spirit and you think you are somehow an exception to this verse.  You were STILL bought with a PRICE.  That price is the blood of your SAVIOR. 

Jesus died because your creator made you with such care and design, with such intricate detail and intention.  He made you so carefully and purposeful he couldn’t stand for you, his precious child, to bear the punishment of sin. So he sent Jesus, the perfect sinless sacrifice to bear the weight and punishment of all our sin so we wouldn’t have to.  It the greatest of all love stories. 

tiara

You are worth so much more than you know. I would go so far to say you are expensive!  You are more than expensive you are a rare jewel.  This rare jewel can’t be cut up into pieces.  It is to be shared with one person, for a lifetime.  The marriage relationship is created to be a glimpse of the amazing love our Lord has for us.  God created sex as the glue, the intimacy, and the icing on top of this relationship.   

So the questions isn’t “how close can I get to sin without falling?”

But instead

“How close can I get to Jesus?”

If only I had a man

We have all been there.  You’re 17 and you need a date to prom.  You’re 20 an you need a date to a social.  You NEED to feel loved.  You WANT to feel wanted.  You pretend you don’t… but you think, “if only I had a man.”

why-I-stopped-looking-for-love

Or maybe your married and you think, if only I had more money, a better job, a bigger house, more kids, less kids…..THEN….THEN I will be happy.

There is no human in the universe that has not had these cravings at some point in their life.

Yes I know I’m talking mostly to women here but let’s talk about football for a minute…don’t worry it also involves a cute guy.

Tom Brady.  Yes, Tom is noted as one of the best NFL player of all times. He has Millions of dollars in the bank and a line out the door of super models begging to date him (before he got married of course….although I’m sure there is still a line) he is the man every man would envy.  Rich, famous, good looking, and praised at his sport.   If we are all reaching for something, Tom Brady is holding it all in his lap.

Yet in an interview with 60 minutes he said something jaw dropping.

60 min interview
The reporter says, “you have what you have always wanted!”

Brady, with an unconvincing “yea it is” continues, “I”m making more money than I ever thought I could make, and why do I have 3 super bowl rings(he has 4 now), and still think there is something else out there for me?
 Many people would  say, You have reached the highest dreams this is the pinnacle of success, but, me I think, there has got to be more than this.”

When the reporter asked him, “what’s the answer?”
Brady responded, “I wish I knew” (link to full interview)

Brady is not alone.  It is much easier to find the rich and famous divorced, addicted, and suicidal than fulfilled and happy.  But if they have reached the pinnacle of what we define as happiness why are they unhappy??  Surely there must be something I’m missing.

The cosmetics industry makes 55 BILLION annually, so if only we were prettier….Oh wait the most glamours of hollywood women are cheated on.
Americans work on average of 34.4 hours MORE than our world’s counterparts, so if only I had more money……Oh wait the average American is less satisfied with life today than we were in the 1950s — yet we earn twice as much (and, yes, that’s adjusted for inflation)source
I
f only I had a man…

Oh my precious single friend, I totally get it.  It feels like yesterday I was afraid I wouldn’t find my knight in shining armor.

We never think of it this way but ultimately it just comes down to How big is your God?

Aw Tozer quote

He made planet earth rotate and just the right angle. If it was 1 degree off we would either burn up or freeze to death depending on the side of the earth you were on.
He created your lungs to filter in air and then fuel your 60,000 miles of arteries, veins and capillaries with fresh oxygen.
He makes forrest 150 ft. oak grees grow from a tiny acorn.
He made galaxies so big and wide our 21st century telescopes are just starting to discover.

And I doubt you have ever lost sleep over any of that. 

After all that,He wasn’t done.  He WANTED, and CHOSE to make you.  He made your precious face, your wants and needs.   The funny way you laugh and every hair on your head.  He knows the desires of your heart my friend, who you marry is already written down in his book. Why not trust the author of that book?

If a man is all we need for happiness then why do relationships fail?  Tom Brady has all the world has to offer in his lap and he still wants something more.

If everyone around you has searched for happiness in wealth, fame and boys and came up empty….I think it’s time we trust our Jesus knew what he was talking about the whole time when he said:

“I came that they may have life, and have it more abundantly.”  John 10:10

We don’t need just any man.  We only need the man who gave his all for us.  Our total romancer, Jesus.

Don’t complain about the darkness, start lighting candles

If you are worried about the future of America, hiding and complaining (on facebook) doesn’t help anything. But just as we began, America can get back to our roots and i believe it’s as simple as coming together in prayer.  We have the opportunity to celebrate with the God of the universe as he takes back his beautiful county of America to himself.

At critical junctures in history God raises up a remnant to reestablish His reign and rule.  It’s rarely a majority.  In fact, it’s almost always a small minority.  But all it takes is a faithful few to begin a reformation.  -Mark Batterson Draw the Circlechange the world

In 1774 a small group of  extraordinary devout Christian men got on their knees in prayer before they would sign our declaration of independence. Witness said they spent hours in prayer before their heavenly father in complete dependence on Him as ruler of this important document.
The prayer by chaplain, Jacob Duche’ was recorded:

“O Lord our Heavenly Father, high and mighty King of kings, from your throne you reign with supreme power over all Kingdoms, Empires and Governments; look down in mercy, we fervently ask, on these our American States, who have fled from the rod of the oppressor and thrown themselves to your gracious protection, desiring to be forevermore dependent only on you. (full prayer here)

constitutional-convention-founding-fathers-prayer

 

When you pray you see God’s hand at work.  It’s like opening up your eyes to what He has been doing all along.  No the world isn’t getting worse, I believe it’s on the cusp of revival!

Serfei and Aleona Isakov Russian fashion designers highly respected in their field left their home country to bring their talent and their mission to America.  The stated “we believe that revival is coming to America and we want to be a part of it”

25 years ago Brooklyn Tabernacle in New York  could barely draw 26 people to a Sunday service. Today the congregation is 6,000 strong–filled with converted prostitutes, pimps, drug addicts, and homeless people, and more… All credit due to the prayer meetings they started on their knees, giving God total control of their church.

Just last school year I watched young teacher who invested in a 2nd grader who had no parental support.  In one academic school year he went from “trouble maker” to honor student….all because someone believed in him.

Businessmen praying for those they shake hands with
Athletes praying for their team mates
Janitors pray for those who will sit at the tables they wipe
Hair dressers pray over the chair where their next client will be
Teachers praying over the desks in their classroom
Doctors laying hands over their patients rooms
Waitress praying over the tables they serve

America, you are oh so beautiful.  I love to watch your people rise together in prayer, lifting their candles.  No darkness can hide.  It’s time to claim the victory that is already promised to us at the cross.

“If my people who are called by my name will humble themselves and seek my face…I will forgive their sin and heal their land” 2 Chronicles 7:14

Fill the comment section with candles you see being lit around you!  I can’t wait to start the trend of seeing the light instead of the dark!

candles copy

I see a warrior

If you feel under-qualified and overwhelmed then God has you right where he wants you.

To all my inadequate, undervalued and heavy hearted friends this is for you:
You are so much more than what we see on the surface.  You are the only one of your kind made with care and precision. Psalm 139:13-16 You are a precious jewel, more rare than fine gold Isaiah 13:12, so expensive and so rare, one would go to great lengths to find you and protect you.

The glorious Trinity has made you to be born at THIS TIME, to be RIGHT WHERE YOU ARE TODAY.  All equipped with your unique gifts, talents, your specific smile, hands and feet.  None of this was accident.Ephesians 2:8-10

Your purpose is ETERNAL.  Your value is everlasting.

Now ask yourself, ‘Who do I belong to?’ The Bible says you belong to God. He exchanged His own Son for you!  The Cross proves your value. Jesus didn’t die for junk. You are incredibly valuable. Nobody has ever paid a greater price than God paid for you.

 

I’m reading about Gideon in Judges  Funny side note I used to call Gildan T shirts Gideon.  But anywho.  I love this Gideon fella.  I think we can all relate to him on some level.  He feels under-qualified, doubtful, and just not good enough. Ever been there?

From Judges 6, Gideon is feeling like a total loser and wants to pull the cover over his head and never leave his tent again.  He is young, inexperienced, and just not the guy we would pick to lead any army to any type of victory.

But the part that totally blows my hair back is God sees the picture completely differently.
Paraphrase from Judges 6:13:

 “God is with you, O mighty warrior!” 

 Gideon replied, “With me?

God looks at this runt of the litter with his weak and outnumbered army and says, “Gideon you are a MIGHTY WARRIOR”

Gideon looks over his shoulder thinking there is no way he is talking to him.  “Mighty warrior where?”

God sees in us what we don’t see in ourselves.  God saw in Gideon a mighty warrior.  And when the story ends (spoiler alert) Gideon defeats an army of about 120,000 with an army of only 300.  That’s 400 to 1 odds.  If you were placing a bet you are NOT placing it on Gideon in this fight.
Yet the under-qualified and unexpected Gideon seals the victory…because God saw in him a MIGHTY WARRIOR.

Dear reader, come close. Let me tell you; YOU ARE A WARRIOR.   You are stronger than you think you are; prepared, capable, and victorious on the fight for your heart.  2 Corinthians 12:10

If you are under the age of 30 let me tell you specifically what I see in you.  I see a generation tired of making the same mistakes countless people have made before them.  They want to stand for something more than the temporary and empty promises of hangovers and heartbreak.  They are hungry to be world changers.  They are lying down selfish desires and leaning on each other as they collaborate on battle plans to conquer the social injustices of this world.

I see beautiful friendships being formed in the barracks preparing for battle.  When the temptations come and the enemy tries to overcome, they put on their armor (Ephesians 6) and fight like a graceful and skilled ninja soldiers leaving nothing but ashes remaining from the enemies attempts to pull them down. BOOM

When the battle looks like 400 to 1 odds,   you feel undeserving and out of place look in the mirror and see a Warrior instead.  That is what God sees!

The WORLD needs you to put your armor on. Be fierce, be brave and BE A WARRIOR!

warrior

Culture says sex is like scotch tape but what if it’s really more like cement?

Our Culture says sex is like Scotch tape, but what if it’s really more like cement? We say we can  stick ourselves to relationship after relationship, when it doesn’t work out.  No worries we can just remove ourselves from that relationship and go on to the next one.  But what i present here is maybe sex is a little more like concrete.
After sexual relationships end we are left with scars.  Cement is not easy to move and always leaves us with a mess to clean up after the wreckage of separating the two.
Maybe the God who made our bodies, our minds, our hearts and gave us the gift of sex.  MAYBE just maybe, He knows better for us than the movies and cosmopolitain magazine.  Just maybe.
Sex is made to be shared with one man and one woman.  Bonding them for life.  Cement is so complicated to up root.  Everyone knows the scars are deeper than just removing a little tape.  Let’s stop pretending it’s all fun and games and start realizing you don’t use cement unless you want something to stick together.  FOREVER.

I was shy about sharing this little video but apparently people are liking it. It got a few thousand views on Imperfect People’s facebook page so I got up the courage to share it here.I hope you enjoy!

Sex is like cement

 

Jesus breaking down walls on Greek row

“The place God calls you to is the place where your passions and the world’s deep hunger meet.” Frederick Buechner

I find myself totally where I’m supposed to be right now (finally) in college ministry.  Greek life to be exact. Crazy, magnificent and unexplainable things are happening over there.  People keep telling me I need to write this down…so here it goes…

Minding my own business, I was reading “walls fall down for victory” a bible plan from the you version bible ap. When I came across this verse:

Now the gates of Jericho were securely barred because of the Israelites. No one went out and no one came in.
‭‭Then the Lord said to Joshua, “See, I have delivered Jericho into your hands, along with its king and its fighting men.”
‭‭Joshua‬ ‭6:1-2‬ ‭NIV‬‬

The words stood off my iphone left me bewildered, confused, and a little excited.  First of all, what the in the ever loving world does this even mean?
No one is coming in, no one is coming out.  The walls are securely barred and God says (I imagine totally nonchalantly with and a little bit of  “I mean DUH” to his voice)…(God’s sarcastic with me….he get’s me).  “I have delivered them”

I knew there was something big there but I didn’t know what.    I was looking at the commentary and everything.  Unable to find any reasonable explanation for this verse I resolved to “I will figure it out later” then went on with my day.
Later that SAME DAY while listening to the audible version of  The circle maker  by Mark Batterson (book I owe to rocking my prayer life through the roof) Batterson mentioned praying over a property for their church that seemed impossible, insurmountable, and just pretty much just absurd to even ask for.
While walking prayer circles around the block, Batterson came to the EXACT SAME VERSE.
The walls were securely barred , No one went out and no one came in.
‭Then the Lord said to Joshua, “See, I have delivered them into your hands”
‭‭Joshua‬ ‭6:1-2‬ ‭NIV‬‬ (Katie paraphrase)
 “See, I have already given it to you” God says.  “Yes, it looks impossible but you are looking through your eyes, not mine.”
Batterson makes the point that what seems impossible to us, is just an invitation for us to Pray.  And not just a wish in the well type of prayer either, but aligning our prayers with the will of God and celebrating what he has already promised!
 breaking down walls on greek row
I almost laughed at the parallels how on Greek row where the walls seem so high.  The search for significance on sex drug and rock and roll are encouraged in the name of YOLO.  Yet giving away of our bodies in casual relationships, the hang overs, and the endless search for significance leaves nothing but emptiness…and God says  “see I have delivered them.”

I decided to start praying a circle around greek row.  As in, getting out of my car and being the random “grown up” walking by all the beautiful mansions in prayer.  I started praying boldly, in the powerful and matchless name of Jesus that his precious sons and daughters would be taken back into his arms.  Rebuking the devil and claiming those big beautiful homes to become houses of worship (all quietly lest i get arrested for people thinking I was drunk).

And guess what…..at the end of the row there was a tarp WALL put up surrounding the perimeter of one of the fraternity houses for the week.  It is all a “joke” to hide the shenanigans that take place during their philanthropy party week.

A wall surrounding the city….and God says, “I have delivered them”

But wait, there is more.  As if I don’t already feel the earth shake below my feet.  My friend, who was in ADPI the same time I was, now a missionary in Peru, sends me this facebook message:

Big prayers, are resulting in BIG WALLS falling down on greek row. God is in the midst of taking his sons and daughters back to himself.  As I said before  greek row is full of trendsetters. And I see these trendsetters starting MOVEMENTS THAT MATTER. Movements that change lives.

They are realizing  the search for significance is something SO MUCH MORE abundant than what generations before them have tried to find. Leaders are rising up and falling relentlessly in love with their captivating Savior.

I see a generation rising up to take their place with selfless faith.  -Hillsong

Press on warrior prince and princesses! You can change the world!