Friday, May 2, 2014

Daughters.

A poem for my daughters.


The journey
of waiting.
Praying.
Listening.

The moment
of knowing.
Celebrating
Receiving.

And then she arrived.
Like a surge in the sea, she burst forth.
Forcing us to readjust...
Swirling us to higher ground.

Rising and falling.
Volatile waves.
We sail currents, unrelenting.


She is lovely, her unrefined grace.


Love,
It’s a risky thing.
But,
we aren’t afraid.
Love,
It’s a risky thing.
But,
we aren’t afraid.


A hallelujah love,
Deeper than deep.
Steady, moving furiously.

We're drowning,
But we are safe.
Risky love,
We're not afraid











Thursday, May 1, 2014

"Inside Out," a poem

I'd prefer to read poetry aloud.....It's rather difficult to write it in the way it should be read.





Titled:

"Inside Out"



You will not hide, and nothing will be hidden.
If I desire, if I search, if I really mean it, and really...
persist.

I’ll find You, the source of all.

And we are fickle,  often confused.
Soul, separate from man, intertwined with flesh…

“Misunderstood," we say. "But, it’s alright.”  

GOD?

Will you share with me Your heart?
Your ways - higher. Your thoughts -higher. Your love - higher. Your grace, just... 

Just...
Enough. 

And yet, more than.
My heart is set on Yours.



We think we know the heart of God, what lies therein.

What lies therein? A garden? Yes, a garden. 

Perfect, lush, Glorious!

What prize would be sufficient? Could I win such a heart?



So,
I walk.
 I search.
 I find a garden.

THE garden.

And there,
HERE,  
is life. 

LIFE
wild and beautiful.

But wait! It’s messy! There are weeds, there are wildflowers, there are patches of dirt!
Next to roses, orchids, magnolias, water lilies...

It’s kind of,

Overgrown!

A few stray leaves there,  branches  here, an obvious picking of plants there...



Wild growth, uninhibited planting, thorns amongst the lilies.



And, it’s...
it’s just lovely.


O, it’s mismatched, imperfect. 
But it’s...
Beautiful. Breathtaking. Transformative.
  ALIVE.


Wild and beautiful, it’s here I walk.
Resting, reclining in the arbors.

THIS heart, THIS garden, is SAFE.


And, the gates are open.


God? 

Here’s my heart, 

My gates are open.

I am your garden.

To cultivate, to prune, to …till, to water, to re-design to your liking.

I Love you God, and I know that you love me.

Walk about my heart, O God. i am Your garden.













Monday, April 28, 2014

A Flashback

I was looking at some old YouTube videos from an email account I shut down a few years ago and I found this old video. I've probably shared this before here. This video always moves me...

This was the first time I EVER sang all by myself at church, and as you can see, I was frozen and scared out of my mind! This was in 2009, and I was also around 30 weeks pregnant.

Looking back, I'm thankful for the patience and kindness from the worship leadership on that team.

I spent the majority of that season singing occasional back up vocals, and in that time, God led me to be a "sponge."  That is, to soak up everything I could from all the super talented musicians around me.

So, I learned so much from doing very little singing and a lot of listening and that is a lesson I will always carry with me.  Not to mention, it has also really helped me while learning guitar. Stop. Listen. Really listen. Pause. Wait.

Ask questions. Be teachable. Practice. Know my weaknesses. Know my strengths. Be myself. Listen. Sing what fits my voice the best, don't try and copy anyone else. Listen. Sing what fits the song the best. Listen. Sing what enhances the lead the best. Listen. Don't sing a part just because I can. Know how not to sing. Or don't sing. Listen. Don't sing. Have restraint. Listen for the big picture. Hold back. Listen. Always listen.

And the Holy Spirit leads....

 I've matured in my vocals so much since then, but watching this reminds me of God's faith in me when I had little in myself. So, I'm not embarrassed of this recording - In fact, I love everything that it symbolizes,  I love the song, and I love the memories of my journey that resurface as I watch this.

I think its beautiful. There is beauty in the first step of a journey. There is beauty in faith. There is beauty in risk. There is beauty in me.

Thank you God...for seeing the beauty in me.
Listen...if you want.


                                                                Spring, 2009


and this is from last fall




Monday, March 10, 2014

Numbers 14

Numbers 14:1-12







That night all the members of the community raised their voices and wept aloud.







All the Israelites grumbled against Moses and Aaron, and the whole assembly said to them, “If only we had died in Egypt! Or in this wilderness!


Why is the LORD bringing us to this land only to let us fall by the sword? Our wives and children will be taken as plunder. Wouldn’t it be better for us to go back to Egypt?”


And they said to each other, “We should choose a leader and go back to Egypt.”


Then Moses and Aaron fell facedown in front of the whole Israelite assembly gathered there.


Joshua son of Nun and Caleb son of Jephunneh, who were among those who had explored the land, tore their clothes


and said to the entire Israelite assembly, “The land we passed through and explored is exceedingly good.


If the LORD is pleased with us, he will lead us into that land, a land flowing with milk and honey, and will give it to us.


Only do not rebel against the LORD. And do not be afraid of the people of the land, because we will devour them. Their protection is gone, but the LORD is with us. Do not be afraid of them.”


But the whole assembly talked about stoning them. Then the glory of the LORD appeared at the tent of meeting to all the Israelites.


The LORD said to Moses, “How long will these people treat me with contempt? How long will they refuse to believe in me, in spite of all the signs I have performed among them?


















I will strike them down with a plague and destroy them, but I will make you into a nation greater and stronger than they.”



I’ve read this scripture numerous times. Not just this specific one, but many like it in the old testament. The Israelites were saved and delivered by God’s miraculous and mighty hand. And throughout their journey in the desert, they grumbled. They complained. They were difficult, and in words my 4 year old would use, “naughty and not listening.”


As a young girl reading these passages, I could not fathom WHY the Israelites were so untrusting of the Lord. Hadn’t he, in their lifetime, delivered them from slavery? Parted the sea to send them to safety? Sent food down from heaven? Led them, VISIBLY?


But as an adult, I understand. The reality of the world and resulting hardness has affected me. My childlike awe and wonder is not childlike anymore.

My ‘AHA” moment from this passage is coming...

So, the Israelites lament and cry out that they would rather have died in Egypt or the wilderness. You see, God has already promised them this land , flowing with milk and honey (abundancy). But in their humanity and unbelief, they asked to send spies to assess the land. Moses agreed…and he probably shouldn’t have, but he did. And out of the 12 spies ( who represented each tribe) only TWO came back with faith in God’s promise. Only TWO remained faithful  that God was with them and that victory was theirs. The rest said something like, “even if God helped us, we would be defeated. They are too mighty…too many.”


Sound familiar? I certainly can see myself as an Israelite in the wilderness. And, thats funny. Because as a child, I really related to Joshua and Caleb’s cry to the people, “The land we passed through and explored is exceedingly good. If the LORD is pleased with us, he will lead us into that land, a land flowing with milk and honey, and will give it to us. Only do not rebel against the LORD. And do not be afraid of the people of the land, because we will devour them. Their protection is gone, but the LORD is with us. Do not be afraid of them.”

As a child, my heart was screaming, “ Trust in God people!

But as an adult, I’m saying, “Trust in God ( YES ),"  but with also great understanding of the humanity of the Israelites and their imperfection, fears, and excuses.


Still..this is just leading up to my AHA moment. While Caleb and Joshua pled with the people, Moses and Aaron fell prostrate before God. Most likely in prayer, because as their leaders, they knew too well the seriousness of this situation. Only falling before God, praying for his mercy would help.

So why.....why would God be angry? Or why would Joshua, Caleb, and God consider the Israelites words to be rebellious, contemptuous and faithless?

Here’s the thing.

Being afraid, fearful, and questioning on its own is NOT rebellion against God. Its pretty normal for us- actually, for me. I confess.

For example, Moses questioned his leadership skills before God. He wasn’t confident in his speaking abilities. And even Jesus, JESUS, was fearful of the upcoming Via Dolorosa. He knew all too well what was expected and what was to come. He said,"Father, if you are willing, take this cup from me; yet not my will, but yours be done."

But AHA! Jesus (and Moses) , although fearful and afraid showed us that even though we possess fear, we can still be strengthened, by the grace of God, into obedience. And, that, is the difference.

The Israelites were not only fearful, afraid and questioning. They were fearful, afraid, questioning, AND disobedient. THIS constitutes unbelief. THIS constitutes rebellion against God. And, THIS rebellion was not accidental or unintentional; rather it was CHOICE.

I want to go back to Joshua and Caleb, for a moment, who tore their clothes in grief. Our pastor explained the symbolism of tearing clothes a few weeks ago at church. It was serious…it was done in mourning, because of death or imminent death. Joshua and Caleb may have been young, but the repercussions of the people’s rebellion were not lost on them.....

And moving on, in a true rebellious spirit, Israelites conspired to stone Joshua and Caleb. “Who were these two young men? Who do they think they are, questioning us and our “faith.” We take offense! How dare they offend us; they know nothing!”

Now, this is me just guessing about feelings that led to this conspiring. As  fellow humans, I think we can pretty much guess the intensity of the conversation they were having.

Yet ,at this moment God appeared. And, he wasn’t too happy. And, the rest of the passage (not quoted here) is pretty long, and I won’t go too much in-depth over it. But, what happened is nothing short of spectacular. 

Moses interceded for the people in an authentic plea for their mercy.  If you read the rest of the scripture, you can see how much Moses KNEW God. How much he yearned for His glory to be revealed…and how much he loved his people, despite their rebellion. 

Moses was a leader who took the plea for his people seriously. But even more so, he took God seriously. He took God’s revelation of character seriously. And most importantly, because he truly KNEW God, he knew God’s character. He know God to be loving, patient, and long-suffering. With this knowledge, he asked God to display his power, not by a strong arm, but by mercy. 

WOW!! This is a great example of intercession. Moses appealed to God’s power, His glory, and His promise, with a heart that was completely others-centered.  NO self-centeredness. NO agenda. NO insecurities. NO public dramatic self promotion. You get the picture. 

So, here, Moses not only displayed that he knew Gods heart, but he also displayed that he shared God’s heart. This is why Moses’ intercession was so spectacular....think about it for a few minutes.

I really encourage anyone reading this to finish the scripture on their own.

Lastly, when I write or blog, most of the time, it is inspired by my own convicted heart. And I confess, that here, I am convicted.

I do not want to be fearful, afraid AND disobedient. I don’t want to live in rebellion of God….not even for a moment. That is not what I want to lay before God at the judgement seat. 

GOD,
JESUS, 
I need….
Your
Courage.
Boldness.
Faith.

But always, 
Your grace. 

Give me grace to choose you.
To be obedient, 
despite my fears.

To be others-centered,
to be humble.

I want to KNOW you.
MORE.
I want to knowYour heart.
I want to LOVE others...
Like You.

Your grace,
All-sufficient.
for me.



-A.



















Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Matthew 4


Wow, I think chapter 4 is one of my favorite chapters in Matthew. 
Not only does it began right after Jesus was baptized and publicly confirmed in His sonship, but it starts in a pretty dramatic way.
Jesus, led by the Holy Spirit, is led into the wilderness to fast and pray. He does so for 40 days and 40 nights. 

40 seems to be a pretty reoccurring number in the Bible. It reminds me of Moses, Elijah and the 40 years of testing the Israelites went through, also in the wilderness. My study bible referenced Dt 8:2 here, so I looked it up and it spoke how Moses recalled that the Lord led the Israelites in the wilderness 40 years to “humble and test in order to know what was in your heart, whether or not you would keep his commands.”

So, Jesus was divinely led into the wilderness to be tested. And, Jesus was tested and tempted by satan. After 40 days and 40 nights, satan said to Jesus, “If you are the son of God…..” 

It is important to know that here, satan was not in doubt of Jesus’ sonship. Rather he was using this phrase as a way to tempt Jesus. He wanted to deceive Jesus into using his own miraculous powers for his own means….and ends. Satan, which means accuser and slanderer, is the arch enemy of God…and of all who love and follow God. 


You know, I used to think that I was the voice telling myself, “Your no good. You shouldn’t be up here singing….Why are you here, your just a fake? Your a sinner without any bit of musical talent.”
I always recognized that voice to be teasing, but incredibly mean and harsh. And then one day, I told a friend that sometimes, those thoughts come to me…and she let me in on something ( as a new believer ) that I didn’t know. The devil is sneaky…and he surfaces in insecurities, using them to deceive us, lie to us, and try and separate us from knowing God. He will do this in whatever underhanded way he can. BUT, we, as Christians, have been granted the authority “to overcome all the power of the enemy.”

“I have given you authority to trample on snakes and scorpions and to overcome all the power of the enemy; nothing will harm you. “ Luke 10:19

So here, when reading this chapter, I am reminded that Jesus,weak and hungry, relied not on even His own miraculous power, but on His Father’s provision.  Ultimately , Jesus showed himself to be true and faithful. So important! …it demonstrated that Jesus was in fact, qualified, to not only be our savior, but to also be our merciful high priest. And Jesus, in his love for us, has granted us the same authority over the accuser and deceiver.  He has not left us helpless- He has equipped us to fight and overcome!

After this, it notes that Jesus heard of John’s imprisonment. What really struck me here is the phrase, “From that time on…” FROM that time on, Jesus picked up John the Baptist’s message and began to preach the SAME one. This was definitely a HUGE turning point, for Jesus,and He began to gain influence rather quickly. He began to disciple and speak to large crowds, “teaching, proclaiming, and healing.” In calling His disciples, Jesus said, “Come and follow me.......And I will send you out to fish for people.”

Evangelism was the heart of Jesus’ ministry call to his disciples. As it should be with us.

Maybe in our current world, we can compare that to church planting. There are seasons, HUGE seasons of growth, and seasons of walking "through the wilderness." In our church, we have a intentional goal of not just accumulating growth, but discipling all believers. And in comparison, just like in Jesus’ earthly ministry, we have true followers of Gods, a few or many fans, and a few or many curious onlookers. Still, when we go through more difficult seasons, when we lose valuable workers, Christ sees to it that His work carries on. God never stops working to see that His glory is revealed. And, maybe, we don’t see or understand the seasons. But, no matter…because all we have to do is:
1. Stay focused on God —>Worship Him. Fast. Pray. Wait patiently for Him.  
2. Love and obey Him
3. Love people 
4. Engrave His word onto our hearts. 
5. Witness of His love and truth (great commission)
6. Work together to build his kingdom by becoming part of a local church (body) of Christ.

I mean, these aren’t black and white things…these are all just ways I’m using to remind myself to remain focused on God…and to prevent distractions from discouraging me. They may be varying for everyone. The most important this is this. Though difficult times, through trials, temptations and testing, through good times, through sad times, through discouraging times - trust God. 







Thank you God….thank you God…
for everything. I love you…

-A

Please read an article of mine I contributed to the Yahoo network.

Thank you!

http://voices.yahoo.com/there-place-heaven-murderers-12519879.html?cat=9

Friday, January 31, 2014

Crazy Love, week 1

I can’t sleep. It is around 2 am Friday morning...

I have had about a week of not sleeping well.

That is very unusual for me.

Yesterday, I was mentally beating myself up….for being too opinionated, stubborn,
harsh, direct. I was inwardly attributing all those characteristics of mine to some very specific situations that I could have communicated better through.  I was thinking..”Alicia, you’ve had some fail moments lately. How the heck are you gonna fix them?”

Then yesterday evening,  my husband and I went to one of our church small groups.

I had been really looking forward to this new semester; our last group was really transformative and really energizing for me. So, we went ( this group is a book study on Francis Chan’s “Crazy Love”), and our Pastor began to lead the discussion...

I can’t remember the exact wording or how we got there, but he begin to speak about this scripture I have heard a bajillion times, "And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.”

And…there it was.  It took me 2 seconds to receive what will take me 15 minutes to write!

No matter how many times I mess up, no matter how many mistakes I’ve made  (and will continue to make)….

God LOVES me, will continue to love me, has always loved me.  God created AND selected me, and still wants to use me for his purpose (God is all-knowing, so He isn’t shocked by anything I do or will do - which is pretty comforting AND revelatory of His “crazy love” for me). And lastly, I don’t have to take on the burden of “fixing” anything on my own. God is with me. Emmanuel.  God can and will harness all the bad judgments I’ve made, all the resulting consequences, and he will work them out “for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to His purpose.”

Does this mean I can apathetically sit on the sidelines, uncaring, and distant? No.  It doesn’t.  It just means that God is so GREAT, so perfectly loving, that he allows us to use our free will, allows us to make bad choices, and then gently (and sometimes not so gently) reveals to you the condition(while at the same time, working to redeem that condition).

Do you ever know something…but not REALLY let it sink in? (-:

 Anyhow, My husband mentioned this quote:  “Good judgement comes from experience. Experience come from bad judgement.”  It made me giggle. Because it’s true and because we have all made our share of bad judgements.

But, in closing, this is what I got from yesterday:

- STOP talking. STOP praying. STOP thinking. STOP….

- AND….

- Wait...

- Contemplate on the holiness of God. 

- THINK- let it sink in- about how GREAT God is. 

- Reflect on God’s attributes…that He is omnipotent, omnipresent, omniscient …holy, set apart, the perfected   standard, eternal, infinite...

- Remember this, all this, before I pray. 

- Remember that GOD in heaven is worshipped 24/7…”Holy Holy is the Lord God Almighty, Who was and is and is to come…..”

- Think- let it sink in-  about WHO God is…His identity, His attributes.


And…in doing so, we can truly come before the Lord with authenticity, in reverence,  and in awe.



The one thing I want….

Is to never stop being shocked.

Awed.

By who God is.

-A-



"You are beautiful beyond description
Too marvelous for words
Too wonderful of comprehension
Like nothing ever seen or heard
Who can grasp your infinite wisdom
Who can fathom the depth of your love
You are beautiful beyond description
Majesty enthroned above


And I stand, I stand in awe of you
I stand, I stand in awe of you
Holy God to whom all praise is due
I stand in awe of you.”


written by Mark Altrogge

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

ALL

I had this internal struggle. It had been ongoing, but I had been persevering through for a few years. 

I did not allow myself to question things for a while.  After all, I was doing what was expected of me. It was the smart thing, the safe thing to do.I  was doing something that could only benefit me…and my family.  It was of no financial cost to me. 

Still, there was a cost. A lot time spent away from my family. An added burden of stress on all of us. 

I didn’t necessarily suffer.  But my family did. 





Just one more year….just one more year….I’m soooooo close!


I just can’t…..I can’t. 






I thought I had named the struggle. Ministry vs School. Pick one dumbie.





But I had it all wrong. 





It was never that. How could I ever name my service to the Lord ministry (in an industry sense)? It was NEVER that…..although I do participate in ministry. But, no, not ministry….all I have been doing is trying my best to be obedient. 

And, all I will ever do is strive to be obedient. Despite misconception, the Lord wants ALL of us to participate in building His kingdom…there is a great need for workers. 





So then, what is the struggle?

Well, you see, it is not ministry vs school thing.  It is an all-sufficient faithfulness to God vs a fear-based, lack of faith in God...  




I confess.




So, I asked myself, “How can I honor God by loving and obeying him above all else, before all else?

Then, I entrusted my struggle to just a few people. 

And I took it all to the Lord myself. I prayed. Listened…




God said to me, “A farmer who delays planting for a year goes bankrupt."





A friend told me that she heard this from God, “ You know my will for you. Now make the choice.”

Another friend encouraged me to look at school, to see if there was an identity attached to it, and consider if it had been taking the place as an idol in my life. Something that I clung to for fulfillment or provision…whether intentional or not. 

And, both, were right. Surely, I do know God’s will for me. He has numerously confirmed it to me, both verbally and through other people. His special appointment in me….


Then, I found a journal entry I wrote approximately a year ago and read a prophetic prayer I wrote.

I came across the first testimony I wrote….and the first promise God ever made me.

People came into my life, brought into it by God. People who needed help, resources, God.  And each time, God gently reminded me that above all the resources, above all the “help,” these people's biggest hope, and help, their saving all-in-all,  was in the grace-filled, all inclusive love of Jesus Christ. 







You know....

I’m not much of a person, in the worldly sense of successful attributes.  I’ve made a lot of bad decisions…..choices. 


Still:


- God has revealed to me the full extent of His love and that revelation has transformed my heart,  changing my life forever.

- I will never label myself, box myself in, or attempt to give a name to the appointments God gives me…never again.

- Before committing to “ministry,” school, or anything else, my first commitment is obedience to God, without hesitation.

- And there cannot be obedience without an all out faith. Faith...in action. Don't just talk about it, be about it (-:


Faith in action means taking risks. Making decisions that others see as unintelligent, or even disappointing, at times. Sometimes, it means acting, even when all of the details aren’t figured out.




All the days of my life, the greatest dream I have is to stand before the Lord and offer Him a gift of obedience driven by love. A “love offering” if you will.










God is calling all of me. (and all of you).  He has given me a special love of the unplanted and newly planted church. He has given me a vision of His Kingdom and the role worship plays within that.   He has given me a passion for loving and ministering to the unloved and unsaved. And...He has given me a desire to protect and disciple His beloved into a personal, praying, all-surrendered, worshipful relationship with Him. 

And, within all that, I am simply a worker. An humble servant of the Lord. A worker, who is endowed with gifts intended to build the kingdom of God and to usher all His beloved into His holy presence. 





Call it what you will….worship leader, church planter…..ministry…..lunatic.....(-;




Faithful, I will be. Despite the circumstances and despite the spurts of discouragement, I will remain all in.


And I know…

that when I follow God,

everything else will balance out. 



I'm making the choice.  Im allowing God to use all of me, with nothing else getting in the way. No more idols…no more distractions. 

I’m making the choice to be a stabilizing presence in my family - to protect,love and nurture the beautiful family God has blessed with me with. So help me God.


Blast from the past:



...As a young woman, I prayed for a family that loved all of me. A warm, safe place…a consistent place….a real home. 

At the time, I thought it was a superficial prayer. But now I see that God has given all of that to me. 

He has given a child to the barren…and a home to one once broken. 

He loves all of me and in return, I give all of me.


Counting myself blessed,

Alicia

"You are my strength when I am weak,
You are the treasure that I seek,
You are my all in all," ( All in All, written by Dennis Jernigan).



Thursday, January 23, 2014

Fire in my Eyes

****  I originally wrote this January 29, 2011. I found this in the drafts section of my blog…..And I read this and was really just…moved. *****



This Sunday, I will be leading the whole worship part of the service. Choosing the set list, directing the practice, praying…arranging….everything.

This will be my first Sunday. I've done Wednesdays before...but never Sunday.

I'm really excited. At first I thought I would be nervous, but as the weeks went on, I just became even more and more excited. Excited that I get to pick songs more attuned to my vocal comfort level is one thing.

But this is something I actually prayed about several years ago. I even remember when I was praying, because at the time, I was only providing background vocals for our worship team, twice a month.
And I loved it! What a great learning experience! We had two amazing worship pastors who had a very defined role in changing the way I viewed worship, church, "religion", and love. I have always felt so blessed to kind of , unofficially, be mentored vocally and spiritually by these two.

As a year or more passed, I begin to pray that I would be able to sing lead...just one song, perhaps. Weirdly, before that, I had no desire at all to ever be in the forefront...EVER! I was so comfortable where I was.

And almost a month after I begin praying, the worship pastor had the backup vocalists sing an offering song. I think I was about 30 weeks pregnant about the time. And after that..." I dared to pray that one day, I too, would get to lead an entire set. After all...nothing is impossible for God, right? Right!

Anyway...fastforward a few years. Our worship pastors moved on to another calling and for a short while, their brother took over. While this was only intermittent, it served such a great purpose, for all of the remaining people who served on our worship team.

I suppose that I didn't realize that I had grown so comfortable, "in my box." Singing only at certain times and in a certain way. So when our interim worship pastor, told me he wanted me to sing as much as possible, I felt like I was going to have a heart attack. IN fact, one day, he surprised me on Sunday and had me sing lead on a song.

I remember going to the bathroom beforehand, feeling slightly confused and sooo very nervous. I was telling myself, "Alicia, is this really happening. Sure you prayed for this....but you don't have an amazing voice. You don't even have great voice. You are ok at learning your back up harmonies....but you really don't know how to do this...."

And then, I told myself, " But you did pray for this. And God answered, so you really have no choice but to do this - the best that you can. After all...its not a competition. It's not a performance. It's worship, and the only thing that matters is a heart after worship, an intentional heart, and obedience to God and to the ones He has appointed over you."

And all of a sudden, my nervousness disappeared. And after the interim worship pastor left, I  pushed even more. And more. And more out of my comfort zone. 

ANd then all of a sudden, I was leading songs, assisting our worship pastor once a month and when he was out of town….and continuing with background vocals as well. And not only that. Words were revealed to me. Entire prayers were spoken. Straight from God's mouth to mine.

Yes me...the person who simply did not pray out loud.

Amazing.

But what is amazing is this. 3 years ago, I was listening to a song, Waiting for the Rain, by Misty Edwards. All of a sudden, a picture of me singing that song, on stage, came into my head. 

And this Sunday, I am actually singing this song. 

Today, as I am preparing for tomorrow, I know only one thing. Regardless of the insecurity that threatens me at times, regardless at the striking ordinary-ness of my voice, regardless of how many people are there, regardless of how I think tomorrow should go.....

Regardless of this…


All I really want is to hear His voice. To shine with His love. To speak, with Fire in my eyes.


God.

You have shown me Your love. Clearly.

You have brought life back into death…even before my very own eyes.


Fill me with so much love for others that my heart breaks into pieces...

Show me how to show your love to the ones who do not know love...

Show me my own selfishness, which keeps me distracted from what you called me to do...

Show me how I am so corrupted by everything around me; How the luxury of my own world consumes me and hardens my heart...

Show me the ones who claim they know you, but are only lying snakes, spewing nothing but hate...

Show me the ones who claim they know you, but are slaves to their own agenda, whether personal or political…

Show me the ones who claim they know you, but are masters of smooth talk and deceit...

Keep me from falling prey to them…

Give me words to speak; your words are an arsenal for my own protection. Give me wisdom to understand your words…. an open heart to hear you…



But mostly...break me for your purpose. Remake me for your glory. Show me YOUR way.
not mine.
not the world's,
but, Yours.