Many times every day we get asked the question, “How are you?”
But have you ever stopped to think – How are you doing, really?
Sometimes we plow through life, without really taking time to stop and think and reflect on how we are doing and what we are doing to take care of ourselves.
I preached a sermon last week entitled, “Where the Spirit Dwells.” One of the most important gifts that God has given us is the Holy Spirit to dwell within us. The Holy Spirit’s role is to guide us and to teach us and lead us through life; we must be intentional about protecting this so that God can fully glorify Himself through us.
1 Corinthians 6:19-20 says “Do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit within you, whom you have from God? You are not your own, for you were bought with a price. So glorify God in your body.”
God’s spirit dwells within us to the degree that we take care of ourselves and clear our schedules to live out only the call that He has for us. We must have good boundaries and be able to say no when we need to in order for us to better reflect His light and His love to the world. God can’t use us at all if we’re burned out, tired and miserable all the time – and if you feel like this, it might be time to really evaluate everything that’s on your plate.
What changes in your life do you need to make to allow His spirit to dwell more fully within you? Do you take time to engage in activities that bring you life? The better your boundaries of self-definition and self-awareness are, the better able you will be to offer empathy and love to others.
One practice that I’ve started to incorporate in my daily devotional time these past few weeks has been to ask myself, “How am I doing?” and “What do I need?”
After this, I ask God, “How am I doing in living out your call on my life?” and “What do I need most at this time?”
This practice has truly been transformative for me. I’ve realized that I need to prioritize fun and play in my life, and invite people to come along in these times. In turn, I find that I’m more productive at work and overall a whole lot happier.
My friend Christ Otto says, “God wants you to do the thing you love, be the person you were made to be and walk in the reality of your you-ness. Your true self is the unique expression of the image of God in you.”
I want you to challenge you to do this daily, as a way of partnering with God so you can take care of yourself and allow the fullness of who He made you to be to shine!
You can download or listen to my full sermon here:
This morning in my time of prayer, I was struck by the words “At that time, people began to call on the name of the Lord” (Genesis 4:26).
I believe we are entering into a time where the Lord is inviting us to call on His name.
These past four months, a team has been forming to prepare and plan for 10 Days Boston, an opportunity to set apart a season of seeking God together as the wider of body of Christ, in such a way that moves us beyond the walls of our own local churches, denominations, and ethnic groups.
We have an exciting line-up of churches this year, including a diverse variety of geographical gatherings (Cambridge, Jamaica Plain, Fenway, Suburbs) ethnic groups (Indian, Korean) and denominational streams (Catholic, Orthodox, Taize, and Evangelical). God has grown the team that is preparing and planning for 10 Days immensely this past year; it’s truly been a joy to see this unfold.
This year’s 10 Days takes place from September 24 to October 4 – Mark your calendars and check out the full schedule here: www.10daysboston.com
Also, click here to watch an update video about 10 Days Boston:
But that’s not all we have to be excited about. God is uniting hearts on a national scale! We are in a season where God is stirring hearts all around the nation to the place of prayer. Jonathan Friz, founder of 10 Days, is calling it “Divine Convergence.”
The Call Berkeley, Portland’s “Seven” movement, and 40 Days of Hope are all scheduled to end on October 4th – the same ending day for the 10 days of prayer! What a delight to see how the Holy Spirit has coordinated our schedules!
Convergences like these point to the fact that God is at work and to emphasize the importance of the call and the timing. We believe that God is calling us to unite these movements and form a bridge from West Coast to East Coast – here are some ways as to how you can do that.
Please prayerfully consider:
1. Joining in a nation-wide, 40-day fast from August 26 to October 4th with the 40 Days of Hope
2. Attend one of the six times weekly prayer sets that are taking place at the Justice House of Prayer in Cambridge
3. Come out to the daytime prayer and evening gatherings during 10 Days Boston, beginning on September 24th and concluding at the Boston Night of Worship at Lion of Judah Church on October 4th
God is up to great things – It’s a pleasure and an honor to take part in His kingdom coming in Boston with you!
P.S. Special thanks to our friends at the Emmanuel Gospel Center for sponsoring this year’s 10 Days Boston!
Click on this link to watch a playlist of all the 10 Days Video Updates from 2014!
This month I’ve been totally wowed by the incredible world around us. Above is just one moment of the adventure – jumping off of a sandy beach in the bottom of the Grand Canyon.
From the intricacy of tiny white flower petals to the expanse of a massive canyon, every iota of our world speaks of passion, love, and beauty. The great outdoors have a way of making you seem small and insignificant, and giving you a fresh perspective.
But the existence of this unbearable beauty everywhere begs an explanation.
Ann Voskamp asks simply “How can we behold loveliness – and say that this world looks like this if there were no God?”
As I leave tomorrow to return to Boston, you can join me in thanking God for the restoration He has done in my heart and soul these past few weeks. I am filled with excitement and anticipation for what God will do this fall – The launch of Journey Church on September 28th, and 10 Days Boston from September 24th to October 4th!
Spending time in nature attunes me to the age-old rhythms of time, of wind and water – God is so big! Yet that He concerns himself with the ins and outs of our day-to-day lives continually astounds me.
When I consider your heavens, the work of your fingers, the moon and the stars, what is man that you are mindful of him, the son of man that you care for him? (Psalm 8:3)
In His abundant, unbearably beautiful love,
As Part 2 of the “Kingdom Come” series, I shared about how we are filled with a sense of wonder of things that are beautiful, unexpected, and inexplicable in the world. A sense of wonder always points us to something greater than ourselves – to the power and majesty of God.
We must continually seek to re-kindle our sense of wonder of the miraculous God that we serve – and one of the ways we can do this is by praying for healing.
God’s desire is to heal. Healing isn’t just something that God does, it is who He is. He is Jehovah Rapha, the God who Heals (Exodus 15:26). When we pray, we don’t have to question if healing is God’s will, because we have already been healed by what Christ accomplished on the cross (Isaiah 53:5). Indeed, while darkness seeks to kill and destroy, Jesus comes to free us and give us the fullness of life (John 10:10).
Healing was a central aspect of Jesus’ ministry, and likewise it should be the same today. Listen to this sermon to hear more about the wonder inherent in our miraculous God and to be equipped in a practical model to pray for healing.
You don’t need to look farther than the recent hit movies to see that as a society, we are obsessed with the supernatural. The innate desire for a reality greater than our own is apparent. In fact, while belief in heaven & hell have remained steady in recent decades, the number of Americans that believe in religious miracles has increased 22% in the past two decades (Huffington Post).
The bible asserts time & again that God backs the gospel with supernatural signs and wonders (Acts 14:3, Hebrews 2:4, Mark 16:20). Yet, many times we reduce the gospel today to a mere intellectual message, rather than a God encounter.
God sent the Holy Spirit to dwell within us and give us the ability to walk as Jesus walked and do what Jesus did. When we say “Your kingdom come, your will be done on earth as it is in heaven,” the reality is that God is inviting us into answering this prayer.
I shared a sermon last Sunday on the what and why of miracles, and their importance in our theological framework as followers of Jesus. In fact, in Mark 16:17, 20 the bible boldly claims that miracles are that which should characterize us as Christians –
“And these signs will accompany those who believe: In my name they will drive out demons; they will speak in new tongues; they will pick up snakes with their hands; and when they drink deadly poison, it will not hurt them at all; they will place their hands on sick people, and they will get well….And they went out and preached everywhere, while the Lord worked with them, and confirmed the word by the signs that followed.”
This scripture challenges me – it says that the requirement for seeing these miracles is not to go to seminary, or memorize long passages of scripture, or fast for a week – but it says all that we have to do is simply believe. These signs and wonders do not replace the gospel, but are signs of hope for a better future, so that our faith doesn’t rest on man’s wisdom, but on God’s power (1 Cor 2:4). We must restore our faith so that we can pray in expectation that is as big and as powerful today as we see in the bible.
Hear more about the miraculous God that we serve by listening to my sermon here!
Last weekend, three of us ladies went to New York City to serve the people of New York in various ways. We partnered with the New York School of Urban Ministry, who coordinates service projects with teams throughout the city.
After taking a bus down to the city, we arrived and were immediately ushered into clown costumes for our evening ministry in a local park. While I ran around and acted goofy, Cathy and Sarah made dozens of balloon animals for all the kiddos. We sang bible songs and shared a bit about Jesus while trying not to trip over our clown-sized massive feet. It was a lot of fun – and, once the kids got used to us, they found out that us clowns really aren’t all that scary!
Saturday morning we helped a local church clean & organize their storage closet. Spring cleaning, yeah! We also did a prayer walk in the neighborhood, and came across a family mourning. It broke our hearts to hear that their son had been murdered just two days before. I was able to lead them in a time of prayer and through tears we all sung “Amazing Grace” together.
That evening we headed out to serve hot dogs and deliver blankets & toiletries to people who are struggling with homelessness near Penn Station in downtown New York City. It was powerful to sit down with these men and women to hear some of their stories and the situations they are going through. We are all broken and so in need of God!
Sunday morning, we worshipped at the Brooklyn Tabernacle, and had some time to see some of the other sights around the city including the Brooklyn Bridge, the 9/11 Memorial and Central Park.
Sarah wrote – “God taught me three things through this trip. First, that He is with me through all things that happen- good or bad. Second, that God’s will always prevails no matter how frail I am, and third, to not be afraid and not be discouraged because God is with me to help and fight my battles.”
It was a wonderful weekend and we were super blessed to have this opportunity to learn from what God is doing in New York City and bring it back to Boston!