humility apart from christ tends to be self demeaning, having a poor estimate of oneself, & even self loathing. humility within christ is self surrendering, self valuing, & having not a poor but simply a right estimate of ourselves.
Can't explain it in ways that do it justice, but it calls out to be declared; the way those people do at football games & at their kid's baseball games. For me the game is this Life I've been given. And though parts of me are in disrepair & parts under construction & parts condemned, the shout is for, well, joy. Yeah, that's the word I've been spending the morning searching under couch cushions for; Joy. Unexplainable undeserved joy. It runs deeper than happy. Untied to circumstance -not circumstance addicted, it stands alone on its own naked & unashamed. Unabashed joy. It forces up smiles, full teeth exposure. Comes in so raw that I think I may be blushing. Sometimes in these times it seems as if every tree, every color, & every face of passersby is a gift from the suitor of my affections....I call Him God. He calls me his.
"What day is it, & in what month? This clock never seemed so alive. Cause it's You & me, & all of the people, & I don't know why but I can't keep my eyes off of You" -Lifehouse
Spoke from scripture at the Watershed this Sunday/27. By the second service I'd found my groove & remembered why I myself used to enjoy giving Sunday morning talks at Lifehouse. Also spoke at a Seventh Day Adventist church yesterday/Saturday/26. Could hardly wait to cast vision that intertwines absolute surrender, God-intimacy, & justice - that unbreakable three fold cord that drives out all lessor gods & lays a solid foundation for this generation of Kings & Priests. It went differently than I'd expected. But good nonetheless.
Woke up thinking about the discipleships from this past week. So enormously diverse one Pastor or ministry leader is from the other... And each requiring a unique approach ultimately leading to reckless abandonment to the Christ they each have long been serving. It is stretching work, but I love the work. Always have. A bunch of people in the prayer room today. Good conversations from room corners about what God is doing on the Justice front, as teams & individuals came in & out in the context of serving in the nearby hood J.P. is vested in. Pastors from Raleigh came by to spend time in prayer & check out the prayer room. Spent some time gathered round the big center table talking about how we could help them set up sacred space & a 24-7 prayer room in the mall they are getting ready to purchase. Then we dived into talk about the things of God & ways He speaks to us. There in those conversations a partnership was forged, & they purposed to drive back to Charlotte again to connect & hammer down the details. A youth group will be here soon. They'll fill the sacred space with their voices & ideas. I'm heading out knock out some inbox stuff.
24-7 staff members have been talking to me about how cool it's been for them to be given regular opportunity to pray with people who wander in to 24-sacred spaces, settle in for a bit & then end up asking for prayer, as God, whose presence permeates the space, pushes some topic up the surface that they have long been suppressing. Even the tours given to 1st timers to help them navigate the stations, even these are bite sized vignettes instigating hunger for a God who wants to be known & interacted with. I like how the staff has begun to really dive into the spaces people grant them when invited to listen to their stories, hear of their trials, & pray for God to invade their offered up spaces. The concept of having to staff the prayer room used to be daunting to me. Now that I see the joy staff gets out of it, & the consistency with which christian & non-christian visitors ask for prayer; now I see it as a good thing. Not as off point with the one-on-one God-time the space is primarily for, but running along the outside edges & working in concert with it.
spent a chunk of this morning talking with my friend Jesus about money. needed to untie in my head certain knots around that topic, especially in relation to working in ministry full time & the ministry & its mission requiring a few others to now do the same if these God-conceived mandates are to be fulfilled more succinctly & move more straightforwardly in the coming days. took well over an hour to untie the knots, ask loads of questions, & work the figures out on paper. at the end, I was finally ready to pray a prayer in faith which i had once only prayed in hope. grabbed hold of that substance 'Faith' & stretched it outward from the starting point of need over & across the canyon to the other side where provision, inheritance, & covenant pitch a tent. there in the faith-prayer-stretch flung boldly across the deep wide cavern between heaven & earth, the gentle winds of certainty began to blow.
45 people in the white room. 20 people in the prayer room. a dozen kids in the community room. A packed 24-7 hosted many different groups tonight. Some studying scripture. Some holding a worship service. Some teaching kids about God. A good night overall. The only kink was with all the various technical difficulties encountered in both main spaces. A busy night. A good night. A holy night. Work is worship. I start three discipleships this week with various church & ministry leaders. Primal is motorcycling in on Monday, & so it continues. Found someone educated & qualified to take over 24-7 fiscal accounting. A dedicated bookkeeper with humility, skill, & a great personality. Glad to get that off my hands soon. Now to get Jim & Bonnie from London to Charlotte.
Opened 24-7 this morning. Saw a guy sitting outside a next door apartment studio. Invited him in for some coffee. By the time his friend came 30minutes later, we were in good conversation about God, the city, & making a difference. Neither are followers of Christ, but I felt totally comfortable tracking through my take on things with a God-slant. When the conversation ran toward the big studio opening up in the back space, I told em about my idea for a Prayer Rave. Pitched em the idea of mixing sacred driving thumper beats with prayer for what's happening in the global & local headlines. They both talked of how the idea deeply resonated with them, as each had a hard time connecting with the headlines in any meaningful way. We talked about it for awhile before they headed off to work. Such an enjoyable conversation shared over cups of fair trade coffee at 24-7. Someone just walked in. Stood at the front door to drop off a paper & walked out. Came back 15 minutes later inquiring about what this space was. Gave them the answer & the tour. She said she felt there was something different about this place as soon as she opened the door...and had to ask what it was. Sometimes God opens the door of conversation about who He is using a cup of coffee, sometimes using a good party, & sometimes through a simple feeling of "different".
Ran out this morning to replace the microwave in the 24-7cafe that hasn't worked since the popcorn fire from a few weeks ago. Got backin time for Jere to heat up his breakfast. 6 Justice Project teams hit the streets today, cleaning houses, spending relationship building time with residents, much interceding at the site, doing residential interviews, praying for residents in their homes. Leaving me, Jere & two zhop guys to install the new prayer room sound system. Impromptu prayer meeting broke out in the community room as people stopped in on the group meeting happening there & the group invited them to eat & join the conversation. Needless to say really lively worship ensued. Someone came in with a newspaper. Surprise, surprise, there was a big photo of 24-7 on the front page of the living section. Unexpected surprise. Despite all the activity going on, the prayer room still managed to host an array of visitors who filled the stations & at times lifted their voices in worship. Today was a good day. Tore myself away after 8 hours, leaving Matt & his buddy to staff till closing time. I';ll swing by in the morning to ready the site for Ephesus church meeting there again this Sunday night.
With the shackles from well intended but perversely bad prophecies now stripped off my neck - I can feel the vibrating road shaking out its Morse Code tapping, "O Hhe llYe S!". With the slanderer silenced by the sending far away of its tongues & minions & the crushing of its tapes on continual replay - I can hear the streaming steaming road whisper, "O Hhe llYe S!". With the shouting scars from yesteryear put to bed in deep hospital graves - I can finally hear the blistering bolstering road screeching screaming, "O Hhe llYe S!". Within these fragmented & fragile walls of mine, the soul of me is now erect - & in response to God's voice saying Arise & Go Forth, I can finally hear the rocky hungry multitude shouting, "Oh,Hell Yes!"
Just back from a morning walk talking with my friend Jesus about yesterday & priorities & what's on my mind & His. Loved when we talked about taking my son with me to M'star's worship break outs which are 7:30 nightly. Look forward to being in thick worship & prayer with him there at the site where 2nd graders are praying & prophesying alongside 60 year olds & all points in between. When our talk turned to work, this great verse came to mind concerning "whatever you do, do heartily & as unto the Lord & he will repay you" or something like that. Tossed that around like a volley ball in my head. Measuring myself by it, letting it provoke me to "as unto" in the "whatsoevers" & not just in the bigsoevers. What an enjoyable talk we had together. The topic we wrapped up on was a bit surprising. He spoke of A-Pak. Of the draw to begin again, to start planting them in each Justice Project neighborhood, & to promote its planting in neighborhoods across the city by willing soul's who tap into it's mission & are up for facilitating that kind of adventure. With 365Worship to prep for, & London ministry leaders headed here to help oversee the Transit aspect of what we do at this 24-7, my heart still has this undercurrent of hunger to head out into the nations.
How do you definegossip, backbiting, talebearing? However you define it, it has the ability to damage hearts & seperate friends. We who are called to protect one another, instead often slander one another & broadcast negative opinions or the weaknesses of each other. I've regularly & now recently been slandered. Although it stings, I count it joy too. Normally it would hurt me deeply. Now I just feel blessed. Blessed & wiser, but no worse for the wear. This is all a bug on my windsheild. This time I will keep my foot on the gas.
Living & dying daily to know God intimately - And in radical obedience & kamikazi servanthood, to carry out His life's work. ________
Having all these words be more than just words as I soul-press, excuses-crucify, life-surrender & present my body to embody the message of my friend Jesus.