Powerful Prayer

Can you please pray for me?

My answer is always, “Of course! What do you need prayer for?” And then I pray for that person right there. 

I don’t wait until later (though I do pray on my own later) because there’s something powerful about praying together. 

Read through the Book of Acts. 

You’ll quickly notice that mighty things happened when the Church prayed together. 

Jesus told us that He’ll do anything we ask in His name. 

Jesus told us that praying in faith can move any mountain, any obstacle. 

Jesus taught us how to pray and Paul laced his letters with prayers. 

Talking with God is vital to our Christian walk. (We’ve talked many times about prayer.)

The Boiler Room taught on prayer tonight. 

Following the teaching we prayed for our church community, for the necessary transitions to better serve the poor. 

I walked away reminded that “Thy kingdom come, thy will be done” is not possible without prayer and the power of the Holy Spirit working in my life. 

Identity and DNA

Do you know who you are? 

It’s easy to let yourself be identified by your job, motherhood, sickness, personality type, hobby–I could keep going. 

As Christians, however, our identity is Christ Himself. We are saved by His grace, guided by His Word, and commissioned to tell the world all about it. 

This is who we are. 

Like we talked about a few weeks ago, Jesus is not asking us to drop our brains and our personalities at the door. 

Christians are not bland, boring people. 

Christians are a diverse, beautiful family united and compelled by our devotion to Jesus Christ. 

The Boiler Room discussed 4 fundamental questions this evening that really walk you through what the Christian life is all about. 

  1. Who is God?
  2. What did He do for us?
  3. Who are we? 
  4. What do we do?

These questions–and their answers–are the essence of the gospel message. 

Our identity as individual believers, as the body of Christ, is rooted in the finished work of Jesus. 

It is then lived out in actions that are clearly seen by others. 

Jesus told the disciples in John 17 that the world would know us by our love. 

Paul tells us in 2 Corinthians 5:14 that the love of Christ compels us to share the gospel. 

If Christ is our identity and greatest motivator, then love–His self-sacrificing love–is our DNA. 

And with that kind of DNA it puts the actions of our everyday lives in perspective. 

Gospel Centered Living

I enjoy a lot of things:

  • Reading
  • Writing
  • Comedy
  • Music
  • Movies
  • Bacon
  • Coffee

I could keep going…

But nothing has my heart like Jesus has my heart. 

He is my Rock, my stability, my joy, and my greatest love. 

Knowing Jesus doesn’t require you to be stripped of your personality, either. Jesus is not the ultimate stick in the mud like many preach about. 

In fact, it’s the exact opposite. When I came to know Jesus everything about me just made sense. 

The things that I’m most passionate about took shape in ways that at one time eluded me. 

And that’s because Jesus became the center of it all. 

His statement to us is simple:  

Can I come along with you? Let’s go on adventures together. 

Gospel centered living isn’t hard when you realize that Jesus, the perfect embodiment of the gospel, lives and breathes within His children. 

He’s with us as we live our everyday lives. 

It’s Jesus’ desire for us to use every means available–our time, resources, and talents–to share the gospel. 

Good thing there’s different personalities in the Church, right? All of us have different interests for a bigger purpose.

Take Jesus with you as you’re pursuing every dream and desire He’s planted in your heart. 

I encourage you to let words of redemption and hope, the same words that changed your life, be prominent in your speech and lifestyle. 

Thursday Night Lights

I made a new friend today. 

Well, I made several new friends today because I had the opportunity to serve during Thursday Night Lights. 

Every Thursday a group of believers come together to serve and eat dinner with the homeless. 

A local missionary to the homeless brings a truck and trailer loaded with picnic tables and other supplies. 

Different groups volunteer each week to prepare dinner. It truly is a collaborative work within the body of Christ. 

My favorite part was hanging out with the men and women. One of my new friends is a little girl–let’s call her Joan–who is the same age as my sister Sofia. 

She was super shy at first but by the end of the night I got her to smile at me. 

Her smile was beautiful and it absolutely broke my heart…

What’s her daily life like? 

What are her dreams?

These are the questions that were burning in my heart. And if you know me at all, I will ask her these questions in due time. 

I’m reading through Matthew’s gospel and already there have been 3 times that Jesus was moved with compassion when He saw the multitudes. 

My heart was filled with compassion today. I never want to look at a man or woman and not see them as Christ sees them:

Loved. 

Accepted. 

Worth every sacrifice. 

I know that there’s a stigma about the homeless, but my goal is to take all my preconceived notions and throw them in the trash. 

It’s not my job to sit around and rank the people according to their various levels of poverty. 

Who is that helping?

My only job is to love people, to be their friend, and keep pointing them back to Jesus. 

Joan’s smile is still in my head…

All I see is the bright future that Christ has in mind for her. I look forward to getting to know my new friend and helping her see it, too. 

Many members, one body

I love when a prayer is answered in an unexpected way. 

Tonight I stumbled upon a community of Christians who are living out the principles the Lord is asking me to more closely examine. 

Their hospitality is downright refreshing. 

I look forward to further connecting with this group and the larger ministry as a whole. 

And the coolest part is that they meet on Friday nights, so it doesn’t interfere with my involvement at Rhema Bible Church. 

The body of Christ at large is doing great things. 

I enjoy connecting with different churches and parachurch ministries because it broadens my perspective. 

A narrow viewpoint, to me, is one of the biggest killers of unity. 

Just like God’s plans are bigger than us, so is His body as a whole. The idea that I’m a small, yet vital, part of the body of Christ, His hands and feet on earth, truly humbles me. 

And to think there are many members of the body and God knows us all personally?

One more reason to add to my list of why God is awesome.

The Power of Showing Up

This Sunday was a Sunday of firsts.

  1. First Sunday to serve as a volunteer in the media department. I get to help run camera for RBTC’s exaltation on Tuesday!
  2. First Sunday to volunteer at the nursing home’s chapel service. I helped lead worship, which was totally a surprise but totally awesome!

Getting plugged in as a volunteer is a great way to get to know and to serve your church family. 

Maybe there are not a lot of opportunities to serve in your most favorite areas, but I encourage you to not be a pew sitter. 

Get involved. 

I think, for me, this is the biggest reason that staying home and watching a live streamed church service is not my thing. 

Of course, I’m not saying there’s anything wrong with live streaming church–hear me out, okay?

I simply question saying you’re a member of such and such church when all you do is tune in online. 

For instance, I know of a couple who are “members” of a church that is at least 2 states away…

You can’t be involved from 2 states away. 

There are 50 trillion churches in Oklahoma (only a slight exaggeration). 

They can’t find one church to connect with?

Once again, I’m not against live streaming church nor am I against posting the video or audio of church services online. 

Not everyone can physically go to church or have a church come to them like Rhema’s nursing home outreach provides to shut ins. 

But what about us who can walk out the door and go to any church we like?

Is online church the best option?

There’s just something about showing up…

In a world that is so disconnected, showing up is powerful. 

Why giving matters

I have a friend who always has granola bars in her backpack. 

She’s generous, too. If you need a snack, just find her! 

I’m actually going to buy her a box of granola bars this weekend because she’s helped me–and many others–out this week. 

My friend’s genorisity got me thinking…

Shouldn’t all Christians be known for their generosity?

It’s in the Bible. You see passages about:

  • Hospitality
  • Giving
  • Prayer
  • Miracles
  • Healing

And all of it was done for the purposes of evangelism to the lost and edification for the body of Christ. 

Nothing was ever done for selfish ambition. 

Christians are not supposed to be stingy–in any area!

In my class on the gifts of the spirit, we’ve talked quite a bit about how none of God’s gifts are for us. 

This makes sense to me because in light of the bigger picture, it’s kind of comical to think anything is ours to begin with. 

It all belongs to Him!

Plus, Jesus paid the ultimate price for our sins. He is our Redeemer and our pardon was purchased with His blood. 

How can we not give freely when He is our example?

Jesus has given us everything.