Tag Archives: community

Walk On Top Of The Walls, Not Through Them

Today my roommate Shay and I attended an event called “Crossing The Boro.” Basically, a few of the churches in town joined together to walk across our city in a display of unity and prayer for the schools that the children in our churches attend.

(That was a long sentence.) Anyway…

Although our church was not/currently is not officially affiliated with this event/ministry, Shay and I thought it would be a good expression of support and unity to join with those churches in this walk. Anyone who wanted to come was invited, so we accepted the invitation.

The church that I attend is very purposeful and progressive in its pursuit of citywide church unity. Our lead pastor is very vocal about God’s heart for unity so, not suprisingly, the satellite congregation that I attend values unity as well.

Sadly, many churches would rather drink dirty toilet water than partner with another church/other churches. Denominational ego, pride, attendance stats and territory become an issue.

So, when Shay told me about this event happening in town, I was ecstatic! I heart unity!

At the end of the walk, there was a rally in a local elementary school. The leaders of “Crossing The Boro” told the elementary students present to get together by school and pray for their teachers, faculty and classmates.

Since Shay and I are no longer in elementary school and don’t have children, we silently prayed in our seats.

As I was praying, I asked God to break down the walls between churches and schools. After I said that, I received a vision from Him.  Take note that I’m telling this story with just me in it, but when I say “I,” it also includes everyone in my church.  It was just easier to write this in first person. Here it is:

Standing before me was a very large wall that I could not get through. It was impenetrable. I was trying to kick through the wall and find a way to break it down. Instead, God picked me up and lifted me to the top of the wall. Upon arriving there, I realized that the wall was wide enough for me to walk on safely and comfortably. I began to walk on top of the wall. As I walked, I saw all of the divided segments of the city down below. Each had it’s own compartmentalized space, surrounded by walls. In some of the compartments, there were churches. Their influence only reached to the edge of their walls. In segments without churches, no one was able to get to them and show them Christ because of the walls. As I continued my wall trekking, I saw other churches being lifted up from their segmented areas below and beginning to walk the walls. I continued walking and I eventually encountered the other churches. We introduced ourselves and stopped together to pray for citywide church unity. After we finished praying, we walked together further along the wall. Eventually, we met more churches, stopped together to pray for unity and then kept walking together. This process was repeated until all of the churches had met and prayed. By this time, we came to a central, larger portion of the wall where we could all congregate together. We prayed prayers of thanksgiving, unity and praise to God one last time in our large group. When the final prayer was finished and we opened our eyes, we were surrounded by one fortified wall around the city instead of dividing walls inside the city.

That is an awesome vision, yeah? I think so! I love how God showed me a totally different perspective than what I asked Him for. He said, “Well, Lindsay, that’s a noble thing to pray for, but I have a better idea. C’mon, let’s go for a ride.”

Not only was it a prophetic picture, but it was also a keen reminder for me to be flexible and willing to do things God’s way. I could stand and try to kick down a wall by myself for years and have no success. But partnering with others in corporate community in humble submission to God’s command will bring exponential movement.

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In lieu of Coke, I drank sweet tea

You’d think that after sitting around and thinking for three weeks that I’d have wonderful things to say.

You’d think my words would be eloquent and divinely inspired.

You’d think they would be full of revelation and profound truth.

You’d think…

I’d say that, yeah, I have learned a lot in this time. Yeah, I do have great things to say. Sure, if I sat here long enough and proofread every word three times this blog would flow seamlessly. Certainly I’ve received words of comfort from God. But I don’t know if I’d term them revelationary. (Yeah. That’s a new word.)

My roommate suggested that I fast something until I get a job. I decided to fast pop/soda/coke/cola/soda pop. Truth is, I’d often find myself plotting ways to go out and buy pop. I’d plan my day around my cola intake. I’d say that’s a case of the flesh overtaking my self control. Time out for a mini-lesson. Your flesh is your sinful, lustful, selfish side. Your spirit (that is, if you’re a Christian) is the God-seeking, submissive, righteous, holy side.

Since last week, I’ve not had any pop. It hasn’t been that hard to abstain from drinking it.

However, I noticed that I started drinking sweet tea and eating more candy bars instead. Rather than totally overcoming the urge for sugar, I just transferred the method of sugar intake. Not exactly a successful fasting exercise.

Good news is that I realized this was happening and I’ve taken steps to properly align myself, God, the flesh and my desires.

Some of you may find it weird that I have to starve my flesh into submission. I don’t find it strange. I find it necessary. Contrary to the way America works, our flesh and self-fleshness (‘nother new word combo) are not in charge. The flesh shouldn’t rule all of our desires. We shouldn’t go about our lives driven by our latest lust.

If I’m not careful, I find myself scheming for the next thing that I want. Take now, for example. I want an iPod Touch. My flesh is convinced that I have every good reason to have one. Examine the truth and you’ll find that I already have an iPod Nano. The Nano works fine. I’m unemployed and frankly cannot and should not afford another iPod right now. The main reasons I want an iPod Touch are so I can have wireless connectivity and email wherever I am. I want to beef up my cool factor. I want to have another toy to play with.

I don’t need a new iPod. I just want one. For totally stupid reasons.

If I were still employed, I would’ve purchased that iPod around the time I got laid off. I thought I had enough money to do pretty much whatever I wanted. I was planning a trip to New Mexico. I had a newly-deposited stimulus check from the government sitting in my bank account, waiting to be used. I was loving work. I was rolling in self competency.

And then all of that dreaminess and money freedom ended on a Tuesday morning when my boss came in and said my position had been eliminated.

I went from iPod dreams to an, “I’m unemployed,” reality.

Three weeks later, here I am with my third (perhaps fourth blog) about the fact that I’m unemployed. I still haven’t lost hope. I’m still expecting God to do great things.

Here’s what’s different:

1. I’m no longer controlled by my flesh (and ultimately Satan; since he drives all pursuits of the flesh).

2. I’m stewarding the money God has allowed me to temporarily use as my own to pay my bills, sow the seeds of His kingdom and give back to Him mainly in increments of 10%.

3 I’m a prisoner of hope. All I can do is hope. I cannot be negative because I find no moral, spiritual, physical, mental or sensical reason to be negative.

4. I enjoy my life everyday because I’m desperate for God, His provision, His work, His might, His comfort and His promises. I’ve learned the lesson that I need to be desperate for God all of the time. On the good days, the bad days, the sad days, the glad days. All days must be desperate days. Apart from God, I can do nothing. I was aware of that verse and concept but I just didn’t quite get it until I found myself in desperation.

I used to be ashamed of desperation. I have always been the put-together, proud person. I would only tell my life story experiences after they were wrapped up, taken care of and had a happy ending.

And now I am desperate…and I am celebrating it! I need God–more than I need a happy ending, more than I need a great job, more than I need a husband, more than I need food on the table.

In my current mental movie, I see the Nashville skyline on the left and God standing on the right. I hear Him say, “Do you choose to be alone with everything–your dream job, a good paycheck and friendly coworkers? Or do you choose Me alone, your everything? What do you want? Commuter? Or community? Do you want to be alone in your car on the way to work most of your life? Or do you want to work in the community where you live and build relationships with the neighbors around you?”

As I gaze upon the city skyline, I sigh. I see falsely glamorous, busy activity and aimless pursuits in circular, repetitive motion. When I fix my eyes upon Him, my Creator, I see true peace. I see a flowing river next to a stable, rooted, healthy tree.

Without vision, the people perish. Thankfully, you’ve just witnessed me receiving something revelationary.

I choose He alone, my everything.

Weakly Wednesdays

I am often in a bad mood on Wednesdays. I may have blogged about this before. I can’t remember.

Every Wednesday evening I meet with a group of people from my church. We eat a meal together, talk about what was taught in church the Sunday before and then pray together. It’s Christian fellowship and hangout time. It’s fun. It’s encouraging. It’s nice to connect with people from my area.

However, every week I find myself in a foul mood on Wednesdays. I believe it’s because Satan’s trying to get me down and convince me not to go to the gathering. He wants me to stay home and be alone, sulking about my bad day, eating and watching TV.

Satan’s aim for me is to be a sedentary sulker.

God’s will for me is to be a connected Christian.

The greatest dream God has is that His people be unified. It makes perfect sense that Satan would do his best to prevent that from happening.

I’ve often heard it said that opposition from Satan is a good thing. It means I’m doing something right. With these weakly, weekly Wednesdays, I’m convinced that I’m doing God’s will by going to these gatherings. So I’ll persevere through the tiredness, irritability and laziness in pursuit of God’s purpose.

Come, unication

I hearby announce that I am making up another new word.  Yes, a new one.  Yes, a new word.

I make up new words all the time.  Take pudgulous for example.  I’ll use it in a sentence, “Wow, the runway looks pudgulous after the rain.”

Or how about this one: dragic.  Means tragic, dramatic and drastic.  Clever, eh?

*looks down*  *finds the point of this word party*

Ok, so unity has been on my heart lately.  As well as on my mind.  As well as stirring in my spirit.  As well as on the paper that I write on whilst I’m at church cuz my pastor’s teaching us about unity.

I used to think unity was hard.  It appears to be a difficult concept to activate into functionality.  But…appearances can be deceiving.  And, the appearance of unity is one of those deceiving guises.

Here’s the truth: You cannot make unity, you must maintain it.  As my pastor has said, “Find the 1% you agree on and agree on it 100%.”  There ya go.  It’s unity.

Christians get all bent up and pent up over areas of disunion.  It’s like this super evil ugly monster that stomps around and smashes little unity bubbles.  It’s very scary. 

If we would all agree to agree on something and then build from that, it would be stellar.  Forget agreeing to disagree.  Let’s agree to agree what we agree on.  That, my friends, is unity.

Back to my new word: unication.  I was being silly when trying to think of a title for this.  There’s the word, communiation.  But, in my wordish mind, I thought, “Ha…that’s like direct address and saying, ‘Come, unication.'”

And now here we are.  If you’re feelin disunified, just say, “Come, unication.” 

You wonder, “What’s it mean when I say that?”

I answer, “It means that you’re acknowledging that unity is alive and there for the taking.  So take it.”

Unication is unity plus community plus communication.  Talk to people about what you agree on and build on it.

Don’t cease communicating with somebody just cuz you think (or you actually will) fight with them.

Find something common.  Agree on it.  That is unication.

*nods*

Say it with me now, “Come, unication.”