I’ve been on the Naxos Island of Greece for a little more than a week of our 2 month visit. The weather continues to be a blessing of sunny blue skies but the island is starting to cool, just a small bit. The food continues to be fantastic and the views are even more impressive. I rented a little fiat with a friend and took to the inner island roads and mountains. There were a lot of beautiful views on every angle of the island. Mountains. Water. Goats. Ruins. Organic markets. Raw & cut marble. Locals.
3 Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! In his great mercy he has given us new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead,4 and into an inheritance that can never perish, spoil or fade. This inheritance is kept in heaven for you,5 who through faith are shielded by God’s power until the coming of the salvation that is ready to be revealed in the last time.6 In all this you greatly rejoice,though now for a little while you may have had to suffer grief in all kinds of trials.7 These have come so that the proven genuineness of your faith—of greater worth than gold, which perishes even though refined by fire—may result in praise, glory and honor when Jesus Christ is revealed.8 Though you have not seen him, you love him; and even though you do not see him now, you believe in him and are filled with an inexpressible and glorious joy,9 for you are receiving the end result of your faith, the salvation of your souls.
“Bring the crazy stuff. Bring the unexplainable. Bring the story only God would write.” – Jennie Allen in Anything: The Prayer That Unlocked My God and My Soul
12 For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.13 Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand.14 Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place,15 and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace.16 In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one.17 Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.
18 And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the Lord’s people.
I am drawn to these verses. I am naturally a fighter. Growing up, my brother and I used to bloody each other noses. Generally, I’m really not that competitive, so channeling this energy into sports wasn’t going to be as healthy of an alternative as it was for my brother. I was an angry kid, that grew into a rebellious teen before going to college (where I learned to fight with class and poise… most of the time). I get passionate about a cause and I want to charge at it with the same intensity. This year I’ve been charging toward Sex Trafficking. Read more
I have a heart for issues of sex trafficking and exploitation. It’s been a growing passion of mine that has been building for several years. There’s no pivotal moment where I can say, “this is when I was set on fire” but God continues to move in my life by putting trafficking in front of my eyes. Momentum was gaining and it became clear to me that I was time to make bold moves in faith. Next thing I know, I left my job and moved to New Orleans. Read more
Jesus Prays to Be Glorified, Prays for His Disciples, and Prays for All Believers
Each week, Jennie encourages us to ask “God who are you?” and “What do you want from me?” This week’s scripture reference answered my question very simply. God is Jesus, they are One. He wants to be One with us. In Jesus’s prayer, He describes the Father as the only true God who is Holy. Our God has power in His name, is a protector and truth in His word. He also loves Jesus, who loves Him, and together loves us. Before we knew Him, He knew us just as the Father knew Jesus. Jesus is advocating with the Father for us in this prayer!
This is pretty intense!
I have two big hopes that initially come to mind. Read more
Praying for anything is allowing for God to use you in His plan according to His will by tapping into the talents and skills he has gifted you. Sometimes our hopes and dreams are aligned but sometimes God has a different timing and priority than we do. This is the scary part of surrender; allowing for God’s will not our own.
In going through the Anything Project, I have really been looking at what is my Anything. What is it that God wants from me? What are my talents and gifts? Where is my own heart? and What will really count at the end of my life? Read more
“If you want to be perfect, go and sell your possessions and give them to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come follow me.” Jesus wants us to take care of the poor, to sacrifice for others, and to follow Him. Jesus is asking us to be willing to give up what we hold closest to our hearts: the things of this world that holds no true value. For the young man in Matthew 19:16-30, this was his possessions. Jesus simply wants us to love Him first and to serve Him above all else.
Dear Heavenly Father, what is in my heart that I put before you? Please show me and make it clear so I can better serve.