Prayer: the Glamorous, the Trying, and the Beautiful

Prayer: the Glamorous, the Trying, and the Beautiful

Six years ago, as a bright-eyed and terrified college senior, I was approached by a few leaders of my church to develop a house of prayer in our beloved Isla Vista. I had the resume to be sure: I had led some 24-7 prayer weeks, been a leader of a campus ministry’s prayer group, and was a frequent goer of the quirky converted garage we now call the house of prayer. I thought to myself, “This is a great excuse to stay in Santa Barbara and to live out my dreams of leadership. I will finally be the glamorous intercessory warrior God has called me to be and be recognized as such. I will walk down the street and people will see me and know that I am with God, and He calls me His regal friend, much like Moses.” Naturally, I signed up for the role. Someone had to do it and what can I say: when you have it, you have it. With lofty hopes and dreams, God had a little ways to go in humbling me. I took a vision trip to the Kansas City International House of Prayer, and met some encouraging people who were real with me on the beautiful and trying parts of prayer ministry. After that trip, I began to actually put my money where my mouth was by praying for our church community more regularly and leading weekly prayer meetings. The glamour of it all was lost quite quickly, to say the least. I sometimes felt married to the prayer ministry, the old ball and chain, wishing I could tie myself...
COMMITMENT

COMMITMENT

Commitment is a lost art among our generation. With our instant-microwave culture, when things don’t entertain or please immediately, it’s easy to move on to the next thing and desire the latest and greatest. As a child of divorce, it was hard for me to see that relationships could last beyond disagreement. Love isn’t measured by how much you fight, I would even argue that you need to fight for what you care about. Holly and Jason Lomelino played a big role in helping me realize this and helping me see what a marriage can really look like. Here in this excerpt from “They Ruined Me,” from The Family of God, I illustrate this talking about my experience being fathered and mothered by them:  “I was stunned that Holly and Jason would commit themselves to me and my dreams without even knowing me. They had a faith in God like nothing I had seen before, and they were choosing to pursue covenantal relationship with me simply because He said so. Jason took on a fatherly role, always wishing to guide and protect me but never afraid to push me beyond my comfort zone. Holly was quick to nurture and care for me while also sharpening me with her honesty and wisdom. I began to hang out with their family more and to see what it was like to genuinely live life with them. I think I’ve learned more about God from watching Jason interact with his daughter Hope than any workbook or sermon could ever teach me. I learned from Jason and Holly what covenantal love looked like where...
PAIN DEMANDS TO BE FELT

PAIN DEMANDS TO BE FELT

As Christians, we can sometimes deny or push down pain because we think it shouldn’t be a part of our lives. The joy of the Lord is our strength. Christians shouldn’t be depressed. That’s just a lie so don’t believe it. All true sentiments, but not always helpful for someone going through the process of pain. Our hearts are fragile and precious things. Worth guarding, protecting, and caring for at all times. Proverbs 4:23 says, “Above all else, guard your heart, for everything you do flows from it.” If everything flows from our hearts, I believe we need to listen to our hearts, take time to care for them, and not suppress the pain or emotion that comes from them. Real or perceived things can cause pain. There are days when no matter how many times you tell yourself that something is a lie, and therefore it shouldn’t cause you any grief because of that, there remains real pain that needs to be walked out of. The process of pain is something that each human goes through at some point. It’s a journey of walking out of your feelings rather than pushing them down into a dark corner, hoping they’ll never resurface, while it actually leaks out with every step. However, when you do let your feelings be known, that is not permission to hold others responsible for them. You are the only one responsible for your feelings. Let me repeat: the only one. While you discover your feelings, you get to invite God into those areas of your heart, and then you get to forgive yourself and others....
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