surround

Our father…all of heaven roars your name. Sing louder, let this place erupt with praise. Can you hear it? The sound of heaven touching earth…

God purposely creates moments of praise in places you would least expect. Sometimes surrounded by people you would least expect as well.

That is the most beautiful thing about the Holy Spirit…(whisper)…it’s everywhere…

Spirit break out. Break our walls down.

We get so comfortable when we are surrounded by other believers. We fool ourselves into thinking worship can only happen a certain way, and it has to be in our comfort zone. What we rarely think about is how worship surrounds us in so many ways throughout our day.

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I’ve been with Woods Chapel families this weekend, and tonight I listened to their stories about the places they served today. Kingdom House, Crisis Nursery and The Bridge in St. Louis all had part of our team working with them today. Each family has incredible stories! Each family served their Lord with all of their energy and strength.

And each one worshiped today surrounded by people whose lives have been transformed through the grace of Jesus.

King Jesus…your name we are lifting high…we wanna see your Kingdom here.

I pray you are surrounded by all kinds of people with a myriad of ways to worship, experiencing the fantastic power of the Holy Spirit. And in that moment your ears would be graced with the sound of Heaven touching earth.

(lyrics from Spirit Break Out by Kim Walker Smith)

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settle

Jesus Culture has this song called, ‘I Won’t Settle’ by Nate Ward. Recently it’s been playing on repeat through my head…ironically, even before I started my Lent journey of blogging a word from Rethink Church’s 40 days of photos.

This word kept sticking with me, because I think we settle for things in this life that are comfortable and easy. Hard stuff is hard, and who wants to actually deal with the hard stuff?

We ignore our gifts. We ignore our calling. We ignore the mission impulse that God has planted in each of us since creation. We ignore our God in exchange for temporary satisfaction. Sure it may last a lifetime here, but imagine life with no pain, no tears, no anger…imagine life with our Savior…I ache for that life.

Honestly, many of us settle for this harsh world when our eyes should constantly be focused on eternal life with God. But it is so hard to see and understand what eternal life is compared to what we know here…

So where do you find your heaven on earth? In a cup of hot chocolate? In a child’s smile? Mountains or beach? Perhaps in a summer retreat spot?

Or if you are most fulfilled when you are reaching out to others…maybe your heaven on earth is in a little slice of downtown homeless shelters, abused mothers or hurting kids? Has God called and built you to minister across cultures and languages, so your heaven on earth is found in Haiti or Africa or China or Guatemala or Russia?

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My mind goes back to a screened in porch enclosed in a compound right on the beach as the sound of waves caressed my ears while wind blew through bullet holes littering the concrete barrier…giving proof to a country’s deep suffering. Such a strange place to experience heaven on earth…but it was for me.

Where ever you see God in this world…hold onto it. Cherish it. Remember it. Because it is there to guide you. God gifts us with just enough glimpses to know that we should not settle for this world, because he knows we should be placing our hope in the plethora of things to come…

“I Won’t Settle”
What do I look like
What do You see
What are the things that

You are dreaming about me
Visions of glory
I’m starting to see
Lord let the things

You’ve dreamed become reality
I won’t settle
I won’t settle for anything less
And I will hold on
I will hold on for greater things
What do I look like
What do You see
What are the things that

You are calling out in me
The light of Your Kingdom
Is burning in me
Lord let the things

You’ve seen become reality
Mark me as Yours
Set me apart
I want everything
All that You are

I won’t settle
I won’t settle for anything less
And I will hold on
I will hold on for greater things