Can I tell you a story…a love story?

I’m super excited to tell you this story.  I’m even more excited that it’s my story.  🙂

 

As some of you know, for years I lived in Cairo, IL, tiny poor town in the middle of nowhere that’s like one big housing project that God loves immensely for almost all of my twenties.  I encountered God and his love here through people, prayer, and encounter more than I ever maybe had before during these long often times stretching years.  

 

Obviously I wasn’t in town to find me a husband. Don’t get me wrong, I was asked to be married but often it was by a man with a paper bagged bottle in his hand on a bike.  Ahh, how romantic my life has been.  🙂

 

Occasionally a man that loved Jesus would interact with me over the phone for a brief period.  Sometimes they needed mothering, sometimes they were trying me on, sometimes they were just lonely.  During these interactions I would ALWAYS talk to the Lord about them to know what to do with my heart.  He would ALWAYS say the same thing.  “Do you trust me?”  I would overwhelming reply completely enveloped in his love already and say, “Yes.”  And then he would always follow with, “Then wait.”   And because I believed him, I would.

 

Years passed.  The Lord continued to interact with me over what my future looked like and he would share with me things he would desire me to dream about with him.  Mostly involving nations and people groups and speaking and sharing God’s love.  I saw churches, stages, planes, oceans and islands pass through my mind as I slept in this little place I lived in.

 

Then it happened.  Through entirely different story for an entirely different day, I took my first trip alone with Jesus to the nations.  I met a group of people I’ve never met and danced in the amazon jungle with children would’ve never seen roads and swam with Parana’s one of the largest river tributary in the world.  It was then the Lord began to speak of someone who would come alongside me in these adventures.  I remember I painted the number two that kept floating through my mind then and if you look back, you’ll see whispers of it, I titled my writing for that trip PAIR-OO instead of Peru.

 

More trips happened, more people were met, I got to hug more people and shine on them through my face the overwhelming love of the father.  I continued to see 222’s wherever I would go.  I don’t mind seeming silly or crazy.  Love is the language of the exchange of the father and I.  And then came Malta.  Even then I shared of my heart and God’s gentle restoration of hope and redemption of memories in my life.  He imparted me the desire for all that he has been dreaming over my life.  The license plates there are super cheap to personalize and have three numbers and 222’s surrounded me like a swarm of bee’s.  There are more whispers of promise the Lord spoke to me concerning that place and time but I will leave it as such for now.

 

Two years prior my spiritual dad and another spiritual mom of mine told me during conversations that I would meet my husband as I traveled in the nations.  I’m so good at waiting. And I LOVE surprises.  They make life so much FUN.

 

That brings us up to this past fall.  I got the privilege of interacting with a certain young man for a short season who helped me once again see myself in context of relationship without ever engaging in one with him.  He was speaking to me that I may meet someone in Mexico or Malta already doing what I love to do.  Initially he had a hard time believing that someone like me could hope to do relationship living the lifestyle I live but then that led me to discovering.

 

I OVERWHELMINGLY became certain that I could and would choose to dare to dream for relationship that God had been leading me towards without compromising who I was or how God made me.  I wrote that man a two page letter that I will also post on here.  It’s called “Living the Dream.”  In it I speak of traveling to the nations and being a mouthpiece for God’s love and goodness.  I see ministry in power but without position; the kingdom through relationships without titles; oh–and the nations, my love for traveling and the nations.  

 

I discovered that I would continue to dare to dream the impossible and that God delights in making it reality.  Cue the email sent out by John Crowder for our Mexico trip.  I peruse the participants.  One sticks out in particular.  The man I had talking to in the fall and myself wonderfully parted ways one day and when I hung up the phone from that conversation I checked my facebook and this certain someone from the Mexico trip had just asked to be my fb friend.  It was as if I went from holding one hand to another without putting my phone down.

 

As New Years happens I’m watching video of this Mexico-trip-man on youtube and dialogue-ing with the Lord about him.  Let me fill you in on what we were talking about. In the past, men have often interacted with me for my ability to ‘help’ them, encourage them, etc. and I didn’t want that to be the case again in causing someone to like me.  The way the Lord began talking with me was different from others and I noticed.  He said, “Don’t worry.  You won’t have to open your mouth.  I’m going to show him your ways.”

 

Over the course of days the dialogue continued.  I was confessing to the Lord I didn’t necessarily feel safe yet even though I had never met the man and the Lord said, “You haven’t seen the way he sees you yet.”  The Lord encouraged me by talking about leading me into green pastures, etc, opening my mouth to speak publicly in this season, etc.

 

I land in Mexico.  My luggage doesn’t come, my card doesn’t work, I have no make-up on and am still in my 20-hour flight clothes.  Completely disarmed, cue introductions. 🙂    Completely effortless; nothing to earn, nothing to maintain, no pretending, no hiding.  The first day we free before meetings and ministry started and groups of us hung out, Joel being around me for the first time as I watched, listened and observed.

 

It was always so comfortable, so familiar, so safe, so peaceful.   Without hanging out individually yet, Joel said God led him to buy me a journal before he came on this trip.  He gave it to me as a gift and wrote inside of it.  I will share a line with you. “I love how you are wild and free like a bird who was let out of its cage.  I know that you will never settle for less than freedom. ‘Not all who wander are lost’.”

 

As the first days unfolded I continued to watch and God continued to speak.  My mind raced a bit and he said, “See him with my eyes Heather.”  I felt the overwhelming love of the father and the celebration of his dad.  The hopes of God as Joel’s heavenly father and the dreams of his heart concerning this son.  As I was doing something else completely in a meeting I was wondering about all this that was happening and at the same time a doubt crept in about it and it was immediately interrupted by the Lord with, “I made you for Joel Heather.”  I was like, “I don’t even know if my theology agrees with that statement!” And at the same time the fruit of it was that it stilled my fears and reestablished peace within me.

 

The second day of ministry I got to preach.  It was the day captured in my photo album.  To kids and parents and it LOVED it.  I LOVE it.  We were going around letting the kids know to come at two o’clock.  Come at two o’clock.  The next day we went to a soup kitchen.  Again I was invited to speak and share of God’s love for these people and what’s he done and what’s he’s really like.  Usually the soup kitchen opened at 1:30 but for this particular day, again, it was at two.  The third day I was invited to speak at a woman’s prison.  OH MY GOSH I GET SO EXCITED ABOUT THIS STUFF.  I ABSOLUTELY LOVE looking into the faces of these tough women and melting their fears away about God’s strength and power and his desire for them and their value and worth.  Guess what time I got to share the gospel again this third day?  Two o’clock.

 

And then, at just the right time, after the preaching of the gospel at 222, Joel came into my life.  That night he dared.  Was I too capable, and independent, and free, or did I want something more. That night Joel put flowers outside my hotel room door while I was out and walked me home that night to discover them there.  He said (and later told me he felt like it was the Lord speaking through him) “I gave you something beautiful because you deserve beautiful things.”

 

As I tried to put the flowers in my hotel room sink with water in it, the drain was broken.  The water kept draining out.  I was getting frustrated by it and the Lord interjected, “Don’t hold on to the flowers, hold on to him.”

 

We looked for a place to hang out.  There was a second floor with a number of large unused rooms.  We walked into one that night, it was Friday  and it was set up for a wedding the next day.  The chairs all empty in rows, the tables set, and the overlooking balcony windows aglow in the night sky overlooking the city.  And there in the front we talked, there in the front we shared, and there in the front we met one another that night.

 

Our introduction and meeting has never been just about the two of us.  God always has been and continues to weave in the preaching of the gospel and the freedom of nations into our exchange; their glorious liberty and joy and peace is the song of Joel and I’s exchange.  When we met, everyone yet to come to hear God’s good news through our lives was the dream alive within our hearts.  I see God doing all this between Joel and I but its not just for us.  Don’t get me wrong, I get to enjoy every minute of the ride, but the reason I get jacked up is all the fun and glory and love yet to come that WE GET TO SHARE WITH THE WORLD TOGETHER through our lives.  How can the best things in my life continue to get better?  This is too much fun.

 

For those of you that know me but not Joel, I will share you with you that he has grown up knowing his life is not his own, has encountered God from a young age, and dreams of both the nations and the individual being introduced to and encountering the tangible love of God.  In our exchange with one another he empowers my freedom, my dreams, my traveling, my speaking, my existing, my painting, my creating, and me just simply being me.

 

As we interacted over those last few days on the trip Joel, without knowing it, continued to nail the main points I had made in that two-page commitment to dreaming I had written back in November.  And all my fears were stilled.  It wasn’t rhetorical when I wrote that Joel is my dream come true.  I dared to dream uncompromisingly with Jesus and God’s good pleasure is releasing it into my life.  As I rested my head on Joel’s shoulder maybe the second to last day, the Lord said, “this is the green pasture I was talking about leading you into.”

 

The last night some of our ministry team went to a crazy mexican wrestling match.  After buying a cold one and some snacks to share, Joel and I sat down together with our team before this fight began, looked at each other smiling and thought the same thing, “Our lives are going to be too much fun together.”

 

Believe it or not, this is only some of this story, only some of God’s goodness and communication, and only some of the greatness of my hopes and anticipations.  

 

I trust Him.  And I will wait.  🙂  

 

love you family.  thanks for listening to our story.  the story of Us.  this is just the beginning…

 

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Living the Dream…

Hey friends.  When I wrote this back in November I almost immediately posted it but did not follow thru with it.  At the time, the Lord had me interacting with someone that was challenging what it meant for me to be a woman and to dream of continuing to live my lifestyle while at the same time consider God’s proposal to me of entertaining relationship as in regards to marriage.  The challenging of its impossibility last November helped only to solidify within me two things: 1)  that I was who God had called me to be and was not going to compromise on that for the sake of being loved by someone this side of heaven and 2)  that surely God himself was the one talking to me about a relationship and had been communicating to me about it and I was hearing him clearly and I would believe him.  I wrote this letter in response to this individual.  Two months later I met my now husband Joel Quinones.

 

Happy Reading.

 

 

“Hey _______, I am going to venture to be honest here trusting that for whatever purposes, the Lord would use it for good.  Remember that sigh?  I think it was me just remembering that you and I aren’t necessarily looking at the same horizons.  […]

 

I wrote a small note on facebook expressing a slight window of what I’m about to share with you here when I returned from India on my last trip.  I’ll go and make it public if you ever want to check it out.  I think part of the wonder that God has created me is because I’m a woman.  If I were doing what I’m doing and living as I’m living, as a man, it would be slightly less remarkable.  You’re a man, you can do as you want and go as you please, attached or unattached.  But who is a woman if she is not a wife or mother?  Where is she going, what is her value, what is her purpose, who does she think she is?

 

I have found I am the daughter of king.  I was born to influence the destiny of nations and am already doing so.  I am destined to sit with kings and reveal the ways of my father.  I am meant to be a mouthpiece and to speak.  To one yes, but also to many.  I am meant to release glory wherever I set my feet, in the middle of every culture I touch.  Glory is released through my presence wherever I go and people encounter God through encountering me.  My dancing, painting, writing, speaking, singing, and laughing reveal heaven and its sound of freedom.  I am a belle of liberty.

 

There’s something inside of me that ministers to the nations and I am altogether a willing party of releasing it.  He continues to fan the things I never sought out that he’s awakened my life to (writing, painting, speaking, praying, etc).

 

I have no lack.  I have no lack emotionally, mentally, financially, physically, or companionship-wise.  I have truly found Christ to be sufficient in all things.  And I am happy.  I am not running, chasing, or searching; I am following.  Following his leadership, his voice, eyes, his grace, his movements and gestures.  It is fun for me and it is what I always will do.

 

Just as I follow him in and out of structure, it would be him I would be following through the ins and outs of relationship.  I have given him all of my heart and my life as well.  If he so pleases to receive more glory from the ease of ‘my everything’ being fully satisfied in Him as a single woman, it would be my delight in this brief window called life, as my eternity with him has already begun.

 

When you prayed over the phone for finances for my trips I realized I don’t do that.  I don’t know if I ever have.  I just believe.  And he holds me when I don’t and he still comes through.  It’s like he’s the one sending me and he takes care of the details in his own timing and I just let him.  My history in the Lord with finances and the nations involves no doubt, no worry—just peace.  I believe he’s training me to steward large amounts of finances one day, but they won’t be mine, they will be entirely his and it won’t come from me marrying into it or winning the lottery. 

 

Where my journey of faith has led me recently has been in my interaction with you—entertaining in the natural even the idea of relationship.  It is only by faith and by his spirit that I have even been led to consider a marriage relationship as a way he wants to reveal his goodness through my life.

 

You were right—I do live in a dream, every day I do.  And they keep coming true. The reality that God desires me to desire the impossible and then enjoys me executing it in the earth with him is a part of our normal.  He has shown me, over and over again, the potential of walking out the dreams he dreamed for my life alongside another person who also shares his heart for desiring to see those dreams fulfilled whether or not I have the privilege of stewarding a womb. 

 

There is a fullness of the expression of God’s nature that hasn’t been realized in the earth because the fullness of God’s intent in creating man and woman as one together in the church hasn’t been realized.  I am not making a something happen or know what God’s doing but I am excited at what he whispers to me in the night and allows me to see on the horizon.  I will change and dramatically alter my generation by my mere existence.  And I’m having a lot of fun right now.

 

You’re right. I’m not looking for stability.  I’m not looking for protection.  I’m not looking for safety.  I have found all those things in him.  I care nothing for being the wife of a doctor.  I am already the wife of a king.  One thing I will always look out for is my maintaining my freedom; whether it’s maintaining healthy boundaries in relationships, or clarifying my partnerships with organizations, or laying hold of again personal perspectives as my life unfolds; I have found a liberty in Christ which is too costly for me to compromise on.  Ever.  And I believe marriage can facilitates that rather than reduces it.

 

But that freedom is not maintained by my understanding or by my own efforts; it is by his spirit.  If he tells me to sell myself into slavery it is my glorious freedom to do so.  I will fear the outward appearance of nothing.  And very emphatically disregard others estimation of it.  If the Lord, by his sovereignty in my life, sent me into a mortgage, a day job, and full-time mothering, never to see spanning coastlines below me through the clouds, never again to preach the gospel to distant islands, never again to behold the wonder of everything un-American, I would go. 

 

By golly it seems it would be harder for me than being sent to a Middle East nation and dying a martyr at a young age, but I would go—or rather—I would stay.  The Lord loves the people here, within this system, and he desires to impart vision to them as well beyond the confines of their own boundaries.  He desires to expand the reality of peace, the creativity of innovation, and the eradication of oppression globally through his people in this very nation brimming with potential energy for God’s advancing glory.

 

I have joked in the past that while my friends dream of men, I dream of nations.  I have never planned my wedding.  Yet I have seen in my dreams so clearly gatherings of people in foreign nations moving under encounters with God that I had the awesome privilege of helping facilitate.  But even the vision of that has been reduced in my mind.  Even though God has used gatherings and meetings since the dawn to time to address people corporately, he still, like in the wonder of the wilderness, desires a community discipled in glory.  A kingdom—a people—whose ways aren’t defined by time and location, and a people who live lives as an expression of so much more than a meeting—the very reality of a person—Christ Jesus. 

 

The messiah of humanity that crucified all its forms of oppression and slavery through the culmination of his perfection in submission to death; the Fullness of Endless Life himself swallowing whole every lie that accused his very nature; and as a by-product released a fearless people in inseparable union with the One who has overcome.

 

And so my friend, I say none of this as a reaction or in defense but merely a means to share vision I carry inside of me.  I will continue to live a dream that I have dared to dream in finding shared vision in another.  Thank you for helping me see, know, and define once again who I am, where I am going, and who I am with.  I communicate this with you not only for your sake, but because I see the wife you will someday be with, and you, my friend, have the privilege of helping her realize in Christ who she truly is, the freedom she possess and the potential in love she was created for in this life.  Thank you for believing in her and believing in all that God created her for, and that, in Christ, she can truly do all things.

 

And so, my friend that was a lot to read and I didn’t even know I had it all inside of me.  I guess that’s what came out.  I think we’re both great in ourselves and with one another as I walk out my destiny.  I’ve had fun peering into the journey the Lord has you on and interacting with you, and you will always be family.  This is in no way a goodbye or anything.  I just sometimes communicate clearer when I write down my thoughts.  Thank you for being honest with where you’re are at with you vision for this year.  I appreciate you knowing and sharing!  In some ways I have expected to interact with someone while I’m frolicking in the nations, because I know they’ve already broached so many subjects with the Lord that comes along with operating that way.  So thank you for reiterating my freedom!  Thanks for being so kind to me ______ and thanks for being my friend.”    November 3, 2013

Women

The definition of this word is still being discovered and unveiled.

It’s like God is trying to make visual his image as it was intended to be by uncovering that which was covered by mankind. God created man and women in the fullness of his reflection; a living, breathing, growing, changing, expressing, self-discovering union between spirits; halves revealing wholeness. What I’m writing about here doesn’t pertain exclusively to marriage either.

Is any individual incomplete in Christ alone?!? No! Our lives were eaxh created for his glory and his pleasure; we are all a part of this family he purposed in the earth. But when there is two designed to exist as one and one of the two is lacking, then the picture of the whole lacks as well.

I don’t understand it all, but a super important part of experiencing heaven on earth is the words we say. The words we speak reflect the reality we percieve and believe, whether its true or false, fearful or courageous, pleasant or sucky.

In the case of revealing God’s image through two becoming one, a voice is yet still needing to be found. Now this part is almost frightening to me. The idea of loud women-according to my experience- can be very unheavenly like. Pushy, bossy, demanding, manipulative, gossiping, deceptive, jealous women makes this very dangerous–what heaven is doing. Still, in light of all of the above, heaven is still declaring, “TURN UP YOUR VOLUME WOMEN OF GOD! BELIEVE IN THE VOICE I’VE CREATED INSIDE YOU AND LET IT BE HEARD!”

Let me clarify what I’m meaning by saying loudness and turning up the volume, it has nothing to do with sound levels or strength of speech. In any given mixed-gender room, or even a single gender female environment, there is often the dimished value of voices that are valuable. This is done not by others but by the one to whom the voice belongs.

God has a priority right now of females believing the Christ inside of them. So often there is an internal discrediting, personal discouragment, self-doubt, partnered with a lack of recognition and external support but heaven cares. To heaven, your voice matters daughters of god.

I could mean this in a church leadership setting. I could mean this on executive teams in business. I could mean this in positions of government and although this is true and neccessary in all these places, more often than not this reality hits closer to home.

It appears in compromised issues of the heart, neglected and ignored promptings of his spirit are due to unbelief, doubt, and disqualification–internal resistance to the fullness of life. But this life is also silenced due to the percieved inconvience it places on those most intimately involved in a woman’s life.

Sometimes this ‘sacrifice’ of silence is viewed as love, sometimes it is, but sometimes its a place of hiding or an excuse. Please don’t hear me incorrectly. I’m not celebrating demanding, self-focused personalities. What I am celebrating is the river of life in full that flows through every living, breathing daughter of god, created to express the glory of heaven.

Your heart was created and design by an awesome God and you carry his DNA. You’re born from above and the justice, compassion, vision, innovation, and leadership you walk in simply is meant to be enjoyed in its expression.

So often we can discredit what the Holy Spirit is saying out of fear of disagreement, disapproval, inconvience, lack of shared vision, or finding ourselves alone in what we’re saying but these are not the conditions that validate or invalidate what the Holy Spirit is saying to you or through you. Peoples responses to your authentic expression don’t forge your identity.

You, women, have been given an authority from above with the seal of god’s approval for the messages he’s written on your hearts. Please don’t wait any longer to be recognized or called out in order to no longer deny the things that excite your heart and make you feel alive.

God created you with passion that’s meant to be his radiance. You glorify god by having the courage to just be yourself and believe in yourself, knowing that God delights in you as you. I think women walking their true form helps allow men to do the same. In this divine exchange he somehow delights in revealing to us his face in our midst.

Upon his throne with him is your resting place of grace and ease. Your point is valid, your feelings matter, there is room for you to speak your mind and its okay to be wrong. It’s called l-e-a-r-n-i-n-g.

God is not glorified by a band of cowardly women who by their fear deny the power and presence of the one living inside of them. He has shown you what he’s shown you for a reason. He has spoken what he’s spoken to you for a reason.

It’s not about going out to work hard at anything, God’s really good at his job-or rather just being himself-but you are meant to experience the freedom of your own validity and to experience the joy that comes with the confidence of being at rest within yourself as he designed you to be. Little tastes better than ones own authenticity.

Bow to fears that lead you to silence and immobalization no longer. You will not be met with punishment, anger, and rejection–well you may–but along with it there will be no regrets, no shame, and no turning back.

I’ll I’m doing in writing this is repeating what seems to be a priority for him in my life. I believe in you. Have fun. Take risks. God bless. Greetings from Spain.

Happy Grazing

I have desire to throw consecutive notes out there for free range spiritual grazing.  This first one is real chipper and is about death…or actually its end. 🙂

 

 

Romans 5:28 Sin reigned in death.    Picture sin sitting on the throne in glum sneakiness.  As far as the kingdom of sin touches, so too the reaches of death touch. The sign of this kingdom being at hand is death.  Hmmmmmm sounds awesome (dry sarcasm – for those of you who have never met me.  I’m not really impressed).

 

Romans 8:2   The law of the Spirit of life has set you free from the law of sin and death.   The wages of sin is death; death entered the world through sin.  Christ, the lamb of God is the one who takes away the sin of the world.  Sin and its power was crucified on the cross.  We are (cheaky pun on Paul’s behalf) DEAD to sin.  Therefore we are DEAD to sin’s wages–death…let me continue…

 

Hebrews 2:14  ….For only as a human being could he [Jesus] die [one king entering into the reign of sin to overthrow its kingdom], and only by dying [entering deaths kingdom] could he break the power of the devil, who had the power of death. Good News flash: the power of death has been broken (-cue celebration and smiling…lots of smiling).  This brings up the great and awesome question of ‘What has Jesus already done for us?’  Again…

 

2 Timothy 1:10 And now he has made all of this plain to us by the appearing of Christ Jesus, our Savior. He broke the power of death and illuminated [showed us] the way to life and immortality through the Good News.

 

I have some really great friends and I can hear some of their wisdom as I write this, “It’s not really about right or wrong anymore, its about life or death.”  Does your choice, your lifestyle, your habits, result in life to you or death.  When sin bears fruit it gives life to death.  That doesn’t mean its referring to ‘all that stuff that looks bad’ i.e cigarettes, stealing, tattoos, drinking beer, or rather things that don’t appear ‘godly’ to the ‘christian kingdom’ rather than having anything to do with Christ’s kingdom.  Selling yourself out in religious circles to gain the desiring gaze of people wanting you or wanting to be you, sexual relations happening within church leadership across lines of wedlock, people controlling other people’s relationship with God and acting as the Holy Spirit, are all things who’s fruit is not life obviously.  Does quitting your day job and doing things that you’ve always wanted to do result in life to you?  Does helping the person behind you in line in the grocery story result in life for you?  Does finishing that college degree through lots of studying result in life for you?  The behavior isn’t the qualifier, the heart is.

 

The earth’s sin, that results in death (Jn 16:9), is unbelief in Christ.

 

THE GOOD NEWS IS THAT SIN AND ALL OF ITS INFLUENCES HAVE BEEN FOREVER OVERTHROWN FOR THE SAKE OF HUMANITY’S FREEDOM.

 

 

Galations 5:1  It is for freedom that Christ has set us free.  My husband was sharing what somebody told him the other day, “It’s what we do with the freedom that we’ve been given that matters.”

 

Romans 8:10  If Christ is in you, though the body is dead because of sin, yet the spirit is alive because of righteousness. 11  But if the Spirit of Him who raised Jesus from the dead dwells in you, …

 

The spirit that overcame death is WHERE?!?  Living inside of you right now.  All of death has been overcome; all it’s influences, shades, and effects.  Death in realtionships–gone.  Death in your relationship with yourself inside your head–gone.  Death in your outlets for the way you’ve been created to live, your gifts, talents, desires, expression–gone.  Death from bad experiences in your past that don’t have ANY power over you anymore–gone.  Death in your choices–gone.  And here’s where it gets real crazy in a good way.  All those family members that you loved that are no longer with you right now, that you can’t hug, can’t talk to, can’t reconcile with??  I tell you the truth, your seperation from them was crucified on the cross and all of us, with our very own eyes will see the reign of death, and all its influences on humanity for all time, be cast into fire.  And we will stand with no influences of death remaining standing.

 

1 Corinthians 15:25 For He must reign until He has put all His enemies under His feet. 26The last enemy that will be abolished is death.

 

Jesus is life; all life, anywhere, in any form.  All of life is contained in Jesus; through him all things live (and move and have their being).  His life is reality.  This is the tree from which humanity was meant to eat.  Any opposing force has been revealed as powerless against it.  He swallowed up death for all people.

 

2 Corinthians 5:14  …One having died for all, His death was their death.

 

The wages of sin have been eradicated from your life.  You will not die, but live, and the fullness of that life is why Christ came, so that you may have life more abundantly.  This is where you live.  It’s your place of origin, this kingdom of life.  It’s the power that resides inside you.  You are alive and it is a wonderful thing.  You have breath that is a gift right now inside of you that has been passed down through humanity from the one who first breathed life into Adam’s lungs.

 

There is no place for death, or any grade or shade of it in your thoughts, communication, decisions, hopes, relationships, health, provision, it’s not our family’s culture, it’s just not who we are, it’s not your place of origin, it’s not normal for us.  You are an ambassador of life that overcomes every shade of the influence of sin and death.   The increase of his government of life and peace is without end.  Life wins and your life.  Life wins in your heart.  Life wins in your home and in your influence on the people around you.  The Spirit that lives inside you is the one that has overcome death.  Christ in you the hope of glory.

 

Oh, by the way, you didn’t earn this, it’s a free gift.  It’s your effortless state of existence.  It’s who you already are, and what you’ve already been given.  Do you know who you are?  Do you know how powerful you are?  Do you know how free to be loved by God you are?  You are not a victim in this life, even to death.  Christ’s form and life that wins has been revealed through humanity.

 

More thoughts on other subjects to come shortly…

Off to the nations…again? YES.

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Hello friends.  So I’m married now.  And the journey continues.

 

God is so big.  He’s so real.  He’s so present.  And he cares so much.  About your heart.  How its doing.  How you’re feeling.  He is with you because he delights in you.  He enjoys you and wants to be found in your company.

 

God continues to invite me to do things I don’t understand.  I continue to say yes.  The first week I arrived on the island two and half months back, or what feels like now was the first week, I heard word of a number of artists gathering and creating together for a few days in a city called Tangier in the northern country of Morocco.  The idea was shelved and life happened.  My fiance came, we got married, and as of last week still nothing was final concerning this trip.  The event begins eight days from now.  Yesterday, I booked tickets.

 

I never done this before, gotten together regionally with other people as crazy as me to come together for a few days specifically to create.  There is a house of prayer in Tangier hosting this inspiration fest and I hear we’ll get to travel within Morocco to help another creative space launch or open or something of that sort.

 

The people in charge have long been friends of the wonderful Passmore family currently hosting me on the island.  I look forward to meeting this extended family.

 

On an after thought side-note for those of you wondering, I am taking this trip solo.  My husband encourages me to respond to my desires, my heart, and my excitement.  He is part of a dream I still haven’t woken up from yet.  I also know he will be an asset to the Passmores as the much anticipated ‘first team’ arrives of six people also calling Miramar (the name of the house here) home for the five week duration of their trip.

 

I continue to live out of my suitcase as I will be moving rooms again before this team comes and possibly several times over the course of the next two months as the nations flood this house over the summer with the ever increasing guest list.

 

Already we have people in life transition, families healing, missionaries on furlow, crazy single people moving their whole lives here, people passing through on their way to all other parts of the world and more; each story unique, each person priceless.  Sometimes a wandering thought comes in my mind of what’s my role, why am I here? and then I remember that there is no way I could have gotten here where I am now other than God’s divine hand and I guess he’s smart enough to know what he’s doing and I trust him.  I the meantime I’m ‘called’ to be me and I get to love Him back.  🙂

 

I have more thoughts I would love to write and share, words of hope and encouragement, learning curves, and things important to my thoughts right now but I have found less time for writing as things currently stand.  I will share more hopefully soon, in the meantime, much love always and stay true to you, stay comfortably crazy, and please please please be courageous because that’s who you really are.  🙂  …never a victim…never voiceless…never powerless…never less valuable…never without a choice.  You choose.  Please choose fun.  For me.  And for you.  And all those other people.  I might be hearing Joel’s humorous voice through my head as I write this.  He keeps me laughing.  Okay I’m really going to bed, goodnight y’all.  love you friends (even family, friends by choice)  🙂

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Brave Dreaming…Brave Living

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Joel:   We have the privilege of dreaming together with God. Now Religion has told us that we must sacrifice our dreams, to offer them up on the altar, die to them in order to “please” God. When in reality He was the one who placed those dreams inside of us in the first place. This lie of giving up your dreams has left many depressed and not really living their lives to the fullest but merely surviving. We encourage you to dare to dream those dreams again. I see many leaving jobs that they have been working in for many years because they thought they had to and opening up their own businesses and or going to school again to go after those things they have longed for. I see a people who will no longer dread getting up in the morning to go to their boring job but jumping out of bed with joy and a great expectation of what that day will look like.

Heather:   After working as a missionary giving “my all” to God, my career choice took an unexpected turn of events.  While living in the midst of illiteracy, a culture of addiction, lack of adequately involved parenting, and general violence, while doing a lot of “good work” Papa said, “Quit belittling the gift I’ve given you.”  In my hierarchy of perceived self-sacrifice I was “laying down everything” to do what I perceived to be God’s will.  Until he had a conversation with me.  I was invited by an individual to start painting.  It seemed like the world was ending in the midst of my decision on this one point.  I was picturing with God and I saw him through the eyes of a scared little daughter.  I was tightly holding a box of 64 crayons (well used and appreciated in my childhood–mine even had the sharpener built into the back) and Daddy reached out his hand to following his leading.  He was opening a door for me into the front of a building and was leading my hand to follow him and come inside.  I said yes.

I’m not sure if I would have had the faith to step out into starting my own business trusting God’s leading if I hadn’t already done that on the mission field for eight years without having “produced” anything.  But God made it undeniably clear that he desired my creativity and that somehow was important to him, well beyond my understanding.  I was even slightly offended by my lack of understanding on how this was at all practical or effective in any regards to the kingdom of God but I decided he knew what he was doing.

To this day, two and half years later, I paint.  I still don’t understand it, I still have never received training (I don’t have any concept of doing things wrong or right), I still don’t know why what I do is special, and I still often wonder how I should be doing things differently but in the meantime, I paint.  I don’t paint led by money, I paint led by inspiration; sometimes those to combine nicely, other times, I am left to wonder and trust at the fruit.  I find I am often challenged by the Holy Spirit–every project actually–always has something new I’ve never done before involved in it.  To be honest, that’s what keeps thing challenging and intriguing and inside when I’m going to approach a project.  I have to figure out the execution and that’s the part I enjoy of creation, the newness that I’ve never experienced before.  I guess it’s kind of like singing a new song to the Lord.  That’s a little of my story as an artist, a child, and a wonderer.

love has won