Since November, prayers for 2013 have filled the quiet hours of my mornings and many of my nights. What will 2013 hold for our family, our schooling, our ministries? I specifically asked the Lord to show me, tangibly, where we need to focus. Our December was a blur with sick Hubby, sick kiddos and too many family and friends struggling with sickness as well. Solitude was not exactly how we hoped to usher in 2o13...but ON OUR FACES before the Lord, was exactly where He wanted us.  So, here it is, the end of January, and although the Lord has been showing me over the past few months what he has in-store for me...I am just now piecing it all together and recognizing what He is speaking to my heart. Last year the Lord gave me so many wonderful opportunities to practice servant-hood with a heart of Joy. It was the vehicle by which He used my life to impact others for the kingdom. In 2009, the Lord spoke boldly to my heart and reminded me that I am a servant made in His image and I needed to stop complaining in that area. I repented...immediately and have found great JOY in serving others ever since, but the Lord had more for me last year. He stretched me...even through the passing of  2012 into 2013...still praying, seeking and wondering where I would be stretched or used this coming year.

As 2013 has dawned, the pieces are fitly joined together and I can see what the Lord has been speaking to my heart.

One word...Community.

NO...two words in one...commUNITY.

As children of the Most High God, it is so important for us to have a strong network of believers. People we can count on to lift us up before the throne of God...even in the middle of the night.  People to make a pot of soup when we are sick, tired...or just to say "I'm here for you." People to join elbow to elbow with in Ministry. People who speak into your life TRUTH...even a loving rebuke. Scripture tells us in Proverbs 27:17 "Iron sharpeneth iron; so a man sharpeneth the countenance of his friend." We need people who love one another as Christ loved...a tangible, selfless, sincere love. Ecclesiastes 4:9-12 says...

"Two are better than one; because they have a good reward for their labour. For if they fall, the one will lift up his fellow: but woe to him that is alone when he falleth; for he hath not another to help him up. Again, if two lie together, then they have heat: but how can one be warm alone? And if one prevail against him, two shall withstand him; and a threefold cord is not quickly broken."

To live in community with one another is to be UNIFIED in the Spirit. To share ONE heart for the Lord and to be led by Him so we can meet the needs of those around us...believers or not. The UNITY is in and through Christ...for it is the BOND OF CHRIST that unifies us in the first place.

 "Now I beseech you, brethren, by the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that ye all speak the same thing, and that there be no divisions among you; but that ye be perfectly joined together in the same mind and in the same judgment." 1 Corinthians 1:10 "I therefore, the prisoner of the Lord, beseech you that ye walk worthy of the vocation wherewith ye are called, With all lowliness and meekness, with longsuffering, forbearing one another in love; Endeavouring to keep the UNITY of the Spirit in the bond of peace. There is one body, and one Spirit, even as ye are called in one hope of your calling; One Lord, one faith, one baptism, One God and Father of all, who is above all, and through all, and in you all." Ephesians 4:1-6 {emphasis added}

The Lord has shown me the impact commUNITY has on the lives around me. He has revealed His hand in the most unlikely of situations.  Showing me that when we live in UNITY with the Holy Spirit, HE makes the impact on lives.  HE weaves the great tapestry of commUNITY with brilliant colors that we might never have chosen on our own.

I am thankful to be used by the whatever manner he deems fit for me. I am eager to see how He weaves the tapestry of commUNITY into every facet of my life this year.  I have already seen a glimpse....and it takes my breath away with its beauty.

How are you living in commUNITY with the Lord and with those He has placed in your life? I'd love to hear about it.