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friendship

Cultivating CommUNITY

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Cultivating CommUNITY

Early in 2013, I shared my heart to live in commUNITY with the body of Christ. It is still fresh in my Spirit and I see the idea of Doing Life Together with the body of Christ becoming an anthem to believers near and far. Being in commUNITY with others is not passive. It requires intenality. Merely being in the same room with someone is not the same as communing with them. How often have you heard others around you express their utter loneliness dispite being surrounded by people? I have heard it too many times.

So what does commUNITY look like? To me it is heart-UNITY.

Recently I was privileged to spend the weekend with a fabulous group of ladies. From the moment we arrived we could feel the love that had been preparing to receive us for over a month. My friend's home was warm and inviting. A beautiful table was set for our dinner and inviting fragrances fill the air. It was a weekend of refreshing, heart bonding, crying, laughing, praying and speaking LIFE into one another.

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In order for Life to happen, our hostess was intentional in preparing the canvas on which we would paint.  As time for us to arrive drew near, she sent us emails of expectation and preview, asking how we would like to spend the weekend and giving us a hint of the wonderful food she would be preparing for us. We could read her enthusiasm in the words she sent and we knew prayers were already covering our time together. We knew that our time together would be time in the presence of good friends, love and that the Spirit of God would meet us there. My sweet friend was intentional in helping us to truly be in commUNITY.

You see, it would have been a great weekend if we had all showed up to hang out. It would have been fun to laugh about our kids and all be in the kitchen preparing a meal. It would have been fun to just talk about the surface things. But intentionality made the weekend FULL and "beyond what we could thinkor imagine."

God is funny like that! He tells us that He longs to meet us where we are. He tells us to link arms with like-minded friends and admonish one another in His truth. He LONGS to love us through the relationships we have in our lives. But we can miss it if we are only surface  deep.

As we walked through my friend's doors, we were ready to love on one another. We had prayed and been prayed for. The table had already been set for the feast we were to have, both spiritually and physically. We didn't need a lot of time in the shallow end of the pool...no, we dove into the deep and commUNITY happened.

I pray that God will help me cultivate commUNITY with those around me so we can dive into the depths of His love and grace together as we "do life together." That I will be intentional in preparing to be with others so the love of God can be felt in our time together.

So, how are you living in commUNITY with your brothers and sisters in Christ? Are you spending time with people but staying in the shallow end?

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Authentic Community

Allume: a French word meaning to kindle, illuminate

One word…one weekend…hundreds of women changed, molded, directed, loved on and in community with one another.

Over the past 4 days I have been blessed by so many of these women and even by the Sponsors of the Allume conference. The spark of friendships began on Twitter and Facebook have been kindled in to live, real, authentic friendships.One word…one weekend…hundreds of women changed, molded, directed, loved on and in community with one another.

Authenticity is important to me.  I want to live a life of authenticity with God, myself and others.  It can be hard to do sometimes…getting lost in the myriad of Hats we wear…to remember who we are and how to be authentic in the relationships we have with those around us.

It is even more difficult to remain authentic when you write…when you aren't actually having the two way, face to face conversations…when you REALLY don’t know the ones reading the words that are flowing from rapidly typing fingertips.

This week I was able to connect with some FABULOUS women, whose hearts are so engorged with the love of God that it spills out in their smiles, their laughs, their conversations and…their writing.

This week, I have spent time getting to know ladies that have ‘kindred hearts,’ as Jennifer calls it.  I love that they want to touch others with the Love of Jesus they know to be True. I love their hearts for their husbands and children…and that they come before the writing.

I can’t wait to introduce you to them!  Trust me…you’ll love ‘em!

There is so much still to write…little things here and there that the Lord whispered into my heart, affirmations from the One who Loves me and has put the desire to write in my heart and the sweet savor of community. Authentic community.

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Encouragement

Saturday I was privileged to enjoy the company of some dear friends while we all worked on different crafts and chatted. I love these dear ladies...each one of them for different reasons.  They are all special and unique...but we are all one, in that we love the Lord Jesus with all our hearts.  That is the tie that binds us together.

For several years now, one of these sweet ladies and I have been leading women's Bible/Book studies.  We have walked through many books together and seen God work in many lives.  What a blessing.  One day, only 4 appointed women were in attendance.  It was ordained by God so that we could minister to the heart of a fellow sister.  She was hurting for her son...for her other children...and longing for Godly direction.  We prayed over her and listened and as we all looked to scripture for answers and Godly wisdom, my sweet sister soaked it all in.

This was about a year and a half ago, and although I see this friend, we have not been able to really talk about the situation.  Supermarkets aren't always conducive to heart to hearts...sometimes even the phone isn't appropriate.

This weekend, I was able to talk with my friend and she told me all the wonderful, miraculous, fantastic...only God could have done...changes that had happened in her family.  This once tight group was now tight again and filled with Joy over their sibling's changes and life.  It was such a joy and blessing for me to hear.  My eyes welled with tears as I watched the Joy on my friends face as she spoke of her son.  What a miracle...what a blessing...what and AWESOME, living God we serve!

I tell you this as an encouragement.  I am attacked so many times...thinking that what I do is pointless and meaningless.  I try wholeheartedly to follow after Christ in my live, but I still hear doubt and unbelief creep in. Their words telling me that it's just ME and my vain imagination thinking I need to lead/facilitate these studies. But you see, that IS the lie.  God is truth and when we share the TRUTH the word says that His  words never return void. He is mighty to break down the strongholds in our lives. 

If God has called you to move...don't stand still and question His him over and over...MOVE!  If you are already walking in obedience...take courage!  Be encouraged and know that even if you never hear the outcome...even when you think you are not making headway...even when it looks like you are "preaching to the choir"...God is using you! 

I am thankful that God is full of love and compassion. That he knows every hair on my head.  That he is faithful.  That when we come to God and believe that He IS...he is a rewarder of those who diligently seek him (Hebrews 11:6). Press on...Press in...and know that He will do a great work in you!

Love to you all!

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