Friday, June 22, 2018

A Completely Joyful Adventure

Philippians 2:1-2 If therefore there is any encouragement in Christ, if there is any consolation of love, if there is any fellowship of the Spirit, if any affection and compassion, make my joy complete by being of the same mind, maintaining the same love, united in spirit, intent on one purpose. 

What a way to start the summer break off then to take a long-awaited and planned for many months, road trip with my BFF! We snapped our selfie at my front door and we headed for the airport just the next city over from our homes.

My boarding pass said B, hers was C and we ended up unable to sit together on our 3 hour flight to Texas. I found a seat towards the tail end, my friend Christina, up front. I felt a bit down about that, and hoped the flight might be over quickly and/or my book might keep me from boredom. I did end up with a window seat. A clear flight, I looked out the window a lot and wondered what and where we were, if that was the Salton Sea, if below me might be New Mexico...

I sat next to a couple who quickly introduced themselves, Teri and Randy. They informed me that they were off to Dallas to assist Pastor Greg Laurie and the Harvest Crusade happening that weekend at AT&T Stadium in Dallas. Last year, over 85,000 people showed up with more standing and listening in the parking lot. They hoped for the same this year. She pointed out to me more friends on the same mission across the aisle and said many more were scattered in the jet.

Wow Lord, I couldn't sit next to my friend, yet You surround me with Your good servants and conversation that glorifies You. So Cool, So You Lord, Thank You. 

I felt assured, encouraged--in going away on an adventure and excited that God provided for me to go with no lose ends at home.

I felt Christ's love when my seatmates asked me to pray with them before the plane landed. We prayed for the Harvest Crusade and they prayed for myself and Christina to enjoy our trip safely and joyfully.

I knew fellowship, being of One Body in Christ with complete strangers, yet...not really strangers after knowing that they served the same God with passion and compassion for the lost. My joy--complete yet waiting for our adventure, complete because of what blessings the Lord gives to me in friendships. Joy because strangers and best friends can share instantly in that sameness, a unity because of knowing God personally and trusting Him.

We left on a jet plane. I found new friends for a brief 3 hours. Along with my forever friend, (we call each other Soul Sisters), we all are intent on one purpose: To fellowship and share our hearts in love and words and find joy in each other, in serving and being served, and in adventure. The Lord moves us to and fro and we cannot be scenery watchers or keep our heads stuck in a downward position, afraid of people or where He may call us to.  His purposes are not seen in the clouds, but sometimes right in the seat next to us, to pray and fellowship and be reminded that it is never about the destination, but more about the journey.

Lord, Thank You for being a God of providence, provision and unity. Thank You Lord for best friends and new friends. Thank You Father for a beautiful world in which to share Your love and hope in. You are a good God intent on filling us with Your Joy, in all our adventures and even in our misadventures.
Help us Lord to continue to see You in our everyday walk through life and live fueled up and ready to soar to new places You plan for us. May we be packed with faith and trust and ready to unpack Your Goodness. Amen.

Monday, June 4, 2018

Spell "One Another" Please

Acts 2:42 “And they were continually devoting themselves to the apostles’ teachings and to fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer.”

Breaking news: 14 year-old Karthik Nemmani from Texas, won yesterday’s (May 31st) 2018 National Spelling Bee with the word “koinonia.”

What? I came back into my bedroom to listen to the morning news anchors repeating the word, giggling while admitting they didn’t know the meaning much less the spelling of the word. “Well, I looked it up, it means a spiritual gathering of like-minded people,” said one newswoman.

Some words have tremendous power behind them. We hear that every day. Twitter, a popular social media of 140 characters or less, catapults them out 24-7. We watch and see where the direct hits land and the collateral damage. 

…and one 14-year old boy spells ONE word that can change the world. Would you have known it, recognized it--have you experienced it? It is only one word, yet is speaks volumes. 

Koinonia. K.o.i.n.o.n.i.a. Koinonia.

It’s Greek to me. Well, it is Greek, literally. More than just being like-minded, “koinonia” means united for a purpose, devoted to one another, serving one other, praying for one another, honoring one another, encouraging one another towards love and goodness…did you catch all the “one anothers?”

Koinonia results when a true, pure fellowship, authentic and intimate in words and love, takes place with one another because of what Jesus Christ accomplished for every one of us on that Cross. The Holy Spirit manifests Himself through this word. Koinonia cannot be summed up in 140 characters, but in continuing love and action to those who heed the call to be Christ-like and Christ-minded. To those who do not settle for just a salvation story, but want to break bread and trust together for the right words to reflect His glory, koinonia moves mountains. It instills hope, brings healing and spells out the divine purpose, that together as one Body in Christ, great things in love can be accomplished. In each of us as we encourge Koinonia, we learn and grow in our walk with God...and with ONE ANOTHER. 

Now that you know how to spell koinonia, go and discover it, be a part of it, read about it in the Acts and other books of the New Testament.

In gratefulness, Lord, I know that as a Christ follower, I was never meant to be alone in my beliefs and in my growth, but to fellowship with one another, discuss, study, pray, worship and minister together. Thank you Lord for all the opportunities to do that in Your Body of Christ and in koinonia. I hope to share these same experiences out to a broken world. They say a child shall lead them. Thank you Karthik. I pray you too, will know the fellowship of the saints and that God will use this word and your correct spelling of it to enlighten others to a greater calling. Amen.