Greek Adventures

Thank you so much for your prayers and support during my trip to Greece. It truly was a life changing time. I am excited to share some of my Greek adventures with you and what God taught me! During my visit, I travelled to Athens, Corinth, Thessaloniki, Philippi and Lesvos with a small team from Burn 24-7 (www.burn24-7.com). It was amazing to see where Paul walked and to bless those there who are serving the refugees from the Middle East and Africa! So sit down with me by the Aegean Sea, open up your imaginary fresh feta, olive and pita sandwich and let’s get started…

I didn’t anticipate being able to see ancient Biblical cities on my trip, but once we landed, I realized how close everything was. We were able to visit Corinth, Athens, Thessaloniki and Philippi. The ancient city of Corinth is built on a terrace overlooking the turquoise waters of the gulf, and Its breathtaking ruins include a Greek temple and village. While we walked its paths, Emma read 1 Corinthians out loud and it hit me – this is the first place 1 Cor 13 was ever heard! Philippi was another small city and is the location of the first church plant in all of Europe! It was so powerful to see where Paul was imprisoned and the riverbank where Lydia was baptized. Thessaloniki was a larger modern city, and we were able to worship with a YWAM team ministering there. The highlight of my time in Athens was an extended worship time on Mars Hill.

During this trip I was reminded that the books we read in the Bible were actually written for specific groups of people. Of course we are called to read them today and apply His truth that never changes to our lives, but a long time ago, they were letters to communities. Ever wondered about that large portion in 1 Corinthians on sexual purity? After walking in Corinth’s ruins and reading what went on in the pagan temples, it was clear why Paul shared so much on that topic! God is still speaking. He is writing letters to each of our hearts to encourage and build us up! Spending time with God in His Word and listening to His voice is so important. It’s how we grow daily in His Spirit.

Another highlight of my trip was meeting so many beautiful people. The first week we were there, we met Sarah, a missionary from England. She had started a Gypsy school and pregnancy center in Athens. My team visited the school and worshiped with the children. What an amazing place where these kids could learn, build friendships and receive help. It was so powerful to play my violin and sing about God’s goodness with a community that has been rejected by so many. I will never forget those children and the hope we saw in their eyes!
 

The second week of my trip, we visited Lesbos, an island only 4.5 miles from Turkey. Lesbos has a Greek population of 86,000 but recently has received over half a million refugees! This has created a huge crisis. There is currently a refugee camp with over 8,000 people living there, but the camp was designed for under 2,000. Doctors, teachers, mothers, fathers, underage children travelling alone – all are waiting for the day when they can leave the shores of this little island and continue their journey across Europe.

One of my very favorite moments on my trip was visiting Home for All, a house run by a married couplewho have given their lives to feed refugees. For months, the two of them made 2,000 meals a day in their kitchen! Now they have a house where they serve refugees from the camp by providing them with meals, giving them music lessons and handing out clothing when the weather turns cold. I truly felt as though I was sitting with Jesus when He manifested His miraculous provision in Matthew 25!

Bringing it home…

God spoke to my heart during my travels and opened my eyes to the crisis happening in Greece, but also to a crisis happening all over our world. The dictionary definition of refugee is: A person who flees for safety in a time of political upheaval or war. Every day we are surrounded by people who have never experienced home – who are looking for safety and peace. In John 14:23, Jesus says,

“Anyone who loves me will obey My teaching. My Father will love them, and we will come to them and make our home with them…”

If you had keys to endless rooms in a mansion and saw a homeless man, would you want to give him one of your keys? God is calling us to lay down our lives in His Love and reveal the home Christ has given us to share with others. Whether it looks like forgiveness, a kind act of service, praying for someone, giving an encouraging word or sharing the Gospel directly – it’s time to share the home we have in Christ. He is calling us to reach out in His love!

 

Prayer Points

Let’s take 5 minutes and pray for Greece – Refreshment and revelation of relationship with Jesus to the Greek Orthodox church. Salvation for the refugees. Abundant provision over all of Greece’s economy and Divine strategy for the government and the refugee crisis.


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Great Expectations

We were never called to single parent our destinies

 God shows us some amazing things about ourselves through moms! A few things all moms can teach us –

  • New life comes through an expectation and sacrifice
  • Oneness and unity birth new realities
  • New reality and vision must be carried to maturity

Nothing is as clear as day as a mother expecting! What’s the one question you’re not supposed to ask any woman? Are you pregnant!? But did you know that you are excepting? Yes, I mean you! And I guarantee you’re showing it whether you know it or not. Read more


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Heaven’s Anticipation

Have you ever felt like you called the overcomer’s hot line and were told,“Please wait while I put you on hold…”? The good news is God doesn’t do that! But that must mean that victory looks a little different then we think. We can all agree Jesus overcame every sin and challenge known to man so we could step into His victorious life for all eternity. Have you ever wondered why God didn’t have Jesus die on the cross, rise from the dead, and then go ahead and create the new heavens and earth right then? What if there is something we can’t overcome? One thing that we were never meant to overcome, because God Himself didn’t. In fact, it’s what Jesus is still experiencing right now in heaven as He stands before His Father interceding for us.

He waits. He waits for His bride to awaken to her identity and destiny. Now this isn’t a passive waiting. Not at all! Romans 8:34 reads, “Christ Jesus who died–more than that, who was raised to life–is at the right hand of God and is also interceding for us.” The Greek root word for intercede means to hit the mark. Does that sound familiar? It’s the common antonym of the Greek word that means to miss the mark or sin. So Jesus waiting at the right hand of God is actually the direct fulfillment of purity and righteousness. It’s intercession – communion and conversation with God – the exact opposite of sin. John 5:3 clearly explains that everyone born of God overcomes the world and that God’s burdens aren’t heavy. This divine waiting or tension that we are invited to join in isn’t of this world and isn’t a heavy burden. No, waiting with Jesus is actually a hope filled, grace saturated, tangible expectation that the best is yet to come!

One common misunderstanding we can have as believers is to think that that feeling of waiting for something to happen – that feeling of tension or suspension between two realities – isn’t from God. Yet, that is the very place where Jesus has been for the last 2,000 years! And He’s not alone. The Bible makes it clear that all creation joins Him in this. Romans 8:22 says, “We know that the whole creation has been groaning as in the pains of childbirth right up to the present time.

The passage in Romans 8:34 paints a practical picture of how to walk in the victorious life we were born to live in. The verse begins by stating the powerful truth that once you are in Christ, there is no condemnation. In every time of waiting there is a temptation to believe God has rejected us. The first step to living in victory is to realize the gift of waiting is actually a sign of God’s love and grace towards us. Through these seasons, we build character and strength in our identity in Christ because we are doing the very thing Jesus is doing right now! In other words, we enter into His identity inside of us.

The next part of the verse reads, “Christ Jesus who died and who was raised to life…” Every new believer embarks on the adventure of walking out their salvation daily, of allowing God in deeper and deeper in their life to be raised out of situations in our lives that hold us down. God is calling each of us to be raised to life. The Greek word for “raised” means to be awakened or aroused. In order to walk in God’s victorious life, we need to allow Him to awaken our hearts to our identities in Christ!

Romans 8:34 concludes by saying, “…is at the right hand of God and interceding for us.” Jesus is not a beggar in the outer courts of heaven asking for crumbs, but a Son at the throne of His Father. Ephesians 2:6 says, “And God raised us up with Christ and seated us with him in the heavenly realms in Christ Jesus…” Victorious living can only happen consistently when we operate out of our identity as sons and daughters of God living from a higher perspective than this world. God calls us to a higher reality – we are to live life on earth while being seated in high places. We are called to live from God’s presence, not for it. To live from God’s love, not search for it. To live from His peace, not just desire it.

There is a paradigm shift in our thinking that needs to happen here. The world tells us that because there is more we can’t have peace. But God tells us we can have peace, because there is more. See it? God’s victory comes through a strife free place, a poverty free place, a place so high that we’re actually seated next to Christ! Here we can taste and see the goodness of God and are empowered to live out that reality in the world around us.

What if a victorious life in Christ looks a lot more like living in close communion with Jesus at the place of tension between two realities? When we look at Jesus’ life on earth, we discover He was not afraid of contradicting situations. He chose a virgin to give birth to the Savior of the world. A stable to be His birth place as the King of Kings. He used a team of world changers made up of fisherman and tax collectors. There are so many more examples. Jesus was showing us that it is not only possible to live in contradiction—in tension between two realities— it is actually how He Himself lives and has chosen to tell His kingdom and redemption story on earth! Tension and waiting isn’t rejection or neglect!

Be brave, friends. God is calling His Bride to live with Him in the place of tension between heaven and earth, and to walk out His reality in our daily lives. This contradiction is what victory actually looks like. Quiet yourself and hear Papa God whispering to you today, “I’m waiting too. I’m waiting for My bride. Will you join me?”


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The Two Gardens

From the very beginning, God has wanted to do life with us – not for us!

 
God paints a powerful story between two gardens and invites us on a journey of living from His victory, not for His victory. The cry of Palm Sunday is “Hosanna!” Read more

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