Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Java and Jabez


It’s official. I am of the age where I can no longer have caffeine past a certain time or I’ll be wide awake for hours on end. (Mark your calendars so you can celebrate me getting even older in just seven weeks on May 1st!)  Knowing this to be my reality, I still had two cups of coffee earlier this evening (aka yesterday) because I needed to stay up and take care of a few things. So, here I am. And rather than stare at the dog twitching in his sleep or try to pass the time by playing Ruzzle, I figured now is as good a time as any to squeeze in a little blog post...




When I wrote my last post, it was after last week’s prayer meeting at Lighthouse, which I said I’d blog about at another time. Now is a pretty good time... Pastor Torres preached on the Prayer of Jabez in 1 Chronicles 4:9-10. A familiar passage to many and a significant one to me personally. Let me pause there for a moment to explain…

You see, it was almost two years ago when God made it very real to me (in a super random yet divine conversation with a doctor) that I had lived many years of my life according to labels that had been put on me over the years. This brief exchange in the doctor’s office, though was specific to a medical scenario, would be the very thing that God used to spark a bigger topic that has been marinating ever since. I meditated on these realities for a week or two and in that time, I “happened” to watch a sermon, which just "happened" to be divinely orchestrated by God to confirm that what I’d been pondering was the very direction I was to go in my writing. It was a sermon that Nicky Cruz preached at The Springs Church where Gary Wilkerson (son of the late David Wilkerson) is the Lead Pastor. I watch the sermons there from time to time and it was actually the Sunday after David Wilkerson passed away. It initially caught my attention because I wanted to hear what Nicky Cruz would share about losing his spiritual father, the one who radically led him to the Lord. After a beautiful tribute of sharing about David Wilkerson, he went on to preach a message that probably would be the most pivotal message in my life in regards to my writing: “Not Living Up to Your Label.”

Though things did not change in that moment outwardly, I knew in my heart, as I listened to this message, that things would change. God was confirming the "long lost" topic I'd been unable to locate in the years leading up to that moment. 

In the days and weeks to follow, God began to reveal to me just how many labels had been stuck on me over the years – by others, by myself, good, bad, you name it. Suddenly, I realized that as a thread throughout my entire life from the time I was a kid. And though I thought some had been torn off, slowly God scraped off the residue of the labels still stuck to me and little by little, I realized my calling was to write. And eventually to write about that very thing… until it fizzled out. Distractions came from every which way. Writing hadn’t ceased completely but writing about labels had. I knew I'd need to return to it someday but I just didn't know how to get there. And I put it to the side. 

Fast forward now to last week’s prayer meeting. The Prayer of Jabez. It brought me back. Hard. Interestingly enough though, it took me hearing it three times in two days for it all to completely register. (God is merciful to me, sometimes I don't quite get it all at once!) Pastor Torres had shared the message with us at the staff meeting on Tuesday morning. Later on that evening, I helped to write his devotional thought which would be emailed out the next morning. A few things definitely stuck out to me as a I wrote that night. I mean, in all honesty, I can't even read the word "labels" or read the Prayer of Jabez without being brought back but it wasn’t until Wednesday evening that it was crystal clear. So clear that I knew deep down that if I didn't start writing again, that it would be straight up disobedience. Which led to last week's blog post and arrival back on the blog scene.

And, here we are. That's the scoop in a nutshell... as best as it could possibly be after a night of zero sleep and the caffeine wearing off. 

The labels topic certainly won't be the only thing I blog about, but I know I need to be obedient to what God is leading me to do and share. Tonight (I mean, this morning) it was this...


And right now, I think He's leading me to my bed. 
Delirium is kicking in so it's time to depart. 

This blog post was brought to you by Java and Jabez (and Jenn). :)

Until next time...

pressing on toward the goal...



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