Monday, March 16, 2015

What a year can change //


April 4th will be one year since a death of sorts occurred in my life’s circumstances. [If you have no context for my life a year ago you can catch up here.] A long awaited promise, a future full of hope and purpose, suddenly died. The Enemy kills. But I guess he still hasn’t wrapped his mind around the fact that Jesus has the last say in my life, not him. I will have trouble in the world, but my life is hid in the One who overcame the world — I live and overcome by the same power that raised Him up from death. Even in the confusion and distress of the loss, I knew I was held secure and that it wasn’t an end altogether. I knew joy comes after, I was assured that new life came next. Step by step, faith has prevailed and hope has been realized, the promise not undone, merely increased, doubled. If the Enemy thought he was crippling my ability to advance the Kingdom by his theft in my life, or hinder my love for the Lover of my soul, he was mistaken. The One who is in me is stronger. His resurrection power trumps the power of death. I literally experience it.


“Grand adventure and a happy-go-lucky" joy would return, I prophesied over myself last spring. Here we are. I live in a war zone. Every day is a wild, wonderful adventure. Seeing Jesus overcome, seeing impossible things accomplished in His name, seeing His glory proclaimed in the midst of enemy territory and His kingdom advanced there by the faith of the Saints. I operate on the earth, but I see in the spiritual realm -- more and more clearly all the time. On the outside the life I live seems ideal, probably quaint, but it is what I am called to and there is power working through it. Relationship, discipleship… doing life in community together, sowing seeds in hearts and watering them in others… Encouraging the believers, speaking life in places of death… Being faithful where I am, doing all I do with excellence… I came to serve. I came to invest in lives. I came to influence for freedom in Christ. I didn’t come to create a ministry, but I did come to minister. Im not an out-going person, quick to introduce myself and become acquainted with others, but Jesus is quick to reach out and He has done so so much through me that Ive gained a reputation for being in-my-element when interacting with and engaging people, whether acquaintance or stranger. 


Many know my heart for Milwaukee is especially focused toward the homeless, the poor, the discriminated, the prostituted, so it could rise as a question why my schedule isn’t marked by any devotion of time to peoples in these circumstances after nearly three months of living here. The answer is two-fold. First, that it is my intention not to build a great ministry organization around this mission but to simply operate in it in my everyday life, to embrace the opportunities that present themselves intentionally and to seek to make myself available by always challenging my comfort zone, not settling into a routine of isolated living. Second, as someone with little life experience in the acknowledged deeper or darker issues of the world, Im aware that I have need of knowledge and wisdom in order to fulfill the vision the Lord is shaping for my lifestyle of ministry, of Love in action, in this city. Faithfully proactive in this time of preparation and training, I am reading constantly, am in prayer individually and corporately, and am gleaning from born-again men and women trusted and respected for their service here. In due time the vision will come to life and many will see it. For now, ground work is being laid. 


I am incredibly grateful for the Body operating as the Father intended: together. The intense beauty of the great diversity of giftings and callings and personalities and tribes in powerful unity through Christ is a force to be reckoned with. No wonder the Enemy is so keen to stir up disunity among believers. Ive had the great joy of establishing true community and a partnership in mission with people from a number of different congregations in the area, several represented races, and all different seasons of life. It builds up and enhances. I get to serve many in little specific, personal ways throughout my weeks, and many others serve and bless me in specific, personal ways. Its awe-inspiring how our Father made His family to operate. He is all goodness.

I love my life here. I love the sights, the secret workings, the community, even the climate. I am not of this place identified as Brew City, but I am surely in it, I have called it home from day one, and its a privilege I take delight in to seek the peace of this city. Ive experienced the victory I foresaw, of life after death, in my life’s mere circumstances, and I know the same victory is available for the city of Milwaukee at large. The King is among us. #thebestisyettocome


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