Don’t Lose the Fire

Fireball over here has a confession: my Fire started to wane.

Blame it on Ministry School being done for now. Blame it on life transitions eating up my time. Blame it on me not getting any new leaders for Phylla House and feeling like a plastic bag about that… I understood the Katy Perry song lyric for the first time.

Do you ever feel… like a plastic bag… ?

Yep.

Fireball felt like a plastic bag. It doesn’t take long to drift. And I praise God, it doesn’t take long to anchor, either.

Today I woke up determined to be a super productive adult who follows through. Follows through with people, emails, banks, and laundry. And in it, I prayed. I got excited. I had setbacks but it all got done today. And then I had one phone call scheduled for 6pm, with an OUTSTANDING woman of God.

Charity is her name. And today she sharpened me. She reminded me of what Phylla House is about, as I heard her little kids’ voices in the background, as she raises them bravely as a widow, and as she reminds me that we need people who have been through the fire, and we need structure. Structure! Ahh. The thing I’ve been fighting. The thing that I always think would hinder the spontaneous growth of Holy Spirit work. But it’s needed. We set deadlines. She brought her fire over to mine and it sparked brighter.

Sometimes it’s easier to go where the fruit is, and I’ve been taught this, too. Go where the fruit is! But sometimes we have to stick it out, and fast, and endure. We have to hold tight to dormant dreams, to the ideas that don’t seem to be catching as quickly as we’d hoped. And we hold them, even then. Even still. We take them to the Lord, sometimes in our frustration, and He passes by in a quiet whisper to remind us He is still very much Sovereign.

Multiply the crumbs, Lord. Nourish the sparks into a mighty flame for You. Don’t let us give up on dreams that You put in our hearts.

All in all to say, the #ATLdevo is coming back. It might be a little different, too. I get to dream again, and ask the Lord just how He wants His fire disbursed.

Fight to keep your fire. What’s the dream in your heart that tends to wane in times of hardship? That. I pray a blessing over what that is for you. All to Jesus we surrender, and yes, that includes our doubts, our timing, our expectations, our judgments, and our past frustrations. And we exchange those for a fresh fire and a fresh hope, with a double scoop of unrealistic, and sprinkles of the impossible.

This song says it all: You’re unrelenting, with passion and mercy. Unstoppable love that never ends.

If Love is for us, who can be against us?

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A Dreamer’s Manifesto

To you who identify yourselves with the title dreamer and who have before you a vision: YEAH!!!

I am a dreamer, but I rarely admitted this to myself. You wanna know why? So called “dreamers” have awful reputations among the people who are working and sweating. They are thought to be those who doodle genius stuff on the corners of journals, who muse at million-dollar ideas, find ways to absolutely change the world, but then simply yawn, sit on their hands, look out the window, change their minds, and don’t chase the thing. I hate this… so much. I used to roll my eyes when I’d hear someone call themselves a dreamer, because to me, dreamers weren’t doers. Dreamers never woke up.

But here’s my revelation: I changed my mind about the meaning of the word.

People might think they’re dreamers, but if they haven’t gotten off of their gluteus, guess what: they’re not real dreamers. Counting them as such is the reason for this terrible reputation. Maybe they can ‘raise awareness’ to someone else’s dream and change their profile picture for 23 hours, but don’t get mixed up, because they are slowly carrying their dreams to their graves. Their hearts are cold. We pray for their new hearts.

You are a dreamer, and let me tell you what being a dreamer means:

Dreamer, you believe in your dreams with courageous and faithful actions.

You have seen the end from the beginning and therefore you know how to work backwards to the baby step of the start. You are not afraid to fail, because the worst that could happen is the world remain the way it is.

6You have moved forward from wandering in the Desert of Who Am I? and have begun to claim your promises.

Dreamer, you realize that you only have so much time on earth, so you squander less of it with pointless rubbish.

You begin to anticipate the hand-off of your dreams to the next generation, because your dreams are so real that they must must must continue.

You love hard and surround yourself with people who are passionate to make a difference.

You know that the Lord rewards you by the intention of your heart, not the reaction of the world. You listen for heaven’s roaring applause when the world is cricket-quiet.

You know that you can only harvest after a long season of sowing. Sowing doesn’t look like winning, but it is. Oh, how it is.

You don’t let discouragement settle into your bones. When you feel it creeping up, you raise up your warriors and shake it off, shake it off.

Dreamer, you introduce God’s innovations into reality, and you realize it’s a holy calling. Whoa.

You let yourself REST and you know that there are seasons that look really backwards and outwardly unproductive, and that’s okay, because you know the progress happening on the inside.

You have decided that you can bring forth however much God says you can bring forth. You gave up on logic a long, long time ago, because all logic does is tell you there’s a limit. You don’t have a limit. You have a God.

Dreamer, you know who your Papa is, and that adds a strut to your walk. You own the place.

You buy into a process, and you know that some things take time and some things can be miraculously sped up. You rely on trust that God will finish what He started. You know God lives outside of time, and so you faithfully step into an eternity mindset.

You know that God wants your dream more than you do. But God wants YOU much more than He wants the dream. It’s always about love.

You know that God would love you just the same even if you completely halted. Which only makes you love God more, and joyfully go after your vision.

You know that it all started with a whisper, a teeny tiny whisper within, about greatness.

You stopped and asked Jesus about it. He said that you could be the one who brings fresh greatness into reality. You could be the one who sees on earth as it is in heaven, in your own way. You could be a dreamer who wakes up. And you don’t take your greatness to the grave. You can look at anything great and realize whoever did it started out as an infant. They had no extra time or strength or wisdom that you can’t tap into. You have the love and favor of the King of Kings. This race is yours. On your marks, baby.

Ready.
Set.
Go.

Trusting My Brothers

I’m doing some repenting right now and I want to share it with you, because maybe you’re supposed to join me in this.

I need to repent in the way I stopped trusting my brothers. I’m not talking about my biological brother, but my brothers in Christ, my buddies, my friends, my pals who just so happen to be males.

I’m sorry. I’m sorry I have kept you at arm’s length. I’m sorry I have assumed you might be sketchy. I’m sorry I have failed to trust you, to laugh with you, and to give you the benefit of the doubt. I’m sorry I have been stern, and I’m sorry I have pushed you away abrasively. That is not my character. That’s not who I am, but a temporary behavior that stemmed from a healing heart.

I’m well aware of it now, and here’s what happened…

I’m an extremely analytical person, and my formulas got all switched up. The part of my heart that defends itself, that makes fantastic choices… well, it got a little hypersensitive. I dated my very best guy friend, and my heart got smashed. I decided, without realizing that I was deciding it, that I would not let other guys become such close friends to me again, ever, because that kind of pain is not something I’d like to experience again. What if a close guy friend decided to pursue me? Would I completely flip out? Yeah, probably.

Is that not my dream, though? Is that not something I desire? To date someone I know well? I thought it was, and I think it still is. I berated myself, because I thought I had started to open my heart in a friendship, and let someone into my life, to get to know me, and then there was this magic trick where romance was introduced, and I thought I would just about die of happiness. The hard part was over, we knew each other, we knew what we wanted… and and and bust. Wasn’t it.

My genius way of preventing that from happening again? “Don’t get close to guys.”

UGH! I’M SORRY!!!!

So I’ve pushed my brothers away, and I even got all mixed up, had some weird conversations, and while I am a total stickler about flirting and keeping good boundaries, I had to be rebuked by the Lord IN A DREAM about how I’m pushing my brothers away.

I found that lie in my heart, and I recoiled, and removed it.

I can be a friend again. I won’t push away, or act extra weird, or get all “SO WHAT IS THIS?!” when my bros are trying to be my bros. They can have my number. They can feel free to call me. We can hang out, just maybe not til 3am, yeah? I’m a lady!!! I’ll do my best not to time them or chart our interactions. I’m excited for when I’m back in Georgia, to see how this all will play out. There’s always freedom when fear is removed.

courage

I know the Lord is trying to give me a gift in friendships, and He is so adamant that I receive the gift in full, that He gave me a dream to show me what I was doing wrong. I’m not going to look back any longer, and I’m telling my heart it’s okay to trust. It’s okay to trust my brothers. It’s okay to encourage them and love them well. It’s okay to hug, to laugh, to talk. These people are trying to get to know me, and I, them. They’re not out to hurt me, not at all. I’m new, and new creatures have fresh stores of trust.

In Jesus’ name, my heart is healed and aligned to trust my brothers, to make new friends, both gals and guys. What a lovely gift it is, and I will receive it with thanksgiving.