Saturday, January 19, 2008

Kingdom Causes EARLY morning prayer

Prayer is a mystery to me. Why does God need me to ask Him to do something He already wants to do and scripture tells me that if He can't find someone who will stand in the gap, He will do it Himself? When I prayed for years for a living marriage and worked it every way I knew - and it still failed, why pray? I'm supposed to listen to what His heart is in any given situation, then pray and ask Him to do what He already wants to do???? Boy, I ask you, does that make any sense at all to my human mind? No! So why do I pray? Why do I love to pray? Why do I resist Him so when He's GOD? I don't know...I am learning - again - that prayer, being with My Father in conversation is what gives me life.

For a very long time my prayer life went "underground", about 10 years in fact. It wasn't that God was gone, in fact in many ways He was very present, but - I didn't pray like I used to - at all. He wasn't angry, He didn't throw me away, He just was there and available any time I wanted to come. I realize when I won't talk to or look at someone that I'm angry and mostly don't want to confront that anger in myself. His grace is amazing! He knew my anger even if I wasn't willing and helped me with it when I became willing.

Since working at Kingdom Causes and being more and more captured by the need and opportunity for prayer, things have shifted in me. Thank You Father...
I'm talking to Him now out loud in private again, I'm praying corporately again, (I love praying with the student leaders at CSULB) and am consistently bringing Brad and Kingdom Causes before Him. As I travel with KC through the City and encounter so many pastors, City leaders, church planters, and school leaders not only in Long Beach, but in the other KC cities as well, something happens in my heart to know I want to lift them into the courts of heaven to make sure my Father sees what I see and works in it as He sees fit. Jack Hayford calls it "partnering" with God in establishing the Kingdom. Me! a partner with God Almighty, the Creator of the whole universe! Amazing....

Which brings me to our KC Second Saturday early morning prayer meeting. Thank you to all who come regularly and thank you to those who have come some. There's something that happens; 1)early with God and 2)corporately with others who love Him enough to lose sleep to be with Him. There is a sweetness in the room that can only be Him and there is always an impartation from Him both corporately and personally. The common comment is, "I wanted to stay in bed, and I'm so glad I didn't."

I think prayer would be easier for people if they could see the results like you can when you hand someone some food or money or service. With prayer it's a totally hidden, faith exercise. I don't know where my prayer goes or what it accomplishes, especially when so many specific prayers haven't been answered according to what I had in mind. I just know that answering His invitation to "come" is the best and that I am always changed afterwards.

I'm extending an invitation to you to join us and be "changed into His likeness" "from glory to glory" whatever that means according to God's heavenly dictionary.
Love to you from Judy

Friday, January 18, 2008

My Weakness in Strengths Finder

The Kingdom Causes Long Beach Team doubled when I joined.  In October both Polin and I signed onto Kingdom Causes.  So we wanted to focus our roles within the team by finding out each person's strength.  It was my first time taking the test.  I was intrigued by how the process worked and whether it was reliable.  In less than thirty minutes I found out my top five strengths.  They are: Restorative, Learner, Relator, Responsibility, and Individualization.  When I read the list I thought they were interesting until I read the specific description of each.  Then I thought they were scarily true.  Restorative describes my desire to grow and challenge myself.  I easily notice my flaws so that I can improve upon them.  Learner illustrates how I love to gain a lot of knowledge and information especially when I make a decision.  I want to gain experience so I could learn from them.  As a Relator, I don't rush into relationships and have a few friends.  I value honest because I am honest with others.  People can confide in me and they know I care for them.  Responsibility really surprised me as a strength.  But after reading about it, I realized how much it is a big part of my life.  When I read the description I didn't really see it as a strength but more of a weakness or burden.  I am very reliable.  I do everything to fulfill my commitments, but because of that I volunteer to have lots of responsibilities.  I also look though every angle before taking action.  Individualization I really enjoy having this.  It describes how I see the unique qualities of a person.  I love to observe people.  It also shows how I love to work in details and can do tedious work.

It was fun finding out about my strengths.  But now I know them, I don't know what to do with them.  It just goes back to my restorative trait of focusing on my weakness. It just goes to show that even through the strength finder test I can still find my weaknesses.

Tuesday, January 08, 2008

Thanks from Lindbergh Middle School

We want to thank you for your generosity in providing the backpacks to Lindbergh. The backpacks are given to students with financial hardships and as incentives to motivate students. The school supplies inside the backpacks were an added bonus. Lindbergh serves a disadvantage neighborhood and we are grateful for the assistance you have so generously given to our students. Sorry for the delay in this letter. Lindbergh wishes you a happy and safe holiday season.

Michael Conlon
Program Facilitator for Lindbergh Middle School