Today, I'd love to share 3 highlights from my Rescue Mission Tour. I had 16 events in June and traveled through Tennessee, Arkansas, Texas, Louisiana, and Oklahoma. What an incredible time. Check it out and see some photos too...
We declare our dependence on You. //
We stand grateful for the freedom to worship and honor You openly. //
Be Healing and Hope to our veterans. //
Breathe courage and protection over our troops. //
Break forth wellsprings of compassion and unity in our homeland; //
For every race, every color, and every creed. //
Bring peace and rest to every nation; to your world. //
We. Need. You...
Do you believe God is willing to heal you or that family member you're praying for? Do you believe it is God's will when you lock arms to pray? If not, I totally understand. But I want to tell you I believe you are missing a huge part of Jesus' heart for you.
Please take some time to read this all the way to the end. It is a lengthy post. But I believe it is critically important to the reboot, revival, and resurrection of the American church. Our Father wants vibrant life for us right here and now. Christianity was never meant to be a discussion about power. It was meant to display God's power. I realize this might mess with some of your theology...but I think its worth the risk. See you on the blog!
Today, I want to share a poem/prayer I wrote
in response to an anonymous poem called, "Stray."
You drew a line, a line in the sand.
You wrote it in blood, the love of The Lamb.
It can't be revoked, removed, or undone,
The Lamb who was slain conquered and won.
Depression must bow, despair must retreat.
Shame has been pierced, it falls at Your feet.
Does God always get His way? Is it God's will for acts of racism to take place? Is it God's will for unborn babies to die? Does God still work all things together for good? I wonder how many times we attribute things to God's will when in fact they are directly contradictory to His heart and will. I wonder if people can actually die before their time, before God wanted to call them home...let's dive in and talk about it.
You burst on the scene with salvation.
You silence every false accusation.
I am not ruined, but ransomed.
I am not forgotten, but favored.
I am not belittled, but beloved...
I'm reading a great book called God is Good: He's Better than you think by Bill Johnson. It's incredible. Go read it when you have a moment. // One of the main premises of the book is this: God's goodness will draw people to Jesus in the last days. It is God's kindness that leads us to repentance. Because of this, what we need to do as believers is be a people where God's goodness can dwell, We need to be good stewards of His goodness. We need to be able to handle God's blessings while carrying our cross at the same time.
In the waiting, in the wondering, in the wishing…
Stir up a heart full of trust.
When the answer's not here yet…
When the road is unclear…
When the direction feels circular…
Stir up a heart full of trust.
What if we all stockpiled prayers? And what if those piles, those monuments, produced the kind of faith that scaled the walls of the impossible? What if those relentless prayers, the persistent pressing in for the hem of Jesus' garment, could take our "issue" and turn it into a miracle? ...
I praise You for being the Creator and Sustainer of adventure.
You have invited me into this wide-eyed adventure of following Jesus.
Prepare my steps. Provide the way.
Silence my trepidations. Boost my faith.
Raise my courage. Increase my resolve.
Break the false spirit of fear over my life.
Over the past few years I've had the privilege of sharing my story and music at a few homeless shelters and rescue missions. Every time I get that opportunity, I'm blown away. There is something in all of us that opens up when we find ourselves in desperate circumstances. All the sudden we become more aware of our need for God and additional help. This is true everywhere. When we start feeling the squeeze, the stress, or the trial, our eyes begin to lift as if to say, "Where does my help come from? I sure need some." // Next month I head out on my birthday for a Rescue Tour. It's not as fancy as it sounds. I've been making calls over the last few months, and I have about 10 dates booked at various rescue missions in Tennessee, Arkansas, Texas, and Oklahoma for the month of June. I'll be sharing...
Hello friend! The CD's have finally arrived. For now, they are only available in a physical format. (They aren't up on iTunes yet.) If you would like to hear some of the songs, head over to FreedomSoundtrack.com to listen. You can order your albums there or on my website. Either way, Jill & I will split the proceeds and use it towards ministry and furthering the good news. // Sorry to keep this so brief, but I am heading off to another ladies retreat in a few minutes. I pray your week is going well and that God continues to refresh you as you spend time with Him. On a quick aside, I think Jesus loves spiritual hunger. I think He shows up to those with expectant, wide-open hearts. If you want more of God, just tell Him. Ask Him. Show your hunger by creating space and quiet in your schedule to listen and tune in. Special things happen when we do this. //
2 Chron. 16:9 says,
"For the eyes of the LORD move to and fro throughout the earth that He may strongly support those whose heart is completely His." (NASB)
Exuse me while I vent for just a moment. Part of the reason we have so much dead religion in America is because Jesus is not our Life-Changer, but our Life-Saver. We don't want transformation. We just want candy; sugar-coated, high-fructose religion. The problem is, Jesus loves us too much to leave us unchanged. He knows our potential. He knows what we'd look like without all the hurts, habits, and ugly hangups. He's not about to let us settle for a syrupy substitute. He wants us whole, changed, and healed inside and out. This is why He came to redeem us on the cross. This is why He chose a path of pain, beating, mockery, and ultimately death. Not just to save our lives, but to give us life. A new life. A changed life...
First of all, thank you so much friends for your prayers and patience! After my previous newsletter explaining about a health setback, and needing to hold off on the blogs for a while, many of you sent emails telling me you were praying.
I can tell you that almost immediately things began to shift and change in my body. I literally felt it within days of your prayers. Thank you. // I sometimes wish we could see what's going on in the spirit realm…the spiritual battle our prayers do. But other times I'm thankful I have no idea, because it would probably make me pee my pants...
I had a young friend send me an email this week. She was inquiring about how to deal with sickness and stay involved in ministry. She has a similar background as me; a tough diagnosis with Lyme disease, but also an interest and gifting in music. // As I wrote her back, it became a bit of a wisdom-dump. Sometimes I don't even realize how much I've processed these things until someone asks me a question and I give an answer. So, instead of keeping this between her and I, I thought some of you might find these thoughts helpful. // Here was the question: "Rachel, I was wondering if you have any advice for someone in ministry struggling with this crazy disease [Lyme Disease]." Here's what I wrote back...
Are you hiding? Do you ever feel like you need a complete rinse in the river of God? When I was a kid I used to play Hide And Seek. It was fun. But on occasion, I would hide so well, no one could find me. They'd give up and move onto a new game, and I'd still be in hiding. Guess what? It wasn't fun anymore. Hiding for the sake of hiding isn't fun. It's uncomfortable, and you're sitting there all alone in the dark. It's the same way in our real lives. Hiding feels safe at first. But in the end, it leaves us isolated, unknown, forgotten about, cramped, and living in darkness. Maybe today, God is calling you out of hiding in to healing...
Ever had a crash and burn kinda day? By 10am today I found myself needing to repent of my mouth and bad attitude…for the third time. // All I can say is, sometimes we just need more God and less us in the mix. I can't live without Jesus. He puts the sane in my sanity. // As I explore Step 3 for the recovery process, don't miss this post...because there's a SAMPLE from the Freedom Soundtrack's NEW SONG, "TURN IT OVER" Check it out! // See ya over on the blog...
Ever feel like the Queen or King of "not quite enough?" I do. It's like I try my darndest…only to not make the cut. Or I simply have nagging thoughts adding the word "enough" to the end of everything I do. For instance:
- You prayed…but you didn't pray enough.
- You studied your Bible…but you didn't study enough.
- You worked out…but you didn't work out enough.
- You taught clearly…but not clearly enough.
Today, I walk through Step 2 of the Freedom Soundtrack. If you find it hard to call yourself beloved...this is for you!
Woo Hoo! It's time. We are hitting the recording studio today for the Freedom Soundtrack. If you would be praying for Jill and I, we would be grateful! Also, as we start the recording, I thought it would be kinda cool to dive into these rich truths found in the 12-steps and the lyrics of these songs. So join me on the journey today as we discover step 1: Powerless. // Here's a nugget to wet your appetite: "We can't hold onto the pride of self-sufficiency & experience God's sufficient grace at the same time." // See you over on the blog...
I've been overwhelmed with this thought lately. Somewhere along the line we bought the lie that uniformity equals unity. That loving one another means we have to agree on everything. That if we disagree on things, (let's say, I don't approve of your lifestyle) then I don't really love you. // It's ironic. Our culture talks of tolerance. But the moment someone disagrees with someone else, they are de-friended, belittled or publicly criticized. Am I right? I don't quite understand this mentality. If everybody agreed with my opinions, then you'd be smart (wink), and we wouldn't need tolerance. I'd just be demanding uniformity…"my way or else!" // There are times, for the sake of peace and friendship, we need to kindly agree to disagree.