This Mother's Day I was able to serve with RED EYE, a non- profit pioneered by my new friend Justin Mayo. What a humbling and eye opening experience it was to drive through the fashion district of LA only to arrive in a section of forsaken streets known as "skid row". Suitcases, grocery carts, abandoned buildings, and hundreds of "homeless" lined streets.
We came to offer them a day of pampering and beauty revival in many ways. We set up make-up stations, hair stylists, nail "salons", and of course a mall to shop for new outfits. What woman does not love all the above!? A truth trickled down into my heart that was exposing and challenging as soon as the scene began. Without much thought it was ( and is) easy to categorize "them" as homeless, service projects, or charity causes. But on Mother's Day 2012, I saw mothers, women, daughters, and sisters. God reminded me of their humanness. They are not homeless but human. They have stories, heartaches, longings for manicures and babies crying in strollers but just don't live how and where I do.
As I scanned racks of donated designer clothes with these women, I was moved to see them for who, not what, they are. It was an honor to be their "stylist" for a day. Photographers snapped memories as the day concluded with a RED carpet strut for these beautiful women.
M.A.R.T.A. is quite the cross section of humanity. Educational, Physiological, but Spiritual even more. Riding the rails to the airport as another morning awoke was enlightening and exposing this week. As like a child, I was over stimulated spiritually as I looked into these people's hallow holes. My eye scanned faces while my heart seemed to ignite with "story hunger". What were their stories? Where we they all going? Why would no one look at me? Do they "look to the Hills from whence comes Help"? Do they know God knows them? Most eyes never met mine on the train, but shifted from seats, to windows, to iphones and back again. It is amazing how much an averted glance can tell you. There was so little significant visible Joy. I was alarmed at what welled up within me as I sat in so much stimulus. Multiple sounds, smells, and sights from the silver edged buildings racing by, heads hung low with earphones tightly fixed, awkward verbal outbursts from a man who probably had not seen indoors or food for days, babies crying, all races side by side though with an invisible partition so as not to encroach, and conversations on cells that still echo in my ears. Stimulus at first, but then, quickly stories. Each of them had a story, a place they came from and one they were going to. With dark colored glasses on, the tears rolled as Love from the Author of stories saturated me. He is in their story too. He is God whether they believe Him, know Him, or see Him. Did they see Him in my face? I so wanted to be a Samaritan not a Levite to them. So prayers of a Samaritan heart began internally. Being still in the stimulus of them I knew again that He was God. My God. Their God. They just didnt know Him yet. I was still in the midst of these strangers shuffling through life, unaware of available Love. Unaware of a God that I'm aware of constantly. I prayed for them with intent and mercy. Praying stillness would enter their visibly fast breaking worlds and introduce them to God. He longs for them to know Him and briefly allowed me the painful privilege of feeling the need in their stead. I prayed for continual heart engagement to what His heart sees, first step towards being a Samaritan in the stimulus of their stories, I guess. Ride M.A.R.T.A. and permit your heart to become a Samaritan.
Want Him to wash over you like a shower with these thoughts. Cleanse and Refresh with these ideas. Let Him hug you.. stop trying to hug yourself… Let Him embrace you with Himself and in His Word. 1. Present your Request but Release the Outcome Phil 4:6-7 - Produces true Peace II Thess 3:16 - "I AM interested in your response now as much as or more than the situation later", says the Lord. 2. What God requires, He provides. -Heb 13:20-21- equipping for every good work -II Cor 9:8- ALL is supplied -I Thess 5:24 He will DO IT -Heb 12:1-2- Faith is authored not mustered. 3. Are you a woman of lavish or lack? Which do you focus on? Always two sides to the day… Cup is half full or empty… Is your cup viewed BY YOU as full or empty? What do others say of your cup? - I Tim 6:17-we have been given richly all things to enjoy - II Peter 1:3 all things pertaining to Life have been granted- there is nothing missing. - Ps 34:9 lack nothing - James 1:4-lack nothing 4. Consider Him and all that He has done for you! Heb 12:3; I Sam 12:24 -Ps 40:5- MANY are your works toward us -Ps. 8 You consider me- are mindful of me! Am I mind FULL of You? -Brag on God… tell of His praises// His wonders works Be women talking of what HE HAS DONE not what HE HAS NOT DONE… What is on your lips? 5. Attitude of Gratitude- Rejoice Always and again I say rejoice! -I Thess 5: 16-end This is His Will- rejoicing! -Phil 4:4 6." At your wits’ end I AM just beginning"… Ps 107:27 ( read the whole chapter... He created the storm in order to still it!) - what space you cultivate He will fill…. give God space to still you, don't fill yourself!!! - Only to the degree we vacate will He fill and overflow the capacity 7. Live with Eagerness not Effort. -Is 26:8 eagerly waiting for Him… -Is 64:4 He moves and acts on behalf of those who wait for Him! -Ps 5:3- lay out your needs and expect a Great God…. Hezekiah in OT laid out the scroll ( details of the kingdom) and pled with God... lay out the details of your day and heart... He listens! 8. " I lift you never weight you" says the Lord. Do you feel heavy weighted or light and lifted? - Ps. 3:3 He is the Lifter of our head! -Matt. 11:30 His Yoke is easy and His burden is light! 9. “I enter into you so you enter into them” says the Lord. - Rom 12:15- rejoice with those who rejoice… singles celebrate marriages! Relinquish any and all selfish gain or pity- BE IN and ABOUT others! So rewarding.... - Mourn too…. - Paul said Be all things to all people… I Cor 9:22.. use discernment with others…. Be out of yourself enough to be into them! 10. CHOOSE JOY! "For the Joy set before Him, He ENDURED!".... Heb 12:2 Joy is a Choice regardless of your cross! Neh 8:10 The joy of the Lord is your strength! Ps 16- Be in His presence constantly… fullness of joy is there! Gal 5:22- We have the Spirit and walking in Him the fruit He produces in and through us..JOY! James 1:1-4- CONSIDER IT PURE JOY.....Endure.... you will lack nothing but gain everything! J.O.Y. acronym (thank you Rachel, I love you... thank you for modeling this and giving this acronym to me!) JESUS IS THE TARGET NOT YOU Jesus is the Target -ONLY JESUS not us or anything else…. Is He your AIM? Not only the highest but only Aim??!! - Look to the Hills from whence comes my Help-Ps 121:1- songs of ascent... 15 Psalms for each step into the temple- ascend into His presence! HOW TO MAKE HIM TARGET? 1) Women: Surround yourself with people who do!! Do life with Joyful Women who JESUS is everything to! I love the women in my life I am shoulder to shoulder with... I choose them and they me because we are ones of Joy. Rachel, Katherine, Anna, Aimee, so many others... Love my life for many reasons but the women in it is one of the main ones! ---mention His name more than yours or anyone elses Ps 71:23 Ps 145:21 Ps 34:1 Ps 40:9 Phil 2:9 highest name Deut. 11:19….says…Teach them to your children, talking about them when you are at home doing laundry, dishes, cleaning or watching cartoons with them, when you drive your mini van down the road, working at a computer, waiting for your mate, excersizing, eating your sandwich, talking with your friends, when you lie down or collapse into their bed at night, and when you get up with your coffee in hand. 2) Word - Living is written word. "The Word became Flesh". John 1. ---PROVERBS 23:7….WHAT WE THINK IN OUR HEARTS, SO WE ARE. 2 COR 10:5- destroy speculations against God and His truth And bring into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ COL. 3:2 Set your mind on things above --Horizon Thinking not earthly "horizontal" thinking!! Ps 61:2- when I am overcome and overwhelmed lead me to the Rock higher than I.... ---GARY SMALLEY----20,000-60,000 thoughts a day....more than half are negative... That is NOT our STAT as a believer! Have optimism Reign in you. Exchange lies for Truth. 3) WORSHIP Start the day with worship music... Flood your mind! BE LOVED- Christy Nockels ( I have saturated myself in this one lately) The Tree- Christy Nockels establish her song OPERATE IN OVERFLOW not OVERDRIVE Luke 6:45 abundance produces action…. John 15 Abiding produces fruit… intimacy vs activity Rom 15:13 OVERFLOW with hope! Ps 119:71 OVERFLOW with Praise! I John 4:19 We do because He did! We obey out of overflow not obligation! The more you rest in belief of Him the more you oveflow! HUMAN BEING not HUMAN DOING YOU BRING ALL THE GLORY TO GOD - II Thess 2:4 – we are His glory - IS 43:7 created for His glory - Rom 8:18 His glory trumps our pain - I Cor 10:31 Do all for the Glory of God When Jesus is our Target and we are operating in and out of overflow God is getting and giving glory! Joy is experienced and expressed… It is contagious! Draws people to you and to Him!!! We have been radically called beyond our circumstances to JOY! Though sorrow may last through the night, joy comes in the morning. Psalm 30:5 Those who sow in tears will reap with songs of joy. Psalm 126:5 NIV James 1:2-4 PURE JOY THROW A PARTY! Be constant CELEBRATORS... I love being a celebrator in Life.... Just like a shower can cure almost anything, so can a party! -- Sarah Ott I Peter 5:10