3.03.2012 3 comments

Airplane Encounters: The Egyptian Gent

This past fall, in November, I sat next to a Catholic Egyptian businessman, around 42 years old, divorced,  living in Canada, and working in a very similar industry to mine, and we had this crazy 3-hour conversation about being stirred up for the things of God. I knew before he said anything that he already had a relationship with God. I could feel it. 

I remember the moment I knew.

I was coming back from having used the lavatory, and he got up with a smile to let me into the middle seat. The second he smiled at me, my spirit leapt inside as it recognized that his spirit was alive, too. I made myself comfy again, but I could feel the energy and curiosity coming off of him. He was going to talk to me soon. I knew it.

I had happened to have my Bible sitting out as I was doing some reading and some journaling, and suddenly he leaned over to say “I like it that you read this book”.

And then the discussion began, as he asked me about my relationship with the Lord, and I was able to excitedly tell him about what an amazing journey it has been to fall in love with GOD.

I took him all over the Bible as I shared my favorite passages and explained that God has ruined me for anything else other than Him. Throughout the conversation, my seatmate kept telling me that he had never had a conversation like this before in his life.

He left greatly encouraged to live life with passion for Jesus.  He was already a believer, but what happened that evening was God laid his finger on this man’s heart and said “I want you. All of you.” 

We never know how our passion for God will inspire and stir up other believers.  It was particularly awesome to have this conversation with a businessman. God wants to shake up the Christians in business (shake them up in a good way), and use them to take the Kingdom to the business world. 

We have been in contact here and there since that happened, and I know that our conversation made a deep impact on in his life. Praise God!  WOOHOO!

Revival starts with the Body of Christ waking up to its full destiny!

Thursday Night Airplane Encounters

This has been a heavy season of traveling. I knew when I first “signed up” for a large enterprise project that it would require tremendous amounts of traveling, but that God would be faithful to make this next season exciting even with all the airplanes, taxis, late nights, restaurant food, and the intense workload.

And WOW has he been faithful!

Several things are on my heart about this season…

1) It’s a time for me and Jesus to honeymoon together. At home in AZ I have a million things clamoring for my attention. All good things. But, nothing’s like a straight up dose of the manifest presence of God and him sitting next to you sharing secrets from his heart. And there’s something that happens when he has you all to himself. Mmm… he is worth it all. 

Don’t misunderstand me, it can be a real struggle at times for my relational, extroverted self, but that’s probably exactly why I need this time. If you’ve read the “My Story” tab at the top, you know that Italy was a key season for me spiritually because I had so much time with JUST God, and no one else. Sure, there were 2 million people around me, but I was relatively alone most of the day, at least on a social engagement level. And we all know how much I like to be around people, and how much I relish deep, intense conversations. Well, with me and God, it’s no different. Other than being even more intense, perhaps. And we certainly get personal.  I’m practicing being more and more honest with God about where I am at and what I’m feeling. No point in hiding it if he knows it already, right?! That’s a rabbit trail, though…

2) Another thing on my heart is the marketplace – the mountain of business!  Folks, there are so many people in the corporate world who have not been wrecked by the love of God! Oh, for them to know it! For them to experience this!  AH, I live for corporate America to fall in love with JESUS!

I’m all about fellowship, but I don’t like being caught up in a Christian bubble. The world needs the fire-starters to go out among them and just LOVE them, just LISTEN to them, just be FRIENDS with them.  When life gets tough for my colleagues and clients, we will have a deep conversation, and they will share with me where they are at emotionally, mentally, and spiritually. That’s when Jesus can step in and blow their minds with just how personal he is, and just how GOOD and KIND he is. Yeah, God! 

3) I’ve been having what I call my Thursday Night Airplane Encounters....

I’ll sit next to a passenger, and next thing I know, we are in deep conversation about God. 

I never start these conversations!  So far it’s always been them! And I’m going to start posting summaries of what happens during these encounters. WOOT.

12.08.2011 0 comments

Worship is the Key

Worship is the key. Worship is my destiny.

-Jonathan David Helser, from his song "I Will Not Be Silent"

Check it out on YouTube, and then buy the CD! WOOT!
9.19.2011 1 comments

When a Revivalist Gets Sent Off - On a Biz Trip!

I'm sitting in a hotel room in St. Paul, MN.

Drinking tea.

Listening to Bryan and Katie Torwalt's song I See Heaven, off of their new Here On Earth album. (Click here to listen, too: I See Heaven on Grooveshark)

I'm going to be traveling 6 out of the next 7 weeks.

Today was the first day of many.

Just spent a little time praying over my colleagues.

I'm on a mission to see Heaven invade the Earth with the love and power of God.

I'm on a business trip, about my company's business, and about my Father's Business. 
9.14.2011 0 comments

Baltimore Boy & Catching Fire

Dear readers, dear fellow revivalists, dear RADICAL lovers of Jesus...

Something that has been on my heart lately is the subject of personal revival. I believe that before the nations can be brought completely to Jesus, the Church has to undergo RE-vival - it has to be revived. But even before that, individuals that make up the Church must undergo their own personal revival, in the Secret Place of their hearts. They must have an identity shift as they realize who they were born to be,  Who they belong to, and how much love our Abba Father has lavished on each and every one of them. From this place of true identity and reawakened passion for God Himself comes the desire to take it to the world.

From www.etymonline.com:

revive Look up revive at Dictionary.com
early 15c., from M.Fr. revivre (10c.), from L. revivere "to live again," from re- "again" + vivere "to live" (see vital).

I want you to take a look at my friend Jesse's blog and get an eye-opening, invigorating look into the soul and heart of a man who has been awakened to a whole new way of living.

On April 10, 2011, he walked into our church and straight into our hearts. He, Emily, and I have been inseparable ever since, and he has continue to grow in wisdom and knowledge and relationship with God....

His blog is called "Catching Fire", and I'm not sure of all the reasons behind the name he chose, but it makes me think of what happens when we walk around with our own personal torches for God absolutely lit and ABLAZE, and we come into contact with someone ripe for a personal revival. Read about his journey. It's beautiful.

Jesse's Blog: Catching Fire
I will be featuring him as a guest writer on here very soon!
8.10.2011 4 comments

Marked for Revival: A Call for A Generation of Burning Ones

GUEST WRITER: JESSICA (from the arts-and-crafts-centered blog Toujours C'est La Vie)
Short bio/intro: Jessica and I met freshman year at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. She lived in a room right across the hall from me. We became fast friends and I got to be there as she fell oh-so-in-love with Jesus during those four years (it was quite the adventure actually, and I'll have to have her share her testimony someday). She now lives and works in the Phoenix area, releasing the Kingdom wherever she goes. This woman is marked for revival.

Marked for Revival: A Call for A Generation of Burning Ones

Hello readers of Diary of a Revivalist! My name is Jessica from Toujours C’est La Vie. Over at my blog, I focus on crafts, fashion, photography, and books, but don’t be fooled… I am at heart a revivalist. Recently, I had the great privilege to travel to Chicago and attend the Jesus Culture Awakening Conference. My heart has been so full and my fingers have been itching for days with a desire to put into words what I feel that God has put on my heart.
One of the main tenants of the conference was honoring our spiritual mothers and fathers, as they have worked tirelessly so that we may now stand on their shoulders and reach new levels… that their ceilings would be our floors. Reinhard Bonnke, Sean Smith, Cindy Jacobs, and Bill Johnson joined us to share their experiences and hearts for a generation.  What an honor to hear what they had to say about how God worked in their lives, particularly through signs and wonders! The speaker that I enjoyed the most, however, was Banning Liebscher who spoke on the first night about the cost of being a follower of Jesus. It’s a message that many of us have probably heard before… that when we decide to follow Jesus, we have to be all in, regardless of what He asks us to give up. It really kicked me in the butt and made me think about all the little parts of myself that I tend to squirrel away from God. He also talked about the often-heard Scripture that “Many are called and few are chosen,” and that God may call us, but in order for us to be chosen we have to step up and say yes!

For me, this was one of the most pivotal points of my time in Chicago. Because the point of the conference was to speak to a gathering of those who, for the most part, already knew Jesus and felt a calling on their lives, there was not much of a formal Gospel presentation per se. Many of the other speakers spoke about miracles, seeing millions saved in Crusades, and what revival has historically meant, yet, it was in this simple presentation of the cost of following Christ, this little reminder from Scripture that struck me the most.

Are you still with me? I hope so, because would like to share with you something that God laid on my heart during worship one night. I heard the phrase The Holy Spirit stirs up revival, but the Word of God sustains it. I just felt that while this conference was a great stirring up by the Holy Spirit … that we were being built up by the prophetic words and wisdom of our spiritual fathers and mothers and that our heart were being whipped into a frenzy for the kingdom, that we must always remember to put God and His word at the center of revival. It was as if the Lord was quietly whispering to me…. Yes, you have a great place in my kingdom… yes, you will play a great role in your generation… yes, I have given you authority and power, but never forget who I am.  It made me recall a slogan from a missions conference I attended several years ago that said It’s not about me, but it is up to me. We are part of the revival but we are not what revival is about… the Holy Spirit stirring us should always point us to Christ!

Friends, this was so comforting to me because I had previously worried that many of us would go home from the conference on fire, but slowly fade when we weren’t singing along live to Hillsong or listening to the words of Sean Smith. I had wanted something tangible about how we were supposed to do this revival thing! I was deeply moved and convicted about my own need to know Scripture better and to spend more time alone with God, because at the end of the day… revival starts in the quiet stirrings of your heart in the quiet place (Yes, I did steal that from you Leslea!)

The title of this post is, Marked by Love: A Call for A Generation of Burning Ones. Reinhard Bonnke, in his message, said that as we were sitting in the stadium God was running His finger down the rows looking for who would stand for Him and be part of a generation that would change culture, media, and society. Regardless of whether His finger stopped on you, you would always bear the fingerprint. But for those that God stopped His finger on… they would forever be marked by love.  God is looking for burning ones…. Those who have an open heart willing to be stirred to a passion for a generation after God and those who don’t care about the cost and simply answer the call.

Have you ever stood in a spot, looked around and thought to yourself, “I am standing in a spot where history is being made?” Upon taking my seat for the first session, I looked around at the more than 15,000 students, young ones, and parents gathered for this historical event and thought about this pivotal moment in time. On the last day of the conference, spontaneous worship and praise broke out for over 20 minutes. My heart close to bursting, I looked around and thought, “This must be what heaven will be like.” I remember texting close friends after the session with the simple words, “I have been wreaked tonight.

It is my simple prayer that God continue to work on my heart and yours as well, stirring up passion in the quiet place for revival. I choose to accept the cost of my personal time to spend time alone with Him, in His presence and in His word, so that revival not be just one amazing conference, but one amazing lifetime spent passionately pursuing the heart of God and allowing Him to change to world through me.

By Jessica from Toujours C'est La Vie

8.08.2011 1 comments

Coming Soon: Guest Revivalist Post

My dear friend Jessica was able to make it to this past week's Jesus Culture Awakening conference held at the Allstate Arena in Chicago, IL. She will be sharing with us about the incredible impartation and revelation she received while she was there, hanging out with 15,000+ revivalists from all over the nation, as well as drinking deep from the wisdom and experiences of Bill Johnson, Reinhard Bonnke, Sean Smith, Banning Liebscher, Kim Walker-Smith, Cindy Jacobs, and Lou Engle. Worship bands Jesus Culture, Hillsong United, and worship leaders Brian and Katie Torwalt, Jake Hamilton, and Kristene Mueller-DiMarco led songs of love and hope and freedom, and while I was only able to watch via webstream, I so strongly encountered the presence of God in my own room, worshiping and crying out for a fresh revelation of Jesus to my generation.
But for the grace of God, I think I would have died of sadness over not being able to make it to the conference. Jessica, however, was able to go, and is fairly bursting at the seams with all that she learned and gained from that life-changing experience. Wow!  God is GOOD!