Living a Life of PRAISE



Speechless

I received so many emails and face book comments asking about yesterdays church service as well as people in prayer leading up to it so instead of replying individually I thought I would just write it out. I wouldn’t be able to do God justice by just sending a reply explaining the day and I still won’t by writing this but I’m going to try.

There has been such an excitement leading up to yesterdays first service in the mall and I found myself with butterflies on the way there. I got there early and was surprised to see people already going in. As it got closer to the service beginning I stood in front of the doors to the main auditorium watching masses of people come through the corridor. They were young, old, families, new people, and tons of people I had never seen before. At that moment it felt like something was unhooked from heaven. It was as if favor and blessings came raining down onto and into the place. It was bigger than just our church it was the mall that was surrounded in God’s presence.

As Tim welcomed everyone to Life Community Church a roar and claps erupted. People were excited and ready to worship and encounter Jesus. Tim made it clear we are not to worship this cool facility but simply see it as an opportunity to reach more people on a daily basis and its not about “Life cc”. We are a kingdom minded church meaning we are all about churches all around and we pray and bless them every Sunday. We have awesome relationships with many pastors in town and want to grow in having more.

As Matt began worship I was nervous of how it would go. Our church is normally a church of 250 and we are a worshipping church meaning people are clapping and raising hands and excited to praise God. However with 415 people there yesterday many of whom were new I was skeptical as to how the dynamics would work out. Well you wouldn’t even know because as I looked around people were singing and moving and praising. Of course there are people who are new to it all and those who are just checking it out but for the most part they were in it to win it and you could feel God’s satisfaction in the place.

I had a moment as I watched and listened to Matt lead and tears came flowing down my face. There is no doubt he is gifted and anointed to do what he does. He is able to captivate people and bring them into the presence of God. It doesn’t matter if its an upbeat song or a slow song, if its him and the band or just him and a guitar. But what got me and made me so proud was how far he has come as a man of God in a year.

When we moved back to Wilmington we were broken and distraught. Life had not turned out like we thought and the feeling of being a failure was very heavy. We put all of our belongings into storage living with friends and family for a couple months. Matt did not have a job and our debt was out of control. Our marriage was struggling as financial stress was adding up and trust had been broken. Matt put his music on the back burner to get a 9-5 job to support us as a family. It started off part time and eventually went to full time. What he was making was just covering our bills, not grocery or gas but God always provided for us in miraculous ways. It was a painful time as a wife to see my husband so broken yet the growth that was happening in him was extraordinary. I began to pray Psalm 90:17 daily for him that said, “And may the Lord God show us His approval and make our efforts successful. Yes, make our efforts successful!” At the time there didn’t seem to be much success but I knew this was a promise of God and I was going to hold fast to it for Matt. He kept doing the next right thing and the bible says we will see a “harvest of blessings at the appropriate time” (Gal. 6:9). In the midst of friendships changing and uncertainties and him beginning to hear the voice of God, I saw both these scriptures come to light in his life. God reminded me of this continuous prayer yesterday morning as I watched him worship freely and speak from a pure heart. God has restored all that was broken just a year ago and far surpassed my prayer requests for our life. He has built Matt back up into a stronger man and I have a new respect and admiration for him as my husband. There is no doubt he is right where he is suppose to be and I’m so thankful God gave us the courage to step out on faith and follow Him when so many people and things were discouraging us to do so.

Our church has a brief time of prayer for healing, breakthrough, marriage struggles, financial issues, whatever someone needs faith for. When we had this time yesterday there were so many people they were wrapped around the front of the stage. I could not believe how quickly people appeared up there. Again, you could feel God at work. Our pastors sermon was filled with hope and encouragement as he challenged us to rise above our messes in life. God wants us to have an abundant life but we often chose to complain or stay stuck. The power of His Word is always evident on Sundays and I feel like it goes straight into my soul bringing back to life the places that were dead. Tim, our pastor, asked those to stand who wanted to commit their lives to Christ or recommit. It was like people were jumping out of their seats. As I looked around it appeared to be 3/4 the congregation! As we closed with another praise song people were singing so loud I’m sure they heard it down at the carousel. Tim sent us off by saying, “when you leave here don’t go being bible thumping christians but instead show that you love your life by tipping well and filling this place with the joy of the Lord.” And they did. When we went out to eat afterwards restaurants were overflowing with people from church and relationships were even made with restaurant managers and staff.

So the day was phenomenal! Personally I was touched by God and heard Him say this is the beginning of a new season for us as a family as well as a church. Today I’ve reflected on our journey and how it would have been impossible to be in this place had we not surrendered to go and do whatever God called. That surrender sent us to the wilderness and brought about much hardship but I would do it all over again to be in the place I am now where all I want is more of Jesus. I see Him growing my husband into a bold and passionate man who is successful in his ways and not afraid of what others may think anymore. I’m seeing friends come to a place of saying-I can’t keep living like this, there must be more! I’m seeing people I don’t even know healed from sicknesses and diseases. And people I do know who have struggled with certain issues for so long are being delivered and brought into an intimate place with God. I’m seeing financial miracles continue to unfold in our lives and those around us who remain faithful. I’m even seeing people come to know the Lord and want to change in order to please Him. Gods Word is true and His promises are for everyone. To see people step into that realization and have an awakening that changes their thoughts and priorities and even how they interact with others is simply incredible!

This is my prayer for myself, my family and everyone else who is seeking God in the midst of what may be a high time or what may be a low time:

I PRAY ALSO THAT THEY EYES OF YOUR HEART MAY BE ENLIGHTENED IN ORDER THAT YOU MAY KNOW THE HOPE TO WHICH HE HAS CALLED YOU, THE RICHES OF HIS GLORIOUS INHERITANCE IN THE SAINTS, AND HIS INCOMPARABLY GREAT POWER FOR US WHO BELIEVE.
Ephesians 1:17-19

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