In Fellowship, In Love.

A reflection on the importance of fellowship and abiding in faith, hope, & love.

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Therefore comfort each other and edify one another, just as you also are doing. 1 Thessalonians 5:11 KJV

In the past few months, I have found that what I ached and longed for was found in fellowship with the body of Christ. I had wondered for a long time if the people I was surrounding myself with were exactly the people I wanted to devote my time to. I was wondering if maybe, I had changed, for good or bad, because of who I had surrounded myself with. After much self-reflection, I realized how vital it was for me to be yoked with those who lived according to the Spirit, not just for my own sake, but for theirs as well. God calls us into fellowship with brothers and sisters in Christ not because He wants us to steer clear from the rest of the world, but because He wants us to experience and taste His overabundance of love through fellow believers. He also wants us to cherish Him and serve Him by being broken in the body of Christ. For in this body, we can keep each other accountable in our sin, seek counsel and wisdom, pray continually for each other, and as He says, allow iron to sharpen iron. How can we stay the path of righteousness if we are yoked with those who do not hold us accountable for our sin? God calls us to turn to Him in times of crisis, but He also counsels us to comfort each other–our brethren–edifying and lifting each other up in praise, prayer, and supplication. By being a part of the body, I was also made acutely aware of how to serve Him as an example to those in and outside the body, such that nonbelievers would see Christ living through me. 

In another way, God calls us to minister and to mentor. He has given me countless opportunities to intervene in the lives of others through prayer, example, and teaching. What could be seen as a coincidence I see as being ordained by God to be fulfilled, for He asks us to pray and to make disciples. How can we make disciples if we don’t reach out, become vulnerable, and pray for others? I am constantly encouraged by how God works through my life and how He speaks truth through me. It’s in those small moments—whether it’s in the prayer room, walking down the hallway, or sending a quick email–that I find He is glorified in my daily life and I would encourage whoever is reading this to know that we can glorify God day in and day out, even with the little things. 

  • 3 Let nothing be done through selfish ambition or conceit, but in lowliness of mind let each esteem others better than himself. 4 Let each of you look out not only for his own interests, but also for the interests of others. Philippians 2:3-4

Here, I sometimes found it hard to keep my own interests at bay. When you go to a place where all your performances, grades, and scores determine as much as it can, where you’ll be, it’s hard to not focus on yourself. Human nature tells us to follow our ambitions, our passions, affirming our self-worth in the things of this world. However, God calls us to so much more. God calls us to abide with Him in esteeming others better than ourselves. That means encouraging, praying, praising, respecting, and reveling in others instead of focusing on “Me, Myself, and I” as we would usually do. God calls us to be sincerely invested in the development and interests of others, not that we would be glorified, but that He would be glorified through our care for one another.  Wow, that’s a steep calling. But God encourages us in knowing just how amazing it is, how worthwhile it is, in setting the example first. God invested in Jesus, in sacrificing his beloved for our sake. He went above and beyond for our own—even though many of us would take it for granted, would doubt and overlook Him. How beautiful it is that God did that for us. God doesn’t call us to be perfect in our performance or in esteeming others—but He does call us to established a vested concern and care for our brothers and sisters.

  • 16 And do not forget to do good and to share with others, for with such sacrifices God is pleased. Hebrews 13:16

What does God mean in saying that we are to do good? In multiple translations, the verse actually comes out to doing good works and fellowship, to share what we have. God is pleased with our sacrifices of praise and prayer, and in offering ourselves to Him. In the same way that God is good, He seeks for us to glorify Him through doing good on His behalf. This is how we become right in our hearts with God and how we can express our admiration and love for Him. 

Prayer: 

God, I thank you for how you continually work in my life. Abba Father, I am so blessed to be called your own and to be made new every day in the Spirit. Father, would you refresh your children, would you give them hope and restoration in knowing that this world is not our own, that Your Kingdom will come and reign Supreme in our lives. God, I pray for all those I have been able to touch, to pray for, to mentor—I pray that they would seek You in all things and become emboldened to do great things for You. I thank you for planning moments of intercession so beautifully in my daily life. Would you continue to nurture my Spirit, and in turn, help me to nurture and encourage the brothers and sisters I encounter every day. May we seek You in all things, pray in all things, and be humbled in all things. Lord, you know when we need prayer, You know when we need help and guidance. Please help me to continue being vulnerable with others, and to not be afraid of praying for them and in sharing Your word. 

Please check out my tumblr blog for more Christian inspiration and encouragement at http://fully-surrendered.tumblr.com/ .

May Angels Lead You In

I wish I had the chance to say my last goodbyes.
But I know I’ll see you tonight.
In my dreams you’ll be by my side
And at the Wake I’ll hold you tight.
Let you go so God can take you away tonight.
You always smiled.
You always laughed.
You gave me hope.
I never said thank you for that.
But now with all my heart
I’ll let you slowly depart.
We stand one by one.
Saying our prayers and songs sung.
We hold each other close.
Hoping that time will allow us to grow.
I see you in the sky.
Smiling down at me.
You wave as time passes me by.
But in that moment
You would never leave.
So may angels lead you in
Here you are my friend
Where dreams come true
And God loves you
May angels lead you in.
I miss you, Jimmy. I remember just this time five years ago I was writing this–still mourning your death. You gave me so much hope and life and love. I wonder if you’ve met Sam yet—isn’t he amazing? I hope you’ve met already. I hope the pain is gone forever. And I hope that I’ll see you soon.

The Haunting Silence

She lies awake in pools of sweat

because part of her memory won’t forget

how he took away the words she needed to break the haunting silence.

She pulled back in defiance,

only to regret that she sworn to her ignorance.

What would she have done if she had had the chance to start again?

Would she have spoken against the tyranny of his insanity

or broke down because of his patronizing misogyny.

Tell her, tell her that you think she’s brave.

Tell her, tell her she wasn’t the “victim that caved”.

Illuminate an understanding in her that you can

let the scars heal but you can’t let them define you.

And all those dreams of wailing in silence don’t have to haunt her anymore.

She can let this go, she can let this go.

And nobody would have to know.

Nobody would know.

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—-j.p—-

All in Love

To all I have loved and lost:

when death knocks at your doorstep

please don’t let it trample your heart.

when the seas rush from your eyes

please don’t let it identify your inside.

when you lose the person you love

don’t let the moments brief become your keep–

sake, for me.

hold on, hold for dear life to the next person you love.

hold on, hold on.

don’t let the eulogies of death overcome the symphonies of life.

don’t let death pierce you like a knife.

don’t let it overtake your life.

please, don’t let it cut you like a knife.

swear to me that you will be alright.

swear to me that you won’t cry tonight.

swear to me that you’ll hold it up outside.

promise me you won’t let death become your inside.

promise me that you will live each day in love.

All in love.

To Mom: I’ll Stand By You

when your memory starts to fade
when you forget the bed wasn’t made—
I’ll stand by you.

when you lose count to three
when you start to forget me—
I’ll stand by you.

when you lose all that you’ve known
and I haven’t come home—
I’ll stand by you.

when you cannot walk the stairs
and our lives become so bare—
I’ll stand by you.

when the bills become unpaid
and you forget what to say—
I’ll stand by you.

when the wounds turn to flesh
and you cannot clean the mess—
I’ll stand by you.

when the lights start to dim
and you cry out to Him—
I’ll stand by you.

when the aisles watch her go
and you let her go—
I’ll stand by you.

when you watch me leave today
and you bow your head and pray—
I’ll stand by you.

when you let me go to war
and have to watch from a far—
I’ll stand by you.

when you embrace me in your arms
and praise Him for not bringing harm 
I’ll stand by you. 

I’ll stand by you
through it all.
I’ll stand by you
through it all.

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