September 10, 2013

When Community comes right to your door...



I've mentioned them here before... this group that comes right on up through my front door... the ladies who just walk right on in without a knock or hesitation... we have been meeting for over a decade now.  Some of the faces have changed... some moved away, others just moved on to a different season with others things squeezing in to Monday mornings (now switched over to Tuesday mornings!) New faces join in - finding their spot and realizing that they fit just right!  We fluctuate from a full living room, to one on one over coffee.. but no matter the number, He is always present with us. We are a band of Happy Intercessors... We are Mothers and Daughters and Sisters and Friends... We are Single and Married and Healed and Broken... We are Searching and Finding and Praying and Pondering... This group has shifted from being based on Prayer, to Worship, to Studying the Word or reading through a book together... often including all of these in one large overflowing portion... and we meet every week!

Through out the years, the core of this gathering is that always we have purposed to Live Real, Share Honest, Love Through, and Hold Up.  We serve up coffee with flavored creamers, tea, and cold water... and all the while, He is serving up blessings, answered prayers, faith and grace poured out, and hope stirred up fresh!


My little family has been blessed to be a part of some incredible Communities... one or two of them have even been found within the walls of a church.  Now - I am not saying that this is rare, however for whatever reason, it has felt rare for us.  We long to find it again... we know it exists and at times we have attempted to squeeze and push ourselves into a mold or a group and pretend that we fit.  It works for awhile, but we also feel a strong call to be who we are - at all times. To stand up tall in our identity and to radically embrace His Ridiculous Love and His Scandalous Grace and Fling it out with Reckless Abandon!  We tend to push away from exclusivity and cliques... and even though Jesus had His 12 - I suspect He did the same thing.

In all of our seasons of searching for Community, we have been blessed to be led to gatherings of believers who love the Lord, who read the Word, and who long for an encounter...some of those gatherings were assembled inside the church, and many of them were found in coffee shops and living rooms... on weekday mornings and weekend nights... for 6 week studies, or - like my Tuesday Gathering - for decades!

When met with frustration on Sunday mornings, not feeling as if we have found our place, there is a Scripture that we cling to... and while the enemy would like to twist it and bring down condemnation, the Spirit reminds us of the blessings of Community that we DO have - whether we have a place to be come Sunday or not!
"...and let us consider how to stimulate one another to love and good deeds, not forsaking our own assembling together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another; and all the more as you see the day drawing near."  ~Hebrews 10:24-25 NASB
I love how this verse reads in (what for it...) the Contemporary English Version! (Ha - you thought I was going to say The Message!) In the CEV, it reads like this:
"We should keep on encouraging each other to be thoughtful and to do helpful things. Some people have gotten out of the habit of meeting for worship, but we must not do that. We should keep on encouraging each other, especially since you know that the day of the Lord’s coming is getting closer."
We should keep on encouraging each other to be thoughtful and to do helpful things... and let's not get out of the habit of meeting for worship!  So Much Yes to this!

I fully believe that God has a place for us... our desire is to serve alongside the Body and have a community of like-minded believers to press in to the Kingdom of God with together - on Sundays as well as on other days!  We are not in search of the perfect church, just for the church in which He has called us.  We also believe in the broader sense of Church... we serve one Lord, and we are one Body... and so we search on.  We serve where we can.  We wait for His direction.

We are called to come alongside para-church ministries... to be a gathering place for people from many different churches.  Remembering this really helps us when what we think we want is a 'home'... You see, we are most at home when we are following His lead and when He is our purpose for gathering!

When we cross denominations and boundaries and we encourage freedom and release grace... when we enter in to His Presence with joy and expect Him to meet us there... when we bring with us our real rocks that weigh us down...


the burdens that are too much to carry... and hand them over, asking for whatever He has for us in return...


 THIS, my friends, is Community.  THIS is what we long for... this is 'home' to us, and this is what is about to happen right now, in my living room... a gathering together to worship... some encouraging one another on to love and good deeds... to share testimony and prayer request and real life on the good days and on the bad days and Oh my Stars how He loves to sit in the midst of my living room on ANY of those days and so I have learned to invite Him in & continue to make room for Him and for others to gather... to assemble together... to worship.

Pray with me, won't you?

Father God,
We come to You boldly
because You made the way for us...
We thank You for Your Word...
that You say that wherever two or three
are gathered, there You are!
Thank You for the reminder
and the encouragement to
continue on in Community...
to continue on in being real
in sharing life, in investing in relationships
in gathering together to worship You.
Jesus we ask that You will
be in the midst of every gathering...
that You would reveal Your Presence,
capture our hearts,
and inspire songs of praise...
We invite You in and ask that You will give us
words of wisdom, of prophesy, of LIFE...
Pour out gifts of encouragement,
of discernment and faith...
Lord we ask that You will gather us
in to Community
and put to use the giftings and anointings
that You have placed within us;
that You will knit our hearts in close
and weave our lives together in worship
and in service to You and to each other;
that we will find our place in You
alongside brothers and sisters
to help further the Kingdom of God
and to continue on in
Speaking Life, in Being Love,
and in Shining On!
In Jesus' Name,
Amen!





Linking up today with these lovely Link Up's:

#BehindtheScenes
crystalstine.me

#GROWinHisWord
GrowLinkUp

#TellHisStory








12 comments :

  1. Lifting that prayer up also :) Your words pierced my heart. Have a blessed day. Tara.

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  2. Karrilee - how blessed are you to have such a wonderful community. I, too have a beautiful group that I am able to join with but unfortunately we all live so far apart that we can't just walk in each others back door.

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  3. This blessed me, and gave me hope for community- what I have dreamed of.

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  4. Oh Karrilee, how your words blessed me this morning. I am incredibly thankful that you took time to write this, despite your busy week. I cling to 'His grace is sufficient' daily, but I have the tendency to apply it to others and not myself. Your beautiful heart and words they give me hope. Hope that I can shake my own need to fit a Christian mold and that I can let God's radical love and grace wash over me. I wish I could hug you right now. Or have coffee with you and tell you how God gave you just the right words to help heal the ache in my heart. How with tears streaming I think I finally grasp it all!

    I am so grateful and blessed by you!
    Thank you, friend!

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  5. Community is truly one of the most beautiful things...I pray it for each of my sweet sisters. Beautiful post, my friend...happy Wednesday to you! :)

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  6. Such beautiful words, and such a beautiful heart! Thanks for sharing!

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  7. Without fellowship, I spiritually shrivel.
    Looking forward to a good dose at Allume!!! :)

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  8. Amazing. Not only the words, but something personally that God confirmed to me today through your rock pictures. I'll tell you more in an email ... but I'm whispering my deepest thanks into this comment box, Karrilee.

    This? Right ... on ... time.

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    Replies
    1. Don't you just love how He is so consistent in speaking... and so persistent in making sure we hear? I'd love to know more - but am simply honored to return the favor - for He speaks so clearly to me through you oh so very often!

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  9. What a beautiful prayer my friend!

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  10. What a wonderful blessing He's given you through this community of friends. I loved what you shared and I loved your prayer. It's speaks to me greatly this morning.
    Thank you.

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  11. This was absolutely beautiful!! :-) I'm so glad that you shared your heart with us. :-) I agree with everything you said. :-) Thankfully we have found a wonderful church family, but I know many friends who have not and God isn't limited and confined to just being in the church walls. :-)

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Thanks so much for stopping by! I always love to hear your thoughts! Remember to: Speak Life - Be Love - Shine On!
~Karrilee~

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