Newsletter 5/30/12

Exciting New Volunteers with UniteBoston

On May 17, we invited friends throughout the Christian community to come and learn about opportunities to serve with UniteBoston.  Four willing and eager volunteers showed up to the meeting, which is a huge answered prayer. In the next few weeks, I will be meeting with each person individually to discuss their interests and to pass along my responsibilities with UniteBoston. In addition to this, we are excited to bring on board Craig Miller as our Director of Finance. Craig is a native Bostonian and has a lot of experience working in the financial world. It’s honestly been hard for me to trust God in leaving UniteBoston for a season, but the number and quality of volunteers that showed up at the meeting confirms that everything is truly in His hands – that uniting the Church in Boston isn’t just my plan but that God is really in this! Thank you for your prayers in this – they really make a difference!

World Race Training Camp 
From May 19 to 26, I traveled down to Atlanta for the World Race training camp, where I had the pleasure of eating exotic foods, sleeping on buses, and meeting amazing people who will become my family for the next year. See pictures and read more about this experience on my blog post here: Life Lessons From The World Race Training Camp
Beach Send-Off Party
It’s hard for me to believe that in just over a month, I will be getting on a plane to Ireland, the first stop on my year-long mission trip. On June 16, I want to invite you to join Journey Church and friends throughout the Christian community to pray and send me off to the nations. The event will be at Nahant Beach from 2:00 to 5:00pm; the time of prayer and commissioning will be at 3:30pm. Be sure to RSVP to the evite here!
This month, I was also interviewed by Jillian Orlando and featured on the UniteBoston blog – read the article here
In Matthew 28:18-20, Jesus says “Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.”

Let’s go and spread the good news to the world!

In His love and joy,

Kelly

Life Lessons from the World Race Training Camp

The past week, I’ve been in Georgia at the training camp for my upcoming World Race venture. When people have asked me about the camp, my mind wanders to the great kaleidoscope of memories and activities we have done this past week and I stumble for words, saying something like: “Awesome people…interesting food…tough situations that really stretched me…yet really fun.” Today, I want to offer you some life lessons that I learned this past week:

Life Lesson #1: Eat what is served to you, no matter what it looks like

This is the picture of what we woke up to the first morning for breakfast. It’s a rice porridge named congee, served all over Asia. This one has fish heads in it. Yummy.

Each day had a different theme, where we learned about different cultural practices and foods. My favorite was Eastern Europe Day, where we got to toast every meal with our Nalgenes.

I learned the importance of eating what was served to me, no matter what it looks like. Not only don’t you know when you will get your next meal, but not eating your host’s food is an extreme sign of disrespect for their people and culture. So, eat up!  I have a feeling that fish head soup will only be the beginning of strange foods that I will eat in the next year…

Life Lesson #2: We are made to be interdependent, not independent

Problem Solving – what will we do when our squad loses half of our packs?

I’m a very independent person – I hate having to rely on others and would rather just “do my thing.” Because of this, I don’t think it was a coincidence that the second night both me and my partner lost our packs “to the African airlines.” This forced me to step outside my comfort zone and rely on my teammates. Although during worship I had no idea where I was going to sleep that night, I was amazed to see perfect strangers rally around the situation to share their clothes and give me a hammock to sleep in for the night. We’re not made to do this alone – we’re all in this together!

Life Lesson #3: When we are desperate for God, He shows up

Imagine 170 young people passionate about Jesus getting ready to travel the world, all worshipping under one roof. We are a generation that is hungry for more and isn’t satisfied with church as we see it. We believe in a God who not only is big enough but who cares enough to answer the cries of His children.

There were numerous testimonies of healings that happened throughout the week, but the most striking for me was Tyler’s story – Tyler is partially deaf, and one guy felt led to rally his squad to pray for him.As we prayed, Tyler felt his ears pop and he could hear more clearly. He took out his hearing aids and now he doesn’t need to wear them at all. Hallelujah!

Listen to Tyler tell his story here:

Life Lesson #4: Nothing brings a team together like sleeping in tight quarters

One of our last team challenges involved our entire squad being “stuck on a bus overnight trying to cross the border.” Imagine trying to squeeze 55 adults with their backpacks and all their gear on a 43-passenger school bus. You get real tight, real fast.  Here you can see our creativity emerge as we hung the packs from a hammock strung between the overhead emergency exits:

It was an intense night. People were sleeping two or three to a seat, guys were sitting in the aisle leaning up against one another. I thought everyone was on the bus and then there was an announcement made that seven more men had to fit on the bus. There was literally no room for them, yet somehow we did it. It was so uncomfortable that many people didn’t even try to sleep but instead listened to music or talked to one another. At 2:00 or 3:00am, we all were startled awake to a belting scream, as a cockroach had just crawled down the shirt of one of the girls in the front of the bus. We found out later that a cockroach had crawled into the shirt of one of the girls in the front of the bus. Alas, at 6 in the morning we all piled out of the bus, stretching and groaning but with a sense of accomplishment having made it through the night. After that experience, there is no doubt in my mind that our squad is committed to one another, no matter what. And I’m convinced that there’s something about tough situations that really brings a team together.

Life Lesson #5: It’s always a good time for a dance party

 

As everyone on our squad started to get to know one another, we started to realize that we all have a love for dancing. For the record, I do enjoy dancing, but I’m not very good at it :-)

This picture is the inside of the spur-of-the-moment after-lunch dance party that came about, which turned into a dance party tunnel to the song “Don’t Stop Believin’.”

We found out later that the World Race’s first H-squad was a big dancing group. We definitely inherited that one.

Life Lesson #6: Live in the Moment

My life seems to get quite full, and because of this my mind has the tendency to think three steps ahead. Although this skill can help me stay organized, I admit that it can also make me neglect the people with whom I am interacting at any given moment.

At Training Camp, the first few days were hard for me because I couldn’t plan. We had no schedule – our only agenda was to “go with the flow.” This forced me to live in the moment, to focus on being with and loving the people right in front of me. I’d really like to take this mentality back with me, so that no matter what my schedule is for the day, I can stay “present” with friends and acquaintances in my life.

Below is my new family for the next year – we will eat together, sleep together and share life together, bringing His kingdom all over the world. I was blown away to hear the stories of how God has already worked in the lives of these incredible young men and women. I feel super honored to have the opportunity to share life with them for this next year. What does God have in store for us?

My new family! H-squad, what what

Re-Post: Unity Sermon

One year ago in May, I preached my first sermon. In it, I shared about how my experiences rowing have shaped my view of unity within the body of Christ. As Christians, sometimes we need to be reminded that we are all on the same team! So, today I wanted to share this sermon on my blog.

You can listen to the full sermon here: http://jcboston.org/unity/

Or you can check out my sermon notes below…

United in Spirit

A few years ago, I was training with the ambition of making the national rowing team – practicing twice a day, six days a week. One fall morning, I realized that my passion and desire for rowing had left. Then, throughout the next few months, God replaced this with an incredible dream for unity within the Christian community here in Boston. Today I want to share a little bit with you about what I’ve learned about Christian unity based on my background as a rower.

1.  A team acts, thinks and moves as one

One of the reasons rowers look so united is because they act, think, and move as one. In fact, the better able rowers are able to work together, the faster the boat will go. When everyone is synchronized, the work almost becomes effortless, and there is nothing like the feeling of eight people moving together, flying over the water.

In the same way, as Christians we are called to act, think, and move as one. The book of Acts describes the first Christian church as being “of one accord” and having “one heart and mind.” Yet, over the years the Church has divided time and time again over certain principles and doctrines, until now there are over 500 Christian denominations. Did you know that denomination means divided nation? We even associate ourselves with our denominations, defining ourselves by how we are different rather than how we are alike. Today, it’s as if we are rowing twenty different boats on twenty different teams, competing with one another and pulling Jesus in opposite directions.
As Christians we have to get in the same boat because we’re all on the same team and a team moves as one. The bible says there is “One body and one spirit, one Lord, one faith, one baptism, one God and father of all (Ephesians 4:4-6). As a Christian team we are to act, think, and move as one and be permeated with oneness.

Principle 2: A team is united in spirit

In a rowing shell, our movements are directed by a small woman sitting in the front of the boat called the coxwain. A rowing race is 2,000 meters long, and after 1500 meters of pulling as hard as I could, sometimes I would wonder if I would even be able to make it to the end. At this time, our coxwain would shout out: “OK, now we are going to pull 10 strokes for the Gonzaga legacy. Let’s keep the winning tradition alive!” 
There was something about that call that lit the fire within me. You see, in a battle it is easy for us to get overwhelmed by the struggle and forget what we are working for. But we must remember the deeper reason and purpose of our work is what unites us. It is not a unity of doctrine, creeds, or gatherings, but rather the bible defines this synergy of the same foundation among believers as a unity of the Holy Spirit. As Christians, we have a depth of unity that is unparalleled by anything else in this world, as we are not only sacrificing our time and energy for our school team but our entire lives for Jesus, the one who made us and who died on the cross for us. Yes, as Christians we are united in spirit to fight together for Jesus to win the race.
Principle 3: A team earnestly endeavors to keep the unity
From time to time situations arose among team members which caused us to be divided mentally. The interesting thing was that these negative thoughts that we had towards one another drastically reduced the speed of the boat and disrupted the rhythm. If even one person wasn’t working in complete mental and physical unison with the others, you could feel the resistance throughout the boat. As a rowing team, we quickly learned that to keep the unity amongst ourselves was of utmost importance.
In Ephesians 4:3 Paul writes that we must “make every effort” to keep the unity of the spirit among the Christian community. However, the word here in Greek (spoudazo) implies a much deeper meaning  than simply making an effort. Rather, spoudazo means to intensely labor; to endeavor to keep; to guard or watch over. As a rower, I know what intensely laboring is. I’ve heard it said that pulling a 2k in rowing is harder than giving birth. Now imagine pulling a 2k, then waiting 5 minutes and doing it again! My question to you is: What are we doing to intensely labor for the unity of the spirit among Christ’s body? Like rowers, we must fight with intensity and discipline for the unity we already have within the Holy Spirit.
 

Principle 4: A team embraces the diversity of the team members

In a rowing shell, each person has a different role. The girls in the stern were in charge of setting the rhythm of the boat, while the middle four were the engine room supplying the power, and the bow pair helped to keep the boat set from tipping from side to side. I found that when I understood my own role within the boat, it helped the boat go function more effectively.

You see, unity doesn’t imply uniformity. Rather, true unity embraces the diversity amongst the individuals. I’d urge you to find out how God has gifted you spiritually. God didn’t make us all the same, on purpose, because it humbles us. We are unique because it helps us understand that we are better together and that we need one another. We must understand that to be in the kingdom of God is to move away from a model of independence and towards interdependence.

Rather than denying the differences between denominations, as Christians we must embrace the uniqueness among parts of the body and learn from one another. You see, as the Christian communityrather than compete with one another, we complete each other. As we do this, we can be confident that as the body of Christ we will be much more effective in our work:  “From him the whole body, joined and held together by every supporting ligament, grows and builds itself up in love, as each part does its work.” (Ephesians 4:16).
 

Principle 5: A team encourages one another

My novice year rowing, we would always shout out encouraging words to each other in the boat during the race, saying, “Yeah Whitney,” or “Go Katie!” The Varsity team actually scorned our boat for this, as it is a well-established rule among the rowing community that rowers do not talk in the boat. The thought is that if you have enough energy and breath to shout out something during a race, you’re not working hard enough. So for a few weeks, my coach told us that we could no longer talk in the boat. It turns out that this drastically decreased our boat speed, until my coach rescinded her comments and instead told us to do whatever it took to go the fastest.
You see, an encouraging word can go so far in improving the morale and mood of another. Encouragement helps us to realize that someone else believes in us and has our back. It’s the glue that binds good teams together in working to accomplish the same goals.

It’s been too long that the church has been simply ignoring one another, striving for the same goals but not talking to its fellow team members. What can you do to promote unity within the Christian community? I’d encourage you to begin by speaking well of other Christians. This week, can you commit to saying an encouraging word about another individual or church of a different denomination than yours? This is one simple thing you can do to promote the unity of the spirit, which is God’s desire for us, His church. When we come together united as one, just imagine what God can do… 

Off to Georgia

In approximately ten hours, I will be heading on a flight to Atlanta, Georgia, for the World Race training camp and, well, I’m writing because I can’t sleep.

How do I feel? I guess mixed – mainly I’m really excited, but a little nervous. Kind-of the mix of emotions when you are getting ready to go to a big family reunion – you want to make a good impression, but you know to do that you just have to be yourself. I’m not too worried about it – the men and women I meet will literally be my family for the next eleven months, for better or for worse :-) And I feel privileged to have the opportunity to spend a week with them in Georgia – getting to know them, receiving cross-cultural ministry training, doing team-building exercises together, and much more. I’ll be sure to let you guys know how it goes!

Jesse & Jenny

Tonight, I’ve been thinking about my journey, and what things had to happen in my life for me even having the privilege of going on this trip. It’s pretty awesome to think about how God really orchestrates your life like that. I heard about the World Race originally from Jenny Hill, when she was doing a volleyball fundraiser for the trip in the spring of 2010. I got a random email about her fundraiser and decided to attend. When I met her, and she started telling me about the Race, something in me really resonated and I started to pray about it. The World Race literally changed Jenny’s life – her prayer was that God would show her where He wanted her to serve long-term. After the Race, she fell in love with a guy named Jesse, and they just got married! They will be serving in Thailand with the Outpour Movement, with children who have been orphaned as a result of genocide. You can follow them on their journey here: http://jesseandjenny.wordpress.com/

But – would I be going to the training camp for the World Race tomorrow, if I had just ignored that particular email about Jenny’s fundraiser? Would Jenny have met Jesse if they hadn’t attended an event together after they both served separately on the World Race? It’s amazing how one thing leads to another when you start to think about it.

Jeremiah 29:11 “For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.”

The more I live, the more I’ve started to understand how true this is. God has a mighty plan so much bigger than we can see or wrap our eyes around! Everything we go through – every high, every low, every challenge, every joy – everything, absolutely everything, has a purpose. He uses each one of our experiences to mold and shape us to the person we become, so that in all that we do, we become more like Christ.

I came across this video that I took last year around this time, where Jenny & I went to coffee after she had just returned to the States from completing the World Race. It’s cool to hear her reflect on her experiences and to see the joy of the Lord pouring out of her. Watch it here:


The path in front of me is a big unknown…For some people, the unknown is uncomfortable, overwhelming, the uncertainty leads to a shakiness. But to me, the unknown is exciting. It’s an adventure. Who knows what this year ahead will hold for me?

Proverbs 19:21 “Many are the plans in a man’s heart, but it is the Lord’s purpose that prevails.”

Although I have some ideas about how this upcoming year will change me and impact my life, only God knows the big picture. So I don’t have to worry about it – my job is just to rest in His love. Carefree, at complete peace, just like a baby in her father’s arms.

Psalm 37:24 – “The steps of a good man are ordered by the LORD: and he delights in his way. Though he falls, he shall not be utterly cast down: for the LORD upholds him with his hand.”

Jesus, have your way in my life and in the world. Have it your way.

P.S. Not to break the mood, but isn’t “Have it your way” Burger King’s slogan??? ;-)

Have you ever wondered why you’re here on earth?

I sure have. Many a time.

And the more I learn about God, the more I realize that this life we live is more about Him, than about me.

I’ve come to realize, to put it simply, that we exist to know God, and to make Him known.

I’ve also come to understand that the fullness of God was expressed in a man named Jesus. Yes, God actually came down to earth in a man named Jesus Christ, that we might know him personally, and then He sent us to make God known to the world. This is the essence of missions.

Maybe you’re also like me in that you notice some interesting things about how people live out this mission. We think of missions as men dressed in suits knocking on doors, or people traveling to meet needs in other countries. We talk about missions relating to recent news – natural catastrophes, people who are oppressed, injustices, civil wars. In this, we are basically saying, “I bring you bad news of sad problems.” But the gospel begins with, “I bring you good news of great joy!”

Why? Because even more than knocking on doors and meeting needs, missions is an invitation to take part in the story of what God began and what He will finish, to join with God has He pursues His purpose in the world.

It’s important that we understand this first, because if we’re only compelled by the needs that we see, mission will lead to a sense of overwhelming duty, and we will be constrained by the insufficiency of our resources at a task far greater than we can fulfill.

So mission is first and foremost about vision – we have to understand who God is and what He is trying to accomplish in the world. We cannot devote ourselves to that which we can’t see. My understanding of this has been shaped by a course I took this spring called the Perspectives in the World Christian Movement, which teaches the biblical, historical, cultural, and strategic perspectives of God’s global purpose. This course is taught all over the country and I highly recommend any opportunity you get to take it. It will rock your little Jesus world. Seriously.

Perspectives gave me new eyes to see the world around me – which is so important because we cannot devote ourselves to that which we can’t see. I started to understand that the bible is far more about God, than it is about people. It’s not simply a disjointed collection of stories and statements, but it is a single driving saga of what God began and what He will finish, and that mission is the thread that holds the bible together.

The reality is the God of mission has a church in the world, rather than the Church has a mission for God in the world. Do you see the difference?

John Piper said, “Missions is not the ultimate goal of the church. Worship is. Missions exists because worship doesn’t. Worship is ultimate, not missions, because God is ultimate, not man. When this age is over, and the countless millions of the redeemed fall on their faces before the throne of God, missions will be no more. It is a temporary necessity. But worship abides forever. Worship, therefore, is the fuel and goal in missions. It’s the goal of missions because in missions we simply aim to bring the nations into the white-hot enjoyment of God’s glory.” (John Piper, “Let the Nations Be Glad!”)

Missions exists because although God created everyone and everything in complete harmony with himself, humans chose to rebel against this, which broke our relationship with God. So from Genesis 3 to the end of the bible, we see a single driving saga of God drawing people back to himself.

God could “zap” the world to make it the way He wants it to be, but God has revealed himself as a relational being, so he works through the faithfulness of people like you and me. To do this, God blesses people as a counter-attack against evil – we see this in Genesis 12 where God tells Abraham, “Leave your country, your people and your father’s household and go to the land I will show you. I will make you into a great nation and I will bless you; I will make your name great, and you will be a blessing. I will bless those who bless you, and whoever curses you I will curse; and all peoples on earth will be blessed through you.”

This is so significant because blessing is something you become in a relationship with your Father – it’s more about what God can do than what you can do. It’s not simply about fulfilling a duty, it’s about inheriting God’s promise that all descendants of Abraham, including Christ, will be a blessing to the nations.

From Genesis 3 until the end of the age, God will continually work alongside us until Christ returns and people of all tribes, tongues & nations are worshipping at the throne of God:  “After this I looked and there before me was a great multitude that no one could count, from every nation, tribe, people and language, standing before the throne and in front of the Lamb” (Revelation 7:9). So we come full circle, with worship at both the beginning and the end of the story, worship being the impetus as well as the culmination of all that we do.

You might be saying, “OK, I get that. So how do we go about doing this?”

The clearest description of God’s strategy is in Matthew 28:18, which theologians refer to as the Great Commission. It says:

Matthew 28:18 – Then Jesus came to them and said, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.”

It’s important to understand that this statement was not simply a last-minute add-on to Christ’s teaching – rather, everything Jesus said and did came to a crescendo in this. Put simply, we’re to continue the work that Christ began by making disciples, until it is complete in all peoples. He commissioned, equipped, and empowered us to do this in order to bring the fullest revelation of God’s love to every part of the world.

So how are we doing on this mission?

Jason Mandryk and Patrick Johnstone have done a lot of research into a global outlook of Christianity. The following graphics are from Jason Mandryk’s “The State of the Gospel” presentation.


On this map, you can see the global nature of the Christian faith – Christians are present in significant numbers and percentages on every continent – but it also shows the other worldviews that we are facing.

Check this graphic out. I had always thought that America was the “center” of Christianity. Today, however, there is a historical shift happening in the global makeup of the church. While in 1900 the vast majority of believers were American/European (blue), today Latin America and Africa are in competition for the most Christian continent (yellow and orange). By 2050, only 1/5 of the world’s Christians will be non-Hispanic whites. (Philip Jenkins, “The Next Christendom.”

On this graphic, you can see clearly a band of orange and red – this region is referred to as the 10/40 Window (10 degrees Latitude to 40 degrees Latitude north of the equator). Of the 55 least evangelized countries, 97% of their population lives within this window (oneworldmissions.com).

My church, a new church in Harvard Square called Journey Church, supports a missionary family to Turkey. According to allaboutturkey.com, Turkey is .0005% Christian and in some parts of Turkey, there are an estimated 20,000 Muslims for every Christian (pioneers.org)

If we were in Fenway Park, which seats 37,000 people, this would mean that only two people in the Red Sox stadium were followers of Jesus:

 The need is simply overwhelming. Romans 10:14 says, “How, then, can they call on the one they have not believed in? And how can they believe in the one of whom they have not heard?”

There are not just thousands or millions, there are over two billion people in the world who don’t know the love of a Father, they have never felt the presence of God, they have never heard that we don’t have to work our way to God, or the message of forgiveness that Christ offers us; every day they are wondering if there is something more to this life that we live.

I want to ask you today – What vision are you living for here on earth? Is your vision too small?

I know mine was…and God is continually widening my eyes to His kingdom and His purposes in our world.

God asks Isaiah, “Whom shall I send? And who will go for us?”

Isaiah said, “Here I am, Lord, send me!” – What do you say?

Quarter-life Identity Crisis

Well, not quite… I just turned 27.

The past month, God has been speaking to me about where I place my identity.

In having to step out away from UniteBoston to go on the World Race in July, it feels like something is being torn out of me; God is revealing to me that I tend to have an unhealthy attachment with the work that I do.

When I look back on my life, I realize that I’ve always sought approval by the things I do – my  academic performance growing up, followed by my athletic performance in college. I was Kelly, the good student, then Kelly, the collegiate volleyball player, then Kelly, the aspiring national team rower, and more recently Kelly, the girl who is working to unite Christians in Boston. My sense of self has largely been derived from the work that I do, at how well I do at the task in front of me.

But this past month I’ve come face-first into the understanding that who we are is so much more than just what we do. When we have a performance-based mentality, we will always fall short. Someone recently told me, “What we are able to accomplish has no value to God.” That stung, more than it should. No value? God, you mean the work I’ve done the past two years in the city has no value to you?

Nope. None. Isaiah 64:6 even says when we display our righteous deeds, they are nothing but filthy rags in God’s eyes.

So I decided to go on a 24-hour prayer retreat to seek God about my identity. I know that finding your identity in Christ isn’t something you can attain by reading a book or by helping poor people or by doing anything in particular. It’s just something you have to get. I also know that there’s something special about giving time and space for Jesus to speak to you. So I trekked out to Wingaersheek beach last Friday with my backpack, sleeping bag, tent, bible, and a gallon of water.

My friend Jonathan suggested that I read Song of Songs. At first, I thought that was an awful idea – there’s all that crazy love stuff in that chapter and I didn’t see how that had anything to do with finding your identity in Christ. But he explained that the Song of Songs is the song of all songs, it’s the ultimate song, the greatest poem ever written.

So on a near-empty beach I sat down, started to read it, and wept.

I’d encourage you to re-read the Song of Songs – There are some parts that might scare you a little bit – not scary like monsters but scary because it describes the passionate, intimate, PG-13 rated love that exists between a man and a woman. What blows me away is that this is the same kind of love that Christ has for His church. Not just an  obligatory type of love that we have with our relatives, or a surface-level love we share with friends and acquaintances – God has a swoony, intense, passionate love for you, and for me.

Have you ever thought that this is how Jesus feels about you:

How beautiful you are, my darling!
    Oh, how beautiful!
    Your eyes behind your veil are doves.
Your hair is like a flock of goats
    descending from the hills of Gilead. 

You have stolen my heart, my sister, my bride;
    you have stolen my heart
with one glance of your eyes,
    with one jewel of your necklace. (SOS 4:1,9) 

I started to understand that this book in the bible is the ultimate song because intimate, passionate love must be the core of everything we are as followers of Jesus. My pastor Kent affirmed this, saying “We have to live from God, not just for God.”

So what about ministry? I was praying and felt the Holy Spirit whisper to me:

Ministry isn’t about what you do, it’s about what you be.

At first I laughed, because it doesn’t even make grammatical sense. But that’s just like God, isn’t it?

We’re not just puppeteers completing need-based projects, or soldiers obeying orders on the battle field. We’re called to first and foremost be lovers of Jesus. Jesus didn’t do, He just was. And in the same way, when we’re incredibly intimate with Christ, we don’t even want to do anything. We just want to be with him, to have him wrap us in his arms, to be overwhelmed by His love.

We don’t have to do anything to please Him – we just have to be.

No longer Kelly, volleyball player or Kelly, ministry worker, but simply Kelly, child of God.

Kelly, lover of Jesus.

It’s so simple. And incredibly freeing.

Will you take time today to read Song of Songs, as Jesus writing a love letter to you? But be careful – your little Jesus world might get rocked…