CONFESSION for the CHURCH

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After receiving multiple requests for a transcript of the confession I read at IF:Gathering, I thought it best to post here. With trembling hands, these words poured out flying in the clouds Feb 10, 2014. I wasn’t sure I would ever share them, but felt pressed this was the time. May we hold these words gravely, deeply, and ask God to reveal which refrain applies to each of us. I have grieved these words many times, for I bear their sin. Praise Jesus the RESURRECTED life begins with our confession. Much love, Rebekah

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We carry weight and we don’t even know it.

The fullness of you isn’t complacency. The fullness of you isn’t guarded. The fullness of you isn’t defensive. The fullness of you gives back. Gives more. Smiles often. Extends a hand. Holds head high and lifts arms higher. Jesus’ fullness is the brightest part of you. It radiates. It beams. It stares death and shame and hardness in the face and it MELTS it.

You know when you meet people, and you encounter resistance, before a word is ever uttered? That person is in bondage, whether or not they know it. Extend them grace. Clothe yourself with humility. Smile first, offer a hand, give them a lift. For Jesus met this resistance head-on. And the least of these lept toward him like a moth to a flame. Where He splintered the hardness and ignited their souls.

This. Is. Possible.

For everyone. Why would we ever doubt it? Look at Paul, who set out to TAKE life from the church, was blinded by Gods brightness and then GAVE life for the church.

Why would we expect anything less?  It’s no different now. In our limited capacity we thought it impossible to relive the early church, but turns out God has a new plan. He’s rebuilding his church yet again, by destroying the temple pillars. The institutions. The mega-machines. The consumerism and the church-in-the-box. Because they were greedy and arrogant, yet cowardice in their conviction. Where is the conviction of men? Of women? Where is the anointing of the Holy Spirit? It’s gone. It’s been stripped away. Because man has played God, and God will not tolerate it.

So run to the fledgling. The young and the pure. The decentralized. The marginalized. The least of these. Run to these churches and minister each day. Each and every day like in Acts.

There are no royal temple priests anymore. Which means there is no royal mega-church celebrity anymore. The priesthood is offered to anyone and everyone that confesses with their mouth The Lord Jesus, and that God has raised him from the dead. The depressed, the blind, the homeless, the sick, the victim, the trafficked. THEY BECOME THE PRIESTS. THIS IS GOSPEL.

That ALL men and women. And hear me, I also said women, can now enter into the Holy of Holies and can never be separated from the love of God. People, stop idolizing man, and man, stop being made an idol. Stop rushing back to your green rooms. Church is not a rock concert. Stay and minister to everyone that asks. Because it is a PRIVILEGE AND A GIFT TO MINISTER. Pray over people until your heart has bled dry. And then ask for another measure of anointing to keep going. You should be SO FORTUNATE that God has entrusted you with this task to minister.

For we are the ones that can break this cycle. We are the ones that can reveal our arrogance. We are the ones that can cast our pride at the throne of grace and RUSH back to the feet of Jesus. May we stop enabling sin in the name of “ministry.” May we stop skirting it under the rug in the name of “relevance.”

May we, God’s holy people, Get on our face and beg the Holy Spirit to bring back our conviction, or we will lose all authority and platform. It will be taken and given to the lowest and the least who hears the word of God and receives it.

This, then, my friends, is where the first becomes last, and the last becomes first. For in Gods army, only the weak in flesh, but strong in Spirit, will stand. Amen.

Online Bible Study Access Here!

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UPDATE – if you are thinking about hosting a #freefalltofly study in the near future, all prior videos are available at links below to view at your own convenience. No rush. Just jump in anytime it works for you or your group!

Week 1 – Introduction

Week 2 – Life Unsettled

Week 3 – Freefall

Week 4 – Naming Fears

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When Lifeway approached me about creating a Bible Study for Freefall to Fly, I was over the moon. This has been a labor of love, and we are so grateful for the result! After eighteen months of teaching in churches around the country, where leaders often created their own “Freefall Group Studies”, we wanted to create a simple way for women to discover their gifting in the context of community.

The question often asked is, “How do we build the kind of rich friendships necessary for these deeper conversations?” The response, “One must lead with vulnerability, and invite others to join in.” I pray this tool will help make that happen…in living rooms, coffee shops, or weekend retreats!

The study offers video content that examines our callings, and how they birth where our talents and burdens collide. My favorite part is when we call this out of each other, when we are too close to see our gifts, or too afraid to name our burdens. This eliminates copying, competing, and comparing when we call out the uniqueness of each person. No two sisters look the same! Amen?!

Currently we have women joining in 48 states in America and 15 countries. Please note that the ebook is the best format for international participants, as shipping is cost prohibitive. Join us??

DETAILS: Every Thursday, from January 15 through February 26.

  • Register here to be notified when it’s time to “meet” each week
  • Purchase a Freefall to Fly Member Book or an ebook version here
  • Watch a new video each week summarizing each chapter offering insights on the content
  • Participate by answering questions in the comments

We’d love for you to gather a group from your church, your neighborhood, your school, or your workplace to do the study together. We believe that Bible study is more effective (and more fun!) in community. If you cannot find a group in your area, no worries. Join us by offering your responses in the comments each week. We trust you’ll enrich the discussion, and connect with new friends!

Stop performing for love.

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I love this time of year. Most years, that is. The energy, the zeal, the screen refresh.

This past advent, however, I found myself hanging onto 2014. It seemed we had unfinished business. Not regret, mind you, but more of a searching to understand. I needed to resolve what was stirring. Apart from speaking on the road, I’d crawled into my virtual shell, hiding out online, steering from blogging, because I couldn’t wrap 600-800 words into a tidy bow. The days weren’t so tidy in 2014. When all your seeking only brings more questions, you tend to just shut up.

The Lord met me in the silence with promises, most mornings like manna in the wilderness. I’d span from lament to exuberance in a single hour. While the noise of social media seemed deafening, there were online truth tellers that kept me going. I found real life conversations with new and old friends asking the same, “What was He up to in this world?” and in the meantime, “How could He possibly love us so deeply?”

When we moved from New York City to Nashville in August, friends kept saying I was entering a season of rest. This is not something a runner wants to hear. It feels like you’ve been benched, or worse, you’ve tripped in your lane while the others go whizzing by. All my life, my worth has been determined by what I do. So I begrudgingly entered the small town of Franklin, drove around aimlessly those early days in my minivan to carpool, to Publix, to gymnastics and wondered what in the world just happened to my “fabulous” life. It is excruciating to admit. I confess.

Right about that time, Trina sent me the book Abiding in Christ, by Andrew Murray. Written in 1895, I like to read books by dead people. They cut through the noise of today. It was a timely love letter on the relationship between the vine and the branch, with each page dog-eared, underlined, circled, highlighted and exclamation pointed! As the fall unfolded, I heard the words loud and clear…

Stop performing for love.

In the season where we begin again with to-do’s and goals and ambitions, the Father asks us to rest assured. He wants us to stop trying so hard to matter. He’s got this. We already matter, from the moment he carefully crafted us in our mothers womb. His love is so powerful, so overwhelming, so great. Yes, be BRAVE. Absolutely. But in order to do so, meditate on His words day and night. He is faithful. He goes before us. He draws us close. As 2015 dawns, these are the words I pray settle into my soul…

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You are my beloved. I ordered this from the beginning. I love you with an everlasting love. Nothing you can do can shake that. You can strive, you can perform, you can impress, but you don’t need to. Please stop. Just fix your eyes on me. I have everything you need. Fall into my arms. I will fill your heart and satisfy your soul.

I am good for it.

I crafted you with such intention, because I have plans and purposes that only you can accomplish. I long for communion with you because I want to reveal these to you. I chose you, from the beginning. You are the one. The one I pursue with a relentless love.

I don’t need your temples, your burnt or sin offerings, Jesus took care of all that. But I do need you. All of you. Every hidden, broken part. Tell me what breaks your heart, because I already know anyway. But your confession reveals you are letting me in. I long to graft you into the vine of Jesus, a union that can never be severed. Then you’ll remain in Him, and He in You. Further, I’ll keep you there. You don’t even need to stress about abiding. I’ll take care of it. This is my will.

1 night. 6 talks. 60 cities.

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In the midst of packing boxes, loading trucks and relocating families across the country since June, the Q team is still busy as bees, with laptops humming on floors, coffee tables, lawn chairs, you name it! Time keeps ticking whether or not we are settled, and today we are THRILLED to launch our newest offering, Q Commons, bringing the experience of the national gathering to cities across the U.S. and around the globe in one evening.

On Thursday evening, October 9th join 10,000+ participants in 60+ cities as we gather to enjoy an evening of vision, learning and engagement. Alongside Tim Keller, Ann Voskamp and Andy Crouch leading off the evening with 3 nationally broadcasted talks, 3 locally curated Q Talks will be presented addressing cultural issues and topics that matter most in your city.

It’s not often we have the opportunity to come together with our neighbors, friends and colleagues to be educated and inspired to advance the common good in our very own community. Check out a city near you and join us!

Grateful for this new season for Q,

Gabe, Rebekah, Lance, Hannah, Rob, Katelyn, Peter, kids, babies, and of course, dogs.

Playing our Part

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Rwanda has always been near and dear to me. I’ll never forget my first time visiting there, eight years ago when Kennedy was only ten months old. I sat in social services a month prior, nursing her for the last time while I waited to get the yellow fever vaccine, with big ol’ tears streaming down my face. I knew I couldn’t nurse after getting the vaccine, and I also knew Kennedy was my last.

Yet something compelled me to GO. That week changed me, with the breathtaking views in the land of a thousand hills, visiting women entrepreneurs with HIV, loving on orphans in schools, hearing stories of the survivors of the genocide, visiting wells, and even a crazy day of trekking gorillas.

When I met Natalie with Africa New Life over coffee in New York City this past January, the tears started flowing again. This country, these people, stirred something massive in my heart. The grief they bore twenty years ago, and the reconciliation and resolve that has followed suit. I listened to Natalie describe the Esther Home and the women being raised up to lead in that country. These were exceptional young women who demonstrate Christian character, leadership and academic rigor. They are genocide survivors, orphans, and the poorest of the poor. She also explained how a college degree in Rwanda ends the cycle of poverty, but attending college is cost prohibitive. Without scholarships, these young women would not be able to get a college education.

You can imagine how thrilled I was to learn of a tangible way IF:Unleash could participate in supporting the women of Rwanda.

DETAILS:

What IF… 1600 of us gave a one-time gift of $30 and impacted these women for a lifetime?

This would provide scholarships for two women in Rwanda to attend a four year college.

They would also live in the the Esther Home, receive leadership training, learn basic finance management, and serve/learn in community together.

Will you join us by July 1 deadline?

Ann Voskamp, Lauren Chandler, Esther Havens and I will travel to the Esther Home in Rwanda this September and meet both of these women and introduce them to our IF:Gathering community via video. We are so excited and grateful to see what God has in store for both of them. Thanks for being a part of something beautiful today, I pray each you are blessed by your generosity and faithfulness!