Friday, December 19, 2008
This song was running through my head today and I thought, "This is a chance to really believe that Jesus is who He says He is."
Growing up, you always hear of the "stories" the "concerns" that some face through trials. You know those physical hardships that make you feel like "Whoa, where did that come from?"
Today, something unexpected happened that made me question what God was doing. This was a wind of trial that I seem to be facing and something that I have to go through because I sure can't go around it.
This trial has even made me realize how petty all of my other problems in life are. My mind can't even think about them at the moment. They don't seem as important. All I can think of is, "Life is but a vapor."
Where is my hope when all of these things I am placing my trust in fail? What happens when the rubber meets the road and that song I once wrote about trusting in the Lord and placing my hope in Him always actually has to be walked out?
Well, today I heard the doctor say, "We're concerned about this. We are going to have to run some tests you may have..." Just the words, "you may have..." were running through my head as I was sitting on the check up table. As the doctor walked away to get the nurse to do blood work, tears began to well up in my eyes.
All the thoughts were swirling, of all the possibilities of what it could be. I felt so alone in that moment more than I have in a long time. The only words I could muster up in prayer were, "God I can't do this alone. Please just don't let me go through this alone."
It started last week when I found the "lump" on my lower right rib cage. I began asking questions to people who might know. I wasn't really too concerned thinking that it was probably in my head. However, a few days later, I started to feel a little pain.
Yesterday, was the worst of it and made me start thinking maybe something is wrong. I fell on the ground in the morning in so much pain, I thought I might have to go the emergency room, but then I thought about all of the teachings I had been hearing from Bethel church of all the healings! I began to take authority and rebuke the pain in the name of Jesus.
The Lord gave me enough strength to get up and start the day. I prophesied, "I will get up! I will go to work and this will not steal my day!" The Lord was gracious! I made the appointment for the doctor but of course they couldn't take me yesterday so today was the day.
I went in, and he said, "This lump is your liver. I believe it is enlarged. This concerns me." I was thinking, "Even appendix would be a better word than liver!" There you have it.
I am still in pain and my liver may possibly be swollen inside so it is hard to get around with ease. I took blood tests and I find out the results on Monday or Tuesday. The doctor is testing me for Hepatitis.
I am receiving prayer by the bulk so feel free to lift one up if you think about it. God is still good! I proclaim it! He has a plan and He is not nervous. I can trust in Him!
Please pray that this would result in nothing! There would be no Hepatitis and no complications! There would be no more pain in the name of Jesus! I love you all and I appreciate your support and concerns. Blessings!
Monday, December 15, 2008
"1But mark this: There will be terrible times in the last days. 2People will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boastful, proud, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy, 3without love, unforgiving, slanderous, without self-control, brutal, not lovers of the good, 4treacherous, rash, conceited, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God— 5having a form of godliness but denying its power. HAVE NOTHING TO DO WITH THEM.
6They are the kind who worm their way into homes and gain control over weak-willed women, who are loaded down with sins and are swayed by all kinds of evil desires, 7always learning but never able to acknowledge the truth. 8Just as Jannes and Jambres opposed Moses, so also these men oppose the truth—men of depraved minds, who, as far as the faith is concerned, are rejected. 9But they will not get very far because, as in the case of those men, their folly will be clear to everyone.
You know recently, I have been hearing a lot of talk about the "Red" campaign (www.redcampaign.org). Their goal is to help with AIDS victims in Africa and as an organization they have stated how much they desire to help these children who have died from this vicious disease. It seems really noble and it seems like the Christian would and should want to participate. I mean after all, they are doing something for the society of the world right? How could this seem deceitful in the hour we are living in today?
Perhaps it is because they are offering a false sense of justice? They are offering freedom from sickness and salvation from an earthly perspective. Is this the true salvation that we know to be true? Paul clearly warned us of this in 2 Timothy 3:1-9 and described the conditions in the Last Days.
The passage that stands out to me the most is "They will have a form of godliness but deny its power." He then continues on to say "HAVE NOTHING TO DO WITH THEM." If that is not a clear enough sign to the Christians, those who know Jesus Christ to be the true Savior of all of creation, I don't know what would be a more clear sign. Should we as Christians be so quick to jump on this band wagon of the "Red Campaign" with Oprah Winfrey and all of her "noble" works and Bono and his "noble acts?"
In the previous chapters before 2 Timothy, you will find in Matthew 24:3-5 Jesus describes what will be happening the latter days. "As Jesus was sitting on the Mount of Olives, the disciples came to him privately. 'Tell us,' they said, 'when will this happen, and what will be the sign of your coming and of the end of the age?' Jesus answered: 'Watch out that no one deceives you. For many will come in my name, claiming, 'I am the Christ,' and will deceive many.'"
I do not believe that this passage means most people will be coming up to us literally saying "I am the Christ." Although, maybe a few might try. I truly believe that this mainly means that people will be coming as one who can "Save." One who can be a "Savior" for our "Global Warming" problem or a president or organization who can "Save" the AIDS victims and those who are hungry in Somalia. Even better, what about a whole world in false unity with a false peace to "Save" the world and it's hunger problem! Brothers and sisters, if we do not offer the Kingdom of Heaven and preach Jesus Christ as the savior first, all of our efforts are humanistic and in vain. Without Jesus, there is no true justice, true peace, or true unity.
I promise you, if you set your gaze first upon Jesus and the glory of His splendor, He will begin to show you true justice. He is a God of justice. He cares about the orphan, He cares about the homeless, the hungry, the poor. He loves all people! However, we cannot bring true justice without preaching Christ as Lord and Savior first.
Therefore, we as Christians must take heed during this hour that we ourselves are not found deceived. In the last days there will be a great falling away as it is discussed in the book of Revelation, this means that many will be deceived by false truths and false doctrine with false prophets and false saviors. We must know the truth.
We can love the world, but that doesn't mean take part in what they are taking part of such as these false humanitarian projects. If an organization is not preaching Christ as Savior and offering a false sense of salvation then it says in the word, "HAVE NOTHING TO DO WITH THEM." I urge you as brothers and sisters in the Lord to pay attention in this critical hour what you choose to listen to, watch, read, and partake in.
May the Holy Spirit speak to us and open our ears to truth that we would discern the hour that we live and the urgency to know Christ and who He really is. May we prepare the way for the second coming of the Lord as John the Baptists in our day being willing with boldness, courage, and love to stand against the lies of the spirit of this age.
"Therefore be on the alert, for you do not know which day your Lord is coming." Matthew 24:44
Saturday, December 13, 2008
Why do I run from sitting and receiving His love for me? These past few days of consecration have been wonderful and the presence of Jesus has been so precious and sweet to me. I don't want these days to end. I don't want to go back to business as usual. I want to live in His presence. I want to trust in Him always. I want to live a life of devotion to Him. I want the grace to live a fasted lifestyle.
What is it going to look like here in this place? Here it is so easy to have social gatherings and don't get me wrong, they are wonderful, but sometimes I have a hard time saying "no" and getting away with the Lord. God has called me to a wilderness right now and I so often have been fighting it lately.
What am I so afraid of? Why am I afraid for it to be just me and God alone? All He has to give me is love, peace, hope, and joy that is everlasting. Why would I not want that? Do I understand His heart? If I truly did, I wouldn't run from Him, but I would run to Him. I am tired of fighting the very One who is after my soul and the very One who can satisfy the depths of my heart.
Oh God I long to be with You. I just don't care where it is. Please come and do what You have to do to make that possible. I will go wherever You call. I will walk away from that which You are asking me to lay down. I will choose to go Your way even if it means the lonely road. I only ask that my heart would not be cold and would not be dulled to Your Spirit. I have to be with You. This is what I was made for!
Friday, October 10, 2008
Recently, I have been asking the Lord a number of questions such as, "God, if I were to go overseas for an extended period of time, what would I be able to do about my job? Would I be able to come back? How long could I go? Where would you want to send me?" Then a few days ago, Darren in staff meeting was telling us how he met this minister in a particular Middle Eastern nation. He is also laboring with our dear friends, Josh and Julie, some of our missionaries with LIGHT International. Darren testified of all the amazing things Jesus was doing in this Muslim nation.
The story about the previous Muslim man was one of the most amazing stories of a Muslim coming to salvation that I had ever heard. As Darren was talking, I was daydreaming of this nation, the Muslim people, my head being covered, the beauty of that land, and the supernatural stories occurring there. The few countries that have been burning on my heart have been Israel and this specific nation which has to remain anonymous for the sake of protection.
I have been longing for years to go to Israel to help with the House of Prayer there and my other dream was to help Josh and Julie with their efforts to spread the Gospel and plant a church in this nation. Many plans have been contrived in the past for many destinations and some of them have been thwarted due to unfortunate circumstances in other countries such as India. Yet the dreams regarding the Middle East have remained in my heart always.
Ironically enough, today, Darren presented an amazing chance for me to help with the efforts in this Middle Eastern country. He asked me if I would like to go for not just two weeks, but for one month. Since this has been on my heart for such a long time, I, of course, said "Yes." He said, "When could you go?" I responded with, "Whenever you are ready to send me, I will go." LIGHT Internationals' mission is to plant churches in many unreached nations in the world who have never heard of the Gospel of Jesus Christ and Josh and Julie were our first missionaries to be a part of this vision.
This opportunity for me to go to this country would be one of the dreams I have had in my heart for a loooooong time. I would be under the covering of LIGHT International as I would help to encourage Josh and Julie in serving wherever they have a need and possibly helping with their music ministry.
They also have two young children and I have a heart to help support Julie with them as well while Josh is away. This is an exciting opportunity and I haven't felt this excited about going to another country since I left for Brazil. The nations have always been and always will be in the depths of my heart since the first time God called me to move here to Ft. Lauderdale, Florida to be equipped and prepared to go to the nations.
Would you please pray for me as I embark on this exciting adventure? I will be leaving January of 2009 and I may be returning February of 2009, which is not that far away! I am also asking if you would like to help me financially on this journey as I need to raise $2500.00 to cover my expenses. Would you be willing to help? If you are interested, you can write a tax-deductible check to LIGHT International and send it to the address listed below:
Attn: Mary Kat Conolley
PO Box 39267
Ft. Lauderdale, Fl. 33339
You all have been such an encouragement to me in my life and I would be amazed if you could join with me in spreading the LIGHT in this nation that needs to see the revelation of Jesus Christ more than ever before. In our day and in our time, the nations are waiting. Thank you and blessings to you all! Below are some pictures of Josh, Julie, and their beautiful children.
Monday, October 6, 2008
5 Surely for your lifeblood I will demand a reckoning; from the hand of every beast I will require it, and from the hand of man. From the hand of every man’s brother I will require the life of man. 6 “Whoever sheds man’s blood, By man his blood shall be shed; For in the image of God He made man. (Gen. 9:5-6)
Where there is shedding of innocent blood, there is no atonement for the land. There is a blood pollution problem on America’s soil. The most “dangerous terrorist” is not Islam, but God. One of God’s names is “the Avenger of Blood.” Have you worshiped that God yet? He loves babies. Nothing can wash away our defilement except the blood of Jesus
33 So you shall not pollute the land where you are; for blood defiles the land, and no atonement can be made for the land, for the blood that is shed on it, except by the blood of him who shed it. (Num. 35:33)
Annually, 46 million babies die from abortion worldwide. That’s approximately one baby being aborted every two seconds.
Abortion in the United States
An estimated 48 million babies have been aborted since 1973. Approximately 24% of all U.S. pregnancies end in abortion.
We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty, and the pursuit of Happiness (The Declaration of Independence). These words, written over two hundred years ago, became the very foundation of what the United States of America stands for. Yet in the past hundred years, millions of American citizens have been denied the rights and truths encompassed in this statement.
Note: statistics from Bound4life.com, sermon excerpts from Lou Engle.
Audra Elizabeth McKenzie was a young girl almost thirty, but full of life. Woes and hurts, of course, she had endured, but many would call her an over comer. She was a remarkable young woman who wore her heart on a sleeve, yet was never afraid to speak her mind even at the cost of offense. However, a battle always raged within her.
She knew right from wrong, but self-control was a weakness and somehow, she often found it quite difficult to restrain her words. Justice was of most importance and if one didn’t feel the same conviction, he or she would become the unfortunate victim of her most untactful criticism. She would best be described as a passionate woman of deep convictions. Most of the time, this would cause her great trouble in relationships. Yet, by the grace of God He had provided for her a sincere group of friends who loved her despite her shortcomings.
She was also a woman of great imagination. Of course, starting at the early age of ten, she began to create story after story as she viewed life through her fantasies, which were quite intriguing and dramatic. Depending on one’s perspective, she could have been considered a compulsive liar, however, others might have described her as an incredibly creative writer in the making.
One of her many stories caught the attention of a whole town, a city in fact. The whole city of Houston, Texas was led to believe through her own words that she was almost kidnapped. In her description to the police, she “barely escaped” from the brutal hands of a dangerous man. The story was that she almost reached his grasp, but yet was saved by her quick reflexes and running abilities.
Many of her other stories might have included her convincing her brother that she was the Anti-Christ and if he did not wear sunglasses during the eclipse, he was going to die and go to hell. She was a devious child at times motivated by drama and would sometimes make members of her own family the main characters of her top stories of the week...(more to come for the novel is in the making as we speak).
Sunday, September 14, 2008
With every season, comes a new one. Seasons begin and seasons end. This story is about 4 women living together in a house full of differences, eccentricities, quirks, and unique gifts on different journeys but walking together in life. This is a story of women and the many seasons they will endure. Maybe they come from different worlds, but their worlds are about to collide as they discover that God has a plan for them to be one. It's not just about the stories, but about how God can heal others through the love of community. We were never called to walk this road alone and these women will have the rare privilege of discovering an amazing treasure.
So...yes, I am writing a story, actually a book, perhaps a novel, or maybe a short story. I don't know how long I will be able to continue writing about the many stories, adventures, and journeys of the women I have the joy of getting to know. However, I am going to take this opportunity to do the best I can to reveal to you a journey of a Christian single woman in America and the trials of life in ministry, work, family, and relationships that she endures. They will discover that they can survive!
Perhaps, you, if you are a close friend, can help me with these stories. I am a bit overwhelmed as to where I am going to start. How many chapters? What topic is each chapter? These women: Amira, Juliette (goes by Jules), Audra Elizabeth McKenzie, and ...the other name is yet to be revealed as she is still in the making. I need your help. If you are a writer, please feel free to give your thoughts for those of you who know these 4 girls of Laurel Lane. It may take a few years for it to finally be released, but look out, it is coming soon to a bookstore near you!
Wednesday, August 13, 2008
I might get in trouble for sharing what's really on my heart. However, I want the reader to understand, that in ministry, none of us are perfect. I know you may know that, but honestly, what are some people's mentality? They put us up on a pedestal where we don't belong. I feel like I'm in an AA meeting where I have to say, "Hi, my name is Mary Katherine, I am a worship leader, and I have struggles." Who would have thought?
You think about David and his Psalms. What did the Psalmist do? He poured His heart out to God regarding his struggles. Yes, I like to write funny stories, have a good time, and love to laugh yet, there are difficult things I battle with deep inside me too that not many people see.
Not that I am going to share every struggle to this public audience no matter who you are and how close you are to me, but I would like to put away this lie that people in ministry have it all together. Let's just be honest...we don't! I said it! Sometimes, there are relationship problems regarding people you came to minister to in a city close to 7 years ago where you had no idea who these people were and how important they would be in your life.
You find yourself connecting with different people at so many different levels. Some people will connect to you in an intimate way more than others. Over the years, God changes your life through these people and the trials you face with them. People will come and people will go.
There are also some days, where it's hard to smile when you really don't feel like it. Yet, there are some days, you just gotta suck it up and trust God. In leadership, you don't have the luxury to just give up.
It's like a race. You fall, you get skinned up, and get back up. You have to be reminded that you are still in the race and it's not over yet. For most leaders in ministry, this pattern continues in seasons over and over again. Some people give up and just walk away. Others stick it out until the end. My hope is that I will be faithful till the end, but there are some who don't make it.
Recently, I have just been struggling. Battles have been coming my way and sometimes, they just seem too overwhelming. I have also realized that this journey of struggle has to be with me and God. At times, I seem to be fighting it though wanting people to understand and walk through the fire with me. It seems too much to face to go it alone and let Him into the deepest part of the pain in my heart. Yet, some journeys have to be with just you and Him. Some people call this a "Wilderness Experience." I don't know if you can relate.
In the wilderness, even day to day things, if I let the circumstances get to me, can become too much to handle. Sometimes I even think, "A break down is coming soon, I just know it!" Then, out of nowhere, there is another reminder of who I am and who He is in me and I end up surviving the trial. I even get the picture that my favorite Coach and Father is there to help me finish this race.
It's an image where I have fallen on my face flat to the asphault and then, God reaches for my hand. I barely grasp it, and He pulls me up. Except, He doesn't just pick me up, He holds my arm and runs with me! It's powerful to me and He always seems to show this picture at the perfect time just when I feel like I'm about to give up.
This is a race where there will be trials, there will be struggles, but we are gonna make it. We may even feel alone, but He is with us. One day, the words: "We shall overcome" will ring through our streets, in our homes, and we will actually believe it. We just have to keep our eyes fixed on the prize of the greatest man who ever lived and keep pressing onward. If we are in Jesus, we are more than conquerors...that's a promise.
Saturday, August 9, 2008
As I was walking out of the store, I noticed that the sky looked quite ominous and thought to myself, "I would hate to get stuck in this storm." I finally got to my car right before the floodgates of Heaven were unleashed, stuck my keys in the ignition, turned it, and you guessed it, it didn't turn on! Now that put a "damper" on my day, no pun intended.
What you may not know is this was not the first, not the second, but the THIRD time in a matter of 3 months that my car had been acting up. I was thinking, "When it rains, it pours." I was also thinking, "What the heck? I just got a new starter!" Fortunately, I had some very good friends to help me with my pickle of a situation.
I was quickly rescued but I needed to figure out what to do in the mean time. "Should I call Triple A, get someone to help bang on the starter, or jump start the car?" You know those thoughts that run through your head in times of car troubles.
When I finally arrived back at the church and called Triple A, I was quite distraught and very frustrated that this was the 3rd time happening to me. I was thinking, "God, of ALL the times that this could be happening, why now? Woe is me, woe is me!"
Let's have a really good pity party shall we? You can provide the cheese to go with my wonderful whining and dining! Yes, I was feeling very sorry for myself, when all of a sudden, a man and his wife were standing right in front of me looking as if they were REALLY needing help.
A few moments later, after I got out of my narcissistic cloud, I realized that they were homeless and needed a place to stay for themelves and their 2 children who had been living in their van for 8 weeks. The children were about to be taken from them because of their circumstance. The husband had a brain tumor, was on dialysis, and their house burned down in an electrical fire. Now, how much of the story was actually true, I don't know.
However, he had all of the proof that his situation was real and very serious. He even had medical documents and proof that his children were in their van. I talked with them for quite awhile and I couldn't help but have compassion on them. Especially the man who was longing to provide for his family but couldn't. As he began to cry, tears started welling up in my own eyes. One of the statements I will always remember him saying was: "We're just so tired."
I thought, "What do I know about hardship or being tired?" My problems just didn't compare to this difficult circumstance. We did as much as we could to help them and they went about their way. They did come to church that night, which I was so glad to see. However, I couldn't stop thinking about them. What was going to happen to their family? Would their children be okay?
Their faces were etched in my memory for life. What else could I have done for them? I didn't want to put a bandage on the wound, but I wanted to solve the problem. Could I have done more than just pray for them? There had to be more and there had to be an answer.
Anyway, it was just a moment in life where I took a good look at my own heart to see that my simple little trials that I have been facing could be so much worse. I should be thankful for all that God has given me. If I would just take the focus off of myself for a minute, what could I do? Could I let His Light shine instead of living a life of introspection? The Spirit of the living God lives within me. All I have to do is let Him out, and let Him have His way.
Thursday, August 7, 2008
Anyway, driving home tonight, I realized that the late night hanging out till 3:00 in the morning with "singles" my age or the 20 somethings never really has appealed to me. You know the big groups of people where you hang out till hours and hours in the late night?
My generation usually is known for this, but I just can't do it! Just give me a few people who I am really close to and give me a few hours of eating and chilling out. As long as I can get to bed by 11:00 p.m., it's way more attractive. I don't know if it's my age or if it's just how I'm wired, but I tend to gravitate to all the married people and their families. Oh well, to each his own...
Anyway, I was just staring at the lake contemplating the next chapter of life to write about as I usually do when I'm alone. All of a sudden from one of the homes nearby came the sound of old, bluegrass, country music that sounded what I think to be Hank Williams? No, not Hank Williams, Jr., Hank Williams. THE Hank Williams. Yeah, it was pretty classic country music. Now, I am thinking to myself, "Whoah, I love this stuff! I haven't heard this music in awhile!" Then I continued sitting there for a few minutes checking to see if anyone was hearing what I was hearing.
No one seemed to notice, so I just sat there, and smiled! I was laughing to myself actually. I thought, "Who listens to this stuff down here?" I felt taken back to the days in Alabama where that kind of music is usually common in most backyards or on trips to the lake, however, I felt like it was really out of place! As random as it was, I wanted to take in the moment as much as I could.
Have you ever done that? Wished you had a video camera to record the odd events in life so you could forever remember them? In addition to all of the music in the atmosphere serenading us as we laid out by the pool, I felt like I was in another decade but not quite sure if it was the 50's, 60's, or 70's. Perhaps, my bathing suit didn't help much as I was wearing a bright pink suit that looked like something Audrey Hepburn would have worn. Did I mention it had polka dots? I must admit, I did feel a little awkward.
Of course, this was not my bathing suit, but due to my forgetfulness, I had to borrow it from a friend who will remain anonymous. Not the first choice for me, but for her, yeah, of course. Anyway, I am losing my direction of thoughts! Oh, yes, so all that to say it was quite an odd day. This moment in history ended with me walking out to a little ditty from Toby Keith called "How Do You Like Me Now." Which, by the way, was classic if you know anything about this song. If you don't, I do, and that's all that matters in this particular circumstance and regarding my life at the moment. It was just funny and almost like a movie.
In closing, my goal of having a a good dose of relaxation and tranquility for the day was accomplished. I recommend it to anyone, but don't just soak up the sun, soak in the moment.
Thursday, July 31, 2008
Have you ever noticed that children are usually happy just being? They just are. I love playing with kids because it reminds me that I have a capability of being carefree too. I had a good time yesterday playing with Hezekiah and Silas, children of some really good friends of mine.
We jumped, we danced, we twirled, we leaped, we crawled, and even played hide and seek. Whew! I didn't know I had that much energy in me! I felt like a kid again. Now, granted, when I woke up this morning, I sure didn't feel very young.
I felt 80 something with sore muscles, achy joints, and a wounded back! However, thinking back to those few moments I had with those little toddlers, reminded me that if I could just find my sense of childlikeness, how much more joy I would have! I could just be and be okay with that! Talking to Tanya Brasington was encouraging this afternoon as we ate lunch over an amazingly scrumptious bagel sandwich of hers.
She said, "Ya know, it's being content in every season of life that keeps you going and gives you a better perspective." She is sooo right! In the midst of every season, there is something to treasure. As a season ends, a new one is already beginning, and you never can be certain when each will end.
Shall I take the opportunity to learn as much as I can while I have the chance? There is a beauty to be found in a season of ease, or a season of hardship. What is it that God has for me to see and experience? Perhaps it's the children who can show me the way.
Monday, July 28, 2008
Okay, so maybe I'm a little sentimental these days. Alright, so sue me! My best friend just moved to Kansas City, my other friends are moving on Thursday, my other best friend left me on my birthday to go to Mexico, my other friend went to Minnesota, another really close roommate of mine went to India, and all in the same week as my 29th birthday. Oh, and did I mention, I am going to my 10 year High School Reunion in August?
Did I mention that I will be going as one, single? You know like single cheeseburgers that you order at the McDonald's? "Yes I would like to order, not a double, but a SINGLE cheeseburger only!" I am not bitter, gosh I hope I do not sound bitter. Yes, I know that I am one AMAZING woman of God, so what's so bad about going to a high school reunion by myself? I tried to get my younger brother to go with me, but he is not willing to pay 50 bucks, (little cheap skate). Anyway, it is a mile marker year I tell you mile marker...
In closing, the other day as we were at yet another "See Ya Later" party with some of our friends sitting by the pool, I said out loud, "I should look at the sky more often." I was laying with my feet at the head of the pool chair and my head was laying where the feet belong just staring up at the sky. It was interesting the response I received after that comment. Robert Eiserloh: "That's why you get a sunroof! Those are nice!" James Hackney: "Why would you want to look at the sky here? You can't even see anything, no stars, no nothin." Johnny Sciara, "My car broke down once in the Everglades and as I got out to fix the problem, I saw the sky and it was so amazing that I just ended up sitting on the roof of my car for awhile staring at the stars. " It's interesting to see the different perspectives each of us have during different seasons of our lives.
Whether it be rain or shine, winter or spring, if I would just look up at the sky more, or go see a mountain, I might be reminded that the cares of this life aren't as big as I think. There are things much bigger and much more important in life than the worries of the world. "Don't worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself." The famous words from the most peaceful man that ever lived, Jesus Christ.
Anyway, all that to say, it's not too bad to think about your life once in awhile and the things that you should really be thankful for, but who will add an extra day to their life by worrying about it? Love the life God has given you, have a little peace, close your eyes, and just go to sleep. It's all gonna be okay, no really, it's all going to be okay.
Wednesday, July 23, 2008
Ya know recently, I have had a lot of time to reflect on my life the past 28 years going on 29. (Wow...) I've specifically been remembering the past 5 years I have been here in Ft. Lauderdale. I've thought about all the people who have come and all the ones who have gone. God having a purpose, of course, for each person being in my life.
In days past, it was always easier for me to say goodbye if I was going somewhere else. Sure, I missed them at times, but usually, I was better able to cope if I thought I had another exciting journey ahead to a new destination. As a child, I moved every 2 to 3 years because of my dad's job and well...you just get used to it.
I grew to enjoy moving after awhile. Now, however, I think about this week and my closest friends who are saying yet another goodbye. I've seen this time and time again, but something about these particular departures struck a cord in my heart. It's the people who are closest to me that I have the hardest time letting go. Sometimes there are those aquaintances and friends that you just let go of. However, these are different. They are my family.
Ironically enough, these same people are also the ones who heard me dreaming of my "call" to the nations and all the places I KNEW God would send me, but here we are today and they are off on their own adventures with the Lord. I am so happy and excited for them, but yet, I have to be honest, I feel left behind. Did I miss the boat? I just know I will go too, but why am I still here? In my mind, I just can't comprehend it.
Even James Hackney said to me Saturday at Mel, and the Weeks's going away party, "Ya know Kat, I thought we would be giving you one of these going away parties, but you're still here." I couldn't help but think, "Yeah, I am STILL here. What the heck? Why? Is there something wrong?"
In all of this, deep down inside of me, I know God is up to something. He's teaching me how to stop running away from the trials in life and escaping reality. I picture myself like the hamster. You know the one who is running, running, running on that spinning wheel, but getting absolutely no where!
I also liken the Lord to be like One who is keeping me on the wheel until I just stop running, rest, and trust Him. I also know, deep down inside, that He is making me face these fears of letting go to show me that I'm not abandoned or left behind. I haven't missed the Greyhound, but I'm right in the center of His will, painful as it may seem, and it is painful.
I have a friend who stays closer than a mother, closer than a brother, and He will never leave. These elementary teachings are so simple, yet so profound. How much do I truly walk them out in my day to day life? Yet, I have a hope and a glimpse of more understanding that God really loves me. The question, however, still remains, "When can I go Lord?" Then I hear a response deep within my soul, a still small voice say, "It's going to be okay, just breathe, I got this one."
Monday, April 21, 2008
Heather, Bianca, Steph, and me on our game night!
Bianca, Nikol, and me...
Bonding time in Delray Beach...
So I have just come to be reminded as of this week and probably every day of my life that God is soooo good! He has given me so many blessings that I just don't understand! He loves me when I run, He loves me when I hide, and He is not changed or swayed in any other direction, but He pursues me anyway! Wow! He is just so good. I have been blessed to have such an amazing house of girls! These pictures show the 4 wonderful roommates I have and one of my best friends! Each girl has a unique and beautiful personality and God is just so good! He has surrounded me with such an amazing family of people to live with and work with! I am just amazed!
However, I will not be seeing 2 of my greatest friends as much very soon. Stephanie is getting married in about a month, which is craziness around our house. We are all in the wedding and very excited about it! Melanie is also leaving for International House of Prayer(IHOP) in Kansas City, Missouri. Despite, all of these transitions, God still brings more amazing people in my life continuously and blesses me with even more great relationships! He is soooo good!
One of my best friends Melanie and me
Wednesday, April 16, 2008
Okay, so a few weeks go by... and another few weeks go by and all the while, I find even in the midst of continuous conversation with God, I have no fire anymore. The sense of the Holy Spirit is so dry. All the things I have tried to muster up Jesus showing up at the foot of my bed, didn't seem to work.
I prayed a prayer, "Jesus give me wisdom and revelation and open the eyes of my heart to see you!" A few weeks go by, however, and nothing seems to happen.
I then begin to question who He is. "I thought you liked me? I thought I was your favorite one? I thought you said, You wanted to come? I just don't get it."
Afterwards, I slowly move into a lack of faith, which leads to laziness, lethargy, passivity, and another going through the motions few more weeks.
Oh that my heart would not grow dull! I have to confess this here and now before the world, one of my biggest fears is that I will turn away from the Lord or my heart will grow cold. Why? Because I know the tendencies of my own heart to stray. If I know the tendencies of my own heart, I know the Lord knows them! He knows what is in the depths of my soul! He knows how deceptive my heart is, but yet, He entrusts me with so many things!
I am not saying that I am backsliding, but I will say how easily it is for me to grow comfortable in this life and how suttle it can creep in.
I found myself the other day curled up on the couch, watching the Home and Garden channel, trying to figure out which dream home I would like to live in, while drinking my Starbucks coffee, snuggled in my new blanket. I also found myself the other day walking through Anthropology (one of my favorite stores) and imagining having a wealthy husband to let me shop all day and enjoy the lifestyle of a cute dream home all the while looking great in my fashionable clothes!
Oh what dreams I have! What the heck? Not that I am saying any of these things are bad, but where is my heart dwelling? How easy it is for me to listen to a few Dave Matthews or Yael Naim songs and get caught up with a comfortable life instead of getting captivated by the presence of Jesus!
Where is my heart? Where your heart is, there is your treasure. Where the heck is my treasure? In this earth? I just have to resist this temptation that my life is a pottery barn, soccer mom, shops all day kind of life! Yet again, allow me to reiterate,these are not all bad things, but this is not where I am going!
You think I am being religious? Good, perfect start, maybe you should examine your own heart because the fact that you are prone to thinking people are religious is just another example that you are feeling too guilty, too prideful, and feeling too much shame to confess it to Him. Trust me, I have been you and I am you a lot of the time.
Let's get real people and fess up! We do not have time to be wasting away in a laty da laty da life! What makes us think that actually pressing into the presence of the Lord more passionately would be boring? What holds us back from going deeper with Him? Why is there so much stinkin compromise, lethargy, lack of motivation, laziness, and lack of faith in our hearts to believe that He is who He says that He is?!
He satisfies us! He really does! It's not about how I feel or even what I believe. The truth is that He really satisfies the deepest part of my heart and my every need. The more I run to other things, the more my heart grows distant from Him. This is the very misery that I could dwell in if I choose it. It's time for me to choose to love even when I don't feel it. It's time for me to believe...
Oh that my heart would not grow dull! Oh Lord keep my eyes on You, and please give to me a willing spirit and a steadfast heart that I would not turn away!
Wednesday, March 12, 2008
Many people will come and go in your life. You will have those who will run with you for a season. They will understand you for a time and they will tell you that you can make it! However, when the winter comes, you will look to the right and they will be gone in an instant. Then, you may look to your left, and your favorite running partner is gone too.
God will take them away only to make you look in one direction: right in front of you. It's only when the others are gone, that you can start to see the only One who has been running with you the whole time. The One who has pledged Himself to you more than you have to Him and more than any other.
Will you choose to run when husband, wife, mother, father, sister, brother, or friend has taken another journey, or a different path? What about if your leader, or favorite teacher leaves you behind to go their own way? Will you choose to stay on the path God has when this journey is only between two people: you and Him?
It's easy to say "yes" with our words, but when the rubber meets the road, will we truly stand the test? Will we let the winds blow on our lives with trial after trial and choose to be unoffended? Will we remain faithful even in the midst of heart ache? Better yet, why are we running anyway?
I have to admit, to answer these questions is painfully difficult because I am reminded of the times when it was so cold, dark, and I could not even see the light that was ahead. It was also like a valley and I couldn't see what was outside of it. It was like facing a mountain and not knowing what was on the other side. I thought to myself, "God, I just don't know if I can do this anymore. Is it worth it? I don't know what lies ahead. Can I trust you? I just don't know."
Maybe, I somewhat understand the pain that one must go through to get there, but am I still willing to answer? I say this in humility, but I think I want to choose to stay the course. No, I know I want to stay! I want to say "Yes" to Him no matter the cost. I declare this outloud to the world here and now! Wow, the weight of these words is pretty heavy even as I reread them to myself.
I have had many a winter, and I have survived them! I am still alive! I have seen the Lord's faithfulness when others have failed me and when I have failed myself. I have seen His faithfulness when I didn't know if I could keep running. He has sustained me through those times, He has healed me, and He has made me stronger.
In my young age, I am discovering that there is a true beauty in the refinement before the one is even refined. The process is difficult but so beautiful! My heart becomes alive when I am aware of my own depravity and my need for God. I know it is beautiful in His sight because the Psalmist said in Psalm 51 about God: "The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit; a broken and contrite heart, O God, you will not despise." In fact, He delights in it!
In closing, I just want my spirit to be alive at all times! I don't want to grow bored and complacent whether in lonliness, trial, happy times, spring, winter, whatever the season. I don't want to run away from Him or hide in my shame. I don't want to run to other lovers to have the ache filled in my heart only to be let down yet again!
I want to know this God myself, not just what others say. I want to have my own encounters with Him not someone else's. I want to lay my head down at night and feel that I am alive not just because I am breathing! He is my only chance to have this happen. I have no other options! I have no other choice. I must stay the course. I say "Yes!"
Saturday, March 8, 2008
I knew something was wrong when I began to hit the printer and yell at it, as if it could somehow respond to me with the right answer. "Come on, what is wrong with you?" I finally reached my limit after almost kicking the copy machine in the copy room to shreds only to realize to myself, "Wow, I believe we have reached the meltdown." "Here we are, so what now?" This, in turn, led me to have a long talk with God. I fell to the floor in the copy room, flat on my back just staring at the ceiling. That's all I could do was just stare at the light and talk to God. "Why the heck is this happening God? What's the lie I am believing? Where did this come in? What's the truth?"
You know, I have done so many deliverance sessions, that now I can do it on myself right? Sure enough, God showed me very clearly in just a matter of a few seconds. All it took, was me, laying down and stopping it all. I had to shut it all down, or completely shut down, one or the other. Once God showed me the root of all that anger coming out of nowhere as it sometimes does right? At least, we try to tell ourselves that it came out of nowhere. No, no, my friend, it came from somewhere and something that has been in your heart for a looooong time! He was faithful to show me.
I liken the Lord in my life right now as a Potter and he is daily pushing, prodding, molding, taking apart, mashing, and well, let's be honest, just adding pressure after pressure in my life! Despite how painful it is, He has a goal in mind: for me to look like Him, smell like Him, and be like Him. He has a goal for me to talk like Him and walk like Him. The pressure is a sign that He is working in me an eternal weight of glory within these momentary, light afflictions. Therefore, take heart! Why so downcast oh my soul? Put your hope in God. Be still my soul, be still and know that He is God. These few phrases remind me that even the man after God's own heart had meltdowns! It's a sign that Jesus is near and He is working and He is very close.
I will say it was pretty humorous when Justin Jarvis, walked into the copy room and found me laying there on my back just staring away! "What are you doing?" He asked. I just replied with a calm, "Don't ask." It had to happen, it just had to happen.
All that to say, the day ended much better. The Lord came in power in our worship time in the service tonight and we ended up closing it in corporate prayer at our new building we are moving to April 12th. We wrote prophetic words on floors that will be completely redone and we prayed over it. Someone even played the trumpet looking instrument and it was amazing! God really showed me that this is a season of sending out as we leave this "hospital as it once was" of healing at The Forum building we have been in for 3 years. It's time to send them out as we move out. It's just an exciting time, and it's not about me! What a relief!
Tuesday, March 4, 2008
I have been thinking lately, how long it has been since I have written anything at all regarding my life. However, today it all changed. I decided to create a blog to let you know about all of the many journeys I will be taking. I titled it "Seasons of Life" because all of us experience many different seasons in God and our walk with Him. Somehow we can all relate to that statement.
I have reminisced about the past year of 2007 and have reflected on all of the things God has done. He has done many good things. The breakthroughs I have received happened in the ways I was never expecting. Then again, God always does things in the ways we were never expecting. His ways are not our ways and His thoughts are not our thoughts.
Our Team in England
It was 2 trips to Redding, California; 1 trip to London, England; and 1 trip to North Carolina where the Lord showed me many things and opened my eyes to see Him more clearly.
Ministering in our own land is not exactly noteworthy from many people, but God has encouraged me in this place and has kept me on His path. I get quite a few strange looks from people when they ask me what I "do." "Missionary in the United States? Why do we actually need God here, I mean we have so much?" At times, when it has been difficult, He has been the Lifter of my head and I am here to say, it's worth it! It is possible to find freedom, joy, and peace in Him! He is real!
I am also here to inform you that there is a mission field here in South Florida where we are the second highest populated city of Jewish people, one of the highest populated cities of homosexuals, and we are a melting pot! We have the nations right here at our door step. Almost every week it seems as if South Florida is being talked about on the media because so many things are happening here. We need Jesus and we need a revival in our city! This is what we are contending for and this is why I am here.
My heart is mostly for the Church in South Florida to rise up in this hour and for her to be a light in this dark place. My heart is for the Church to find freedom before she can bring freedom to the captives in our land. My heart is for the Church to have a passion for prayer and to find a secret place in God where she can have power and authority to influence people when she speaks! I desire for her to walk worthy of her calling and to experience who she is as the apple of His eye!
In The Furnace With Our Team
On a practical note, to be able to pay my bills, I am still working in the Finance department with Accounts Receivable. I am learning a lot about numbers, Quickbooks, and budgeting. It's definitely helping me with my own budget and reminds me daily how much I need to surrender my finances to Him. God is also forming my character in this place of work.
My main passion, however, is being one of the worship leaders at The Harbour during our corporate services, home fellowships, and our prayer room called The Furnace. This is also work! I am being strongly encouraged to keep playing the guitar. I am being stretched in my playing because it's not exactly something I feel adequate in! Yet, again, God is showing me humility and He is anointing me with His grace.
However, in the midst of all of this "playing" He has been giving me new songs and I have written two more completed songs this year which is another encouragement to me! If you are a songwriter, you may understand how somewhat difficult it is to actually finish a song. One can have a million tunes, or words in their heart, but to actually have one that is completed is a challenge at times!
In addition, my heart for the nations is still burning strong. In fact, it is growing the more that I stay here. Especially, after I went to England for 1 week this past October 2007. We were able to minister to a Church there and we also spoke to Muslims in the streets there. I was again reminded of how much I still yearn to have the world know about the love of Jesus! I still long for them to be free as He has been setting me free!
I have been asked to go to India in September 2008 to minister to the women there involving deliverance. They are really oppressed even in the church. The spiritual climate is full of oppression, but God wants to set these beautiful Indian women free! We will have translators, we will pray, prophesy, and love on these precious people of God. I am really excited because this is a country that I have had many dreams about going and it has been in my heart for a long time. Now, is the time to go!
I am beginning to see the dream fulfilled! It's an exciting time. Would you pray for me? Would you join with me in advancing the Lord's kingdom in India? I need your prayers first and most importantly. Secondly, I need the Lord to provide with finances. It will be over $1,000.00 and I need help raising support for this next journey.
Afterwards, I will return and continue the work that God has asked us to do here in South Florida. Would you be willing to be a continuous supporter of LIGHT International with me? I am still in the process of trying to live on full-time support. My desire is to one day be a full-time worship leader, travel to the nations, and help raise up worship leaders here in our city who will abide in the place of prayer with Jesus.
Practically, I am still in the process of needing about $1200.00 more dollars a month to be full-time. This also provides for me to travel to the connecting cities we have relationships with to impart the passion we have for Jesus here in our music ministry and to teach people about the importance of being a Church who prays. These also involve other countries such as England, India, Israel, Honduras, Turkey, and Ukraine.
I thank you so much for your prayers. Please read this blog as often as you'd like and hopefully it will be full of more creativity as it develops. I love you and you are an important part of my life. I need you and I pray that the Lord blesses you always!
If you are interested in helping me financially you can e-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org. You can also write a tax-deductible check to LIGHT International and send it to our Post Office box:
Attn: Mary Kat Conolley
PO Box 39267
Ft. Lauderdale, Fl. 33339
Redding, California October 2007