Thursday, August 13, 2009

A New Season...

You can almost feel it. You know? When the seasons change? Autumn begins to roll in, the air changes, the leaves turn colors, and a crisp cool breeze begins to blow in. You know it's coming soon.

It's maybe right around the corner. One day, you'll wake up, and it's a new season. I have been feeling like that alot lately. The air is changing, it feels like a cool breeze is moving in and it's still in the dead heat of summer.

I am a guitar player, so it's important to keep my left hand fingernails very short. However, during my break that I had from leading worship, I let my fingernails grow. Oh how pretty they were! I had tons of fun and felt so much more feminine with long nails and clear nail polish. It was somewhat invigorating.

However, getting back into the swing of things, I have had to cut my left hand nails short again. For some reason, I couldn't cut the nails on my right hand. Why? They looked so nice and pretty, but today it all changed. I suddenly felt the urge to bite them all off and file them down. It felt good to have a fresh start you know? A new day.

When I go to see films I can't help but find prophetic significances in them most of the time. I just happened upon "500 Days of Summer" tonight and realized, at the end of it, the significance of the names in the film, such as: Summer and Autumn. Such names represented seasons of life!

The story was about a boy who discovers who he really is. Yet, while watching the movie, you almost get the sense that it's about a boy and a girl finding love, going through trials, but hopefully working it out. However, it doesn't end that way. Sorry to ruin it for you. He doesn't win the girl, or marry her off and live happily ever after.

Instead, he realizes that this girl: Summer, just wasn't "the one." He discovers his identity through these unfortunate circumstances and through a broken heart. He, in fact, only grows stronger and comes to a realization that he needs to go after his true dreams.

I could also totally relate to his cynicsism, at one point, throughout the film. After, his break up with the "love of his life," he was down with love. He hated everything about it and thought that all of his hopes of finding true love were only a myth.

Yet, in the end, he discovers that it's not that true love doesn't exist, it's just that the person he thought it would be with wasn't meant to be with him. My reality the past few years has been just that. What do I have to lose to be vulnerable for a moment?

Heart ache is hard and painful. In the midst of it, you feel as if you will never get over it. However, the season changes, and you realize that you will and your life will continue on. The truth is, "it just wasn't meant to be." Is that so hard to admit? This is sometimes a reality for someone's heart and, to be honest, there is a comfort which can be found in that statement.

Therefore, I feel as if it is a new season. At the end of this particular movie, he meets a girl named Autumn and the season changes for him. He begins to have hope again. This is where I am, not just regarding "true love," but in day to day life.

Perhaps regarding every dream I have ever had. There is hope. There is change. It's a new day and the old is gone and past away. THIS makes me smile and causes me to have a great expectation of what is to come.

Revival...Do You Know What This Means?

I awakened this morning after a series of crazy, vivid dreams. My mind was thinking about numerous things, but I couldn't help thinking about revival. I kept saying the word to myself, "Revival, revival." What does that really mean? You see in our "Charismatic circles" as some like to call it, of course I would prefer "Circle of Friends," however, this word "revival" is thrown out a lot.

We are definintely going after this more than ever in our city. You hear us praying for it during our times of prayer and every service we have at our church. I wouldn't say it's the reason I moved to South Florida, but since living here, the Lord has revealed to me that there truly will be a revival in this place though it appears to be a dry and barren land sometimes. "We see dry bones, but He sees an army." (Ezekiel.)

I saw something on the internet the other day that a friend of mine wrote about a city she didn't want to live in. She said, "I hate ______, I woud love to watch it burn." Wow, I thought. That was such an intensely, riveting comment about the place she lived. How much death was she speaking over that place with just her words? I then began thinking about all that was happening when the revival came to Lakeland, Florida one year ago.

I was remembering all of the amazing things God was doing in that place and in many people during that time. I was also thinking of the time Todd Bentley said "There is going to be a revival in ______", the same city my friend had just said she would love to watch burn! God wants to visit many places in a powerful way and we don't believe!

As I began thinking about the Lakeland Revival, I remembered how my roommates and I used to race home just to be able to watch the revival with eachother on the webstream with our little laptop computer. We would sit there for hours, singing, worshipping God, praying for one another, listening to the teachings, receiving from the Holy Spirit, feeling some pretty amazing things, and laughing.

We even drove a few times to Lakeland, sometimes during the middle of the week, knowing that we had to work the next morning. Crazy, amazing, God stories, and even my roommate and I got healed of some things at the time! It was awesome! All we wanted was God and our hearts were awake!

I realize that this particular revival in Lakeland, Florida ended on a discouraging note with the fall of Todd Bentley and much confusion taking place afterwards. Yet, I couldn't help but think of all of the amazing things that took place. Todd was calling out city after city to receive more of the Holy Spirit and we would begin crying out for those places with him! That was a time when the Lord was really speaking to my heart about how powerful my words are regarding what I say about people and places.

We wanted God to come during the revival and I still believe He will and He is even now. We began speaking life over the dead places in our nation, which is why that statement of wanting to watch a city burn is so detrimental! We need to speak life over places, not death because God will give them to us for His glory if we ask. "Ask and I will give the nations to you." This is what He tells us to ask of Him! This is His desire more than our own!

However, allow me to continue discussing the meaning of revival because it seems as though we got a taste of it. I looked it up in the Webster's Dictionary and here is what appears to be the definition: "The coming again into activity and prominence." Definitions also used in different languages of the world are "Awakening, renewal, rejuvenation, recovery of strength." One of the Middle Eastern languages actually said, "Shaking up." I love that definition!

Therefore, we know that a true revival is shaking things and waking things up! We, in Ft. Lauderdale and, particularly, The Harbour Church are seeking the Lord for a sustained revival which means a continual movement of renewal, rejuventation, recovery of strength, shaking up, and waking up, most importantly, in our own hearts! We are believing God for a revival that is not built around one man at the pulpit who has gifts and seems anointed.

We are not after a revival where if one man falls, it cannot continue to move forward. No, we are seeking God for a true sustained revival that will last until the day of Jesus' return. This is intense if you think about it! Yet, this what Jesus is doing in our day and in our time. I do believe we are living in the last days.

As we who are followers of Christ know, the enemy is raising up an army right now to come against the Lord. Yet, the Lord is raising up a mighty army as well who will be stronger and will defeat the enemy because it says "Greater is He who is in me, than he who is in the world." "He who is in the world," is referring to Satan of course, the one who is reigning on the earth but only for a short time. The enemy knows his time is short.

Therefore, all this to say, we throw the word around "revival," yet the implications of what this means are huge! When the true revival comes, we will know the time is near. I also believe that as times get incredibly more difficult as they already are, this will be the Church's finest hour to shine, rise up, and have a renewal of strength. In the midst of persecution and trial, there will be great victory. Yes Lord, send revival to our land!

Monday, August 10, 2009

Little Blue Pig, Little Blue Pig, Why Do You Bother Me So?

For my 30th birthday, I received a Piggy bank from a good friend of mine. Needless to say, it was a hit at the party. We all tried to come up with a name for it, however, I think "Little Blue Pig" suits him fine, (that's right, it's a boy). Anyway, every morning when I wake up, I see this Little Blue Pig on my bookshelf.

We come eye to eye every time I lift my head up from my bed! It haunts me almost. It is a reminder of my dreams. You see, that day my friends put coins and money in it for my upcoming goal of going to the Middle East. It was the cutest Piggy bank I had EVER seen! The pig and I are becoming somewhat aquainted more everyday.

He won't let me forget what is to come. It's as if God uses this pig to motivate me at the start of my day to not give up and continue to dream, to continue to hope. I wonder if he can help me raise more funds for the Middle East. Hm? Little Blue Pig.

Sunday, August 9, 2009

A Sudden Inspiration To Dream Again...

So I have suddenly become inspired to write. After an amazing movie I watched with good friends called "Julie and Julia," I felt as if I received a gust of wind in my lungs and words came rushing to my head like a great waterfall. I almost didn't know what to do with myself. I was in this amazing discussion with the girls after it was over, but I couldn't fight off the urgency in my heart to write!

My heart was pounding and my chest felt tight, but in a good way. I had to leave. I got in the car to go and I put the pedal to the metal harder than I ever have in awhile! I couldn't seem to get home fast enough. The blasted red lights stopped me every five minutes which is so common here in South Florida, but I set my face like flint to the finish line: HOME.

I was not going to let ANYTHING get in my way. Not even my meowing cats who greet me everyday at the garage. NO, my white little Toyota was going to hit the drive way and I was going to make it to my room in front of my computer in record time, no doubt. I felt like such a fool running past the girls in the living room as they were watching their movie, but in the moment, I just couldn't help myself!

When I was driving and the words were rushing through my brain, I thought, "What shall I write about?" "What do I really have to say?" Now as I sit here in front of my computer with the sounds of chattering keys on the keyboard, I find myself at a loss for words to convey what I am feeling!

Oh my friend if I could truly write about what I am REALLY thinking sometimes, I would. However, in my position, I don't have the luxury or freedom to spout off my mouth just to ease my mind. It doesn't come so easily for me, but ONE DAY, I tell you, I will publish a book and it will reveal some of my thoughts and what I REALLY think at times. That day is not here and it will probably be when I am gone, but until then, I am left with subtle hints and "putting a lid on it" to state it bluntly.

Usually, I find myself inspired with the sounds of the "Pride and Prejudice" soundtrack resounding in the background, but lately, I have discovered my inspiration coming from the sounds of a foreign land in the Midde East. The sounds of traditional music there move my heart to see pictures and nations and oh sooo many things.

I long to see the world and, one day, I am going to write about all of my adventures. I hope this doesn't sound narcissistic. I just have been reawakened to one of the many dreams in my heart that has been there for a long time. Out of many of them, it is to be a WRITER. Perhaps, no one will ever read what I am writing even now. Perhaps no one cares. Yet, I feel in my heart that SOMEONE will and SOMEONE will be inspired to go after their dreams.

Oh to dream again, is all I keep feeling for this season. Despite all of the odds against me in this moment, all of the decisions that need to be made, and all of the deadlines that have to be met, I feel a desire to not lose hope of my dreams.

I, Mary Katherine Conolley, am 30 years old and feel a sudden burst of confidence to dream as BIG as I possibly can, and I suddenly feel that most of them, if not all, WILL be accomplished by God's grace of course. I feel this so strongly right now that I have to write it down for the world to see so I will have no excuse of not remembering! 'Tis the season to come alive again. Until tomorrow my friend. God's speed.