Tag Archives: prayer

They Don’t Live Jesus Every Other Day

Even though I had yet to fully process through it, or barely even recognize it, seeing Jesus in small moments (that somehow weren’t small at all) began before I even left the Atlanta airport to head to Guatemala City.

live Jesus every other day

I had just posted this status update to Facebook:

“So early morning flights still aren’t my favorite. But really. How many other times do I get to sit in relative silence drinking coffee, staring out the window at a sunrise over Atlanta, and watching a city come to life? There’s something rather life-giving and refreshing about this moment. Preparing my heart to be fully present in every moment, encounter, and opportunity the Lord provides over the next few days. #serveguate”

And I meant every word of it.

I had just been sitting at the window near my gate (caramel latte from Caribou in hand) as the sun came up, spending some time in prayer, and specifically asking for help to be fully present in each encounter I was given.

But then I switched seats because I knew my friends and travel companions would be arriving from their respective flights soon.

I was texting, facebook messaging, and tweeting to keep track of of the rest of the team leaving from Houston, and I was looking forward to the moment when we would all be together in just a few short hours.

He approached me in a moment when my eyes were still glued to the screen … distracted and anything but fully present.

A Guatemalan himself, he started talking about all the gifts he was taking back to his family that were sure to be under-appreciated.

Truthfully, I have no idea why. I was only halfway paying attention at that point, and it took a couple of minutes for me to recognize that my prayer for being fully present in every encounter was being answered far sooner than I had anticipated.

So as I put my phone down (because those messages and conversations could wait…), the conversation wrapped itself around to why I was going to Guatemala. What would I be doing and where would I be staying?

I told him that I was going on a mission trip with a team of about 20 people to spread the name and love of Jesus Christ and that we would be staying somewhere in Antigua (but I didn’t really know exactly where). We would be serving in various places around Antigua as well as in Guatemala City in the community around the garbage dump.

He nodded and acknowledged that he knew the area and then began to explain how Guatemala City is divided into several different zones. I didn’t understand all of it, but it sounded interesting.

He then expressed his disapproval and disappointment that we were staying in Antigua. In his words, “It’s too American. You need to go outside of the city to experience true Guatemala.”

I said that I appreciated his perspective and that I would love to travel further outside of the cities someday.

But he wasn’t finished yet.

He began to describe the processionals – “They’re like a big parade. Beautiful. Colorful. Many days.” – that take place in Antigua the week before Easter. Holy week. He encouraged me to come down to see them one year. And to spend more time there. He was grateful that we were going to spend time in his country, “but five days is so short.”

“Because Guatemalans love to celebrate Easter, but they don’t live Jesus every other day of the year.”

And then he ended the conversation and walked away.

I’m not sure what this man’s name was and I’m not sure if he knew Jesus personally (though I got the impression that he did not, which made his observation all the more fascinating), but that’s not a conversation I will soon forget.

And I can’t help but pray that, by God’s grace, I would live Jesus every other day of the year.

Not just on Holidays. Not just on Sundays.

Every. Other. Day.

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I’m Headed Back to Guatemala … in Less Than 12 Hours!

That’s right. I’m headed back to Guatemala … and my flight leaves crazy early tomorrow morning.

I’m so looking forward to seeing and hugging some friends from the last trip in February, reconnecting with some ministry contacts on the ground, and meeting and serving with this whole new team that the Lord has brought together (seriously, we have prayed HARD at several different points in the process for this specific team that the Lord has gathered!).

But really, I’m mostly looking forward to just being in the Lord’s presence in Guatemala again and to joining Him where He’s already at work there.

headed back to guatemala

A few weeks ago, I began to feel incredibly uncertain about this trip. I could not for the life of me think of one good reason why I was going. I have no doubt it was the enemy attempting to get in the way.

But the Lord has been so faithful to remind me in small and subtle ways … through His word, through prayer and communion with Him, through His people … of exactly why I’m going. As if I should ever expect anything less.

When I left Guatemala in February, I knew I was leaving a piece of my heart and a piece of myself there. I fell in love with that place, and more importantly, with its people. I had no idea if I would ever have the opportunity to go back. But the impression on my heart the whole way home was that if God opened a door for me to go back, I needed to walk through it. I just had no idea that door would be flung so wide open so soon!

So, I still don’t know the specifics of why I’m going to Guatemala for the next five days. But who needs that anyways? I know without a doubt this trip is a step taken in both obedience and faith. And that’s a pretty sweet and freeing place to be.

I’m expecting God to work in big ways … in HIS ways … even if they aren’t big by my standards. And I’m expecting to serve Him according to HIS plans … even if they aren’t at all like my own.

This trip is His, and I can’t wait to see how He furthers His kingdom in and through it.

Would you join me in praying for this trip?

that this team the Lord has gathered would serve as one,
that the Lord would go before us and walk beside us the whole way,
that we would have eyes to see where the Lord is working and willing hearts to join Him there,
that we would love and serve those around us with Christ’s perfect love and servant heart,
that in the moments when we fear our own inadequacy and weakness we would immediately lay our fears at the feet of Jesus and press on in His strength and power,
that lives would be changed, that souls would be redeemed,
and that the name of Jesus would be boldly proclaimed in all that we say and do!

Thank you so much for partnering with us in this way. Prayer is so powerful and it truly means more than I can adequately express to know there are so many people lifting up this trip who are equipped with that sort of power!

I am not planning to blog while in Guatemala, and internet access will definitely be limited, but if I’m able, I will post updates on twitter (@emily_gallimore) and/or instagram (@egallimore), and I will look forward to sharing more in this space once we return home.

5 Things

1. Coffee shop conversation is my love language.

5Things

2. This quote has been swirling around my mind since I read it several days ago:

“So we don’t risk at random, jumping off any cliff. We risk jumping obediently where God says to jump.” – Jennie Allen

See the whole context in this post.

3. Apparently starting too many new things at once makes me anxious. Logically, I know there’s no good reason for the anxiety. And while I’m learning some good coping mechanisms (for the record, good sleep does wonders for restored perspective!), really, this hasn’t been something I’ve been able to fully attack on my own.

I’m beyond serious when I say I think there’s been an element of spiritual warfare in this. I’m entering into a new season of ministry (in more than one area), and I’m SO excited about all of it, but it’s also not something I can do on my own. Each ministry I’m involved in requires absolute dependence on Christ. Which is awesome. In the truest sense of the word. But I’m thinking the enemy cannot be too pleased with this heightened awareness of my desperate, moment-by-moment need to walk by the Spirit, and he seems to have been working on overdrive to fire his flaming arrows my way as a result.

But oh, the power of prayer in the midst! And when I have no idea what to pray, simply saying the name of Jesus over and over again is somehow enough. And perhaps more powerful than anything else I could possibly think to add.

4. After two weeks of complete silence in this space, I’m back at blogging and there’s some good stuff coming in September … starting Tuesday, so be sure to check back then!

5. And this. Because Jesus is so good, and we don’t even make sense apart from Him:

“I am the vine; you are the branches. Whoever abides in me and I in him, he it is that bears much fruit, for apart from me you can do nothing.” – Jesus
John 15:5 (ESV)

Beyond What I Could Ask or Think

I came home from a ministry meeting tonight with an absolute assurance that I had been in much more than just a meeting.

I was in the very presence of the Lord in that place.

beyond what I could ask or think

And I want to be intentional about capturing and remembering the beautiful and affirming moments that make up this life every bit as much as I want to honestly acknowledge the hard moments.

And this moment was beautiful.

As we all stood in a circle around that table to spend several minutes praying over a new season of ministry and new leadership, though it certainly wasn’t a flashy moment, it was a Holy Spirit filled moment.

It was good and it was powerful.

This summer has been hard. The Lord has been teaching me, stretching me, and growing me in ways that sometimes I’d rather He just not.

But this right here?

This new season of ministry, this new opportunity to serve?

It is nothing other than an answer to a series of prayers and desires I’ve had over years (years!) that I have often been too fearful or hesitant to even name as future hopes, let alone speak into actual requests.

But even that makes this answer in God’s perfect timing that much sweeter, that much more precious, that much more HIS.

I say it often – even when life doesn’t make sense at all – but y’all. Hear me say it in the good times, too.

God is faithful and God is good and God is sovereign.

And while I am quick to claim the truth of those statements … those promises … when life is hard and challenging (because it often is), I want to be just as quick to claim the same truths when life is good and all kinds of exciting.

And this is exciting!

Because in those precious moments of honest prayers from a roomful of fellow leaders who love the Lord and want more of Him and are willing to pour themselves out into the lives of others, I knew I was there for this.

This is what I was made to do in the right now of today.

And I didn’t get here by analyzing the heck out of my circumstances, or perfectly executing a five year plan, or having a clear idea of what this would look like.

I got here because seeking the Lord without an agenda (or much of the time even a clue!) allowed me to obediently say “yes” when the opportunity was presented.

And that is amazingly, beyond what I could ask or think, beautiful!

And this has only just begun.

God is so good.

Now to him who is able to do far more abundantly than all that we ask or think, according to the power at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, forever and ever. Amen.
Ephesians 3:20-21 (ESV)

Graffiti Summer: Broken for Others

As we enter another week of Graffiti Summer Study & Do, we begin by following Moses’ journey from fleeing for his life to encountering the LORD at the burning bush. Here, Moses is called to go back and serve his people. He questions and doubts, but in Moses’ own brokenness, God equips him for the task of going back and leading his people. Alene talks more about this here.

DO Assignment: Serve as you see a need according to what God has laid on your heart.

graffiti summer broken for others

But this brokenness for others. It doesn’t just happen in a week. Oh, it can happen in a moment of the Holy Spirit’s choosing. But it grows and builds and develops and matures over time. A lifetime.

I’m not exactly sure of the first time I experienced being broken for others … though that one evening at the men’s shelter in downtown Baltimore the summer after 8th grade stands out as a moment where the brokenness ran deep and stuck.

But while I can identify several poignant moments and seasons of brokenness since then, they rarely come when I’m overly prepared or looking for them.

Sometimes they show up in the midst of serving others. Sometimes they interrupt my vacation.

But they always seem to occur when my eyes are fixed on HIM. Not when I’m seeking out those to serve, but rather when I’m looking to Him with a willingness to join Him where He’s already working and a readiness to say “yes” to whatever or whoever He brings.

So as I prayed over the assignment this week, asking the Lord to show me where I needed to serve and who I needed to be broken for, His answer in the quiet of that night when sleep just would not come shouldn’t have surprised me.

He gently reminded me that I was already entering into a “different” place of serving out of brokenness.

The Lord has laid on my heart an area to serve that I can’t share here yet. But it’s not something I can just decide to do one day and then go do it the next. It’s one of those areas that will take significant preparation. And since I’m very early in the process, there are still a lot of little things that must be done.

And while it’s easy for me to fall into the trap of thinking I’m not actually doing anything because I can’t fully launch just yet, the Lord spoke encouragement to my heart that night that all of this preparation, all of these small tasks, are necessary. And yes, they do take time away from serving in other areas, but that’s okay. Because this is where He’s leading. At least for now.

Now, don’t hear me say this gives me a pass to not meet needs and serve others and get out of myself just because I’m preparing for something else. Not at all. But it does mean that I don’t have to try so hard and spend so much energy looking for the next place to serve.

Because He’s already given me a glimpse into that. I just have to be faithful in completing the steps of preparation and to trust Him as He leads to the final destination.

So this week, my DO assignment is to stop procrastinating (yes, just like Moses had to…) and send the next email and have the next phone conversation. To be faithful in preparing for this next assignment HE’S given.

What has He laid on YOUR heart?

5 Things

5 things - brownies

1. I made brownies last night. For no reason at all. From a box. Because really, brownies are the one thing that I honestly think just turn out better from a box than from scratch (and I have tried several different recipes hoping to disprove this trend). So if you have a from-scratch recipe that you think is better, send it my way!

2. Have you considered joining me for the Graffiti Summer Study and Do challenge? You definitely should. It’s going to be good.

3. I’m reading the book of Nehemiah right now with the She Reads Truth community. I did a quick read-through of the book a few weeks ago as I was anticipating reading through it slowly on my own. And yes, when I start a new book of the Bible during my daily time with the Lord, I typically do a quick reading of the entire book first for context before I slow it way down. But when I noticed the #shereadstruth plan was Nehemiah, I decided to read along with their 17-day plan (with the YouVersion app).

It’s been great so far, and I have been so encouraged by Nehemiah’s commitment to prayer through every life situation. He prayed boldly, fervently, specifically, expectantly, and often. Such a powerful example!

4. I’m going to see Iron Man 3 this weekend. What movies have you seen lately?

5. Happy Memorial Day weekend!

Love One Another. Even Just the One.

“And this is his commandment, that we believe in the name of his Son Jesus Christ and love one another, just as he commanded us.”
1 John 3:23 (ESV)

love one another. even just the one.Photo credit: Alene Snodgrass

For the past several months, I’ve been intentionally asking the Lord to give me opportunities to love people more and to love people well.

He’s answering that prayer, though differently than I anticipated, I think.

It seems He’s answering in the simplest way imaginable (though it’s really not simple at all). By bringing just one individual to me at a time to love more and to love well.

He’s leading me to discipleship with just the one (or two), to praying for just the one who needs to read each blog post, to being fully present in each moment so that I can invest in just the one in front of me, to making a difference to just the one instead of one thousand.

It takes intentionality. It takes vulnerability.

It requires me to be all in.

It may not be building much of platform or making much of a name for myself.

But it’s showing Jesus to that one. It’s kingdom work. And it’s beautiful.

It may not change the world. But it may change that one.

And I kinda love that.

“Beloved, if God so loved us, we also ought to love one another. No one has ever seen God; if we love one another, God abides in us and his love is perfected in us.”
1 John 4:11-12 (ESV)