Category Archives: Uncategorized

Embracing Weakness and Suffering

In the church, we often avoid the topics of weakness and suffering. We sometimes even act as if it’s not God if something is going difficultly. In the Bible, we see people embrace their weakness and pain. David never hid his pain, he poured out his heart to the Lord throughout the psalms and confessed his anger, pain, and desperate need for the Lord to break into his life. Jesus Himself embraced weakness at the cross as part of the Father’s will. What would our lives look like if we embraced the difficulties that came our way? Although it might sound odd, I think we’d have a lot more joy—instead of trying to hide our pain, we’d allow ourselves to go through the trial and search for Jesus in the midst of it—instead of asking Him to take it away or suppress it out of our thinking. I’ve found in my life Jesus rarely removes trials and suffering completely, but rather waits for me to come to Him in the midst of suffering to get His perspective. As we find truth and purpose in the trial, we will rediscover the joy of our salvation and are able to comfort others in their trials. Our journey is all about fellowship—fellowship with the Father, Son, Holy Spirit, and others! It’s not about not having trials, it’s about growing and communing with God and one another in the midst of it. Embrace your weakness and struggle today, asking God to help you find his perspective! Always believe for the fullness of breakthrough, and continue to persist, even in the most difficult trial. You will find God in surprising places, and you WILL find victory.

In Spite of Me, Not Because of Me

God has been leading me in a season of humbling and breaking me free from a performance mentality. He’s been showing me that He works in spite of me, not because of me. I have been in situations recently where I have felt ill equipped or unprepared, even tormented in my mind by insecure thoughts, yet God really moved in that situation. It’s a good lesson to remember that my strength comes from God, not myself. And, it’s not all about me being perfect, it’s about being faithful. Sometimes, you don’t have anything to give. And all you can do is just show up and ask God to help. The great news, He does!! Be encouraged that God is working in you and through you, even this very moment. In our weakness, He is strong.

Putting Feet to My Faith

Serving dinner at Hope City

Serving dinner at Hope City

In the last several weeks, we’ve putting feet to our faith through various activities and outreaches. Here is a snapshot of what we’ve been doing:

-Orphan Justice Center (OJC): We went with OJC to a local children’s center and hospital to minister to (mostly) foster children with emotional or behavioral issues. We played games and just had some fun, which is a nice break from the kids’ very structured schedule.

-Hope City: My team went to IHOP’s prayer room in the inner city. There were many broken people with addictions in recovery. I was blessed by individuals’ open, real, and joyful hearts to the Lord in the midst of their difficult circumstances. There was no pretense in their attitude. We participated in their service and helped serve dinner.

-Evangelism: I participated in an evangelism outreach and had the delight and honor of leading a young girl named Brittney to the Lord!

-Prophecy and Healing Rooms: IHOP has ‘prophecy rooms’ and ‘healing rooms’ where people can receive ministry, and as interns, we have the privilege of receiving training and practice to facilitate these two ministries. Believers can still hear God’s voice today and perform miracles through Christ’s power. Prophecy involves hearing God’s thoughts and heart toward others and is meant to encourage, exhort, and comfort (1Corinthians 14:3). In 1 Corinthians 14:1, Paul says to eagerly desire spiritual gifts, especially prophecy. We have begun to practice prophesying over each other, and it has been amazing and encouraging to hear God’s voice for others. Matthew 10:8 also instructs us to “heal the sick.” It has been challenging for me to step out in this area, but my heart is stirred to do this very thing because Jesus himself says in John 14:12: “Very truly I tell you, whoever believes in me will do the works I have been doing, and they will do even greater things than these.”

In the midst of all these great experiences, walking out the 2nd commandment to love others, God continually reminds me in my times at the prayer room to keep my focus on the 1st commandment, to love Him with all my heart, soul, mind, and strength. I long to always go to the Lord for my worth and value and not to my success or effectiveness in ministry. A wise man once said: “I am loved by God, and I am lover of God. Therefore, I am a success.”

Planted by Streams of Water

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Roots from a tree can only grow deep if they are planted by the water and given the proper nutrients. As Believers, we must be intentional in planting ourselves by things that give us life. Having more of God often means having less of other things. Sometimes, desiring more of Him can permit Him to remove comforts and things in our life that we lean on more than Him. We enter the Kingdom through many trials and tribulations.

Just as I have begun to grasp and embrace the challenges of being here in this season, some of the same questions were back in my face again this week. Just over a week ago, I had a car accident that demolished my car. Tuesday, I went into an interview expecting an open door to work with a non-profit organization I was hoping to plug into, but I found out that no paid positions are available. Doors closed. Provision, uncertain. Direction, little to be seen! I wish I could say that I responded to these situations in perfect peace, but I have had quite a battle this week. Yet in all of this, I see Him growing me in love and trust. He’s been asking me the question, “Am I enough?” I have said, “Yes, Lord, You are enough!” Well this conviction is being tested in my heart right now through these circumstances. Is He enough when I don’t have the convenience of a car or the comfort and security of the future? While I know these things logically to be true, my faith is being tested experientially through these circumstances. All I can do now is intentionally plant myself by the river, lean on Christ, asking for truth and guidance. As I position my heart to hear from Him and not turn away in disappointment, I know He will speak and make my path straight.

“But blessed is the one who trusts in the Lord,
whose confidence is in him.
They will be like a tree planted by the water
that sends out its roots by the stream.
It does not fear when heat comes;
its leaves are always green.
It has no worries in a year of drought
and never fails to bear fruit.”
Jeremiah 17:7-8

Praise Reports:
-No injury to either party in accident
-Looking forward to a pleasant visit home to PA to see family in December
-I’ve been extremely blessed by my new friends out here in KC

Prayer Requests:
-Healing from the trauma of the accident
-Provision for car and living expenses
-Wisdom and direction
-Peace for family members who have had various stressors and difficulties

Trusting Him…Even More…

As, I am writing this blog, I am already a month in to the second part of my internship at IHOP. God has made it clear to me that I am to be here, and I am in a season of trusting Him in all things, especially for my future. I continue to spend time in the prayer room and am gleaning wonderful truth in my classes about who God is and how He wants to use me to bring His kingdom to earth as it is heaven. I am slowly starting to realize that Heaven is an ACTUAL place that exists NOW, and that as I pray and worship, I join the angels and elders in the heavenly throne room in adoring Jesus. As part of the training, we are also preparing to do some outreaches and are serving on the ministries teams. I will share more as we step out more into these opportunities. What a wonderful adventure this has been!

He’s doing so much in my heart. Growing in confidence in who I am. Stepping into my identity and authority in Christ. Going deeper in the Word. Finding joy in the place of intimacy and intercession. Knowing Him. Knowing who I am. Fellowshipping with Him through the joy and even tears and pain.

A main theme scripture in this season that I have been clinging to is:

But whatever was to my profit I now consider loss for the sake of Christ. What is more, I consider everything a loss compared to the surpassing greatness of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whose sake I have lost all things. I consider them rubbish, that I may gain Christ and be found in him, not having a righteousness of my own that comes from the law, but that which is through faith in Christ–the righteousness that comes from God and is by faith. I want to know Christ and the power of his resurrection and the fellowship of sharing in his sufferings, becoming like him in his death, and so, somehow, to attain to the resurrection from the dead. ~Philippians 3:7-11

I’ve laid much down to enter this intimate season of the Lord and there is much uncertainty, but He continually reminds me that it is SO worth it! I’m reminded of Jesus’ 30 years of preparation before entering 3 years of His short but powerful ministry. How much more do I need this season of preparation?

Thank you for continuing to share my journey with me through prayer and financial support. Thanks to the many who have generously gave, prayed for me, and encouraged me. You are such an important part of this journey.

Blessings in His Love,

Marie

PRAYER REQUESTS

Continued provision, wisdom, and guidance for future

Deeper confidence of my identity in Christ

 

The Latest!

I Lift Up My Gaze…

I lift up my eyes to the hills– where does my help come from? My help comes from the LORD, the Maker of heaven and earth. He will not let your foot slip– he who watches over you will not slumber… Psalm 121:1-3a

The Lord continues to teach me to look to Him for everything—affirmation, wisdom, strength, joy, provision, etc. This call has stretched me beyond my own abilities—I have been realizing my desperate need for Him and how helpless I am without Him . Apart from Him I can do nothing (John 15). Through all the ups and downs of this internship, God has shown Himself faithful to my heart.

He Cares for Me and Enjoys Me!

Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? Matthew 6:26
God made me and created me. He didn’t make me only to leave me to my own devices. He made me to enjoy me through relationship. How much more will he provide for that which He created and enjoys?

An Invitation to Partner…

As I venture on to the 2nd part of the Intro to IHOPKC internship, which starts at the end of this month, I have been connecting with many of you in reaching out for financial and prayer support. If you have not yet had the opportunity to respond, please prayerfully consider how the Lord may have you be a part of this journey.

Personal checks can be sent to my home address—simply email me marilo2@mail.regent.edu for the address!

Tax Deductible Donations can be made through a check written out to IHOPKC or International House of Prayer and mailed to:

IHOPKC, Missionary Support
3535 East Red Bridge Road
Kansas City, MO 64137

Please note: For donations to be tax deductible, they must NOT have my name written on the check. Please put a little sticky or scrap of paper in the envelope with my name on to identify it.

Any amount you could sow into this season would be such a HUGE blessing!

Thanks.
Blessings and love,
Marie