When The Day Of Pentecost Arrived, They Were All Together In One Place. Acts 2:1

10 Days, 5 Days and Unity with the focus on Pentecost

The 10 Days of Prayer movement that Jonathan Friz of Wisdom Way founded nine years ago began as a lead up to Pentecost. It now has a stronger emphasis on the fall 10 Days between the Jewish holidays of Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur. It has also grown to many cities from coast to coast and has jumped to Africa.

We on Boston’s North Shore have been involved from the very early stages because Jonathan lived here. We have been doing both the spring lead up to Pentecost and the fall 10 Days. The pastors who have been the most consistently involved for nine years sense the shifts the Lord has had in all our churches and personal lives and we know it is time to seek God’s face this spring.

 “He said to them, ‘It is not for you to know times or seasons that the Father has fixed by his own authority. But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you, and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth.’” Acts 1:7-8

After Jesus said that He ascended to heaven leaving them on the Mount of Olives. Acts continues…

v12-14 “Then they returned to Jerusalem…. They went up to the upper room, where they were staying, Peter and John and James and Andrew…. All these with one accord were devoting themselves to prayer, together with the women and Mary the mother of Jesus, and his brothers.”” [emphasis mine]

As the pastors and lay leaders met for prayer we feel lead to focus on Pentecost. Different from when Jesus left the disciples, but still significant, we believe it is time to come together in one accord like the early Church to wait upon the Father, Son and Holy Spirit to direct us.

Instead of a full 10 Days we believe the Lord is calling the Church of the North Shore to wait upon the Lord together for five consecutive days. We will not be in the upper room, but we will seek the face of God to direct us in these days many sense to be a new thing the Spirit is doing.

I will be posting the full schedule of locations on Facebook page for North Shore Prayer Watch when we have it finalized.

For now it is approximately May 3o – June 3, 7-9PM each evening.

I hope to see you if you are in the area!

you are beautiful

Why do I have a moderately crooked sticker photo today? I found this in a rather unusual location. I was in an airport restroom when I looked up and saw “you are beautiful” in front of me.

I was tired from preparing to travel, getting to the airport and then going through security. My first reaction was “Really?” but fortunately that was quickly followed with a sense of the Creator saying “Yes, Really!” At that moment my heart melted a bit and I found myself thanking whoever stuck it there.

I know, however, most of us need to be reminded of these kinds of foundational truths. I know I do. Too often we tend to hang around in some version of the following lies that the enemy wants us to believe*:

-I am a mistake.

-I am a burden.

-I am stupid.

-I am worthless.

-I’m not allowed to make mistakes.

-I must be approved of by certain people to feel okay.

-I don’t have the right to experience joy and pleasure.

-I don’t have the right to assert myself and say what I think and feel.

-I don’t have a right to feel.

-I am valued based on my intelligence, wealth, and what I do, not for who I am. [emphasis mine]

The truth is, too many voices feed us the lies, drowning out the truth. That’s why time in the word of God and with disciples of Jesus is so important. The Word and communities of believers feed us the truth about ourselves*:

-I hold myself in high regard despite my imperfections and limits.

-I am worthy to assert my god-given power in the world.

-I’m entitled to exist.

-It is good that I exist.

-I have my own identity from God that is distinct and unique.

-I am worthy of being valued and paid attention to.

-I’m entitled to joy and pleasure.

-I am entitled to make mistakes and not be perfect.

We can add to both these lists, but you have the idea. Be blessed with the truth that “you are beautiful.” Hold on to it, live into it.

On my way out I touched the sticker and prayed it will continue to bless people… I pray it touches you too.

*Both these lists come from Peter Scazzero’s, Emotionally Healthy Spirituality, [pp.53, 54] As I minister I regularly find these are true!

Secondary Things?

What are Secondary things? Maybe we start by asking what are primary things? The first commandment from the Bible is to “love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.” (Mark 12:30) That is true and good, but we are social beings and most of us are meant to live in society surrounded and involved in everyday life of family and work. This in turn necessitates dealing with people and money. (I am clumping most of the living we do into people and money, knowing full well the sub-sets are innumerable.)

An interesting photo: a rock in a flowing river….

People and money are arguably secondary things. The second commandment is to “love our neighbor as ourselves,” and money is one of the most talked about topics in the word of God. Both get messy at times.

So are secondary things bad? Not if we are told to love people and God gives us lots of wise counsel on how to manage money and property. At the same time, these secondary things can sap our time, talents and energy if we are not careful. If we give “too much” then we no longer have what we need to take care of ourselves. In turn we may find ourselves unable to function well in much of anything…primary or secondary! How much is too much?

The Word admonishes us to rest. It also promises us if we seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things [food, drink, clothing, all we need to live] will be added to us. (Matt 6:33)

Navigating life to keep God central without forgetting to enjoy life is a challenge, one I seek His face for every day. Every person is different with unique choices each day. No two days present exactly the same challenges and choices even when we have stable rhythms, routines and character defects. I believe the tension invites us in to a dynamic, intimate relationship with the one who made and sustains us.

It has never been about religion. It has always been about relationship.

Do we always get it right? No. But I hope we grow in intimacy each day as we dialogue with our maker, receiving the freely given wisdom that flows from the Throne of Grace.

Abba, In you we live and move and have our being. (Acts 17:28) I ask you to show us how the the whole of life is integrated. In your view the primary, of loving you with everything we have and are, and the secondary things of life, everything that makes our lives capable of bringing you glory, are not really ranked in opposition. Help us to be increasingly attentive to You throughout each day in new ways and to be aware of the flow of your guidance. Thank you for giving us life, with all its challenges. Touch those places in us that hurt from ‘messing up’ and from others ‘messing up’ on us. Thank you for giving us grace to let go and keep moving. Amen