Ever get that lonely-bored-unproductive-time-wasting middle of the night feeling? I think it’s like looking in a mirror and realizing there’s something else there, deeper and maybe hiding behind your reflection. The something is a barren soul.

“You find me in the night….”

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Thanksgiving Escapades 2009

My good friend Danika and I have created a fan page on Facebook called The (Mis)Adventures of Dani and Chris to document some of the hilarity of our friendship. Below is a note that we posted on Thanksgiving, I thought some of you might get a laugh:

I have breadcrumbs in my underwear.
Danika has pepsi in her hair.

Strange? Quite. But not if you had experienced the last three hours with us. See today was Thanksgiving. Dani came over to Chris’s house late morning and had a cup of coffee with grandpa, discussing the word…..in spanish. She went to work. Chris went to sing in the prayer room. They each had a Thanksgiving meal in different places, eating lots of turkey and goodness and spending quality time with friends.

Around 10pm we met up, and together with Audra made our way to Shiloh for a bonfire. Props to Jacob, it was a good bonfire. We enjoyed us some heat, burning logs, burning tires and laughs with friends. At one point we stole down a sneaky little path discovering a very sketchy makeshift bridge over a marsh (one of the upper lakes at Shiloh) and observed the bonfire from our stealthy vantage point until we got cold. Around midnight the three of us decided to go home and sleep.

That lasted about as long as it took us to get to the car. With one single “I feel like we should Seran Wrap one of these cars” all thoughts of sleep vanished. Truly folks, adrenaline is better than a 6 shooter. Unfortunately there was almost NO seran wrap at the Styles house so we gleefully made our way to Walmart. Audra has unsuspectingly discovered that the bonfire had disbanded with most of its members landing at the Scoggan house. We had found our target.

We boldly parked outside and ran to prepare our prize: Jacob’s car. Unfortunately Susie happened to walk out of the house mere minutes later…… to use Jacob’s car. But everyone knows that Susie is awesome, she was TOTALLY on our side, sneaking back into the house to get someone else’s keys, and left us to finish our dastardly deed. But as everyone knows, Susie is also easily swayed. A few minutes later she changed sides, deciding it would be better to TELL Jacob, having him come and catch us in the act. Which he did. He also carried cans of soda, spraying us with sticky carbonated syrup as we tried to muffle our laughter in the cold 1 am air.We had a good laugh together, he pulled some of the wrap from his car, and we began to clean up the mess in the street…..until he went inside. As he approached the door we quickly used the rest of our ammunition and decided to make a second trip to Walmart to commandeer more weaponry.

This time we made sure to get enough for 2 cars, feeling the need to redeem ourselves. We bought 12 more rolls, oh yeah, and a couple of cans of silly string. Really we felt rather proud of ourselves as we made our way back down blue river…..for the second time, and again parked on the street and began to finish the work we had started. I’m not gonna lie, it was pretty amazing. But as you all know, pride comes before the fall. Aaaaaand everyone knows freaking Jacob Burkhalter (aka, we were ratted out again). And again, we found ourselves attacked with Pepsi and also pelted with rolls as Kyle came to Jacobs aid.

It was funny. We ran, we laughed, we screamed, we counter-attacked with Silly String…… and then convinced Jacob to not tell as we went and did one of the other cars. It might have worked. But it didn’t. In the beginning stages of the job we found ourselves discovered, for the THIRD time in three hours, and again pelted with rolls which we blatantly ignored. Well, Dani and Chris blatantly ignored them, Audra on the other hand was thoroughly distracted which proved helpful to the two of us as she kept Kyle busy with the rolls and we continued to work on the car……with the uncaring owner staring out the windows. #fail anyone?

Three hours, lots of money, two trips to walmart and three failed pranks, but you know it was fun. Of course, Kyle did crumble a roll down the back of my shirt, thus the crumbs in my underwear. And Dani & Audra did get soaked with soda, thus the pepsi in her hair. And this may have started a war that we may not be able to 1) keep up with and 2) finish, but all in all it was a successful misadventure. Happy Thanksgiving everyone.

***Addendum added on November 28, 2009***
We would like to extend an apology to the Klopfenstein’s who van we unknowingly caught in the crossfire of soda and silly string. Remember kids, it’s not funny if the neighbor’s have to pay for it…

4 minutes

to write this post and be in the prayer room.

The soundtrack of this week is Redemption Song by Jars of Clay

Temptations lose their power when Thou art nigh, I need thee I need the I need the every hour.

This morning I drove my sister and her boyfriend do the airport for them to fy to Wyoming for the Thanksgiving Holiday. Holiday’s without family members are lousy, and I don’t like the idea of spending a single one with all of my family not with me. Thanksgiving 4 years ago Katrina was in Arizona and we took family photo’s, leaving a space to photoshop her in. That never happened and seeing the picture with the empty space always leaves a rock in my stomach.

Today I sat in my first Meeting for Awakening Teen Camps this summer. I just want to say that I love the team! The youth of this nation have no idea what is about to explode out of Kansas City this summer. I am blessed to be counted in the ranks of such men and women of God.

4pm. I am off to the prayer room for the next 6 hours. Oh how we love You Jesus, and want You to return.

Full of Family

Half of the Collier clan was in town for the weekend. This morning I woke early and made pancakes for them, Danika joined us and the two of us sent them off to early service, took naps and woke in time to pour cups of coffee and run out the door for the Youth service. Mike had agreed to bring the kids and come to Youth with me after they got out of church, and I was as excited as if my own family had come with me. Afterwards they took me to an Indian restaurant for lunch where I was mostly excited about the true Indian Masala Chai. It will never cease to amaze me how blessed I am simply by time with this amazing family.

Fast forward 7 hours. Katrina and I find ourselves in the familiar Roberts kitchen with a large clan of people, eating fresh just-killed-yesterday venison, talking and laughing with all the kiddos (this is a photo of me busting into Charlotte & Olivia’s facebook photo fun) and adding to the general chaos.  Hours later, I’m confessing stories from last spring when I stayed with the kids while Stephanie & Brad were in Lakeland and the girls are roaring, arguing over details of the stories. My heart was filled by their screaming.

On Wednesday my grandparents are arriving from Texas to spending the holiday with us, followed a few hours later with my parents oldest brother. This thanksgiving we will host the most people to ever fit into this house, and it will be gloriously flavored with my grandfather’s mexican laughter, and my grandmother’s fiesty smile. I will be singing a set on Thanksgiving and am so excited to have them in the room and praying the Lord will touch them with His presence. Our dream is that they will stay a few days, and maybe JUUST maybe we’ll be able to carve out some time for making Tamales with my grandfather.

To be cool like David Pawson I’m not going to tell you where, but  (insert sweet old man British accent) in the book of Philippians (exit accent) Paul says that his joy is made complete when the body of Christ is like-minded, and loving one another. I think that’s when my joy is complete too. The Lord is renewing the hearts of the body in this city, and I’m loving being with people more than I have at any other point of my 4 years here because our heats are unified and in love with Him. We can’t quit talking about Him, can’t quit sharing the stories of what He is doing in our lives and in each other’s lives and I love it. My heart is growing more and more tender, feeling more affection and love for the people around me as I see the love of Christ Jesus blooming inside of them and making them new.

Jesus wants a bride, His father wants sons and daughters, and my heart too is full of the love and fellowship of family. Thank You for love Jesus!

All my little sisters

I’m the youngest of four. When I was very young I would plead with my mom to have more children and somewhere around the age of 8 she explained to me “Daddy and I…..can’t….have more babies.” That was the day I began to try and convince my parents to adopt.

I’ve been adopting for as long as I can remember. Sometimes because a younger boy or girl would work their way into my heart so intimately I would call them my own, sometimes because I knew the lost always need a home.  At 10 I told my mother that all of the orphans of Europe would be mine and I still believe it.

The Lord has blessed me with some  GREAT younger brothers but today I’m thinking about my sisters.

I met Natalie 4 years ago, she was 15 and drop dead gorgeous. I remember God telling me that she knew how to love well before I knew almost anything about her.  Nat is #4 of 13 kids and the oldest girl. She lays her life down day after day after day serving her parents and siblings. Ive watched her sit at a piano and usher the presence of the Lord into that massive house with her worship. Now she’s 19, still beautiful and one of my dearest friends. I’m thankful for the joy that explodes from her being and the way she teaches me to serve.

The first time I saw Annie she walked into TheCall house to attend our staff meeting and I knew 2 things: 1)She was very nervous and 2)I liked her. She worked her butt off volunteering for TheCall DC and TheCall CA, and I’m pretty sure we could have gotten in trouble with child labor laws, except she did it all out of love. That and she bakes a mean coconut cake! Annie spent the last year as my “late night friend”, joining in on nearly every one of my midnight urges to get icecream, or be ridiculous. I love the way I can startle her into laughter and how her hands move when she’s nervous. She is one of the classiest college freshman’s I’ve ever seen and her deep desire to dwell in the heart of Jesus inspires me daily.

But today, today I’m really thinking about Emily. Looong, brown hair, big dark brown eyes, I met Em 2 days after her family moved back from AL where she’d spent a year at The Ramp, and she just drank up the presence of God. She was 9, I had just done my internship at IHOP and she watched me like she could see into the depths of my soul. I learned healthy fear that summer, it drove me to spend very intentional, long times with Jesus from the fear that I wouldn’t know Him more than her. I came before the children of the church with real fear that I didn’t know Him enough to offer them anything.

Emily would watch me worship and dance beside me. Most often she could be found sitting at the altar of church with her eyes closed, just listening for the voice of the God who she loves. Sunday mornings I would come to church before the early morning prayer meeting and she would greet me at the door, wrap her arms around my waist and stay that way for an hour – wherever I went she’d just walk with me, arms around me listening to whatever I had to say or just sitting next to me.

One of the last conversations we had before I moved back to Kansas city went something like this,

Ms.Chris, when you record a cd can I have the first copy and will you sign it?

I don’t think I’m ever going to make a cd Em.

(insert pause as she considers this.)

Well, when you record a cd can I have the first copy and will you sign it?

I’d never met anyone who believed in me with such admiration and affection. She did ATC this summer and I literally couldn’t believe she was 13, so grown up, so beautiful and she still had that look that put the fear of God into me. All week she has been in KC and tonight sat by me during the renewal service, eyes closed just listening, and I followed her example. She leaned over at one point, laid her head on my shoulder and stayed there for about an hour as i quietly prayed over her, for the love of God to dwell in her heart.

My heart burns for young people to encounter God. I love children, I love teenagers and I will lay down my life for them to know the Lord of all Creation and be His friend. If living my life boldly before the eyes of God, doing everything out of the love for Him and giving everything inside of me to see revival come and the holiness of the Lord branded on the hearts of a generation will help to give them entrance into His heart than I will do it! I want to always live in a way that encourages them to love Him with everything. I want to burn with holy fire so that they can burn with holy fire. Amen!

Rustling Leaves

  • The Lord has been pouring out His Spirit on the students of IHOPU, and the IHOP-KC family in a POWERFUL way for 7 days now. My heart alternately cry’s and marvels at the testimonies of dramatic deliverance happening in the hearts of men and women and the healings that are occurring literally every day. Many are being baptized and we are beginning to see salvation coming due to these funny (literally – uproarious laughter funny) meetings happening each night. If you have not heard of what is going on, that’s ok! You can watch from 6-midnight each night if you click here.
  • Every night after 6 hours of ministering to those responding to the different alter calls and alternately being ministered to, I find myself ravenously hungry. After a few nights of going out to eat with some friends we decided instead to take turns cooking providing the crew with 1)food 2)the ability to NOT waste cash at Buffalo Wild Wings 5x a week and 3) good old-fashioned, sitting round the table community. It’s been good for my soul. We eat and laugh and continue to talk about Jesus and fellowship together in His Spirit. There is nothing like the community of the brethren.
  • I am watching my friends come alive. No really, I am watching their hearts being completely healed, set free and set ablaze with life and the love of God and they are seriously like new beings. Surely we are living in days of watching the New Birth.
  • Due to all of this, I’m finding myself more tired, more thirsty and more hungry than usual. With 6 hours of ministry at the end of each day I have also found myself eating less, cleaning less, sleeping less and today I was “clean-clothes-less”. SO, I took tonight off, ran a BUNCH of errands, got groceries and other things that I needed, gave the dog a well over due bath and did my laundry. An old pastor of mine used to say “Sometimes the most spiritual thing that you can do is take a nap.”
  • For those experiencing this exciting “Awakening” here’s a few tips from Joanna: Drink lots of water, get lots of rest, and if your lower back hurts drink cranberry juice. She has a great post about this, and you can read it here.
  • This season has brought about a burst of community literally like none I’ve ever experienced in my life and I am very, very grateful for it. Why is this happen, and why now? I don’t really know, except that the timing of the Lord is perfect, and i began to notice dramatic changes after a time of deep digging, repentance and forgiveness towards those who have hurt me in the distant and not so distant past.
  • I’ve been volunteering on the weekends with Student Ministries, just showing up, praying and getting to know some of the kids. Most of you know I spent 4 years working for a large youth ministry and really love teenagers. BUUUUT, that was 5 years ago and I have had to have the Lord deal with real fear and pain in my heart to even think about stepping back into this game. I’m thankful that He is faithful to my heart and has done so much healing inside and in just the right time! The last few weeks have been much busier than my already packed normal schedule, but I’m thankful for it.
  • Onething planning has hit. I’m trying to stifle the anxiety of paperwork, schedules, purchase orders and SO.MANY.DETAILS. and am trying to remind myself to pray for the thousands who will come at the end of the year to receive from the Lord in our annual conference. And I have an added reason to look forward to Onething this year because…
  • I’m quitting my job, and Onething is the end of my year of serving for the Media Department here at IHOP-KC. I have truly loved serving the men and women who work so tirelessly for this missions base and the nations of the world as they broadcast through the webstream, but am ready to get out from behind a desk. This is a happy transition for me on several levels, one of them being…
  • I’m going to JHOP-DC in January. (insert hick accent) YUP I FINALLY FREAKING SAID IT ON THE INTERNET. My plan is to visit the House of Prayer in Washington DC for a time, strengthening their prayer room and laboring in long hours of prayer for revival in America. This may  not sound like a break after the last year, and it’s not. BUT the Lord has offered me a clean page for 2010 and I’m excited to write on it. (More on this later)
  • Tonight, I’m listening to the Redemption Songs by Jars of Clay and Dan Haseltine’s voice reminds me of my friend Tim Cone. You should visit his website or myspace and give him money so he can keep recording Jesus Music and give it away free.
  • FALL IS HERE AND IT IS CURRENTLY MY FAVORITE SEASON!! Egg Nog, Egg Nog Latte’s, Egg Nog Ice Cream, Pumpkin Pie Cheesecake, Pretty leaves, fires, sweatshirts and scarves, apple cider and hot tea and THANKSGIVING. Candles, Baking, Friends and Family *sigh*
  • My grandparents are driving from Texas to spend Thanksgiving in KC this year, since my brother and sister-in-law (Jeremy & Jen) are moving to Fredericksburg VA in January to serve the Prayer Furnace there.
  • The suddenly cold is causing my surgeried foot problems and I would appreciate your prayers. The limp is back strong, some mobility seems to be lost and pain that was gone has crept back in.
  • I’ve been so encouraged to have the word of God written on my heart due to my buddy Truman coming in 2nd in the Nation at this fall’s Bible Bee! Read about it here and be thoroughly convicted to know God 🙂
  • My friend Alyssa has shared hours of conversations regarding singleness and baaad ways to start relationships – living in a community whose dynamics resemble a small town yet focus’ on passion, intensity and not so much….friendship and normalcy causes….interesting things to happen. As for me, I am happy and will continue to encourage young people to not aimlessly date.
  • I am just link happy tonight! Click click click away!! Visit my friends blogs, read their cool stuff, and if you want to give them money because they are all missionaries and all hurting!! Bahahhahah!!
  • And with that, it’s 1.25 am, I just ate leftover Tomato Phillo Pizza that I baked for the after service crew the other night along with a glass of egg nog and I’m sleepy.

The End!