The Hard Work Of Community {A Blog and a Podcast}

KarinaAllenPost

 

This past weekend I had the incredible opportunity of being a guest on the Feather’s Podcast hosted by Amy J. Bennett! I shared my story of  how I experience authentic community in my everyday life despite having lived a very isolated and difficult childhood.

We all know that community doesn’t just happen overnight. It’s messy and awkward. It takes time and effort. It calls for intentionality. Unfortunately, we are not always willing to put forth that time and effort or to fight past misunderstandings and pain or go the extra mile. When we don’t do this, we stay detached from the purposes of God within the context of community. And we stay right where the enemy wants us. He wants us to be disillusioned into thinking that no cares about us and that we are the only ones dealing with pain and trials.

That simply isn’t true! God never intended for us to do life alone. He created us for fellowship with Himself and with others.

There is a flourishing that only happens within community.

 They devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and to fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer.” Acts 2:42 

This verse in the book of Acts describes the grace found in the early Church. I believe this is still The Lord’s heartbeat for the Church today. He doesn’t call us to always to stop what we are doing to build community. Often times community is built in the including of each others in the mundane tasks of our daily lives.

My desire is for you to look for everyday opportunities to foster community. Look past the work it takes. Look past the moments of hurt and offense from others. Don’t let those times cause you to become discouraged and jaded about community.

The beauty of community lies on the other side of the struggle of community.

Hang in there. Don’t lose heart. There is a place for you where…

You belong.

You are welcome.

You are needed.

You are valued.

http://www.amyjbennett.com/2015/05/12/feathers-011-with-karina-allen-podcast/

I’d love to hear your thoughts on how you experience community in your everyday lives!

Let Us Not Forget

photo-1428452788387-375d846a8ab4Photo by Blake Verdoorn at https://unsplash.com/

I’m not sure if you’re anything like me, but I need reminders. I need them all day, everyday! Praise God! He is so patient with my forgetfulness. He doesn’t mind reminding me whenever I ask Him.

Have you noticed that no matter how long we have known truth, we forget it so easily? It doesn’t matter how old we are or how well we know truth, we all forget just the same. We all suffer from spiritual amnesia. Why is that? Why is that God can clearly communicate His truth to us and we live as if we never knew it?

Time and time again, I forget who I am, what He’s called me to do and how He has called me to live. Remembering or not remembering this truth affects every part of our lives. In many situations, this is a make it or break it deal. Remembering or not remembering dictates every decision that we make, every path that we travel.

I grew up with no mother or father. Although I grew up with my grandmother, I practically raised myself. I won’t lie. It was hard! And it hurt. There were days when I was in so much pain just wondering what was wrong with me and why no one loved me enough to care for me. Having an orphan spirit opened me up to always searching for love and approval from others, situations or achievements.

I wanted someone to be proud of me.

I wanted someone to believe in me.

I wanted someone to choose me.

I wanted someone to love me.

This need began to shift when I became a Christian at the age of 19. Christ literally came into my life and took up residence in my body. If you don’t know, this is the game changer! This is when I stopped living as a sinner and began to live as a child of God. My very nature changed. If you have accepted Christ, your nature has changed too!

I discovered that all of those needs I mentioned above are found in God and Him alone. Life circumstances don’t necessarily change but He is there with us in the midst of them. And He is at work on our behalf.

 

We Are Called to Live Out of a New Identity

Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, and before you were born I consecrated you; I appointed you a prophet to the nations.” Jeremiah 1:5

Living out a new nature is not easy but it is possible with the help of the Holy Spirit at work inside of us. Scripture is full of verses that speak of God knowing us, forming us, choosing us. He knows us better than we could ever know ourselves…from the hairs on our head to the moment we will take our last breath. He knows what brings us joy and what breaks our hearts. He has known us all along, before there even was an us. We are no longer just created in His image. We are now beloved daughters of a loving Father.

We Are Called to Live a Life of Purity

Blessed are the pure in heart, for they will see God.” Matthew 5:8

Often times purity is seen only in regards to the physical, but it is so much more than that. Yes, God calls us to be pure in our bodies because we are a dwelling place for His Spirit. But being pure in heart, soul and spirit are just as important, if not more important. Purity in those spaces will overflow to a purity in our bodies. It doesn’t matter what age we are or if we are single or married, purity will continually be essential.

Purity will always usher us into the presence of God.

 

We Are Called to Live a Life of Purpose

He answered, Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind’ and, ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.” Luke 10:27

When it comes to calling and purpose, there are so many ideas and thoughts. It can all be downright confusing. It doesn’t have to be. We are called to Love God and Love Others. Any gift, skill, talent, career or ministry falls under this calling. Anything that we do or say should be an outpouring of this love. This is His highest purpose for our lives.

Let Us Not Forget…

We are chosen.

We are holy.

We are dearly loved.

We have a divine purpose.

What do you struggle with forgetting the most?

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