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Lettering. Weddings. Formed.

Vision For Vegas

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Awhile back I wrote a blog post about how the Lord challenged me to go to the Las Vegas strip every Friday night and be His hands and feet.

Whether that meant praying for people, feeding people, leading drunk passed out people safely back to their hotels or their friends, taking abused women to safe places, or just simply walking throughout the hotels and streets praying...my friends and I were there.

God lead us to these people because that's the heart of our Father. He leaves the 99 to go after the 1.

You have to understand the measure of discouragement that comes with walking around the strip and praying. It feels impossible sometimes. You're physically in the middle of everything that would and could be against every prayer you pray. It's not wanted. 

I can't tell you the number of times we've encountered people who have told us to leave because this is Satan's territory. And these are people we have quietly and privately engaged. We're not out there with signs and megaphones. We're just walking around, praying quietly, approaching people that might need help. 

Even just looking around is hard.

The signs and the billboards, the trucks, the people, the sights, the sounds, the porn cards all over the ground. 

How do these prayers work? I have to believe there are things happening in the spiritual that I can't see. That maybe our prayers are to protect the girl who was going to get date raped in the club, or for the drunk person to sober up before they get in their vehicle. I have to have faith that God hears us. That He's walking with us. 

This past Friday we were walking around praying and I felt the Lord challenge me in the midst of my chaos.

He said "Liz look around and start to see this place differently. Don't look at it for what it is now, but what it can be. See people worshipping the Lord freely in the street. Hear worship music playing loudly from the hotels. See people praying together. See it."

God was challenging me to have vision for a city. A city that is known all over the world as a place where people can give in to whatever desire they choose as a means of escape. He was telling me to see differently.

To see with my spirit what I can't see with my eyes.

To have faith. 

"Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen." Hebrews 11:1

So here's my request. For every Christian living in the amazing city of Las Vegas.

Will you have vision for Vegas with me? 

Will you see this place differently? Not just in a small-prayer-hope-for-the-best kind of way. In the moving mountains kind of way. Will you drive around the strip and see the center, the heartbeat of this city differently with me? Will you see homelessness healed with me? Will you see perversion eradicated with me? Strip clubs shut down? Porn off the streets? 

See it. See differently. Faith as small as a mustard seed is all we need. This is our city. This is our home. Our people. Our families. We have to believe for more. 

God is in the business of changing names. 

Abram to Abraham.

Sarai to Sarah.

Jacob to Israel.

Simon to Peter.

Sin City to a city of redemption, of healing, of freedom, of life.

I'm believing for it. Will you join me in having vision for Vegas?

"The world needs you to pray scary prayers, instead of scared ones." - Lisa Bevere

When the Enemy Has More Faith in Me Than I Do

Photo: Kristen Kay Photography

Photo: Kristen Kay Photography

There's a constant struggle in me. 

Feelings of worthlessness and self-doubt flood my being whenever I step out in big decisions. 

In June of 2016, in my prayer time...

(Note: I say prayer time but it was probably me just sitting on my living room floor with Netflix paused griping to God. Just so we're all on the same page here.)

...I said "God, I don't know why but I feel like there's more. I need to be doing more out here in Las Vegas. God give me more opportunities with people, to show them who You are."

And then there was the whisper, "You know where they are. Go to them."

Insert wide-eyed emoji. That's when I heard the instructions to start going down to the Las Vegas strip late on Friday nights, and just be available for God.

Now I'm not saying this to show off how "holy" or "obedient" I may seem to be. Because that's not the case. I'm telling you this story because when I felt that call I wrestled all week with it. Friday came and I was extremely exhausted, and terrified. 

I did not want to go.

"You're going crazy Liz"  "What good could little old you do out there."  "You're nothing"  Your spiritual life blows."  "There's no power in anything you do."  "You realize the strip has existed for decades and there's nothing you can do about that environment"

...just some of the thoughts I had. 

But I went. Because not going meant being blatantly disobedient to God. And I can live with uncomfortable, it's harder to live with disobedience.

I wish I could tell you that night when I went that miraculous things happened, but that wasn't the case. People were not healed. I did not invite one person to church. I walked around and prayed, quietly. I listened to what I felt like the Holy Spirit was telling me and I did it. 

Sit here. Walk over there. Pray over here.  Then when I felt released I left.

Drove home feeling like a crazy person but knew I was coming back the next week. 

And I have almost every week since then. Except now with an amazing group of people. 

I won't go into all the details about what happens out there but it's one of the most real things I have ever experienced, especially in the arena of what serving people and spiritual warfare actually is. 

There truly is an enemy of my soul, and yours.

And if you're not a Christian and reading this, I apologize for the vibe you might be getting at this point and if you do have any questions please email or message me. 

It's hard to pray out there on the strip. It's hard to go out there and think that among the sea of hundreds of thousands of people, your whisper prayers are making a difference. It's hard to counteract the voices that tell you you're nothing and worthless, and bring up every flaw and insecurity you have, every wrong thing you do on a daily basis, all while you're walking around trying to pray with the authority of Jesus.

It's so hard to feel like anything you're doing matters. 

Two weeks ago was probably the hardest night. We came across, what seemed to be a homeless man, and we walked over to serve him. Little did we know what we would encounter. 

I've never experienced a moment before where every single insecurity I have was directly spoken to and affirmed by a complete stranger. Our eyes were locked almost the entire conversation. I remember while he was speaking, feeling like my heart was being guarded by the Lord. And seeing it for what it actually was. 

It was the enemy.

And he wanted me to drown. He wanted me to loose my hope. He wanted the vision that God gave me to die. Suffocate. Break under the weight of my weaknesses and faults. 

After 45 minutes we left the man. We walked further down the strip and I broke. I cried. We prayed for the man.

It was then that I realized that the enemy of my soul has more faith in me than I do. 

He knows who I profess as my Savior. 

Matthew 1:23-24 And immediately there was in their synagogue a man with an unclean spirit. And he cried out, “What have you to do with us, Jesus of Nazareth? Have you come to destroy us? I know who you are—the Holy One of God.” 

Why would he want to break me if he wasn't worried about what we were doing out there. You don't defend yourself against something you don't consider a threat.

Could it be true then? The enemy was worried about the things I considered to be pointless? About me? Me, someone I consider to be worthless and weak? Who am I? I'm nothing right?

Apparently not.

Apparently I am something. I am someone. And now I'm learning about who I am in Jesus. Who He says I am. And who He is in me.

Because that's where the power lies; in knowing who He is in me. 

 

 

 

 

 

Here We Are.

It's Christmas time. 

My favorite time of the year. 

It's been a tough year. A year full of discomfort. Growth. Pain. Love. I've never known a year like 2016.

But it's good.

Reminded me I was still alive. 

Still capable of experiencing this life in full color. Vibrant color.

And the scary/exciting thing is that it's not over just yet. I'm not out of the woods just yet. So it could get worse or it could get better but either way, today I celebrate the birth of my Savior.

Everything stops for just a moment and I worship the King that came for me. I find such rest and peace in that.

This morning I thought about Thomas. The one who doubted that Jesus appeared to the disciples after the resurrection. 

He told them he wouldn't believe that Jesus appeared unless he himself was able to touch the scars in His hands, the wound in His side.

And how lovely of Jesus, to show up 8 days later, just to Thomas. Them alone. At this point Jesus did what He needed to do on Earth. He went through it all. Why does He need to prove Himself to anyone or anything? He is God. He just rose from the dead. 

And yet here we find Him.

Appearing to Thomas.

Not just appearing and saying "Hey, why are you being ridiculous? Clearly I'm God, okay."

No.

Instead He invites Thomas to touch His scars.

“Then he said to Thomas, "Put your finger here, and see my hands; and put out your hand, and place it in my side. Do not disbelieve, but believe."” John 20:27 ESV

That's Jesus. That's who He is. He came to Earth, as a baby. 

One hundred percent God. One hundred percent man. 

Inviting us who don't believe to touch His scars. To show us that He knows our pain.

He knows our struggle. He knows our long lasting marks.

It's amazing to me that after the resurrection, the scars of the Lord remain. They don't magically wipe away. They remain.

And I wonder if while He's seated at the right hand of the Father contending for us, He looks down at His hands and remembers. He looks at His side and remembers.

And then contends for us even harder. More passionately. 

Because that's my God. My Savior King.

The one who, in my darkest hour, then, now and forevermore. In my hours of unbelief, He says come, touch my scars.

Touch me where it hurt. And know that I understand. 

And in return He touches us where it hurts. 

I love you Lord for that. Thank you for coming to Earth. Thank you for all that you've done for me and my family and my friends and anyone I haven't even met yet.

You are truly more than I could ever ask for. 

And today I celebrate your birth, I celebrate your scars, I celebrate the fact that you are mine and I am yours. 

And nothing could separate me from your love.