Today I got to go back to one of my favorite places in the state. You would think, that because I live in Florida it would be something like Disney World, or Universal but no…it’s actually the mega church that I go to sometimes. It’s called Northland Church and it’s probably one of the most exciting things I get to do when I come home. Now, I don’t say that because I don’t go to these other places, Universal and Disney are coming soon…but Northland is my favorite because every time I walk into this church I feel renewed and refreshed. I’m not sure why this is, as opposed to my church that I call my home church, but this church is different. Maybe it’s because I know that I don’t come for people, or maybe it’s because of the crazy good music or the amazing sermons…or maybe it’s all of it. I’m not quite sure, but God does something when I walk through those doors. And I can’t tell you enough, how great that place is.
For some reason, it’s taken me a long time to go to Northland this summer. Which is funny because it’s right down the street from my internship; so it’s not like I don’t see it everyday. I know it’s there, but I just haven’t gone back since…today. But after going back, I feel as though I never want to stop going this summer and I only wish that I could take that church back home with me to Indiana. But alas, I cannot. ANYWAYS, so you’re probably asking, ‘why is this church so fantastic?’ Well. Let me tell you. It’s huge. Everything in it is huge. You know that feeling that you when you attend a huge conference or such and the music is huge the teaching is huge…well that is my church everyday. I know that a bunch of people that come to Northland to visit will come to say that it’s to showy, or it’s to big and it’s all just an act. But for me, it is the exact opposite of that. I feel like I don’t stand out and people aren’t going to judge me for raising my hands in praise for God. I feel like God is connecting straight to me through music and through the spoken word. I think that having the opportunity to go to a mega-church is absolutely fantastic and it can definitely be what the heart needs after not having attended church regularly in a while. Today showed me how important church is, and how much I need it to stay above waters this summer.
After hearing some of my favorite songs, with some of the greatest worship leaders I know out there, the pastor (who was from one of the other Northlands in the area) came and spoke about our new series called “zip code”. Of course, that’s kind of a silly name and you can probably guess what it’s going to be about…but it was a great reawakening for me to hear today. We got to send off teams today that were going to Ukraine, Kenya and to the Dominican Republic (WOOT!) and had the opportunity to pray for all of the people that were going out to serve God’s people. It was great to pray for these people and to see the Lord and the church send them out. But after that we talked about our own zip code, and the here and now is where we all need to be. I know I’ve personally heard this sermon a billions times before, in which our own hometowns are our missions fields, and I pretty much just look right past it everytime. But then he said something that opened my eyes for some reason and as I’ve looked back on these past couple of weeks, God has told me a lot about what to do for where I’m at right now: PRAY. It may seem simple, but prayer is so important and it’s been the missing part of my life lately. I’ve had the opportunity to really journal lately and read my bible, but for some reason I always miss the praying part. Today though, I realized that prayer is essential and pray must happen for my zip code.
I think especially after watching the Zimmerman case lately, prayer is something that my hometown needs much of. It breaks my heart that every summer I come home, some huge court case is going on and yet again Florida has come down to satan’s grip. I know that sounds a little intense, but it’s true. We as a state, and even as a county have let satan come take over the lives of so many people. We’ve had racial disputes, child abuse and neglect cases, and murder cases, we’ve had it all…and we’ve been letting satan win. Instead of ranting about these court cases though, I want to tell you that I am committing to pray for my zip code. It doesn’t take much to care for people, but it does take effort and this is something that I’m going to have to work on this summer. I’ve had so much on my plate lately that I’ve forgotten to take it all in and just stop and look around me. I live in such a hurting area, a broken area. My zip code, just like so many other zip codes, is one that needs a revival, and it needs Jesus badly. Today, I want to start living what Acts 1:8 says “But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth”. We must take in the Holy Spirit and we must be witnesses to those all around us. PRAY for your zip code.