John 17: Unity and Oneness

After you listen to someone pray there is no way not to be more drawn to their heart as their walls come tumbling down and their true self is more transparent than ever. It unites and connects you almost instantly. You may not have known them for more than five minutes or maybe you even had preconceived notions about them, but the minute you hear someone come before the Father in prayer and communicate with Him one on one, it reveals a person's heart. You can see them through Jesus and His eyes. There is such an intimacy and vulnerability as you get to share in such a beautiful moment with them talking to God. This is what Jesus did for His disciples, and for us, when He prayed in John 17:20-26. We get to experience Him speaking directly to the Father in prayer, asking Him for unity and oneness on our behalf and future generations to come-- and the whole world. That none should perish. What a powerful and selfless prayer right before He was about to lay it all down - His life His will everything for us. Jesus knew how crucial community and unity in the faith would be and is -- (see Ephesians 4:4-6).

As we get to witness this prayer between Son and Father it reveals His heart to us, drawing us closer to Him as we get to know more deeply His heart, character, and love for us. As we get this amazing glimpse into the mysterious, awe-mazing, intimate relationship between them we also get to share IN and ABIDE IN it-- ALL OF IT. How can we not fall more in love?! The love the Father has for us, expressed through Jesus, IS His glory revealed in us. Just as the love and delight the Father has in Jesus, is His splendor on display in His Son, and in us, as we are children of God. He knew we would run around trying to seek glory in ALL other kinda things (yeah I said kinda things) but ultimately the only glory we need is KNOWING WE ARE LOVED BY GOD, and we have been ADOPTED as HIS SONS and DAUGHTERS through believing in Jesus Christ. That's the glory, HIS glory, on display IN US, THROUGH US, the glory JESUS shares with us that the Father shared with HIM. WOW. He delights in us and HIS LOVE FOR US and IN US Glorifies HIM! When we let that SINK DEEP DOWN INTO OUR JESUS SOILED ROOTS NOTHING CAN STOP HIS LIGHT FROM SHINING in us!

   #IwillgloryinYOU #mindblown #readJohn17 #biblestudy #afterthoughts #southhillswomensbiblestudy #southhills

God has GOOD plans for His children and uses it ALL for good if we let Him

    I have some exciting news to share with you all! After much prayer, wise counsel, seeking the Lord, His Word, and then taking the necessary steps... God is leading me to go on a couple ministry opportunities and adventures this summer.  I was accepted to Bethel's Worship University in July! I am also returning to the Gaither Songwriting Intensive in Indiana-- this will be my third year.  It feels very full-circle somehow.  Or maybe redemptive -- there is something very significant aboutthe three- third year part.  I just know that I'm about to take some major leaps of faith and follow where He is leading.  Trust & obey, there's no other way.  It feels like I am going alone, but He goes before me and holds my right hand. That's where, how, and when He shows up in the craziest and most magnificent ways imaginable.  I am really excited because I actually have two solid songs this year to bring and share with my classmates, peers, and songwriting/ worship leading / songwriting clinicians (if I muster up the courage) Oh pray for me friends!! We only get one shot at this life.  I have been hibernating with Jesus whenever I can (even amidst the busy of life)-- preparing my heart and digging into Him in many ways.  He has been using the hard, painful,  real and ugly that I have been uprooting from the past and even present and helping me walk through it with Him to bring me to my knees in worship and song in such a way that I have never known before.  Intimacy through this music love language with Him.  I wish I had the time and way to get these songs professionally recorded but I am just so thankful to even be going on these journeys with Him and also to get to express myself musically in this way for His glory and by His grace.  He is amazing like that!  He will use it all-- imperfect and everything.  These trips, conferences, university's, the room and board, flights, food, gas money-- it all adds up, so garageband is good enough for now ;) But let me just say the reward on the other side is so much greater than I can even describe. Knowing HIM more. Serving Him and others. Becoming who He created me to be. Learning, growing. It is all part of the refining process, and it is how He ushers us into our God-given destiny as we listen, trust and obey.

All the Lord's promises prove true and pure. As for God, his way is perfect. The word of Yahweh is tried. He is a shield to all those who take refuge in him.- Psalm 18:30

But this beautiful treasure is contained in us—cracked pots made of earth and clay—so that the transcendent character of this power will be clearly seen as coming from God and not from us. - 2 Corinthians 4:7

Ways to support if you feel led:

PRAYER: The power of prayer is real and oh how I would appreciate, cherish and covet your prayers for protection, grace, and God's strength and confidence in all of this.  Just overall God's protection and favor for safe car, hotel, flight, as I drive and fly quite a few miles "by myself" (Jesus is with me) but He does want us partnering in prayer.  And as I face some spiritual giants as well-- stay in prayer for me.  Greater is He that is in us!  

LOVE OFFERING support: If God put's it upon your heart you can donate in any way-- anything helps and goes a long way!  You can donate on my actual blog site--- the button to the far right that says "Donate to MUSIC (Making Us Second In Christ) Ministry" when you click the button below that picture box that says Donate it will redirect your browser to my PayPal account and you can add any amount.  Or at the bottom of this blog I have linked the donate button as well.  If you prefer by mail, you can also contact me for my mailing address or just to send encouragement :) I will be  missing work for a little over a month for both of these opportunities that the Lord has opened up in this next season.  I am feeling very expectant, not gonna lie, also totally terrified; but I think that's what taking a leap of faith is all about right?! If you weren't a bit terrified would it really be a leap? Would you really need faith?  No.  You would still be in your comfort zone bubble.  I don't want to be there.  There is no growth there and certainly no reward.   God always provides and I trust Him.  I have already seen that in incredible ways!  Just to brag on God a bit more-- my boss, manager and coworkers have been SO amazingly supportive of these passions, dreams and callings that God has placed on my heart.  I feel deeply fortunate that they did not ask me to quit or fire me for being gone so long this summer.   Truly.  It was just the opposite, the encouragement God gave through them and countless others in my Bible study and family and friends.  He is a good Father.  God bless you all and thank you so much for coming on this amazing overwhelming, healing,  transformational, sanctifying, life-changing experience with me.  Thank you for letting me share my heart and God stories with you!  Thank you for taking the time to read my updates along the way and for your love, support and prayers!  It means more to me than you know!

Love always in Him -- Malorie 


Below is some information about my time coming up at WorshipU Bethel, Redding:

The curriculum of WorshipU On Campus consists of 4 major components. Main sessions teach on matters of the heart, understanding the kingdom, and developing a lifestyle of worship. Breakout sessions are devoted to specific areas of interest such as instrument training, songwriting and worship leading. Worship sessions are a central part of each day, led by world-renowned leaders. Community activities built into the program make it easy to form friendships with like-minded people from around the globe.

Main Sessions you’ll hear a powerful selection of teachings on matters of the heart, the Spirit of God, the power of worship, and Biblical foundations of worship. With an emphasis on your personal journey with The Lord, these teachings provide valuable insights for all worshippers that will nurture your leadership skills, relationships, and overall pursuit of God.

Each day begins with an extended time of worship led by Bethel Music and guest worship leaders. Main sessions teach on developing a lifestyle of worship. Breakout sessions are devoted to specific areas of interest including instrument training, songwriting and leadership. Additionally, there will be a mixture of Q&A panels, live band sessions and hands-on workshops. Community activities are built into WorshipU on Campus as a way to cultivate connection among students.  

                             Information about my trip to the Gaither songwriting Intensive: 

Songwriting Intensive 2017
4 Day Event
For those who are serious about delving into the craft of songwriting and want to learn from some of the most accomplished, Gloria Gaither invites you to her hometown of Alexandria, Indiana where she will host her annual ‘Songwriting Intensive’.  Sessions will be held at Gaither Studios and Gaither Family Resources on the campus of Gaither Music Company.
This concentrated weekend of learning, critiquing, and interacting will allow you the priceless opportunity to learn from experienced and successful songwriters chosen by Gloria Gaither.  These four days will be packed with inspiration, instruction, Worship, and fellowship with other songwriters and writers-in-process.

Beginning on Thursday evening, you will enjoy an informal time of refreshments and getting acquainted with both the clinicians and other participants.  Friday and Saturday will be packed with in-depth sessions drawing on the unique expertise of each clinician, then the weekend will conclude with a final worship time on Sunday morning.
- The Friday and Saturday evening sessions are open to all participants.

- The Friday session will be led by Bill Gaither and friends. Bill will discuss the crafting of perfect music to lyrics.

- On Saturday, Buddy Green will be “raising the bar” for the Songwriting Intensive. Buddy will lead discussions what makes a song great and what makes a song live.

- Gloria, Dony and Reba McGuire (Dotty Rambo's Daughter), Buddy Green, Ken Medema and Rory Feek will finish off the weekend with Sunday morning Worship.

Classes with all Clinicians, Collaboration with artists in small intimate settings, A chance to learn from Gloria Gaither and other distinguished award winning singer/ songwriters.
2017 Clinicians
Gloria Gaither - Honored as "Christian Songwriter of the Century" by ASCAP, Gloria is an accomplish lyricist with more than 700 songs to her credit.  She is a Gospel Music Hall of Fame inductee and winner of multiple Dove and Grammy Awards, yet it is now her mission to pass along her passion for excellent songwriting to a new generation of artists.
Rory Feek - Rory’s unique gift for honest storytelling has struck a chord with audiences and fellow-writers of all generations.  Drawing from his life experiences, he has quietly and humbly earned a place among the most respected songwriters in country music and across multiple genres.
Dony & Reba McGuire - This songwriting duo has received numerous Dove and Grammy Awards, and their songs have been performed by some of the most recognized arists in the industry.  The knowledge you will glean from these experienced clinicians will be invaluable.
Ken Medema - Ken is a composer-singer-songwriter who has been performing globally for more than 40 years. Born almost blind, Ken began playing the piano when he was just five years old.  He has been writing soul stirring songs from his servant heart for most of his life and will pass along valuable experience and insights with budding songwriters.  
Love Offerings: 

Bind my Wandering Heart to Thee - Lent 2017

    I have been listening to June Hunt on talk radio & online (1100 a.m. Hope for the non-stop lately, among other podcasts.  It's like free counseling.  I am soaking up, and trying to learn, as much as I possibly can.  Not just learn, but know.  Know HIM.  Eternal life is knowing God- John 17:3.  I know what season I am in.  It is clear to me.  I don't take that lightly or for granted.  Thank you Abba Father for Your clarity and vision and deep peace.  Even when the wind and waves and storms rage, oh and they 'tidal wave rage' but His deep peace and knowing, promises, Proverbs 3:5-6 style, anchoring me. He alone is my anchor, holding me fast through the season.  I cannot get enough of Him and yet sometimes all the things He is revealing and healing is overwhelming.  But HE is SO GOOD and SO faithful!  He is my joy and freedom.  God knows exactly what I need to hear when I need to hear it.  Sometimes I want human comfort...okay a lot of the time I want that.  And He gives me that when I least expect it mostly-- but not always when I want it.  Actually a lot of times when I want it the most, I don't get it for a while until I get it all from HIM first.  But He is teaching me, especially in this Lent season, how to truly rely on HIM in such a new and beautiful, deeply intimate way.  He is also teaching me about healthy boundaries with others and how to put HIM first and what it looks like to be a GOD-pleaser.  Very counterintuitive for this self-profressed recovering people-pleaser.  I nailed that to the cross, and continue to by His grace and Spirit's power each day.  God has broken the chains.  I am no longer a victim.

    His Holy Spirit is my sweet, sweet comforter.  God is the One who knows me more than anyone ever could, and loves me best and carries my every burden.  And yet, then I look to humans again, try to find my worth / identity in the wrong places, and get the sting of disappointment, heart-ache...etc. and realize once more the tough lesson of "hope deferred makes the heart sick."  And He gently, lovingly reminds me again "Malorie, I am your all and all. Look to me. Turn to me. Let me love you. Show you your roots and true worth-- deeply grounded in love, in Christ. Let me nourish You. Fill You. Comfort. Advocate. No you don't need to defend for yourself anymore, those are the old patters, old ways.  Oh yes, let Me assure you.  This assurance will never run dry, empty or out.  It is not fleeting like the human kind and cannot be taken away or changed by fickle feelings or fleshy selfish desires.  No daughter, my perfect love casts out all fear, and I am for you, never against.  To Me you are perfect and complete-- whole and lovely in every way.  I delight in you.  I am the Lover of Your Soul my darling. I adore you. Beloved."  Ahh yes.  This relationship is the utmost important relationship of my life.  This assurance will not run dry.  It is a lasting deep eternal assurance of who I truly am.  LOVED.  That is who I am and who YOU ARE.  IN CHRIST.  WOW.

    With people we can tend to get all needy and codependent and clingy because they will never ever be able to fill the God-shaped hole that is literally an abyss -- a black hole -- if you will-- if we try filling it with anything or anyone but HIM.  With Him-- I can run back to Him and be as needy as I want-- and HE ADORES my dependency on Him.  I cannot make an idol out of my God.  I cannot have an unhealthy obsession or get too clingy.  I can literally lean on Him as much as I want because He has an endless supply for me.  The more I seek Him the more I will find. What an expansive relationship if we will tap into it-- into Him.  And yet-- I know I am daily "prone to wander."  So I pray, Oh Lord bind my wandering heart to thee!  As one of my favorite hymns goes, "Here's my heart Lord take and seal it. Seal it for Thy courts above!"
    When my hope is truly in Him and I am letting Him be my need meeter, my Husband, my Heavenly Father-- as HE IS-- then I can get through all the rest.  I mean He truly is the only ONE, at the end of the day, who is and will always be, getting me through this life and into Eternity and beyond.  When all fades away, everyone is gone, it is just me and Jesus at the end of my journey on this side of heaven.  Without HIM I have nothing and no one and honestly without Him I am nothing and no one.  Just me and the Triune God.  Our relationship.  I cannot bring anything or anyone with me to heaven either so why cling to anything or anyone but Him?!  And yet we do... and put false expectations and needs onto others that only He was ever meant to be expected to meet.  This time on earth is a beautiful, exquisite, painful, healing, crazy, messy, hard, awe-mazing love-song between us and Him.  So let's share it with the world as He called us to... to the ends of the earth.

If you haven't listened to June yourself a favor and be blessed by them

Links to Hope For the Heart's- June Hunt's most recent podcast series below:

What Does it Mean to Forgive

The FREEDOM of Forgiveness

Forgiving When You Don't Feel Like It