#PrayForSochi

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The question has been asked of me…why #PrayForSochi?  There’s a lot of pressure to host the Olympics well and I believe Russia has the heart and ability to do it!

As the Winter Olympics begin, God has brought my attention to pray for the competitors, the Russian Government, and the host city of Sochi.  It is an incredible rhythm that the world has engaged in where we come together to celebrate our nations in healthy competition in worldwide unity and on peaceful terms!  The implications of such an event have tremendous impact on the world.  While some may try to use this assembly for negative purposes, I believe this sort of gathering has huge potential for Kingdom movement that would be birthed within the time/place of the Olympics and go home with the competitors as they return to their respective countries.  I am inviting you to pray along with me over the next couple of weeks.  You can follow my twitter [@erikthien] for the play-by-play action while I be continually tweet prayers under the hashtag for the Olympics:

#PrayForSochi  

I found a helpful Prayer Calendar online that will help guide some of the themes from Engage Sochi.

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The ONE

Alone in a Crowd

Have you ever noticed how often Jesus seemed to notice one person in a crowd?  He had a special knack for seeing and addressing “The One” amidst the many!  While churches in America today tend to look for the person with the most leadership potential, the one Jesus decides to address usually wasn’t the most important person around.  In fact, they were usually the outcasts!

While walking through a mass of people Jesus calls out a tax collector named Zachias from the tree and tells Him that He will be dining with him in his home.  Jesus promised an outsider going to draw from the well at a time when she could avoid others that He knows her sins but offers her water that will cause here to never thirst again!  He shelters a condemned adulteress with the words, “let him who is without sin among you be the first to throw a stone at her,” only to send her out by telling her to “sin no longer.”  Finding THE ONE was very important to the ministry of Jesus.

In Luke 8, as Jesus’ boat arrives at the Gerasene shore, He is greeted by a madman.  This man was severely oppressed by demons, completely naked, he had broken out of his shackles, and he was living in tombs among the dead.  Jesus could have stayed in the boat.  He could have asked that the boat be docked down shore- away from the crazed man.  Instead of avoiding him to find a more civilized, suitable crowd Jesus asked “what is your name?”  His reply is “Legion” for he had many demons in him and Jesus set the man free by commanding the demons to go into a heard of swine nearby.  Word spread fast about the man.  He asked Jesus for permission to travel with Him but Jesus turns him away saying, “Return to your house and describe what great things God has done for you.” He sent the man back as an ambassador to proclaim the good news of God!!

If you know God, at some point, you were His ONE.  Jesus noticed you in the crowd and called you out as an individual.  He loved you enough to chase after you and bring you to Him.  Stop now and think of a moment when God actively sought after you through an odd coincidence, some life interrupting news, a persons kind word, a challenging sermon, or an encouraging verse.

Like the Gerasene Demoniac, He didn’t chase after you so that you could remain dormant.  He called you out for a purpose.  Who is your ONE?  Who is it that God has placed in your path to notice in the crowd?  Who around you needs to be noticed in the crowd at your work place, your coffee shop, your grocery store.  You have the ability, RIGHT NOW, to notice the ONE!  It’s time to raise the spiritual antennae of awareness to view anyone and any situation that sticks out, seems odd, or appears out-of-the-ordinary, as opportunities to notice THE ONE.

My prayer is that we will walk around this earth, interacting with people, and constantly asking to ourselves “is this THE ONE?” It may be that, through you, they might know that Jesus notices them and that He is chasing after them!

‘Carrie Testimony’ From Phoenix One

While perusing the Phx1.org site this video popped out to me!  I don’t know the girl [or the ministry very well] but this testimony is an incredibly powerful reminder of Romans 1:16

I am not ashamed of the gospel,

because it is the power of God for the salvation of everyone who believes:

first for the Jew then the Gentile