Hawaii & Heart-to-Heart Conversation.
Honolulu is a strange combination of scenic, post-card-quality sandy beaches, surfable waves, and blue waters meets the traffic-jammed, fast-paced, industrialized grit of Los Angeles. That's my way of saying it was two parts heaven to one part purgatory.
Are you feeling pity and sadness for me yet?
Oh, the sarcasm.
The island of Oahu surrounding the city of Honolulu (you're welcome for the free geography lesson) leans much more toward whatever tropical stereotype is drummed up the second anyone mentions Hawaii.
When our friend, Jacob, suggested the idea of hosting a Provoke & Inspire seminar in Hawaii, it felt like he was saying, "you would be complete idiots not to use the excuse of an event to hang out on a Hawaiian island with us!"
And, he was right.
Our Hawaiian friends in Delta Fleet lured me, David Pierce, Ben Pierce and 3/4th's of his family, Matty & Brittany Mullins (Memphis May Fire) along with Austin Carlile (former singer Of Mice & Men) to their faraway island.
Am I ever so glad they did!
What I enjoyed most were countless deeply personal, heartfelt, spiritual conversations that happened at times when we were driving to the North Shore, eating Poke, sipping Iced Carmel Cloud Macchiato's, before and after the seminar, late at night right before bed, or of course, on the beach. These conversations were like mile-markers reminding me of why God brought us together. We were on Hawaii because God loves everybody all the time, no questions asked.
There were times when the talks we were having were recorded (like the forthcoming podcast episode with Austin, or the one that just released with Matty & Brittany). Times when I was challenged more than I've been challenged in many years, times when we were shouting to hear each other over the noise at a wave-surfing event, and times where people who were once strangers became friends.
I'm grateful for the opportunity to have traveled to an island as remote and beautiful as Oahu because I was afforded space to have conversations from the heart with Jesus and with others. If you'd ever like to have a deep heart-to-heart with me, you now know my love language!
The problem I'm having here is that I have little clue as to how to make the transition from mini-missions-trip-update to encouraging your heart. My goal in writing is always to build you up.
Holy Spirit, what's the connection? That's what I'm asking Him right now.
Because if you've read this far, I'd love to send you off better than when you first clicked to open this message.
When learning to listen to the Holy Spirit, I encourage you to ask Him a direct question and then listen to the first thought that comes to mind or heart. Active-listening prayer does not necessarily guarantee we're hearing from God, or hearing right. But it's an excellent tool and starting point for including God in our day to day.
In this case, I sense the Holy Spirit inviting me to pray that we all would grow in our ability to have heart-to-heart conversations with those we know, and even those we've just met.
Lord Jesus, please sprinkle grace onto every single conversation that we'll have with others today and every day. Discussions with our spouses, our kids, our parents, our siblings, our neighbors, our enemies. Help us to be ready in season and out of season to respond out of the fullness of who You are and from a place of living fully from our hearts.