Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Shoeboxes, warm breakfast, and Christmas

This Christmas our prayer ministry had the opportunity to partner with a local ministry, Prodigal's Home, whose mission is to meet the physical, emotional, and spiritual needs of the homeless and poor in Phoenix, AZ, specifically in the north Phoenix community of Sunnyslope, which is my "hometown," or at least where I spent most of my growing up years.   Each Saturday, Prodigal's Home serves a warm breakfast to all who come, as well as having a time of worship and encouragement.

  This year, Christmas fell on Saturday, and so in addition to their usual breakfast, they wanted to bless those who came with some special gifts.  I was asked by a friend, Steve, who is part of this ministry, to put the word out to see who might help contribute Christmas gift-wrapped shoeboxes with socks, gloves, toiletries, snacks, and last but not least, a personal note inside.  After being told there could be up to 70 folks there, my prayer was we would be able to contribute enough for each one, even though that seemed a lot on short notice, especially at a time of year when we are all being asked to contribute to someone or something.  I began to put the word out among our prayer ministry, prayer chain and others who are a part of our community of prayer-hearted friends here at Open Door Fellowship.  Folks passed the word along to friends and co-workers, and on the Sunday before Christmas, the drop-off table in our church courtyard piled up and up and up!  Final count was over 70 beautifully wrapped, lovingly packed boxes of treats and necessities.  Thank you, Lord! 


Several other churches contributed boxes as well, packed with a different assortment of items than what we had packed, so ultimately most folks got not one but THREE boxes of gifts!
My husband has been helping out at the Saturday morning breakfasts for the past several months, and he asked our family if we would be willing to go serve together on Christmas morning.  Some of the other individuals and families who were contributing shoeboxes heard of the opportunity, and wanted to come help serve too, and we ended up with about 25 from our church there helping, most for the first time.  



We are in a season when God is opening and stirring our hearts in fresh ways to see, pray, and reach beyond ourselves.  What a great privilege it was to be a part of this special effort and event.  Many who packed boxes told me how meaningful it was to select and pack the items, and thanked us for offering them the chance to give.  Those of us who came to serve were moved and stretched, and ultimately, perhaps even inspired to continue to be a part of local efforts such as this one.

Lord, keep growing Your heart of compassion in us, as You lovingly draw us to see, pray, and reach beyond ourselves.

For more info on the ministry of Prodigal's Home, click here

Saturday, December 18, 2010


We are currently praying, via our ODF prayer chain, for a church in Africa.  They have been meeting in a large tent and have been trying to finish their permanent building for several years. They have even been asked to move into an actual church building -- quickly -- because their worship is so noisy!!!  They need to be out of the tent and into the new building by the end of December, and won't have permission to occupy it until the doors and windows are complete.

Here are some photos of the progress they are making -- check them out and pray for it to be done in time! Wouldn't it be great to be there with them as they worship for the first time in their new home?  What a gift to be able to lift up our brothers and sisters in prayer, knowing our prayers can have impact around the globe.


Saturday, November 20, 2010


Check out more info on this upcoming season by clicking on the Open Door Fellowship and Arizona CityFest link on the left under "Pages."

Wednesday, September 15, 2010


Praying Together is our weekly prayer gathering on Wednesdays at 7pm, where we meet to be with God and one another as we share our hearts in worship and prayer.

        Each week we have a different topical emphasis, so at times we will pray for:

  • our church
  • our world
  • areas and issues of justice and mercy
  • and always, for one another.

       Praying together is modeled and encouraged throughout the Old and New Testament as one of the main privileges and identifying characteristics of God's people.  He loves when we come to Him, and come to Him TOGETHER!  Join us!

Tuesday, August 3, 2010


Join your Open Door Fellowship brothers and sisters,
as well as Mike Q. and the band,
for a special evening with the Lord and one another!

Friday night, August 13th at 7pm

Friday, May 7, 2010

Sunday, May 2, 2010


"Step up to the banqueting table
and enjoy the feast of abundance
the King offers us through Himself.
Be blessed by His provision and care!"

"He brings me to His banqueting table,
and His banner over me is love!"

"O taste and see that the Lord is good!"

These (above) were a few of the scriptures and invitations at our banqueting table station.  It was a place to rest in Him, where you could choose from a number of scripture cards that each had a verse on it reflecting God's perfect care and provision for us in the many needs and challenges of life.  There was also a place to leave prayers, and a journal to write in.  What a beautiful place of healing, comfort and rest this was for so many of us!

Saturday, May 1, 2010


A place to write our prayers to God, trusting Him with our church family, our land and facility, and our church family, now and in our tomorrows.  
By the end of the week, the board was full, and some of the paperwork was removed to make more room.

Friday, April 30, 2010


What are the lies you have believed about yourself?
Put your hand on the ink pad, and then stamp it on the "dirty" figure, as a way to symbolize the ways you have been labeled, the lies you have been told, by yourself, the enemy, and others.
Now, write the truth of who GOD says you are on the other figure.

This station, created by two young sisters, had a "take away" paper full of declarations from God to encourage us to believe His truth about us.  It was especially meaningful for our youth.

Thursday, April 29, 2010


Communion with Jesus . . .

The communion table is always at the center of deep interactions with God.  This year it was also the site of  a young boy becoming a Christian, and then taking communion for the first time with his family.
Thank you, Lord, for all the ways you meet with us during our weeks of prayer.  Some of the stories, we are privileged to hear; some we do not.  But they are all known and orchestrated by You and Your never-ending and wooing love for us.

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Speaking of Arizona . . .

This was our fourth year of non-stop prayer.  For the past three of those, we have been part of Lite the Fire's AZPray initiative.  Since January, 2008, each and every week the "torch" of 24-7, non-stop prayer has been passed from location to location.  Churches, businesses, hospitals, and even homes have hosted prayer round the clock at numerous locations throughout the state.  In other words, Arizona has been covered, week by week, and hour by hour, in prayer, since December 31st, 2007.

Each year, as we have hosted the week of prayer, we have received the "torch" (symbolically represented by a camping flash light), as well as a book in which to write how God meets with us throughout the week.  At the end of the week, they are passed on to the next prayer location.  This station (above) was a place to read and reflect on what folks who had hosted 24/7 prayer during the weeks earlier in the year had written, as well as record our own thoughts and prayers.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010


Our state is in need of prayer!  Can I get an amen???!!!
I love the words that Judi, the artist who created this station, put around the edges of the state to prompt our hearts to focus on pertinent issues.  By the end of the week, the state was "covered in prayers!"

Monday, April 26, 2010

ABIDE, or "The God Cube"

The Abide station, or the "God Cube" as it was affectionately nicknamed, was from our first year of 24/7 prayer in 2007.  Robin felt the Lord lay on her heart that it was time for it to be part of our week again this year, so she added a meditation sheet, calling us to a new and further interaction with the Lord.  She also created a new element, a round canvas mat, for the floor, so people could write on it, as well as outside and inside the cube.

It is covered with written expressions of worship, praise, love and hope to the Lord.  Throughout the week, people entered here to reflect, interact, and pray.  Once again it was a holy meeting place.

Sunday, April 25, 2010


ABOVE:  I loved, during the week of prayer, hearing the rustle of people working in this station.  You couldn't always tell visually that someone was in there, but you could hear them, quietly working on, and working out, the issues of "kingdom community" with God.

We all make many choices as to how we will live out our faith in Christ.  One of these choices involves whether we will choose to live in isolation, or in community, believing that one of the most significant ways the Lord reveals Himself and ministers to us is through one another.

This large prayer station was a heart-felt collaboration between the leadership teams of both our Home Group and Art Core ministries.  The small booth with scripture verses represented the joy of our relationship with the Lord, but ultimately, it was a dead end, because without the support and encouragement of one another, individually, we can only go so far.  The large tent, however, represented how, through our common relationship in Christ, we can offer and receive love and support, and was full of creative activities that underscored, through scripture and group art, the significance and benefit of living in mutual trust and relationship.   relationship.
The "hand" squares, which were part of the creative prayer process in this station, are being sewn into a quilt.  What a great and tangible expression of the truths this station was all about!  

"So then you are no longer as those who have no part or plan in the kingdom of God, but you are numbered among the saints, and of the family of God."  Ephesians 2:19

Saturday, April 24, 2010


During our weeks of 24-7 prayer, we love to have some of the stations be some sort of corporate expression or group project/prayer.  This year we offered scissors, magazines, markers and glue sticks, and invited everyone to post their prayers for the US in the form of a group collage, glued onto a paper mural of 7 mountains, representing 7 areas of significant cultural influence:  government, religion, family, media, education, the arts and entertainment, and business.  It was amazing and revealing to see people's creativity and hearts come forth in what they posted.

Lord, help us continue to call on You - may Your kingdom come and Your will be done on earth, as in heaven!

Friday, April 23, 2010


Come, sit for a while and learn the character of your Lord!  Many of His names and their meanings are displayed; you can choose from printed versions of some of the names to decorate, embellish or add scripture or your own thoughts or prayers to.  You can also create your own freehand version of one of His Names.

We knew this station was impacting people when we began to see numerous references to God's Names in the prayer requests, worship and praises, and journaling entries around the room.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

For one another, by one another

Our week of prayer is a gift we give ourselves - created for one another, by one another.  Here are a few photos of some of our stations being installed.

Monday, April 19, 2010


Our week of prayer has come and gone!  But the theme is continuing to challenge us, in learning to see the Lord as our dear, powerful, benevolent King who meets our needs out of the abundance of Himself; as well as challenging us to see the Kingdom as here and now; and to reach out to others around us.  Lord, help us continue to enter in to all you have for us in understanding and living out of these truths.

Friday, March 19, 2010

  Our week of 24-7 non-stop prayer is almost here!!!  The theme is "The Kingdom, The King:  ENTER IN!"  As some of you know, my family has come through a very busy and in many ways challenging season.  God has been faithful to continue to remind me, over and over through the theme of our week of prayer, that HE IS KING, He is sovereign and in control, He is the One Who holds all resources in His hands, and bottom line, me, my life, and all I love and hold dear.  Which, by the way, includes our dear church family, and our wonderful annual week of prayer.
Preparations are under way, and there too, I see the Lord at work, challenging our teams to trust Him for His vision and provision.  Whether they are leading and recruiting for our servant teams, creating prayer stations, or other aspects of our week of prayer prep, I see them love and honor one another in the process of stepping out in faith to trust God.  What a joy to serve with these wonderful brothers and sisters, in seeking to invite and facilitate others coming to be with Jesus.

This year, we will have a total of 185 hours of prayer to sign up for.  So why sign up for one of them, why not just drop in, which you can do?  Because as wonderful as it is to just drop in, it is a very sacred and sweet and powerful thing to be one of the 185 who are going to, together form the unbroken, hour by hour ‘round the clock chain of prayer.  It is like an ongoing relay of purposeful communion with God – as one person is leaving after their hour of prayer, the next is arriving, and so on, and so on, right in our sanctuary, for over seven straight days.  The wonderful Presence of God, and the atmosphere of prayer – of our hearts opening up in worship, intercession, and just talking with and wrestling through stuff with our Heavenly Father - becomes tangible.

By the way, don’t let the term “week of non-stop prayer” fool you.  This is not an event for the super saint.  No religious know-how is required or expected.  This week and this room becomes a haven for the weary, the washed up, the forgotten, the “faking it but still not making it,” the overwhelmed and overworked, those in doubt of God’s provision, and those in need of God’s salvation.  Come needy.  Come doubtful.  Come purposefully; come reluctantly:  just come.  You will be welcome, and we pray you will be blessed and find in some measure what you need, which after all, has always been Jesus.

Radical things begin to happen when we get intentional about being with Him.

So how does our week of prayer happen?  It is not an event that is put on by any one ministry or group.  It is a gift we give ourselves and one another.  Come to the prayer room to not only sign up for an hour of prayer, but also sign up to serve.  It takes literally a couple hundred of us, each giving an hour or so, during the week of prayer, to help facilitate this special, set-aside time, simply by doing things like providing security for an hour, or bringing snacks, or lighting candles and setting up communion.

Open Door Fellowship’s week of prayer is a corporate invitation to an individual meeting with God, a family pilgrimage back to what’s most important and real – being with Jesus.

Don’t miss it.  ENTER IN.

Thursday, March 4, 2010


Our week of 24-7 non-stop prayer is 7pm Friday, April 9th, through noon on Saturday, April 17th.  Watch for more info soon!

Friday, February 12, 2010

Sacred Space  Friday Feb. 12th,  6-10 pm
Open Door Fellowship, 8301 N. 19th Avenue, Phoenix

                     AN  IMPARTATION OF LOVE

       Gods heart for His world family; our ODF family; your family; you personally...      
      If you ever doubt that you are loved ,then
 come spend time with the Lord
     in a quiet environment and safe place - seek His face in an atmosphere of love and grace.

        There are reflective prayer stations, live worship and you can come and go as you like...