ashley prior

intercessory missionary | IHOP-KC

Overdue update

It’s been awhile since I last posted – I’ll give a quick update:
– I have the honor and privilege to be leading full time in the House of Prayer with 12 outstanding individuals who are genuine and passionate to love and know truth..
– I am continuing my college studies in Criminal Justice..
– This January will mark my 7 year anniversary at IHOP-KC, and next July will mark my 6 years of being apart of the night watch section in the House of Prayer..
– My final update, which is kind of a big deal for me…. Wait for it… Yes… I, joined Instagram.. Still trying to figure out the point, but it’ll be a fun journey.. Follow me @
a___p

Blessings,
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The Shepherd.

“How much more will my Father in heaven give me what I need

He’s searched me He’s known me, well acquainted with me..”

God who formed the world with His hands, and breathed his very breath into my lungs is the one who is leading me. He is my shepherd. He fashioned me and formed me in my mother’s womb all with a purpose and a dream in his heart – that I would bear his image and love him and know his love in return. One of the greatest miracles is how God can take a heart of stone and create a heart of flesh. He could not get any closer to me than by putting his spirit inside of me to lead me and transform me from the deepest parts of my heart. He can restore a heart that is prone to sin and wander, and create a new heart that desires righteousness and steadfastness..

This simple truth can fight off the accusation of the evil one, who tries to convince our hearts that we are alone and on the path fighting by ourselves. We have been brought in as children to our God who is our Father, and how much more will he fight for us and be there for our every need?

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Returning to simple devotion.

I wanna be like Mary sitting at Your feet

Lavishing my love upon You

How I choose that one thing

I give all for love surrendering

Everything for You

I have felt the Lord tugging at my heart in the past 3-6 months to return to the place of simply loving him..  To me that is him asking me to love him the way I love him, and not how somebody else loves him.. This is quite difficult in a culture that is all about rhetoric and looking and talking like we are christians, but in fact we never even look or talk to the Man we are supposed to be serving.. I am not talking about IHOP-KC either.. I am mostly saying the church in general.. The Lord is after me loving him because I want to love him.. Not because a culture says its the “thing” to do, or even the “way” to do it..

I have been remembering my first couple months at IHOP – during my internship I got so struck with the desire for friendship with Jesus.. All I wanted to do was read the bible and talk to him about it, and then play and sing what I was reading.. It was so simple.. I wasn’t trying to come up with poetic language (which I love and it does have an appropriate place) or overanalyze anything, cause thats not me.. I was who I was with the Lord.. I came to him raw – with nothing more and nothing less.. I want to be simple again in my friendship with Jesus.. I want to talk to him again like he’s real, and sing to him again as if I believe he is right next to me, listening.. In my first years of meeting the Lord I actually wrote my song draw me away, and I really believe its my life anthem.. All along I have desired a heart thats been fully his – whether I am doing school, working a full time job in the market place, or just doing what I am doing on staff at IHOP – in every season no matter where I go, I want my heart to be in this place of loving him and giving him what I can give no matter what I am doing.. My desire is still truly for one thing – and thats to love Jesus as much as I can.. And I believe this is what it means to love him with simple devotion.. Its loving him from a place where all the props are kicked out, and although there may not be much to give, its raw and its real.. This is the one he will never deny – the broken, and the contrite.. The ones who have barely anything to give, but what they have they give it all..

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INTROVERTS. Part 2

How does one know whether they are introverted or not? There are many popular personality tests that determine whether someone functions more introverted or extroverted. However, these are the most common and central questions to determine how a person primarily operates:

Do you gain or lose energy through lengthy periods of social or professional interaction with other people?

When you need to solve a problem, do you think through the issue aloud, or are you more productive when you listen to opinions of others, then make up your own mind in a quiet space? (Collins 26) 

These questions can bring much clarity in deciphering who is an introvert or not. The statistics for those who are considered introverted is staggering. They make up of only twenty-five percent of the population (Ali Khan); introverts live in a world that is primarily biased to extroverts. The unfortunate effect of this partiality has lent itself to many misconceptions of what they are really like. They have plenty of strengths to bring, but their strengths are often overlooked and instead they are mistaken as weakness.

The strength of introverts is that they gain much perspective and insight when alone, yet in situations such as, “brainstorming” or, “think tank” scenarios they are slow to give their opinion. This is not because they lack an opinion or knowledge. Rather, they need time to formulate their thoughts regarding the issue at hand. Primarily functioning from a world inward, introverted people must frequently resort to a place of solitude if they are to have much effect within their community. They need plenty of time and patience from their counterparts to process information and weigh out the course of action:

The introvert is by no means a social loss. His retreat into himself is not a final   renunciation of the world, but a search for quietude, where alone it is possible for him to make his contribution to the life of the community. This type of person is the victim of numerous misunderstandings – not unjustly, for he actually invites them. Nor can he be acquitted of the charge of taking a secret delight in. mystification, and that being misunderstood gives him a certain satisfaction, since it reaffirms his pessimistic outlook. (Jung)

Contrary to popular belief, most introverts do not struggle with shyness. Often times being shy is the direct result of one’s insecurities, therefore they find themselves subject to isolation, whether they desire it or not. On the other hand, introverts choose the time they spend on their own and in the silence of oneself. Some people think that introversion is something to strive for-a sign of deep thinking and intelligence. Most people believe that it is an aversion to society due to shyness or poor social skills (Collins 26).

The same way an extrovert finds life in attending parties and social functions, introverts find their liveliness when alone or in smaller social settings. However, when it comes to social situations that are more demanding than intimate conversations, introverts are not necessarily incapable. Introverts can take leading roles, participate in social events, and contribute to conversations (Collins 27). The primary difference between these two personality types is how they recharge. After spending much time in socializing, introverts often feel physically and emotionally drained, and seek to find time alone to regain energy they lost in having to function outward. Usually their desire for solitude is mistaken for elitism and/or reclusiveness. Their need to rest is not easily understood by extroverts. However, the necessity to get away must not be mistaken as being rude. Their need to replenish energy is crucial in order for them to relate outwardly within their given community.

Another misconception regarding introverts is their inability to build friendships; this is because they are thought of as antisocial altogether. Although they may not often be found as the center of attention, commonly introverts care deeply about developing long lasting relationships. Unlike the extrovert, who will know someone for an hour and call him or her a “friend,” introverts consider a friendship, only that which is more than an acquaintance. Their motto is “depth rather than breadth.”

Susan Cain, the author of the book Quiet, The Power of Introverts in a World That Can’t Stop Talking, gives a persuasive list of political figures, actors, inventors and propagandists who were, and are self proclaimed introverts: Albert Einstein, Steven Spielberg, Steve Martin, Rosa Parks, Warren Buffet, are to name only a few. Throughout history and even today, there are many renowned men and women who consider themselves an introvert. Undoubtedly each one of these has faced great opposition, and in spite of the many challenges, they lived and strived to press pass people’s misconceptions. More importantly, they were able to embrace who they were made to be, and through the strength of their character, live to bring influence and unprecedented change to not only society, but the world.

INTROVERTS. Part 1

I just put the finishing touches on this essay for my english class, and I figured I would share my work 🙂

Enjoy!

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The most unique aspect of a society is how it is composed of all different kinds of people. Each person is distinctively fashioned with varying personalities and gifts; there are no two people who are alike. Whether a person is rich or poor, quiet or loud, intelligent or slower to comprehend, the beauty of each human being is their need for another person’s strength, and vice versa. Introverts are among these who are greatly needed for the strengths they possess. The uniqueness of their personality is that which can change and have a positive affect within their community. Many people however, have mistaken introverts for being something they are not, and therefore, they have had to learn to live in a world that has misunderstood who they really are.

Getting to know someone who is introverted, and learning about the qualities they have can be an enriching experience. It is understandable why these characteristics are often difficult for extroverts – their opposite in personality – to understand. Almost every aspect of introverts are contrary to the way their counterpart functions. Nevertheless, it is possible to acknowledge how introverts operate and begin to appreciate their differences. Although their personality may vary from person to person, these five primary functions, as seen in the graph below, are the typical traits for every introvert.

– Energized by the inner world

–  Inward

–  Quiet

–  Thinks and may act

–  Values depth of experience

Im.so.over.winter.

70 degree weather + sandals and shorts = priceless..

I love that God created snow, and I appreciate the lyrics to the famous worship song Indescribable, “Who has seen heavenly storehouses laden with snow..” HOWEVER, I have tasted and seen the goodness of spring/summer and am ready to embrace it with open arms!

I have said my peace 🙂

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Amazon the Great..

I never realized how spoiled my generation is; we could have whatever we want anytime we want, all with one click of a button.. The story behind my realization started last week when I was dreaming about how I will be eating my dad’s famous “ice cream cake” for my birthday, in less than a week.. His ice cream cake has a history that dates all the way back to my 5th birthday: I will be turning 23 next week.. Every year we get to choose how we want our cake “specialized”, so, I began deciding what different candy I would put in it to make it the ultimate fulfillment of my dream.. While I was thinking about the perfection of this cake, I longed to have a candy bar from Canada, that I always had growing up, make it into my birthday cake.. However, there arose a challenge.. I live about 2,000 miles from Canada, and the ones that are nearly double the price at World Market are not the same, authentic candy bar.. I thought, maybe someone I know in NY would cross the border, buy some for me, and then send them in the mail all in time to make it into my cake..? Well, truthfully I did not want to ask anyone to do that, and its a good thing because I think I finally caught up with my generation, and heck, the rest of the world! I have finally discovered the endless possibilities and varieties available to me at my disposal..

Amazon.com : Ladies and Gents.. Its a beautiful thing..

I went to the “Groceries and Gourmet Foods” and stumbled upon all the yummy foods I could ever want, and more.. I figured, why not search for my favorite candy bar? And, the results: I could order as many as I wanted to for half the price I’d pay even in Canada! I was floored! I started looking up all the different foods I love, that are just not available here in the midwest! So, having discovered these things available to me, I made a top 5 list of things I will most certainly be ordering from different parts of the world via Amazon..

#1: My ALL time favorite candy bar imported from Canada – Crunchie Bar

#2: The second best candy bar on the planet (In my opinion of course 🙂 – Aero Bar
#3: A delicious treat that I discovered on a trip to Holland – Stroopwafels
#4: The most delicious, yummy, tasty, syrup one could ever have – Treacle Syrup
#5: And Finally, don’t be thrown off by the sound of them, they’re to this day my favorite chips ever – Ketchup chips
Special thanks Amazon for making my dreams come true 😉
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