December 29, 2006
We had the best Christmas ever... just so relaxed and amazed!
I have been sort of sitting on this post for awhile now... trying to find some balance and footing on what I have been feeling/battling/striving to understand. I am one of those people who will get a Word from the Lord, or a vision, or an insight - and I want to chew on it a bit and really examine it before I speak it out. I know, I know... God is not always wanting me to do that... and I am learning to follow His lead if it is a 'now' kind of thing... but - in my comfort zone - I have time and space to digest for myself what He has shared with me - before I speak it out. I know that God is trying to 'break' me out of this habit!
After receiving a word from the Elijah List not once, but twice... I suppose I will just poor out my heart here and pray that it will encourage and not cause anxiety or confusion. (Although - to be honest - it did do that for me...at first!?)
One overwhelming 'feeling' or awareness that has come to me this year - stronger than at any other time for me - was the fact that I live a Charmed Life. Honestly - I am blessed beyond measure and I live at peace with my family, and my friends. I am secure in my home and in my giftings and am growing in understanding of just how Abundantly the Lord desires for us to live! He came to give us Life, and Life ABUNDANTLY... He loves to bless His kids... I am sort of wired in that one "faith" way - although there is a balance in it all that is sometimes lost - but I have really had a year of feeling like - "Wow?! Why me, Lord?!" I am not rich, or a huge success by the World's standards... but by God's - I am in a good place!
For the past two months or so... that "Why me, Lord?!" feeling sort of shifted to a "What is going to happen... when is the other shoe going to fall?" sort of feeling? It was not heavy or 'present' much of the time - but just always back there in a corner of my mind. At first, it made me really thankful for all that I have and it also made me really drink in certain moments. I found myself really taking 'snapshots' of events or simple moments and thinking things like, "Lord - don't let me ever forget this!" or "Thank you Jesus for giving me this moment!" Gradually though - this feeling began to turn over to fear. My family would go sledding or my husband would be late coming home from work and I would give over to Fear that I had once been delivered from. I would recognize it, and battle it with the Word, and feel somewhat of a release.
I felt this "Doom" that was coming... and I felt like it was a personal thing... I couldn't really tell - however - if it was a warning from the Lord, or an attack from the enemy?! I honestly think it was both... at one point, a dear friend of mine felt that the Lord wanted to tell me that it is okay to be Broken. Brokenness is good... it is! ...I see the Beauty in Brokenness now from a healthier, I think Godlier perspective than what I first feared when she spoke those words! At first, due to the struggle I was going through - I assumed it confirmed that something horrible was coming... something dire... "I-better-hold-my-little-one-closer-and-tell-everyone-I-love-them" sort of fear. I prayed and fasted and prayed some more... I searched my heart and invited the Lord to break me if I was prideful or unwilling... I honestly felt like He and I were good... I found myself asking Job-like questions... pleading with Him to not test me in that way. As much as I love Him... in all honesty - I just don't know how I would pass? He is first - but my husband and daughter are a very close 2nd and 3rd!?
At any rate - I continued to pray for discernment and insight! I battled fear because I knew enough to know I did NOT want to become like Job and have what I greatly feared come upon me! I took Authority, I plead the Blood, I tried to stay in tune.
And then - comes this Word from the Elijah List... check it out if you have not read it... I will give a link at the end of this post! Anyway - it is about earthquakes and eruptions and being prepared. We have all heard and read the prophecies coming about impending earthquakes and volcanic eruptions through out the past years... it's almost like a dulled repetitious tune that keeps replaying - reminds me of the New Testament scripture about the return of the Lord... we can find our senses dulled and our belief teetering over to unbelief when it comes to the fulfillment of the Word. I began to pray about this feeling I was battling and wondering if I was given this burden for the purpose of intercession - and (once again!?) maybe it was not all about me?! It is hard not to read this word and not give over to fear... but I know that God has been preparing us for such a time as this for a long season. I began to feel like as long as I prayed in faith over my family and health and such - why would God all of the sudden not work for me?! Why would He turn His back on me!? I know the Word... and I will need to spend some more time in it - but I also believe now that the heaviness I was feeling was a warning to pray. The enemy simply took that old familiar spirit of fear and began to sow those dreaded "what if's" again! He twisted the warning and began to sow seeds in me that God did not intend. Once I began praying on a broader scale and interceding for my state and country... the heaviness began to lift. Does this mean that nothing bad will happen to me?! We know that bad things do happen to good people - but if we dwell on that and plan for it - we can rest assured that the enemy will take it and run with it! We must abide in a place of faith. We must trust in, lean, and rely on Him and Him alone to see us through!
So - I was getting a clearer picture of what I was being called to do in this season. Simply put - it is to continue to do what I have been doing... but with more intensity and urgency! at teh same time, I began reading this book, called Blue Like Jazz. There was one simple quote in the beginning of the book that gave me an Ah-Ha moment... Donald Miller talks about trying to fix a broken world while not realizing or acknowledging his own brokenness. He went on to write: "I think Jesus feels strongly about communicating the idea of our brokenness, and I think it is worth reflection. Nothing is going to change in the Congo until you and I figure out what is wrong with the person in the mirror." (Blue Like Jazz, pg 23)
Then I stumbled back upon a Blog I used to visit more often and one of the posts asked, "What have you learned this year?" I got to thinking about that... and you know the single most important thing that I have learned this year? It is that God desires us to be REAL... to be transparent... (yes - to be Broken!) Does that mean to be BROKEN-broken... I pray not... but I think it means to be Honest with each other... no more masks and facades!? Brokenness means to be interrupted, to be disrupted due to change, to be damaged or altered by breaking. It seems as if all of these things may be upon us in the next days and months... whether spiritually, physically, or both! ...and yet, we can still run to Him and trust in His covering, His protecting, His provision. He is good... all the time... He is trustworthy and strong. In good times, and in bad times, He is our All Sufficient One! Believe me, I do not know what is coming - to my life or to yours - but I DO know that He is enough... and as long as we stayed tuned in to Him, and we follow His lead, He will cover us and speak to us. He is the Good Shepherd, and we know His voice. If we are called to pack up and leave, or to store up extra supplies, or to bow down and pray... we must trust that He will tell us... and we must be willing to be Broken and not pause and ponder and weigh what we are feeling - but to act on His prompting... to follow His lead! Then and There... because Timing will play a powerful part in all that is coming upon us in this next year!
I pray you will read through this post from Steve Schultz... pray over it - test it - if you find yourself battling fear... plead the Blood... study it out if you need to, read "The Blood and the Glory" by Billye Brim. I pray you have a truly Happy New Year and you will find yourself full of faith, and prepared in the coming days - for whatever it is the Lord has for you!
(Elijah List Word regarding coming http://www.elijahlist.com/words/display_word/4853 )
December 22, 2006
December 20, 2006
Mmm - the scents & sounds of Christmas… - it seems that they are all around me
I love Christmas! I love all the sights & sounds, the smells & rituals of the holidays!
This year, though, somehow it hasn’t flowed so smoothly from
I’ve been praying about why this is.
Sure - the presents & stockings & gift giving is all part of our tradition.
But - at the heart of our celebrations, should be Love.
As I was praying & unpacking ornaments, candle holders, & Christmas towels,
He calls us to Him in the midst of this season
He may be waiting for you to run to Him
Great Rewards? Oh yes!
May you enjoy the sights & sounds of the Season
& smell the scent of His Love that He lavishes upon you!
With Love & Blessings, Merry Christmas!
December 12, 2006
I can't believe that it is already the time of year that finds me browsing over our yearly calendar & making plans for the weeks to come as well! With the decorations all around, the lights plugged in, & the carols softly playing in the background, I find my focus & peace as I gaze at the Manger that occupies our Living Room. This little Babe, after all, is why we celebrate! If not His Birth, then at the very least, His purpose... Love! "For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son." It's such a familiar passage that we sometimes forget... "For God so loved... that He gave..." For God SO LOVED... that HE GAVE! That is amazing, isn't it?! He still gives today, you know?!
We so often sing the carols about Jesus... His Birth... His Gift... But what I have been thinking about lately is what have I given?! We are not required to do "good works" to earn His Gift of course... we'd never be able to work enough to EARN it... (that's what makes it a gift!) But we are called to bear fruit! The Bible says that people should know that we are Christians 'by our love.' So, what do I do to let His Love flow through me & shine into a dark world? How do I allow Christ to be seen in me? I think we'll be surprised when we see the various ways He worked though each of us from the other side of eternity! It is in the big AND the little things! It's in the sacrifices AND the things we love to do! One Sacrifice I make each year at Christmas time is such a small thing...but it helped me to communicate with my daughter a powerful truth of habit & home!
Creatures of habit... that is what we all are! Whether you think back to childhood memories or current rituals.. we all have our favorite spots! At the dining room table, in the car, your side of the bed, etc.! We have been blessed with a room with a view... a huge picture window that overlooks our city! There are better seats in the Living Room... there's a spot on the couch that if you sit there as the sun rises, you can watch Mt. Adams change colors as the sun reflects off the snow; there's the Loveseat that is angled to look straight out the window & give a view of the city lights at night time. But my favorite spot is in the chair in the corner! It's close to the window & I can still enjoy our view... I can watch the sunrise, hear the quiet of snow falling, or see the twinkling of lights below...But my chair is also angled in, so I can see into the rest of the house. I am able to see when someone comes home, or enters the room. & I am able to keep an eye on all of the activities going on! It's a comfy chair, & the side table has everything I need when I come & meet with my Lord! It's got my favorite lamp (a keepsake souvenir from a trip with friends.) It's got a few of my favorite scented candles, a framed photo of friends & family, & the current books I am reading. Just below that I will find my Bible, & a choice selection of Journals for me to write in! It's close to the stereo so I can set the mood with music, & close to all my other resource books, if God sets me on a chase in His Word! We used to have a room in our home that was the designated "Prayer Room" - I used it especially when my little one was smaller. She came to learn that if Mommy was in that room, I was meeting with God in prayer & worship. She would come in from time to time, but it was a necessary spot 'set away' so she knew if she was coming in, she'd have to pray & wait... a great lesson to learn! As she grew older, & we housed more & more guests, our "Prayer Room" became our "Spare Room" & I found myself sitting in this chair in the corner, more than anywhere else!
During Prayer meetings, Bible Studies, or morning Devotions, this chair is my 'Withdrawing Room" as R. B. Munger writes. I have made my heart Christ’s' home, & we meet here ~ in my favorite spot ~ to talk about my day, pray over what concerns me, or just sit & spend some quiet time together. Whether it's intercessory prayer, a morning devotional time, or evening reading, if I am seeking God or communing with Him 'on purpose' ...this is where you will find me!
I light my candles, grab a drink, open up the Word & feast with Him at this banquet table He prepares in my Favorite Spot! There is about one month out of the year that I sacrifice my Spot! As we decorate for Christmas, I move my Chair into my daughter's room. She absolutely LOVES that! It is where I will find HER praying & reading in the mornings & evenings during the holidays! In place of my chair, we set up our Hay & Feeding Trough... & we place a "Babe wrapped in Swaddling Clothes' in that spot! We hang a Star from the ceiling & shine a spot light on Jesus - our Reason for the Season! As the holidays near, we put gifts around the manger scene & spend some time focused on WHY we are celebrating!
One day my daughter asked why I put this scene in my Favorite Spot, giving up my normal routine each December. I thought about it for a moment & said, "It's a little sacrifice for me, but that is the spot where His Presence is... it's the perfect Spot! It is where I honor Him throughout the year...where else would He go?!" My Favorite Spot is surrounded with some of my favorite things, but it's His Presence that draws me there - to our "Withdrawing Room." I know I carry Him with me in my heart... & where I go, He is. But there is something special about having a tangible meeting place set up! I encourage you to search out your heart & your home, & prepare Him room... Prepare a place for Him! Whether you have never offered Him your heart - or that was done years ago... I encourage you to pray about how You are loving those around you... what can you give... what do you sacrifice... how does He flow through you to bless the world around you!? ...When we 'Prepare Him Room" - Oh My - how He comes!
December 10, 2006
This week as I drove to my prayer meeting, I was praying about that Fragrance... I have been in services where we have had a heavenly fragrance surround us... in one season it smelled like Frankincense, and in one season we were surrounded in a Vineyard, smelling pressed grapes! It was divine... we knew He was there... visiting us. We could linger in certain areas of the building and catch a whiff of Him. My, how I want to pass by those who are searching and have them smell His very Presence on me!
I arrived at my meeting, and the leader was teaching out of Luke Chapter One. It was very good and I found myself reading ahead and the verse that stood out to me is in the midst of Mary's Prayer. "He has filled and satisfied the hungry with good things..." (Luke 1:53a)
Jesus is the Bread of Life... He said so Himself! He is the Bread that gives Life. Through His body, His sacrifice, we gain eternal Life. When we feed on Him, we grow spiritually and we live that Abundant Life He promised us! I remember hearing Kenneth Copeland teach on spending time in the Word awhle back... Now, John said that Jesus is the Word... so it is easy to see that the Word (Jesus) is the Bread of Life... and when we feast on the Word - we are filled. Kenneth went on to compare the Word with physical food. He taught on how we need to eat everyday to nourish our bodies and keep us healthy and strong. We do not eat a nice meal on Tuesday and expect it to sustain us through until the weekend, or the next week! We should not assume the same thing when it comes to feeding on Spiritual Manna! We must feast on the Word daily to remain strong and healthy and growing! Now feasting on the Word includes more than just reading a quick devotional... and while I believe the Bible should be opened each day - I am not legalistic in thinking that this is required... but it is desired - and it is beneficial to us... I will be honest - some days I do not get my Bible open - but I have still spent time with the Word... I have prayed, I have worshiped... my goal is to dig into the Word consistentl - but I do not want any condemnation here... just know that while it IS the best discipline - you are able to feast on the Word without opening your Bible everyday. So there is Grace extended... I would rather spend ten minutes in worship - and feast on His Presence, than 5, 0r 10, or 20 minutes in His Word - trying to just get through it!
So, back at my Prayer meeting... during the worship, the Lord led me to read John 6:41-58... I will post it here for you to read:
"The Jews then complained about Him, because He said, “I am the bread which came down from heaven.” And they said, “Is not this Jesus, the son of Joseph, whose father and mother we know? How is it then that He says, ‘I have come down from heaven’?” Jesus therefore answered and said to them, “Do not murmur among yourselves. No one can come to Me unless the Father who sent Me draws him; and I will raise him up at the last day. It is written in the prophets, ‘And they shall all be taught by God.’Therefore everyone who has heard and learned from the Father comes to Me. Not that anyone has seen the Father, except He who is from God; He has seen the Father. Most assuredly, I say to you, he who believes in Me has everlasting life. I am the bread of life. Your fathers ate the manna in the wilderness, and are dead. This is the bread which comes down from heaven, that one may eat of it and not die. I am the living bread which came down from heaven. If anyone eats of this bread, he will live forever; and the bread that I shall give is My flesh, which I shall give for the life of the world.” The Jews therefore quarreled among themselves, saying, “How can this Man give us His flesh to eat?” Then Jesus said to them, “Most assuredly, I say to you, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink His blood, you have no life in you. Whoever eats My flesh and drinks My blood has eternal life, and I will raise him up at the last day. For My flesh is food indeed, and My blood is drink indeed. He who eats My flesh and drinks My blood abides in Me, and I in him. As the living Father sent Me, and I live because of the Father, so he who feeds on Me will live because of Me. This is the bread which came down from heaven—not as your fathers ate the manna, and are dead. He who eats this bread will live forever.” (John 6:41-58 NKJV)
I was then reminded of the story in the Bible about the two walking on the Road to Emmaus. I LOVE this story! It is found in Luke 24. These two men were so disillusioned, they did not recognize or 'see' Jesus walking along with them. Even when He began to speak to them - they did not see. But there was something in the Breaking of the Bread that caused their blind eyes to be opened, and they could see that it was the Lord! There is a claymation movie about Jesus called, "The Miracle Maker" - I HIGHLY recommend this movie... it is one of my all time favorites! There is a little weaving of a story that ties things together which may or may not have happened, but the overall story is intact and so very powerful! The movie has a scene that includes the road to Emmaus. I love it! There is something so powerful when we see - really SEE - our Lord, willingly breaking Bread with us - FOR us... I encourage you to take Communion in this season... whether on your own - just you and the Lord, or as a family.
If you have ever baked fresh bread in your home - or gone into a bakery when they have just taken the bread out of the oven, you know that smell follows you! It gets into your clothes and stirs up a hunger in you that you didn't even know was there! It reminds me of the Sinner and her Alabaster Box... while she ministered to the Lord, that oil also absorbed into her skin, her hair, her hands... and as she walked away - she carried the scent of worship with her! Even as Jesus - the Bread of Life - was being broken for her... she carried the smell of Him with her! When I gather together with family and friends, I want the Fragrance of God - that Bread of Life - to stir up a hunger and to linger through me as I go about my days!
I pray you carry with you that Fragrance of God in this season, and cause others to hunger for Him as well!
Oh - just a side note, Jesus - who is the Bread of Life - was born in Bethlehem, with means, "House of Bread" (Isn't God just too cool... and thorough!)
November 30, 2006
A mere scent of something specific can stir up memories of nostalgia or romance, or childhood in an instant! I have a Wedding Day perfume... I don't wear it often - but I do wear it on purpose... and on my Anniversary - always... Whenever I smell it, it brings me back to that day. I love to wear all kinds of perfumes... I used to have one signature perfume... but I like to mix it up! I also LOVE LOVE LOVE scented candles and lotions and potions... to me, a good scent helps to set a mood! This will all tie in nicely in the end, you will see!
Tuesday morning, on my way to Prayer - I asked the Lord why I was not really feeling 'oh so festive' yet... Normally I am nearly done with all the madness and can sit back and enjoy the season... anyway - He simply referred me to Psalm 19. ...love the Psalms. So, when I arrived to the meeting, I opened up my Bible and read through this Psalm. Verse 7-11 really stood out to me. This is what they say:
"The law of the Lord is perfect, restoring the [whole] person; the testimony of the Lord is sure, making wise the simple. The precepts of the Lord are right, rejoicing the heart; the commandment of the Lord is pure and bright, enlightening the eyes. The [reverent] fear of the Lord is clean, enduring forever; the ordinances of the Lord are true and righteous altogether. More to be desired are they than gold, even than much fine gold; they are sweeter also than honey and drippings from the honeycomb. Moreover, by them is Your servant warned (reminded, illuminated, and instructed); and in keeping them there is great reward."
(Ps 19:7-11 Amplified)
Isn't that good!? It is a very familiar portion of Scripture for me... but how just like my God to lead me here... when I am distracted by the ever-growing list of things that will need to get done in the next few weeks. I am a fairly laid back person. I love the ribbons and bows of the Holidays! But I do not want to feel like I HAVE to do them! I was reminded of a word of prophecy that was once spoken over me... at the time it cracked me up - but many times since then - I have relished in it! Someone once prayed over me and shared that "It came without ribbons, and it came without bows..." He went on to quote a bit more of that children's verse... and he added, "But it came! It CAME!" He went on to say that as much as I like the ribbons and bows - those are not necessary because the Glory of God is in me... what people want... what they MUST HAVE... is in me! Now - I share that humbly - knowing that what is in me, is also in you! Ah - there is such freedom in remembering that the glory of God resides in us... as my dear friend Sheri reminded us this week - God, Emmanuel, IS with us - always! Not just during the holidays - but always!
So - back to Ps 19. The law of the LORD is perfect... The testimony of the LORD is sure... The statutes of the LORD are right... The commandment of the LORD is pure... The fear of the LORD is clean... The judgments of the LORD are true and righteous altogether... When we seek to decorate our hearts and homes with these things first... the word continues on and says that by them we are 'warned (reminded, illuminated, and instructed)' ... and in keeping them - there is Great Reward! Isn't that what we truly want this time of year?! This season is not all about the gifts and the presents and the hoopla - we all tell our kids that... and we mean it! But who doesn't love that perfect, thoughtful, gift!? Who doesn't desire a Great Reward? One version says it this way, "There's more: God's Word warns us of danger and directs us to hidden treasure."
As I was meditating on this portion of Scripture - the Lord had me flip in my Bible to another portion of Scripture that is Oh So familiar to me! Song of Solomon 5:2-8. I love this passage and have fed upon it time after time after time! As I was reading this passage, someone else was talking about the traditions of men and how we tend to pull them out especiallyt hsi time of year, and how we tend to hold on to them. I then heard the Lord say, "Have you not seen? Do you not know? The Glory of the Lord has risen upon you!"
Immediately I saw in the spirit a Faceless Bride - no longer in a radiant white dress, but it was dingy, and faded...it looked as if the dress itself was disappointed and let down... left at the altar, yet again. The Bride looked tired... tired of waiting... tired of standing there having yet another "Groom" not Show Up, not Step Up, not Come Through...
Then I heard Jesus - her Real Bridegroom - ask her, "Why? Why do you keep seeking - when you have already found? They will ALWAYD pale in comparison to Me... They will never be all you need them to be." Then I saw her again, eyes downcast to the empty space beside her, face vacant, heart wounded, and I saw Jesus - in a Groom's attire - standing behind her, waiting. waiting for her to Look Up, Step Back, and Lay Herself on that empty altar... to lay down her own expectations and lists of requirements that she strives to find in Man. His eyes are not downcast - they are piercing to her very soul and dripping over with Love. As she crumples on the floor in despair, she sees Him, and wonders why He is not coming to her. But, He needs her to lay herself down in Surrender, not Despair! I can see His heart is aching for her... He longs to pick her up - yet again... and carry her. He will - I can see that one day - He will... but this day - He simply reaches out to her and touches her hand. As their hands touch, I can see oil dripping down their arms.
The next 'scene' is literally the Song of Solomon chapter 5:2-8.
I saw that faceless Bride - still unwed... yet longing for her groom... "I sleep, but my heart is awake; It is the voice of my beloved!"
Jesus comes to her door... "He knocks, saying, “ Open for me, my sister, my love, My dove, my perfect one; For my head is covered with dew, My locks with the drops of the night.”
The Bride sits up and answers Him, "I have taken off my robe; How can I put it on again?" She had had another long and weary day - she had followed the Law and done the Works and still - went to bed lonely and alone. "I have washed my feet; How can I defile them?" she asked. She was tired... didn't He know?! Why couldn't He have come to the Altar when she was ready and waiting... She seemed to remember an urge to place herself up on the altar that day - and yet she washed that thought away and continued to wait besides the altar for her answered prayer. She then realized that, all the while, her 'answered prayer' was there - at the altar, waiting for her! Why had she gone looking for another - when He was the answer to every question? She knew better... and yet - she had fallen back into that old routine. It was not that He was not enough - it was that she was not surrended... not completely.
Her beloved put his hand by the latch of the door, And her heart yearned for him. The Bride arose to open for her beloved, And her hands dripped with myrrh, her fingers with liquid myrrh, On the handles of the lock.
I recall studying about this and reading that, back in the day, this was like a suitors Calling Card. He would leave a scent behind. Instead of stopping in and leaving his cell number, he would drench his hands in scented oil and so whenever his beloved would return - she would smell him and know that he was there! WAY more romantic than a phone number, don't you think?
Anyway - the Bride went and opened for her beloved,
Song of Solomon goes on to say "...But my beloved had turned away and was gone. My heart leaped up when he spoke. I sought him, but I could not find him; I called him, but he gave me no answer. The watchmen who went about the city found me. They struck me, they wounded me; The keepers of the walls Took my veil away from me. I charge you, O daughters of Jerusalem, If you find my beloved, That you tell him I am lovesick!"
You see, in the midst of our Traditions of Man and all the lists of things to do and gifts to buy... our Fragrant Groom awaits... He is patient and loving and kind... He is with us - wherever we go and whatever we are doing. He desires US... more than anything we can do FOR Him - He calls us to Him in the midst of this season and asks not for us to do MORE... but to simply BE with Him! How often have each one of us looked for a 'Groom' to fulfill that which only Christ Himself can fill in us. We come with our list of requirements and our high expectations and we look to Man and - almost always - we are left at the altar, alone... disappointed. However, in His great mercy He is there - just standing by - waiting for sweet surrender... waiting for us to break protocol, to be willing to soil our feet and put on our robe again, and run to Him when we catch a scent of His Fragrant Love!
Great Rewards? Oh yes... Hidden treasures? I know it is so!
I pray that as you enter in to December and all that this month may hold for you - you will find joy in the truths of Psalm 19. I pray that there will be joy as you prepare your heart and your home... prepare Him room in all you do, and know that your Bridegroom rejoices over you! I pray that in the midst of all your running around, all your serving and shopping... I pray you will take a moment here and there and close your eyes, stop and pray, worship Him... O Come let us adore Him... meditate, think... I am praying that you will be able to smell His Heavenly cologne and know that He is Emmanuel - God WITH YOU.
May you enjoy the sights and sounds of the Season,
and smell the Scent of His Love that He lavishes upon you!
November 28, 2006
Normally, by this time of year, my house is decked out, my gifts are mostly wrapped, and my cards are all hand-made and addressed. I would have worked on my Family Christmas Letter over the holiday weekend, and I would be feeling - well - festive. This year, however, I am just not quite there! I love this time of year! I thrive on it! It brings me joy and peace ...all the memories made, and to be made, all the scents and sounds of the season. Normally, I relish in it all! I set a goal each year that I am completely done with all the preparations for Christmas by December 10th. All the gifts are purchased, wrapped, (shipped)... all the stocking stuffers, the letter is done and printed, the cards are made, addressed, and mailed out - all by the 10th of December. Most years, unlike this one, I am nearly done before Thanksgiving, so this is not much of a stressful 'deadline' if you will. However, this year - I barely have things crossed of teh gift list, and the cards are still not glued together... the letter is just now beginning to take up some of my thoughts... the decorations are ALL still in storage. And yet, I still intend to complete my self-appointed deadline.
Why, you may ask?! Simply because - this is WHY I began this time frame anyway... so that I CAN sit back and relax and enjoy the season! So I CAN entertain (or not), bake (or not), go caroling and party-hoping (...or not), etc.! When I am able to be done by a certain date - that frees me up for the final two weeks approaching Christmas to sit back, play with the kids, read a bit, spend some time with the Lord, light the Hanukkah candles, sing Christmas songs, reflect and remember... give thanks once again. I need that time in the midst of the chaos... I do not want to get side-tracked, or unfocused on why we celebrate in the first place!
Even the traditional rituals of gift giving, and Christmas carols, and decorating - if done in a hurry and with a stressed perspective and weary heart - can become just that... Tradition... tradition of man rather than honoring God... Whom we are desiring to honor now - in this season - probably more than any other somehow?! What if God calls us to break the mold?! What if He releases us from some of the 'works' and the expectations that we so often lay upon ourselves in this time of year - and simply calls us to His side... will we have the faith and boldness required to break free from the 'box' of Christmas and worship Him in spirit and in truth!? I wonder...
Don't get me wrong?! I still have plans to do the cards, and the gifts, and the decorating. I love to do that stuff! The Martha in me LOVES all of that... but the Mary in me desires some time set aside as well! I have gone without a tree for many years... because He asked me not to. I missed out on the memories of decorating it with my daughter while she was young... one of the few 'traditions' at Christmas time that I could pass down to her. A few years ago, however, the Lord told me I could have a tree - if I wanted one. I really didn't that year. But the year after - I decided I DID want that... I wanted to make those memories with my daughter and hear which ornaments are her favorites and why... I wanted the cocoa and the Christmas music and untangling the lights. I still do. But - if He asked me not to... I would keep it all stored away and boxed up. Because, those years that we did not have a tree - Christmas still happened. We still made memories and focused on Him and taught our daughter the meaning of Christmas. She didn't need all the lights and glitter to see the spirit of Christmas at work with our home. And in not going all out - she saw that it begins all 'in'. So - that is where we start... on Thanksgiving! We start by - in November - preparing our heart room.
This week I will find myself - unless the Lord releases me - finishing up with the Christmas cards, pulling out the decorations, and working on our Family Letter. I will do it bit by bit... a little at a time... sometimes with my little one helping... and other times in the quiet of the afternoon - on my own - just me and the Lord. I am looking forward to doing it progressively - rather than obsessively. I like to get things done... to finish a project asap. But this year - the Lord is calling me to relish in each single thing He is allowing me to do. I will go slow - and spread what I normally would do in one frantic day - over a period of days in a row. The Martha in me will be trying to hurry it up and get the finished look... but it is Jesus that I am trying to impress. I am not focused on what others will think or how I compare... I just want to honor Him and create and prepare an atmosphere that celebrates His coming. For He is always welcome!
I pray you will enjoy the season and find yourself miraculously with time to spare!
May He be welcomed into your home and your heart. May He speak to you about what He is calling you to do... and what He may be releasing you from - in this Season!
November 22, 2006
I love how Thanksgiving sets the tone and mood for the coming chaos of Christmas and all that the holiday has come to involve... For me, Thanksgiving puts it all in perspective before the frenzy of gift giving and baking and entertaining and keeping up with the Joneses. The Mary and Martha within me often fight against each other the most during Christmas... but Mary wins out on Thanksgiving without a doubt!
It doesn't matter where your priorities are - at Thanksgiving time - it seems everyones' get shifted around a bit and put back in proper order! We begin to reflect on all that truly matters and we begin to see what is stealing our time and blurring our focus. It is a day set aside to spend with family and friends and to remember over the past year all things GOOD! Even when we have been dealt a hard year and had to work with tragedy and pain... unexpected hurts and betrayals... even then - we are called to focus in on blessings in our lives and as long as we draw breath - we have something to be thankful for!
At Prayer yesterday, we were encouraged to set aside not only tomorrow - but December - to enter into His rest and focus on the reasons for our thankfulness! We were encouraged to look over the past year and reflect on the blessings and the ways that God has come through for us! And oh my - how He has! How He ALWAYS will!!! I normally do this while I am preparing to write our Family Christmas Letter... I am fairly organized and - as many of my readers know - I am a schedule/routine follower - so you can image that just browsing through our family calendar - I am reminded of how God has shown up for us over and over and over again! So - I will do that over this weekend and begin to write our Holiday Letter. I encourage you to do this as well... whether at the Thanksgiving table - or on your own - alone with the Lord... it is such a powerful time of relfection and intimacy ...and it does give a freshness to our perspective and priorities before the busyness of the Season takes hold!
What I wanted to share today really - is that in the midst of the past two weeks - I have dealt with such a Heaviness... such a burden to carry that truly was not my own... I rarely deal with depression or oppression - but I can say that there has been a weariness that settled in over my heart. I believe part of it was an attack and I did what I knew to do to battle that with the Word and warfare in worship and prayer... I entered into His rest and allowed the Lord to cover me and to take most of the burden off of me. The weariness that remained however, confused me for several days. In the midst of the heaviness - the Lord gave me a Promise! I am clinging to it and believing for it... He told me of a change that is coming within my family that has been years and years of prayer in the making! He gave me a promise for the season - and even in that - my heart was heavy. I realized that I was not rejoicing at this promise like I should have been. When I would recall His words to me... I would feel faith rise up within me and I would know that it is true... and yet I felt such sadness that I was not able to really allow myself to get my hopes up. That is when I realized that I have, in the past, allowed my faith and my expectation level to rise so high - that it nearly broke my heart when I didn't see the vision or promise come to pass. I realized that recently I had a similar experience and I was searching my heart to be certain that the expectations that I had - were not unmet due to anything I myself did or did not do. Yesterday, the Lord revealed to me that what I was still feeling- the heaviness I was dealing with - was HIS heart for that situation... His expectations had been higher as well - and His heart was broken for the same reasons. In that knowledge - I felt a release!
Also - yesterday in Prayer - God gave me a new name... I heard Jesus tell me that I am like Sarah... I will have to go back and study it out again... study more about this mighty woman of the faith and see what God has for me in this name... What I do know is that her name means: Lady, or Princess. Given all that He has spoken this year - about being a Lady in waiting... about being His royal Princess.... about being a Queen, I thought that this new name was very interesting!
I pray that God will remind you this weekend - as you gather together and celebrate Thanksgiving - all the many reasons you have to be thankful! I pray that He will embrace you and whisper truths to your weary hearts, and cover you and call you by a new name!
November 8, 2006
I'm Like a Bird...
Let His Love lift you up and Fly with Him!
It has been a few weeks since I have written... and I am actually on my way out of town for a weekend away with some girlfriends! However, I didn't want to let another week pass without writing down a few things that the Lord has been speaking...
On my way to the weekly intercessors meeting that I attend, I was praying and talking with the Lord. I have this 'way' with Him - and often times I will feel pressure (albeit in my own mind) to 'come through' and I always know that it is the enemy at work trying to get me to fear man and work to impress and honor 'man' more so than God. So - I had been feeling this concern to come through with a vision... it HAS been a somewhat weekly event. But - in my attempt to take authority over this attack... I prayed, "Lord, can you let someone ELSE have a vision today!? Someone who maybe doesn't experience them or doesn't share often... I would like to just sit in Your presence and soak today..." Now - I KNOW He doesn't need ME to speak for Him... let me tell you - the women who attend this meeting clearly hear from Him themselves... and none of them 'pressure' me at all... I am just being transparent about what happened that day. I will say - I did NOT have a vision... and in fact, someone else that rarely shares DID have a vision. I thought that was pretty cool of God!
While I didn't have a vision... I DID get a couple of Scripture references... I went home later that day, Tuesday Oct 31st, and studied out the Scriptures He had given me. As I read through the chapter and verses I could hear the Lord speak, "Freedom!" Isn't that the cry of our hearts?! We want freedom in our own lives, freedom in our homes - our families and marriages, freedom in our churches and in our land... However, I felt a sense that this was not ONLY a Victory Cry of Freedom... but this was a cry of a Freedom He was going to allow to come upon His Bride for a short season, because it is necessary... that it would, in the end, bring about a Freedom we have not yet known.
He had me reading through Jeremiah chapter 34. In this chapter, Jeremiah has a word from the Lord for King Zedekiah... they are in the midst of war... and the Lord starts out by assuring the King that he will not die by the sword... but he will die in peace, as his ancestors before him did. This word came to Zedekiah after he had made a covenant with the people to proclaim freedom to the slaves. Many of the Israelites had Jewish slaves and they had not been practicing the 7th year release. The people had repented and decided to give Freedom to their brothers and sisters... and then apparently they changed their minds. The Lord went on to say: "You have disobeyed me by not giving your slaves their freedom. So I will give you freedom--the freedom to die in battle or from disease or hunger. I will make you disgusting to all other nations on earth." (Jer 34:17 CEV) You see - we have freedom of choice... and in our choices, there are consequences. We have prophesied a coming Shaking for some time now... Days after I prayed and studied these things... the news about Pastor Ted Haggard was reported.
I have loved this man. I have sat under his teaching. I have prayed with him and for him and I have the utmost respect for his heart for ministry and his love for the Lord. My initial response, like many, MANY peoples', was "NO! This is not true!" I was broken hearted not only for this man and his apparent struggle that has been going on for longer than anyone could have guessed, but also for his wife, his family, the church and all those he has ministered beside and to. I pray Grace and Restoration for him... I pray that we - his brothers and sisters - will not hold him captive and enslave him to his sin. We must not make him a slave and treat him as 'less than' ...the Lord has called us to forgive. Yes - he must repent and he must seek out wise counsel and he is in need of deliverance and THEN restoration. Here's the thing... God has warned us for years and years and years that He is going to SHAKE things up... starting with the church! Whatever is hidden will be made known. We have the CHOICE to deal with it now... one on one with the Lord... or deal with it later - out in the open, with others standing by! I believe, that we are now beginning the Season of "Out in the open".
We have a choice in what kind of Freedom we will walk in... For me, I want the Victory Cry of Freedom to reign over my life... when the Lord speaks Freedom over me... I do not want it to be the Freedom to die due to my own choice and consequences, but I want it to be the Freedom to truly LIVE!
I believe that now that the world has her eyes on the church and this scandal... the greatest honor and blessing and the greatest GOOD we can do with this - is to allow His abundant Grace and Mercy and forgiveness to flow through us to those who have fallen! Let us not eat our young... let us not make Slaves of our brothers and sisters in their time of need... but let us LOVE!!! They will know we are Christians by our LOVE! Let THAT be their headline news! Let us astound and confuse them... by the forgiveness and mercy we pour out on one another! Let us walk in FREEDOM, minister FREEDOM, and offer FREEDOM by walking, ministering, and offering LOVE!
I proclaim Freedom over your life today, my friend!
October 26, 2006
Sure - of course - we hear our own thoughts - that ever growing list of things to do...
We hear what others expect of us - carpool, meetings, errands, etc...
We hopefully hear that Still, Small voice of God - leading and guiding us through out the day...
But - if you are like me, and I suspect you are... there is also an ongoing, never-ending whispering to your soul of negative thoughts and fears and worries. It can be oh so soft, we can often confuse it with our own voice. However, it is the voice of the enemy and he is consistently attacking our thought life to stop us from advancing into all that the Voice of God speaks over us!
In the midst of prayer on Tuesday, once again - I found myself dancing with Jesus. We were slow dancing and enjoying the moment. For reasons completely unknown to me.. I suddenly began to feel sad... He pulled me back and looked deep into my very depth and He began to openly weep over me. I watched and saw Love pouring our in His tears. And deeper still, I could see a woundedness in Him that caught me by surprise.
He pulled me closer into The Dance and held me tight. He continued to shake and sob as He held me. This stirred in me such unease and confusion... I am forgiven... I am cleansed and pure in His sight... whatever could I have done to bring such sadness and brokenness to my LORD?! After quite a bit of time passed, He began to whisper into my ear, "How much more LOVE must I lavish upon you to get you to believe what I say about you rather than what lies he whispers? How are you going to let me closer when you have that constant negative background noise, building walls and stealing your attention? My heart breaks for you because I see you for who I made you to be... and you have not yet - even after all this time - even caught a glimpse of the good and the Glory I have in store for you!"
"Show me, Lord! Show me... help my unbelief!" I cried.
"I know that you know I love you," He said. "I know you know you are forgiven. But I do not love you simply because of or through my Grace and Mercy. But I love you because of YOU... because of who I created you to be! YOU draw me... it's you that I love and you that I desire! I made you to be you - the one I love. I made you to be who you are - who I NEED you to be! Now Rise Up! Rise Up into all I have created you to be!"
Believe in what He has to say about you... we all struggle with negative thoughts and debilitating fears... we listen to those things and at best, they cause us to pause... at worst - they cause us to freeze up and not follow through with all He has called us to be and to do!
He knows the thoughts He has towards you...
"For My thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways My ways, says the Lord. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are My ways higher than your ways and My thoughts than your thoughts. For as the rain and snow come down from the heavens, and return not there again, but water the earth and make it bring forth and sprout, that it may give seed to the sower and bread to the eater, So shall My word be that goes forth out of My mouth: it shall not return to Me void [without producing any effect, useless], but it shall accomplish that which I please and purpose, and it shall prosper in the thing for which I sent it." (Isa 55:8-11)
"For I know the thoughts and plans that I have for you, says the Lord, thoughts and plans for welfare and peace and not for evil, to give you hope in your final outcome." (Jer 29:11)
And this one - which I just stumbled up on as writing this:
"[There shall be heard again] the voice of joy and the voice of gladness, the voice of the bridegroom and the voice of the bride, the voices of those who sing as they bring sacrifices of thanksgiving into the house of the Lord, Give praise and thanks to the Lord of hosts, for the Lord is good; for His mercy and kindness and steadfast love endure forever! For I will cause the captivity of the land to be reversed and return to be as it was at first, says the Lord." (Jer 33:11)
My prayer this week is that we will learn (and relearn) to recognize the whisperings of the enemy and take authority over those thoughts... they are not our own... and they are definitely not the Lords! May He help you to silence the enemy and tune in to the Voice of the Bridegroom this week! Rise up!
What I 'saw' in the spirit during worship the other day was a heart that had soil in it... and the Master Gardener's hands shifting things around in it... He was weeding some stuff out and planting good seed. He was Cultivating the soil of our hearts... aerating them, breaking up the hard ground, taking out the weeds by the roots, and pruning the healthy plants. As any good gardener - He had vision and could see the end result, (while I could only see all the dirt.) I do not have a green thumb. We have a wonderful little mini garden outside our front door... I love it! I have a little sitting area there and can enjoy it for a couple of seasons... my husband is the one who loves to plant and weed and plan for next year. I benefit greatly from all his work! I sometimes offer to help out - but it seems I do not always know the difference between a weed and a healthy plant... sometimes he doesn't know either - until we let it 'bloom' and find it choking life out of the other nearby plants. We are learning as we go. But, God - our Master Gardener... the Author and Finisher of our faith... He has vision beyond what we could imagine, and He knows the things in our 'gardens' (our hearts!) that may SEEM like a plant - but in the end will choke out the Life He has planted within us... He is in a season of reaching in, shifting things about, preparing us for the season ahead. That will take some weeding... that will take some raking about and digging around - but the end result we can rest assured, will be one of beauty with lush, rich soil, deep roots, and gorgeous flowers for all to enjoy!
Hand Him the keys to your Garden... Allow Him access to enter the gates around your heart, and to begin to stir up the soil... to weed out what is not going to bear good fruit... to plant in your new thoughts, new desires, new ideas, ...invite Him in and sit back, and watch His vision for you begin to bloom!
I pray Many Blessings & New Growth for you!
October 18, 2006
That is what the Lord keeps saying to me. "Accept the Scepter!" He began saying this to me a few years ago... I sort of tucked it away and knew it was a good word - but also it was not a word for 'today'. However, I can feel in my spirit, a coming breakthrough... a coming new season... a coming newness and freshness to our callings! I believe we are about to enter deeper into a thing... whatever level of revelation you are operating in now... I believe MORE is on it's way!
I didn't write about last week's prayer meeting. I honestly didn't write much while I was there either. I feel that what I experienced there was for the purpose of praying - not necessarily sharing. It was powerful... but what I will say is that the Lord through many vessels confirmed to us that He IS covering us... that He DOES in fact, have our backs. We need to be able to rest in that... we need to rely on it and unwind in it... we need to accept it and expect it - once we are able to do that.. possibly for the first time for some of us - and for some - it will be a returning to that place of knowing... but once we are able to do that... our breakthroughs will come! Because our focus will be not on fear and worrying and trying to 'cover' ourselves...(we've seen how well our own 'fig leaves' can cover us!)when we can trust in and rely on God's coming through for us and covering our backs no matter what - then we are freed to follow through! That is huge for me, ladies! I have to admit - many many countless times in the past, my follow through has not been so successful! I feel God calling us to a greater level of faith and trust in His ability to care for us SO THAT we will go forth and fulfill that for which we were created! Our destiny awaits us!
Whenever I think of 'destiny' - my mind often wanders to Esther. I simply love this story! Yes - I am a true romantic at heart and that is so much of the story of Esther. Having just watched "One Night With the King" the story is fresh in my mind and on my heart. Last week - the Lord asked me to read Revelations 2:27. I got busy... I pushed it aside and honestly just forgot all about it. The other morning... He woke me up in the middle of the night. I go through seasons of night watch intercession. I have to be careful though, because I do enjoy my sleep - and after so many days, I have been known to ask Him to stop waking me up! I know it sounds terrible - but it is true... and He is such a gentleman - not only does He stop waking me... He blesses my sleep as well. If it has been too long - I will go to Him in prayer and remind Him that I didn't mean forever - but just for a season. (Usually that will result in those midnight prayer sessions soon after!) I had recently realized that I had not gotten up in the quiet of the night for quite awhile. When I found myself wide awake, I thought it was a call to get up and pray but as I was getting out of bed... He simply said - "Go back to sleep - but remember the Reference!" Groggy, I couldn't focus in on what He was saying. I looked at the clock and it was 2:27a.m. I remembered Rev 2:27 and quickly fell back asleep!
As I was doing my devotions the next morning, I was reading in Zechariah again... I have been LOVING this passage of Scripture lately:
"For I, says the Lord, will be to her a wall of fire round about, and I will be the glory in the midst of her... Sing and rejoice, O Daughter of Zion; for behold, I come, and I will dwell in the midst of you, says the Lord... Thus says the Lord of hosts: If you will walk in My ways and keep My charge, then also you shall rule My house and have charge of My courts, and I will give you access [to My presence] and places to walk among these who stand here." Zech 2:5; 10; 3:7
So awesome! So - I began to think of Esther again and how the King's Scepter was offered to her...and how the Scepter was a symbol of the King's Power and Authority and when it is offered it reveals favor! ""If I have found favor with you, O king, and if it pleases your majesty..." (Esther 7:3) I looked up the word Scepter. In the Holman's Bible Dictionary is is defined as: "The official staff or baton of a king, symbolic of his authority. It probably was descended from the ancient club carried by the prehistoric rulers. As part of the royal regalia, the scepter was extended to a visitor or dignitary to signal approval of the visit and allow the person to approach the throne." I was then reminded of the Reference the Lord had been asking me to read.
Revelation 2:26 & 27 reads: "And he who overcomes (is victorious) and who obeys My commands to the [very] end [doing the works that please Me], I will give him authority and power over the nations; (Verse 27:) And he shall rule them with a sceptre (rod) of iron, as when earthen pots are broken in pieces, and [his power over them shall be] like that which I Myself have received from My Father." (Amplified)
Alrighty then! It seems as though the Lord is getting us ready to not only be offered the Scepter of the King - but to pick it up... and to rule the nations! The Season that is fast approaching will be one in which we will be released to operate in the same Authority and power that Jesus received from the Father! Wow!? So rich... so exciting!!!
But that is not the end of it... then came Tuesday!!!
I went to Prayer and the question was brought to us, "What is the enemy crippling you with? What dears stop you from moving out or forward?" Well - on Monday I finished "Captivating" and one thing the Lord showed me was that one of the lies the enemy has planted in me from childhood is that I will always be (at best!) Second Best! I had never really put it on that context and to see it so clearly really blew me away. So - that was my answer to the question... I am fearful that people will see or find out that I am not the best one for the job... or that I will always be second choice... never first pick! We played some worship and I immediately was taken to a Wedding Reception in the spirit.
I looked down and realized that I was the Bride... and I was standing in the middle of a gorgeous ballroom/reception on the Dance floor. The band began to play a song and the realization that this was the Father/Daughter dance caused panic to flood my soul.
"Oh no!?" I thought. "I don't have 'that kind' of Dad... he's not going to dance with me."
Just then, God the Father turned me around and pulled me into the Dance. He began to speak to me. "I am 'that kind' of Father! I can see that you love my Son - with all of your heart!"
"I do!" I replied
"...and I can see that you are pure..."
"It's because His blood washed me and He has made me pure!" I answered.
"I see you are gifted and called."
"Thanks to You, Father! You have lavished gifts upon me - even before I became Your daughter..."
"Aaahhhh..." He interrupted, "but My child, you have ALWAYS been My Daughter!" He then said, "I can see that He adores you and is pleased with you. I can say that He could not have chosen any better!"
I couldn't believe it! I had just had this revelation about being second best, and here is God - my Heavenly Father - telling me that His Son could not have picked better!? Amazing! Abounding Grace and Abiding Love doesn't even began to cover it!
I went on to make light of what He said, and joked, "Aaahhh - I bet You say that to all the girls!"
He said, "I say that to His Bride - of whom you are a vital part! Do not make light of My Favor, and My Blessing over your life!"
and at that, He handed me a Scepter! (end of vision)
God the Father has given us favor with the King... Jesus is extending His Scepter to us... not just to invite us to come to the Throne - but, as in Rev 2:27, to take the Power and Authority and rule with Him - here on earth, as it is in Heaven!
Accept the Scepter, Ladies!
His favor is being extended to you!
October 9, 2006
Well- this is not so much an Update, but it IS a really good Tip!!!
There is a new movie that is coming out on Friday, October 13th.
It is "One Night with the King" and it is a MUST SEE movie! (How many times can you say that?!) This movie is based on a book by Tommy Tenney entitled, "Hadassah - One Night with the King" which is the Biblical story of Queen Esther.
I am HIGHLY encouraging you to see this movie... if possible - to see it on opening night! As you can imagine, there will be new horro movies premiering on this same night and we want to support this movie and give 'evil' some good competition! This is a great Date movie, family film, or even a great Chick Flick/Girlfriends matinee... I am sure I will see it several times while it is in the theaters! You can check out the Trailer at their website at:
The trailer and the promotions that they have been playing on TBN look simply INCREDIBLE... this is not some cheesy Christian film... and it will speak to so many people in so many ways! I encourage you to see it... and then let me know what you thought of it here on this blog!
As far myself... I am SO excited & SO expectant to see what God will do with this film... '...for such a time as this!"
October 4, 2006
September 20, 2006
I so enjoyed preparing something to share - although in hindsight I must say I realized that it was quite possibly too formal in our relaxed setting... it is a 'format' that I am familiar with and felt safe within those boundaries... although I know that God will most likely not allow me to come at it from that perspective again?! I am sure He wants to stretch and grow me - even in that! As a writer and teacher - it is easier for me to study and research and then present... but I know that God is calling me to be more relational and so I am pretty sure that He will have other creative ways to speak through me that will be - well - less 'lecture'-style!
Anyway - I was so looking forward to having our leader back and hearing what the Lord gave her to share with us. While it IS an intercessory prayer group - and we DO pray... it is also a time of sharing, encouraging, teaching, and worship... not a bad mix!
So - (remember - she was gone last week and didn't know exactly what we touched on...) and she opens with Hebrews 12:2-3... "We must keep our eyes on Jesus, who leads us and makes our faith complete. He endured the shame of being nailed to a cross, because he knew that later on he would be glad he did. Now he is seated at the right side of God's throne! So keep your mind on Jesus, who put up with many insults from sinners. Then you won't get discouraged and give up." (Contemporary English Version) Fix our eyes on Jesus... Don't grow weary or discouraged! Amen!? She went on to have us open up to 1 John 2:20-27 Basically, this portion of Scripture reminds us that we HAVE the anointing and we know all things.... it tells us that we abide in Him and He abides in us! In the Amplified, verse 20 reads: "But you have been anointed by [you hold a sacred appointment from, you have been given an unction from] the Holy One, and you all know [the Truth] or you know all things."
We moved into worship and I heard in my spirit, "Every Kingdom Warrior has Battle Scars!" Hmmm? OK!? I started to pray and found myself asking the Lord to Permeate us... "Permeate us, Lord... Permeate us!!!" The definition of Permeate is to spread or diffuse through; or to pass through the pores... Wow?! Yes - Lord - that IS what we want... we want you to permeate us - to diffuse through every part of who we are... to pass through the pores of our flesh and spirit... it makes me think of Queen Esther and her year of SOAKING in perfumes... it was not just sitting in a nice hot tub with some scented oils in it... it was scrubbing into the skin and making the fragrance and skin become one!
I wrote down the following prayer during worship... and then had this vision...
"Breath of God, we breathe You in... we breathe You in and You abide in us... just as Oxygen gives us life & energy & clear vision & health Lord, - as we inhale Your very Presence it PERMEATE US Lord!!! Teach us, Oh Lord, to no longer be Shallow Breathers but to Breathe Deep & have You fill us up Lord, to touch every part, Lord... fill this temple, Oh Breath of God!"
Next... I saw in the spirit Jesus walking around with an Oxygen Tank and face mask giving oxygen - giving Life to all who needed a refreshing! "Life Abundantly" was written on the Oxygen tank. I saw Him doing some CPR (mouth to mouth resuscitation) on some, chest compressions on others... He is at work within each of us... within each ministry area in the church... He is breathing new life, new focus, new energy over each one!
I saw Him giving Mouth to Mouth/CPR over the Teachers
He was giving Heart Compressions over the Compassionate and Mercy Givers
He was checking the Vision of the Prophets
He was Checking Reflexes of the Dancers & the throats of the Singers
He was X-raying the hands of the Kingdom Builders
and I heard again: "Every Kingdom Warrior has Battle Scars!"
Then I saw Him giving Oxygen to each 'person' (ministry represented) there...
(End of Vision)
So... I came home and did a little research on Oxygen...
Websters defines it as: "something that sustains or fuels." The necessity of oxygen is obvious. The human body can survive for weeks without food and days without water but only a few minutes without oxygen. "Oxygen nourishes the cells, it provides the energy needed to metabolize carbohydrates; it allows chemical transport, breaks down waste products and toxins, regulates the pH of body chemistry, drives the desire to breathe, strongly builds up your immune system defense and fights hostile organisms. Oxygen is the undisputed king of body chemistry, and as such is your body's most important nutrient! The facts are simple... viruses, parasites, fungus or bacterium cause about all diseases! The solution is also simple - NONE of those hostile organisms can live in an environment with high concentrations of Oxygen! Which makes the following quote very interesting... "Oxygen gets rid of toxicity. Bacteria, viruses and parasites are destroyed in the presence of oxygen." (taken from http://www.2christ.org/health/) There is a LOT there... If God is giving us oxygen - He is nourishing the cells of the Body... He is giving us what we need when we need it to promote the intended Bodily functions... He is cleansing and healing us! ...and I LOVE that Oxygen gets rid of toxins... disease does not stand a chance with the right amount of "Life Abundantly" Oxygen!!!
We have heard of the trendy Oxygen Bars in L.A. and elsewhere that open their doors and give Fresh Oxygen to clients to help them to feel better, happier... the newest exercise/weight loss craze is wrapped up in getting in enough good oxygen into our lungs and circulating through out our whole body. Of course our God is in on that... and He is all about doing that to each of us in the spirit!!! Here is the coolest part... remember - I heard "Every Kingdom Warrior has Battle Scars" Oxygen is now proven to help HEAL SCARS!!! There are a myriad of new products coming out that have added Oxygen levels in them to help heal scars. Every one of us has stepped out in ministry and we have been wounded... either by other Christians, or non-Christians, or circumstances, choices we made, etc. - if we are to be effective in the Kingdom - we WILL face battles... we WILL get scars! I think it is so vital to remember that each ministry was represented in that Vision... and the Lord told us that we would face trials... I think it is interesting that this 'shaking' that is happening - is happening at the top of any given ministry... the leaders have scars and they are in need of some fresh oxygen! Some of them don't even know that they have become shallow breathers... but they have... they are gasping for air - and Jesus is coming!!!
I am reminded of a story I heard a few years ago... a little boy was in the backseat and his mother was driving in the car. Her son was looking at his hands and all of the sudden he began to cry and squirm around in his seat. She tried to calm him down but he was screaming and crying as if he was hurt... & he kept pointing to his wrist, so she pulled over. She turned around in her seat and noticed that he was pointing to an old injury. She asked him why he was crying and he again pointed to his scar, and said, "Owie!!! Owie!!!?!" She calmly reminded him that that was an Old Ouchie and that he needed to not pick it... it was healing and he was going to be just fine! He slowly calmed down and realized that he was not, in fact, hurting anymore - but the very sight of the scar convinced him that he was hurt all over again! Haven't we all done this?! I do not mean to make light of deep wounds that have happened in the Church... there have been many, I know. I know personally. However, we must remember that we have put those things, those circumstances, those issues under the Blood and asked for God to heal us. Many are still in the process of healing... and believe me, He IS at work. The thing about Oxygen is that it is tasteless and odorless... but oh my, how you need it... so often, our God is at work and we are not even aware, until after the fact! Many of us have received that healing and our scars are all that remain... (and, honestly, maybe that little reluctant, gun-shy, hesitation feeling, too!) God has said that we all have battle scars, but even those - He is administering healing and giving us Abundant Life oxygen!
He IS the Air we breathe... this week I intend to bask in His Presence and worship Him in Spirit and in Truth... I plan on singing with my whole heart:
"This is the air I breathe; This is the air I breathe
Your holy presence, living in me
This is my daily bread; This is my daily bread
Your very word, spoken to me
And I - I'm desperate for you
And I -I'm lost without you..." (M. W. Smith)
I pray that He is healing you and taking away your wounds, and your scars... I pray that this week you will Breathe DEEP in the things of God and know that He is offering you Abundant Life Oxygen! May He permeate you as you soak in His Love!
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