December 18, 2007

Aaaah, Peace (Snow,) & Quiet!

Aaah - yes! A couple of weeks ago - I got caught up in all the rush of the commercialized Christmas season! I was so disappointed in myself... I was feeling a little stressed and behind and felt pressure that, in all reality, I was putting on myself! I knew this was true... and yet - I also knew that just a few more days of craziness and it would all be worth it!
I am normally one of 'those' people - the ones who start Christmas shopping in July and finish before Thanksgiving! But - this year was not the norm' and I had not purchased one gift as of December 1st! Not a one!? It was crazy!? I set for myself a personal goal to be completely and totally done with all things Christmas (shopping, wrapping, shipping, crafting, stocking stuffers, cards, letter, etc.!) by December 10th! It is a 'deadline' that I put on myself so I can spend the REST of December enjoying Peace (Snow,) & Quiet!
My Honey kept reminding me that it was not, in fact, a 'deadline' and it would not be the end of the world if I was, in fact, not done... and then it hit me! I did the unthinkable... (Gasp!?) I decided that the last two people we had to buy for would get... delegated! That's right! Delegated... to my loving husband! I have to repent and admit that it was mildly entertaining to see my husband stress out a bit in having to buy just two gifts?! Just two!? Normally I love the entire process of shopping, finding, and all - but I wanted to be DONE... and to meet my deadline! (Er, um - "Goal"!?) I know, I know... it was sort of cheating to just pass it off - but I had peace about it!? LOL!? ...And in the end, he did great! So - we have been officially done with it all for several days now (ALMOST a week, if you must know!) All the craziness of running around and rushing here and there was worth it to now have a bit of peace and quiet!
The thing that the Lord has been speaking to me lately has been the importance of FOCUS! Focus on the task at hand... I think in our culture of multi-tasking frenzies we may have lost the art of finishing one thing at a time... of really being able to focus and concentrate... we are constantly doing five things at once... and we tend to squeeze the Lord in there too... when what He is really desiring from us is focus... not just on Him... although that is never wasted time - but on what He is calling us to do on any given day, in any given hour! I believe He is wanting to lavish gifts upon us this Christmas season, in ways that we can't imagine! Gifts that we have been wanting, and asking for, and hinting at for a very long time! I believe that if we set aside time in the midst of the hustle and bustle, and focus on Him - Worship Him - He will pour out gifts in abundance for the holidays and the New Year to come!
Below is a portion of our Family Christmas letter... I will leave you with that and pray you have a very Merry Christmas, and a blessed and prosperous New Year!

Winter is upon us again & as I sit & look out at the blanket of snow that has covered our Valley, I find myself thinking about Traditions. It seems Christmas time, more than at any other, conjures up visions of ritual, tradition, & nostalgia! What comes to mind when you think of Traditions? What kinds of traditions have you kept going in your family & what, if any, have you purposefully put an end to?
I am a planner at heart, & I love it when things go as planned! I find comfort & security in tradition, a sense of knowing what’s ahead. Who doesn’t love that? But then I think about the very Reason we celebrate, & He was not as much about Tradition as He was about Change! Jesus brought with Him the unexpected, the unplanned for, the seemingly impossible made possible! I reflect on all the changes & challenges that we have faced over the past year, & I realize that our Christmas (& Hanukkah) traditions give me a sense of Home, a sense that even as we grow & change, the things that are most important to us, remain the same!
The familiarity of decorations, of the scents & sounds of the holidays all mix together this morning with the falling snow & remind me of the glad tidings, good will, & peace on earth. To be honest, I am more at peace with Tradition than I am with Change! Yet, we know that change is inevitable, & if God is calling us to change, or is bringing about a change within us, we can rest assured that it is for our greater good! The one thing He has been working on in me is my lack of follow through. Even as I write this He revealed that the reason I pull back, or don’t follow through much of the time is because I know that if I do what He is calling me to do, there will be opportunities for change. I suppose I am just not sure that I am ready to move out of this season of life that we are in. I have grown comfortable & feel so blessed… yet I know He is preparing us for more. A new Season is coming!
For the last several years, we have celebrated Hanukkah as well as Christmas. Speaking of Tradition, the main reason we started doing this is because while Jesus Himself did not celebrate his birthday like WE do, He DID, in fact, light the Hanukkah lights & recite the nightly blessings. There is something powerful for us to do the same thing, to say the same things, that Jesus did so long ago… knowing that He IS the Light of the World!
So, as much as I love tradition, I am hoping to be more open to change in the New Year, to hold on to the Good, & get ready for what’s next! We want to do LESS, as I mentioned last year, & BE more… we want to cut back on our gift giving for the sake of giving gifts, & increase our budget to reach out to our community where there is real need. We are blessed, & He takes care of us in amazing ways… we want to be His hands & His feet in this season, & always! The most important Tradition that we can keep going is to continue on in His work… to heal the sick, to raise the dead, to feed & clothe the poor, to set free those who are in bondage, to preach the good news, & proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor! After all, isn’t that what we all want – the Favor of God resting upon us?! Isn’t that what He brought with Him when He became the Word made Flesh and dwelling among us?
2007 has been full of blessings & challenges alike & while all of our Why’s have not been answered, we rest in knowing that we are covered & taken care of… that we are not alone, & that He has plans for us in each day!

We pray He surprises you with gifts this Season... with the unexpected, & unplanned for, and that He will make the seemingly impossible possible for you and yours!
Merry Christmas!

December 14, 2007

Elijah List Post...

Wow?! I can't believe it has been a month already since my last post?! Hmm?! Tis the season, I suppose?! I have been good - just busy! Actually - I feel the Lord told me that I really need to focus on some of my writings more so than adding to them... it's easier for me to write - than to think about editing and organizing... however if I never do that - then, well, it will all simply remian here on the blog and never make it any further! (Which most of the time is fine with me, but it seems it is not exactly fulfilling the Call?!)

Anyway - in light of my last post regarding the vision given me regarding Revelation 8, I thought I would simply Copy & Paste this word posted this morning on The Elijah List... I will write personally soon... I promise!

Until then, Enjoy!

December 14, 2007
Obii Pax-Harry:
"FRESH POWER of SIGHT is Coming Upon the PROPHETS--For Some, their EYES will SHINE BRIGHTLY"

Intro to Obii Pax-Harry's word by Catherine Brown:
This is a magnificent and timely word from Obii Pax-Harry! As I read her introduction, I received a vision in which I saw two prophets that represent two "types" of prophets in this new season. One was a prophet who became blinded and as a result, became a wanderer in the wilderness; the other was a prophet who received the power of God's light into their eyes. This person's eyes blazed with holy fire and their mouth became a sword and the Lord spoke "holy judgment and justice" through this prophet's anointed utterance.

The first figure speaks of those prophets who have lost sight of God's mercy and compassion and as a result of this, have become spiritually blind and will experience a wilderness until they repent and are reconciled to God.

The second figure speaks of those prophets who have kept faith through times of affliction, whose hearts and motivations are pure and who are now prepared to carry the fire of God's prophetic edicts, decrees and proclamations of justice and judgments to the end of the earth.
I then saw a line of apostles and prophets standing before the Lord Himself; Jesus was handing out the number "7" to the apostles and prophets who stood in line. This indicated the end of a season of complete preparation and a beginning of a fresh commission from the Lord.
Catherine Brown Gatekeepers Global MinistriesEmail:

Obii Pax-Harry: Intro
"When He opened the seventh seal, there was silence in Heaven for about half an hour." (Revelation 8:1)

Through a simple yet profound dream I recently had, the Lord spoke words of instruction that I was also mandated to share. The Lord revealed that a season was coming upon the prophetic community like never before. There's "fresh power of sight" coming upon prophets and for some, their eyes will shine brightly. The power of light in their eyes will cause the depths of hell (darkness) to open its dark chambers for repossession of everything the enemy stole from the saints (Isaiah 61:7).

Revelation will increase, and so will strength with which to finish every outstanding battle of the past. The Lord further revealed that the prophetic mantle is entering into the King's court. Governments will call upon prophets as in the days of Joseph and Daniel to solve riddles and enigmas. Christians will receive invitations from governments on every level to participate in nation-building initiatives. The Lord said, "But first you must stop and listen!" He then cautioned, "turn down the noise level."

The Dream
A lady was attempting to communicate important instruction (a message) from a foreign nation to me through a dream. Although she spoke words, her words (intangible) came across to me as a "relay baton" (tangible) necessary to finish a race. She was standing in a room full of people; cutting a picture of a busy stock exchange trading floor. She could hardly hear herself because everyone in the room was talking at the top of their voices. It seemed that everyone in the room was trying to speak at the same time. She continued to make frantic efforts to pass on the message she had for me but the noise levels in the room were phenomenal.
The lady then tried leaning forward in an attempt to get closer to me, although there would have been at least twenty or so people standing between us. Still trying to communicate the message that would help me finish my race she then said, "Wait a minute," and walked off to find a quieter spot from where she could speak without interruption. She tried standing on her toes to gain height advantage over the people that stood between us but to no avail. She kept trying to adjust her standing position, still intent on passing on the message she had for me.
Surprisingly, her focus was on positioning, not in shouting at the top of her voice, over other voices just to be heard. She knew somehow that if she could only stand in the right place, she would be able to pass on the message regardless of the noise. I was poised to receive, but the messenger was finding great difficulty in conveying just the message or instruction I needed to resolve issues. I woke up whilst she was still trying to find a quiet corner or a place from where the "sound" of her voice could travel better.

The Race of Life
The writer of Hebrews encourages us to run with endurance--the race that is set before us (Hebrews 12:1). The lady in the dream was trying to pass on instructions, like a baton that would enable me to complete the race I was on and to receive my prize (James 1:12). We are also reminded in Hebrews 12 of a great cloud of witnesses cheering us on. For their sakes and for the advantage of every born-again Christian runner in the race of life that has gained through the sacrifice of Christ's life, the Bible encourages us to, "…lay aside every weight, and the sin which so easily ensnares us...." Noise, in the dream above can be interpreted as weight that is able to cause distraction and delay to our "finishing time."
Every race has an end point, and every athlete knows that they are not crowned "unless he competes according to the rules." (1 Timothy 2:5). Every believer in Christ Jesus signs up for the race of life by which we must run in such a way to win the prize set for the race (1 Corinthians 9:24). When God's set time to favor His people comes, those who endured afflictions are like people on a race who made it to the end. The Bible says, "...when he has been approved, he will receive the crown of life which the Lord has promised to those who love Him" (James 1:12). Those who love the Lord are those who have not allowed afflictions to shipwreck their faith.

Clear Sound
The Lord then began to speak to me after I woke up from the dream about "noise levels" within the Body of Christ. Noise was coming primarily from ministries all speaking at the same time, some louder than others. Important strategies, keys and principles necessary for the last lap of a relay race that began in the year 2000 for many believers--would be compromised if noise levels were not reduced. The enemy was attacking spiritual communication frequencies in order to distort sound from Heaven that will give us fresh language for the future.
I was reminded of Apostle Paul's words in 1 Corinthians 14:7-8, "Even things without life, whether flute or harp, when they make a sound, unless they make a distinction in the sounds, how will it be known what is piped or played? For if the trumpet makes an uncertain sound, who will prepare for battle?"

Revelation necessary for completing a seven-year race of life in a year of completion (2007) could be missed in the high volume of noise from the prophetic community. He revealed that January and February 2008 will be overflow months during which saints can expect to take further advantage of extended windows of opportunity to deal with "left over" negative cycles, patterns and sequences in their lives. Also, those who inadvertently limit God's abundant grace by building empires out of ankle-deep rivers of glory will again hunger and thirst after His righteousness….for more! I then linked this dream to another earlier prophetic dream which announced God's heart for His people in the present time.

Angels in Position
The dream above, I found complimented and confirmed God's heart as revealed through another earlier dream, this time in September 2007. I had a supernatural experience of Heavenly transportation. Suddenly, I was before the Throne of God, watching as I was instructed. "The speed" of the activities which were conducted in the altar area, was as though preparations were being made for a very important occasion. I was captivated by the scenes that followed, and the things the Lord would say to me. Suddenly, "I saw the seven angels who stand before God, and to them were given seven trumpets. Then an angel, having a golden censer, came and stood at the altar. He was given much incense, that he should offer it with the prayers of all the saints upon the golden altar which was before the throne." (Revelation 8:2-3). I continued to watch.

The Lord revealed that angels have been positioned on the earth and in Heaven for specific assignments in this season--a season that opens up to what I can only refer to as a "forever time." We are accessing a period in time when saints will no longer suffer from spiritual abortions and miscarriages of purpose--if we would believe. Hope deferred will be a thing of the past because the measure that a believer is able to receive "by faith" from God in this season, that same measure will also be seen in physical manifestations of breakthrough. Change will no longer be talked about, but change will be visible and tangible due to the amount of the light or glory around believers (Isaiah 60:1-3). However, high noise levels could distort hearing and affect vision unless believers are poised--"positioned" to receive downloads from Heaven at this time.

Season of Answered Prayers
As I watched the scene in the Throne room, I inquired of the Lord to know what was happening. He said, "My people have entered a season of answered prayers."
"And the smoke of the incense, with the prayers of the saints, ascended before God from the angel's hand." (Revelation 8:4)

The Lord once more began to speak into my heart concerning the season and times (Ecclesiastes 3:1, 11). Past prayers in particular were about to yield bountiful harvests for saints who have not grown weary in "doing good" (Galatians 6:7-9). What many thought were insignificant words, tears shed on prayer altars and groanings of the spirit, were actually all recorded in Heaven "for such a time as this" (Esther 4:14). Heaven is now busy, preparing to release answers to prayers; answers that would be loud and clear by the quality of change or transformation coming to "children of the faith."
"Then the angel took the censer, filled it with fire from the altar, and threw it to the earth. And there were noises, thunderings, lightenings, and an earthquake." (Revelation 8:5)

Judgment and Justice
Another supernatural experience in October 2007 links into the season of answered prayers. As I was praying one early morning, I suddenly became aware of the presence of an angel. The angel introduced himself as the angel in charge of the "wind." He was awaiting a command to release the wind for specific assignments in Nigeria (where I was at the time). He had been dispatched following an earlier prophetic word revealing God's intention to declare war against ancient thrones of iniquity and altars that strengthen them (Psalm 94:20).
God revealed He will war with "floods, then wind and fire." The wind will dethrone and then the fire will destroy. This encounter in October confirmed the scene that unfolded in God's Throne room in September 2007 as mentioned above. A time of answered prayer is indeed upon the saints. God will defeat and dethrone evil in nations to deliver people from bondages and to receive the free gift of salvation.

The enemy was therefore using "high noise levels" to frustrate efforts to deliver and receive last bits of instruction that will reposition believers for the future. Important instructions will be released in the days and weeks ahead leading up to December 31, 2007. However, unless noise levels (i.e. too many voices, all speaking at the same time but at different tempos) are reduced, the last lap of an important part of our race of life in a set time could be compromised. The set time being accounted for in Heaven are the years 2000 to 2007. Seven years of afflictions, trials, tribulations, testings and sufferings are about to be rewarded (Psalm 102:13).
"Agabus-type" Caretakers of the Universe Emerging

The Lord revealed that the words of prophets will be harvested with great speed in this season (1 Samuel 3:19-20). Many news reports across the world will be recognized as a fulfillment of the word of the Lord in the mouth of His prophets. Angels will deliver justice and judgments released by apostles and prophets upon nations, "So the seven angels who had the seven trumpets prepared themselves to sound" (Revelation 8:6).

A rank and file will emerge in the prophetic from 2008, but not with a hierarchy or perverted "Saul-type" authority. Eldership forums will emerge across the earth not by ministry years, biological years or yardsticks by which many measured in times past. The Lord revealed there will be the emergence of an "Agabus-type" prophetic ministry. They will be recognizable by the weight of revelation entrusted to them and their quality of clear words that they would speak (Acts 11:27-30).

Universal authority will be released to some prophets from 2008 to speak the word of the Lord to every tongue, tribe and nation. Others will enjoy a greater increase of authority to speak the word of the Lord into spheres of influence wider than they have enjoyed in times past. Their words will also cut through culture, generations, race and gender. These ones will mobilize by "sound." The sound of Heaven through prophets will draw their spiritual constituencies to them in the seasons ahead. Networking will no longer be largely after the flesh, but by a knowing of spirit, after the Spirit which produces a holy sound (2 Corinthians 5:17).

"My Saints Are Now in Charge"
All prayers of saints recorded "upon the golden altar which was before the throne" will now have voices as they translate into reality; into tangible change in people's lives (Revelation 8:3). The Bible tells us that God performs "the word of His servant, and the counsel of His messengers" (Isaiah 44:26). The Lord revealed that judgment and justice would be seen upon the earth in greater degrees from 2008.

He will perform the word of His servants and the counsel of His messengers. Prayers that were in fact Biblical but did not sound quite right to the natural ears when said, will receive physical manifestations of judgment or justice. Cries of the poor were coming up in the Throne room as I watched--the cries were so loudly heard. These ones who cried in times past, whose cries were recorded, will receive justice whilst perpetrators of evil will be judged (chastised and corrected). Watchmen and intercessors who cried for God's judgment and justice upon lands and peoples will witness great revivals in those nations.

Once more, "visibility, tangibility and substance" are the kind of words I would use to articulate the pictures that followed the words that I heard spoken in the Throne room of God. He was revealing that happenstances on the earth from January 1, 2008 (for some apostles and prophets) but more particularly from March 1, 2008 (for the wider constituency of Spirit-filled believers) will largely be initiated by covenant and not by demonic manipulation. Angels are on standby to perform the counsel of God's messengers (Isaiah 44:26).
The Lord was saying literally, "My saints are now in charge" (Daniel 7:22).

Obii Pax-HarryArise! Missions Email:

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November 13, 2007

Lord, May Our Bowls Overflow!!!

The other day, while in prayer, the Lord opened up this vision to me...

It is not any new revelation, really. As an intercessor, however, it is so encouraging! Such a powerful reminder! I kept thinking of that scripture in Revelation that talks about the angels and the bowls of intercession. What an encouragement to KEEP praying... in this vision I found it interesting that each person had numerous bowls, each representing something that was being prayed about... and the bowls were all various shapes and sizes. Whether you have been praying for something for a long time, or the Lord just put it on your heart, do not back down... some bowls are larger and require more prayers to fill them to the top!

Here is the vision:

In the midst of prayer, the eyes of my spirit were opened up and I saw myself, along with several others, kneeling in prayer and individually praying on our own. As I began to look around this prayer meeting, I noticed two angelic beings beside each intercessor. One looked as if he was praying along with the person. As we each prayed, the words - whether spoken or prayed in silence, became tangible in the air and began to float heavenward. The second angel would then capture the prayer and immediately flew to heaven - so fast that I could not actually SEE him leave... and then he would return nearly as fast. It seemed as though no time had passed. After a few times of watching this happen, I asked the Lord - "What am I seeing? Where is he going with those prayers?" Immediately I was taken up to a room with no end. I could not see far enough in any direction to see the walls of this room and I followed this angel I had been watching and saw that he went directly to a specific section of this room! It seemed that each section was dedicated for a specific individual, and each individual, it seemed had several bowls. There was an angel attending these bowls and protecting them... watching as the other Messenger emptied each uttered prayer into the appropriate bowl.

This visual made me think of the scripture in Revelation chapter 5. It reads, "He then went and took the scroll from the right hand of Him Who sat on the throne. And when He had taken the scroll, the four living creatures and the twenty-four elders of the heavenly Sanhedrin prostrated themselves before the Lamb. Each was holding a harp (lute or guitar), and they had golden bowls full of incense (fragrant spices and gums for burning), which are the prayers of God's people (the saints). And [now] they sing a new song, saying, You are worthy to take the scroll and to break the seals that are on it, for You were slain (sacrificed), and with Your blood You purchased men unto God from every tribe and language and people and nation." (Rev. 5:7-9)

Then, in the vision I asked where this room was and I was shown on the door that entered into the room a sign that read, "Intercessors Lab & Infirmary" Interesting... in looking up the official definition for infirmary, Websters defines it as "a place where the infirm or sick are lodged for care and treatment."

Back to the vision... when the bowl is filled to the rim, the Lord Himself appears before the angel and the bowl. His sudden appearance requires the angel to bow down in worship, and as the angel bows, the bowl tips over and spills out over the angels' worship... this brings a smile to the face of God and somehow I had the knowledge that at this point, whatever the prayer was about... the answer comes. When the bowls are full, and spilled out in worship to the Lamb, He releases His answer and sends it back to earth.

Isn't it reassuring to know that not only does the Lord hear our prayers, but they are attended to with such care and urgency! He collects them. He gives His angels charge over us and sends them to cover us and to collect our prayers and deliver them to a place where they can be cared for and treated! This gives me such a powerful visual when the Lord puts something or someone on my heart, seemingly out of the blue! He is trying to fill up their bowl! This also gives such encouragement to CONTINUE on in prayer! Sometimes we can get discouraged because the answer seems slow in coming. Maybe the bowl for that particular prayer is larger than most... and yet we can rest assured that He hears our prayers, and they are not being lifted up in vain... Keep on keepin' on!

"Be happy [in your faith] and rejoice and be glad-hearted continually (always); Be unceasing in prayer [praying perseveringly]; Thank [God] in everything [no matter what the circumstances may be, be thankful and give thanks], for this is the will of God for you [who are] in Christ Jesus [the Revealer and Mediator of that will]." 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18

I pray this week you will find yourself being showered by answered prayers... may our bowls overflow Lord and may we press on in prayer, having confidence in, and giving thanks for You and Your great Love for us!


"Is that enough?"

It seems this is the question that the Lord keeps asking me...
"Is that enough"... or in other words, "Am I enough?"
Now, we can all get holy & religious
& say that we would always say yes.
But in truth - while we know that we SHOULD say yes,
& we know that He SHOULD be enough...
there are times, or situations, or circumstances
where, in all honesty,
we hesitate in giving our answer.

It's okay... He KNOWS that we are going to hesitate...
He knows that that very question
is what we are battling with
even when we are unaware of it!
It's in His Grace & Mercy that he calls us out on it
& causes us to remember that if He is NOT enough,
then something is off balance in our lives & priorities
- because, in all realty,
He is not just enough - He is our everything!
Whatever we have or are blessed with comes from Him...
every blessing, every victory,
every ounce of forgiveness & every drop of grace
- it all comes from Him.

And yet, we get so caught up in the Daily part of our lives,
that we can forget the bigger picture.
We can forget that these blessings we live with
are extra... not required.
Now, don't get me wrong,
I am still a Word Faith girl
& I strongly believe in God's desire
to pour out blessings & cause us to prosper. I really do!
But I think we can tend to lose focus
on what 'Prosperous' really means.

I can honestly say that I am amazingly prosperous...
in all areas of my life.
Does my bank account reveal this to the natural world?
No... not even close!
Does what I drive or where I live attest to this fact?
However, I am rich in all things important!
I live my life in a constant state of thankfulness
and I live at peace, as much as is possible, with all men.
Could I use more?
More business, more money, more opportunities,
more... (fill in the blank)?
You betchya!
Do I NEED more?
Does more always mean better?
Absolutely not!

A few weeks ago, while at prayer...
the Lord began to remind me of this question "Is that enough"
in regards to the conference I attended, selling my creations.
I blogged about it in September I believe.
He asked me if I was to not sell anything,
but I knew that He was pleased with me, would that be enough!
Even in that simple question
surrounding that unimportant situation,
I hesitated!?
I mean - I wanted to know why He would call me to do something
& then not bless it...
but sure - knowing He was pleased with my efforts
- even if I was not able to 'prosper' from it all - was enough!
It really was... is... enough!
What more can we ask but to know that we are pleasing to Him?

He went on to say, "Much like in the conference
when I asked you if it was enough that I was pleased...
much like that, I want you to know
I am so pleased with you.
I was there in that room with you
& it blessed Me to watch you lay hands on Kevin
& to hear you pray.
It blessed Me & I am pleased with you. Is that enough?"

Huh!? sigh...
Well that was an emotional one-sided conversation!
I did MORE than hesitate.
I mean - yes - it was enough!
It IS enough!
I am at peace about that whole situation
& I know that that experience will not be in vain.
It has stirred me up even more
& I will not back down.
But, to have this visual of God with me in that room
(which I KNEW He was!?)
& to be able to visualize Him standing next to me
listening & watching & waiting...
it was too much!
I knew He was in the room...
I felt His presence & I knew He was with us...
& yet - the confirmation of that fact,
& the fact that He did in fact hear my prayer...
it was just too much.
I wanted to go back & remind Him
that I had unanswered questions about that
& that I wanted to know the Why's & the How Come's...
But once again, He gently lovingly reminded me
that He does not answer to me.
I am not the boss of Him...
as much as I would like to be sometimes!
So - instead of bombarding Him with those same questions,
I hesitated...
I actually breathed in and sort of held it for awhile...

And I believe that it is the space, the measure of time that passes
in the midst of our hesitation
- no matter if that lasts a mere split second,
or a few days... or longer
- it is in that space -
that I see God at work.
He is pruning & planting at the same time.
Me, and you!
We are living in a time where we will not have
the luxury of hesitation,
the luxury of beating around the bush.
Those days are over... for us, & for the Lord!

No matter what comes at us,
we must move forward in boldness
& know that no matter what, He is enough!
We must decide NOW, beforehand,
that we choose to Trust in Him in all situations.
We are living in a time where the Lord is done
hinting around at things and He is approaching us,
and calling us to approach others, in boldness.
In LOVE, yes... but in love with BOLDNESS!
Our time is short... and there is much to do in the Kingdom!

So - whatever you are facing today... or tomorrow...
Is Jesus enough for you!? Honestly - is He enough!?

More to come...

October 17, 2007


I love words... I use a lot of them on any given day and as much as I enjoy painting a picture with my words... some times it is just one simple word that can stop me in my tracks. It can be a very basic word or something I have to go look up to get a fresh perspective on... but I love it when God whispers something to my spirit that causes me to run for the dictionary!

Let me tell you - up front - that I am not myself today. We have had a very emotional turbulent week so far and I am honestly exhausted and not in the mood to write. But, you see, I made this deal with God and I have just sort of re-committed myself to it and so I can't really afford to take a day off already... although I am almost certain this post will not actually get posted until I have had some sleep... still, I write...

In the midst of processing this search for the Father's Heart I have also heard whispers and hints about another topic all together... one that I dare say may turn into a book, praise God?! I am wondering now if this means that 'this' book is nearing an end and I need to shift my focus to something all together different... I am unsure. But - He is speaking and for that I am so thankful!

Isn't it just so predictable that as I dive in to seek out the Father's Heart - the enemy jumps in to use circumstances to cause me, once again, to question His love and to fear Him! (Not in a good 'the fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom' sort of way - but - in a 'what am I thinking trying to get close to Him' sort of way?!) My husbands' oldest and dearest friend Kevin was found on Monday - the cause of death unknown. We ran over as soon as we heard and of course, we laid hands on him and prayed... I remember a month or so ago, while praying for another person who had been sick and had died, the Lord told me in order to see resurrections, there will have to be some deaths. OK... I get that... that is fine... but I thought that meant that someone would have to die - but then when we prayed - they would get to live again!? I understand that many times, even when we pray in faith for resurrection, the Lord in His Mercy gives the person being prayed for the choice... and as much as we want them raised from the dead and back with us here on earth - we can hardly blame them if they would rather just hang with Jesus. And yet, I have to say - I am getting more and more frustrated... some of it in a good way, and honestly, some of it not so much in a good way. I need to really pray through the thoughts and feelings that follow such a time as this!

The biggest question I have... and the one thing that I want to know - is where is the remnant!?

Where is the Remnant?! Honestly, I want to know.... I know that if God is doing this in me... He is doing it in others! While I can easily go down the Elijah Road of feeling like I am the only one - I know very well that I am not... I know in fact that there are MANY who have more faith than I do that when they lay hands on the sick, they will recover... when they pray for the dead, the dead will rise... I say it is time we all gather and meet for coffee and get some stuff DONE already...

I am weary of waiting - and yet, that is the season we are in! The waiting and being prepared for the coming change season. However, just because we are 'on hold' if you will, the enemy of our souls is not - and he consistently plays dirty and hits below the belt! Now, call me crazy - but as I laid my hands on Kevin's heart and prayed - I could have sworn I felt... (sigh) ...something?!!?!?! A flutter... a few beats... something... after a few minutes I sort of dismissed it as my own nervous pulse... and now, days later, I am not convinced one way or the other... I am just not certain. I have offered to God to go to the funeral home or wherever his body is, and pray more... I am unwilling to give up at this point... and yet - grieving must take place and I feel I have to be careful. Why is it that we are so often more concerned with appearance and offending, than we are with Truth and delivering? I struggle with the whole fear of man, and wanting to please man thing... but I also know that I am in a place where I am willing - but I want to know that it is not my own thoughts - but God's prompting me... because, well - if it's not Him - then why would I want to put myself out there. And here is a thought that stirs me up and causes my breath to catch... what if He is not going to confirm it... what if what He wants is to see us just go with the flow and follow through without always looking for confirmation or agreement? I went through a period of growth in my walk with the Lord where I was constantly laying out a fleece if you will, or asking for confirmation! This is good practice and it is how you grow in knowing that you are hearing Him... but there does come a time when you should just simply recognize His Voice and follow. Just because we have that down in one area does not mean that we have it down in all areas...

As I was praying on Tuesday I began to ask the Lord to raise Kevin up... I do not need to be there... it doesn't have to be my hands... or anyone's' hands for that matter... and I believe and know in my heart that it is not too late!? God is able and He can do it... so the struggle then comes in when I want to once again attempt to force God to answer to me and fill in all the blanks I still have! What He whispered to my spirit in the midst of worship on Tuesday was this:

"It is finished! It has already been established in heaven, one way or the other!"

Now, on one hand, I suppose one could take that to mean that we prayed and he is still dead... it's finished - stop praying! Or, of course, you could go the other route and take that to mean that I have prayed what He has called me to pray and once again, it is not about me... it's all about Him and whether or not it is in His plans to raise Kevin from the dead - that is for Him to know... one way or the other - He has already done it!

He works inside and outside of time... so here is the deal... I trust Him. In whatever He does or doesn't do - I trust Him and know that for whatever reason, He is aware and able to work all things together for good in the long run - the eternity run... and that is what is more important! He will not share His glory! But... glory is due Him and He will get it!

So... "It is finished" to a faith girl... well, that stirs up Scriptures of healing and how it has been accomplished already for us... the atonement has been made and was accepted by the Father and it is finished... nothing more needs to be done for us - other than for us to step into the fulfillment of His promises. And we know if you have been a somewhat consistent reader here, that God has been speaking a lot about Declaring and Decreeing... so that word "Established" is what caught my attention today...

Webster's defines "Establish" like this:
1: to institute (as a law) permanently by enactment or agreement
2 obsolete : settle
3 a: to make firm or stable b: to introduce and cause to grow and multiply
4 a: to bring into existence : found b: bring about, effect
5 a: to put on a firm basis : set up b: to put into a favorable position c: to gain full recognition or acceptance of
6: to make (a church) a national or state institution
7: to put beyond doubt : prove

Hmmm... so, no matter what - it is a good thing to have something be established by the Lord! It is instituted as law, it is settled, firm and stable... it is brought into existence and set up and put in a favorable position... it is put beyond doubt... proven! Those are good things!

We know that God has established His covenant with us. He has established His Kingdom. He has established prophets, kings, and rulers. He has established Israel. He has established His Throne. He has established the sea, the mountains, the whole earth. He established the heavens. I encourage you to do a word study on Establish! I would love to hear what you find or what blesses you as you search the Word!

The Word says, "Believe in the LORD your God, and you shall be established; believe His prophets, and you shall prosper." (2 Chronicles 20:20)

Job 22:28 says "You will also declare a thing, And it will be established for you; So light will shine on your ways."

And lastly, for today, Psalm 40:1-3 reads:

"I waited patiently for the LORD;
And He inclined to me, And heard my cry.
He also brought me up out of a horrible pit,
Out of the miry clay, And set my feet upon a rock,
And established my steps.
He has put a new song in my mouth—
Praise to our God;
Many will see it and fear,
And will trust in the LORD."

So - I wait... and I trust... how about you? What is established in your life today!? What are some things that you are needing Him to establish? Bring them to Him... and trust Him at His Word!

Sing a new song
...and either way, Lord - Rise Up!!!

October 9, 2007

The Father's Heart...

The Father's Heart... what does that phrase stir up in you? What images first come to mind?

I'll come back to this... first let me give a little update... life has been busy - but good... the busyness of a transition season... full of upcoming change that is still yet unknown. I can FEEL it... I know the winds of change are blowing and I know I need to be ready to follow His lead. We are funny little creatures, us humans... in my flesh I really enjoy thinking I have it figured out and I am all prepared... seldom does the change come in the form or at the speed that I expect it... or feel like I can keep up with it... but one thing we know for sure - changes COMES! I have been busy with work-related projects, which is such a blessing! I was able to finish up an Italy album for a client that I so enjoyed working on! My dream destination vacation is Italy - so to play with photo's taken in the places that I long to visit... you can hardly call that work! I also was crazy busy making pre-made product to have ready at the conference I eluded to in my last post. I was invited to host a 'booth' and sell my product... originally I thought I would pass... what I do really is mostly custom, so I don't normally have things made up ahead of time, and my experience in the past has not been very successful. However, after praying, and asking others to pray, I began to get the crazy idea that God was in fact giving me favor and asking me to lay down all the other things on my plate and make this a priority... this was confirmed through several people and I submitted and was able to stay busy and focused to have quite a spread at the conference. As I was setting up, the feedback from all the women there was so positive, I began to get excited... about 24 hours later, I began to get discouraged. It was a STRONG spirit of discouragement. I was not only discouraged by the lack of sales at my booth, but to be honest - our main speaker was incredible - she is a great writer and her style and 'voice' if you will - well, she is compared to Max Lucado! They referred to her as the 'female Max Lucado'... Hmmm!? That is what my Honey calls me!?? I began to entertain thoughts of discouragement in the form of, "well - at least she is out there - doing what she is called to do!" and "She is able to stay focused and actually WRITE... and travel and speak and what have I done since I felt the Lord call me? Not much!" Yeah... not good to entertain or give place to those thoughts... I know this - and yet - it was honestly what I was dealing with as I ventured into the sanctuary and began to try to silent my thoughts and worship. In the midst of worship, I heard the Lord ask me, "Karri, if you didn't sell one more thing during this conference... but you knew that I am proud of you... If you heard Me say Well Done... would that be enough?" Wow?! Well - to be honest, my first thought was more along the lines of "Do you mean I am going to have to pack it all up and bring it all back home with me?" but I got to "Yes, Lord!" rather quickly! Of course He is enough! I had to struggle with why He would call me to do all that work and spend the money in the first place if He was not going to give me favor to sell at least most of it... but once again - He does not answer to me... and knowing that I did the task He set before me and I did it in a way that pleased Him... that was enough! I ended up selling over half of my stock on hand and I was able to promote my business, hand out countless business cards, and I did get two custom orders. So - in the end, it was worth it in the natural and the spiritual! I have just completed one of the custom orders, and am almost ready to begin the second project. Oh - I didn't tell you - after the worship time when He spoke to me, our speaker got up and basically, very powerfully and eloquently said, Is He enough for you!? If you get no recognition, no applause, is He enough? Wow!? Yes, Lord!

The following Tuesday I was SO looking forward to prayer, having missed it the week before! I just adore my ladies there and the Presence and Favor that we experience there! It is an open heaven type atmosphere and He visits us every time! He is so faithful! I love how every one of the ladies that come had a part and brings a piece of what He is saying... during the worship time I had a vision and was going to try to draw it and scan it... but I will spare you my artwork and try to describe it with my tool of choice... words! In the vision I saw two people (from the knees down) standing on what appeared to be two rocks. There was a woman standing in a flowing white gown, and I understood this to the the Bride of Christ... I could see her bare feet with her train blowing in the breeze... she was standing on a large rock but it seemed like she was preparing to jump over to the Son of Man... I could see a garment flowing and His crucified feet firmly planted on the Rock that He was standing on. There was quite a space in between the two stones and it would take a leap of faith for her to attempt to jump and cross over! As I panned down in the vision, I saw that there was in fact a cross bridging the gap between the rocks but it was below her line of vision. I also noticed that on the rock which she was standing, there were words etched into the Rock... words like, "Knowledge of the Word," "Ability," "Anointing," "Past Successes," "Calling," etc.! Then I looked over to the Rock upon which Jesus stood and His Rock has words like, "The Word," "Grace," "Truth," "Love," "Freedom," "Forgiveness," "Victory," etc. I could see that this Bride appeared to be standing on a firm foundation - but as I looked down I could see this Rock getting smaller and smaller at the bottom and I saw the enemy's foot in ready position to kick it all out from under her. She had replaced The Word, with Knowledge of the Word... she has replaced His abilities and His success alone, with her own abilities and past successes. She was standing on and leaning on the Calling and Anointing that did in fact come from Him... but it was mixed in with her identity and watered down by her own experiences - both victories and failures alike. At this point, she was bold enough to leap and she landed in the Arms of Jesus... she wrapped her arms around His neck and leaned in on Him. He held her close and whispered encouragement into her heart. He held her for a time... for a season, and then He went to put her down on the Rock. She did that thing - I don't know if you know what I am talking about, but if you are a Mom or a Grandma, or have been around toddlers at all - you will know... she did that thing where her feet just sort of disappeared and he could not set her down. She was unwilling to let go and be let down. He held her for a bit longer - but I heard Him tell her, "This is your time! I will stand with you... but you MUST STAND on your own now!" (end of vision) I sensed that the Lord was saying that this season of change is coming - no matter what season you have been in... it is time to step up and stand on your own - WITH Him! If you have found yourself standing on your own - without Him lately... take the leap - He will catch you! But there is coming a time and an hour when we will each be released to stand on our own two feet.

So - back to the Father's Heart... did you think about what you envision when you hear those words!? For me - even after all these years - it is a sense of apprehension. I heard the Lord whisper to my heart for days, "Seek the Father's Heart! It is time to seek the Father's Heart!" So - I am seeking it out... I am naively ready to seek Him out and search for His heart. I have known the Heart of the Spirit... to reveal all things. I know the Heart of my Bridegroom - longing for His Bride. I think I have been a bit reluctant to seek after the Father's Heart because of human experience. I have, of course, grown and trusted Him and I know that if I have the Son, I have the Father also! I am blessed to have an amazingly godly husband who is not only a father, but a Daddy to our child. In watching him with her, I have learned much and longed to be closer to my father on earth, and my Father in Heaven. I thought I was drawing closer and I was... but I was using my husband as my example, and I related to him, of course, as my husband! So, I have had a wonderful intimate season with the Lord - drawing close to my Bridegroom Savior. The Lord... (and by 'the Lord' - I mean all three of those guys!) want intimacy! So - I feel I need to purposefully seek out the Heart of the Father in this new season!

That brings us to today - and I will try to wrap this up quickly... during our prayer time, I saw myself dancing with Jesus... as in Dancing with the Stars... and at the Judges table was God the Father. We were dancing and I could tell that I was very focused, counting off steps and keeping in position. I could feel that Jesus wanted me to look Him in the eye - but I resisted and kept perfect form... elbow up, neck stiff, head turned away from Him... and then I heard in my spirit, "The Father's Heart does not judge you on technicalities!" Sometimes, we strive for perfection and our focus is on all the technical points and hitting the mark that we can often miss the heart of the dance!

I pray He dances with you this week... and God grant you the boldness to look Him in the eye and feel the Love He has for you! For it pleases the Father to see the love you have for His Son!


September 24, 2007

Updating soon...

Wow... super busy... even missed my Tuesday ladies last week... went to a conference over the weekend with Alicia Britt Chole... wow?! I will write more soon! Until then, check out her website at and read a devotion or two... you will be blessed!


September 11, 2007

Crucified with Christ...

...Let the Glory of the Lord Rise Among Us!

I just wanted to share a Vision I had on Sunday during our worship service... while I believe it was directly for our church - it is obviously a Word for the Body at large as well!

On Sunday morning during worship, I saw our sanctuary from an aerial (or is that Angels') perspective... I then saw the Lord's hand sweeping over the congregation.
The air beneath His Hand began to move and change and I could see the Spirit move beneath His hand like a ribbon or flag, dancing and billowing in the breeze above our heads every time the Lord's hand would pass over. I then saw His hand begin to grasp onto an unseen layer - as if peeling away something... He was washing over us and peeling off layers that had built up in between us & Him (layers of sin, of religion, or 'self protection', etc.) Then I saw several people look up heavenward as His hand swept over them and their countenance began to change... they were purified and the glory of the Lord was hovering over them... they became glowing white like Moses... and then the vision faded.
Later, during worship, Pastor Jon asked everyone to lift their hands in surrender and the vision returned. I heard in my spirit, "I am crucified with Christ" and I saw again from that aerial viewpoint that all had their hands raised.. however, as individuals began to surrender in their hearts to the Lord, I noticed that they became crucified with Christ and I saw holes in their hands. At first it was just a few, but it kept happening to more and more and I could see that white glowing Glory begin to filter through their hands as they worshiped. I thought of how we see a cloud when the light filters through it and it streams down. I don't know about you, but I always envision God peaking down from heaven... As more and more people became crucified with Him - more of His Glory shone through and was filtered back upward towards Heaven... and then the vision faded. For days now, whenever I think of it - I find myself singing, "Let the Glory of the Lord RISE AMONG US!"
I think many have been going through a season of being crucified with Him in a variety of ways and for a variety of reasons... but we can rest assured that when we truly surrender to Him, and allow His spirit to flow through us, the Glory of the Lord WILL rise among us and not only reach out and touch lives around us, but reach upward to heaven and bless His heart!
May He rise among you this week in amazing and powerful ways!

September 3, 2007

Wisdom vs Understanding

The month of August was full of opportunities for me to seek the Lord and find the difference between Wisdom and Understanding. August was a month-long battle for me, both personally, physically, and spiritually. Not that it was all bad... and as we all know - our God works EVERYTHING together for good to and for those who love Him and are called according to His design and purpose! So - even the 'bad' parts, or the difficulties, or sickness, or whatever it is that you are facing that seems 'bad' - even those parts He is able to redeem and use to reveal a greater purpose and a stronger faith in you!

I will not go into everything that came at me in the past month - but let me just say that if I was able to separate them and look at them one by one - most of them would be no big deal! However, as many know and have had to deal with themselves in this past season, when the enemy of your souls is seemingly on a relentless onslaught - it can seem and even look in the natural to be overwhelming and impossible to overcome. And yet, we know that His Word is true and that we are MORE than conquerors!!? Even when we don't FEEL like it!?

The biggest and most intense attack came at me seemingly out of nowhere - after the previous attacks had slowed and I felt as if I was back on track... and it literally derailed me for a few days. Not only was I in a great deal of physical pain, I was struggling - (or is that 'wrestling'?) with God as to why it was even allowed in the first place!? Now - I know that what I went through pales in comparison to what many have to walk through... but for me - I could see it as a definite attack, that came as a direct result of stepping up my prayers and intercession for a friend... I was believing bigger and with more boldness and Authority - which I felt the Lord had asked of and required of me... and then all of the sudden - bam!? I was physically hit and even though I knew the purpose of the attack was to get me to back off of my prayers, I regretfully repent and admit to you - that it did just that for a time. I was a bit unsure... I allowed the whisperings of the enemy to enter into my mindset and taunt me... if I kept up the prayers for a miracle, the devil would simply take me out... not only would the prayers not be answered, but I would die in the process... so - really, was the attempt in faith even worth it?! Of course, the answer is yes - and the truth is the enemy is not allowed to take me out... but it took me a couple of days of self wallowing and whining a bit with God to get to this reality!

You see, I spent several days standing on the very words and Scriptures that I was praying for my friend... and I was getting frustrated that it didn't seem to be working immediately. Of course, the irony in this is that my friend has battled his own attack for several years now... my, how we can get so ME focused!? Donald Miller talks about our desire for formulas in "Searching for God knows what" and he said that sometimes, he wonders if what we really secretly wish for is that 'God were a genie who could deliver a few wishes here and there. And that makes me wonder if what we really want from the formula's are the wishes, not God. It makes me wonder if what we really want is control, not a relationship.' (Ouch!?) I say that because I am all about the intimacy and relationship with our God... I preach it and I live it for the most part... but bring on an intense attack, and I will do what I know to do... but if it doesn't seem to work like magic - well, then... hurry it up already God - ... sometimes we just get so ME focused, we forget that He has a bigger and better plan, and yes - sometimes those plans require us to go through the fire... He never promised us a life without trouble... but He did promise that He would see us through every time!!! In fact, there are rich lessons that await us when we go through suffering with Christ... we are called to it from time to time - not to suffer, but to overcome - and to be filled afresh with new compassion! So, after a couple of days of my whining with Him and stomping my feet while standing on the Word... I realized as much as the healing I was believing for... what I was after just as much was an explanation! I wanted understanding as to WHY He would allow the enemy to attack me in that way while I was simply stepping up and doing what He had called me to do... I wanted to know WHY He would lead me to step out and stand strong, and then stand by and watch me get knocked down... I pray, I plead the Blood - I felt I should have been covered! I know, I know... more than likely - we have all been here at least a time or two in our walk with God... whether we would admit it or not, I don't know?!

Anyway, once I realized I was wanting God to answer to me, rather than submitting myself to His hand and submitting to Him... I repented, and I felt Him lead me to Psalm 111:10... which in the Amplified Bible says this: "The reverent fear and worship of the Lord is the beginning of Wisdom and skill [the preceding and the first essential, the prerequisite and the alphabet]; a good understanding, wisdom, and meaning have all those who do [the will of the Lord]. Their praise of Him endures forever." That was key for me... what I needed was Wisdom, not so much Understanding or explanations! We know that our God answers to no one... and yet so often, in the midst of confusion or turmoil - we act as though we expect him to give us all the answers and reveal His intentions! Sometimes, He will... and sometimes, well - He just won't! What I needed was to return to worship, and recite His goodness, His faithfulness, His majesty... to remember my testimony and all the times He has never let me down... I needed to make sure that my lips were not releasing whining and complaining but praise and honor... it is no magic 'formula' of course, but for me - in that battle, as soon as I did that, the Lord began a quick healing in my body, and my spirit! What I was facing looked in the natural as if it would take weeks if not months or more to overcome, and I am thrilled and humbled to say that within one week, the Lord healed me and lifted me up! It's all about Him... I am not in any way saying that the sickenss came from God... I am a firm believer that the Word is true and it is the enemy who comes to steal, kill, and destroy... not the Lord. However, all things pass through His hand and often when we are having to deal with something that seems impossible, there is a lesson awaiting us that will not only see us through to the other side victorious, but will work in us a more Christlikeness - if we allow it!

I know He taught me many things in those 7 days, and many of the lessons I know I still have not gained wisdom on... but there was a greater purpose involved! I am pleased to say that I am back to praying for my friend... the enemy intended to scare me away from praying in faith and applying the Blood... it will not work... he has no power and I believe with all my heart that God's will for my friend is Good... better than even MY will for him! I put my hope, my trust and my faith in Christ alone! He is well able!

It was wonderful to be back to my regular routine and be able to meet with the ladies at my weekly prayer meeting. During prayer and worship, the Lord gave me a picture that so cemented in me what I had just walked through myself, that I wanted to share it here...

He gave me a picture of how God the Father was restraining Jesus as they looked on to see the Bride getting abused by the enemy. I saw the anguish and heartbreak in Jesus' eyes as He watched her (us, His Bride) being hurt, wounded, and attacked. The Father holds Him back NOT as punishment, but to show our strength & to watch us Rise up in Beauty as we stand up and say "No More!" ("Why?! Why does she just sit there?! Why does she take it?!" Jesus cries out - knowing that she has the weapons to stop her attacker instantly! She only needs to remember and use the Power and Authority given to her!) There is nothing more attractive or desirable than to see the one you love stand up in fierceness and boldness and draw a line in the sand... to take a stand for something, or someone... to see a Warrior Bride take her ground is so pleasing to the Lord... And in the waiting, not only do we become stronger, but the Love that Christ has for us grows stronger as well!!! The Lover of our Soul will give us plenty of opportunities to rise up and stand for Him... we simply must see them and take them!!!

As the vision faded, the Lord said that so often, the Bride doesn't understand, and that alone can paralyse her and keep her in the enemies grip. The fleshly desire and 'need' to understand a thing from every angle can cause us to stop fighting against it and get caught up in it... It can cause us to lose ground... so, rather than a drive to understand, we need to learn to decide to choose to TRUST!!! The Bible says that His thoughts are higher than our thoughts, and His ways higher than our ways! This is true... there are times when He will reveal them to us, so it doesn't hurt to ask... but there are times when the reasoning behind it is not for us to know and that is when we must learn to quickly submit and choose to Trust!

As Mark 11 says, have faith in God... "whatever you ask for in prayer, believe (trust and be confident) that it is granted to you, and you will [get it]." (Mark 11:24 Ampl) This is not a time to shy away from the Word of God or to give in to the doubts and attacks of the enemy! We are standing in the opening of a new season, where I believe God is wanting to answer radical faith-filled, put it all out there on the line, kind of prayers! Let's step up, draw a line in the sand and stand with Him for miracles! The Bible says that we will be doing greater works than Jesus... I don't know about you - but I want to see that happen... and I am believing that it is beginning to happen even now!

It's good to be back! Continue to stand Bold, Firm, and Strong in the Faith... knowing that your God loves you and has the very best in store for you!
In Him,

August 29, 2007

Alive and Well on Planet Earth

Hey there...

Yes - it is true! I am alive... I can't believe it has been over a month since I have updated... it has been one heck of a month too?! I will write more soon... fill in the gap a bit, and share what the Lord showed me yesterday at my Prayer meeting. (I had been gone from there as well... it was wonderful to be back!)

I'll update soon!

July 18, 2007

To Be A Bride...

What does it mean to be a Bride? What kind of images come to mind? Are there certain traditions or cultural rituals passed down through your family or religion that often take place during a wedding?

I have to say that after my rough couple of weeks -the one thought that pulled me back out was remembering that I was a Bride... not just any Bride... but HIS Bride! He adores me more than I adore Him... He longs to spend time with me and to bless me, more than I desire to spend time with Him and bless His heart! He is for me... and the things that concern me - the things that consume me, well - He is ALL OVER those things!

So - as I prepared to lead on Tuesday, I knew that He was opening up the floor for me to share a very personal experience I had with Him in regards to being betrothed to Him! I have hinted at it here and there... but I don't know that I had actually talked about it and really dug into much of the study I have done regarding weddings and Scripture! So - it was a lot of fun... and in the end, He did not disappoint! He showed up and loved on us and I believe He is still up to a bit of Romancing this week!

Oh how we women LOVE to talk Weddings!!! We are all over the details and romance of it all! I don't know about you... but I am coming up on my 15th Anniversary this year and when we got engaged - I had less than 3 months to plan and prepare! I crammed a year or more worth of details and touches into those 3 months and what hit me most as I was preparing to walk down the aisle was the realization that none of that stuff mattered... what mattered most to me in that moment was hoping that I had focused enough on my bridegroom and what I needed to do to make him happy! I had a relatively short engagement, which has it's good and bad points! My niece recently got married after a short engagement as well! At the last minute, she called me in to be her unofficial Wedding Planner and photographer... I had been giving hints and offering a hand for weeks and weeks... so as soon as she asked - I was on my way!!!

We love a good romance… a fairytale ending… a happily ever after! Life doesn’t always turn out that way – but as believers, we are promised a fairytale, happily ever after, romantic never-ending love in the end! Jesus Himself is our betrothed – our Bridegroom… and one day – we will celebrate in the Wedding Feast of the Lamb! One day, He will return for us and we must be ready, waiting, expecting Him – and we must be ready and prepared to go with Him immediately!

In Jewish culture, it is the custom for an engaged couple to seal the engagement with wine and a meal (like Communion!) with the parents of the Bride and then the Groom would leave – to build a house onto his parents home. The engagement could last up to a year or so… but no one except the Grooms' Father knew when the wedding date would be! So – as the year came to an end, and the house was near completion – the Bride had to say her goodbyes, pack, and be ready to leave whenever she heard her Groom and his groomsmen coming down the road.

In fact, let’s open our Bibles and read Matthew 25:1-13 (The Parable of the Ten Virgins)

"At that time the kingdom of heaven will be like ten virgins who took their lamps and went out to meet the bridegroom. Five of them were foolish and five were wise. The foolish ones took their lamps but did not take any oil with them. The wise, however, took oil in jars along with their lamps. The bridegroom was a long time in coming, and they all became drowsy and fell asleep. At midnight the cry rang out: 'Here's the bridegroom! Come out to meet him!' Then all the virgins woke up and trimmed their lamps. The foolish ones said to the wise, 'Give us some of your oil; our lamps are going out.' 'No,' they replied, 'there may not be enough for both us and you. Instead, go to those who sell oil and buy some for yourselves.' But while they were on their way to buy the oil, the bridegroom arrived. The virgins who were ready went in with him to the wedding banquet. And the door was shut. Later the others also came. 'Sir! Sir!' they said. 'Open the door for us!' But he replied, 'I tell you the truth, I don't know you.' “Therefore keep watch, because you do not know the day or the hour.
Also – let’s read Matthew 26:26-29:
“While they were eating, Jesus took bread, gave thanks and broke it, and gave it to his disciples, saying, "Take and eat; this is my body." Then he took the cup, gave thanks and offered it to them, saying, "Drink from it, all of you. This is my blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many for the forgiveness of sins. I tell you, I will not drink of this fruit of the vine from now on until that day when I drink it anew with you in my Father's kingdom."

And John 14:1-3
"Do not let your hearts be troubled. Trust in God; trust also in me. In my Father's house are many rooms; if it were not so, I would have told you. I am going there to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back and take you to be with me that you also may be where I am.”

These are the Four Phases of the Jewish Marriage in Bible times:
(Now it is condensed into one day by most modern Jews)
1. Matchmaking 2. Betrothal 3. The return of the Groom 4. Week of celebrating

The matchmaker was often a rabbi or scholar and they would seek out eligible mates and work up a fair Bride Price. They would draw up this marriage contract and this was most often brought by the Groom to the prospective Brides' parents home for the Engagement dinner.

For the Betrothal - (this is so cool!) - If the Groom agreed to the contract, he would go to a dinner at the Bride's parents' home. He would then pour a cup of wine and offer it to the woman – this symbolized his offer of marriage. If she drank it, she was accepting proposal! After drinking the wine, the groom gave bride a coin - a token to show that she was spoken for. (During Middle Ages substituted a ring – the engagement ring).

This began an apx. one-year engagement. This is like Joseph and Mary - they were betrothed and for all purposes, it was a legal binding marriage - but the year had not been completed and they had not yet been alone or officially celebrated their union! A betrothal was not entered lightly - it was not something that you could simply break off or change your mind about!

During the year (or so) the husband built a bridal chamber onto his father’s house. During this time – he did not drink wine again until his Wedding day! If someone saw the groom working on the bridal chamber (or the addition to his fathers' house), and they asked him when the wedding would be – he honestly could not tell them - it was his father that made the decision of when bridal chamber was finished. This reminds me of the verse in Matthew. I love how this is drawn out for us when Jesus Himself said: “This is my blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many for the forgiveness of sins. I tell you, I will not drink of this fruit of the vine from now on until that day when I drink it anew with you in my Father's kingdom." (Matt 26:28-29)

They KNEW what He was saying when He spoke this… they had a very strong cultural visual of the intimacy and promise He was making!

The next Phase of the Jewish wedding is when the Groom returns for His Bride!

When groom’s father gave the nod, the groom and groomsmen would go to the bride’s house, usually unexpectedly at night. They called out and blew a ram’s horn before entering the house to get the bride and her bridesmaids. The women would be watching and waiting for him – probably for several days, or even weeks, as they saw the bridal chamber completed and the year near or come to an end.

The groom took the bride to the bridal chamber, with wedding party accompanying them through the streets. The Group waited as the bride and groom spent time alone together. The "groom’s friend" and other witnesses wait for a signal from the groom. The couple doesn’t necessarily consummate, they just have the opportunity (as it is their first time alone). After the groom gives the signal, the rest of the group begins celebrating. The bride and groom come out of the bridal chamber seven days later to celebrate with friends and family at the wedding supper.

Lastly, the week of celebrating - a WEEK!? That blows away my reception - in which I was busy getting my photo's taken and I missed most of our guests?! This, for me, stirs up the visual from Revelation 19!

“Then I heard what sounded like a great multitude, like the roar of rushing waters and like loud peals of thunder, shouting: "Hallelujah! For our Lord God Almighty reigns. Let us rejoice and be glad and give him glory! For the wedding of the Lamb has come, and his bride has made herself ready. Fine linen, bright and clean, was given her to wear Then the angel said to me, "Write: 'Blessed are those who are invited to the wedding supper of the Lamb!' " And he added, "These are the true words of God.”

These basic four phases are still present in Jewish ceremonies today - all taking place within the service... another thing that is often done is when the Bride enters in and walk to the groom - she circles him three times! They site Hosea for this tradition and I love it because it was the Book of Hosea that brought me to the realization that God desired intimacy!

About nine years ago, I had an encounter with the Lord that changed the very way I approach Him and drew me closer to His heart than I thought was even possible! I will try to skim over the details and get to the point here... after a few years of being a Christian and really plugging in and being on fire for God - I began to feel a bit burnt out and drained... I wanted more of God but it seemed those around me who were older in the Lord were not necessarily CLOSER to Him - but just more religious!? I found myself fighting against a spirit of religion - within me, and all around me!

I felt Him telling me to read the book of Hosea... but I was tired... and I wanted a word or something more personal... besides, I had read that book before!? I was thinking, "Yeah yeah yeah... minor prophet... married a prostitute... I've read it...?!" I can be pretty stubborn and I sort of waited for another word from Him for some time... So - I was at a women's conference and somehow found myself up front at the altar and I can't really remember why - but amazingly enough I found myself slain in the Spirit underneath a pew... miraculously uninjured!? I realized that my body was shaking and it seemed as though I would end up with a concussion and a black eye as I kept hitting the pew as I shook. Anyway - at one point I was sort of feeling like a show and was afraid of what others would be thinking! The Lord then told me it didn't matter - He was shaking the religion out of me! After while, He asked if He could hold me hand and I realized that Jesus was lying down beside me. Of course, I said yes and we laid there together talking for it seemed like hours! He was correcting my thinking and revealing things that were true and things that were not... at the end of our conversation, the Lord looked me in the eyes and He said, "Now, Karri, my Beloved, GO READ the Book of Hosea!"

Needless to say - I did go home and read the whole book! The verse that He pointed out to me was Hosea 2:16 which says: “And it shall be, in that day,” Says the LORD, “ That you will call Me ‘My Husband,’ And no longer call Me ‘My Master’.”

It is interesting to note that the original Hebrew word for “Husband” is Ishi & the Hebrew word for “Master” is Baali – a variation of Baal… many people this year have talked about the spirit of Baal and how God is dealing with that in this year!

What I love about Hosea is how much he is a clear picture of our patient and loving Bridegroom! He sacrificed his heart over and over only to be pushed aside and disregarded, again and again… when he had every right to walk away and give up on this harlot – Father God called him back and sent Him to her… three times he pledged to betroth her… even paying a Bride Price to her live-in lover… just as Christ was willing to pay a Bride Price for us – to the one whom we pledged our love. …whether or not we knew that we had aligned ourselves up with the enemy – Jesus knew! And yet – He was willing to pay the price for us… not just because He wants us to pledge allegiance… not just because He wants us to obey and serve Him – but because of His great LOVE for us… Because He desires intimacy and passion… Our Bride Price was the Blood of Jesus – that is what we are Worth to Him!

After that experience, the Lord became more tangible to me... not because I saw Him as much as because He shared with me that He desires and looks forward to spending time together too!

“And as the bridegroom rejoices over the bride, So shall your God rejoice over you.” Isaiah 62:5

He is our Bridegroom – the very best example of a husband on earth still pales in comparison to our heavenly Husband.

A few weeks ago, I was battling with what I first thought was a Word from the Lord… I heard a verse in the midst of prayer and it messed me up… I was praying for someone special and all of the sudden I felt the Lord impress a scripture reference on my heart. I was unaware what it was so I looked it up… I didn’t like it – so I decided maybe I had mixed up the numbers – so I looked up the OTHER reference… hmm?! Said the EXACT same thing!? This is not a verse you want to hear… I really struggled with this on my own for days… I told my husband and he sort of shrugged it off, not taking it seriously. Unfortunately – it happened at my weekly Prayer Meeting – in a place where I am expectant to hear from God and I had my guard down against the enemy here… and it was the Word – so it was not so easily disregarded… I actually went through a few days of not praying… not reading the Word… not even really wanting to hear from Him for fear of what ELSE He may ask of me! I ended up being angry with God – not something I am proud of or something that I advise!?

The thing that finally brought breakthrough and the realization that this ‘voice’ was not the Lord was remembering that Jesus is my Husband… His desire is for me and my desires become His desires… now I knew in general – our desires for this person are the same… so of course, this harsh Word was not for her… because He is my Husband – and He is HER Husband …

And then this thought – once again – took my breath away:
As much as I desire and want to be a Good Wife for Him…
He wants to be a Good Husband for me!

Isn’t that an amazing thought?! He is FOR us… He desires to bless us and lavish His love upon us! He loves to surprise us and overwhelm us… He is our Bridegroom… and as much as we put all that time and attention into preparing for our earthly wedding… all the thoughts and details we were obsessed with, we need to remember that one day, we will have another Wedding Day! One day we will Wed again… and we must remember that our preparing now deals more with readying ourselves and learning to call Him “My Husband” rather than merely “My Master”! While the ceremony is already planned for us, what we most want for our wedding day is a romance story with a fairytale ending! For our earthly wedding, we wanted the look of love and adoration in our husband’s eyes as we walked down the aisle, … and don’t we still want that from Jesus too!? Don’t we want to walk down the aisle, pure and spotless in our wedding gown, and let everyone see the love that we have for each other by simply looking at us!

I believe that NOW is the season for intimacy… NOW is the season to be assured of His great love for you… NOW is the season to draw nearer to Him and to have that open communication with Him so that when the enemy comes, you will have the assurance that your Husband is for you and you can trust in Him!

Another one of my favorite scriptures is found in the book of Revelation:
“And the Spirit and the bride say, “Come!” And let him who hears say, “Come!” And let him who thirsts come. Whoever desires, let him take the water of life freely.” - Rev 22:17

I believe that in the midst of planning for weddings and watching love stories come to life all around us – the Lord is desiring for us to know and remember that the greatest love story – the great ROMANCE – is the divine romance that we have with Him!

I pray he romances you this week and reminds you of your beauty, your value, your worth!


July 8, 2007


As I sit here, I am 'staring at the blank page before me' and I realize that it has been some time since I last wrote. In fact, it has been some time since I really asked for something to write about... honestly - since I have even talked with God. After struggling with something and wrestling a bit, I finally came to some sort of breakdown this afternoon with my husband and admitted to him that I was angry with God and I had stopped talking with Him. I know, I know... not the most advisable angle to take... This is not my normal edited, polished, pre-planned, pre-written post... this is real, honest, and raw.

This is not something I advise, or something I am proud of. It's not the first time I have sort of stubbornly wrestled with the Lord about something, but it has been a long time - and even in that, this is different.

Luckily, I have the knowledge and assurance that God loves me... no matter what - and I feel like He has asked some difficult things of me in the past - and I know that He always wins out in the end, but this time - if it was in fact the Lord - well - He is going to need to give me a little more... no - a lot more - because honestly - I just can't see me following through with this one!

I am almost on the other side of this - to where I am pretty sure that what I thought I heard from Him - was actually not Him at all - however this unlocks a whole new hallway of OTHER open doors for the enemy! So - I have gone back and forth trying to figure out (or decide) if this was God - or not. Either truth poses confusion and concern.

Let me briefly tell you what has happened... a couple of weeks ago - in the midst of my Tuesday Prayer meeting, I was praying for someone in particular and I felt I heard the Lord give me a Scripture reference. This is a 'safe place'... a place that I regularly hear from and expect to hear from the Lord... and this is a familiar way in which He 'speaks' - by giving me pictures or references of Scripture. Most often, I am not positive what the verse says - and so this leads me on a chase. I was in the midst of declaring some things (as I have discussed in the previous post) over this person and all of the sudden, I heard in my spirit "Jeremiah 11:14"... Hmm!? OK - so I look it up... this is not a scripture you want the Lord to give you... I thought - huh?! Maybe it was Jeremiah 14:11... hmmm?! Says the same thing!? It basically says to stop praying. To give up... because He won't listen... Well, I don't have it in me to stop praying... in fact, I feel this goes against my call and I feel like it simply cannot be from God. Most of the time, since this day, I have had a fairly strong sense that this was not the voice of God - but the enemy himself attempting to silence my declarations and weaken my faith. The person I was praying for - the person I AM praying for - is not wicked... is not a lost cause or rebellious... I know God's heart is FOR her and not against her... and yet - I know the Voice of God! I am His, and His Word says that I will hear Him and know His Voice. So - I struggle with knowing if this was Him- using His own Word to call me to stop... or if it was the enemy, masking his voice and using scripture to confuse and defeat me.

You can see my dilemma, right?! If it was God - then first, why would He seriously ask me to stop praying for this person?! (or for anyone for that matter?!) Am I called to be like Abraham - because, I have to tell you - I just don't feel that in me and I can't see that I can do that... I can't stop. It sounds horrible - but even if it IS God... I can't see stopping. Secondly, if it was Him - what about all the other words and promises that have been spoken over her... are those all null and void now?! No - I know that they are not!

So then...if it was, in fact, Satan - then how is it that he was able to so easily convince me that it was the Voice of God? How can he speak to me in the midst of my intercession... in the midst of my 'safe place' and time spent with the Lord? I mean - I know he is relentless and consistent... he is crafty and he, too, knows the Word. But, while believing that he is the one who spoke to me gives me peace in the long haul - it causes me to doubt that I do, in fact, hear from God clearly... consistently all those other times?!

I was reminded of the scripture in Matthew that talks about how in the end times, even the elect, if it were possible, would be led astray. Am I 'elect'? Yeah, ...yes I am! We all are! We are a holy nation, a royal priesthood... and as much as we may be in tune and know the voice of the Lord - this is a season when the enemy of our souls is raising the level of warfare... he cheats and steals and lies and twists the truth, he is playing dirty, and he is playing for keeps! I encourage you to plead the Blood EVERY day... and to dig into the Word - because the enemy knows enough of the Word to mask his voice and cause us - (yes - even the elect), to be led astray...

As I was typing this out - the Lord led me to Proverbs 11:14 ("Without good direction, people lose their way; the more wise counsel you follow, the better your chances." The Message) as well as Proverbs 14:11 ("The house of the wicked shall be overthrown, but the tent of the upright shall flourish." The Amplified)

Isn't God good to be patient with us and shine the Light on us... even as we feel like we are stumbling in darkness. The enemy was attempting to not only cause me to stop praying, but to cause me to question not only if I hear from the Lord, but to question His love... that alone should have tipped me off! But, God the Father, in His Abiding Love, and Abounding Grace - waits patiently for me to come to Him yet again and talk. To be honest, I was hesitant to even try to listen... (another tip off, if ever there was one!) because I didn't want Him to confirm the word... I stopped praying as much, (or with as much faith)... I stopped reading the Word for a little bit, and I stopped my morning devotional times... which of course, explains why it took me so long to break free from the lie! I know better... I have to tell you - this was a STRONG spirit. And if he is speaking lies with false authority to ME... I know he must be speaking them to you, as well!

Even as I wrap this up, I have to say that I am feeling much better! I am seeing things more clearly and while it is unsettling for me to think that I could have attributed this 'word' to the Lord and not recognize it for what it was - it is yet again a strong reminder that we all must be connected and in relationship with one another... because we will need each other - sometimes to decipher some of the most basic of things in the times to come! It is not enough to meet together - we must actually communicate and build relationships so that when... yes, WHEN... the enemy comes to disorient us and confuse us with the Word that we know... we will not hesitate to cry out for help! As much as I talk about being open and honest - pride can cause you to hesitate - and in this crazy busy world we live in now... all the enemy needs is a little hesitation! I am blessed to have friends who pray for me, and a husband who takes time to really look me in the eye when I hesitate... even still - I humble myself and confess that I did not handle this attack the way I should - the way I am encouraging you to do!

I pray you can learn from my mistake and find someone - just one person - with whom you can run to when you feel confused or unsure! I encourage you to stay tuned in, connected, and keep your lines of communication with the Lord and with the Body open...

("There rest is still unwritten...")

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