August 26, 2009

The Sound of Silence... and Fear of Success

I can't believe how long it has been since I have sat down here with the intent of writing specifically for this blog. Of course, I could easily 'blame' summertime and the lack of schedule on my absence, and in part - that would be true! However I must admit, the whole truth includes reluctance on my part to continue to write more - when in fact, what I need to be doing, is editing what is already written. It just doesn't seem as fun though and so I deprive myself of this outlet, and yet still accomplish little to nothing as far as editing goes!

We are actually in the first week of Back to School and back to Fall routines! I love it! I am such a schedule follower and list maker... I find peace and rest in routine! At least routine for some portion of my daily life! I have learned in this past season however the power and preciousness of spontaneity - of being open and available to do something last minute! God loves both ways really - and it's fun to plan, and then sit back and be available to go a completely different direction! Summer was good to my little family! We really enjoyed some relaxing down time, and some powerful together time as well! I think though that all of us are happy to be finding ourselves back in the familiar routines this week!

As I plan and prepare my Fall schedule I am once again needing to schedule in editing and writing time... I am also praying I will have the discipline to follow through this time! I was praying the other day, asking the Lord to guide me and give me creativity in how to alter some things that He has asked me to sort of repackage and He asked me why I was so afraid of success. The question sort of caught me off guard and I thought it was a funny way to ask that - but then as I thought about it - I realized He is right. I have been afraid of success. Success will surely mean change... promotion... exposure... all good really - but it's that little bit of UNEXPECTED that causes me to wonder if it's worth it all. Of course - if He is in it... whatever change that comes will be for my good. I know this - but I still find myself reluctant to move forward. I have overcome many areas where my lack of follow through was holding me back - so I know I can press through this as well. But His question caused me to wonder: Are you too afraid of success? Is the reason you are not moving forward or pressing ahead because deep down - you are afraid of succeeding and moving beyond where you are right now?

This manifested itself in the form of a car for me. We desperately needed a second car over the summer. We prayed and began looking - knowing that our budget was tight, and small - and we'd need to really get direction from the Lord in what to buy. Before we ever went out to look, I felt the Lord ask me what I wanted... I sort of flippantly said something a little sporty would be fun - but really - dependable and reliable of course were most important. My husband found a car for sale by a private owner in a nearby town and we drove to see it on a Sunday afternoon in June. It was nice... REALLY nice... almost too nice! It looked brand new inside and out and had very little miles on it... I was determined not to love it right away! It just didn't seem responsible! So we both drove it - told the owner we would think about it and we left. I wrestled with my hesitation for days until the Lord asked me why I didn't want that car. I said, Well - I would love that car - but it's a little too nice! It may be too good to be true - besides, I don't really deserve a car that nice! I felt Him smile at me, and He said, No - but if you want it, you can have it! He consistently said that for weeks as we drove around looking at car lots and not finding what we wanted. We would discuss this car and call and talk with the owner and end the conversation by saying we'd think about it. Once again I told the Lord I didn't think I deserved a car that nice - and He said, You're right - you don't! But, you are a Kings kid - and I desire to bless you! If you want that car, you can have it! So I got confirmations left and right and we had favor with the bank, and in the end, we got the car! I love it! It is the nicest car I have had - and while I don't deserve it - I don't deserve any of the life I am blessed to be living right now! Gods' grace is bigger than we give Him credit for! I am trying to wrap my mind around what it may look like to be a successful writer, but in all honesty - as long as HE thinks I am successful - it doesn't matter if I ever get published or sell a single book... I have been enjoying reruns of The West Wing and they often say on that show that they 'serve at the pleasure of the President' - well, I write for the pleasure of my King! So - when HE assures me that we will write together and that He has plans in the words He gives me, I write for the pleasure of my King! When I am called to edit and rewrite, I do it all for the pleasure of my King - and to the increase of His Kingdom!

The other thing He has really been talking with me about this summer is how much He desires to speak to us! He is constantly singing over us and speaking to us... it's just that we have so often lost the art of listening to the sound of silence. We tend to want to fill the quiet. But I challenge you - enter in to the silence, push into it and listen for Him... He will speak to you there! You just may find, He's been speaking to you all the time!

So - back to routine, editing, and hopefully writing once in awhile as well! I do love to express what I am hearing and seeing and feeling!

Here's to success - and whatever that may bring!
And here's to the sound of Silence - and the Voice of God that comes forth from it!

July 5, 2009

He is Faithful and True!

My family just returned last week from a vacation to our nations' Capitol! We had an amazing time! To see in person so many places and things that we have grown up seeing on tv or in movies, etc was incredible. As is necessary, we squeezed in a LOT of venues in a few short days and as is custom, we did not get everything in during our short stay! However, a few of my favorites were the Lincoln Memorial - so simple and elegant.. majestic and such a reminder of what one man, with God, can do to make a difference! Awe-inspiring! I also loved the World War 2 Memorial... and the Room of Rembrance in the Holocaust Museum! That was the place where I could tangibly feel the Presence of the Lord and it felt too holy to take a photograph or to do anything but pray, repent, and praise Him! For our Lord is faithful and true... even at times when it really doesn't SEEM like it!

The week before our vacation, we endured a LOT of unexpected stress and are facing some life changes - but God was good in giving us a vacation where we really were able to leave the stress and worries at home and thoroughly enjoy our time together!

With summertime here, my schedule is a bit lighter and my days a bit more relaxed but I am so looking forward to what God has planned in the next month or so... change is coming at us from all directions - and we know as uncomfortable as the unknown can be... we know that He is good... we know that He is Faithful and True and that He has our backs and will lead and guide us... we know that He really IS in a good mood and He desires to place us where He wants us in order to bring about more of His Kingdom here on earth!

Press on in all He has called and equipped you to do in this season... and if you are like us, in a season of change and not really knowing what He is calling you to do next - wait and see... He will be faithful and true for you as well!

More Lord... that is our simple prayer!

June 11, 2009

Can I Get A Witness?

The Lord has been speaking to me for weeks about the power of testimonies! I heard Bill Johnson teach on it, I've heard the Lord tell me to stir up faith by sharing and watching testimonies, and I have noticed that when I am in an environment that tends to brag on God - it causes me to begin to believe that He really IS in a good mood!

My little group of Happy Intercessors are having a great time going through Beni Johnsons' book and decided to all commit to writing a bit of journaling over a period of two weeks to share with the group. Just whatever the Lord was speaking to us... no pressure! Of course, pressure came anyway! I am in a season in my life where the Lord is really accelerating some things and I am feeling very much over scheduled and overwhelmed! Especially just returning from a Writer's Conference, you can guess that I have found no time to write whatsoever?!

I felt the Lord ask me to just go and sit with Him on day last week... I have already admitted to a hectic routine and honestly - I sort of had the gall to argue with Him a bit first... explaining that He wasn't really penciled in to my morning! Of course - I couldn't really say NO... so I grabbed my book and journal and a cup of tea... set up my tunes outside and enjoyed some time in the sun (with the Son!)... it was really nice! Relaxing even... I had forgotten how nice that is!

This is what I wrote out of that time together:

Once again, I think I have given in to the pressures of time constraints and a list too long of things that 'must' get done! This pressure is not from You! In reality - many of the things on my list are not from You either! I am listening to Brian Johnsons' CD and "Where You Go" is playing. It brings such peace! It sounds so simple! "Where You go, I'll go and what You say, I'll say, God. and What You pray, I'll pray. What You pray I'll pray!" Now, why didn't I think of that!? As I sit here and wait on Him, the entire atmosphere outside begins to change. I can still feel the heat of the sun, but a breeze that is cool and refreshing is softly blowing and clouds have rolled in. It looks like they are heavy with rain and my hearts cry is to rain down Lord on this dry and thirsty land - on MY dry and thirsty land! Then the Lord showed me two Scripture references - Job 28:27, 28 and 2 Chronicles 20:29-30. In Job 28:27, 28 it says that the fear of the Lord is wisdom, and in 2 Chron 20 is says that the fear of God was on all the kingdoms WHEN they heard that the Lord had fought Israels enemies and THEN the realm of Jehoshaphat was quiet for God gave him rest! In the Message it says, "When the surrounding kingdoms got word that God had fought Israel's enemies, the fear of God descended on them. Jehoshaphat heard no more from them; as long as Jehoshaphat reigned, peace reigned."

I love that it says WHEN and THEN! WHEN they heard the testimonies, THEN the realm of the King was at rest... WHEN Jehoshaphat reigned, Peace reigned! We must step up and begin spreading the good news and share testimonies! As Bill Johnson says, He's in a good mood!" Once word got out - that's when the fear of God goes out - and THEN the Peace reigns!

Proverbs 9:10 says that the fear of the Lord is the BEGINNING of wisdom! As Paul Young says, in the West especially - we love the Lord with all of our heads! Eventually - (as the REST of 2 Chron Ch 20 shows) we all have to deal with our 'stuff' - our issues - our 'Shack'! We can walk in wisdom and peace for so long - but as we press in, we're gonna have to deal! We all come to that place where the winds of change begin to blow. We realize that the peace we walk in now is less than all He has for us and to go deeper, often times we have to go back. There comes a 'nevertheless' moment where Wisdom can reveal the High Places still standing, the places in our hearts not yet turned toward Him!

We must remember that God is good; that He always has more for us than what we so often settle for, and that He is not bound by time constraints or lists! Job 28:27 says "He saw Wisdom and DECLARED it..." which takes me back to declaring this simple truth:

"Where You go, I'll go
and what You say, I'll say, God.
What You pray, I'll pray.
What You pray, I'll pray."

Reign down, Lord! Rain down on our dry and thirsty lands!


May 23, 2009

The Kingdom of God... it's personal, not business!

There is a stirring in the Body of Christ.... a growing hunger for more power to be manifest in our lives! In order for this to happen we must learn to flow with God’s Love. Jesus has given us the keys to unlock the Kingdom of God. He has equipped us for every good work which He prepared beforehand for us to walk in – to accomplish with Him – to bring glory to the Father! God has given us the keys that, if we would use them they would enable us to operate in two realms right here, and right now! We have been offered a gift to receive the kingdom, and all that it represents. We have the ability to tap into heavenly realms while operating in earthly realms. The keys, and the Kingdom as Jesus said, really ARE at hand, if we’re willing!

We’re being drawn ever closer to the heart of the Father and are called to release the Kingdom of God into every area of our lives. We’re being called to do this by letting His Love spill out and over in greater levels. As I was praying with the Lord, asking Him about this move of God, He assured me that the Kingdom of God is not like the kingdoms of this world! He said that in the earthly realms, much of life really is like that famous line in the Godfather: “It’s not personal – it’s just business.” However, in the Kingdom of God – it’s not business, it’s just personal! Our God is, first and foremost, a personal God! He is relational and desires to have friendship with us. When we rise up in our intimacy with the Lord, He calls us closer to His heart and shows us the Kingdom. The Kingdom of God is not business, it is PERSONAL! Our God desires fellowship and intimacy. When we grow in our friendship with God, He helps us to unlock the realities of Heaven and causes us to see our Authority to pull them from one realm into the other! Look at the story of Mary and Martha. Mary understood that God is Personal, while Martha was all about the Business. Of course the ‘business’ needs to get done, however how much more powerfully and effectively is it done when we do it WITH the Lord, out of intimacy? I have no doubt that if Martha would have also chosen the ‘better part’ of intimacy, the Lord would have accomplished the work that was at hand. In fact, I’m pretty sure that He would’ve rolled his sleeves up and pitched in because He loves to do that! He loves to partner with us in Kingdom work!

In the kingdoms of this earth, ‘business’ is almost expected to be ruthless and cruel. It’s how we get ahead; how we get things done. But when we operate out of the Kingdom of God, Love is our compass and being personal is at the heart of everything we do! As Meg Ryans’ character in You’ve Got Mail said in response to that Godfather quote, “And what's so wrong with being personal, anyway? Whatever else anything is, it ought to begin by being personal.”

The keys to the Kingdom are Righteousness, Joy, and Peace in the Holy Spirit (Rom. 14:17), and how can we live these out if they are not first built on Love? When we begin to operate in the Love of the Father and freely give it out, we begin to see the Kingdom of God at hand. We begin to see lives changed, hearts healed, minds transformed; we begin to see heaven on earth. We have the joy and honor of tapping into the Kingdom of God for any situation we face right here in the earth, and grabbing hold of the heart of the Father. The next move of God I believe will be the combining of two realms, walking into the kingdoms of this world, and tearing the veil to reveal the Kingdom of our God. Many have stated that this move will be a releasing of the Love of God, and is that not what we all need: a personal revelation that the Kingdom is at hand, for you and for me? It’s not business – it’s personal, because what we really need; what we simply must have, is an ever increasing measure of His abiding love and His abounding grace to fill us to overflowing, and to spill out onto others to reveal His Kingdom and bring glory to the Father!

I just returned from a week at Bethel church in Redding, California! It was amazing... God sent me to a Writer's Conference and all of my favorite authors were there... and as a bonus, it was held at Bethel church! Bethel has this unique atmosphere... you can actually tangibly FEEL the Father's Heart beating for you there! There is a strong sense of community and love... they really DO live in the Kingdom there... and I really DO pray that just by being there, I received an impartation... the Kingdom of God is not business, it's PERSONAL... because HE is personal - and He is especially fond of you!


May 3, 2009

A New Season... are you ready for Change?

Once again, I have neglected my writing (thus, my blogs) for months due to other activities that have required my attention - but I have been missing this outlet and way that I tend to clarify that which God is speaking to me! So - here I am... without clear direction, but knowing that I am here because He has something to say - to you, and to me! So - buckle up... and here we go!

Over the past few months, I have been loving my Monday morning group! I meet up weekly with a powerful amazing group of ladies in my home as we study through Bill Johnsons' The Supernatural Power of a Transformed Mind. We wrap it up this week and it has been so encouraging and so challenging... we truly do want to live, as Bill puts it, the 'normal Christian life'! That is my hearts' desire and I long for opportunity mixed with boldness to SEE the sick healed, the lame walking, the blind receiving sight, the lepers cleansed, the demons cast out, and the dead rising! I really do... and this past season was a season of training. It was a season of finding out if this is really something you really honestly want - if we can catch His heart for wholeness and freedom and extend His love in every situation... as He leads! We can SAY we do - because we know we should... but just between you and Him - that is what this past season has been about! What is in you and what does He want to spill out? In the end, really - it's always been and always will be all about His Love!

I have walked through a transitional season with the Lord in the past year and a half. He gently called me to work on my follow through and we picked the most obvious area that it was lacking in... however, I knew overcoming this lack of follow through would bring to light many other changes and many reasons for my lack in the past. What it comes down to for me... I have in the past always been afraid of change. I kicked against the goads and even if it looked like it would be for the best - I hated it. Honestly - in my flesh, I can get real comfortable in my comfort zone and not want to venture out. However, I have known that there is a call on my life that requires my comfort zone to constantly change... let me tell you - you do too! Once you come to Jesus and give Him your life - you are in for a life of change... a life of adventure and opportunities... a life of destiny and blessings. In the flesh - I love my life the way it is right now... I love it! I am not the most wealthy person by a long shot - but I am properous and I love my life. I am blessed with an amazing husband who I adore and who loves me incredibly... I am blessed with an incredible daughter and extended family on both sides... lots of true friends... not to mention the Most Important Person in my life and His great Love for me... I am blessed and happy. But in this past season - the Lord has helped me to work on my follow through and I have realized that while I CAN be comfortable here and I AM blessed - if I am just willing... just WILLING to step out and follow Him, He will open doors that I never would have considered. He will make a way where there seems to be no way and He will cause me to step into the destiny that He has planned for me ahead of time! (Eph 2:10) If I am to fulfill the Call... if I am to step into those prophetic words spoken over me - I will need to be willing to change!

For the first time in my life, I am open and willing to change locations! I love my city and love living here... this is the town I grew up in and most of my family is here... I am not itching to leave - but I can see now for the first time - He can move me and I will be ok. In fact, if He wants me somewhere else - I WANT to be there... because ultimately - if He wants me there - He has something for me there.. to give and to recieve! So - now, not only am I open to change - and I am actually feeling Him stir up in me an excitement FOR it! There is a song on the radio right now called The Motions by Matt West... I love this song - it is so my anthem right now! Here are the lyrics:

"This might hurt
It’s not safe
But I know that I’ve gotta make a change
I don’t care
If I break
At least I’ll be feeling something
‘Cause just ok
Is not enough
Help me fight through the nothingness of life

I don’t wanna go through the motions
I don’t wanna go one more day
Without Your all consuming passion inside of me
I don’t wanna spend my whole life asking
What if I had given everything?
Instead of going through the motions

No regrets
Not this time
I’m gonna let my heart defeat my mind
Let Your love
Make me whole
I think I’m finally feeling something

Take me all the way

I don’t wanna go through the motions
I don’t wanna go one more day
Without Your all consuming passion inside of me
I don’t wanna spend my whole life asking
What if I had given everything?
Instead of going through the motions..."
(The Motions by Matt West)

So - I am not saying I have this follow-through deal mastered - obviously I have not since I haven't been HERE for so long... but, I am seeing that part of why I dug my heels in it for so long to following through was because I knew it would ring about change - or an opportunity to change... and I was not so sure I would be ready or wanting to step into the next season!

I am excited to share that God is literally paying my way to attend a Writers Conference in a couple of weeks! A friend sent me a link in an e-mail and pointed out a Writers Conference being held at Bethel Church in Redding, CA... which means the speakers will include all my favorite authors right now like Bill and Beni Johnons, Kris Vallotton, Danny Silk - pretty much the staff at Bethel - and the keynote speaker is none other than the author of The Shack! Oh my!? Honestly - my first thought when I read that e-mail was, "Linda is MEAN!" LOL! I never thought that I would be able to go! We are planning a big vacation in June that is taking up our vacation budget for the year pretty much and I just didn't even really consider it! However, my husband said that maybe we could swing it... this opened the door for me to pray about it. So - I actually prayed and heard the Lord not only tell me who to bring with me, but He assured me that we are a good investment! That is what He keeps saying over me... "You are a Good Investment!" Amen! He says that over me... and He says that over you! and the good news is that He means it! He has already invested His Life in you... and you are worth it! So - over the past few weeks, the Lord has paid for our Registration fees and is bringing in money to cover our travel expenses. We have not asked anyone for money - but whenever we are tempted to get into worry about the cost of it all... God says, You are a Good Investment - and money shows up! He so desires us to be there... I am excited for the opportunities that He has in mind for us and for the work that He has for us to and the blessings He has for us there... that will equip us for this next season! I am believing that not only will the Writers conference help stir me up and give me direction in my writing - but that I will get a tranferrable anointing there - to live that 'normal Christian life'! Yes, Lord - that is what I want!!!

Recently, I read a word that came across The Elijah List and I just wanted to quote a small portion of what was shared! The author was talking about learning how to host the Presence and he said "...we have access to the unlimited measure of God's presence, but He doesn't entrust Himself to untrustworthy people. All of the measurements are set up on our end of the equation. He typically entrusts us with the measure of the presence we are willing to jealously guard.

We are to become His resting place—the place from which the exploits of Heaven are accomplished. For when the Lord rests upon a person, there is actually an atmospheric shift that takes place wherever that person goes. How do you think Peter's shadow healed people? Our shadow will always release whatever overshadows us. When we learn to host the presence of the Lord, we get more breakthroughs by accident than ever used to happen on purpose. That is a possibility for every Believer every day." (Bill Johnson, "Learning to Host the Presence")

The portion in bold type was actually that way in the original post - but the sentence that really stood out to me was the one right before it... "Our shadow will always release whatever overshadows us." Wow?! So - the question then is this - what is it that is overshadowing you? What is it that is occupying your thoughts and consuming your attention? In this world - in this economy - in this (insert whatever concerns you right now) - it's tough to not let these things overshadow us, but I do not want worry and fear and anxiety to spill out of me... so I must stay focused and in tune and filled up with Him.

During a meeting on Friday night, I heard the Lord say, "If it concerns you, it concerns Me!" Another friend was lead to Psalm 138 and she read it in the New American Standard Version. Verses 7 & 8 read like this:
"Though I walk in the midst of trouble, You will revive me;
You will stretch forth Your hand against the wrath of my enemies,
And Your right hand will save me.
The LORD will accomplish what concerns me;
Your lovingkindness, O LORD, is everlasting;
Do not forsake the works of Your hands."

Whatever it is that concerns you, you can rest assured that it concerns Him as well! And if it concerns Him... you can rest assured that He has your back! He will work it out and cause blessing to overshadow you despite what you may see in the natural! Remember, He is no respecter of persons, and He says that you are a Good Investment!

Love in Abundance, Grace Abounding,
Be Blessed,

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