February 3, 2010

The Happy Intercessor, some Treasure Hunting, creating a Culture of Honor, and seeking artistic direction!

I know, I know - that title alone is a mouthful!

I realized that I have not really been here much and haven't shared about a lot of the books that I have read recently that have really impacted me. I have a powerful little group of women who gather in my living room every Monday morning and bring a bit of Heaven on earth with me in worship, and prayer, and fellowship. We love each other and have been friends for many many years - in that, we have created a 'safe' place and we encounter Jesus each and every week! He just LOVES to crash our party!

We have gone through several books in the past year but a few stand outs have been Beni Johnsons' The Happy Intercessor and Kevin Dedmon's The Ultimate Treasure Hunt. Both are so good... affirming, empowering, and releasing!

As an intercessor, I have read many MANY books on prayer. From the old school Andrew Murray & E. M. Bounds, to other modern classics like Dutch Sheets, Stormie Omartian, Jim Cymbala, Cindy Jacobs, etc. So I know the immediate thoughts on yet another book on Intercessory prayer! I had it too... but let me tell you - Beni's approach to prayer as a lifestyle and intercession from a place of JOY is so life giving and so empowering! The book, like all books that come out of Bethel, is filled with testimonies and personal stories. It is a must read if you have felt called to prayer or intercession and have always thought that was a hard and heavy call. It truly does not HAVE to be that way! There is, in fact, a better way! My little group of "Happy Intercessors" all loved the book because mostly, we knew we were intercessors - but we also had abundant joy in our lives. This sadly often seems to be contradictory!

Another book that we read as a group is Kevin Dedmon's "The Ultimate Treasure Hunt" Let me start by saying this - I was the MOST surprised that I was the one to suggest this book! I do not have an evangelical bone in my body... I mean - I felt BAD that I didn't really feel called to evangelism. I felt like a less-than Christian... like I SHOULD feel a burning desire to save the lost! However, in all transparent honesty - I just didn't! Do I want them saved? Oh yes! Do I share my testimony and my faith - at every chance! However, I am just not a very bold person and the thought of approaching someone out of the blue to point out a need just really did not appeal to me! However, the Treasure Hunt is all about sharing the love and hope of Christ! Now THAT I can get excited about! It is not really about getting them saved - although if that happens, that is AWESOME... but it is more about letting them know that Jesus loves them, He is personal and aware of them, that He treasures them, and then offering prayer for anything they are in need of. It is all about blessing them, not putting them on the defensive. Now - do not be offended if you are an evangelist, or have a strong gifting in that... that is needed, I am just saying that I do not feel led that way - but to share the love and hope of Christ is an easier approach for me! This book is FILLED with powerful testimonies of successful Treasure Hunts! It stirs your faith, reaffirms that you can and do hear from God, and it transforms your daily life into an adventure - if you are willing!

Our little group went through the book and then have gone on several Treasure Hunts together... I will post the results soon - but let me just say that they are AMAZING! We have had some healings take place, and answered prayers come forth... and we are believing for more and more signs and wonders to follow us as we go forth on future Treasure Hunts in our city!

Our current book that we are just starting is by Danny Silk and it is called "A Culture of Honor" I am about halfway done already and can't really seem to put it down! I love it... it is so good - and so true - and such a clear word for the Body... they actually really DO this in Redding at Bethel and I can tell you first hand from being there myself, that the culture of honor is alive and well in that Body. You can tangibly FEEL the love of the Father and honor pours out of that place! Our group is excited to read this and implement it into our own churches and city - and begin to see and experience change and breakthrough as Honor is given... freely, and with love! Ths is just the next step of what we have been sensing and saying for years now: Jesus is all about RELATIONSHIP... He is a PERSONAL love God... Honor is a huge thing to Him!

Lastly - I am seeking artistic direction! I have not written much new lately because I know that I know that I know that I am supposed to take some of the visions that God has given me and trasnform them into children's books. I have never ever even CONSIDERED writing for children. I had a few prophesies over me last year that confirmed this call, and I know the stories to play around with. However, I have hit a wall because in praying and laying out a storyline for the first book - God literally gave me page by page layouts - and I can 'see' the illustrations - however, I am not an illustrator?! Now - I remember hearing at the Writer's conference in May how God did this with another writer, and He called her to learn how to illustrate her own book. I really hope that is not what He is wanting of me... but I feel 'stuck' until I get direction on whether I need to take some art classes - or if He will line me up with the right artist!? The hard part is these visions are prophetic and I feel a 'pressure' to get them out as soon as possible. I know that they will stand the test of time regardless - but I do not want to get in the way of God's timing! So - pray for me, if you will! Pray for direction regarding the artwork to accompany this book and/or this book series!

Thanks so much! I will post some recaps of our Treasure Hunts soon!
Until then, be blessed!

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