Wednesday, August 31, 2011

A New Adventure...

The Spirit is stirring.

There is something in the air, on the breeze.

Winds of change?


If so, the face of change could take on so many different features.

In the dark I can’t make out these features.

Maybe it isn’t dark, though; maybe I’m just not wearing my glasses or contacts. As my husband so lovingly reminds me when he remembers that I can’t make out his facial features or the color and design of his tie when he is standing at the foot of the bed and I am sitting against the headboard without my glasses on, I am “pretty blind.” It could be that I have the same handicap spiritually and I am awaiting some corrective lenses to bring into focus the plans of the Father.

And I’m okay with that.

I will, in the meantime, continue to relax in my waiting room, which I imagine to be at a beachfront property with a cozy hammock to rest in and a fruity drink to refresh me as well as a severe lack of bugs.

I have some ideas of what could be on the horizon. I even have some solid inklings I’m going to begin pursuing.

One such inkling is to write.

I’ve already started a few children’s books that I’m excited about, even if I only ever print one copy for my own kids.

I’m starting to form the beginnings of a book about relationships. Not about romantic relationships, as I feel there are more than enough on that topic right now and Tom and I aren’t quite ready to write a book on marriage yet, as we dream of doing one day. A book on relationships in general: about our relationships with Almighty God and about relationships with other people. As you can probably tell from some of my previous posts, this is something that the Lord has been teaching me about for a couple of years now. I want to record what I am learning and share it with others that they might find freedom and truth and love and joy as I am finding on this journey.

Part of my pursuing this new adventure is blogging more often to practice communicating and to receive feedback on my thoughts and ideas and styles. I think I will create a new blog specifically for sharing what I am writing and getting feedback. So please keep reading and keep commenting. I can’t tell you that I am spectacular and have amazing, wonderful, profound things to say that you’ve never heard before. But I can tell you that I am a beloved daughter of the King and He might want to use me to shed light on truths locked away in your spirit by the power of His Holy Spirit in and through me.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Divine Encounters

I just love how great our God is! What a blessing to serve a loving Father who truly gives good gifts to His children.

Let me give a little background...

When we were up in Divide at the Worship@8500 retreat, we had Robin Pasley pray for us to find spiritual parents and mentors to lead us and advise us in the whole new world of the Godhead that we had received in the Holy Spirit and in the idea of receiving our sonship and kingdom life. Part of her prayer was that we would be reminded that this would come about in unexpected ways and take any opportunity that came along, no matter how bizzarre.

Fast forward to lunch today...

My sweet, amazing, wonderful, handsome, loving husband decided to take me out for lunch today, since it is our 73rd monthiversary and he wasn't asleep because he had last night off and has tonight off, too. We planned to go to The Olive Garden because we had a gift card and it is close to my work. We got there a bit too late, though, and it was going to be a 20 minute wait. So we bailed and went to Red Lobster instead.

As we were sitting and talking, enjoying our time together, I overheard the ladies behind us talking about their testimonies of how they had received the baptism of the Holy Spirit. This made my ears perk, of course, and I enjoyed a little eavesdropping on some beautiful sharing of lives and love and Jesus. I was very encouraged, especially since they are farther along in life than we are and I have been looking for just such people to turn to for wisdom and guidance. I told my dear husband what I was overhearing. He then "dared" me to go and tell them that I was encouraged by their conversation. I hmmmed and hawwwed for a bit, not wanting to interrupt them or embarrass myself or anything like that. He "triple dog dared" me to do it, joking on the daring part, but insisting that I would be missing out on a blessing if I didn't say something. He also told me that he had a divine encounter yesterday that he wanted to tell me about, but wouldn't unless I say something to the ladies behind us. I guess bribery worked... Or I finally got up the guts lol...

I approached the ladies sitting at the table and told them how we had been encouraged to catch bits of their conversation, as we had recently been filled with the Holy Spirit and are hungry for anything related to learning more about Him and kingdom life as a whole. Wouldn't you know, those ladies were so sweet! They were nearly as blessed as we were, I do believe. 

They were 3 beautiful ladies who used to sing together as a trio over 30 years ago and this is the first time since 1979 that they have all been together again! I felt a bit guilty for stepping in on their likely coveted time together, but they were so gracious and truly didn't seem to mind the intrusion.

They asked us about how we came to be filled with the Holy Spirit, how we are doing now, etc. They immediately recognized that we are in need of mentoring in this new area of life (I say "new" more so for myself than for Tom, because for him it is more like re-newed, but it's all very new and exciting to me, just fyi) and suggested some resources to turn to and also the name of someone locally to connect with. We chatted about the truths and the misconceptions surrounding the Holy Spirit and about kingdom life and ministry, etc. Two of the ladies are pastor's wives at FourSquare churches, one in Southern California and one in Glenwood. The other lady lives here in Palisade and attends a local fellowship. They all had such great, encouraging things to say! 

One of them pointed out that the Holy Spirit is our teacher, which was a fantastic reminder I really needed today. She told us about how she had wanted to go to Bible college, but when she sought the Lord, He told her that He is her Bible college because He would teach her everything she needed to know. What a beautiful testimony that truly encouraged me.

They all prayed over us and blessed us so immensely. I was moved to tears by the rich blessing the Lord bestowed on us today!

Tom's testimony of his divine appointment yesterday was also an amazing blessing.

Things have been up and down and all around lately, and sometimes I get discouraged and want to give up. Sometimes things seem hopeless and too incredibly hard, but I am constantly being reminded of my Daddy's great love for us, which is everlasting and never ending; He is truly more faithful than the rising sun and gives very good gifts to His children, even when they don't ask!

As Charles Spurgeon put it in yesterday's devotional:

My Master has riches beyond the count of arithmetic, the measurement of reason, the dream of imagination, or the eloquence of words. They are unsearchable! You may look, and study, and weigh, but Jesus is a greater Saviour than you think Him to be when your thoughts are at the greatest. My Lord is more ready to pardon than you to sin, more able to forgive than you to transgress. My Master is more willing to supply your wants than you are to confess them... My Master has riches of happiness to bestow upon you now. He can make you to lie down in green pastures, and lead you beside still waters. There is no music like the music of His pipe, when He is the Shepherd and you are the sheep, and you lie down at His feet. There is no love like His, neither earth nor heaven can match it. To know Christ and to be found in Him - oh! this is life, this is joy, this is marrow and fatness, wine on the less well refined. My Maser does not treat His servants churlishly; He gives to them as a king giveth to a king; He gives them two heavens - a heaven below in serving Him here, and a heaven above in delighting in Him forever... The unsearchable riches of Christ! Thiss is the tune for the minstrels of earth, and the song of ther harpers of heaven. Lord teach us more and more of Jesus, ad we will tell out the good news to others. 
(Based on Eph. 3:8, from Charles Spurgeon's "Morning and Evening" daily devotion, August 22, 2011)

How grateful I am that our plans were changed today and that I was blessed so richly out of the blue!

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Exploding with Joy! (Part 3...Finally)

I was thinking about apologizing for not yet blogging about Sunday during Worship@8500, but I'm not going to. I know it's been a long time coming, but all this time I have had time to chew on and mull over all that happened that day and now I am at last ready to share it with the world. Here goes:

Sunday morning I awoke to the Holy Spirit ministering to my spirit. It was so refreshing to have someone to talk to first thing in the morning (since Tom isn't much for conversation before 10am... especially without coffee). I answered the beckon of my loving Lord to join Him on the mountaintop to enjoy the gorgeous sunrise over the peaks and pines. It was very early and a bit chilly. The climb to the mountaintop took my breath away, but not in the same way the sunrise and the words of the Father took my breath away. As I stood gazing in awe at the splendor and beauty around me, the Spirit whispered, "This beautiful sunrise was painted for you this morning. But no sunrise can match the beauty in you. Be great today."

Be great today.

That last part echoed in my spirit and I was amazed at the response I didn't have. I didn't feel prideful. I didn't feel entitled. I felt free. I felt whole. I was excited about the possibilities of what that one command could mean for that day. For, you see, I realized that the Lord telling me to be great was not about me at all. It was about being the best me I could be in order to fully glorify and honor my Heavenly Dad. It was about Him alone.

I found myself walking to breakfast with a little spring in my step. I wanted to glean absolutely every grain of truth and life and freedom from this last day we had in this amazing place with these spectacular people. I determined to hold nothing back and let nothing get in the way of what the Spirit wanted to do that day.

That morning's session was... Wow. Just... Wow.

The Holy Spirit fell like I had never experienced before. I have been in places where people are speaking in their prayer languages and where there is a lot of hype, which never sat very well with me and left me uncomfortable and confused. But in this time people were exercising the gifts of the Spirit and backing it all up with amazing Truth from the Word. People were prophesying, telling of visions, receiving healing; all of us were praying in unity and it was beautiful! The awesome power of the Almighty God was thick and rich in our midst. I was encouraged and blessed and edified. It was awesome!

The speakers that morning had been Jack and Friede Taylor. Their immense wisdom and selfless sharing was a huge encouragement and honor. What a rich blessing to receive! They definitely set the stage for what the Lord did there that morning.

As we were leaving that session, on a spiritual high, I was reveling in all that the Lord was doing. I realized more of how I'd been set free as I thought about all of the people who had been given a specific word from others, including my husband, who, after we were both prayed for to be filled with the Spirit on Saturday, was approached by at least 3 different people who were led to share a word with him. For the first time in my life, I wasn't jealous or cranky at all; I didn't feel entitled to receive a word or be noticed by anyone. Amazing!

As I was getting up from a wonderful conversation about Thailand with someone who had spent several months there, I was just praising the Lord for everything He was doing. Then, out of nowhere, a very nice woman came up to me and introduced herself. I couldn't remember seeing her before then... and honestly don't remember seeing her after this point, but anyway... She told me that there was something she felt the Lord wanted to tell me. I was all ears and wide eyes at this point. "Really?!" I must have looked like a goofy school girl about to get a new bike! lol She told me that when someone had had the vision during the morning session of angels in the room with bowls of the gift of healing hovering right over the area we were sitting in she saw me standing out to her and the Lord told her He wanted to give me that gift. Wow! I asked her to pray for me and then we parted ways. Since it had been such an intense morning and I had a couple cups of coffee and no time for a potty break until that point, I continued on my way to the little girls' room, worshiping the Lord and processing what had just happened. Here I was, moments ago just praising the Lord that I didn't need a word from Him through someone else, and He gives it to me anyway! How great is that! How could I ever deny that the Father gives good gifts to His children?! I felt loved and favored and blessed and overjoyed... Wow. My Daddy loves me!! =)

So I prayed and received the gift of healing. That has been another interesting road for another day and another blog post...

After my worshiping at the throne... both literal and spiritual... I met up with Tom to meet with the beautiful couple who had led the parenting session the day before, Dave and Polly. We sat down with them to get some wisdom and insight and encouragement together for our specific situation. It was such an honor and a blessing! They are such an amazing couple that I truly look up to.

From that divine appointment we rushed up the hill to the gazebo for a song writing/recording session with Aaron Strumpel. Now here is where the reality of the freedom I had received really came to my attention. For the first time in my life I was free to enjoy the beauty and talent of my brothers and sisters in Christ when it comes to music without the nasty, dirty, gross sin of jealousy and pride and entitlement that has haunted me my whole life. For once I was able see a beautiful, young girl who was cute and petite and had great ideas and a gorgeous voice and truly appreciate the gift that she is to the Father and His family. I didn't look at her and think to myself, "Oh she's so full of herself. I'm way better than her. I bet every one is going to listen to her and think she is so great and want her to be in the spotlight because she is so much prettier than me and no one is going to listen to me or care that I have a much better voice than her." Yuck! I hate that I used to think that way. But that wasn't me anymore!! I went right up to that precious daughter of the King and sister of mine and told her the exact truth about how beautiful her voice is and what a blessing it was to get that opportunity to create music with her! YES!!!

And there were so many amazing, talented people there that afternoon. We separated into two groups and the one Tom and I got to be a part of, in my fully biased opinion, was absolutely amazing! They were all so wonderful and beautiful and talented... I didn't have a single word to add to the song and I didn't have an instrument other than my voice to add to the music. I sat and gave some input on a couple things and wrote everything down that everyone was saying and sang along. It was amazing and beautiful! For once I didn't have that "What about me?" attitude that's so gross and wrong. This freedom was such a gift and blessing from my loving Dad!

After an encouraging time at dinner with the guys at McGuinty's (most amazing food EVER!) we carried our elation from the Spirit's continued work into the last worship session of the weekend. This session was a "sit-in" sesssion, I think that's what Ben called it. It was the night that everyone got to join in with voices and instruments in the evening worship. I had known about this opportunity and was looking forward to it all weekend. I had been thinking about songs that I wanted to lead and sing on. But walking into that time with those people, all of that fell away into dust. I was just so thankful for the opportunity to come before the Lord in creativity together one last time before heading home. I did get a chance to sing at the microphone a couple of times, which was so much fun and such a blessing! But I didn't end up singing at the mic on any of the songs I had been hoping to. And I didn't care! (FREEDOM!!) I just sang my heart out along with everyone else standing along the edges. What joy!!!

As things were about to start wrapping up and I was praising the Lord for this amazing freedom (sorry, I know I keep saying the same things over and over again, but I just can't find any other words to express myself and even those don't do any justice to the things in my heart!), I overheard a conversation behind me. A gentleman walked into the room and approached a friend of his, asking her if she had gotten a chance to sing. With an overdose of poisonous bitterness in her words, she replied, "For like 2 minutes until someone jumped right in front of me."

My heart broke. I looked at the girl and said to myself, "That used to be me."

The crazy awesome part that I praised the Lord for in that moment was the used to be part... That isn't me any more!!! Hallelujah! All I could do was worship and pray for that poor sweet girl who doesn't yet have the freedom I have discovered.

FREEDOM!!! Woot!!! alsdgkja ;seoaisut a;qwoeiu

Ahem. Got a little excited there!

Anyway, so it was amazing to have my eyes opened to the change that had occured in me due to the Holy Spirit. Wow. =)

So now I'm back to "regular life" and falling more and more in love with Jesus and understanding more and more the love of my Heavenly Daddy and yielding more and more to the Holy Spirit. I am still learning and reading and growing and rejoicing every day. Of course life isn't a bed of roses, but the new perspectives I have gained and the new family I have met have sure brightened things in my world quite a bit!

Thanks for listening... er... reading. I'll hopefully be back to blogging regularly in the near future. I look forward to hearing your thoughts/comments/questions/etc.

Be blessed!