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!

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