Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Light Some Candles

Since I first accepted Jesus Christ many years ago I have seen hundreds of people from all walks of life come to the Lord after hearing what God did in my life. I have learned a lot about how to hear the Lord and I have grown in understanding of who God is and how He operates. Another thing I have learned over time is that I really know very little. That is one of the reasons I love meeting new people, hearing what they have to say, hearing their perspective on God and learning what God has done in their lives.

I heard a lady give just a bit of her testimony one Sunday. She was going to celebrate her one year anniversary being saved on Monday and she was excited about it. She was thrilled with what God is doing in her life. She was enthused about how she wakes up every morning thrilled with what God has done for her and excited about what God will bring this day and all the days of her life to come. She is constantly in awe of the deliverance He is doing in her life. She, like all of us, came out of a lot of pain, guilt and suffering in her life and is now filled with the love, peace, freedom and joy that can only come from a personal relationship with Christ.

This woman of God testified that just because she has accepted Christ does not mean that she will never sin again or ever have another problem in her life. It does not mean she will never hurt people, react selfishly, say hurtful things, lie, get proud, judge people, be unfair, get too busy to notice the hurt hearts in the people she encounters in her daily life, step on a child’s feelings when they only wanted to tell you something exciting, tell something she should not have because the person she was talking about is not present, believe a lie about someone without asking them what the truth is or dismiss people by how they look. But she knew that because she is saved her all sins are forgiven: past, present and future.

This little new Christian reminded me once again of how very much the Lord loves us. I get accused of being too enthusiastic about God sometimes—but you should meet her. She shines. I hope I still shine like she does. I am so detail oriented and so intense I wonder sometimes. Do people still see that love I have for Christ? Do I still radiate the joy of my salvation? Do I still exude the fragrance of life to a dying world? I DO! I know because God says I do! 

To help me keep Christ in my heart and mind constantly I burn a lot of candles--usually in several rooms at once. I like to walk into a room and smell something enticing—that way, even if I am just going in to clean the room or make a bed my heart is happy because the fragrance always reminds me of Christ. Do I notice if it is missing? Absolutely and I immediately get another candle to burn. To experience the fragrance there has to be the perfume and a fire. Jesus is the fragrance—He gave His life so we have life. The Holy Spirit is the fire. That presence that goes before us opening doors with a power that man cannot close. Light some candles today and every day to constantly remind you of God’s love.

What does this have to do with intercession?

Everytime you light a candle, everytime you smell the fragrance pray....

Sunday, January 11, 2015

Do Not Enter

I went to Ritidian last week. When I arrived I was greeted with signs reading:

No Swimming
Do Not Enter
High Surf Warning

The tide was in—the waves crashing on the shore and the undercurrent so strong I could see the sand churning with every wave for 12-15 feet out from shore. There were huge (for Guam) waves crashing over the reef. I have walked to the reef and never gotten knee-deep in water. Not today—if I could even go into the water. There are white caps and rough seas as far as I can see to the horizon. The wind is blowing hard. When the sun hides behind a cloud I get good bumps! A first on Guam!

The last time I was here there were man-o-war. They will knock you to your knees. They can cause severe physical problems and are nothing to mess with. These were small the size of a nickel or dime. They are clear and just look like a small bubble on the shore. You have to wear shoes. Even if they are dead they HURT and are dangerous. They float on the water, they end up on the sand, you have to wear flip-flops to be safe.

That is 2 in a row not-as-pleasant-as-I-like experiences at my favorite place on the island. Did it keep me from returning? Of course not!

All of this reminds me of 2014. For so many people it was rough seas. There were undercurrents that knocked them off their feet. There were rip currents that tumbled them under water, skinning them in the sand, taking away their breath. There were high waves, life threatening experiences. There were danger signs and warning signs all over. There was coldness in so many areas. High winds throwing sand in their eyes so they could not see what God was doing.

2015 is different and will continue to be.

While I am writing all of this the soldiers came, 3 of them with a park ranger. One acted like he had never been to the beach before. He walked to the water in his boots and then walked back to the group. They looked up and down the beach. They talked and the ranger gestured a lot. They were making plans. There was a lot of pointing and talking.

The tourists are ignoring the signs. They are picnicking, laying in the sun, talking, laughing and just enjoying the “beach” experience. They are in the water swimming and snorkeling no matter all the signs saying NO SWIMMING and HIGH SURF HAZARD--DANGER signs. They are taking hikes past the DO NOT ENTER sign. They are gathering shells and coral off this National Preserve beach with signs everywhere that it is illegal to do so. I watched a 2 year old get sucked under by the under current and get rescued by his father. Adults falling off the ledge where the rip current is churning.

2015 is different.

The Army of God is getting their instructions.

Many are still enjoying the pleasures of the world and ignoring all the signs.

What does this have to do with intercession?

Time to change---time to pray.

Monday, January 5, 2015

Exude the Power

In Acts Jesus went to the right hand of the Father. He had laid down his deity. Was he like Superman putting his deity on and off? No, he was God as man—doing what he saw the father do. Are you walking in a fog? Being ½ Godly, as least you hope you are—and the rest of your time is spent being busy about your life?

When Christ rose He was in pure form. No one could touch him—he had not been to the father to settle what had happened yet. He was now moving about in spiritual form. The Holy Spirit had always been hovering on earth—coming down in Shekinah Glory mantle on prophets. Jesus ascended and is seated by the Father, sealed for all eternity, the finalization of freedom. He poured out the Holy Spirit as a love offering—spiritual oxygen for us. The entire trinity had always been here.

  •         God was the focus of the OT 
  •      Jesus was focus of NT—Matt to Acts
  •         Holy Spirit is the focus of NT—Acts to Revelation

Now we can have the Holy Spirit within us. The Shekinah Glory still comes down and then the Holy Spirit raises up within us and when the two kiss power unspeakable exudes—a double portion, the later days stronger than the former.

This truth should cut to the heart. Men should be changed. Do not water it down. Don’t change the message. 

What does this have to do with intercession? 

Exude the power.

Sunday, January 4, 2015

The Birds

When I was in Oklahoma I lived in the dust bowl. The wind blew all the time. One day in the late fall it was so cold that the wind chill factor was way below zero. Everything was frozen.

I was doing homework in the dining room and looking out the window while I processed Shakespeare. My entire clothesline was lined up with sparrows. It was so cold I really felt sorry for them. I kept looking up and wondering what I could do for them. They could not move much because the wind was so strong and again, it was really cold.

I decided I needed to go get them some birdseed so they would have something to eat at least. This was back when I had nothing. I was going to school and working part time. I looked around for some change and found a little over a dollar so I headed to the closest store to buy some bird seed. I got a dollar’s worth and came home to feed the birds. They are ground feeders so I put out a small dish of water—fairly warm and scattered part of the seed on the ground.

I was freezing. My eyes were watering. It was freezing on my face. I ran in the house concerned about the poor birds. I sat in the house and read Shakespeare while I watched the birds.

By now my kids were involved. They were sitting at the dining table watching the birds shiver on the line. The birds were huddled against each other in a huge long line.

Then it happened, one fell. Jenny squealed, “Mom, one fell off.”

“No, he’s just going to see about the food.” Was my parental reply.

But I looked and he was just lying on the ground not moving. Another one fell and another.

I did not know why this affected me so much but I could not stand it that these birds were freezing and falling off the line. I was praying, "What can I do God?" I could not leave them laying to rot (even though they could not decompose in this cold weather, they were frozen).

I found a shoe box, lined it with paper towels and headed outside. The little birds did not move when I went to the clothes line. Not the ones on the line. Not the ones on the ground. The water was frozen. The bird seed was blowing all over. I could hardly stand up. It hurt to breathe.

I did not even have a coat on and I was freezing. I started picking up the birds. I put about a dozen in the box. The kids and I would bury them when the ground thawed.

My heart was breaking for these poor birds, my tears are freezing on my eyes, my lungs burning with each breath, my fingers so cold they are fumbling and my heart crying out to God for these dumb birds.

I heard the Lord speak. It was not the bold audible voice, but it was a whisper in the wind.

“I saw the sparrows fall. Nothing misses my notice.”

I knew this scripture. Maybe I only know about God and I do not really KNOW His nature. Before I can even process this thought I hear more.

“Sally, I see your heart for these birds. If you can feel this about the birds how much more do you think I feel this about YOU? I know everything about you. I have every hair on your head numbered. That doesn’t mean I know how many you have, it mean more than that. When one falls I know how many hairs have fallen and what number hair it is. Why do you think so little of me that you do not think I know everything about you and love you? I love YOU. I want to do good things for you, just like you want to help these birds. I love your tender heart Sally. Let me care for you. Care for me.”

It was a frozen moment in time.

The intensity of His presence diminished and I sobbed. He loved ME. The revelation of this was overpowering. I had known He loved mankind and therefore me; BUT He loved ME personally. He knew EVERYTHING about me and He still loved me. I never had to worry about anything again.

Time became reality again, I was freezing. I snatched up all the fallen birds and ran back to the house. My kids were still watching out the sliding door and opened it as I approached.

This whole thing had only taken a couple of minutes.

The kids looked at all the dead birds. Jen cried. Then we put the lid on it, talked about where to bury them later and they went back to playing a game at the table while I went back to Shakespeare.

In the midst of memorizing prose I heard some weird noise in the kitchen. I ignored it but it kept on and eventually irritated me so I go up to go see what it was. The box of dead birds was making a noise. I could not figure out what it was…I took off the lid. (Obviously I did not think this through first.)

When I lifted off the lid to see what the noise was a dozen sparrows flew to freedom—at least as much freedom as they could get within my house.

Total chaos ensued. I was yelling for the kids to get the bedroom doors closed. I was running around trying to catch them. I realized this was totally futile. I did not want any of them to get hurt. Then they started flying into the picture window. I hollered for Jason to open the front door and I opened the sliding door—next I got a dish towel and we started “shooing” the birds outside.

The 3 of us were laughing so hard it was hilarious. We got all the birds out uninjured. Having both doors open for 15 minutes in a freezing windstorm meant the house was REALLY cold. We flopped in the living room floor and laughed over and over. We talked about actually thinking before we did things—like bringing birds into the house and then taking the lid off the box. Ok, I was the one who caused it all but there was no reason they shouldn’t learn what mess a person can make of things if they do not think things through.

I got some rubber gloves and started cleaning up all the evidence of the birds. The kids started cleaning up feathers.

I felt time stop again. I knew He was right there. I listened and heard him say, “You thought the birds were dead. So many times you see something that looks dead and you believe what you see. Let me show you the unseen. Even if something appears dead, cover it in intercession, allow it to warm up, bring it into the realm of your love in prayer, and watch me bring it to life. I will bring you things that appear tough. Your tender heart and strong love combined with intercession will change lives. Let me care for you. Care for me.”

It is a crazy supernatural life and I love it.

Time to pray.