R.W.B. Pearls 10-25-17

Can YOU follow ME where I go? Will YOUR need to know keep YOU out of ‘the know’? MY loved ones know when I AM moving and when I AM staying. YOUR destiny (where YOUR going) is created with people…NOT by people!!!

In MY kingdom there are only servants & lords- What have I said of the first and the last?

Rootorch

 

These roots have pulled me down repeatedly. They are attached to my walk(ing) like a bungee cord is to my body. They stay nourished and draw life from me like a weed thieves life from an otherwise healthy plant. The toxins below the surface are hard to visualize. I have been pruned many times, but to no use…it produces its own off shoots! In many ways it makes me feel even less because I am without a core above the ground, but controlled by what is below. What the rich soil around me cannot accomplish is feeding my pure food. Everything is through these toxic roots that need uprooted first!

For so long I focused on what was the root of my problem. Now I, a weakened plant am immune to Miracle Grow and the normally adequate sources of water and sun. “If I can just get rid of these toxic roots that hold me down. Perhaps I will have to wait until my regeneration comes to be a whole and renewed plant.” So I walk on, but never too far as I rubber band back to the source roots. These source roots are different for each plant that is affected this way. All of our dark friends are here: fear, rejection, anger, lust, feeling invisible, unworthy…you know all those darkies and can add a hundred!

So I cry out to the Giver of my life: “Help me to remove these roots, I can’t move away from them!” I see His advice on what to do next. I hear a small voice say “build a fire”. I think to myself “that is a strange requirement to remove deep seated roots from me, that is for sure!” I honor the request honestly wondering how this will work. I stretch out my bungee like cord as far away from me as I can so as not to burn me…a tender plant in the process. I stand back as it burns. I look down in my normal posture…all these years I have focused down at these roots, the one thing that holds me here!! But the Giver speaks louder…”turn your gaze upwards My plant…see Me come!”

For the first time in many years I look up and see what is coming…I am struck with awe. An enormous hand reaches down from the heavens…I stretch my bungee in the opposite direction of the fire to be out of the way of everything coming. The Hand of the Giver powerfully plunges into the earth disturbing the soil all around my roots. He uproots them entirely freeing me from all these dark friends that took from me all these years. The bungee snaps and I feel a new freedom that I have never really felt! I am now free to dance in the wind, look up to the Son, and go everywhere He, the Giver takes me. The fire burning hotter than before consumes all the roots that used to be…me.

Directional Bearings Towed

 

“You must operate from the redeemed depths of your heart and not rely on your senses and what comes to them first” is what I hear Him saying today. For these weeks He has been working on my heart, my gifting’s sensitivities, and the process thereof. I sense He is teaching me what to trust in, and surprise…it’s not my feelings! It has been absolute rollercoaster bedlam! A flood of different, often disparaging, ugly, emotions flowing each and every way. This round He has definitely been working on my emotional rebuild. The other rounds were emotional, but not the focal point. I had read from one writer about burden bearing it can be equally high as it is low, and the enemy can be pushing from two sides at the same time!

I am a sucker for quoting a song when it does better than I am trying to communicate. I have a true guy room where I pray each morning. All the objects around it represent my life well. One wall is filled with pictures of Israel with verses on them, two other walls are vinyl records and cd album cover papers and also old school Christian metal ads. The fourth wall is lined with shelves full of CDs and cassettes. I have several small tables stashed with items along the journey from vacations, travels, and sentimental stuff. Not to be forgotten…Notre Dame stuff! Faith, music, and sports have always been big parts of living for me. Others may travel and do the social game, but I am content hanging at the pad these days spending time with the Lord, and then sports and Spotify as hobbies. He has really thinned my over loaded lifestyle the past few years, of which I am very grateful. Why should we kill ourselves for enjoyment? I just wanted to paint the picture before I quoted the song, I thought it a good rabbit to follow a bit.

It was Memorial Day yesterday, and I was needing to clean up this room after an entire winter of remodeling the basement around it. The dust created in the remodel was obnoxious! We did lots of custom wood cuts for the ceiling and TV center, and there was dust heavy on everything! My little room is so packed full of trinkets, it was a chore. I found the job therapeutic to being alone a good portion of the day. I see great value in being alone for bits when you are a burden bearer. I am enjoying pulling out classics from the cassette collection yesterday. I am amazed how He does this, but He will minister in a song that I have known the lyrics to for 30 years. Well…1991…pushing 25 anyhow. Hear me, I don’t resemble the Dana Carvey cranky old man character from Saturday Night Live…”in my day we…and we liked it by golly!” This is the era of music when Nirvana was tearing it up on the scene. I never was a fan of the grunge stuff, but I did like Alternative rock heavily in those days. One such act was L.S.U. (Life Savers Underground)-essentially Michael Knott. I was living a roller coaster day and the Lord spoke to me through his song titled ‘Chucky’…”and he says “tell me why, tell me why God gave me such an endless drive to fill my cup but my cup stays dry oh tell me tell me”. I might substitute one word in those lyrics to better describe my point…instead of endless drive I might go with endless job.

I would describe having an endless job as my entire life at one point. My painting profession felt like a laborious endless job with no relief. My first house was an endless job of projects (built in 1865). My tendency is to see the burden bearing gift as an endless job! I know that is patently untrue, but it isn’t a gift people are even praying for…come on man! What He did with music this day was actually speak through another song on the way to the song I wanted to hear. The title track is what was sticking in my head before I ever fired up the cassette player. ‘This is the Healing’-

You’ve tried to philosophize your pain

But the hurts in your heart

And not in your brain

You could be hit by the Spirit

And be made new

You thought heaven was a place one goes to

But this heaven on earth is true

Chorus: This is the healing

Give me tears from all your bitter years

This is the healing

Salt the wounds, the healing will come soon

 

The Word document count was exactly at 777, how cool is that? Something He has impressed upon me these couple of weeks is to not focus just on what I sense and feel alone, or it can drive me crazy. There must always be a raising of us above the fray, us asking to see what He sees each step of the way. I am seeing just how much a dependent I truly am. I further see that I held back parts of me from Him in how I approached people and things in general. I see that we do try and give what we have, but if our hearts are incomplete in healing, we are offering up a partial gift to people and Him. I would say obey when He says to give the partial, I know He did with me. I honor obedience above most anything else. He shows us in this process that He is always after a better heart! You and I will spend our lives in that pursuit brothers and sisters! I never realized how deep and complicated the heart truly is.

I was all over yesterday emotionally from bearing/ too heavy/ to suddenly free…to angry and to puzzled. Even after a long day of riding, He suddenly dropped on my spirit and I felt a wonderful weight of His burden of light on me. I stopped dead in that spot and just soaked in it. He assured me everything is for the journey and for better understanding. If we don’t understand what is Him and what is us, how do we know what is pleasing to Him? The end of the day was wonderful in worship and wonder. It made all the other totally worth it. He is showing me it isn’t all necessary!  I only have Him to depend on. When I overly focus on people, pleasing my family, my work, even my enjoyment…it all competes with His Presence, which is what we are wanting in our walk. The intimacy is what is missing from so many believers lives…period! If you’ve ever tried to hem in an animal that doesn’t want to be, you will understand the feeling I am describing here. We are often like a wild animal not wanting to be corralled, we run and strive after the wind thinking ‘we need, we need’… He knows how to constantly work at limiting our movement, but He wants us to listen to His voice in obedience. If you have ever worked with hogs you know what I mean! A hog is hard to stop when it has its’ mind made up and putting its’ weight behind it.

I am learning that the extreme emotional days do have a b.b. (burden bearing) purpose. One often finds this out at the end of a period. I have had this several times where I find out the pressure is coming from someone inside my inner circle. Living with the unknowns are fine for me, I like to leave some room for His mysteries and I think that is one thing that hinders some believer’s growth. We all have a fenced in area we have created for God, but the question always is…how far back are your fences you built? If we allow Him to be all He is, they are wide and rarely in sight. The b.b. has been coming during the day a lot, and when you are at work and going thru your day, it isn’t always easy for me to tune in to what needs burdened. I did have a friend tell me though….”it’s called multi-tasking brother”. Another friend uses a more harsh approach that his wife throws at him if he is being a whiner…”suck it up buttercup!”

This paragraph comes nearly two months later than the prior. It appears I have been busy in the learning process and a butt load of remodeling. I was remodeling in three places there for a while…too much to keep up with! I had two residents moving in the same week and plus my home project (which is still not done!). I am realizing the importance of gratitude in the journey. It must be a regular part of your walk and journey. We are blessed to be able to put every issue of our life before the Cross and work it out with Him, but how many of us are constantly gathering up new issues and bringing them in also?  He has wired us to walk in balance, but it seems like so often God has been reduced to ‘the Complaint Department Chairman’.

I am seeing that true burden bearing is rarely our own weight. We are certainly required to bear our own as it says in Galatians, which is something some people try and place on others. They are therefore unhappy. I testify that the most alive I have felt in the last year is when He gave me assignments while focusing on others with a heart to help them. It not only fulfills my purpose (which will always involve taking my eyes off of me and my problems), but helps others who, believe it or not may have real problems! He is faithful to teach us balance and what is our duty and what is our own stuff (and not). The enemy will keep you busy and you have to be on alert for his tactics. We must keep in our spirit that the enemy has a job to do and none of that is God’s fault. He has to allow in our free will some things for us to deal with, but He is not the cause of anything that is not good. I think too many believers do not see the enemy as he is…a roaring lion. I know I often get through a circumstance and think “man, the enemy was all in this mess!” I see the balance of life is to not get stuck in the past, but to always be learning from it. God has no limitations and we are to be seeking to live that way, fighting through what the enemy tries to place on us (lies). The Lord is glorified when everything points back to Him.

Something that He led me to spend some serious time in yesterday was in giving thanks. There is weight that comes off your spirit when you spend time in gratitude to Him. I keep a simple file that I add to regularly (should do more!) and that not only helps me practice gratitude, it also allows me to save it for the years ahead and look at all He has done. I started the first one four years ago, and sometime if I am feeling down a little or need to see evidence of His hand at work, I can look back at the file. We are prone to embroiling our spirit man from one battle to the next. We are embroiled, but the goal is to rest in Him as He does war. All He actually asks for is obedience and the focus on Him. That is easy, right? If it was everybody would be doing it!!! Adam and Eve were distracted and little has changed in that department in these Millenniums since. It appears to me our hearts are continually restless and compartmentalized. What we think we want doesn’t come the way we thought it would. We respond to the feelings of not being in control. We test even His best gifts in our corrupted nature.

The goal in this point of my personal journey is to remain in His balance. The heavy stuff can last too long, and the good experiences feel fleetingly quick! In this process I feel zapped of energy often, but I know He is trying to show me how to renew. I know what I am, a feeler with an analytical mind (haha, the best of both freakin’ worlds!). That alone can keep you bound tight around a circle that seems never ending.

Update:  I find the daily battles becoming not so heavy as I submit fuller to Him. The more we allow Holy Spirit to do His part (helper), it changes our makeup and our spirits. Good burden bearing is a journey to useful gift…not merely a burden. There will be times of adjustment to learning and seasons where He will draw you into more relationship building.

Ditchin’ Cargo!

AUTHOR’S NOTE: This is one about are ‘overloaded’ lives…there will be a part 2 someday…lots more can flow out!

 

The Word says to ‘bear one another’s burdens’, but what does that truly mean? I do not believe He desires us to wander aimlessly with burdens loaded onto our ship on the sea of life. Like every stereotypical pirate you can envision, there will be people adding cargo to your hull while you are busy steering your Life Ship. Can you see the wooden crafted cargo boxes? Clearly labeled home life, work life, friends/relationships (close friends a separate box), husband/wife, mom/dad, and many more add to each day’s existence. I do not want to create an overwhelming sense here, just what happens honestly. I know for a burden bearer like myself, people can be highly draining and truly un-giving in nature. It seems like spiritual common sense to take these to the Cross. Accomplishing that is not always free of challenge and stormy seas!

Beyond the clearly labeled boxes are the less definitive ones we process each day. You could say that each of these boxes is a derivative of the clearly marked ones. These boxes I would think of as things like ‘mental battles’, ‘spiritual warfare’, and ‘heart issues’. You may have more sources in your world. The directive of this writing is to explore these many cargo boxes of our life, taking honest inventory of what can go into the hull and what goes overboard (thus the title)! I won’t say this is everybody, but I find myself angry when I have a load of false burdens placed on me…especially when it is bluntly someone else’s darn responsibility. Can the arms of your own physical body give their load to the legs? The Body of Christ is designed by God to have each part holding its’ proper weight…not everybody else’s overflow. Only when He tells us to burden are we to burden (and how long too).

Amidst any shipment of cargo is usually some marked…you guessed it…fragile! In our personal ship’s cargo what would ‘fragile’ boxes represent in our walk? Fragile might represent a lot of different things to believers all around the world. Some that seem to come to me off the top are: un-forgiveness, undealt with sin, physical health challenges, financial problems, and extreme living conditions just to name a few. I imagine almost everybody reading this has dug in to help someone in their struggles and found some root issues causing problems. No man walks the earth without having a form of fragility in their lives. Some of these fragile boxes need broken open to deal with all contents! Some people need counseling to get past a fragile box. The Lord will help you with many of these issues in your life. At times He is waiting for us to roll up our sleeves and get to work!

These cargo boxes remind us of how truly short life is. We need to get past our issues by diligence to the Word, prayer, and repentance. Time with the Lord fixes many issues people have. His desire is to draw us into a deeper place with Him! His nature does not change, but He does move. We need to be in pursuit of Him, surrendering every cargo issue we have. Our dreams fade when we fail to move and pursue Him. Following a hard stretch, many dreams can hatch from the hand of God. He wants us to believe that He has huge plans in our lives (most of which we cannot receive naturally). Did anyone look at a young David confronting Goliath and say “now there goes a young man with great spirit that I can see God working through!” David had already dealt with some of his challenges protecting sheep, and God was about to bring unfathomable dreams into his world that no one saw coming! He in wisdom rejected the oversized armor and used what God told him to (5 stones). In spite of continual fragile boxes in David’s life, God used him mightily to be the father of a great Son! The Son of David was given to Christ as a title. For someone with some tough cargo, that is a lofty title!

 

 

Thank you readers! And…new stuff.

Wanted to take a quick minute and thank anyone who has read what God has gifted through me. I have always said if one person reads and is blessed it is worth the work! It reminds me of the Body of Christ…believers need each other…and so do writers. I admit my need for people here, which is not always my strongest suit in the deck. Here are some of my other things going on…

rawwritersblock2.wordpress.com ….coming soon is stories written by kids! Title page is up now also

rawwritersblock3.blog…this is the stories spot about interesting people and their spiritual journeys…

rawwritersblock7.wordpress.com….during certain times He gives me ‘words’ for the Body of Christ as a whole…encouragement if you will

 

Dead Freakin’ Cactus Part 3

 

I wonder too how many people are wired to be intercessory prayer warriors and ‘the wise church folk’ have called them depressed or oppressed or whatever!? It is critical we seek what God seeks. He can bring you to the people He wants to have in your life. I think sometimes we accept second best from people. Let’s face facts, the American Church is filled with frosted flakes! Oh yes, we are all flaky at times and we even sugar coat that! We are like empty headed cheerleaders for God. We do our best Tonee the tiger routine for Him: ‘God is greeeeaaat’! People have great needs that get glossed over all the time. Trust me, none of my real needs ever got met in my first 37 years of ‘church as normal’! If verbage were food, I could feed all the world’s hungry, just with the useless sermons I heard! The empty words of false encouragement spoken to make me ‘feel’ better. I am not even using the productive words here! Oh, but we are impressed when we get a pastor who has a theological degree from (insert prestigious school here)… aren’t we? Sorry folks, I will trust someone who has never been to theo school, but has been through hell in their life and experienced a life changing encounter with the Holy Spirit anytime! I am getting off on a soapbox but… what least impresses me about someone with 6 letters behind their name is applicability. They expect everyone else to go and learn everything they did and they will have ‘knowledge’ too. So many of the academics of theo haven’t done anything else in their life but commit to ‘the pursuit of knowledge’! Ecclesiastes took that on straight! Look hard at how this all takes us further from His glory, honor, and worship! We end up debating who has the real deal!

If you get one thing from all my writing, let it be this: everything, I mean everything, is about the pureness of the Three in One! He has sent me to testify about a particular piece of the three. The Lord has made it clear: I am only sending you because the Church has lost sight of the Holy Spirit (and His work) and the world needs testimony about the power of the Holy Spirit to counter their dark spiritual cravings. If you don’t believe the world is craving dark spiritual things, take a look at the movies that are huge right now. The trailers alone are creepy to me! I was in the bookstore once, and the Lord left an indelible thought in my mind. I was walking through and noticing certain dark spiritual books (I do anyway). The Lord brought to my mind: See, they crave true spiritual experiences in their lives. The American Church has not been effective in delivering that, so the vacuum I created in them must be filled by something. I am coming to set the record straight! Only My Holy Spirit can give authentic spiritual completeness! The world will seek and seek, but not find it aside from Me. The work of the Holy Spirit is what brings the peace believers have. God wired people to be supernatural, not religious. My whole life’s restless journey found peace in the Holy Spirit.

There are two distinctly different groups He is talking to here. Group one is people who are supernaturally wired, but do not claim covenant with the one and only Christian God. I speak of those who have had supernatural experiences and are into: the occult/witchcraft, environmentalism, vampires, New Age, any non-Christian faith, or any spiritual experiences period. If you are reading this and this applies to you, I want you to honestly consider this. There are people all over this whole world that have left these belief systems and embrace true Christianity. These people would never want to go back to where they were! My challenge to you is this: if any spiritual path apart from Christianity were ‘good’, why would it not be enough? What did these who converted to Christianity find in their journey? No matter what you believe today, there are Christians that exist who used to believe it too. There are real reasons why. On the other side of the coin: I have yet to meet anyone who is truly a Spirit-filled Christian who left the faith for New Age, occult, or whatever! If they exist, they would be so rare as to be irrelevant! Whatever you worship must be Creator, giver of all life, and provide fulfillment.

Those who are supernaturally wired but want Truth and peace: your struggle continues because you’re trying to fill your ‘vacuum shaped hole’ with what comes naturally. But God is strictly supernatural, which means He is connects to us supernaturally. Whatever you do, DO NOT gauge what is real by what you see at church or on television. The problem is only God can show you what is real. What comes to your spiritual senses naturally is not provided by God. The ‘gift’ is, but not the application as it is now. The enemy of God appeals to s.w.p. (supernaturally wired people) by offering what seems like truth, but in reality is a cheap imitation. People are born with supernatural abilities that were put there by God. The church is SUPPOSED to be your place of refuge. I offer an apology to you if you’ve sought answers through the church and found none. What should be happening is that pastors/church members should be seeking answers to supernatural questions! It should be normal for people from outside the church to come, knowing that the church “may not know, but will try and find out through sources or prayer in the Holy Spirit”. Oh, don’t get me going on church here.

While nothing is overly simple, a simple truth for the s.w.p.’s here will be a good start. Everything supernatural that does not bring adoration and credit to God, Jesus, and the Holy Spirit is the work of the enemy of God (Lucifer, Satan). God created everything to be about Him. He even created Lucifer to be the worship leader, which is why he is so good at worldly music. God wants all the credit because He did all the freakin’ work! That is why witchcraft, Satanism, spiritualism, etc., is all limited, because it all lacks power and authority behind it. The cool part for you s.w.p.’s is that God still wants you back! He has saved many from the dark arts by making them realize He is the real power and gives what the others wished they could!

Let me not forget that I am amidst the dying cactus yet. The wilderness is quite large on this journey. There are so many things changing along the way. The harshest part of the wilderness came in these last six months (I have endeared the term ‘breath of the beast’). It has been an interesting trip from one solstice to the other. In the process, there are many things to look back on and wonder, smile, and maybe even cry. I think we all harshly judge the Israelites that died in the wilderness. We all say in pride, ‘I would never allow that to happen’ or ‘Why didn’t they just…’ ! One sure point the Lord has driven home with me during this w.e. is that my perspective is more the problem than a solution! We must keep in mind that it is rare for the big picture to be about us and our little problems. We can’t require God run everything through our personal ‘me’ filter so you and I feel all is right with the world.

This season has been the hardest one to define and even write about. The last paragraph is representative of several months break from D.F.C.. The deep scraping keeps one from wanting to express a lot of what you are going through, not to mention the sense it is part of a big move of God with many moving parts. Even now, after all these laborious months of struggle and contemplation, it is hard to ‘put fingers to keyboard’. It is all so ‘Ecclesiastes-like’ in scope. You see the process afterwards, but really are not sure how the steps went down the path. It is much like Isaiah 55:9: “For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are My ways higher than your ways and My thoughts than your thoughts” (NAS). One aspect I am sure of: God is reaching deep into my soul to pull out the roots of my weakest areas. No human would naturally desire to ask for that, just praise Him for doing it and REALLY praise Him when it is over! Remember, we don’t have the option of skipping part of the trial by fire.

The first piece of revelation the Lord revealed to me about myself is a multi-layered one. I remember helping pray with others and the person leading said the phrase ‘emotional weakness’. The Lord tugged at me with that phrase. He told me that one was a deep root for me. I prayed it through and found that it had profound influence in my life’s path. I will cover some history and lead you back to the point. I was born on the 1st day of August in a land far,far away. Ok, maybe a little too far back! My wife and I both are finding out that the adage of leaving the past behind is truly not a good idea. The way God does His best work in our lives is in dealing with what has been, not just what is. Have you ever met someone and in one minute knew their past had shaped them dramatically? There are so many obstacles from our past that leave scars, create traps, and hinder our progress forward in Him. If one simply tries to blow the past off, a lot of baggage is coming with you!

If I take a hard look at just that one area of my life, emotional weakness, and see how much it has shaped it, I am amazed. I love my parents as anyone does. The issue here for me spiritually is what I am inheriting that needs balancing with the Word. My folks are both pretty emotional people and my moms’ side of the family highly so. My family members will be nodding their heads right now, thank you very much! I can be emotionally high and low in less than ten minutes. I have come to realize it is a part of my genetic wiring. It doesn’t mean, however, that it can’t be improved upon.  The Holy Spirit will dig through your past to free you up going through that process. It doesn’t matter what your past is, it only matters that you and He can deal with all of it and make you whole.

The process He has taken me through lately is building trust in situations where my emotional weaknesses would rule the day. Resting in the Lord when all hell is breaking loose sounds easy right? I will pray to release that to you and you can find that one out! I listen to T.D. Jakes sermons fairly regular and one of the sermons had a phrase that just pays the bills all day long. He was talking about the mountains in our lives, the obstacles we have before us. He said in that sermon something along the lines of this: ‘We think victory is changing the mountain, but it is actually when the mountain changes you’! God is using our mountain to reform us and pull us out of whatever culture shaped us. I can’t tell you how true that really is! You go through that molding process and then you realize how much He has changed you! Yes, there are bad days when you are giving the wilderness Israelites a run for the money in the complaining department, but after you repent of that, you see the new you coming and what could be more beautiful than that?

He has taught me through numerous circumstances that I can trust Him, even when I flat out don’t ‘feel it’. We all have emotional leanings, some of us are naturally just stronger than others. The problem exists on the other side of the coin, some of you are way too emotionally strong! The Lord is all about balance in every category. The Lord spoke to me a lot through Hebrews 11:1-2: “Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen. For by it the men of old gained approval” (N.A.S.).  My faith in that case is for better emotional strength (what I hoped for). The various things in the Spirit we are convicted of and do not see without the Holy Spirit’s help. I want each of you to remember this always: how can others get help for the same issue your struggling through if you don’t wrestle it through first? Every struggle I have had in my life has great potential! Yes, that sounds weird typing it too! Every problem/issue that the Lord carries us through has enormous potential to help others walk through it. This is where the power and strength of our testimony comes from. Your issue could help thousands! Tests and trials will come regardless. They have no regard for our pain, they are neutral, it is what He shapes in us with that trial that matters. My friends, the Holy Spirit is pouring out on this point, because I didn’t understand this until now too!

 

 

 

It remains complicated to pull a flow together for these writings sometimes. I simply know He wants me to share about my journey so it helps others. A piece He has worked me through in this whole process is a foundation of trust. In this particular case (my little life on earth), He has worked my wife and I through many layers about our finances. He has bailed us out more times than the government bails out banks! Through my glass darkly I keep thinking I am almost out of the woods with the finances. I have never had a lot to work with, but I was primed to do well if the economy had not cracked with the mortgage mess. When one goes through numerous circumstances and situations financially like we and others have, trust exists in something or Someone, period! You either continue your confidence in the American economy or in Jehovah Jireh!

    Prayer Thread: A cool little revelation the Lord shared that was huge in my life was “Praying the Word” (my term). There is a book I heard of right after He showed it to me called ‘Praying the Bible’. Can’t remember the author and I am sure it will vary some from what He showed me. There are times I want something ‘active’ to do with my prayer time. The basic concept is this: feel free to adapt it to what He tells you to. Take a book from the Bible such as Ephesians (I wouldn’t start with the Gospels). Take a good ol’ sheet of paper and pen (we goin ol’ school here!) and as you read, be sensitive to the Holy Spirit about any verse that you could ‘pray’ back to Him.

It took a lot of time to finish the New Testament of course, but I love going back to these verses I wrote out and praying on them often. It has a way of making the Word fresh again because you are taking a verse at a time approach, sometimes just praying on that one verse for the day! From what I have heard preached, our Hebraic roots are here. The Old Testament priests would meditate on a verse for chunks of time. I know the Lord can show anyone a lot out of a single verse! You can of course type out each verse on computer file if you want to be modern and all that. I pray blessings on you all in His powerful name!

 

 

Dead Freakin’ Cactus Part 2

 

Oh sure, we are going to forget that some days are struggle as usual. He now can come to my bud and I as if to say: “Was My presence not enough for you”? So much of the w.e. is looking back at what He has done and saying to yourself: “Self, don’t forget how God provided here, or did this, or moved over here”.  I will believe until He tells me otherwise, that He gave me the dream to write (and confirmed it) so that I would not go crazy in the process. I would have had a total meltdown if I did not know He wanted me to write and would make a way. If I didn’t have that I would certainly be saying “Wow, what a mess this all is.” Instead, I am contently (ok, I am doing my best) able to say, “Wow, what a mess this all is, but I have the promise of what is to come. I know what He is able to do”! When we were at the end of the financial rope, He sent us $15k of totally unexpected money. When we didn’t even have money to go to the store, He led people to bring by food and soon we had more than enough. When we were at the end of our spiritual tank rope, He sends people with comforting ‘right now’ words to lift us up! Stand back fool, I feel the anointing now! Whatever rope you are at the end of dangling, look up and expect it will be taken care of in due season. It may be ugly, you may have to cry out to God, but if you are staying in good standing with Him, it will go the right way. It may drive you nearly insane getting there, but understand you are going to have it tested (what you believe).

Stand back, He has more: The American Church has gotten so much like the 7th church of Revelation (Laodicea), that all we care about is having need of nothing! We (me too) have refused to enter the wilderness, we have refused to stay at the end of whatever rope He placed us on, and we suffer! We suffer for lack of knowledge! We suffer for the enjoyment of ignorance! We’ve become the same as the world. The worldly mindset consumes our minds. The reason so many Christians right now are not feeling attacked in these days: the enemy is not worried, he is not sweating you! You are not trying to tear him up, so he keeps you nice and comfy! God is trying to make you uncomfortable so you will see the horrible state of yourself and the Church! God is separating it out right now! I am witnessing too many Christians seeking the comfort over the breakthrough! You can be as comfortable as you like, but understand this: you are not growing closer to God! The only thing a stale and moldy piece of bread is good for: feeding it to the ducks! God can’t put you in a new wineskin if He can’t break the old one first!

The only thing that stubbornness toward God and wilderness will give you is this: another casualty in the wilderness. There are no shortcuts out of the wilderness. If there were, I certainly would have found them! It was not until 40 years of age the Lord led me ‘back’ to my purpose. I doubt I could have ended up here if I started writing out of college, but only He knows that. All the lessons I share have been found out the way most of us do: the hard way. I will never know how many missed opportunities He presented me, or how many ‘extra’ years I wandered around the desert floor seeking purpose. I do know this now: get filled with all the Holy Spirit your little body can handle! Seek Him diligently in everything! Your ‘talents’ mean nothing unless He calls you to use them (anointing verses talent). Don’t be falsely guilted into using your talent because it is what you are best at. I didn’t even know that writing was my talent! How clueless was I? Breakout of the American mindset, it is highly limiting. Stop acting like God is an American/Republican/Conservative! Like He hand-picked your denomination to rule the world! Oh Lord, you don’t want me to get started on all that! He will tear it all apart bro… Everything that is shakable will be shaken… All that is man created will fail… Only He will remain at the end friends!

So now I roll with what He showed me out of all this. I jotted down a checklist of things to remind me the overall points He revealed through it all. I will devote a paragraph or two to each of the points to extrapolate and flesh out what the Lord impressed upon me. There are things He will show me that may vary for others. He will do ‘the same thing’ with someone else (results wise) and do it using a different method. While God never changes, He may change His method of operation. We would still be sacrificing animals on the altar otherwise! Do you see the benefits there? If He were still requiring a sacrifice, we would be struggling to keep McDonald’s and KFC open. Some of us could not bear the burden of that!

The heaviness and notably spiked anxiety in my spirit was as intense as I have ever experienced. Various questions swirled around in my head. What is the source of this attack? What does the Lord want me to learn in this? What is my responsibility? What is the Lord leading me through and what is my response? All these questions made for a numbness to hit my mind. Before I talked with my friend, it was an overwhelming and dark attack with no understanding.

The first point is touched on earlier. His power to overcome on our behalf is undeniable. Whatever He wants to show us will be revealed if we seek His face. He never stops being the most powerful source in all the universe. Simply put, He met me at the darkest, rawest point of being overwhelmed, and stepped directly in to free me. I better understand how when He gets involved, the devil better have his next spot picked out, because he is done! This was the deepest, darkest, and heaviest oppression I have ever felt. It wasn’t depression and could not be mistaken for anything else. As part of His plan, He knew I was ready to experience this whole ordeal. What I felt created a hopelessness and separation. I was hit so heavily that I struggled to utter prayerful words. I couldn’t sleep anyhow so I went ahead and Skyped with my friend to see what would turn up. Monday came and went, and I felt ok, much better. Tuesday came and I thought I was going to make it through the entire day. About 4 in the afternoon I felt it again. I decided I wanted to call someone this time who might have some idea or help pray about an answer. I don’t call her often, but I sensed she would be a good start. My friend helped me to experience how God was victorious over the harshest of things, now it was time to figure out what these things were (if possible).

She listened for a couple of minutes as I laid out what I felt, when, and where (chest, head, etc.). Her response was different than I thought it might be. Instead of asking more questions, sounding concerned, or going into deep prayer, she chuckled affirmatively. I was quietly surprised and she proceeded to ‘welcome me to the club’! I was still puzzled and she explained that usually it is women who are sensitive in intercessory, but that I was sensing the dark things going on in the world. There was a whole new level of peace and understanding that grew in my spirit that day. I could not have been more relieved too! A lot of things go through your head and spirit when you are attacked like this. This knowledge that this was an intercessory burden was comforting in a huge way. You say to yourself “Oh, thank goodness I am not crazy”! So the question for me instantly became ‘what am I burdening for’?

At first glance I was feeling overwhelmed and wondering what I was being drawn into. Perry Stone Jr. preaches that the battle gets the most intense around harvest time! Understand I am still in this phase of heaviness. It is more understandable and manageable, but very tiring. It doesn’t come as much, but if I am called to intercession, there will be more. This is a normal part of life for those who are spiritually sensitive this way (from what I hear).

We need to be praying that the remnants of Israel continue returning from around the world. No one can really manipulate prophesy, it seems to happen well enough on its own. I have been praying wisdom for the leadership in Israel. It is a tough spot to be in, but God is preparing ‘the showdown’ with His enemies. Converts to Christ are happening in ever increasing numbers right now. I am hearing of 1000’s coming to the Lord from many cultures around the world. Here at home, the revival will come among the youth. They want the real deal, and not just the religion of their parents. It takes no conspiracy theorists to know America is in real trouble. Economic, environmental, security, and moral are just a few of the obvious areas! We are forever linked to Israel. What we do to them will happen to us! We have forced Israel to ‘accept’ terror on its’ southern border and we seem to have the same problem on ours! Regardless of your politics, remain steadfast in prayer for your government, even if you live in Crackpotistan!

The third burden is a general one. He calls us to pray for whatever He puts in front of us at the moment. His Spirit guides us to all needs that He desires. This ‘burden’ area is totally new for me. Up to this point I knew it existed and was thankful to not have this particular gift honestly! These first weeks of this ‘gift’ have been raw and dark. I am not sure how effective I have been in prayer, I am simply seeking strength to endure it all! I have experienced some tough periods, but this is by far the hardest one in my life so far. Your mind gets so numb you can hardly even utter prayerful words. The only thing you can clearly think about is getting relief or finding out what the burden is truly for. It appears to me that this is like many things, a learning curve is involved. I will hit that in a minute. The main point of the third burden is to remain totally open to the work of the Spirit. Sounds simple, doesn’t it? Not easy to say when dark waves of numbness are attacking your core!

This third burden is a large one, because it may include so many different things. It could lead you to pray for so many different areas: believers around the world, certain people you know and their situation/circumstance, family, something in your own life, work, finances, people around you daily, foiling plans of the enemy, and stuff at your church/ministry just to name a few! Looking back at what the Lord has done for me, I see that operating in any of this would be impossible without the Holy Spirit. One of the biggest tragedies in the Church (worldwide) is the acceptance of the idea that we don’t need much of the Holy Spirit. What some need to understand in all this is the Holy Spirit has brought me to these understandings. If man’s theology were capable, I would have been fine where I was. I believed what a large percentage of theologically minded people still do, that I already had all there is. The Lord showed me how ignorant I really was (and still are). When you begin laying down your knowledge to the Holy Spirit and allow Him to replace it with His, watch out! He may give you more ‘mindjobs’ than you can handle! You must consider how God works in others. Why would He burden that person to pray for….whatever. Why am I not praying that way? Let me share this: keep seeking His face and He will give you plenty of work! Some are not able to handle the sacrifice and pain involved with some of it. Some will not make time for the ‘work’ of it! Some are limited by their theological boxes of understanding, and some are just plain spiritually fat and lazy!

Prayer Thread: I personally believe that our walk is truly a combo platter. The work of the Spirit mixed with great habits. He has shown to work through great habits such as spending a good amount of time with Him each day. It is kind of like the New Year’s resolutions, time to change our ways sometimes. The Lord cracked me over the head with this one day: Yes, you can give me 10 percent of your money, but how about 10 percent of your time? If my math is right, precious few of us will hit that, 2 hours and 40 minutes a day! But hey, that too is another lesson for another day. I don’t promise I won’t go A.D.D. on ya at times!

The habit I want to share briefly about is the power of anointing ‘things’. A few years ago, my daughter woke up in the morning like any other day. Even at a young age, she would talk of dreams, etc. This particular morning (or it could have been in the night), she flat told us, “I saw a man in a black hat”. We both knew that was not good! We called some people over who are very spiritually sensitive because we sensed it had to do with something in our house particularly. What came of it was this: my vinyl record collection was directly below my daughter’s room and she was sensing what was happening. I was very green at this sort of thing, so what the Lord had me do was anoint with oil everything I owned. He also led me to go through my collection and listen to Him about what music needed to go!

In this case, it had to do with ‘words’. Every album, as you know, is filled with verbage. It has a ‘feel’ to it, every record album is different. Now, my wife and I will not bring any object into our house without doing a quick “Blood of Jesus” with a swatch of olive oil on it to bless it. Older objects are definitely more prone to having negative things attached to them because of history.

The main point I want to convey is this: anointing with oil is a powerful tool, especially if your getting a strange atmosphere or vibe from certain objects. This is all about blessing, there are things that we may not consider that carry curses. The blood of Jesus is a powerful blessing as you know! As I will repeat often, pray it through for you! AUTHORS NOTE: I understand some in the Body will totally discount this…don’t care…I lived it! These are just really snippets of a broad subject, so just understand I am keeping things brief overall. My prayer is it helps someone else going through it all who is spiritually sensitive to things as I am.

Dead Freakin’ Cactus

 

 

Hey all, this one will come in 3 parts. At the end of each part, He has led me to share a prayer habit that has helped me in the walk. Welcome to part 1 of ‘Dead Freakin’ Cactus’!!!

The title of this thread best described to me the whole idea: what it means to go all the way through the wilderness with Him in victory. John Bevere writes a book of just that title: “Victory in the Wilderness.” I am sure I will be holding in several overall points he made in the book. I have just started the book actually, but I have already read and made notes from “A Voice of One Crying.” The interesting thing about these books is their timelessness! They read as if written in the post 2000’s. My wife and I (and quite a few others I know) are long into our wilderness experiences. A whole other set of people I know are going in, and a few are coming out of it. I feel led of the Lord to share some of my road and what He teaches during it all. I have heard concepts through Bevere, Perry Stone Jr., and others that I may swerve into at times. The main encouragement I want to offer everyone is that even when you see a cactus dying before you, the Lord has not abandoned you!

What is it that creates uneasiness about the entire mental picture of the wilderness? Are we not simply willing to soldier on? I find that people’s tendency is to be upset with God when going through hard times. Let’s take a quick look at your rank. My rank, what has my rank got to do with it? I will cut right to the chase with this concept. The Lord led His only Son to the wilderness for 40 days as you know. Was it a time of celebration and prosperity? Was He there for hap-hap-happy times? No, He was there for temptation to show us how to handle it. I guarantee the Lord showed us through this many things. If Jesus was not spared this wilderness experience, what makes you think you are going to avoid it? I see too many believers who think God has turned His back on them every time they come off the mountaintop experience! Should we really question and get angry with God every time we are not getting everything we want?

A key thing we must contrast too is how God recreated a wilderness scenario. Would you rather your wilderness experience be like Moses/the Israelites or like that of Christ? I don’t imagine that answer took long to come up with. No matter what you see in your natural life, remember this key point: it all boils down to you and the Lord. While other tools (books, sermons, other believers) may be helpful for prayer and advice, what is done in the prayer closet will carry you through the desert past the dead cactus! The Israelites showed us how to walk in the flesh and Christ showed us how to be driven by the Spirit! The Spirit led Christ to the wilderness and inspired Him on to the other side. The Israelites kept denying the Spirit of the Lord and His purposes and there they died! What a contrast can be seen in these two stories. Is it our money and security that makes us confident? We have to all admit, we never thought we would see our blessings as Americans ever really challenged. What we must keep in mind is that He always wants our victory to be celebrated on the other side of the wilderness. We can imagine that it broke His heart to have the Israelites suffer after all He did for them. He tried to get the Egypt(flesh) out of His children, but they constantly desired to go back to it! I see this every day. People want the victory; they may just not be willing to go through the wilderness to get to the promise land. I am not claiming it is easy and neither will He. What He has taught me is that we have the rights to blessings and curses. We have to decide which one we want and do the work with Him!

The whole understanding of recognizing we have entered the wilderness may take some time. I spent a lot time wondering (and wandering!) where I was at and what He wanted me to do. This included spiritually, financially, career wise, and more. There is a verse that the Lord passed on through a friend: In 2 Chronicles 20:17 it says “You shall not need to fight in this battle, set yourselves, stand ye still and see the salvation of the Lord with you…..(don’t recall version).” We know the battle is His but somehow we can’t stay out of the way enough to allow Him to defeat the giants in our lives. I testify that the Lord reworked every area of our lives in our wilderness days. It has been 8 to 10 years now and I do hope the Promised Land is close! Though I accept His work in it, one can be fatigued with it all. I will extrapolate on the key areas to better illustrate how we have seen His work in our lives. I know that He will work differently in us all, but the illustrations will testify to His hand in it.

While several areas have been under construction during the process, I see a primary area as important. Before He can lead us through to the Promised Land, He must first deal with our spiritual core being (my descriptive term). He wants to test by fire our traditions, theologies, motivations, and every spiritual interaction. If the Word says that He comes for a church spotless and blameless, will it contain the common carnal Christianity we so often see in the average church? As His return grows closer, the separation of wheat and chaff must occur. Expect it friends! I remember a gospel tune from Praise on XM, I believe the title was “Tried in the fire” or “In the fire”. I haven’t heard it in awhile, but the lyrics come to me often. Phrases like “Have you been tried in the fire?” pierced my heart because we tend to want to avoid the purification process. We are darn American aren’t we? We will do anything to not feel the pain or go through it! Food, drugs, friends and family, church, entertainment, and many others are fillers! We will use anything we have to in avoiding the core issues. As long as it makes us ‘feel’ better, it must be good! I see a trend among us all to avoid the fire of testing He wants to take us through. Why do we feel we have the right to shape what ‘blessed’ looks like? How many blessings have we missed when fire testing came and we said “Oh Lord, this is raw, it can’t be from You”. All those who got that, raise your hand! The rest of you repent for lying! Isn’t it stark how off we can be? We can’t even be trusted in ourselves to go through a testing without the Spirit! We must always be able to say in our hearts “The Holy Spirit showed me…” or “I felt the Holy Spirit lead me…”.

It reminds me of Hansel and Gretel. Hansel and Gretel that is what all this reminded you of? I didn’t say my mind worked ‘normally’, I simply see what I see! Of course I have a four year old, so keep that in mind. If we have bread crumbs in our wilderness experience, will we not be able to find our way back home? The father was taking Hansel and Gretel away because of hardships at home. Our father is the opposite: He takes our hardships for us so we don’t have to bear the burdens ourselves! It may seemingly take forever to get through our w.e. (I tell you what, I am not typing two big words every other sentence, I don’t need help beefing up the deal here), but your talking about God here. He took 40 years to work the Israelites in the wilderness. I would guess it was about year 30 when He tried to wipe them out! He kept the Israelites in captivity for 70 long years. God simply doesn’t get in a hurry!

A quick aside here: have you ever wondered why so many ministers never find their groove? I wonder if it is because they didn’t wait long enough! Jesus didn’t do anything until age 30. He, being God in the flesh, still prepared Himself for ministry. Some may say, “Oh, we have all the theological learning of the past 2000 years at our disposal.” If that were true, the Church would be better off, not in the shambles of disrepair the North American Church is in now. We haven’t gotten smarter as a whole, in fact lower morally and devoid of the Spirit. I understand that “we” have a cute little theological system that must be followed here, but God qualifies the call, not a professor. From the fruit I see in the Body, theology school has become a hindrance to hearing the voice of God.

So how does daily life look when your in the midst of w.e.? It will of course look different for everyone, but from talking with others a couple of common threads connect us all. Generally speaking, I would expect it to get worse before better! The ‘peak’ of your w.e. seems to be when every cactus around you is dying and life hits a tipping point. He may try and work out some of our baggage during this period. No, He probably just will be! He wants to strengthen our weaknesses, expose personality flaws, and test our lives by fire. I won’t speak for everyone else about what this period is like, but I know for me it is a major battle. It is tiring in several ways: mentally, physically, and spiritually. I guess that is all the ways! No matter how you may want to avoid this w.e., you must remember some key points. 1) If you don’t enter into it, you will not be prepared for what is next. 2) Those very weaknesses God tried to pluck out of you may hinder you going forward 3) Not submitting can totally negate what God has called you to do. You may move forward, but what is started in the flesh, must be finished in it! 4) No matter how much it feels like God has dumped you, He is always just ahead. 5) Anything that God has blessed us with spiritually, needs to be tested in the fire so only the purities remain!

So how does life actually look sometimes? Raw and uninspiring, but hope always remains in spite of what we personally see. Everywhere I look right now I see issues. My wife’s father is late in his battle with cancer. We just changed churches due to issues (the Lord told us to leave actually). Business is sporadic as is our finances. The ministry my wife and I work with is struggling financially and with personnel issues. The world stage is a pure mess right now. AUTHOR: Update here: this was written several years ago. Since then both of my wife’s parents have died, He has given me great relationships in not only church…but also ministry opportunities besides with people I love! He has created stability of work in a pretty darn good situation for me right now! I wanted you all to see hope DOES come.

There is a lot of spiritual principles here to consider. I want to lay out some of the lessons of the last month, and more of what is going on. My w.e. got a lot more intense before it settled down! About two weeks ago now, I felt huge waves of dark, oppressive, heavy numbness. It was powerful enough that I could hardly pray. I knew that this was something altogether different than I had experienced before. At first, I thought it was about the despair of finances and direction of my life. I soon began to question that. Surely all this heaviness is not related to my little old life here! A feeling of dread permeated my heart, an intense burden of anxiety tied to it. In habit, I Skyped with my missionary bud  (our weekly standard). The Lord guided the process and began to unearth what lie beneath. Our first round ended without total understanding, but the Lord began to pull out of me some of the ‘lacks’ in my life. Our mentalities can be rooted in unchallenged foundations. I never fully understood how the Israelites performed the way they did in the desert. Now I can totally understand that I too could die in the desert!

I did seem to notice the dark waves would come at certain times of the day. The first few days of it struck at just before bedtime, creating some really short nights! My wife and daughter were out of state post funeral, so I had a few restless nights by myself. Naturally, I attributed this dark wrestling to my own life first (most of us start there). I begged for peace from God for several days. I knew He wanted to show me something, I had no idea what. The second Skype experience proved more fruitful for what He wanted to show me (and my bud too). The Lord led my bud to lead us through Psalm 77, reading 3 verses at a time, and praying through it. We both felt the Spirit strongly leading us to His presence! I remember feeling His loving presence fill around us.

The pain of the previous days was dormant now, and tears flowed as we sensed His presence bringing comfort to our dry spirits! We knew that He was here even in the depths of the darkness. It showed us that when it feels darkest to continue to pursue His face! In Psalm 77 there are three ‘Selahs’, dividing the chapter into three sections. In this Psalm, it gives you the feel of three separate readings within one chapter (ok, at least it does me). I want everyone to understand: the despair and darkness felt during this period is not of the “so and so is having a bad day variety”. This was the darkest and heaviest burden I have ever felt in my life. So heavy that I could not really pray! It was in a word: overwhelming to my spirit! If someone were to experience anything heavier (or worse I guess), I am not sure how you would know the difference. I am not throwing in the mix something experienced through great tragedy, circumstances, etc. We are talking about a whole different animal here. In the next few paragraphs I will be sharing some of the ‘lessons’ He has since shown me.

The intense period lasted about a week if I am remembering correctly. I had several restless nights through the week and picked up the girls from the airport on Saturday night. The men’s prayer group sensed the heaviness also and prayed diligently on Saturday morning. I did feel a good covering and sensed some relief and burden lifted then. My wife and I prayed together Saturday and Sunday night to lift burdens so I could sleep, or to reveal what was needed in prayer. Saturday night I slept fine, but Sunday was an altogether different engagement. I was restless again during bedtime on Sunday night. I Skyped my bud at midnight to check his availability. He was doing his online language lessons and had but a minute. He quickly prayed and planned to see me in about five hours. I told him I am sure I will be ‘fresh’ and ready to go! He has become downright essential for this period of time in my life. I know the Lord would have done it differently if necessary, but this has been more than helpful to me with my bud’s spiritual mentorship!

A ‘good’ four hours of sleep followed… I woke expectantly though, knowing the Lord was drawing near in all this. This 24 hours was the heaviest of it all. I could sense it was big, and that it had far reaching implications. The pain of it was numbing though! In it was a rawness, a sense of anxiety/dread: it also felt like an evil oppression (I know, as opposed to ‘good’ oppression). I knew it was essential to have someone walk through with me, to bear burdens with me. Sometimes being heard and talking it through helps too. My bud felt what I felt and totally flowed with it. The Lord spoke to him in those couple of hours and what followed was healing, release, and His presence. One interesting note was how the Lord used this event to minister to him also. There were parts of his past experiences that needed healing also, and you know how He works: kill as many birds as you can with one stone! Isn’t He such an incredible multi-tasker?

The Lord brought him into Psalm 77, which for this time, the NIV version was perfect! For those who are stuck in the KJV only mindset, you will miss some blessed opportunities in some cases! Thither thou risest and knew not! May thy quiver be not full of burdensome stone. May the sword swiftly defend thy Word.  Just having fun with the KJVers! What did I say there? I am not sure it was anything, but if you are a devoted KJVer, you may be searching still… I am going to include the full chapter here (NIV):

I cried out to God for help:

I cried out to God to hear me.

When I was in distress, I sought the Lord;

At night I stretched out untiring hands

and my soul refused to be comforted.

I remembered you, O God, and I groaned;

I mused, and my spirit grew faint. Selah

You kept my eyes from closing;

I was too troubled to speak.

I thought about the former days,

The years of long ago;

I remembered my songs in the night,

My heart mused and my spirit inquired:

Will the Lord reject forever?

Will he never show his favor again?

Has His unfailing love vanished forever?

Has His promise failed for all time?

Has God forgotten to be merciful?

Has He in anger withheld His compassion? Selah

Then I thought, “To this I will appeal; the years

of the right hand of the Most High.”

I will remember the deeds of the Lord; yes

I will remember your miracles of long ago.

I will meditate on all our works and

consider all your mighty deeds.

Your ways, O God, are holy.

What god is so great as our God?

You are the God who performs miracles;

You display Your power among the peoples.

With your mighty arm you redeemed your people,

the descendents of Jacob and Joseph. Selah

The waters saw you, O God,

the waters saw you and writhed:

the very depths were convulsed.

The clouds poured down water,

The skies resounded with thunder;

Your arrows flashed back and forth.

Your thunder was heard in the whirlwind,

Your lightning lit up the world;

the earth trembled and quaked.

Your path led through the sea,

Your way through the mighty waters,

though your footprints were not seen.

You led your people like a flock

By the hand of Moses and Aaron.

 

As we prayed following each three verses, the presence of the Lord increased and built to a crescendo. When we got to the beginning of the last section (verse 16) about the waters and clouds pouring down water, he fired up “Let It Rain” and I cried like a baby. My tears were like rain in the best possible sense. In a word: broken! God had a firm grip on everything now. I could feel a freeing sense of His Spirit meeting me there to carry me. I knew He fully understood my pain, my sense of helplessness, and my dependence! Over the last decade, I have felt like I have had many ‘mindjobs’ thrown at me. Most were not of the comforting variety, so this was an incredible new sense of ‘I’ve got your back’. It was like the big breakthrough after many battles to win the war. Something was allowed to break in our spirits to put the fuller sense of His Spirit in us.

    Prayer thread: Have some of you felt the difference in the atmosphere around you? Could you feel more peace or darkness as you entered a building, house, or specific area? What I have learned over these past few years is that every place on earth is shaped spiritually by history. I don’t have the space to go into all that now, but I wanted to ask the question to be able to share how my wife and I use protective prayers in our life. Perhaps that will be a complete writing unto itself sometime.

I know if from ‘our’ music if nothing else, we all understand a war against darkness rages daily. In this war we must do all we can to protect ourselves! Biblically, it is similar to the Israelites using the blood on the doorposts to keep away the death angel (ain’t nobody needin’ no death angel round here!). The good news for us is that we don’t have that kind of deal now. What we battle is the daily grind over time.

There are three areas the enemy will attack: people, places, and things. The enemy uses his demons for an ‘in’ anywhere he can find one! I realize that I am givin’ y’all a nugget in place of an entire teaching, but pray it through and ask Him how it applies to you. In the spiritual realm, I have come to understand that the enemy attaches demonic spirits to the three areas. The great news is He has power and authority over all that! I apologize for having to make this a brief thread, it is a condensing of a 5 year learning curve! Here is an example of a nightly protective prayer He developed over the years. Don’t turn it into merely a religious habit, ask Him how it can be effective for you and over you for the night!

Lord, we invite your presence here into our house tonight. We ask You to remove anything from the day from all people, places, and things. Send them away (the hogs Jesus sent a packin) in Jesus name for …name each person (of your household). We invite your Holy Spirit to place a hedge above, below, and all around us as we sleep. Place Your warring angels on their posts to protect personage(us),(our) property, and(our) possessions. In Your holy name, Amen.

Brothers and sisters: I am not doing a “thus saith the Lord” here. I am sharing what He has taught us through various experiences and sources over these years. Pray it through for you! Be blessed in Him

 

Re;Pink 4-Heartfast-Stonedrop

Of the four parts I love this one the most. It describes the process we are supposed to be engaged in. He wants ALL of our hearts. We are to put it all in His hands.

 

I honestly didn’t think it was near time to start this thread. The ironic part of God is always…but does that matter? It actually brings me right to some meat to start us off with. What is the heart of God? What is it that moves His heart? Since we are created in His image, how are we so prone to struggle with knowing His heart? For some reason that seems an oxymoron, but then again I am too (perhaps especially the second half of that word). We all fight the daily struggle against the selfish nature. We get so far from His heart our rallying cries become “what about me?” and “why does this happen to me?”. Do you know how a particular lyric to a song can carry meaning for a while in you? “Can you hear the beating of my heart?” is a lyric from a War of Ages song. The issue I hear Him calling us out on is…can He ask that question to us?

Whew! Framing the first paragraph is always tough. One starts off with an idea, but then you second guess if you want to reveal the meat early or build to a crescendo. There is a second song thread running through my mind too…”revival in his heart, causes havoc for the devil”…a lyric from ‘the destroyer beholds’ by Mortification (good old grindage!). In piecing the two lyrics together as concepts, what does it point to? It shows that God and the devil are both after hearts. We all get the devil’s deal…attack the mind and get to the heart. If he can steer our thinking, he can grab some heart, eventually taking over mind, body, and spirit. If you talk with someone who has lived on the devil’s plan, they will tell you that these wars are constant. What God does is so amazing though, He skips steps! He finds a way to speak deep into a heart that makes a person WANT to give their whole self! Who can want to do that on their own? Only someone He has found a way to touch in their heart.

We all have a past with memories, events, and yes…most often wounds and scars of the heart. Life can be a mess not that easily cleaned up. He has led me through some dark places that I didn’t understand or even how I arrived there. Over time, He has revealed more about what my heart has led me into, why the results turned out that way, and what His true heart is (Truth). Good night, don’t our hearts just wander poorly through the dark when left uncircumcised?!!! And…like a bad Halloween skit, there is the devil leading us by the hand into deeper darkness! Until He works our hearts, our hearts lead us where we go. Thirty years as a believer, and the culmination of this just is becoming real. What further exasperates our wounded-ness? The selfish rallying cries for justice! Somehow it escaped our notice that we missed His heart for us to move on after the first wound (with no need for further pain). The cycle then continued to repeat itself and round she goes!

The question that often befuddles me is…if humanity is a pure expression of His heart, then why don’t we have any seeming draw to know His heart? He certainly desires pursuit, I understand that. He is truly God which means He is already perfect. He is all-knowing, which really is a relief, yet He is not often offended by our questions! I have had Him working my heart a lot the past few months. I would honestly say that two months ago my heart was half dead inside. I wouldn’t say I was depressed, just accepting the condition of my life with wonderful blessings, yet a deeper unfulfilled destiny. I realize now that His heart has not been my heart. In my mind, His heart should reflect directly through mine. I am highly limited until His heart takes over mine. A fully surrendered heart is not easy, or Christianity would easily rule! I do see one critical point to alignment with His heart…He wants to be pursued for who He is!

He does not care to bolster YOUR belief system. Our God truly is unlimited to description! I used to believe He called me to fill in some of the void for people in my writings…I now see He really is showing me how unlimited it really is! I tend to believe this point, although I also tend to believe it to be even more so against humanity. The smartest understanding of God tops out at 10%. The highest human understanding of knowing Him (we all have others we place higher up the scale… don’t we?) can only reach 10%. This is not holy math here, so don’t believe I’m offering anything other than a concept in this. If He is all-knowing at 100%, we honestly might be less than 1%! If that were the case, and it were closer to 1 than 10…how sad is the entire world of theology to Him.

In talking with a friend recently, He revealed another heart topic. We were asking a question: How could one still need more forgiveness when everything is completed at the Cross? In Him we walk in an ultimately unique relationship. He is already perfected and we are an organized mess! He is without flaw and unchanging, we are sinful and need constant changing in our hearts. It is a common phrase in my world: He doesn’t change but we should! In His unchanged nature He can call us to better. He can ‘work the clay’ as we say and call us to change our hearts in exchange for His. Time moves forward continually as this process proceeds. He reveals the next heart issue He sees for us to be in change with. We have all read the verse warning ‘beware a man prone to change’. This has more to do with our hearts willingness to stay pliable in the Potter’s Hands. He already sees our hearts as they are in perfect vision.

There is a little fight in all of us. We don’t want to quickly admit our flaws, do we? It can come across as weakness or un-American individualistic! Hey, sometimes the darn bootstraps break! He would allow that you know. If He doesn’t allow any testing in our lives, how can our hearts really be revealed? I can see now how He has strengthened me in my weaknesses as Paul refers to. Further being wired as a burden bearer with sensitivities has had its’ complexities to filter through! If I apply every burden to just little ol’ me, a heaviness permeates my spirit until I find a way to release it. This took some time to realize all this was happening. Throw in some wilderness destinations besides, and you will find some tough days. He revealed more hidden parts of my heart in this process. I see first-hand why He warns us to not trust what is in OUR own hearts.

Life has a way of damaging hearts too. What child does not suffer something from a broken home? Most Christian counselors agree that broken family affects the way a person views his/her heavenly Father. Only He can bind up these wounds that affect hearts. He may use others to speak in and I hope He does! Our natural body has great healing properties of itself. It is unfortunate that the Body of Christ is not uniformly known to do the same. I see the Body of Christ having many wonderful parts, but an incomplete heart. The amazing thing about our Father is His ability to use our hearts, even amongst the compartmentalized messes!

 

3 Re;Pink- Pepto’s Revenge and Return of the Pink

 

You all know I have been excited about the entire Re;Pink concept from the start. I have been awaiting the go ahead for at least the Pink meat to start cooking here!  Funny: I was telling a close friend to my wife and I that after nearly 10 years in the Spirit He has revealed a new gift! She is one of my fav saints here and we could always express our hearts to her and she was money when I needed to have a witness! Once I told her a brief about the gift she looks seriously at me (as if to not offend me perhaps J) and says “you know that doesn’t surprise me, but most burden bearers are women…but since you have a big heart He uses that”. I smiled agreeably and told her “I knew a long time ago I had a little more emotional makeup from my mother”. I may be 40/60 but don’t tell anybody! My dad also has a big heart which is why I may be a mess sometimes. Now that we’ve established my emotional make up let us delve deep into the pink here.

It all seemed to start up just before Easter from what I can sense looking back. I was sensing Him working on my heart, instead of pouring it out constantly (more on that in another thread). Good Friday rolled around and I got ready for work just like any other day. I walked into the shop and could tell by the look on my workmate’s face that he was surprised to see me. He looks puzzled and says “did boss tell you to come in today? If he didn’t it is a paid holiday”! I said “no, I didn’t realize this was one of our paid ones, I hadn’t heard”, and with that it was a free day at home! I was pumped because this basement remodel has been on almost 4 months now. So I headed off to celebrate my lovable cluelessness once again! To be fair: I have missed entire company work meetings because I didn’t know, remember, or see some random flyer (I mean who reads all that stuff on walls anyway?). To me, it is a poor means of communication to expect people to look over 50 flyers on the wall, very impersonal. Send us an email if it applies to me good night! Pet the rabbit.

Since the return from conference I have not been able to soak in enough worship, so got the roller and brush out and fired up the tunes. Looking back it was a dramatic couple of days! I worked the room in worship with the focus of all Good Friday could mean. Getting deeper into worship He told me “put everything you can think or say on the cross today”. I began placing any possible obstacle to wholeness to die with Him today. I put anything He spoke to me about that would be any sort of sin there…on the cross. I even placed people on there I thought were important to me. I cried out deeply because I told Him in tears, “I don’t want to hinder anyone’s walk in the slightest! I don’t want my need for anything to hold anyone back from their fullest destiny Lord”! The song I shared with several “Running to You” was on repeat for hours! “I’m running to You, a child to his Father, my life in Your hands…” are some lyrics. I have discovered that big hearts can get in the way of others if not highly careful. I knew several people were going through a lot right there too, and I had to not be in the way of their process (you know my love of process!).

I felt a presence of Him that was extremely rare for my house (and I enjoy the peace that is here compared to I don’t know…every other public place!). When He pulls you into that zone with chunks of time in front of you, how can you not surrender? I truly believe I was being baptized in His love these couple of days, my heart was being overwhelmed inside of me. He is showing me now in this process of a month what truly falling in love with Jesus truly is like. I always wondered in my spirit man how in the wide world of sports people could truly say that about Him. Reverence and fear for His power, His name, and a true and genuine love for Him…yes…but a deep falling in love? At risk of self-counseling here, ‘falling in love with Jesus’ sounded like something that would be strictly attributed to the Jesus Movement of the 70’s! I have desired to spend more time with Him a lot over these past 10 years especially, but this feels so different…intimately so.

He says to hook up the plow so sniff some diesel here peeps. I will give a specific example (although be it a small one) from last two nights. I am usually past dinner and hitting the shower in and around seven in the evening generally speaking. I am an audio junkie going back to the time of recording equipment older than some of our audience (insert dated audio format joke here). I have incorporated noise into my very fiber for a myriad of reasons, though He has cured the nonstop push of it over these years. One of the most important ‘words’ He gave me directly was about Fox News. I was a news junkie when He spoke these words to me “all this news and prophecy stuff becomes junk food to your spirit man. Like eating Twinkies every day, you can eat them with every meal but not good for your health.”

The tractor veered off there…sorry. The last two nights I have been drawn to a song on the worship list. It is one of those that has been on the list for almost 3 years! When you listen to worship music regularly that could become a pretty stale song in that time for me. It spoke to me like the Word does…hundreds of interactions with it but today the Spirit breathed a fuller life into it! It is a song about His presence and I can tell it well describes how we fall in love with Him just being in His presence.

You have to understand my former way of thinking. The presence to me was a created thing. If I would stir up the gifts/anointing/ and all the rest He would move. If the right combo of people brought the right hearts in, a sense of His presence would come in. It could be created in your house for instance and others could feel it. While I still believe these things are a part of presence, I now understand how His presence just takes us completely over. I know that He can always renew it also. One of my biggest fears He had me to overcome in all this is His presence is a renewable resource. Part of that I am finding is related to the burden bearing thing. I actually didn’t want to try and get ‘too high’ because I always found the crash later to be devastating to my spirit. It was like a cartoon you watched as a kid…there is our character walking on the top of the mountain…oops he seems to have stumbled and rolled violently down to the bottom…time to start over!

Now back to our writing, already in progress (I always thought my ADD was a creative benefit, I have only asked Him to heal the bad parts of that honestly)! In the midst of all this pouring out I felt one of those rare manifestations (at least for me). I would describe it as my heart to this point was half and half. Half of it was fully pink, on fire for Him, and wonderfully fleshy. The other portion was a scarred over mess I simply did not understand or have any clue how to process/receive healing for. Over the past few years I didn’t even know what to ask for any longer. I would go before Him just numb, wanting, but not really even knowing what I needed to ask for. It felt like I had been ran over and left behind in many ways…a dull hopelessness had captured a part of my heart. I don’t know if I could call it stone, that depicts to me a full giving up and surrendering (and as messy as it can be, that is not my style!). I have felt like He granted me a unique ability to wait in Him.

Suddenly amidst all of this going on in my spirit, I felt a physical manifestation of the spiritual. It was as if He was saying ‘Let us place all your wounded heart on the cross today, come die with Me’! Oh, friends, that was such a load off that I physically felt my heart searing like with a hot iron/catarizing the wounds of many blows/years. He also seemed to say ‘Let me create a full heart of pink flesh’. I can best describe it as a soothing burn in my heart. I felt Him taking misunderstandings, people unknowingly hurting me, all the times I felt unheard/not received, and all the times I had poured my heart out and not received love back. I have seen that we are wired to have two way relationships with each other as believers. He showed me over these years how many are in it for themselves and to make themselves feel good, when in reality that can only come through our relationship in Him. Our obedience is always key. I still feel like I have obeyed to the best of my ability in Him. I did not receive His confidence in that, which had me seeking approval from people (a struggle I still have to wrestle with).

I became used to pouring my heart out and waiting for disappointment! Is there an Eor spirit? Haha! I still believe there are plenty of clueless people in the world, don’t get me wrong. We have to be comforted in obedience, knowing we did what He asked. It can be hard on a big hearted personality to not feel they received it well or heck even the lack of expression can be tough to receive. He has taught me to let it fly and let it ride (still working on the let it ride part)! So from Good Friday through Saturday I worked in the basement on this heart rework, receiving so many blessings and healings from Him! I will run out of words describing all this couple of days means to me personally. Have you ever felt that way? Who else but the Lord can fathom all it really means and all the good that transpired? This part 3 has a big part to go yet, but I have already been up three hours and it is not yet 6 a.m., so we will pink on as He moves on!

We all believe as a wise man once said “the stories are the point!” For those who have not read the bulk of my keyboard tickling, there are actual points and dialogue beyond what appears to read as an ADD trip gone awry! One of my old friends read some of my earlier stuff and said “whoever edits this will not be paid near enough!” So the grill is now on and we put the meat next to flame. The next few paragraphs I want to share my (clear throat…uhhh hummm-not sure how to spell that) points and nuggets about the Re;Pink process.  The power to heal came home with me…an overburdened scarred-over heart and all. I realize the depth of this power was not with me before, or I did not know how to unlock it into my existence before now. I am a worker bee at heart, and He meets me in rest or work now, instead of me feeling that need to stir it up…the power is just there! I praise Him so much for every person that contributed to the fullness of that Power being able to stay connected to me this time.  He has healed my heart, spirit, and body! He is in process of rebuilding relationships and new family bonds. Before tears get in the way, I will leave it there.

I truly believe He healed my heart for a very important reason…hurt hearts can help who? Very few that is who! He has renewed my heart for others again. I know I retreated inward for peace and safety. Is isolation really safety though? It was a place under His wing, yes, but it was not complete in my heart that was for sure. Our hearts are so important to Him. It is where He is going to push and pull in our walk…at our hearts. Even before Easter He showed me how a renewed heart can minister to others! I prayed for numerous residents on the fly and as He led. I don’t know what He did with it, but I felt a sense of the Spirit speaking into people who truly needed Him (not another freakin’ nice church service!). Not to be glib or salty there, just frosts me that the majority of churches actually believe their own relevancy. I sensed Him say something I hadn’t considered also…that the key to my own healing is in praying for others. I had heard a similar thread before, just not quite this way. I don’t EVER want to lose the wonder of His Spirit moving thru hearts! It was so cool to see how He ministered to my residents in the past month, I look forward to what else He has planned!

Some who haven’t heard all my stories might wonder why I find these moves of Him so monumental. Yes, for you it is everyday God, but…for me it has been a mixed bag. Not lamenting, I wouldn’t trade my journey for the fast track. I am happy in learning lessons, good and hard! He has been conditioning my heart for just this present season. I know what it is to be deep and feel totally lost in wilderness. These are the first inspired writings in four dadgum years folks! Could you wait four years from now to use the gift He gave you a dream about? Your destiny?  I was fully willing at some point in there to surrender all my striving and wait in Him. I had every good reason to suspend hope, place it on a shelf for ‘maybe someday’. I hit walls and felt numbness that was full on encompassing. Shockingly, my wilderness writings were even before that! I literally could not express what I felt for about 2 years in writing. I worked hard in Him by surrounding myself with good preaching videos, stayed in the Word, and did have encouragement a friend to help carry me. I can’t say it was as I would have chosen (who chooses that?…my counselor asked me once). I can say contently the process brought me to here!

One of the points He impressed to my spirit during these days is this: What is the heart dependent on? Much like our natural bodies, it is dependent on the body (the Body of Christ). The heart will be the strongest when all parts of the Body are working as they should be. That is true on a personal level AND on a Body of Christ level. Many talk of being the hands and feet of God. Agree with all such statements. The question I have is do the hands and feet operate without the heart, brain, and other parts of the body? No brainer if you ask me. I may meld two points together here, I see how they more directly relate: so many people are developing the muscles on their body part that they fail to bond with the Body itself. Have you all not heard me mention the sudden brick walls people hit? It is because they are not in flow with the Body. I used to be too busy, but now I don’t care about anything that gets in my way of His deal…period.

I truly believe some of the Body issues are American in nature. A crowded, overly busy lifestyle not rooted in Him, but in performance and pleasure. Did God turn three colors…red, white, and blue? I don’t think so! We are required in Him to ask Him every little thing we are to invest in…you may be surprised at what He is not asking us to do! The Body is a package of parts. I have seen too many churches and ministries function without all the parts…sad really, and so void of power. Is the heart of God not the Body? We all understand what the Word says about the Body…how the hand cannot be a foot and vice versa. I am so ready for the true Body to form and not have a bunch of hands telling me what I should be interested in. I know what He has spoken to me about ‘my part’. I am probably the midsection…not the heart more like the gut (not quite to 6-pack abs yet but…). Does anyone remember Jesus saying to Peter “go do this, whoa, gonna be a lot of work, go do that”? No, He said plainly: “feed My sheep”. To me that is part of my calling in writing, the sheep. He may use it otherwise, but that is what fires me up, encouraging the Body to perform their parts, not be a dang clone of me!