Got a burden?

Have you ever had a burden that you felt to pray for?  Or have you ever had something that you know God was calling you to do that you knew would require a spiritual battle?  Have you ever wished that you had someone that you knew you could trust to pray for that situation and do some of the spiritual battling with you?

I would like to offer my assistance.  If you fit this category, I would like to help.  I would like to clarify though.  If you are looking for prayer for a new house or some sort of blessing in your life to simply stop the tough stuff in your life, I’m afraid I won’t be much help.  I would simply pray for God’s will and I happen to believe that some of the tough stuff we go through is necessary to prepare us for the spiritual battle He wants to use us for.

However, if God has laid something on your heart … to share truth … to step out and pray someone through to the spirit … to start a new direction that you know is going to cause waves and you know you’ll need other saints to help battle where you can not see … these are the type of burdens I feel led to be an intercessor for.

You can give some detail or you can simply say .. God knows the burden.  Some burdens are just hard to share with others.  I trust that God will still know how to direct my prayers toward your situation.  Feel free to email me at CustomerService@dionnesdayspa.com.  I’m going on a limb putting my email out there, but I trust that if God led you to this blog, perhaps He wants you to know that you aren’t alone and that there really are people out there who not only know the enemy, but have the heart of God and want to use their gift as it was intended  .. to propel the Kingdom of God forward.

And if you happen to have a desire to be available as a part of my prayer circle and are willing to share a burden or two of mine, please email me and let me know.  I understand now more than ever the importance of standing together with the Saints of God.

May God bless you on your quest today!

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This was never for just a few …

I remember how awesome it felt when I was truly introduced to the kingdom of God.  How wonderful it felt to feel the peace of God as I spoke out in tongues, sang in the spirit, how glorious it was to be surrounded by the Spirit of God as it filled those around me.  If you have never been to a service where the Spirit of God swept through a stadium taking a couple thousand sin sick people and literally transforming them into a tide of a beautiful orchestra, I pray that God leads you to a place where you can witness this.  Where you can literally pinpoint the exact moment that the annointing of God falls upon the crowd.  It is absolutely breathtaking!

But I also remember thinking … the WORLD needs this!  How many people do we know who have never witnessed this, let alone experienced it?  How many people have never experienced the Love of God that comes just from literally being in HIS presence?

What saddens and burdens me tremendously is that unfortunately, there are so many who have this and yet, they don’t share it.  They enjoy it for themselves, but they forget, it was never meant to be just for them.  Why is it that we forget that the church was never meant to exist inside a building?  We forget that God’s work was never meant to just happen inside the walls of a congregation or an organization.  We forget that God’s church doesn’t have a title … it’s God’s church .. PERIOD!

Sharing God’s light and truth meant going into the world.  For those of us who have forgotten and stagnated .. who have perhaps reaped the benefits of God’s glorious gifts but maybe forgot that there is still work to do outside the walls of our Sunday sheep shack, I pray that we pick ourselves up and get back to doing what God called us to do.  I pray that when the challenges come to stop us, that we don’t just settle for what’s comfortable.  I pray that we start to seek God’s guidance on who HE wants us to reach out to.  Sometimes .. it may not just be who we thought it would be.  Sometimes .. He may be calling us to greater works, but we are just too comfortable to step out and realize that calling.  I pray that if you feel that calling today, that you step out in faith and trust that He will lead you do what He has called you to do.

After all, this was never meant to be for just a few.

Won’t you please join me ….

I don’t know about you, but what I have done with my new-found ‘sight’ is look around.  Truthfully, I have always loved to see the lives where God is working.  I love to hear about the story of the young man who did some horrible things, but somehow, he continues to walk towards God, even though every step is a struggle.  I love to hear the young lady who every one else discounts as a little ‘off,’ be used in a moment of clarity as the gift of wisdom visits her during a group meeting.  I love to hear how the young couple who spent their spare time smoking weed had an unexpected visitor stop by that changed their entire life for the better.

I love to see the family who never had to deal with divorce.  I love to see how God has protected and honored their family.  Their children are well-behaved and love not just each other, but God as well.  These are the lives that remind me that God is alive and His spirit is working in lives.  These are the lives that remind me that hope is still here.  That God can still be found.

But then, there are the rest of the lives.  The lives where anger and forgiveness have settled.  Where the cycle of sin continues to reap its rewards over and over again.  Where the same ugly spirit that caused people to slaughter humans like cows has never really left; however the tool of choice today is our tongues.  While Jesus’ light is in me, I can’t help but notice all the ugliness around me.  As I’ve read other blogs,  I have come to the conclusion that I’m not the only one.

I know that God intends to use these situations to grow us, but I would be lying if I didn’t admit that almost daily I ask God, ‘How much longer?’  How many more lives have to go through the cycle of sin?  How many more lives have to suffer through divorce?  How many more lives have to suffer through rebellious children?  How many more lives have to suffer through bitterness at every turn?  And I’m only referring to the spiritual blood-shed.  How many more years do we as a human race have to continue to prove that we can’t do this without God?

I used to think .. a little longer God .. just wait a little longer.  There’s so much to do!  Now, I have come to the conclusion that if God were to wait for me to do my part, He would never come back.  I can’t help but feel enough is enough.  Yes, I’m still going to pray.  Yes, I’m still going to do my best to encourage others and allow others’ to encourage me.  Yes, I’m still going to continue to grow, going through each and every up and down .. getting back up after fall.  However, if I could appeal to those of you that consider themselves intercessors .. won’t you please join me in praying for Jesus’ return?

I don’t know about you, but I want to see the sin cycle stopped.

I wonder where it went …

LeAnn Wolmac wrote a song several years ago titled ‘I hope you dance.’  I believe she wrote this with her little girls in mind.  It’s a wonderful song encouraging them to live life to it’s fullest and not let go of the innocence that comes as a child.  In fact, one of the lines is, ‘I hope you never lose your sense of wonder.’  As children, we have that, don’t we?  That innocent perspective that sees everything through big eyes .. believing that nothing could hurt you and that all you see is good.  Awe-struck if you will.  As adults, however, we can sometimes misplace that sense of wonder.

How easy is it to get derailed by life!  I was thinking about Stephen from the Book of Acts (Acts 6:8 – Acts 7:60).  Here this guy is full of the Holy Spirit, preaching the gospel, performing signs and wonders through the Holy Spirit, and finds himself one day confronting the Religious Sect of Jews.  The Bible tells us he was arguing with these men yet the wisdom which he spoke confounded them.  So these religious fellows decided to call the people against Stephen and have him arrested.  On the witness stand, Stephen began a sermon about Joseph and Moses and proceeded to ridicule these religious people for their lack of following the very law they claimed to enforce.  Actually, Stephen was pretty much ‘in your face’ confrontational at this point.  Shortly thereafter, the people dragged him out of there and stoned him to death.  Just before he died, it tells us that he looked up in heaven, seen Jesus, prayed for his persecutors, and then died at the feet of Saul.

As Christians, we often speak of the joy of the Lord and how beautiful life is.  However, as disciples of Christ, Jesus us tells us that we will experience persecution.  In some places still today, Christians have Stephen-like experiences and actually lose their lives.  In our country, we may not lose our physical lives, but certainly our sense of wonder can be stolen or even misplaced for a while .. which can certainly feel like you lost your life.

I often wonder what went through Stephen’s mind as he verbally battled with these men.  Did he wrestle with his own heart to see through God’s eyes and not his own?  Did he struggle with not allowing bitterness to settle in?  Was their anger in his voice as he called them ‘stiff-necked people?’  Did he have moments where he wanted to fight back, especially as the stones continued to come … blow by blow?  Did he second guess his own words and actions as he was being crushed by the stones?  My guess is, he probably had a moment where he lost his sense of wonder.  Luckily, we know that Jesus stepped in, but not to save his physical life.  I personally think He stepped in as a reminder that Stephen was on the right path.  Perhaps that last bit of inspiration was just the motivation Stephen needed to pray for his offenders.  He always shows us the way.  He promised He would.

Sometimes I think … actually, I know, we are way too hard on ourselves.  As Christians, we expect that we are supposed to be perfect.  That we are to handle every situation that comes our way with dignity and grace and any reaction to the actions against us, well, we persecute ourselves.  Not that we shouldn’t consider how we could have handled situations differently and learn from them so that we can grow and change, however let’s stop helping the devil to defeat God’s army!  When we go into the cycle of self-defeat, all we really do is arm Satan with ammunition and disarm ourselves from being effective to do God’s work.  It doesn’t mean we can do and say whatever we want, but isn’t there supposed to be ‘Freedom In Christ?’  Perhaps that freedom means that Jesus’ blood is sufficient enough to cover, not just the assailant, but our own mistakes trying to be a good soldier.

What an amazing concept!  I am in awe!  Truly, His plan was designed to INCLUDE my mistakes!  Perhaps that’s what He meant when He said, ‘My yoke is easy.’  I don’t think being full of the holy ghost means that we are going to do or say things that aren’t the ideal way of handling a situation.  I think it means that we will be given the boldness to move forward towards the cross, at all cost.  Wow!  You know … it’s funny because when I started this blog, this isn’t the direction I was headed.

But then …. God has this way of helping me find things I thought I had misplaced.

There’s always a reason ..

There is one saying that I hear quite frequently that I’m not so certain I agree with.  It’s the phrase, ‘Everything happens for a reason.’  Typically speaking, it’s used in reference to a moment of exasperation in an effort to ‘make sense’ of a senseless situation.  Forgive my cynicism, but typically, there is a false hope attached to this statement.  A hope that says, somehow, there is a grand plan that was designed to specifically include hurting others.  I’m sorry, but I just can’t buy into that.

I do believe that everything happens for a reason .. but not with the sadistic image of God attached.  Allow me to explain.  The child lost his life because the guy who was driving the other vehicle got drunk and went for a drive when he should have stayed home instead.  Sin, Choice, and Chance all converged at the same time on the road that day, and wham!  The end result was the little boy lost his life.  Does that somehow mean that God’s grand plan intended for this little boy to die because this dude needed to learn how to be responsible?  I just can’t buy into that.

Or there was this time that my office was broke into and someone stole $700 in cash.  The culprit was never found.  I was one of 5 local business’ broke into that lost a sum of cash.  Certainly there was a reason.  The reason was some guy got it in his head that he was going to target small businesses and steal from them instead of going and getting a job like a responsible American.  Was this some grand plan for God to use me and 4 others’ while some dude got away with a load of cash?  Perhaps the guy had a plan to see if he could pull off a heist like you see in the movies, but other than that, no.  I don’t believe this was a part of God’s grand plan.  It was a situation where I had to simply shrug my shoulders and say, ‘Man that sucks.  Guess I’m out $700.’

That being said, I do believe God can use these situations.  I don’t believe God intended for that little boy to die, but since it happened, He’ll use it to His advantage to glorify Love.  In this case, it wasn’t the driver, it was the mom.  A mother who had lost a 2-year old .. nothing any mother should go through.  Through this, she overcame hate and bitterness and started a program to educate those drivers who had DUIs about why it’s so important to drink responsibly.  God didn’t intend for this little boy to die, but He used the situation to glorify how His love can help us through situations.

As for my situation, maybe it was easier because I wasn’t alone and I never really knew who did it, but I really did just accept that I had to take a loss and move on.  I did learn that sometimes people steal and do bad things to others and sometimes you find yourself as the recipient of those bad things.  These are things I already knew though.  Maybe all that happened because the grand plan was that some day, I could recall the situation and blog about it.

Or maybe, just maybe, people really do stupid things where sin, chance, and choice are bound to collide.  Yep, there’s always a reason.  Just glad God decided to become a recycler, deciding to reuse the garbage instead of just tossing us all out again.  That would have really sucked.

Yep .. there’s always a reason.

Look Ma! I can Fly!

Have you ever seen an acrobatic act where two people twist, turn, and manipulate the human body using the other person as the base?  I saw this once in Vegas where two very strong men did acts of balance that I didn’t even know was gravitationally possible!  Its one of those things that you watch with  your jaw dropped, eyes wide open, wondering, ‘How? … What? … Can they really?  …  gasp … INCREDIBLE!’

Well, when my step-daughter, who went to state as a gymnast in high school, asked me if she could, ‘fly me,’ I found out how they could do this wonderful feat.  I decided to give this flying thing a try.  Honestly, I felt like a little girl again, tumbling with the girl who knew what she was doing.  She lies on the floor, places her feet on my hip sockets, gives me her hands, then up we go.  Just like you do to your two-year old when he wants to ‘go for a ride!.’  She then proceeded to direct me to place my hand here, grab my foot there, and twist here, tossing me around like a human bean bag.  At one point, she had her feet on my belly and had me put my arms in the air, feet up, posed like a skydiver and I was in effect … flying.

Now the switch up.  Having two chicken sticks for legs, I thought she would have been reluctant to let me be the base, but when I offered to fly her, she gladly accepted.  Admittedly, I was a bit more on the wobbly side.  I haven’t quite figured out how to find my center yet, especially when it involves not dropping the human body I’m now responsible for holding up.  I did get it at one point, but turns out that it can get tricky if your confidence moves faster than your partner’s ability to find their center.

Of course, being the gymnast she is, she made it look so easy.  But as I was following her directions, having every ounce of me supported by her two petite legs, I realized very quickly that it wasn’t just about us trusting each other, it was also about us cooperating together.  Unless we were working together as a team, it didn’t have the same effect.  If I had been flimsy and let her do all the work, she might have gotten me up, but I’d just as quickly have come back down.  Plus, while she was an excellent base, if I was always willing to take but never give back, my flying days might be short-lived.

Man, there are so many spiritual analogies here!  Didn’t  God say something about working with others?  It really is more like an acrobatic act!  Sometimes we can lift people up, but unless they do their part, they won’t stay up.  Sometimes our confidence to do our part gets ahead of the ones we are working with and well, things get out of balance and we both fall.  Sometimes we find others who always want a lift, but seem oblivious to their part of giving back.  Then sometimes, we get a really good teacher who may be learning herself, but provides an excellent base and a willingness to learn and take a few falls so that someone else can learn to be the base too.  Hmmmm …..

Yeh .. this flying thing .. it was pretty cool!

So, you wanna’ fight?

Have you ever been the target of someone else’s aggression simply because you were … you?  I have.  I was twelve.  Her name was Virginia.  She was a short little Mexican girl.  She had one of those cocky, aggressive attitudes that despite her small stature, forced its way into the room.  I really didn’t talk to her much.  She was one of those girls that unless you were in her circle, you avoided eye contact hoping not to be the recipient of her sneering comments.

I’m not even sure why she didn’t like me.  As a matter of fact, I didn’t officially know that she didn’t like me until she marched up to me on the bus that fateful day telling me that she was going to ‘kick my -ss’ when we got off the bus.  What’s a kid to do when that happens?  I didn’t know why.  I don’t even remember if I asked.  I was pretty timid at these things.  While I was sandwiched between two brothers at home, I would never scuffle with them.  It just wasn’t in me.

As I walked the 50 feet from the bus stop, I felt like I was being ushered by an unseen force.  The children were gathering, excited at the prospect of seeing two girls claw at each other like cats.  I didn’t have a clue why I had been chosen for this position, but there she stood telling me to hit her.  I just looked at her.  I didn’t want to fight, but my mouth couldn’t find any words in that moment.  She continued to taunt me.  I continued to just stand there.

Then it happened, she threw the first punch.  Then the next came, and the next, and the next.  I tried my best to defend myself, but my arms were two flailing limbs not doing much other than making a mockery of what was already a very sad scene.  She grabbed my hair and yanked me around like a rag doll.  All the while, I could hear not just her voice, but the voice of all the other children … all laughing and whooping it up at my expense.  Other than my useless attempts to diminish the blows, all I could do was cry.  This of course just added more fuel to their fiery commentary.

After what seemed like hours, Virginia must have decided I had enough and she stopped.  She didn’t say anything to me.  Just looked at me, then walked away.  I just stood there, blood pouring from my nose, eyes bruised, hair a shambled mess ..  crying.  I walked home by myself.  The show was over.  Who wants to walk with the loser?

I don’t know if that was some sort of test, but Virginia never bothered me again.  I certainly wasn’t much of a challenge.  I didn’t even fight back.  Surprisingly, I didn’t hate her.  It’s hard to hate something that you just don’t understand.  I just continued on, being me.  Polite and respectful to others.  Mild mannered, not causing much of a ruckus.  Smiling at those that no one else would smile at.  Finding myself seeking out the seat that no one else wanted to sit in.  Enjoying school and being content to just be.  Doing my best to do what was right, even when it felt uncomfortable.

Now as an adult, I find that the face of Virginia was really nothing more than Satan in disguise.  Constantly taunting, toying, and bullying me around.   Doing his best to make a fool of me, as he sits back and has a good laugh.  Just like that fateful day, he continues to succeed at humiliating me and giving the crowd a good laugh.  As much as it hurts, and as much as I continue to cry, I have a hard time hating.  Certainly, I’ve had moments where I may have felt that, but as quickly as it comes, it leaves.  What has never left, is the complete lack of understanding to why these things happen.

Satan continues to call at me, ‘So, you wanna’ fight?’  To which I reply, ‘No.  I really don’t.’  This was never supposed to be my battle.  I don’t understand this and I don’t understand how you are able to get people to do horrible things to each other.  So I’m going to do what I always do, continue on .. being me .. doing my best to do what is right, even when it feels uncomfortable.

Jesus is coming back …. SOON.