You’re probably wondering .. who is this girl anyway?

You probably don’t know me.  In the grand scheme of things, I’m not anyone special.  Just some Christian girl from a small town in Wisconsin.  I hold no official church position.  I’m just a girl who feels an overwhelming presence inside of me to share the glorious things God has shown me.  Things that He is already putting in place!

Last night, our town hosted a Gospel night.  This is an annual event where a handful of Christian worship teams get together and give a concert to glorify Christ.  The teams consist of people from all different denominations and backgrounds.  The beauty of it was that for one night, we all put aside our swords and united together for the sole purpose of worshipping and glorifying Christ.  No one got caught up in nit-picking the organizations we belonged to, the beliefs we hold, and no one poked fun at the difference in how some worshipped quietly while others were more exuberant in their worship.  We were truly one body .. the body of Christ.

It never ceases to amaze me how when we focus on finding Christ in the situation, we can really see Him.  I seen Him last night.  Not just in the group as a whole, but in individuals.  The teenager playing guitar as his grandfather sang gave me hope for my own wayward teen.  Jesus was there!  And  Jesus peeked His head out in the little woman who stood behind a wall of stern insecurity telling us, the audience, that she would remind us to stand for the last verse.  I smiled as she then bravely squeezed her accordion to the glory of Christ!  I saw Jesus again as a group of woman wrestled with a faulty sound system having to start over and over again and finally, observably nervous, moved forward belting out their best voices all for the sake of honoring Jesus.

I don’t know what your conversion was, but mine was similar to what Saul had.  While many had told me about Christ throughout my years, it was a personal encounter with Jesus that stopped me in my tracks and changed my direction forever.  Despite my need to know, ‘who was right,’ Jesus put a man and woman in my path who would teach me that it was Jesus I needed to focus on listening to.  I am so thankful for that!  I feel grateful that I was allowed to grow and not just learn about, but truly experience Christ.  I feel grateful that God put people in my path that took the time to not only teach and nurture me about the importance of knowing Christ’s ways, but also allowed me the room to grow, make mistakes, and the grace to recover from my many falls.

I’m grateful for the voices that God has put on the pulpits I have sat before.  I’m thankful for the men and women of God who have spent personal time seeking the Lord because I have always come with a spirit of expectation to hear from God and I have never been let down!  I am thankful that God has used not just those on stage, but those in the audience to speak to me.  I am thankful that God has shown me the miraculous.  I’m thankful that He has taken the time to show me that the same miracles that happened in apostolic times are happening now!  I’m thankful that I was witness to my father getting delivered from drinking and smoking and coming out of a coma speaking of how he had been talking with Jesus!  I’m thankful that my little brother, who was skeptical of tongues being from the devil, called me and excitedly told me how not only did he speak in tongues, but that he prophesied!

I’m thankful that Jesus approaches people today just like He did back then … on an individual basis.  Yet, at the same time, He’s able to reach all of us simultaneously through the same message.  How does He do that??  He amazes me!  I’m thankful that He has shown me that He is orchestrating a beautiful symphony and drawing His church together.

I’m thankful for all the wonderful people God has put in my path.  I’m thankful for the godly husband God put in path to lead, guide, and protect me from mostly, myself.  I’m thankful for my Pastor and his wife and their faithfulness to follow Christ’s ways.  I’m thankful for their willingness to step in and offer a course correction only when it’s necessary, instead of trying to control my every move.  I’m thankful for the organization I’m a part of.  Not because I feel we are the only ones with truth, but because I recognize a group of men and women who understand that organizations are created to support Christ’s church.

I’m thankful for the voices of authority that have spoken from their pulpits.  I’m thankful that the messages I keep hearing are consistent with exactly what I saw last night!  A message of grace, mercy, and unity in the body of Christ!  A message of letting Christ take the lead.  A message that God is raising up individuals and giving them the strength, wisdom, and boldness to step out and act on the very gift that Christ has put in them!  A message that we as a church, are being drawn together in unity and that Jesus is the focus!

Jesus is coming!  There is no doubt in my mind!  Right now, He is drawing us.  He is raising us up … we, His bride.  He is tearing down strong holds and breaking down barriers that have prevented us from truly being one up to this point.  He IS raising up the five-fold ministry.  He is raising up intercessors and laying on the hearts prayers that will be prayed … and answered.  He is giving out visions and dreams of meetings that will take place, just like in apostolic times.  He is preparing hearts to receive messages of understanding and opening doors that before, seemed impenetrable.   His spirit is being poured out and people are experiencing miracles, signs, and wonders just like in apostolic days!  He is sending forth men and women of God and giving messages that will be heeded.  His message is being heard.  His message is being acted on.  His bride is being raised up and the gates of Hell will NOT prevail against her.

Last night was just a glimpse of what is to come!  I have to laugh a little because maybe you don’t do this, but I know I do.  I’ll put all this pressure on myself to ‘build the kingdom of God’ and to ‘get it just right.’  It’s times like this when I have to just smile and shake my head because I realize, Jesus really is pretty good at putting things together .. even above all my silly pressures and attempts to help Him.  Ha!  Oh, that’s right!  Almost forgot for a second … He is God!  🙂

Be blessed!

What’s a vision for anyway?

Have you ever had a vision from God that left you with a boost of enthusiasm that a situation would change?  Or what about a word of faith from someone else delivered with such confidence that surely you thought, it was going to happen?  Then, despite these prophetic moments, circumstances seem to reveal a slightly different path?

Maybe it left you thinking … just what was the vision for anyway?  Was this God’s way of teasing you?  Dangling a carrot out that you could never quite grasp?  Satan is surely there to point out all the depressing realities of the lack of prophetic fulfillment, isn’t he?  Or worse, he widdles his way into your psyche making you believe that somehow you’re responsible for the success or failure of the vision.

So what is the vision for anyway?  Having had a few myself of late and living out some of the thoughts above, admittedly, I have wondered myself.  I took these visions pretty seriously, so was God just teasing me, making me look the fool, or was there something more God had in store?  Today, I had a thought that perhaps the visions are more like seeds.

The intention of the seed is to produce something.  In fact, it’s intention is to produce something very specific.  If I’m the one receiving that seed, I suppose I feel I have a responsibility to do something with it.  I really have a choice to either toss it or plant it.  However, irregardless or what I do with it, God is still in control of what happens to that seed.

If I never do anything with it, that doesn’t mean that seed won’t germinate.  As a matter of fact, things may seem to get radical before that vision ever takes on the appearance of looking anything like what it was designed to, but that doesn’t mean things aren’t happening.

I could toss it out the window and some bird gobbles it up, poops it out, and BAM!  It falls into a nice pit of soil complete with fertilizer becoming a 200 year old solid Oak Tree.  The point being, if God’s intention is to produce, nothing I can do will stop that seed from producing exactly what God intended it to be.

Interestingly, in botony the ‘radicle’ is the first part of the seedling to emerge during the process of germination.  The ‘radicle’ is the embryonic root of the plant.  So, in my effort to play on words, there really is a place for all this seeming ‘radicle’ behaviour of this seed.

But what is our part?  What do we do with this seed?  Our part is to treat that seed just as God intended .. to plant it in good soil, to water it, to protect it from weeds, and to make sure it’s getting plenty of sunshine.  And when all else fails because maybe we never really got the hang of gardening or simply found that the cares of life kept us from keeping up on the weeds, we trust that God really is in control of the end result of that seed.  Trust that God doesn’t give seeds to just anyone and if He’s giving me one, He will follow through on His intention of producing exactly what He intended for that seed.

And when things get a little radical, instead of freaking out that the vision won’t happen, trust that maybe, God’s working His magic in the embryo of the seed.

Why do we always expect these things to happen over night?  Sheesh!  Give growth a little time for heavens sake!  Will ya?  After all, if it were to happen too quickly, we might just start taking more credit for the result of that seed than we should and then we are in for an entirely different problem!

God’s got this, remember?  😉

Walking down memory lane

I love to read the scriptures!  Especially the book of Acts where you see the apostles doing all these amazing things .. healings, casting out of demons, eyes opened, lame walk, etc.  What an exciting thing to read about!  What’s even greater though, is experiencing these things yourself!

Witnessing and seeing lives changed!  Watching as the spiritual eyes of someone you love go from darkness to light!  Watching the miraculous power of God take a dead sinful human and bring them into a life full of joy!  To see the language and actions changed and watch a miraculous cleansing occur in a life that had been previously filled with drugs, addiction, alcohol and all sorts of corruption.  It is no wonder  to me that there is a miraculous joy that comes from those who have experienced this!

Or what about the other miracles that we may not always recognize, but are just as glorious?  For instance, the baby Christian who walked with frailty and fear taking step and after step towards Christ, despite the overwhelming odds against her.  Watching these baby Christians overcome struggle after struggle and grow up to be confident, bold Christians facing challenges that would turn our tummy all with a smile and twinkle in their eye.  Not with pride, but a confidence that says, ‘I know my God!  I know what He is capable of!  I am not afraid!  I am saved!  I am sanctified for HIS purpose!  And I am loved!  Oh GLORY!  I AM LOVED!  What an AMAZING feeling!’

What a glorious thing to see!  What a glorious thing to experience!  When I think of all the great things God has done in my life and the lives of those around me, I literally feel like jumping up and down because I think .. if this is only just a glimpse of what He’s done, I can’t wait to see what more He’s going to do!!  Seriously, the excitement can NOT be contained in this human shell!!   Oh my goooooooooddddddddddnnnnnnnnneeeeeeeeesssssssssssss!!!!!!!!!!!

Oh how we need to encourage and share our testimony with others!  Not just to those that aren’t saved, but to those that have begun the journey … to those who have stumbled .. to those who have fallen and lie stagnant .. to those who have forgotten the joy because they got caught up in the pit.  Especially in those moments where our fruit of joy is so fresh!  That juice of joy can be spilled over and shared with those who have become dry and thirst for God’s glory!

Please share you testimony with someone!  Remember what God has done for you!  Remember how amazed you were when the miracle was performed!  Allow your heart to re-experience the moment you caught His gaze and realized He had been looking at you the whole time .. He was just waiting, patiently for you to recognize Him there with a smile on His face, arms open wide!  Remember the moment where you realized .. maybe … just maybe … it was intended for YOU too!  Because it is!  This glorious joy … this AMAZING love … was meant for YOU too.

Do you remember?  He’s there .. waiting to take you down memory lane .. only these memories are the ones to treasure and cling to.  The building blocks of a foundation that started all with HIM.

Jesus loves YOU.  THIS, I know.

 

Satan doesn’t know you …

I had an experience recently that gave me a revelation .. Satan doesn’t know you.  I had an encounter with someone who was severely under the influence.  This person has no recollect of the conversation, and I was certain, the words spoken, were entirely led by a demonic presence.  (They don’t call it ‘spirits’ for nothing!)  The profound thing to me was being witness to this and being able to clearly discern what was happening.  In the past, have I not had some personal experiences in my life with demonic presence already, I might have been freaked out.  However, in this instance, I really seen a person who wouldn’t remember anything, so the only person that could be effected by the words spoken was the other person in the room .. i.e. me.

As I’m listening to the words of this individual, I’m hearing that my loved ones are being followed by Satan and all kinds of other strange things.  I disregard the comments and speak to the person directly, by name.  Again with the strange comments.  Then they start in on me.  ‘Dionne.  I remember you.  From before.’  This is the part where, had I not been privy to this strangeness from the past, I might have been freaked out.

It was then that I had the revelation.  The statement was made almost like an attempt to engage me, or trick me into saying or doing something that would somehow trip me up.  I imagine it was much like this for Jesus when the Pharisees kept trying to trip Him up back in the day.  Now, I’m not Jesus, but I do have His Holy Spirit in me, and I am thankful to say, He gave me the ability to see things from an entirely different perspective that day.  Have you seen the movie based off the ‘Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe?’  It’s the one where the girl on the beach is captured by these invisible creatures that appear to be giants?  Turns out that when the facade is over, the creatures are really just silly looking creatures with one big foot that have no capacity to do much of anything once they are seen.  This is how I see Satan and his band of demons.  He has no control over our lives unless we turn it over to him.  There, the secrets out.  He doesn’t know me, and neither does he know you.  I imagine he walks around with some sort of spiritual notebook taking notes on how you respond to his attempts to get your attention, but once you get an understanding of this, the gig’s up.

On the other hand, God knows you.  God doesn’t trick, seduce, or play on your emotions to get you to follow Him.  He allows you to explore for yourself who He is.  Go ahead and go where He doesn’t want you to go.  He won’t stop you, especially if you are adamant about going there.  But He’ll be patiently waiting for you when you finally realize that all those things you have been following were not Him.  He’ll be patiently waiting to pick up the pieces and help you rebuild what you were so hell-bent on destroying trying to prove your point that it was your life.  He never argued once with you about it.

I am in awe of God!  What does He want?  He wants us to be willing to let Him see Us for who we really are.  Here’s another little secret, He knows all this already.  After all, He is God.  Not to scare you or anything, but His word tells us that, “They were not faithful to the covenant I made with them, so I paid no attention to them.” Hebrews 7:9  All that craziness where you thought you were getting God’s attention … ummm .. He wasn’t even looking.  The only attention you were getting was from the demonic presence God allowed.  I’m sorry, but you were neglected.  You made your point, you wanted it your way, so God gave you what you wanted.  He wants us to be willing to show Him our sins and take accountability for it.  Yes, yes, you’ll have to pay the consequences of your actions in this world, but the good news is, He isn’t going to banish you to hell for those actions.  He already took care of that price by dying on the cross, but it’s not yours unless you choose to take it.  By taking accountability, it allows Him to help you stop doing things that are hurtful to yourself, harmful to others, and displeasing to God.

Repentance .. it’s not only the first step, it’s the most important.

See?  Satan doesn’t know you.  He’s just a tool God allows until you realize, it’s the attention of God that matters.

Happy day!  🙂

Predetermined, predestined, or pre-planned?

When I started my spiritual quest 5 years ago yesterday, one of the questions I remember discussing with my brother is the fact that God had things planned out already.

Perhaps this was something I just heard or maybe it’s biblical, but I had this thought that God has already dictated what was going to happen in our lives.  As in, we are playing out pre-determined roles.  Truthfully, this has always bothered me.

I remember telling my brother, ‘What’s the point in living if it’s already pre-determined?’  I recall thinking that every move, every word, every action was already foretold.  I didn’t like that thought.

I’d like to believe that maybe God has a direction that He’d like us to go, and that He’s given us gifts to be the best Us we can be, but that He hasn’t laid out every inch of our lives already.  I don’t know about you, but that just makes me feel like my part wouldn’t matter at all.  I’m just filling a role that anyone could have filled?

I want to know that my walk here on this Earth was more than just filling a role anyone could have filled.  I’d like to believe that my life wasn’t already planned out.  That maybe I had some say in my own direction .. that I wasn’t just some prophecy being played out.  I’d like to know that my relationship with Christ meant something to Him.

The past few years, I have really looked at prophecy and the fulfillment of it.  Especially with all the election buzz.  In Jesus’ time, many of the dots didn’t get connected until AFTER He had ascended back to heaven.  We know this because we have the New Testament in which we see Paul connecting those dots for us.

Today, we still do the same.  Although we know things are still to be played out, we do our best to guesstimate not only what has happened in relation to biblical prophecy, but what will happen.  There are literally hundreds of sites that will tell you that ‘such and such’ is the play out of a particular prophecy in the Bible.

What’s interesting is that our Bible isn’t the only thing that makes predictions.  The Quran does, so does the Book of Mormon, and I’m certain other religious texts.  I say this because there are some that claim 9/11 was a prophecy fulfillment from the Quran and did you know that a Mormon in the White House is predicted in the Book of Mormon?  Huh … interesting.  Looks like it almost came true.

Personally, when I catch myself falling prey to the ‘signs’ of the time, I recall the scripture that says, ‘A wicked and adulterous generation seeketh after a sign,’ Matt 16:4.  I also think about when Jesus said, ‘My yolk is easy and my burden is light,’ Matt 11:30.

I’m learning not to fret about biblical prophecy or my role in this whole thing.  So maybe something I say or do was predetermined or known in advance and perhaps even revealed to someone else along the way.  I’m okay with that.  I’m okay with that because 1.  I’ve given God permission to lead my thoughts, words, and actions.  Sometimes that means I’m going to say or do things that I know are dictated by Him.

2.  My relationship with Him is solid.  I love Jesus and I trust Him.  I trust that His intention is to save not only me, but my loved ones, and in fact, the whole world.  I’m willing to be used by Him to get us there.  After all, as a member of His ‘bride church,’ I believe it’s important for me to submit to His will.

3.  Until I know for certain which actions He directs vs. what I direct, I’ll take responsibility for my actions.  I try not to get too caught up in the signs because that scripture warns me doing so can lead me astray.  Instead, taking responsibility always leads me back to the cross which lets me know … I’m still on track.

So are our lives predetermined, predestined, and already planned out?  Umm .. I’m still not quite sure.  Maybe, maybe not … but it doesn’t matter because I haven’t played my role and I don’t have a script to read from, so I figure I must get a say in the matter after all!

What’s funny is that I really think that one of the things that kept me from coming to Christ sooner was that I didn’t want to have my life already dictated out.  Ha!  Little did I realize that whether I wanted to play a part or not, I was part of the plan all along.

So glad knowing Jesus is more than just playing a role in His big show though.  I’m thankful today that I really do matter to Him.  🙂

Awake not love until it so desires …

As a woman, I can say that I’ve had a good look at how the world expects us women to act.  This, of course, was before I knew Christ.

In the world, society teaches us that we are to dress a certain way … typically as eye candy to ‘please a man.’  We are to act a certain way … typically a bit on the ‘seductive’ side with flirtatious demeanor.  And in today’s world, as women, we are to even be the ‘huntress’ … typically we are expected to be the ones to lure men.

This is what society teaches our girls from a very young age.  This thought process, in my opinion, is one of the major factors that leads to teen pregnancy, broken hearts, broken relationships, and ultimately a society full of divorce.  Our girls are being taught that love is all physical, from how you look to getting a man to touch you.  And our boys are being taught that they have their pick of the litter, devaluing the real beauty of what a woman has to offer.  Every where you look there are love-sick souls seeking a love that just doesn’t really seem to be attainable.  Wounded hearts .. warped minds .. and laden with all kinds of physical and emotional diseases in the aftermath.

But the Bible teaches a different kind of love.

In the Song of Solomon, it’s a beautiful book of love and passion … romance.  It speaks even of sexuality .. embracing, kissing, and of physical intimacy through caressing using language that made me blush the first time I read it!  After all, it is the Bible.  But this is not a book about sex.  It’s a book about love and desire.  The biggest message I hear is … awake not love until it so desires.

In our society, desire drives us.  We ‘long’ to be loved and ‘crave’ it so much that we find ourselves, both men and women, doing silly and hurtful things to ourselves to find it.  Yet the Bible tells us to wait for it.

When we take time to allow it to happen and not rush it, we allow God to open the door to passion on His timing.  In our ‘NOW’ driven society, it’s hard for us to imagine waiting, but when we do, we allow God to create something that we could only know because we waited for Him.

I was reminded this morning of Christ’s love towards me.  After a short but heartfelt prayer inviting Christ in to my heart today, I felt Him draw near just a short time later.  I could feel Him embracing me.  As I continued on in my day, tears came to my eyes as something caught my attention that only He could know I had been thinking about.  I knew that He had been paying attention and listening to me.  I knew that He cared.  Honestly, I can say that I am blessed because I have those moments with God.  I have experienced an intimacy that I know others have not.  I have spent time getting to know Him and waiting for Him to reveal Himself to me.  But to me, that’s the easy part.  After all, He’s God.  He can read my thoughts and His spirit is in me.  However, I know that His desire is not just that we would have this great thing with Him, but that His church, His bride, His children .. would understand that He desires for us to experience that same level of love towards one another.

So I’m not really quite sure exactly how to do that.  Truthfully, I’m still figuring it out myself.  I sometimes want to rush into the ‘feel good’ moments with people because I too, am still in this world.  But one thing I do know is that it involves waiting.  I’m thankful that I have a close relationship with Christ because when I get impatient and want to rush, He somehow gives me a gentle look and I’m compelled to continue to wait for His timing.  When I feel I’ve done all I can do with no results and want to move on to something else, He gently puts His arm around me and somehow, waiting doesn’t seem like such a big deal.

Awake not love until it so desires …

I’m fairly certain that Jesus has big things in store for those who wait.  I’m fairly certain it involves that love that seems to be so unattainable in this world.  As a matter of a fact, I’m certain of it because He’s given me glimpses of it .. and not just with Him .. but with my beloved husband, my children, and even an occasional fellow Christian or two that I’ve encountered in my walk.

When you wait for love instead of forcing it … it’s so much more than what the world has to offer …. it’s absolutely … breathless!

 

 

 

 

My Words will never pass away ..

It’s been translated into just about every language.  My guess is that it’s reached just about every corner that exists on the Earth.  There have also been countless attempts to destroy or alter it, but still, there it is .. in many households, it sits on a shelf, collecting dust.  In others, it is the imperative blueprint to sanity.  Just how important is the book?  So important that Jesus told us in Matthew 24:35 ‘Heaven and earth shall pass away, but my words shall not pass away.’

In today’s world, we have technology and digital media that captures moments.  We have literally thousands of pictures of ourselves and our loved ones stored here and there.  We desire to store memories, not just in digital form, but we blog, blip, or tweet … all in effort to not only share, but somehow store our lives.  In our advanced society, we can with ease tell the world, ‘Hey!  We were here!’

Two thousand years ago when Jesus was walking as a man on our planet, there weren’t all the technological advances we see today, nor were they here when God, as a spirit, was the only thing that existed at creation.  I was thinking yesterday how many people disregard and don’t understand the importance of the Word.  Not just because it offers direction or rules to follow and helps us to live in peace, but because exploring the Word helps you understand the story .. helps you understand God.

This is a story all about His relationship with Man … Human Kind … God’s most valuable creation.  How can I say that?  Well, considering that He spent all of 1 chapter discussing creation while He left the rest of the 1,188 chapters discussing His relationship with Us, I’d say it’s a fair argument that we are pretty valuable to Him.  Oh, and by the way, there was that little tidbit about Him manifesting Himself as a man and shedding His own flesh and blood to cover our sins.  Yeh, I think it’s fair to say we are pretty valuable to Him.

Anyway, the point to all of this is that I was thinking about how of all the books in the world, the Word really is the most important.  See, it includes EVERYTHING.  All those that perhaps didn’t live in our technological age, guess what?  It’s in the Word.  All those stories that will never be heard or shared .. guess what?  It’s in the Word.  All those people who never had a chance to have a picture taken or their voice captured on tape, guess what?  It’s in the Word.  Even those people who disappeared that seem to have no trace to their life .. guess what?  It’s in the Word.

You see, when you have the Word, you have Jesus.  Jesus cares about every last bit of all of us.  From the beginning of creation to now.  He was there from the beginning of time.  He is the Alpha and the Omega.  He knows that EVERY person is important .. each and every soul is accounted for.  If we leave out Jesus, we are leaving out the most important part.  We can never write Him out of the story.  Not because He’s a God who is all prideful and puffed up wanting it to be about Him, but because He is a loving God who has taken the time to care and consider each and every soul.  And guess what?  It’s He who died for ALL.  Not just one .. not just a few .. ALL.  2 Cor 5:15

When we realize this, we realize that it doesn’t matter if we didn’t capture every moment because Jesus DID.  Jesus captures it ALL.  He is God Almighty!

How it’s going to get sorted out in the end, I’m not sure.  But I do know that He has a plan and He will account for every soul that He has given life to.

The best part, no matter how hard we or any satanic power try, we just can’t write Jesus out of the book.

After all, He is the author and the finisher.

The End.