Feeling called to pray?

I have been feeling led to get a message out there about prayer and last night, instead of having a normal service with worship, prayer, then preaching … it was ALL worship and prayer with a powerful move of God!  During this service, I had a vision of thousands of women gathered together forming what was to become a prayer platform as God began to draw men up through this platform.  I was impressed that God is raising up Holy men of God and these men would be not only sustained, but shielded and protected from the prayers of the bride of Christ.  REVIVAL IS COMING!!

How important it is for us to realize the importance of our own individual prayers!  This vision really impressed upon me that when we pray, we aren’t just putting something out there that may or may not happen … we are putting out requests to Almighty God and He is directing our hearts to pray the prayers that need to be prayed to unlock doors and pull down walls!  These prayers are the very tools God is using to tear down strong holds!

Not that I’m an expert on prayer, but I do feel I have a few things that I can offer to assist those who may be looking for some prayer tips.  I don’t believe in formula’s because truthfully, prayer and worship for me has always been about relationship.  As a wife, I can tell you that I need to connect with my husband.  I see my worship and prayer with Jesus the same as my need to connect with my husband.  If I don’t get that connection time in, things just aren’t flowing right ….  I get cranky, off-balance, and not at all in sync.  The funny thing is that once I get that one-on-one connection time with my husband, I’m like a little school girl talking about a mile a minute.  I’m in my happy place.  It is exactly the same with Jesus.

What I have found is that the more that I spend this one-on-one time with Jesus, the more He has opened my eyes to see how my silent prayers are important.  He has shown me the importance of being alert and paying attention to the move of the spirit and discerning the message being heard … and this is no matter where I am at.

Specifically in church or a group function, He has taught me how to pay attention to the person on the platform and understand how vulnerable a position it is.  Our pastors, preachers, evangelists or anyone taking the place on the platform need our prayers to minister effectively.   Jesus has taught me to pay attention to the environment of the church and notice my surroundings.  He has shown me how there is so much happening in the spiritual realm and if we are in tune with Christ, we can assist the process in going much more smoothly through prayer which will in turn, get out the message God wants to be heard.  And not just before the service, this is throughout the service as well.

It’s amazing how He works too.  Jesus has this way of tying things in.  I see it happening all around me!  I am watching how He somehow takes what seems to be chaos and on a dime, will turn it to complete order!  Everything in sync!  He is an awesome CEO!  This is the great part of being in a relationship with Him versus simply showing up to do His work though.  I’m not just an employee for His kingdom showing up and putting forth my best efforts, I am part of His body!  Maybe I am crazy, but wherever I’m at, I notice the things around me and I just can’t help but be in awe of what He is orchestrating!  THIS is what I am a part of?  How can I can I not be completely honored to be part of such a magnificent creation??

You know, Jesus has taken the time to teach me how to be effective in prayer and other gifts because of my relationship with Him.  When you begin to transition from simply praying prayers to really having a conversation with Jesus, it takes on a life all its own!  Jesus will lead you and teach you and it may or not be the same lessons He taught me.  But He WILL teach you.  He will begin to open the gifts in your heart.  He will teach you how to be effective in those gifts too!  The best part though, is that you’ll be scrambling to do the work of God with excitement and soon … the work of God isn’t work at all!  It’s being a part of His kingdom and understanding how everyone should have this!  Joy like this is something that was only meant to be shared!

Praying was never meant to be a chore.  It was meant to be connection time with a mighty God who humbled Himself to come to US and say … I want a relationship with YOU!  Wow!  Yes!  Your voice matters!  If you belong to Christ, you are a part of something wonderful!  I believe that my vision is absolutely prophetic and it will be Your voice that is part of that shield/platform of prayers that will be used to sustain the Holy Men of God that Jesus is raising up!  YOUR voice matters!!!

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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!

As the body becomes united as One …

I think that Preacher’s have a pretty cool position.  I’m not talking about the fact that they get to stand on the platform and do all the talking while everyone else does the listening.  Neither am I talking about the fact that they hold the power in the room.  I had an experience that showed me something entirely different!  I invite you to take a peek from my perspective ….

It was the end of May.  I was on my son’s last field trip that I would ever have the chance to be a part of.  We were at a local state park doing lots of hiking, exploring, swimming, boating, and all kinds of cool outdoor things.  The temperature was perfect!  The bugs weren’t too bad and the sky held a deep blue with a hint of storm clouds that were running to catch up with us.

The winds blew and without us even noticing,  the clouds snuck up on us and now dark grays loomed over us, doing their best to let us know … the storm was coming.  The teachers sent the kids to the bus and tried to delay in hopes that the storm would move on without us.  The delay went from 5 to 10 to 15 minutes and soon, those 60+ fifth graders were beginning to take on a life of their own … one that was rather cranky and annoyed to be sitting on a hot stinky bus.

I decided to check on my boy.  He was of course, in the back.  I took a couple of snap shots of him then headed back to the front.  I turn around and look at these kids and a few heads look my way.  That’s when one little guy looked me right in the eye, started motioning, and singing ‘YMCA.’  I was intrigued by his beckoning to interact, so I did the best thing I knew how … I did the YMCA with him.  Next thing I know, the WHOLE bus (except my son who is now shrinking in embarrassment) joins in!

I was a bit overwhelmed, nervous, and completely engaged at the same time!  While there were 60+ individual children on this bus, I was watching as they all had united as one … literally one mind and in one accord!  After YMCA, it was my turn to take the lead.  I began with ‘The wheels of the bus.’  Once again, we became one voice.  Truthfully, I was shaking in my boots, but this was truly a blast!  After this song, they once again took the lead and began to sing out and pound on the seats, ‘We will, we will, Rock you!’    I got that one on video!  These children were truly delightful!

Wow!  What a blessing this was from God!  I imagined that this MUST be what it is like for a preacher when he truly allows God to lead the service.  Sure, he comes prepared with a sermon.  However, as the hearts and minds of the believers begin to become united and the spirit sweeps in, the preacher then begins to interact with the Body of Christ with Jesus taking the lead!

I can only imagine how the preacher gets a glimpse of Jesus’ hands reaching in and caressing a heart here, or uplifting a spirit there.  I have witnessed my own Pastor as he is heading one direction and suddenly, he begins down a different path as though Jesus had just tapped him on the shoulder and whispered in his ear.  What an incredible blessing it must be to witness this!

I am so enamored by God!  He truly amazes me!  We think so much of what we do is because of our own efforts.  Hah!  Boy have we got a lot to learn!  I think it is really cool that we have a God that is so interactive and truly teaches us how to live and enjoy the many blessings He provides!  We haven’t even scratched the surface to all that He has prepared for us!  WOW!

 

 

Jesus went to Hell so we didn’t have to!

There is nothing like the infusion of fresh joy, excitement, and anticipation from missionaries coming in to visit your local church!  Wow!  Like John the Baptist being in prison, sometimes we need to be reminded that Jesus is the way, the truth, and the light .. that people are being healed! .. eyes are being opened! .. and that revival has come!

As I listened to his stories, the message I felt so compelled by was an unspoken message.  He never said these words, but it hit my heart like brick .. Jesus went to Hell so we didn’t have to!  The Bible is clear, Jesus died and went to Hell .. stayed there for 3 days .. He took the keys .. then He came back!   He came back and showed us how it is HE who gives life.  It is HE who revives the soul!  It is HE who looks at the roster of Hell and decides who makes the list and who doesn’t.

How many times have we allowed our spirits to be vexed?  How many times have we allowed Satan to take our focus off of the path of Life and pull us into the drudgery of  anger, wrath, apathy, loneliness, bitterness, and all kinds of other ugliness?  Remember the fiery furnace?

Shadrach, Mechach, and Abednego were sent to the fiery furnace because they REFUSED to worship anyone other than Almighty God Himself.  The God who delivers!  The God who saves!  So King Nebuchandnezzar not only heats up the fire, but has it heated seven times hotter than normal!  So hot that it burned up the very men who brought them there.  In goes the 3 men and this is my favorite part, check this out …

Daniel 3:27 ‘And the satraps, the prefects, the governors, and the king’s counselors gathered together and saw that the fire had not had any power over the bodies of those men. The hair of their heads was not singed, their cloaks were not harmed, and no smell of fire had come upon them.’

Not only that, but the King saw a 4th, ‘like as the son of the gods.’  Who was it that was there with these men, but Almighty God Himself!

Jesus really did do it all!  It is my belief that His revelation is simply this .. Jesus wants us to LIVE!  When we are cast into the fire, we are NOT in Hell!  He may use those situations to help rid us of sins, transgressions, or wrong thought processes that have attempted to attach themselves to us, but we don’t have to go to Hell!  It is our job to LIVE!

I can’t help but think that this must be what people see in a Holy Ghost, Blood bought, Redeemed soul!  They look at us and they see us, consumed by fire, yet untouched by the flames!  They look at us and they may see our faults,  our flaws, and our struggles, yet they are literally perplexed as they see our overwhelming joy!  And if they aren’t perplexed, then perhaps it’s because YOU haven’t gotten the revelation yet … Jesus died so YOU didn’t have to!

We are consumed by fire, but you know what, God promises LIFE!  JOY!  PEACE!  Yes!  We have things that need to change!  But the beauty of the fire is that God will perfect us.  When we get focused on the dead stuff God is burning off us, we lose sight of the LIFE that we have been granted!  Check your eyesight and if you need glasses, let my words be your lens!

We have God’s resurrection Spirit inside of us and the best part is that when we fulfill the prophesy of joy and focus our intentions on life, we begin to help other people realize, they were never intended for Hell either!  Step up into Life!

Jesus IS the way!  The truth!  AND the Light!

When you fully realize the Power you have in Christ, He leads you into ALL truth.  He will provide what you need.  If you haven’t seen that you need water baptism in Jesus name, He will reveal it.  If you haven’t seen the importance of receiving HIS Spirit, He will show you and provide it for you.  Your job .. turn towards Him with all your heart and be determined to not let anyone or anything get in your way from trusting that it is He who really is God.

Oh Glory!  Jesus, I know that you hear me, but I write this prayer out for the sake of those who are reading these words.  I pray that those that read these words would feel conviction in their Spirit and allow you to revive and refresh their soul!  I pray that my words would resonate within their souls and help them see, you desire LIFE for them.  I pray that you would distinguish for them the difference between their actions that cause death and those that give life!  I pray that you deliver them from the oppressive spirit of unworthiness and any other unclean thought of death that has plagued them.  I pray that you provide what they need and empower them to live in the resurrecting Spirit that you have so freely, and graciously shared with us that they might be a light to others around them.  In Jesus name, AMEN!!

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.

 

Resting in His hope …

I don’t know if it’s just because I’m seeing progress in a place where I wasn’t sure there was any or if because God has endowed me with an extra portion of faith and hope, but I truly have an optimism for the future.

The messages haven’t changed .. I still recognize the constant barrage of ‘fear tactics’ from the ‘enemy.’  I still see the dreadful things that are happening all around the world.  I watch and pray for Israel as it continues to get bombed.  And still, the message of hope is there.

I know we are on the cusp of something great, and potentially terrifying, and still .. I have hope.

Maybe we are decades away still from Jesus’ return or perhaps it could happen within the next year.  But it honestly doesn’t matter because right now .. I have hope.

What a blessed thing it is!  I’m so thankful for God and His glorious ways.  I’m so thankful for His Holy Spirit that continues to work on me .. challenge after challenge growing and changing me.  Keeping me moving forward.  Keeping me on the path towards His righteousness.

Every once in a while He gives you a glimpse of what He’s been doing in your life and let’s you know .. your role really matters.

I had someone in my life tell me that just recently.  Someone that I have been spiritually battling for.  Silently I’ve been in the back corner, constantly watching, praying and loving .. even when it wasn’t always easy.  This is someone whom I never expected to hear much from.  I never started the battle looking to hear those words, but feeling the words of thankfulness spoken at a time when I least expected it made … such a difference.  The battle isn’t over, but hearing those words spoken from this person .. someone who didn’t acknowledge my efforts before, has really put a boost in my step.

I’m so thankful.  Not just for God’s part in my life, but the bond that God is creating between me and others.

It really is about loving God and loving people.

Today .. I hope that you too, feel blessed!  🙂

‘ .. In honor, preferring one another.’

Have you heard about the conjoined twins, Abby and Brittany?  They just started a show on TLC about their ‘normal conjoined life’.  My daughter told me about this, so we’ve been watching the show.  It’s pretty good.  Yet another marvelous story of God’s glory!  These girls, despite their physical obstacles, have overcome some incredible barriers and have an amazing attitude towards life.  But what strikes me most, is their ability to compromise and work together.

They haven’t done much preaching on the show, but it is very obvious that they are Christians.  They have attended Christian schools all the way through college.  On the show, there was a scripture they had painted on their wall .. I believe it was on their college wall.  It was the scripture in Romans that spoke of preferring one another.  What’s really neat is watching these two girls truly live according to this scripture.

You would think that because they are conjoined they don’t have much choice, but we always have a choice.  One of these girls could very easily assert her way over what she wants to wear or what she wants to do, but time, good parenting, and strong Christian character has produced this miraculous wonder.  I am so impressed watching them.  It’s easy to see that all those that come in contact with them are just as impressed.  This amazes me!

Oddly, I watch them and I think .. ‘Wow!  Now there’s an example of how I’m supposed to be with my husband.’  They are gentle, encouraging, upbeat, loving, and compromising to each other.  Honestly, I miss the mark .. I know I do.  However, I can’t help but feel inspired that it really is possible to live that scripture out.  Of course, these girls have had the benefit of living this way their whole life, but still, this is awe-some!  This is such the hand of God!

It’s not just in what they choose to wear or what to do for the day though.  They talk about their dreams and goals and one will share something that maybe the other would be afraid to do.  Rather than reply with passive aggression or stubborn behavior towards the other, the other twin will calmly let the other know she’s willing to do for her sister.  Now I’m sure  there are moments where the girls might have bad days, but the gentle demeanor they display has left an impression on me that these two girls are for-real.

I love it when you can see the fruit of God’s labor!  What a beautiful thing!  I’m thankful that these girls were willing to share their lives so that those of us who haven’t had all our lives to learn to be one with another human, can glean from their experience.  Wow!

Thank you Jesus.  What a great artist You are!