August 20th, 2013

Sitting in the prayer room at the International House of Prayer (IHOP) in Kansas City, in the middle of harp and bowl worship, my soul and spirit begin to enter into the extravagant outpouring of praise and worship.  As the music becomes stronger and the worship rises up all around me, in my spirit I envision heavenly spirits stopping in to observe the festivities.  Angels smile at what they see and hear, and they join in the dancing and singing.  Demons also take note; they are confused and angry, shrieking and muttering insults.  As the worship intensifies and the worshippers are lost in proclaiming their love for Jesus, the words and music seem to come together in the middle of the room, forming something like a bubble that rises through the roof.  The angels are quick to slip inside the bubble, almost giddy with delight.  They dance and sing and jump, bowing and encircling one another, laughing, hair flying and gowns flowing (pale blue sparkling gowns with silver streamers swirling round about them).  The demons pace outside the bubble, hurling mud and foul words that simply bounce off the bubble and melt away.  They try to poke holes in the bubble but get burned every time they touch it.  As the music and worship in the building intensify, and hearts cry out with love for Jesus, the bubble grows larger and larger, knocking the demons farther away.  They roll backwards, knocking one another over in mass confusion.  More and more angels arrive and step into the bubble as the worship continues to rise.

Throughout the room, people’s hearts become more and more passionate as they lavish their love and praise on Jesus, their Beloved.  Stretched to capacity, the bubble gets so thin that it breaks open at the top and the bottom.  The force and power of the worship in the building gets sucked up like a vacuum, mingling with the worship of the angels.  All that power gusts like a mighty wind straight to heaven, pouring out prayer and song and beautiful fragrance all around the throne of Jesus.  The Holy Spirit imparts more of His power into the worshippers, stirring their hearts and causing them to explode with even more love for the Father, and for Jesus who sits on the throne, bursting with love and crying as His heart is so stirred.  The Father’s heart swells with pride and joy at the exchange of love between bride and Bridegroom.  His heart is so full of love for His children that He just has to pour out His favor and His bounty.

Father and Son exchange glances and smiles, anticipating the thrill of the coming time when all the saints will be gathered to the Throne Room to spend eternity in worship and praise and unity, glorifying their Lord and King.

The day of that encounter, the heavenly scene was so glorious that all I wanted was to be immediately transported to the Throne Room and leave this boring world behind.  Obviously, I was only given a sneak peak and not an invitation to relocate.  And all too soon it was time to pack up and head home.  Since then, I have experienced isolated moments of that full-on heartfelt worship, and it makes me long for eternity.  Sometimes in church when worship feels flat and dull to my distracted soul, I will escape to the memory that reminds me of the glory that awaits me.  And when I miss my mom and my dad, I remember that they are now free to worship in a way they never experienced here on earth.  I can hardly wait to join them in a service where parents will never again need to tell their children to sit down, be quiet, and eat your Cheerios.


June 24th, 2013

Yesterday afternoon, as I was roaming around the house and attending to some chores, all of a sudden I felt a strong urge to take a shower. That seemed a bit strange, being the middle of the day and I was not planning on going anywhere. But, the idea of a shower was quite appealing, so I shrugged my shoulders and turned on the water. It felt like a wonderful respite after a whirlwind week.

My husband had just returned home from the hospital, after having a major back surgery.  He has had a tender back for a number of years, and some minor discomfort has occasionally plagued him.  However, this episode was much different from the others, as he was experiencing intense pain that would not subside.  After about six weeks of prayer and biofreeze and massage and chiropractic and pain relievers (that didn’t relieve), he finally called his doctor.  The favor he received from this point on nearly made us dizzy.  His doctor was able to see him the very next day, which was a Thursday afternoon.  The doctor then scheduled an MRI for the following day, and was actually able to set an appointment for him to see a neurosurgeon on Monday morning.  The MRI revealed a bulging disk and an unidentifiable mass that was pressing against that disk, and the doctor recommended we remove it immediately.  Now, that was a really hard call because we had a totally different plan.  We were scheduled to leave town that week and would be gone for two months, so our plan was to opt for physical therapy and revisit the issue when we returned home.  However, the neurosurgeon did not like that plan at all!  After seeking the Lord about timing, we agreed to have the surgery right away.  And right away it was – two days later my husband was in surgery.  (Now, how often does that happen?  The favor of the Lord is incredible!)  So, exactly one week after his phone call to his doctor, my husband was already home and recovering.  Had God not allowed the pain to become unbearable, my husband would still be walking around with that mass in his spine, and who knows what damage it eventually would have caused.  No doubt each divine appointment was orchestrated by Jesus, the Healer, who knew the entire story from the beginning.

As if this was not enough to keep life interesting, we began to experience what felt like trouble piling on.  The same day we received the doctor’s diagnosis, my daughter called to tell us her husband was experiencing intense stomach pain and she was taking him to the hospital.  Then we called my son, who said he was also experiencing stomach pain.  So, the day my husband was having surgery, my son-in-law was also in the hospital preparing for surgery, and my son was in the hospital passing a kidney stone.  The remaining men in the family were getting quite nervous!

My son-in-law was having the most difficult time; a cancerous tumor was found in his colon.  He had not experienced any symptoms that would have alerted him that there was a problem, except for that one Monday night when he suddenly doubled over with pain.  Had God not allowed such intense pain, who knows how long the tumor would have gone undetected.  No doubt that divine appointment was orchestrated by Jesus, the Healer, who knew the entire story from the beginning.

As the warm shower water poured over me, I began to praise the Lord, and thank Him for the wonderful work He had just accomplished in our lives.  I felt His presence so strong all around me, and I wondered if it was the draw of His presence that brought me to the shower.  As I rinsed the shampoo out of my hair, suddenly in my spirit, I heard a word that said, “Scott has a cell phone.”  (Scott is my son-in-law.)  I thought to myself, “Oh, perhaps I should be calling him instead of calling my daughter for updates.”  I decided to check that out. Then I heard, “You know he has a cell phone.”  I was indeed puzzled until the Lord took me back in time.

Two weeks ago I was watching the Todd Bentley healing revival taking place in South Africa and was being televised on God TV.  Todd said he was going to conduct a “cell phone healing service,” and he told everyone to get their cell phones ready.  After he prayed over everyone (including those of us watching), he said we should call someone and pray over them for healing.  My mind went to the names of several people I could call, so I asked the Lord who He wanted me to call.  He told me to call Scott.  Now that puzzled me.  I knew that Scott deals with diabetes and hypertension, but I was not expecting to hear his name.  However, I have learned that it is best to listen and obey, especially when I ask a specific question and get an answer, so I called Scott.  I got his voicemail, and I left him a prayer message.

Remembering that event, my knees began to go weak.  I was so in awe of the goodness of God, and suddenly I was very much aware of the miracle He had done through a series of events.  My daughter had joked that God must have kicked her husband in the gut to get him to go to the hospital, but He quite obviously had a much better way to accomplish this divine appointment.  When Scott listened to his voicemail message, it moved him to tears.  When he played it back to his wife, they both came into agreement with that healing prayer, and that agreement made way in the Spirit realm to accomplish God’s plan.

Can you see how God laid out His perfect plan, a divine appointment for Scott’s healing?  He had placed a healing mantle on Todd Bentley a long time ago, and even when he fell a couple of years ago, God picked him up and restored him.  Todd answered the call to go to South Africa to preach, and God has been bringing revival to that nation.  I had personally experienced Todd’s rise and fall and restoration, I did not hold that fall against him, and I stood in faith when he told people to call someone for healing prayer.  In faith and obedience, I called Scott and spoke healing over him, not ever knowing he had a deadly tumor growing inside his body.  Scott received the message and along with his wife, they stood on their faith and came into agreement with that healing word.  And that released the power for God’s divine appointment on his life.  Who knows, it might have been a life-and-death chain of events.  No doubt, it was a powerful message spoken into my life – and yours too, as you read and glorify the God of Divine Appointments.

And my son?  He got some good drugs, and he did pass that kidney stone.  He quipped to his sister that he was going through the worst physical pain he had ever experienced, but could only come in third for sympathy from the family.


April 21st, 2013

Recently I heard a teaching about Moses, and how God spoke to him on Mount Sinai. Moses asked God to show him His glory, and God offered to show him His goodness. Because no one can see the face of God and live, God put Moses in the cleft of the rock so he could see God’s back as He passed by. At the end of the message, the preacher looked straight into the camera, pointed his finger, and said, “God is also going to speak to you from the cleft of the rock.” He was looking right at me, and I immediately cried out, “O God, please do give me messages and reveal Your mysteries!”

Since that time, on numerous occasions I have asked God to speak to me from the cleft of the rock. Today I am sharing with you a few of those messages. Once again, I am in awe of how much my Lord longs to reveal His heart to me, as I am willing to seek after Him, if I truly want to receive what He has for me. In fact, the messages keep coming, and more stories will be forthcoming, thus the “Part 1” in the title.

REASSURANCE: God says: I am fully in charge; My hands are on the reins. Do not be troubled or angry at men for the things they do. You each choose your side, and when you take your place in that camp, you run with the game plan of that leader. This is a time when the chasm is widening between heavenly and earthly worldviews, and it will soon be impossible to run from camp to camp or to try to stand with one foot on each side. What you see in Washington – the polarization and stiffening of minds – is indicative of what is happening all over the country. Always remember that as the night gets darker, the light gets brighter and it illuminates farther. You have chosen well, My child. Now put on your armor – and hold on.

And speaking of government, the Lord reminded me that as a born-again, regenerated, child of the Most High God, I am a resident of the Kingdom of God. I am ‘in’ the world but not ‘of’ the world, so my residence here is like that of an ambassador. When an ambassador is sent to a foreign land, he is under the protection of his homeland. Although I am expected to obey the laws of this country, its government is not really my government, and I do not hold any power over how it operates. Although I am considered a legal resident of this country and therefore I am allowed one vote, in truth, that one vote really does not hold any power. The enemy is the god of this world, and he has set up his own evil plan, which is totally at odds with my Kingdom values. I shudder at how huge our government has become, and it continues to grow larger. When I asked the Lord where this is all going, He gave me a simple explanation. He reminded me about a verse that talks about Jesus’ reign when He returns, prophesying that of the increase of His government, there shall be no end. The devil is a counterfeiter and he is simply inserting himself into that place, as he plots to increase government and power all over the world, under the misconception that this increases his power. Won’t he be surprised when Jesus returns in glory and takes His place as King of kings and Lord of lords? All the world’s governments will topple as the devil is thrown into the bottomless pit, and every knee will bow and every tongue will confess that Jesus is Lord, indeed! So, I guess I will turn off the news and be at peace as world leaders continue to build this house of cards. Jesus, come quickly!

WHEN TO SPEAK: God says: You are passionate – I made you that way. With My help, you have built a strong foundation and your feet are firmly planted on the Word. You know what you believe and you are unshaken; your faith is strong. You do not compromise on your beliefs or water down the truth. You are like the house built on a rock (actually, built on The Rock!) and you will not be intimidated or moved from what you believe is truth. That is all good stuff.
You also have an opinion about almost everything. That is okay too. The secret is in knowing when to voice your opinion, or your belief, on any given topic. Except for a few core people in your life, you do not owe anyone your opinion or belief, even if they ask for it. You can always say, “I don’t have an opinion I care to speak out right now.” I want you to stop before you speak, to determine whether or not your words will bear fruit. If not, stay silent. If something does not directly affect you, if you do not have a vested interest in a matter, then your opinion is usually irrelevant. If the other person only wants to prove his point, then do not challenge him. Do not be so quick to judge, or to think you know that person’s motive. Love more; speak less.

What you hear these days, on the news and in circles of conversation, is more about causing division and strife among the people and less about the merits of any given issue. When you have a global view of current events, and when you understand Kingdom concepts, you can see that this is just one more move toward the end plan of the enemy. This would be a good time to re-read the Book of Revelation. We are all systematically being herded like sheep into the pens of the enemy to form a new world order where the plan is to form a small elite class and a huge servant class. In order to lead us into that pit, we must be tricked into giving up our individuality, our understanding of right and wrong, our sense of personal accomplishment, our patriotism, and our religion. The less we debate an issue, and the more we quietly stand firm in truth, the less we are drawn into the bait-and-switch trap that seeks to portray us as the culprits. The Word tells us: Be still and know that I am God. Rest in Me. All is well. Operate in love and compassion. Cast off that spirit of division. Return good for evil. Love those who speak evil of you.

CONVICTION: Jesus says: See My scarred back? It was shredded to ribbons as the Roman soldiers took out their hatred on Me. In their hearts they knew I was innocent. They also knew their own lust for power had gotten out of control, and simply being in My presence convicted them of their sin. Retaliation is a common reaction when a person is challenged to examine his own heart. For a believer, conviction is a natural response that follows the uncovering of sin, but it is not always an immediately welcomed experience. As the light of Truth flows through a person and begins to prune his soul, those around him sometimes get the brunt of his pain, especially those closest to him. When you are the recipient of such an action, do not take it personally, and especially, do not think it is your job to enlighten him. Always remember that I am the one to deliver conviction. You do not need to add to it (unless your input is specifically requested) nor should you try to alleviate their discomfort – it has a meaningful purpose. All you need to do is remember that another person’s attack against you often has very little to do with you. I am your example; bleed love.

RECOGNIZING THE AUTHENTIC: As I was reading one more book about the upcoming events looming on the horizon, my heart was broken for the lost souls who will faint with fear when all of hell’s fury breaks loose. The Word tells us that unless those days are shortened, even the hearts of the elect will grow cold. I pondered how born-again believers could possibly fall away and forget the finished work of the Cross. God reminded me about the Israelites who, only days after experiencing the parting of the Red Sea and the annihilation of their enemies right before their eyes, melted down their jewelry and made a gold calf to worship! They said, “This is our god. This is who brought us safely out of Egypt.” Good grief! Who could actually believe that a statue crafted with their own hands could actually have any power? And yet, that is exactly what they did. Likewise, I remind myself, any of us can be deceived and led astray.

So, I cry out to the Lord, and ask Him what I can do to finish well, and stay strong on my foundation of faith in Jesus. Of course, He reminds me that I am not the one who does the work; I surrender to Him and abide under the shadow of His wing as He does the work in me. I acknowledge that to be true. Then I ask how I can prepare for all the deception that will be poured out on the earth, and how I can stand against the lies of false prophets. His answer is so simple and yet so totally complete. He reminds me about how bank tellers avoid taking in counterfeit bills: they become so familiar with the authentic that they can immediately spot the counterfeit. In the same way, I am to be so familiar with the authentic, Jesus Christ the only begotten Son of the Father, the Lord God Almighty, that I too will immediately spot the counterfeit. Now how simple is that? Thank you, God, for keeping me on the narrow path of truth, and for keeping me grounded and in perfect peace, in You.

FEAR OR FAITH: God opens a door and invites me to walk into my destiny. In order to do that, I must come into agreement with His word. However, at the door stands both faith and fear. Fear reminds me of everything that can go wrong. Its job is to frighten me enough to cause me to turn away from God’s plan for me, thereby missing my destiny. Faith involves my choosing to come into agreement with God’s word before, and until, it manifests and becomes my reality. Only when I apply faith can I step through the doorway and walk in my calling. Although all of heaven is cheering me on and encouraging me to choose faith, the choice is always mine to make.

MORE ABOUT FEAR: Last week the Lord rocked my little world when He told me that only unbelievers struggle with fear. Immediately I envisioned myself delivering that message at the front of church during a service, and being stoned to death. As I began to protest, He asked me to stop and think about it for a minute. He showed me that I could take a closer look at any issue that had fear attached to it, and in that spot, I could see that I was no longer believing the promises of God. It goes without saying that anytime I am not believing what the Word says, I am operating in unbelief and that officially makes me an unbeliever in that place. I could not argue; all I could do was repent for my unbelief and ask Him to change my heart. I bristled at the idea of being called an unbeliever, and I vowed right there to put a guard around my heart and a filter on my ears, and I would not allow fear to speak to me again. I have added that phrase to my arsenal, and I am reminding my friends that only unbelievers struggle with fear. Can’t say I am always the most popular girl at the table, but it certainly is an effective tool.

RESPONDING TO HIS VOICE: My daughter has been in desperate need for a different job, and the entire family has been standing in prayer with her. Last week she interviewed for the job she really wanted, and the tension increased significantly. Every time the Lord put her on my mind, I would pray for His will for her, and for her peace and patience and endurance. One afternoon as I lifted her up to the Lord, He spoke into my spirit, “The job is hers.” My heart pounded with excitement as I asked Him how I should respond to that. He said, “Call and tell her.” “What? No! I can’t do that, Lord. The risk is way too high. If I tell her and then it all falls apart, she will never forgive me!” It seemed as though time stood still as I argued back and forth, trying to make God understand, and it seemed as though He just waited there, smiling. Finally I relented. “Okay, Lord. I love her so much and this just terrifies me, but I love You even more and I will be obedient.” So, I sent my daughter a text, asking if she had time for a call. She was busy, but she promised to call in about thirty minutes. That was the longest half hour I had experienced in a while! Finally she called and I gingerly began the dreaded conversation. Halfway into my first sentence, she interrupted and asked if she could say something before I started. Here it comes, I thought, this is where she tells me she does not want to hear any of my weird stuff (she thinks I am a little ‘out there’). “Sure,” I said, and then she said, “I have a new job.” Can you believe it? As she was on her way out to the hallway to return my call, she got the welcomed call offering her the job. Oh, what relief! I gave myself permission to breathe again, as I smiled over the Divine Setup I had just experienced, and I knew God was smiling, really big. I cannot describe the encouragement this has brought me, reminding me that I do know the voice of the Lord, I ‘hear’ Him in my spirit, and I can trust in that. I pray the experience also blessed my daughter, who now heads into a new chapter in her life.