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Under the Platform

I know God has a work for me but I am often reminded by the Lord that my work at this time is intercession, and serving and supporting other’s visions and dreams. Not that the Lord hasn’t given me my own dreams too but it is all related. As it says in Luke 16:12:

And if ye have not been faithful in that which is another man’s, who shall give you that which is your own?

No matter what, when you know your assignment has proceeded straight from the Lord’s mouth, no matter the opposition, it is an assignment full of life and joy and a mighty expectation.

My wheels began turning this morning after I read Greg Mauro’s article in Ministry Today Magazine titled “Are You Called to Another’s Man’s Ministry?”

It reminded of a story Evangelist Rachel Hickson told once. When she was first called into the ministry, she worked as an intercessor with Christ for All Nations and Evangelist Reinhard Bonnke. For many of those early years, while Reinhard Bonnke would preach to tens of thousands and minister healing and deliverance to thousands, Rachel would intercede each night UNDER the platform where Bonnke was standing. It was her job and assignment. Rachel was faithful. It was during these times of intercession that she not only saw others healed and saved and called, but she herself was miraculously healed as she had been in an automobile accident that left her unable to walk. She saw deliverance herself- as she was so incredibly shy when she started that she could not talk to others normally (sound familiar-Rachel’s testimony and her selfless gift of her teachings are what gave me the hope that God would deliver me as He had her) Today, Rachel Hickson is an Evangelist and Author and yet, still and always an Intercessor. She travels the world leading others to salvation but also encouraging and teaching the saints- equipping them in areas of prayer and God’s supernatural gifts.

Many times over the years since I was saved, I have been called to the prayer room during a service. Honestly, sometimes I have not wanted to leave the atmosphere of what was happening. Sometimes I resented that no one would come alongside no matter how much we pleaded for help. Seemed no one cared. Still, I knew that prayer was my assignment and God had spoken to me of interceding during services…much like some serve in the nursery or on the praise team or wherever. Prayer was my assignment.

There were times I found it incredibly easy. There were times it was so difficult. During one of the difficult seasons I found myself telling God over and over that I felt like I was missing something special out in the service. I would say God please let YOUR GLORY flood this room TOO. Over and over God would tell me that He would never leave me out.

One day God said to me Words that I keep always with me and close to my heart. They were Words of correction but great LOVE. He took me to Psalm 63:2

“To see thy power and thy glory, so as I have seen thee in the sanctuary.”

Beautiful, hopeful thought….and then He said, “Missy, your real rebellion is feeling like I have put you on a shelf in the midst of the action. I haven’t put you on a shelf; I’ve put you UNDER the platform with JESUS!”

He never left me out of what He was doing, He was using me also to do His own will. I have thought so often of those words and that two year time of being back there with him during those services and I know this – what He was doing, was He was trying to make a minister of me. When He brought me back into the services I was different.

Now when I am in a service of another minister that I know God has specifically called and assigned me to pray and intercede for, I see myself and position my heart with Jesus….UNDER THE PLATFORM. What a very special place and indeed a treasured assignment!

Posted in Hiding His Word

“that the bone which thou has broken may rejoice”

Today through His Word in Numbers, Mark, Psalms and Proverbs – He spoke directly to me regarding issues of my heart and issues of the hearts of those I allow to speak into my life. Some of what is spoken are words of darkness (things like complaining and criticism) going into my ears and/or coming out of my mouth instead of words of light and truth and praise. Words that kindle His anger and grieve His Spirit instead of words that make Him smile and rejoice.

My prayers and meditations from today’s Word is:

Psalm 51:8 “Make me to hear joy and gladness, that the bone which thou has broken may rejoice.”

Psalm 51:15 “O Lord, open my lips; and my mouth shall shew forth thy praise.”

Well, probably should just read all of Psalm 51. It says so much…like Psalm 51:6

Numbers 11:1 – and when the people complained it displeased the Lord: and the Lord hear it; and His anger was kindled. Number 11:10 – Then Moses heard the people weep throughout their families, every man in the door of his tent; and the anger of the Lord was kindled greatly: also Moses was displeased. (complaining, whining)

Mark 14:4 – and there were some that had indignation within themselves, and said why was this waste of the ointment used?  (Criticism)

Mark 14:4-9 my thoughts – Then Jesus rebukes the disciples for their criticism.

This also struck me although off topic. In Mark 14:16 it says, “and he sought how he might conveniently betray him.”  That word “conveniently” made me incredibly sad. To be betrayed is one thing but conveniently betrayed. I wonder how often we conveniently betray or disobey or sin in any way?!?

Conveniently: ease in use, easy, comfortable, at hand, easily acceptable, hand.

Proverbs 10-11 The mouth of the just bringeth forth wisdom: but the froward tongues shall be cut out. The lips of the righteous know what is acceptable: but the mouth of the wicked speaketh frowardness.

Froward: willfully contrary; not easily managed; obstinate, wayward, difficult, fractious.

Only God could have prepared such a feast for me for this morning.

Psalm 51:10 “Create in me a clean heart, O God; and renew a right spirit within me.”

Psalm 51:17 “The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit: a broken and contrite heart, O God, thou wilt not despise.

Help me oh Lord to apply this Word to my life today. In Jesus precious and holy and magnificent Name, I pray….AMEN!!

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Loving the Four Year Olds

I was told by a wise someone when I first began working in a mental health environment that to deal with difficult people and/or difficult personality types to look at them as though they were a four or five year old. Especially for those that act out like crazy. Look at them past what is going on in the moment as a child needing attention, love, acceptance…needing something. A child from an environment that perhaps didn’t regard them or teach them manners or respect or an envirnonment that just didn’t love; maybe where there was no peace.

We have much patience and our love is more unconditional for the four and five year olds.

That mindset has always helped me deal and form connections with many different types of people and love them all nevertheless. That mindset allows me to stay graceful in some very strange situations and it allows me to see potential and precious things within the hearts, often hearts masked by the effects of a hard, hard world.

I believe that the way this wise someone told me to see people is the way God sees all of His children. It is the way He saw me. I am one of those four years olds some days…thankfully not as often as I once was.

I am grateful for those that loved me anyway and those that loved me through. I am grateful for love and I have come to believe that most everything and maybe absolutely everything that people come to this counseling facility to get help with, can be healed most through LOVE! Our heavenly Father’s love first but also our love; both unconditional and both free flowing. Love changes you. Love means sometimes putting our own selves out there. Speaking the TRUTH of GOD’s WORD and allowing both that Truth and also that Father’s love through us to give people an environment that grows them up. Not all at once sometimes but more like a plant growing silently…growing and developing sometimes even unnoticed but then one day you turn around and there it is…standing in front of you with such beauty and such purpose. Hidden no more in sometimes the most unexpected people and places.

Yes, loving some is sometimes a challenge and sometimes messy but always the rewards of seeing someone set free and bloom are beyond breathtaking.

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Upbraided

I learned a new word yesterday and I can’t get it off my mind.

The word is “upbraided” and I found it reading this scripture: “Afterward he appeared unto the eleven as they sat at meat, and upbraided them with their unbelief and hardness of heart, because they believed not them which had seen him after he was risen.” ~ Mark 16:14

Upbraided means to reprove or reproach angrily. Jesus upbraided them because their hearts were hardened and they did not believe the woman or the two disciples that reported that Jesus had risen and they had met with Him…which meant also that they did not believe what He had told them while He was with them. He was angry about their unbelief … and there He stood, His promises fulfilled.

I like Mark 16:15-20 and read it often but I had never really looked at this verse. God has been speaking to me these last couple of days about UNBELIEF that we are so accustomed to excusing away …so this really struck me.

Our unbelief is displeasing to the Lord.

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Don’t Complain!

Don’t complain!!! Most especially don’t complain or murmur or allow yourself to remain in the company of those that want to complain about leadership. Do not align yourself with this form of rebellion. If you do, you are flowing in the same demonic spirit that caused the earth to open up and swallow a people. (see all of Numbers 16) This is how my morning conversation with the Lord and my daily Bible reading began.

Some of the other verses that spoke to me today along these same lines and as I will explain below were:

“The righteousness of the upright shall deliver them: but transgressors shall be taken in their own naughtiness.” ~ Proverbs 11:6

“Hear my prayer, O God; give ear to the words of my mouth.” ~ Psalm 54:2

“And the chief priests accused him of many things: but he answered nothing.” And Pilate asked him again, saying, Answerest thou nothing? Behold how many things they witness against thee. But Jesus yet answered nothing; so that Pilate marveled. – Mark 15:3-5

“Then Pilate said unto them, why, what evil hath he done? And they cried out the more exceedingly. Crucify Him. And so Pilate, willing to content the people, released Barabbas unto them, and delivered Jesus, when he had scourged him, to be crucified. – Mark 15:15

God has really let me know without a doubt that He has indeed given “ear to the words of my mouth.”  He has been speaking about my words, the words of others, and not aligning myself with words of others but aligning my life with His Word only.

The Lord wants me to check and deal with what I allow into my heart, be it the words of others and/or my own thoughts. He wants me to be careful and purposeful regarding what I allow myself to meditate on. The Holy Spirit has shown me specifics in my life that create and allow an atmosphere of sin to develop. This kind of environment breeds thoughts in my head and an attitude in my heart that eventually leads to words coming out of my mouth that displease Him.

I noticed while reading in Numbers that is said the sin of the “children of Israel provoked the Lord.”  I believe although He is a God that loves and is long-suffering, that we provoke Him so much. I am incredibly thankful for His mercy.

I also found it interesting that the Lord told Moses to warn the children of Israel to not align themselves with the complainers and the murmurers, to separate themselves from them, lest they fall into the same judgement. SEPARATE YOURSELF! It is a now Word as much as it was a Word for that day.

As all of this regards me personally, I know that I need to take control of the tongue and speak words that are light and purposeful. Everything, even the words of my mouth and my thoughts, should mirror a Christlike life and as our example of being purposeful, we do have Christ –

In the scripture above, when Christ did not address the Chief Priest or Pilate to address the accusations of the people, His silence was very purposeful. I believe that Pilate surely came to a place of regret that he was “willing to content the people” when it came to his moment of decision. I think, if we aren’t careful we will find ourselves standing before the throne of God guilty of that same thing and it could be the consequence of a snap decision…a decision we did not think through before we spoke or acted. A decision that bears fruit or regret.

Each person will be accountable for their own words, thoughts and deeds and as it said in Proverbs today, transgressors will be “taken in their own naughtiness.”  I have definitely had my warning. Help me Lord to conform to your Word so that I can be like You. Help me to check my decisions and base them on Your pleasure and Lord help me to have a heart that is not “willing to content the people” when it hurts You. That is my prayer.

A few of the ways we use words that displease the Lord:

  • Words of unbelief
  • murmuring
  • leading others to murmur
  • slander
  • evil report
  • denying Christ
  • complaining
  • gossip
  • aligning ourselves with any of the above

Thanks for reading. I know I kind of rambled on this post but these are some of what the Holy Spirit spoke to me today through my daily reading of the One Year Bible. So, what has the Lord been speaking to you today?

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Hiding His Word in My Heart Today

I am a huge supporter of the One Year Bible plans and such as that. Without these many would just flip open the Bible and while God can and does speak that way, many like myself need more order. Although I am opting for the year long plan so that I can dig a little deeper this year, my favorite plan so far is actually the 90 day Bible Challenge. I really enjoyed reading from the first page of the Bible all the way to the last page, although I do prefer to read in a translation other than the one they suggest. The 90 day plan is less distracting than other plans when it comes to seeing how things tie together in the Bible…book to book, Old Testament to New Testament, Beginning to End. 2012 was a year that the Lord told me to put aside all other books and read only His Word. I did and I truly enjoyed spending extended periods of time reading straight through several times. Granted my plan was more of the 120 day plan.

Like weight loss, exercise, and other things we try to begin in the New Year, people often begin their year so enthusiastic and determined to read through the Bible again or for the first time. It goes pretty well for a while and then you hit end of February and March and challenging books like the books of Leviticus and Numbers and some of the others of the Old Testament stop many in their tracks. With the 90 day challenge plans you are through these in a couple of days but with the year long plans unless you determine in your heart ahead of time to persevere when it gets tough…you probably don’t.

There is a great saying regarding what is going on in the world and regarding the Word and that is that, “We have read the end of the Book.” I have heard people say that a lot recently. It is true. If we know the end of the story then we know that Jesus Christ is victorious! Sad truth is though that many have not actually read the end of the book. They didn’t make it that far. Some are going totally on what they have heard from others rather than a true revelation that they themselves have gleaned from the Word. For some if they did read the end, they have only really just read the beginning and the end. They don’t have a grasp of what is in between Genesis and Revelation, save the Bible stories told to us as children and the Gospels that all churches focus on during Christmas and Easter. If the only thing you hear is the Gospel surely that is more than enough… but so many are missing so much that the Lord Himself has provided us that could help them tremendously to understand and to walk out this earthly journey until we do get to the end.

I find myself praying for those seeking a closer walk with God that started a One Year Bible plan on 1/1/13. I pray that they would do what it takes to persevere through the tough chapters. I know I have spent many a morning reading it aloud, reading it standing up, or both. I say, do what it takes. Get an attitude of NEVERTHELESS!!! His Word will not come back void, that is His promise!!! It is also His promise that you will be changed from GLORY to GLORY. Whenever you come into the presence of God through prayer, or service, or worship or the Word…you are changed. PROMISED!!!

You are in my prayers and I ask for yours as we all press on…

_________________________

and today through His Word in Numbers, Mark, Psalms and Proverbs – He spoke directly to me regarding issues of my heart and issues of the hearts of those I allow to speak into my life. Some of what is spoken are words of darkness (things like complaining and criticism) going into my ears and/or coming out of my mouth instead of words of light and truth and praise. Words that kindle His anger and grieve His Spirit instead of words that make Him smile and rejoice.

My prayers and meditations from today’s Word is:

Psalm 51:8 “Make me to hear joy and gladness, that the bone which thou has broken may rejoice.”

Psalm 51:15 “O Lord, open my lips; and my mouth shall shew forth thy praise.”

Well, probably should just read all of Psalm 51. It says so much…like Psalm 51:6

Numbers 11:1 – and when the people complained it displeased the Lord: and the Lord hear it; and His anger was kindled. Number 11:10 – Then Moses heard the people weep throughout their families, every man in the door of his tent; and the anger of the Lord was kindled greatly: also Moses was displeased. (complaining, whining)

Mark 14:4 – and there were some that had indignation within themselves, and said why was this waste of the ointment used?  (Criticism)

Mark 14:4-9 my thoughts – Then Jesus rebukes the disciples for their criticism.

This also struck me although off topic. In Mark 14:16 it says, “and he sought how he might conveniently betray him.”  That word “conveniently” made me incredibly sad. To be betrayed is one thing but conveniently betrayed. I wonder how often we conveniently betray or disobey or sin in any way?!?

Conveniently: ease in use, easy, comfortable, at hand, easily acceptable, hand.

Proverbs 10-11 The mouth of the just bringeth forth wisdom: but the froward tongues shall be cut out. The lips of the righteous know what is acceptable: but the mouth of the wicked speaketh frowardness.

Froward: willfully contrary; not easily managed; obstinate, wayward, difficult, fractious.

Only God could have prepared such a feast for me for this morning.

Psalm 51:10 “Create in me a clean heart, O God; and renew a right spirit within me.”

Psalm 51:17 “The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit: a broken and contrite heart, O God, thou wilt not despise.

Help me oh Lord to apply this Word to my life today. In Jesus precious and holy and magnificent Name, I pray….AMEN!!

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My Inheritance

He shall choose our inheritance for us, the excellency of Jacob whom He loved. Selah.”  ~ Psalm 47:4

The Lord has been so gracious to allow me to be in His presence in places where He has chosen to show up through His signs, His wonders and His miracles. I know I am blessed and that He has used these times and situations to increase my faith. I have seen miracles of healing, miracles of food multiplied, I have experienced and seen deliverance from depression and anxiety and addiction. I long for the day that those that are God’s own children will not be as those from Jesus’ hometown, expecting so little and so receiving and seeing little of God’s power in their lives and communities.

I think so many think of God as sooooo familiar. Meaning they think they know all there is to know because they have sat in church and think they know all the stories. The Bible says though that the stories could fill volumes though so no way we could know them all. And there are also many other things which Jesus did, the which, if they should be written every one, I suppose that even the world itself could not contain the books that should be written. John 21:25. Yes, in many ways God is familiar but in many, many more ways or probably most ways, He is a God that we can not define or put into our little box or our little human minds. He is infinite and yet reachable. He can reach out to the most scholarly yet has made His gospel simple enough for a very small child. He is a mystery and yet tells us He wants to be known. He is magnificent but humble; the Lion and also the Lamb.

After a wonderful Sunday where God moved through our pastors to give the Word, I am pondering today His call on my life and how to apply His Word. I know in part what God can do and am confident in the Word and that He can do infinitely more….but there are times when I wonder how it will all come to pass since I wasted so much of my life and talents and resources on temporal things and the roadblocks seem endless. Will I go to my grave reminding myself not to look back with regret? Will these roadblocks turn out to actually be the steps to what has been prepared?  Though I am a person that is pretty focused and committed still I wonder sometimes. I was thinking along these lines this morning and I felt my Father pose a question to me. He told me upfront that it was hypothetical but He told me to take it seriously nonetheless. The question was this…Excluding praise and worship, reading my Bible and prayer and excluding all otherhuman opinion, if I could do only ONE thing of service for Him all the rest of the days of my earthly life, what would I do and why?

It was early so I had the time at 4:30am to ponder these things, but it wasn’t necessary. I immediately knew my answer. If I could only do one thing of service — I would feed the hungry.  I know you think now I am talking feeding the hungry physically and spiritually but I am actually mostly talking in the physical.  I would feed the hungry real solid food and pray that God, in His mercy, would give me also opportunity and ways to feed them spiritually as He saw their need and mine.

Why?

Because long before He told me to preach or pray, He told me “you give them something to eat” from Matthew 14:16, Mark 6:19, and Luke 9:13. When God spoke this to me, it was one of the first times I ever heard God speak directly to me through His written Word. It stuck with me. On looking over these last years, I have found that from my obedience to“you give them something to eat”  has come most of the miracles, signs and wonders that I have been allowed to see and from obedience to that command, I have been given opportunity to share the Word and pray with people and I have been able to see people saved. Real true lasting fruit. From obedience to that command I have met people that live in their cars and in the woods and I have also met hungry ministers. I have been allowed to minister to those that have given their lives for the Gospel but found themselves being fed through my hand but in that moment of divine appointment (and I believe that is what it was), I found them there feeding me in such beautiful ways. Truly I tell you, from obedience to that command “you give them something to eat” I, myself, have been fed and sustained by God and have felt the presence and LOVE of GOD HIMSELF through them toward me. It was never just me allowing the love of God through me. He gave me love through them. 

I find myself now in a season where I am removed and separated at least for a time from that kind of ministry and there are days I grieve. Not because I miss a ministry but because I miss the people and what they brought into my life. I miss the faith that desperation brings into a people. I miss the mutual need. God transformed my heart of prejudice and gave me love and acceptance and compassion. He gave me understanding. In return so many of the people also accepted me and loved me back. For so many once a month I was friend or mama figure or prayer partner. They were daily in my prayers and that prayer created a bond. I look for them always when I drive the streets of Gastonia. I am so hopeful when I don’t see them out there. I made it a point to know their names and their children’s names and their situations and their hearts. I miss their hearts. I miss their hugs. I miss their stories. I miss how they bonded to others and how they helped their neighbors. They grabbed the concept we know as “church” so much better  than most. They were rich in ways I think few know. 

A verse that struck me this morning during those early hours with the Lord was this: Psalm 47:4, “He shall choose our inheritance for us, the excellency of Jacob whom He loved. Selah.”  I have always loved that promise. I have always asked the Lord for the nations but my inheritance is His choice. When someone leaves you an inheritance it is their choice as to what they leave each person. The poor and the poor in spirit are my inheritance…this I know though I can’t fully explain all of what that means yet or how my wonderful Father wants me to take care of this precious gift he leaves me.

Selah! [pause, and calmly think of that]
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The Life That’s Left

When I stand at the judgment seat of Christ
and He shows me His plan for me-
The plan of my life as it might have been
had He had His way – and I see
How I blocked Him here, and checked Him there
and would not yield my will,
Shall I see grief in my Savior’s eyes;
grief, though He loves me still?
He would have me rich, but I stand there poor,
stripped of all but His grace –
While my memory runs like a hunted thing,
down the paths I can’t retrace.
Then my desolate heart will well nigh break
with tears that I cannot shed.
I’ll cover my face with my empty hands
and bow my uncrowned head.
Now, Lord of the life that’s left to me,
I yield it to Thy hand.
Take me, make me, mold me,
to the pattern Thou hast planned.

-Author Unknown