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Mother’s Day Encounters 2009/2013

On this day 4 yrs ago I had an encounter with God during a weekend with Sister Gwen Shaw. I was at the end of a very long prayer line. I had stood in line for over an hour and as it approached time for her to pray for me, she looked like she could not go on any longer. It was 2am and she was in her late 80s. I heard the voice of the Lord tell me to get out of line….so I stepped away at that prompting. I didn’t want to and I was VERY disappointed. I was in all honesty very angry for having to do that especially as I watched her continue on with praying and imparting things to each person in line. Such a sweet, beautiful woman of God. She didn’t stop because of me stepping away and it didn’t make sense to me.

The next morning I came upon the table she had sat behind while preaching and praying and I just felt prompted to lay my hand on the table and pray for Sister Gwen. When I did, the Holy Spirit fell on me so heavily that I felt connected to an electrical outlet. It lasted so long that when I “came to myself” the morning service had started around me. Sister Gwen, who was supposed to speak at both the 9:30 and 11am services but was unable to come. She was physically unable but was able to come to the 11am service. I was again very disappointed in this because I couldn’t stay for the 11am service. I had to get to my mom’s house for mothers day lunch.

I went to leave and as I did this young man came up to me and said, “have you ever been to the wailing wall?” I said, “No!” He said, “I felt like I just saw you there and God wants you to know that He is taking you to a wailing wall.” This encounter made little sense to me then and in many ways still doesn’t all fit together but I returned to Heritage again this weekend for a time of prayer. God reminded me of that weekend.

Nothing momentous happened this weekend. I didn’t necessarily feel different when it was time to leave. I had hoped so much for another special encounter, anything that could give me answers to some questions I am feel i need to resolve in these next days. I came away wanting to feel disappointed but yet I know that God works through all things so I feel some confidence because I know that I did hear a theme common with my own Pastor’s Word given the Wednesday before. It was “commissioning” I asked the Lord for more on that but no real answer that i understand yet- but it is early. I just saw the theme and then God reminded me of that time there with Sister Gwen and also the wailing wall. We’ll see what comes of it.

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My Teachers

Well – It is teacher appreciation week and so time to remember those who have taught or instructed or imparted knowledge in some way. So, off the top of my head here are just a few of those I am so thankful for.

Mrs. Gaskill: my elementary school librarian who taught me to love books and reading and let me tag along every day after school instead of hanging in my mom’s classroom. I thought I would become a librarian when I grew up, instead I just live among many books.

Mrs. Frances Kiser: my high school English teacher, who encouraged me in writing and coached me through my high school graduation speech. She treated me so much like her own daughter and she truly did love me back to life during my darkest of days following my dad’s death. I know no other way to repay other than to just continue to love others as she loved me. She was a precious gem!

Dr. Tony Eastman: my college history professor at Gardner-Webb who taught me that sometimes the best teaching is painful. He pulled me aside when I was walking in the wrong path and gave me a stern “talking to” He believed in me so very much and did not shy from his position of authority in Christ and as my teacher to act as father figure to me at a time when I so desperately needed one. I will never forget his love for me in doing that and I love it when our paths cross and that he has never forgotten me and is overjoyed to see me now…because it is mutual and he was a most awesome history teacher as well. I loved his classes!

Dr. Sammy Oxendine: He was once my pastor. He taught me to love the nations by taking me there. He risked his very life to complete the work of the Lord and take us to Romania– at the time we did not know, but he knew, that he was very, very sick. True sacrifice and love! I am eternally grateful and I don’t take one minute of what I received and learned there for granted. He taught me what patience looks like as he allowed second, third, fourth chances and answered many questions in some excruciatingly long emails during my first years of salvation. He never allowed excuses and yet was so merciful. He would never describe himself as compassionate or merciful but yet he showed it in so many ways. He taught me to let go of the past and to forgive. He was and is a true spiritual father to me and I love him with my whole heart. Those English students at Lee University and Belmont-Abbey are so blessed to have him now teaching them! I pray they know it!

My present pastors at Message of Love: Pastor Jeff Johnson who teaches me Truth in such a way that I am challenged, renewed and frankly amazed week after week. Pastor Frankie Sneed who teaches me so much. To LOVE- I mean REALLY LOVE- God, His Word and those He loves. She teaches what a life laid down for the Lord really looks like. She has pushed me out of my comfort zone and I am so grateful to sit under such a great woman of God and such an anointed preacher. Brother Art Sneed who teaches what it looks like to care. He is the greatest example of shepherding that I have seen in recent years. He so truly cares and is joyful in it…and he just makes me laugh and cry. I am beyond grateful for the opportunities these great men and woman of God have given me. They disciple. They invest in others and allow us to follow behind and learn by doing, imitating or whatever it takes until we can do it ourselves. Teachers, allowing us to follow like Jesus did. I just imagine the disciples following around after Jesus, listening to Him, watching Him, imitating Him, failing sometimes, but continuing on and on. I feel I live this kind of life. So often as I leave the services I feel I am “following” them through it but in the process it has been actually following Jesus… and I wonder how anyone could even walk out as “glory to glory” has become so real to me in this precious church under these anointed ministers.

Catherine Melissa Street: My very first teacher that is still at it. My dear, sweet, and beautiful MOM who taught so many other children too. In our home we learned JESUS, manners and a love of learning. She taught- grace, mercy and faith and she lived it each step of the way. She taught me order and to honor the elderly and my teachers and pastors. She taught me to always be one that learns. Here I am today – still learning every chance I get. She taught me what pressing through in prayer really looks like and I know that I am only here today because of her years of desperate cries for my soul. She was speaking faith even at the times I wasn’t walking as I should as she would grab me and declare – “everything works together for good.” I get it now and I believe it, Mom! None of her heartache in this life and hers for me will be wasted. She has a great reward waiting for her!!!

Most precious of all teachers to me is the HOLY SPIRIT – The best and most faithful. He is beside me every minute as my teacher and guide! My interpreter, my instructor! My counselor, my provider, my precious friend!!! What He has taught me personally has already filled volumes and we have only just begun. What would I do without Him?!? Glad I don’t ever have to find out.

I am so blessed to have had and to continue to have the best of teachers. I could go on and on as so many others are brought to my mind. I was raised by a village of teachers and preachers so I have a wonderful heritage! I want to be like them all, when I grow up! Yes indeed, my life is forever changed because of them. Happy Teacher Appreciation Week to you all.

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Test of Order

“Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that entereth not by the door into the sheepfold, but climbeth up some other way, the same is a thief and a robber.” ~ John 10:1

Important Truth and test. This verse is speaking to me today of God’s order and gives a warning re: some of the things and people I allow into my life. It has brought great conviction as I can certainly see that I have allowed things that sounded good, and even sounded like they were of God, but in the end didn’t pass this test of “entering by the door.”

Oh Lord, forgive me. I thank you for Truth and Father I thank you for helping me to see…but I pray now for Your help in yielding to Your Word and that I would be one that acts in obedience immediately and not just one that sees clearly after the fact! In Jesus Name, Amen!!