Posted in Journal

My Inheritance – “You Give Them Something To Eat”

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, wonders and 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.

After a wonderful Sunday where God moved through our church so mightily, I have been pondering His call on my life and how to apply His Word. I know now in part what God can do through prayer and I 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 in my own life since the roadblocks and closed doors and the “waiting” seems endless. Will I go to my grave reminding myself of what I have seen but wondering if I ever will again…and if not, why? Will these roadblocks turn out to actually be the steps to what has been prepared? Though I am a person that is pretty focused most days and committed still I wonder a lot.

I was thinking along these lines Monday morning and I felt my Father pose a question to me. He told me upfront that it was hypothetical but to take it seriously nonetheless. The question was this…Excluding praise and worship, reading my Bible and prayer and excluding all other human opinion, if I could do only ONE ministry for Him all 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, 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 may think I am talking feeding the hungry spiritually and that is there 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 those 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 met former CEOs driving BMWs but arriving as hungry as the poorest of the poor. 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, was fed and sustained by God and 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 thought it was something I would be allowed to do forever…but then the season changed.

I find myself now in a season where this kind of ministry seems to have almost dried up for me and while I try to press on and I preach here and there, pray and try to remain faithful in what I am given for the now- there are days I still grieve for that season that was. Not because I miss a ministry or a place that once was so much…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 understanding. He took my lonely heart and He gave me compassion and ears to hear theirs. In return so many of the people also accepted me and loved me. Once a month, as they were allowed to come for food, I was friend or mama or prayer partner. They were daily in my prayers and that kind of prayer always creates bonds. I look for them even still when I drive the streets of Gastonia and I am so hopeful when I don’t see them out there on a cold day. I made it a point to know their names, their children’s names, and their situations. I made it a point to know 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 were rich in ways I think few know. They taught me more about ministry than I ever knew they were.

A verse that struck me this morning in these early hours with the Lord is 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.

I admit Monday morning I couldn’t grasp how God wants me to take care of this inheritance He has left me. But then….

Monday I had the opportunity to go to the food bank for Thanksgiving turkeys. Yesterday I had the opportunity to work in the food pantry straightening and stocking shelves. Today, Lord willing, I have the opportunity to help give Thanksgiving boxes to those that come to our pantry. Lord, send us the hungry, that we might be your hands and feet and give them something to eat.

Selah! [pause, and calmly think of that]

Posted in Journal

The Botched-Up Job

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Two years ago, I was in Tanzania – on the mission field.  My Facebook Memories section is full today of those stories.

I haven’t been anywhere since TZ because that trip took a great toll on me physically, emotionally, and spiritually. On the mission, we worked late at night in the red light district with young girls bound by the sex trade. A few were receptive; many more were cold. Some were downright angry! My very first encounter was an older lady that approached me and seemed to bless me out. She yelled some things as she pointed her finger in my face. I don’t know what she said because my interpreter didn’t tell me, but it was not good. We were often in dark places and alleys where you couldn’t see one step ahead to get your footing. We were also in busier areas of the city with more light but where the pimps, bus drivers, and local motorcyclists would try to intimidate you by driving as close to you as they could to you without hitting you and screaming at you as they did so. During the daytime we did prayer walks through those same streets which were now quiet and well lit by the hot sun. There we saw the evidence of the darkness all over the place. 

I need to say it finally – when I was out on the streets at night I felt fear. I didn’t want to and never expected to but I felt a kind of fear like I have not known in a very long time. It was a crippling fear and it was terrifying at times. Sometimes I couldn’t think of any words to say and often I didn’t know what to do with myself. My entire being felt like I went into survival/escape mode. Here I was a grown woman…thirteen years free from that kind of fear…experiencing it once again. I remember feeling so ashamed and disappointed in myself. I remember thinking if I couldn’t do this, why was I even there? Standing there frozen in fear, I couldn’t think of one good reason. The director of the mission said later I had been sent there to pray, but surely I could have prayed from safer places. Nevertheless, pray, I did. It was all I was capable of.

It has been two years, and since returning to the USA from TZ, my world has changed in many ways. I been obedient to new assignments and done many good things. I have mostly moved forward. But I had not moved past those five nights on the streets of Tanzania. I have sat too often thinking, wondering, and questioning every call the Lord has placed on my life in relation to them. I have tried to transform my call (to missions, prayer, and teaching the Word) to something more safe and domestic so as not to include those days as the will of God. I have tried to make the fear, and it’s consequences someone else’s fault. I have turned down invitations for missions thinking at least now I knew what my true calling wasn’t. But then I have watched as many have gone out here or there, and I have tried my best not to care. But the mission field is buried deep within my heart, right where God planted it. 

Today, two years later here I sit and I admit I totally botched-up the job. I failed the team, supporters and I failed the girls. Their stories were heartbreaking, and they deserved more. But more so, I failed God. I should have walked in boldness and faith through those streets like the rest of the team. I should have let Him carry me through the fear. I should have and then I could have come home excited for what the Lord did and been on fire to tell of it. Because the LORD truly did great things despite my weaknesses and failures. Instead, I avoided most conversations about it. What would I say? After all, wasn’t my testimony that God delivered me from extreme fear?

Perhaps not telling the real story with the real emotions of my real mission experience was my biggest failure. So many go on missions and come back ready to take on the world. I have and I love that about missions. But I wonder if others (like me) ever left on a mission feeling confident and came back only to battle the enemy and themselves for a season because of what they have seen, heard, and felt that they weren’t able to overcome on the field? Anyone else ever feel like you botched-up the job God sent you to do?

Today I saw the quote above and I listened again to the story below of Jim and Elisabeth Elliot. These two great missionaries paid a high price (in life and death) to stay faithful to their call on the mission field. If anyone had reasons for great fear, Elisabeth Elliot did. She inspires me.

I came away from her testimony today and some sermons my pastor has preached lately and I repented of the doors I had to have opened that allowed such fear in. I asked the Lord for forgiveness and deliverance from all fear. I asked Him to destroy it at the root and fill that empty cranny with Himself, His joy, His life, His peace, His boldness…and if it is His will and He can trust me and use me once more, I ask for another chance somewhere, someday. 

Posted in Hiding His Word

115 Nations

And Jesus came and spake unto them, saying, All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth. Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world. Amen. ~ Matthew 28:18-20

Three years ago I was on the mission field in Tanzania ministering to women and girls in the red light district of Moshi, TZ. It was life-changing and I thought I would go back the next year for a couple of months and do so yearly. I went one other time for a short-term mission but even while still there God showed me that He had some other plans for me and the next season of my life.

God has given me passions in several areas – writing, prayer, the study of His Word, and missions. How was I to release what burned in me if God didn’t send me anywhere in the physical? If there were no doors I could see for the likes of me? At the same time relationships that I thought were rocks in my life were suddenly as sand blown away by the wind. Frankly, it all hurt and in desperation I sought relief in the one thing I have used since I was a very little girl to get me through tough spots. I journaled or blogged (as it is now known)

It was very personal although I rarely write what some would consider personal. I am more of a Bible Study writer. I write what God puts on my heart from his Word or while in prayer….which is much more personal to me that anything happening in my own little world.

In 2017 God told me to make it public and I did. Since then I have watched my blog have a year of doing nothing…no followers, almost no readers, nothing. In early 2018 something turned and I had my first follower and though I only have 11 followers right now….very slowly I am at least getting readers and very, very slowly and quietly the blog has now gone into 114 countries….all over the world.

Some may not see the significance and if you don’t that is okay. I am not inclined to explain it today although I am not sure why. The Bible says…

Ask of me, and I shall give thee the heathen for thine inheritance, and the uttermost parts of the earth for thy possession. ~ Psalms‬ ‭2:8‬

I asked. He gave….and I am incredibly thankful, honored, and blessed. His ways are not our ways!

A

Albania 🇦🇱
Algeria 🇩🇿
American Samoa 🇦🇸
Angola 🇦🇴
Antigua 🇦🇬
Argentina 🇦🇷
Armenia 🇦🇲
Austria 🇦🇹
Australia 🇦🇺

B
Bahrain 🇧🇭
Bangladesh 🇧🇩
Barbados 🇧🇧
Barbuda 🇦🇬
Belize 🇧🇿
Bolivia 🇧🇴
Bosnia 🇧🇦
Brazil 🇧🇷
Brunei 🇧🇳
Bulgaria 🇧🇬

C
Cambodia 🇰🇭
Canada 🇨🇦
Chile 🇨🇱
China 🇨🇳
Colombia 🇨🇴
Costa Rica 🇨🇷
Croatia 🇭🇷
Czech Republic 🇨🇿

D
Dominican Republic 🇩🇴

E
Ecuador 🇪🇨
El Salvador 🇸🇻
Estonia 🇪🇪
Ethiopia 🇪🇹
European Union 🇪🇺

F
France 🇫🇷

G
Georgia 🇬🇪
Germany 🇩🇪
Ghana 🇬🇭
Greece 🇬🇷
Grenada 🇬🇩
Guernsey 🇬🇬

H
Haiti 🇭🇹
Herzegovina 🇧🇦
Honduras 🇭🇳
Hong Kong 🇭🇰

I
Iraq 🇮🇶
India 🇮🇳
Indonesia 🇮🇩
Ireland 🇮🇪
Isle of Man 🇮🇲
Israel 🇮🇱
Italy 🇮🇹

J
Jamaica 🇯🇲
Japan 🇯🇵
Jordan 🇯🇴

K
Kenya 🇰🇪

L
Lebanon 🇱🇧
Lithuania 🇱🇹
Luxembourg 🇱🇺

M
Macedonia 🇲🇰
Malaysia 🇲🇾
Malta 🇲🇹
Mexico 🇲🇽
Moldova 🇲🇩
Mozambique 🇲🇿
Myanmar (Burma) 🇲🇲

N
Nepal 🇳🇵
Netherlands 🇳🇱
New Zealand 🇳🇿
Nicaragua 🇳🇮
Nigeria 🇳🇬
Norway 🇳🇴

O
Oman 🇴🇲

P
Pakistan 🇵🇰
Panama 🇵🇦
Paraguay 🇵🇾
Peru 🇵🇪
Philippines 🇵🇭
Poland 🇵🇱
Portugal 🇵🇹
Puerto Rico 🇵🇷

Q
Qatar 🇶🇦

R
Romania 🇷🇴
Russia 🇷🇺
Reunion 🇫🇷
Rwanda 🇷🇼

S
Saudi Arabia 🇸🇦
Serbia 🇷🇸
Seychelles 🇸🇨
Singapore 🇸🇬
Slovenia 🇸🇮
Sri Lanka 🇱🇰
South Africa 🇿🇦
South Korea 🇰🇷
Spain 🇪🇸
St. Vincent and Grenadines
Swaziland 🇸🇿
Sweden 🇸🇪
Switzerland 🇨🇭

T
Taiwan 🇹🇼
Tanzania 🇹🇿
Thailand 🇹🇭
Tobago 🇹🇹
Trinidad 🇹🇹
Tunisia 🇹🇳
Turkey 🇹🇷

U
Uganda 🇺🇬
Ukraine 🇺🇦
United Arab Emirates 🇦🇪
United Kingdom 🇬🇧
United States of America 🇺🇸
Uruguay 🇺🇾

V
Venezuela 🇻🇪
Vietnam 🇻🇳

W

Y
Yemen 🇾🇪

Z
Zimbabwe 🇿🇼

Posted in Hiding His Word

House of Prayer

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Even them will I bring to my holy mountain, and make them joyful in my house of prayer: their burnt offerings and their sacrifices shall be accepted upon mine altar; for mine house shall be called an house of prayer for all people. ~ Isaiah 56:7

Amazing things take place when the people of God gather to pray. Impossibilities become victories. Stubborn enemies that resist the opposition of the prayers of individual believers flee when two or more assemble side-by-side, each one giving his or her unique spiritual supplies and giftings.

The Bible affirms it again and again in both the Old Testament and the New Testament. The Word tells us about times when darkness is driven away because some linked their hearts and their faith together and became that house of prayer.

As born again believers, we are a house of prayer. We are God’s temple. He dwells in us, not just individually but also collectively as a church.” And these days, our collective, unified prayer and power are urgently needed.

As precious as our personal and solitary times of prayer may be and as much as we enjoy being alone with the Father, we live in a time with challenges so great that they can only be met by the corporate prayers of God’s people. We are in a season when we need not just lone prayer warriors, but the church in all its various parts, closely joined and firmly knit together … each part working correctly for God’s Kingdom. In other words, during these last days, God is looking for people of prayer who will draw near not only to Him but also to each other. He is searching for those who will join hands and hearts and become His House of Prayer.

 From whom the whole body fitly joined together and compacted by that which every joint supplieth, according to the effectual working in the measure of every part, maketh increase of the body unto the edifying of itself in love ~ Ephesians 4:16

Then returned they unto Jerusalem from the mount called Olivet, which is from Jerusalem a sabbath day’s journey. And when they were come in, they went up into an upper room, where abode both Peter, and James, and John, and Andrew, Philip, and Thomas, Bartholomew, and Matthew, James the son of Alphaeus, and Simon Zelotes, and Judas the brother of James. These all continued with one accord in prayer and supplication, with the women, and Mary the mother of Jesus, and with his brethren. And in those days Peter stood up in the midst of the disciples, and said, (the number of names together were about an hundred and twenty,) ~ Acts 1:12-15

For through him we both have access by one Spirit unto the Father. Now therefore ye are no more strangers and foreigners, but fellowcitizens with the saints, and of the household of God; and are built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ himself being the chief corner stone; In whom all the building fitly framed together growth unto an holy temple in the Lord: In whom ye also are builded together for an habitation of God through the Spirit. ~ Ephesians 2:18-22

 

 

 

Posted in Hiding His Word

Iron Sharpens Iron: A Benefit of Corporate Prayer

Iron sharpeneth iron; so a man sharpeneth the countenance of his friend. ~ Proverbs 27: 17

One benefit of praying with others is this: when we work together in the spirit, gifts that have been hidden within us are revealed and activated. The anointing on us connects with the anointing on someone else and enables us both to step into spiritual positions we could never occupy alone.

A great illustration of that principle is the Old Testament story about Saul. When he was first anointed to be king of Israel by the prophet Samuel, Saul was timid and didn’t appear to be king material. Do you know how God changed him? He changed him by bringing him into contact with anointed people. God used gifts in others to awaken the anointing on Saul and those gifts turned him into another man. To make sure he didn’t miss those connections, Samuel told Saul about them in advance. He let Saul know they would be strategic in his life.

He said: When thou art departed from me to day, then thou shalt find two men by Rachel’s sepulchre in the border of Benjamin at Zelzah; and they will say unto thee, The asses which thou wentest to seek are found: and, lo, thy father hath left the care of the asses, and sorroweth for you, saying, What shall I do for my son? Then shalt thou go on forward from thence, and thou shalt come to the plain of Tabor, and there shall meet thee three men going up to God to Beth–el, one carrying three kids, and another carrying three loaves of bread, and another carrying a bottle of wine: And they will salute thee, and give thee two loaves of bread; which thou shalt receive of their hands. After that thou shalt come to the hill of God, where is the garrison of the Philistines: and it shall come to pass, when thou art come thither to the city, that thou shalt meet a company of prophets coming down from the high place with a psaltery, and a tabret, and a pipe, and a harp, before them; and they shall prophesy: And the Spirit of the Lord will come upon thee, and thou shalt prophesy with them, and shalt be turned into another man. And let it be, when these signs are come unto thee, that thou do as occasion serve thee; for God is with thee ~ 1 Samuel‬ ‭10:2-7‬‬

Usually we think of “signs” as miracles and wonders that come from heaven. But in Saul’s case, the signs that changed his life were people. They were believers who imparted to him certain spiritual things he needed to step into the office of king. That goes to show you how important spiritual connections and relationships are. They change us. They activate spiritual gifts within us. They prepare us for our future. They inspire us to rise to new heights in God. We can walk around for years with supernatural anointing and gifting lying dormant within us like seeds in the ground. But when God sends somebody across our path who is anointed to cultivate them, those seeds in us will begin to sprout. The more we’re with that person, the bigger those seedlings grow.

In my life, I have had a few individuals with that kind of cultivating effect. These carried an anointing to awaken me to the call of God and to help activate my spiritual hunger and gifting in a supernatural way. All of us need the power of these divine connections and God has set in place churches with pastors, teachers, apostles, prophets, and evangelists to meet those needs for you and for me.

And he gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers; For the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ: Till we all come in the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fulness of Christ: ~ Ephesians‬ ‭4:11-13‬

Truly as iron sharpens iron, so a man sharpens the countenance of his friend!

Posted in Hiding His Word

In This Place

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He that dwelleth in the secret place of the most High shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty. I will say of the Lord, He is my refuge and my fortress: my God; in him will I trust. ~ Psalm 91:1-2

In the silence of the early morning, I pause in this place, with God’s living and breathing Word before me.

In this place, the words spoken are first His flowing to my heart and then mine flowing back to His.

In this place, though my world may spin out of control, I remain safe and secure in the Shadow of the Almighty – whose power no enemy can withstand.

In this place, I find the boldness and complete confidence to stand firmly on my declaration – “HE is MY REFUGE and MY FORTRESS!!! HE IS MY GOD, IN WHOM I TRUST!”

In this place full of the Word and flowing with prayer, the enemy is helpless.

In fact, as I pause in this place -the secret place of the Most High, in the very Presence of Jesus – the enemy cannot sit alongside or even come nigh.

In this place, I have life.

I have life more abundantly…in this place!

The thief cometh not, but for to steal, and to kill, and to destroy: I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly. ~ John 10:10

Following Peace

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Let us therefore follow after the things which make for peace, and things wherewith one may edify another. ~ Romans 14:19

Peace is always out there and we must make a conscious effort to move toward it.

You can’t drive someone toward peace, only lead them there. Neither will God push you in peace’s direction, but He will lead you there.

To be lead is to follow. So, if you begin to head toward peace, others will surely follow. And those that do not…they will be in your past.