The Chance to Love and Be Loved Exists No Matter Where You Are

Posts tagged ‘Jesus’

When Holy Spirit Moves

I have blogged about my experiences lately with watching other’s worship and how much it has moved me and inspired me to step further out of my comfort zone and into my free praise of our amazing Father. I have been at conventions and other churches that are doing worship the way I feel is the right way for me. They go up front during the music and they sway or jump or dance around. I’ve witnessed worship like I never had before, at these conventions and churches I’ve visited. After I became comfortable with it and began to understand it, I started to crave that freedom myself! I’ve heard others say that when they aren’t finding what they needed in their own church, they left, seeking it somewhere else. I couldn’t imagine leaving my church! These people are more than just bodies standing next to or around me as I worship and learn more about God. These people are more than just friends that I enjoy seeing! They are my family! Not family that I chose for myself, but family that my Father, Abba chose for me! So, I couldn’t just leave and tell them that they are not enough for me! Besides, in loving them, I want what is best for them, too. I want them to experience the freedom that I have found, the love that I have come to know. I want them to be totally consumed with Holy Spirit, to the point that they are not afraid to become “fools for Christ!” (1 Corinthians 4:10)

I had a vision about 6 months ago where I met Jesus, and in our conversation, He told me that I am never to be ashamed of how I worship. EVER! He also told me that there is absolutely NO WRONG WAY to worship, and that no way of worshiping is valued more than any other. If you are worshiping from the heart, and being obedient to how you are being told to worship by Abba, then you are doing everything correctly! If you’re way of worshiping is to just sit there and bask in His presence, or to kneel on the ground, face down, or, like me, to dance and jump with joy, you are doing it right! No one has the right to tell you that if you are still, you aren’t worshiping! Your worship is between you and Abba ONLY! And once you are actually worshiping in earnest, the devil will definitely attack you with your own thoughts. Since my way of worship is so out loud and boisterous, I am constantly afraid that people will think that I am seeking attention for myself, that I am looking for the spotlight. The only spotlight I am seeking is one that comes from my Father. I worship for an audience of One! If you see me and it inspires you to step out of your comfort zone and worship with me, that’s awesome! But my worship isn’t for you. I welcome any and everyone to worship with me, and, in fact, it makes my worship even more enjoyable!

So, with all of that being said, I have been praying for the change in my church that I need so badly. I have been trying to be obedient to God and have been walking down front to dance when I feel He is calling me to. Sometimes a few of my friends will join me, and sometimes, I’m all lone, worrying if others think I’m dancing there, screaming for them to look at me! (That’s the devil talking to me!)

Last week, I was all alone again. I enjoyed my time with Abba, but felt defeated. I felt like it really wasn’t going to ever happen and that I would continue to worship alone up front. I was asking God, do I stop? Do I give up? What would You have me to do? It isn’t working! Could I possibly be the only one who is moved to dance during worship?! I mean, I have my girlfriends, and they dance with me at our seats, and every once in a while they go up front with me, and I love all of that! But I need more! Then, at a class this week, I was inspired through a prophetic word from a friend to try once more. And another friend and I spoke at a lady’s gathering we had at church. Both of us spoke about worshiping down front and how we wished others would join us. Then came Sunday. The music was intoxicating and I was so moved, that I don’t think I could have stayed in my seat if I had wanted to! I walked down front and when I got to my place, I turned around and there were 7 ladies who had joined me! 7!!!! My lucky number and one of God’s favorite numbers! I felt blessed beyond measure! I felt like God had heard my cries and had answered them by inspiring others! I began to cry and I couldn’t contain myself! I wanted to celebrate the love that my Father had shown me! I wanted to scream with joy! As each song played, I could feel Holy Spirit wrap Himself around me closer and tighter, and I just gave myself to Him! I was so overjoyed! Then, the last song came on, and part of the words were, “Yes, Lord, Yes, Lord, Yes, Yes, Lord!” I changed the words to, “More, Lord! More, Lord! More, More Lord!!!” I became overcome with His presence. I was told to get on my knees to worship, so I did. I cried even more and my joy overflowed, and I began to laugh uncontrollably, to the point that I couldn’t stop. It felt so good in that moment (even if it was a little awkward that I was the only one laughing). Then, a friend came to pray for me, and as she touched my shoulder, she fell into fits of laughter, too. What an amazing moment that was! I’d witnessed what they call “Laughing in Spirit,” but I hadn’t really experienced it to that extent. It was overwhelming and uncontrollable. It was a beautiful moment!

Now, I know that my dream of worshiping up front with my brothers and sisters in Christ WILL come true! The flood gates have opened! I just pray that the devil doesn’t stop anyone from joining me. He can be pretty tricky and very powerful, but my God is BIGGER and even more POWERFUL! Thank you, Abba, for loving me the way that you do! And to everyone else, never stop worshiping, in whatever way that is for you!

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I Love the Skin You’re In!

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A friend of mine raises chickens at her house out in the country. She has a beautiful home with lots of room for kids to run and play, and for chickens to lay eggs. I had recently started a diet and was trying to eat healthier foods, so I asked if I could buy some of her home grown eggs. She brought them to church and I took them home. That afternoon, I opened my carton of eggs to see what they looked like when they came from a “farm”. I was used to the beautiful, pure-looking, solid white, same shape, same size eggs that I get from the grocery store. These were definitely NOT those eggs! These were all different shapes and sizes, not to mention the colors! They all had a different shade of brown. Some were very light tan, while others were very dark brown. As I gazed upon them, God spoke to me. He pointed out their differences and how, from just looking at the shells, I would say they were not the same. But if I were to crack them open, they would all have the same contents on the inside. Sure, some might also have a little more yolk, but they would still pretty much all taste the same. You might look at one egg and think that the color or the shape would make it taste different, but if you were to brake them open and cook them, not knowing which egg it came from, you would never be able to tell me which egg came from which shell.

I suppose that, this being February, the month we celebrate Black History, this topic might have been on my mind a bit already, but I feel like the Lord has been speaking to me more this year about this than He had previously. I have never thought of myself as prejudice, and still do not. I love all people, regardless of race, background, or any other defining characteristic. It really bothers me that this is even an issue, but I know that it is still felt deeply by people that I care a lot about. And their pain has caused me to look around a bit more this year. I have realized that I live in a “privileged” world, where things might be directed more towards my comfort, and this makes me sad. What I’m referring to are ads and TV programs, and probably more, if I really stopped to consider it. At first, I thought this wasn’t true, but then, I started to notice that some of the black children in my Sunday School class colored their papers with people in them the peach tones that we refer to as white. They didn’t add the brown skin tones that I thought that they should. I asked one little girl why she had colored them white. She said “because they WERE white!” I looked at them, and I could see why she would say that. I thought they would still have looked just as nice with a little color to their skin, but what made me sad was that she didn’t even hesitate in making them white. The following Sunday, she did the same thing. Did this mean that she was programmed to always think that, when looking at a blank black and white picture, the people were always white?! How sad!

As little girls, we are given dolls that reflect who we are, so that we can relate to them better. Shouldn’t that be the way we color pictures, too? Not that a child of one race couldn’t color a picture of people of a different race. There is nothing wrong with that at all! In fact, I find that beautiful and healthy! But when that child only colors people a specific race, other than the one they are, what message does that say she is getting? This particular girl is absolutely beautiful! It’s not just about her skin color, it’s about her beautiful, cheerful eyes that light up wherever she goes! It’s about that breath-taking smile that makes my heart happy when I see her. It’s about that beautiful, happy-go-lucky personality that I see in her every single time I am with her! I want her to be proud of who she is and where she comes from and to know, she was made perfectly, by loving hands that were excited about her existence, that she is cared for by a King that loved her enough to die just for HER! And it didn’t matter to Him what her skin color was! I never want the word “prejudice” to enter her naive ears or to stain her pure heart, or any other child’s for that matter! I want her to look at a white child or an Asian child or any other child and see their color differences, but for it not to matter any more than having different colored hair or eyes. It’s just a part of who that child is, but doesn’t change their value or their worth!

As I was driving home today, I was thinking about this blog, and trying to figure out how to write it, and to convey the love that I have for all of God’s people. I didn’t want to come off wrong or offend anyone. This was just what was on my heart. Then, a thought occurred to me. I thought about how white people have a white Jesus, while black people have a black Jesus. I remembered a sermon my pastor had given me that really changed how I viewed Jesus. The topic was the truths about who Jesus really was. He said, after studying the Bible, he’d come to the conclusion that Jesus was probably not attractive at all! In fact, He was probably very homely looking. This was because the Bible is always quick to refer to someone as attractive, if they were. But that description was never given for Jesus. Well, there went any and every picture I’d ever seen of Jesus!

He went on to say that Jesus DEFINITELY was NOT white! This didn’t really surprise me much, since it wouldn’t make much sense that He’d be white, anyway. But my pastor also said that He likely wasn’t black either. He was probably middle eastern, or a similar race.

As I was reflecting on this sermon today, I asked Jesus, “What color were You? Am I allowed to know that? Is that something I can even ask you?! If we were made in Your image, who’s image was made first? A black man or a white man, or someone else?” His reply to me was, “Why does it matter?! Call me a patchwork quilt, because all men were made in My image. No color is wrong or right. I reflect all colors, just like a patchwork quilt.”

Image result for cartoon man multiple colors

This was a beautiful thought to me. How perfect an answer! Why does it really matter?! It doesn’t! Jesus died for ALL of us, and He didn’t care the color of our skin! He knew that, just like my eggs, our shells mean nothing. It’s what’s on the inside that matters! It’s how we treat each other that matters. It’s how we LOVE each other that matters! Jesus didn’t say, “Love the people who look like you or act like you.” No, He said, “Love your neighbor as yourself.” Matthew 22:39 

So, no matter who or where you are, what you look like, how tall you are, what shape you are in, what color hair, eyes or skin you have, I love you! And so does our Maker!!! He made YOU perfectly, with loving hands that were excited about YOUR existence! YOU are cared for by a King that loved you enough to die just for YOU! How exciting is that?! Oh, how I love our Abba, who first loved us! I truly am a blessed child of God, and so are you!

I Believe…

I know that I am still working on part 2 of day 2 of my mission, but something happened to me last week that I feel begs to be told.

I was cleaning out some old junk from my mother’s basement and somewhere along the line, I sprained my ankle. It wasn’t one of those sprains where you KNOW when you did it. It was more like I must have twisted my ankle the wrong way at some point and didn’t feel it until I had slowed down after I was close to finishing. I was taking some things out to the trash can when it suddenly started to throb to the point that I couldn’t even put weight on it. I hobbled back inside and told my mom I was finished for the night. I prayed over it and asked God to please, PLEASE heal my ankle! I had a long walk from the parking garage to the chair in my office every morning. I couldn’t imagine that walk while having to limp like this.

When I woke in the morning, the pain was still there. I hobbled around the house getting my daughter and myself ready and out the door, praying again for healing for my ankle. I dropped her off at school, then drove the 5 minutes to my work, parked, and made the long trek (which isn’t really that long on a healthy ankle) into my office. It did take me longer, and it really sucked.

As I sat down at my desk, I felt defeated. My ankle was really hurting by that time and I couldn’t understand why God wasn’t healing it. I’d seen videos and heard about friends who had been healed. I had gone to a prayer night at a local church and even had someone pray over my knees, which had been hurting, and they were healed then. That same night, I had been told that I was destined to be a healer one day. I had felt unworthy, but was willing. But as I sat there, I wondered if that really was something I’d ever be able to do, especially if I couldn’t even heal myself! I was doubting not only myself, but the message I had been given. I asked God, “What am I doing wrong? Why aren’t you healing me!”

Then, I heard him. “Walk expectantly.”

What? So, that was what I was missing?

Just then, my boss asked me if I would create a list of our items in stock in another room. It would take me a bit of time and I would need to be on my feet the whole time, walking around the whole while.

So, here goes, I thought. I gave myself a pep talk. I know for a fact that God loves me, and I know that He wants to heal me. I just had to believe it. Then, the story of the woman who was sick and simply touched Jesus’ cloak flashed across my mind.

43 And a woman was there who had been subject to bleeding for twelve years, but no one could heal her. 44 She came up behind him and touched the edge of his cloak, and immediately her bleeding stopped.

45 “Who touched me?” Jesus asked.

When they all denied it, Peter said, “Master, the people are crowding and pressing against you.”

46 But Jesus said, “Someone touched me; I know that power has gone out from me.”

47 Then the woman, seeing that she could not go unnoticed, came trembling and fell at his feet. In the presence of all the people, she told why she had touched him and how she had been instantly healed.48 Then he said to her, “Daughter, your faith has healed you. Go in peace.”  

Luke 8:43-48

And I heard the verse:

29 ….“According to your faith be it done to you.” 

Matthew 9:29

Oh, so, I now I understood! Jesus wanted to heal me, and was probably trying to, but I needed to believe He would and that He was able to. This wasn’t just a “maybe He will, maybe He won’t” kind of thing. After all, the Bible says that if we ask for things, God will give them to us.

“WALK EXPECTANTLY!”

I heard again. So, I got up, and walked into the storage room. NO PAIN! It was absolutely pain free! I’m not making this up! It really happened! Not only did I walk into the stock room, but I put on my earbuds and I danced around as I scanned all of our items!

Later that night, as I relaxed at home, the pain returned just a bit. I thought, Now, why is it returning? Was it only temporary or do I have to do this whole thing over again?

“WALK EXPECTANTLY,” I heard again. What I realized was that I had been sitting there, thinking about how much it had hurt that morning, and how it felt so much better now. Was it real? Had that really happened, or was it just one of those weird pains that is there and then somehow just goes away. and had coincidentally gone as I had prayed. Was I making this all up in my head?

Then, God reminded me of the story of Peter, as he walked on the water towards Jesus. He had no problems until he looked away. The moment he stopped focusing on Jesus and started to worry that he would sink into the water, he did just that! He started to sink! So, what God was trying to tell me was that I needed to remember to focus on Him! To remember that He had healed me. And every time that pain or any other issue would rise up, I simply needed to focus on Jesus and I would make it through and everything would turn out fine! It was an amazing awakening. Since then, my ankle has not hurt again. I began praying and believing in healing for my knees and my feet and everything has been fine! I feel so much better!

To be clear, I no longer believe in coincidence. I don’t believe things “just happen at the exact right time.” I believe those are God moments. But every once in a while, I have a moment where the thought “what if” creeps into my mind. I just have to remember to squash that thought! THERE IS NO SUCH THING AS COINCIDENCE! I have no doubt that Jesus healed my ankle that day, and I have no doubt that He is preparing me for something more, something bigger! When I step up and make the full commitment, that’s when He will start setting things into motion. One day, I WILL be a healer! One day, I WILL be out on the streets healing God’ children! Just like Jesus did. Just like Todd White does now, and many others as well.