Monday, July 28, 2008

God is so faithful.

God is so faithful to answer the cries of his people.
I've been so hungry lately for answers, for God to speak, and for more intense forward motion in my walk with Him.

I'm really being met lately- and I'm sooo grateful.

I listened to a teaching online from a friend's church in California a week ago or so. In that teaching, the speaker mentioned that in 1 Cor 14, it says "Follow the way of love and eagerly desire spiritual gifts, especially the gift of prophecy." And when he shared about that- about EAGERLY desiring the prophetic gift- he mentioned a time in his life when he was challenged to give a word over every person at a specific meeting... and that God came through, and spoke something to him for each person that came up...

I was amazed hearing that. How different from my past view of prophecy. My past view of it is more of an idea that God would speak something very specific for someone very specific, and then it's done... or that maybe God would speak to 5 out of the 500 in the room... and that it was this 'sacred' experience that was for only a select few. But I'm beginning to think that the only real restraints on God speaking are:
  • the giver hearing,
  • the person receiving being willing or not to receive,
  • and that practically speaking, there is not enough time to use one person with prophetic gifting, to speak to every person in the room...
Maybe that's why we're to 'especially' desire prophecy. Because God needs more willing people to step up and speak what He wants to say... He's eager for some earthly hearts (and mouths) to submit to Him, so that He can speak...

So, I met with some girlfriends last Tuesday, and earlier that day, I sought God. I asked him for a word for each of the girls that I would be meeting with. I prayed, I read the word, and I wrote down the things I thought he was telling me for each friend. Then that night, I shared with them what I felt like God had told me. I think (?) the words met each of them... but one of the scriptures seemed particularly strange for a friend that had recently had a baby, but I shared it anyway- only to find out that it really met that friend, and was right on...

I'm learning so much through this process, but probably the most important thing is that I have to let down my pride, and my self-consciousness, and just share what I think God is saying, even if it doesn't make sense to me. I have to be willing to look foolish for the sake of the Gospel (I GET IT!). In order for others to be met by a 'surprise' word from the Lord... I have to let it be a word from the Lord, and not tamper with it or question its applicability.

So, thanks, my friends, for letting me practice on you. It's scary, and potentially humiliating. But it is soo exciting and wonderful to me to feel used of God, and because you're my friends, let you respond back to me about close or far off the words might be.

Proverbs 25:11 says: A word aptly spoken is like apples of gold in settings of silver.

In other words, it's beautiful, and desirable.

Friday, July 25, 2008

Angelfire in a nutshell

Our trip:
Eat at the slowest McDonald's known to man. And they were out of apples.
(You might be getting the idea that this blog post is going to be a bit of a rant...)
Escort my 2 kids up to the 3rd floor of the condo, past the two barking, growling German Shepherds on the way up and down the stairs, each time we enter or exit the condo.
After a little less than an hour, my 4 year old says "I'm bored."

Explore the town by car (takes about 10 minutes), then head to the local grocery to pick up various items, while kids throw fits and run away from me in the store.
Go have Chinese food, while the little guy screams and the big kid says a bit too loudly "I don't like poo poo" in reference to the poo poo platter we ordered...
Diabetes numbers ALL over the place, since most of our eating was done in restaurants, and the carb count was unknown...

they woke me up at 5:15 and 6:15.
Andy fell out of bed and I'm trying to shush his pained cries so he doesn't wake Evan...
the rollershade in our bedroom fell out of the window in the middle of the night and scared the peewaddle out of me.
Or the diarrhea diaper Evan had that leaked onto the white bathmat of my mom's friend's bathroom.

On a positive note:
Evan made a poopie in the toilet.
We got to put rocks in prairie dog holes.
We fed and petted alpacas.
Although the service was deplorable at the pizza place, the pizza was excellent.

:) enough whineyness from me. It was actually an interesting trip. I just feel a little sorry for my mom that she had to endure all that at her expense, and still call it a 'vacation.' i'm not sure that constant discipline of a 2 year old is anyone's idea of a retreat.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

My son's dream...

My four year old has been having bad dreams lately. When I ask him to tell me about them, he cries and won't tell me. He says they're too scary.

So, finally a few days ago, I asked him to tell me, and he did.

He said that he has dreams that "a bad man throws a stick at me, and it lands in my stomach." Then he said 'It pokes a hole in my pancreas.'

oh my little man.
God protect him in his sleep and in his wakeful hours.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

My cute kids:

We went to this awesome fountain today- and the kids had a grand time. Here are some pics- The boys trying hard to use their 'walking feet'
when all they really want to do is run and splash everyone. :)

This was his favorite position... he'd splash then plop down on his tummy and stay there for a really long time.
I can just hear him saying "Woooo" while he splashes and kicks around.
This is my son's sad moment. He said 'no one wants to play with me.' We had a tough love talk about how that happens sometimes, but that he has a choice to make. Be happy and find someone to play with, and enjoy the awesome fountain, or he can mope. It's tough being a kid.

and also a cute video of my almost 2 year old...

Monday, July 14, 2008

Awakening myself to the prophetic

I've been really challenged lately to awaken myself to the gift that I believe has been planted within me. Every spiritual gift test I've taken says that my top gifting is Prophecy. I've always agreed with it- but never really known what to do about it.

Until now.

I've been really challenged to take a hold of it, seek out God's explanation for it, and pursue eductation and healthy experiences with it.

My encouragement actually began when we chose our new Pastor, last fall, Brady Boyd. He came to the church, and stated that he wanted to bring back a healthy excercise of the prophetic gift to our church (it had not been openly allowed to operate for a while really). I got really excited about that. I thought "This is my chance to learn and grow in what has laid dormant in me for the last 10-15 years!"

So about 2 months ago now, our church hosted a 'Prophetic Presbetry.' I had never heard that term, nor seen it done before- and I was very interested. I attended each of the four meetings where a team of 3 ministers from outside our church, had fasted and prayed in preparation, and then came to speak the words they felt that God had given them for selected staff members.

One of the ministers in particular, was doing using mostly pictures to describe what God had shown him for the staff member. That resonated sooo loudly with me because that's how God often speaks to me- only up until that point, I hadn't known that it was actually part of my prophetic gift. I had lunch with some friends shortly after, and was talking about how I had always thought that prophecy was this 'hokey pokey, ooh, aah, "Thus sayeth the Lord," slightly uncomfortable experience... And then I saw at our church how healthy- and NOT weird it was being done!

One of my friends that was eating lunch with me that day, told me of how she had done a prophetic ministry training school a while back- and how they said there are two types of prophetic words- one is through a picture that the Lord gives (that's me!), and the other is like a faucet turning on and then off- where the person shares the words and they don't even know what will be said until it comes out... (definitely not me). That was another confirmation for me that what I've been 'seeing' and speaking for the last 10 years or so, is actually prophecy and not something else...

So- I've felt God's prompting in the last few weeks to learn and grow in this area specifically. So- I've joined a prayer group with some ladies, and hope to learn and grow from their maturity. The leader is gifted in the prophetic- and I'm hoping to really glean wisdom from her. I'm also looking for good resources to read/listen to that would better educate me. I feel pretty wary though just searching for 'prophecy' books on the internet. I want to make sure I'm reading an author who is of sound doctrine and has a strong Biblical foundation. I don't want a lesson in spiritual hoo ha... you know?

If you know of any authors/speakers that I could read/listen to, I'd welcome any suggestions you have. I also have the financial restraint though- that prevents me from just buying stuff willy nilly... so anything free will get to the top of my list pretty quickly. :) I found a really neat prophetic ministry training session at Bethel church in Redding CA that looks amazing- but that just isn't going to happen...

Anyway- seek the Lord and ask Him to grow you in your gifts- and ask Him to make you hungry- and He surely will!

Saturday, July 12, 2008

We were like men who dreamed

A friend recommended this Psalm to me last night...

Psalm 126
1 When the LORD brought back the captives to Zion,
we were like men who dreamed.
2 Our mouths were filled with laughter,
our tongues with songs of joy.
Then it was said among the nations,
"The LORD has done great things for them."
3 The LORD has done great things for us,
and we are filled with joy.
4 Restore our fortunes, O LORD,
like streams in the Negev.
5 Those who sow in tears
will reap with songs of joy.
6 He who goes out weeping,
carrying seed to sow,
will return with songs of joy,
carrying sheaves with him.

Wow. Psalms have really refreshed me lately. The friend that sent me this Psalm encouraged me to dream... I have so many dreams, but I feel like I've told myself to put them in check. To not reach quite so far in my hopes. I'm not sure why I've told myself this. Either to avoid disappointment, or because I feel unworthy, or maybe because I don't have the faith to believe that they'll actually come to pass...

So being encouraged to dream should not sound unusual- but yet- if I truly allowed myself to dream, what would that mean?

I decided to look up the definition of dream: Beyond the usual noun form, here are some available definitions:
  • A wild fancy or hope.
  • A condition or achievement that is longed for; an aspiration: a dream of owning their own business.
  • One that is exceptionally gratifying, excellent, or beautiful: Our new car runs like a dream.

Ok- so if I'm to dream, my 'exceptionally gratifying, excellent, and beautiful' form of dream would be that my life would be like a dream. That it would be 'exceptionally gratifying, excellent, and beautiful. I also would like to have a wild fancy and hope. My two main 'wild fancies' that I 'long for' right now are for a beautiful little girl to adopt, and for Andy to be completely healed from Diabetes. I have definitely sown in tears. I'm ready to reap with songs of joy.

Wednesday, July 09, 2008

here's a quote that made my day a little brighter:

Mommy: I love you so much.]
Andy: How much?
Mommy: Bigger than that mountain.
Andy: Which one?
Mommy: All of them.
Andy: Stacked on top of each other?
Mommy: Yup.
Andy: Wow.

Tuesday, July 08, 2008

Unfamiliar Paths

Just thinking last night before bed- and this morning again- about the passage at the top of the blog here... Isaiah 42:16.
It reads as follows:

"I will lead the blind by ways they have not known. Along unfamiliar paths I will guide them. I will turn darkness into light before them and will make rough places smooth. These are the things I will do. I will not forsake them."

I was thinking about this in regard to what Pastor Brady was talking about on Sunday. He talked about Psalm 23:3- ...He leads me in paths of righteousness, for His name's sake. Pastor Brady talked about how when we think of 'paths' they are usually well-worn and easy to see/follow (unless we get WAY off the path). So- as long as we're on, and we're following it, we're doing well (he mentioned in this section about those that wonder if they're really in the mysteriously presented 'will of God' that often is taught as intimidatingly hard to find and/or follow). I was comparing the two verses- and thinking that not only does God promise to LEAD us in times where we CAN see where we're going (ps 23:3)- he also promises to lead us when we're blind (is 42:16), and CAN'T see. When we don't know where we're going or even where the next step on the path is...

I love that in both of these passages- he talks about LEADING. Not pointing in the right direction, giving a little shove, and saying 'off you go." He leads us. I love the imagery of that. In order to lead someone, you go first, you walk ahead of them, you take the person by the hand, and gently guide their steps, correcting so that they don't fall/trip. It sounds so gentle, loving, and so intentional to me.

If He's so close that I can feel His warmth and His touch... Hear His voice warning me of danger- why would I ever choose to look elsewhere and walk my own way?

Oh Father, let me always heed your still, small voice. You wooing me to stay with you, to keep step with you, to stay in a place of undeniable safety.

Wednesday, July 02, 2008

Tie Dye Party! So much fun!

Here are some pics from the playgroup Tie Dye Party. :)

Andy sucking in his tummy...
Evan pushing his tummy out...
I need a tan, seriously! Eating lunch in the shade.
Playing in the sprinkler.
My sweet friends.
Look how cool they turned out!
Such neat shirts!
Here's where it all went down... (and where my
mulch is slightly more colorful than it was yesterday).