Start Again

Last weekend I heard Bobby Conner speak.  He said Jesus showed up to him and his face was sad and when Bobby asked why, Jesus replied, because my people don’t want to spend time with me.

After we left the meeting that night I had a long stream of thoughts in my head that I thought I would share here.  Can I say I already knew this?  Can I say that because it applies to me?  Holy Spirit’s kinda scary.  Let me explain more below.

A decade ago I was in the heart of everything extreme regarding Holy Spirit experiences.  Prayer rooms, conferences, communities, ministry, missions trips, prayer meetings, extravagant poverty and generosity, new adventures, preaching, ministering to the poor, etc.  Its safe to say many many of us remember those times of waking up to everything supernatural, unseen, giftings, refinement, and faith challenging.  Literally on the the floor, taken over by God.

Then I noticed another season.  I noticed it but hadn’t articulated it, until someone else did that for me.  An old fatherly preacher said first you are a part of a move of God and so is everyone else.  Then you fall flat on your face, and that’s a move of God too, and so did everyone else.

Between the years of 2013-2016 or around there I noticed so many people encounter very challenging or hard circumstances.  I’m referring to the sold out crowd.  The whole-hearted ones.  We had followed God–Holy Spirit–to the best of our growing ability and it led us right into heartbreak, setback, disappointment, confusion, or disillusionment.

So people are still figuring out which way is up, many people are forever changed through these experiences.  And we should be.  That’s why we have them.  But pain is a hard thing to choose willingly.  I know for myself I wondered how I had heard wrong, or gotten off track, or the lingering question of why?

God works healing, restoration, recovery, strength, and endurance in the midst of our inability to fix things, mend things, turn back time, or undo what’s been done.  Sometimes this happens overnight but more often than not it happens as the seasons pass by one after the other and the sting is gone and we can hear truth in the peace.  Or at least feel love in it again.

This may be the time to start again my friends.  Us, the family of God that has been learning so many things with our paradigms, communities, and living situations having changed so dramatically since back then.

So do we dare to open up ourselves again to a God that seemingly led us into a crash course with something we didn’t sign up for?  Will we be wholehearted again when it feels like we don’t even have our whole heart anymore or don’t know where we lost pieces of it along the way?

Our minds know he’s good.  Our minds know he’s faithful.  Our minds know he has a plan.  It’s the time of our hearts thawing towards him again.  We may look more secular, we may speak more secular, we may live lifestyles where religion can’t be detected much anymore but we are right where he’s invited us all.

He really is a wise orchestrater and he knew all the outcomes before all this happened.  You’re not off track.  You’re not lost, because he knows right where you are.  Myself included, I feel like this is the time for affections to be repaired and emotions to be restored.  In him, towards him, for him, and with him.

You have overcome.  You are equipped.  You are gifted.  You are included.  You are loved.  Maybe your dreamer got broken.  Maybe your believer ran out of power.  But there is life within you.  There is purpose in your breath.  There is glory in your experiences, maybe the failures more than successes.

God never invited Jesus into comfort, acceptance, celebration, the loyalties of those around him, freedom from pain, or glory among men during his life.  God has a much different value scale than you or I.  You may not know that every purpose that God had in the midst of your experiences has been accomplished.

He doesn’t want you as a worker anymore.  He does miss me.  He does miss us.  Maybe we are ready.  Maybe we are ready again to say yes.  All of us just know we will never say yes again to the mistakes or pains of our past.  There is glory in that.

We’ve heard all along in our involvement with Charismatic circles that God is moving towards doing wonders and miracles beyond our wildest imaginations.  We carry the memory of the hope we had of being in the center of that.  I think we still are.  I think you still are.  God knows what he’s doing on a global scale in exact timing.

Don’t respond to him in duty.  Don’t turn him away from a place of pain.  He is a lover.  He wants to share his love with us.  He wants to experience our presence.  Share our excitement and our pain.  He wants to comfort us and cause us to believe in ourselves again.

The winter perhaps is over and gone and new leaves are sprouting again.  The warmth is returning, the river is thawed, and life will grow. And we will see it and feel it in our own lives.  A lot is accomplished during the winter and you prime for fruit bearing in your renewed surrender.

The pain, the disappointment, distrust, or broken normal may not ever repair itself to life as it once was but we will have a different understanding of who God is and who we are in its occurrence.  Hope, Faith, and Love have become even more untouchable within us by the circumstances without us.  We have grown.

I can’t promise it won’t hurt again.  Continuing to follow him without understanding or being able to see what he sees about yourself.  I can’t promise you won’t experience or disappointment again.  But I can assure you your fullest life–not coasting by denying your numbness as time passes–the reason you were created as you were, lies in your renewed yes, your renewed faith through confusion, your willingness in your weakness, your availability in expressing and receiving love once again.

Beautiful army bearing the scars of maturity, dare to feel safe in his arms, rather than our avoidance or control once again.

Have You Missed Your Destiny?

The glorious reality is that you are living it.  Did you know there was a world of possibilities with your creation and that you weren’t nailed into a pinhole of a purpose?  Did you know there aren’t borders you were supposed to cross decades ago or turns you couldn’t manage to see?  You were given specific gifts but there expression goes through your experiences, your personality, your training, and more.

Your previous choices–whether you still agree with them or not–were powerful and have written your story.  Today you are making choices that create your tomorrow.  And everything you do and say has value and an eternal ripple.

Do you ever feel insignificant or that you are living without purpose.  Even then what you do means something.  Does your inner desire for greatness or impact ever conflict with your external self that makes banana bread and goes to the movie theater?  Even now you possess the most powerful thing in the world.

As long as you are breathing, your power to love is functioning.  It may be weak under bitterness or forgiveness or it may be strong with compassion and understanding but as long as you are a part of earth’s story, you possess the muscle to give and receive love.  This is purpose, this is power, this is freedom.

People focus so much on externals in appearances, other’s appreciation, position, and power but everyone across the board, regardless of income or weight gain, has this same power to love.  It is enjoyable to be alive when you know you are loved possess the ability to share that with others freely.

In case you are not enjoying being alive, I want to remind you and let you know the truth.  There is someone who made you, saw you, dreamed of you, delighted in you, and is glad for your company.  God appeared as human to see you face to face and to show that he esteems your worth greater than his own life.  Would you give your life for another?  He wants you to know, it was with Joy God laid down his life for your company forever.

I remember living when I didn’t know that.  I didn’t know that God loved knew all about me and desired my company.  I didn’t know that he demolished everything that stood between us and wanted to share my life with me every day.  I know that now.   My only remaining enemy is doubt in the very thing he died to tell me.  My life matters.  I am lovely.  I am powerful.  He is alive inside of me.

Today I want you to know your heart has meaning.  Your life matters.  Your voice, your thoughts, your excitement, your passion all are beautiful.  Your growth process has purpose, including your mistakes.  Your destiny is to live loved as a free son or daughter of God naturally reflecting his glory by you living as your true self made by the Father’s hand.

Eternity is a thin veil.  Do you know one thing you will never ever stop doing is loving because it is who God is and ultimately who we’ve been created to be in his reflection.  Every way you grow in love here is a part of your forever-person.  You can be confident in the humility you choose and the forgiveness you embrace that are they are growing the organ of eternal love inside of you.

That unseen world of challenges that hinder love and your humility to choose it once again and enjoy giving and receiving it once again–whether between God or people–matters.

The story you are writing is still alive.  May you feel powerful and purposeful in the way you choose to love.  Including loving yourself.  And your enemies.  All things are possible with God.  May peace and joy rest in your heart as you believe and get to enjoy being alive today.  Blessings!

An Encouraging Word

The word of encouragement written below came across my lap and  says some of the same things I was told a few weeks ago about things coming my way so it related to me and wanted to share it in case it brightens anyone else’s expectations!  Have a great weekend!

The contents below in their entirety can be found in their original location at Charlie Shamp’s Website by clicking here.

A Year of New Beginnings:
I heard the Lord say, “You have seen it. You have heard it before. You have spoken it. You have even imagined it in your mind; my plan for outpouring in the earth, but what I’m about to do for my people has no historical reference points. That’s right it’s new, fresh, original, tailor made for this time! It has never been seen before or manufactured in the past; no I reserved the best for last. Some have said, ‘we will set a specific place and hour to produce a move of the Father,’ but what is about to come will catch and spread like wild fire. What is to come will not be confined to a specific place, that’s right it will cross countries, jump oceans, leap over denominational walls. I will visit in a new and fresh way, my spirit will drop and distill like a shower of rain. My lightnings will strike to restore, revive and renew. Every form of dryness will come to an end as I saturate you. The reign of terror, turmoil, and tragedy will have to come to an end for the glory of heaven that I will send. I will open the windows of heaven and showers of blessings will overtake your homes. This is a year of open opportunities, open doors, open heavens! Don’t look to the past to predict what is about to come, those days are gone for good. What happened then could never produce what I have in my mind in the now. I will stretch out my mighty hand and open your eyes to see that I am putting an end to your lack, rejection, dissatisfaction, disappointment, and demonic harassments. Your failure, sickness and shame be washed way by the power of my son’s name. Every generational curse disturbing you will be scattered and destroyed. The days of pain, sorrow, weeping, stagnation, devastation, and struggling will come to an end. This year will be a time of supernatural shock and awe as I passionately pour out my spirit and divinely fill your cup to overflow with blessings that can’t be numbered, named, contained!”
-Prophet Charlie Shamp

Child-Like Faith

As I was falling asleep last night my mind was writing this blog.  ha!  There are so many attributes of people I admire.  Some of them fall into the below categories I wanted to highlight!

  1.  Emotional Vulnerability

When people grow up, for various reasons, they stuff emotions, don’t express them, close themselves off, quit communicating, or letting themselves feel.  Kid’s wear their emotions on their sleeves.  I’m not saying that is maturity but kids don’t shut down their emotional experience, or close off sharing it, unless they feel unsafe. The ability to feel emotions is heavenly and these emotions aren’t composed of stress, anxiety, judgment, worry, depression, and guilt, which sometimes adults experience.  There is a heavenliness in not fearing to feel good and sad emotions with the events of life, and not being afraid of sharing them or expressing them different healthy ways.

2.  Honesty

Kids may occasionally tell a lie to hide something but in general kids have no filter when it comes to truth-telling, sometimes to the embarrassment of their parents.  This also is because they don’t have a preoccupation with creating/maintaining an image of themselves.  They are just existing as they are and as the world comes to them.  They say things as they see them, whether their perceptions are accurate or not, it is still their experience.

3.  Curiosity

Children carry with them a sense of awe and wonder about the world.  Things are new and no one has told them the way they have to see things yet.  They see things from different perspectives and new angles and no one has told them what they can’t do or how they can’t use something.  They ask questions and are teachable and listen to answers.  They are okay with not knowing the answers and living in a world where they aren’t expected to have explanations for everything.  They reflect on things and are open to new ideas.

4.   Playfulness and Imagination

Kids are always ready to have fun.  I so appreciate adults who laugh easily and recognize the power of joy.  Seriousness is not a fruit of the Holy Spirit and the world doesn’t rest on any man’s shoulders but Jesus’.  Someone’s ability to take themselves not so seriously is a sign of maturity in my eyes.  Kids are ready to make any boring, regular task a play session and I think heaven involves much of this feeling.  Fun loving flexibilty, adaptability, inclusion, and making life joyful in the simplest of perspectives and ways.

5.  Authenticity

This was referred to in the honesty one above but more than that, kids aren’t preoccupied with what people think of them.  It still hurts when they experience rejection but they don’t abandon or hide their true selves after these experiences.  The only way they know how to be is themselves!  They are unique and different from one another in all their original glory.  Just because they are different doesn’t mean they are less in their own eyes.  They are on their own special unique journey.  There is an innocence, and strength in feeling valued solely based on our parent’s acceptance of us.