Making the Dry Tree Flourish


“Oh great. Ezekiel.”

Now, some of you are going to want to reach through the computer and slap me real hard for what I’m about to own up to…but; here goes. The reason I was disappointed about turning to Ezekiel in my Bible was because I had done what no mature Christian normally does. I NEEDED to be encouraged. I NEEDED to be encouraged so badly that I had asked my Jesus to please speak to me through His Word by me randomly opening my Bible. I knew better, but closed my eyes and opened my bedside Bible. It fell open to…Ezekiel. I was disappointed. You have to understand…I just don’t do this. I normally would just read from where I had left off and look for nuggets of peace and solace there. The reason, I didn’t do that was I had been reading Isaiah and I just wasn’t up to reading what was coming in the next chapter when I had such a need of comforting. When I saw that I had turned to Ezekiel, I’m afraid I sighed. I went ahead and started reading with part of my brain saying, “You knew better.” So, I read…

Ezekiel 17

“1. And the word of the Lord came unto me, saying, 2. Son of man, put forth a riddle, and speak a parable unto the house of Israel; 3. And say, Thus saith the Lord God; A great eagle with great wings, longwinged, full of feathers, which had divers colours, came unto Lebanon, and took the highest branch of the cedar: 4. He cropped off the top of his young twigs, and carried it into a land of traffick; he set it in a city of merchants. 5. He took also of the seed of the land, and planted it in a fruitful field; he placed it by great waters, and set it as a willow tree. 6. And it grew, and became a spreading vine of low stature, whose branches turned toward him, and the roots thereof were under him: so it became a vine, and brought forth branches, and shot forth sprigs….”

I was reading but not absorbing. I was tempted to skim, but my conscience wouldn’t allow me. I continued.

“7. There was also another great eagle with great wings and many feathers: and, behold, this vine did bend her roots toward him, and shot forth her branches toward him, that he might water it by the furrows of her plantation .8. It was planted in a good soil by great waters, that it might bring forth branches, and that it might bear fruit, that it might be a goodly vine. 9. Say thou, Thus saith the Lord God; Shall it prosper? shall he not pull up the roots thereof, and cut off the fruit thereof, that it wither? it shall wither in all the leaves of her spring, even without great power or many people to pluck it up by the roots thereof. 10. Yea, behold, being planted, shall it prosper? shall it not utterly wither, when the east wind toucheth it? it shall wither in the furrows where it grew.”

Now, I REALLY didn’t want to continue. I was just so beaten down already, I didn’t think I could bear to read something that made me feel any worse… but; my conscience would not allow me to not take the bitter with the sweet, so…I continued.

“11. Moreover the word of the Lord came unto me, saying, 12. Say now to the rebellious house, Know ye not what these things mean? tell them, Behold, the king of Babylon is come to Jerusalem, and hath taken the king thereof, and the princes thereof, and led them with him to Babylon; 13. And hath taken of the king’s seed, and made a covenant with him, and hath taken an oath of him: he hath also taken the mighty of the land: 14. That the kingdom might be base, that it might not lift itself up, but that by keeping of his covenant it might stand. 15. But he rebelled against him in sending his ambassadors into Egypt, that they might give him horses and much people. Shall he prosper? shall he escape that doeth such things? or shall he break the covenant, and be delivered? 16. As I live, saith the Lord God, surely in the place where the king dwelleth that made him king, whose oath he despised, and whose covenant he brake, even with him in the midst of Babylon he shall die. 17. Neither shall Pharaoh with his mighty army and great company make for him in the war, by casting up mounts, and building forts, to cut off many persons: 18. Seeing he despised the oath by breaking the covenant, when, lo, he had given his hand, and hath done all these things, he shall not escape. 19. Therefore thus saith the Lord God; As I live, surely mine oath that he hath despised, and my covenant that he hath broken, even it will I recompense upon his own head. 20. And I will spread my net upon him, and he shall be taken in my snare, and I will bring him to Babylon, and will plead with him there for his trespass that he hath trespassed against me. 21. And all his fugitives with all his bands shall fall by the sword, and they that remain shall be scattered toward all winds: and ye shall know that I the Lord have spoken it.”

Now, not only was I beaten down and very sad…I was starting to wonder if I had displeased God. I caught myself skipping words in order to rush ahead and past this disturbing scene…but; my conscience wouldn’t let me. I made myself back up and read it again before I continued.

“22.  Thus saith the Lord God; I will also take of the highest branch of the high cedar, and will set it; I will crop off from the top of his young twigs a tender one, and will plant it upon an high mountain and eminent:”

I had to read this a couple of times. It was puzzling to me. Then I read…

“23.  In the mountain of the height of Israel will I plant it: and it shall bring forth boughs, and bear fruit, and be a goodly cedar: and under it shall dwell all fowl of every wing; in the shadow of the branches thereof shall they dwell.”

My heart started to lift…Oh to bear fruit! To be a goodly cedar!

“24. And all the trees of the field shall know that I the Lord have brought down the high tree, have exalted the low tree, have dried up the green tree, and have made the dry tree to flourish: I the Lord have spoken and have done it.”

He will make “the dry tree to flourish:” I had to read it again and again. “…made the dry tree to flourish:” Oh what Beautiful Words!  “I can do this!”,  I thought. “Everything is going to be alright, no matter what the end is, it’s going to be alright!”

For months I had been working on the “force the desert to blossom as the rose” plan, as I call it to my kids and family. I had been privileged to hear Rev Lee Stoneking speak at my daughter’s graduation from Bible college, and the thing that he said that impacted me the most was what he preached from Isaiah 35:1 “The wilderness and the solitary place shall be glad for them; and the desert shall rejoice, and blossom as the rose.” He spoke of “forcing” the desert to blossom as the rose. (I wrote extensively about this in my post, “Rise Up Oh Army of God”.)  God had really gotten a hold of me after this and had been changing me in ways I never would have done on my own. Just the other night, I had been praying about how I felt like I had so far to go and I felt like progress had slowed and I absolutely did not want to chance a stall. I talked to Jesus and said that my program of forcing the desert to blossom was not going to cut it. His ways are so much better that I asked God if HE would “FORCE my desert to blossom”. He is so awesome and His ways are awesome and He would do it RIGHT!  HIS plan would be perfect and the end would be lovely, no matter what it was. Now, here I was, sitting on my bed reading Ezekiel 17 over and over to make sure I got it right. Yes, I’ve been in a dry and thirsty land, but THIS DESERT is GOING to BLOSSOM!

What a GOOD life we have when it’s lived in God!

Nancy

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My Husband


“Oh, my Husband, my Mighty God! Where would you have me go? What would you have me do? How would you have me speak?”

I was standing by my seat deep in prayer, when I felt a tap on my arm. I opened my eyes to see a stranger before me. He said, “I wonder if you would mind sharing with me what you are interceding so deeply for?”  I tried to think of a way I could explain to this man of God what I had been praying about. How could I put this thing into words…how could I tell him something so deep…so personal.

It was the first evening of our organization’s General Conference. I was attending it with my daughter, though she had stepped away and was praying for others. I hadn’t really thought we would be able to attend the conference since an unexpected home repair had pretty much wiped out my financial buffer. God kept laying on my heart that we should go until, with less than a week til the conference, during prayer, I thought of how we could manage it. If you have read my previous posts, you have something of an idea of what God has been doing with me these past months and the changes leading up to this evening, that found me standing before God, in deep submission, praying.

I should probably take you back prior to this evening, to a time of consecrating prayer, a time of relinquishing of my will to Jesus, a time of brokenness before God. I had put myself under His protection as my Husband and placed my future and entire trust in His hands. I made a purposeful decision that evening to give God my first love, as my spiritual husband. As I prayed, I thought of how a woman in love speaks to her betrothed. I thought of the Song of Solomon. 1:3. “Because of the savour of thy good ointments thy name is as ointment poured forth, therefore do the virgins love thee. 4. Draw me, we will run after thee: the king hath brought me into his chambers: we will be glad and rejoice in thee, we will remember thy love more than wine: the upright love thee…2:3. As the apple tree among the trees of the wood, so is my beloved among the sons. I sat down under his shadow with great delight, and his fruit was sweet to my taste. 4. He brought me to the banqueting house, and his banner over me was love…16. My beloved is mine, and I am his: he feedeth among the lilies. 17. Until the day break, and the shadows flee away, turn, my beloved, and be thou like a roe or a young hart upon the mountains of Bether.”

I spoke to Jesus during this prayer of consecration as the Shulamite woman to King Solomon…I told Him how much I loved Him, how much I desired to please Him, to serve Him, to lavish my love on Him.  As I worshiped, I told Him I wanted my life to please Him, my clothing to please Him, my hair to please Him. I told Him I desired to please Him in Holiness and in submission of my will to His.  In this deep place of prayer, I spoke to God as my Husband, asking Him for protection, provision, comfort and direction.

I looked at the man standing before me and struggled to find the words. I had been praying to God as my Husband, pouring my heart out to Him. I had let myself get distracted with life and with my own desires and had let my first love for Him slip. What use was I to God if I was not sold out to Him? All of the changes that had happened over the past months, all of the promise I was feeling were worth nothing if I wasn’t sold out to God! I knew I needed to place God once again in that honored place in my heart reserved for my spiritual Husband. Finally, I spoke, telling the man of God that I was of no use to God if I wasn’t sold out to Him. Then, after asking me if I had repented about this, he said, “This is what I’m going to do. I’m going to pray with you and God is going to change you and it has already begun. You will see changes over the next few days and as the days pass.” Then he prayed for me and the power of God came down…and God, my spiritual Husband took His rightful first place in my heart once again…and I danced the dance of The Bride.

Isaiah 62

1. For Zion’s sake will I not hold my peace, and for Jerusalem’s sake I will not rest, until the righteousness thereof go forth as brightness, and the salvation thereof as a lamp that burneth.
2. And the Gentiles shall see thy righteousness, and all kings thy glory: and thou shalt be called by a new name, which the mouth of the Lord shall name.
3. Thou shalt also be a crown of glory in the hand of the Lord, and a royal diadem in the hand of thy God.
4. Thou shalt no more be termed Forsaken; neither shall thy land any more be termed Desolate: but thou shalt be called Hephzibah, and thy land Beulah: for the Lord delighteth in thee, and thy land shall be married.
5. For as a young man marrieth a virgin, so shall thy sons marry thee: and as the bridegroom rejoiceth over the bride, so shall thy God rejoice over thee.
6. I have set watchmen upon thy walls, O Jerusalem, which shall never hold their peace day nor night: ye that make mention of the Lord, keep not silence,
7. And give him no rest, till he establish, and till he make Jerusalem a praise in the earth.
8. The Lord hath sworn by his right hand, and by the arm of his strength, Surely I will no more give thy corn to be meat for thine enemies; and the sons of the stranger shall not drink thy wine, for the which thou hast laboured:
9. But they that have gathered it shall eat it, and praise the Lord; and they that have brought it together shall drink it in the courts of my holiness.
10. Go through, go through the gates; prepare ye the way of the people; cast up, cast up the highway; gather out the stones; lift up a standard for the people.
11. Behold, the Lord hath proclaimed unto the end of the world, Say ye to the daughter of Zion, Behold, thy salvation cometh; behold, his reward is with him, and his work before him.
12. And they shall call them, The holy people, The redeemed of the Lord: and thou shalt be called, Sought out, A city not forsaken.

Nancy

I Will Set My Face Like Flint


“Is there any way you could come home a weekend soon and help with a couple of things?” I was texting my son and could feel my heart squeezing as I wrote the next words, “I’m going to be contacting a Realtor soon.”

As I wrote in my post, “Crazy Prayer, Crazy Faith, Crazy Plan”, God had placed on my heart that I would be moving soon and that I was to prepare. I had been doing just that ever since. As I texted my son, I felt the finality of what I was doing settle on me. It was like I took Jael’s hammer and drove the tent nail into this Crazy Plan making it no longer a thing of dreams and thoughts and impressions but into hard reality. I had come to what I felt was a time of testing. The testing encompassed everything from, “Are you sure this isn’t just your  imagination?” to, “Can you let go of your dream and give it back to God?” Well, as to the first question, I know this isn’t just my imagination, for one thing because it’s all too specific and another, because God confirmed I would be moving to my pastor. As far as the second question, I have good friends that I confided all of this to a while back and was given some very prayerful advice. An excerpt from his note is as follows,

Let me share two things. Africa. I have always felt a pull, perhaps you can call it a calling, to Africa. I spoke to a denominational missionary a long time back when I was a serious denominational Christian, and felt this call. I was so sure of it, so full of it, and I went to a conference and all these missions agencies were represented. I walked up to the man at a booth who had missions in many places, including Africa, and he asked why Africa? I told him and he laughed. He said his wife had a calling to Africa, but it was God’s way of saying will you go anywhere in the world, because that was the LAST place she wanted to go. So I have always taken things in my life that I consider my “Africas” and placed them systematically on the altar. I say that to say these events may be in place to open your mind and prepare you for something bigger than what you think they are. Does that make sense?

Second, God got us ready, we were headed overseas, we thought, and were preparing to get up and go, preparing to be able to leave at a drop of a hat. But Jesus wanted us here. So why the specific overseas idea planted in our heads? So I could talk to overseas missionaries. So we could get the ball rolling. And so we could finally see in the process that He was preparing us for domestic missions, but in that process he would guide us through in our thinking, if we didn’t think overseas, somehow, we wouldn’t have landed where we need to be. I really think that if God hadn’t planted overseas in our heads that we would somehow have not been thinking big enough or let go of enough or taken it seriously enough for our final destination. And the commitment here is so expansive we wouldn’t have been ready for it.
I am not saying that every single thing that you have heard from the Lord won’t come to pass. But I am saying that it is even bigger than you can think of even based on the direct revelation He has given to you.
It is impressive your preparation! I would be more concerned if you simply had visions.
I hope what I wrote was encouraging and sharpening.
God bless!”

I’m so glad for this precious brother’s advice. I took my “Africa” and placed it back in God’s hands. It was not easy to do at first. I finally was able to let go of my dreams, my hopes, my longings and give them back to Jesus, the safest place for our treasures… This hasn’t been a one-time consecration. I have had to answer this question of whether I can trust Jesus with my dreams over and over. It reminds me of Jesus asking Peter, “lovest thou me more than these? ” over and over. Just this past weekend, once again I had to answer the question of whether I can let this go and trust Jesus with what He does with it. I was able to say, “Yes, Jesus. None of this came from me. You gave me all of it anyway. If you gave me this great thing, you can take it back and give me greater!” God answered me with a mighty touch of the Holy Ghost.

So, you see the testing isn’t just, can I let go of my favorite green, froggy planter and my tea cups…it’s, can I let go of my dream. As to that, I thought, as I texted my son, “I will set my face like flint and do this thing.”

Judges 4:20-21

20. Again he said unto her, Stand in the door of the tent, and it shall be, when any man doth come and inquire of thee, and say, Is there any man here? that thou shalt say, No.
21. Then Jael Heber’s wife took a nail of the tent, and took an hammer in her hand, and went softly unto him, and smote the nail into his temples, and fastened it into the ground: for he was fast asleep and weary. So he died.

Garage, rafters and furnace room done, thanks to my son-in-law, daughter and family. Next project is to deal with my writings.

Meet you in the prayer room…

Nancy

Isaiah 50:7   For the Lord God will help me; therefore shall I not be confounded: therefore have I set my face like a flint, and I know that I shall not be ashamed.

Crazy Prayer, Crazy Faith, Crazy Plan


“He knows…”, I thought, as I caught my son-in-law (also my pastor) looking in my front window at me. I had been sitting in my chair by the window praying while my son-in-law did some much-needed yard work for me. He had been intently weed whipping outside my front window, when suddenly I realized he had stopped and was looking at me. What I was pretty sure he knew was that God had put it on my heart that I would be moving…soon and for me to prepare.

This all started, as I wrote in my post, “Rise Up Oh Army of God” after many weeks of deep prayer and fasting leading up to my daughter’s graduation from Bible college. I had realized that her commencement had the potential of being a “perfect storm” with a church full of  powerful believers, Lee Stoneking preaching and my family present. I desperately wanted an outpouring of the Holy Ghost at her commencement and I desperately prayed for it. At some point during these months of petition, my prayer changed. Somehow I had become immersed in a deep place of prayer that I hadn’t known existed.  I described it in my post, “Deep Calleth Unto Deep”.  God graciously poured out His Holy Ghost in the evening service before graduation and at the commencement ceremony. I was so very grateful to God! I had been so hungry for an outpouring of the Holy Ghost that  I drank in every bit I could get. Many people, including myself went home changed.

One thing that truly affected me, that I took home with me, was something Br. Stoneking preached from Isaiah 35:1 “The wilderness and the solitary place shall be glad for them; and the desert shall rejoice, and blossom as the rose.” He told about a man named Martin Buber and his plan to “force” the desert to blossom as a rose. (see “Rise Up Oh Army of God”) I came home determined to see that happen in my life, so once home, I kept praying and seeking God like I had been in preparation for graduation.  I had never been one to pray for longer than an hour at a stretch, but now I was discovering that hours could pass by with very little notice.  I became very protective of my prayer time. My phone was shut off, the computer dark, even the cat became relegated to the garage. I absolutely wanted NO interruptions. I also got it into my head that I should be somewhat dressed for company when I prayed. No more throw on some sweats when I got home from work. I showered, washed my hair, dressed for visitors and went to my stuffed chair to pray.

Just before graduation weekend, I had been “friended” by a lady on Facebook who has become my  kindred sister and mentor. This lovely lady laboriously wrote me many instructions on prayer and intercession. One of the first things she had said to me was to be honest with God about everything. She said to me, “If you want a deeper, more intimate connection with God you must learn to honestly share your feelings with Him, trust Him when He asks you to do something, learn to care about what He cares about and desire His friendship more than anything else. The first building block of a deeper friendship with God is complete honesty–about our faults and our feelings. God doesn’t expect us to be perfect, but He does insist on complete honesty.” I took my dear friend’s instructions to heart and chose a time for prayer that I was sure wouldn’t be rushed. I made sure I would have no interruptions, then I proceeded to tell God everything.  I talked to Him about EVERY failing, EVERY deep secret, everything, everything, everything.  I left NOTHING out. The hours passed. The next thing I knew, six hours had passed and it felt like time had stood still. There were things that I did not want to talk to God about, but I MADE myself tell every detail. As I finished praying, I heard Jesus speak to me in that still, small voice. He said, “Your sacrifice has been accepted.” These times of prayer and confession went on for many days. I had lovely times of prayer, singing and dancing in the Holy Ghost. My prayer became what I call, “Crazy Prayer”. I would have my time of pouring my heart out to my Savior, then it would move into petition, then intercession, then worship and singing. It was “Crazy Prayer”.

I had been involved in this “Crazy Prayer” for a couple of weeks when God impressed on my heart that I would be moving. I wrote to my kindred sister,

  • “Sister, I feel a great expectation today! I feel that a wonderful change is coming to my life! I’m going to start emptying my house in preparation for a move.
    I wonder if you are praying. I feel prayer.
    Love you my kindred sister!
    Nancy”

To date, I have gone through every closet but the furnace room and emptied them of everything but the absolute necessities. This has been hard work, but I feel like I have a fire burning at my heals. I went through bags and boxes and baskets of paper work. For some reason I had thought I needed to keep every bill, etc and I had tons that went back as far as 04. I went through all of my pictures and boxed them up and sent them to my children. I took carloads of stuff to Goodwill and to recycling. I even cleaned the garage myself, which was daunting. I still have to go through my writings, which will be difficult to deal with and the furnace room which won’t be so bad, I hope. Then I will need to make another pass and get rid of more yet. This is where my pastor/son-in-law came into the picture. Like I said at the start of this post, when my pastor looked through the window at me, I thought, “He knows…” and he did. God had spoken to him, as I found out some days later, and told him that I was moving…soon…and some distance away. You gotta love confirmation!

Something else was happening. I had quit my unhealthy lifestyle and seemed to be losing weight. This made me very happy, but very puzzled at the same time. How was it I just slipped into a diet without noticing? I figured I had better go with it and push hard. I’ve been pushing hard ever since with good, hard bought results. I still have a way to go, but at least it’s second nature now.

Then…oh wonder of wonders…one Sunday afternoon, I was sitting in my comfortable stuffed chair at my picture window, when God spoke to me. It was unmistakable. He said, “Get up, change your clothes and go for a walk.”, so I did…and I haven’t stopped walking. Rarely does a day go by that I miss my long walk.

You may wonder why I’m doing all of this when I don’t know where I’m moving or when or what’s coming. It’s that Crazy Prayer. It turned into Crazy Faith and now a Crazy Plan. God knows what He has for me. I’m just being obedient, preparing and working in His Kingdom until it’s revealed.

Mark 10: 46-52

46. And they came to Jericho: and as he went out of Jericho with his disciples and a great number of people, blind Bartimaeus, the son of Timaeus, sat by the highway side begging.
47. And when he heard that it was Jesus of Nazareth, he began to cry out, and say, Jesus, thou Son of David, have mercy on me.
48. And many charged him that he should hold his peace: but he cried the more a great deal, Thou Son of David, have mercy on me.
49. And Jesus stood still, and commanded him to be called. And they call the blind man, saying unto him, Be of good comfort, rise; he calleth thee.
50. And he, casting away his garment, rose, and came to Jesus.
51. And Jesus answered and said unto him, What wilt thou that I should do unto thee? The blind man said unto him, Lord, that I might receive my sight.
52. And Jesus said unto him, Go thy way; thy faith hath made thee whole. And immediately he received his sight, and followed Jesus in the way.

That’s Crazy Prayer!

See you in the prayer room.

Nancy

Rise Up Oh Army Of God!


I was walking back to my car after work, thinking on the amazing journey of prayer I have been on over the past few months and the amazing things I was starting to experience. I said to Jesus, “I may be crazy, but it’s the best kind of crazy!”

That was the conclusion I reached after thinking on the changes taking place in my life and the new relationship with Jesus I was developing. I had been a little concerned about myself because I seemed to have become pretty radical in my prayer life and walk with God and I just didn’t know what to think of it because it was so different than ever before!

I had done everything in my power before my daughter graduated from Bible college to pray for an outpouring of the Holy Ghost at her commencement. It had occurred to me that her graduation ceremony could be the “perfect storm”. It had everything going for it! It would have a church full of powerful believers, Br. Lee Stoneking preaching and  my family present! I was determined to knock and push at the gates of heaven until Jesus just could NOT say no to an outpouring of His Spirit and I was NOT disappointed! I went home from graduation weekend with a very grateful heart.

Br. Stoneking preached a message that day that I couldn’t get out of my head. He preached from Isaiah 35:1 “The wilderness and the solitary place shall be glad for them; and the desert shall rejoice, and blossom as the rose.” He told us about a man named Martin Buber, believed to be a modern prophet of the Jews who emphatically stated, speaking of Israel, “We Know that the Bible is true! We Know the prophets spoke directly from God!. We Know that the desert will blossom as the rose! …But the Spirit moves SO slow! So we will do things that will MAKE the scriptures come to pass! We Know the Bible is true! We will MAKE the desert blossom as a rose! We will dig ditches, we will carry water, we will plant trees, we will plant all kinds of flora, and we will MAKE the desert blossom as a rose, we will Force as it were, the hand of God, We will do the things that will force His hand! Because His Word is true, we’ll Make it happen, we’ll Make this thing happen!” Br. Stoneking went on to say that if the Jews could Make the scripture come to pass, what could he be doing with the Baptism of the Holy Ghost, baptised in Jesus Name, and knowing who Jesus is, the revelation of the Oneness of God, been to water in Jesus Name and spoken in tongues when the Holy Ghost came!  He said if we would preach the miraculous, signs, wonders and miracles, we will get exactly what we preach! He said, “In this place is a miracle, in this place is a miracle, it’s a miracle every time you come to church, this is the most miraculous thing in the world,  we serve a living God, He is alive!  The tomb is empty, the cross is empty but the sanctuary is filled, my heart is filled, my life is filled, with the presence and power of the Living God!”

Br. Stoneking went on to tell of a man in his church that came up to him after a glorious service where there had been two or three filled with the Holy Ghost and tongues and prophecy gone forth and said to him, “Br. Stoneking, I am sick of promises! I want to see some action!” He said, “You may think he was being disrespectful, but I don’t think so. I’m sick of promises, I want to see some action.” Br. Stoneking then said, “I’m right with him. I want to see some action too! In fact, I am sick of Church, I’m sick of camp meetings, I’m sick of conferences, I’m sick of it all! And I’ll tell you why I’m sick of it,  I don’t need another meeting, I’m sick of meetings, but when I get there, I want something to happen! and I can tell you the entirety of the United Pentecostal church is in that same state of  mind! We are sick of promises, we want some action! We want something to happen! I want to know when I get to church, somebody’s going to be healed! Somebody’s going to be delivered! Something is going to happen, because it’s written where two or three are gathered together in His Name, there He is in the midst of them! Something is supposed to happen! Something is supposed to happen! Jesus is in this house! Anything can happen, anything can happen! Anything can happen here, because He is in this house!”

So he said to himself, “I’ll Make this thing happen!” “I’ll do the things that will Make this thing happen! Because Jesus said, If you go I will go with you! If you will lay hands on, I will heal! If you will preach it, I’ll back you! If you will pray, I will answer!” Then he went on to say that the trouble was, every time we come to church we start at zero, no matter how tremendous the service before was and that’s a bunch of nonsense! He said, “If you’ve got the Holy Ghost and He’s alive in you, you ought to come through those doors praising God! You ought to come through those doors worshipping God, EXPECTING something to happen!” He said if just one person “gets” it, it will change your whole church! It will change the whole assembly! It will change everything, if just ONE of you gets ahold of what I’m talking about!” “You are never going to build a building big enough to house what is coming. If you get signs, wonders and miracles going on in your church, you are never going to build a building big enough to house it, because people in this country are sick of religion but they’ve never seen anyone leap out of a wheelchair, they’ve never seen someone throw down crutches, that is the Jesus I preach! That’s the only Jesus I’m going to preach…if Jesus will use me He will use you!”

I took this home with me. I wanted it. Badly. I made up my mind that I was going to MAKE it happen! My prayer became radical! It became crazy! God crazy! Heaven crazy! And it hasn’t let up yet! I’m going to MAKE this thing happen! I’m going to FORCE the desert in me to blossom like a rose! Yes, this is the best kind of crazy!

One last thing before I call it a night. I remembered what Brother Stoneking said about wanting to SEE something happen and I prayed. “Lord, cause your army of believers, just like me who took this truth home with them and were changed and made this a part of them; cause them to rise up and prepare themselves! Prepare themselves with prayer and fasting. Prayer that knocks at and shakes the gates of heaven! Prayer that calls the Holy Ghost down! Prayer that FORCES signs and miracles to follow! Prayer that causes that rolling, thundering  river of the Holy Ghost to flow over the church and causes us to see something happen!

Oh, Jesus let your anointing fall!

Rise Up Oh Army of God! Prepare yourselves with prayer and fasting, and we will NEVER BE THE SAME AGAIN!

Isaiah 35

 1.  The wilderness and the solitary place shall be glad for them; and the desert shall rejoice, and blossom as the rose.
 2.  It shall blossom abundantly, and rejoice even with joy and singing: the glory of Lebanon shall be given unto it, the excellency of Carmel and Sharon, they shall see the glory of the Lord, and the excellency of our God.
 3.  Strengthen ye the weak hands, and confirm the feeble knees.
 4.  Say to them that are of a fearful heart, Be strong, fear not: behold, your God will come with vengeance, even God with a recompence; he will come and save you.
 5.  Then the eyes of the blind shall be opened, and the ears of the deaf shall be unstopped.
 6.  Then shall the lame man leap as an hart, and the tongue of the dumb sing: for in the wilderness shall waters break out, and streams in the desert.
 7.  And the parched ground shall become a pool, and the thirsty land springs of water: in the habitation of dragons, where each lay, shall be grass with reeds and rushes.
 8.  And an highway shall be there, and a way, and it shall be called the way of holiness; the unclean shall not pass over it; but it shall be for those: the wayfaring men, though fools, shall not err therein.
 9.  No lion shall be there, nor any ravenous beast shall go up thereon, it shall not be found there; but the redeemed shall walk there:
 10.  And the ransomed of the Lord shall return, and come to Zion with songs and everlasting joy upon their heads: they shall obtain joy and gladness, and sorrow and sighing shall flee away.

It’s time to pray.

Be sober, Be vigilant!

Nancy

The Blessing


I was praying this morning, taking my time, like I enjoy doing on my day off. I love sipping on my coffee and talking to Jesus about whatever is on my heart, then I put my coffee down and have that deep communion with the Lord where intercession happens and answers are given and the back-slid are restored and needs are met. What I found myself praying about this morning was; what does my church need to be to cause the hungry soul to be drawn to enter? This got me thinking about the first time I found myself in a Pentecostal church some 35 years ago.  I had come to my first Apostolic service straight from the hippy culture, a single mother with frayed blue jeans, flip-flops and a lot of baggage. I do not remember feeling out-of-place or even wondering about all of the dresses and long hair, but what I do remember is hearing the Word of God preached for the first time. I had always gone to church and had always felt a deep drawing to God. I don’t remember being discontented in the church I was raised in, that is, until I heard the Word of God preached. To make a long story short, I came because I was hungry for God and the anointed preaching of the Word of God made me stay.

I also got thinking about my slow metamorphosis after being filled with the Holy Ghost and baptised in Jesus Name to taking on more and more of the Apostolic look and way of  life. You see, I didn’t care if I blended in or not in those days and I definitely wasn’t going to buy into something without a solid case for it. In other words, I was a hard sell. If I didn’t see it, it wasn’t happening. Slowly though, as I became more Apostolic on the inside, the more I became Apostolic on the outside.

All of this got me thinking about the church today. Time doesn’t stand still and with the increase in our electronic environment and devices, our exposure and our children’s exposure to entertainments and it’s influence has increased. I didn’t have a TV in my home from 1983 until the day 911 happened. That day I went out and got a TV to see what was happening. Then my son, who was a Marine went to Iraq and I watched all the news I could get to follow the war my son was fighting in. One thing led to another and when the cable company came to my rural neighborhood offering free installation, I figured it was time to get off of modem internet service to cable internet. I found it was cheaper to bundle my landline phone and my computer with TV than it was to just have internet and landline, so I ended up with cable TV. I was also given a Kindle for Christmas this last year and started reading more books and got hooked on old detective shows. In other words, when my pastor announced he could not in good conscience sign the UPCI membership card he was required to sign saying he fully believed and preached against worldly entertainments,  I had no words, nor defence. I was deeply troubled. I was Apostolic to the core and love the UPCI church but how could I expect something of my pastor that I had let slip in my own life?  This started a soul-searching in me that went deep. I had to know what and why and how I believed. Every holiness standard I held dear was looked at and inspected and searched out in my heart. I prayed deeply and sought God for myself and my pastor and my church. Then something began to happen. The more I prayed, the more satisfying prayer was and the more I wanted to pray and the more I found time to pray. Then, I discovered a web site called apostoliclive.com where I found I could watch or just listen to the best preaching known to this generation. I developed a new evening routine. I would read my Bible, then watch or listen to anointed preaching on my Kindle and then pray.  I found a place in prayer I had never experienced or known to exist. I described it in my post, “Deep Calleth Unto Deep”. The more I pray in this deep place of prayer, the more I want to pray and the less time I want to give to entertainments. I got rid of my cable TV hookup and put the TV in my storage room.

This brings me back to my prayer this morning. As I thought about the church and what we should be to draw the hungry soul, I realized I’ve come full circle. This way of life isn’t just a list of dos and don’ts, it’s a great blessing!  Those that hunger and thirst for God, will want what we’ve got and we need to lead them to the water and tell them to drink freely!

John 7: “37.  In the last day, that great day of the feast, Jesus stood and cried, saying, If any man thirst, let him come unto me, and drink.
38.  He that believeth on me, as the scripture hath said, out of his belly shall flow rivers of living water.
39.  (But this spake he of the Spirit, which they that believe on him should receive: for the Holy Ghost was not yet given; because that Jesus was not yet glorified.)”

As Rev Lee Stoneking would say, “T.P. Tried and Proven”.

Meet you in the prayer room!

Nancy

Deep calleth unto Deep


Some of you are going to shake your heads at me. I go without writing anything for a long stretch, and then write something very personal. I am struggling a bit with allowing others to see into my spirit: I feel compelled to and yet am hesitant because it’s so private. I think those that know me better than most, will agree that I don’t open up much or often but; there is something about this change that is happening to me that pushes to get told. It reminds me a bit of Jeremiah 20:9 “But his word was in mine heart as a burning fire shut up in my bones, and I was weary with forbearing, and I could not stay.”

I’m not sure if I can pinpoint the start of this metamorphosis, but I know I was forced to make some changes a year or so ago when I reluctantly left my church that I had called home for over 30 years. My son-in-law had felt called of God to start another Apostolic work in our city and I felt not only did I need to support them, but also;  I wanted to be in on the birthing of a new church.  Both my old pastor and my new pastor felt it would be better if I made a clean break from my old church for myself and for my dear church family I was leaving behind, so I suddenly found myself in a tiny congregation feeling very lonely and isolated. The loneliness and isolation persisted until I started looking outward at the city and community around me. I started to see people in a different way. I started to see lonely, unhappy people. I also saw hungry hearts. A turning point in my feeling of isolation came the weekend our pastor asked our tiny congregation to drive around the city and pray for it. We could have all fit into one large van, but I drove myself and another lady who was unable to navigate the big step up into the van. We followed the van and drove around the city and the surrounding community praying as we went. A burden for the city slowly settled upon me as we drove and prayed. That burden became urgent as we drove above a suburb of red roofs. I was praying out loud and couldn’t help but pause and wave my arm over the expanse of red roofs and say “Look at all of those red roofs. Think of the families and children that do not have salvation.” As we drove and prayed, I started to notice something. I could feel different spirits emanating from different areas. Some of the areas had a deep loneliness, others deep evil, some areas were cold and empty and a couple of rural areas had the sweet presence of Jesus resting over them. We finished the drive, but the burden for the city continued with me. Because of this burden, my prayer for the city changed. It became more personal and urgent. I felt more and more desperate to do something to reach the lost and hurting of the city.  I can’t pinpoint when, but suddenly I KNEW there was a door opening, not just over a family or a person or even over a city, but everywhere, not like a door to a house opens, but like the light comes up over the horizon. I knew that anything I thought of doing to reach souls, I should just go ahead and do, because “the door is open”. My mantra became, “the door is open”. No matter how impossible something seemed, it didn’t really phase me because, “the door is open”, even the things that before, would have seemed a waste of time I now had faith in because, “the door is open”.  My pastor was asked to preach at a state event being held in the city and I knew it was because God had opened a door that no man could shut. Then the family of my very dear back-slid friend came to church and prayed through and I knew it was because, “the door is open”.  It wasn’t long after this that my friend gave in to my persistent overtures and joined me at a Ladies retreat. It took no persuading from me, for my friend to respond to the gentle voice of our Saviour. She prayed until she was broken before the Lord and turned back again to her Merciful God.

It was during this time of my growing burden that I started watching video clips of Lee Stoneking preach. Before this, I had gotten myself in the habit of watching a video or tv show in the evenings (Sherlock Holmes or something of the sort) or reading a book. I also spent a great deal of time on Facebook, but, as I got drawn into Lee Stoneking’s preaching I cared less and less for my various forms of entertainment. The preaching was doing something to me. I was getting hungry for a deeper walk with God. I was responding to the message as though I was right there in the congregation. I consecrated and re-consecrated my life. I poured out my heart to God. I repented of my stubborn sins and gave myself over to God to cleanse me. I became determined to grow in God and put what I was hearing into practice.  I couldn’t get enough of  Stoneking, Nona Freeman, Billy Cole and other men and women of God. (including my Pastor). I was changing.

I was also trying to increase my private devotions and was making more time for them and trying very hard to be faithful in them. Then, one night I seemed to step over into another realm. As I prayed, I suddenly seemed to enter into someone elses prayers. I seemed to step into a powerful spirit of prayer. It was like stepping into a violent, rushing river and my feeble prayers were being swept along like a small boat in white water. I was so shocked, I would have stopped praying immediately except I had just heard Lee Stoneking talk about the strength in even a dying woman’s feeble prayers, so I tried to continue to pray. I felt completely out of my depth. I felt like a non-swimmer being tossed about in a swift, strong current. I felt like I had entered into a place of prayer that I didn’t belong, so I distanced myself and went back to praying the way I had before this event. After some days of my usual prayer, I couldn’t help but seek out this place of prayer again. Almost immediately I once again found myself bobbing about in this powerful river of prayer. This time I was able to continue in prayer for some time. I still felt like I was way out of my depth, but I couldn’t help but desire to experience the excitement and strength of this powerful river of prayer .

I don’t know how or why God allowed me access to this wonderful place of the Holy Ghost, but I think often now of Psalms 42:7-8 “Deep calleth unto deep at the noise of thy waterspouts: all thy waves and thy billows are gone over me. Yet the Lord will command his loving kindness in the daytime, and in the night his song shall be with me, and my prayer unto the God of my life.”

Yes, Deep calleth unto deep. It’s time to read my Bible and pray.

Nancy

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