The Crushing of the Rose, Part 2


“That thing is going to come right through the window at me…”, I thought.

I had been warfare praying and felt to open my eyes. I looked out into the darkness and saw the presence I had felt. It was a huge, dappled gray deer standing at the edge of my yard, looking into my house toward me. I did not stop my prayer as the deer took two aggressive steps toward the house. It took a few more lunging steps toward the picture window where I sat and then charged. I did not move, nor did I change my authoritative, warfare prayer. It galloped straight for me, looking to all intents and purposes it was going to crash through the picture window to attack me. At the last second it veered, it’s hooves pounding the ground as it passed. It was the third night in a row I had experienced some sort of resistance to prayer.

As I mentioned in my previous post, “Excuse Me??”, my church had recently been watching, “Heaven to Earth: The Tabernacle Today” DVD series by Anthony Mangun during our Wednesday eve services. A tongues and interpretation had gone forth during the first of the series, saying among other things to, “Let this become the marrow of your bones.” (speaking of praying through the tabernacle), so I had immediately incorporated each portion, as I learned it, into my prayer time. At the end of the first video, Anthony Mangun says, “It’s gonna change your life…” and I can say emphatically…it has changed my life. So, that being said, I was really looking forward to watching the final DVD. In the meantime, I had become interested in a Facebook page called, “Apostolic Iron”, written by Bishop C.M. Wright. His church, (website is http://theantioch.com/) was going to host a series of live events called, “Call to War End Time Harvest”. I wasn’t going to be able to watch it live as I would be traveling back from a visit to my son and his family in California, but was grateful to find out it would be archived.  I flew back to St. Paul through a terrible early blizzard and drove home on horrible roads. I got in very late and headed to bed with every intention of resting the next day. When I got up in the morning, instead of having my usual bowl of cereal for breakfast, I decided it would be a good idea to fast, so I headed to the couch with my Bible and a blanket and took my time praying through the tabernacle plan. After a long, enjoyable time with God, I started watching “Call to War: Session 1” archived series. It had no sooner gotten started when I received  a very difficult phone call that left me feeling attacked and terribly hurt. I managed to pull myself together and started the video again. Not far into it, I started sneezing, then I developed a little sniffle. I didn’t really think much of it though until, as the video progressed, I started hurting everywhere. My teeth hurt, my jaws hurt, my eyes hurt and watered, my neck hurt until it was difficult to hold my head up. My little sniffle turned into a continual pouring from the nose complete with congestion. I propped my head up and continued watching. Bishop C.M. Wright told us of a deep revelation God gave him and I knew it was extremely important for me to catch everything that he was saying. I tried hard to focus, but continued to feel very tough throughout the video. As I watched, the presence of God was very evident and I had a good time of prayer. The afternoon passed and before long it was time to head to church.  I had no intention of missing the last of the “Heaven to Earth” series, so down the road I went, my Kleenex box sitting next to me. I no sooner sat down at church when my runny nose, aches and pains went into full-blown cold and flu misery. At the end of the Heaven to Earth video, Pastor asked that we all pray for each other and my Pastor’s wife came directly to me and prayed for me. I felt so tough by then, I wasn’t even sure if I could drive home, much less go to work the next day, so I was very grateful and relieved when this powerful woman of God prayed for me. Service ended and I knew I looked bad when my pastor opted for a fist bump instead of the usual hand shake as I passed him to leave. With great effort, I drove home and dropped into bed, pleading to God to be better by morning. God is Good and prayer works, so come morning I felt peaked but was able to go to work.

I came home from work, tired but no longer feeling ill so I pulled up “Call to War: Session 2”, got comfortable in my chair and started watching. As I watched, my legs started jerking, so I switched my position and focused again and my legs started jerking again. I tried to get comfortable, but no matter how I changed positions, my legs would ache and jerk and then; out of the blue, I got a horrendous Charlie horse in each of my shins at the same time. I leaped out of the chair yelping and calling on the Name of Jesus! I couldn’t get relief no matter what I did. I couldn’t stand, I couldn’t sit, I couldn’t stretch, I couldn’t relax. If I bent my toes up the cramps got worse, if I bent my toes down the cramps got worse. Finally with  much calling on Jesus, the leg cramps eased until I was able to sit back down and watch the rest of the video. As Bishop Wright taught about warfare prayer, it slowly dawned on me that what I was experiencing was spiritual resistance.

The next day I knew I had better have the armor of the Lord on before attempting to watch session 3, so I fasted and when I got home from work I carefully prayed through the tabernacle plan before pulling up session 3. Once again, watching the video was easier said than done. I had gotten home pretty late from a tough day at work and was still not feeling 100%, then praying through the tabernacle plan,took awhile to do. By the time I pulled up the video, I was very tired and very hungry and ended up struggling to stay awake for it. I was frustrated and disappointed that I had gone through such an effort to be spiritually prepared to watch it and still ended up missing parts of it. I gave it up, ate and went to bed.

I got up early the next morning, (Saturday) to prepare for my son and his family to come and haul a large load to the dump.  After they left, I collapsed into a lawn chair in my living room with a blanket. (I had hauled my couch and chair to the dump)  I was still not feeling the best but wanted to watch session 3 again.  I watched session 3 and session 4 and the power of God came down. I prayed and worshiped, dancing backwards down the hall and into a back bed-room/storage area. A change came over my spirit and I KNEW there was something wrong in that room. I couldn’t believe I was feeling something evil in that room, but I was. I searched around and finally found what it was. In one of the closets was the television that I had gotten out of my living room back in early 2012 when I started my journey of consecration. I hefted it up and hauled it to the garage for the next load to the county recycle plant, then I could worship freely.

Sunday morning in church, I felt the same beauty of the Holy Ghost come resting down and with it a freedom to worship that I hadn’t felt in quite a while. I worshiped with my whole heart dancing out of my seat and down the aisle. I felt to touch different ladies as I passed, and then after an all out “jubilee” in the far corner, I made my way back to my seat, pausing to pray with a lady who needed the Holy Ghost on the way. My pastor let God have His way and invited us all to come to the altar to pray. The front of the church filled and wonderful things were happening. I stood, praying and worshiping with others up front, all the while reaching in my spirit, asking God who I should pray with. God impressed on me, to not move from where I was. Finally, He put it on my heart to go pray for an African lady, but I was not to touch her. I felt in the Holy Ghost to pray for her starting from her left, then moving around behind her, then to her right, praying all the while without touching her but coming in close.  I could feel the power of the Holy Ghost at work. Suddenly she was all over the place at once, staggering, almost falling into and onto those kneeling and praying. I tried to stay between her and those she might step on, trying to take her arm but was almost knocked off my feet. Finally she went down onto the floor with what would have been seen as convulsions, but I knew better. A couple of men came and we prayed until the convulsions passed and she got up, got her shoes that had been kicked off and went and sat down. I felt to keep praying in tongues while walking the perimeter of the church until Pastor reined things in and continued the service.

I went home between services and watched session 4 then again, after evening service, session 5. I had Monday off, so after morning devotions and praying the tabernacle plan, I watched session 6. I wasn’t able to get to session 7 until late that night. Toward the end of session 7, we were led into prayer of Warfare Intercession. It was during this warfare intercession that the very large deer attacked. There was no mistaking the demonic influence. The next session was to be on Travailing Warfare and I knew I was in for more demonic attack unless I took offensive measures. I fasted the next day and when I came home from work, I no sooner stepped through the door and I felt an unwelcome presence in my home. My cat could evidently feel it too and did a sudden sprint down the hall. In my mind I thought, “Looks like I’m in for the long haul.” Out loud I said with conviction, “I’m up for the long haul. I’m in this (God’s service) for the long haul.” At that, my cat went into a frenzied cat fit. She tore her claws into the carpet to run faster and faster. She went in and out of rooms and up and over the table and down the hall and finally under a bed. I just went to the cupboard and got out the olive oil and made myself a VERY large cup of tea. I was going to pray through the house, anointing it with oil calling on the Name of Jesus and plead the Blood of Jesus over every door post and window and whatever didn’t get out of my way. I decided to start in my bedroom. I could feel a great resistance, so I asked Jesus to please send me a big angel to go through the house with me. I got to my bedroom and I thought, “I’m going to do this right.” so I started with praying through the tabernacle plan. I took my time like never before. I talked and prayed to Jesus and loved on Him and worshiped and praised Him. When I got to the brazen altar of repentance, I dug deep. I carefully confessed and repented and asked for forgiveness and cleansing for everything that came to mind. God dug in deep and brought to my attention sins of envy and pride and jealousy and arrogance and what bothered me most…pettiness. During this time I recounted to God, His great Plan and Sacrifice. I told Him how I was no longer without hope and would never be helpless in my sin again.  I didn’t have to be stuck with my character flaws. I could be changed. God was changing me on the Potter’s Wheel and I was no longer the same. I was no longer the “old Nancy” I was new and I intended to stay on the Potter’s Wheel until I pleased God! (I thought, “I am going to talk about the Blood of Jesus and His redemptive power until this thing is sorry it ever messed with me!”) I prayed until I felt a lifting, then I prayed for Jesus to “Wash me by the water of His Word”. I prayed and read the entire Book of 1 John out loud and talked to Jesus about what I was reading. I stood when I finished reading and knew I could continue praying the tabernacle plan as I anointed the house with oil. As I reached for the oil, I felt angels rush into my room. I don’t know how many, but more than one. I went through the entire house, accompanied by angels and anointed everything, (even Kitty got a little anointed with oil) praying and worshiping and praising and singing as I went. It wasn’t until I was completely finished and my house was saturated with the peace and presence of God, that I pulled up the next session on Travailing Warfare prayer. At the end of the session, Bishop Wright led us in travailing warfare prayer and once again, I sat at my picture window, this time travailing in prayer for the lost and backslidden. It was some time later, I once again felt to open my eyes and look in my yard. This time, there was a herd of deer grazing in my yard. A very young deer frolicked, kicking up it’s back legs as an older deer chased it back and forth across my yard. Then I spotted the large, dappled gray deer. It had its head lowered to the ground and grazed peacefully.

It seemed fitting to me that the final session was on Warfare Worship. What power and what peace! I have a great deal to learn about prayer yet, but I’m reaping the benefits and so is my church. I’m no longer hesitant to offer Bible studies and have a group of ladies I meet with. These ladies have little in the way of earthly goods, so their hearts are tender. I also know that God has given us a nearby town and I’m praying for God to lead me to the hungry hearts there and put in my hands a tool to reach them. I occasionally still have little meltdowns when the wait for God’s promise seems long, but I know God is not done and everything is in His time. Besides…I found treasure in the field worth selling all for…all my hopes….all my dreams…my time…my energy……my all.

In the words of Evangelist Lee Stoneking, “You will never be the same again!”

In His Service,

Nancy

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Crazy Consecration


I was watching a scene, in my mind’s eye of a Christmas many, many years ago. I saw myself watching my family as they bent low toward the floor and a lighted box. Their faces were intent and blank at the same time. Their eyes were fixed on the box, yet there was no engagement with it. I became more and more concerned and finally, I had acknowledged to myself that the Christmas gift to my son of a PlayStation had been a huge mistake. I was deeply disturbed and prayed, asking Jesus what could be done now that it was in the home and the family was completely taken up with playing it. I had cried out to God in my heart and asked for forgiveness for my foolishness and asked for a way of escape. Then, the way God does…I felt that peaceful answer settle down over me. I knew what to do and I didn’t have to wait long for my opportunity. In those days, we often had to run up and down the road for one thing or another, so it wasn’t long before I had my son in the car with me. I asked the question, “If you hadn’t gotten the PlayStation for Christmas, what would you have wanted?” My son answered quickly, without hesitation. “A snowboard.” I responded, “Would you still want one if we could take the PlayStation back?” Again, he did not hesitate, “Sure.” And that was it. The PlayStation got packed up and returned that very day and a snowboard was bought. My son and my daughter became avid snowboarders and didn’t seem to miss the PlayStation.

I was reminded of the PlayStation Christmas one evening after a time of consecrating prayer. It had occurred to me that entertainments take time and prayer of any consequence takes time. It takes time to force your thoughts into submission and focus your spirit on God. It takes time to create an atmosphere of worship. It takes time to come into the presence of God and once in the presence of God, it takes time to communicate and worship as He deserves. Often these sacred times of prayer become a time of consecration and receiving my marching orders from God. I have thought so often since I determined in my heart a while back to make time every day for deep prayer of how different it would have been if God had not gotten a hold of me early in 2012 and convicted me about my different entertainments. I disconnected from cable, got the TV out and now give Facebook only a few minutes at a time compared to the hour or more it used to get.

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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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