The Crushing of the Rose: Part 3


The Crushing of the Rose: Part 3

The Crushing of the Rose: Part 3

“It is dangerous to have a prophet in your life, Sister.” My pastor’s Bolivian accent made the words he spoke take on a portentous undertone. Though he was telling me of times he had delivered prophetic messages that had not been heeded, it felt suddenly as though his words were meant for me.

Crushing of the Rose: Part 3 is now available on my new web-site:

http://nancylwatrud.com/2014/11/crushing-of-the-rose-part-3/

Please join me there!

Nancy

This Little Piggy


The Young Disciples Club

And

“This Little Piggy”

Featuring Jack:

Jack was one of the older boys in the Young Disciples Club. He hadn’t been in the club as long as some of the kids. He, his Mom and siblings had moved to town not too many years ago. His Mom had found a job at the local hospital and had to work a lot of hours to make ends meet. Jack was pretty quiet about his Dad. What he didn’t say spoke louder than what he did say. His friends learned not to ask him what his Dad had gotten him for his birthday, or if he would be going to his Dad’s for a visit over the summer, or if his Dad would maybe help him get a bicycle. For that matter, Jack was sort of quiet a lot of the time. It was like he had experienced a few too many disappointments already in his young life and it had sapped his youth of joy. He didn’t smile much, not with his eyes anyway and lately he had seemed withdrawn. Maybe that was why Jack had been on his youth leader, Pastor Ron’s heart so much lately.

Pastor Ron sat quietly at the top of the knoll, his bike in the grass beside him. He had ridden up to the look out some time ago. He wasn’t at all sure why, but he felt like he was waiting for something or someone. Earlier, God had seemed to drive him from his house and onto his bike and this was where he had found himself. It was a pleasant day with a soft warm breeze but Pastor Ron was not able to enjoy it. As he prayed, he became more and more troubled in his spirit. He had been praying at home, as he usually did, but as he prayed for each person that came to his heart, the boy Jack, from his Young Disciple Club kept coming back to his mind. Over and over again Ron’s heart would return to Jack in prayer until the uneasiness he felt in his spirit became more than he could bear. Ron recognized that Jesus was calling him to intercessory prayer for Jack. Pastor Ron had answered that call to prayer and though he called on the Name of Jesus and prayed with all of his might, the urgency would not lift.  He felt that unmistakable heaviness grow and he cried out to Jesus to intervene in whatever was happening in Jack’s life. Pastor Ron wrestled for Jack in prayer, crying out for Jesus to intercede in whatever was happening with Jack. The heaviness became almost unbearable until, finally; Pastor Ron felt his spirit lighten and the unmistakable Holy Presence of God swept over him. As he prayed on that little, grassy knoll, Pastor Ron knew that he had pressed through and had been granted an audience with the King of Kings. He felt as though he stood before the very Throne of Grace and he knew he could ask God to grant his petition.  He reverently bowed his head and spoke to his Friend Jesus. He said, “Jesus, I don’t know what is going on with this young man, but I know that you have placed this burden on my heart to pray for Jack and you know what the trouble is. I ask you, Lord Jesus, in your Precious Name to reveal the situation to me and give me your direction so that I can help him, in Jesus Name, I pray. Thank you Jesus, Mighty God!  Amen.” As Pastor Ron finished praying, a sweet peace settled across him. He wiped the tears from his eyes and and breathed in the soft, warm breeze. His prayer turned to a heartfelt praise and worship and he sat quietly for a time in silent meditation, thinking about the Goodness of God. In the quiet, mingled with the soft breeze, he heard footsteps climbing the other side of the knoll. He heard the unmistakable sound of someone dropping to the grass then the muffled sound of weeping. Soon the crying turned to loud, ragged sobs.  Pastor Ron stood and walked softly to the other side of the knoll where he found Jack, his hands covering his face, sobbing as only the broken in heart can cry. Ron lowered himself to Jack’s side quietly, softly resting his arm across Jack’s shoulders and began to pray. “Jesus, you know the trouble that this young man is sorrowing over. You know what is causing this heartache. You know the number of hairs on his head and his very thoughts. There is nothing hid from you, Lord. Oh, Balm of Gilead, we need your comfort.” Pastor Ron prayed until Jack wiped his eyes on his sleeve and looked up.  Pastor Ron grieved for the young man, wondering what could be weighing so heavily on him. He prayed silently, waiting for Jack to speak. Jack finally began to speak, uncertainly at first, trying to find the words to tell his youth leader what he had been unable to confide to anyone. The words started and stopped, at one point pouring out, at other times stammering, starting and stopping again. Finally, his youthful voice faded to a whisper, ashamed. Pastor Ron knew now why Jesus had put such a heavy burden to pray for Jack on his heart. He spoke softly to Jack.

“Jack, what you have been into, it is true, does not please God, but; you need to somehow get a hold of how great the mercy of God is. The Bible says in Proverbs 28:11 ‘He that covereth his transgressions shall not prosper: But whoso confesseth and forsaketh them shall obtain mercy.’ Jack, you have done just as the Bible has directed us to do. James 5:16 says, ‘Confess your faults one to another, and pray one for another, that ye may be healed.’ Now you need to talk to God again and claim that mercy and forgiveness He has offered us.  Psalms 41:4 says, ‘I said, O Jehovah, have mercy upon me: Heal my soul; for I have sinned against thee.’

Jack turned his sorrowful eyes up to Pastor Ron and said with a shaky voice, “Pastor Ron, I have told Jesus how sorry I am and I’ve begged Him to help me but I keep having these thoughts jump into my head! I’ve tried everything but they keep coming back! I don’t know what to do anymore! I’m afraid I’ll be lost and I don’t want to be!”  Jack covered his face with his hands again as his tears silently fell.

Pastor Ron, reached out in his spirit to that Throne of Mercy again, searching for the right words for the broken youth sitting beside him. What came to him was an old song that he sang softly, “Create in me a clean heart, Oh Lord my God, and renew a right spirit within me. Create in me a clean heart, Oh Lord my God, and renew a right spirit within in me, within me.”

“Jack, the Bible says, in 2 Corinthians 7:10, ‘For godly sorrow worketh repentance to salvation not to be repented of: but the sorrow of the world worketh death.’ Jack, you need to let that sorrow you’re feeling be ‘godly sorrow’, let it work toward repentance! This same portion of the Bible goes on to say in verse 11, ‘For behold this selfsame thing, that ye sorrowed after a godly sort, what carefulness it wrought in you, yea, what clearing of yourselves, yea, what indignation, yea, what fear, yea, what vehement desire, yea, what zeal, yea, what revenge! In all things ye have approved yourselves to be clear in this matter.’ Jack, do you love Jesus?”

Jack sat up a little straighter and said with great conviction, “With all my heart, Pastor Ron.”

Ron went on to ask, “Do you want to serve Him in holiness and live a life that pleases Him?”

Jack nodded his head vigorously, unable to speak as emotion started overwhelm him again.

Pastor Ron gripped Jack’s shoulder and looked him in the eye. “Jack, you don’t have to listen to the accuser. Romans 8:1 tells us, ‘There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit.’ You need what John 15:3-4 says, ‘Now ye are clean through the word which I have spoken unto you. Abide in me, and I in you…’ That chapter goes on to say in verse 7, ‘If ye abide in me, and my words abide in you, ye shall ask what ye will, and it shall be done unto you.’

Jack, you are fighting a spiritual battle right now, but you have Jesus at your side and the sword of the spirit at your hand. Philippians 2:5 says, ‘Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus:’ submit your thoughts to Jesus and fill your head with the Word of God. Jesus has already paid the price, so like 1 Corinthians 15:57 says, ‘But thanks be to God, which gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.’

Pastor Ron stood up, holding his hand out to Jack to pull him to his feet. “Come on Jack. Let’s thank God for His mercy and His loving kindness toward us.”

Jack smiled the first big, real smile Pastor Ron had seen for a long time and raised his hands toward heaven and praised God with the liberty that only comes from a forgiven heart.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

This story was written to ask you; Do you have something in your life that you have tried and tried to shake, but just can’t seem to? Jesus is able to deliver us of anything, anything, anything. Find a quiet place to sit and talk to Him. Tell Him everything; hold nothing back, confess it to Him; tell Him every detail. Talk to Him even about the things you tell no one about. Talk to Him about the things you don’t really want to talk about. Confess to Him every detail; even those things you wish you could forget. Tell Jesus you are sorry you have sinned and grieved Him. Ask Him to forgive you. Ask Jesus to cleanse you. Ask Jesus put you back on the Potter’s Wheel again and remake you into the person He meant for you to be. If you haven’t been baptized in Jesus Name, you need to be.  Acts 2:38-41 says, “Then Peter said unto them, Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost. 39 For the promise is unto you, and to your children, and to all that are afar off, even as many as the Lord our God shall call. 40 And with many other words did he testify and exhort, saying, Save yourselves from this untoward generation. 41 Then they that gladly received his word were baptized: and the same day there were added unto them about three thousand souls.”

If you need the name of an apostolic church near you, look at the web site: http://www.upci.com/churchLocator/default.aspx?AspxAutoDetectCookieSupport=1

Then don’t settle for just having your sins forgiven and washed away. You need the Holy Ghost to live a victorious life. Most likely you will receive the Holy Ghost when you are baptized. Ask for a Bible study while you are at it. There is nothing like living your life in the power of the Holy Ghost. Check it out today!

Nancy

(I may post some other stories I’ve written. We’ll see.)

Excuse Me??


Deer in the headlights… I’m sure that’s what my eyes must have looked like to my pastor…

It was the end of our Wednesday night service, and we were all standing. We had just watched the sixth installment of “Heaven to Earth: The Tabernacle Today” DVD series by Anthony Mangun, pastor of The Pentecostals of Alexandria. I had told my pastor earlier that I had picked up a large packet of prayer guides at our UPCI general conference that went with the series and I wanted to share them with the church, so when he started to say, “Sister Watrud, do you have…” I immediately swung around to my seat to pick up the packet, but before I could, the rest of what he said registered. He had said, “Sister Watrud, do you have…a word for us?” That’s when the “deer in the headlights” look manifested.

I wanted to say, “I got nothin’ Brother!”, but instead I thought, “Don’t panic, just think for a minute.” I settled myself…looked at the carpet for a few seconds…and still had nothing. I breathed a quick…Jesus… then went into testimony mode. I started to say that, like Pastor had said earlier, I too had been thinking for the last couple of days how evangelizing our city was going to cost me something. I said that my take-away from our UPCI General Conference had been that there was nothing wrong with the precious seed we were casting out over the city, but we were casting it on fallow (hard) ground. I said the ground needs to be broken up with prayer and fasting and then watered with tears of travailing prayer. I went on to say that this kind of prayer takes consecration.  I said let’s do like we’ve been learning and go to the brazen altar of repentance and consecrate there. I said, “It’s going to take a little time. Consecration takes time.”

Up until this point I had been speaking in a normal tone, conversationally, then; from somewhere deep within me, I declared, “Put away your entertainments!” When I said, “Put away your entertainments!”, something rose up in me and I spoke the words as they came to my mouth with an authority and a boldness that wasn’t my own.  “Put Away Your Entertainments!” I said again, much louder. Then, one more time, as a shout that I could not contain, “PUT AWAY YOUR ENTERTAINMENTS!!!” I continued, knowing I was speaking under the unction of the Holy Ghost. One of the things I said was, “If you carry resentment in your heart, you will NEVER be able to go forward in God!” Once again, I found myself repeating the exhortation, but this time, like a dance in the Holy Ghost, I found myself taking two steps toward the platform and saying loudly, “If you carry resentment in your heart, you will NEVER go forward in God!!” Then, still as a dance in the Holy Ghost, I turned, stepped toward the congregation and said again, “IF YOU CARRY RESENTMENT IN YOUR HEART, YOU WILL NEVER GO FORWARD IN GOD!!!” Finally, I said to step into the fire of the Brazen Altar (I stepped like stepping into the fire of the altar) and spend some time there until the resentment was burned to ashes.

I had never heard of “praying through the tabernacle” plan before. My church had gone through this series one other time before I was a member, but I, personally, had never heard of it until we started the series some weeks back. I didn’t think I would probably change what I was doing because I liked my prayer time the way it was.  I enjoyed my long talks with God and I  didn’t want to change anything about it. I thought this would probably be a helpful tool for those learning to pray or struggling to pray.  All that being said, I was still looking forward to the series and hearing more about prayer because (I think those who love to pray will agree) if you love to pray, you can never get enough of hearing about prayer. The first lesson was an introduction to the series and if I had been on my own, I maybe would have never of even played it, thinking it was superfluous, but I thank my mighty God that I wasn’t on my own and my pastor had the wisdom to play it. Anthony Mangun had barely begun his background and introduction to the series, when there was a tongues and interpretation that went forth. The interpretation was, (as best as I can transcribe by listening) “I have given your pastor specific instructions of what to teach and how to teach. I am asking you as your God, to hear me tonight and my voice. Pay attention to what your pastor is speaking for I have given it to him specifically and I want you to take this and learn this. Put this in your life. Let this become the marrow of your bones, for I have given you specific instructions and I want you to heed these words, I want you to understand and I want you to follow them diligently for I have called you unto this time and I need you to follow my instructions.”

Needless to say, after hearing the tongues and interpretation, I became deadly serious about learning how God would have us to pray. I have discovered that there is an appropriate way to approach our Almighty God and though it is a process and does take some time, it is golden time and is more effective than jumping in with many words, but little awe and respect. I have found that every time I pray through the tabernacle (building week after week on what I have learned so far) that I have more and more interaction with God and more and more of His presence. I also often feel the presence of angels while I pray this prayer. This tabernacle prayer is becoming the “marrow of my bones” and I haven’t even gotten all the way through the series yet!

Like Anthony Mangun says at the end of the service:

“It’s gonna change your life…It’s gonna change your life…It’s gonna change your life.”…and it truly has………

Nancy

Just a Little Bit of Faith


“You don’t need a whole lot, just use what you’ve got…faith, faith, faith…just a little bit of faith.”  The old Sunday school song ran through my head.

I was on my way to church and thinking on faith. The Sunday school lesson I would be teaching was on the “shield of faith”.  I live about a 30 minute or so drive from church, so once I was on the highway, I thought I would listen to Hebrews 11.  As I listened, the repeated phrases, “Through faith” and “By faith” got my attention.  I realized what I was hearing was what these individuals did with their faith.

“4 By faith Abel offered unto God a more excellent sacrifice than Cain…” “5 By faith Enoch was translated (taken up to heaven without dying)”  ” 7 By faith Noah, being warned of God of things not seen as yet, moved with fear, prepared an ark to the saving of his house; “8 By faith Abraham,…obeyed; and he went out, not knowing whither he went.” “11 Through faith also Sara herself received strength to conceive … a child when she was past age, because she judged him faithful who had promised.” “17 By faith Abraham,…offered up Isaac:…his only begotten son,…(Believing) that God was able to raise him up, even from the dead;” “20 By faith Isaac blessed … 21 By faith Jacob… blessed… 22 By faith Joseph…” “23 By faith Moses…was hid three months of his parents, because they… were not afraid of the king’s commandment. 24 By faith Moses… forsook Egypt, not fearing the wrath of the king: for he endured, as seeing him who is invisible. 28 Through faith he kept the passover… 29 By faith they passed through the Red sea as by dry land: which the Egyptians assaying to do were drowned.” “30 By faith the walls of Jericho fell down, after they were compassed about seven days.” “31 By faith the harlot Rahab perished not with them that believed not, when she had received the spies with peace.” 32 And what shall I more say? for the time would fail me to tell of Gedeon, and of Barak, and of Samson, and of Jephthaeof David also, and Samuel, and of the prophets: 33 Who through faith subdued kingdoms, wrought righteousness, obtained promises, stopped the mouths of lions, 34 Quenched the violence of fire, escaped the edge of the sword, out of weakness were made strong, waxed valiant in fight, turned to flight the armies of the aliens.35 Women received their dead raised to life again: and others were tortured, not accepting deliverance; that they might obtain a better resurrection:36 And others had trial of cruel mockings and scourgings, yea, moreover of bonds and imprisonment: 37 They were stoned, they were sawn asunder, were tempted, were slain with the sword: they wandered about in sheepskins and goatskins; being destitute, afflicted, tormented; 38 (Of whom the world was not worthy:) they wandered in deserts, and in mountains, and in dens and caves of the earth.

I thought, if God has given each believer at least a “measure” (Romans 12:3) or a “little bit” of faith…what could I be doing with my measure? The Bible says it doesn’t take much faith to move mountains, (Matthew 17:20 “Truly I tell you, if you have faith as small as a mustard seed, you can say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it will move. Nothing will be impossible for you.” That intangible Faith is able to move the tangible. What a powerful mix faith plus obedience must be!  Jesus said, “Nothing will be impossible for you.”   This got me thinking… if I obey the little nudges of the Holy Ghost, even if it seems, “out there”, what might I see happen? There are the nudges that don’t cost me much, like when God put an old hymn book song on my heart while I was loading groceries into my trunk not too long ago, and I began to whistle it. I don’t usually whistle in public, but when I would have quit whistling after a phrase, I KNEW I was to keep whistling the song. I happened to have a large cart full of groceries, so  by the time I went to return my cart, I had gotten through the whole song (key change and all). I KNEW I was supposed to whistle that song, so I had my eyes peeled as I took the cart back. Sure enough, as I headed back to my car I spotted a lady paused by her car and she was smiling at me. I smiled at her and she quickly stepped to me and asked me if I was Assembly of God. I said no, I was United Pentecostal which was as Apostolic Pentecostal organization.  As I was saying where the church was located, she said she knew of it. It turns out, this lady was the old across-the-street neighbor of some dear church friends of mine.

Some nudges, on the other hand, do cost something.  I was planning on getting a great deal done over my vacation recently to try to increase interest in my house which is up for sale, but on the second day of my vacation, God emphatically placed on my heart that I needed to put all of my previous plans aside and go to the whole week of our Minnesota district camp. I had already planned to drive to camp for all of the evening services, but God let me know that would not cut it. This required many details to be worked out and lots of packing to be done on short notice but I felt strongly that God was sending me to camp to receive the direction from Him I had been seeking and to commission me somehow. Camp started on Monday evening and every service seemed to confirm I had been called to camp by God for this purpose.

On the Thursday evening of camp though, I got a message that my son who lives in California had been able to change his business return flight for a quick visit home.  I hadn’t seen my son for two years and though I missed him badly, I simply could not leave without receiving from God what He had called me to camp to receive. We were finally able to come up with a time on Sunday to get together and though it was bittersweet knowing he was home and I wasn’t, it would have to do.

Friday morning of camp, during prayer, God put on my heart that there were some things that I must not have in my life if I was to serve Him. 1. I could not have the spirit of Jezebel. 2 Kings 9:30 “When Jehu came to Jezreel, Jezebel heard of it, and she painted her eyes and adorned her head and looked out the window.” In other words, I wasn’t to have a desire, “to be seen”. 2. I must beware of the spirit of Balaam who used his gift for his own profit and was full of self-pride. 3. I must not have the spirit of Hagar who despised her mistress. (or elders) If I allowed any of these a foothold in my life, I would have the same end as these. After taunting Jehu, Jezebel was cast down out of the window and was eaten of dogs. In other words, the world loves it when Pentecostals get all puffed up and then fall into sin and like dogs they will eat you up when you do. In that same vein, when Hagar saw that she was able to conceive after being given to Abraham, she scorned her mistress, Sarah who had been unable to conceive. The end result? Hagar was treated very harshly by Sarah until she finally ran away. The angel encouraged her to go back, but the son she bore to Abraham had the same disrespectful attitude and treated the son Sarah was eventually able to have with disrespect also. Once again Sarah was angered which caused both Hagar and her son to get cast out of the camp. In other words, if you think you are better than what you really are and cause trouble in the camp, you will be despised by those living the promise and will become an enemy of the people of the Truth. The end of Balaam? He loved the world and was destroyed along with the world. All of this instruction came before Bobby Killmon’s 10:00 am message where he spoke of 1 Kings 14, of Egypt taking away the treasures of the House of the Lord including the gold shields and to cover up the fact that the House of the Lord was now bankrupt, Rehoboam had bronze shields made that he had painted with gold to imitate the lost gold shields. Brother Killmon spoke of the posturing or pretending those that have broken covenant with God do to cover up the loss of the blessing of God and their forsaken relationship with God. Form with no substance. The look, but no power.

Finally, Saturday evening, Brother Lichtle, the Minnesota district superintendent spoke of this being our D-Day. We were being sent. I was not surprised to hear the intent of the message as I knew I had been called to camp by God to be commissioned into His service.  I received from God what I was called to camp to receive. I felt it come on me when I was prayed for…I don’t know exactly what it is yet, but I will know more in time. Until then, Faith is sometimes spelled W.A.I.T.

My faith is yet to be, as Lee Stoneking says, “Tried, Tested and Proven”.

Nancy

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

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

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