Monday, March 18, 2013

Pressurized Cans

Falling down allows us to stand,
so when did we decide that falling down is banned?
Because it's not planned, suddenly it's canned
into a pressure-filled cup that keeps filling up.
As the pressure builds, we suddenly wonder,
"How did my life suddenly plunge under,
Under the water, where I feel like I'm drowning,
Where a smile can do nothing but mask the frowning?"
And yet, it's because we've forgotten the truth,
that truth that falling down is simply a part of youth,
and we are all just youth walking around
on this solid ground just hoping to be found.
We try to plan each step and action
while still being shocked at a negative reaction
from a crowd that we desperately tried to please
to somehow appease the unease that comes when we trapeze -
Trapeze between the rungs of love and hate, impatience and wait.
So let's abate the suddenly grandiose debate
of whether acceptance and tolerance creates a clean slate;
of whether keeping quite dictates what's fate and innate.
As though, suddenly, apathy is held higher than actuality
and passivity more respectably than passion.
Meanwhile, can's continue to become pressurized
In a society where pressure can presumably be lifted by keeping silent.
Opinion is sufficient only when it keeps the peace,
yet where is the peace in the place where love seems to cease?
We're all dolls on a shelf, told to remain,
but who, then, will call forth the rain?
The rain that will truly cleanse the obscene routine scene
of detachment and halfheartedness in almost every teen.
Wake up, sleeping giants, for many are there
who've never know Love, present everywhere.
For somewhere has become no where
and silence has begun shouting
Shouting, "Help me! I'm alone! Who can hear me!"
Listen to the cries sneaking from the pressurized cans,
Reach out & touch with healing, strengthening hands.

Sunday, January 13, 2013

Society's Toil

Fame and fortune; failure, foe
All those things you grow to know.
Each of which are defined
By society’s foolish mind.
We sit and ponder our “problems” and “worries”
Never thinking the cause be hurries –
Here to there and there to here
Rushing around, ignoring those near.
So when did apathy become the new sympathy?
And empathy become as valued as dirt.
“Look out for yourself & yourself only”
is now the standard, but leaves all lonely
because though we wish to fly all alone
even a bird needs a branch to condone
the exhaustion and errors it makes as it flies,
for once it’s home, it can’t disguise
such heartache and tire and mistake and pain
that occurred when looking after it’s own gain.
Flying alone was never the aim,
for acting alone is no way to fame.
Yet society tells you that this fame is true,
which then begs the question, “What should I do?”
“Do I sacrifice heart and truth and love
simply to have that which is ‘sort of’ –
‘sort of’ good and ‘sort of’ bad
‘sort of’ sufficient and ‘sort of’ glad
‘sort of’ alright and ‘sort of’ ok
but ‘sort of’ enough is not the best way.
This life that society claims you should crave
will always lead you to a crash wave –
one that comes and knocks you down
and rolls away as you stumble and drown.
This is the care that the world gives offer,
but, sweet child, there’s more in the coffer.
There is a life filled with purpose and joy,
a life you can know if you choose to deploy
the beauty that you’ve been given inside
by Jesus Christ, Savior, who will provide
a way to mend your failing heart
and comfort you when you’re falling apart.
He is near and loves you so,
choose to simply let God and let go.
You are not chained to society’s thought
for you, precious one, have been exclusively bought
with a cost far exceeding the price,
come, then; accept the sacrifice.

Friday, December 21, 2012

Christmas Calls

Stuck in the hum drum of stop and go
Always going too fast, too slow.
Never stopping to smell the roses
As life flies by you catch the poses
That you have posed to try to be
Someone that you'll never see
So stop your act you precious child
There is more to life than mild.
There is grace and love and joy
far surpassing that Christmas toy
that rots on the shelf you've placed your heart
which decays, too, part by part
for you have been eating what hurts and kills,
a poison of ideals that your mind wills.
But attaining the life that you think you need
could not help, child, it merely will feed
your craving for more nutrition from waste
and you'll be left empty with nothing but haste.
But now, in this season, a new call is ringing,
A call that fills many hearts with singing,
a call that beckons and cries out with love
a call that could only be sung from above.
So, sweet child, come lend your ear.
There is more, so do not fear.

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

The Robe Generation

We are called to be the Robe Generation. Listen to me. You are wearing a robe. This robe is one of righteousness. I said this robe is one of righteousness. It gleams like a bride adorned in jewels on her wedding day (Isaiah 61:10). I said it gleams like a bride adorned in jewels on her wedding day. It is white, bright, and brilliant (Revelation 7:9). In fact, it is the exact same white that was used to describe Jesus’ own garment when he had transfigured before Peter, James, and John on the mountain (Matthew 17:2). Why? Why are we worthy of having the same purely colored garment as the Savior of the World? Because this righteousness that you, you who have come out of great tribulation, this righteousness that you now wear is in the form of a magnificent robe that has been washed in the blood of Jesus Himself; by the washing of regeneration and renewal of the Holy Spirit (Revelation 7:14) (Titus 3:5). The blood that you cried out for when you shouted, “Crucify Him! Crucify Him!” The blood that you smiled at as it dripped down the wood of the cross - the blood of the lamb. This very blood that was shed from an innocent and flawless Man for your sake now makes you righteous and holy. Jesus is the righteousness of God (2 Corinthians 5:21). And we wear this same righteousness. Let that sink in. You are a sibling of Righteousness Himself (Matthew 12:48 – 50). You are a chosen friend of the Most High God who will give you whatever you ask in His name because His love for you never fails (John 15:16) (1 Corinthians 13:8). He is Love Himself, and He can’t go against His nature. Guess what? People can no longer ignore this blinding robe that He has graciously blanketed over you, for it illuminates the room. Darkness flees at the sight of it. For the blinding light displaces any surrounding darkness – it overcomes and defeats, crushes and deletes. This robe, however, will bring forth mockery; people will despise you for it. Why? Because this very robe that covers you, is the robe that the soldiers who drove the nails into Jesus’ hands and feet tried to defile in mockery (Mark 15:17). They clothed Jesus in a tattered purple robe in way to say, “Where is your kingdom, oh great King?” for people of royalty wear robes. I said people of royalty wear robes! Jesus took their, your, mockery and cleansed and refined and made new the defiled, sin-ridden robe that was placed on his body by you, the solider who nailed him to the cross, who caused Him to die. He now covers you with the very garment you used to spit in his face. You are now the royalty in the robe, oh princes and princesses of Christ the King of Kings, for you are a son or daughter of the Great I Am (Exodus 3:14) (Romans 8:17) (John 1:12). You share in the glory of God. While you cry and weep saying, “Father, I have sinned against heaven and against you I am no longer worthy to be called your child.” He is hugging you, kissing you, and graciously thrusting upon you the very best robe that He has (Luke 15:21-22). For after a bath, one needs a robe; and you have been doused in the Living Water, completely cleansed and cleaned, and now, as the Living Water flows out of you to drench those around you, you wear a the Robe to keep you safe and warm (John 7:38) (1 John 1:7). You are a crown of beauty in the Hand of the Lord and the nations will see the righteousness that bursts forth from this glimmering robe that you wear (Isaiah 62:2-3). But listen here. You weren’t always this way. “All of us have become like one who is unclean, and all our righteous acts are like filthy rags; we all shrivel up like a leaf, and like the wind our sins sweep us away.” (Isaiah 64:6) You stood before God in filthy clothes. And He said to his angels, “Take off this child’s filthy clothes.” Then He looked at you, once again, as you were bare before him with no place to hide, and he put rich garments on you and clothed you so you would now shine brilliantly of and like Him (Zechariah 3:3-5). You now, by the grace of God, have become like a tree planted by streams of water, whose leaves never wither; whatever you do prospers into abundant and everlasting fruit, for you are fused to vine (Psalm 1:3) (John 15:5). What does all this sound like? Freedom. The Loving Father wants you to know tonight that you have been set free from the law of sin and death (Romans 8:2); you are no longer a slave to the reign of sin for the God that holds you in the palm of His hand reigns over all the universe and beyond (Romans 6:6) (Psalm 95:4) (Psalm 37:24). You will not be condemned by God for you have been accepted into the Kingdom with a Holy Robe (Romans 8:1) (Romans 15:7). You are a saint (1 Corinthians 1:2) (Ephesians 1:1) (Philippians 1:1)(Colossians 1:2). Within the robe, you are a temple of the Holy Spirit who joyfully dwells inside of you (1 Corinthians 6:19). I said the Holy Spirit, a member of the Triune God, has taken residence inside of you. Put one hand on your heart and the other on your head. You are touching the house of Comforter, Holy Spirit (John 14:26). The hand on your head is now feeling a softened mind, for Christ has removed your hardened head when making you into a new creature (2 Corinthians 3:14) (2 Corinthians 5:17). I said you are a new creature through Christ. You are chosen, holy, and blameless, just as your robe suggests (Ephesians 1:4) You have been redeemed and forgiven – blessed with every spiritual blessing known in the heavenly places (Ephesians 1:3) (Ephesians 1:7). You have been sealed and made alive (Ephesians 1:13) (Ephesians 2:4-5). And with this royal robe, you now have been brought near to God to partake of His promise as you sit in the heavenly places with Christ (Ephesians 2:6) (Ephesians 2:13) (Ephesians 3:6). You have been raised up as a citizen in heaven with all the rights and glories that are associated with it (Philippians 3:20) (Colossians 3:1). You have been made complete in Christ (Colossians 2:10). Never again will that pain, heartache, brokenness, sin, hurt, death, or curse have power over you. You have power over it through God’s mighty scepter. Let us not forget the robe that encompasses our bodies, and our commission to bring others into the closet to be clothed with us. Let us plant ourselves beside the Living Water and keep watch for those recently drenched, and beckoning those who are in need of the cleanse. Remember who you are, over what you’ve done. Remember who you’ve become, over where you’ve been. His call to us is one of joy and love; let us answer it. Embrace the robe given to you with a child-like faith and exuberance. You belong here. Always remember: You belong here.

Prayer: God, we ask You to fill us with the knowledge of Your will through all the wisdom and understanding that the Spirit gives, so that we may live a life worthy of You and please You in every way. That we may bear fruit in every good work, grow in the knowledge of You, be strengthened with all power according to Your glorious might so that we may have great endurance and patience, and give joyful thanks to You, oh Mighty Father, who has qualified us to share in the inheritance of Your holy people in the kingdom of light. For You have rescued us from the dominion of darkness and brought us into the kingdom of the Son You love, in whom we humbly have redemption, the forgiveness of sins. (Colossians 1:9–14) I pray that out of Your glorious riches You may strengthen us with power through Your Spirit in our inner being, so that Christ may dwell in our hearts through faith. And I pray that we, being rooted and established in love, may have power, together with all the saints, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, and to know this love that surpasses knowledge – that we may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of You, oh God. Now to You who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to You power that is at work within us, to You be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generation, for ever and ever! Amen (Ephesians 3:16-21)

Monday, September 10, 2012

The Father's Heart

His hand placed softly around her waist,
guiding her gently - no sign of hast.
A glimmer in His eye while she laughs and giggles,
as He joyfully smiles at all her wiggles.
Feeding her what He knows she needs
even when her foolish banter impedes.
Her growing up sweetly sings Him a song,
as He lovingly scolds her when she does wrong -
knowing full-well this discipline will grow her.
He never hesitates to be her chauffeur -
bringing His princess where she needs to be
and applying a band-aid when she skins her knee.
He rushes to her side to untangle her mess,
as she unknowingly twirls in her yellow sundress.
Protecting her is what He strives to do
whether holding, scolding or buying a new.
He clothes her with the items He bought
just for her, He labored and wrought,
for He knew that these things would bring her delight,
and now He holds her when she's weary at night.
No matter the moment, problem or fear -
Daddy's always there to draw His joy near.

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Psalm 119:3 - Without Wrong Ways

"they do no wrong 
but follow his ways."

The "They" in this verse refers to verse two which states "those who keep his statutes and seek him with all their heart." When seeking God for a meaning to the verse, I was questioning and skeptical. How can a man be of absolutely no wrong? Gently, the Holy Spirit whispered to me, "Brenna. It is not that those who followed the ways of the Lord didn't wrong; it is that God sees them without fault, with no wrongs attached. Instead, He views them as followers of his ways and are therefor blameless and pure in His view. There is no way to do no wrong while still ignoring the ways and statutes of the Lord, but instead, following the ways of the King of Kings is a substitute for doing wrong. This is certainly a viable trade.

Broken, beaten, bruised, and battered -
all around my life is scattered.
Hit, hated, handled, and hurt -
my life is dust among the dirt.
I wish to seek, I wish to find
a hand that holds me ever so kind.
But wrongs have stacked and failures abound
I have hit no high, only ground. 
But my life has turned and follow I will
so to these sins, I choose to kill.
Following the King is what I shall do,
so Behold! For I am not wrong, but new.

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Psalm 119:2 - Keep & Seek

"Blessed are those who keep his statutes 
and seek him with all their heart -"

Keep & seek: these two words are far from passive. Why? Because while God pursues us, we must ACTIVELY pursue Him. It would be foolish to ask God to live out these commands of keeping his statutes and seeking him, for it is our living that is to be done. Statutes, being rules, are meant to be kept and will encompass blessing as well to the man who keeps them.

Another though is about the word all. A heart can not physically be whole and in multiple places at once. Therefore, when adamantly searching for God, one must do so with the entirety of his or her heart. It is all or nothing. Be with Him or be away from Him. You can not serve two masters. So take the truth that comes from obeying His commands and sweetly stir it with the passion that comes from seeking Him with the fullness of your heart to stand firm in the knowledge that you are blessed.

Monday, July 23, 2012

Psalm 119:1 - Blameless & Blessed

"Blessed are those whose ways are blameless,
who walk according to the law of the Lord." - NIV

Blameless: Hebrew "Tamim" - complete, sound, unblemished, intact, whole

Not only does the absence of evil in one's ways equate to blessing, but the presence of completeness and soundness must be in existence as well. How can you be sure that both are occurring? Walk according to the law of the Lord. Walking is something that you can do either leisurely or briskly. It can be used to accomplish a task or enjoy your surroundings. No matter what pace or situation your walk is currently at, it must be in accordance with the law of the Lord. No walker can remain on their feet, blameless and blessed, without adhering to the law. Because Christ has given us freedom, does not give us an excuse to ignore the law. (1 Peter 2:16, Galatians 5:13) Adhering to the commands solidifies blessing from the Commander to the commanded.

Psalm 119: The Beginning

I felt as though God had spoken Psalm 119 to me, but my instant thought was to reject it because it was "probably just something I heard due to the popularity of Psalm 119 and it's length." I read it anyways, however, and was reassured that it was from the Lord. Every verse captivated my heart and made me want to dive deeper. The Spirit then, I believe, prompted me to go through, verse by verse, everyday and write thoughts, illustrations, definitions, etc. pertaining to that verse until I go through the entire chapter. So although I do not know how long this journey will be or what will impact you or won't impact you, I pray that the Spirit moves through these upcoming texts over the course of the next couple of months. May they be like rain on a mown lawn and seed on fertile soil, I cry out.

Monday, July 16, 2012

Broken, Beaten, Bruised, Beloved

When lightning strikes and dusk rolls in,
When all you feel is secret sin,
When hearts are breaking and darkness roams
You feel as though no one has homes;
When victory seems far from you
And broken hearts are in clear view,
When all these things come and stay,
Just stand and remember He has pay.
And pay He does, for your small life
Regardless of His pain and strife
For you are worth every patient call
That He has made for the Ball,
The Ball in which you are the honor,
Although they all thought you were a goner.
Royalty is the host of this dance,
And you have been chosen and given the chance:
The chance to be all that you can,
To remove yourself and become a new man,
To claim death to the lies that come and destroy
To dismantle the plans satan deploy
To accept the beckoning of your true name,
the one where you're royal and wrapped in His fame.
So come now, be still, in His perfect identity,
For sweet, tender child you are the entity
That changes the course of time as we know
And shakes the world cast down below.
Though the trial seems to be constant and endless
Be certain that you are far from friendless,
For the Lover of the rich is the Lover of the poor
So no matter your income, you need no more
The currency you hold is sufficient for you,
And because of His payment, there's nothing due.
Now go live the life He has authored with care,
And fear not! For the devil would not dare
To mess with the one whose messed up existence
Has been purchased by He who knows no distance.

Monday, June 4, 2012

2 Corinthians 4:7-9

You can be called, but you may not be comfortable.
You can be beckoned, but you may not be believing.
You can be listening, but you may not be living.
You can be the one to sit back and feel sorry
while secretly wishing you were not so chary
knowing that His way may be so clear
but as the dust rolls in, you stumble and fear.
Allow the dust to settle for it's then you will see
that this issue you're facing isn't bigger than thee,
for you see, the devil tries to complicate and confuse
when the choice is simply yours to choose.
When Jesus is paving the path you step,
why quickly forget His perfect rep?
His presence is nigh and failure far,
so this complication can be reduced in the jar -
the jar of treasure that shows His power
is all-surpassing and just from His tower.
Although we are hard-pressed from all sides,
Crushed is not our soul from these rides;
and although we may be perplexed for a time,
we despair not as the clock rings a chime;
and although we are persecuted for this,
Abandonment shall not result in remiss;
and although struck down our spirit may feel,
the destruction surmounting will never repeal
the works of the One whose conquered all
to prove that this struggle will cause us to fall,
not at the feet of the one who destroys,
but at that of the One who quiets the noise -
the noise of the pressures to conform and fit in,
the noise of the parents requiring sin,
the noise of the commoners seeking their place,
the noise of the surrounding running the race.
All the noise rising up from the mess
has suddenly stilled at His calming word, "Yes."
Yes to the plans He has weaved for me;
yes to the person He wants me to be;
yes to the child He made for a plan;
yes to the beauty that has already began;
yes to the life He's created so sweetly;
and yes to the princess He's beckoned so completely.

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Proverbs 18:21

Words can break and hurt, steal and pervert.
This world has chosen destruction from construction
and has used that which was created for encouragement as discouragement.
Twisted phrases make tightfisted men,
eager to fight, ready to "win".
Words can destroy and tear, hate and compare.
Yet the purpose of these expressions is not to fuel depressions
or encourage worldly possessions through false impressions,
but instead vast sentences are meant for reward and relief, support and belief.
Words can uplift and build, inspire and gild.
No such words but those of the Lord's are holy and wholly,
always giving without lack or set back.
The King of Grace and mercy flows through the tips of lips,
so God, I pray, scorch my mouth so I may speak of Your Love as graceful as a dove.

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Fallen yet Loved

I fall at His feet stained, chained, pained, and drained.
While the world continues to make me strained.
As I sit and remind myself this is that for which I have trained.
Always remembering His love so engrained.
It's this kind of love that can not be contained.
But He has chosen that I stand ordained,
Unstained, sustained, unconstrained, and maintained.
For in my heart He has deeply ingrained
Every word, perfectly arraigned.
So no longer am I extensively restrained
Or the passion in me unfortunately contained
For He has broken in and entertained
Every desire which has now remained.
Realizing in full, His love is obtained
Through this intense disgust, for sin has disdained.
Matchless Lover, you always pertained
To my life from which I've worked and abstained
Knowing Your worth is unexplained
Through lowly human attempts that waned.
So Righteous One here I am unrestrained
Ready and willing to be called and regained.

He Sings to Me

The Warrior of all that stands before me;
The Cleaner of all that's in my past;
The Pursuer of all that attempts to fool thee;
The Lover of all that crumble aghast.

Runner of the race to which I should run,
Yet He tells me to sit and watch Him go;
Finishing the match which He begun
Proving, again, all that I owe.

However, He kisses me gently to remind
Of all He does when I stand by
Such as give crystal sight to me, the blind
And lift me up so I can fly.

Father of Light who beams through dark
You whisper sweet promises to your child,
And as I walk You take me and lark
Looking down on me, You smiled.

This princess You crowned with shining glory
Turning wretched flaws into radiant beauty
Always seeing, clearly, the full story
Knowing full and declaring my duty.

The Savior of all who walk the Earth;
The Ransom of all who are stained;
The Grace of all who desire rebirth;
The King of all who are pained.

Saturday, April 21, 2012

1 John 1:1-4

"That which was from the beginning, which we have heard, which we have seen with our eyes, which we looked upon and have touched with our hands, concerning the word of life— the life was made manifest, and we have seen it, and testify to it and proclaim to you the eternal life, which was with the Father and was made manifest to us— that which we have seen and heard we proclaim also to you, so that you too may have fellowship with us; and indeed our fellowship is with the Father and with his Son Jesus Christ. And we are writing these things so that our joy may be complete."

There are seasons in which God entrusts to us that are so majestically full of abundant works that one would be selfish to hold them within; this is one of those times. I realize that this is text-heavy, but so is the Bible. If you do not care for the works of God and His mighty works being manifest in the Earth,  please continue as I am trusting the Glorious One to change you with this text. If you do care for these things, continue in the same. Either way, I know that the Holy Spirit will shake you because all glory is to the One who has done all of this within me. Let this testimony mix with the sweet scent of the blood of the Lamb to cause you to overcome the great dragon, the serpent of the old, who is called the devil and Satan.

Let me begin with the valley, as every great hill has a base. Spring break, a trip to Florida, seemed to be an escape, a fresh beginning; it was, however, far from this ideal. Driving down consisted of overwhelming bickering and fighting between my parents - my heart breaking with every hateful word spoken. I cried out to God as I cried silent streams from the seat inches away from the source of destruction. I grabbed my iPod to drown out the anger with victorious songs to Victory Himself. I had, right before the trip, updated my songs with approximately 250 songs of pure worship, and I was looking to shuffle through the multitudes now in search for the right song to explain my worship; once I looked at the player while sitting in the car, however, it had only one song on it - Freedom is Here/ Shout Unto God by Hillsong United.

This divinely written song supernaturally appeared as the one and only song on my iPod, for God knew it was the only one I would need as an anthem for the entire trip. Things went from bad to worse as my desperation continuously amplified. Alone time was scarce, so quiet time took uncharacteristic forms; constant meditation on the word, along with prayer and stillness, became essential to remaining whole, as the threats to fall apart circled like a vulture, waiting to devour its prey. My own strength had failed me; my Saviors sustained me. I felt helpless and alone with He being the only solid Rock amongst all failing relationships. He cradled me gently, for He knew I needed the security and peace that only His comforting arms could provide. Circumstances failed me, but His hope inhaled me.

I returned home, unstable in my own balancing act, to uncertainty and confusion. I hadn't understood various acts that I had seen occur within my brothers and sisters at home, and the devil constantly attempted to consume me with lies to separate me from the Body. I, however, reluctantly attended youth group after what seemed to be forever since the last occurrence. Beforehand, I prayed over the night and over families, including my own. I explained my intensifying desire for deceitful thoughts to diminish as well as to see the Spirit move in the night. The following is the testimony I wrote before I went to bed that evening:

"Today I really didn't want to go to youth group. For the very first time in my life, I didn't want to go. I didn't know why, I just knew that I wanted to stay home; I began to make excuses of why I should stay home and not go. Then, 6th hour, my old communications teacher, Mr. Manning, told me that I should come and see him in 7th hour. I went in and he asked my how my weekend was, I said fine. He got really embarrassed and I asked him why. He said that he was at a men's conference during the weekend and he thought he heard my name, so he began to pray for me. I told him how that was actually spot on and how he shouldn't be embarrassed. His prayers stirred the heavens; my over one month long complacency broke two nights after he prayed - last night. Then, I ended up going to youth group - I had a dentist in De Pere, anyway. Before my dentist, however, from 3 to 4, I prayed. I wasn't "feeling" it, but I knew God just wanted me to lift up His name. He told me to simply sing of Him, not to ask for anything else. Then He told me Psalm 68:4. When I read it, I thought it was a good verse and that I should share a chunk of that passage at youth group tonight for encouragement, but it really didn't have a major wow-factor (excluding the obvious, that it was a word from the Lord, thus it's wow-factor is certain). 

The time rolled around for worship to start. As prayer occurred at the beginning, I realized that I hadn't shared the verses and I was bummed, but I figured that there was a reason that I forgot and that I would share at the end. I quickly scurried over to grab my Bible so that I could share later, before the video. We started to sing You Reign by Citipointe Live. God whispered to me, "Brenna. It's 'Your kingdom come; Your will be done. Jesus RAIN over me. Not merely REIGN over me.'" I soaked that in and stood in awe. Then Kirk stood up and said that he had a word: God wanted to heal from tormenting thoughts. Anyone who wanted healing from tormenting thoughts was to go to the front of the room. I stood around the altar with EVERYONE ELSE! We all went up and received prayer. 

I switched between crying and laughing. Deliverance and power over the thoughts and desires that have haunted me since before I can remember was released. Then, I knew worship would be wrapping up soon and I wanted to share the word I had before. I grabbed my bible to re-read what followed verse 4 since I hadn't previously. It was SPOT ON! I walked over to Kirk and told him that I had something to share before he prayed. Worship ended up continuing, and we decided that we were going to worship for the remainder of youth group because God was moving and we would move with Him. I shared the verses and how we should sing You Reign again, thinking about You RAIN, and we should dance. We did.

The rest of the night was glorious. Two prayer requests came forward and God continually spoke words from His Word from my lips as I prayed. Then, I took my friend home. She explained what she was going through; it was exactly the situation I was in two years ago when I was saved. She's having a hard time balancing friends, wanting to know everything now, and not feeling heard amongst other Christians. She also said how she wanted to speak in tongues. I thought, "Well perfect, I want you to as well and so does the All-Powerful Yahweh." We got to her driveway and right as she was about to leave, I firmly told her that she was going to the receive this gift and that I will pray for her right now. About 15 minutes later, that girl was speaking in tongues! I explained to her that it is just like a language and that you need to work at it. Then she told me how she had told another girl about her desire earlier that night and the girl told her to keep praying about it. When we knock, the Faithful One rushes to answer. Hosanna in the Highest!"

The following weekend I, once again, did not attend church; I had a state competition in La Crosse that I had to attend. The time brought a disgust for the world as the consumption of those desires engulfed the ones surrounding me whom I love. As the fight for the truth began to wear me down more and more, once again forcing me to rely fully on His strength, exhaustion set in. My Father, God graciously provided time slots of alone time in which I was able to bask in His presence amongst the chaos, providing the much-needed springs in the dry land. Then, on the ride home, I had begun to listen to my iPod. On shuffle, the random songs appeared, one after the other, as tears silently rolled from my cheeks - I was spent. These "random" songs, however, were far from that; song after song came on, each from All Sons & Daughters explaining, through song, my exact heart's cry in that moment. 

Suddenly, my best friend from elementary and middle school (with whose friendship withered after my salvation) turned around in her seat and began to pour out her heart to me. She explained her life, knowing that I would enjoy hearing of it since we had been basically separated for a couple of years. As she continues, I interject things going on with me, such as my fighting parents and exhaustion. Out of the blue, another girl comes in to the conversation, explaining how she is having an extremely difficult time with her ever-bickering parents. All in all, Glory shown through as God gently revealed His all-consuming Father Love, and I prayed for each girl. I return to my iPod and what song is flowing through my headphones? I Am Set Free by All Sons & Daughters. Indeed, I am set free. 

The following Tuesday, youth group came once again. I found out that the previous gathering had been relatively uneventful, excluding the never-failing Love of God that swoops in. I, as routine, prayed over the night and asked for the Presence of God to fill the sanctuary. Inviting the Holy Spirit to come, my plea carried on even as I left the room. That night, once again, God moved radically and the night, once again, resumed as a full-blown worship night. This radical event enforced what had previously been declared amongst our youth group as well as within me: Immanuel is with us.

One night that week, I began to read James, for I had previously been discussing the book with one of my sisters in Christ. I read through and got to the verse 5:16. I acknowledged the power of my prayers, yet after reading verse 17-18, decided to trust God with something other than someone's life: rain. I asked for it to pour to display His undoubting Glory, once again. That night, I awoke in the middle of the night for something loudly radiated through my room: the unmistakable sound of a downpour. 

It had since been five weeks since I was in Florida so much had God shifted and changed within me, but I was in no way prepared for what was about to come. I viewed a move of God like never before at this night's youth group - a purifying-and-refining gold moment. The following is a recount of the night:

"I went in early to have a worship time with the girl who previously gained the gift of prayer language. My heart was heavy and my Spirit stirred as I prayed over the night. Various words became repetitious in my desires as well as my prayers such as revival and families. Additionally, I laid out my desire to see each person fall, one-by-one, to their knees in worship and adoration in the powerful Presence of the King. I also deeply felt as though we were to realize the sanctuary is holy ground and enter it as though walking right in to the Kingdom of God. Two hours of prayer and worship later,  I found Kirk and explained to him about my desire to pray before entering the Sanctuary for it is holy ground. He explained that He also agreed that we should pray and he felt God speaking that to him earlier in the day as well. 

We entered into prayer as a group, none of us able to suspect that this "prayer before entering" would turn into two hours and fifteen minutes of crying out. God surpassed my understanding, once again, as Kirk prayed for revival, Lisa prayed for families, and each person fell to their knees, one-by-one. My heart changed and shook that night - my heart's cry for my school awakened and refreshed with a new sense of urgency and flame. My entire outlook erased and re-written to more accurately read as the Word of the Living God reads."

Needless to say, this last month have been nothing short of extraordinary. I pray that this text is full of grace, seasoned with salt, and mixed with faith so that it blesses you as it has blessed me. My heart longs for you to know the intricate Love that the LIVING God has for you. I know not where your relationship with God stands, but I do know that His mercies are new every morning. I recognize, with immense joy, that this is only the beginning for me as I look at these prior words in awe of the One who wrote them on my heart and in my life book, knowing that the rest is up to Him as well. He wants you to hand Him the pen so that He can do even greater things that these; is He your author?

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

The Red Sea

With these Egyptians in the way, you say it's hard to see the light
Well this wouldn't be the case If you'd realize it's not your fight
Quit standing in the "helplessness", crying out to be moved
Get going and know that His glory shall be proved
He is stirring up the waves with His mighty hand
So be still and walk in peace on this dry land
He shall not forsake you nor leave you without protection
For His direction casts out rejection as you choose objection instead of reflection and projection of His glorious affection because you're used to convection and correction to merely pass inspection as opposed to Perfection's injection of His selection of you. 
So stop wailing and moaning about the hardships endured
For He knows that only through this will you be reassured.
Reassured of His presence and ever-surmounting peace
This all-consuming Love that will surely never cease.
The lands will praise the King of Kings from this; rest in truth
Stop believing the lie that your defenseless from youth.
The manna shall be plenty, yet the journey may be long
Prepare for what's ahead and humbly kneel in reverent song.
Worship shall pour forth regardless of season
Now have some faith and ignore foolish reason.
For in the beginning was the Word and the Word was with God
Take, therefore, this word and stand tall with your rod.

Friday, April 6, 2012

Revelation 3:16

I'm so fed up with this complacent Christianity
thinking I get heaven simply from sanity
Assuming I'm saved because I liked a page
therefore excusing my occasional rage
I call out when I'm hurting and in need of Him
but there's no way He's there when I'm hittin' the gym
He's the God of my life on Sunday in church
but the darkness of my heart, He can not search.
I know John 3:16 and the message it sends
but what happens when He tells me to surrender my friends?
Hold on. Hold up. Are you telling me
that Jesus is calling for more of thee?
I gave Him my word. I said the prayer.
Don't try to tell me I'm still goin' down there.
That's the reason I'm here, the reason I plea
I can't go to Hell, I thank God, you see?
Oh, really? Cause in between the love, hatred I saw
Spitting harsh words from the "caring" jaw.
All I know is this, lukewarm is out. 
The only way in is His name to be shout.
This isn't a with status or even a tweet
He wants you're all; to make your heart beat.
So give up your false thoughts that you're goin to Heaven
for we all know this idea is merely a leaven
lighting the idea that you can keep your life
and still avoid eternity of pain and of strife.
So today is the day, will you give Him you're all?
Are you sick of sitting and ignoring the call?

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Today is the Day

His mercies are new every morning and thenceforth so is your life. He is not calling you to live the same today as you did yesterday nor is He calling you to life the same tomorrow as you did today. Humbly bowing at the feet of the One whose blood drips on your face and washes you clean as you kneel there is your calling. He washes you in the mercies that are intertwined in His blood and then robes you with His righteousness. His call is for action today not compassion tomorrow. To merely make friends is to invite people to Hell. Calling people and challenging them is Love and what I ought to do. No love choses to be fine with getting to know someone first. The time is now; the time is here. Go, therefore! Ride on the chariots boldly into all the lands and take them captive to Christ, the Victor. For if our God is for us, then who could ever stop us. He goes before us, as He always has, in order to ensure that there are no footholds when we run the race with perseverance. Your guardian God won't let you stumble; He will not fall asleep. Get behind me, satan! For your power was stolen from you and has been given to me; I shall, humbly, return the praise with the power to the one who's All-Powerful. Mighty is the Lamb that was slain for my ransom. He paid the price, now how selfish for me to assume that I can merit to whom the price is paid! I am asked to speak, not asked to save, so speak, I shall, for today is the day that sinners rise to be saints, that broken rise to be blessed, that beaten rise to be bold! Today is the day, for there is no promise of tomorrow. 

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

I Humbly Bow at Your Feet

Forgive me for all of the times that I forget:
that I need you more than I need my next breath.
that my words to You are of no importance in comparison to Your words to me.
that the secret place is far greater than any public place.
that this world is my temporary address, not my heavenly home.
that my words pass and fade, but Your Word is forever.
that this life of mine is nothing if I do not spend it in the presence of Everything.
that the harvest can only be reaped in the amount that it is sown.
that You, oh Love, are greater than any byproduct human love.
that selfishness opposes servanthood and servanthood, evil.
that cravings of the flesh deceive and destroy, but Your craving produce luscious fruit.
that You hold me in the same hand that You hold all the stars of the universe.
that Your plan surpasses the picture book I would destroy.
I ask all this in Your mighty name. Amen.

Saturday, March 10, 2012

1 Kings 3:5-12

Just some random recent thoughts (including the verse above):
  • You must be filled before you can overflow.
  • There is a vast difference between acknowledging and accepting. 
  • I'd rather irritate in my asking than infuriate in my not.
  • If, in speaking about the Spirit, you desire to reveal the Spirit, speak like the Spirit: boldly and powerfully.