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On Eagle’s Wings – Part 2

Posted by on May 11, 2016 in Blog Posts, Ministry | Comments Off on On Eagle’s Wings – Part 2

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Silk Painting at Legacy Ministries in Peachtree City, GA.

My last blog update was about the unique way the Lord spoke to us in February that He was sending us out of NY “on eagle’s wings.”  Looking back now three months later, we can definitely testify to this being true.  As we launched out not knowing where the path would lead, we have been blessed to soar with Him to unexpected places, meet wonderful new people, and experience the ever-increasing kindness and faithfulness of God to us.

Our first landing place in Tyrone, GA, brought many blessings of reconnecting with dear friends, as well as ministering to new ones through silk painting classes and teaching at a Legacy Ministry’s “Limitless” Conference for women.

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“Be In Health” Training Program in GA

One of our unexpected blessings was getting an opportunity to receive training at a ministry called “Be In Health” in Thomaston, GA, which focuses on restoring health and healing to individuals in body, soul, and spirit (3 John 1:3 – Beloved, I pray that you may prosper and that you may be in good health, even as your soul prospers.)  The 6-day training program was a powerful time of hearing scriptually-based teachings, learning how to apply them, and getting freedom. We highly recommend it for anyone, especially those suffering with physical or emotional illnesses of any kind.  http://www.beinhealth.com/

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At Teammates in Ministry in Lilburn, GA

Another incredible blessing was the privilege of being connected with Teammates in Ministry, a husband/wife team who minister to pastors and missionaries by hosting them in their home and giving them a beautiful place to rest, rejuvenate, and connect with the Lord.  They also minister in counseling and marriage ministry after working with Family Life Marriage Weekends for 22 years.  It was the perfect follow up to our previous week of training and we are thankful for our newfound friends (who have actually become more like family)!  http://teammatesinministry.org/

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At the Missionary Care Ministry in Bogart, GA

From there, the Lord sent us to another ministry called “Missionary Care Ministry” in Bogart, GA, which is a wonderful, peaceful resting place for missionaries.  We were blessed to get to connect with a couple who were missionaries in Africa and encourage each other in our journeys.  An added bonus for us was it being only 30 minutes away from the International House of Prayer in Atlanta where we’ve been able to get connected and worship there on a regular basis  (more on that later)!

Our journey continues and has currently included connecting with Michelle’s college roommate from 25 years ago (how fun is that?!)  We are excited for all that’s ahead and look forward to sharing as it unfolds.

“For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, declares the Lord.  For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts.”  Isaiah 55:8,9

 

 

 

 

 

 

Straight From The Horse’s Mouth

Posted by on May 5, 2016 in Blog Posts, Ministry | Comments Off on Straight From The Horse’s Mouth

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Last week we were invited to go to a traveling horse show called “Sermon on the Mount” where we weren’t just entertained, but fed spiritual truths as well. Being a visual learner, I got a lot out of it and was especially impacted by what he shared about honor.

Honor One Another – The trainer worked with two of his beautiful horses and illustrated how each of them are both powerful in their own right and could easily hurt the other one, but they don’t do it because of their relationship with him.  They honor him, therefore they honor each other.  Likewise, we are called to honor one another, and although we may be able to overpower/hurt one another, we choose not to do it because of our relationship and honor to God.  He challenged us with though-provoking questions like, “What do I do with my liberties?” “How much of my life is set up around intentionally honoring others?” “Am I allowing God to perfect me in unity?”  He shared a powerful truth that holiness must always proceed harmony.  Therefore, as we learn to walk in God’s ways and be like him, we will grow in harmony with one another.

Spur On One Another – I loved this part of the show where he talked about the spurs on his boots and explained how they actually cause a horse to grow and to learn when they are used correctly.  The spurs aren’t there to punish the horse or to hurt them, but to “provoke” the horses to excellence.  In the same way, God doesn’t allow irritants and trials in our lives to punish us, but to perfect us.  And we can spur one another on to love and good works as well. (Heb. 10:24)

God Is For You – During the performance, there were several times the horses didn’t do what he wanted them to, and he shared that instead of ignoring their disobedience or harshly disciplining them he simply said, “No” and then immediately set them up to try again and make a choice to obey this time.  He likened this to our relationship with God and how when we fail or are disobedient, God always corrects us, but then He immediately sets us up for victory again.  He doesn’t just leave us down and feeling like a failure. He is quick to forgive when we repent and loves to show mercy.  He is for us and his mercy endures forever.

Lateral Shows the Vertical – One last nugget he shared was that the lateral work (relational work with the horses) was the primary way for us to see that the horses belong to the trainer.  He shared that hours upon hours of training and time had gone into building relationship with the horses and that out of that trust/honor relationship much fruit has come.  We too often have to put weeks, months, and even years into building relationships with others, but in the end much fruit is produced and we bring glory to God.   John 13:35 – By this all people will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another.”

 

On Eagle’s Wings

Posted by on Feb 17, 2016 in Blog Posts, Ministry | Comments Off on On Eagle’s Wings

IMG_5705On our last Sunday in NY a few weeks ago, a woman in church came up to me and said she felt the Lord tell her that we were “Going out on eagle’s wings” and that she was to give me the necklace she was wearing that day.  I had noticed it hanging around her neck earlier that morning and commented on how pretty it was, but when she shared more details with me about it, it became even more significant.  “It’s a feather from a red-tailed hawk,” she said.  My eyes widened as I was immediately taken back to when the Lord first called me into missions 8.5 years ago by showing me the hawk soaring in the sky and how just as the hawk effortlessly glides on the wind in full surrender, that that’s how I could soar with Him.  That day in August 2007 has literally set the tone for each day of my journey as a missionary, and a story that I’ve shared with many others to encourage them in their walk of surrendered obedience with the Lord.

Now, 8 years later, as my new husband and I prepare to launch out and follow His call, the Lord in His kindness gave me the same confirmation that we are going out on eagle’s wings just like the hawk.  How cool is that?!  I couldn’t have been more blessed and encouraged to have a tangible reminder that He is with us, sees us, and is ready for us to soar with Him on this new adventure.

The link below is the 14-minute YouTube video of me sharing that story of how God called me into missions (the specific story about the hawk starts around minute 11.00).  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=svyZAAPBpSQ

You may or may not see yourself as someone to be in missions, but I encourage you to take a moment to watch the video and let my story strengthen your faith to keep believing in the dreams God’s put in YOUR heart, and to know that He will help you get there as you surrender to Him.

“They who wait for the Lord shall renew their strength;
    they shall mount up with wings like eagles;
they shall run and not be weary;
    they shall walk and not faint.  Isaiah 40:31

 

How Beautiful Are The Hands

Posted by on Feb 12, 2016 in Arts, Blog Posts, Ministry, Prayer | Comments Off on How Beautiful Are The Hands

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“How beautiful upon the mountains are the feet of him who brings good news, who publishes peace, who brings good news of happiness, who publishes salvation, who says to Zion, “Your God reigns.”  Isaiah 52:7

IMG_5789This past week in GA I had the privilege of joining with others to paint silks for the people of Cameroon, Africa.  A dear friend of mine is going with a ministry team to not only share the good news of Christ with any/all who will hear, but also to encourage, strengthen, and train the believers in the country and to spur them on to good works!  Just as this team’s feet are beautifully described in Isaiah 52:7, so are the hands that painted these silks, for through each color and design, the silks themselves are preaching the good news of the Gospel.  Below are 2 of the 7 silks that were painted:

 

 

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Holy Love Revival

As we prayed over the above silk and asked for the Lord’s heart, we felt the Lord say this banner represents a Holy Love revival pouring out in Cameroon!  The whirlwinds represent the Father stirring up intimacy and higher levels of worship in Cameroon. Pink symbolize intimacy and yellow and orange symbolize holiness and the highest praise. Can you hear the sound wave? The intensity of the cries of His people saying, “More Dad! We want all of you! We are laid down lovers for You!”

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Rushing Waters

We felt this silk represented the rushing waters that are coming in and covering the dusty places in Cameroon. We saw a well that has not been primed for a while and there’s rust and dirt inside, but felt a cleansing is taking place.  Felt this silk carries a breaker anointing and whoever receives this silk is one who will help prime the pump until the waters of Heaven come bursting forth! 

Will you join me in praying for this team and the people of Cameroon, Africa, Feb. 24 – Mar. 4th? May God pour out this Holy Love Revival and send His mighty rushing waters to refresh weary hearts and souls and bring new life!

 

Hope Is Born

Posted by on Dec 22, 2015 in Arts, Ministry, Prayer, Uncategorized | Comments Off on Hope Is Born

IMG_4764Last month, my husband and I went to pray on another local college campus and were inspired by this stained glass window in the chapel. As we looked at it, we saw an unborn baby in the womb and felt the Lord putting it on our hearts to pray protection and LIFE over the unborn babies on that campus…that their mothers and fathers would see and know the value of them and choose to bring them into the world.  It was a powerful time of prayer and intercession as we agreed with the Father’s heart for the unborn (Ps. 139:13-16).
It’s no secret that anytime something new is being birthed in our lives the enemy’s plan is always to abort it.  Just as it was in Luke 2 when Jesus was about to be born, the enemy’s scheme was the same…to destroy life and specifically the prophecy of a Savior being born by calling a census and killing all the first born sons.  Long before we were even conceived in our mother’s womb, God had dreams, hopes, and desires for us, but from the onset the enemy’s goal is to keep those from coming to fruition (John 10:10 – “The enemy comes only to steal, kill, and destroy, but Jesus came to give us life.”)  We can choose to partner with the enemy and “abort” our dreams, hopes, and desires by accepting doubt, disbelief, and discouragement or we can choose to agree with God and His Word in Hebrews 10:23 –  Let us hold fast (unswervingly) to the hope we profess, for he who promised is faithful.”  In this season of hope when hope Himself was born, let us lift our vision once again as the shepherds did that night when they saw the star in Bethlehem, and dare to hold fast to hope.  For God is faithful and HE will bring forth our baby in due time.

Jesus…the Worthy One

Posted by on Dec 18, 2015 in Blog Posts, Dance, Ministry, Uncategorized | Comments Off on Jesus…the Worthy One

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The twenty-four elders fall down before him who sits on the throne and worship him who lives for ever and ever. They lay their crowns before the throne and say:

“You are worthy, our Lord and God,
    to receive glory and honor and power,
for you created all things,
    and by your will they were created
    and have their being.”

It’s mind-blowing to think about what the worship around the throne of God is like described in Rev. 4.  Equally as intriguing is to meditate on the worship offered to a baby born in a stable where kings came from afar with lavish gifts of gold, frankincense, and myrrh.  What faith they had to follow a star and to offer their best gifts…and to a child no less!  Who is worthy of such praise and honor?  There is only One….and His name is Jesus.

It goes without saying that worship isn’t limited to simply a body position (lifting of hands or kneeling down) or an act of giving your money or time.  Worship is a posture of the heart.  A complete surrender to a God and King who gave everything he had for us, and therefore is worthy of everything we have in return.  One of the reasons we dance before the Lord in worship is to express our love to Jesus and to thank Him for who He is.  Just as Mary declared, “My soul will magnify the Lord” so do the flags and banners speak and declare, “You are worthy! I love You, Lord!  Thank you for Your goodness to me!” in a magnified way than we could ever say with our voice.  But even as the English language sometimes feels inadequate to say what we’re feeling, so does movement.  There aren’t enough colors in the world or enough banners to wave to possibly express the magnitude of love and gratitude to God for what He has done through His birth, death, and resurrection!

No matter what your gift of worship looks like, at the end of the day our heart cry is to be like the shepherd boy who had nothing to offer the King but himself….“Here I am, Lord!  I offer you ME.”  Maybe you’ve never surrendered your life to Jesus and given Him your all?  Maybe you have, but want to offer yourself to Him afresh today?  Today is your day and now is your time!  God’s heart and hand are extended to you even now with the free gift of salvation, love, and mercy.  There’s no greater gift you can give and no greater gift will ever receive.  “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through him.”  John 3:16,17

The Spirit of Freedom

Posted by on Oct 7, 2015 in Arts, Blog Posts, Dance, Ministry, Uncategorized | Comments Off on The Spirit of Freedom

IMG_0619I was so blessed yesterday at church when I looked up and saw that the artist on stage had drawn this picture during worship…a picture of a dancer waving a banner.  It immediately grabbed my heart as I was holding my golden yellow/orange silk in my hands at that very moment and felt the Lord encouraging me to keep dancing.  You see, it had been over 4 months since I moved to NY and since I had danced during a Sunday morning worship service.

It wasn’t until last week when I was encouraged to go in the balcony where there was more space and only a handful of people that I finally danced for the FIRST time.  Still not wanting to be a distraction, I tucked myself away in the far back corner, pushed myself out of my comfort zone, and proceeded to worship with my silks.  Shortly thereafter, 2 young ladies came up to me and shared how blessed they were by my worship and how one of them got tears in her eyes when she saw me dance.  Isn’t that’s just like Poppa to encourage us anytime we step out in faith and obedience?

IMG_4433IMG_0625It wasn’t until the artist got up this week to share about her drawing that I found out that she was the girl who spoke to me the week before and that I was the inspiration for her drawing.  She shared how the Lord reminded her that worship comes in many forms…not just singing and playing music, but in dance and movement and expressions of freedom. Wow!  I was completely humbled and blessed.  What I love most of all about her drawing is that the dancer is in all black.  It’s not about me nor about any particular person.  It’s about the army of worshipers that are rising up in this end time harvest. A nameless and faceless generation of laid down lovers, like David, who will worship God in Spirit and in truth in spite of their weakness and brokenness.

It’s the dawning of a new day, and like David, let us rise up and say, “I will sing and make melody with all my being!  Awake, O harp and lyre!  I will awake the dawn!  I will give thanks to you, O LORD, among the peoples; I will sing praises to you among the nation.”  Psalm 108:1-3

The Love Mission Continues – Gotta Be Real

Posted by on Oct 6, 2015 in Blog Posts, Ministry, Uncategorized | Comments Off on The Love Mission Continues – Gotta Be Real

IMG_4436 It’s been a pretty big adjustment going from a Southern-culture church experience in the Bible belt to a North-Eastern inner city one where many of the people are right off the streets.  But, one thing about inner city churches that you’ve gotta love is that the people are REAL.  When they come off the street, they don’t know religion, rules, and protocol…they just know what they know and that’s usually a bit rough around the edges, but incredibly refreshing at the same time.

IMG_4430IMG_3725Two weeks ago at church I was so blessed to witness 24 people ranging from 12 – 82 years old get water baptized.  The 82-year old woman shared how she came to know Jesus just a month prior when someone invited her to the Big Daddy Weave concert that our church hosted. How cool is that?!  Person after person shared their testimony and at the end of it, the pastor asked if anyone was there that wanted to start a relationship with Jesus.  As I looked down on the crowd from the balcony, I noticed one man sitting on the back row by himself raise his hand and then walk forward to receive Christ.  Moments later after they prayed and talked with him, he decided that he wanted to get water baptized as well.  So, in he went clothes and all!!  Isn’t that awesome?!  What’s amazing is that he probably had no idea when he woke up that day that his entire life was about to be turned upside down by making the greatest decision of his life.

A similar thing happened this past Sunday as the pastor encouraged people to spontaneously come up to the microphone during worship and share when they first encountered God’s grace.  I lost count, but somewhere around 30+ people of all ages came up sharing how they were in their car or in the shower or at someone’s house when God’s grace touched their heart.  It was so powerful, and perfectly prepared the way for 4-5 people to give their hearts to the Lord….2 of them who were visiting there for the first time!

As I sat watching and listening to all of this, I could feel the Lord melting my heart and gently saying, “This is part of that love mission I was talking about.”  Learning to love the “unlovely,” the unrefined, the unchurched.  I realized in that moment that up to that moment I hadn’t really ASKED God to give me His heart for the people of this city….that I was so self-absorbed in my own uncomfortable transition to a new place that I hadn’t taken the time to open my heart fully and sincerely ask.  It was an exciting moment (as any moment outside of ourselves usually is)…to feel just a glimpse of God’s heart and to realize truly what a gift it was and is to be here.

 

Connections in Brooklyn

Posted by on Oct 6, 2015 in Blog Posts, Ministry, Uncategorized | Comments Off on Connections in Brooklyn

IMG_4470 It was so good reconnecting this past weekend with missionary friends from GA who recently moved to Brooklyn to plant a church, as well as with another dear friend who is a missionary from GA.  We only had a short afternoon together, but it was filled with heartfelt sharing, encouraging, laughing, and praying for each other in what the Lord has called us to do in this season.  We are so thankful for brothers and sisters in the Lord to run with!

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Let God Arise

Posted by on Sep 16, 2015 in Arts, Blog Posts, Dance, Ministry, Prayer, Uncategorized | Comments Off on Let God Arise

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A couple months ago I shared in my blog “Bringing Light To The Darkness” about me and my husband’s ministry experience on a local college campus and how I felt that the Lord was giving us a glimpse of what we are called to do here in NY…to go where he tells us to go and bring His glory and presence down through prayer, worship, and declaring His name in the dark places.

This past weekend felt like our second ministry assignment on another local liberal arts college campus, and boy was it awesome!  Shortly after we walked onto the campus, the Lord highlighted what looked like a well to me and I heard the Holy Spirit clearly say in my heart, “Woman at the well.”  As we walked closer, I could read the inscription on the side of the well, “Margaret’s Well.  In Loving Memory of Margaret Johnston Bard.”  And then beneath it a Bible verse…”I was thirsty and you gave me drink.”  WOW!

I began asking the Lord, “What are you saying?  Why did you highlight this well and give me that phrase?”  I remembered how the woman at the well was an outcast…not only because she was a Samaritan, but because of her immoral lifestyle.  No one wanted anything to do with her, yet when Jesus encountered her, her whole life was changed in an instant and she became the instrument God used to bring her whole village to Jesus.  I was then reminded of the testimony of Shelley Hundley….a woman I knew from IHOP-KC who was just as radically saved on her college campus and was labeled as “the hardest heart on campus” that nobody would EVER believe would come to Jesus.  We felt impressed that we were to agree in prayer and ASK God to save the hardest heart on that campus and to USE THEM to start a revival of fire just as He used the Samaritan woman.  John 4:39 – “Many of the Samaritans from that town believed in him because of the woman’s testimony.”

As we began to pray, we sensed God’s presence in a strong way and Mike saw the Fire of God (like at Mt Sinai) coming down into the well infiltrating the water system with the Holy Spirit and making it living water.   We later felt God reveal that He’s not only infiltrated the drinking water, but the cooking water (all of the food), the bathrooms, the washing of the hands, the showering, and even the steam!!  Wow!  Let it be so, God!

IMG_4264IMG_4278IMG_4279As we continued to pray and read through John 4, the Lord highlighted verses 22-24 You Samaritans worship what you do not know; we worship what we do know, for salvation is from the Jews. Yet a time is coming and has now come when the true worshipers will worship the Father in the Spirit and in truth, for they are the kind of worshipers the Father seeks. God is spirit, and his worshipers must worship in the Spirit and in truth.”.  We realized that almost the whole time we were there, we heard different musician playing their instruments in the background, and we felt impressed to call for the worshipers to arise on that campus and for ALL of the artisans who are using their gifts for darkness to come into their God-given calling and use them for LIGHT.  We began releasing the sound of the shofar (call to worship) and then we began dancing around the well to Paul Wilbur’s “Let God Arise.”  We felt childlike freedom and joy was being immediately released in and through us!

 

Will you pray with us for God to have His way on this campus, that the hardest heart would be saved, and that the fruit would be an army of worshipers rising up for His Glory?

We already know the location of our next assignment and can’t wait to see what He does there!