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33248955_10216228639453667_8634740846178074624_nBy Writing for joy: Instagram @awakened_arts

 

I was at church Sunday and the word that kept rising in my heart for a young man was more.
“More God?” I asked, and he replied in my spirit, “yes, more, more, more.”
God kept nudging me to share and I had no idea this young man was in the process of being taught about coming to Jesus at the moment by another.

I walked up to him and said God wants you to know that you can ask for more. That He wants to give you more. Just as you look at your little baby and want everything for her, this is how the father looks at you. He doesn’t want you to miss out on anything.

I went home and the thought kept pondering in my mind. More, more, more.

Ephesians 3:19-20
And to know the love of Christ that surpasses knowledge, that you may be filled with the fullness of God. Now to Him who is able to do infinitely more than all we ask or imagine, according to His power that is at work within us.

Just like this father looking at his tiny baby, our heavenly father looks at us. He wants the best for us, He wants his gifts for us, He wants more for us than we in our human minds, don’t think to ask for. 

I want to walk in my kingdom identity as His daughter, with His inheritance as my stepping stool to launch me into His work for my life. I want to know His love in infinite ways. God holds nothing back from me as His child, seeking Him first, He holds everything to give to me at the right time.

If I walked up to a stranger and asked for the inheritance to his life’s work, he would look at me with disdain and say, “who are you to ask such a thing?” 
But my heavenly father says… “YOU ARE MINE. All you have need of, ask. All that you can imagine, ask.
This isn’t about seeking the savior for what you get..it is about receiving because you have sought Him first and He is yours and everything that that entails. 

So as I say “yes Lord, I will receive your more, more more.”
He answers me,
 Now you have revelation it is time, live your life today by Kingdom standards, not earthly limits! ”

“Yes, Lord!”

Transformation: Fear is a Liar

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This picture came to me as I was worshiping in my living room before a special meeting at church. I had not planned on doing any painting that night, but the song in my head would not leave, “Fear is a liar”. So without knowing what I was painting, I sat and quickly painted my beginning picture. It was the eye of evil staring back at me. My first thought was, I am not taking this to church!
Then the instruction, “How will you look beyond the ugly and make something beautiful?” I knew at that moment this picture was about transformation.  I did not know it was to be mine!

I have rarely done a painting in public, and never with this process, fear tried to grip me. While I prayed and prepared,  the excitement of what God would do, overtook any timidity. I kept singing that song Fear is a Liar, knowing God would be my peace.

As I was packing my supplies the Lord said, ” tonight you will get messy, no brushes.”
It sounded fun and exciting to me but I have absolutely no coordination and fear again tried to grip me. I had to keep singing Fear is a Liar.

I then felt led to put red paint in a spray bottle ( NO idea why). I have never sprayed my paint before and had only bought the bottle for water just a few days before. People will think I am crazy and I don’t even know what to do with it. Fear tried to grip me and I had to sing again, Fear is a Liar.

In this process I was seeing how fast my site can shift. How fast a lie can creep in.

I flipped the painting over and I could see in the eye, a worshiper. I knew my result would be a worshiper but no idea how the transformation was to take place.
I packed my paints, prepared to take everything with me and continued to pray.

At some point in the service, I truly can’t remember where, the visiting pastor from Bethel had said,  “Tonight we are going to get messy. I like messy church!”I truly laughed out loud! She was meaning we are not following our own agenda and it will not look like church always looks, but God had given me an action, to step out of my comfort and my known to let HIM do a work and instructed me to get messy! He confirmed through her exact words what I had heard. Don’t be afraid to get messy.

In worship, The song Fear is a Liar began and a woman with an amazing ministry of sign language was next to me signing the song. I didn’t dare look at her because when she signs I always want to cry, it is so beautiful. So I looked at the painting, spray bottle in a hand and the words began. ” When he told you’re not good enough,” (spray the blood of Jesus over it, this is why red, this is why bottle, the paint dripped over the evil eye. The blood of Jesus covering every lie). When I realized why the spray bottle, I shook with joy. My tears blurred the painting for a moment. I pressed in, praying and obeying.
“When he told you your not right” (Spray), “when he told you’re not strong enough, to put up a good fight” (spray.)
This continued through all the lies, then it was time to get messy. Without really knowing what I was to do, that picture went through a transformation journey.
A worshiper facing the eye, arms raised formed, then swirl of paint and the flames from a fire, more smudge of messy paint, a dove representing peace, the blues were added becoming a river of God washing over her. Then she was gone and an angel appearing to fight. Lastly, she was a new worshiper, covered with the Glory of God, facing forward in the painting, more confident, ready and all of Gods amazing triumph of colors surrounding her, surrounding her in His love, He had covered it all and she was ready to move forward. The enemies lies no longer in her sights.

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I truly wish I had recorded the process. I had no idea the journey the Lord would take me on. The funny thing is, many times, I wanted a paint brush. I wanted to perfect the work. It was not until the next day the Lord allowed me to paint the worshiper, after all, He had revealed and I used a brush. Not until I was ready to submit fully and see the full work He had for me.
It was messy and did not look the way I wanted it to. Just now as I thought about that, the Lord shows me, you wanted to rush the process. If you would have had a brush, you would have gone straight to the worshiper, you would not have seen my blood covering, you would not have seen the dove, the angel, the many glorious colors. You would have robbed yourself of the full work of your transformation. This process was so healing for me. I recognized each lie the blood of Jesus had to cover. I saw the peace covering my head. I saw the angel fighting for my victory.

I feel so humbled as I look at the work the Lord has done in me. How in my own power I would have quickly ‘fixed’ it to look the way I wanted it to look. I would have bypassed all the hard stuff. I may have had a decent outcome but I would have missed the strength, the skills, the courage that had come out of it, there is beauty in the process!

I tell you I truly wanted a brush when the Spirit of God was on me so strong my hands were shaking and I was trying to paint with them. My fingers felt clumsy, the paint all mixed and not perfect. God says…this is exactly what I want. You messy and all, let me do the transformation and remember Fear is a liar!

Here is the song to give a listen: Fear is a Liar

Again and Again

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Recently I was in the waves of depression or grief I am not sure exactly which, but I was getting to where I  wanted to just isolate myself on most days.

I had lost my dad a year ago and my health struggles of the last few years hit another all-time high with no explanations, leading to walking away from my job I loved. Coming to grips with all the loss, I was truly trying to keep my head above water.

I had this heavy blanket over my mind often since childhood. When I was at Bethel Worship Music School this year, so much was revealed to me and was broken off of me.
I have been healed of the suicidal depression years ago. Jesus rescued me before. But this release was generational. This release will take deep roots in my family. God has brought me to a place of Joy that I had not felt since I was under 8 years old.

There with my heart open saying, God, why has this returned?  He said, “I will do it again. You want your release, here you go. I will do it again. I will meet you at every stage and every time. I will do it again! Don’t focus on the why, you know the why. Focus on the victory because it is here. ”

I just broke with my love from Him. I was valued and given the gift of LIFE.
When I let myself remember the work He had done before and I let myself be loved by Him in new ways, deeper relationship, it is then that He rescued me.
My heart was lifted with the knowledge that He will rescue me again and again from every situation. I do not need to return to the old. That one has been done with.
Anything else arises, He will be in that too, ready to save.

The funny thing is this time that I was rescued, it was much swifter then years past.
The days of deep depression did not linger long, as I was able to recognize them and remember where my help comes from. The maker of heaven and earth, my creator, my savior, my friend, my JESUS. He did it before and He will rescue me again and again. From each struggle, from each battle. He will rescue me again and again.

I am human, I may open the door to the same battle, but He is so faithful to reach in and pull me out of it. He is also faithful to give me the tools to not go there anymore.

I was at church Sunday and just heard…SOUND THE ALARM.

When you are struggling in life, sound your alarm!
Call out to Him and He will be quick to answer you.
Right there with you in your walk no matter where you are at, He comes.

In our natural life, if you are looking at a fire, you are going to sound that fire alarm. You will not just sit and watch it consume everything in front of you, you are going to call a rescuer. When you are struggling in the Spirit, SOUND your alarm.

He will meet you again and again. Give the song a listen 😉 This one blesses my heart to pieces.

 

 

 

 

 

Intentional Connection

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John 14:26-

The Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you everything and make you remember all that I have told you. 

Let me start off with this thought… you can not theory your way into changing my heart of what I have experienced personally. You may not believe in the Holy Spirit in such a way, that is okay, but I have EXPERIENCED the Holy Spirit this way, and I will not be convinced otherwise.

The greatest gift is to be able to have an intentional connection with the Holy Spirit.

Where would my relationship be with my husband if I was walking through life, knowing he was there and hearing his voice from a closed door in another room but not have an intentional connection with him? I would be one with him, but not aware of him.
I can hear him trying to converse with me, but no clarity of what is being said. What kind of relationship would that be?

This is how we can walk through life with the Holy Spirit. When we are saved and baptized the Holy Spirit comes and dwells within us. He is our friend, our comforter and hopefully leads us in our walk as we let him. But there is a difference between the Holy Spirit being there and having an intentional connection with Him. He is our face to face encounter with the Father. Our opportunity to hear the Father’s heart towards us.

Just like my relationship with my husband (or anyone for that matter) the Holy Spirit needs and deserves intentional connection. He delights to hear from us. He delights to spend time with us. He delights to speak into our hearts.

So I am intentional, shutting off the noise around me and asking the Holy Spirit, what do you want to share with me today?  He has blown my mind with His goodness and love for me. He reminds me that I am loved and not forgotten. He reminds me of my purpose and call. He is every bit as intentional with me, as I am with Him.

So very thankful for the intentional connection with the Holy Spirit. To be able to say, Holy Spirit, I welcome You.

I am READY

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I am READY FOR my new Season LIFE

 

This week at Bethel Music Worship School, has shaken me in every good way possible. I have been like a sponge absorbing God’s truths and casting off all the lies I have believed about myself and my ministry.
I have grown deeper in my relationship with the Lord and have allowed Him EVERY space in my life, rather than just the one to be revered and held high. YES, He is to be high and lifted up always, but there is so much much more. I am READY!

The second day at Bethel Music Worship School, while we were listening to Bill Johnson speaking, I had a vision of God holding out His hands with Jesus in the palms. I honestly don’t remember what was being taught at the moment. The vision was so clear and so beautiful it beheld my whole heart.
God’s hands outstretched were handing Jesus to me. I heard so clearly in my Spirit, this is my son and He is for ALL your areas of need. You need a friend, here you go, you need a Father here you go, you need a savior here you go, you need a healer here you go. There was no end to the places that Jesus was to fill in my life. I call out I am READY!!!

When I began writing for joy I was honestly at death’s door. I was ready to die. I wanted to die and had a plan to die. In my last cry to God before putting my plan into action I cried out… GOD, YOU PROMISED JOY WHERE IS IT?!?!
In that very moment, God instructed me to seek Joy and I would find it.
I felt shook. I said Ok God I will try this I will seek the FULLNESS of your Joy.
Step by step He pointed out all the areas that my life was robbing me of joy. It has been a good season to see His love and care and provision of the fullness of Joy in my life. Yet, that season has been one dimensional, survival-focused.
I was a baby surviving on milk and God is ready to give me more in the way of nutrition. He met me where I was and gave what I needed most to save my life and bring me back to living. Now He is ready to propel me forward in NEW life and NEW seasons of fruitfulness. The harvest has been planted, cultivated and now I will reap the benefits.
I am READY!

There is so so so much new the Lord would have me share and I am so ready for this wild journey He will be taking me on. This past week at Bethel Music Worship School has been one of the richest fullest life-giving experiences of my life. I am amazed and in awe of my Father all over again. I have come out of the land of the drought and ready for the land of living water. No more will I deny the spirit of God as He moves inside of me. I have been awakened and I will not be silent. I am READY

THIS…  AINT NO STINKIN GRAVE AINT NO STINKIN GRAVE… GONNA HOLD MY BODY DOWN!!!!

On my way…Bethel Music Worship School

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Proverbs 3:6 –
In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make straight your paths.

The Lord amazes me, how he cares for every desire of our heart. For years I have wanted to visit the Bethel church and learn from some of the most talented people out there.

We had been told about this year’s Bethel Music Worship School pretty close to sign up deadline. We went ahead and applied but when we were excepted to the school, we only had just enough deposit and first payment for one of us that had come in unexpectedly at just the right time. We had the heart that if we were meant to go it would be excess of our normal budget as I no longer was working.

My husband had so much to learn on workshops and a desire to be a better teacher, I had said, “well the school is for you this year and I will wait until next year.”  I thought I had missed the deadline so I began to make plans of my own. But at every turn, those doors would close. Just as I was not sure what in the world I would do with myself for two weeks in Redding, I got a notice from the school that I could still go.  But now there was the matter of the cost. So I began to pray and had remembered a correction I had gotten a few weeks back, ” Why did you not ask! We would have been happy to support you in that and felt lead, but you said you had other plans.” It was a reminder you have not because you ask not! So, I went ahead and asked them to pray if it was still in their hearts I would like to go.

NOW I am going. We leave for the adventure of my life today. Here I have felt so ill the last six months I have done nothing, to be healed and ready for the amazing! He gives me strength just as I need it. Obedience brings LIFE and I am ready to live it. My best life. His best plans!!!

Never have I been away from home for two weeks, let alone left the house and my kitty to my adult children for two weeks. Never have I stayed with people I hardly know for two weeks. Never have I been in such a busy atmosphere for TWO WEEKS…with SO many awesome people. But my introvert mind is asking God…. “Are you sure?”

I truly am excited to be stretched in this new way and to see what the Lord downloads into me and the dreams and passions being cultivated to new heights. I am so excited and overwhelmingly blessed that my Heavenly Father and earthly Dad have made this possible.

My plans may have faded away, but the Lord lays the path straight!
Keep your eye out for updates. It is going to be an epic ride, I do believe.

One of my favorite Bethel Worship Songs … a song deep in my soul cries out for such a time as this. Anxiety and fear have me no more! I am taking my mantle.

I once failed at love- Until I learned what it truly is

In my past, I had a world full of people around me, yet I felt so alone.
I had been hurt that others in my life were not listening or there for me in the ways that I thought they should be. I read recently that those that overshare on social media are often the loneliest people and that was me. I was so lonely. Yet, the lonelier I felt the more isolated I became. Shutting people out, to avoid the feelings of hurt.

I lived in a world where others were not being aware of MY needs. When these trials arose,  I would often pout, shout or shut down completely into a world of poor me.   I began to get bitter and turn people away.

I can see where this destructive pattern began. There was one that cut and hurt me so deeply, it shook my very worth.  I was done with living and I was done with people. So one by one, I deleted them from my life. I was not going to face that abandonment again. I would dispose of them before they disposed of me.

While my flesh was saying that this was the way to self-protect, God pointed out ever so gently in His amazing ways that I was on the road of self-destruction.

Where my immediate family is concerned, In the early days of wife and mother, I had completely ruined the atmosphere in my home with my grumbling and complaining.

I would blow up when my comfort levels were disrupted or when they were not meeting my need as I felt they should. If I called for the kids to stop arguing and talking back and they ignored me I would yell, react in the flesh and get bitter rather than giving the soft answer that the Bible calls for. If my husband wasn’t giving me the attention I wanted I would complain about every other little thing he would do, rather than discuss the issue. I would shut down and hide inside myself, making the problem worse, not better.

I was unhappy, depressed, to the point of suicidal. Nobody was there for me (my perception of the moment) and I didn’t know why. I was in the darkest place and when I asked the Lord why. His answer shook me.

The issue was not them, but me.

I was not loving!!! I did not LOVE myself, my family or others.

Love is not self-seeking.

Why is it that I find their actions concern me so much? Why was my comfort level controlled by their actions? Were my desires so much more important than theirs?

In order to understand the fullness of joy the Lord has for us, we MUST comprehend love.

When I am not seeing my needs be met by humans, I need to seek the Lord to meet those needs. I need to ask God how can you use me to help show your love to others?
God has made it very apparent to me what love was a while back. And for the most part, great joy has come in as I settle on the word and apply love like His in my life. I have become more patient, more kind, more peaceful overall.

I do fail and I do miss it, but thankfully I fail and miss it less and less as I learn more and more.

Love is an action. It is not a feeling. When I am irritated, self-seeking and impatient I am not acting in love. Criticism and judgment is not love. Manipulation and tantrum throwing is not love. Bitterness and impatience is not love.

The bible is very clear on the actions we are to take in love. Jesus was loving, he was giving, he was kind and I am to be Christ-like. I want my friends and family to see the kind of love that lives and dwells in me when I allow my self to get out of my own way.

Challenge this day my friend: Find areas that we can exhibit love that we never thought was an act of Love before. Look at the individuals you have cut off and ask yourself… was that an act of love? Sometimes God calls us to walk away for a healthier us, but sometimes, we are a healthier us by growing in the act of LOVE.

 1 Corinthians 3:4-7

Love is PATIENT, Love is KIND.

It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud.

It does not dishonor others, it is NOT SELF-SEEKING,

it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs

love does not delight in evil but rejoices in truth.

It always protects, always trusts always hopes, always perseveres