Sunday, June 14, 2009

Charismatic's church observations

I went to my first Charismatic church last night. It was an incredibly moving experience. Don't get me wrong, whispering tongues was a little strange for me because I have never actually been in the midst of it like that before, but you could almost feel the tangibility of the Holy Spirit moving amongst this small group of people.

So this is a small church in Joshua that is about the same size as CJ. No one was afraid to call out to the Lord (and there was a lot of that.) No one was afraid to raise their hands in worship. No one was afraid to clap or cry or just "be" with the Lord. Everyone did something a little different. There was complete joy in the Lord. Wow.

The worship team was incredible. The lead singers were sisters. One was sixteen and the other was probably 20ish. Their voices were, well, I can't quite explain it. They were awesome, almost bringing me to tears. You know the girl who sings the Revelation Song, well like that, times 2. They weren't singing to lead the singing, they were singing because they loved the Lord. It was like we weren't even there. One of the songs was written by one of the girls and her husband. It was called Who Do You Think That I Am? I wish I would have written down all the words because it was moving. It talks about who God is, beauty, sovereign, savior, then it talks about what God is, Now, right Now. During the song, the older sister went and picked up her newborn baby and stood in front of the church singing the song with all her heart, tears streaming down her face. When the song was over, she took the baby back to her mom. My friend leaned over to me and told me that the baby was not supposed to be here. She said that in her 4th month, she started miscarrying the baby. The doctors and nurses told her that there was nothing they could do to stop it and they needed to be prepared for the loss. That night, she got up in the middle of the night and was praying and took communion and asking God for a miracle to save His child. She said that God came down and she felt His presence. She said that she felt a touch on her head that sent chills down her and a voice that said, "Who touched me?" When she went to the doctor the next week the doctors were astounded and couldn't figure it out, but everything was fine and normal. She said that the doctors asked her, "Who touched you?" She and her husband wrote the song to give God the glory for the miracle He gave them.


I feel like I need to say something about the preaching, but I wasn't there for a preacher, it was a guest speaker. He spoke about his travels and the miracles he has seen and there were some big ones. He talked about how God's church has fallen away from signs and wonders, but they are still very real and can happen. He said that when God performs a miracle in your life, He marks you as His. He is tangibly claiming you as His own. He said that when it happens, it is a token of His reality. It is a manifestation of who He is, perfect in every way. I never thought of it like that, but it's true.


When I left, I felt like I was glowing from being in the presence of the Lord. I felt warm all over, walking on air. I think that there is something to say for an unadulterated love and passion for the Lord. There is something in being able to show it and not feeling like you are crazy or everyone is staring. There is something to say for just being able to "soak in His presence" with other people. I was fired up for God when I left. I was ready to start preaching the gospel and I think had I had a chance to run out and talk to the lost, boy, there would have been some savin last night. But, I should be on fire like that all the time. I think if people could bottle that feeling and flow in it all the time, wow, how awesome life would be. Praisin and preachin baby!

So, I say all this to say, we should be in a constant relationship with God. We should be constantly looking for the Hand of God. We should be looking to keep the fire flaming, not just sparked. God wants us to live like that. He wants us to be on fire for Him. He has soooo many blessings waiting for us, that they are overflowing because we aren't where we need to be or aren't even asking for them.

So today, I challenge you to turn inward and upward and let God fan your flame and start a bonfire. Ask Him to pour out your blessings and look for opportunities to pour out some on someone else. If you share, He will increase yours and you can share more. Be faithful. Stay in His word. He will keep all the promises that he gives. He is faithful.

Be blessed,
Until we read again...

Friday, June 5, 2009

A lot can happen in a month...

First off, I would like to apologize to those who enjoy reading my blogs.(If there is anyone out there... :-) I am sorry. I realized today that it has been over a month since my last post at the end of April. Wow. I have had so many things happen and going on that it is nearly impossible to tell you all of it. I wasn't sure where to start, so I just didn't.

I started out May with the excitement that it was the last month till school got out. It was exciting and mindblowing. Where did the year go again? I just can't remember...

1May - We started out the month with Jessi performing in her last ballet and tap performance for Cinco De Mayo and she did fabulous! She of course was the tallest one. I have pics on my other computer, but I am on my laptop right now, so I will try to add those later.

2May - We went to the most awesome Christian concert called Come Worship Ignite and it was 5 minutes from my house. We saw David Crowder Band and Chris Tomlin, among a few others. There was thunderstorms, tornado warnings, rain, rain, cleansing rain (that was for you Amber...), but the only thing that happened was it got better! Did I say it was AWESOME!

7May - I got to enjoy an allday fieldtrip with Catie and Miranda. I was celebrated at Jessi's preschool for Mother's Tea and it was wonderful because I got some special time with Jessica.

9May - I registered Jessica, my last child for kindergarten. That was tough. It hit me that she is it. Next fall, all 3 of my girls will be in school. I thought I would be excited, but when they took her back for the testing, tears started swelling in my eyes and I knew what it would feel like when I take my baby to class for the first day of school. I will actually be crying at the Boo Hoo Breakfast. Ho hum. Tears swell in my eyes just thinking about it.

10May - Mothers Day. Nuff said. It was wonderful! The girls got me a sweet card that played music and recorded their voices saying, "I love you Mommy". James lets the girls pick out their own gifts so I got, a Wii game from Catie (M and M racing), a vase and some pretty fake flowers, "so they won't die Mommy," from Jessica and Miranda picked out a red pot "because it's your favorite color and you can make tea in it Mommy." So sweet and thoughtful too, all of them!
So, at church there was a video and a beautiful song they did. The video was a slide show of pictures of the church moms with thier kids. It hit me that there was only one picture of me with my girls and it was from 2005. I never let anyone take my picture, so how could there be any. I was saddened for my girls. My own pride had taken that away from my girls. After letting it eat me up for the rest of the day, I decided that I was not going to do that anymore. God loves me just the way I am and my girls would love to have pictures with their mom. That was a tough lesson to learn the hard way. If you are reading this and you hate getting your picture taken, stop it. You are being selfish and if something happens to you, you want people to have pictures to go back and remember you with. That was the next lesson that I learned.

Later that day, my dad called me to wish me a happy Mothers Day. I asked him how my Grandma was doing. A few weeks before she had had a stroke. Dad said that hospice had been brought in and the nurse had said that she probably would last only 1-3 more months. I was in shock. My Grandma had only been in the nursing home for a few months. My Grandpa had been in for almost a year. He had some dementia issues and was put into this home that was a specialist in those types of issues. Grandma didn't really need to be in that type of home, but my dad wanted them to be together. I could go into all those details, but that would make this long blog even longer, so I won't.

12May - Catie had her first choir competition. We got to go out to Sandy Lake Amusement Park in North Dallas. It was great. It was a nice day too. Lots of sun and her choir got 2nd place. Yea! Oh, I forgot to tell you, my dad called me that morning about 7am our time and told me that Grandma passed away at about 530a our time. (there is a 2 hour time difference between Oregon and here.) So in the midst of Catie's wonderful time, I was trying to figure out, do I go home or do I stay here. When is the funeral, what is the plan?

The funeral was going to be the next week on Thursday. I knew that I would not be able to go due to both of my little one graduating that week and Catie had her first out of town field trip to NASA Johnson Space Center in Houston. My mom was going to go with her, but I still wanted to be in town. I decided to get on a plane at
6pm so that I could drive home and be with my dad and sister. Dad was going to wait on the cremation so that on Thursday we could have a viewing and I could say goodbye.

14May - Saying goodbye to grandma. That was surreal. I have never actually looked at a body before. She looked peaceful. She looked skinny. She didn't look like grandma. Just thinking about this is hard for me because it just hit me yesterday when I saw a picture of her that that is all I have left. Pictures. Grandma and I loved each other, but we were never very close. She always had a special thing for my sister. I guess I was always jealous of that. The last few times I have seen her though, she had softened towards me and we actually got spent time together playing cards. Grandma loved to play Kings on the Corner. She has had some memory issues for a long time. All she wanted to do anymore was play cards. Grandpa (before he took a turn for the worse) and Aunt Bonnie were so sick of playing cards that when I came and offered to play they were so thankful! It was nice. That is a special memory that I will always have of Grandma because she loved me playing cards with her. It made her so happy.

So, that brings me to happy part of my trip home that week. I got to see my grandpa. My dad had told me that Grandpa didn't really respond to anyone anymore. He just sat there and was not really there. He said sometimes he would respond with a simple head nod or yes or no, but Dad didn't believe he was sure what he was responding to. Grandpa and I were so close, so I couldn't believe that. I refused to believe that. Without making this too much like a book, long story short, Grandpa did respond to me. Grandpa did talk to me. It wasn't a whole conversation and it was slow and choppy, but he did. He even told me "I love you too." He made eye contact with me and I could see he was there and wanted to say so much more, but couldn't make it all connect to work from brain to mouth. My dad even witnessed some of it. He was so shocked and happy that we decided to take grandpa to the house he built and lived in for like 40 years. Grandpa was so glad to be there. He sat in his chair and yelled at the dogs to, "Shut up!" just like he always did. When we were out side, he picked up his hand and pointed at the dogs who were sniffing the cars and said, "Look at those dogs." It was totally awesome. I told dad that Grandpa was still in there and that he needed stimulation. He needed to be talked to and to made to use his brain to get it firing again. I hope dad does it. I told Grandpa before I left that I would be back and I would bring the girls with me because they really wanted to see him. He smiled and nodded his head. Nuff said about that. It makes me want to cry some more to think about all that.

16May - Catie was in her first wedding out in East Texas. She was the flower girl. She did great, it was beautiful. Jessica went and all she wanted to do was, "hug the princess." (the bride). Does that surprise anyone???

18May - Miranda graduates from Kindergarten. Wow. Can't believe it. Cried again. Go figure.

21May - Jessica graduates PreKindergarten. Wow. Can't belive it. Cried again. Go figure. Catie makes it home from Houston safe and sound with my mom. Had a great time. Thank you God!

30May - Catie gets her softball trophy, Yea! Miranda gets to show us all the new and awesome tricks she has learned in gymnastics and gets a medal. Yeah! She learned so much so quick and improved SSSSSSOOOOOO much so quick! Wow. Cried again.

4Jun - Schools out. Summer time begins. Swim season. A new season. Everyday is a new day to begin again.

What I learned this month. Kids grow up quick. Enjoy them while they still want to enjoy being with you. Let people take your picture. You never know when that is all they will have to remember you with. Love your family. Always tell everyone that you love them, all the time. You never know when it will be the last time. Love your friends. They will be there with you to pick you up when you fall.

I know this is late too, but to those that helped James when I was gone to Oregon, Thank you so much. I know that it was a pain, but I am so grateful. I knew that my family was taken care of and that is one thing I didn't need to worry about. I love you all so much!

So, all that being said... God put something on my heart last week and when I work out the details, I will be posting it soon. Be ready... :-)
Be blessed, until we read again...

Faith Writers