My classroom called life…Kingdom lessons

My desire is to abide

The Ultimate Gift April 20, 2008

Filed under: Uncategorized — charredsmore @ 1:49 pm

This movie is precious, a treasure. 

Lately I have been trying to find movies that capture my heart, movies that breathe life.

This movie is a powerful tool which examines true gifts in life.

Afterward, I wanted to grab a pen and my journal to reflect. 

That might have to wait until tomorrow, considering it is nearly 3:00am.  Good night my friends.

Let me know if you have seen any inspiring movies lately, I would love to hear your thoughts.

 

 

http://www.theultimategift.com

 

 

American Idols Shout to the Lord April 18, 2008

Filed under: Music,Random — charredsmore @ 9:33 am

I dont’ even watch American Idol, I heard about this through some friends…I had to check it out for myself on Youtube. 

America’s idols…must bow down to the Lord.

 

 

 

LIFE Testimonies April 13, 2008

Filed under: Uncategorized — charredsmore @ 10:39 pm

There is a church in Redding, CA that has been experiencing the supernatural power of God on a regular basis.  Seriously, they have some crazy testimonies coming out of that place.  I have read about it, heard about it from friends, and even went there myself. 

I listen to podcasts from their weekly sermons (www.ibethel.org), and am completely blown away by some of the stories I hear.  Theses brothers and sisters pray in faith, asking the Lord to bring His Kingdom to Earth.  This is how Jesus taught us to pray after all (Matthew 6).

Two RADICAL testimonies of LIFE that I heard this past week.  Get ready, buckle up.  Put on a spirit of faith, because it is out there.  But I believe these types of things will start happening more, as the Bride of Christ recognizes her position and authority.

Testimony #1:  A group of Bethel students (from the school of the supernatural) were headed out for their mission trip to Mexico.  On the highway they passed by the scene of an accident.  They stopped and asked if they could minister to people by praying with them.  The nurse on sight welcomed them to minister, telling them the situtation.  A baby had been thrown from the window and was pronounced dead.  Some of the students went over to the babies body and prayed.  They prayed that the Kingdom would come into this little broken body.  The baby was revived back to LIFE!  What?!?  The dead are rising! 

“I tell you the truth, anyone who has faith in me will do what I have been doing.  He will do even greater things than these, because I am going to the Father.  And I will do whatever you ask in my name so that the Son may bring glory to the Father.  You may ask me anything in my name, and I will do it.”

John 14:12-14

Testimony #2:  A woman came into church grieved over her sin of having an abortion a couple weeks prior.  She was repentant and wished she had never gone through with it.  People came around her and prayed.  A few days later she started feeling ill.  She went to the doctor to get checked out.  She is 4 months pregnant.  The LIFE GIVER reconstructed life in her womb!  WHAT?!?!  I almost had to replay this part of the podcast. 

Seriously.  God is moving. 

 

 

 

The boomerang affect

Filed under: Uncategorized — charredsmore @ 10:10 pm

Have you ever thrown a boomerang in the spirit realm?

I’m talking about releasing our Isaacs. Those dear promises that Father God has promised to us – just as He promised Abraham and Sarah. You know the kind, they are so precious to you that sometimes you don’t even want to speak of them – they may at times seem a bit “out of place” or ridiculous to others. That’s okay. It was ridiculous for Abraham and Sarah to have a child at their age. They laughed. Have you ever laughed at one of God’s promises? As if to say, “God how could THAT ever happen?!?”

“Now faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see.”

Hebrews 11:1

He probably gets a kick out of our reaction, then He boosts up our faith to actually believe it and walk it out.  That’s right, walk it out.  Walk as if you believe the stuff He tells you.  Some may look at you a bit crazy, but hey, Noah got the same reaction. 

“And without faith it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to Him must believe that He exists and that He rewards those who earnestly seek Him.”
Hebrews 11:6

Boomerang affect.  I am learning how to throw out those promises in prayer, sure I still hold them close to my heart, but I let God take over the outcome.  Sometimes it is all too easy to make things happen all on our own.  I have made up my mind that I would much rather have a testimony of God’s glory being displayed rather than my own. 

Is it hard sometimes? 

YES! 

Is it rewarding? 

YES! 

Is it worth it?

ALWAYS!

He is building faith through this boomerang business.  I throw it out there and watch it come back.  Sometimes it is a bit slow…in my human vision, but always on time.  He is always on time.  He is not a God that is holding out on us. 

He sees us.

He knows us.

We need to yield to His ways, after all they are completely higher than our own.  Our own understanding will only mislead us. 

So, as I practice this boomerang affect, there are a couple Isaacs, okay many Isaacs I have placed on the alter.  He asked me if I loved Him more than His promises. 

“Yes Lord.”

“Show me with your obedience.  Show me by laying them down.  I will fulfill them in my timing and my ways if you hand them over to me.”

Timidly I place those Isaacs on the alter. 

“What if…?  What if…?”

He knows.  He will provide.  He has a plan.

Lord, let me have faith like Abraham.

 

A happy mother’s day April 12, 2008

Filed under: Uncategorized — charredsmore @ 8:46 pm

I went over to visit my sweet friend at the Delta House. This place is a transitional housing facility for people who suffer from mental illness. Usually we just spend time chatting, sharing scriputre, praying and sometimes singing together. I always leave with a little boost of faith, as this woman has had such an unusual, yet faith inspiring journey. She truly exibits “faith like a child”. She has such a kind and generous heart, seeking to be obedient to the Father. Today our time together was a bit different.

As I knocked on her door, a woman in the hallway said, “She’s over here at the party, come on in a join us.” I walked in not quite knowing the purpose of their jovial celebration, but was warmly welcomed non the less. There were only about 6 women there, one was the guest of honor. She was a bit older than the rest. She had name tags on that said, “Mother,” “Mom,” and “Mama”. I still was uncertain about why they were gathering around this woman, considering it was not her birthday.

A candle was lit and as they passed it along, they each spoke heartfelt words of appreciation and gratitude for this “Mother” being a special part of their life. They were honoring her as their “mother,” and gave her this title since she had acted as a mother in each one of their lives whether moments of joy or grief. Their own mothers had already passed away and they valued this woman so dearly that they gave her this position and title of being their “second mother”. I nearly cried as I heard the kind words spoken over this women. I forgot to mention, they opened in prayer and even read scriptures to their “mother” speaking of love, and Proverbs 31 was even read to her (A woman of virtuous character). She was blessed. “You all make me feel so special This is one of the nicest things anyone has ever done for me,” she exclaimed through tears.

I was overwhelmed. Here in one of the most unlikely of places, His Kingdom has come.

Relationship.

Community.

Love.

In the midst of mental illness, in the midst of “the least of these”, in the midst of racial difference – love.

Love, it is the greatest.

God is filling this place. He loves His precious sheep here at the Delta House. As I pondered on this moment I was in awe of the goodness of our God. Creating community in such a “dark” place.

Come Holy Spirit, Come.

 

The Siege Cairo April 10, 2008

Filed under: Ministry Spotlight,Ministry Stuff,Power of Prayer — charredsmore @ 3:21 am

 

This summer we are embarking on a new journey, 24/7 prayer for 50 days. 

 Over the past three years, Two Rivers has developed from a community center to a house of prayer-seeking to transform the tiny, poverty stricken town they call home through praise, worship, warfare and intercession in the heavenlies. This is all done in the midst of true Acts 2 community living and growth together as the body of Christ. Click here for more information about Cairo and how you can get involved with what God is doing there.

JOIN US:

www.thesiegecairo.com

 

Revival in their midst April 9, 2008

Filed under: Ministry Stuff,Power of Prayer,testimony,Travel — charredsmore @ 8:54 am

Would you expect to see revival in the midst of a cornfield?  It’s happening in a rural community about five hours north of us, near Colfax, IL.  People are hungry for more, God is moving. 

Our group stuffed the white van full of sound equipment, instruments, and luggage.  We were off for our weekend adventure to connect with our friends.  This small Lutheran church has supported us in all sorts of ways – encouragement, service in Cairo, finances, resources, food…the list goes on.  This group of saints have a “Kingdom” mindset and desire to sow their seed on fertile soil.  A portion of their “harvest money” goes to the spiritual harvest field.  Talk about a biblical model.  Tithing their first fruits (Proverbs 3).  God is blessing their generosity, He keeps giving them more to give.  I am certainly learning much through their example. 

 

We were invited to be guests at a banquet, to share the vision of what the Lord is doing in Cairo, how God has used their investments and how we can continue to partner.  They had a feast for us.  Afterwards we lead a time of worship.  A bit different than their usual, but they were sure open.

 

Talk about a hospitable bunch!  We were each split up into different host families for the night, giving us an opportunity to meet all sorts of people from their church.  I was placed with this sweet older woman from the church.  You never would guess she was over 80 years old.  This church is composed of families.  People who have been a part of this church for generations.  A great spiritual inheritance. 

 

Sunday we joined in their worship.  Kristy gave a message on the Kingdom being near, speaking about the Lord’s prayer in Matthew 6.  Jesus taught us to pray, “Your Kingdom come, as it is in heaven, let it be on earth.”  We have this spiritual authority in Christ to ask for things to be manifest on the earth as they are in heaven.  Amen.  After church, they asked us to lead a couple worship songs for their Sunday school time.  This is where things got a bit interesting.  We started with a couple fast paced songs.  I saw some stirring, body movements.  They are not used to clapping in church, so the kids didn’t know if it was okay to move around a bit or clap during the song.  A couple of the TR ladies started dancing with the little ones.  Such joy.  Such purity.  A couple seconds later, some bold adults joined in.  Even a couple men!  That’s right, grown men, doing Jewish circle type dances and shouting, “Praise the LORD!” I was astonished.  Then the pastor joined in.  A couple women went into the kitchen and pushed out the boys that were hiding.  Before the end of the song, many of them were out on the “dance floor” praising the Lord in a new way.  It was pretty remarkable.  I got a little teary watching this all take place (as I was leading worship seeing it unfold)…here I was in a little old church in the middle of a cornfield and revival is breaking out.  Who would have thought?  Where there is hunger, the Lord has NO boundaries.  If you ask Him, He will come. 

 

 

 

SMG: Day 44 Happy Birthday to ME April 4, 2008

Filed under: Surprise Me God — charredsmore @ 8:49 pm

Yes, today I turned a whopping 28 years old. No, I am not old.  I mean come on, if I am thinking in the realm of eternity…I am just getting started! 

God is good.  He has been so faithful to me throughout my years.  I praise Him for sustaining me and giving me LIFE.  I believe this is a year for new things. This is a year for dreams to become reality.  I believe there will be clarity this year.  Promises fulfilled.  His promises are always “YES” and “AMEN”.  I know in His word that He will not always bring comfort, but He will bring REDEMPTION.  This is a prayer that has been on my heart for the past three years.  Redemption.  Redeem all I thought was lost.  I already see this unfolding in past relationships, mistakes, sin – HE has the POWER to turn it around.  Probably the biggest area in my life right now needing redemptive power is my family.  They are wonderful, but there are areas that need to be reconciled and reconstructed.  He is a master builder and I have confidence that He is creating a beautiful piece of art.  Join me in praying for my family.  A friend reminded me of a quote tonight while my family here in Cairo was praying over me,

“If you take care of my family, I will take care of yours.” 

No, this is not specifically in the scripture, however there is a verse that backs it up.

I tell you the truth,” Jesus replied, “no one who has left home or brothers or sisters or mother or father or children or fields for me and the gospel will fail to receive a hundred times as much in this present age (homes, brothers, sisters, mothers, children and fields—and with them, persecutions) and in the age to come, eternal life. But many who are first will be last, and the last first.”

Mark 10:29-31

At times I have felt guilty for being so far away from my family (more than 13 hour drive).  When things are a little shaky, I want to be there to steady it out, to fix it.  Perhaps it is my restorative nature or my pride.  Either way, I am not the Savior, I am not the one who will fix anything that is broken.  God is ABLE and He is already at work. 

“And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good.” 

Romans 8:28

I must remember this, my God is abundantly available to me and my family. He is here.  Thank you Abba.

Today overflowed with surprises!  I woke up casting off all expectations, letting the Lord surprise me just as He wanted.  My family here had put together a few collages with pictures, words, and scriptures that they saw developing in my life.  What a GIFT!  That’s what I love, those precious things that are made with such thought and care.  I came home for lunch to see a present on my bed from my roommate.  The post office had a package and a few cards for me from family.  Yes!  Right on time.  Many facebook Birthday wishes.  Texts from good friends.  Calls from close friends.  A Birthday celebration with my favorite foods.  More presents.  Thank you all for being a part of my life and celebrating my birthday with me.

Good friends, they are the best gift the Lord could give me. 

 

Oh, I just have to add this…

My theme song for this year is “Move me Aside” (Lindsey Kane).  I want to see the Lord move in increadible ways through me, so I am asking that I would be invisble and He would be visible in my life. 

“Lord, here am I, move me aside and move in me.  Move in this place, till I embrace you King of Kings.”

 

SMG: Day 43

Filed under: Revelation and Growth,Surprise Me God — charredsmore @ 8:41 pm

Still rainy, but we still wanted to get out there and hike around.  This group is familiar with many hiking locations in the area (as they live closer), they took us to Burden Falls.  As we drove through the windy dirt road path, I gazed upon the beauty of the Lord.  Once we got out of the car, we all smelled this nasty, rank, rotten scent.  What is that?!?  Someone points to a dead horse.  Yes, I said horse.  Just lying there near the head of the waterfall.  Disgusting.  If you stood just right, and the wind was in your favor, you could avoid the nastiness floating in the air.  Yuck! 

The waterfall was simply beautiful.  Fresh water spilling over the rocks, flowing down into a narrow creek.  The symbolism was striking, there we stood faced with death and life.  It reminded me of the scripture in Deuteronomy 30:15-20

 “See, I set before you today life and prosperity, death and destruction.  For I command you today to love the LORD your God, to walk in his ways, and to keep his commands, decrees and laws; then you will live and increase, and the LORD your God will bless you in the land you are entering to possess.

  But if your heart turns away and you are not obedient, and if you are drawn away to bow down to other gods and worship them, I declare to you this day that you will certainly be destroyed. You will not live long in the land you are crossing the Jordan to enter and possess.

  This day I call heaven and earth as witnesses against you that I have set before you life and death, blessings and curses. Now choose life, so that you and your children may live and that you may love the LORD your God, listen to his voice and hold fast to him. For the LORD is your life, and he will give you many years in the land he swore to give to your fathers, Abraham, Isaac and Jacob.”

  How often is this true in our daily lives?  The option to choose life or death.  In words, in action, in submission, in humility, in relationship, in work, in ministry, in church, in family…choose LIFE.  Today I choose life, I choose you LORD.

 

We played on the rocks, like little kids in a jungle gym.  Fitting, I guess this is God’s playground.  How fun!  I love bouldering around.  We got some fun pics before heading out on the “trail”.  I guess we made our own trail.  Trailblazers…forerunners.  We just went along the waters edge, hoping along from rock to rock.  I found a rock that resembles the state of MN.  I took it home.  Maybe I’ll paint it.   

 

These hidden pockets in Southern IL, I need to do more exploring, we have amazing hiking spots around here. 

 

 

SMG: Day 42

Filed under: Surprise Me God — charredsmore @ 8:20 pm

Ahh, the good outdoors!  I absolutely love being out in God’s creation, soaking in the fresh air. 

Even though it was a bit misty and out hike was wimpy and short, it was GREAT.  The camp has 1,000 acres to play around with, so you’ll never get bored. 

We spent the weekend with our northern friends up in Harrisburg.  We met the Harrisburg crew through various weekends of worship – here in Cairo and also in Mount Carmel.  It was really nice to actually get to know them in conversation, usually our time together is just simply – worship. They are such a unique bunch.  God has had His hand on each one, bringing them through life and the challenges they have faced.  I am thankful for this new friendship the Lord has given us with other young adults.  I am encouraged by the older generation that is passionate for the Lord in this region, but I was starting to wonder if there were any young adults – people in their 20’s and 30’s.  Yes, there are!  Through this group, we have been able to connect with other groups a few hours north of Cairo, there are young adults in this region who are passionate for God. 

I look forward to our growing friendship with these wonderful family members.