My classroom called life…Kingdom lessons

My desire is to abide

SMG: 6 January 26, 2009

Filed under: Surprise Me God - Round II — charredsmore @ 8:28 pm



Closing of the conference…mixed emotions.  More than emotion, the Spirit was breathing on us.


The women have been brought to a deeper place of resting and trusting and desiring Jesus.  They have committed to BE REAL with each other outside of conferences.  They have spoken of a desire to start a prayer group!  Hallelujah!  Answered prayers on our end!


Kristy and Sharon were a powerhouse as they closed the conference.  I was propelled into a greater place of obedience and love for Jesus. 


Stacy shared her testimony…WOW!  She is a miracle!  I hope to post bits of each of these ladies testimonies very soon!  I am blessed to have such an amazing woman as my best friend, roommate, sister, and co-worker of FIVE years…we joke about being married. 



Ummmm…what else.  Tons of stuff!  We were given spa treatments before we left.  I was desperately jealous to get a message.  I didn’t deserve it and had just gotten one the week prior.  Talk about abundant surprises!  haha.  Melanie has the magic touch….probably an hours worth of work…that’s what I’m talking about.  Thank you ladies for being such servant hearts the WHOLE weekend as you lead this extravaganza. 



Presents were given…Man I was starting to get embarrassed about all the attention.  We are used to Cairo…no attention…place of hiddenness in the prayer room and ministry…we aren’t a big deal.  I know, there is truth to that, but also lies.  The Lord thinks we are ALL a big deal.  This is revelation that is coming in the process of praying for “famous” people.  It’s like the popular kids in high school, but they are popular to the WHOLE WORLD.  WHo cares?  We are all popular in the Kingdom!  haha.  Anyway, I have to get over that before I head into HOllywood.  I mean, come on…I can’t freak out when the Lord asks me to deliver a message/prayer to Janet Jackson.  I got a special present that meant a whole lot to me and Jesus. 




Lunch at Chipotle…one of my favs….on TR…Thanks Jesus!  I didn’t want to spend ANY money this weekend and have not!  Yeah!


Reflections while driving home with the ladies…how much we have grown in the past 4 years of being together (GreaterWOrks/Two Rivers)…we ARE different people.  There was such an authority while we shared our testimonies…Jesus has VICTORY!  Of course we are still works in process, but in the Master Artist’s hands.


There is possible music connection coming up…I’ll let it be a surprise for you too! 



Possible ministry/outreach event coming up…in the works….hmmmmm….keep guessing. 🙂


Confirmation about some things I have asked the Lord about…ministry, business, future…


Love the Lord with all your heart, mind, soul, and STRENGTH!


SMG: 5 January 25, 2009

Filed under: Surprise Me God - Round II — charredsmore @ 7:15 pm



#1)  Our housekeeper at the Clarion Hotel here in good old Branson is a lady named Deborah from Guatemala who is a believer.  I got to pray with her quickly in between fluffing pillows.  Some of you know why this is special to me, if not just send me an email and ask:


#2)  I met a business coach named Deb who is a part of the women’s conference.  Talk about divine appointment.


#3)  This semester I was thinking about taking a class “Lights, Camera, Video”…still uncertain if I will have time to do this on Monday nights, we’ll see.  I am actually learning on the job as I took care of the slides for worship/talks and also recording and sound.  Talk about FUN!  I LOVE multi-tasking!  Thanks Kristy and Heather for the tutoring. 🙂


#4)  I am recognizing MAJOR breakthrough for this church….in so many ways.


#5)  2 Chronicles 1:7-12 A reminder of God’s word to me.


#6)  1 Thessalonians 5:16-18  A reminder to ALWAYS be thankful, never stop praying and in all circumstances understand God’s will.


#7)  I was noticing this adorable necklace on my new friend Susie…she told me that it was created by women in Ghana, Africa to raise funds and awareness to their struggle.  Sharon had actually told me about these beads before.  I asked if she had a couple extra I could purchase before doing the fundraiser myself.  No, they are all gone.  A couple hours later Susie and her sister Denise (my new best friend) came up to me with TWO new necklaces from Ghana that they BOTH wanted to give me!  Talk about a surprise from the Lord.  I guess they both went back to their room to grab their necklaces to give to me, not knowing what the other was doing.  Thank you JESUS!


#8)  This weekend I had the privilege of walking with the “Pink Ladies” (my small group).  Talk about humbling, these women have been walking with Jesus for a LONG time, are wives, and mothers…what do I have to offer?  Nothing really, except the Spirit within.  I am amazed at their vulnerability and honesty as they have journeyed together this weekend. 


#9)  Deut. 28


#10)  God reminded me of a dream I had about three years ago…good stuff (1 Corinthians 2:11-12)


#11)  Specific revelation given regarding my marriage to Jesus and my natural marriage.  Bless you sweet Savior.


#12)  I shared 20 min. of testimony with the women at the conference.  Talk about comfortable!  I have never felt SO comfortable speaking in front of a group…that is BREAKTHROUGH!  I actually wasn’t nervous (just a little excited) before I went up…had a LOT OF FUN! 


#13)  Even though the enemy was pulling out all this junk to distract us and pull us away from speaking…all getting really sick before we left, Sharon and Kristy loosing their voices, the technology not working, static on the speakers, no dinner (they scheduled the dinner for Sunday night – too late!)…I’m sure there were other things.  It was almost hilarious, like, what else could happen?!?  So, we just fasted during our worship/testimony time, which was great.  We were more focused on HIm anyway.  Worship without the words on the screen proved to be better anyway…I’ll bring you more than a song…the heart.  Both Sharon and Kristy were able to speak.  We all felt fine and shared our testimonies.  And, our time of worship on Saturday night was POWERFUL!  Had some sweet prayer time over each other too on that night.  Sisters loving each other and praying for each other – physical healing, emotional healing, BREAKTHROUGH for the “impossible” situations in life, and deeper intimacy with Christ.  What more could we ask for?  Thank you Lord, you are always VICTORIOUS!


SMG: 4 January 24, 2009

Filed under: Surprise Me God - Round II — charredsmore @ 7:08 pm



Today there was an ABUNDANCE of surprises…some more personal that will be kept in my journal. Let me break it down for you all. I encourage you to share testimony today! I actually have the opportunity to share mine at this women’s conference (where I am young enough to be most of their daughter’s – talk about HUMBLING).



#1) We have all been really sick prior to coming to Branson…spiritual attack. Even yesterday on the way to Branson, went to McCalister’s to celebrate Sara’s Birthday (which is also something to shout about!). I felt totally nauseous, as did Kristy, Sharon was feeling like her voice was being taken AGAIN. At the restaurant (which is probably one of three in Springfield, MO) Sharon is visiting with the woman who lead the Women’s Retreat LAST YEAR! Yea, talk about a divine appointment. What are the odds?!? Haha… She encouraged Sharon, “Well God MUST have good things in store with ALL this attack, I will pray!”



#2) Ministering and rejoicing over Sara for this is her 28th Birthday. This woman is so special to me, in SO MANY ways. We are very opposite in ways, but share the most important things in common! Here are SOME of the ways that she has been a blessing to me. a) Great listener. b) Compassionate, Selfless, Servant who considers others above herself. c) Self disciplined speech (like I said, I can learn a lot from this woman). d) A true beauty inside and out. e) Taught me guitar and had faith that I could learn even when I wanted to smash my guitar against a wall. f) Faithfulness in the little things. g) Eph. 3:20-21 is about to unfold for this princess Esther!



#3) Staying in my journal.
One thing I can share…the hotel we are staying at has an African theme! Which is so amazing because our whole team has a heart for Africa and will all be going back at different times/different places. I was JUST praying for God to built a bridge from Africa to Cairo! Cairo, Egypt, Africa….Cairo, IL, USA.



#4) A heart to heart talk with one of the leaders from First Free Church. Total openness…prayer…healing…redemption. Similar callings (she is a business owner of a hair salon which sounds appealing – all in God’s time). Prophetic words…confirmation for her…sweet Jesus ministering to both of us.



#5) God speaking to my heart while driving to Branson…LOTS of things. Destiny, future, God’s purpose, holiness, humbled…WOW! Reminders of prophetic words of past. Reminders of His faithfulness. His STORY will always outdo even what I imagine!



#6) Hearing Sara, Sharon and Kristy’s testimonies was overwhelming for me. I mean, I love these ladies and have lived/worked with them for nearly four years. Things were coming out of their mouths that I never heard before. The goodness of our God! He is so faithful to REDEEM all things! Sara shared about provision of her Daddy…I was reminded of His faithful provision for me and our whole team. I’m talkin’ CRAZY stuff! Seeing Sharon and Kristy minister together in the very church Sharon and Gary helped pioneer was too much (also Tami – Sharon’s daughter in law…along with baby Tillman – still in the oven). Sharon had prayed they would all one day minister together…this is just the beginning. The Lord spoke to my heart (and has in the past) that this WILL be a reality with my family too! PTL!



#7) STaying in my journal.


#8) Staying in my journal.


#9) Staying in my journal.


#10) God is really putting the pieces together in my life for things He has called me to. A few I was reflecting on today…
The book(s) that he wants me to write (editor, publisher, printer…all provided for).
The CD(s) he wants me to create (lyrics, music, people, networking, recording, label, distribution, sales, promotion…all coming together).



#11) Reflecting on the goodness of God in the high school…conversations, protection, FAVOR, wisdom, guidance, prayer, blessing, mobilization of the saints, newness, glory…



#12) The hotel room across from us is filled with First Free ladies that are putting on a Spa for some lucky ladies at the conference. They draw names each day for women who will receive a hair cut, message, paraffin wax (hands and feet), or facial. I REALLY wanted a message…but talk about selfish, I just got one last week and I am leading the conference, it isn’t for me. I stopped in to chat…I got a quickie message (from the lady I mentioned in #4). Later that night I got BOTH my feet and hands waxed!  Nice!


100 year curse…about to be BROKEN! January 22, 2009

The Lord has been speaking to my heart about the breaking off of this generational curse, this terrible event that took place 100 years ago exactally (Nov. 1909)…there WILL be redemption.  Something will happen on this date this year to BREAK off the curse.  Amen.  Thank you Jesus for writing your story on the hearts of men and women in Cairo.  Victory is Yours!

The moral arc bends

The Herald (Australia)

21/01/2009 9:18:00 AM
ONE hundred years ago a black American man, Will James, was lynched in the main street of a town called Cairo, in the state of Illinois, when he was strung up from a telegraph pole beneath street lights in front of thousands. 

Fifteen photographs of the lynching became postcards. The atmosphere was described as “circus-like”.


James didn’t die by hanging. The rope broke and he fell to the ground where he was “riddled with bullets”, before his body was dragged for several kilometres and finally burnt.


He wasn’t the only man lynched on November 11, 1909. After the mob killed James it turned on a white man, Henry Salzner, who was awaiting trial for murder. He was lynched, but not shot, mutilated or burnt. His body, hanging from the pole, was also photographed, and the image became a postcard.


In his book about lynching, Without Sanctuary, published in 2000, Pulitzer Prize-winning historian Leon F. Litwack noted the men and women who “tortured, dismembered and murdered in this fashion understood perfectly well what they were doing”.


“This was not the outburst of crazed men or uncontrolled barbarians but the triumph of a belief system that defined one people as less human than another,” he said. Nearly 90 per cent of lynching victims were black.


Lynching postcards did a roaring trade until the US postmaster general banned them from the mail system.


In 1909 100 years before a black American man was to become president federal legislators initiated the first of many attempts to make lynching a federal crime, because of the extent of lynching and the failure of states to act.


Typical of state representatives was Benjamin Tillman, governor of South Carolina from 1890-94, who said in 1900: “We have done our level best (to prevent blacks from voting) . . . we have scratched our heads to find out how we could eliminate the last one of them. We stuffed ballot boxes. We shot them. We are not ashamed of it.”


Also Tillman: “We of the South have never recognised the right of the negro to govern white men, and we never will.”


The sound we might hear today even at this distance, over and above the celebrations as Barack Obama is made 44th US president, is of Tillman and his like, turning in their graves, not to mention the angry cries of some who never will recognise “the right of the negro to govern white men”. But they’re a minority. The majority feel jubilation, relief and astonishment.


Cairo, Illinois Barack Obama’s home state is a town with one of America’s worst racial records. Its population is predominantly black. By 2000 it had an infant mortality rate of 15.4 per cent, which was, shockingly, only the state’s second-worst. Industrialised nations have an average infant mortality rate of 6 per cent, according to UNICEF.


About half the town’s children live in poverty and in Cairo “poverty can’t be separated from the issue of race”, said Cairo resident Sarah Gatewood, in an article about its history.


When integration was forced on Cairo in the 1960s and 1970s, city elders filled the local swimming pool with concrete rather than allow black people to use it. When white shopkeepers refused to hire black workers and black residents boycotted stores, shop owners closed rather than change.


There were violent clashes and lynchings, and the white supremacist group White Citizens Council, known as the “white collar Klan”, ruled.


Barack Obama visited Cairo a few years ago while running for the US Senate. He was met by 300 people, one-third black, two-thirds white, wearing “Obama for US Senate” badges, supporting “a black guy born in Hawaii, with a father from Kenya and a mother from Kansas”.


When he returned to Cairo in July 2005, Obama quoted Dr Martin Luther King: “The arc of the moral universe is long, but it bends toward justice” and noted that the arc “bends because each of us in our own small way tries to bend it in that direction”.


Obama’s election is more than an American triumph. It is a human triumph.


It took more than the 100 years between Will James and Barack Obama, but the minority of individuals black and white who showed courage and sought justice for all, became the majority bending the moral arc today.


The Article


SMG: 3

Filed under: Surprise Me God - Round II — charredsmore @ 4:08 am

In the District Office trying to get all the deets put together for me teaching…couldn’t believe the convo. I was having with these three Christian women. I mean, I have been praying for this stuff for three.5 and NOW it is ALL coming together so easy. It is like an open heaven season in Cairo right now…for real! So much is going down….I love it! I will explain later…too much for right na.

Library said I could donate some Bibles. Can you believe the school library did NOT have a Bible? I wanted to look up Isaiah 61 for a student I was chatting with who “happens” to share the name of this prophet. I believe it is part of his destiny. He is a strong leader in the school and is tempted to leave…I told him to think about it…things are about to change dramatically. Before when I said that I believed it…for a later time. Now, when I say it, I 100 percent believe it for like RIGHT NOW!

On my way to the boys Junior High BB game…next parent meeting with the principals and administrators…finally Bible STudy. A couple students might join me for Bible Study, so that would be a WONDERFUL surprise!

Ministry is just so easy these days…this is how it is supposed to be…just Jesus in us…no striving…just loving. I can dwell here!


CHOP…Cairo House of Prayer

Filed under: Uncategorized — charredsmore @ 3:59 am

Check out Sara’s blog for the beautiful unfolding of this story…

Now, we just need about 20 more people so we can do 24/7…who’s in?!?


Eddie James Worship… January 21, 2009

Filed under: Cairo Kids,Dance,Ministry Spotlight,Music,Youth — charredsmore @ 4:13 am











Eddie James Worship