My classroom called life…Kingdom lessons

My desire is to abide

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

 

Expression 58 December 20, 2008

shawn-boltz

Shawn Boltz…a passionate man called to minister in Hollywood. Watch out, the Holy Spirit is sending a new wave of power, love, compassion, and revival to the Hollywood scene. Sound unlikely? Why wouldn’t the King of Glory transform one of the most INFLUENTIAL mountains of our society. It’s not too big. He’s too big!

Check it…

Shawn and Sally Podcasts (Interviews with Hollywood “missionaries”)

Isaiah 58
“Shout it aloud, do not hold back.
Raise your voice like a trumpet.
Declare to my people their rebellion
and to the house of Jacob their sins.

2 For day after day they seek me out;
they seem eager to know my ways,
as if they were a nation that does what is right
and has not forsaken the commands of its God.
They ask me for just decisions
and seem eager for God to come near them.

3 ‘Why have we fasted,’ they say,
‘and you have not seen it?
Why have we humbled ourselves,
and you have not noticed?’
“Yet on the day of your fasting, you do as you please
and exploit all your workers.

4 Your fasting ends in quarreling and strife,
and in striking each other with wicked fists.
You cannot fast as you do today
and expect your voice to be heard on high.

5 Is this the kind of fast I have chosen,
only a day for a man to humble himself?
Is it only for bowing one’s head like a reed
and for lying on sackcloth and ashes?
Is that what you call a fast,
a day acceptable to the LORD ?

6 “Is not this the kind of fasting I have chosen:
to loose the chains of injustice
and untie the cords of the yoke,
to set the oppressed free
and break every yoke?

7 Is it not to share your food with the hungry
and to provide the poor wanderer with shelter—
when you see the naked, to clothe him,
and not to turn away from your own flesh and blood?

8 Then your light will break forth like the dawn,
and your healing will quickly appear;
then your righteousness [a] will go before you,
and the glory of the LORD will be your rear guard.

9 Then you will call, and the LORD will answer;
you will cry for help, and he will say: Here am I.
“If you do away with the yoke of oppression,
with the pointing finger and malicious talk,

10 and if you spend yourselves in behalf of the hungry
and satisfy the needs of the oppressed,
then your light will rise in the darkness,
and your night will become like the noonday.

11 The LORD will guide you always;
he will satisfy your needs in a sun-scorched land
and will strengthen your frame.
You will be like a well-watered garden,
like a spring whose waters never fail.

12 Your people will rebuild the ancient ruins
and will raise up the age-old foundations;
you will be called Repairer of Broken Walls,
Restorer of Streets with Dwellings.

13 “If you keep your feet from breaking the Sabbath
and from doing as you please on my holy day,
if you call the Sabbath a delight
and the LORD’s holy day honorable,
and if you honor it by not going your own way
and not doing as you please or speaking idle words,

14 then you will find your joy in the LORD,
and I will cause you to ride on the heights of the land
and to feast on the inheritance of your father Jacob.”
The mouth of the LORD has spoken.

 

Dreaming of Dance… December 19, 2008

Filed under: Cairo Kids,Dance,Dreams,Education — charredsmore @ 6:17 am

When I watched the movie Honey, I couldn’t help but think the screen play was stolen…from my brain! lol. Seriously, this has always been my dream.

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Everything I never wanted… November 27, 2008

Filed under: Dreams,Hollywood,Ministry Stuff,Random,Revelation and Growth,testimony — charredsmore @ 9:12 pm

Recently I feel like Jehovah Sneaky is pulling a fast one on me, but I like it!  haha.  Seriously, I don’t even know what is going on with my life anymore.  If you were to ask me five years ago, “Where do you think you will be in five years?”  I NEVER would have thought this place.  But I am SO THANKFUL for where He has brought me.  I never would have chosen this life, but I am glad he has given it to me by His grace.

Here is just a short list of things the Lord is doing in my life right now, that seem totally opposite of what I ever wanted or desired.  But now, I don’t want anything else…but His will!

math1

  • I have been volunteering in the junior high (math classroom) for the past three years.  I wanted to use my degree, but not actually teach.  I NEVER EVER EVER thought I would want to teach in the public school system.  I really didn’t have the confidence or motivation for it.  After graduation I thought I would be on the mission field in some regard.  To bring you up to speed I have recently gotten my substitute teaching license and had my first two days of subbing (in the class I volunteer with) this week.  Guess what?  I LOVED IT!  I love teaching these students math, I love teaching them about life, I love teaching them about character development and life skills, I LOVE IT!  This is not even an easy school to teach in, the students have tons of baggage from their families and bring it all to school with them causing a dysfunctional environment for everyone.  Good thing I serve a BIG God who can take care of that. Check out the school’s report card to get a better picture of where the studetns are at academically.

    monies

  • I always told my parents not to expect me to make a lot of money, it has just never been important to me.  I have always wanted a job that was fulfilling and satisfying and more importantly where the Lord wanted me to be.  Of course, this is not always easy and living on faith certainly isn’t either, BUT is causes a deeper dependance on the King of Kings who owns EVERYTHING!  So, I believe I am a missionary here in Cairo getting prepared for the mission field in the marketplace.  I do believe that someday I will be wealthy or influence many wealthy people to GIVE to the KINGDOM (1 Timothy 6:17-19).  No, this is not something I just dreamt up one day, I believe the Lord has spoken it to me and confirmed it many times.  It is really not about the money, more about being a steward of His resources, and that get’s me excited.

holywood2

  • I have always been more comfortable around the poor, the broken, the “down and out” of society.  Rich, white people kind of intimidate me sometimes.  I know, that sounds silly, considering where I come from (White Bear Lake, MN).  That’s just how I work, I love connecting with and sharing life with these people.  No offense to wealthy whities, I just feel more comfortable around others.  This fits perfectly into what I thought I would be doing – heading straight off to the foreign mission field and ministering to the hungry, the dying, the needy, the thirsty, the naked, the prisoners, the widow, and the orphan.  All was well with Heather’s world, until the Holy Spirit spoke to her last Christmas about ministering in Hollywood.  WHAT?!?!  This was definitely not on my life plan.  That was for other people.  People who are into famous people, people who are into “what’s in and what’s out”, people who are into fashion, people who are knowledgeable about the “industry”, people who really have a heart and burden to reach the lost in one of the wealthiest and most influential places in the world…certainly NOT ME LORD!  I didn’t have a heart for them, usually I didn’t give a rip, or I would judge them based on the little I knew about their lives.  God you want me to do what?  I have always had a pull toward Cali, even ask my mom.  When I was younger I always wanted to go there and eventually live there.  Still not sure how it all works or what it will look like, that doesn’t matter.  What does matter is that God HAS changed my heart towards those rich white folks and the people who are in the industry.  They need Jesus just as much as the Maasai tribe in Kenya, Africa.  The Holy Spirit will take care of the rest.

music

  • Music.  I have always been self conscious about my singing voice.  It wasn’t until after my first summer with YouthWorks in Bramwell, WV that I realized I could actually sing out loud and people wouldn’t run away screaming covering your ears.  Seriously, I had issues.  Now, I LOVE singing and leading worship.  It is all about Him, not about me.  I am even in the process of recording my first CD.  WHAT?!? Never would I even consider this in the past.  Playing instruments has always been fun to me.  I grew up playing the trumpet from 5th grade to 9th grade, and boy do I wish I would have kept it up.  For all you youngsters out there ready to give up on band, think again.  It is such an amazing skill to have.  Recently, I have gotten back into playing my trumpet and am even helping some of the band students here in Cairo.  I have been playing guitar off and on for about three years.  My friend Anthony in town is teaching me how to play the piano/keyboard.  Praise God!  I felt the Lord speaking to my heart about learning to play many instruments and teaching them to children/teens.  This was totally NOT on my radar.  If anyone reading this would like to donate to the cause, give me a call – I am collecting instruments.

So, next time you say, “Oh, Lord, I will NEVER do _____________________,” think again.  That might be the VERY thing He wants you to do.  He never wants us to rely on our own “skill and gifting” but instead on His Spirit.

 

Blessings from heaven… November 17, 2008

Filed under: Cairo Kids,Dreams,Ministry Stuff,Power of Prayer — charredsmore @ 5:38 pm

God has been blessing my socks off lately!  Really, each week when our team gathers for our staff meeting we begin with highlights from the last week.  Usually there are too many to recount!  So, I decided to begin a little list.  These are blessings from the past couple weeks, no last couple months (not in chronological order).

bridge-in-clouds

  • Two Rivers was able to move the computer lab into the Shawnee Ext. in town.  We have a unique partnership now with the college – in fact, Kristy is even employeed by them to run the lab.
  • Our home (aka. Hannah’s House/CHOP – Cairo House of Prayer) is now mostly complete.  Over the past three years hundreds of volunteers have spent time getting the house ready.  God has provided for the materials and labor.
  • My sister is ENGAGED to Israel Heard, a wonderful man of God who I look forward to getting to know better as he becomes my brother in law.
  • New doors are opening in my family – communication, love, serving each other.  Praise God!
  • My friend Anthony in town is teaching me how to play the keyboard.  He is pretty much a rock star – oober talented and patient.  Thanks Jesus.
  • God is anointing me to write songs and record them.  Yipppeeeeee.
  • My friends (away from Cairo) are really growing in the Lord.  I am hearing amazing testimonies from their mouths of the goodness of the Lord.
  • In the midst of financial struggle for our nation, I am not stressed or anxiety filled.  The Lord has been my provider and continues.  In fact, the more I give (by direction of the Spirit), the more He provides.
  • My confidence has grown for being in Cairo for another season, as long as it lasts.  I really feel like Cairo is home (one of my homes :)).  No that is not a double chin, it is a double parenthasis. lol.
  • God is constantly reconnecting me with old friends from high school and college. 
  • New friends want to join my support team.
  • My Bible study with the kiddos has expanded from 1 to 2 to 4.
  • The Bible study is now held at one of the kid’s homes.  I will write a seperate blog for this one!
  • God has given more favor in the community – people are trusting us and calling us in crisis situations (daughter running away/daughter needing a place to stay…)
  • I am on a mission trip with our Colfax (IL) friends in Biloxi, MS and I didn’t have to pay a cent.  More importantly, God has built a unique partnership with this group.  First they came to Cairo on a mission trip, next we went for a visit to Colfax for Harvest of Hope, and now we are serving TOGETHER in Biloxi.
  • New doors are opening at the high school.  I have been volunteering in the junior high math classes (the high school and junior high are combined), and now I help out in the band class once in a while.  I have been helping take pictures for the yearbook.
  • The Bennett Elementary students trained for a 3 mile race for 5 weeks.  I was able to help out two days a week and ended up running the race with them.  I beat my time too.
  • I have started working with a small group of boys to help them record their beats and rap.  They are only allowed to rap about Jesus and the Kingdom when they record with us.  I am AMAZED at the lyrics that come out of their mouths!  The Holy Spirit is totally speaking through them.
  • We had more regional friends coming to our Friday worship time.
  • I have “randomly” met new friends in Paducah, KY while hanging out at the Books a Million coffee shop.  Friends that are wanting to come to Cairo for a visit and to join our team in fellowship.
  • Started going to a new church in Paducah, KY – Faith Center.  I am blown away by the way these people conduct church.  It is not your typical bless me club, but true preaching and true community of believers who have faith in an almighty God. 
  • Southern IL is going to have a Call – a gathering of saints for worship and intercession.  God is gathering the believers in this region, something we have been praying for for three years.  Others have been praying for this for over 20 years.
  • Amand and Jess (who both worked with Two Rivers and lived with Stacy and I) are now working with Adventures in Missions (in Gainsville, GA) with Community Life.  Basically a program that is very similar to what we do in Cairo. They came on a mission trip to Cairo a couple weeks ago, which was an incredible blessing to both us and them.
 

SMG: Day 35 March 27, 2008

Filed under: Dreams,Power of Prayer,Prophetic Words,Surprise Me God — charredsmore @ 9:41 am

Horton Hears a Who!

Today a group of us hit up the movie theater for some entertainment.  We have been wanting to see “Horton Hears a Who” since way back in July when first hearing this old dusty Dr. Suess book would be put into movie format.  I would say it is one of the best cartoon type movies I have seen.  Not only was it prophetic in nature, but it was stinkin’ hillarious!  Many times we were the only ones laughing in the theater, and a couple kids.  Sometimes it just felt like little “inside jokes” – as the comedy pertained to the church end times stuff.  Here’s a little sneak peak…

Pretty profound for Doctor Suess and Jim Carrey. 

 

California Lovin’ January 31, 2008

Filed under: Dreams,Ministry Stuff,Power of Prayer,Travel — charredsmore @ 9:36 pm
Thank you for praying! I can literally feel your prayers being delivered.
Each day has been an amazing adventure with Jesus and the girls.
Vision Trip Update:-Plane ride to San Jose – met some dudes who play in the band “Dumpsta Phunk” Prayed with one of the members who is a Christian. They are actually from New Orleans and do a bit of work together and separately with other bands. Raymond, who I prayed with is now thinking about purchasing a house in Cairo for his family – a half way point between N.O. and MN and Chicago where he travels quite a bit.
PS He has a recording studio in his house – as do most of the band members.

-Spent some great time with our friend Zach who lives in San Fran (works as a youth director at a church). He did a wonderful job hosting us ladies as he gave us a tour of the city and took us to a delicious Thai restaurant. I was able to participate in the first hour of his Fuller (extension) Seminary class. My expectation was totally blown out of the water when the prof. lead the class in worship, prayer, testimony and discussed the importance of having the Word and the Spirit active while studying in seminary. After she mentioned Bethel church in Redding (where I later attended the Writers Conference) and Iris Ministry (who I partnered with in Mozambique) I told Zach he was certainly in for a ride with this sem. experience.

-San Jose rocked my face off. God had given me those two dreams about this city. One dream involved a myspace profile page with a gentleman’s picture along with his brief description: San Jose, Marketing and Business. I knew he had striking features and dark hair. Of course in my natural mind I am thinking, “Maybe this is my husband!” No, no, no! While I was visiting with the Directors of the House of Prayer – Jose and Francesca, I realized that he was the one in my dream. God was already making the connection in the spirit realm! They are a young couple with a three year old daughter and one on the way. They are very much “like minded” as they counter culturally live a simple life while two twenty something aged women live in their home.

-Once/week they do the worship/intercession thing with harp and bowl. Of course we were there to experience this with them, which was amazing. They are pretty laid back – all chilled in the living room they just worship the King. Hard core – they usually have a small remnant that will stick around until 5am or even 7am. I had taken a nap right when they started at 9pm hoping to wake up at 12 to get started. Amanda handed the buton to me.  The Lord gave me joy and grace…I stayed awake until 7am! It was quite funny to see Jess waking up for the morning as I was just going to sleep.

-In the morning we were able to have a more intimate prayer session with the Directors and their “kids” (the gals that live with them). It was pretty much an amazing time of fellowship.

-There is a significant connection with San Jose – the vision that the Lord has given has actually been on their heart for some time now. Praise Jesus!

-God continues to show me the strategic ways that He wants to use CA. The north, the south…powerful influence for our nation and the world.

-We attended a concert that was created to raise awareness and funds for the Pro Life movement (San Jose). My ears tingled as we entered to hear “righteous rap” lyrics from a young man. I had a picture in my mind of him coming to Cairo with his wife (who sings) for a short bit to train the youth. This couple is truly on fire for Jesus. While chatting with him afterwards, I reluctantly shared the vision I saw. He stepped back and said, “This has been our heart all along!” Woah! What is God up to? See previous blog for website.

On to Redding…

-Wonderful time visiting with our friend Bec (the Aussie who we met in Mozambique). They truly experience community! She is currently living with a couple who moved to Redding to also attend the School of the Supernatural. The house is ginormous and beautiful. Constantly young people are flitting in and out. We were blessed by our time of fellowship with them.

-The writing conference was absolutely wonderful! The Lord has set his flame to my heart creating sparks…more later.

-Divine appointments! Connections made with people all over the world. Amazing to see the diversity of gifttings and experience displayed at the conference.

As I sit here typing away in Atascadero (Central Coastal CA) I look forward to what possibilities are set before us. Only He knows where our feet will take us. Be the wind in these sails Jesus!

Pray for us while we venture off to LA, San Diego, Tijuana, and home to sweet Cairo.

I love you and appreciate our partnership in prayer.