My classroom called life…Kingdom lessons

My desire is to abide

Jesus is the Reason December 25, 2008

Filed under: Prophetic Words,testimony,The Word — charredsmore @ 8:02 pm

Isaiah 53

Who has believed our message
       and to whom has the arm of the LORD been revealed?

 2 He grew up before him like a tender shoot,
       and like a root out of dry ground.
       He had no beauty or majesty to attract us to him,
       nothing in his appearance that we should desire him.

 3 He was despised and rejected by men,
       a man of sorrows, and familiar with suffering.
       Like one from whom men hide their faces
       he was despised, and we esteemed him not.

 4 Surely he took up our infirmities
       and carried our sorrows,
       yet we considered him stricken by God,
       smitten by him, and afflicted.

 5 But he was pierced for our transgressions,
       he was crushed for our iniquities;
       the punishment that brought us peace was upon him,
       and by his wounds we are healed.

 6 We all, like sheep, have gone astray,
       each of us has turned to his own way;
       and the LORD has laid on him
       the iniquity of us all.

 7 He was oppressed and afflicted,
       yet he did not open his mouth;
       he was led like a lamb to the slaughter,
       and as a sheep before her shearers is silent,
       so he did not open his mouth.

 8 By oppression [a] and judgment he was taken away.
       And who can speak of his descendants?
       For he was cut off from the land of the living;
       for the transgression of my people he was stricken. [b]

 9 He was assigned a grave with the wicked,
       and with the rich in his death,
       though he had done no violence,
       nor was any deceit in his mouth.

 10 Yet it was the LORD’s will to crush him and cause him to suffer,
       and though the LORD makes [c] his life a guilt offering,
       he will see his offspring and prolong his days,
       and the will of the LORD will prosper in his hand.

 11 After the suffering of his soul,
       he will see the light of life [d] and be satisfied [e] ;
       by his knowledge [f] my righteous servant will justify many,
       and he will bear their iniquities.

 12 Therefore I will give him a portion among the great, [g]
       and he will divide the spoils with the strong, [h]
       because he poured out his life unto death,
       and was numbered with the transgressors.
       For he bore the sin of many,
       and made intercession for the transgressors.

Psalm 22

For the director of music. To the tune of “The Doe of the Morning.” A psalm of David.

 1 My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?
       Why are you so far from saving me,
       so far from the words of my groaning?

 2 O my God, I cry out by day, but you do not answer,
       by night, and am not silent.

 3 Yet you are enthroned as the Holy One;
       you are the praise of Israel. [a]

 4 In you our fathers put their trust;
       they trusted and you delivered them.

 5 They cried to you and were saved;
       in you they trusted and were not disappointed.

 6 But I am a worm and not a man,
       scorned by men and despised by the people.

 7 All who see me mock me;
       they hurl insults, shaking their heads:

 8 “He trusts in the LORD;
       let the LORD rescue him.
       Let him deliver him,
       since he delights in him.”

 9 Yet you brought me out of the womb;
       you made me trust in you
       even at my mother’s breast.

 10 From birth I was cast upon you;
       from my mother’s womb you have been my God.

 11 Do not be far from me,
       for trouble is near
       and there is no one to help.

 12 Many bulls surround me;
       strong bulls of Bashan encircle me.

 13 Roaring lions tearing their prey
       open their mouths wide against me.

 14 I am poured out like water,
       and all my bones are out of joint.
       My heart has turned to wax;
       it has melted away within me.

 15 My strength is dried up like a potsherd,
       and my tongue sticks to the roof of my mouth;
       you lay me [b] in the dust of death.

 16 Dogs have surrounded me;
       a band of evil men has encircled me,
       they have pierced [c] my hands and my feet.

 17 I can count all my bones;
       people stare and gloat over me.

 18 They divide my garments among them
       and cast lots for my clothing.

 19 But you, O LORD, be not far off;
       O my Strength, come quickly to help me.

 20 Deliver my life from the sword,
       my precious life from the power of the dogs.

 21 Rescue me from the mouth of the lions;
       save [d] me from the horns of the wild oxen.

 22 I will declare your name to my brothers;
       in the congregation I will praise you.

 23 You who fear the LORD, praise him!
       All you descendants of Jacob, honor him!
       Revere him, all you descendants of Israel!

 24 For he has not despised or disdained
       the suffering of the afflicted one;
       he has not hidden his face from him
       but has listened to his cry for help.

 25 From you comes the theme of my praise in the great assembly;
       before those who fear you [e] will I fulfill my vows.

 26 The poor will eat and be satisfied;
       they who seek the LORD will praise him—
       may your hearts live forever!

 27 All the ends of the earth
       will remember and turn to the LORD,
       and all the families of the nations
       will bow down before him,

 28 for dominion belongs to the LORD
       and he rules over the nations.

 29 All the rich of the earth will feast and worship;
       all who go down to the dust will kneel before him—
       those who cannot keep themselves alive.

 30 Posterity will serve him;
       future generations will be told about the Lord.

 31 They will proclaim his righteousness
       to a people yet unborn—
       for he has done it.

Isaiah 55

Come, all you who are thirsty,
       come to the waters;
       and you who have no money,
       come, buy and eat!
       Come, buy wine and milk
       without money and without cost.

 2 Why spend money on what is not bread,
       and your labor on what does not satisfy?
       Listen, listen to me, and eat what is good,
       and your soul will delight in the richest of fare.

 3 Give ear and come to me;
       hear me, that your soul may live.
       I will make an everlasting covenant with you,
       my faithful love promised to David.

 4 See, I have made him a witness to the peoples,
       a leader and commander of the peoples.

 5 Surely you will summon nations you know not,
       and nations that do not know you will hasten to you,
       because of the LORD your God,
       the Holy One of Israel,
       for he has endowed you with splendor.”

 6 Seek the LORD while he may be found;
       call on him while he is near.

 7 Let the wicked forsake his way
       and the evil man his thoughts.
       Let him turn to the LORD, and he will have mercy on him,
       and to our God, for he will freely pardon.

 8 “For my thoughts are not your thoughts,
       neither are your ways my ways,”
       declares the LORD.

 9 “As the heavens are higher than the earth,
       so are my ways higher than your ways
       and my thoughts than your thoughts.

 10 As the rain and the snow
       come down from heaven,
       and do not return to it
       without watering the earth
       and making it bud and flourish,
       so that it yields seed for the sower and bread for the eater,

 11 so is my word that goes out from my mouth:
       It will not return to me empty,
       but will accomplish what I desire
       and achieve the purpose for which I sent it.

 12 You will go out in joy
       and be led forth in peace;
       the mountains and hills
       will burst into song before you,
       and all the trees of the field
       will clap their hands.

 13 Instead of the thornbush will grow the pine tree,
       and instead of briers the myrtle will grow.
       This will be for the LORD’s renown,
       for an everlasting sign,
       which will not be destroyed.”

Proverbs 8

Replace “Jesus” for “Wisdom”

Wisdom’s Call

 1 Does not wisdom call out?
       Does not understanding raise her voice?

 2 On the heights along the way,
       where the paths meet, she takes her stand;

 3 beside the gates leading into the city,
       at the entrances, she cries aloud:

 4 “To you, O men, I call out;
       I raise my voice to all mankind.

 5 You who are simple, gain prudence;
       you who are foolish, gain understanding.

 6 Listen, for I have worthy things to say;
       I open my lips to speak what is right.

 7 My mouth speaks what is true,
       for my lips detest wickedness.

 8 All the words of my mouth are just;
       none of them is crooked or perverse.

 9 To the discerning all of them are right;
       they are faultless to those who have knowledge.

 10 Choose my instruction instead of silver,
       knowledge rather than choice gold,

 11 for wisdom is more precious than rubies,
       and nothing you desire can compare with her.

 12 “I, wisdom, dwell together with prudence;
       I possess knowledge and discretion.

 13 To fear the LORD is to hate evil;
       I hate pride and arrogance,
       evil behavior and perverse speech.

 14 Counsel and sound judgment are mine;
       I have understanding and power.

 15 By me kings reign
       and rulers make laws that are just;

 16 by me princes govern,
       and all nobles who rule on earth. [a]

 17 I love those who love me,
       and those who seek me find me.

 18 With me are riches and honor,
       enduring wealth and prosperity.

 19 My fruit is better than fine gold;
       what I yield surpasses choice silver.

 20 I walk in the way of righteousness,
       along the paths of justice,

 21 bestowing wealth on those who love me
       and making their treasuries full.

 22 “The LORD brought me forth as the first of his works, [b] , [c]
       before his deeds of old;

 23 I was appointed [d] from eternity,
       from the beginning, before the world began.

 24 When there were no oceans, I was given birth,
       when there were no springs abounding with water;

 25 before the mountains were settled in place,
       before the hills, I was given birth,

 26 before he made the earth or its fields
       or any of the dust of the world.

 27 I was there when he set the heavens in place,
       when he marked out the horizon on the face of the deep,

 28 when he established the clouds above
       and fixed securely the fountains of the deep,

 29 when he gave the sea its boundary
       so the waters would not overstep his command,
       and when he marked out the foundations of the earth.

 30 Then I was the craftsman at his side.
       I was filled with delight day after day,
       rejoicing always in his presence,

 31 rejoicing in his whole world
       and delighting in mankind.

 32 “Now then, my sons, listen to me;
       blessed are those who keep my ways.

 33 Listen to my instruction and be wise;
       do not ignore it.

 34 Blessed is the man who listens to me,
       watching daily at my doors,
       waiting at my doorway.

 35 For whoever finds me finds life
       and receives favor from the LORD.

 36 But whoever fails to find me harms himself;
       all who hate me love death.”

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Redemption Project December 17, 2008

Filed under: Power of Prayer,Prophetic Words,Relationships,testimony — charredsmore @ 12:30 am

Purity

  • Unmixed with any other matter.
  • Free from dust, dirt or taint.
  • Spotless, stainless.
  • Free from harshness or roughness and being in tune – used of a musical note.
  • Free from what vitates, weakness or pollutes. 
  • Containing nothing that does not properly belong.
  • Free from moral guilt.
  • Marked by chastity.

 

Restoration

 All lost from the first taste of sin. 

Restore… back to the Garden. 

Take me back to Eden Father.

  • Restorance to renew, rebuilt, alter.  Of in staurance to renew.
  • Give back, return.
  • To bring back to or put back into former or original state.
  • To put or bring back into existance or use.
  • To put again in possession of something.

Redemption

  • To buy back.  Re-purchase.
  • To get or win back.
  • To make payment/ransome.
  • To extricate from or help to overcome something detrimental.
  • To release from blame of debt.  CLEAN.
  • To free from consequences of sin.
  • Change for the better – Reform.
  • Repair…Restore.
  • To vonvert into something of value.
  • To make good…fulfill.
  • To atone for.
  • To offset the bad effect of.
  • To make worthwhile.

 

 

Guys and Dolls December 13, 2008

Filed under: Power of Prayer,Relationships,Revelation and Growth,testimony — charredsmore @ 7:49 pm

purity-ring1

 

Recently God has been teaching me a TON about male/female relationships. I don’t even pretend to know a whole lot. Just check out my history…super inappropriate/unhealthy rel. with boys in high school. In college tried to figure out who I was. Became a Christ follower. Rode the fence for a year before taking the plunge into faith. Since then I have tried to remain pure before the Lord – not only in actions, but thoughts and motives as well. After college I was always really involved with different ministries, had a ton of guy friends, and didn’t really date ever. I kind of had this unspoken “rule” or standard that I wasn’t interested in dating until it was the real deal. You see, I had already messed up so much that I wasn’t about to go giving my heart out only to have it ripped out of my chest and crushed…again. Not blaming anyone, it’s totally a two way thing, but I just knew that I wasn’t about to go messing around anymore. What was the point? Really, I was praying for my husband. I wanted to get to know him and not a bunch of other yahoos. Not that men are yahoos, just saying. Thus began the journey of single hood. Little did I know that little “rule” of mine would be taken seriously by God. No guys even persued me! Ha. At times I thought it was pretty cool, I didn’t even have to worry about it. Other times I thought, “What is WRONG with ME?” Knowing full well I had actually prayed this into being…Lord, I don’t want to date or get involved with anyone unless he is my hubby. It’s okay if you think my ideas or convictions are a bit wack, I’ve heard it all. Really I don’t care, because we all have different opinions on the matter, yes even Christians, especially Christians. So, it’s okay if you are starting to question my ability to reason…I probably think you ideas on the matter are a bit out of sync too, I still love you. We can agree to disagree, eh?

Back to the story. In a way I have felt that I have been “hidden”. Really, since moving to Cairo I have not even had much interaction with men my own age that I would even consider friends. You would have to understand Cairo to hear me on this one. Don’t get me wrong there are some wonderful men in this community too. I am not doggin’ on them. God is truly raising them up and doing a new thing with Fathers and Brothers in this place. When I first moved to town I was appalled at the way men would stare, cat call, say TOTALLY inappropriate things to us out of town women.  “Did he just say that out loud?”  I mean come on, who were all these white attractive young women coming in from out of town. Again, you must understand that we stick out like crazy – the population is ONLY about 3,000 (the size of my high school) and everyone knows everyone, not many young adults, and not many whites (80% African American and the white population is mostly elderly). We just plain stick out. At first, interacting with the community, the men, I just wanted to punch them. I mean, who do they think they are? I couldn’t believe some of the things they said out loud. Then I remembered that I had to love them. How in the WORLD do you show the love of Christ without being “too nice” and giving them the wrong idea. Seriously, check out this little story…

One of my good friends had just moved to Cairo (this was before I even got here). She is a friendly person and likes meeting new people, esp. in her new community. While at the grocery store she meets this young man (about her age – a bit younger). They begin to chat about Cairo and why she is here (for MISSION WORK). She invites him over to the house, they only live a block away, to meet her roommate and chat about Cairo. I mean, she just moved in, she wants to know more about the place, the people…totally innocent right?!? He gets to the house and after a bit of chatting he seems confused. He honestly thought that she invited him over for some type of weird sexual escapade. WTH?!?! Okay, ladies, does this make any sense? Guys, what were you thinking? Probably NOT THIS! Unless your mind is totally in the gutter, in which case I will pray for you. That’s what I’m dealin’ with here.

Understand this…since we have moved into town (I have been here 3.5 years) things have changed quite a bit. The men look at us a bit differently. We passed the test. Usually some of the men in town are taking bets as to who can sleep with the newbies first, how long it will take to get them into bed…that sort of thing. We of course didn’t fall into this trap and they now respect us…kind of look at us as sisters. I have seen much growth in this area. For them and me. I have learned to be bold in the love of Christ and also in standing up for myself. One time while serving a meal at the Kitchen Table (with the Nuns) I had a guy totally hitting on me and giving me those “I want to sleep with you eyes”. After composing myself, I just told him to quit.

“What?”

“You know what. Stop treating me like that. I am a woman of God, and you are NOT going to talk to me like that. Show repsect in this place.”

He looked at me sobered. I think he was in shock that a white woman would just give it to him like that.

Before he left, I told him the potential he had in Christ and the freedom he could experience from all his addictions. Not sure if he heard that part, but he has respected me since.

Ladies, be bold. Don’t be a beyotch, just be bold and stand up for yourself. Love them with the love of Christ. Pray for them. God will give you wisdom on how to deal/communicate in a SPirit of love and not frustration, hate, or bitterness. Trust me, this has been quite the journey. I’m still on it.

This is getting a bit long, there is much more to share…

Healing
Forgiveness
Redemption
Reconciliation
New Beginnings

I am honestly praying about writing a book on the topic of male/female relationships…singleness…purity…marriage. NOt that there aren’t enough books out there ont his, but I think it is more for my healing process and journey. Cool. Thanks for listening my friends. If you have any questions or comments I am usually open for discussion. Hit me back a comment or email if it is more personal: heathercarn@gmail.com

*Anyone interested in being my editor?

Forgive me for posting that video, I honestly didn’t watch it, just wanted the song on here…yikes!

 

A trucker repents… December 3, 2008

Filed under: Ministry Stuff,Miracles,Power of Prayer,Random,testimony — charredsmore @ 12:34 pm

repent

What a night! Seriously, what just happened?!? I think I am still overwhelmed by the power of God.
Let me try to summarize this story for you.

Tonight I went to Charleston to work out. Get my run on. I am training for a few marathons you know (running, rollerblading, and dancing). That’s another story. On the way to the Health Club I noticed the tire getting really low. Too low in fact to drive back to Cairo. Heather and Jesse had already put the spare on, the original one had a leak in it, and I have not gotten it fixed yet. Shame on me. I meant to do that today in the midst of all the business, but it slipped my mind. Oh, well God had other plans anyway.

I end up saying goodbye to my friend J at the club and heading out the door, knowing full well he was going to see me walking to the truck stop/restarant and stop to get me. You see, I have this rule. I don’t ride in vehicles with men I barely know…espescially in Cairo. Yeah, I am pretty strict about this – there are too many things that could go down, so I just don’t allow it to happen. Even if I feel he is “a nice guy”. It’s okay if you think I am crazy. I’d rather be crazy and safe than something else. So, of course, he sees me walking (really it is like a two block distance, not far) and pulls over.

“Heather, WHAT are you doing?!? WHy didn’t you tell me you had a flat? You know I could help you or give you a ride home!” He is kind of upset, and I can tell he is offended that I didn’t trust him because he prides himself on being a “nice guy.” I have discernment that he really is in fact a “nice guy”, but I have this rule in my mind and I would just rather be smart about stuff. So, in the nicest way possible I explain that I can walk the 100 feet remaining and that if he went to get his pump that would be great.

He comes back to help me pump up the tire and just lays it out, “Heather, I was kind of offended when you wouldn’t get in my vehicle and let me take you to the truck stop. I mean, it is dark out here and those semi trucks go by so fast. It really wasn’t safe.” Understand, this man is about my dad’s age (a bit younger) and single and African American. Nothing wrong with any of those things – I just don’t ride with men from the community period. Don’t matter if they are black or white, it is sketchy. After explaining that I knew he was a nice man with integrity and my rule and that it had nothing to do with him being black, he understood. Quickly, we pumped it up and I headed back to my “Perkins” truck stop to sit down and do some reading. It really didn’t bother me, I have had so many car problems in the past – each time there ends up being divine appointments on the other end, so I just sat and waited for it to unfold.

Reading I did not do…praying, prophesying, testifying, and praising – YES. My good friend’s dad – Pastor Terry was actually hooking it up at the buffet when I came in. We had a nice little chat, sharing testimonies of God’s goodness in provision. As we are talking the other two people at the restaraunt join in our conversation. Pastor Terry then starts directing his focus on B, a female truck driver who is sitting fairly close to me. He just whips out the prophetic words – BAM, straight to her heart. Starts reading her mail. She starts crying and explains her desire to come back to the Lord. She had known the Lord and walked away, now truly desires to come back. We talk a bit more, my phone rings, I catch up with an old high school friend. This friend of mine really wants to go to One Thing, but lacks financial resources. Aparently B (woman at restaraunt – stick with me, it’s coming togehter pretty soon) overheard the convo. Pastor Terry was about to leave, so we said a prayer together regarding some things we chatted about. Before he leaves, B (the female truck driver) hands me a $20 bill and says, “THis is to help your friend pay for the hotel. I wanted to help.”

WHAT?!? Hold the train.

Here is a perfect stranger wanting to help my friend, who she has never met. Crazy! This stuff is crazy, I tell you. Oh, wait, the best part is yet to come!

B starts sharing more about her life…struggles with alcohol, drugs, bad friends, you name it. She believed the Lord had her come to this specific truck stop to have an encounter with him. She is truly repentant and wants to come back into the arms of her Father. So, we start praying for her. Meanwhile, S (woman who works at the truck stop – who actually gave me a ride home 15 min. away) comes over to also pray with us (she had just punched off the clock), along with her friend and another pastor guy who just “happened to be there”. We are all praying over her, the Spirit falls. She is weeping like a baby. I can barely stand because the presence of God is so thick. She starts repenting before the Lord and asking for help and guidance. Pastor Terry starts praising Jesus in tongues. I just can’t even contain it at this time and begin laughing. Not because it was funny, because of the goodness of God!

I tell you what, sometimes I feel like my life is composed of movie scenes. I think, this stuff IS really happening!

The best part is, the Holy SPirit wants to do MORE! Always, there is always more where that came from! After our prayer session, we are all standing in awe of God. Here we are a bunch of “strangers” praying, praising and whooping it up at a truck stop.

It really isn’t surprising to me in a way. God had already spoken to me about this particular place being a place of encounter with the Holy Spirit. A place where lives are redeemed and people have their eyes open to Jesus. Every time I go into this place (which happened a lot more last year) I have divine appointments with people. For some time I have felt lead to ask the manager if I could play my guitar and sing…not for money or a concert, just to shift the spiritual climate.

Worship is warfare.

Worship brings the anointing.

So, my friends, pray for an open door to do that.

I’m out.

Good night.

PS I think I need to start going to this place (Cheers Truck Stop in Charleston, MO) more often. Just on my way out after I work out or to sit and write…whatever, I just need to be available to Him. Praise God for the most “unlikely” of places to become a habitation of His Spirit! I love it!

 

Kingdom Christmas…

Filed under: Family Spotlight,Power of Prayer,testimony — charredsmore @ 5:05 am

I am thankful my mom is taking a different approach to Christmas this year. She wants to focus more on the family and less on the preparations, food, presents, commercialism…this is breakthrough! I praise God for what He is doing in my family. I am thankful for each one of them and the journey they are on with the Lord. For some it is very personal and private, for others, shared openly. Either way, I trust the Holy Spirit is working on behalf of my prayers of intercession (for the past ten years) even when I don’t see it or get to be a part of it directly. I trust in Him.

Back to Christmas. I am not sure where we are celebrating this year with my mom’s side, but it doesn’t really matter, as long as we are together. Usually we draw names and purchase a gift for about twenty five bucks, this year my mom wanted to do something else. She wanted us to purchase gifts for each other – IF we wanted to, IF we saw something a person would like. I bless this idea! Truly one of my love languages is gift giving, so this expands my territory in lovin’ on my family. Not that I couldn’t do this before, but I decided to get each of them a gift. Something more personal, something from the heart, something homemade, something from me. I am excited to see where this Christmas will lead our family in future years. I have been praying for new traditions in our family – traditions that don’t center around greed, consumerism, gluttony, Santa…you know, focus back on the Savior, the whole reason we are celebrating in the first place.

 

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.

 

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.