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Location: Northern California, United States

Wednesday, September 29, 2004

Ivy at the park, rolling on the grass! Posted by Hello

Monday, September 27, 2004

TV Messages from Jesus

Here's a thought... As Christians, we're supposed to be able to hear God. (What, nobody told you that?) We're supposed to be able to listen and hear Him speak. Sounds radical, doesn't it? I've been doing it for decades and it still sounds scandalously bold to me!

In fact, you can find many books written on the subject. Peter Lord (that's his real name!) wrote a classic on hearing God, but for me the gold standard is a little book by Loren Cunningham of YWAM entitled, "Is That Really You, God?" I like that book because it teaches principles on hearing God in the context of their experience. It not only gives you application for scripture, but it tells you how it worked for them.

In many churches you might find a class or a sermon devoted to the topic of hearing God. Usually they'll at least grant that God is still speaking to us today, and that we can hear from Him through the Bible, through the sermons, and occasionally through other believers. What they mostly leave out, however, is the art of simply hearing for yourself. If God is true to His word (and I don't doubt that He is!) then we're supposed to have a direct hook-up to Him. We have the Holy Spirit *in* us. You can look up all the verses yourself if you want to know what it means to have God-the-Holy-Spirit inside you! Even if you think you already know, I recommend doing the study!

We all know that God can speak to us in a still, small voice... or that He can sound like many waters. Some said it thundered when God spoke. We can feel a "leading" or a direction, or a nudge, or a "knowing" which means that we're open to hearing from God. Some folks have even heard the audible voice of God and lived to tell about it. :)

None of these things should be too unfamiliar to us, right? We've at least heard of these things if we've been around for a bit. But you know what? There's more! MUCH more!

Think of a radio. AM and FM. There's only so much bandwidth on each, and for every point on the frequency dial a station can put something on the air. If you flip through the stations you'll hear many different voices, many different kinds of music.
Now, think of God speaking. Do we limit His ability to speak to us to just a couple of channels? Do we only allow Him to speak through Scripture, Sermons, and Saints? or do we "flip the dial" and listen for Him everywhere we go, and in everything we do?

Oh, I hear some of you thinking, "That's dangerous! The enemy could deceive someone who went around looking for God's voice just anywhere, right?" Well, I believe that too often we put more faith in the enemy's ability to steer us wrong than in God's ability to keep us on the right track!

God promises to give us guardrails in Isaiah 30:21, "Your ears will hear a word behind you, "This is the way, walk in it," whenever you turn to the right or to the left." And even more than that, we are ordered to tune in and follow Gods directions. Jeremiah 7:23 tells us this, "But this is what I commanded them, saying, 'Obey My voice, and I will be your God and you will be My people; and you will walk in all the ways which I command you, that it may be well with you." Pretty clear, eh?

I think I better get to my point. God is speaking to us much more than we're listening to Him. Go back and read that sentence again! Remember the radio? Imagine if all frequencies were filled with messages from God, and there were no limit on the number of channels He could use to speak to His people. What if I told you that He actually is flooding the earth with His voice, so that those who have an ear to hear, can hear?

I'm sure some of you are thinking to yourselves that there are other voices out there... voices of the enemy, voices of other people, even our own voices on all those other channels. But I'm talking about God here; He owns the airwaves, all those other voices -including our own- are nothing more than "interference."
Sometimes we just have to move in such a way that we block out all the interference and static so we can hear the clear channel of God's voice.

What we need to know is that God is speaking to us *all the time*. It's up to us to learn to listen. (But if you ask Him nicely, He'll even help you do that!) Some of us have learned that God speaks to us through dreams and visions (Thats not weird! Go figure up what percentage of the Bible is about God speaking to folks in dreams and visions and then get back to me!). Some of us have learned to look at "coincidences" a little askance, not really believing in coincidence any more. Some of us have even learned to hear God speak to us through the television set! I know, I know, there is much on television that should be avoided as if your life depended on it - and it probably does! But recently I've noticed some interesting messages being delivered by "tube mail" straight to my heart.

My pastor-friend Doug also teaches on this phenomenon... he noted that the wireless phone commercial where the guy is walking all over the place saying, "Can you hear me now?" was really a prophetic message - God is moving throughout the earth, asking us if we can, indeed, hear Him now?!

A while back, I saw a commercial that instructed me to "Obey Your Thirst". I've seen it a thousand times before, but on this particular day I'd asked the Lord to speak to me. "Obey Your Thirst", it said. HOOYAH! What am I thirsty for?? "As the deer pants for the water, so my soul longs after You!" Psalms 63:1 says it best. Oh God, You are my God; I shall seek You earnestly; My soul *thirsts* for You, my flesh yearns for You, in a dry and weary land where there is no water." Add a whole bunch of exclamation points to that verse and you'll know exactly how I felt! Upon hearing that I should obey my thrist from the television set, I was immediately reminded of these words, found in John 7. "Now on the last day, the great day of the feast, Jesus stood and cried out, saying, 'If anyone is thirsty, let him come to Me and drink. He who believes in Me, as the Scripture said, 'From his innermost being will flow rivers of living water.' " Let me tell you, that soft drink commercial *WAS* a message from the Lord! I had a quiet time and a half that day!!!

A few days ago I saw another commercial. It's kind of strange... a guy wakes up with someone sitting on his bed. It's the "king" from Burgerking. He's a rather odd, plastic fellow who feeds the waking man breakfast. At the end of the commercial, it fades to black and the words, "Wake up with the King" flash across the screen. When I saw that, my spirit SOARED within me! YES! Ps. 139 says, "...and when I awake, I am still with Thee!!!" (exclamation points obviously mine!) I was reminded of a whole slew of verses about meditating on your bed at night, about the Lord sealing up our instructions within us as we sleep, about worshipping God in the night watches, and about new mercies every morning, joy that comes in the morning, the bright and morning star and on and on and on! I was also able put two and two together. I realized that lately, I've been waking up a lot during the night. When I do, I've been pulling the love of God over me like a blanket, and pouring out my affection on Him at the same time. In the mornings, however, I tend to wake up and then move too quickly into my day. That TV commercial was a very strong word to me, to "Wake up with the King!" How beautiful are those words the psalmist sung, "...when I awake, I am still with You!" What a marvelous revelation! I already *knew* this, but being reminded of it in such a powerful way is truly inspiring!

So these days, when I'm out and about, I look at billboards to see if there's a hidden message on them. If I watch TV, I'm listening with an ear tilted toward heaven. If I overhear conversations at the sidewalk cafe, I'm pressing in to the Lord, waiting to hear from Him. When I dream, I write them down and ask for their meaning! I expect God to speak to my heart in a thousand ways every day. I'm learning to "tune in" to His voice, and silence all the other voices. A wonderful side-effect of silencing every voice but His is that you're going to like what you hear so much better! Especially what He has to say about you!

So, Obey Your Thirst and Wake Up With the King already!

Friday, September 24, 2004

Dream Post

I had a dream last night where I was reading a book. It was a good book, by some Christian or other, and it had a blue cover. Blue usually means "revelation" in that sort of dream. The author of that book wrote from an "omniscient narrator" point of view. She'd tell you what happened, how everyone felt about it, and what the moral of the story was. I remember feeling very interested in her "style". In the dream, I remember reading some bit of a story, but then the next paragraph was more on the "teaching" side. I remember reading one sentence over and over so that I would remember it when I woke up. (It didn't start out that way, but it turned into a "lucid" dream).
I remember savoring the sentence, meditating on what it might mean, being excited about it.
Funny enough, the teaching was on blogs and posting. It was an explanation of "how things work" on some foundational level. The paragraph was about how God would write a "post" on the tablet of her heart, and in turn, she would respond to that message, writting back to Him in a post on her blog. She'd let the meaning and content of His words to her soak in and come alive, then she'd pour that understanding and the perspective she gained back out, in the form of a post.
The sentence?
"They were writing posts to one another, she and God, and it was good".

Tuesday, September 21, 2004

Blessed be the Name

Shmai Yisrael Adonai Eloheynu Adonai Echad!
(Hear O Israel, the Lord our God, the Lord is One

Sometimes things just sound better in Hebrew. Lately I've been making a list of common Bible terms and names that I love and translating them.
It's sort of exciting to hear the words that Jesus spoke *in the way that He spoke them*! It's neat to hear the language that was spoken in the temple or in the streets at that time. I like the feel of the words on my tongue, I like the way they roll off my lips. The words feel so weighty and sweet!
The disciples would have known the Holy Spirit as "Ruach haKodesh" (Roo-awk ha co-desh).
Here are some other "names of God" translated for us.
Adonai- Lord - Master
Adonai Echad - the Lord is one
Adonai haElyon - the Lord Most High

Adonai Shalom - the Lord of Peace
Adonai Tzidkeynu - the Lord our Righteousness

Adonai Tzvaot - the Lord of Hosts

Adonai Yeshuateynu - The Lord our Salvation

Adonai Yeera - the Lord our Provider
Adonai Shammah- the Lord is Present
Yahweh Sabaoth - The LORD of Hosts, LORD Almighty, King of Glory
Elohim- God - The One and Only True God
Yahweh- LORD - He that is who He is, The eternal I AM

Adonai- Lord - Master

El Shaddai- God Almighty - The All-sufficient One

El Elyon- Most High - Possessor of heaven and earth

El Olam- Everlasting God - God over eternal things

El Gibbor- Mighty God - The Only All Powerful God

During this study, I realized that our use of "Jehovah" is just an English word made up to try to fill in the gaps. Some folks think "Yahweh" is more accurate, but it isn't necessarily any better. The name of God (HaShem-the Name) is translated to mean "I AM Who I Am" as far as I can tell... and the representation of that name is 4 letters: Yod Heh Vav Heh. No one really knows how to pronounce the Name anymore, because it was considered too sacred, too holy, for common use. We can only guess at what vowels were there!

The name was only spoken at certain times, after the priest had gone into the Holy of Holies... and in response to hearing this name, everyone would fall down and worship and exclaim something like, "blessed be the Name of the Lord" (Baruch haShem!). After the Babylonian captivity, however, the name hadn't been spoken in more than a generation, and no one quite knew how to say it, so they substituted "Adonai" because they didn't want to address God by a nonsense word instead of His real name. Adonai is the name that Moses used to address the Burning Bush.

When Jesus prayed, "Father, glorify Thy Name" on His way into Jerusalem, the voice of God was heard to answer from heaven, "I have both glorified it, and will glorify it again." Wow...God is saying something here! His name, which had been lost to the people, was about to be glorified again.
One thing I discovered that made my heart race with excitement was seeing that the inscription that was hung on the cross reads, "Jesus of Nazareth, King of the Jews" in English. In fact, it was written in four Hebrew words:
Yeshua Hanetzeret V’melech Hayehudim. Those Jews weren't upset that Jesus was being called their king!! They were upset because the sign over Jesus named Him to be God, not just a king! (Remember that the name of God is represented by YHVH). In John 8:28 Jesus said, "When you lift up the Son of Man, then you will know that I AM." It was just as Jesus said it would be. Those soldiers unknowingly wrote the name "I AM WHO I AM" over Jesus. Powerful stuff! It was just as God the Father said it would be... He had glorfied His name and was about to glorify it again.

As I was studying this, I was reminded of a verse in revelation about a white stone with a new name written on that no one knows but the one the Lord gives it to. (which of course led to a whole other study!) It seems that the white stone mentioned in Revelation may harken back to the something the High Priest used to carry... the Urim and Thummim. They were two precious stones used for determining somehow the will or direction of God. The Urim was a light or white stone that had the name of God written upon it, (which none but the High Priest knew). The theory is that the Thummim had the names of the 12 tribes inscribed upon it, but that is not as certain.
So perhaps when the Lord promises to give believers the hidden manna and a white stone with a new name upon it, perhaps He is saying that once again God is glorfying His Name, not just to the High Priest, but to all of us, giving every one of His sons and daughters His precious Name. We all are priests and ministers in His Kingdom, and can receive the haShem, the Holy Name!

This study also led me to examine the name of Jesus. Jesus is a unique word that translators came up with. Jesus isn't Hebrew any more than it is English. On first glance, I thought the Hebrew name for our Lord was "Joshua" but that's an English thing. (I guess the English had trouble pronouncing y sounds, so they made them all j's!) I'd seen the name "Yeshua" many times, and had been told that was Hebrew for Jesus. Was Jesus' name the same as what we would translate "Joshua"? Somehow that didn't seem exactly right to me, so I kept digging. What I discovered is that Joshua is another Hebrew name, not exactly the same as the one used for the Son of God. Joshua's name means, "God is Salvation". Jesus' real name means simply, "Salvation" because He is God!

I won't bore you with the in's and out's of the translators and the transliteration errors that they openly admit (none of this is a secret, it's all open history). The name of "Jesus" was given to us when those same translators who turned "Yeshua" into Joshua went back and translated the name from the Greek "Iesous"... which itself was an attempt at phonetic transliteration! (Same with Christ... that's not His name either, it's the Greek word "Christos" which means "annointed one". Christ is a term meaning anointed, ie, "by the touch or laying on of hands appointed and consecrated to do or be." It's a beautiful word study, a beautiful picture to see of the Father sending His son to save the world, I highly recommend that you study that yourself!! Christ was the Greek word picked to relate to "Messiah" (Meshiach) or the promised One who will save His people. Jesus' last name wasn't Christ, it was benJoseph to his friends, or perhaps ben I AM would be more accurate! Calling Him "Christ" is fine, millions do it, but to me it's sort of the same as just calling Him "King" or "Master" or "Saviour", using His title instead of using His name, so it feels less intimate!)

From what I am able to discern, it appears that it would be proper to pronounce the original name of our Lord (as His parents and brothers and sisters and disciples would have called Him) "Yahshua" (yahSHUa). Yeshua (yeSHUa) is also fine, but please remember that Joshua isn't originally Yeshua, it's

It isn't really important how you pronounce it, or if you use the English Jesus, the Spanish Jesus (hayzoos), the Greek Ieosos (yousoos), or the Hebrew Yeshua/Yahshua... He knows Who He Is, and He knows when you're talking to Him! The important thing is just that we talk to Him!

I can hear the other children calling, "Yeshua, come play with us!" or His mother saying, "Yeshua, where were you?" or His dad asking, "Yeshua, will you help me with this table?" I can even hear myself saying, "Baruch haShem Adonai Yeshua Meshiach! Baruch haShem El Elyon! Baruch haShem Ruach haKodesh!"

Wednesday, September 15, 2004

The Fellowship of the King

By now, most people are familiar with the story of Frodo and Samwise and their band of brothers. The Lord of the Rings is a sweeping, strong story that connects with many, some love the book, others the movies. The real attraction isn't the plot line or the endless scenes of battle or even the glorious New Zealand setting. The real draw, the heart of the story, is something we all long for, something we were designed for from the beginning.

Nine individuals set out on a journey together, on a common quest to free the Kingdom of men from the dreaded threat of evil. They called themselves the Fellowship of the Ring. They were true, loyal, and in a covenant relationship with one another. They had each others' backs. They fought for one another, believed in one another, and sacrificed for one another. That picture of friendship and fellowship is so powerful that untold millions have been moved by the story.

There's a reason for the sucess of the Lord of the Rings. It speaks to something deeply etched in our own hearts, something laid there from before the foundation of the world by the One who created us. It is a faint echo of His own longing... the desire for fellowship. Since we are His children, born of His Spirit, it is no surpise that we would bear a resemblance to our Father, that we would share His characteristics. When He breathed life into our mortal frames, it came with a whisper, a desire, a question. "Will you come back to Me? I won't be whole again until you do. My heart longs for you; I want your company. I created you in My image and I love you! You are My chosen companion, will you share life with Me?"

With that Kiss of Life, something is sealed in us forever. We'll never be at peace, never find our rest, until we find it in Him. Nothing will ever satisfy our hearts until we have fellowship with the King.

But just as He created us with an innate desire for fellowship with Him, He also imprinted us with a need for each other. You see, we have a journey to undertake, but there's a war going on all around us. The times are treacherous and the way is not always clear. We have a mission and a glorious destiny, but we could never make it on our own. Our wise King leads us to those people of like, precious faith and He knits our hearts together in love. He's given us our instructions - Love one another, bear each others burdens, comfort and encourage one another, give preference to one another, to be devoted to one another, accept and care for one another, serve each other, forgive one another, be kind to one another.

He wants us to help each other along the way, because He created us to be part of each other and to need each other.
It's all about the Fellowship.
1st John 1:7 says, "but if we walk in the light as He Himself is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus His Son cleanses us from all sin.

Frodo, Samwise, Gandalf and all the others who were part of the Fellowship of the Ring wore matching pendants made of ivy leaves and gold. Ivy stands for strong faithfulness, and Gold for purity that has been tried in the fire. It was a symbol of their friendship and the common cause that united them.

I, too, have a band of brothers and sisters, people who believe in me and encourage me, and spur me on to even greater faith. They are a company of precious friends who are loyal and faithful and true. They've walked through the fire with me. They've trekked up the mountain with me. They fight for me, they defend me, they lift me up and encourage me - but most of all they Love me, and I love them. Because they believe in me and the One who created me, I can run my race, I can finish my course, I can reach my Goal.
When we cross the finish line into the eternal we will see more clearly how much we were helped by our friends.

We also have a common cause that unites us. We see in each other a love for the King that transcends life and death. We have a powerful attraction through the Holy Spirit that draws us together in this epic journey. We are a group of pilgrims traveling the highway to Zion, following the roadmap drawn in our hearts, driving back the enemy wherever he comes against any of us, sharing with each other the light we've been given to walk by, and rejoicing in our fellowship. Our eyes are always open because we know that others will be called to join us on the road, and we will love them and rejoice in adding to our company those who partake in that same sweet fellowship; the Fellowship of the King.

"Soon and very soon, we are going to see the King...Hallelujah, Hallelujah, we're going to see the King."

Friday, September 10, 2004

The Word of God and the word of God

The following is a post I wrote on a web board. Several folks there had been asserting that the Scriptures are all that's needed, that the "Word *is* God." They felt that they don't really need the Holy Spirit for anything because they had the Bible. In the interest of keeping our Theology clean and clear, I had to respond. (Does that make me a Theologian or an Apologetist? I never knew the difference!) Read on, if you dare...
(begin post)
I think we're in danger these days of confusing the Word and the word...(before people break into hives or anything let me make it clear that I believe the Bible to be the inerrant, inspired word of God, and I treasure it greatly. In college, I often slept with my Bible like it was a teddy bear because I'm so attached to it!) The Word of God is Jesus. Sometimes we call the Bible the "word of God." The Bible IS NOT God. It is His message. As wonderful and true as it is, it is NOT Him and it is not meant to be a substitute for Him. It teaches and guides us, but so does the Holy Spirit (as it says in the Bible). The Bible itself teaches us to judge things both by the book and by the Spirit. Jesus is the Living Word, the Bible is the written word. Does that make sense? I'm afraid that in some of our churches today, folks are getting the Bible mixed up with the Word. When it says "...and the Word was with God and the Word was God..." it is referring to Jesus, not the written collection of histories, books of law and prophets, gospel accounts, and letters of instruction for the churches that we call the Bible. The content of the Bible is true, and is God's message for us, but it is NOT Him. Okay, I'm not trying to make anyone mad here, I'm just trying to make sure we're clear on this one. If the Bible were God, would we bow down to the book and worship? I just can't see myself singing *to* my Bible.
(end post)

California Mornings

First let me apologize if the picture in the previous post scares your small children or pets... it was supposed to be small, and in the profile. I'll have to wait for my dear, techno-saavy husband to come home before I can do anything about it!

I woke up this morning, as usual, in time to see the eastern sky being lit up by the rising sun. The sunrise can be just so glorious! Lately I've been getting up before dawn - sometimes I go back to bed according to how I feel - and going out on the patio. I learned a secret. You can see stars in the Bay Area after all, if you go out between 3 and 5 a.m.! One star suprised me... it was 5 or 10 times the size of any others, and it was hanging in the eastern sky. I wasn't sure what it was, I thought maybe I was seeing a super nova in a far off galaxy, or perhaps an incoming asteroid? I looked it up on line... turns out, Venus is in its "Morning Star" phase. Every year, lots of folks are so startled by it that they call it in as a possible UFO! *grin*
It was particularly neat to see a bright, shining star in the east (even if it was really a planet). It made me think of the 3 wise men who followed another star to search for a King. It also made me think of 2 Peter 1:19 which says, "So we have the prophetic word made more sure, to which you do well to pay attention as to a lamp shining in a dark place, until the day dawns and the morning star arises in your hearts." Jesus calls Himself the Bright and Morning Star in Rev. 22, and in chapter 2 He promises to give "the morning star" to the one who overcomes.
When I go out before the dawn and watch the stars fade and the morning unfold, when I see the day star rising in a blaze of glory, when I smell the sweet air and feel the joy of new mercies being poured out for a new day... I am drawn to the Star of my morning. I'm eager to read precious Words by His light, to take in the beautiful scent that accompanies His presence, and rejoice as He colors my world with His love. It's exciting to know that we carry this treasure in earthen vessels, and that if I look inside, I can see His dazzling light there.
Bright and Morning Star, rise in my heart and illuminate me from within! Help me to be transparent enough that Your Glory shines out of me. O Great Light of the world, fill up my heart! Be lifted up in me, so that those You bring across my path will be drawn to You!

Your Tour Guide on the bus ride into the deep things of the Spirit! Posted by Hello

Wednesday, September 08, 2004

Daily Flights of Fancy, departing from a blog near you!

I've been having fun playing with the Blog... I have a new article that I'm working on and ideas for several others. I decided to make this blog a combination sort of thing... Some of the posts will be articles that come in Devotional or Teaching format, and others will be like a live Journal, and still others will be rambling jaunts along the neural pathways that criss-cross my brain. You're welcome to come along with me, but beware the rabbit trails.
I posted a couple of my articles on a Web Board I'm part of. I was stunned by the extremely positive reactions. Now I just have to pray it doesn't go to my already oversized head. I'm accountable to my Hatmaker, you see. It sort of works like Pinochio's nose... :) He can tell when my head is getting a little puffed up. Everybody can tell. Thats because my hats become too tight and don't fit me anymore. One of the hats that He's given me to wear is "teacher". It's a good hat, a rewarding hat, but if my head gets too big He has to let the air out of me by reminding me I'm still the Student in His classroom, and have much to learn. Sometimes I get to wear my "writer" hat. I like that hat, too, because I'm like a reporter... I get to dive deep into the things of God and then come back and write what I discover. Sometimes I get to share those nuggets of revelation with others, and then I start feeling all good about myself. (Not that that is the problem, we're actually supposed to feel good about ourselves if we are indeed reborn as children of El Elyon!) When that happens though, sometimes I stop diving deep to find the words... and I settle for diving in the shallow waters of "what I know". If you catch me at it, you'll be my friend forever if you let me know! In that case, my head actually shrinks, because I know waaaay less than I think I do, and the writer hat just falls off.
I have lots of other hats... some I'm still growing into, some I've outgrown and stored in the closet for a future generation of hat-wearers to discover.
So now I'm going to pull a hat trick and disappear...

Tuesday, September 07, 2004

A Daughter of the King

Ever notice how little girls love to dress up? Even though I was more tom-boy than tea-party, I know I reveled in the occasional opportunity to “borrow” my Mothers fancy clothes for a game of pretend. I remember she had a pair of sky-blue bell bottoms with rhinestones embellishing both legs. There was a bright yellow, bejeweled vest that matched. I’d put those on with a garland of daisies picked from my back yard that I’d woven carefully into a crown. It was then that I dreamed of being discovered by the Prince that I just knew would someday come.
In my mind, I surely was a Princess, only somebody forgot to tell my parents (or the teachers at school!). Sooner or later I knew the mistake would be rectified and I’d move in to the castle and live happily ever after, as a wise and beloved Queen. I’d wear beautiful dresses, and display the dazzling jewels my handsome Prince was sure to shower me with. Every one would know that I was special, and well cared for, and much loved.
It seems I’m not the first little girl to come up with this particular fantasy. Versions of it can be found spanning many centuries and many cultures. Sleeping Beauty, anyone? Cinderella? Any one of a dozen fairy tales or Disney movies will quickly bear this out. Inside every woman beats a heart that longs for her Prince to come.
As I grew up, I learned that I really *was* a princess. Oh, not the kind that gets invited to Windsor Castle for afternoon tea with the Queen of England, but the other kind of Princess. The kind I once dreamed about being. It turns out that my Father is actually a great King. The greatest, in fact! He dresses me beautifully. He lavishes me with precious gifts. He’s even giving my hand in marriage to the Prince of Peace.
Everyday when I get up, I have a wonderful wardrobe to choose from. I have garments of salvation, robes of righteousness, and the jewels of a bride. (Is. 61:10) I have a necklace of truth and kindness to adorn my neck. (Proverbs 3:3, 22) On my head rests a special crown of beauty, intertwined with a garland of grace. I look good in a tiara with flowers! They are a sign of the wisdom and understanding I’ve inherited from my Father. (Proverbs 4:7-9) I threw out my old mourning clothes and now I wear a garment of Praise. (Is. 61:3) Since I discovered that I was a real princess and came to live in my Father’s Kingdom, this is what they say about me, “The royal daughter is all glorious within the palace; her clothing is woven with gold. She shall be brought to the King in robes of many colors.” And oh, how good they smell! All my clothes carry the scent of precious spices and perfumes! (Ps. 45:13-14, 8)
The best thing about being my Father’s daughter is the change He’s made on the inside! I have a soft new heart (Eze. 36:26), and a mind that’s like His (1Cor. 2:16). Best of all His Spirit lives in me; I am His offspring!(1John 4:13, 2 Cor 1:22). People are starting to tell me that they can see the family resemblance coming through. I have important work to do; He’s made me His ambassador (2 Cor 5:20) and given me many gifts to share with others (1 Peter 4:10). Our favorite time of day is when we get to spend time together, one on One. He’s been teaching me how to be a Princess, and a wife fit for a Prince. Over and over He reminds me, “Don’t ‘do’; just ‘Be’. You are my daughter, and that is enough!”
Let us rejoice and be glad and give the glory to Him, for the marriage of the Lamb has come and His bride has made herself ready." Rev. 19:7

Little Girl Dreams

Little Girl Dreams

What did you want to be when you grew up? A princess? A prima ballerina? A famous poet? A great lady who would share from her storerooms and meet the needs of the less fortunate? Perhaps you wanted to grow up and be a missionary or preach the gospel. Maybe you just wanted to drive a fast race car or explore distant planets. Did your sense of wonder lead you to explore the forest or stare for hours at the night sky, imagining what might be hidden there? Did you have a yearning inside for *something* more in life? A hunger for good, noble things and far reaching dreams? Did something inside tell you that you were destined for greatness, for a rich, wonderful life full of adventure and love?
Those desires were placed in our hearts for a reason. They were planted like seeds in our young souls. If our dreams were watered and encouraged, if they were exposed to the beneficial light of the Son shining on them, they would have grown and flowered, and eventually would have caused our lives to bear much fruit.
Maybe the ballerina would grow up to be a worshipper, finding the freedom to dance for and with her Lord. Maybe the poet will one day inspire the world with her verses of eternal beauty. Maybe the missionary will discover a mission field in her own backyard. Perhaps the would-be great lady will find herself fulfilled in Compassion ministry. Perhaps the one who searched the night sky was meant to go deep in the things of the Spirit and bring back stunning new revelation of God’s greatness and glory. Maybe the princess would learn the shocking secret that she is, in fact, a real princess in the Kingdom of God.
Many of our dreams were lost, broken, or left by the wayside in our rush to grow up. Some of our dreams were stolen, or belittled, and some we simply forsook. If you try to look back through your childhood thoughts and memories and find that you feel almost as if it were a different person entirely, that’s a sign that some of your dreams may have been displaced. Sometimes circumstances are such that your dreams seem impossible – it’s not that you’ve forgotten them, it just looks like there’s no way they can happen. Whether your dreams were shattered or snatched from you or simply put aside as “foolishness”, perhaps it’s time to re-examine those childhood dreams.
Many times our hearts and minds have to be healed, and we have to let our very willing Father work in us to restore our dreams. In a way, we have to become little girls again to experience the richest treasures He has stored up for us. The good news is that those dreams were His idea in the first place. He created you to love the things you love, to desire the things you desire. He can set all things right within you and cause your dreams to come back in an even better form. When you let Him give you the desires of your heart, you’ll become a fragrant and bountiful bearer of good fruit! Our beautiful dreams reflect His wonderful thoughts toward us. So find a quiet place and sit with the Father, and dream those little girl dreams once again. Dream big!

Trust in the LORD and do good; Dwell in the land and cultivate faithfulness. Delight yourself in the LORD; And He will give you the desires of your heart. Commit your way to the LORD, Trust also in Him, and He will do it.
Ps. 37:3-5

Monday, September 06, 2004

Living Under an Open Heaven

Have you ever felt like the sun was shining on you like a spotlight, but when you look up it's a cloudy day? Have you ever felt that the air was soft and warm around you even when the temperature is low? Have you ever walked down a sidewalk and felt a sense of peace and goodness and sweetness and delight being directed *at* you? Have you ever felt a Fatherly kiss sent on the wings of the wind? If so, you might be living under an open heaven.
Have you ever prayed and seen immediate and startling answers? Have you ever read a familiar chapter of the Bible and suddenly seen a thousand connections to other passages? Have you ever looked at the lady ringing up your groceries and instantly know the words that will encourage her heart? If so, you're definately living under an open heaven.
Do you wish these things were true for you? They can be. We're all meant to live under that open heaven. In Revelation, John was given an invitation. "Come up here!" the voice said. I realize John was given a special backstage pass that allowed him to meet the angel band, but when I read those words something in me clicked. Verses came rushing together that I'd never put together before. An understanding began to dawn in me... We're all invited. Matter of fact, one of the greatest desires expressed by the Creator of the Universe is for His people to seek Him, to search for Him, to come in to that place where He dwells and worship Him. It still amazes me that the King of Everything longs for our company. Wow!

We can actually join in the Throne Room worship. There are angels there who are covered in eyes... all the better to see Him with. They declare His attributes and cause the elders to fall down and worship. We're so lucky! We have eyes too! We can see Him in His beauty! We can sing, "Open our eyes Lord, We want to see Jesus," or "Be Thou My Vision" and He is faithful to give us eyes to see (as well as ears to hear and hearts to understand).
We can look for Him in heaven and on earth, declare His praise and fall down in worship. The reason those angels have so many eyes? Because God is so immensely glorious and beautiful. Every moment new facets of His glory are revealed, causing them to cry "Holy!" They don't want to miss *anything*!
Psalms 27:4 says, "One thing I have asked from the LORD, that I shall seek: That I may dwell in the house of the LORD all the days of my life, To behold the beauty of the LORD And to meditate in His temple." Likewise, Psalms 26:8 says, "Lord, I love the habitation of Your house, the place where Your glory dwells." Somehow, I don't think they were talking about the regular Sabbath service down at the temple.
So what keeps us from going there?
Do we let unresolved sin keep our eyes firmly on the ground?
Do we just not believe that we are citizens of the Kingdom?
Do we unconsciously buy into the lies of the enemy when he tells us that we have no place in the presence of God or that God is displeased with us, so we shouldn't go there?
Or is it just that we've never been told we could go there??

Mary was overshadowed by the Holy Spirit... Peter's "shadow" healed the sick and diseased in a large radius around him...aren't we supposed to dwell in the shadow of the Almighty? One thing we have to understand...God's "shadow" isn't like yours or mine... His is brighter than a hundred suns!

I think perhaps we've found ways to close ourselves off from that intensely bright cloud of glory... we could call it "Sonblock" if we want to be clever about it. Do we erect barriers, wall ourselves off, even hide from the searchlight of heaven? Do we keep our eyes on the ground, not expecting to see an open heaven overhead? You bet we do!!!
Psalms 27:4 says, "Lift up your heads, O gates, And be lifted up, O ancient doors, That the King of glory may come in!"
Sounds like good advice to me!
If you need a little help with this, don't worry! Psalms 3:3 to the rescue! "But You, O LORD, are a shield about me, My glory, and the One who lifts my head."

Don't be surprised if after a little while you begin to see a new quality of light and air around you, or if colors and flavors become more intense, and everything seems sweeter somehow. Don't be astonished when springs of living water start flowing out of you, and you find that divinely inspired words of encouragement are bubbling up from the depths of your heart for everyone you meet. Those are just a few of the side effects of living under an open heaven.