Thursday, September 27, 2012

A Walk in the Park

Ready and willing I take a walk.
I search for those who want to talk.

Heaven is now, today is the day;
Open your heart to the living way.

Let me share--will you give me a chance?
Look deep into my eyes that dance.

So much to give, so much to receive,
Here is a key, you only have to believe.

Like Jesus said, I am the door,
To abundant life--there's so much more!

Tongues of fire, deep river flows,
Holy Spirit is the wind that blows.

Do you have eyes to see the light in the dark?
There is more to life than a walk in the park.

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

How I Strengthen Myself in the Lord

When I find myself in times of turmoil, trial, or testing, I don't give way to them, but PRESS into the Lord more than ever. He is the Prince of Peace for peace to be restored in my life. The Holy Spirit is the Comforter when I need comfort. When things look dark, I go to Jesus for He is the light of the world. His light illuminates my path. I run to my strong Tower, my Fortress and my Rock, as David wrote about in the Psalms. God has all wisdom, knowledge and understanding, so if I have questions He has the answers. I belong to Him and He knows me and loves me better than anyone else; so He is the Person to go to when I need help. When storms hit, I know the One who calms the sea! I am hidden in Christ, a little bird in the cleft of the Rock, in the secret place with my almighty God. I can do everything through Christ Who strengthens me. In the Amplified this verse says Jesus infuses inner strength into me! (See Phil. 4:13.)

Many times the battle is in our minds. We need to take every single thought captive. The enemy wants to distract us and get our focus off the Lord and onto the trial. When I am down-hearted, depressed, discouraged or any of those awful ‘d’ words, I like to go to be alone in my closet—my prayer closet that is. I turn my thoughts heavenward and tell God all the things I am thankful for. The Message Bible says “Thank you is the password to His presence.” See Psalm 100. When we dwell upon whatever is positive, lovely, beautiful, noble, of good reputation, and worthy of praise and let our minds dwell on all the good gifts and all the awe-inspiring things of the Lord, it lifts our spirits. (See Phil. 4:8.)

A friend told me whenever she is feeling down she will call ten people and give them encouraging words and it lifts her right out of the dumps and she feels encouraged herself. A guy I knew about twenty years ago shared that whenever he felt lonely he went and found someone more lonely and needy than himself and befriended him and then he wasn’t lonely anymore.

I know I need to constantly turn my eyes, my heart, and my thoughts to God and steadfastly fix them upon Him. There are many Scriptures on looking to the Lord and trusting in Him. God is first love, He said to seek His kingdom first, and He said to love Him with all we’ve got. I like how Isaiah says it, “I set my face like a flint.” Jesus tells us to abide in Him, live in Him, and stay with Him. (See John 15.) He cries out in prayer that we would be one—inseparable. (See John 17.) God is my BFF! I want to be habitually walking in intimate fellowship with the LORD of my life 24/7. (We are even right with Him when we sleep, for the Bible says He gives to His beloved in sleep.) This is how Enoch lived and also his grandson, Noah. (See Genesis 5:24 and 6:9 in Amplified Version of the Bible.) This is the life that pleases God. If we live this way as a lifestyle, and not just in times of crisis, we will be ready and right close to God, when stormy times hit.

Three practical things I do when I am struggling. First I put on praise music and start singing my heart out. (Usually I dance too and dancing ALWAYS makes me feel better. Hahaha! A brisk prayer walk with praise music on my ipod/headphones works the same way.) The enemy hates it when we worship the Lord because He knows God inhabits the praises of His people. (See Psalm 22:3.) When we draw near to God, God draws near to us (See James 4:8.) AND that means the enemy exits in a hurry. Yay! Usually while I am worshiping with dance and singing I experience a shift in my thinking and the Lord gives me a new perspective on my life.

The second thing to do is to pray in tongues. In the book of Jude verse 20 it says that we build ourselves up in our faith when we pray in the Spirit. The enemy comes against praying in tongues because he hates it when we start praying in our heavenly language those sweet, spirit-filled prayers! Our prayer language is a powerful weapon we have ready to use at any time.
Thirdly, I read and meditate on the Bible—when I’m struggling I read it more. When we think and meditate and mull over the Word, it washes us and renews our minds to be thinking truth and living in faith and trust and hope—the ways of the Lord. Ephesian 6:17, “Take and use the sword of the Spirit which is the Word of God.” We are His children of light and it is His will that we have the Word so much a part of us that we are literally “brainwashed.”  Sometimes a thought creeps in that is ugly, suspicious, negative, or downgrading in some way. I try to ask myself, “Is this from my beautiful, loving Papa God?” If it is not something HE would say, then who is saying it? Ah ha! I smell a rat! The enemy is a sneaky, lying, scheming, and accusing snake that tries to steal, kill, and destroy. (See John 10:10.) Let’s never give him any room in our thoughts and be sure to extinguish his little darts. We crush his head under our heel and quickly raise our faces to the beauty and splendor of the glorious, love-filled eyes of Papa God once again.

Romans chapter eight in my Amplified Bible is a favorite to read when I need to strengthen myself in the Lord. Verse 6 says to be spiritually minded is life and peace. Verse 15 talks about what bliss we enjoy as His adopted sons and daughters, chosen to belong to Him. Verse 31 says, “When God is for us, who can be against us? Verse 35 says, “Nothing can separate us from the love of God.” Verse 37 says, “We are more than conquerors through Him who loves us!”

I also like to dwell on how we are dead to sin and instead we get to enjoy eternal unbroken fellowship with Papa 24/7. (See Romans 6:11 Amp.) Eternity is now! Heaven is on earth right here with us! Whooohoo! The Kingdom of Jesus is right here and now and we can reach out and touch it (Jesus said it is “at hand” right?) and we can enter right in, if we haven’t already.

In Acts we read how God’s people seemed to be drunk. The fullness of the Holy Spirit is right here for you and I to tank up on and enjoy. Don’t let the enemy tell you any different. Papa has everlasting joy for each one of us, no exceptions! My favorite verse of the Bible is in two places. “You show me the path of life; in Your presence is fullness of joy; at Your right hand are pleasures forevermore.” (See Psalm 16:11 and Acts 2:28.)

Heavenly Father, we come to You and praise You for power and dominion over darkness and for Your joyful presence that makes the enemy flee. We thank You for the privilege of being Your sons and daughters. We love You, Papa! Thank You Papa for giving us victory in the battles of life!

Sunday, September 23, 2012

Tree of Life

         by Isi De Gersigny

If we are living heaven down
And the Tree of Life our treehouse be
And all of His leafy life is home
And all of earth a fruitful spree

If we are branches grafted on
And all of Christ our future be
And all our history hung upon
His great achievement on that tree

What wind could blow that spirit won't
Or flood remove what river don't
What else could happily occupy
The space that all of love's supply

Secured for us eternally
This glory ease this family
If we believe we're one with Him
How evergreen our love will be.

Friday, September 21, 2012

Vikings in Battle

How great is the goodness and beauty I bestow on you, 
My people. 

I give you My strength and 
My power 
to go forth in My authority. 

I pour out My grace and favor upon you to become stronger 
and more noble, like David. 

I make you bold, 
beautiful and majestic 
like Vikings in battle. 

(A word based on Zechariah 9:17, 10:3,12 & 12:8,10) 

Born to Roar

I know who I am. I am Daddy's little girl. 
"Behold!" says the Lion of Judah, 

"You were born to ROAR!" 


“They shall roar together like lions; 
they shall yell as lions’ whelps.”
Jeremiah 51:38

"The Lord will roar out of Zion & utter His voice
The heavens and the earth will shake!"
Joel 3:16

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

God Speaks

Sometimes God has a booming voice. At times, as it says in Psalms 18:12-13, His voice is like thunder. However, sometimes He has a still, small, whisper of a voice. Sometimes He speaks through a donkey. Sometimes He speaks through circumstances or through something someone says to us. Sometimes He speaks through the Bible or many other ways. The point is that God speaks. We must not be so busy or so distracted by the things of this world and the activities we pour ourselves into, no matter how noble and worthwhile they may be, to listen to what He has to say to us.
God wants to be in constant fellowship with us—in an intimate moment-by-moment relationship. Jesus said, “I am with you always.” See Matthew 28:20. He NEVER leaves us and never slumbers. It is us; WE don’t stay in touch with HIM. The Bible says if we draw near to Him, He will draw near to us.

There are many examples in the Bible of God speaking to His children, even in dreams. Are we listening? Do we desire to hear from Him? Are we asking, seeking, ready to receive a word, a dream, a sentence or two, or a “download” from our Creator?  James Goll writes, “The way we tap into this source of inner life, peace, strength, and confidence is by learning to quiet ourselves and wait on the Lord.”

God wants us to YADA Him, which means to intimately KNOW Him. He wants us to delight in Him and His awesome presence. In His presence is fullness of joy and pleasures forevermore! See Psalm 16:11. He wants us to enjoy love-filled, joy-full lives because of Him. The Bible says to be continually filled to overflowing with the Holy Spirit, the intoxicating, blissful, “ new wine” of His presence!

In Genesis 6:9 we read (in Amplified version of the Bible) that Noah walked habitually with God. What if he wasn’t listening? We would have missed that boat! Noah built an awesome ark with detailed instructions and even when people probably ridiculed him, and thought he was a crazy man wasting his time, he LISTENED. God may have some strange and different stuff for us to do too. He is an “out of the box” kinda guy! One person walking habitually with God, tuned in to Papa God like Noah, may make a gigantic difference in the world!

Are we tuned in to His sweet voice? If He spoke to you right now, would you hear Him? He who has ears to hear will hear what the Spirit says.

The Lord came and stood there, calling as at the other times, “Samuel! Samuel!” Then Samuel said, “Speak, for Your servant is listening.”  See 1 Samuel 3:10. 

I want to be like Samuel and Noah and hear You, Papa. I want to know what You are thinking and hear what You’re saying. I want to walk with You and BE with You, Papa. I want to walk with You habitually 24/7. What would You like to say to me right now, today, Papa? I love You Papa and I love it when You talk to me! “Speak, Lord. I’m listening.” ♥

More of the Holy Spirit Filled Life

I had been a Christian for several years when I first heard about becoming “Spirit-filled” and “speaking in tongues”. A friend in college, Glen, who I met at an Inter-varsity Campus Fellowship Meeting, whispered to me, “There’s more!” Glen invited me to a meeting at a Pentecostal Church in San Jose, California. I remember two things, people singing in tongues and the altar call. At the conclusion of the meeting people lined up for prayer and the laying on of hands. One after another people went down—straight backwards! Glen encouraged me to go forward. A skeptic, I replied, “I will NOT go down.” He said, “Oh yes, you will--the Holy Spirit is strong!” Determined to stay on my feet, I went forward for prayer. Sure enough, I went down. I was “slain in the Spirit” against my will. I don’t even remember doing it. Bewildered I sat up and grinned sheepishly at Glen. On the drive home He gave me another challenge—to read Acts and all the verses in the New Testament on the Holy Spirit. Each day I read in my Bible a little more about the Person of the trinity I knew the least about.

My friend Linda and her husband also shared with me they had discovered, “There’s more.” She had a special sparkle about her that was new and she was especially full of joy when she told me how she had gotten a prayer for “the Baptism of the Holy Spirit” and how she and her husband prayed in tongues and how beautiful it was to pray in this spiritual, angelic, heavenly language. She astonished me by letting me know she’d been praying for me that I’d receive the gift too. They led worship with guitar and singing at Peninsula Bible Church in Palo Alto at their Sunday night Body Life Meeting where many Stanford College students attended. They were asked to leave the worship team because they did not believe in speaking in tongues. She told me they were actually glad because they were free to start helping lead “Spirit-filled worship” at another church.

The summer of 1978 I had completed two years of Canada Community College. I moved into The Birch House in Redwood City owned by a minister who rented out rooms to Christians. I rented the upstairs bedroom for $100 a month and commuted to San Francisco on the train for a clerk-typist job in an insurance company. The train station was two blocks from The Birch House, so that was convenient. As soon as I met Debbie, who rented the room across the hall from mine, she got out her guitar and began to sing a song she wrote and she said “The Holy Spirit fills me as I lead others in worship.” She invited me to a coffee house where Christians fellowshipped called “The Way Inn” where she led a singing and worship time. She introduced me to three guys that looked like hippies and had recently taken over the ministry of “The Way Inn.” (One of whom, would become my husband, Cliff Silliman.)  Debbie said, “They are Spirit-filled-speaking-in-tongues-Jesus-people too.” She said it like it was a normal part of following Jesus in a Christian’s life. They made me want more of the Holy Spirit too.

My younger brother was into using drugs and got into trouble shop-lifting and using drugs. He was put into juvenile hall. We did some family counseling and I remember praying for him a lot during that year I lived at The Birch House. One morning I remained kneeling by my bed after I had finished praying for my brother. I still had such a burden on my heart, but I didn’t have any more words that I hadn’t already prayed. I said to God, “If praying in tongues would help, I would like to receive this gift.”

On a Sunday night a few weeks later, in October 1978, my new friend, Debbie, invited me to go to the Assembly of God Church where Rick Howard would be speaking. He said, “I do not want to major on a minor topic in the Bible, so I only speak on this topic about once a year. Tonight I am teaching on how to receive the gift of tongues.” I knew God was answering my prayer. I felt like the preacher was speaking straight to me!

At the conclusion of his teaching, he said, “Often when you receive the gift of tongues you will have some strange words or syllables in your head. On faith just speak them out and don’t try to reason it out. It is kind of like walking on water. You have to trust the Lord to give you what He promised. If you ask for a loaf of bread, Jesus said, He will not give you a stone. We should come into His Presence expecting to receive. Come into the prayer room if you would like to receive your special prayer language.” When I went inside, there were about ten Christians already kneeling in there praying aloud and some were praying in tongues. I took a spot on the kneeler and Rick Howard began to go around laying his hand on each person’s head and praying for the infilling of the Holy Spirit and to receive the gift of tongues.

I have to back up in my story for a minute and tell you about a park in that area. It was called Gloria Duncan Park. The guys at The Way Inn were joking around about the name one day and said it reminded them of speaking in tongues. In unison said, “Shawn-da-la Bawn-da-la! Snatch-a-banana! Gloria Duncan!” It made us all laugh and was fun to say, so we all said it.

However, It wasn’t funny when I knelt in the line-up in that prayer room seriously seeking to pray in tongues. Sure enough all I could think about was “Shawn-da-la-bawn-da-la.” However, I made up my mind to be brave and just speak it out. As soon as I felt that hand on my head and spoke out those silly sounds, it was like someone had turned on the hose of a fire truck—a torrent of tongues poured out of me! I just kept praying in tongues and praying in tongues and was flooded with the joy of the Holy Spirit. It was so fun and so amazing I didn’t want to stop. Debbie prayed in tongues too and we started singing and praying together as she drove us back to the Birch House. We told everyone how I had gotten the gift of tongues that night. One woman freaked out like we had lost our minds and left to go hang out with her sane friends.

I have shared this testimony many times and have enjoyed the overflowing Presence of the Holy Spirit and speaking in tongues for 34 years now. What I have learned is that the more we pour out this amazing LIFE and the more we need, the more the Lord gives us. He delights to give us all we need for life in Him, and more, so we freely share with others. What my friends told me back in 1978 is true—THERE’S MORE!

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Revival Fires in Our Wake!

May our hearts be ablaze for You, O God, with Your consuming FIRE!‎
Wherever we go, let us leave revival fires in our wake! 
 You never have to advertise a fire. 
Everyone comes running when there’s a fire. --Leonard Ravenhill

Many crucify their flesh daily. 
Few know they died with Him. 
 Many people strive for holiness. 
Few live sanctified. 
 Many beg God to 'show up' or 'come.' 
Few know He never left. 
 Many cry out for God to send revival. 
Few live revived. 
 Many tell God they are hungry. 
Few eat the Bread of Life. 
 Many can't wait to go Heaven someday. 
Few bring Heaven to Earth. 
 Many pray for healing. 
Few command it. 
 Many hope people will be healed. 
Few believe. 
 Many point out obvious sins. 
Few set captives free. 
 Many try to be 'good Christians'. 
Few walk like Christ. 
 Many want to change the Church. 
Few will risk speaking out. 
 Will you be assimilated into the status quo? 
 Or, will you usher in a reformation? 
 History is waiting.
 ~Joel Adifon

Sunday, September 9, 2012

Not Just Bells

A poem I wrote on a Sunday in Germany. 9/9/12

Not Just Bells

Bells again for Sunday too.
Banners banned of any hue.

The vault is closed, flags in the dark,
Sedately we walk through the park.

In the room called church I wait.
Observing, sitting is my fate.

Seeds of rejoicing have been sown,
But their faith requires a somber tone.

To all but God I'm quiet today,
My love expressed another way.

But in the corners of my mind,
Banners unfurl from their bind.

Outwardly I watch the Sunday show,
I'm so quiet they'd never know.

Inwardly I dance and twirl and cry,
See my banners freely fly!

Movement and color is my style.
In the Spirit I see God smile.

With all my heart I worship You,
Not just bells for Sunday too.