a few thoughts

Today I was to go on an adventure with some friends, but woke with a pounding migraine which thoroughly canceled our plans.  The day was salvaged though, my friend Danika decided to bring an adventure to me. This included a fall bouquet, soup, sugar cookies and icing, and pumpkins to carve.

Check out the Wild Things on the plate!
Check out the Wild Things on the plate!
We carved this ourselves, laughing the WHOLE time
We carved this ourselves, laughing the WHOLE time
This is the sound he's making. My mother was proud.....ish.
This is the sound he's making. My mother was proud.....ish.

Two years ago Kyle blogged about Dating at IHOP after a conversation that I was privileged to witness between him and another good friend. You should read it, here’s the link. Here’s the follow up too :).

I have quite the interesting fast starting when I wake up. One of the leaders on the missions base had a powerful dream about the Media department needing to go on a specific fast to cleanse our hearts and minds. So we’re doing it in a very focused way for the next 5 days, while also including a Media fast that ends on the 31st. I plan to continue blogging during this time to share what the Lord is doing. Pray for revelation, fresh love for God and encounter on us as we seek Him!

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Thoughts on Government

Speaking of Romans 13. 1-5

“(Paul) stated that government is established by an act of God. How that government will affect Christians depends upon the attitude and conduct of the Christians. If they are walking in obedience to the will of God, then the government and it’s officers ‘are God’s agents working for their good.’ (Romans 13. 1-5) But if Christians are disobedient and not walking in the path of God’s will, then the government and its officers become ‘Gods agents of punishment.’ This may all be summed up in one brief sentence: Christians get the kind of government they deserve.

What if Christians find themselves under a government that is evil? It may be corrupt, inefficient, wasteful, or again it may be actively cruel and oppressive towards Christians. How are Christians to react? God’s word gives them no liberty either to complain or to disobey. It does, however, impose upon them a solemn obligation to pray for their government. If they will humble themselves before God and meet His conditions, He will then hear their prayers and will “for their sakes” bring about a change of government that will ensure the fulfillment of His purposes and the best interests of His people.”

-Derek Prince, Shaping History through Prayer and Fasting

A second point, this weekend while talking with one of my supporters back home I received the greatest encouragement to continue to reach for revival through prayer and God-initiated fasting that I’ve ever received.

I was talking with a man at church and he told me ‘I have no hope for the youth of America’ and I told him ‘Then you HAVE to go to Kansas City!’

God I pray that this would be true of us, that we would truly seek You with all of our hearts, and that you would answer the cries of those who call to you night and day. Have mercy on America, and send Revival.

1.05 am, and I’m disjointed

I  have the strangest feeling about the next year; it’s as though I look at 2010 and I see a strangely blank page. A friend is desperately trying to pack me up to Tacoma Washington, I received a txt today from a friend talking about the house of prayer in Colorado which stated “you can drink coffee in the prayer room!” , and my friends at JHOP San Diego stand with open arms. My heart LONGS to sing again, and for reasons I can’t understand I can’t seem to get back on a worship team. Everyone whispers of the need for singers in the small houses of prayer around the nation, and the invitations are interesting me, for the first time in 4 years.

I’m on a journey of returning to the old things, the things that I knew when I first really loved God. When I stop to listen I hear a voice on the wind whispering “I remember you…..in the kindness of your youth…how you went after Me in the wilderness…” and I’m starting to run after Him, though we are still in the wilderness. And I think my soul is finding light again, finding I can smile again, finding I can laugh again, finding I can stand and raise my hands in worship again. When did I learn to sit and close my eyes all through worship, and why? Last Wednesday night I found myself dancing during the prayer meeting, for the first time in probably two years. Why did I teach my feet to stop dancing?

Truth be told, my foot hurt so bad the next day I was pretty sure I’d need to pull out the crutches. But I sat down at the table with a bag of ice, and turning on the webstream I went back to the same prayer meeting from the night before. After just a few minutes I found myself dancing in the living room, even through my pain.

I used to love Him wildly.

There are grave, and serious issues at hand in the nations, in the church, in the government of America, and in the homes of America. As the people of God our response is found simply in Joel 2 –  Turn to me with ALL of your heart; with Fasting, Weeping and Mourning. And the Lord is leading us into intercession with tears, the beginnings of travail on behalf of our nation. Pockets and groups EVERYWHERE are entering into 21 day and 40 day fasts, and I can not help but believe that we are about to see something great and mighty come though I don’t know how it will come, and which will come first.

I do know that I did not ever want to be Jesus’s business partner. From my earliest childhood I wanted only to love Him with all of my heart and to be His friend. Through Fasting, through tears, through singing all alone, through waking up with Him on my mind, through failing in all sorts of area’s in my life and CHOOSING to look to Him and finding love and acceptance, through small choices, through big choices I’m beginning to love Him with all of my heart again.

Do you ever sit awake at 1am and do nothing but think of Him?

Do you remember when you loved Him wildly?

The gift of Hunger

I love the idea of fasting, of purposefully giving  up of something that I enjoy or desire for the greater good of my heart and soul. Now the actual walking out of fasting? Most days I don’t love it.

Actually that’s not true, Holy Spirit has walked me through this season of specific extended fasts so gently, and MOST days have been easy, and joyful to abstain from the things being fasted. It’s really this last week that has been hard. A sunny, happy go lucky day, running around doing errands with the windows down, and my pain level down,  and everything inside of me says ” Drive to broadway cafe and get a vanilla latte, quick, before you think about it!!”. Out eating fantastic burgers with the family last night and noting how the glass of water does not taste like soda no matter how hard I try to not think about it. Or the bad migraine the other day that left me CRAVING a vanilla cream dr.pepper (weird I know).

And then there’s sugar.  Almost nothing reveals my dependancy on foods for comfort like a sugar fast. My hands find themselves reaching for the chocolate, the cookie, the ice cream(groan!) so quickly, and the lack of fulfilments leaves me staring the need of my soul dead in the face.  Last night I was grumpy about fasting and my sister looked at me with slight annoyance and said “then why don’t you eat…, I mean really if you’re going to be grumpy just do it. Don’t make this harder on me” Some people might take that as the green light to gorge themselves and would have been tossing down the treat I was staring at before the words were even out of her mouth, but I stubbornly (proudly) took it as a challenge. Lying in bed I realized that the emotions I am currently feeling towards my fasts should not discourage me.

In a message that Lou Engle preached called Windows, (you can get a copy of it at LouEngle.com) he talks about Americans reaching out for food, always satisfying our hunger, while there is a voice inside that is silenced by the fullness of our stomachs, and someone inside is LONGING. I have been desiring a real revival of the church of God and knowing that it starts with my weak little heart. For weeks I have pressed in out of zeal, and yes, I’ve broken one of the fasts a time or two, but picked it back up and set my face again with a burning heart….until this week. This week has been dry, my patience has been stretched, my emotions drawn in so many different directions between the battle going on in California, the different soul burdens, and my side issues, and I have NOT wanted to continue with my purposeful fasts.

I have continued but not out of a willing heart, rather out of routine and rather annoyed. But last night I felt it – the longing, the desire and by the grace of Holy Spirit a light dawned. The food longings are a cover up, the low level anger in my heart was not about food or drink, but rather I had found my eyes looking deep inside and to my surprise I found eyes looking back at me, “there’s someone inside, I’ve found my barren soul”

The hunger has been placed, it’s an eternal cry that is MEANT to be fulfilled with long drinks from the river that never runs dry, with waves and breakers of the presence of Almighty God washing over me, with the deep of my heart calling to the deep of His heart and being answered. It’s a cry that is meant to be answered with only one thing and I will not reach for satisfaction from anything less.

Even the sparrow has found a home,  a place near Your alter. Give me a place near Your alter, or I will sleep on the ground by the door. Nothing can make me leave.

Day 9

Today is the ninth day of our 40 day fast and already I’ve noted one big thing; I have never been so ravenously hungry in a fast before! Literally it’s been so dramatically different than any other fast I’ve ever done, and several people have said the same thing. This morning while listening to a teaching I  found the possible answer for why;

“….(David said) ‘My soul thirsts for You, my body longs for You in a dry and weary land where there is no water’ Our longings for God might not be as ravenous as David’s but they are real. Because the hunger hurts, although we try to take the edge off of it in anyway we can.

That’s what we’re doing all through our lives here in America, taking the edge off of Spiritual hunger; satisfying it with a donut, satisfying it with the movies, satisfying it with this, and all the time those longings are but an outward sign of what’s really in there; it’s God, we’re longing for heaven.

…there have been times when I think that we do not desire heaven, but more often, i find myself wondering whether in our heart of hearts, if we have ever desired anything else. Isn’t it interesting? The soul is like the stomach, that’s why its interesting that Jesus said that man shall not live by bread alone but by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God. That’s why fasting is such a powerful tool to open up windows to Heaven, because in fasting you’re not taking the edge off your spiritual hunger. Cause when you’re always eating food your literally trying to satisfy something that’s spiritual, and so when you don’t eat, you’re awakening part of you that is longing for God. You find in fasting there is nothing else to do but pray, cause half of your life you spend eating, cooking & eating and the other half you spend thinking about what you’re gonna eat. That’s why Daniel went on a 21 day fast; to open up his soul to revelation. So that he could get a window, so that he could prepare the soil to receive the seed that’s planted.”

Already in only 9 days I’ve found myself spending so much energy doing just this; fighting to take off the edge. Suddenly my eyes are open to it and i feel a longing for the breathe of heaven.

38 Day’s to TheCall DC – Father bring a million people who are after You’re heart, bring hundreds of thousands of teenagers and children who would set the eyes of their soul on Jesus now, and live their whole lives never looking away, never falling into rebellion and compromise. You are not yet done with America; there is still hope for our Nation to turn back to the Lord of Hosts!

Concerning the Polygamist Sect in West Texas

This week I have been painfully captivated by the recent events going on in West Texas concerning a governmental raid of a Polygamist sect. Strangely enough I have been crudely aware of the Fundamentalist Church of Latter-day Saints for a couple of years now; by no means any sort of an expert of their beliefs etc, but occasionally checking the news to see where they have popped up again. My heart is squeezed every time I read an article, watch a news clip, or think about the lifestyle and rituals that are forced upon any who are born into this group.

The situation outside Eldorado has caught my heart in a particular way, due to the magnitude; 410 children have been removed from the ranch and taken into protective custody by the state, along with over 100 women who have gone voluntarily to care for the children. Authorities are still searching the estate, believing that it is highly possible for more children to be in hiding.

Women and Children being relocated

The Washington Post says, “for all their lives, the boys and girls of the FLDS have been told the outside world was hostile and immoral. Venturing beyond the brilliant white limestone walls of their compound would consign them to eternal damnation” making the removal and relocation of the children and these women an extremely difficult and confusing situation. http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2008/04/12/AR2008041200438.html

What pains me is the treatment and brainwashing of the children. The group forces girls to marry as soon as they hit puberty, some as young as 13. The marriages are arranged with men MUCH their senior, some 40 years old, and these children are forced to themselves bear children as soon as possible. According to an extended article from Newsweek, officials, “found numerous underage girls either pregnant or already with infant children. They determined that all the children were being “indoctrinated and groomed” to participate in underage marriages, even the boys, so all were in danger of being abused.” http://www.newsweek.com/id/131379/page/1

Jesus heart is pained. Of course He has known what was going on long before officials did, Matthew 6 makes it clear that our God sees what is done in secret, but as I’ve prayed for these people throughout the week I feel such pain in my soul.

This past week was the Global Bridegroom Fast here at IHOP, and as I’ve spoken of before that means that as a staff for three days we shut down as much as possible and spend the majority of our time in prayer. This GBF I joined a handful of friends in attempting to read the entire new testament in those 3 days. I didn’t make it :), too prone to stop and focus on a passage I guess. But did get a good portion through and, possibly due to my thoughts being in Texas, was struck with the tender heart of our Saviour, and how much He speaks about & concerning children. He loves the little ones! Matthew 18 caused my heart to tremble and pray for the repentance of the men leading this group.

In prayer for these children I have LONGED for the return of the Messiah. Whenever the headaches are really bad I turn my thoughts to Jesus and remember that He is coming with judgement, and He will judge the sickness in my body, set me free from the chains of death, and judge the one who attacks me. This week I longed for His judgements on behalf of these children. My prayer was Ephesians 1:17-19, wisdom and revelation of the Lord’s heart to be given to those burdened with the responsibility of making the decisions regarding the future of these children and how to go about with their mental and emotional healing,  and understanding of our Father’s true heart for the children themselves – that the Holy Spirit would reveal Jesus in truth to them and drive back all lies and wrong thoughts about Him. He is a good Father, full of tender mercies and compassion. Papa let them see You as You really are.

Awe inspiring thunder

was what I awoke to this morning. It scared me stiff.

I lay there listening to the rumbles as my house, bed, little universe trembled under the mighty power and thought about the voice of my Father. Terrifying & Beautiful, all at the same time, that is who You are God.

Today is day two of the Global Bridegroom Fast, author of the book The Heavenly Man, Brother Yun came and spoke today stirring the hearts of the intercessors and family here at IHOP, I was grateful for the fresh wind to blow across the embers of my heart. Anina and I have been reading a book called The Natasha’s about the growing sex trade & trafficking of young women across the earth. A sobering read.  Mom and I were talking about it and she asked how we can read things like that and carry that burden and emotion; my heart was stirred within me, “We pray! I’m not overwhelmed with this information, I can hardly comprehend this information, it’s so far removed from my life, but I set my heart before the Lord and ask for understanding and the emotions of His heart, and we intercede on their behalf! What I want to know is, what does this man(the author) do? If he is not a believer, how does he get up each morning, because without Jesus there is no justice for these women and children, and no hope for them. We do what we do and we study and dig deep because we know He is coming back with a sword in His hand, with Justice and Judgement and His name is Faithful and True!”

I often find that the best reminders of the things I know, end up coming out of my mouth at the time that I need to hear them the most.  Jesus You are beautiful in Holiness, Fearful in splendor.