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Mother’s Day Encounters 2009/2013

On this day 4 yrs ago I had an encounter with God during a weekend with Sister Gwen Shaw. I was at the end of a very long prayer line. I had stood in line for over an hour and as it approached time for her to pray for me, she looked like she could not go on any longer. It was 2am and she was in her late 80s. I heard the voice of the Lord tell me to get out of line….so I stepped away at that prompting. I didn’t want to and I was VERY disappointed. I was in all honesty very angry for having to do that especially as I watched her continue on with praying and imparting things to each person in line. Such a sweet, beautiful woman of God. She didn’t stop because of me stepping away and it didn’t make sense to me.

The next morning I came upon the table she had sat behind while preaching and praying and I just felt prompted to lay my hand on the table and pray for Sister Gwen. When I did, the Holy Spirit fell on me so heavily that I felt connected to an electrical outlet. It lasted so long that when I “came to myself” the morning service had started around me. Sister Gwen, who was supposed to speak at both the 9:30 and 11am services but was unable to come. She was physically unable but was able to come to the 11am service. I was again very disappointed in this because I couldn’t stay for the 11am service. I had to get to my mom’s house for mothers day lunch.

I went to leave and as I did this young man came up to me and said, “have you ever been to the wailing wall?” I said, “No!” He said, “I felt like I just saw you there and God wants you to know that He is taking you to a wailing wall.” This encounter made little sense to me then and in many ways still doesn’t all fit together but I returned to Heritage again this weekend for a time of prayer. God reminded me of that weekend.

Nothing momentous happened this weekend. I didn’t necessarily feel different when it was time to leave. I had hoped so much for another special encounter, anything that could give me answers to some questions I am feel i need to resolve in these next days. I came away wanting to feel disappointed but yet I know that God works through all things so I feel some confidence because I know that I did hear a theme common with my own Pastor’s Word given the Wednesday before. It was “commissioning” I asked the Lord for more on that but no real answer that i understand yet- but it is early. I just saw the theme and then God reminded me of that time there with Sister Gwen and also the wailing wall. We’ll see what comes of it.

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My 9/11 Testimony

We all remember so many details and images of 9/11/01.

As I drove up the Colonial Parkway toward home that day, I wondered how it would forevermore feel to be one with a birthday on 9/11. How would those born on this day celebrate life in the midst of such death? God knows every thought or maybe He planted that thought in my mind, knowing I would revisit it many times in the coming years.

On 9/11/2006 at around 10:15am, the 5th anniversay of this Patriot Day, with the roll call of those that died playing in the distance, the supernatural power of God met the natural in my life. I found myself that morning alone. We had since moved from Virginia to NC and I was battling severe depression. This was not new, it had been going on for years but on this day I was tired of fighting each and every day to stay alive. Satan had me in a stronghold and I was almost convinced of my unworth. Almost, because for reasons that even I do not know, I said a desperate and heart felt prayer to Jesus, “HELP!”

And then….as in the days of the Apostle Paul, I encountered the Living God.

His magnificent and radiant Glory filled my office. His presence filled every crevice of that room including every part of me…I felt both incredible peace and holy fear. I fell onto the floor and for what seemed hours, I lay prostrate there under the weight of His Glory. I was as one of the dead in my physcial body though more alive than ever before within. On that day, the Almighty God allowed me to see just a glimpse of Himself, He held me in His arms and allowed me to see the “Missy” that He created me to be and showed me how satan had worked to destroy me even as he had destroyed my own dad. My Father spoke to me words that will forever be engraved in my heart, Words no one can ever take away or dismiss. Heavenly words! I spoke to Him words that I will forever live by. On that day, He healed me, delivered me and changed this life for all eternity. On that day, I repented of my sins, forgave all who I had been so unwilling to forgive and then He forgave me and I accepted His salvation through His Son, Jesus Christ.  On that day, I made Him Lord and King. After years of hiding the truth about myself and pretending to be saved because I had walked the aisle one time as a child, I was truly born again. Washed as white as snow. That was the greatest of miracles in my life.

My Father then baptized me with His Holy Spirit and I began to speak a language I didn’t know! A heavenly language that until that very moment I had never believed in. He promised to restore my life and that of my family. His promises are always true! It was a suddenly, parting of the red sea experience. I was changed in every way…physically, emotionally and spiritually. I came away with a burning love for Him and His Word and the desire to please Him in all I do.

So today is my real, true birthday. There will probably be no cake, no presents…I know no way to celebrate than this – to remain filled with a heart of gratitude and devotion and indescribable love for my Savior and those He created. To do His will as best as I can. To never forget…remind myself daily of Jesus’ sacrifice and His love for me that brought me out of the place of impending death and into this eternal life. Think about it…at a time when the pain and grief of an entire country was so much in the world’s focus…My Shepherd “left the ninety-nine” to come and rescue this sinner. The beautiful Lamb of God carried this lamb home…what a special gift to me! Thank you so much Jesus!!!!

And herein lies another truth….If He did all of this for me, He can and will do it for you too. He will reveal Himself to you. He will meet you or come after you. He will draw you to Himself or draw you closer. If you feel you are in a place that you can do nothing else, just say the only prayer I did….”HELP!”

I pray for the peace and love I feel to comfort you all and most especially those that are still in so much grief on this 9/11. I pray today that you know my Jesus!

________________________

 

The following is on my wall of this office right in front of where I sit. I will never forget 9/11:

Lord, I give myself to You;

I give my life to You.

I want to be your servant.   

I feel Your call;

I believe I was sent and saved

To do the will of my Father.

I will take orders from You.

I will submit to You.

I will let You break my will.

I will not seek for comfort

or high positions,

Nor to do what I want to do.

Mine is the humblest task,

Or the most dangerous task;

By the grace of God, I will do it.

I will go where You want me to go;

I will do what You give me to do.

If in this walk I seem to have nothing,

I will not complain.

At times when I find myself in a kind of prison, 

I will rejoice and I will praise You

Because You have been to prison for me.

I love You, Jesus;

I thank You for calling me,

And that You want me,

And that You can use me;

I thank You that You are there to guide every step

As I do my part to ready

Your Bride for Your return. 

And I say today with my whole heart, 

“Send the Fire

And burn up the sacrifice.

Fill me again and again with Thy Holy Spirit

And give me a double portion of Thine anointing.”

 

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Encouragement for Today

As I entered into the 38th day of my personal fast and the first day of our corporate fast I did so with a prayer that God reveal Himself to me in greater ways. I want to hear His voice all the time. I want to be so close to Him that I can hear His heartbeat and He can hear mine. I want something even closer. I want to have the same heart. It says in the Word to write down the vision. So for this last part of my fast I write down these things that are my goals and prayers.

– I want healing in my emotions. They are all over the place and my feelings are getting hurt way too easily. I pray that I can focus instead of on me onto God so negative emotions have far, far less power. I want to flow in love, forgiveness, grace.

– I pray for miracles and healing for my church family, both individually and corporately. I pray for unity and ask the Lord to begin that in me. Convict we when I breed disunity in any way. I ask for healing in finances, health, relationships.

– I ask for salvations.

– I ask for open doors and new opportunities to love. I pray that God works out what is on my heart regarding ministry opportunities. I just want to love people.

This verse came as such an encouragement to me this morning:

Psalm 27:13 “I would have lost heart, unless I had believed that I would see the goodness (same Hebrew word for “glory”) of the LORD In the land of the living.” NKJV

Also I received this good Word today via email:

SMALL STRAWS IN A SOFT WIND by Marsha Burns — 2/7/11:

Be filled again with My Spirit. The days ahead will be filled with My Glory in the practical and commonplace things of life. Maintain awareness, and see My manifest presence in unexpected ways, says the Lord. Take nothing for granted. My glory is all around you!
Psalms 125:2 As the mountains surround Jerusalem, so the LORD surrounds His people from this time forth and forever.

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Crucified with Christ – WOW!

Recently, I heard Winnie Banov speak on the following: “Co-crucified, co-buried, co-raised, co-seated, co-heir.” When I heard this message, it excited me because I felt it held revelation for me but I couldn’t quite grasp that same revelation. Then last night during Bible study on Ephesians, Pastor Sammy said that we were crucified with Christ and when He started explaining what that meant to each of us individually, I felt the Holy Spirit flow through my physical body and I FELT that revelation in a very real way. It jolted me. Is that possible to get a revelation in your mind and spirit and body all at once? A knowing in your body? Strange to me how I feel.

2 Corinthians 5:21 – God made him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.

Galatians 2:20 – I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I live in the body, live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.

So my thoughts….If we are the body of Christ then we were crucified with Him; we were buried, raised and that also means that we were resurrected with Him. Are we seated with Him? What!!! Could it be that we are seated with Him and share all the blessings with Him, now?

Also…if we are the body of Christ….I mean we really are His body, then He is also what lives, really lives, in us since we no longer live. Melissa is dead; God lives. wow… It is not us living but Him through us. I can kind of understand it, even if in an extremely elementary way, but I can’t yet explain (but you know I will try eventually) in my own human words what I get from that. It is making me crazy…but in a good way : )

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random thoughts re: Tongues and where I am in my walk today

When I think about praying in the Spirit I picture it as entering into the Holy of Holies of the Old Testament. I am the temple of the Holy Spirit and it makes sense to me that God would provide this place of refuge. A place where evil can’t abide. A place where evil can’t even comprehend from the vantage point of the outside. Because of the blood of Jesus and the new covenant I am allowed to go there every single moment of every single day if I so desire. It is a great and magnificent gift and it is given to all who ask.

Why do I pray in the spirit? I pray in the Spirit when I am hungry and I am fed on the Word that is in my heart. I pray in the Spirit when I am in bondage and I am set free. I pray in the Spirit when I am tired and I am revived. I pray in the Spirit when I can’t focus and I am given direction. I pray in the Spirit when I am sick and I am healed. I pray in the Spirit when I am confused and I am taught. I pray in the Spirit when I am lonely and I am given company. I pray in the Spirit when my sin has exposed me and I am given new clothing. I pray in the Spirit when I don’t know how to pray or who to pray for and the intercessions of Jesus are revealed. I pray in the Spirit when I feel I don’t have enough faith for what I ask and I am given a measure of His faith. I pray in the Spirit when I can’t feel and I am given burdens. I pray in the Spirit when I just don’t care and I am given travail. I pray in the Spirit when I don’t know what else to do and I am given a call and sent forth. That is some of why I pray in the Spirit. For all who would question this beautiful form of intimacy I would be interested to know if they question as someone who has not experienced it and therefore doesn’t believe or someone that has experienced it and changed their mind. I can’t imagine getting through my everyday life without this form of prayer.

I came upon this gift as someone that had no understanding of it for today. When I first spoke in tongues I was in my dining room and afterward asked God that if my speaking in tongues was demonic or even wrong as I had been taught throughout my life, that He just take me home. I wanted to die rather than do anything else against His will. I called the person whose sermon I was listening to when I was Baptized and given the gift of tongues. God is good and He knows exactly what we need….Little did I know that the very person that led me into the Baptism was a former Baptist preacher – now an AG pastor www.raleighfirst.org – that experienced the Baptism of the Holy Spirit and subsequently had to give up much that he had known (including his church) because of what God did in his life that day.

So as not to sound too contradictory, how could I receive such a gift when I had not asked for it specifically. Here is what I believe-I asked for more of God. Period. As much as He wanted to give to me without setting any of my own conditions one of which was to consider the limitations of my own understanding. Often when I find myself in situations that are foreign to me or uncomfortable I have to remind myself that I asked and He gave. Isn’t it amazing that many times as I ask without conditions and He gives without limitations. awesome!

I think that people prayed in tongues ALOT in the early church. It wasn’t few and far between otherwise why would they need to be instructed in how to have order during corporate services.

I wonder sometimes, could the experience of Acts where they all heard their own language have been a gift of speaking but also a gift of hearing? I believe that they all did speak in the tongue that the Holy Spirit gave them…gift of speaking. It was a language that was and is between the speaker and the Holy Spirit but I believe that each person in attendance because the Holy Spirit so desired was given the ability to hear those same words of the Holy Spirit with their own ears…just as we can hear sometimes what He is saying through someone if the Spirit desires (maybe like a corporate gift of interpretation)…gift of hearing. Just my thoughts and kind of how I envision it. I mean I don’t see them all speaking different languages at the same time but if they all spoke one language (of the Spirit) and each person heard.

Also speaking in tongues and praying in tongues are they basically the same thing but used for two different purposes and yet the same purpose? To edify oneself is not a bad thing and is needed. If everyone built themselves up then corporate edification would not be such a struggle. I believe it is our responsibility to edify ourselves so that when we come together corporately we are flowing in unity with the Body. I understand this struggle and I believe that is where so many get into a bind because they expect to get their personal edification during corporate times of worship and therefore we never get to worship in that totally unified way. I believe that people began distinguishing tongues as a “prayer language” to make it sound a little more acceptable to non pentecostals. The language of the Holy Spirit is His language regardless of where spoken. It sounds different to each of us if we are listening because we aren’t in that secret place. In that place when others are speaking to their father through the Spirit it is not something you even question.