Monday, December 6, 2010
Sunday, November 14, 2010
I will not attempt to delve into the deep in this blog post, but rather focus on the Road.
There is a well known passage that has to do with the "narrow road". Does that ring a bell? I hear this quoted all the time that the "road is narrow". Actually, this passage, Matthew 7:13-14, in the New King James Version says this:
“Enter by the narrow gate; for wide is the gate and broad is the way that leads to destruction, and there are many who go in by it. Because narrow is the gate and difficult is the way which leads to life, and there are few who find it."Interesting here that the "gate" is narrow, and the "road" is difficult. Another great verse about the road, Isaiah 42:16:
"I will bring the blind by a way they did not know;
I will lead them in paths they have not known.
I will make darkness light before them,
And crooked places straight.
These things I will do for them,
And not forsake them."
There are many verses about the "hard" road, the "rocky" paths, etc., but what excites me is that Jesus is leading Israel, and us, through it. He is the one at the front line leading! He actually leads us through darkness, through trials, through rocky places, and it's His wisdom!
Many many years ago I had this amazing revelation that has really helped me through trials. I pictured myself climbing this steep mountain. The Lord showed me this like a documentary film being playing in my minds eye. In the picture, I had a harness around my waist and was trying to climb this perfectly smooth shiny mountain. I kept slipping and sliding all over the place.
Finally, the Lord said, "here, let me help you out," and a large rock appeared before me. I was able to grip it and use it to pull myself up higher. Then another rock appeared, and another, and so on. The Lord showed me that the rocky road is actually what gets us to the top.
Four years ago I was going through a battle of the mind, a war raging, and I set my heart on Him and remembered this revelation, and out of that season birthed this song:
on the outside, I might look weary,
The signs are so clear,
but others are trying to get me to take the easy exits,
This road may be hard, but I'm not moving,
I got more strength in me than I ever knew and
Though it's narrow, I can see whats at the end of this rainbow."
I hope this encourages you to grab hold and embrace the journey, the difficult road, and enjoy the stretching, the tension, and the deep places that launch you higher! - gina
"For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, is working for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory, while we do not look at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen. For the things which are seen are temporary, but the things which are not seen are eternal." 2 Corinthians 4:17-18
Tuesday, November 9, 2010
"In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was with God in the beginning. Through him all things were made; without him nothing was made that has been made. In him was life, and that life was the light of all mankind. The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it." John 1:1-5
Sunday, October 24, 2010
It is difficult to translate what is received in a moment of revelation- like when you are dreaming. You are in a place and there are people there. Without a word being said you know where your at, why the people are there, their motivations, etc. without a conversation happening. There is a 'download', if you will, of information passed to you in an instant that lay a foundation for the "movie" that is about to take place. You can have a three-minute dream, that takes ten pages to write down- that is like the revelation I am talking about.It occurred to me today in a great moment of revelation as I was teaching on how Jesus KNEW the Word of God that Jesus, being the Word, contained in the Word, is released by the Word. By every word, every "red" letter that Jesus said, we are connecting to Him when out of our mouths we with our breath speak the red letters.
I cannot adequately translate the understanding I have received, and am still mediating on, however, there is something stirred up in me to seek after; the mysteries of releasing the spoken words of Christ.
We know that there is great power in the spoken word; by His words He created all things, and in the tongue there is the power of life and death (Prov. 18:21). Considering the power of the spoken word, now consider the power of Jesus. Jesus the God-Man in all His miraculous splendor.
Now, add to that the consideration of John 1:1-3:
"In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. All things were made through Him, and without Him nothing was made that was made."
So now when you utter the red letters out of your mouth you are connecting with God in such a powerful way- for Jesus IS the Word, and the very power that creates life, that brings hope, miracles, and peace, those words are not merely 'words', they are Jesus Alive.
Oh the Mysteries of Christ!
Thursday, October 21, 2010
We are trying to keep the attention of adults and children alike so we try to wrap the Word of God up in a way that people can “digest” easier, even for kids. But what if we just took time to teach children how to meditate on God’s Word and gain revelation for themselves?
When I personally began to meditate on God’s Word with this model, my whole prayer life changed. Everything about God, the Bible, and Christianity was re-written for me, as if I had re-formatted a computer (which was me) and began re-loading all new programs on it. My love and fascination for the Word increased dramatically as well as my personal understanding and revelation of the Word.
“O how I love Your law! It is my meditation all the day. Your commandments make me wiser than my enemies, for they are ever mine.” (Psalm 119:97-98)
It is my desire that my children would also experience a love and fascination for the Word of God, that the Word would be alive and real to them. In practicing this model with my own children, I have seen them not only memorize the Word of God, but they are dreaming it, painting it, journaling about it, and hearing God speak to them through it.
Of course the vast expanse of the knowledge of God's Word has yet to even be scratched as far as I am concerned, even after three years of practicing this model. However, I have tapped into more than any Bible school class or seminar has taught me through Bible meditation, and I want to encourage everyone seeking more of God to do the same.
I am putting a curriculum together for facilitating this model with children, but in the meantime, below are a few resources that will help you.
If you would like to hear Kirk Bennett's teaching click here
If you would like to download the Study Guide from IHOP click here
Thursday, September 23, 2010
Last week I randomly decided in the middle of my devotional set I needed to sing the sermon on the mount, it messed me up.
Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God - Matthew 5:8
Monday, August 30, 2010
There have been times where I have fasted to fast, to be faithful.
"Enlarge the place of your tent,
stretch your tent curtains wide,
do not hold back;
lengthen your cords,
strengthen your stakes." Isaiah 54:2
"Rise up! My fair one! don't hold back! Don't retreat!! Partner with Me and your heart will be enlarged!"
* See you at the Capitol Mall, Sacramento, CA 9/4/10
Thursday, August 26, 2010
In studying the Song of Solomon, what started as a complex book, began unraveling to a very focused end.
At the beginning of this year I started meditating on what should be a complex idea, and it is, the heart of God. Meditating on how He feels toward me has been a journey in itself. One of the main themes that has been unfolding before me is the Fragrance of His Name. I have seen this term, sang it in various songs, but never had the understanding I am singing it with now.
One day as I was singing about the fragrance of His name, I saw a young maiden lost in the forest, like a scene from a King Arthur era movie. She was scared and the sun began going down. The fear of the night coming and she still being lost, drew her to a choice. Her mind wanted to fear and shut down paralyzed, but her heart knew if she could just get a sense of where her lover was, it would be enough to bring her out of the fear and help her overcome and find him. She needed to get a hint of His fragrance so that her heart could be confident He wasn’t too far off, that He wasn’t unreachable.
I saw the young woman lift her head and get a small trace of His fragrance, her face lit up and strength came back into her spirit like a rush of adrenaline.
One major thing I have learned in my few years, is that I can rise up and do great things when I have emotional strength. When someone believes in me it doubles the belief I have in myself. Sometimes I am so close to the finish of the race, but so emotionally drained I can’t hold my head up to see the finish line right in front of me so I stop only a few feet away from it. Sometimes it takes know Jesus is near, so I can lift my head and find Him.
"... I will look for the fragrance of His Name, I will follow it where it leads me..."
Wednesday, August 18, 2010
I don’t really know how I ended up in Children’s Ministry; I remember a series of experiences and encounters that led me to the place where one afternoon I sat across from my Pastor as he asked me what I wanted to do after I finished Bible College. My response was, ‘I think I’ll apply for a job as a children’s pastor’. At the time, 21 years old, what I was thinking was I couldn’t really do anything or go anywhere without some experience under my belt and for that it seemed reasonable I have a ministry background.
I had gone on two missions trips to Mexico where I worked with children (not on purpose), I served in children’s ministry (just to ‘fill the need’), and I participated in outreaches with kids, again totally on accident. I wasn’t setting out to be in ‘children’s ministry’, it just happened that way.
I had been working at a Christian pre-school where I brought my guitar in and started singing songs with the kids, I found every song I could using the 3 chords I knew. I never was seeking to entertain the kids, but to really lead them in worship. I have no idea where the idea or concept of the possibility came from. Here I am, a 23 year old, barely saved a few years, not having any concepts of ‘Sunday school songs’ or ‘doing church’ watching 2-3 year olds life their hands, close their eyes, and sway to the worship songs. Something happened somewhere, I’m just not sure what or where.
Simultaneously, I am serving at my church in children’s ministry, still have no idea what I’m doing, but it seemed to fit somehow who I was, at least in that place of my journey. I am teaching the kids from curriculum, but not really, I am really teaching them the same things I am learning in my journey with God. I am singing the same songs with them the ‘grown-ups’ are singing, and we are really no different in the children’s church than the adult church. One Sunday I feel from the Lord to have an altar call for kids who want to encounter God. I invite them to line up across the front. Having no idea what I’m doing, I just start laying hands on them and praying for them all. Several fell over, slain in the Spirit, and God began moving on them in ways I hadn’t anticipated. Some of the toughest kids were crying, some of the complacent regulars were having their first ‘real’ encounter, and many were having dreams being put into their hearts. Something came inside me.
I began to believe things I had no proof or evidence for. I began to believe that children could see God. That they could experience Him, see divine revelations, be full of the Holy Spirit, and operate in the miraculous. Where did these ideas come from? No one I knew preached any of this; of course, I had no exposure to Children’s Ministry teaching or anything of the like. So I began to pray and fast over what God wanted to do. I asked God to give me vision for what He wanted the children’s ministry to look like. I was still teaching the kids, but I began believing differently about them, and they started operating in the gifts of the Spirit more and more.
It’s not really about the manifestations, like falling over, speaking in tongues, and gold dust on their hands, though those things kept us fascinated with God, but more than anything, the deep hunger the children dove into in worship is what marks those days for me as supernatural. I am talking about children, as young as 4 and 5 years old with the grace to worship God for hours at a time. I mean, on their faces, kneeling, weeping for one, two, and sometimes three hours straight, without puppets and object lessons. I knew there was something more that I had no Biblical evidence for that God wanted to do. It was like there was a secret God was showing us without explaining it to my mind. I had all these things, these beliefs in me that I couldn’t prove or express, and then one day a piece of the puzzle came together.
Johnny and I went to a Children’s Ministry seminar, perhaps the first ever I went to. It was in Orangevale at Family Christian Center, a man named David Walters was speaking on Children and the Holy Spirit. When he spoke about children receiving the ‘same Holy Ghost’ adults get, I knew I was about to get some sense made out of what I had been experiencing. He brought scripture to the things that were inside me that I couldn’t explain. Here it came… the revelation that changed my life. 1 Samuel 3:1-10.
Here it is. Verse 1 says Samuel ministered before the Lord, YET there was no widespread revelation of the Lord, meaning people were not generally hearing from God, they ministered to Him but were not able to hear Him speak. Verse 7 says Samuel did not yet know the Lord. So Samuel is ministering, in faith, to a God he does not know and cannot hear. So far this sounds like Children’s church right? We are teaching children the actions, the motions of worshipping God. O.k., so here’s the big kicker…
Verse 8, “And the LORD called Samuel again the third time. So he arose and went to Eli, and said, “Here I am, for you did call me.” Then Eli perceived that the LORD had called the boy.”
When does Samuel hear God speak? After Eli believes he can. Wow. Did you get that? See I realized that the Lord had given me something greater than the ability to teach children about God or train them in how to worship Him. He gave me belief in them. I had no proof that kids could hear God speak to them and live their destinies AS a child, but I knew, I believed, they didn’t have to wait until they grew up to experience Him.
From that day forward I daily sought, and continue to seek God in His holy, supernatural, habitation. I am not satisfied with rituals, routines, or religion. God is real. And the dimensions He dwells I am dying to cross over into. I believe children have a greater access to the realms of God because they simply don’t have to fight their minds and all the things ‘they know’ to be ‘reality’ like we ‘grown-ups’ do. I believe children have a greater access to the supernatural because I believe the closer we get to the return of Christ, the greater revelation and Spirit of Prophecy is released. This means that there is more revelation of God’s word and His glory than ever before in human history. This also then means that the youngest generation alive today has the greatest access to hearing Him, seeing Him, and knowing Him than any generation since the fall of man. (Joel 2:28)
Wow. Let me know your thoughts on that-gina
Sunday, August 15, 2010
"...we speak of God's secret wisdom, a wisdom that has been hidden and that God destined for our glory before time began." 1 Cor. 2:7
He came reaching out His handTo bring us life againto take back His bridefrom the grave we died inOh He made skin of His owntook our place on death rowTo show us the Fatherand give us a homeOh behold what love, You've lavished on usThat we might become Your children, oh GodFor the veil's been torn, now we're forever YoursHere before Your throne to Your praise oh LordOh You came to lose the warthat we started with You LordYou bled in our steadThat we might be pureOh You really understandNeither do You condemnMuch more than a pardonYou beckon us in
Thursday, August 12, 2010
There is an urgency in my Spirit to speak a word of admonition to the church on this subject. As forerunners, as a prophetic people preaching ‘revival’, it terrifies me that we (the church) are tempting the Lord Jesus to come and judge us. We are representing Him ever so sloppy in the hour when we need to be the highest above reproach. How can we hear what He is saying and say what He is saying when we have succeeded in blending in with the crowd, with the Western culture? The church at large has succeeded in looking no different than the unbelieving community. What is it about Christianity that stands out and appeals to the unbeliever? What is it that causes us to look like an alien and a stranger in today’s society? Of course these are all rhetorical questions. My heart is aching and burdened, for the bride of Christ looks like a young rebellious girl tasting the world who has forgotten she is betrothed, married in commitment, yet living single, fornicating out of wedlock.
My husband told me if he invited a friend over and when the man showed up he was wearing short shorts exposing his thighs, and a small tank top exposing his built muscular body he would be so displeased at the dishonor he would tell him to turn around and leave. What a thought, I’m sure this is an exaggerated scenario, most of us don’t see men do that, but that would be dishonoring to him, another man coming into his home showing his body in front of another man’s wife. Why then do we think it is o.k. for women to expose themselves in the light of the ‘current styles’ or trends to dress certain ways? There is truth in scripture that certainly applies today no matter how the culture has changed.
I think regardless of your interpretation of the rest of this chapter in scripture we can all agree on the truth of “modest” and “appropriate”. Some may argue, ‘if I am at the beach than it is appropriate to wear a swimsuit’. Yes, however, in every place we are representing Christ and I would ask, ‘are you honoring the men and women around you’? The way you dress may not cause you to stumble, but let’s look at holiness in regards to honoring our fellow brethren. This is the definition of honoring one another in scripture:
“All things are lawful for me, but not all things are helpful; all things are lawful for me, but not all things edify. Let no one seek his own, but each one the other’s well being."
1 Corinthians 10:23-24
“And if another believer is distressed by what you eat, you are not acting in love if you eat it. Don’t let your eating ruin someone for whom Christ died.” Rom. 14:15
“...all foods are acceptable, but it is wrong to eat something if it makes another person stumble.” Rom. 14:20
Wake up rebellious generation of ‘entitlement’ and see that the only thing we really deserve is Hell. Humble yourselves, see yourself naked as dirt and come before God in prayer and supplication and take on what He decides you have ‘earned’.
The arrogance of our ‘entitlement’ is not our inheritance. The arrogant spirit that boasts in mans greatness rather than God’s mercy. Let’s keep it is perspective, cry out for mercy, weep between the porch and the altar.
“...that you may become blameless and pure, children of God without fault in a crooked and depraved generation, in which you shine like stars in the universe” Philippians 2:15