Monday, August 30, 2010

Territory Expansion

There have been times where I have fasted to fast, to be faithful.
Times when I have fasted for severe need of breakthrough in one area or another.
Sometimes I have fasted the simplest little thing - and yet it was so hard and sacrificial.
Other times, there was so much grace to go on water alone.
One thing in common, territory gained.

This is the last week of a forty day fast many have been on approaching the Regional Gathering of Corporate Prayer for California, AKA, the Call. (

As I am increasing my personal fast this week, I feel this excitement in the Spirit as I partner with God, seeking His will for our State, and crying out for mercy. The more I partner with His heart, the more natural the groaning are released from deep within. I would like to use the word "effortlessly", but the groanings are the work of childbirth, its just at that last stage of transition where you don't think, you just push!

"Enlarge the place of your tent,
stretch your tent curtains wide,
do not hold back;
lengthen your cords,
strengthen your stakes." Isaiah 54:2

My personal revelation here is not necessarily physical territory, but spiritual territory expansion. I believe the Lord is saying,

"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
- gina

Thursday, August 26, 2010

The Fragrance of His Name

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

Believing in Children

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

The Greatest Mystery of All

"...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

I have been getting rocked lately by the most complex mystery seen so simply, that is Christ, the God-Man, dying as a sacrifice for mankind. I have been meditating on this one thing and putting down everything else I think or feel to embrace the love and commitment my Lord has toward me. He is committed to us. Whoa.

It started with a couple new IHOP-KC choruses, and Justin Rizzo's & Anna Blanc's Devotional earlier this year, where they took you through the story of the crucifixion. I began to realize that though I accept the cross as my 'basic' theology, I have never (apart from my early christian conversion experience) had personal and deep revelation on what the cross really did for me, or for that matter, what Jesus really said "yes" to by taking the cross upon Himself.

This song Jonas Park has been singing has caused my heart to sit and meditate on the Cross, the greatest mystery of all:

He came reaching out His hand
To bring us life again
to take back His bride
from the grave we died in

Oh He made skin of His own
took our place on death row
To show us the Father
and give us a home

Oh behold what love, You've lavished on us
That we might become Your children, oh God
For the veil's been torn, now we're forever Yours
Here before Your throne to Your praise oh Lord

Oh You came to lose the war
that we started with You Lord
You bled in our stead
That we might be pure

Oh You really understand
Neither do You condemn
Much more than a pardon
You beckon us in

I have been thinking this is not just something with my personally God is saying, but more and more what I am hearing and seeing from others in the Body of Christ is this 'back to the first love' real truth. The truth of our desperate need for a savior. The truth of what it cost Him to give His love and His blood for us. To embrace this with Holy Fear and not the 'non-chalance' as if we deserve this at all. His mercy, His grace. In light of what we truly deserve, He says 'yes' to death on a cross.
My prayer is that God would open our hearts again to embrace our need for Jesus, and a Holy revelation of His grace and mercy over us.

- gina

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Living Pure in a Sex Crazed Society

How can we Live pure in a sex crazed society? Preaching the truth is a desperate need for the anemic body of Christ. What one man considers “purity” another regards as “legalistic”. What are “preferences” verses “convictions”? Is there scriptural truth in the area of holiness that can be applied to the culture today in which we live, not considered ‘old fashioned’ or for the ‘culture of the day in which it was written’?

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.

“display their beauty by dressing modestly and decently in appropriate clothes” 1 Timothy 2:9

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
Romans Chapter 14 is the key chapter on deciphering what is acceptable and not acceptable and how to live in holy conviction before the Lord and honoring your brothers and sisters. Consider a few of these excerpts and meditate on them.

“Decide instead to live in such a way that you will not cause another believer to stumble and fall.” Rom. 14:13
“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
I can choose to live for myself, or I can choose to live for God. I can choose the lesser walk or the greater walk. I can choose to do for myself or to do unto the greater good of my brother and sisters in Christ. I am convinced in order to stay wholehearted and steadfast as the birth pangs increase in the earth preparing for the coming of the Lord, we must be strong in unity with holiness. It is the little foxes, little things, that lead to sin that causes one by one to fall away. What starts as immodest dress leads to numbness of sexual perversion; compromise is areas of sexual sin. I have seen this time and time again; we cannot deny the church is weak in the Word of truth, weak in areas of purity and sexual wholeness, and in need of a sobering ‘wake up’ call. When revival leaders continue falling into sin we need to look around – slap yourself in the face and say, “am I serious about God or not”? “Am I living for my self or for God”? What can you sacrifice? What areas of your life can you ‘take up a notch’? For the good of the brethren, not considering your own self, your own ‘personal convictions’ but for the entire body of Christ? Christ died for the body and we refuse to let go of things that we feel we deserve.

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