Thursday, December 29, 2011

God, Fully Involved in My Life


Today, I had to cross two people off my Prayer For Healing prayer list. Not because they were healed, but because they had passed away.

I have had a really rough couple weeks on the inside in my heart of hearts, and it just didn't seem like it was getting better. It isn't because I'm upset that God didn't heal them, or even that I'm discouraged or baffled. I'm just sad. I'm sad about a lot of things in this world.

I'm sad that evil wins a lot. I'm sad that holiness and righteousness in on the decline. I'm sad when I realize that I am just one small person who probably isn't going to be able to change the world. I know this may sound awfully negative, but the sadness I feel cannot even compare to what God must feel.

What must our Father in heaven feel? He hates sin, sickness, and disease, surely He is upset when the righteous pass on due to it. Surely He hates when wicked people mistreat the just. The boiling of His anger and sadness I cannot begin to try to comprehend. I use to think the president of the United States was a busy guy flooded with all the problems of the nations, think about what our Father in heaven is flooded with. and yet He continues to stay involved in my life.

He is so involved in the details of my life, it's not even fair how He cares for me. It's so underserved that He paid a price for me at all. Even today, I reflect on all the tiny details of my life He completely orchestrated. The miracle of it all...

Oh, His kindness. Oh, His Mercy.


"I Look into Your eyes of mercy... I remember that Your heart is for me..."
Jon Thurlow chorus

I just encourage you to tune into the OneThing Conference happening right now in Kansas City, you can watch for free here: http://www.ihop.org/onething/

-gina

Friday, December 16, 2011

The God Who Pursues Me



In meditating on His love, I can't help but see how He has always been the one who pursued the relationship. It absolutely blows my mind to think about the uncreated God of the universes planning on how He will win my heart from the foundation of the Earth!!

Have you ever thought on this? I mean, really contemplated this?

"He chose us in Him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before Him in love, having predestined us to adoption as sons by Jesus Christ to Himself, according to the good pleasure of His will, to the praise of the glory of His grace, by which He made us accepted in the Beloved." Ephesians 1:4-6

He chose.
From the foundation of the world.
He actually waits for us to come to Him, like a Father waiting for his child to cross the street, His eyes fixed on His son. Watching his son, everything around him, eagerly anticipating him to come. In Jeremiah 7 God is speaking to the people of Israel saying:

"... I spoke to you, rising up early and speaking, but you did not hear, and I called to you, but you did not answer," Jer. 7:13

God is always speaking, always reaching out to us. I have lived many days of feeling like He wasn't there, wasn't listening, and certainly wasn't interested. This is why I have re-committed myself to finding passages like this, and confessing the truth about God, who He is, and What He really says in His Word.

One last good passage to meditate on:

"Therefore the Lord will wait, that He may be gracious to you; and therefore, He wil be exalted, that He may have mercy on you." Isaiah 30:18

He actually is waiting for me, drawing me to Him. Oh! I need to soak on this a little longer!
If you haven't heard this chorus by Jon Thurlow, it has really been soaking this theme of How God Feels About Me in.

I'm holding on to Your divine love
I'm holding on and I'm not letting go
It's not my zeal, it's that Your love is strong
It's not my strength, it's that Your faithful


Prayer for today:
Thank you Jesus, for Your unrelenting pursuit of me. Thank You that You never leave me or forsake me! (Hebrews 13:5) Your always with me, oh the comfort of knowing the Comforter. Thank You Father of glory, amen.








Friday, December 2, 2011

The God Who Wants Me




I've been meditating on how God, the God of the universe, the God who spoke everything into existence, greater than the stars, bigger than galaxies- that BIG ONE GOD, that HE looks at me with desire

Do you know what it is like to feel undesirable? To feel like you aren't good enough? Your maybe not the best singer, speaker, teacher, parent, leader, etc. You feel sometimes like you don't measure up? I feel like that a lot, yet, HE looks at me with desire in His eyes. He actually wants me.

"Oh my dove, in the clefts of the rock, In the secret places of the cliff, Let me see your face, Let me hear your voice, For your voice is sweet, and your face is lovely." Song of Solomon 2:14

That He looks at me, and desires me, is unthinkable. That the uncreated God of the universe looks at me, that He even gives me a glance with His eye, but more than a glance, He looks with passion and desire in His eyes. Oh "such knowledge is too wonderful for me, it is high, I cannot attain it!" (Psalm 139:6)

"...His eyes were like a flame of fire..." Revelation 1:14

The burning in His eyes, oh the burning in His eyes. Father of Glory, reveal Your Son, Christ Jesus, to me, the one who knows me, sees me, and desires me. Oh God, acquaint me with His passion and desire for me. Be real to me, amen.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

The God Who Listens


"Lord, what is man that You take knowledge of him? Or the son of man, that You are mindful of him?" Psalm 144:3

One of the most profound ways the Lord has been showing me how He feels about me is in that He listens to me. We are mere men made from dust- sure we think we are great and glorious in our own works, but when we stop and look at the planets, the stars, the galaxies, and the universes yet to have been discovered, we are just dust. However, though we are dust, He looks at us! He actually bends low to listen!!

One of my personal pet peeves is when I have something that is really serious and important to me I am trying to share with someone, and I don't feel like they are giving me the attention the nature of the topic deserves. Not that for every time I am talking to someone about something, but I remember one time in particular, before my husband and I were engaged, and we were talking on the phone. We were at the stage of getting to know each other where we were sharing our childhood memories, etc. I was telling him of personal things that had happened to me as a child and it was a serious conversation. He interrupted with something menial, or off-topic, which made me feel like his mind was wandering while I was pouring my heart out!

After that incident, he knew how important it was to me to feel listened to. When I'm talking about something that is emotional to me, I want eye contact. I want "face time". T=I am not talking about menial chatter- I mean heart talks deserve eye attention.

Now you can understand why knowing God is listening to me is so important. It goes back to the age old question- "Why pray if God is going to do what He wants anyway?" If God was not listening, and not desiring human involvement in His creation, why do we have voices to cry out? Why couldn't "thought" prayer be enough? No, He wants us to talk, and He is there to listen!

Here are a few verses to pray:

"I waited patiently for the LORD; He inclined to me and heard my cry." Psalm 40:1
"Now I know that the Lord saves His anointed; He will answer from His holy heaven with the saving strength of His right hand." Psalm 20:6
"As for me, I will call upon God, and the Lord shall save me. Evening and morning and at noon, I will pray and cry aloud, And He shall hear my voice." Psalm 55:17-18
"But certainly God has heard me, He has attended to the voice of my prayer." Psalm 66:19

Here is a prayer for today:

Father, I am so thankful today as I remember how You love to listen to me. Though men get tired of my voice, you never tire. To you my voice is sweet, and my face is lovely. You have invited me to talk to You night and Day, and You love to hear me! Father I thank You that when I speak You listen! And today talk to You, the God who listens to me, and I am confident in Your attentiveness. Thank You Father for fellowshipping with me, looking at me, and giving me Your attention. Thank You oh God that Your eyes are ever on me! You look right in my eyes when I am talking, and Your mind does not wander! You perfectly listen to me! You incline to me, You bend down close to hear me! Oh God, thank You for how You have revealed Your loving kindness to me! In Jesus name, Amen.

Happy Thanksgiving,
- Gina



Tuesday, November 15, 2011

The God Who Loves Me

"Jesus loves me this I know, for the Bible tells me so..."

Well, we have all heard that song, but where does the Bible really say that? I remember several years ago going through a dark time of depression when I thought to myself, "Lord, I know You love me, but I don't believe it right now." And honestly, I could not think of a scripture passage, other than John 3:16, that said God loved me, and even John 3:16 wasn't satisfying me - because it says He loves the "world", not me.

Years ago I began looking up passages for meditation on this issue, so that I could get it settled in my heart, that He really does love me. Have you ever felt that way? Maybe some people don't struggle with knowing how God feels about them, but for me it has been something I am finding I need to review very often! My list has really expanded, but for now, here are a few good ones for meditation.


“He brought me to the banqueting house, and his banner over me was love.” Song of Songs 2:4

But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” Romans 5:8
“But God, who is rich in mercy, because of His great love with which He loved us, even when we were dead in trespasses, made us alive together with Christ.” Ephesians 2:4
The LORD has appeared of old to me, saying: “ Yes, I have loved you with an everlasting love; Therefore with loving kindness I have drawn you.” Jeremiah 31:3

Prayer For Today:
Father of Glory, today I receive Your love for me. I declare Song of Solomon 2:4 over my own life, that You have invited me to Your house, and You have put a banner of love over me. You have declared Your love for me! You are not shy in stating how You feel towards me, You have made it clear, that You love me, and You have invited me in. In Your eyes I am not a stranger or a servant, but I am Your daughter (son) whom You adore! You love me so much that You demonstrated Your own love toward me, even while I was yet a sinner, You died for me! I declare that You have loved me with an everlasting love, a love that will not quit, nor fail! You are fully committed to me!
Father, I confess there have been times I have doubted Your love for me, I have not felt like I was a part of Your family, but an outsider. But today, I declare that I am Yours, I belong to You, and I receive Your love. It is my identity. Thank you, Abba, for Your strong love toward me, that You never give up, that You continually pour out Your love. Thank You for strengthening me today in Your love. In Jesus Name, Amen.
This is a fabulous song to play, sink, soak to, and just let it soak in! Have a great day!
-Gina

Saturday, November 12, 2011

The God of Hope


As I began the journey of meditating daily on how God feels about me, I began to feel hope arise in my soul. Of course, a great resource for the 'hope' topic is Bob Hartley.

I watched some of his videos online and began creating my own prayer book this week.
In my prayer book, I am adding verses for meditation, prayers to strengthen my inner man, and names of God for Adoration just to start. I realized that I needed a tool of my own, that was uniquely me to help me Adore, Proclaim, and speak the passages about Who God is to me.

"Now may the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, that you may abound in hope by the power of the Holy Spirit." Romans 15:13

Have you met God as the "God of Hope"? I have seen Him as the God of Hope, and this is what I am meditating of today. Here is my prayer and a video for this weekend devotion. Pray this aloud too if you would like, and comment a hope filled story to share!


Father, Your word says You are the God of hope, that You fill us with all joy and peace by believing. Lord I come to You, my hope, and I confess I have lacked hope, I have lacked believing in You to come through for me. I have forgotten this "face" of who You are, the God of Hope. But today, I look to You and confess that You are my hope, that You are the only source of hope for all mankind. Abba, I thank You for never giving up on me, for always waiting for me, and being tender and patient with me. I thank You for the hope that You are and You bring.
I remember when I was in darkness and had no hope at all, I remember days when I couldn't see through the clouds and hope for my future, and You came and restored hope to my mind and reassured me that my life was not over, that You indeed had a plan and a purpose for my life. Father, I come to You once again and look at this face, the God of Hope, that my soul would be lifted up once again. Amen.




Sunday, November 6, 2011

Journey into Love - PART Three



I recently went through my heart history in a fraction of a second, like a flashing before my eyes, when I heard Bob Fraser share his desire for a revelation of the love of God. My heart leaped out of its skin remembering how I too, have ached and groaned for a deeper understanding of God's love.

Throughout my Christian walk I have been told about God's love, and prophetically that I am some kind of "carrier" of His love. Well, yes, of course we all are suppose to be messengers of His love, but for me it has been spoken over me that it is some sort of life calling, or life message, of mine to deliver the love of God to others. The only problem with that, is that I don't feel like a very loving person. I struggle just to believe God loves me, let alone anyone else. How can I get filled with God's love enough that it overflows out of me?

This painting that I did (pictured above) is a visual of just that. That I know God loves me with my mind, yet my heart struggles to believe because my life doesn't reflect the truth that I believe- at least not most of the time!

But I want to become a carrier of God's love, I want to walk into a room and the watch the joy of the Lord increase! I want to do all things out of an overflowing love for God.

Recently, at our Marketplace Impact Conference at Convergence House of Prayer, Bob Fraser spoke about how when he was seeking this revelation of God's love. He shared that over a period of four months or so, as he meditated and proclaimed by reading verses that declare how God feels toward us, he began to have a great increase in this area. As he was sharing that, I remembered how when I first started meditating on scripture, about four years ago, I asked the Lord, "where do I start"? The Lord clearly revealed to me that I needed to have faith increase on this topic of "How God Feels About Me". In fact, the first children's curriculum I began to write was called, "How God Feels About Me"! What happened? I think I must have dropped the ball, got off into studying other things and left this important meditation behind.

I feel so urgently now that I need to gain great revelation of this, that I am going to go after this for the next two months, really going after how He feels toward me. If you would like to come along for the journey, I will try to post as much as possible from now until Christmas on the topic.


If you would like more resources on Adoration and Proclamation, here are a few good ones! Let the journey begin!

- gina



















Saturday, October 29, 2011

The Purpose of Life


I use to feel so lost and alone in the world. I still feel like that sometimes, but not like I used to be haunted by it. The main reason, I believe, people feel lost and alone is because they are without purpose. What is the point of life? I have wondered, and heard many wonder the same.

There have been so many emotional ups and downs over the course of my life, and when I got saved, I think I thought that my purpose would get focused and clear, but my Christian walk has proved to be more complex and challenging in the area of "finding my purpose".

I have made all the lists and journaled my hobbies, interests, talents, etc. over the years trying to get clearer more focused direction, but I end up in the same place-- feeling lack of focus and all over the place. The bottom line is that purpose is not found in fulfilling some career or trade, ministry or profession. Having a home life that meets a picture fantasy, the perfect relationship, or right amount of children. The purpose of life isn't wrapped in anything on the earth. Its such a simple truth isn't it? This has been my meditation this week:

"Jesus said to him, 'you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind.' This is the first and greatest commandment." Matthew 22:37-38 NKJV


The greatest purpose in life is wholehearted love for God. Easy to know, difficult to understand. I feel like I know all the right words and IHOP-isms, but I still don't understand what it really means to be "wholehearted". Every time I feel like I have given myself fully to God, I see areas I am lacking in love. He tenderly and simply reminds me that the highest calling and purpose He had for me is to be the one He is looking for. He is not looking for a successful ministry, perfect family, or up and rising business, He is looking for a lover of Himself.

"For the eyes of the Lord range throughout the earth to strengthened those whose hearts are fully devoted to Him." (2 Chronicles 16:9 NIV)


- gina

Monday, August 8, 2011

Journey into Love - PART Two


What Does Love Look Like?
That's the question, I've been pondering...
What does love look like?

I love this song. When I first heard it I recalled some of the journey I've been on over the last eighteen years, the thread of love that weaves the journey...


When I was nineteen years old, His love was the saving grace from my sin...
When I was twenty, His love was the gift of the Holy Spirit Fire...
When I was twenty one, His love was the hunger deep in my soul for more...
When I was twenty two, His love was the disillusionment that anything was possible...
When I was twenty three, His love was the grace to run in ministry and new marriage...
When I was twenty four, His love was the revival waters that set my feet a dancing...
When I was twenty five, His love was the joy of motherhood, inexpressible...
When I was twenty six, His love was the peace of putting all things into His hands...
When I was twenty seven, His love was the burning desire to see my family become whole...
When I was twenty eight, His love never left me, when even my own mind did...
When I was twenty nine, His love met me in the wilderness like John...
When I was thirty, He hugged me tight and let me rest...
When I was thirty one, His love gave me a new song to sing...
When I was thirty two, His love re-ignited my marriage and family...
When I was thirty three, His love united me with the bigger picture, the global bride...
When I was thirty four, His love brought me the baby that saved all our lives...
When I was thirty five, His love brought forth promises given in the wilderness to the promised land...
When I was thirty six, He still writes love on my pages...


... more ahead,
gina

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Journey of Love - Part One

I've had this odd sort-of relationship throughout my life with the word. Love.
I knew someday I would begin to write about this, but hesitated because I never felt like I had full understanding on what it means. This post is going to be a bit painful, but I feel like I need to open this up for my own healing.

I'd like to share some amazing revelation on God's love, but I don't really have that either. What I have is a string of prophetic history that I somehow am suppose to be carrying this amazing understanding of the love of God, and walk in the fullness of it. So today, I'm gonna outline that, in faith that there will be a "part-two" to this topic talk.

I've always been a timid, scared, yet resilient person. As a young child, I would hide under my mother's dress, and never spoke to anyone til I was older, at least that's what I was told. I went to Catholic school K-3rd, and in Kindergarten I had a freak accident where I lost my middle finger. (yes, I still have four fingers only on my right hand). This made me more scared and reclusive. I was molested twice as a young child as well, which also set in the timidity and fear factor. I grew up feeling like I was mostly loved and approved by my family, because they had to love me after all, but I needed to be a super shining star to gain approval of others.

I wasn't the popular one in school, I was often teased, and spent most of my time crying in corners. It seemed like I had to work so hard for a C+ in every area of life. I wasn't as good as everyone else, so I had to work twice as hard, at least that's what it felt like.

I learned to be hard and take care of myself, after all, I was the only one I could count on, right? I resolved that love was for fairy tales and fantasies, which was fine with me, because I really enjoyed daydreaming. However, I when I became radically saved at age 19, I was bound up because I didn't know how to accept God's love for me. I felt like God was trying to reach me with His love for several years of attending youth groups and things, but it didn't click. He met me anyway, and has slowly been working on me ever since.

So this word, love, and I have this weird relationship. I'm suppose to tell people about God's love now, because I am a Christian, right, and that's what your suppose to do, but I'm not experiencing anything supernatural in that department. I mean I experienced healing, deliverance, signs and wonders, tongues, but I still didn't feel like a lovely person who was able to love. What I chose to do instead was avoid people that needed God's Love, because I certainly couldn't reach them, well not yet.

I was about twenty two years old, engaged to be married, and I was attending a ladies Bible Study, on the book The Excellent Wife. There was some sort of prize giveaway and I was given this book, The Way of Agape. God had my attention, He was trying to teach me about His love. I was pretty dull hearted, and still am, and needed clear messages, if you know what I mean.

A few months later, I was at our church office volunteering, and one of the pastors walks through the office with this name book. He passes me and stops. He say's, "Gina. Hmm, hey, your name means 'love'. Cool!" And then He keeps walking! I'm tearing up...

So thus the journey began, I feel like there is so much more, but I wanted to get a dialog going. Have you encountered the revelatory love of God? Please share your experience,

Blessings!
Gina

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Martha Got a Bad Wrap!




All this talk about Mary Lately, I thought someone needed to point out some cool stuff about Martha, and yes, she was pretty cool!

First, lets consider this text... Luke 10:38-42

"Now it happened as they went that He entered a certain village; and a certain woman named Martha welcomed Him into her house. And she had a sister called Mary, who also sat at Jesus’ feet and heard His word. But Martha was distracted with much serving, and she approached Him and said, “Lord, do You not care that my sister has left me to serve alone? Therefore tell her to help me.”
And Jesus answered and said to her, “Martha, Martha, you are worried and troubled about many things. But one thing is needed, and Mary has chosen that good part, which will not be taken away from her.”

I just felt it interesting and necessary to point out that Martha's name was actually mentioned first, and Mary was referred to as her sister. Isn't that interesting? Perhaps, Martha and Jesus actually had a friendship going on before He even met Mary, just a thought.

Another interesting thing is that Martha "working" really isn't what she is being rebuked for. She is being rebuked for being troubled and worried.

I don't know about you, but for me, I have spent much time at Jesus feet, thinking I was like Mary, but I was actually troubled and worried while I was in prayer. Sitting and worshiping Jesus is a heart condition, not a physical movement position. There have been times I have been running around like a mad woman in ministry and yet my heart is at peace and full of adoration for the Lord. And then there are times when my heart posture is worried, frustrated, throwing in the towel, etc, and I collapse at the feet of the Lord and stay there for weeks to re-group. Can you relate?

Anyhow, I guess what I am asking you to consider in this post is the posture of adoration in your heart. Also, I would probably like us, Christians, to stop referring to being a "Mary" or a "Martha" as if there is Biblical Precedence to those who "sit" and those who "work" for God. I would submit to you that we have been duped into false theology of a "Mary" figure verses a "Martha" figure in the church at large.

The family of Mary, Martha, and Lazarus should be looked at as a whole, they were Jesus' favorite people (don't tell John the Beloved I said that!) You have a picture of Bridal Partnership= Intimacy+Serving+Supernatural. We need to operate in all three aspects. Our Intimacy is the well from which our "service" or "ministry" flows out of. We thrive in both areas when we are operating in the Resurrection Power.

So there you have it, please share with me your thoughts, did you feel the same way I did, with a negative view of Martha? Did this post shed light on a possibility that Martha's been getting a bad wrap? I'd love to hear from you!

- gina


*for more on this topic check out Pastor Steve Jow's Message "The Identity of A Martha"

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

My Heart, The Vineyard



" I am dark, but lovely,

O daughters of Jerusalem,
Like the tents of Kedar,
Like the curtains of Solomon.
Do not look upon me, because I am dark,
Because the sun has tanned me.
My mother’s sons were angry with me;
They made me the keeper of the vineyards,
But my own vineyard I have not kept."





When I first read this verse, I immediately knew what was being said by the Shulamite woman- "I am dark, yet lovely". So many times, I would come to prayer, feeling like no one sees me the way He sees me. In the eyes of the world, I am small, insignificant, I don't have a big well-know name or ministry, I have many physical flaws, one being a missing finger on my right hand, and I'm really not "great" at any one thing. I struggle just to make "C's" while others seem to easily get "A's" as they slide through life.

But when I am in the presence of the Lord, suddenly my opinion of me, which is what all those things really are, are not a factor any longer. I see myself as dark, but He see's me as lovely. That is why my appearance is of no concern in His presence.

Several years back, I went through a really tough few years. I began in ministry at the ripe age of twenty-two, had my first baby at twenty five, and broke down about twenty-eight. I was very ministry driven, doing for others and for God, this pleased my heart. It made me feel important, and needed, lovelier I guess.

Two years after my mental breakdown, I was completely inoperable in ministry, and found myself sitting in a prayer room in Roseville, CA. I began having my paradigm shift, where intimacy with God became my source of breath and life. After a year or two of primarily ministering to the Lord, I began to minister in areas of administration, etc.


"They made me the keeper of the vineyards,
But my own vineyard I have not kept."


In the past, I had gotten really good about "keeping everyone else's vineyards", but when the storms came my way, testing proved my own was not secure. I had to reestablish the priority of keeping my secret life in God strong before trying to minister outwardly. This has reinforced the view of how He see's me, beautiful, and lovely. He wants to spend time with me and be with me, I am enjoyable to Him, and there's no greater place I'd rather be.

How about you? Do you primarily keep others vineyards before your own? I know most moms would agree, it is hard to focus on your personal growth and development. Have you experienced a journey like this? I'd love you to share.

Many Blessings,
Gina


This post is linked up with My Freshly Brewed Life's Song of Solomon Series. Please go back and visit for more posts on The Song of Solomon.

Photobucket

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

His Love is Better Than Wine



Song of Solomon 1:2 is such an amazing passage, because it not only wraps up the whole book of the Song into this one thought, it actually can wrap up the Bible into this one verse!

I study the Song of Solomon every year, four years running, usually for 3-4 months at a time, and every year towards the close of my study, I close everything down, and go back to this verse.

"...For Your Love is better than wine"

In fact, I have a song I sing, and its on the player on this page actually, where I sing this part over and over, and oh how it refreshes me!

"And all of my days, I will remember, I will remember that His love, it is better...
Though other lovers come and try to tell me there's something more I need,
oh my soul, remember...
His love is better than wine, His love is better than life..."


Have you discovered a taste of this love? Have you tapped into that place where when His presence comes over you, you feel like, "YES! this is it! I never want to leave this place! I'm gonna camp out here forever!!! Ahhh!" That touch of His love is what I long to remember everyday when I don'f feel Him. When I'm tired, sick, hurting, and I say, "God!! Where are You?"

So again I sing it out, I speak and confess with my mouth until my heart believes, that YES, His love IS better than anything!



-gina


I am linking up with Barbie over at My Freshly Brewed Life for this post!

Photobucket

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Strengthen Yourself in the Lord

Do you pray for yourself?


I recently added to my daily prayer time, extra time praying for me. I don't know why I never use to pray for myself, but a few years back I heard a message from Bill Johnson right before his book came out, Strengthen Yourself in the Lord, then we got the book of course, and he was talking about praying for yourself.


He used the example of when you are on an airplane and they show you the demonstration of how to use the air masks, you are always supposed to put on your mask first before helping others. I have myself used that example when it comes to young moms getting time for them selves so that they are strong for their little ones. Though I believed, I honestly was not practicing, and I have felt it. Man, have I felt it.

I'm going to be really candid, I have lacked in my prayer time recently, and it's not been good. Somedays, the only prayer time I have is spent praying for God's strength in my inner man. Ephesians 3:16-19 has become my prayer over myself... I read it like this:

"Father, grant me, according to the riches of Your glory, that I would be strengthened with might by Your Spirit in my inner man. That Christ would dwell in my heart through faith, and that I would be rooted and grounded in love."

Honestly, I need strength, I need help. I can't even pray without His help. Really, I can't! I am so desperate for His strength to rule in my life, I surrender daily to it.

We have a great little book in our bookstore, but you can get it at IHOP-KC too, called Prayers to Strengthen Your Inner Man. I use it every week, I read right from it, and it really helps springboard me. I highly encourage this resource, and I would love to hear what you do to strengthen yourself in your inner man! Please leave me some tips from your walk with God!

Blessings!
gina


Monday, May 16, 2011

How's Your Tank?



Every week I have to stop and look at my schedule all over again, you?
I wonder where the time goes. All the ambitions of Monday, what did I accomplish by Saturday?
Saturday is my day of and I'm suppose to rest, but instead what happens is I find myself bearing the guilt of the under-met goals. Some people would call me an over achiever just because I have five kids and still work full-time, keep a house, and homeschool. But to me, thats just the base line. I have personal life goals, and I'm already 36, if I keep moving... well, you know the story.
So I'm working on an album right now (in my spare time) and trying to go back and finish college (why didn't I do this before kids?) I have not had the desired time to work on my music or art in the last few months as I have been fighting to stay healthy (longer, and boring story). All this to say, that no matter how much a person can handle, whether you can barely just work and thats it, or you are a full time mom with a full time job, DIYer, homeschooler, or whatever, the question affects us all on Sunday evening. "How's my tank?"
In the age to come we will have jobs, hobbies, responsibilities, etc. But in this present, and evil age, only, we have the opportunity to acquire costly oil.
Like David, I don't want to give to the Lord what costs me nothing!


“No, but I will buy them for the full price. I will not take for the LORD what is yours, nor offer burnt offerings that cost me nothing.” 1 Chronicles 21:24
What kind of sacrifice is it to fast TV or sugar, really? How far can I go? To what degree can I possibly give to God? I want my tank to be full of oil! I want my lamp to burn!
Maybe Im just being dramatic, but here it is the beginning of a new week, and the only ambition that really matters is, "what kind of intimate time with the Lord will I have this week?" I am finding that I need to re-focus my schedule, yet again, and make sure my accomplishment is found in the secret place time.
How's your tank?

-gina





Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Sit Down and Shut Up.

This is what I keep hearing the Lord say to me.
Of course I know He means it in the most loving, nurturing way.

Seven months ago I had a nice regimented order in my daily life consisting of private prayer, work, ministry in the House of Prayer, family time, my time working on my art & music, and teaching art and music. Sounds like a lot, but I had it down to a science, almost.

Since we moved here, I have slowly gotten out of the routine. Since I have so much more time, I don't have to be so tightly structured. It seems like I relaxed a little bit at a time, and now I find myself going, going, going again. My time sitting completely got away from me!

(this photo is my little corner in the prayer room where i like to walk, i often feel the Lord there)

Though I schedule 4-5 hours per day to sit and read and pray, I haven't hit those hours in a while. I started to worry, "am I falling back into a "ministry of doing" type routine? Part of what I have personally been going through is the demands of Ministry verses Ministry to the One.

For me, I have some specifics that the Lord has highlighted to me that have caused my decline, how about you? Are you taking time to sit before the Lord? That's all, just sit there, and be still?

"Be still and know that I am God..." Psalm 46:10


Honestly, I love spending time with the Lord, but I have a really hard time sitting still! I never realized what a hard time I had until I had the time to sit!Maybe you can identify? I desire to "do" for God, but what i really need is to "draw" from God!

What did I decide to do about this predicament you ask? (Glad you did!) I renewed my Sacred Trust Commitment to the Lord this week! What is a "Sacred Trust" you ask? (Glad you did!) It is a schedule I am committed to in private and corporate prayer.

For myself, this looks like scheduled times on my google calendar, which I share with others. This helps keep me accountable to be "unavailable" when I am scheduled to be with the Lord.

I heard Kirk Bennett say on a teaching once, "You say you have a prayer life? Show me your schedule, and I'll tell you if you have a prayer life." OUCH! But it is so true!

I want to encourage anyone reading this to make a schedule with the Lord, time(s) you are meeting with Him privately, and time(s) you are setting aside to your local Prayer House.

Feel free to email me through my contact page for questions about Sacred Trust schedules or calendars. I'd be happy to email you a sample!

Here's to sitting!
- gina

Monday, April 25, 2011

Why Corporate Prayer?


Fasted Lifestyle Lesson #6
The Corporate Prayer Reality


"Why do I need to come to the House of Prayer? Can't I just pray at home?"
You have all heard someone say that I'm sure, as I have. We all understand there are seasons of hiding in the secret place, but mostly believers need to be together in Radical Prayer Community. Last week as I was praying in the prayer room for our House of Prayer Community, I was refreshed with the following corporate revelation.

When I look back at my Christian life highlights, some of the most significant encounters with God happened when I was praying with other believers.

When I was 19 years old, I was at youth worship team rehearsal, and we all held hands and prayed, just like we did every week. That week however, the Spirit of God showed up, and there was much groaning, weeping, singing, and praying into the late hours of the night. I was filled with the Holy Spirit and spoke in tongues for the first time. It was life changing, I've never been the same since.

When I was 20 years old, I was attending Bethany College, and there was a little prayer room under the sanctuary I frequented. One night I was burning to pray and went down there, and another girl showed up and joined me. I was having a good time with Jesus, but when she came in and joined me, whoa, the Spirit got thick in that room. We were walking, jumping, singing, shouting, praying in tongues, you name it. The really neat thing is I didn't really know her that well before that night, but after spending hours in prayer together, it was like we were spiritually connected. Every time I saw her after that around campus or wherever, I hugged on her like she was my best friend, I felt so incredibly close to her.
"Now Peter and John went up together to the temple at the hour of prayer, the ninth hour." Acts 3:1
When I was 21 years old, I began attending Harvest House Church, wow, had to breath in for a second. During the first year and two that Johnny and I were attending we had these special mid-week Thursday night meetings. They were the kind of meetings the 'hungry' came to. The Spirit of God moved so strongly in those meetings, I looked forward to them all week long
"And when they had prayed, the place where they were assembled together was shaken; and they were all filled with the Holy Spirit, and they spoke the word of God with boldness." Acts 4:31
At the House of Prayer, we talk a lot about the "Secret Place" and that is vital in our walk with God to be developing our "Secret Place" life, but if we are crying out for a Regional Revival or Move of God in our city, we need to gather together and pray corporately.

Someone visited IHOP-Kansas City one time, a well-known church leader, and said to Mike Bickle, "Wow! You guys are really going for it here! I mean you are RADICAL! You've got this huge staff all praying, fasting, in the Word..." I think he caught himself at that point. When Mike tells that story, he chuckles and reflects how we have lost sight of the most important "program", meeting together in fasting and prayer!

As I mentioned in a previous blog post, The Camaraderie Creed, we need to see one another in prayer. Praying together in the same room! This is the very foundation of our commitment to Christ and a Christ-like lifestyle.
"For where two or three are gathered together in My name, I am there in the midst of them.” Matthew 18:20
-gina

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

The Aroma of Life and Death



A couple months back I was studying the Song of Solomon, chapter one, verses 2-4. (Which I study all the time it seems!) I keep getting more revelation on each phrase every time I study it.
I was reading through Diane Parnell’s notes in the Discovering God’s Heart Manual, and there was a cross reference on the “fragrance” for 2 Corinthians 2:14-15.


“But thanks be to God, who always leads us as captives in Christ’s triumphal procession and uses us to spread the aroma of the knowledge of Him everywhere.”

We know that the “Fragrance of Christ” speaks mainly of the knowledge of God. So what this passage is talking about is basically that wherever we go, we are carrying an aroma of the knowledge of God in every physical location we are present at. But then read verse 15 and 16…

"For we are to God the pleasing aroma of Christ among those who are being saved and those who are perishing. To the one we are an aroma that brings death; to the other, an aroma that brings life."
Have you ever noticed when you have been in a room with unbelievers a feeling of hostility towards you? I have noticed it. In fact, I have asked myself on several occasions, 'if the good news is so good, why do people hate it so much?"

When I read this in the context of the 'knowledge of Him' I saw something very interesting. If we carry the knowledge of Him, its the very essence of the tree of knowledge of good and evil...

It is like Carrying the Prayer Room to the person you are with.

When I am in the prayer room and I see the Lord looking at my heart, and I look back at Him, looking at me, and I break and repent, or cry, or worship, or however I respond, it is so out of conviction of the knowledge of God as I experience His presence.

"Anyone who isn't with me opposes me, and anyone who isn't working with me is actually working against me." Mathew 12:30

As a "Presence Carrier" it is like I am bringing this 'Prayer Room' wherever I go. The difference is that my company has not chosen to get in their car and drive to the prayer room, they aren't looking to 'face God'. My very presence is bringing HIS presence, and they are faced with loving it or hating it, running towards it, or from it.

Aware of the aroma,
- gina

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

What Does Freedom in God Look Like?

I honestly can say I don't know what truly being free looks like.

People have so many different views of what 'freedom' looks like. I admit, I went through seasons in my Christian walk where I thought that I was experiencing true freedom, only to come out again believing there must be more than this.

On the quest for true freedom, I often dream of some ethereal place I will arrive at, during this age, where I will feel God's presence day and night, see in the Spirit realm, almost floating through the days.

I have at least come to a few conclusions. There is only more to come, that I can only go up from my current experience with the Lord, and that the Lord does desire that His people live and walk in freedom- whatever that looks like.

I find freedom when I'm with the Lord in prayer and I just start weeping.
I find freedom when I'm in intercession for my family, friends, and city.
I find freedom when I'm getting ready in the morning and a feeling comes over me out of nowhere that makes me giggle.
I find freedom when I am too tired at night to read and I rest instead.
I find freedom when my child wants to cuddle, and I stop what I'm doing and hold them.
I find freedom in the secret place of giving, when my right hand doesn't know what my left hand is doing.

Freedom increases in my life the more I LIVE for Him. Lord, come invade every area of my heart! That I could see You and know You more!

Friday, February 25, 2011

Live for Him



Fasted Lifestyle Lesson #5
Live For Him

I have seen many slogans and phrases over the years that have something to do with 'dying to yourself' and 'living for Him', but something really hit me one day when I was meditating on fellowship ping with Him in suffering.

It was in the moment where your reading and the words come to an abrupt stop. Everything in the background fades to white noise, and three words stand out... but for Him.



For Christ’s love compels us, because we are convinced that one died for all, and therefore all died. And he died for all, that those who live should no longer live for themselves but for him who died for them and was raised again. 2 Corinthians 5:14-15

What Does this mean, "Live for Him"? It does not mean to fit Him in to your life. It does not mean to go to church regularly, pray regularly, and have some good Christian disciplines. Oh my gosh, overwhelmed with revelation of the knowledge of Him I live!

Take a look at this magnificent hidden mystery in the scriptures...

The Context is Moses has been spending a lot of time up on that mountain with God. So much so that when He came down He face was shining. He didn't want to freak the people out, he wanted to deliver the message of the Lord to them, so he covered his face to speak to them. Read this exchange:


"But Moses called out to them and asked Aaron and all the leaders of the community to come over, and he talked with them. 32 Then all the people of Israel approached him, and Moses gave them all the instructions the Lord had given him on Mount Sinai. 33 When Moses finished speaking with them, he covered his face with a veil. 34 But whenever he went into the Tent of Meeting to speak with the Lord, he would remove the veil until he came out again. Then he would give the people whatever instructions the Lord had given him, 35 and the people of Israel would see the radiant glow of his face. So he would put the veil over his face until he returned to speak with the Lord." Exodus 34:31-35 NLT

This Bible translation puts it in a way the others don't. take a look at verses 34 and 35 closely. Moses is with the Lord on the mountain. He goes down to the people until it is time to return to the Lord on the mountain. It is a heart posture. He is with the Lord, consumed by His presence, obviously, if he is up there forty days, I mean did he even eat? What went on up there?? People would die if they attempted to get past the cloud that settled at the base of the mountain, I mean, picture this! And he comes down with His face glowing! Seriously, how intense of encounter did Moses experience?

Here is the revelation of a life in God. Moses is with God, goes to do the business with the people, then returns back to God. Our Christian life looks more like this. We are with people all the time, family, work, etc. We take a little time with the Lord, then return back to the people. Do you see that?

Living for Him means everything. Everything. We say it, we sing it, but we don't know what is truly means to live for Him? Call it extreme, call it religious, but if you seriously took inventory of everything in your life- everything you own, everything you watch, every way you spend your time, every person you keep company with, everything- can you say Jesus would live the same even in this modern culture?

I want to live consumed, in thought, in deed, in motive, and in word. Father of Glory teach us how to live for You.








Wednesday, February 9, 2011

The Fasted Lifestyle


The clearest picture we have of the what the fasted lifestyle looks like is the life of John the Baptist. John the Baptist presents a picture of a man with a single life vision and focus; preparing the way of the Lord. In fact, he is the picture of a "forerunner" living a "fascinated" life.

I really want to encourage you to study the life of John the Baptist. It is something I am going after this year, asking for deeper revelation on the fasted lifestyle.

If you want to listen to the message I spoke on the Fasted Lifestyle 1/30/11 click the link below- it will take you to the Convergence House of PRayer Media site. Just click on the date and message title "The Fasted Lifestyle".

Oh and hope you are doing good on Day Two of the Global Bridegroom Fast!
- Gina

Friday, January 28, 2011

Practics of Regular Weekly Fasting


Fasted Lifestyle Lesson #4

(I am not a doctor nor do I claim to have a medical education. This post is based on personal experience only.)


After trying lots of fasts over the years I have learned a few things about my body and how to fast. As I mentioned in my previous post on The Discipline of Fasting there are many types of fasts. I need to cover two things in this post... first and briefly, since we are coming off of a 21 day fast lets look at...

Going on and off of longer fasts...
When I am going to be fasting three days or more, I begin days or a week or more ahead cutting our complex, hard-to-digest foods. For me, I cut out sweets, meats, breads, pasta, and processed foods. Next I cut out dairy (except the Activia I eat daily), and then I will start a fast with Fruits, Veges, and grains (oats, nuts, and rice). I usually can go straight to Juice or Water from there. I will do the same thing coming off a fast. I will add back in grains, then bread, then dairy, etc.
*tip* Avacadoes are VERY good for coming off a water fast. This fat is good for the digestive system to work on and get oiled up again.

Grace...Whenever you fast you must stay in tune with the Spirit. If there is not grace, don't go harder on your fast. Use wisdom. Sometimes I have much grace and sometimes I dont. Look for ways to be radical that don't hurt your body. With that said, lets talk about the importance of...

Regular Weekly Fasting...
I started regular weekly fasting three or so years ago. Before that, I fasted often one to three days a month but not consistently. Here's what happens when you commit yourself to consistent fasting. For example, if you are going for a water only fast one day a week, remember what I stated above about preparing your body, you will need to watch what you are eating the day before and the day after. This very well could effect your entire diet. I am not going to state the personal choices I have made in permanent diet changes, because it is still in process of becoming better and better, but that is all in effort to give my body to the Lord.
Some may not want to hear this, but eating unto the Lord is as important as fasting unto the Lord. I will say this, I have made a decision to moderate what I eat as a life-fast to the Lord, lest food become my God. Just like you do 21 day fasts or 40 day fasts on occasion, this is how I have chosen to eat things I consider "indulgences".

Lets also look at fasting other things than food...

I will confess I have had seasons of being addicted to watching television shows, mostly when I am sick in bed I. What happens for me is I slowly lose my spiritual appetite and become dull. Now, maybe you are a great person of discipline and you have supernatural encounters and balance a media life, I'll speak to everyone else... If you are going to fast regularly, you need to keep your heart alive. This is the opposite of "dull". This means you would need to make some life choices regarding TV and internet usage.
We went for a season without internet in our home. We figured, if we needed to go online, the inconvenience of having to do it while we are at the church would help us to only be online doing what is truly necessary. Maybe that would be helpful for some of you as well.

One Last Thought...
Recently we were given some Little House on the Prairie DVDs. I never watched that show as a kids, so it was all brand new to me. I have really been getting rocked by the simplicity of life they led in those days. In one episode, Pa, Michael Landon, was sitting up at night after the kids all went to bed in his chair, and the only book in their house was the Bible. He picked it up and started reading it, and then set it down and turned in.
I was really impressed by that. No television, no radio, his entertainment was family, the Bible, and his fiddle. Many people need this picture in mind to truly understand what this term, "fasted lifestyle" really means. Regular weekly fasting will truly help you to change your 24/7 life, I guarantee it.


Here's a Good Resource for Breaking A Fast