Sunday, February 24, 2013

On the Road Again

"There are no 'if's' in God's world. And no places that are safer than other places. The center of His will is our only safety-...let us pray that we may always know it!" (The Hiding Place- Corrie Ten Boom)

This quote came to mind at our prayer meeting Tuesday night. We were spending time looking back and being thankful for all The Lord has done in, through and for Omega over the past year.
It came to mind again as I battled Atlanta traffic, Friday afternoon with some close calls and crazy drivers around me. It was close to the end of my 4 hr shift and I was tired. Keeping the trailer which has a line to line wheel base, taking up the whole lane, and leading another vehicle and navigating through traffic gets tiring really quickly. 'Ahh! this is tour!', I thought.

We headed out on our first tour of the new year Friday morning. It was a good feeling to get on the road again, - after all, this is what we work so hard for in the studios. It is also bittersweet for me. This will be my last US tour with these girls, this ministry, and Ballet Magnificat. I don't want to miss a thing and feel like I have have my eyes open wider than ever as we set out, not wanting to miss seeing God move in any way.

I'll copy a portion of what I wrote in my journal after the first program in McDonough, GA.
"As I paced backstage in the darkness I just raised my hands to the Lord in adoration and surrender. 'Use me God!' My spirit cried out. 'We are yours, your instruments...use us as you would! Humble us, anoint your servants and fill us with joy overflowing.' (Little did I know what I was truly asking for. :)
I'm in awe of God who chooses to use the weak and foolish things of the world. It is a privilege to be His and to partner with Him in His work. So many 'little' things seemed to go wrong last night from our perspective backstage, things that you nothing about except laugh. Leslie's earring flew off; one of mine ended up in my shoe during a fast change and was there for the rest of the second act (and it didn't puncture my foot!); one of my braids came unpinned and was whipping me in the face and other unplanned hilarity. I guess I got what I asked overflowing!"

Some of that joy came through our ministry time as well. Sovereign God orchestrated our salvation that His children might walk in freedom! I truly have no greater joy than to watch God transforming lives and setting them on a path towards abundant life; an abiding life, a life hidden in Christ.

This tour will be almost 4 weeks long. We have one more stop in GA before stopping in Orlando and Saint Augustine, FL; Cleveland, OH; Vincennes, IN; NJ/ PA; and Hartford, CT. We experienced the opposition rising already this past week as we prepared to head out and positioned ourselves spiritually on the front lines. Your prayers are greatly appreciated as we don't take the Lord's provision, protection or strength for granted.

Prayer Requests:

- Joy - Not only does the Word of God tell us that the joy of the Lord is our strength, but it is also a command. Despite the obstacles and trials that will come up, I want to walk in joy, cherishing each moment and the people He's placed in my path.

- Grace - To juggle this transition season, staying in touch/involved with my family and their lives long-distance, and all that tour entails, requires tons of grace.
Please pray for grace on my body as well. My hips and back are pretty bad. I have almost constant pain in then right side of my back that often hinders me from lifting my right leg or sitting for extended periods of time... both being things that tour demands.

- Sensitivity- I want open eyes, heart and hands this month. I don't want to miss a single opportunity, 'God-moment', word, person etc. but truly function in and minister Christ's love.
I am also praying for clarity and direction for the next season of my life. Pray that the Lord will speak clearly and open/shut doors.

Sunday, February 10, 2013

Faded Memories

In loving memory ~
It has been eleven years since my dad passed away. This year, for the first time in 11 years, the calendar week is the same as it was the week my dad died. The memories , good and bad, (though faded now,) flood back.  I still weep when I sing "It Is Well", one of dad's favorite hymns, and remember singing it 2-15-2002 at His memorial service. What a celebration that was! The Lord took His son  home that week and now dad is enjoying the presence of Jesus in glory! I will also confess that the song "Butterfly Kisses " kinda  melts my heart when it comes on the radio. Thoughts of what could have been, and the reality of what will never be flood back especially strong this time of year.  I wrote a poem for dad's memorial service and it began like this.
"Daddy I will miss you,
All the smiles you gave;
All the times you made me laugh,
These treasures I will save."
February 11, 2002... It was a Monday night just like it is this year. I remember it like it was yesterday and yet the memories are beginning to fade. My world turned upside-down that night. I was awake all night once the call came. I wanted to hate God forever, but knew I had a choice in front of me. I felt alone, confused, angry and wanted to run from God.  I also felt His presence that night and knew that everything I had been taught from the Word was true. That the Lord loved me and would care for me and wipe away every tear...somehow, some way. That was also the night I chose Him. My life took a radical course change. Christ came into my life and I was filled with joy and a Phil. 4:6-7 peace which surpasses all understanding. After hearing my testimony, a friend once wrote this amazingly accurate picture the Lord gave him.
"I have this picture of young girl hugging her knees for warmth, sitting in the darkness as it presses in around her. The darkness is strong, powerful, making her shake with anger and fear...but another presence is there as well. He is there...light, life, hope, on His knees before you whispering your name and your infinite worth to Him. His arms are open aching for you to run into them, where He can hold you and cry with you, letting you know that although the grieving and pain are real, He hurts along side you and in time He will wash every tear away and replace it with pure joy. I know too many who have run from those arms. Instead you came rushing into them that night." Praise the Lord!

It was Valentines week and a hard decision to let a loving husband, son, and father go. As confident as I am that I will see my dad again, I am also stuck in this human frame which selfishly grieves my own loss.  This week as I remember and grieve the loss of my earthly father, I also rejoice in my Abba-Father. The Lord God is my Comforter, My Shield, My Shepherd. His rod and staff comfort and correct me.  He is my validation and my affirmation.  He is my Protector and the Lover of my soul.

Several sequels have followed the poem I wrote 11 years ago. (You can read the 7 yr memorial poem in a note on my fb page.)  This is just one more sequel. :) This one may seem to be more on the sad side as I processed many "what could'a been's", and the raw and real side of loss and sadness. Please just know that these thoughts are always backed with a supernatural joy and thankfulness to a faithful God who has carried me every step of the way.

The years fly by and the memories start to fade, but I will always be Daddy's little girl.
Faded Memories

Daddy, 11 years have passed,
And I miss you just the same;
My heart still hurts when I think of you
Though the memories start to wan.

Daddy, I still miss you,
Though time and pain have passed;
Many tears of what 'coulda been'
And the pain that seems to last.

Just hold me in your arms again,
Say you won't let go;
Tell me I'm your little girl,
And tell me that you know.

Show me your support,
As I learn and serve and grow;
Tell me that you're proud of me
And let some others know.

Support me, and encourage,
As I walk with God and grow;
Let me spread my little wings,
To the places God's said "go".

Daddy, I'm still your little girl,
Though I'm quite grown up now;
Still say you think I'm beautiful,
I'll stay your little girl somehow.

Ward off unwanted suitors,
And keep me as your own;
And give me away one special day,
To someone loved and known.

Walk me down the isle,
Dance that dance with me;
Bless me with your blessing,
All the things that cannot be.

It's hard to be one left behind,
It doesn't really seem fair;
I'm just thankful you are free from pain,
And enjoying God up there.

Though the years will come and go,
The memories fade and die;
God has ALWAYS been faithful,
And this I cannot deny!
11 years ago today, I surrendered my life to Christ. Spiritually, I was the one dead and my dad was actually alive, but the most amazing transaction happened that night. Christ rescued me from sin and the death I deserve and nailed it to His cross once for all. I now know that I too will one day worship Jesus in heaven, in the glorious presence of the Most High God. I cannot wait! If only I can finish strong and be found a faithful servant, daughter and disciple. I want to hear those precious words, "well done, good and faithful servant".
Yes, the memories have faded, but with each passing day the eminent approach of Christ's return or my journey home draws nearer. Looking back over the past 11 years, and remembering all God has done and all His faithfulness, my only response is thankfulness. Gratitude for the Lord's faithfulness, mercy and grace wash over me anew.  Great is Thy Faithfulness!

"Praise be to the God and father of our Lord Jesus Christ. In His great mercy He has given us new birth, into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, and into an inheritance that can never perish spoil or fade, kept in heaven for you who through faith are shielded by God's power until the coming of salvation that is ready to be revealed in the last days. In this you greatly rejoice, though for a little while you may have had to suffer trials of various kinds, these have come so that the testing of your faith, of greater worth than gold, may be proved genuine and result in praise glory and honor when Christ Jesus is revealed. Though you do not see Him you love Him and though you do not see Him now, you believe in Him and are filled with an inexpressible and glorious joy for you are receiving the goal of your faith, the salvation of your souls." 1 Peter 1


Saturday, February 9, 2013

Holy Unto The Lord

Today, as I was reading in Exodus 28, the words of vs 36 jumped out at me. Aaron, acting as the high priest, would enter the Holy of Holies and offer sacrifices for all of Israel's sins. He had to wear a sign on his forehead. It was a sign for the Lord. The sign said "Holy to the Lord". Wow! I began thinking... Isn't there a New Testament verse about writing on our foreheads? My concordance led me to revelation 22. When we see His face, He will make His name visible, written on our foreheads. And His name IS Holy!!!

Not only do we not have to continually offer sacrifices of atonement for our sins, because of Jesus sacrifice once for all, but God sees "Holy to the Lord" written on us because of Christ's blood. Then, when we see Jesus, face to face we will receive in full our inheritance; holiness, purity and son-ship. Wow! I'm excited! Are you excited?
"It makes me want to shout! Hallelujah! Thank you Jesus! Lord you're worthy of all of the glory, of all of the honor, of all of the praise."

"You shall make a plate of pure gold and engrave on it, like the engraving of a signet, "Holy to the Lord ." And you shall fasten it on the turban by a cord of blue. It shall be on the front of the turban. It shall be on Aaron's forehead, and Aaron shall bear any guilt from the holy things that the people of Israel consecrate as their holy gifts. It shall regularly be on his forehead, that they may be accepted before the Lord ." (Exodus 28:36-38 ESV)

"No longer will there be anything accursed, but the throne of God and of the Lamb will be in it, and his servants will worship him. They will see his face, and his name will be on their foreheads. And night will be no more. They will need no light of lamp or sun, for the Lord God will be their light, and they will reign forever and ever." (Revelation 22:3-5 ESV)

On a side note. I was down at "We Will Go" ministries again today. I got to make all sorts of animal hats for their kids day. But, as I participated I came to the conclusion that converted gangsters are the real deal. There is something so powerful about a converted, Jesus -following gangster. I guess God just showed me another piece of his heart for ALL mankind. Praying for a few more gangster converts and this city could turn upside down. :)