Wednesday, June 24, 2015

The Verizon Squeeze

Last Friday morning, I made an error in making a past due payment on our Verizon account.  I paid the whole bill, which we couldn't afford, instead of the past due amount only.  Its hamstrung our finances.  Its prompted prayers and cries for mercy in light of an error from a lack of attention to detail and fatigue.

The morning before, April and I both awoke with the same song in our minds and hearts, Always by Kristian Stanfill.  My God, he will not delay. My refuge and strength always.

In Jesus' name, we claim this together.  Great God, you will not delay. You are strength and refuge always.  Alleluia.

Saturday morning, I read from Luke 21.  As I read of the prophetic declaration by Jesus of the pending fall of Jerusalem, I thought, "Why am I reading this?"  At the end of that declaration, verse 28 struck me. I read it again, and it stuck in my heart as a word picture for me these days.

Now when these things begin to take place, stand up and raise your heads, because your redemption is drawing near. -- Luke 21: 28.

Great God, you will not delay. You're our refuge and strength always.  The things that take place, good and not so good, prompt me to stand up and raise my head because our deliverance is drawing near. Alleluia.

Barbara Yoder wrote in her book, The Cry God Hears, of the feeling of being squeezed due to circumstances when you're near the end of a time of waiting, struggle and warfare and the dawning of manifested glory in new ministry and fulfillment.  The Verizon Squeeze certainly feels like circumstances putting us in a vice emotionally and spiritually.  With such a thought this week, I go back to that verse from Luke 21:  Now when these things begin to take place, stand up and raise your heads, because your redemption is drawing near (Luke 21: 28).

April and I both believe this accident didn't happen by chance.  I've made payments via the internet to Verizon for years without mishap.  This hamstrung us from putting gas in the car so I couldn't go to work Saturday, we couldn't go to worship Sunday and purchase essentials for our daily living.  Its been a squeeze, indeed.

Sunday morning's gospel reading in the Daily Office was from Matthew 19.  Verse 29 spoke to me, And everyone who has left houses or brothers or sisters or father or mother or children or fields, for my name's sake, will receive a hundred-fold, and will inherit eternal life.  We have left much to pursue God's calling on our lives.  To many, if not all, it appears foolish.  To us, there's little we would have changed regarding the pursuit of God and declaring what he's told us of what is to come.  We still invite you to join us in the pursuit, but there will be cost.

Monday morning, the gospel lesson echoed the end time theme of the previous lessons.  Luke 21: 29-30 were my verses: Then he told them a parable: “Look at the fig tree and all the trees; as soon as they sprout leaves you can see for yourselves and know that summer is already near.  Signs are evident there is change on its way.  

When we approached the possibility of not attending worship due to a lack of gas money but still asking the Lord for it, April reminded me she heard the Lord tell her in worship the Sunday before "you won't be here next week."  We weren't.  Now when these things begin to take place, stand up and raise your heads, because your redemption is drawing near.

April had two dreams this week.  In the first, she saw a bedside, windup alarm clock with the time nine o'clock on its face.  Nine means visitation and deliverance.  In the second, the four of us in this family were in a car. We arrived at a large, round lake.  The road circled it. As we drove around it, we were hit by a wave from one direction but kept going.  On the other side of the lake, we were hit by another wave from a different direction that sent us careening into a red car, but we kept going.  The first wave was the payment accident. The second was the financial difficulty that ensued with anger (the red car), but we kept going.  Nothing will impede us.  Now when these things begin to take place, stand up and raise your heads, because your redemption is drawing near.

Our creditors have called us relentlessly these days, but we've prayed for their prosperity because we will pay them back.  Now when these things begin to take place, stand up and raise your heads, because your redemption is drawing near.

My hands have broken out due to the strong hand soap and detergent at work.  Now when these things begin to take place, stand up and raise your heads, because your redemption is drawing near. 

Our children have felt squeezed financially, as well.  We've had to borrow from them for gas and coffee (essentials of life).  This is painful for me as a father.  They have been gracious but felt it wasn't fair to them.  Now when these things begin to take place, stand up and raise your heads, because your redemption is drawing near.

I had a bout of frustration and emotional fatigue (any wonder?) regarding ever returning to work this week, as well.  April reminded me of Bill Johnson's call to believers to always finish well when seasons draw to a close.  Finish well.  She said I should endeavor to finish well, not quit, keep going until God releases me.  That was hard to hear, but I see it as a lesson I need to learn and not a course or class to withdraw from.  Selah.   Now when these things begin to take place, stand up and raise your heads, because your redemption is drawing near.

I talked recently with Verizon, and money should be credited back to our debit card account soon.  It was a relief, but we're still left with the admonition to trust in our God because when these things begin to take place, stand up and raise your heads, because your redemption is drawing near.

We're going to finish well and go home!  Alleluia!

Saturday, June 20, 2015

Going Home

I worked until 10 p.m. one night recently.  As my shift was nearing its end, and I washed the prep room floor, one of my colleagues from a nearby department came in the room.  He looked for me to inflate balloons for a customer without saying a word.  We provide that service, and he had four balloons in hand, but sighed when he caught sight of me washing the floor.  Without lifting my head or changing my posture, I asked how many balloons.  He said four and that he could do it. He inflated them with helium and headed for the door.  I thanked him.

The next morning I asked April what the number four meant prophetically.  She said Holy Spirit and works of humanity and works of the land.  All of those make sense in light of what followed the night before.

A few minutes after my colleague left, I neared completion of the floor and my shift.  An employee I'd never seen before came in and startled me by saying, "Are you through with this pallet jack?"  I said, "Yes, by all means, take it."  He stopped and said, "You look ready to go home."  I said I was, putting the last touches on the floor and sweating.

A moment or two after he left I thought the term "home" meant more than where I lay my head.  I want it to mean where I belong. I never considered Sand Mountain as home, but it is, and I'm ready to go home.  Its where we belong.

That night I got a sign of a pending word from the Lord.  The Holy Spirit was about to speak about hope (the prophetic meaning of the color yellow which was the color of the balloons) and the home ground - 4 balloons inflated.  We are about to be elevated to our home, our land, where God will bless his world and fulfill our destinies.  Alleluia.  Selah.

Its where our destiny in God is found.  Its where we will return and steward a "farm" where the Presence will abound as worship is ongoing.  The sick and troubled and hopeless will come and receive what only the Lord can give.  The land will be where people from all over the world will come to be inspired and granted wisdom and insight for their communities and governmental and corporate responsibilities.

The Presence of the Lord will abound, and there will be a portal for angelic activity from heaven to earth and earth to heaven.  There will be healing rooms for dear ones to come and receive prayer for healing of all forms.  This will be a ministry and a place that will be known everywhere, and it will be far beyond anything April and I have conceived or considered.  This is our home, and it will be where we will find our home, and we're ready.

Friday, June 19, 2015

Forgetfulness Removed

While driving home from work one day last week, I stopped by to see April's uncle at the hospital.  As I neared the hospital, I recalled visiting a woman from Albertville at Marshall South Medical Center in Boaz six years ago.  She'd been diagnosed with cancer.  I shared with her being prayed for by a Portuguese speaking Brazilian bishop at a conference in Pennsylvania.  He imparted to me what he had.  I prayed for her after I shared.  Days later after a blood test, no cancer was found.

I hadn't thought of that in years.  It was cool it came to me as I was about to visit Randy. I told Randy & Tawanah, his wife, April's aunt, that story and prayed for him the same I did for Pat.  They received it in faith.

When I shared this with April she reminded me of when I was prayed for by the bishop. He declared over me women with cancer will come to me asking for prayer, and they'll be healed.  I'd forgotten.

This week, Doug Addison posted on his blog this is a time of major transition.  "There will be another major spiritual shift in June, and 'June gloom' will lift and the fog of forgetfulness will be removed.  God will begin to bring to your memory promises you have forgotten.  This will set the pace for the rest of the year (and) for things to 'fall into place' in the fall."

One of our friends in Albertville reposted Doug's blog post on her Facebook page.  When I read it it prompted me to recollect all this again.  June is bringing back promises and memories, prayers, declarations and ministry.

When I was writing the previous post for my blog I included a quote from Isaiah 66: 8, "Can a nation be saved (born) in a day?"  I was writing on June 16, and I looked up this verse in my NIV.  I found verses 7-9 highlighted, and the date 6/16/11 written in the margin. It was exactly four years from when the Spirit originally shared with me those verses and finding them again.

Verse 8 echoes the power of a single day.  Most of all, the discovery of these verses brought to me four years ago today affirm this month being a time when things are remembered.  Alleluia.  Selah.

Tuesday, June 16, 2015

One Sunday In June (Triple Crown)

But he looked at them and said, "What then does this text mean: 'The stone that the builders rejected has become the cornerstone?'"
-- Luke 20: 17

Sunday morning as I was preparing to go with April and Anna to worship, I read what Doug Addison posted on Facebook that morning, to expect the Lord to speak through a person brought to you.

Also, before we left, I noticed a song had played repeatedly on one of our iTune playlists that morning (9 hours of music and on random play mode).  It was Oceans from Hillsong.  The praise team at Word Alive, sure enough, sang it in worship, and the Spirit stirred the congregation powerfully.  The chorus reads, "Spirit, lead me where my trust is without borders, let me walk upon the waters wherever you would call me."  I leaned over to April in worship and said, "How many times do I need to hear this song?"

During worship, April told us later she saw in her spirit angels gathering on Sand Mountain.

The morning message was brought by Daniel, the director of 7 Springs Ministries on the campus of Word Alive.  I took notes on what he shared.

Chuck Pierce lost his twins to death several years ago.  The Lord told him to visit Civil War battle sites.  In traveling, God told him to get off I-20 at the Coldwater, AL exit.  As he did, the Lord told him to declare "a double portion/anointing" for this area.  Chuck has also said the state of Alabama will be a forerunner in the coming worldwide revival.  April told me later in a dream Saturday night/Sunday morning I had two babies.  She thought, in light of what Daniel shared, the two babies represented a young and growing double portion/anointing.  In Jesus' name, we claim the double portion for these days!

In the message, Daniel shared about growing more acquainted with revival and prophetic language and symbols.  When he grew more desirous for revival in Alabama and believing what Chuck said about this state, he heard repeatedly from multiple sources the phrase, "Redigging the ancient wells."  He started asking for confirmation of what he heard and was it truly prophetic.

He ran across a prophecy Smith Wigglesworth shared with Lester Sumrall, two true revivalists of their day in the early 20th century.  He spoke of the greatest worldwide revival/move of God to come.  It was Lester Sumrall that ordained Kent & Bev Mattox.  They were later drawn to Coldwater, AL, the place of the double portion, to start Word Alive International Outreach.

Daniel was given scripture.  One verse was Habakkuk 3:2, "Renew your deeds in this day (I was given this verse by the Spirit when we lived in Albertville)."  In a prophecy of the coming revival from Bob Jones he read after Bob's death on Valentine's Day, 2014, The Glory Train Is Coming, he quoted Hab. 3:2 and the phrase, "Redigging the ancient wells."  Daniel prayed for confirmation this was something he could trust was a word from the Lord. His spiritual mother told him days later he should look for and expect sign posts pointing to the pending move of God and where Alabama is a forerunner.  The sign post would be a triple crown, she said.

Back in '12 when April was going to Anniston to visit her brother, Stan, in the hospital before he died, she saw a cloud in the shape of a crown as she drove through Alexandria on 431 near Coldwater.  In '13 on a Sunday morning in a time of worship at our house, April saw Jesus come into the room and put a crown on my head.

Two Saturdays ago, American Pharaoh won horse racing's Triple Crown.  When I found out about the win, I said to Anna, "I wonder if that means something prophetic?"  Revival is on the verge.

Anna dreamed last Saturday night as April dreamed about me having two babies.  One of the characteristics of the coming move of God Daniel affirmed on Sunday is the transfer of wealth.  Anna dreamed of painting toenails. One of the dream interpretations of painted toenails Anna found was the transference of wealth.

Daniel also talked about a Joseph anointing in these days.  Our friend, Carol, said months ago she believed I carried a Joseph anointing - being in a limited set of circumstances (prison) for a season that positions one to be in a place of honor in a palace in a day.  Great God, a nation can be saved in a day (Isa. 66: 8). Alleluia. Selah.

He also talked about the disqualified are the qualified in this coming move of God.  We heard Bishop Joseph Garlington say years ago, "What qualifies you, disqualifies you, and what disqualifies you, qualifies you."  

April and I debriefed Monday morning about our mutual experiences on Sunday.  We were in awe about Sunday morning, and what was brought back to our memories, and what confirmations came forth for us in this season.  While this is true, we remain invisible to so many even after we share with them our destiny in God.  The invisible nature of our condition will make our emergence all the more a work of God.  These are wonderful days to be alive.

Thursday, June 11, 2015

We Can Only Afford Air

When Jesus heard this, he said to him, “There is still one thing lacking. Sell all that you own and distribute the money to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; then come, follow me.” . . . .
And he said to them, “Truly I tell you, there is no one who has left house or wife or brothers or parents or children, for the sake of the kingdom of God, 
who will not get back very much more in this age, and in the age to come eternal life.” -- Luke 18: 22, 29-30

I read from Luke 18 recently.  When I read verses 29 & 30 they stirred me.  We have and will have plenty of provision, but we've lost friends.  We'll have friends, particularly new ones, that will come to us, support and minister to us in the days to come.

I shared that with April minutes later. She said afterward she sensed what she believed was the Lord saying, "You worry about giving the pittance of the tithe when I see you've given me everything."  When she shared, we both shed tears.  

The certain ruler in Luke 18 couldn't do what Jesus told him, sell all he owned and give the funds to the poor and follow Jesus.  We've done this not to receive in this life but to participate in the ministry of the kingdom of God in this world, to reveal how good God is, to trust what we've been told and to dream with God.  Alleluia.

A couple of days ago when one of our tires needed air I thought, "We can only afford air."  Actually, we were between pay checks and could hardly afford air for the tire. 

This is how its been for us off and on for over 18 months.  Our debts have increased and left unpaid.  I've only worked part-time since Safe Harbor closed.  We haven't shared how difficult its been financially for us following God's calling and destiny.  Fagan and Ginny's graciousness toward us in providing housing and meals have been very important and loving.  I don't know where we'd be without them.

I got up early one morning recently.  We've had a slow leak in the front, driver side tire.  When I awoke I thought about swapping the tire's position with a back tire.  I went outside, stared at the tire, changed my mind, checked the oil and went back inside.  I thought I'd just put air in it and get it looked at my next day off.   The thought then came to me to get a new tire and an oil change while at work that day.

I can't explain the peace that came to me.  It was funny, peace for deciding to get a tire and an oil change.  I'd just got paid so we had the money.  Both were necessary.  There was peace, and it remains.  It feels we're are prosperous, prosperous to live comfortably though we live hand to mouth.

April listened to a recent Bill Johnson sermon.  He talked about the gates of pearls from the book of Revelation.  When praise and worship take place amidst struggle and defeat, pearls are produced. 

April dreamed in the month of April of a treasure box of pearls of all sizes, including diamond encrusted large ones.  It dawned on April this weekend these pearls were formed when we praised and worshiped despite or amidst all kinds of difficulties and struggles these last couple years.  These are treasures born of praise despite circumstances.