It was raining pretty hard as I drove down the country road. There were two others in the car. I saw the person long before we got really close. She was wearing a white coat.I knew I had to stop and pick her up. I opened the rear door and she got in. She thanked us and answered the questions folks asked of her. She needed to make a call but there was no cell service, so I offered her the phone in the farmhouse we were headed to.
We soon arrived jumping out of the car in the rain we went inside. She had told us her name was Torre. She made her call and walked out the door, bidding us good bye. I thought I saw a car pull up. I thought, “that was pretty fast”. But as I walked in the country kitchen the furnace was making loud noises. I went to go down to the basement to check on it. Lights started flickering and I thought to myself, “welcome to the wilderness”.
I came up the stairs and there was Torre. Something was going on. I said to her, “I thought you left”. Her response was “plans have changed”. Her eyes flashed with anger and truly everything looked weird in the room. I did not hear my friends. “I came to ruin everything” she said. The house was getting hotter from the clanging furnace.
I began to see that the power of the enemy was working to establish itself here. I spoke to Torre and she began to hold her head. She began to moan as she fell to the floor. “You’re too nice” she said to me. I reached down to put my hand on her head. Others came in the room with guns. I held up my other hand and said “no”. They stopped. Torre was crying on the floor. The furnace stopped and I heard the wind moving through the house. Everything became light as the rain stopped. Where there had been no sounds of animals or birds, soon there was a song of goodness over the house…
What a great day?! (From 12/97)
Does this sound premature or even too upbeat for you?
How often we approach the things of the world with the tools of the world and wonder why we feel and act like the world. Yesterday nothing went according to my plans and yet it probably went better! I found out at 15 minutes til service that our song leader was not going to be there. Fortunately, my brother was visiting with his guitar, but we had not played these songs. And it was all out of my control and in His from that point on. We are not of this world to act like the world but to be a light. So when it started freezing rain, I began to wonder about the wisdom of my daughter being here, knowing that my mom was visiting from Indiana and she was headed 3 hours from here, and my dad needed a ride back to his home. But first, let me tell you why they were all here. They came to church and that is a miracle in itself! But they all made it home safely, because my mom stayed here and played Scrabble.
So, today I have a meeting with the fire marshal and the Department of Labor and Industry regarding the code of our building. Two years they were contacted with no response and now… Somehow I doubt that our landlord will be thrilled.
Why did God tell us we could have peace if He didn’t mean it or it wasn’t attainable? Not only is there peace but a peace that passes all understanding. So, it is a great day. I do have peace. Because nothing will ever separate me from the love of the Lord. And that alone, when you embrace it, should tell you that its a no lose situation for you and I.
Tina would tell people that I never worry, because she worried enough for both of us. Lately, she has learned the value of not worrying. Its easier to laugh. Sometimes I get this picture of the devil’s little demon going back to headquarters saying, “Sir, I abused them, provoked them and trashed them. They are laughing and people are watching thinking there is something different about them. Someone even suggested that they might be Christians! What do we do?”
And satan’s angry response is probably, “don’t do anything else!”
(On the other hand how many times has something gone right for you, and you credit the devil, by saying, “Aren’t I lucky” or “I can’t believe it!” or “You know, the devil is testing me”-HELLO???)
If every Christian got the value of the name of Jesus, that when you cry it out, little demons every where are scurrying off, or doing push-ups at the name above all names…power.
So as the man of the 60’s, Alfred E. Neuman of Mad magazine said, “who, me worry?” Why do we worry? Because we switch to “souls mode from spirit mode”. And I do it, too. (Contrary to popular belief, I haven’t parted oceans , walked on water, or got this Christian lifestyle down perfectly.)
So, today, let’s give thanks in everything, all the time. Grateful hearts are great-full hearts. And the enemy finds it hard to get a foothold when the anointing oil of Jesus is all over you.
Even the world knew, “don’t worry, be happy”. And as Christians with heaven as a destiny, we have the greatest reason not to worry and be happy.
That is from December 1997. Not too long after that my dad died of cancer. Right now my little brother is in a battle to defeat cancer. And me…I am determined to see His kingdom come, his will be done, here on earth as it is in heaven. As I spoke to the father of a 5 year old with leukemia, I found myself thinking, “not here, not now, not never”.
We lost that building as I knew we would. No longer were we the upper room. (Though on a cold night you can see the lettering a young lady did stand out in the frost on the windows, declaring “John 3:16 Jesus is Lord”. Some things are forever. He is one!)
As I read the post from 1997 I can tell you I had not a clue about the things to come. My family was doing well, my businesses were doing great and I was on the top of the internet wave back then. (Funny how my internet is down this morning though!) I had the words, the hope and the promise. I had the process but I did not have the processing. That was to come.
At the beginning I shared a dream I had a day or so ago. I thought to myself as I woke up from it. I never pick up hitchhikers, let alone a woman. I do not know the farmhouse though it was like so many I have been in over the years. I did not know the people. But I knew even in the dream “loving people” is more important than agenda.
I looked up the name Torre. It meant tower in a number of languages. I thought, how many towers do I encounter that want to stand up against me, exalt themselves against the name of Jesus? How many people feel they need to stand up to be heard?
Many years ago I was in a meeting with a spiritual dad, Jack Taylor. As the room opened itself up for prayer, he asked how many were in pain. The room showed hands all over the place. I was partnered with another minister and we began to pray as others did. One woman was in severe pain in her back. We prayed. I used every “trick” in the book. And Jack walked over and knelt down beside the woman laying on the floor. He leaned over and whispered. Her body gave up the pain and peace overtook. I asked him, “what did you do?” He said “I told it to ‘stop’.” He walked away. I thought, it is not loud or difficult.
Too often in life we think we must stand up to be heard, when in reality it is “a soft answer that turns away anger”. I had thought louder was better. Jack showed me an understanding of authority and faith in what He has done is better.
The young woman Torre, thought she needed to “hurt someone” to get it right. To be bigger.
I often think of the person who is “waiting” for a spouse. I wonder if “trust” is better than waiting. I always know that when some is talking about something, perhaps who they are or what they are, they may truly understand the process but not the processing. Telling someone your title or function may in fact reveal knowledge but not yet reveal the functioning or the result of processing. (I am all about calling things that are not, but I ask you to ponder what I just said.) Are you “waiting” or has He provided? Stop waiting and start being. Don’t get caught up in the wait, but get caught up in Him.
The Torre in my dream was a beautiful young lady. I am sure she thought she would use that to “get to me”. What she really needed was to be loved for who she was. Too often people are running around with ultimatums and thrashing from unmet expectations when the reality is, do you or I trust God? Are we giving people the chance or the opportunity to repent, to change, to become better.
Many times over the years people have showed up in services or situations and remembered who I was. Most of those things can be found under one of these adjectives or nouns. Long haired hippie freak, gun using, dangerous, drug user, witch or “not too nice”. (I get embarrassed when I am met with someone’s remembrance. All I can do is say, “I am sorry-that is not who I am”.) People can and will change. Most times it is a love or a belief issue.
God was bigger than Saul and He was bigger than me. Surely He has room for another.