Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Roller Coasters, Puppies, and Learning to Fly!

The past eleven days has been a real roller coaster ride! I am not a big fan of roller coasters, either at amusement parks or in real life! They make me nauseous and I'm not a fan of the thrill. Sometimes however the trials of life that feel like roller coaster rides can help us grow the most in faith. Hopefully the story I am about to tell will produce growth in me. After-all, the Lord can use anything (Romans 8:28)!

Our children have been begging us for a while for a puppy. My husband and I have been researching what would be a good breed for our family. We have tried big breed dogs and they usually knock the children over and can be pretty destructive so that did not work for our family. We once had a Miniature Schnauzer and she was a really good dog. She was smart, easy to house-break and good with the kids. Pure bred Schnauzers however are a lot more than we could afford. I ended up finding some mixed breed Schnauzer/ Havanese puppies that were available. They cost a lot less and were very cute. So, January 4th we surprised our children with this new puppy because for some reason Tom and I thrive off chaos ;) We had her for four days when suddenly she started vomiting, not just once but multiple times. I took her to the vet where they performed some tests on her and discovered she had Parvovirus. From everything I read online, Parvo was often times fatal in puppies. The prognosis looked pretty bleak!

Ironically right before all this happened, the Lord gave me a word for this year. He told me this year would be a year of learning to walk in Kingdom authority; the authority I have as a daughter of the King. Now, if you are like me, you know this stuff in your head but it hasn't necessarily reached your heart yet. That is the place I think I am at. The Lord also told me he wanted me to come up higher and take my rightful place among royalty. I then saw an origami fortune teller like we would often make in middle school and I saw an origami bird. He told me I could either choose to worry about the future or I could choose to become like a bird and fly.

I am thinking it can be a really powerful thing to truly know who we are in Christ and walk in the knowledge of the authority we have in him! We are God's children and we have full access to his Kingdom. In the story of the prodigal son, the father reminded the elder son that everything he had was available to him and at his disposal. This applies to us as well! If we could walk in the knowledge of that, we could move mountains!

Often times however, we choose to get caught up in worldly affairs and worry. If you are like me, you worry about the here and now and what the future holds. By doing this, we rob ourselves of our inheritance.

The younger son understood that he could have full access to his inheritance in the present. What he did not understand is that he was made for greatness. If he had chosen to stay in his Father's house, he would have been able to walk in that greatness. Instead he chose what the world was offering him and lost his dignity until he repented and came back to the father.

One thing I have learned through the late John Wimber and his book "Power Healing" is  we do not need to beg God for things. He is our loving Father and longs to pour out on us the richness of his mercy and grace. It is available for the asking. Once John begged the Lord for healing for a sick woman and the Lord gave John a vision of a huge honey-comb overflowing and dripping with honey. He showed John that he did not need to beg for healing. He was a loving Father, longing to pour out his goodness.

Now, I don't fully understand everything about the Kingdom. I don't understand why God would heal a puppy and not always people. Scripture says that God's ways are not our ways (Isaiah 55:8). There have been times in the past I have prayed for terminally ill people and even children. I was believing for healing for them as were their loved ones. The Holy Spirit led me to pray for them and when the burden to intercede lifted from my heart, I heard the Lord say, "It is finished!" and then they died. I believe they did receive their healing, just not in the way we wanted to see. They must have received their healing in the after-life and their suffering was worth something, it was redemptive.

So, back to our puppy. I figured if I could believe in healing for a puppy, I could believe more fully in healing for people who are made in the image and likeness of God. She ended up being my guinea pig to learn how to pray more perfectly for healing. I believed that God wanted to heal her. I tried to stand in faith of God's healing for her but my faith was tested greatly! As she was getting over the Parvovirus, she was developing a whole new set of symptoms not related to the Parvo. She was experiencing pain all over her body, especially in her hind legs. At first the vet thought she had a liver problem but then it was discovered that she had a bad case of hook worms that had migrated into her muscles. All week long it was touch and go as to whether she would live or die. Meanwhile, we imagined our pocket book shrinking and the dog not even making it. The reason it felt like a roller coaster ride was because I let what the vet was telling me and the circumstances dictate whether I had faith or lack of peace and discouragement. This showed me that I still had a long way to go and a lot to learn. I believed I was supposed to pray for her healing but my faith for that was definitely tested. Amazingly she did live and she is home with us. She still has some pain, can't walk well and is weak but I am continuing to pray for her and believe in a full recovery. Oh, and on the financial end of things, the breeder gave me my money back for the puppy plus money for the vet. The vet bill didn't come to nearly as much as I thought it would and what the woman gave me almost paid for all of it.

I believe the Lord wants to get us to a place where our faith and trust in him is unwavering and not dependent on our circumstances. When the storms of life come he wants us to not be shaken. A couple years ago the Lord gave me a word that a great harvest was coming into the Church. I was also told that "Now is the time to get ready!". The Lord, through the storms of life is preparing people to be a light to others. He is preparing us to be able to stand even in the midst of adversity and give hope to those around us! He is calling us to help manifest his Kingdom here on earth!

Friday, January 2, 2015

Jesus Wore Purple Knickers

I recently realized I hadn't blogged the whole month of December. It wasn't because I was too busy or because I didn't have anything to write about but because I have been pondering some things and have been letting them take root before sharing.

One truth I have been reflecting on is how Jesus took on our shame. He literally took on our shame when he died such a shameful death on the cross. Since he took on our shame, we do not need to walk in shame. Often however we do walk in shame because of past hurts and sin we have experienced. The enemy would like to use these hurts to keep us down and keep us from doing the works God has called us in advance to do (Ephesians 2:10). The Lord however would like to help us overcome these hurts and then would like to use these healed hurts to help others and bring glory to his name.

One such incident in my own life was from middle school. In 7th grade, I was bused to an inner city school in Alexandria, Louisiana. My mother had just taken a trip to Chicago and discovered new fashions that she had not yet seen in my little town of Pineville, Louisiana. One such fashion she witnessed was on a mannequin in a high end department store. She thought it was adorable so she bought it for me. It consisted of dark purple knickers and knee high yellowish, orange socks. Please do not google purple knickers because good things will not come up, but basically they were pants that went to the knees with elastic. This was not yet something my little town in Louisiana had seen in the early 1980's. Reluctantly I decided I would wear them to school since my mother was so excited about them and she lovingly bought them for me. Let's just say it did not go very well. In the morning before classes started, everyone would gather under the outdoor pavilion. On this particular day, not even my friends would stand by me. Many of the students stood in a circle, with me in the middle as they pointed, laughed and called my knickers another name that sounds similar. I was beyond humiliated and it turned out to be the longest day ever. I hung my head low in shame each time I had to switch classes and then in the afternoon, get on the bus. I thought I would die and the day would never end!

That incident happened years ago and I had pretty much forgotten about it. I definitely did not think it still affected me, but one day the memory reared it's ugly head. As the memory surfaced, I realized I still felt embarrassed and shameful regarding it. That incident made me feel like a loser. I prayed about it and asked Jesus to show me where he was when this happened. Do you know what he showed me? Something that made me laugh and put a smile on my face; He showed me himself standing next to me when all my peers were standing around me taunting and making fun of me. Not only that, but he was proudly wearing purple knickers!!! I get teary eyed even thinking about it.

That is what it means that he took on our shame and humiliation. He really did experience everything that we experience. That is what the incarnation was all about! He didn't just redeem us from a distance, he became one of us! His entire life was an act of redemption!
Philippians 2:6 - Though he was in the form of God, did not regard equality with God as something to be exploited, but emptied himself, taking the form of a slave, being born in human likeness. And being found in human form, he humbled himself and became obedient to the point of death - even death on a cross.
And I will end with this awesome scripture passage that I read just this morning: 
Philippians 3:20-21 - Our citizenship is in heaven, and it is from there that we are expecting a Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ, He will transform the body of our humiliation that it may be conformed to the body of his glory, by the power that also enables him to make all things subject to himself. 
Have a very blessed New Year!