Discipleship At Its Best

In Matthew 28:19, Jesus starts off by saying, “Therefore, go and make disciples of all the nations…”  I am crying and filled with such an immense sense of joy as I type this because for once in my life, in a church setting no less, I can think of 3 beautiful men who are so dear to my heart who are doing just what Jesus said, for me.  These men, in no particular order include, Dennis Arroyo, Russ Painter and Gary Fishman.

These three prophet guys are so very special to me.  They have been my introduction into what Jesus modeled in leadership.  I can sit and just form a puddle of tears around myself thinking about them and what gifts they are to the Body of Christ and me in particular.  They have and continue to give me so much, even without always realizing it.  I really need to get it together, I can hardly see as I type at this point, I keep crying. 🙂

What I love is that none of these men claim, by any means, to know it all, to have perfect theology  or anything of the sort.  They are simply real, honest, pure and nothing short of astoundingly amazing men of God who truly have His heart for His creation.  They don’t try to be in or make spotlights or brands or names for themselves.  They push others to become what and who God has made them to be and they do it with love.  Russ gives you gentle but firm nudges.  Dennis is more than ready to step aside and pass a mic, and Gary, if there’s ever a bus you want to be thrown under, it’s one he’s a part of.  To say that I love them just feels so inadequate and minuscule, but I do, dearly love them all.

They are helping me to grow and learn and be more effective in the part of my walk with Christ that is to be in the “spotlight”.  I am more than happy to sit off to the side, in the background but it’s not the easiest thing to do when you have a gift to sing and speak.  One kind of has to be in the fore front for such things. 🙂 These guys help make that so much easier.

So, Lord, I declare lots of more over these beautiful men and their beautiful families.  More love, more joy, more peace, more strength, more growth, divine health, supernatural wealth, all above and beyond for them.  Go crazy, Abba, like only You can.  Lavish  them millions of times over with all that they selflessly give so many others.  And, let me see it happen, just so I can laugh, cry, and rejoice with them. Thank you so much Abba.  You are truly too much but at the same time, I can’t get enough of You!! ❤ ❤ ❤

Following Christ and Him Alone

I didn’t post anything last week because I was finding it a bit tough to make a whole lot of sense about what is going on inside of me these days.  Well actually, it makes perfect sense, it’s just, words escaped me and frankly, I was in no position to write coherently as I am almost always in a state of being ever so drunk on His love.

I have been feeling a bit differently  for several months now concerning some ideas and mindsets that I had about my Christian walk.  I couldn’t really put my finger on it initially but I just kept abiding in my Abba and as always, He has brought amazing clarity and revelation. Also, reading the book, The Mystical Union by John Crowder, speaking with a few friends who I consider no holds barred believers in the Word, and attending the Power and Love conference a few weeks ago just sealed the deal for me. I am forever changed.

I love how all I have to do is shift my thoughts to Him and boom, I am overtaken by Love Himself.

I love how I have but to focus on Him and allow Him to pour into me and He brings to light and fixes things I wasn’t even conscious of, let alone, looking to fix.  My focus is ever on Him.

I love the simplicity of His Word. In John 6:29 (NLT) it says, Jesus told them, “This is the only work God wants from you: Believe in the one he has sent.” 1 John 2:6 NLT says Those who say they live in God should live their lives as Jesus did.

I am finding that now, more than ever before, my focus is zoomed into Christ’s example.  If I am to be following His example, there are mindsets I have found that I need to let go of, mindsets that don’t exactly fit well with how He operated here on Earth.  I’m finding that the falling away of these old mindsets are producing an even greater sense of freedom in my life.  I truly feel like I am more than just a mere human being.  I’m not just here taking up space. I’m not locked into this constant struggle of I’m saved and going to Heaven but I have so many things I need to fix in order to receive all God has for me. I’m not striving or struggling to be who God created me to be, I am simply focused on Him and He is taking care of it all.

I am reading His word, not for information or to prove that I am correct (and someone else is wrong), but to know Him more intimately.  I am living in an ever growing state of revelation and awareness of who I am so that I can walk it out easily. I mean really, how hard is it to simply be who you are?  I am becoming love. I am believing in the One He sent and following Him and I am finding that His yoke is in fact easy, and His burden is light.  I am content to no longer allow my experiences or anything else I see, dictate where I place my trust/faith. My faith is in His finished work alone.  It is non-negotiable. I am choosing to follow Christ alone.

For You Dear Reader, With Love

Last week, before I traveled to spend a few days with family and friends in DC and Maryland, I told the Lord that I wanted my next blog post to be centered around you.  I asked Him to give me ideas and thought naively that I would write this blog post while I was down there visiting.  Of course, that didn’t happen.  Here’s what has happened…  This morning, I looked at my Facebook newsfeed’s, “On This Day” section and saw the memories I made on this day, last year and years before, and I found the perfect thing for you!  It’s a prayer that I wrote.  Instead of just writing word for word though, I’m adding to it and changing it a bit, as I want to make it more of a declaration for you than a mere “wish list”. So, here it is, for you, with lots of love, my dear reader.

I speak peace and joy over you. No matter what is going on in your life and around you, may you always remember that you are never alone, never without options, fully surrounded, and deeply loved.  May every trial you face, push you further into the arms of your Father until the enemy refuses to waste any effort and/or resources targeting you.

I command healing over your body, from top to bottom.  His blood flows through your veins.  You are His family and because healing is the children’s bread, eat up and savor every morsel, dear one.  I decree that not only are you healed, but you are transitioning to walking in divine health because as a child of God, it is your right, your inheritance.  Jesus left no one sick.  His will is always that you be healed, so I declare that over you, in Jesus name.

I speak encounters with the Person of Love over you, knowing that perfect love casts out all fear and I pray that you would give the enemy nothing to agree with in your life, thereby giving him no room to enter in and run rampant.

I decree that all chains and strongholds over your life are broken and destroyed.  You are free.  You are free to be you without apology, fully being who you were called to be before the foundations of the earth.

I decree that your mind is being daily renewed in such a way that you don’t suffer from that old, ugly orphan spirit.  I decree that you walk in an ever increasing measure of revelation regarding who you are and Whose you are, so that you are free from being critical, bitter, depressed, worn down and out and lonely.  The truth is, you are loved with an everlasting love, fully surrounded and cherished, just for being.  There is nothing you can do to make God love or value you any more or less, so I declare that the religious spirit is not a part of your life, making you think you must do something in order to get something from the Lord.  Before you knew Him, He loved you, chose you, appointed and called you.  Before you were born, He died for you and gave you His all.  You did nothing to deserve or earn it, He did it because He loves you.

I declare that you are wise as a serpent but harmless as a dove.  You don’t easily fall for the enemy’s tricks to get your focus off God and onto yourself and your faults.  If your focus shifts to your faults and makes you feel like you are back to square one, “Just a sinner, saved by grace”,  I ask that Holy Spirit would pull you back from that religious way of thinking.  You are the righteousness of God in Christ Jesus now, no longer a sinner, no longer a slave to sin.  Your focus is ever on your Father and His immense love for you.  No distractions.  When you focus on you in this way, you’re missing out on what God has for you and what you are to give others around you. This is self-centered, not at all as holy as it seems.  The Father does not want us beating each other or ourselves up over sin.  He doesn’t do this to us.  He paid for every single one of our sins long before we were born.  Focusing on your shortcomings does not help you to get better, as what you focus on is what will grow in your life.  Focus on the Father, confess all to Him and allow Him to change your focus. Be filled and stay filled with all that He has for you.

I declare that wisdom and understanding be your closest companions.  I ask that you become adept in stepping back, outside of yourself, when things happen.  That you would climb into your Heavenly Father’s lap and see from a higher perspective, what is truly going on and behind every situation you face.  I pray that you take to heart the fact that we wrestle not against flesh and blood.  I declare that you see with greater clarity than ever before and can have compassion and wisdom in every circumstance.  May your eyes be opened to the enemy at work so that you don’t fall for his tactics.  I speak a constant flow of Holy Intel over you, straight from Holy Spirit.  You won’t miss a thing.  You have the mind of Christ.

I declare that you are filled to overflowing with every good thing- so much that you can’t help but affect and infect others with the goodness of God.

I declare that you live, truly live, not just exist. You will not just reach your destiny, but you will enjoy the journey and help others do the same.

I declare a holy unrest over you that causes you to refuse to stay where you are forever, that you would be both content but also rise ever higher in life.

I declare all the best for you, as I want for myself. Let’s rise together. There’s no ceiling. There are no walls. If you have built any for yourself, my prayer is that you would break through them and be free.  I love you, dear reader.

There is No Hopelessness in Christ

For the past two days, I have felt so angry.  As I type this, it is Friday, July 8.  I don’t think I have ever started and deleted so many status updates on Facebook.  My newsfeed is filled with fear, helplessness, hopelessness, hatred, (justified) anger and depression.

Yesterday I posted the following status update:

“If only Christians understood the authority we have in Him… So many things that happen, just wouldn’t. If you believe you are hopeless and helpless, you are. As a man thinks in his heart, so is he (Proverbs 23:7). We have a real enemy, yes, but our enemy has been defeated. He is a thief, he has ability just as any thief does, but we have authority. We can bind the very will of God to any situation and see it come to pass. Problem is, so many don’t even have a clue what God’s will is to begin with. When will the Earth be able to stop groaning, waiting for God’s children to stand up, know who they are, and do what they are called to do? I’m so tired of the pleading and begging and wishing and hoping this will work type of thinking. “Oh God!!! Please heal, help, save, blah, blah, blah.”
YOU DO IT, “believer”!!! John 14:12-14 12 “I tell you the truth, anyone who believes in me will do the same works I have done, and even greater works, because I am going to be with the Father. 13 You can ask for anything in my name, and I will do it, so that the Son can bring glory to the Father. 14 Yes, ask me for anything in my name, and I will do it!

Today, I posted the following:

“You have heard it said that as a believer, that same power that raised Jesus from the dead lives inside of you. Do you really believe that? How is it that you are helpless, hopeless, depressed, running scared and without any options at all when He lives inside of you? The hope of glory dwells within you!!

There are some warriors about to rise up. Believing believers who won’t allow the enemy’s tactics to move or shake them into a state of panic or fear. Believing believers who will state the truth because there is a definitive Truth and His name is Yeshua. Dead will be raised, demons will be cast out and the sick will be healed. Where are those believers?”

Truly, what is in a person comes out in times like these.  When one is pressed on all sides, backed up against a wall, that is when you really get to see who they are, what they believe and are made of.

People talk about us being in a war and fighting a battle.  On one hand I get it, but, at the same time I wonder why a Christian believes themselves to be warring.  I thought Jesus said, “It is finished!” because it was in fact and entirely, finished.  He did it all, he won it all, gave us all and that’s that.

One of my friends once asked, “Then why am I going through all this stuff?”  With love, I replied, “Because you are allowing it.”  Sometimes, I think we much prefer staying in a state of victimization.  We prefer situations being someone else’s fault, in someone else’s control or doing so that it is all out of our hands.  We get to feel hopeless, helpless, victimized and do absolutely nothing but whine, cry, complain and mope.  This is not what Christians are called to.

I think it is well past time that we shed this orphan spirit mentality and really take hold of our identity in Him. We need to show the world what the children of God can do.  We can’t afford to waste any more time.

Here’s what I told someone I love: I think I have shared this with you but if not, just take some time and sit still and just focus on Him. Tell Him what you are feeling and going through. Lay it all out there, He knows anyway. Ask Him to give you something in exchange for those awful feelings and wait. Soak Him in and enjoy.


Stepping Into My Destiny

Singing is something that has always been a part of my life.  A big part.  It’s one of many gifts I possess and it runs in my family as well.  As a child, when asked what I would be when I grew up, I’d say without having to think about it, “A singer.”  Only trouble was, I didn’t really enjoy it so much.  I just did it because I could, it was easy, it sounded nice, and people really enjoyed it when I did it, so I did it.  Plus, I didn’t want to poo poo on a gift from God, there are always the well meaning but flat out wrong people in your life who give you the “Use it or lose it” talk.  God does not give gifts only to take them away. He does not operate like that but, before I get off on that tangent…

I always knew that what I have is special.  People are almost sickeningly obsessed with high notes and of course my gift is one that caters to just that obsession.  My range is called coloratura soprano. This type of soprano has a high range and requires the singer to execute with great facility elaborate ornamentation and embellishment, including running passages, staccati, and trills. When I sing songs made for my range, I have more fun, it feels as if I am first floating, then flying and soaring-like an eagle, going where other birds cannot.  There’s a freedom with it.

The trouble was, I didn’t really enjoy singing as much as I knew I should, so once I graduated from a performing arts high school, where I was classically trained and left DC, where I sang a lot with my family as well as at school, I knew I would not sing as I had at home.  I would sing when I wanted to.  Singing felt like a bit of a prison that I had a love/hate relationship with-I couldn’t just stop doing it completely because it’s who I am.  I just didn’t like feeling like I was putting on a show.  I have always hated that feeling.  Like I was there to entertain others.  I’m not a show off and I couldn’t care less about showing people what I can do with my voice just for the sake of showing off.  I have nothing to prove to anyone at all.

For years, I would duck my former vocal teachers and even some friends because everyone would inevitably ask if I was singing and when I said no, because I knew they didn’t consider what I do at home with my children and husband legitimate, they would badger me about it.  I was operating in witchcraft some said, I was just wrong to deprive others of the gift I have… I’d better be careful, because God would take it from me…  Lol, when I sold Pampered Chef products, I remember my friend and husband agreeing that I’d rather sell pots and pans, than use the gift God has given me.  I got all kinds of “encouragement” to sing. 🙂

There were so many issues for me with singing.  Unless I was singing something that was in my range, I just didn’t feel I fit in singing with groups. I felt like I had to “dumb down” my voice to fit in oftentimes.  I couldn’t just be me and use my gift as I wanted because there was virtually no one who could go with me up there.  I was alone and different. Too different.

I was often used at various churches to “do the high notes no one else could do”.  That got old real quick.  I enjoyed opera but high school burned me out a bit and I just wasn’t feeling it until my last year in college when I paired with a fantastic teacher and joined Opera Workshop.  I thoroughly enjoyed that time but after finishing college, it was over.

Fast forward to last year… I learned the word for another gift I have always had is called “prophetic” and I have been going full throttle in it ever since- training in my gifts through private and group mentoring,conferences and classes, reading books and my favorite part- giving prophetic words!

Several of my friends began to prophecy things over me at different intervals- that I have a song in me… I will write songs and sing them…  The Lord is giving me a new song… I have a sword in my mouth… and my favorite, “Girl!! When are you going to let what’s in you come out?”

Last month, at a mentoring type of conference, we were to write down what we know is to be a part of our destiny.  The first thing I wrote was that I am to prophecy over people.  Next, I wrote that I am to sing prophetically over people.  Now, remember, I loved/hated singing so that one was just weird.  I stopped and re-read what I wrote but told myself to just keep going with the list and let that “error of hand” stay put, it’s not like I had to go back and read it or meditate on it or anything, it was harmless.  It was very weird, but harmless.  I laugh at myself now but at that time, I truly didn’t know where that part of “my destiny” came from, my hands had betrayed me writing down such foolishness, lol.

There was a second (there will be six) mentoring conference coming up and one of the pastors, Gary, called me on the phone.  See, Gary, like many others I hang out with is a prophet and the problem with having a bunch of prophets for friends is God tells them stuff. Gary is the type that, if you can do something but you aren’t ready to actually go in front of people with it, one, you don’t tell him, and two, you ask the Lord to not go blabbing it to him either because he will push you right out front to do it.

So, Gary says he saw me in a vision singing prophetically over people at the conference, at the time, I was excited, thinking about what I wrote down and never revisited, by the way- I shared that with him and said it would be fun and he was happy I agreed.

The day before and day of the conference I thought that I had lost my mind.  Why on earth did I just jump and agree to do that?  What was wrong with me?  Here I was again, in the same old pattern… An opportunity comes, and I, (without giving it much thought) agree to do whatever it is, jump, no dive happily off that proverbial cliff and then, midair, I “come to myself” realize what I have agreed to and freak out completely, but by then it’s too late.  I have already “jumped”.

I believe my prophetic gifting has something to do with me jumping off these cliffs.  Every single time I have jumped, something glorious has come out of it.

This time was no different, in fact, I think I can say with certainty that this time was the best.  With the support of so many of my new family members especially my two favorite spiritual daddy’s, Gary and Russ who played the piano for me, I stood and sang prophetically over people individually and then the whole group, and it was nothing short of amazing.  Only those who knew me believed it was my first time doing it, others thought I was kidding when I admitted that and, I had fun!! I don’t think I have ever had so much fun singing and prophesying.

Afterwards, as people began to share what it was like for them, some confirmed the very words God Himself told me in private moments.  One day, as I shoveled snow, I asked Him why I had such issues with singing.  Why did I hate performing so much?  What was wrong with me? He showed me in what I can only describe as movie clips, various scenes from my life and said so much. Some of what He said was this: “You don’t like performing because that’s not what your gift is for.  You have an anointing on your voice where it doesn’t even matter what you sing, lives are touched.”  (At this point He showed me a few moments when I played around singing, acting silly and people were touched to tears, saying they knew it was a joke but it really spoke to their hearts.) He went on, “When you sing, people are healed and restored.  Chains are broken when you sing.  Angels are dispatched to carry out your words when you sing.  It’s not about performing or putting on a show.  You are doing Kingdom business when you sing.  You bring My presence and glory with you when you sing, it’s serious business and not for mere entertaining.”

As you can imagine, I stopped shoveling and just stood in my driveway, my chin propped on the shovel handle, completely floored by what God was speaking to me.  This isn’t even everything He shared with me that day.  All of it was heavy, heavy stuff about who I am and my destiny.  Perhaps, one day, I’ll share the rest with you…

A Calling Bigger Than You

Proverbs 9:10 says, “The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom,
And the knowledge of the Holy One is understanding.” I am counting on this because the more I think, the more afraid I am and don’t we all need some understanding?

Have you ever met one of those people who seem to have a multitude of talents? People who seem to take up anything with seeming ease and when they present whatever they’ve worked on, it’s pretty amazing? I am one of those people.

Now don’t hear me wrong, I’m not bragging. After all, I didn’t give myself a single talent or ability.  Even the strength to accomplish what I have accomplished comes from God and God alone. Each desire that has produced something great also came from Him. He’s brilliant, giving us the desires of our hearts (placing them in us) and then, giving us the desires of our hearts (fulfilling them)Psalm 29:11 & 37:4.  I’m actually quite humbled and amazed too. I also think He’s got jokes. The Bible says in 1 Corinthians 1:27, But God has chosen the foolish things of the world to put to shame the wise, and God has chosen the weak things of the world to put to shame the things which are mighty”, Here I am, Lord! LOL! There is a saying that goes, “Big things come in small packages.” At 4′ 10″, I’d say I embody that statement quite well.

Before I was aware of my prophetic gifting, I knew I was given a lot, and, as Luke 12:48 starts out, “to whom much is given…” Now, I admit I’m a little afraid when I think about it all.

How on earth am I supposed to live up to all that I’ve been called to do? The dreams and visions He gives me speaks to evidence of even more gifts that I have yet to discover.

One word that was prophesied to me, I quickly dismissed. I heard it, but let’s just say I wanted to leave that word alone. I just went on my merry way until a whole other person prophesied the exact same word to me. Then, it happened again. The first thing that came to mind was 2 Corinthians 13:1, ““In the mouth of two or three witnesses shall every word be established.” Scary stuff. I don’t want to mess anything up. It’s overwhelming to think God believes He could trust me with so much.

I recognize some of this as being from the enemy. I truly believe one of the enemies greatest weapons is distraction. If I can be distracted long enough, other things can seep in, like doubt, debilitating fear, pride and more.  Thankfully, God gives us nothing without the provisions needed to accomplish it too. He doesn’t just bark out orders and shove us out of His presence to “get ‘er done!”. Nope, we have a good God, who is merciful, loves us immensely, and provides every single aspect of what we need to do great and mighty things in this world. All we have to do is stay with Him. Trust Him. Commune with Him. The thing is, once you’ve truly tasted of His presence, you never want to leave. You crave Him as you crave water and food. It’s amazing.

So, if I hear that word and others a million more times, I’m settled on being ok with it. My answer to it all is that I won’t over think it.  I will just focus on the One who can help me accomplish all He put me here to accomplish. With Him leading and helping me along the way, it’ll be great.