Monday, June 21, 2010

Revival Past

Father's Day 1995. God chose to pour out His Spirit on a small town in the panhandle of Florida. A modern-day revival that lasted over five years. My children will read about the Pensacola Outpouring in Christian history books, just as I read about the Welsh Revival and Azusa Street.

I was there. I am a product of revival. For two years, I spent countless hours in His Presence. Seeking His face, experiencing His overwhelming love and power. I saw thousands saved, healed, delivered, baptized. I learned from, listened to, and was prayed for by many amazing men and women of God.

Ten years later, reflecting back, I remember what my professors said: revival is not enough. An experience will not sustain you. Only a relationship can sustain you. Relationships take work and time. They have highs and lows. Don't let go of the Father's love. Stay connected to His heart. Seek His heart and His presence on your own.

I nodded in agreement, thinking His manifest presence would always be here. I did not understand the warning they were issuing. Life outside the "revival bubble" was brutal. The Psalmist words, "better is one day in your presence than a thousand elsewhere," took on new meaning.

Not everyone who was there survived the aftermath that is "normal life". Many have fallen away or returned to a mediocre life. I, too, have failed to maintain the stamina of revival. Mediocrity is commonplace, the days of His manifest presence far and few between.

My relationship with Jesus, founded fourteen years before my revival experience, has sustained me. It has lacked perfection and passion, yet the longing has never lacked. His grace, His forever faithfulness, His everlasting love keeps me longing for more of Him. Longing to know Him. Longing to see Him.

..."Please. Let me see your Glory." YHWH (Yahweh) said, "I will make my Goodness pass right in front of you; I'll call out the name, YHWH, right before you...But you may not see my face. No one can see me and live...Look, here is a place right beside me. Put yourself on this rock. When my Glory passes by, I'll put you in the cleft of the rock and cover you with my hand until I've passed by. Then I'll take my hand away and you'll see my back. But you won't see my face." (Ex 33:18-23)

When You said, “Seek My face,” My heart said to You, “Your face, LORD, I will seek.” (Ps 27:8)

Saturday, June 19, 2010

Father to the Fartherless

"Father of orphans, champion of widows, is God in his holy house. " Ps. 68:5 (msg) "Pure and genuine religion in the sight of God the Father means caring for orphans and widows in their distress and refusing to let the world corrupt you." Js. 1:27

I read this blog today. Of course, there is a special place in my heart for adoption. There are so many children all around the world and in our back yard in need of families. I wish we were ready to adopt again right now!!!!!

Personally, I think that everyone who calls themselves a Believer in Jesus Christ should be involved in adoption or the care of orphans in one way or another. No matter your circumstance, there is an adoption/orphan circumstance that will mesh with your specific situation. Honestly, the possibilities and opportunities are limitless.

Don't have a lot of money? Adopting wards of the state cost virtually nothing.

Don't have the patience for baby or toddler-hood? Older children are the least likely to be adopted, and are more available than younger children.

Single, but have the heart of a mother/father? You're still eligible for adoption in many countries for children of all ages.

Can you only tolerate children in small doses? Become a temporary or emergency foster home. You can offer hope and love that will see a child through their scariest and darkest moments.

Are you an empty nester, or do you have a heart to help teens or young adults? The following paragraph really tugged at my heart.

"I wanted to talk about the 18-year-olds I regularly see on adoption photolistings. Kids like Percell who, despite being old enough to live independently, place themselves on national photolistings because they desperately want to be adopted. Because, in Percell’s words, he “wants to become a member of a permanent family”. I wanted to talk about what life must be like for Percell, and other kids like him, who age out of the fostercare system despite a deep desire to have a family even as they enter adulthood."

Even if you can't adopt or foster children of any age, you can mentor kid, and of course, giving financially helps, too.

Tomorrow is Father's Day. I am blessed because I have a WONDERFUL Dad. I belong. I have never---not even for a moment---experiences a lack of Fatherly love and acceptance.

Thousands of children (and adults) will never----not even for a moment---experience fatherly love and acceptance in their life time. This breaks my heart. It breaks my Heavenly Father's heart.

Let's be the church. Let's take care of the orphans and the fatherless.

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

So long good impressions, hello total embarassment.

I don't embarrass easily. Seriously, it takes A LOT to turn my face red. Right now, my face is red. Very red.

Let me set the picture. It's 10am. I am in my pj's (a tank and sweats), hair greasy, face unwashed. I am listening to IHOP while I get my chores done for the day.

My niece is here and my kids are doing a pretty great job at keeping her entertained, as usual.

A few minutes earlier we had turned Skype on to see if Auntie Katie was at home. She wasn't.

I am in the kitchen. The computer with IHOP playing is in the family room.

"Mom, E is pushing buttons on the computer."

"E, no, no."

"Son, get away from the computer."

"Son, why are you waving at the computer?"

"E turned on the camera."

"What? How in the world did she do that!"

In all my greasy, pj, glory, I go to the computer, quite unprepared for what I am about to find.

E did not just turned on a camera. E has called someone. And she hasn't just called any one. She has called Mr. C.

Yep. My son isn't just waving to himself. He's waving and making funny faces at my former professor.

I am suddenly very aware of how unrepresentable I look.

I sit down and apologize, explaining what happened. He is very gracious.

I am ready to quickly end this call an go craw into a hole. Instead, he's ready to chat. Turns out, he was in the middle of sending my husband and I a message.

As we chat (me still very aware of my less than acceptable appearance), my children (with my niece going right along with them) decide this is a good time to show off how silly they can be. They continue to wave at the camera, make faces at the camera, make silly noises at the camera, kick at the camera, show their toys to the get the idea.

Here I am, trying to be "professional" and save what little dignity I have left, while my kids are doing their best to completely sabotage my efforts.

Eventually they get so rowdy I can't even hear what he is saying. Our call ends, and I go looking for that hole to crawl in and die of complete embarrassment.

As embarrassed as I am, I see the humor in the situation, and chuckle to myself.

Once again, my kids have succeeded at keeping me humble.