freeDo you have something that you are holding back from The Lord? I think we have those things that we feel so guilty of that we think we are hiding this thing from God. We do not ask for forgiveness because we do not even admit of this sin. We keep it bottled up inside. We try to go on in life like this thing never happened. You are not released from it. Do you think that you are really “hiding” this from The Lord? God knows your heart, even your past, better than you do. Open up to him. Have that conversation with The Lord that you want to hand over this thing to him for good. Give your darkness to Jesus and don’t take it back from him! Jesus will take it, hold it and it will not be your burden any longer. Jesus paid the price so we can give our burdens, things we are guilty and shameful about, to him to hold and carry for us. Wow, isn’t that amazing? So why do we chose to hoard these things instead?

Do you really want to keep it?

The answer to that question seems quite simple. Of course we don’t want to hold on to guilt and shame. But we do. We can choose to hand it over. Jesus is waiting on you. We sometimes feel like we are sitting around waiting for Jesus to show us our way, but he is there and is always there. Instead, Jesus is waiting for you to say “here you go Jesus, take my sin, my guilt, my shame.” I want to be like you Lord. He is waiting for us, so stop waiting for him and answer the door already! Don’t hold back, answer him. He is there whenever you are ready to open that door.

My last post spoke on how I know I am free. I know I am free from my past sins. Through Jesus I am free. That doesn’t mean from time to time I do not shut that door on him and forget he is behind it. What I have to remember is, he is behind that door and I am not alone. All I have to do is open the door again. I strive to remember to keep this door open, remembering that I am never alone and do not have to go through this life alone. I must learn to leave the door open!

Yet now he has reconciled you to himself through the death of Christ in his physical body. As a result, he has brought you into his own presence, and you are holy and blameless as you stand before him without a single fault. (Colossians 1:22 NLT)

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As I was worshiping on the way home from work today, I thought, wow, what a presence, right here in my car!  Its amazing where you will feel the glory of the Lord’s presence.  As I was worshiping with Jason Upton on the iPod (another post for later on how great his ministry is), he said “think of the one thing, the sin that keeps you up at night that you feel so guilty about,” I thought, I can’t really think of anything right away.  Which gave me another thought…

Is it possible to not feel guilty about my past life? My past sins? The things I have been shameful of?  I realized, for the first time, I have heard God’s whisper, “you’re forgiven.”  I am forgiven, I know this, my guilt and shame from my past; it is gone.  It is so gone I almost feel guilty that I do not feel guilt and shame for the person I use to be!  Don’t get me wrong, I can think of some things in my new life that are shameful, but nothing like my past.  The hardest thing is to know you are forgiven, know that Jesus with have a relationship with you even if you feel unworthy.  That is the one of the hardest things to do as a follower of Christ.  I have done it! I have arrived! Look how far I have come.  I am forgiven! I do not have to be guilty of that! I handed Jesus Christ my guilt and shame and pleaded for him not to let me take it back from him.  He has given me the strength, to turn it all over to him and I have FREEDOM!!!!!!!  I AM FREE!!!!

So the Angel of the Lord spoke to those standing before Him, “Take off his filthy clothes! ” Then He said to him, “See, I have removed your guilt from you, and I will clothe you with splendid robes.” – Zechariah 3:4
I choose to Forgive…
     We don’t forgive because people deserve it
          We forgive so we can see again!
                                      -Jason Upton
     
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There are many different translations of the Bible, even the Christian Bible.  On my new journey I have learned I like to read (and study)from many different translations of the Bible.  (A shout out to YouVersion for their FREE Bible in many different translations! http://www.Bible.com) Sometimes, I do like to go to The Message Bible for an interesting perspective on the translation of certain text. Though it is a translation of the Bible, it is also an interpretation of the Bible by Eugene Peterson.  When you, me, anyone read a book, what else are we doing while we are reading?  We are interpreting. Do we always interpret the same way? It is a lot easier to interpret someone when they are talking to you.  If you are on the phone, you interpret what they are saying by the tone and volume of their voice. If you are having a face-to-face conversation it is even easier to interpret because you have the tone and volume of their voice as well as their body language. In the texting world that we are in, how many arguments have you been in with a spouse, significant other, parent or friend because the way the text was interrupted? There is no tone, volume, voice or body language and though when that text was typed, it didn’t mean any harm it could have caused great harm. The way WE interrupt the scriptures (your choice of translation) you could possibly cause more harm then good in your spiritual life. You are ready the text and interrupting the scripture as you see it fit in YOUR life as it is. So you don’t have to change, so you don’t see potential for growth in the Spirit, you mold that scripture so that it fits you. Sometimes we will select one verse from the scripture and run with it but if you read the scripture in its context it has a different meaning then when you read it alone. Reading and studying the scripture is one of the most difficult and frankly, scary things to do as a Christian.  Learning to interpret it the best to our ability and be aware, have awareness to ensure we are not interrupting the scripture to fit US!

 

Back to The Message Bible. Whenever I do read this translation I typically do so parallel to another translation.  It is a version that in my opinion should not be read alone but the paraphrasing in this book (or interpretation) is an interesting perspective to read. I guess the best way to put it is, it is a nice commentary for me to read with other traditional Bible translations.

 

A dear FaceBook friend sent me a message this evening. She said that she read Psalms 31 from The Message Bible today and thought of me. As I read, I could only reply to her with, “Thank you, I could have written that myself!” I wanted to share this with you from The Message version:

 

1-2I run to you, God; I run for dear life. Don’t let me down! Take me seriously this time! Get down on my level and listen, and please—no procrastination! Your granite cave a hiding place, your high cliff aerie a place of safety.

3-5 You’re my cave to hide in, my cliff to climb. Be my safe leader, be my true mountain guide. Free me from hidden traps; I want to hide in you. I’ve put my life in your hands. You won’t drop me, you’ll never let me down.

6-13 I hate all this silly religion, but you, God, I trust. I’m leaping and singing in the circle of your love; you saw my pain, you disarmed my tormentors, You didn’t leave me in their clutches but gave me room to breathe. Be kind to me, God— I’m in deep, deep trouble again. I’ve cried my eyes out; I feel hollow inside. My life leaks away, groan by groan; my years fade out in sighs. My troubles have worn me out, turned my bones to powder. To my enemies I’m a monster; I’m ridiculed by the neighbors. My friends are horrified; they cross the street to avoid me. They want to blot me from memory, forget me like a corpse in a grave, discard me like a broken dish in the trash. The street-talk gossip has me “criminally insane”! Behind locked doors they plot how to ruin me for good.

14-18 Desperate, I throw myself on you: you are my God! Hour by hour I place my days in your hand, safe from the hands out to get me. Warm me, your servant, with a smile; save me because you love me. Don’t embarrass me by not showing up; I’ve given you plenty of notice. Embarrass the wicked, stand them up, leave them stupidly shaking their heads as they drift down to hell. Gag those loudmouthed liars who heckle me, your follower, with jeers and catcalls.

19-22 What a stack of blessing you have piled up for those who worship you, Ready and waiting for all who run to you to escape an unkind world. You hide them safely away from the opposition. As you slam the door on those oily, mocking faces, you silence the poisonous gossip. Blessed God! His love is the wonder of the world. Trapped by a siege, I panicked. “Out of sight, out of mind,” I said. But you heard me say it, you heard and listened.

23 Love God, all you saints; God takes care of all who stay close to him, But he pays back in full those arrogant enough to go it alone.

24 Be brave. Be strong. Don’t give up. Expect God to get here soon.

-Psalms 31, The Message Bible

Apology to the “sinner” and to the “church”

This is a great blog post and if I had thought of it I would have said EVERY word!

Josh & Saralyn

In 2012 if I was a “sinner”, you know, in the traditional sense, dealing with the church’s favorite sins to save you from: drugs, alcohol, and all types of sexual sins, I probably never would have gone to church. And in fact when I struggled with drugs and alcohol, the church was my least favorite place. I have two separate thoughts running through my mind.

The first is that I want to stop criticizing the church (specifically the Western church) and start praying for it, and be part of a solution and not a problem. I get all of the reasons people do not like going to church and do not like Christians. I struggle with the same things truthfully. I get tired of seeing Christianity lived through events and not relationships. I am just as annoyed with all of the Christian facebook posts and tweets (half of you are…

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“How did you become so into Church?  And into God?  I mean did a feeling just come over you or did you start by reading the Bible?”

This question was asked of me recently and this was the reply.  Though it isn’t a full reply because that would be a book this is the best way I could answer this question. 

So Brianna (my then 6 year old daughter) had been asking and asking me to go back to Church.  I didn’t even know that she had also been praying about it in our class with her teacher at school too until after the fact.  I kept telling myself that once we move to Winston Salem I would find a new Church home.  I didn’t realize it was going to take us so long to ever move, I didn’t want to have to drive from Greensboro to Winston Salem after doing it every day of the week.  Bri said one day (AGAIN) MOM, when are we are going back to Church?  I told her when she came back from her dad’s we would try the Church where she goes to school and she made me promise and she was so excited.  So when I picked her up the next week she did NOT forget it!  I really didn’t want to go….but I promised.

I sat in the pew by myself…a very large church, not what we are use to.  We stood for the music and they had a full band, drummer, several guitars etc.  I stood…I listened…I cried…I was spoken to.  I felt something inside of me I never felt before.  The band, the song, the lyrics where all directed at me (or so it felt.)  One song was even “I have finally found where I belong” and though that meant in the presence of Jesus, it also meant this is my new Church home.  I cried, I prayed, I cried.  I figured something out those first 30 mins of service (during the praise and worship time which is the music time.)  I prayed:  God, I am so sorry for leaving you…I walked with you, then I left, I would walk with you again then turn my back on you over and over through out my life.  I am so sorry God, I am so sorry I left you.  And so heavy I felt, SOOO SOOO heavy, as I was told…My child I never left you, I have been here, all the time, I NEVER LEFT YOU…I NEVER LEFT YOU…I’VE BEEN WITH YOU though you may have left me at times, I was ALWAYS here, ALWAYS here with you.  I know I may sound crazy, but this was real, my body felt as if I was going to collapse as I stood there knowing no one around me, but I was NOT ALONE.  I didn’t feel alone…his presence was with me and all I could do was cry.  Thank you God, thank you God, for never leaving me.  This IS where I belong.  I know I can learn here.  So the sermon, of course every word of it was like he was talking to only me. 

So I’ve been going to this Church ever since.  I can’t wait for Sunday to come so I can experience his presence again and again.  I am addicted to it, I am addicted to the Holy Spirit, I can’t get enough.  I am so hungry and thirsty for Jesus I can not get enough of him.  I’ve experienced his presence and that’s where I want to be.  So at first I struggled… a lot.  First this church was teaching me things I never knew.  I had to do my own research to see if I believed in their doctrines.  But bottom line, they are Jesus followers period.  But that presence I felt every Sunday at Church, I only felt every Sunday at Church.  I longed for MORE.  I didn’t know how to feel the way I did at church ALL the time even when I am not at church.  I didn’t want to leave church because I didn’t want the feeling to go away. 

This Church has taught me that it is not about religion.  Religion is a set of rules.  When someone asks for salvation and becomes a Christian they are like now what.  They say ok, now I have to do this this this and this because that is the rules.  OK, I have to pray, lord thank you for this and that and keep my family healthy ……same prayer over and over.  With no true meaning and not really talking to God, just in a habitual prayer because you are told you are suppose to pray.  So Christians get stuck in all I have to do is go to Church, follow these rules and pray.  I’ve learned there is more to it then that.  It is about building a RELATIONSHIP with God through the Holy Spirit and through Jesus.  I have LEARNED to pray.  I have learned to feel the presence of the Holy Spirit and know how to listen for Jesus.  To feel Jesus through the Holy Spirit. 

Just picking up a Bible wasn’t enough for me.  We aren’t meant to understand it, it is hard to interpret and know what the true meaning of the Bible is.  That is where my Church comes in to help me.  Our Pastors have studied the scriptures to know how to explain it to us and how to apply it to our every day life.  Not just as a set of rules, but use the scriptures to develop and grow a relationship with God.  First, Praise and Worship is important.  Singing hymns was just a “rule” to me before, it’s just something you do.  Now, praise and worship is something totally different.  (Praise and worship is worshiping through music, music and prayer.)  Think about it, when do people talk to God?  When they WANT something right?  We are always ASKING God for something.  God already gave us something; he gave us his son, Jesus who gave his life.  Why do we keep ONLY asking for more?  Don’t you think our God wants to be PRAISED and WORSHIPED?  I think it begins with this.  There are God ENCOUNTERS, personal God encounters during praise and worship, you praise him, he listens and he answers.  Before he GIVES you something don’t you think he WANTS something?  All he wants is our Love, us to praise him, worship him and to thank him for what he has given us.  (Jesus Christ)  If you live a life of praise and worship he will take care of you, answer prayers, guide you and never leave you alone.  He will show you the way. 

For example, I have had weeks where I am like, how am I going to have enough gas money to get to work this week???  I trust him, I trust in the Lord and he provides.  Once, we got a rebate check in the mail and weren’t even expecting it!!!  There is your gas money!!!  Something just always seems to happen when I need it to the most and don’t know HOW I am going to do it.  God DOES provide.  All I have to do is TRUST him. 

So back to my struggle, I was only feeling good and his presence while I was at Church.  Once back home through out the week it was back to normal crazy life.  But I kept learning and building my relationship with God and I have learned to Praise and worship on MY OWN.  I have the worship music from Church and listen to it every day and the Holy Spirit touches me every day.  By learning the real way to pray and continuously building on the relationship with God, I now feel him all the time.  I hunger for him all the time even when I am not at Church.  It took me a while to get there.  It is not an overnight change. 

I have asked Jesus to take my ANGER, my FRUSTRATION and that I don’t take things out on my kids.  I no longer need my anti-depressant medication because now Jesus is my medication and he gets me through it.  All I had to do is pray, speak to him.  Jesus, take my anger, take my darkness, take it here here here take it, don’t give it back to me Lord, please give me the strength to not take it back from you, I don’t want it back.  You died for me so that you can take this darkness away from me, take it don’t give it back to me.  And he did….over time, he did.  You don’t have to say, OK I am a Christian so I can’t do certain things anymore than my heart desires.  As you build the relationship, your heart starts to desire OTHER things and you naturally give up the things that are not holy things or sinful things.  My music taste has changed, the way I handle conflict with other people has changed naturally, with out me trying.  Just by building an intimate relationship with MY Lord. 

My Church believes in “Individual spirituality,” a close personal relationship with the Holy Spirit.  That there IS and CAN be happiness on this earth.  God is LOVE, why wouldn’t he want his children to be happy?  But to be happy I believe we have to live through Jesus.  There is the Kingdom that awaits us, but there is also a kingdom WITHIN us.  If we chose to live in the kingdom, we can be happy.  That doesn’t mean we will never go through struggles on this earth, but we don’t go through them alone and we learn to make peace with those struggles.  I have went from being judgmental and not really liking most people to this BURST in my heart that just wants to love EVERYONE.  Including those I may have considered an enemy before.  I have a desire to make amends with them.  I want my heart to live in peace, not anger.  And through the Lord I am learning to do that. 

I also read my Bible, but that can be scary.  I don’t understand everything so I research it.  You can’t really just take one verse and say that is the way it is.  You have to read it in its context to help understand it.  I also use a study Bible which helps me understand it.  And I have relationships with other Christians that can help me in my spiritual path to understand things that I do not on my own.  Its not meant for us to understand everything.  If we could understand everything we would be God. 

There is so much more to it then this.  It is hard to put all my experiences into words.  But I have no doubt that the Holy Spirit is with me, has always been with me and I was never left.  When I was a “Christian” in my past life, I turned back on God many times.  THIS TIME, and this is the only time, I have ever thought, I DON’T WANT TO GO BACK, I WILL NEVER GO BACK, I will walk with you forever and never ever leave you again.  I have experienced you Jesus, I have experienced the presence of the Holy Spirit and I want it and don’t ever want to be who I was before. 

I still have a long way to go; it’s a continuous thing to build this relationship with God.  Just like any relationship, you have to keep building on it.  It is no different with God.  You have to keep feeding it.  If you stop talking to a friend for a long time, that relationship isn’t as strong, if you talk to a friend ALL the time then you have a stronger relationship and you have to keep feeding it.  It’s the same thing you have to do with God.  Keep the relationship strong, keep building on it.  And supernatural things happen….

Are you looking for a change in your life?

Following Jesus doesn’t mean you give up everything earthly your heart desires right now. The best way to begin, I have discovered, is to begin by Praise & Worship. Just praise and worship our God through song and prayer. This is a good start. Instead of always asking for things in our prayer and wondering why our prayers are never answered maybe we should realize its because we always want God to GIVE us something. Do we give to him? Do we praise him? Do we worship him? Do we thank him? Or do we just always ask for him to be giving when we are not giving ourselves? One of the ways we can give to God is to praise him, worship him. Through praise and worship I have grown a closeness with God I have never felt before. I have developed a hunger and thirst for him, his presence has stirred in my heart through praise and worship and I have realized, his presence has always been with me, even if I wasn’t aware of it before. But through praise and worship the presence of they Holy Spirit has been stirring. It has started working in my life. So what about those earthly desires that I don’t want to give up? I have found, the Holy Spirit is changing my earthly desires. I don’t have to force myself to give them up, I simply do not want them anymore. Don’t get me wrong, I still have a lot of earthly desires that I probably need to give up or just change. But the Holy Spirit is constantly working on me as my relationship with God continues to grow. My desires have changed, now I desire to be closer to God, I desire to learn more about his wishes, I desire a life in which The Lord will take delight in me, I hunger and thirst to learn more, to grow closer to God. I am not in control, I trust God, let him lead me. When he tugs my heart I want to learn to be more aware to feel that tug and listen to the desires God has for me.

I have a long way to go, but as long as my relationship with God is growing, I know I can be happy. I know God wants me to be happy and I want him to be happy with me. And when we listen, he fills us, fills us to the top and quenches that hunger, quenches that thirst.

Start….by thanking him, worshiping him and praising him. See where the Holy Spirit takes you….

I pray that God speaks to you, that the presence in you is stirred, that you know there is more for you on this earth. That you want a change and God is the way. Let him lead you, trust him, trust him, he is worthy, he is worthy of our worship and praise. We praise you God, we Trust you God, please take our hate, our anger, the evil in our heart, I give it to you Jesus, I give it to you, don’t let me take it back Jesus, you died so you can take this hurt, pain, anger, depression away, thank you Jesus, thank you Jesus, I trust that you will take this from me, give me the strength Jesus, don’t let me take it back, I don’t want it back, don’t let me take it. I want to live for you Jesus, I want to change my desires. I pray you will lead me Lord. Lead me. Amen.

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I am just new…so new….so much has changed…I have learned so much. I want to live, breath, eat, sleep GOD….I just can’t get enough. It’s never enough, so hungry and thirsty for him all the time. It makes me just want to SHOUT it out. I want to talk about this feeling all the time, I want to HAVE this feeling all the time…I want more and more and more of him. I tell you what, once you allow yourself to feel the presence, it is all you want, all you need…

Those who hunger and thirst for righteousness are blessed, for they will be filled. – Matthew 5:6

And boy am I filled to the top right now!!!!!! But I want more, overfilled…Overfill me Lord.

I am just….overwhelmed…so overwhelmed by his power right now.

I am still so HIGH!!!!!!  I was baptized Sunday, 10-7-12.  I am still so HIGH!!!  I hope this feeling never goes away.  I still feel like I did that moment I came up out of the water.  The moment I took my first new breath.  I am new!  I am renewed!  God is there, with you, you just have to let him in.  Let him take you over.  Trust him.  Let him FILL you up.  Oh I am so full.  I want to stay full, I want to be overfilled! 

This Church did such a wonderful job giving me a wonder baptism experience.  Before our Baptism the group of us that was to be Baptized this day met as a group.  We shared our stories of what led us to this day.  What made THIS day the day we wanted to be baptized.  I hesitated to give my full story, but then I had a strong tug at my heart and I couldn’t wait for my turn.  I told of how I was raised in a Baptist church, I was taught of a religion.  A set of rules.  Since coming to this Church I have learned it is not about a religious set of rules, but building a relationship with God.  And boy have I!  I told of the first day coming to this church, the pastor was speaking directly to me like there was no one else in the room.  The worship singers were speaking to me, only me…even one of the songs was “I’ve finally found the place where I belong.”  Though I know the meaning to this song means with God and the presence, it had more than one meaning to me that day.  It also meant this is where you will learn and grow with me.  This is where you belong…in his presence and this is the Church that will help guide me there to grow, grow in the Lord, and grow this relationship.  Build it, add on to it.  Each and every day.  I told of my daughter’s wonderfully holy heart bringing me to this Church.  She got me in the door.  I told of the overwhelming presence I felt just a few Sunday’s before.  So overwhelming that all I could do was break down in tears.  That is the day I requested to be baptized.  I told how I have never felt such a presence.  That I have realized; God NEVER left me.  I may have left him, come back, leave him again through out the years…but he remained. 

John Bost and Pastor Joe were leading our meeting.  He told me he NEVER left you; his presence has always been there.  It is always there, not just when you come to Church.  When it gets stirred up, you feel it stronger is all.  Now, with this relationship I am building on with the Lord, I am feeling the presence, the presence that has always been there.  I can not explain how overwhelming good this feels.  I hope everyone feels this.  I also told today is also a special day because my unbelieving husband was with me today.  That I appreciate that he knows how much this means to me and is here for my big day.  I asked them to pray for us, our marriage.  I said I feel like I should be on my tip toes so he can see what the Holy Spirit is doing in my life.  John said, don’t be on your tip toes, you will mess up, he won’t see it, be yourself.  I realize I have been making this mistake.  Trying so hard means you are doing the opposite.  I want my husband to see the person I am inside.  I will always remember this conversation that went in some other detail that I had with John, it will stay with me.  I felt we made a connection.  So when he was the one with me in the water, to baptize me, it felt so right.

 We also discussed in this meeting, it’s not about anyone or anything else while we are in the water.  It’s about ME and God.  To really cherish that first breath and have that moment with the Holy Spirit when we take that first breath.  That is what I did.  I got in the water, I was shaking because I was so excited, and the presence was so strong.  I felt the Holy Spirit with me.  When I came out of that water all I could do was cry, as I took in that first breath I breathed in the Holy Spirit as hard as I could and I am NOT going to let it go!  John and I had a conversation before I went under water; I told him I could FEEL ‘it’.  He asked me if I was excited (I think he could tell.) I said so excited I can’t stand it.  He said are you ready, I said I’ve never been more ready in my life.  He said “I baptize you in the in the name of the father, the son and the Holy Spirit” I went under…I came out of the water, filled to the top…overflowing. 

 The song that was playing during my baptism was so perfect.  It was written by one of our Church’s own.  It was beautiful, meaningful and so so true. 

 “I fill you up to the top, just one more drop, I am overflowing….Let if Flow, Let it Flow.  Just keep filling me up God” – Whitney Vesterfelt

Video:  http://av1.w3e.subsplash.com/media/download/QFGP2K/Worship_100712.mp4

This morning on the way to school, I asked Brianna if she would be okay sharing with me what she prayed about last night at Soak.  I didn’t want to make her feel like she had to tell me.  She said, did you see the lady sitting across from us (across the aisle), I told her yes.  She said she had something wrong with her foot, so I prayed for her.  She said she also prayed that her grandmamma would live for a long time, she said also because she is your mother and I know it would make you sad if she didn’t live for a long time.  She said she also prayed for Granny, Gandy and her dad’s family to be safe and healthy.  She said she also prayed for all the puppies that her dad had lost as a child and for our ancestors already in heaven. 

 

How she even knows what ancestors are beats me.  I am glad she shared with me what she prayed for.  She said she also prayed for a lot of other things too.  To see my 7 year old daughter so deep in prayer is something I will never forget.  It was so beautiful. 

 

Our children are Holy….

14 For the unbelieving husband has been sanctified through his wife, and the unbelieving wife has been sanctified through her believing husband. Otherwise your children would be unclean, but as it is, they are holy. – 1 Corinthians 7:14 (NIV)

Our church has a “Soak” session ever now and then.  Soak consists of worship and praise music and prayer.  It is one of my favorite things, let me take that back, it IS my favorite thing to go to at my church!  This is such a wonderful opportunity to praise and worship and just take out time for GOD and have one-on-one time with God in his presence.

Tonight my husband went with me.  We had a special guest band for tonight’s Soak session.  Honestly, I connect so well with our Worship leaders from Church I would have preferred them BUT the band that we had did a great job.

Something happened this evening…something special…

Brianna (my 7 year old daughter) was in the Soak service with us.  I told her she could take her iPad and headphones and honestly assumed that is what she would be doing during Soak this evening.  Instead, she stood, she raised her hands to the Lord, she prayed and she rejoiced in the Lord.  It was a beautiful moment.  As the band played with silence lyrics, calling us to our own personal prayer time, Brianna was sitting in prayer.  I put my hands on her and whispered to her, “Is it OK if I pray with you?”  She shook her head yes.  I prayed over her that the presence of the Holy Spirit would overwhelm us in this moment, watch over us, God be with us, protect us, thanked him for the blessing of this child, thanking him for using my own child to bring me closer to God…as we continued in prayer together, she would squeeze me even harder.  She looked at me, directly in my eyes and I could see the sincereness from her heart pouring out of her blue eyes.  I haven’t before had a moment like this with my daughter, a God moment as some like to call it.  We praised and worshiped our Lord together for the rest of the evening.  I can not describe the sincereness I feel she had as she bowed her head with her hands raised for the longest time, as she got on her knees in prayer with out saying a word to me.  She experienced worship tonight, she is a natural.  I wish I knew such worship and had a pure heart of a child, I can’t imagine how she felt, how the holy spirit felt in her PURE heart.

What a natural worshiper.  I guess when you are a child, with a Pure heart it comes natural.  I remember the first time I raised my hand in worship.  I didn’t raise hands in worship for the longest time because it seemed akward.  (A blog post in itself for another day…) But my baby girl was such a natural.  And I know some may say she just seen others doing it.  I thought that too at first.  But she did it when no one else was, she did in at her own times, not just watching others.

16 “Do you hear what these children are saying?” they asked him.

“Yes,” replied Jesus, “have you never read,

“‘From the lips of children and infants
    you, Lord, have called forth your praise’?”

—–Matthew 21:16 (NIV)

I thank the Lord for this Blessing tonight.  I thank the Holy Spirit for allowing my daughter and I to share a true God moment together.  I pray that Brianna continues to grow in the Lord and that the Holy Spirit will continue to overwhelm her heart and keep her pure at heart.  I pray for the strength to grow with God and that my children will see this in me and follow.  That my husband will see it in me and follow so we can all be blessed in the Kingdom of God.  I pray, I do not lead my children to sin, but humble myself like MY child.

And calling to him a child, he put him in the midst of them and said, “Truly, I say to you, unless you turn and become like children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven. Whoever humbles himself like this child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven. “Whoever receives one such child in my name receives me, but whoever causes one of these little ones who believe in me to sin, it would be better for him to have a great millstone fastened around his neck and to be drowned in the depth of the sea.
(Matthew 18:2-6 ESV)