Monthly Archives: April 2011

“1000 hills….and a bottle of wrinkle releaser”

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Odd name for an entry, huh?  But I LOVE IT!!

Its because this weekend I saw how much God is in the details.  The details….every tiny thing.  I saw that He owns the cattle on a thousand hills.  Everything belongs to Him.  Including me and every need I have.

This past week I had a conference call with my team members and leaders for the trip.  We discussed some of the things that we need to have completed before the trip.  I had a list in front of me.  It is “the basics” for this trip.  Things like “toilet paper, hand sanitizer, laundry detergent, a flashlight, batteries…..a clothesline, clothes pins….and a bottle of wrinkle releaser.”

I’m embarrassed to say….I didn’t know what wrinkle releaser was.

We were told that where we are staying, we will be washing our clothes in a basin and then hang them on a clothes line to dry.  We will string it around our room.  Sometimes the power goes out for an hour, sometimes a day.  We will take showers with no hot water.  We will sleep with a mosquito net draped over us.  We were informed not to drink the water, not to even brush our teeth with it.  We were given our dress guidelines….skirts below the knees and t-shirts. 

I made a note to self…I gotta get some skirts that are cool and easy to wash.  Find out what wrinkle releaser is.

Now let me tell you what happened after that….

Easter Sunday was also my birthday this past weekend.  I had sent my reminder about my fundraising out on Thursday.  I needed $330 to meet the first deadline of $930.  Easter morning, I was in worship at International House of Prayer, and I asked the Lord a question.

“Lord, I know that You are always ‘right on time’.  I get that.  But I have one week to have this first part of the funding in.  Please, will you do it ahead of time?  I want to be a week early.”

So where does the 1000 hills and wrinkle releaser come in?

Well….after church, I drove to my friends home in Lula.  As I pulled into the driveway, I saw the most beautiful sight ever!  My friend and her family had decorated a beautiful table underneath some old oak trees to have my birthday dinner.  It looked like a Southern Living magazine.  And when I sat down at the head of the table, I felt like Alice in Wonderland.  It was magnificent!

We ate shrimp and grits, my favorite.  My family and hers sat around.  We laughed, we joked, we ate key lime cupcakes.  They sang Happy Birthday to me….even Rudy the bassett hound howled along.  We took pictures, the kids played and then we went inside.

“Hey, I’ve got some skirts if you need them for your trip,” Anita said.  I was so excited!  Did she know that I was wondering where and how and when I was going to look for skirts?  We are the same size…and she is giving me her best.  She looked at the clothes she was giving me as she knelt on the floor and said, “wow…I can’t believe that MY CLOTHES get to go to Africa!”  She blessed me so much.

Then she gave me a birthday gift.  A check made out to CURE.  Her check with another birthday check also to CURE, made my deadline….a week ahead!

As we were getting ready to leave that evening, I noticed a small white bottle on her counter top.  “Downy Wrinkle Releaser”.

“Anita, where did you find this?  How did you know about wrinkle releaser?”

“Its yours,” she said, “you need it for the trip.”

Wow.  He took care of everything.  My simple IHOP prayer was answered when I left in regards to funding.  He provided great skirts and t-shirts.  She even gave me “Radical” to read, a book I’ve been meaning to read.  He even topped the evening off with a new bottle of wrinkle releaser.

He’s in the details.  He cares about everything for His Beloved.

He owns the cattle on a thousand hills…..

Months ago I sat in a Passion City Church service and Louie Giglio talked about building the new Passion City Church in Atlanta.  The building used to have tennis courts in it.  Therefore, the gutted building they are re-constructing had some tennis balls laying around.  He said that whenever his team would do a walk through, one of his friends would bounce a tennis ball.  The guy wrote “1000 hills” on the ball and gave it to Louie.  Whenever they questioned, “how are we going to do this financially?” he would look at the tennis ball and be reminded that God owns the cattle on a thousand hills.  From then on, whenever the team members would have a conference call, they’d say, “1000 hills”.  Out of nowhere, “1000 hills”.

Psalm 50:10 “For all the animals of the forest are mine, and I own the cattle on a thousand hills.”

He owns everything.  He can do anything.  He can move on anyone to give at anytime.

I took my bottle of wrinkle releaser and wrote, “1000 Hills” on it.  I’m leaving it on my desk until I go.  It will remind me that everytime I wonder “how?” about the funding for this mission trip, or any other anxiety that may try to rise within me, I will know that HE’s GOT IT!!

He owns the cattle on a thousand hills.  Amen.

 Party table

1st Deadline is Almost Here – May 1!

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I love this picture. Absolutely love it. These Ugandans are waiting with expectation for their children to be treated.

I got this picture from CURE. And you know what amazes me? I never thought it would be this many people waiting. Each person was put here by our Creator. They are about to hear about a God who heals. A God who restores. A God who delivers. A God who saves.

They have a divine appointment.

I CANNOT WAIT TO GO!!!

I am excited to say that over the past month, we’ve already raised $600 ! Thank you so much to those of you who have given. Thank you even more for your prayers and sincere words of encouragement. I told a friend the other day that the sweetest words I hear are those that say, “I believe in you going to Uganda.” Those are beautiful to me.

Many of you have called to say, “I haven’t forgotten about giving.” I’m asking you all to take a moment and pray and ask God to lead you in your gift.  I am praying for you as well.

  • I only have $330 more due by May 1.    

The easiest way to give is to link to my CURE page at:

www.cure.org/give/shannonmillsaps

Or you can mail a check to:

CURE International

701 Bosler Avenue

Lemoyne, PA 17043

Attn: Heather Hunter

FOR: Shannon Millsaps

Your gifts to this ministry are tax deductible.

Here are my next deadlines: (GRAND TOTAL DUE $3672 $3,072)

  • MAY 1- $330

  • June 1 – plane ticket of $1812. is due (thank you to those who have offered Delta Sky Miles, but I am flying British Airways)

  • July 1 – final payment of $930 due

1 Corinthians 2:9 “ Eye has not seen, nor ear heard, Nor have entered into the heart of man, The things which God has prepared for those who love Him.”

www.cure.org/give/shannonmillsaps

“The Cross that I Carry”

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In a previous post, I wrote about the cross that I carry and how I am called because of my cross. Where I am called to is to those who carry the same cross.

I believe the Lord has called me to Uganda because of my cross that I carry.

A friend called me the other day and said, “You’re gonna love this!” And he shared with me a deeper thought about carrying my cross.

You see, I said earlier that I will identify with these women of Uganda, through their pain. That they will see that we have walked the same path. That our crosses will match.

Yet a true servant’s heart would kneel down so that the cross could be seen…..and not me.

I love that!

It reminds me of a story that I once heard about visiting the Holy Land. I hear that when you enter into where Jesus was born, you physically have to stoop over to enter in. By stooping, you bend your knee. Every knee shall bow and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord!

Phillipians 2
6 Who, being in very nature God,
did not consider equality with God something to be used to his own advantage;
7 rather, he made himself nothing
by taking the very nature of a servant,
being made in human likeness.
8 And being found in appearance as a man,
he humbled himself
by becoming obedient to death—
even death on a cross!

9 Therefore God exalted him to the highest place
and gave him the name that is above every name,
10 that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow,
in heaven and on earth and under the earth,

11 and every tongue acknowledge that Jesus Christ is Lord,
to the glory of God the Father.

“Oh Lord how I love you! The cross has such a magnificent story and picture of Who you are, and who we are to be. May I carry my cross with grace. Show me the path to take. Teach me your ways. And Father, when I see the person who’s cross looks like mine, I pray that I will always bow down so that she can look beyond me….and see YOU.”

“One of These Things….”

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This week I got a brief synopsis of my team leaders and 8 team members.  I now have an idea of who I am going on this great journey to Uganda with! 

As I read through the list of women, most all of them have a medical background.  Some are nursing students, some just graduated from nursing school, one is pre-med, one is an intern with CURE headquarters….and then there’s me.  My little write up of “who Shannon is” said something like this…

“Shannon is a mother of three.  She lives is Georgia.  She is a professional makeup artist and hair stylist for brides.”  I sounded like I played in Steel Magnolias…..

I looked at myself compared to the others and suddenly heard a Sesame Street song.  Please help yourself to the youtube link if you would like to hear what I heard in my head. 😀

Here are the lyrics….

“One of these things is not like the others,

One of these things just doesn’t belong

Can you tell which thing is not like the others

By the time I finish my song?”

I am REALLY laughing as I type this out.  Who knew that this Sesame Street song was going to be the voice of the enemy that day?

I felt like I was the small circle that Grover was trying to figure out which one was different.  And we as kids used to yell at the television wondering why it took the puppets so long to figure out which one was different.

I wondered if the other women on the team looked at my synopsis and felt like those kids saying, “She’s different!!  She the one that doesn’t belong!”

And then Bob or Mr. Hooper would say, “You’re right.  She is not like the others!”

I admit in my transparency that I struggled that day.  I sat on the steps of the front porch with my arms around my knees, singing the song to one of my friends on the phone.  She laughed out loud.

“Me, Lord?  Are You sure?”  I’d ask.

And in His loving way, I’d feel the nod of His head.

“Yes, you are chosen.”

You see, I realized that day, that God chose me because of the cross that I’ve carried.  (I wonder sometimes why He didn’t just call me to the Carribean…ha!)

The cross that I carry is that of a single mom who knows what a walk in a dark valley feels like.  I know the Lord intimately.  He’s all that I have.  I know Him in such a way that few ever have.  He’s the only ONE I have called out to in the middle of the night….and He answered. 

He’s the only comforter. 

When the world would tell me to give up, He’d say “keep fighting”. 

I know what its like to lose a child.  Two in fact.  I know what it feels like to feel all alone.  I know the intense pain of  a heart that feels like everything has been torn away.

Yet, I know the victories tied to my cross too.

My cross is that of peace when the world would wonder “how”. 

My cross is that of  joy, I love to smile.

My cross carries a dance with it too.  I love to praise Him. 

My cross shows the light of Jesus in my eyes.  He fills me.

My cross is that of Restoration. 

I have a story of Deliverance.

Miracles.

Healings.

My cross is one that’s fought demons and seen angels.

My call to Uganda is because He takes me to women who carry the same cross.  And I have joy and peace like a free flowing river everytime I think of going.  I know their hearts.

And though I can’t offer these women medical help,  I can offer who I am. 

And I am Chosen.

I believe in laying hands on the sick and expecting a miracle. 

I believe in spiritual restoration. 

I believe in life.

I believe in language barriers that are broken because of our eyes.  I believe deep cries out to deep. 

Me and my cross hear the cries for help. 

Because that’s how My Father works.

My sufferings were never in vain.  They created who I am.

So…..Grover, I’m here to declare…..

“I am like the others!!!”

I’m Called.  I’m Chosen.  I’m Going.

My skin doesn’t match their skin.  My words don’t sound like their words.  My eyes don’t look like their eyes.

But my cross is beautiful next to theirs.  Somehow they match.  They’ve probably got the same marks upon them.  They weigh the same.  And we’ve probably got the same wearings upon our shoulders carrying them.

I’m chosen to show them that I know what they feel, and I’ve got a God that heals. 

And the very first thing I heard the Lord say to me this morning was this,

“I didn’t call you to blend in.”

Need I say more?

“A Gate Called Beautiful”

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Many of you have asked how praying for Kim and the healing of baby Ward went….here you go….

Kim and I went to a gate called “Beautiful”.

Acts 3:1-10

“One day Peter and John were going up to the temple at a time of prayer – at three in the afternoon.  Now a man crippled from birth was being carried to the temple gate called Beautiful, where he was put every day to beg from those going into the temple courts.  When he saw Peter and John about to enter, he asked them for money.  Peter looked straight at him, as did John.  Then Peter said, “Look at us!  So the man gave them his attention, expecting to get something from them.”

“Then Peter said, “Silver or gold I do not have, but what I have I give you.  In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, walk.’  Taking him by the right hand, he helped him up, and instantly the man’s feet and ankles became strong.  He jumped to his feet and began to walk.  Then he went with them into the temple courts, walking and jumping, and praising God.  When all the people saw him walking and praising God, they recognized him as the same man who used to sit begging at the temple gate called Beautiful, and they were filled with wonder and amazement at what had happened to him.”

I was so excited to write this blog entry after praying for Kim and baby Ward.  I had this great plan.  I knew exactly what picture I was going to use, I knew how to start it and how to end it…..but…..it would have been my words, and not what God wanted me to say.

This scripture  is what God showed me about praying for this healing.

You see, this crippled man was carried everyday to this gate called Beautiful.  He was placed there and begged for help.  When Peter and John stopped to look at him….directly at his situation and his cry for help….he waited in EXPECTATION for them to do something.  They couldn’t give the crippled man something of monetary value.  But Peter gave him something far better.

He was used to heal the man.

He took him by the hand. 

He helped him up.

And his feet and ankles became strong.

He walked.

He jumped.

He praised God.

Wow.  Just wow.

You see, I couldn’t give Kim one thing.  No well-known doctor.  No great stent procedure.  No hope that one day, even with a stent, he’ll play football. 

She had said that her heart felt like it was being torn apart.  I’m sure the crippled man’s did too.  I bet that he wondered why no one could give him hope or answers.  I know he longed to walk.  How many times did he question if anyone really cared?

And I would guess that he had lost his smile.

I wondered that about Kim too as I sat in her family room.  She’s gorgeous. With the most perfect family ever to match.  Two gorgeous boys and a pretty little girl with a cute hair bow.  A beautiful home.  She even told me how her husband was the most perfect man in the whole world.  She said he was everything she had ever dreamed of since the fifth grade.

But I watched a woman who seemed to have everything look at me with tears in her eyes.  The kind that brim on the edge and with one little squeeze they’d roll down her cheeks.  You could feel the pain.

I asked her how she felt about God healing Ward.  She choked up and said, “I know God will heal Ward.  That is our faith.  I just want to know if he’ll heal him now or after he’s born.  I just want to know right now.”  The tears flooded now.  And my heart broke for her.

How many times have I asked myself why God couldn’t give me a fast-forward picture of what was to come in my own life?  I’ve learned that He wants us to have the courage to step on the ONE step He lights up before us.  With each step of obedience, He places another step before us.

On Wednesday, March 30, God put a step in front of Kim when I laid my hands on her pregnant belly and prayed for Ward to be healed.

She took a step on the road of faith.  Big faith.

Here is the most beautiful part of this story….

Last Friday, before I met Kim, the Lord told me to give Kim a necklace that my own father had given me.  During the darkest time of my life, my dad gave me a silver necklace of 2 nails formed into a cross.  In the middle is gold, etched in the gold is these words….

“It is Finished”

This is the most precious gift I had ever recieved.  When my dad gave this to me, it was as if God Himself said to me, “Shannon, the pain is over.  You will no longer hurt from this again.  I am your Defender.  I love you.  I died for you.  I am your Husband.  Anyone who comes after you, must come through me.  It is finished.”

I knew that day, that the darkest time of my life had come to an end.

I pulled the necklace out of my pocket and handed it to Kim.  I was crying too by now.  I told her that the Lord told me to give it to her.

He was telling her,

“It is Finished.”

Kim and I went to a gate called Beautiful last Wednesday.  She recieved healing for her situation deemed “ugly”.  Not the baby, but the situation.  We all have an ugly situation where we need to be placed at a gate called Beautiful. 

Just like the crippled beggar, Kim had an expectation for Ward’s healing.  And I believe that the Lord has healed him.

A few days later, I recieved an email from Kim.  I call it a testimony.  She said, “When we found out that our baby was a boy, we also found out about his hydrocephalus.  For all of this time that has passed, I have never thought or prayed for him outside of his diagnosis.  I have such joy and peace now that I can pray for him as a normal child.”

She can now pray for him as we do our own children.  She can pray for his salvation and who his friends will be and for his character and for his wife one day.

The healing has begun. 

At a gate called Beautiful.

With a “beautiful” mom who’s eyes were healed that day.

Our Healer opened her eyes to how He sees Ward.

Healed.

“….and they were filled with wonder and amazement at what had happened to him.”  Acts 3:10