Monthly Archives: June 2011

“Psalm 63…”

Standard

For weeks now, I keep hearing the Lord speak Psalm 63 to me. Its quite beautiful…..

“O God, you are my God,
earnestly I seek you;
my soul thirsts for you,
my body longs for you,
in a dry and weary land
where there is no water.
I have seen you in the sanctuary
and beheld your power and your glory.
Because your love is better than life,
my lips will glorify you.
I will praise you as long as I live,
and in your name I will lift up my hands.
My soul will be satisfied with the richest of foods;
with singing lips my mouth will praise you.
On my bed I remember you;
I think of you through the watches of night.
Because you are my help,
I sing in the shadow of your wings.
My soul clings to you;
your right hand upholds me.
they who seek my life will be destroyed;
they will go down to the depths of the earth.
They will be given over to the sword
and become food for jackals.
But the king will rejoice in God;
all who swear by God’s name will praise him,
while the mouths of liars will be silenced.”

Psalm 63 is my testimony.
It is who I am.

The other day a friend was taking some pictures of me and she said, “just be yourself”.

I raised my hands in praise to the Lover of my soul,
to my King.

I lifted my hands to worship Him outside on a little mossy bridge in a small town in Georgia…

We were under a covering of trees and the sun beamed through a tiny clearing right upon my face.
My eyes filled with tears…

I was in the presence of The Holy One.

There is no one like Him.

And I will praise Him all the days of my life.

He is my joy…
And I delight in Him.

“Oh Lord, I love you. I am so in love with you. Increase the manifestation of your spirit right now….kindle flame upon my heart. I desire you. You are the source of my joy and worthy to be praised. When I am filled with your love, I have even more to pour out. Flood me, I ask, flood me.”

Advertisements

“Last night at IHOP…”

Standard

Yesterday, I published “My Dream…Revealed”. I have spent time in prayer about how to share what happened last night. And I’ve decided to share it unapologetically.

In service at International House of Prayer, I had hands laid upon me and prayed for. I didn’t go to have this happen, nor did I see this act coming.

I love IHOP. International House of Prayer is open every day of the year, all day and night. Prayer and worship never ceases there. Yes, you can show up at 3 am to pray. It is a missions based church, run by missionaries.

There is nothing extravagant here….no light show, no rock stars…

But the presence of the Holy Spirit is so thick in this place that I often take my shoes off. Seriously, I do.

Its holy ground.

I’ve often told people that it is the most relaxing place to enter in to. Its like you’ve been gone on a long journey and return home to your bed. Your body is aching and there is no place like your bed.

And I know that it is because the Spirit of God is in that place. He is worshiped without ceasing. He rests there.

Avery stayed in service with me. He said that is what God was telling his heart to do. Together, we sat in the most amazing service I have ever been in my entire life. Ever.

Worship lasted an hour. During this time, the Lord answered a prayer that I had. I had asked Him to return me to a vision that I had a year ago in May. I wanted to be “taken to a place” in my spirit during worship. I call it “The Dance”. One day I will share it on Mighty River. During worship, the Lord took me to the vision once again. I wept. I felt His abounding love and delight.

Pastor Billy Humphrey came up front and shared how the Lord had rescued him and delivered him from a life of bondage….and that we are never to forget where He brought us from. Worship continued….and he said that the Holy Spirit was leading him to ask if anyone needed to answer the call for salvation.

This was odd…because he hadn’t even brought the message. We hadn’t even gone over announcements…or given tithes and offerings….

But this moment is when the Holy Spirit took over last night’s service. I will never forget this…..

Some people got saved. Believers gathered around them and laid hands on them and prayed. We worshiped some more…

We always pray for people needing healing. Some raised their hands and others went to lay hands and pray.

And then something shifted….Pastor Billy started naming diseases and infirmities that people had. He didn’t cover every body part….this was by no means a show. I heard “left kidney”. I heard “panic attacks”. I heard “fear of night”. I heard “lower back pain”.

Right before my eyes, I saw people healed. Twisted people could stretch and move. I saw people walk without pain. It wasn’t the Pastor touching the people, it was the believers. Body parts worked again!

Pastor had the power of God upon him. The annointing was thick. The worship leader for the evening began to name ailments….”heart problems”, “fear of not living up to expectations placed on you”.

I wondered if Avery was getting a bit scared. But no, he didn’t. In fact, he began to stand and take part in prayer. A lady right behind us had her hip healed!

We were celebrating! I was so excited to be a part of this service! I was experiencing His miracle power.

We are in the midst of these powerful healings of the body and Pastor says this…

“There is someone here that is having dreams and visions. They are so real to you. The dreams and visions don’t leave you, you write them down. I need for you to stand right now. Raise your hand and stand up.”

My heart was about to beat out of my chest. It was me.

I stood up and raised my right hand. He called people to lay hands on me and pray. I was shaking…not nervous, but overcome with His power.

“You are having these dreams and visions because God has released the spirit of prophesy on your life.”

I began to cry. He began to pray for an increase of dreams and visions.

I felt the people touch me. I tried to pray too, but the Lord said, “No, let them pray. Receive.” I was humbled. I was moved.

And I had Avery right beside me.

Pastor quoted this,

“I will pour out my Spirit on all people. Your sons and daughters will prophesy, your old men will dream dreams, your young men will see visions. Even on my servants, both men and women, I will pour out my Spirit in those days.” Joel 2:28-29

I could have stayed in this moment forever.

I loved that the Lord led us to IHOP last night. My plan was to go to Passion City Church, but the Lord took us here. He took me to the most powerful night of my life. I have had many visions of the people of Uganda and the things that I see will happen many times. I write all of them down. Most of which I do not share.

I left last night knowing the reason the Lord has given me these gifts of visions and dreams. They aren’t for me…but for Him. I know that sounds elementary, of course they are for Him, but I have always looked at the visions as seeds planted so that when I saw the fruit, I would know I had heard Him correctly.

But now I know, these things will truly all happen.

I had prayed for weeks about IHOP laying hands on me before I leave for Uganda….I want for them to commission me. I had a plan that I would come up front and the congregation would lay hands on me with my family present, and pray. Even after they prayed for me and the spirit of prophesy last night, I asked the Lord if He would move Pastor to pray for me before I leave for Uganda….

The Lord quieted me and said this, “They just did.”

I can’t argue. They did, in a way that I could have never imagined.

“My Dream….Revealed”

Standard

In a previous post entitled, “My Dream”, I told you about a dream that I had that is very real to me. In the dream was one man, Charles Spurgeon and he said one statement to me,
“We all know each other.”

I felt it was just plain awkward to publish something so private in my spirit.

The Lord continued to nudge me to publish it. In my mind, I could not figure out “why”. But I trusted Him and obeyed.

In my obedience, He immediately rewarded.

The same day I published it, I was linked to a Charles Spurgeon sermon from April 1861.

It was preached 150 years ago, to the month, of my dream.

The title of the sermon is “A Missionary’s Charge”.

I am smiling right now as I type this out. I always marvel at how big God is. His obedience always brings the reward. I felt crazy publishing “My Dream”, but He said “do it”. Let me tell you what this sermon was about. I will link you to the complete sermon at the bottom of this post. If you haven’t read “My Dream” in a previous post, I would suggest doing that first.

The sermon is based on Matthew 28:18-19
“And Jesus came and spake unto them, saying, All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth, go ye, therefore and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost.”

Spurgeon says that as he began the message, he was carried away by the power of the text…
“I do not know how to begin to preach this morning, but still it seems to me, standing here, as if I heard that voice saying, “Go thou, therefore, and teach all nations;” and my soul sometimes pants and longs for the liberty to preach Christ where he was never preached before; not to build upon another man’s foundation, but to go to some untrodden land, some waste where the foot of Christ’s minister was never seen, that there “the solitary place might be glad for us, and the wilderness rejoice and blossom as the rose.” I have made it a solemn question whether I might not testify in China or India the grace of Jesus, and in the sight of God I have answered it. I solemnly feel that my position in England will not permit my leaving the sphere in which I now am, or else tomorrow I would offer myself as a missionary. Oh, do none of you hear the call this morning?”

The sermon continues with Spurgeon’s passion as he explains every part of the scripture to “Go into all the world…”

“All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth.” Let us think, then, all power is given to Christ in providence. Over common daily events he has supreme authority. You have launched upon the sea, upon a mission voyage; he rules the waves, and wings the winds; fear not, for tempest is his trembling slave. You have come near the shore, but there are hidden reefs and sunken rocks. Fear not, for all power is given to him in the lowest deep to guide you safely, and to bring you to your desired haven. A band of men meet you upon the shore, brandishing their weapons. You are unarmed, you have nothing but the Word. You shall now prove that “more is he that is with you than all they that be with them.’ Go, in this your might. All power is given to Christ – power over the wills of men, as well as over the waves of the sea.”

Remember how I saw Spurgeon oddly as Asian?….

He ends his sermon with these words…

“O God, anoint thy servants, we beseech thee; put the fire into their hearts that never can be quenched; make it so hot within their bones that they must die or preach, that they must be down with broken hearts, or else be free to preach where Christ was never heard. Brethren, envy any one among you-I say again with truth, I envy you – if is shall be your lot to go to China, the country so lately opened to us. I would gladly change places with you. I would renounce the responsiblities of so large a congregation as this with pleasure, if I might have your honors….
“Have we none out of our sixteen hundred members – have we none out of this congregation of six thousand – who can say, “Here am I, send me?” Jesus! Is there not one?”

Remember the tears that we cried over the nations as we prayed in my dream? And all of the empty chairs?

“If there be none, let us weep, each one of us, because such a calamity has fallen on us. But if there be any who are willing to give all for Christ, let us who are compelled to stay at home do our best to help them. Let us see to it that they lack nothing, for we cannot send them out without purse or scrip. Let us fill the purse of the men whose hearts God has filled, and take care of them temporally, leaving it for God to preserve them spiritually.”

I do believe that this is the most powerful message on missions that I have ever read or heard. I said that I felt like my dream was a holy visitation and that Spurgeon and I shared the same heart.
It turns out the the crazy act of publishing “My Dream” and obeying the Lord in this was….
to bless me….
to speak to me…
and to ignite me.

You see, the day that I wrote “My Dream”, it was confirmed that I will be sharing a message with the villagers of Mbarara, Uganda on the second leg of our trip. While we have a mobile clinic in the village, I will bring a word on the third day about “What Christ Requires of His Followers”. I will work with the help of a translator and tell the people of Mbarara about our Savior…people that have never heard of Jesus Christ.

I will be fulfilling Spurgeon’s passion and charge to the missionary. His message is still alive in me.

It is my prayer that the villagers of Mbarara will experience spiritual healing with the message that I share. They will have come for physical healing….but I have fire shut up in my bones to speak about the One I love!

I want to bring life!

In April of 1861, Charles Spurgeon wrote “The Missionary’s Charge” and delivered it to his congregation. His passion was to raise up individuals who would go out and do what the Lord has called us to do.

In April of 2011, 150 years later exact to the month, I had a holy visitation…the same message resounded in me….and I could feel the heart of the Lord.

“Then I heard the voice of the Lord saying, “Whom shall I send? And who will go for us?”
And I said,
“Here am I, Send me!” Isaiah 6:8

Charles Hadley Spurgeon’s sermon, “The Missionary’s Charge” from April 1861 is printed in the Aug-Sept 2009 edition of HeartCry Magazine.
http://www.heartcrymissionary.com/magazine-download

“Thank You Ladies of Comer…”

Standard

What an amazing night! The Lord appointed my steps and took me all the way to Comer, GA. I loved sharing with these beautiful women of God!
Comer is a beautiful little country town. From the moment we pulled into town, I was reminded of my grandmother, Nixie. And later my grandmother, Ruby. These two women exemplified a simpler way of life….
When I saw all of the fresh vegetables that the ladies set before us, I thought of Granny Nixie. My greatest memory of her is looking out her sliding glass doors and seeing her bent over picking peppers out of her garden.
And second, Granny Ruby. She was a woman of prayer. I remember her coming to watch my brother and I while my parents went out of town. She prayed all the time. I always saw her lips moving. Her life was hard….but she always looked peaceful. The older I’ve become, I believe that she prayed me into who I am….
A woman that totally relies on God.
A woman that hears His voice and obeys.
A woman that testifies to what He has done.
And a woman that will go to the ends of the earth,
not because He requires that,

But because I am so in love with Him.

I love the way that He works. I shared with the ladies that when I was invited to speak, I had a great plan that I would share all about my mission trip to Uganda with CURE International, and Comer ladies would help fund the rest of my trip….but that wasn’t His plan.

He had already provided for my trip…. and then some.

No, my surrender scripture resounded in my heart as I prepared…

“Show me Your ways, Lord, teach me Your path…” Psalm 25:4

And my surrender was to share my testimony. Many tears were cried through different stories that I told. Thank you, Comer ladies, for your response. It blessed me greatly to see a beautiful group of “wisdom” on one side of me and a precious group of young girls on the other.

I appreciate your comments, thanking me for “just being real”. That’s my heart. We all have valleys…and they are hard to get through…but guess what? That’s where the lillies bloom. It was an honor for me to share in a setting where I felt the love of a sweet church. I felt the presence of Jesus in the ways that you served. I felt the reminder of my grandmother’s prayers as I looked upon some ladies’ faces that looked like her.

I loved your nods as I spoke. It was as if you said, “I know how that feels. And yes, I know Jesus is the only One that hears my cry for help!”

A precious young girl came up to me at the end of the night. She was crying and had a hard time getting her words out. If I went all the way to Comer for just one person, I would have done it just for her. She said this….

“You have inspired me tonight. I am sorry that I am so emotional….but this is my heart. I am called to Africa too. I’ve known this for a while now, but you made it real. You are an inspiration to me. And I’m going.”

To me, this is what living is all about. The Lord placed her in my path that night to affirm the call that He has put upon her.

We are all called to be light.

Ladies of Comer….you were a light to me.

Thank you. I can’t wait to share with you about my trip when I return. Your gift to me was a huge blessing. I never expected to be poured out upon like you did.

Thank you to Kim, Kelley and Jamie for riding with me and bringing precious baby Ward.

Ward has been prayed for by the ladies of Comer…and they got to see a miracle. They got to see their prayers answered, that God has indeed healed this child.

And we will continue to testify to the great things He has done.

Ladies of Comer, thank you once again for your invitation, for your hospitality, your warmth and your servant’s heart. You blessed me. I came to bring a message to you….and you showed me Jesus.

I would trade every ounce of “stuff” in some of today’s churches to just sit and eat squash casserole with you.

Because sitting with you, felt like being with Him.

β€œThe LORD bless you
and keep you;
the LORD make his face shine on you
and be gracious to you;
the LORD turn his face toward you
and give you peace.”
Numbers 6:24-26

(Mighty River followers, sign up for the RSS feed, I will be publishing a lot of posts this last month before the trip. Mighty River is the official blog for the 2011 CURE Go Team to Uganda. All trip posts will be done on this site. I will try to post as often as possible for the teams’ family and churches to follow. Thank you so much for your prayers and emails.)

“Happy Father’s Day….”

Standard

Happy Father’s Day, Daddy! (sounds like Deaddy πŸ˜€ ) It is only fitting that I tell you Happy Father’s Day this way….on my blog recording my trip to Uganda.

I just want to say “thank you.” Not in a mushy greeting card sort of a way…but thank you for believing in me.

Thank you for seeing me as the way Christ does, and loving me.

Thank you that when I told you that the Lord was calling me to Uganda, you never said that you disagreed. Thank you for never asking me if I was sure…

And, thank you for saying words that I will never forget…

“Shannon, I will never stand in the way of what God tells you to do…because then I would not be a good father. I will support you wherever He calls you and whatever He tells you to do. I may not like it, but that would be between me and Him.”

Thank you that when I was a little girl, you taught me big faith. You taught me how to pray and told me that God can heal anybody…even a lame dog.

Thank you for allowing your heart to break with mine, when my world fell apart and I became a single mom. Thank you for your tears and pacing the floor.

Thank you for not fixing everything for me…but requiring me to be strong in the Lord.

Thank you for calling me at times and reading a devotion to me that was just about me.

Thank you for never telling me what to do when I ask advice, but guiding me to pray about it and leaning on my heavenly Father to tell me.

Thank you for telling me that you are proud of me. A child never tires of those words.

Happy Father’s Day! I love you!

“Oh Lord, for those reading and saying they miss their own father today, heal every aching heart and replace it with Your powerful love. I pray that hearts open to You and mouths cry out, “Daddy hold me….let me crawl up in Your lap and rest my head against Your chest.” Wipe tears away today with Your very hands. Let us know You as Father. There is no one like You. For broken relationships….I speak forgiveness in the name of Jesus.”

“The Great I Am”

Standard

Last night I went to bed listening to this song. I am so moved by this. In fact, I don’t have the natural vocabulary to share what my spirit feels when I listen to the words.

I had asked the Lord to give me new words to pray yesterday.

And this is what He showed me…

That He is the Great I Am.

“Lord, You are “I Am”. You are here with me right now. I need you RIGHT NOW. You are not “I was” or “I will be”, but You, God, are here now. You are the Great “I Am”. You are present. Even as I wait, You are here with me now. You wait with me. You hold my hand and say, “we’ll do this together.” I bow in worship and tears stream down my cheeks as I sing these words to You, Father. There is no one like You. For every dark night, you are light. For every cold path, you are warmth. You hold and orchestrate every victory in my life. You love me. Me. You, the Great I Am, love me! My life is Yours, Lord. I am marked and nailed to the altar of the One I love, the Great “I Am”.”

I wanna to be close close to your side
So heaven is real and death is alive
I wanna hear voices of angels above
Singing as one

Hallelujah holy holy
God Almighty Great I Am
Who is worthy
None beside thee
God Almighty
Great I Am

I wanna be near near to your heart
Loving the world hating the dark
I want to see dry bones living again
Singing as one

Hallelujah
Holy holy
God Almighty Great I Am
Who is worthy
None beside thee
God Almighty
Great I Am

He’s the Great I Am Great I Am

The mountains shake before him
The demons run and flee

At the mention of the name
King of majesty
There is no power in hell
Or any who can stand
Before the power and the presence of the Great I Am
The great I Am the Great I Am
The great I Am the Great I Am the Great I Am

Great I Am
The Great I Am The Great I Am
The Great I Am the Great I Am the Great I Am

The mountains shake before him
The demons run and flee
At the mention of the name
King of majesty
There is no power in hell
Or any who can stand
Before the power and the presence of the Great I Am
The Great I Am the Great I Am
The Great I Am the Great I Am the Great I Am

I have to say that this is one of the most powerful worship songs that I have ever heard. I’m posting the lyrics…read over them again and let them saturate your soul.

No power in hell can take you down…you may think that your situation is beyond help, but I’m here to say,

“You’ve got the Great I Am standing right beside you. He goes before you. He loves you so much that He died for you.

He wept and bled for you.

You can’t even wrap your brain around how much He loves you. Take your eyes off of your situation and walk in the power of The Great I Am!

Trade your staleness for His fire.

He’s worthy!

He longs for you to lean on Him and rest in Him. He longs for you to turn to His face and wrap you in His arms. When you think there is no hope for your circumstances….He already has the answer.

I pray that you know Him like that today. I pray you walk in the victory of the Great I Am!

I pray that your sorrow and hopelessness and questions are turned into a song of praise from your lips today.”

“Sing joyfully to the Lord, you righteous; it is fitting for the upright to praise him. Praise the Lord with the harp; make music to him on the ten-stringed lyre. Sing to him a new song; play skillfully, and shout for joy. For the word of the Lord is right and true; he is faithful in all he does.” Psalm 33:1-4

“For My Son…”

Standard

When I started Mighty River, I told myself that I would keep this blog about my call to Uganda. However, I wouldn’t be going without the help of this young man…

This is my son, Avery.

He said that the nicest thing I could do for him is to write a post about him….and so I shall….because writing about the people that I love is the easiest thing to do.

Avery just completed the fifth grade. He is my middle child. I love him dearly. If I could choose to be like anyone in this world, it would be Avery. He is deeply compassionate and giving. If you say that you want something, he will make sure that you have it. He longs to please you. He is a peacemaker. He is humble. He is strong. He is mighty.

And he is mine.

As a parent, I have the pleasure to pray for him daily. And he is the first one in my room every night…telling me it is time to pray before bed. He is quiet, with a lot going on in his little heart.

On May 17th this year, he and I went to his “5th grade Academy Awards Night”. It was a very special night. We dressed in our formal clothes….and siblings were not allowed to come. We were served dinner by the teachers and staff. The fifth graders walked down the red carpet as their names were called out. At the end of the carpet, they waved to their fans. It was a magnificent night!

Avery and his peers had voted for a classmate to win each category. There was “friendliest”, “most Christ-like”, “most giving”, “most athletic”, etc.

My eyes filled with tears and I got a lump in my throat when this was said….

“And the Award for Best Mentor in the Fifth Grade Class goes to….Avery!”

Wow! His peers voted him as the best mentor for themselves. They see qualities in him that they would like to be like! I could write about Avery’s baseball awards…but this is what counts…character lasts a lifetime. What an honor. I could think of no better award for Avery….

In fact, I can think of no one else I’d like as my very own mentor.

I love YOU, Avery.

“Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called sons of God.” Matthew 5:9

I’ve learned from Avery, that to be like Christ, you offer whatever He requires of you…and do it with joy.

I take this character with me to serve in Uganda.

“Lord, whatever is required of me, let me give of myself, as You do…and as I’ve witnessed in my son, Avery. Thank you for him. For he gives with a willing and joyful heart. May I see people’s needs the way that he does, and long to meet them. May I see everyone that I meet through Your eyes. Take my head into Your hand and turn my gaze towards someone I may look over. Fill me with even more compassion. May I be the hands and feet of Christ. For here I am Lord, send me.”