Saturday, December 30, 2017

Christmas

Wow, I am amazed and enthralled by the works of God!  I’m constantly blown away by God’s hand on this place and His provisions!  Just this week alone, His provisions for the rent and insurance!  Coming into this week, God kept saying not to worry, that He would take care of everything, and no matter how hard I tried, I had that small voice of doubt that kept creeping in, and I would chase it away again, KNOWING God would provide.  Human reasoning kept coming in – prior to this week, I knew I was getting at least $300 from Taylor, but I didn’t expect anything from IWU, I kept trying to reason in my mind how God was going to come up with what we needed.  So, on Tues. I was able to get online with Taylor and find that I was getting $322. AND on Thurs. I got online with IWU and found I was getting $286!  That was a surprise!  So, between what I had placed in my business account from sales and all of that, I paid the rent, the insurance AND had a few $$ left over.  We have everything we need, so why do I ever fret and try to figure?!  Will I ever learn!  I do pray and hope so, that I ALWAYS KNOW that God provides all that we need!

What’s even more amazing is last week – the 19th through the 23rd – we brought in $655. in sales/donations!  The most for a week to date!  Wow, God is really blessing this place.  For the month of Dec. we brought in $1,076., but grand total from Oct/Nov/Dec was $1,727.  That’s totally amazing for a new business and especially, for an art gallery in a town that has none!  What’s even more amazing, is that since Oct., we’ve only had a loss of $4090.33!  Only God could do such a thing!  What’s cool, is that in Oct. I had put in a petition to the Rotery club for $$ to help fund the after school art program.  Last Wed. they gave me $150. for that.  Also, last week, we got a check from the Chamber of Commerce for WINNING the store-front display window contest - $75.  We really worked for that one!  Throughout the month of Dec. we kept adding to and creating of Christmas displays throughout the 4 big windows we have – William found a beautiful, hand painted crèche from the Salvation Army for only $18, so William built a wooden structure (out of the old barn wood found at Elizabeth’s place) that was incredible, complete with a barn loft, stairs leading to, and straw!  Totally cool.  Then he created this hanging light over the top to signify the start – so creative and cool.  The rest of the windows held the awesomely decorated tree (each strand of tinsel hung by William – which Kathy, the Mayor, said was the deciding factor on our window winning!), the animated and lit Santas and caroler, the many little snowmen, the wintery ocean scene with the sculptures, and the window that held the items we sell.  All for a very homey, old-fashioned, store-front display we wanted to capture.


Christmas windows - storefront
The after school art program ended the year with a successful piñata party.  I had 9 kids start that first week of Dec. making piñatas, and by the last day of decorating them (Dec. 19th), only 4 kids had finished.  We held the party on the 21st, which was a greater success, because we invited extra kids to the party – what was so cool about that was that a lady with 7 kids had been wandering town, killing time until the roller skating at the community building was to start (6 pm), had wandered into my shop about 2 pm.  I invited them to come back at 3:30, which they did.  We had a wonderful evening, complete with breaking my piñata full of candy.  Velma had come over to help as well; quite a successful evening.  What’s even cooler is that we were featured on the front page of the local newspaper this week with the kids’ art program. 


Piñata party

Bethany and I sang/played in church on Sunday – New Horizons – Bethany has been going there on a regular basis, since she arrived in Oct., as well as attending the Monday morning Bible study and Thursday morning prayer meeting with the Foursquare group.  I/we haven’t been as much, since we’re been checking out other fellowships.  Bethany and I have gotten to perform a few times this Christmas season – on the 9th we were asked to perform for some sorority group’s Christmas party at the hospital and that was a hit – plus we got $50 for doing so (which was a surprise)!  Of course, we performed at our open house on Dec. 1st (which got us the gig at the hospital).  Our open house was a great success, not so much in numbers, but by who attended.  Not only that, but on the 12th, while up to my elbows in goo from paper mache and several kids participating in pinata making, our landlord came in and plopped a $50 bill on my table (next to the goo) and said Merry Christmas!  I was very surprised and he is obviously impressed with what we’re doing!


Piñata mess

We had the best Christmas season in years, we all agreed.  We have a place to live, God provides all our needs, and we’ve had fun; so much better than in past years.

Something I found interesting last week:  Wed. Dec. 20th I was wondering when I was going to get to join Rotery, because I was wanting to figure out how/when I was going to pay the $200 fee.  I started going to the meetings (pretty much every week) since Kathy invited me in Oct.  I was told to come to 6 meetings, then the board would meet to vote me in.  I went to 9 meetings or so and had asked when I would be allowed to join.  They told me to finish the paper work, which I did with Kathy and then online.  I went to a couple more meetings and asked again, they said I ‘fell between the holiday cracks’ and that that matter would be discussed on the next board meeting.  Well, Wed. morning, the President and Pres. elect came into my shop to discuss membership.  They told me that my membership app was turned down because they “wanted me to come to meetings for the next year in order to get to know me” and that since I was “new to town” they wanted to wait.  I just sat there and nodded, and they said they were “surprised on how well I took the news.”  I told them I was fine with not joining them; however, I then filled them in on the fact that I wasn’t new to town, but rather, have been here most of the last 3 years and that sure, my shop was new.  They also informed me that I was invited to continue to attend the meetings, especially today, since they voted to give me $150 for the after school kids program.  I said ok, plus, I had been asked to be the speaker for the Jan. 10th meeting, and I wanted to confirm that with the scheduler.  I remained puzzled; however, by the fact that they ‘changed the rules’ on me – that I was singled out NOT to join.  The first day I went to their meetings in Oct. several people had joined, including Velma, who does not own a store nor has she been here long (they moved here in May).  Since then, several other people started attending meetings and they were voted to join.  I believe, in reality, they didn’t want me in their club because I put “God” in my store sign and that I’m obviously a ‘real’ believer, in that I speak my mind about God/Jesus.  When I told Kathy about their decision, she was even surprised – said that NEVER happens; however, she did make note that she “wouldn’t have tied God in with my business,” and that she was surprised I called it “God’s House of Vision”.  Nonetheless, she didn’t understand, either, why I wasn’t allowed to join.  Anyway, it really doesn’t matter that they act like this, it just confirms that we’re on the right track and that we’re rattling a few cages!  Not only that, but this just confirms what I had been feeling God was telling me, is that he didn’t want me getting involved in their stuff, because He had enough for us to do with His business! 









I just finished reading a couple books by David Jeremiah:  The Handwriting on the Wall, Secrets from the Prophecies of Daniel and Escape the Coming Night which was about Revelation.  After reading both, I read both the books of Daniel and Revelation again.  I found both books interesting; however, not new info. except on a few things.  Also, that they were both written in the early 90’s and one updated in 2001; either way, back then he was very ‘immediate’ in the way he discussed the last days – how much more so now that we’re entering 2018!  Almost all of the prophecies about Jesus and the 2nd coming have already happened, so very few are remaining!  What a time to live in.  I found his rendition of the 7 letters to the churches very enlightening from the Escape book.

Sunday, November 26, 2017

Thanksgiving

The sign above our studio

We hadn’t been to moms since August, so we planned to spend Thanksgiving with her.  Since mom had rented out all available space in her house, she arranged for my brother to bring back her 40’ RV, and park it in the driveway for us to stay in.  I got a frantic call from mom on the 18th – my brother crashed her RV into the workshop/tenant’s apartment, which took out the electricity for both the house and workshop AND took out the back bedroom window of the RV, torching the backside (he had hit the main power box).  She was all upset, because she had 2 tenants living upstairs in her house and one above the shop, all of whom were real upset because they had no power and they paid good money to live there.  Totally understandable.  She wasn’t thinking clearly, so I said, “yes, they paid good money to live there; therefore, you need to put them all up into a hotel”.  She wasn’t too keen on that, since she is a penny-pincher, but I convinced her to do exactly that before they all rose up in arms against her.  She finally agreed and arranged it.  I told her I would be there the next day to help however I could.  William and we (Bethany came with us, but stayed at her granddaughter’s) arrived there the afternoon of the 19th to total chaos (electricity didn’t get back on until the evening of the 20th) – I had to run interference between mom, my brother, and the tenants. 

The whole time, I was in a great deal of pain since I had been so busy getting the store ready – run, run, run everywhere – I was on my feet so much more than I had been used to.  I actually think I broke some bones in my foot, since it was so swollen up, but I kept on it.  By the time I got to moms, I could hardly walk.  But I just kept praying my way through all the pain.  I’m going to have to slow down and let this heal!

Once everything calmed down by Tuesday, we ended up having a nice Thanksgiving week with her.  I fixed a nice meal for her, invited Steve, Bethany, William’s daughter and grandkids over.   We went back to Coquille the 25th.  When we got back, Bethany commented on how glad she was that she had moved to Coquille and was with us – that she felt that God really led her there and had great plans for her!  I’m glad she feels that way.

Wednesday, November 8, 2017

Opening of our Art Gallery

We open God’s House of Vision officially Nov. 6th; however, I started earning money from my advertising weeks before I even opened!  Velma brought me some sewing the 2nd week of Oct.  I had my door open most of the week before, inviting people to come in to check out what we were doing.  I had my windows covered with paper all through October, but tore it down Oct. 30th.  That  very morning we were praying and asking God specifically for $100 to meet the Nov. rent – we were about $100 short of what we needed (we spent $400 on a new water heater and the landlord said to take that off the rent, leaving $100 to pay him).  That very afternoon, a lady walked in, asked about what type of lessons we would be giving and asked if I would give private lessons to her handicapped daughter.  She handed me a $100 bill to prepay!   Then on Nov. 2nd I checked the mail and got a $150 check from Steve (another person who used to help us in the ministry in Ashland) as a donation for our ministry!  I am so amazed at God’s provisions!
The first piece I sold – a painting by Carol Turner

We had the place looking nice – William did an awesome job fixing the walls (they had several issues), painting them (white with burgundy and gold trim), and the artists started bringing in their artwork on Nov. 1st – 3rd:  Pat Weaver, Carol Turner, Kathy Phillips, all of whom I met and knew from the Coquille Valley Art Center, and Rachel Smith, whom I met recently.  What was so funny, is that Carol and Rachel brought their artwork in the same day, Rachel saw a painting that Carol did and bought it!  I earned a commission and had my first sale even before I opened!  I opened up Monday the 6th and someone came in and bought one of Pat’s paintings she saw in our window!  My 2nd sale the first day I opened!  It is so obvious God has planted us here and we will thrive!
Our interior

Tuesday, October 24, 2017

Working on the art gallery ...

Wow, what a day!  Things are really starting to happen – tomorrow Bethany (she lives in Medford and used to help us with the ministry in Lithia Park) is getting here to help with our business, to be my business partner – my brother is moving her up here and bringing me my stuff from moms.  I’ve been without all my art stuff for months!  We ended up getting 5 gallons of white paint real cheap at $12 a gallon from Metro Paints, through a place in Coos Bay – recycled paint, but it’s perfectly good.  The walls are finally covered.  We’ve been operating on a shoestring budget, like I’ve been telling everyone, and the shoestring is broke!  But God always ends up providing all that we need.  William got some gold paint which is too yellow, so he’s going to do a faux finish with some brown stain over it to tone it down.  We still need a second gallon of burgundy paint – that part still isn’t done mainly because last weekend was a terrible storm with lots of rain and it poured in from above the middle windows – we collected a ½ bucket of water from that!  Anyway, the outside got caulked yesterday, so William, once we can get the other burgundy, will finally paint that front wall and hope it doesn’t leak any more.
William painting the gold on the stairs

We’ve been in the Word a lot lately and boy has God been speaking!  We’ve been in Isaiah a lot (in the 50’s and 60’s), Habak. 3, Eccl. 2 & 5 – God’s timing is amazing.  We’ve had several prayer meetings here and are already getting a lot of positive support AND some opposition.   We have no fear since God has established this venture.  Anyway, today turned out different than I thought – several people have been coming by lately, intrigued by our upcoming opening and what I’m offering here (I’ve had signs out on my windows advertising several upcoming classes).  Kathy Cooper came by and we had an awesome talk about several things, including decorating.  She’s got several great ideas and wants to help.  We prayed together about some things.  Then Velma (I met her in Rotery club, which I’ve been attending every week) came in and brought a couple pieces of cake – she loves to bake and wants to help at our open house.  Anyway, her and I talked for well over an hour.  Seems like her and I have a lot in common.  She’s going in for surgery tomorrow, so I prayed for her.  A couple other people stopped by, asking about my upcoming classes, very excited by my opening soon.  Kathy the Mayor came by and introduced me to a friend of hers, and on and on it went.  Very busy day.

What’s especially cool, is that the local newspaper ran an article about what we are doing and I got a call from Barbara, whose husband is a sculptor – an awesome one at that!  She said that God let her to us and asked if we would like to see the sculpture she has at her place (she has dozens and dozens of pieces, from small soap stones to very large wooden ones (myrtle wood, curly maple, etc.).  We went there and were flabbergasted!  We took well over a dozen pieces in – some were extremely heavy!  God has really blessed us with our first artwork!!


A piece of alabaster sculpture
A piece of birdseye maple sculpture

I have a feeling things are going to go very well with this place – much faster progress with getting people in than I had in Fountain.  The other thing that’s helping is the weather – it’s been mostly sunny, in the 70’s and today was in the 80’s (except for that bout of rain over the weekend), for several weeks and looks to continue for the next week or so.  That brings a lot of people out and since this area is the hub of the town, a lot of people have wandered by!

Wednesday, October 11, 2017

God's House of Vision - Coquille

Wow, a LOT has happened in the past week.  We now have a storefront in downtown Coquille to do an art gallery/studio and ministry house again, just like we did in Colorado!
Our storefront – windows covered in paper while we re-model

God is amazing in how He works; here we are almost penniless, living in a small RV in a RV spot in Coos Bay (we plugged in the middle of Sept. after having had a very difficult summer, homeless in a tent, moving from place to place between here and the Rogue Valley - a RV-less summer since it was broken down), so when I got paid from Taylor Univ. the 20th of $586, we paid ahead for the month of Oct. to park there.  In the mean time, William is working for a guy in Coquille at $50 a day, demolishing a double-wide trailer in the hopes of putting in another double-wide when this job is done.  As we have gotten to know this guy (Max, an awesome Spirit-filled believer), he decides he wants us to live on this mountain top, in the double-wide he hopes to put in there, at only $400 a month!  William has the place only half demolished at this point and we are still looking for another to put there – for free – we are hoping to find one that someone no longer wants and only wants us to haul it away.  It could be soon or it could take months.  We are believing God for bringing us a 40’ or larger double-wide to put there and/or to tell us what He really wants us to do.

The double-wide - this place is REALLY gross!

In the mean time, Max, William, me, and two other on-fire believers are sitting in a restaurant in Coquille having a prayer meeting, sharing time, having an awesome time in the Lord, and talk came about how we had a ministry house in Colorado and we had noticed two storefronts across from this restaurant were for rent.  We spoke of how awesome it would be for us to rent one and start such … this was on Monday, Oct. 3rd.  That day, just on a whim, I go ask the owners to look at these two shops – one was 2500 square feet and no back entrance and he wanted $1450 upfront and $600 a month.  The other was 3000 plus square feet (he didn’t know exactly) with 3 lofts, a back door entrance, and tons of window space for no down and $500 a month.  The next day, we were talking with Max and he gave us $500 to go put down on the store front, saying he believed we were an answer to his (and many others’ prayers over the years).  So I did – the landlord is awesome and loves our ideas for the place.  So, the evening of the 4th, we moved in.  Today,  we are going over to get our RV from the RV space and bring it back here – and I hope to get most of our $$ back from paying for Oct.   God has really blessed us!

Anyway, I get another Taylor Univ. check of around $600 the end of this month, which will pay for next month AND I was finally given 2 new classes from Indiana Wesleyan Univ. (I taught my last one in July/Aug, haven’t been paid since Aug.), which means I’ll be paid from Nov. thru Dec., which will pay the rents through those months!  Wow, God is awesome!

So, on Friday night the 6th, we invited some on-fire believers  to have a dedication prayer service over this place and we realized several things: God has totally had His hand on this whole thing:  I arrived in Oregon exactly 10 years ago (Oct. 3rd or 4th I think), met with William in the park Oct. 7th 2007, and started working with the ministry.  Not only that, but this building number is #10 (God has a thing about numbers) – so 10 years ago, the 10th month (Oct.), and the address of 10!!  What really tripped me up, was that right before Max and Kathy arrived, I dug out some fabric I knew I had (I bought it at a thrift shop several months ago, not knowing what I wanted to do with it, but it being high-quality muslin for only $20, I bought it) and had measured it out – exactly 31 feet long and 6 feet wide – exactly the length and width I needed for curtains going across the front of the building!   Who would have figured!  God is awesome!  We had just decided the day before we wanted a curtain to go from one end of the building to the other to be used during prayer meetings or special meetings, so that people couldn’t look in from the outside, since most meetings like this will be held at night.  Since there is a large area between that and the windows, it wouldn’t affect the display area, which could still be viewed from outside.  Real cool.

We’ve been holding prayer meetings here every night this week (mostly with Max; Kathy came again another night, sometimes Dale), seeking God for the souls in this town/valley, that thru this art gallery/studio and the things we do in that area, that the ministry aspects will affect the people around us, funds to get started, supplies/equipment we need, etc.  We hope to open in November.  In fact, believing for all these things, I have already scheduled and began advertising classes beginning Nov. 6th!
Our first prayer meeting group

This whole thing has been amazing – like that verse says: “Without vision, my people perish …” Prov. 29:18 – anyway, we’ve had a vision of a place like this for a long time – a place where we could run a business, influence the community in some way to make life better for people (through the arts), but most importantly, a place to hold prayer meetings, classes (teach about the real history of this country, creationism, the Gospel, etc.), invite area ministers to speak (as God leads), discipleship training, evangelism training, etc.

We also want to find musicians (all types and styles: bluegrass, Christian, chamber, etc.), so that we can host music nights for the community – family friendly, maybe serve coffee, tea, koolaide, etc.  Just so there is an alternative to bars for people to hang out as a community.  We will be having our Grand Opening/Open House on Friday, December 1st,  complete with live music.  And, in time for “Christmas in Coquille” on December 2nd, we will be hosting a “Make your own Christmas Card and Label” during that day, to let people know we are a new business in town.

What’s real amazing is that the shop next door is run by the mayor of Coquille – Kathy – she’s taken a real liking to me and is making sure I meet all the right people.  She has me scheduled to go to Rotery (both in Myrtle Point and Coquille), Kiwanis, and Lion meetings to talk about what I’m doing – the ‘who’s who’ in the community, so that the word gets out.  I made a lot of good contacts today, printed out all my class schedules, hung them on the window … a lot of people have been stopping and looking at what I put in the windows.  A couple of teenagers stopped by on their way home from school and thought what I was doing was real cool … they’re looking forward to me opening.
William earned $50 from Max (we haven’t had any cash since last week) today and on the way home, stopped and got our first paint!  He’s going to paint the walls white with accent walls a burgundy color.

William painting one of the accent walls


Sunday, April 23, 2017

Resurrection Sunday!

April 15-21 we spent in the Rogue Valley.  Mom's health has been up and down since her last open heart surgery in Dec. and was excited when I suggested we invite a few people over for Easter dinner (we hadn't been to the valley since January). I cooked several things that night before, while my sister-in-law cooked several things. Sunday morning, we went to Jerusalem Center in Medford – it’s amazing how strong the Holy Spirit’s presence is there at that place, full of the poor and outcast, yet rich in blessings. They had the whole outside decorated and set up (tho it threatened to rain) for Easter dinner; I kinda wished I didn’t have to rush home to prepare our own!  I wanted to hang with everyone there! However, we had a great time with family and friends, though mom wasn't feeling so well and had to go lie down.
Mom was only up ½ the day Monday, not feeling well, we painted together part of Monday.  We then tried to get through a Bob Ross video and paint with it, but she wasn’t feeling well and was down rest of day and all day Tuesday was down sick. I went with William around town Wed. and Thurs. while mom was still down and sick.
April 21 got back from mom’s by 1pm, and we went right to work on yard work since it had been the only sunny day (thus a little dried out) the whole week, so we mowed and used the weed eater on the entire property, finished up Saturday, but it sprinkled off and on.  Sunday, we didn’t go to church, because God told William in a very creative way not to go, and to quit trying to be accepted by the organized church. Sat. night, since William had to get into Elizabeth's house to take care of her plants, etc. When William was done, he accidently locked his keys in the house, the only set to the house, and by the time he realized this, it was dark and he was too tired to deal with it. The next morning, he found his keys sitting in plain sight on the table in the trailer! Now I saw him, the night before, he looked EVERYWHERE multiple times for those keys. When he found the keys, it was already 10:30, so we decided not to go to church, but rather, spend the day reading God’s Word and praying. Why is it we always want to join a fellowship? We realized we were again trying to gain approval; we are to go into the small groups to build them up, but not to ‘join’ the church part as such.
We had a wonderful, insightful day just staying home. We’ve been reading though the Books of Jasher and of Enoch also, to gain historical perspective on the Bible. Very interesting.
William started speaking about a verse he was reading: (Rom. 7:6) The letter of the law kills but the Spirit brings life …
Like William says about our trip to the valley this time, he was dealing with his family members, running around making arrangements (burial site, plaque, etc) to bury his mom May 16th. This gives more meaning to the verse (Matt. 8:22): ‘let the dead bury the dead’; In dealing with the spiritually dead in the valley (talking about when we go back in June), when you’re not being refreshed by the breath of God, you’re dying. We realized that we were dealing with the dead when trying to deal with them about burying the dead. When we start doing what everyone else is doing, it quenches the Spirit and it isn’t that it is right or wrong, it just that God has a certain job for us to do, and it’s not what everyone else thinks is important. When we were there this week, running around dealing with ‘life’ issues everyone else is concerned about, we stopped praying and reading the Word every day. We noticed this in our spirit, that it wasn’t getting fed, we especially noticed it when we went to Jerusalem Center, then looking back after the week was done, that was the only ‘life’ we witnessed!
Getting up and involved the things that they do, we find that the message is growing in us, if we don’t pray every night listening to God’s voice, getting up in the morning and not hearing God’s voice, not hearing from the throne of God, we feel empty, we cannot live in our natural man, reason, live, but rather, we need to be moved by the Spirit, live by the Spirit, learn to hear His voice well by being in the Word daily. We cannot live in this world like others, but live by the Spirit of God because the time is short, we need the fire of God is within us, we have to tell the people that God is coming soon, the fire within cannot be contained. Like William says, there is a real burning inside of him to tell people that Jesus is coming soon and they have to be ready, something burning inside to get out there and tell people what God has to say is more important than all the stuff in this life. God chose us out of the world to be His and to do His will – this is His will, to go out and tell. The presence of God keeps us. Some people can do so many things in this life, but we have to only do what He says, speak what He says and step where He says to step. Christians think there is something wrong with us for living this way. We have to not have concern as to what people think. 
While sitting in the trailer, I see that the blossoms from the cherry and pear trees have hung on so long, and were just starting to fall. I made a comment about this to William, who said they were around longer than normal because God was speaking: they were waiting for the sun (son), it’s all in God’s timing, even they know to wait on God. Same with the dropping of the peddles, Just like we should be, as the Son shines on us, we fade away and He takes over.
Before we left for the valley, I was remembering the prayer meeting from the 13th - it was great, not as powerful as the week before, but still great. It took some interesting turns. Since I got paid from IWU that day, I invited 2 of the ladies out to lunch; however, in the end, one paid for us all! I got to know them better, which was awesome. It was such a wonderful time of talking and getting to know one another, we were there for hours! After I had gotten home, I remembered something one had said during prayer meeting, she said “God will give you new shoes” and she went on to explain that He was widening my sphere of influence and that I would have bigger shoes to fill. William kind of said the same thing the week before, saying that I would influence more people and be busier than ever. I am constantly wondering what God is going to have us do and where he will park us once we get into the Rogue Valley; not that I’m worried, I just like to know what’s coming – always been that way. I’m a planner, but God is obviously trying to get that out of me …
We’ve been really reading a lot lately, about being more vigilant in prayer: Rev. 16:15, Is. 62:6-7, Ez. 34:8-10, Matt. 24:42-51, Mark 13:33-37, Acts 20:28-31, 2 Tim. 4:1-4, 1 Peter 4:7

Wednesday, April 12, 2017

Wind and Rain!


Wow, it’s been a really difficult couple weeks, yet at the same time, a lot of ‘God highs’ as well. The enemy has been relentless! Constantly attacking us in many ways – horrible nights of no sleep, constant physical pain, a great deal of emotional pain in me dealing with a few issues (part with current and past – trying to be totally healed from past stuff), extremely high winds, dealing with a homeless couple we’ve been working with, etc. While at the same time, big-time God highs and provisions from God – one of which is getting more classes, which means more $$! All back to back and two overlapping, scheduled through the end of August with steady pay through Sept.! This hasn’t happened in years!! We’re getting our car’s tune-up finally this Friday – after waiting years to get this done! In two weeks, we’ll finally get the bearings done! We have waited so long for the provisions to finally fix the car, yet at the same time, God has kept our car running with NO problems all this time!
On the night of April 6th, we had extremely high winds – at least 80-90 mph (later found out trees were down all over the county), that rocked and shook us so much, neither of us got ANY sleep. That next morning, we got a call from Elizabeth saying her tenant had no water (thought the water line was broken) and a tree fell on her house. We went up to survey the damage, and the uprooted tree took out the old water line (we found out later, it was the old one and it didn’t affect her water supply, but rather, the city had turned off the water for repairs!). The tree fell on the back corner of the house, totally crushing the corner, damaging the roof and walls! William spent 6 months working on that house! Anyway, we didn’t have the tools, nor the physical ability to do anything about it, and besides, the rains were still coming down! So Elizabeth arranged for a tree company to come out to take it down AND a construction company to come rebuild that corner of the house. Good thing, because William really is not in physical shape any longer (too old, as he says!) to do heavy construction any more.
When we went to the library later that day to get our work done (William downloads videos/sermons, etc. – I’ve got a lot more grading to do now that I’ve got so many classes now! ) Anyway, sitting out front was the homeless gal we’ve been interacting with for the past month or so (her boyfriend was still up at their camp site), she was looking very much the victim (I should have really picked up on this, but didn’t). She was upset, cold, and wet, awaiting a call back from a friend who said they would come help them get their camp moved – for I found out they were camped on someone’s private property illegally (up near Fairview), got caught and were asked to leave immediately. She thought they would move out to Bastendorff beach since she heard there was free camping. I told her, “yes, for only 24-hours, then you need to move.” She argued with me, insisting they could stay there. Anyway, I went in to do my work and about 2 hours later, came out and found her still sitting there, almost in tears. She was complaining that she was hungry, hadn’t eaten that day and they were out of food stamps. I told her that our food stamps didn’t kick in until the 8th. I asked her what happened to the guy who was supposed to come get them last week and take them to Washington, and she said the guy ripped them off and didn’t take them to Washington. She also hadn’t heard from whoever it was that was supposed to move their camp. So I went in and asked William if it would be ok if we could help them. So William went up to Fairview and helped move their camp (all wet and stinky! With 3 cats!) and paid for 2 nights out at Sturdevant park, moved their camp down there – it took 2 loads. They made William do all the work! They hardly did a thing for themselves! 

I, in the mean time, was at the trailer, getting together a couple grocery bags full of food, including some of my canned and dried stuff. After William came down with the 2nd load, he stopped by to get me to get my help to help them set up their new camp. We suggested they should camp in the shelter of the treed area in the back of the park due to the fact that the high winds were to come back again that night. They didn’t listen to us, set their camp up along the river on a hill, right in direct line with all the winds! Of course, when we came to check on them the next day, their tent was flattened, all their stuff spread all over the place and wet, she was sitting under the gazebo wet and miserable, and he was supposed to be at the library looking for another BLM site to move to. She said how around 1 am everything got soaked and flattened and they ended up inside the bathrooms for the night. It was still pouring rain off and on, so I said I’d help them move the camp to behind the bathroom (the park host said they could), so I went to the library and got her boyfriend, who had fallen asleep in the library. I made them pack up their own stuff, but I helped load it into my car and take 4 loads over to behind the bathroom (our car is REALLY stinky now!) I told them that William would be down the next morning to help them get to Bastendorff Beach, but they were to get their stuff ready on their own and be ready when William got there ( we were realizing at this point, they hardly do a thing to help themselves, but rather, wait for someone else to do all their work and providing for). Of course, the next morning they were not ready and William said he’d give them 2 hours. 2 ½ hours later, he went down there and they had done NOTHING to get ready! William was real fed up at this point, but kept his temper, got their stuff all loaded to do in 1 trip, put the last of our money into the gas tank and took them to Bastendorff. He again said to them that they were now on their own and that they could only stay at that camp site for 24 hours! They disagreed. Whatever, they were now on their own. We did what we could to help them!
In the mean time, William and I had been dealing with several days of the enemy’s attack on us and by this time we were under a deep exhaustion! Lack of sleep at nights due to tormenting spirits and dealing with these people, absolutely exhausted us! So much so, we kept falling asleep throughout the day, each day, but never sleeping for any length of time, night or day. At the same time, my blow-up mattress had deflated earlier in the week, the hard bed caused me a great deal of pain, keeping me awake, etc. and etc. I finally was able to go to Coos Bay yesterday to exchange that mattress and last night slept for the first time in over a week!
Last Thurs. morning’s (6th) prayer meeting was very powerful. This is one of the things we know and realize is that the farther we advance in the Kingdom of God, the harder the enemy of the kingdom of darkness tries to fight back. That’s what’s going on, we know it, they know it, but they should realize by now that we’re not backing down. Like William says, “bring it on!” But, they just like to try to make us miserable; however, through all of it, we keep praising God, singing, throwing scriptures about in this battle and making them run! Anyway, we felt the Holy Spirit show up at the prayer meeting in such a powerful way, not only William, but others were weeping. Humility was the main topic of the day. William ended up flat on the floor because God kept telling him to “get low, get low”. I’ve noticed that lately (that day, and others) that my speaking in tongues has increased and is sounding different at times. Anyway, it was such a powerful time, and we are so thankful to have this group to meet with each week.
Because we were dealing with those homeless people and fighting such exhaustion/emotional issues, etc., we didn’t go to Palm Sunday services at the Foursquare, but stayed home, prayed, fasted, and tried to sleep. I guess when William went to the men’s bible study early Tuesday morning, that was the first thing the pastor had asked was, “where were you guys?” William filled them in on the homeless situation. We had met with the pastor and his wife last Wed. night (5th) and spent a good 2 ½ hrs talking with them about who we are and what we wanted to do at Sturdenvant park on June 10th and the Gay 90’s event on June 3rd. Like we said, we’re not there to ‘come under their banner’ so to speak, but to come along side to help their congregation any way we can AND to invite them to what we want to do for their city. Last Sunday (2nd) after church, we had gone to the Sturdevant park and prayed over it, asking God for more direction as to what He wants us to do down there. We had a great, powerful prayer/praise time the rest of that day.
Coquille Valley is so green!

This past Monday (10th) I met with the ladies at Figero’s again for Bible/discipleship time – again it was powerful. Not only did the leader mention that since William and I have started coming to their church/various groups, they have risen to a new spiritual level that was very noticeable. Again, the topic centered around humility and discernment. So many great verses were discussed and experiences of various things God has done, were brought up. I mentioned how I wollowed in self-pity and victim mentality while going through my healing period in the 90’s, but with God’s help, I rose out of it. I also recounted the homeless situation this week and told of what we learned from that episode: that some people just don’t want to take responsibility for their own lives, don’t want to help themselves, sit in their victim mentality, whining for someone to rescue them. I was a sucker for that this week, in my desire to help, I only enabled them. She mentioned (and others said it too) that I had such a spirit of Mercy on me, that I need to learn discernment on this sort of thing. I totally agree. Then, she asked another member to pray over me in this area because she too has been anointed to the healing ministry, not only that, but knows about victimization and is learning still to work on boundaries. Such a great and powerful time that morning.
This past week, God has continued to teach me from II Samuel and I Chronicles. One thing that we are well aware of in dealing with the spiritual realm, that where there are great victories in God, we cannot get careless about walking closely and in constant communion with God, because the enemy is right there ready to claim any ‘relapse’ and devour us. In the story of David (II Sam. 11 and 12), he had a series of small lapses in his character/daily communion with God, which then, of course, led to the BIG one. That didn’t make him bad all of a sudden, just human. We all need to watch for those little things that lead to the big one and cut it off before it happens. The cool thing, though, is if we fail, God is always there, ready to pick us up, forgive and cleanse us! God’s response to humble submission, continued trust, and a contrite heart (Ps. 51:10, 17) and he WILL renew a right spirit in us!
Like right now (this past week or so), we could just give into this exhaustion and quit praying/seeking God’s will/rattling the enemy’s cage by joining with other believers, and maybe this onslaught will stop. Just because we are constantly getting attacked by the enemy, doesn’t mean we are out of the will of God (as in David’s case here), we are in a spiritual battle and we are fighting back in the power of the Holy Spirit, in God’s will, but us being human, we get wore out! We’re making the enemy MAD and he’s trying to make us quit! But we won’t! That is where we have to go to God for a time of rest and restoration (we’ve been taking a lot of naps lately!). The most important part of restoration is prayer, worship, and praise! That is what is so cool about David and the Psalms, that whenever he has a ‘human moment’, he goes right to God, pours out his soul and gets restored! I have found that when I pray the Psalms, I get immediate relief: Ps. 7, 69, 109, 142 - 144 are great to use against the spirits of depression, loneliness, fear, envy, discouragement of any sort – all temptations, in fact. Ps. 72, 73, 74 (and others) are great to pray on behalf of the poor and outcast. And of course, for expressing our love, thankfulness, and joy to God: Ps. 1, 8, 9, 16, 19, 23, 103, etc. And so on, the Psalms are great for all occasions.

Monday, April 3, 2017

Dreams


I had the weirdest dream last night; it consisted of several parts, very busy, but I couldn’t remember most of it. The part I did remember was that I was standing on the beach in this flowing dress, holding a blue veil blowing in the wind. It was very long and kept bouncing off the sand, but as I held it, blowing in the wind behind me, I brought it over my head and it waved behind me, again touching the sand.
I told it to William and he immediately had an interpretation for it: “you standing on the beach represents you in the world putting your face toward God. The veil is the Spirit of God who protects and gives vision and sanctifies you. As you draw close to God, the veil is brought over you – the Holy Spirit. The wind is the cleansing of the Spirit, to perform the deeds of God. As you allow the Spirit to remove all of your past, you become empowered and used more and more by God. The veil blowing in length, is the past being put farther and farther behind you. When it touches the sand, it is the Spirit of God flowing out of you touching the people God will use you for reaching. The sand represents the souls of men and women who will be changed by that. Keep yourself in His presence!”
Which reminded me of another dream I had a few weeks ago; I can’t remember exactly when, but I don’t think it was past the middle of March. It was very vivid; I was lying in a bed, covered in blankets. I looked down on myself and saw a baby rattler slithering up toward me. In the next scene, I was standing outside and I saw this same baby rattler trying to get on me; it came up on me and ended up on my back right shoulder about ready to bite me on my upper arm. At that same time while it was crawling up on me, I noticed William aways off and I was trying to get to him before it crawled up on me to get it off. I got to him just as it got to my shoulder about to bite. I had him swat it off. I kept hearing the words: “be vigilant, be vigilant” over and over throughout the dream. Then I woke up, not really afraid, no fear really, just irritated more than anything. That morning, I told William the dream and he immediately had an interpretation. “A baby rattler is more poisonous than a full grown one. It represents the enemy, trying to get to us, on us, and stop us. It is persistent, but we are to be on guard, be vigilant, so he doesn’t inflict his poison into us and stop us from doing what God wants us to do.”
Pear and Cherry blossoms in the orchard!

I continue to read I and II Samuel. I find that David’s heart is so pure, how can we even attain to such? In looking at the life of Christ, I see His whole life as so pure, how can we even attain to such? The answer, of course, is that we can’t on our own. Jesus has and always will be the answer. Without the power of the Holy Spirit, can we be made into the new creation that God promised.
So, in reading through the beautiful poetry of “the Song of the Bow” as it is called (II Sam. 1:18-27), shows us the true heart of David – that he had no animosity toward Saul for all the years (14 years running from Saul/22 years to wait according to the commentators – first anointed at age 16 and he was 38 when he became king) of suffering at his hands. What also struck me in that through his writings (the psalms), David worked through his anger, dismay, hurt, fear, etc. by writing. He got it out in the open, dealt with it, then was done. That is how it’s been in my life – I have always kept journals, and through all the years of abuse I suffered, I used the pen to purge out all the anger, dismay, hurt, fear, etc. in my own life, so as to not let bitterness take root and destroy me. I used that tool of writing to work through all the negative in my world, re-focus on God and all the positives in my life, thus then, to grow in Christ through the power of the Holy Spirit, to overcome and to emerge in power, joy, and in victory.
My character changed and grew through the years of misery. Sure, I called the years of the 90’s “my anger decade” where my endurance was tested through the injustice and misery I experienced of my situation, but I didn’t remain a victim, I emerged with a better character, which is why I love that verse in II Peter 1:3-11 (ESV):
His divine power has granted to us all things that pertain to life and godliness, through the knowledge of him who called us to his own glory and excellence, by which he has granted to us his precious and very great promises, so that through them you may become partakers of the divine nature, having escaped from the corruption that is in the world because of sinful desire. For this very reason, make every effort to supplement your faith with virtue, and virtue with knowledge, and knowledge with self-control, and self-control with steadfastness, and steadfastness with godliness, and godliness with brotherly affection, and brotherly affection with love. For if these qualities are yours and are increasing, they keep you from being ineffective or unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. For whoever lacks these qualities is so nearsighted that he is blind, having forgotten that he was cleansed from his former sins. Therefore, brothers, be all the more diligent to make your calling and election sure, for if you practice these qualities you will never fall. For in this way there will be richly provided for you an entrance into the eternal kingdom of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.


In seeing how David waited patiently over those 7 ½ years of ruling only Judah (rather than the promised entire kingdom), I see how in all circumstances, I have to wait on God’s timing and not try to take it in my own power, and thus, get out of God’s will. God has a timing for all He does. William and I have been in waiting now for 4 years, waiting until God said to “Go” and take the Rogue Valley in Jesus’ name. William’s time (2003-13) and mine (2008-13) there was a time of preparation, learning, and laying the groundwork, thus, not wasted. God has confirmed His call on us to get back to preaching by not only sustaining us all these years, then providing ALL that we need (though on paper, we’ve lived in extreme poverty), we’ve been more richly blessed in all aspects (rich doesn’t always mean money!!), we have all that we need and count it all joy to live the way we do. But God is showing us that money is increasing through my work online – for the first time in years, I am booked with classes through August and pay through September! That hasn’t happened since 2010.
In regard to worship, the work we do for God, our worship of Him must be according to His plan. Ignorance isn’t acceptable (Matt. 22:29, regarding ignorance of the OT or God’s power) in 1 Samuel 6, we learn that David was ignorant of how to handle the Ark of the Covenant which represented God’s Divine Presence to the people at that time. Today, are we any different when we come to God’s table? When we take communion, we must come with a pure heart – one empty of self – we cannot take this lightly or with carelessness. We come to communion after doing a search of our hearts, to come to God asking for forgiveness of all unclean things in our life, then we can partake (I Cor. 11:18-32). Then we can enter into this time of joyful worship to God in true thankfulness. Overall, what I learn from David is that we are continually engaged in spiritual warfare (Eph. 6:10-18) and in order to overcome, we must have our spiritual armor on (Rom. 8:35-39).

Sunday, April 2, 2017

Anniversary!


It’s been a very interesting couple weeks. Since I got paid this last Friday , William and I decided to go to Bandon that day to celebrate our anniversary (which is our 5th on the 5th - the number for Grace!) because the weather was awesome – sunny and 59 degrees (and predictions were for Wed. to be rainy). We had a wonderful day; started out going to Coos Bay/Charleston to take our showers, do a bit of shopping, then down 101 to Bandon. It was spring break for many of the schools in OR, so the town/beach was very busy with lots of people. We went to the beach for a short time, but the wind made it seem VERY cold! We went into the Face Rock Creamery for the first time and sampled cheeses (wow, great stuff) and then to Cranberry Sweets to sample wonderful candies (after all these years coming to this area, we’ve never checked those places out before), wandered around town and then ended the day with a most wonderful meal at the Edgewaters Restaurant – upstairs with a wonderful view of the bay/lighthouse. Wow, such a treat! It is such a rare thing to go out to dinner any more, let alone to a fancy restaurant! 
Sunny, but cold in Bandon!

Something interesting this past Wednesday – God taught me a lesson through it. First off, it was pouring rain Wed. morning, but William and I had such a blessed morning praying, watching some online sermons, etc. Originally, I wanted to go to the Art Center at 10 to join the quilting ladies, then go over and paint with Pat and the other ladies there; HOWEVER, we got so into God and discussion/prayer, etc. that I didn’t get to the Art Center until almost noon. Pat was already gone for the day because no one came in to paint, so I went in to see who was still in the quilting room. Most were getting ready to leave, so I sat and chatted those who were still there. This one lady wanted to keep working for another couple hours, but didn’t have a key and no one else wanted to stay, so I told her that I would sit there and keep her company, that I had a key, and that I would just work on the care quilts. Since I hadn’t chatted with her before, being the nervous time sometimes that I am when meeting someone new, I just got to chatting away (after everyone left) like I do about everything I’d been learning with God, totally not paying any attention to her reaction, just chat, chat, chat (I don’t know why I do that sometimes, totally running off at the mouth) and all of a sudden, she spoke loudly, “Stop talking like that, I didn’t come here to be preached at!” Wow, that really stopped me instantly! I realized what I had been doing and said that I was sorry, that I didn’t realize … I apologized for not paying attention, not apologizing for WHAT I was saying, just how I was going about it. God really spoke to me about that in that I need to see where THEY are at, not just chat away (and I realized that I was doing it out of nervousness). Anyway, so I asked about her and we ended up having a great couple hours just talking about various things, our lives, etc. What really struck me about this whole thing, was that just that morning I was really asking God to ‘watch’ my mouth for me, to only let what HE wanted me to say come out, to be a blessing to others, etc. I really need God to help remind me about this ALL the time!
We’ve been going to the Foursquare Church the past couple Sundays and REALLY connecting with the people, it’s been awesome! Anyway, we went to the fellowship this morning (today was such a beautiful sunny day – there’s been so few this winter, so it was such a blessing) and I was able to hug on several people and thank one of the prayer team for her many years of dedication and perseverance, not only to that fellowship, but for not giving up in prayer. The prayer team has been meeting there for many decades (ups and downs over the years), prophetic prayer, knowing God was going to do a great thing in this area (and has over the years, brought unity to most all of Coquille’s fellowships with a great move in the 90’s). I told her how we were so encouraged to come to this fellowship, the prayer meetings, discipleship meeting, etc. (William’s been going to the men’s bible study), the presence of the Holy Spirit amongst the members, to finally find people in this area who were on fire! She said that they were encouraged by us telling them that they were on the right track (I’ve heard various members saying how they thought they weren’t doing anything, not impacting people, wish they were other places, etc.) and she was especially encouraged that we confirmed that yes, God is about to do something very big in this area.
Thursday’s prayer meeting at the Foursquare church was especially awesome. I had gone last week by myself to check it out (William wanted to know if there were any men going) and there were several ladies and one man. When I got home, I told William it was the type of prayer meeting that was right up our alley and that there was a guy attending! He was excited to attend this week. We had some very awesome prayer time and William noticed that when he spoke over or prayed over certain things, that this other lady would jump in and confirm/add to – they just really connected in the Spirit. When he talked with her afterward, he found out that she also is a Prophet(ess)/Evangelist. She was lamenting to him how she felt so ineffective over the years, feeling restricted to this area, like everywhere else was more exciting. And that she felt that she was missing something. William was able to confirm in her that she was in the right place at the right time and to keep doing what God is asking her to do. She had also gone to Betty Denny’s I-5 event a couple weeks ago with a couple other people from this fellowship, had attended the Jerusalem Center for Sunday Service and was massively impacted by the move of the Holy Spirit there, of Dave and Gayleen’s ministry; felt such a kinship with everyone there in the Rogue Valley she had met. Anyway, she was so thrilled that we were connected with the same people. Something cool also happened there toward the end of the prayer meeting, she spoke some words over William and I, and another lady spoke some words over me. They both said several things and what I remember was that (I can’t remember who said it) she saw us covered by a black cloak with a hood, which represented being covered by God’s wings of protection and that we were hidden from the enemy (in the spiritual world), being protected, and that from behind us, walking beside us, and in 2 columns ahead of us were angels, like a spear going into dark territory, pushing through passage wherever we went. Wow, that blew me away. Then one of the ladies said she saw the enemy with this huge log, pounding William’s back, like a battering ram, trying to wear him down, break him down both physically and spiritually. This too, was so right on. What she said over me was so right on perfect and for me anyway, a finish work of what was started last Sunday night with that visiting evangelist. I don’t remember everything she said over me, but one thing I remember was that she said she saw in the Spirit, that I had these whip marks on my back from past abuse and that God was stripping them totally off of me, she said it was like tape being peeled off and the marks would no longer affect me. I totally felt that as well, like that was the final cleansing of the past, that I would no longer be held back in any way from anything done to me. Other things were said, but I can’t remember them all.
Coquille Valley - too much rain!!

Anyway, I went to Monday’s meeting, I felt to encourage the one lady I prayed over last week in a couple things, as well as give her the handout of “101 healing scriptures”. She said that she felt like I was picking on her, which I totally didn’t mean to do, only reminded her of one thing I had spoken to her the week before about, and that the only reason I said what I did, was because I told her I totally saw myself in her from when I was going through my healing process. I was only saying what I did to help her in her healing process. She totally understood, yet at the same time, doesn’t seem to like me (still a stranger in some ways) pointing things out to her. I told her I understood. At the end of the meeting, she gave me a hug, so I guess that means I’ve been forgiven. I’ve got to learn how to interact with people when trying to help them. I realize that in my eagerness to help, I come off too strong. I really need God to guide me so completely in this area, that I can’t let my eagerness get ahead of what God is doing, even though I know God is using me in this area.
Last Sunday night, we went back to the Foursquare to see a visiting evangelist (Roger Smets Evangelistic Ministries) who wasn’t really there to preach, but rather, to speak words over people God tells him to speak over. Anyway, after speaking over a few people, he chose William to come up and the Words spoken over him were so perfect. Then it was my turn (he didn’t choose everyone at the meeting, maybe half) and the words spoken over me were so perfect: Ps. 34:22, 126:5, 3:3, Phil. 3:12-14, Isaiah 61:3 & 7, John 15:11, 1 Peter 4:19, with the overall theme “I AM well”. It was so awesome, too, that not only did he put his hand on my head and speak in tongues (he didn’t do this to anyone else), but kept saying that God was going to pour such complete healing in me, such blessing into me, that He would restore everything the enemy has stolen from be double-fold! I received that and felt so ‘healed’ and complete after that, it was refreshing – like a complete work was finally done! I don’t think about the past often and for the most part, have been healed of everything. The thing I had been upset/discouraged about the past few months is the status between me and my girls. I lamented the fact that how I poured my life into them their growing up years, and now that all but shun me, shutting me out of their lives almost completely, to where my grandkids don’t even know me (my daughters don’t know me either, for that matter). I felt like that area was so healed this week (esp. after Thurs.), that I don’t even give it another thought. God WILL restore all that the enemy has stolen from me.
God even further pointed out to me in today’s reading of 2 Samuel 10-20: I’ve been getting revelation by God pointing out to me generational sins and their consequences, even though God forgives us when asked, there are still consequences. He pointed out to me how I shunned my mom all those years  when I was trying to escape my past at 18 by moving so far away, then all those years in the 80’s-90’s where I had so little contact with her due to my pain of past abuse and it being ‘her fault’, etc. Of course, I totally forgave her in 1998 and a more complete forgiveness/restoration in 2002, and then so completely accepting her (never bringing up the past) over these past years since 2007 of me being in OR. That even though my being abused all those years wasn’t my fault, I did forgive, I am now reaping the consequences by my own kids shunning me. Not only that, but what I realized, my mom did that to her own mom as well (though not as many years as I did). What really got me these past few months (and I’m over it now) was how I didn’t give them reason for shunning me – I didn’t abuse them, but rather, protected them! Either way, God will redeem the years and restore, but in HIS time, not mine. In the mean time, I just love them where they are and when (and if) they contact me, treat them as if nothing ever happened. Not only learning to accept God’s timing in all this and the consequences of this particular sin, but to be glad in God’s chastisement of me – it is all for HIS glory and my benefit.
Something really cool this morning; prior to going to church, William was cleaning out some of the papers found in a bible he’s had since the 80’s, which mark his growth in the Lord, he found a sympathy card (for the death of his wife, Theresa, in 1995) from a church he went to 25 years ago - New Horizon Christian Church in Coquille! William realized how God has taken him full circle in this area (Coos Bay/Coquille), in that, God is calling us to not only participate again in the Gay 90’s even in June, but to go even farther and do 1 or 2 weekends of preaching/old fashioned tent revival type thing in the park after that event. As we went down there to the Sturdavant park this afternoon after church, to pray over that gazebo area, claiming it in Jesus’ name, he realized that while he was attending New Horizons years ago as a youth group leader, he used to take the kids down here to the park to play, do activities, etc. AND he remembered how he took them to a Guardian’s concert in North Bend. Not only that, but as we drove home and went to the corner of 8th and Elliott, we realized THAT was the same church we attended a couple times last November! He said that what threw him off is that the building doesn’t look the same (he can’t place exactly what), especially on the inside – maybe an extra wall was added between the sanctuary and a back room, he doesn’t know. Either way, we were blown away by what God is doing here (in Coquille) and in us!

Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Connection!


Wow! What a morning! God showed up in such a powerful way, it was amazing! Since we had gone to a new church yesterday to check it out, then spent the day fasting/praying/reading the Word, God had me go to Figaro’s this morning to join these ladies I had met yesterday in their weekly prayer/discipleship group. At first there were only 3 there, the leader and 2 others. When I got there, I introduced myself (they had recognized me from church yesterday) and I gave a brief overview of what we do (as missionaries to America) and how we live, etc. She asked me if I knew Betty Denny from the Rogue Valley (since I had mentioned that we’ve been called back to the valley) and I said, “Yes! In fact, I just saw her on Facebook yesterday advertising her new I-5 campaign, inviting everyone on Sat. for it) and the leader said she and another from their church had gone there for it. Anyway, the morning continued and when the lady beside me spoke, she immediately got my attention, not only that she was downcast (eyes, obvious look of someone who had had a rough life/been abused, etc) and 1 of the things she said toward the end of sharing was, “My insecurity ….”. I immediately caught that and I knew God had something for her. I was asked to share next and I said, “Can I speak a word to you from God.” And she said yes. I gave a brief overview of what 45 years of abuse had taught me to think nothing of myself, such an inferiority complex, very insecure, couldn’t look anyone in the eyes, etc. then my path of healing/overcoming by way of writing key scriptures on 3x5 cards, speaking out loud God’s truth (not speaking “my sickness, my insecurity, etc. which equate the devil's lies) over my life, etc. Also telling her even though I had been in church 40 years, going to every bible study, prayer group, etc. that until I got that truth of speaking life into myself rather than death by way of words, I couldn’t get free. I told her to say, “I’m blessed” every time someone comes to her and asks how she’s doing, etc. It really was a maybe 4 minute overview like that. She seemed to receive it, and we went on with the group. By that time another person joined our group.
As we discussed various things, the leader informed me a bit of the history of the area: past strong unity among the various churches in the area (back in the 90’s I think it was), the isolationist mentality over the Coquille valley because of its landmass, constant rain (thus flooding, cutting people off), and rich people coming into the area to set up mansions/little kingdoms in the woods, etc. She spoke of how recently the pastors (very strong in the Lord and in this unity), were leaving due to being wore out, discouraged, beat up (spiritually), etc. from fighting (in the Spirit) the division and disunity that had been plaguing the area in recent years.
Flooded marshlands around Coquille

I told them how we had come to this area over and over, speaking prophetically over the area (2009, 2010, Bastendorff/Sunset Bay) and knew that God had something big for this area and how we’ve been drawn over and over to this area, etc. I told them how this was the longest we’ve spent (since last April) in this area and kept trying to connect with various churches in Coos Bay/Coquille area, but kept running into this spirit of deadness, lack of sensing the Spirit, etc., but couldn’t find one we could connect with; and how in 2015 we had a booth and William walked the cross in the parade in the “Gay 90’s” event, and so on. I was just quickly explaining how we kept trying to find a ‘live’ fellowship to connect with and couldn’t. But as soon as we walked into their fellowship yesterday, we felt that God told us, “This is it!” and that God told us to connect and for me/us to start attending the various groups, like this morning. The leader felt prompted to pray over me (and William) and said several things that verified why we were set aside like we had been and why we were there, and that God had his timing for everything.
Anyway, toward the end of our time this morning, I kept feeling that God wanted me to anoint and pray over the lady I was drawn to; I started getting this shaking feeling (that I get when I feel that God is about to do something very powerful if I obey), so I asked if anyone had anointing oil; one did. I put some on my finger, and God said, “more oil”, so I put it on my other fingers, and I felt like God kept saying more oil, so I practically covered my hand and made a comment about what God was saying and that I should just pour it over her head, and she said, “no”. So anyway, just as soon as I put my hand on her head, I started shaking like crazy and crying, saying, “In the name of Jesus,” and I just started saying stuff over her about victory, casting out insecurity, fear, intimidation, etc., and about healing, and all kinds of things just kept coming out for at least 10 minutes. It totally blew me away! I hadn’t felt and did anything like that since that time months ago at the Methodist church in Coos Bay when I had met a lady there.

She received it quite well, after I had opened my eyes, I noticed she had her hands open to receive. After that, her countenance looked quite brighter and she wasn’t looking down, but rather up into the eyes of everyone by this point. As we closed up in prayer, she said she wanted to say something over me, that God had told her about us (William and I), and she was right on with everything! Blew me away!
When I got back to the trailer, I told William that I just knew I was supposed to be there this morning and that the enemy was trying to stop me. Last night, 2, and 3 nights ago, both William and I (but William had been going through this every night this week), had been tormented by the enemy and got very little sleep. I was so tempted to just stay in bed and continue sleeping, but I got up at 9:15. I wanted to just sit and rest with my coffee this morning, but God made me get up after only ½ a cup, make my smoothie and go. Even William was surprised, because I didn’t wake up in the greatest of moods. I am so glad I listened to God and went.

Monday, March 20, 2017

Springtime in Coquille!


We spent the day fasting, praying, and reading the Word. We’ve been having a great day in the Lord – the sun was out brighter and it seems like Spring has finally come (it's been such a WET winter)! We set up outside with our table/chairs and had a great time soaking up the warmth of the sun. The past few nights, we had been attacked in a big way by the enemy, not being able to sleep, being tormented, etc. It was real bad 2 nights ago for me – constant hot sweats, it felt like a cattle prod was constantly hitting the bottom of my feet making jolts of electricity go up my leg, etc. Anyway, because we had been having such a great time in the Lord these past few weeks, listening to great sermons, praising God quite a bit in song, etc. the enemy has been attacking in several areas, but we won’t give him any space! We keep praising God!
In re-reading 1 Samuel today, I am reminded of where I started at age 8, “Speak Lord for your servant hears.” God has brought me back to this passage this past winter (I’ve been trying to get through this and 2nd Samuel all winter!) to remind me of why He chose me – because I trusted and loved the Lord since childhood, even when all ‘hell’ seemed to be against me.
As we come upon a new time of ministry this summer (we’re calling it the Braveheart Campaign), God is assuring me of His call and just like He did for Samuel, He is saying to us/me that, “I will show you what you shall do,” 1 Samuel 16:3. That no matter what circumstances shall arise, God is with us, leading us step-by-step.
I see myself in David, in that though despised by many over my life, God kept me, molded me, and lifted me up to be His instrument. I didn’t remain as a ‘victim’, nor did I keep that mentality. Sure, during my recovery time, especially in the 90’s, I operated in the ‘victim’ mode, but through God’s help, I overcame. That is why my life verse in Jeremiah “I will restore the years the locust have eaten …” is so valuable to me. God used all those years of abuse to His glory! Like Paul says what the devil meant for bad, God has meant for good!

Apple orchard full of deer!
 
God has been reminding me lately of His call on my life: 25 years ago, He gave me some visions and led me to read some books on deliverance. I remember God clearly telling me at that time that I was to be a part of a deliverance ministry, that someday, I would see people set free from demonic powers, to cast them out. I remember thinking at the time, “no way!” but deeply I knew what God was saying was true. I was both “no way/oh yes Lord”, not that my soul was in conflict, but because I was only at the beginning of my own deliverance and healing and I couldn’t see at that time, how God could possibly make such a thing possible. The verses in Matt. 24 had already been strong in me, to see the blind see, lame walk, dead rise, etc., but because I was still so buried under abuse and low self-worth, I just couldn’t see how God could ever make me a worthy vessel.
I look forward to being used by God in this way, while at the same time when thinking about the condition of this world, the growing hatred toward Christians, the violence in the streets, I know that since God has called us to this ministry, we will go out in strength and the covering of God to fulfill His will. That is not to say absolutely nothing ever will happen to us, that we won’t get hurt in one way or another physically, I do believe that God’s supernatural protection is over us and that no matter what happens, we will stand in victory when God sends us out into the streets again. Just like David took down Goliath.
This past ‘season’ has been a time of growth, learning for us, it has been a great time of refreshing, being built up and prepared for what is coming. Just like Goliath kept the people of Israel in bondage, helpless in the power of greater forces, expecting defeat, not even seeking God! Just like so many times in the past, I let circumstances dictate my life, lived in defeat for a time, but by seeking God again, I gained strength to defeat the giants in my life.
As we prepare to go into battle again, going into the ‘valley of the giants’ (spiritual strongholds of the enemy in the Rogue Valley), we know that God has already defeated them – we just need to walk it out. We already established our ‘bulkhead’ by our work in the park/in the valley in past years, now we go in as victors to see the giants fall. Our love and trust in God will supersede anything that comes against us. We go in expecting God to defeat the giants! God has given us His armor (Eph.6). We are not dependant on the armor of others/or even of our own past successes (ie. methods, education, talents, or accomplishments), not only that, but even if we had success in the past with certain methods, God is doing a new thing in us and through us. We are to be led step-by-step in a new path.’ All in all, the bottom line is ‘belief’ – nothing is more powerful in our lives than prayer. As we walk in the Wisdom of the Lord and be totally obedient to God’s leading, the giants will fall one by one!

My latest watercolor painting - just a small one 8x8"

Monday, March 13, 2017

Giants in the Land!


We’ve been watching some awesome videos lately. I love how Perry Stone says this: (in the story of David and Goliath) that 5 smooth stones (OT) = 5-fold ministry (NT) and that we are called to 'slap giants in the face'; we are not called to just tease and mock them, then run, but to put a stone between their eyes, drop them to their knees, and remove their heads (in regards to demons on people). We are the Living Stones and Jesus is the Cornerstone. The battle is in the mind (where demons talk at you) and the stone (Jesus) goes to the center of their mind. The church, for centuries, has done the same old programs and methods – it is not working! In order to win converts, we have to go out to where they are and meet the enemy (demons on the people) face to face, through Jesus’ strength. We are in a battle for truth – Jesus is the truth! Spiritual giants think they can run over nations; they cannot stop God’s remnant. The enemy is all about division, division is from deception, deception is from the father of lies – truth cuts through division! Great faith was needed by Joshua and Caleb when they first got to the promised land to say that by God’s strength, they could defeat the giants of the land (they really were 13-18’ tall according to all the skeletons found, and there were a lot of them). It was the unbelief of the other 10 spies (and the older generation of people come out of bondage/Egypt) that kept the people out of the promised land for another 40 years! Unbelief keeps you in bondage!
I was in bondage for so many years: physically (abusive spouse/parent), bondage from various fears, etc.; however, in order to gain mastery over it all, I had to WALK IT OUT in the power of the TRUTH of Jesus! Not all these falsehoods propagated through the modern American church of fluff-and-stuff, watered down gospel. Now I can teach others, help others because of the truth that Jesus has taught me.
Jude 4-6: “For there are certain men crept in unawares, who were before of old ordained to this condemnation, ungodly men, turning the grace of our God into lasciviousness, and denying the only Lord God, and our Lord Jesus Christ. I will therefore put you in remembrance, though ye once knew this, how that the Lord having saved the people out of the land of Egypt, afterward destroyed them that believed not. And the angels which kept not their first estate [those that were cast out of heaven], but left their own habitations, he hath reserved in everlasting chains under darkness unto the judgment of the great day.”
We are the ‘seed’ of Jesus and those that follow Satan are his ‘seed’:
Genesis 3:15: “And I will put enmity between thee and the woman [the church], and between thy [satan’s’] seed and her seed; it shall bruise thy head [Jesus did this], and thou shalt bruise his heel.”
It’s interesting how throughout all of time, satan has been deceiving the nations, time after time taking away their history so as to keep them in darkness, always coming after God’s people to destroy them, making them look like they’re the bad guy, etc. We have to have Jesus enlighten our minds to perceive truth from the lies. Our worldview is not just this world, it only tells us where we stand, but we need to perceive from our inner view (fed by the Spirit), which is bigger (inside, around, past where we can touch/see/hear). Right now they (those in government, scientists, organizations such as the Smithsonian Institute) are taking away our history/changing our history, and have been doing so since the beginning of time. As long as we are deceived to where we come from, where we are, our future, then they can keep us in bondage, under control as cattle, feeding at the trough of indifference and ignorance. They can strip from us our perception (past, present, future) and truth all the way back, give us false gods and ‘presents’ to keep us feeding at their trough, but if we keep our eyes on God, He will keep us in Truth. In order to be an overcomer, we have to pray always, be watchful for the coming of the Lord, be a witness, giving our life away for others, train this body through discipline, and keep from sin.

I call this one "Perspectives" - it depends on one's perspective as to how you see life - through the 'broken' glass or the beauty of the leaves.  Watercolor 36x24"