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