Sunday, July 24, 2016

Summertime Along the Coast!

God puts us through ‘seasons’ in life to teach us, and each season is important and beneficial – both good and bad.  We are going through a ‘dry’, hard working (William), preparation time right now.  Dry, in that we have felt isolated (very few friends that we can really talk to that are like-minded, no one really to ‘hang out’ with) and William, especially, too tired to get into the Word like we had been.   We are still in Coquille, with William working hard re-doing a house, and me ‘working’ a great garden (drying/canning veggies and fruits – try that in a small RV!) with additional access to multiple fruit trees/bushes.  In addition, swimming (for exercise) at the local pool most every day AND hanging out at the Coquille Valley Art Center as an artist and a teacher.  I have been there no more than a month and they’ve got me teaching already!  I’ve been producing some real cool art as well :)    

The reason I write and to share my journal is that it is a ‘growth experience’ for me as well as to let others know they are not alone – that as humans, we all go through similar feelings and experiences.  I do this to, hopefully, encourage someone ‘out there’.   I vary rarely get feedback, so encourage me by leaving some feedback and let me know if anything that I write helps.

My highlight for this month as to be my trip to Crescent City.  Here are excerpts from my journal:
July 7 – wow, what a day!  I came down to Crescent City (William stayed in Coquille to work) yesterday to join Rachel [from  - awesome ministry]  on the beach for her birthday party/Sozo painting experience.  That was awesome, but today, I attended a meeting of a bunch of women (incl. Daphne) at Donna’s house (she had invited me to such a meeting back in March and for some reason I couldn’t come) and it was what I needed!  I have felt so ‘dry’ lately, not even able to write I’ve been so ‘dry’ – it’s because I have no friends, mingle with no one except William for the most part and we have no fellowship to ‘plug’ into to get ‘fed’ or even ‘support’ in what we do.  This group of like-minded believers is what I needed.  We started the meeting around 11:30 and didn’t end until 4:30 – it was awesome all the way through.

I had come down yesterday at Donna’s invitation, but right after her invite, Rachel invited me to her thing, so I left a day early for that.  Rachel, Daphne and a few others went to Bethel in Redding last weekend and had a totally blessed time.  They attended this Sozo event (prophetic painting) class where they were taught how to paint prophetically – Daphne’s going to explain this to me more this weekend.  I’m staying at Donna’s house until tomorrow, then going to Daphne’s for the weekend.  I stopped first as I came into Brookings, at Donna’s house and ‘checked-in’ sort of speak, since I’m staying with her.  I invited her to this painting event as well, so around 3:30 we end up in Endert’s Beach in Crescent City, where we found Rachel and another person already painting, so we joined in.  I kind of instructed Donna with her painting and Rachel asked me for some help as well.  I, in the mean time, am trying to paint what I see down the beach and on the horizon, but God kept ‘messing me up’ by blowing my canvas board into the sand, of course, ruining my attempts – not once, but 3x.  By the 3rd time, I realized I’m missing the point of this ‘Sozo’ type painting – I have to be free, not bound by the restraints I kept trying to put myself under.

So last night, I was reading in Donna’s book: Blessing your Spirit by Sylvia Gunter and Arthur Burk, wow I need to get this book and really delve into it.  I was just looking at p. 5 and this is what I really needed to see:  “I bless you with a life-giving community to fit into.  You have a piece to put into a mosaic, and I bless you with fitting together with other people, because you can’t do what God has called you to do alone.  I bless you with finding like-hearted, like-visioned, like-spirited others.  I bless you with being part of a family …”

That’s what we’ve been missing!  We’ve known this, we’ve talked about it, but we’ve had such a hard time over the years trying to even talk with anyone on the same page – it’s so hard to find the ‘real’ believers!  I’ve got Bobbie and Bethany in Medford, and then Jerusalem Center in Central Point, but William has no one and where we are in Coquille, the ‘church’ is so dead, we can’t even begin to connect with anyone there (we tried last year and this).  I knew back in March, I needed to spend more time in Crescent City because I so very much connect with Daphne and Reba especially, then a few weeks ago I felt a real need to come down here and then Donna called me a couple weeks ago about this meeting today and then on the tail of that, Rachel contacted me to come to her thing, so I knew then I had to come down.  I realize now how important being around life-filled believers is – I need to make this trek more often, so does William.

Anyway, during the meeting today, this one lady, really connected with me.  She had gone to our Easter service in March and was very much affected by us, she said.  She has a lot of issues, but is really on fire for God, so when she came over to talk with me, she just put her hand on my shoulder and started crying, then asked for prayer.  I started praying for her, I don’t even remember what, and she started really crying – I guess God hit it on the nail for her because she was greatly affected by it all, she hardly wanted to break away when I was done praying, she just kept holding onto me.   … I feel so blessed and humbled and blown away when this sort of thing happens.

One of the things we also did at the meeting was this ‘game’ – Donna asked 3 questions and we had to share the answers:  She said to sit quietly and ask God 1) if I can play any game with you, what would it be.  God immediately brought to my mind the picture of Jesus and me running, romping through the field, laughing, jumping, etc.  The next question 2) why did you show me this?  God immediately said that I needed to live in pure freedom.  And the 3rd ) What are you trying to teach me/bring me to?  And He said: It’s all about freedom.

Considering I’ve spent most of my life ‘in chains’ so to speak, this area of freedom is a big deal [only the last 10 years have been truly free].  I mentioned earlier in the meeting some about the years of abuse and my journey into freedom, especially the past few years, so this was right on.  The book:  Mountain of Spices by Hannah Hurnard came up and the part of the story Donna mentioned really rang true for me, making me realize how a couple weeks ago, William brought in the book Hind’s Feet on High Places – he had found it in [the house he’s working on].  The timing was interesting, and I believe I need to read that book again (I read it sometime in the 80’s I remember was greatly affected by it)  – I owned it for years, but it was one of the many books I got rid of last fall due to not needing to keep so much ‘stuff’.  However, I thought at the time I needed to read it again, now I know I need to as well as its sequel.

July 10 – wow, what an adventure this has been!  Fri. night I stayed with Daphne and wow, what an anointed time we had!  I need to spend more time with her and some of the other people here.   We got to her house from Daily Bread (I’ll tell about this later) a little before 8pm and we sat and talked (sharing what God has done for us over the years/our story, etc).  … Such an awesome time.  The next morning was a continuation of awesome sharing and reading from the Word and various books she had (below).  Through our sharing and praying together, God revealed many powerful things to us.

She had to get ready to go to [CA] because her grandfather was dying of cancer and she, her daughter, and granddaughter were heading down there later in the afternoon).  I left around 11:30; she had asked me if I would stop by the ministry, pray and anoint the building and whoever wanted prayer before I left town (she handed me a bottle of anointing oil).  I was very apprehensive at first and really didn’t want to, but I knew God had something special He was doing through this, so I said ok.  Wow and wow!  What an experience!  When I got there, a new disciple was sitting on the ground against the building outside, so I went up to him, put my hand out and said, “[I called him by name], I bless you in the name of Jesus” – what amazed me is that I normally don’t say that to people, it just came out that way!  It absolutely shocked him, he sat staring at me speechless for a minute, then he got this big smile and thanked me.  I don’t think he remembered me from the previous night since he was rather distraught, so he had no idea who I was.  I went into the building and saw Chrissie (the wife of the couple I met in March who had walked from Seattle to CC (March 12 entry) coming from the dining area in tears (she’s now a disciple and works in the thrift store – I talked with her the night before and she said she was very happy and doing great).  I asked how she was and she gave me a hug and told me how she had just blown up at [one of the disciples] and that it was in appropriate, she caught herself and apologized to him, but was still beating herself up, so I told her, “Don’t beat yourself up.  It’s a done deal, you caught yourself, apologized, all is forgiven, now go on and let it go.”  It took her a few seconds to soak that in and then smiled through her tears, hugged me again, and thanked me.  I then said, “how are you,” and she answered, “ok” and I said, “no, how are you.  Blessed,” I added.  She smiled, got what I was saying and I asked her again, “how are you,” and she answered “blessed.”  During that time, I had my hand on my shoulder and she said that as soon as I touched her, she felt very ‘light’ – she explained that it was like she was floating.  I asked her if she wanted me to pray and anoint her.  She really wanted that and hugged me again and said what a blessing I was to her.  So we prayed and while I was anointing her, God said some things through me over her (I don’t remember what all I said), but it touched her spirit in a profound way and she started crying again, but this time was thanking God and me and hugging me.   

We talked for a bit, and [another disciple came in].  He was in a fairly good mood and I asked if he wanted prayer.  I anointed him and prayed and again, God spoke some profound things, including calling him a mighty warrior like Gideon (and he knew the story and related it in detail to Chrissie when she asked after we were done praying).    It was a powerful thing for him and he started crying and hugging me.  By this time, I was in a mode of ‘wow, this is amazing’.   I told them I was going to go around and anoint the building and cast out the demons.  I started with the one door, went back outside, saw [the first one I talked to] still sitting there and asked if he wanted to be anointed and prayed for.  Again, God spoke through me and it had a profound effect on him.  By then [someone else] was out there along with [another] and I prayed for them.  They both said they got goose bumps and that’s when [the first one I prayed for] smiled and said that happened to him as well.  I hugged them and then I anointed the other door praying, and went inside and started praying over the place and anointing all the doors, then all the tables asking God to bless and speak to everyone to came in the place and sat at these tables.  By then, [another disciple] came up and wanted prayer.  [Another] walked by and I asked him if he wanted prayer, he walked around for a few seconds, looking down, and said, “no, my dragon wouldn’t let me do it.”  I just smiled and prayed silently for him and said that when he was ready, let me know.  There was such an atmosphere of peace when I got ready to leave, as all the people there sat down for bible study.

As I got ready to leave, Chrissie said to me something like (I can’t remember the exact words because whenever someone compliments me, I still tend to look down and don’t receive it very well – I need to keep working on receiving compliments properly), “you have such an amazing aurora around you.”  (what’s amazing is that Daphne said the same thing the night before).  “It is one of peace, kindness, and compassion.”  Wow, I went away from this entire encounter totally amazed and blown away.  Every time I would think of it as I was driving to the Rogue Valley, I would get all choked up, but I was driving so I kept it held back [so I could drive].  

I’m going to go back and tell about the experiences Fri.-Sat.:  When I left Donna’s house on Fri. morning, I went to Daily Bread, because I had told Rachel and Daphne on Wed. that I would set up an ‘art day’ at the ministry for the people.  So I got there around 1 pm and set up my drawing and painting supplies and invited those who were there to sit and draw/paint with me.  [The first one who sat with me] was so excited to show me some of his artwork.  It had great meaning for him.  He was proud of his work – I told him he did an awesome job with it.  He went onto explain some of the pictures.  I then sat down and explained to him how to use the various pencils so as to help him improve upon his work.  So he started drawing and applying what I was showing him, he really enjoyed himself.  A bit later, some of others joined me.  They really loved the experience.  Around 3:00, Daphne came in and said she was going to hold group time in the main eating area (where we were doing art) because she wanted to do a ‘art sozo’ project (kind of like art therapy).  We read from a book and had group discussion time (I still need to get the name of that book, it was very good).  It was a very large group and they all seemed to really get into it all.  She then introduced the art sozo and I got supplies on the tables (primary/secondary colors – acrylics, paper, brushes, water).  She had everyone take a piece of paper and fold it into 4s, to write anger, joy, sadness, peace on the 4 corners.  Then, one-by-one with about 2 minutes for each, she said to take a brush and pick 1 color to describe each feeling.  This experience was quite revealing for each.  As they went around and talked about each person’s work, it was very good for them all.  Daphne was quite excited, since this was the first time she’s done something like this.

After group was over, I cleaned things up and hauled them out.  I had been asked to do music and preach and I still had no idea what to do.  I didn’t have my music lined up (I had the computer with my music, but no iPod to transfer to and hook up to the sound system, so I had no idea what to do.  Music needed to start at 5:30, so I ran out and got my flute (I had put it into the car last minute, not knowing why I was bringing it).  I just grabbed a hymnal out of my bag and a couple sheets of music and just started playing.  Everyone loved it.  Daphne later said that was so perfect, that it brought peace into the place (I guess instruments are rarely used for music time).  I still had no idea what I was going to say; however, I started to get an idea I was to talk on ‘freedom’, so one of the pieces I played was the Braveheart theme song.  As Daphne was praying for the food that was about to be served, I finally got the scripture I was to use: Gal. 5:1.  Wow, I was so glad God came through – talk about last minute!  Anyway, I just started speaking about freedom in my testimony – I just started speaking about the abuse I suffered and the freedom God brought me to.  That seemed to really touch a lot of people – several came up to me after and let me know what I had said really spoke to them.  I had to hang around waiting for Daphne to finish counseling a few people, so we didn’t leave until going on 8 pm.  It was such an awesome day.

These are the books we were reading (Daphne and I) Saturday morning:
Coming into Alignment by Graham Cooke  (Jesus’ mission statement:  Is. 61:1-3)  p. 62  “Jesus proclaimed two things in His mission statement: firstly, that the favor of the Lord was upon us and that vengeance was available against our enemies.  The favor of God trains and equips us to live from a place of expectancy in his goodness so we can stand in him no matter the opposition.   Vengeance is the anointing and the ability to attract favor when we are under attack.  … Beauty instead of ashes.  The oil of joy instead of mourning.  The garment of praise instead of a spirit of heaviness.   The Lord has made provision for our negative emotions.  He displaces them with His own nature.  In Christ, nothing negative may work against us.  The enemy can use negative emotions against us, which is why the Father gave us a comforter (literally someone who provides relief from pain and distress).  The Holy Spirit sooths our hearts and brings His own innate cheeriness to us.  He supports and encourages us constantly.  He brings freedom out of every situation that vexes or annoys us.  When the enemy has one purpose, God has another one … instead of being overwhelmed by what we are not, we can be overwhelmed by who Jesus is for us.  We are not consumed by the negative, we are overjoyed in the opposite. .. the ultimate vengeance on the enemy is that whatever he tries against us, only succeeds in making us bigger, better, and stronger.  ….  Occupy the Word and speak out of His abundance …” Fruit of the Spirit.  Get us out of OUR bubble and walk through the bubble with Jesus into what Jesus wants us to become.  Another level higher in Grace and Mercy.  

Radical Perceptions by Graham Cooke

The Passion Translation The Psalms Poetry on Fire

God Calling God at Eventide by Russell

When I checked my e-mail later, Reova (from Indiana) had sent this (this book has come up so much lately, I for sure have to read it again).  It’s amazing how God speaks to me like this (in books) especially in their timing!:
Lessons ‘Much Afraid’ Learned from the Shepherd 
The book, ‘Hinds Feet on High Places’, by Hannah Hurnard, is an allegory of the Christian Life as we are forced to keep company with Sorrow and Suffering.  Much Afraid and The Shepherd are climbing the Mountain of Difficulty to the High Places.  When they have reached the High Places, Much Afraid told the shepherd she learned these lessons along the way:

1.      I learned that I must accept with joy all that you allowed to happen to me on the way, and everything to which the path led me.  I was never to try to evade it but to accept it and lay down my own will on the altar.
2.      I learned I must bear all that others were allowed to do against me and to forgive with no trace of bitterness.
3.      I learned you, my Lord, never regarded me as I actually was.  You saw me as I would be when you had done what you promised.
4.      I learned every circumstance in life, no matter how crooked and distorted and ugly it appears to be, if reacted to in love, forgiveness and obedience to your will can be transformed.  You purposely allow us to be brought into contact with the bad and evil things that you want changed.
The Shepherd lovingly responded, “With this learning nothing will be able to separate you from me.” 

May all of us learn these lessons as we face sorrow and suffering!!

Also, Perry Stone ministries   I’ve been following his prophetic messages and revivals this spring/summer and have found it so encouraging!  First off, his prophetic dreams (and those he’s heard from others) all say about the same thing – the demise of what we know as America, collapse of economic and social America, etc and etc.  Not so encouraging as it goes; however, I see it as a step so much closer as in imminent of Jesus’ return!  I see what all of history has longed to see, the fulfillment of Biblical prophecy day after day and the return (as promised) of Jesus.  The Book of Revelations is being played out before our eyes every day!  Second off, the positive side is the awesome, totally Biblical (last days revival – biggest of the ages), the Holy Spirit falling on the YOUNG!  So cool!  Just as Joel prophesied – the biggest revival has fallen in other parts of the world, and is finally hitting the USA – we need this more than ever!  His revivals in West Virginia, Ohio, etc. so awesome.  

I painted this last week, Acrylic 24x30, of Tamara at Hell's Gate Canyon
I painted this 2 weeks ago, watercolors 24x28, Jacksonville House