Saturday, January 19, 2013

Shout for Joy!

About ten months ago when our family was going through a particularly difficult trial, I was at our homeschool co-op one day and a friend came up to me saying that God had me on her heart all week, and she didn't know what was going on with me, but felt led to intercede for me. This is not someone I hang out with on a regular basis, but someone I admire greatly and I was touched that God would place me on her heart, because I know what a prayer warrior she is. We were sitting in the hallway of the church where our co-op meets and she said God had given her a scripture to pray over me, so she did right there in the hallway, inserting my name into this scripture from Zephaniah 3:

14Shout for joy, O daughter Jill! Shout in triumph, O Jill! Rejoice and exult with all your heart, O daughter Jill!
15 The LORD has taken away His judgments against you, He has cleared away your enemies. The King of Israel, the LORD, is in your midst; You will fear disaster no more.
16 In that day it will be said to Jill: "Do not be afraid, O Jill; Do not let your hands fall limp.
17 "The LORD your God is in your midst, A victorious warrior. He will exult over you with joy, He will be quiet in His love, He will rejoice over you with shouts of joy.
18 "I will gather those who grieve about the appointed feasts - They came from you, O Zion; The reproach of exile is a burden on them.
19"Behold, I am going to deal at that time With all your oppressors, I will save the lame And gather the outcast, And I will turn their shame into praise and renown In all the earth.
20 "At that time I will bring you in, Even at the time when I gather you together; Indeed, I will give you renown and praise Among all the peoples of the earth, When I restore your fortunes before your eyes," Says the LORD.

As you can well imagine, this was an extremely powerful moment and I felt His presence there in that hallway. Well, as powerful as it was in the moment, as time went on, I'm sad to say I forgot about this occurrence. 

However, last week as I was seeking God's promises for this new year, He brought it back to mind. I re-read the scripture and felt hope renewed. The friend who'd prayed it over me is not participating in co-op this year and I haven't had any interaction with her for about eight months, other than an occasional comment on a facebook post or something. On Sunday I was driving to church and stopped at the red light, preparing to turn right onto the main road that leads to our church, when there, driving past was my friend and her family in their large, hard-to-miss van! I thought this was interesting, since she'd just been on my mind when God reminded me of that scripture and the timing of it was just too coincidental.

But wait, there's more! I arrived at church early like I always do for some soaking time with my spiritual sister, Amy before family worship begins. As we prayed together, she said she felt like God wanted her to share a scripture with me.  Care to guess which one it was???

Yes!!!  Zephaniah 3:14-20!!! I mean, really!  Who reads ZEPHANIAH?!?!!!  
I was too overwhelmed to speak for a moment, but when I finally found my voice, I managed to squeak out, "He is such a pursuer! I mean He just LOVES me SO MUCH!!"

And so, at the beginning of this new year I am digging deeper into this gold mine, in which He has obviously hidden precious treasure meant just for me, His beloved daughter. I'd say that's a pretty good reason to shout for joy!

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

A Hundredfold

Please read posts titled "Multiplication Anointing" and "All Means All" before proceeding with this post. Go ahead, I'll wait! See on the right side of the page where it says "2012"? Click on that, then you'll see those titles. Go ahead, I promise you'll be blessed!

OK, so now for the rest of the story...

As we spent time with family in Texas for the holidays, I was blessed to receive an email from our church's book keeper saying that she'd just sent a check to Pioneer61 for $500 from the change we've been collecting!!  I was still rejoicing over this news when I got a call from our pastor saying that an additional $600 had come in!!  $600 in CHANGE, no less!!  Wow!!  

I was reeling from this news when I added the two figures together and realized we had now collected $1100!!  Remember how much I found in the parking lot the Sunday after Thanksgiving??  $11!!  God had multiplied it a HUNDREDFOLD!!!!

His timing could not be better. It's been a rough few weeks for the Shekinah boys. See Brooke's blog for details
They NEED this home!! They need it for so much more than shelter. They need it to keep them safe and secure...they need it to keep them busy and out of trouble...they need it to provide a place for discipleship and worship...they need it as part of their lasting transformation...

Check out what God has to say about a hundredfold blessing...

Genesis 26:12 NAS
Now Isaac sowed in that land and reaped in the same year a hundredfold . And the LORD blessed him...

Matthew 13:8 NAS
"And others fell on the good soil and yielded a crop, some a hundredfold, some sixty, and some thirty.

Matthew 13:23 NAS
"And the one on whom seed was sown on the good soil, this is the man who hears the word and understands it; who indeed bears fruit and brings forth, some a hundredfold, some sixty, and some thirty."

Mark 4:8 NAS
"Other seeds fell into the good soil, and as they grew up and increased, they yielded a crop and produced thirty, sixty, and a hundredfold."

Mark 4:20 NAS
"And those are the ones on whom seed was sown on the good soil ; and they hear the word and accept it and bear fruit, thirty, sixty, and a hundredfold."

Nick, Marlene, Brooke, and the P61 team are sowing into the lives of these precious boys, and each of us who have prayed and donated have also sown into their lives. When we sow seeds in a garden, there is a waiting process...growth doesn't happen overnight.  Nurturing, patience, and faith are all required. Seeds lie hidden under the soil, while the miraculous occurs, unseen to the human eye.  Every nutrient in the soil, every ray of sun, every drop of water working together until finally, at just the right moment, a fragile seedling sprouts up through the ground, and eventually grows into a strong fruit-bearing plant. 

During the waiting process, it doesn't appear that anything is happening, but the greater reality is that lots is happening just under the surface. That's how it is with us, I suspect, and I believe it's happening with Shekinah. To the human eye, it may seem that nothing much is happening and that all the trouble just isn't worth it, but we don't see what God is doing inside their hearts. Their default setting is survival, so that's what they resort to when temptation comes. They don't have the basic foundation of knowing right from wrong. They must be nurtured and discipled. They must continue to be sown into until they grow into fruit-bearing young men of God. Each prayer prayed, each penny donated, each grain of rice fed them, each Word of God spoken over them, IS making a difference in the greater reality, whether we can see it yet or not. We must believe by faith that what we are doing IS making a difference. We MUST NOT GIVE UP...Let us not lose heart in doing good, for in due time we will reap if we do not grow weary (Galatians 6:9 NAS).

I declare by faith that Shekinah will be called oaks of righteousness, The planting of the LORD, that He may be glorified (Isaiah 61:3 NAS). Until that day, we continue to sow into their destinies, and wait expectantly for their hundredfold blessing...loving The ONE and loving the one...