First Dust Then Life 

“… I’m at the bottom of the well with no rope, and no one can hear me. I feel awful and I’m mad at God. Thanks for asking. Bye.”

When you’re down in the dust of life, at your lowest point, in the dirt, a natural reaction is to feel as if there is no hope. You wonder why God is seemingly ignoring you. Your friends can’t help because the depth of the dirt clinging to their feet is just an inch lower than yours. Most of the people at church echo roughly the same thing: “Hello! I’m blessed and highly favored; how are you?” And as you consider your circumstance, truthfully, you should say, “Terrible. I’m at the bottom of the well with no rope, and no one can hear me. I feel awful and I’m mad at God. Thanks for asking. Bye.” But instead, you give the obligatory response: “Wonderful! Doing well. Be Blessed!” And you walk away, dirt cloud wafting up and up and up …

“And the Lord God formed man of the dust of the ground …” 

God began His creation of man in the dust. His work of art needed to begin at the root. Dust does not look appealing; consequently, we swish it away and are embarrassed when it’s seen in our homes. It belongs outside, and in fact, in “civilized” societies, most of it is covered by vast concrete jungles. There is a limited amount that remains, only to shelter the grass, herbs and trees. Although unpleasant and messy, dirt is a necessary growth stimulant. When the vegetation, the herbs and the fruit grow, we marvel at the natural beauty and the sweetness—and we eat it! We forget that before beauty, there was dirt, and even mud when mixed with water. When dirt gets in our way, we scoff and clean. If we’re in a big hurry, we may even sweep it under a rug, anything to keep the unsightly from being seen.

Most dust is under your feet. It’s on the ground, down low, constantly trod upon. Just like you may feel sometimes—smashed by humanity emotionally, financially, mentally, even physically. Furthermore, you may feel like God Himself turned His back and shook the dust off His feet, leaving you there to wallow in … the dust.

“… and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life …” 

Just as plants and trees grow and become useful, and therefore have value (that’s been there all along), so too, can you! First you have to be nourished in the dust. Something magical happens there. Perhaps it’s like wine in the fermenting process, clay in a potter’s hand, or a man when God decides to reveal his purpose. So, God singles you out, sees you in your dust—for you have claimed it personally by now—and breathes on you. He gives you favor with man, institutions, governments and kings. Now the dust rolls off effortlessly as you stand taller and your life welcomes increase once again. The breath of life deposited by God within your spirit dances freely,

 “… and man became a living soul.” 

If your current circumstance has you wallowing in the dust, take heart. For that’s where God plants, nourishes, builds, grows … life. Your life—the life you were meant to live—awaits. Be patient and allow this cycle of development, proof perfect since the dawn of creation, to run its course. No, it doesn’t matter what you did to get there, who or what caused your downfall, or under what societal conditions you landed in the dust. God is waiting for you to stop writhing, lest you shake off too much of His nourishment, His wisdom. Inhale slowly and steadily as He breathes into you, learning every nugget and lesson intended for this phase of your life. Do what He says, go where He says to go. And when God decides that His creation is ready, you shall burst forth anew, in full bloom and brilliance, as He intended.

Welcome the dust in your life, for in it, a glorious creation is underway. Selah.

And the Lord God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul.” Genesis 2:7

Listen: Mountains & Hills

… many people were running into the forest, most with just the clothes on their backs …

A Dream, an Interpretation, and a Word

The Dream
Scene 1:

I was outside, very high up on a mountain with jagged edges. I could see other mountains all around me, some snow-capped. There were children playing around me, various races. They were running to and fro, chasing each other, and running  dangerously right up to the edge. It appeared as if they were running to the edge on purpose, pretending as if they were going to run off and fall, and then another kid running directly behind them would pull them back just in time. I was observing them and wondering why they were being so careless with their lives. They were laughing a lot and seemed to be having a lot of fun. They were not taking the danger seriously at all; in fact, it seemed as if they were being flippant about it.

Scene 2:

I was outside, this time on ground level. There was a hill nearby, maybe a couple hundred yards away. There were several people standing in various places on the hill. All of a sudden, it began to move as if someone were on the other side pushing it. The people began to run down the hill to get off it because it was moving. They were afraid. I began running as well with them. The only place to go was into a forest. The forest was not very thick, but many people were running into the forest, most with just the clothes on their backs, and some with a few items they had grabbed before running from wherever they came from. As we ran deeper and deeper into the forest, we ran across several areas where people had decided to just camp out where they could. I kept going until I got to an area that looked safe, a clearing of sorts. In this section, the forest floor seemed to be carpeted, with some soft material over the ground, with various pastel colors, going around trees as if perfect circles had been cut out for the trees. Several people were laying down and some were asleep. It was quiet and peaceful, and so I decided to stay there as well.

Scene 3:

I was some place inside with another female and a  guy I was dating. He seemed rather young. I was sitting across from the other two on a small couch. The scenery appeared to be a sitting area inside the lobby of a building. I believe other people were milling about around us, but not closely. Apparently, I had, had a  serious  argument with my boyfriend. He and I, as well as the other lady, had some sort of short swords in our hands. Both of them held the sword out in the center toward me. Somehow there was an agreement that if I also touched my sword in the middle with theirs, that he and I would be finished and could kill each other or fight to the death. I don’t believe I wanted to, but I think I felt forced to also put my sword out and touch his. And everyone knew what that meant. However, the next minute our swords were down, and he began walking toward me, but not in a threatening way. He came closer and closer so that his face was very close to my face, and our lips were almost touching. I stood very still and didn’t say a word. Then he puckered his lips to brush mine briefly, and I hesitated slightly but also followed suit. So, then we were OK and were no longer going to fight or kill each other.

The Symbolic Interpretation of This Dream
  1. We are ‘playing dangerously’ with the things of God. To choose Him is to choose eternal life, but not to choose Him is to choose  ultimate and final death. People are laughing at this concept, ignoring its truth, and don’t realize how dangerously close they are too losing their life, for all eternity—when they could actually save it.
  2. God gives us warnings in life. If we heed the warnings, we will arrive at a safe place in Him. Although chaos will occur around us in the world, we will have peace.
  3. There will come a time when others, including people you are close to, will be at great odds with you about God, maybe even to the point of threats against you. However, if you  remain steadfast in the ways of God, even in the midst of such turmoil, all shall be well.
A Word
Listen to what the Spirit of the Lord has spoken:

Naked you are before me. I see all. I hear your thoughts before they become words. There is no rock on earth I cannot see. No sea who’s depth I do not know. No bird flies or eats without my knowledge. Do you recognize who I am? I am your loving God—with an outstretched hand before you. Will you choose my eternal love? Or will you wait and test my wrath?

Turn Your Back

… Against systems and governments that make futile attempts to block My way …

Turn your back against the wall. And there it shall remain:

Against the hard knocks of angst for Me and My people.

Against the hardened walls to My affection and My love.

Against vileness and evil in the earth.

Against those who do harm to My people.

Against the baseless belief that some are unlovable.

Against using My daughters and sons for illegal and immoral harm and pleasure.

Against all those who scheme against Me and My people.

Against systems and governments that make futile attempts to block My way.

I am the Lord.

India – Angels Among Us

“Like the heroes of old, you are also heroes of the faith.”

Have you ever …

… seen the countenance of a person’s face go from very sad to happy and glowing after you spoke with them?

… heard a person who sold drugs on the streets say he’s ready to give it up and surrender his life to God because of what he heard you say?

… experienced a miracle of physical healing after you prayed for someone?

Since 2005, I’ve been privileged to experience these things and much more on the international mission field.

A Glimpse From India

Before singing Hillsong’s version of the song “None But Jesus” at the Pastor’s and Leader’s Conference we hosted in India, I read the scripture passage in Hebrews 11:33-34 over their lives:

“Like the heroes of old, you are also heroes of the faith.”

Although their numbers currently represent a minority in their nation, these men and women are operating boldly in their faith as disciples of Christ, even risking persecution. I encouraged them to stand firm and know that regardless of their circumstances, nothing is impossible for God.

After singing, Pastor Rao of Faith India Ministries said that while I was singing, he could see angels dancing and singing with me! I was overjoyed because I had literally prayed for the presence of angels during that conference session before we began. What an honor and privilege. Pastor Rao told us that he was really encouraged, and many expressed that they were really blessed by the song … not nearly as much as the whole experience blessed me.

I Plant. You Water. God Grows.

I‘m honored to serve on the international mission field with CrossPoint Ministries. You, too, can go make an impact on lives around the world for God’s glory. Or you can help water what I plant by supporting my next missions adventure. Explore global missions trips, local Selah inner healing retreats, and more at CrossPointMinistries.org.

 

Prayer Partners Rock

“My relationship with God keeps me centered, and these two amazing prayer partners help keep me focused—on my overall purpose from God, on what truly matters in life.”

“Hey Girl! You ready to pray?” I can hear this melody from Melinda now …

“Sis. I need your prayers; this is what happened …” At the same time, I hear Lisa’s voice asking for prayer.

And I equally send prayer requests to each of my two amazingly faithful prayer partners, Melinda and Lisa.

WHAT IS A PRAYER PARTNER EXACTLY?

Prayer partners are people who willingly set aside time to be unselfish, hear about others’ issues, and then pray about them, mostly together, but sometimes alone.

Melinda and I pray almost daily Monday through Friday, either on our lunch break or on the commute home from work. Lisa and I pray whenever we feel we need to, on no set schedule.

My relationship with God keeps me centered, and these two amazing prayer partners help keep me focused — on my overall purpose from God, on what truly matters in life.

Of course, I can go to God by myself, and I often do; it’s ingrained within my spirit and has become a part of who I am. When you love someone, you want to spend time with them, do you not? When you realize that someone loves you, the world becomes smaller, less fearful, and you have a shoulder to lean on. Once you discover that God’s shoulders are always available, that He provides hope, help and unconditional love, well, it’s natural to run to Him and love Him back.

So, together, my prayer partners and I love on God, talk to Him, ask His advice, listen to Him, and learn to trust Him and wait upon His timing. We rejoice in advance when we ask Him something, for we know that every good thing comes from our father above. We know that our God will supply all of our needs according to His riches in Christ Jesus. We know that our Father in Heaven will never leave us nor forsake us. We know that a three-fold cord is seldom broken! We know that we can call out to God and He will not only hear us but answer us and take care of all our trouble. All of this is why we have supreme confidence when we pray.

Seeking God first brings everything else you need (Matt. 6:33). When you pray, you are, in effect, seeking God.

SO, WHAT DOES A CONVERSATION WITH A PRAYER PARTNER LOOK LIKE?

In short, initially we discuss our world—whether issues from work, home, kids, what we heard on the radio, the hottest trend on social media, what we recently read in the Bible or how last Sunday’s sermon from church affected us. After our discussion, we ask, “So, what’s on your heart to pray for today?” Each person answers, and then we each pray for the other person. Sometimes we decide to just thank God for what He’s already done and for what He’s doing in our lives, the answers He’s already sent, and the blessings He’s already bestowed upon us. Being thankful is definitely one of the keys to true joy.

Over the years, we have seen many prayers answered! We are so grateful to God. We are simply using the power of this promise in His word: “Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God.” Phil 4:6 NLT

SO, WHO ARE YOU GOING TO ASK TO BE YOUR PRAYER PARTNER?

You must be willing to be vulnerable. Just talking about something, getting it off your chest, is liberating. Ask God who should be that partner for you, and get ready for the fruits of one of the best decisions you’ve ever made.

Selah.