VALLEYS TO MOUNTAINTOPS

HE CLOTHES HIMSELF WITH ME

3/6/2016

Screen Shot 2016-03-28 at 5.46.58 AMOn the way home from church I was vowing not to eat chocolate again, but then added, “until I forget the bad experience and eat it again.” How many times have I thought, “Oh, yes, I remember, I didn’t want to do that again,” after I just did it again. It’s discouraging when you suddenly realize you are repeating yourself doing something you once determined never to do again.

So if I forget the bad things I don’t want to do can I also forget the good things I want to do? Do I quench the SPIRIT by forgetting? Apparently.

I love reading testimonials about the HOLY SPIRIT workings. I save those kinds of books for special occasions. Today after lunch I filled my mouth full of chocolate bits and sat down with, “The Way to Pentecost,” by Samuel Chadwick.

It didn’t take me long to be “sabbathed-up”—so full I could not accept another spiritual thought. My reading stopped at this sentence: “He [the HOLY SPIRIT] clothes Himself with sanctified men and women” (ref#195, p54).

He led me to dwell on that word picture…. I am His clothes. It’s Him but He looks like me. It’s the same word pix as me the conduit and Him the water. But, I have forgotten that word picture and so He reminds me again using this time, clothes.

Before I came to this computer I sat a long time confirming I quench the SPIRIT by forgetting. How many times has He put on my clothes to honor the FATHER?—many, and with good results. The union with the SPIRIT has always started well. But…

CHRIST is so longsuffering with me. Over and over He reaches out and draws me again to His breast. I definitely am a sheep who strays.

As the SPIRIT is again creating a fire within me my mind will not leave the idea of worshipping GOD through the piano and singing but I don’t know where to go with that.

***

It’s now Monday morning. Went to bed at a reasonable hour but could not sleep—my mind in turmoil about worship. Got up at midnight to worship. Turned on the keyboard and put in the earbuds. Nothing. No sound. I tried everything. Finally went back to bed with a very sad heart.

The last piano tune revealed a small crack in the soundboard. And now my keyboard doesn’t work. Devastated. “Maybe I am to give it up, it’s such a frustration anyway.” Devastated. Devastated. All night long, sleeping or not, I grieved. In the morning light I was completely convinced my life would be worthless if I could not praise Him.

In the morning I turned the keyboard on to show my husband that it didn’t work. It worked fine.

I am humbled—just humbled. What a demonstration of the power of GOD in my life. If the SPIRIT is to work in my clothes, they must be well-fitting clothes—not too tight, not to lose and definitely not dirty. The clothes will fit the SPIRIT when I am contrite.

FATHER, You promise the SPIRIT will call to remembrance all that You speak to me (John 14:26). This spiritual fire that has started inside me, fan it that I may be so awestruck at Your power I tiptoe in Your presence—experiencing fear and joy—the oxymoron unique to closeness to You.

Here I sit worshipping You—without the keyboard or piano. This certainly proves that worship does come from the SPIRIT. He does not need the prop of an instrument to create praise. He only needs contriteness and He has moved me to it.

I make the mistake of placing myself in a preconceived situation for worship like sitting at the piano and playing decent. My clothes are too tight when I create what I think is a proper situation to worship.

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VALLEYS TO MOUNTAINTOPS

WORSHIP REVIVAL

2/7/2016

Screen Shot 2016-03-14 at 3.23.03 PMJerry thought I was on my way upstairs to take a nap—that’s what I told him. But, I passed by my office and dediced to read. ”I could try it; if I fall asleep then I’ll nap.”

Sunday afternoons usually consist of trying to read and falling asleep. Feeling exhausted, I figured I was about to repeat the scenario. So far the day was playing out like most Sundays—until…

I chose a book about the HOLY SPIRIT:

“The Church still has a theology of the Holy Ghost but it has no living consciousness of His presence and power….The answer is in the demonstration of a supernatural religion, and the only way to a supernatural religion is in the abiding presence of the Spirit of God” Samuel Chadwick (ref#195, p18-19).

This knowledge was nothing new but by hearing it again the spiritual coals inside me became a flame. I was no longer tired. I felt ecstatic like I do when I’m confronted with a situation I’ve been longing to repeat.

“Perfect, this is perfect. GOD is meeting me this Sunday. I won’t fall asleep and will have something neat to record in my journal.”

 

And, what happened next? I fell asleep reading; woke and tried to stay awake but after repeating the scenario many times, gave up and went off to nap.

I did eventually get up but walked past my office and the book to set up the keyboard and speaker. With nap over the HOLY SPIRIT was still burning and it was music that drew me.

I had recently discovered a much easier way of learning a new song—playing it with someone else. I would play and sing with the Youtube version. The short pre-nap reading about the HOLY SPIRIT, was influencing me.

Someone who only leads occasionally lead worship this morning. It was a certain song lingered upon that reminded me of my rare abandon worship that only takes place in a large worship gathering where everything is so loud that I cannot hear myself. At that moment I realized how anemic my worship had been lately. Yes, I realized my longing for HOLY SPIRIT inspired worship—a heart revival—something I could dive into with abandon.

Youtube is the music to keep me in worship: steady beat, never stopping because of mistakes, able to continue to the end of the worship song, enabling me to stop singing and just play or stop playing and just sing, and sing any note in the chord… and be one with the Youtube singers. And… SING at the top of my voice! WORSHIP REVIVAL!

VALLEYS TO MOUNTAINTOPS

NIGHTMARE OF DISCOURAGEMENT

6/23/09

Screen Shot 2016-01-13 at 2.42.57 PMI asked the LORD to watch over me as I slept. I’ve been doing that a lot lately—especially after having nightmares the night before last.

These scary dreams wake me up at the height of fright. But, last night the nightmare woke me up at the height of discouragement.

I had not defended something about my lunch. Someone accused me of something and I had chosen not to muster the strength to exonerate myself.

It’s funny how the specifics of dreams, at least mine, are forgotten but the point of them remains clear long after I awake. Usually my entertainment of discouraging thoughts is the vehicle that I ride on down to the pit. Today, this dream has put me in the pit.

The reason being that in my failure to exonerate myself, I failed to exonerate GOD. And the last scene before I awoke was a friend catching up with me and pointing out the importance of exonerating GOD. All my Christian friends stood around me and everyone knew I had failed GOD.

There’s something helpful about being able to sin, accepting GOD’s conviction and pardon and going on—in the privacy of your own heart without the world knowing. Now that I think about the last sentence, I surmise the “something helpful” is pride glad to not get shot down utterly in front of all my friends.

In my nightmare I was shot down utterly. And it has started my day with a great heavy cloud over my head. This failure to be strong in the LORD makes me want to think about giving this eternal-life, heaven-thing, up.

I lay in bed and considered just floating along with the current and giving up the fight. I thought about making mosaics—sitting in my basement gluing little pieces of glass to a board and renouncing the world around me.

I don’t care if GOD points me today in the direction of perdition. I deserve it.

But, but, but, but—even thought I deserve death, JESUS is not willing I be crushed. I can’t stop the tears now because He has come close. It matters not to Him that I can’t do what I’m suppose to. He knows my frame—my inadequacies, my weaknesses, my sin. What matters is that I stay in communion with Him. And, how can I not stay close to Him? He has loved me first. I’m just crying at His feet. I cannot rebel and leave Him in anger. It is impossible. It’s His strength alone that holds me to Himself.

He doesn’t tell me it’s okay that I didn’t defend Him in my dream. He says nothing about my actions. In fact, He says nothing, but He just shows me His presence and willingness to continue to be longsuffering in relationship.

So, what have I learned this morning? I’ve learned I’m a total failure and He’s a total success. And…I’m not angry that He didn’t answer my prayer of staying my nightmares because what He has given me after I awoke is precious.

VALLEYS TO MOUNTAINTOPS

THE SABBATH

1/3/2016

Screen Shot 2016-01-13 at 2.52.07 PM“There is never a moment, even the holiest, when we are not exposed to the fiery darts of the adversary. The onset is often at a moment when we least suspect its approach; seasons of peculiar nearness to God…” Octavius Winslow (ref#135, Sept 7th).

I started tearing up—surprising myself. “What’s that about?” I’m walking through this day with GOD beside me. I have made a mental note of that since I sat down at the computer to operate the slides to the worship songs.

True, the slides are not correct and I’m trying to make them right with no success, but that’s not disturbing me. What’s disturbing me is how I can sit beside GOD and feel awful. It appears no one else is struggling as I look out over the room—the dark cloud hangs over my head. Yet, GOD sits beside me and gives me the day He has ordained for me—a day I should be rejoicing in because He has given it to me in love. What’s happening seems like an oxymoron.

***

After the drive home and lunch consumed, I settled into reading. Again, like a previous Sabbath, I re-read a portion where I left off in a devotional:

“…just as the night of woe sets in, filling you with trembling, anxiety, and fear, a scene of overpowering glory suddenly burst before the astonished eye of faith. The glory of God as your Father has appeared; the character of Jesus as a loving, tender Brother has unfolded; the Spirit as a Comforter has whispered; your interest in the great redemption has been revealed; and a new earth scented with a thousand sweet smells, and a new heaven resplendent with countless suns, has floated before your view” Octavius Winslow (ref#135, Sept 4th).

NOT! Excuse me but I’m still in the “night of woe.” But wait…

I’m smiling now. Bonnie, stop trying to find a way to feel better. GOD is GOD; He does as He pleases. Today and always He walks beside me even though He chooses to move me into frustrating circumstances where the enemy has his way with me. What He did this morning and what He is doing now is providing me the strong faith to not be shaken by circumstances. So, I’m having a bad day, so what? I am standing on a foundation that does not move. Nothing is able to separate me from the love of GOD (Rom 8:39).

NOTE: I have reread this entry and looking over the Octavius Winslow quote again makes me inclined now to say, YES!

“Let us trust this love. Trust it when veiled, trust it when it threatens to slay, trust it when it seems to frown, trust it even when we cannot trace it” Octavius Winslow (ref#135, Sept 6th).

VALLEYS TO MOUNTAINTOPS

I HAVE FALLEN TO INDEPENDENCY

10/26/12

Screen Shot 2016-01-13 at 1.49.25 PMFATHER, I woke up frightened about what I was thinking. “I can’t wait for You, FATHER. It’s foreign to me, I don’t know how.” I was in panic mode facing another week of care-giving.

I am so vulnerable now—trying to get my footing on the Rock but knowing I don’t have the wherewithal. Re-reading a couple entries of my years-ago journal I find I’m in the same place I was many times before. This did not help my panic, however, at breakfast I read, “…By ourselves we will not be able…” (Neh 4:10 ESV) and considered my condition.

As changeable as I am I do not change. Some days I’m for You, some days I’m against You and You, the Unchangable GOD, will continue to fulfill Your promise—to draw me back. So it is that You have created me to fall away from You and I do it well. It is not so much sinning that causes me to fall away; I just fall away. You have created me with such a nature to be dependent on You (ref#5, p40).

I am as Joshua in filthy garments standing before You with satan beside me accusing me. But You say, “Remove the filthy garments from him, I will clothe him with pure vestments” (Zech 3:1-4). And this unchangeable act You do for me as many times as I fall away from You. I do not change by being changeable. You do not change by being unchangeable.

Under the direction of Nehemiah, the people rebuilding the wall of Jerusalem knew they would not be able. But Nehemiah reminded them not to be afraid, to remember the LORD who is great and awesome and who would fight for them (Neh 4:14,20).

PROMISE-KEEPING, UNCHANGEABLE GOD, as changeable as I am You will always draw me back; You will never stop fighting for me. This is why You made me changeable so You can showcase Your unchangeableness.

 

You have brought me, GREAT FATHER again,

To stand before You in filthy garments.

Created to be dependant, LORD,

I have fallen into independency…independent.

 

By myself I am unable.

Unable… unable…

By myself I am unable.

Fallen in my independency…

 

But, You…

But, You…

VALLEYS TO MOUNTAINTOPS

EVERY STEP OF MY LIFE HE’S PLANNED

1/2/2016

Screen Shot 2016-01-13 at 11.26.04 AMIn the prayer closet this morning I was singing and the SPIRIT illuminated for me the following phrase: “Ev’ry step of your life He planned” (A. H. Ackley, A Heart That Can Understand, © 1933 by Robert H. Coleman). It precipitated the thought that my FATHER not only knows my future but also plans it!

Only the SPIRIT can reveal so much in a seven-word phrase. It takes away my anxiousness about doing well in the upcoming days. Concerning my fear of not knowing what to write in my journal posts about the Sabbath, He will provide or He won’t provide. It’s His to plan.

And so what if things do not go as I expect. I don’t have to strive to change them and I don’t have to accept any shame for the way the situation plays out. What I deem “unsuccessful” can be and is many times very much part of GOD’s plans.

Reading about Abram waiting for GOD (Gen 15:9-21), I could think how unsuccessful he was in waiting. He did well by following GOD’s command to assemble an offering and he did well as he waited by shooing away the birds of prey when they attempted to eat the animals he placed on the altar. But then, “…a deep sleep fell upon Abram…” and, “…terror and great darkness fell upon him…” (Gen 15:12 NASB).

My thought about this passage is, “shame on Abram for allowing himself to fall asleep; he deserves to have nightmares.” Abram could have brow-beat himself for falling asleep. I’m sure since he shooed away the birds once, he intended to continue doing it until his waiting for the LORD was over. He was doing what he knew he should; but it was GOD’s plan that he falls asleep.

For this is the exact condition Abram happens to be in when GOD chooses to end his wait and speak to him. “Unsuccessful” to Abram or me is not necessarily “unsuccessful” to GOD.

Of course, the disclaimer is that the plans of GOD do not cancel out my responsibility to keep on doing what I know I should—I can’t be lax in my responsibility. I’m not to sin because I’m under grace (Rom 6:1-2).

Obviously GOD had planned out Abram’s falling asleep as well as his nightmares. And GOD has my days planned out as well. Hallelujah I get to walk through all that He puts in place for me knowing He has planned my future in love. And LORD, help me not judge any of it; I want to simply walk in faith hand in hand with You not letting any of my after-thoughts of the situation drag me down.