Athey Creek’s Poet (pt.1)

Saturday night my family attended a service at Athey Creek that gave a taste of the next evening’s concert: “A Christmas Together”, a compilation of several artists. I struggled with paying money I wasn’t sure we had to go the next night, but I knee that if I did, the main reason would not be to be entertained or even blessed by the worshipful atmosphere and talent. It would be to pray for Micah, the spoken word poet, for a condition he has had to endure for several years involving bleeding and inflammation of internal organs.

Saturday night he actually performed a poem about it. What a Fool, I believe he titled it. Track 11 at the link below.
http://micahbournes.bandcamp.com/album/alive-ill

The first half of this poem tried hard to intimidate me. But the rest gave me some boldness and encouragement. The Spirit of God wouldn’t relent yesterday (Sunday) as I kept vacillating. Should I go? Would it be worth the money spent, the time away from family, the emotional energy?
I decided it would. Because I knew that Micah was on tour and I didn’t know when I’d get to see him again to pray in person. To lay my hand on him and pray for healing for him in faith.

After the show, I kept my distance from him and watched as he mingled through an adoring crowd and signed CD’s for children. I dismissed the stalker vibe I thought I was giving out, and the thought of leaving when I lost track of him.

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I approached Jadon Lavic a fellow musician and friend on tour with him, but he didn’t know where he’d gone. I asked Tim Timmons and after an awesome little conversation on authority in Christ, he pointed me to a little room with a cracked door in the back corner of the sanctuary. It was the “green room”.

So off I walked. Whether he’d receive my offer in his heart, I wouldn’t know. But I knew he’d let me pray. “What a Fool” from the night before, gave that away.
I peeked in and singer, Sarah MacIntosh was seated on the ground; she greeted and welcomed me in and I saw Micah sitting on the couch to her left.

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Big Al’s Bartender

Ricky & I happened to be at Big Al’s today for a B-day party & before we left, we ended up approaching the BIG dude bartender with tattoos. I admittedly waited til I saw him smile and it drew out the teddy-bear in him so I was no longer intimidated. I thought his name might be Chris, but as I walked over to the end of the bar and motioned him over, I noticed his name tag read, ” Bryant”.
“I know you don’t know me but I feel like God wanted me to come over here & tell you he loves you (he smiled & his eyes brightened)…and he’s loved you since the day you were born. And he has a GREAT plan for your life.”
His face just beamed and he thanked me.
☺️
No one had come up for a drink from him yet so I asked him, “is there ANYthing at all I can pray for you about?”
He thought about it…
– Yeah, sure! I’m moving to Texas soon, taking a new job the day after Christmas.

“Ok! Anything else? How’s your body…any pain anywhere?!”
– I have back pain sometimes. I was in the military and it was injured, and then I got in a car accident.

A couple came up to order a drink, so I said, “YOU take care o’ them & I’ll be back to pray for you, k?”
– Ok! He said, excited.

I went & got Ricky at that point, and prayed for this bartender’s back (he let me put one hand on it and I felt his back getting very warm where I touched him) and for his upcoming move (for wisdom, no anxiety and total fulfillment) all in JESUS’ Name, thanking Him for all he’s doing in Bryant’s life.

As we left, he thanked us again and I looked him dead in the eye sternly reminding him like a momma, “He LOVES you.”

This was our first time stepping out like this, together as a couple.
It was pretty awesome.

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Before the Triumphal Entry

He still heals today! If you need healing, Jesus can heal you any time, any place. Today will be dedicated to healing and testimonies at Father’s House City Ministries, Portland, 11am. Free PSU lot parking. If you need healing, go to this celebration of Jesus and his compassion! They will continue to join with Bethel School of Supernatural Ministry to help release freedom and wholeness to people here in Portland. They’ve already seen so many healed and deciding to follow Jesus since April 8th this week!

In Matthew 20:29-34 – just before the Triumphal Entry into Jerusalem, Jesus stopped in the road and asked two men who were loudly calling for him to have mercy on them, “what do you want me to do for you?” Of course, he knew, but he wanted them to speak their need to him…a courageous display of submission and humility. “Lord”, they said, “we want to see!” BTW, “Hosanna” is an exclamation of praise that literally means “save now”. So Jesus had compassion on them and touched their eyes. “Instantly they could see! Then they followed him.”

This stood out to me this morning – it took place just before the triumphal entry. Jesus took time to notice those in need and touched them. It was instant. They could see. And so they followed him. It the literal sense, no one can expect a person without sight to follow anyone. They are blind, for goodness sake! But once they see, all bets are off. They can now follow, with no excuse, the One who cares completely. The One who dissolved their affliction.

Spiritually, no one can be expected to follow him either, unless their eyes are touched with the undeniable truth of Jesus’ love and power. An no one can judge their behavior. Unless their heart is supernaturally turned toward his truth and they receive it, they are blind. But once they see, see the Truth for who he is, he will be absolutely magnetic! The things of earth will grow strangely dim around him and like these two blind men, they will follow him, too. Healing is so amazing. But to be a devoted follower of Jesus is even better. May the Church rise up, bring the sick (heart, mind and body) to Jesus, infuse courage to speak loudly their need to him and believe with them for his healing touch and for transformed lives.

He still heals today! If you need healing, Jesus can heal you any time, any place. Today will be dedicated to healing and testimonies at Father's House City Ministries, Portland, 11am. Free PSU lot parking. If you need healing, go to this celebration of Jesus and his compassion! They will continue to join with Bethel School of Supernatural Ministry to help release freedom and wholeness to people here in Portland. They've already seen so many healed and deciding to follow Jesus since April 8th this week!

In Matthew 20:29-34 - just before the Triumphal Entry into Jerusalem, Jesus stopped in the road and asked two men who were loudly calling for him to have mercy on them, "what do you want me to do for you?" Of course, he knew, but he wanted them to speak their need to him...a courageous display of submission and humility. "Lord", they said, "we want to see!"  BTW, "Hosanna" is an exclamation of praise that literally means "save now". So Jesus had compassion on them and touched their eyes. "Instantly they could see! Then they followed him."

{Pastor Steve Trujillo, this stood out to me this morning - it took place just before the triumphal entry.} Jesus took time to notice those in need and touched them. It was instant. They could see. And so they followed him. It the literal sense, no one can expect a person without sight to follow anyone. They are blind, for goodness sake! But once they see, all bets are off. They can now follow, with no excuse, the One who cares completely. The One who dissolved their affliction.

Spiritually, no one can be expected to follow him either, unless their eyes are touched with the undeniable truth of Jesus' love and power. An no one can judge their behavior. Unless their heart is supernaturally turned toward his truth and they receive it, they are blind. But once they see, see the Truth for who he is, he will be absolutely magnetic! The things of earth will grow strangely dim around him and like these two blind men, they will follow him, too. Healing is so amazing. But to be a devoted follower of Jesus is even better. May the Church rise up, bring the sick (heart, mind and body) to Jesus, infuse courage to speak loudly their need to him and believe with them for his healing touch and for transformed lives.

a new name

his ankles and feet were severely deformed. guess he thought church folk would be more generous, so he had friends that towed him there. but he always stayed outside the entrance. everyone who went through that beautiful entrance, if they bothered to look his way, would see the top of his head, worn pants and the palms of his hands. he was out of place, without a name. he didn’t need one. appearance was his name.

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worship to a new song…from hillsong: “HEALER”

UPDATED 8/21: what i’ve learned about this song’s writer is disappointing…but it doesn’t change the fact that God doesn’t change. the lyrics still ring true. the most impacting way to glorify God is through our lifestyles. and the most impacting time? when we are in our most broken state.

i’m praying that through this controversy, the essence of true grace be realized in churches & Christians worldwide. for more on this story, i’ll just “ping” you over to chris from canada who’s posted some really great thoughts & discussion…and has more time than myself, to write on this.

how ’bout this week, let’s think about what God’s Word says: pray for those who hurt you.

7/9: how can we not worship HIM!? every time we do, truth rings in our hearts & our faith is strengthened.

shoplift a heavy burden

it was a rush. my mind would go a hundred miles an hour (to keep up with my heart) as i walked the isles of the store. it could be any store…or house. it could be any thing. lipstick, underwear, a toy for my son, a ring, a birthday gift, a grape, a coke…you get the idea. my objective was to try & find a way to get out of that store without paying for it…without a soul noticing it was gone. it was kind of a ‘lets see how far i can push the limits’ game i played. the anxiety was actually exciting while i shopped. maybe since i never really went thru a drinkin’ & druggin’ phase, this was my version of a “high” i missed out on. the pinnacle was always at checkout. i thought if i got past checkout, i’d probably be safe…beyond suspicion. sometimes i’d use coy conversation & flattery to distract the cashier. i was dang good.

rolling cameras, electronic machines, magnetic strips, return policies ~ i thought i could beat them all. for example, if i got hungry, i’d head over to the protein bar section, open one up, eat it slowly while i ‘shopped’, as to not seem paranoid & then leave the wrapper on the bottom of the cart at check out. if they asked, i’d say, ‘oh, that’s just garbage’. a thief and a liar.

sometimes i’d be at home, bored w/an overdrawn bank account & have an intense desire to shop…or should i say, attain something new. once the urge got in my brain, it was like nothin’ could stop me. i’d take little items easy to hide in my purse. if i didn’t have the money (i read shoplifting rarely has to do with the lack of money), i’d think, ‘there’s got to be somethin’ around the house i can return. then w/that cash or credit, i can buy something else.’ i’d frantically search the house for items or search my purse for a good receipt & then look for an item listed on it. in essence, i used the socially acceptable & legal right to return things, so as to justify it. i’d take back all kinds of things i’d had for up to 9 months, clothes worn & washed countless times…i’d literally break things, un-stitch a hem to make it seem defective, even hot-glue a plastic price-tag loop back onto a garment so it looked never worn.

one time i even returned a dress jacket i gave to my husband for his birthday. it had a small rip in the armpit & i made it bigger, stating it was defective. originally i paid $29. @ fred meyer…& i got credit for it, but not before several cashiers looked at it with an ‘oh my god.’ examining me & then the botched receipt (another trick i was fond of ~ i’d make the purchase date illegible w/water stains or just just rip it). they had a small debate team meeting as i stood there with a long line of people behind me. yeah, it was embarrassing. am i really writing all this? my gosh, it still is. but at the time, all that was worth a $13. gift card to me so i could get something new. to this day i can’t believe it ‘worked’. in fact, to this day, i can’t believe i was never caught.

i watched a dr. phil called, ‘can’t stop stealing’. i completely related to this woman. only she’d been arrested 4 or 5 times & was still addicted. he basically used her kids’ innocence & the threat of prison to scare & shame her into accepting the gift of cognitive therapy he offered to pay for “in her own home town”.

it was far from a message of grace & forgiveness. now that’s a real gift.

i thought getting caught just one time would break me. the sheer humiliation of being hauled off in from of my toddler while he waits for his daddy to come for him…or the thought of being handcuffed in public…it still scares me. but that’s not what helped me stop. dr. phil’s guest made me feel less alone in my addiction, but that wasn’t it either.

i read that confessing something to God with your mouth – it cleanses & saves you. confessing it to someone close you can trust is what starts the healing process. i believed that. i finally told my husband last year, then later my mom, that i had struggled with this compulsion for several years. like food addicts who have to eat to live & are therefore continually faced w/temptation to overeat as they stand in front of their fridge, i had to shop for necessities & groceries weekly. the temptation was always there.

but after confessing to God & someone who could hold me immediately accountable, my urges to “lift” started…lifting. when i’m tempted to steal (yeah, i’m still tempted), i ask myself, ‘self, why!?! do u need that? what kind of example are u setting? would it be worth getting caught? do u think you’re more special or entitled than others who actually pay? get over your…self.’ or i’ll just say a simple prayer for the strength i need; recalling that there’s One who promises to supply all my needs, when i need them. sometimes i don’t do either, & end up taking something anyway. the last thing i can remember lifting was a birthday card that played ‘who let the dogs out’ when you opened it. angel had used it as entertainment while @ wal mart, even during self-check out. that was 3 or 4 months ago.

i’ve been thinkin’ about it lately. my reasons for doin’ it & for me, it comes down to three things ~ not trusting God nearly enough, refusing to die to my selfish desires, & clutching a perverted sense of self-entitlement.

today as i type this, i am nearly free of that issue. not because i tried hard, faithfully attended a 12-step klepto program, or was caught in the act. instead, thank God grace was poured out on me.

before it got worse, i was shown in my heart how confession & reliance {on strength greater than my own} can join forces to really change a person ~ from the inside out.