Friday, February 22, 2013

I Love It When The Holy Spirit Sets Me Up!

So I drove to a church I hadn't visited since I was 14 years old last, last, Tuesday. There was where my heart was captivated by how God could use music in such a powerful way. I explained this to a guy who I ran into outside in the parking lot. He told me that usually there were young adult Bible Studies but today they decided to do a Worship Night. My eyebrows were raised right there: Holy Spirit, what are you doing and why did you lead me here? My cousin and I met up right outside the church building and went on in around 8:00. Ushered in by the leader, we shyly stepped on up the large (big enough for me to sit Indian-style) carpet stairs and had a seat. The young guy speaking began to share how now that since they had been studying the Holy Spirit today was the day they were going to pray for baptisms. I felt overwhelmed and looked up at the sky. Oh the irony. I had been praying for a while and recently for the gift of speaking in tongues. It was burning in my heart and I just about wanted to cry from the words that were coming out of this guy's mouth. It was the Holy Spirit literally moving. He was so thick in that room that I could barely stand it. All I really remember from the beginning is that the guy said, "Whatever has been telling you that you can't receive this gift is a lie of the enemy because God wants to give it to you way more than you want it." Bang! Right there! The Holy Spirit took away all the doubts that I had. Overwhelmed is the word...speechless.  When the young adult Pastor (also a few years older than I) called out for anyone who wanted to receive the gift of tongues my legs seemed to have a mind of their own so I hurried down and was the first one on the floor near the musicians. The Pastor asked me for my name and I answered. Then she said these words that I still remember so clearly, "Deya, do you believe this gift is yours? Do you believe it?" After I said yes she started praying for me in tongues. I wasn't freaked out or anything because I'm no stranger to hearing people speak in the Spirit, especially because I'm always hearing my Momma. I was more than ready.Tears rolled down my eyes until I started balling out. I couldn't understand why. There was no reason for it other than feeling the Holy Spirit in my midst.  He was there and my flesh couldn't take what my Spirit was getting fed. I was being filled and my cup was running over. And after a while of the Pastor praying I suddenly started uttering the same unknown words that I muttered once when my Mom had prayed for me a year ago. Back then I shook myself thinking no this can't be it so I said nothing. The Pastor looked at me and said, "There it is! Keep going!" It felt like I was learning to walk again, to talk again. My tongue stumbled but then sudden bursts of joy came forth as the words grew stronger and stronger. I lifted up my hands and sang and worshipped my God for the gift that He had just given me. When I sing in the Spirit I'm a whole different person because my Spirit Man rises up and takes over. All I felt was wholeness, peace, and uncontrollable joy. 

(Acts 1:4-5) On one occasion, while he was eating with them, 
he gave them this command: “Do not leave Jerusalem, but wait 
for the gift my Father promised, which you have heard me speak 
about. For John baptized with water, but in a few days you 
will be baptized with the Holy Spirit.”

(Acts 2:1-4) When the day of Pentecost came, they were all 
together in one place. Suddenly a sound like the blowing of a 
violent wind came from heaven and filled the whole house where 
they were sitting. They saw what seemed to be tongues of fire 
that separated and came to rest on each of them.  All of them 
were filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in 
other tongues as the Spirit enabled them.

Surprise, surprise! The Holy Spirit did it again. He's so good at setting me up. Tuesday was a life-changing experience. I went back again last Tuesday and it's amazing to see how the Holy Spirit is connecting this new rising generation in one Spirit. I'm so excited! 

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

The Calm During The Storm

We all have a storm. That period of time that stresses us, or frustrates us, or worries us. A little or huge rain cloud above us. Yes I have them too. But I really want to share my take on my storm. I feel lots of things but to quote the lovely Mrs. Joyce Meyers, I don't have to do what I feel. God has so shown me this and has patiently worked with me on this. Along the way through many attempts I have stumbled but no longer fallen thanks to God's right hand sustaining me. Though the storm and the rain clouds of life come, it's a good feeling knowing that God loves me at my worst as He perfects me for the best. The homework is there believe me, my ministry alive and running, and the every day does not pause nor take a break. There are no cut-me-some-slack days. The only thing that changes is how we view life. So my take on my storm is this: God has given me the power according to His word in the Book of Timothy (regardless of my age) to stay cool and collected. To be happy. to love. The free will to crack a joke to ease the tension and the right to choose to hunger for more of His presence. How I exercise these rights and blessings is up to me. See living in the moment is great for those who settle but I just don't want to be there. I'm not a let's go to a concert to hear beautiful music kind of girl, I'm a let's go sing and worship God as we sob of joy kind of girl. I choose the calm. I love the calm. The storm is there but I choose to see God's glory cloud above me raining down His Spirit to quench my thirst instead. I love what Elisha said to His servant.

(2 Kings 5:26)  But Elisha said to him, “Was not my spirit with you when the man got down from his chariot to meet you? Is this the time to take money or to accept clothes—or olive groves and vineyards, or flocks and herds, or male and female slaves?

I love that. Is this the time? Is this the time to be moping around? Is this the time to be rebellious? Is this the time to be wasting time? I love it. I love that Elisha had God's vision. When we have God's vision we see like eagles. We see the fullness of His plans. We don't know exactly but we are confident in that His plans are good no matter what. And I'm saying this, remember yall, in the midst of a storm. His plans are so sweet for us and so flawless. Now is the time to enjoy His presence and be completely, completely, submerged in His Spirit.

I share some verses with you that really hit the spot today. I mean, God's Word is as sweet as honey and in our Spirit tastes like it too.

(Psalm 63:5) I will be fully satisfied as with 
the richest of foods; with singing lips my 
mouth will praise you.

(Psalm 119:2-3) Blessed are those who keep 
his statutes and seek him with all their 
heart—they do no wrong but follow 
his ways.

(Psalm 119:30) I have chosen the way of 
faithfulness; I have set my heart 
on your laws.

(Psalm 119:103) How sweet are your words 
to my taste, sweeter than honey to 
my mouth!

(Jeremiah 15:16) When your words came, I 
ate them;they were my joy and my heart’s 
delight, for I bear your name,
Lord God Almighty.

Saturday, February 16, 2013

The Depths Of Love

(Song of Solomon 8:6-7)
Place me like a seal over your heart,
    like a seal on your arm.
For love is as strong as death,
its jealousy as enduring as the grave.
Love flashes like fire,
    the brightest kind of flame.
Many waters cannot quench love,
    nor can rivers drown it.
If a man tried to buy love
    with all his wealth,
    his offer would be utterly scorned.

Friday, February 15, 2013

Worship Leading: Knowing God's Presence


When you've spent time in your day-to-day pressing into God's presence you know how to step in anytime and in any place. Lately God has been showing me that just how the Israelites in the Old Testament begged an pleaded for a King to lead and guide them, people today beg and plead for a Worship Leader to lead them into the presence of God and guide them through. This and so many other topics have been weighing in on my heart, but the time and the words just haven't been quick enough to follow and execute. Yes, this is so true. Look around your church, talk to people there, and you'll realize that in most cases if someone isn't instructing a congregation on what to do or say next, then chunks of the room look like deer caught in headlights. When we don't spend time on our own with God during the week, Sunday roles along and we find ourselves on empty, or confused, tired, bored, or maybe even a little frustrated. It's frustrating not being able to press through. While the King of Israel and his servant were tired of waiting for God to act Elisha pressed through and acted in obedience to God, with eyes wide open, as the floodgates of heaven were opened (2 Kings 6:33-7:20). There are moments in congregational worship when the music is playing but the voices just stop. Many associate this as a dry spell of disorder or just plain laziness from the Worship Team but I call those moments something else. It's that instance of pure comfort and awe when we realize that our eyes have been opened and the veil has been torn. We can now see with our spirit what God is doing and how He's moving so we obey and step aside and bask in His presence. These are my two perfect examples. Eye openers.

(Genesis 16:13) Thereafter, Hagar used another name to refer to the Lord, who had spoken to her. She said, “You are the God who sees me.” She also said, “Have I truly seen the One who sees me?”

(2 Kings 6:16-17) “Don’t be afraid!” Elisha told him. “For there are more on our side than on theirs!” Then Elisha prayed, “O Lord, open his eyes and let him see!” The Lord opened the young man’s eyes, and when he looked up, he saw that the hillside around Elisha was filled with horses and chariots of fire.

The Worship Team is exactly like Hagar and Elisha's Servant in this: though everything around them is in motion they cease for a moment in time and are awakened by the Spirit of God to see what is truly moving around them. The things unseen are what we should fix our eyes on because the Word tells us that those things are more real than what our physical eyes see. Though Hagar was running away from harassment and Elisha's Servant was quaking with fear at the sight of the Aramean army both of them had that shifting moment that changed their whole perspective because of the eye-opening pause. Embrace these moments because God wants to open our eyes to truly see. There was an actual situation a few weeks back when a very nice woman came up to me after the Worship service and told me that I needed to "lead" more. So although every fiber within me wanted to spill out the first thing that I mentioned above, (about how this attitude resembled the Israelite's unnecessary obstinacy and fascination with having a King lead them) I chose to say something else. The Israelites wanted a human to be their King when they already had God, the King of Kings, dwelling there with them and audibly guiding them. Really? Am I the only one incredibly passionate about this. God is enough. He-is-enough. The Holy Spirit is here in our midst. He is my Worship Leader when I'm up on the altar or off stage near my family. He tells me what to do, say, and sing because He's boss like that. So, anyway...back to the original topic: I simply answered my Sister in Christ that The Holy Spirit is the one Leading this deliverance service and I'm just simply doing what He says because sometimes He'll want me to talk but other times He's just doing what He feels like doing and I don't want to get in the way of that. The words that were really aching to pop out though were these: If you perceive the presence of God then step in...don't wait for someone to lead you there...simply approach the spiritual thrown boldly and without fear because that moment is yours. That moment has been given to you through Jesus. He paid for the re-establishment of your relationship with God so that you wouldn't need a human mediator to connect you with your father. Jesus is our mediator and He did what He came to do. If you see that cloud with your spirit then step in regardless of how you may look or come off because that is your chance to gaze on the beauty of your God and to get a glimpse into your eternity. Just like the Israelites didn't need a King, you don't need a Worship Leader to lead you into the presence of God. The King was not needed but He was given to God's people because they constantly begged for a King. Some were good, and some were bad, but none were perfect. I myself know and can say that Worship Leaders are not needed but God has placed us here for those who begged for someone to lead them into the presence of God. If you know what His presence feels and tastes like then step in and don't hesitate or wait around for words to tell you what to do. For those of us who are Worship Leaders or for those who want to be Worship leaders I say these words with an honest heart that our main goal should be to teach others how to step into God's presence on a daily basis. Our goal should be for people to not have to depend on a person to open the floodgates of heaven for them. Just like there were good and bad Kings there are good and bad Worship leaders. Since God has placed us in a leadership position let's do all that we can to leave a large footprint so that God may be glorified. Know God's presence through spending time with God. He is your King and the only true and perfect Worship Leader you'll ever need. Let God's law be your foundation, Jesus be your example, and the Holy Spirit your revealing guide.

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Divine Romance


Finally...home sweet home. My last class ended tonight at 6:00 and I am officially ready to be wrapped in my lover's arms. The Holy Spirit is my sweet valentine here with me. He's done so many interesting and romantic things lately to catch my attention that have all lead up to this one question: Will you be mine? You see, He knows that I don't just want a nice-and-easy or casual relationship. On Tuesday I asked God, "How deep can I go...take me there, as deep as possible and don't let go of me." I want to be there. Living in that moment of pure over-bubbling ooie-gooie love that at the same time is so fierce and powerful that no human force can contain it. The Holy Spirit gave me the most beautiful present that my heart was longing for. There, in a humble gathering of young adults with two acoustic guitars, a bongo, expectant hearts, and God's presence I received the gift of speaking in tongues. My heart had been aching for that Acts 2 moment until finally by surprise it came. The Holy Spirit met me right where I was: hungry, worshiping in spirit and in truth with nothing to hide and all to give.I'm God's. I'm Jesus'. I'm The Holy Spirit's. I'm their's. I'm His. Those encounters shape us, I mean to encounter the living God is life-changing. My belly was warm and I was balling out tears. My God is my valentine not just for a day but for an eternity because He chose me long before I chose Him, but it took me way too long to understand those love letters He kept passing along my way through the years. He's been with me through every step. My secret admirer. Now I pursue Him willingly, boldly, and wholeheartedly. So because all the time my lover has invested in me has accumulated I want to give some of it back. With a sweet raspberry tea in one hand and with my Bible and journal in another I will be having a date night with my King. Just me and Him. I feel all too happy to just be. To dwell. To be filled. Those quiet times are irreplaceable and oh so crucial because just like we want to know what's in our lover's heart, He longs to hear our heart as well. It's time!

To be continued...



Valentine's Day Playlist


Monday, February 11, 2013

Returning To Rest

(Psalm 116:7) Return to your rest, my soul,

    for the Lord has been good to you.

There are situations in our lives that cause us to fall out of whack. Situations that just make us pause...situations that make us want to zone out or run far, far, away. My Tia (aunt) just passed away. Not only an amazing woman of God but also my second mom. I loved her so much so I hurt so much. Deep down I find peace in that I know exactly where she is now: Gazing on the face of Jesus and worshiping Him in the front row. More than anything, it's missing the good times, the happy days, and the silly moments. I look at my cousins and see pieces of her so it's not an abandoned feeling. I see my grandma and my mom and know that when I hug them it's like hugging a piece of her. Though she will never be forgotten all of our hope is that she will be honored through us that remain to fight this good fight in which we already have the victory. Singing at her funeral wasn't as hard as I thought simply because my heart and spirit wanted to burst of overwhelming thankfulness to my God for her life. The tears have dried but the sweet memories never will and I thank God for that. Like the Holy Spirit whispered as I walked back from my first class, "my heart finds peace and my soul finds rest in knowing that God always knows best." My comforter is here with me right now as I type. I thank Jesus for my wonderful comforter. My sweet, cozy Holy Spirit who overwhelms me with peace and joy as the presence of God overtakes me day by day. So I fix my eyes on what I cannot see for that is eternal.

Friday, February 1, 2013

Worship: My Lifestyle

Tuesday nights have become something really special for me. My mom, dad, uncle, aunt, friend, and I have started gathering in our living room to Worship God with our very lives. The presence of God inundates our four walls and overtakes us as we lift up our song and share the Word in one same spirit together. We've decided to call these encounters Bethel Nights (Noches De Betel) because God revealed to my Dad that our house became "the house of God and the gate of heaven."(Genesis 28:16-17) As our voices elevate, new songs burst forth and spontaneous worship flows from my mouth. I'm just a lover of God's sweet presence because it's a hunger that's stirred in me and that only God can satisfy. I wrestled between staying up in my room and getting ahead in my homework and no matter how tired and stressed I was my spirit took over and beat my flesh. The moment I came into contact with the Holy Spirit and His presence all I could do was melt in His loving arms.

My heart's desire as of lately has been to never run out of room in my heart for an out-pour of God's Spirit. Like the wife of the Prophet in the Bible who filled up so many jars of oil I want my heart to be that endless jar in constant overflow of God's anointing. I'm already three weeks into my fourth semester of The School of Psalmists and already my spiritual plate is about to shatter because of so much soul food. Here are a few of the points that I loved:

  • Ministerial Ethics: "Your calling is specific. Minister in the position that God has entrusted you with. Flow in the ministry that God has entrusted you with."
  • Ministerial Ethics: "Get rid of whatever is stopping you from completing your calling, everything that discourages you."
  • Vocal Education: "When we play the last, highest, note on the piano 12 octaves higher that sound that is produced transforms into electricity (Wow!)."
  • Vocal Education: "People tremble when we sing and play a high note because in the spirit realm this sound is like electricity. When we get one touch of the presence of God it's an impact equivalent to touching an electrical outlet."
  • Vocal Education: "God sees colors. It's been proven that when someone sings even the blind see colors."

Worship Freely Tunes {9}

Friday's Tune! Enjoy!! Another version of one of my favorite Jesus Culture songs. I love live settings.

Set A Fire- Will Reagan & United Pursuit
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