The Fire in You

27849712_10216199132677790_353553248_n

Some people will keep themselves away from getting too close to you solely due to the Fire you carry. They are both intrigued and terrified by it at the same time. They want to be close enough to stay warm and comfortable, but not too close to be challenged and changed.

Those reasons they stay away are rooted in wounds from the past. Truth is that if they allowed themselves to be honest and vulnerable, and to draw near…if they dared to wholeheartedly jump into that Fire themselves… they would NOT get burned…they would IGNITE!

Stay in the fire until it accomplishes what it’s meant to. Abiding is key. You in Him, Him in you. Then you take the Fire with you everywhere you go to IGNITE others who dare to draw near!!!

Advertisements

The Show Must Go On

admission-2974645_640

Yes, I’ve seen The Greatest Showman four times….so far. Don’t “movie shame” me people.  It’s probably my favorite movie of all time.  It’s a story about PT Barnum and his circus. It’s a great movie with God’s character and desires woven through the whole thing. Some things that stuck out to me I’m going to bring to the surface in this article.

PT is very much a dreamer and dreams of the impossible which I absolutely believe we could benefit by doing more often. I believe the One who created this wonderful world we live in has to be quite the Dreamer Himself, don’t you think? PT lives in a world without limits. He steadily turns what would look like defeat into opportunities used for his advantage and blessing. He does not leave room for discouragement in his life. He turns his critics words into cheers to rally him onward. We all need a little more of that kind of tenacity don’t we? I believe that PT’s character in this movie represented the Father’s heart quite well throughout the whole movie. The only way it didn’t was that PT was a bit of a exaggerator and left out facts when it came what he felt he had to do and say to see his dream come alive. God never lies or exaggerates.

What I absolutely love is the way he gathers the unlikely and those who are hidden due to the physical “defects” they were born with. PT sees these things as what makes them unique and what makes each of them beautiful. He saw them as something to celebrate and spotlight. Oh, how that carries the Father’s heart to see every one of our faces and hear every one of our voices. This group came out of the shadows and formed a family who learned to celebrate themselves and each other. I think we need more celebrating of our differences in our cities, towns, and churches.

The high class people of the city (the religious/pharisees) as well as some of the common townspeople (the world) wanted the circus out of their town and called the people in the show “freaks”.  They were both condescending and heartless. Meanwhile the people involved in the circus were filled with joy, acceptance, and a sense of family for the first time in their lives.

My favorite scene in the whole movie is where PT is trying to convince a young socialite, Philip, to join his team.  This is not an easy task as Philip is quite comfortable with his high class but boring life and thinks it would cost him too much as far as his reputation is concerned. They are sitting in a bar and I can almost hear the whole conversation going down as being between the Holy Spirit and someone stuck in religiosity. They are taking shots (new wine) and singing and dancing the whole time. I love hearing PT offering Philip that he will have joy and laughter and will find a life worth living if he accepts his offer. He takes PT up on his offer and never looks back.

Through the movie PT is accused of selling that which is fake because of his reputation for exaggerating the facts to get more people in to the shows. So PT goes on a search for something he thinks is real and starts to pursue the high class life with it’s priorities that Philip had just left without regret, only to find that what was real was right in front of him the whole time. The things the world was rejecting as “fake” was real the whole time. The fruit was real. It was the laughter and joy and an abundance of love in this family of “outcasts” that was real and lasting.

I believe the church that God is building looks a bit more like that circus than the angry judgmental villagers who were picketing outside the building. I believe God truly likes how He made us with our quirks and oddities, I believe we make Him smile when He looks at us. I believe if we would be more honest about ourselves we would find we all have those areas we have tried to hide. What happens if we create a safe place for people to dare to be honest about those things? What if we truly reached out in love to those branded unlovable? I believe it would be wonderful. I believe it would be spectacular. I believe we would end up seeing God as the GREATEST SHOWMAN OF ALL TIME!  I believe that’s His heart. I believe He would do amazing things… in fact…I BELIEVE HE WILL!

When you are walking hand in hand with the Greatest Showman of ALL TIME, He’s gonna show you things. It will be magnificent!

 

 

Time to Rest in Peace

rip-2190109_640

 

The thing I’ve seen cause the biggest faith crisis in people’s lives are in people who are still debating the goodness of God. They tend to believe that if they are happy then God is good and if they aren’t, God is bad, or distracted, or just simply doesn’t care. I have found that these are the same people, who when they walk away from God, it’s because they prayed for something and it didn’t happen. In may cases they thought He had told them how something would play out and it didn’t happen in that exact way.

I can’t tell you how many young adults I’ve run across who thought that God told them to marry a certain person and it didn’t happen and in most cases, it’s a really good thing it didn’t happen. Our own desires are really good at masquerading as God’s voice.

It’s actually kind of a flip on the Adam and Eve story in the bible where satan came and questioned “did God really say?” only this question is “Didn’t God tell you it would go differently?” BOTH questions are meant to make us question God’s goodness and whether His intentions for us are for good. They are devised to cause distance to form between us and God.

The truth is that God is a good father who will not allow things to happen that will ruin us if we are surrendered to Him…no matter how badly we want them. He sees the big picture that we simply cannot see with our human eyes. He is very much a father who will risk hurting your arm to yank you off the road so you don’t get hit by a car. We are very much like children wanting to play in the road sometimes. We need someone looking out for us who will see the big picture and not just the ball we are chasing after. Trust that when He says no there is good reason for it.

He will also allow things in our lives that will build our character and make us stronger. These things are usually situations we would walk away from if we could. They are the situations where we can’t see any way to do it or get through it without leaning on His strength. If we naively try to do it in our own strength chances are we will fail and then blame God for not making it a success. That’s another point for the enemy. Father God will carry you through things you never thought you would survive. Trust that He will carry you where your own strength can’t take you.

I sense He is wanting to settle this question in many right here and right now in many people’s lives. Is God good? Can He be trusted? Who is alive? Is it you, or Christ in you? Have you FULLY surrendered your life to His care? Have you died to self (your ways of thinking and feeling)? We are to have His eyes, His ears, His thoughts, His emotions, His heart, and His will for our life. Whose glory are you after… yours? or His? He wants you dead, for your own goodso He can live in and through you. He knows when you die you will REST IN HIS PEACE, His plans, His way. His dreams become our dreams. Don’t worry, His dreams for us far exceed anything we could want for ourselves.

He is looking for a resolve that says ….I’m sorry Father God for holding back areas of my life from you. I’m giving you all of me today...no matter what comes, I’m Yours and You are good and You love me more than I can understand. I lay my life down and say it’s Yours. ALL of it.  I trust You in the unanswered questions, and with all the things I don’t understand, with all my loved ones who are going on journeys I don’t understand. I believe that You work all things together for my good and I trust You with all my heart. Today I choose to rest in Your peace…in Jesus’s name.

Galatians 2:19-20-  For I through the law died to the law that I might live to God.  I have been crucified with Christ; it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me. 

Isaiah 26:3- You will keep in perfect peace those whose minds are steadfast, because they trust in you.

Thank Me

362164_S

I heard the Lord say “thank Me” as soon as I woke up. So I said “Thank You… Is this for something specific Lord?” and He said “you have no idea what I am about to bless you with.” I definitely sensed it was said in an expectant parent “I know something you don’t know” kind of way.

Get excited even when you see no reason to be! Even when your heart is breaking! Even in the midst of the “why’s?” of this life. He is still Lord, He is still the Victor on the throne, and He is still working ALL things together for our good!

 He is actively putting things in place in order to bless all His kids. It’s what He does! Even when we can’t see what He’s doing. Thank Him today for who He is and for what you can’t see!

Trust Him, thank Him, and praise Him in the in-between moments. He is great and worthy to be praised! There is so much more is going on than we can imagine!

Like a Rushing Mighty Wind You Shall Dance

20171225_113726-2.jpg

 “And suddenly there came a sound from heaven , as of a rushing mighty wind, and it filled the whole house where they were sitting…” Acts 2:2

This is what I heard in my spirit when I saw what my husband had given me for Christmas. It was a purple WIND DANCER! For those of you who don’t know what these are, they are like wind socks, with a face and arms,  that are usually placed in front of stores or car dealerships to draw attention to the business. My husband knows that no matter what kind of mood I’m in I will always giggle at the sight of these WIND DANCERS and their wild and crazy dancing. I knew as soon as I opened it that there was also a prophetic word that the Lord wanted me to unpack for 2018.

The most monumental things about the way WIND DANCER’S function is that they are compelled and propelled by the mighty rushing wind blowing through them. This is NOT a gentle breeze blowing through them but a force strong enough to make them able to stand and dance in even the coldest and darkest conditions. They are not effected by the external environment one bit. The winds can blow all around them and they will still dance! When pressure comes against them in any form, they bounce back to a standing position! This is the same for us! We need to be so full of the Holy Spirit that we are not effected by the environment around us. When the winds of opposition come we will dance because the force of the wind within us is greater than the wind that is coming against us. You are of God, little children, and have overcome them, because He who is in you is greater than he who is in the world. – 1 John 4:4

There is coming a fresh filling of the Holy Spirit that will be like nothing before. The force of this wind will be powerful, vibrant, and able to push us past things that have hindered us in the past. The things we have battled in the past will be blown away by His glory! Insecurity and the fear of man cannot last in this glory!!!

It is vital in 2018 that we stay plugged into His heart. If we are not plugged in, we are nothing more than a pile of fabric on the floor. Resist the urge to puff yourself up in these unplugged moments with hot air (you will exhaust yourself) and get yourself plugged back into your Power source!

It is so easy in times of trouble to shut down and refuse to move in order to protect yourself. This is not a year to react in this manner. We cannot dance if we refuse to be moved. We cannot dance if we aren’t pliable in His hands. 2018 is a year to think, feel and function differently. He is filling you with a wind that you have never felt before!

I heard three words….

* Engage- this is NOT a year of passivity or apathy. This is a year of ALL IN! He is calling you off the benches and back in the game. He is calling your name!!! Plug back in to His heart and be FILLED with what will MOVE you into all the things He has for you in 2018!

* Expand- You will definitely be stretched as He expands His spirit within you. It was no coincidence that my wind dancer is purple. Purple is the color of royalty. This is a year to get full revelation on your identity as a son or daughter and learn to walk in it. Stay flexible in His hands so you can stretch! You will not be able to stay in your comfort zone as you begin to feel afresh what He is putting within you. There will be new ideas and new vision birthed by His heart! You will not have to strive in man made effort because the force of the wind will compel you to CREATE! The places you were fearful to go in the past, you will go boldly into fueled by His spirit!

* Express- The whole point of being filled with this mighty wind is to release it into the world. There will be people who wonder how you can be dancing through the storms of life and you will tell them. There are people who need Who you carry! They need Jesus! You carry His glory carrying wind with you wherever you go! There are people waiting to be healed, delivered, encouraged, blessed, loved, by the Holy God living in and through you!  For in him we live and move and have our being.’ As some of your own poets have said, ‘We are his offspring. Acts 17:28


 

One thing about doors. We have heard much about them in the last year. What I sense the Lord showing me is that many people have feared the very doors He is bringing into their lives to bless them, but they are suspicious about them. He showed me that the door is never the problem, in many cases it’s a swinging door and its the force that opens the door that is the issue. An example is the door of BELIEF. It will either be opened by the force of FAITH within you pushing against it or by the spirit of fear pushing you backward. I see many WIND DANCERS dancing through doors empowered by His glory wind this year! Those areas that intimidated you in the past will not exist in 2018 as you yield to the fresh filling of His WIND!!

As you dance walls will come down, healing will happen, deliverance will happen, peace will be ushered in, etc. He is making you a Holy Spirit force to be reckoned with! Make sure He gets ALL the glory!! Remember Engage, Expand, Express!

Auditioning for an Audience of One

stamp-1966698_640

I can still remember the feeling of being fifteen years old, with seven years of professional ballet training under my belt, and standing before two women who had my future in their hands at the School of American Ballet in NYC. I had been taken on with full scholarships for their summer program for the prior two years and I knew I had only improved my technique since the last year. I stood there as they whispered to each other and wrote on their clipboards with me doing nothing more then standing before them. They were assessing me based on what I looked like…I hadn’t even danced yet.

A few weeks later I received a letter from them stating that I was welcome to come, but not on scholarship due to my thick thighs and stocky hips. I weighed 115 lbs at the time standing at 5″4. Now I don’t know why at fifteen I bulked at this but I’m glad I did. I knew from somewhere deep inside that I was 100% acceptable just the way I was. I spent that summer going to a smaller studio where I took classes with some of the greatest stars of ballet at the time. It was quite a treat when Baryshnikov, himself, watched my class and told my mother that I had “beautifully fluid arms.” She will never forget that moment.

When I went home to my local ballet school it was also suggested by my teacher that I lose five pounds. OK, at this point, I was screaming inside and I said ENOUGH!!!!!! I promptly quit ballet.

Three things I learned at this point was….First, it reinforced the fact that I’m fine just the way I am and that my opinion about myself was healthier than others my age. Second, I decided to not put myself into situations for man to judge me as many times they look at externals (life is NOT meant to be a beauty pageant and we should NEVER be either accepted or rejected based on how we look). Thirdly, that AMAZING things can happen when a door you’ve been hoping for slams shut in your face. Beautiful moments and blessings can be found right smack in the middle of those situations that you’ve cried the most tears.

I didn’t dance again until making Jesus Lord of my life at age twenty and the pastor’s wife of where I was attending church told me about worship dance. The thought that I could use a skill I already had to glorify God was intriguing to me. It did, however, take some time for me to be willing to dance again. I had to work through fear of both failure and of success. I came to the conclusion that if my life was not my own anymore and God wanted me to dance….I WOULD dance!

My point in all this was to say that my biggest growth period in my life came a couple of years ago when my son left for marine boot camp.  I felt utterly emotionally abandoned by everyone in my life. I had been surrounded by people all my life but this season, they scattered in all directions.  Mark was going through it too so he couldn’t really help me. I felt like I had nobody to turn to and I spent many days pouring my tears out before the Lord. He made it clear to me that He loved me, He accepted me, and He would never leave me. He gently started healing the lingering wounds of abandonment and rejection with His love. I started painting and writing poetry as a way of releasing the emotions that were inside me. It was then that the Lord started whispering His heart to me and I started writing. I had things happen last year that I had only dreamed of happening. Doors that I couldn’t have opened on my own, suddenly were standing wide open in front of me.

I also realized that the most uncomfortable moments in my life are still in those moments where I feel like I have willingly put myself before man to be judged in some way. I know what you’re thinking….Lori, you do know that you do that by throwing yourself out here in social media through your writing and videos, right?

The answer is yes, I do know that and I’ve had to work through knowing not everyone is going to cheer me on and in fact, some will downright dislike me for Who I stand for or for what I have to say. I have come to the conclusion…and yes, I need reminded sometimes, that I do what I do for an audience of One! I will not let man’s opinion of me define me or shake me. Only God can do that. Do I have people who love me in my life who will tell me if I step over the line in any direction? I sure do, but I know they love me and only want God’s best for me and they know that they have full permission into my life to do so.  In order to grow, do we need to sometimes put ourselves under the scrutiny of strangers when applying for situations? Absolutely, but here’s the thing….since God has already shown me that He promotes me when it is just me and Him walking through life in intimacy, my emotional state is not contingent on the acceptance of man. It’s quite freeing actually.

As you are navigating through this world please keep your eyes on the only eyes who truly matter and remember that you are enough…just as you are….enough to be deeply loved and never alone, enough to be fully accepted, enough to be abundantly blessed. Don’t ever let man’s opinion of you make you doubt what God has said about you.

YOU ARE FULLY ACCEPTED FOR A FULL SCHOLARSHIP… BY HIM!

Remember:

If God is FOR us, who can be against us? (Romans 8:31)

With man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible. (Matthew 19:26)

The Lord is with me, I will not be afraid. What can mere mortals do to me? (Psalm 118:6)

Truly He is my rock and my salvation, He is my fortress I will not be shaken. (Psalm 62:6)

Be Moved To Become A Movement

fantasy-3017693_640

I have talked with many people who feel hindered right now, almost as if there is walls on every side of them. I have felt this way too for the last two weeks and it was almost unbearable. Even though I knew it was an enemy attack against moving forward, none of my usual counter measures were working. I was reading the Word, declaring the Word, praying in the Spirit, worshiping, and while I would feel better it did not remove the sense of something standing in front of me blocking any attempt to side step or go around this restriction.

This is when the Lord showed me something powerful and I believe it is tactical for the season we are now in and in order to move into 2018.

I was listening to worship music but it was instrumental, which I prefer sometimes because there are no words to define what aspect of God we should be praising.  As I was listening I felt something well up inside me that literally moved me. As dancer, dancing is much more than just a way to worship, it is my love language to Him. I felt myself moving in prophetic movements and before I knew it, the hindrance was removed from around me! I was remembering my identity in Him through prophetic dance! This is powerful people!

After I stopped dancing I felt the insight that He wanted me to receive flood my spirit. It is ALL about identity and who we are IN HIM!

“In Him we live, and move, and have our being” – Acts 17:28

Revelation starting coming to me on how to move forward and what this season is about for many. It’s about worshiping with who we are in Him and not merely by what we do. He’s bringing life back into who we were created to be from the beginning!

This last part of 2017 He is shaking anything we put our identity in that is outside of Him. It does not matter what role you are in, it does not define you. He defines us as His children! Whether you are a doctor, lawyer, CEO, in the military, mother, father, apostle, prophet, teacher, pastor, evangelist, etc. That may be what you do, but it’s not who you are. Sometimes we can get distracted by roles and titles (even Godly ones), but who you are in found in Him first and foremost and in being wholeheartedly in love with Him. What we do must flow out of who we are or else we will get it backwards and think it’s what we do that gives us value and worth. We do not get our worth from our educational level or from the letters that precede or proceed after our names.

In this season the movers/dancers/artists need to move, paint, and create.. It is so much more than moving your body, it is like you become a prophetic prayer, a prophetic act playing out the heart of God for all to see. It is so much more than paint on a canvas artists! You are painting the spiritual landscape in which we live in all it’s vibrancy! He is  Whatever creative gifts you’ve been given, now its the time to create from His heart! Writers will bring understanding to people about the kingdom and take them on wild and wonderful adventures leading straight to the love of the Father!

 

Those of you who feel stuck….MOVE!!!! CREATE!!! Move in whatever expression of worship He has put into your spiritual DNA. That is key to removing the heaviness and hindrances you feel all around you. As you move in Him, you will remember who you are in Him! You will remember your first LOVE and you will DANCE with Him and CREATE with Him! Walls are going to crumble when you dare to allow that heart cry deep inside to flow out in passionate worship of our King!

2018 will not be a year of passivity and apathy! It will be a year of MOVEMENT! Allow Him to remove all false titles and identities that the world has placed on you so that you will become part of the movement He is building on the earth! He is creating the biggest FLASH MOB we have ever seen! It will encompass the earth! Allow your heart to be synced up with the rhythm of His heart!

It will be a MOVEMENT that shifts atmospheres in 2018. In some situations you just need to literally MOVE, in Him, in order to bring the freedom you know is on God’s heart!


Wearing a linen ephod, David was dancing before the LORD with ALL his might,- 2 Samuel 6:14

 and later in verse 21 and 22 when asked why he was dancing like he was.

 David said to Michal, “It was before the Lord, who chose me rather than your father or anyone from his house when he appointed me rulerover the Lord’s people Israel—I will celebrate before the Lord. I will become even more undignified than this, and I will be humiliated in my own eyes. 


Check out this site for the many definitions of MOVE which I sense ALL apply in this case

https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/move

and the definition for MOVEMENT

https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/movement