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Danger in disguise


Dreams always intrigue me.  Sometimes they are just nonsense, but other times I think they have hidden meanings.  For the most part, I don’t remember dreams, but occasionally a dream will stand out, wake me up and make me think about what it meant.  Early this morning I awoke from a dream.  It bothered me and I told my husband about it.  I didn’t understand the meaning of it, but while I was at church, I felt like God revealed to me what it meant. 

I was out walking with my son; the sun was shining and bright.  We started walking by a rocky hillside.  He started veering off the path and walked clumsily on the rocky bankI told him to come back on the path and stay off the hillside.  He ignored me and started going further up the bank.  I was getting aggravated with him and started to tell him to get back down when I noticed something camouflaged and moving.  I quickly asked him to come down the bank that there was something up there.  I suddenly noticed what it was and yelled, “It’s a snake, come back down slowly away from it.”  Instead he walked further up the bank and the snake slithered toward him.  I yelled back, “Get away now.”  Instead of running, he turned around picked up the snake by the head, like he was a pro.  The snakes’ mouth opened wide and he struggled holding the snake, it was long and stronger than he thought.  In the struggle, his hand loosened enough where the snake struck and bit him on the forehead.  He dropped the snake and it slithered away as I ran and grabbed him.  My son is twelve years old, once the snake bit him and I ran to him he transformed to about the age of six.  I picked him up and carried him to a bench; I cradled him in my arms and evaluated the bite.  I was starting to panic when someone came to me with a book.  It was a picture book of snakes.  They asked me to point out what the snake looked like.  I opened the book and immediately saw the snake I thought it was.  I pointed to it and said this one.  It was a non-venomous snake.   The person shook their head and said, “No, it wasn’t that.  It was a rattlesnake.  There are slight differences.”  Meanwhile, I look at my son and he’s very pale and shaking.  The person who showed me the book said, “I’m a doctor.  Keep him calm.  I’m going to go get the anti-venom.”  I drew my son close to my chest cried and told him that I loved him and not to worry the doctor was getting medicine for him.”  Then I woke up.


What God told me later about this dream is that sometimes when we are teaching someone and trying to keep them on the path that God wants them to be on they may stumble.  You try and encourage them to get back on the path and they decide not to take your advice.  Then you see them about to get hurt, while they don’t even notice that danger is at their heel.  You warn them but they decide to take matters into their own hands.  When this happens they get hurt.  How you react to it determines what will happen with them.  If they are hurt and have done something stupid, you can yell at them and tell them that it was dumb for them to do that or you can pick them up and dress their wounds.  When you start looking at the wounds, you can see how much damage is done.  The person that came in with the book and asked you to point out the snake was a doctor.  You thought you knew exactly which snake it was or what the cause is to their wound.  But, the doctor corrects you and shows you its more serious than you think.  He asks you to take care of him while he gets the medicine.  The doctor is God, the only true healer.  My job was to keep him calm and love on him while God got the antidote. 

In the dream, I was getting upset because my son wasn’t listening.  When he got hurt, I could’ve kept kicking him while he was down by hurling harsh words at him but instead because I loved him greatly, I pulled him away from the situation and loved him.  I am a youth leader, so this spoke to me a lot.  I can deal with kids two different ways when they mess up.  How I deal with them can determine whether I get them to the doctor in enough time to be healed.  The bottom line is to show grace and love, it’s the quickest way for them to see the great physician. 

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Posted by on December 1, 2013 in Spiritual Reflections


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Visiting or Inhabiting?

I grew up and still attend a Pentecostal church.  When outsiders hear the word, “Pentecostal,” they immediately think of weird people that do unusual things during service.  When I was a kid, I saw all kinds of weird behavior, I think some was genuine and others not so much.  I believe in the power of the Holy Spirit, but I guess I don’t see it the way others do.  There are things I hear a few people say at our church that I get tired of hearing like, “The spirit isn’t here like it used to be.”  I don’t agree with them at all. 

I will admit that I’ve had strange things happen to me that I know was the Holy Spirit.  When I was in college, I was very down and depressed.  I had been running from God and had given into some bad habits.  But, one Wednesday night at chapel, I felt God’s love smack me right in the face.  I started laughing uncontrollably and couldn’t stop.  God gave me His love and His joy, I was overwhelmed.  It was definitely not me, because I was the cool kid, I didn’t want to look like a fool.  If I was in my flesh, I wouldn’t have literally kept laughing out loud.  After I gained my composure I felt led to go to my old boyfriend who hurt me and I told him that I forgave him.  That was monumental because I was hurt greatly by him, I hated him.  But, that night things changed and I saw him as a human who made mistakes.  That was God, not me.

In my adult life, I’ve felt the Holy Spirit during different services.  One service, my shoulder was healed.  It had been aching for a long time.  God touched it and that pain hasn’t returned.  I’ve spoken in tongues a few times, but it’s been mostly at home during my private prayer time.  I’ve attended long services where the spirit was thick and people kept falling out.  I know the Holy Spirit was there, but this is where my thoughts start to shift.  I don’t believe the Holy Spirit visits the same way every time the church doors are open.  In fact, I don’t think the Holy Spirit comes and goes.  Once you receive Him, He’s there.  He doesn’t go on vacation.  He doesn’t move to another church down the road.  He’s in you.  He’s in me.  Here’s the key to the Holy Spirit, He doesn’t travel like a ghost possessing Christian people. He comes inside you and you become the vehicle of transportation.  The Holy Spirit doesn’t want to be confined to a church, He wants to go out into the world and touch lives.  You cannot have the fruits of the spirit without first having the Holy Spirit. 

So, to make the statement, “The spirit isn’t here like it used to be,” what does that say about those that think that way?  This is how I think it is.  I think those who feel that way are looking for a quick gratification.  I don’t think they realize it either.  I think it’s like someone who wants sex and not a relationship. They want to feel good, but don’t want to carry out the good.  I know that’s a jaw dropping statement, but it’s just my thoughts.  Why do I say that?  Because when the Holy Spirit comes and resides in you, others should see Him.  Others see it by the fruit it produces.  If someone lives in my house, others know because I talk about who lives there.  Jesus said go and make disciples.  How do we have the motivation and determination to do it?  The Holy Spirit instructs, convinces, and aids us to do so. 

There are moments in my everyday life that I get sidetracked.  These moments are the Holy Spirit guiding me to do something that my flesh doesn’t want to do.  Those moments include things like, stop everything to give someone a ride to the store that doesn’t have a car, smiling at the cashier that is slow at checking out while I’m in a hurry to get out of the store, giving money to someone when I don’t think I have enough for myself, listening to someone hurting, writing a note to someone, or just saying hello to someone passing by.  But that’s so small, you might think.  But it’s not, its little things that open doors for bigger things.  When I carry out these moments, I feel satisfied.  When I ignore doing what the Holy Spirit wants me to do, I feel frustrated.  So, my final statement is this, are you looking to meet the Holy Spirit or carry the Holy Spirit? 


Posted by on November 12, 2013 in Spiritual Reflections


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A Rapid June

On June 10th, the group headed to Ace Adventure Resort for our big summer retreat. The former youth pastor, Kelly Blanton traveled in from Texas along with his intern, Jonathan Perkins to be our guest speakers during the retreat. That afternoon, shortly after we arrived, we embarked on our first event at the resort, which was a mud obstacle course. Our guide led us to the start of the course. There he handed us all a PDF and instructed us on a few things. We put on our PDF vests and helmets, we were eager to get dirty. We decided to run the course as a team, which meant we had to make sure everyone made it through the obstacle before we moved on to the next. The guide blew the whistle and we took off. Cristal was the first to leap into the first obstacle, while the rest wasn’t far behind. The pit was thick with mud and we had to crawl under logs with netted rope over them. The smell hit our noses immediately, it was quite putrid. Each obstacle was a challenge and the group worked well as a team, whenever someone was stuck they encouraged them and even gave a little push/pull when needed. Whitney even met a friend along the way!
After the mud obstacle, we walked back to our campsite, laughing and reminiscing over the muddy good time we had. The theme for our retreat was servant hood, so once we arrived back at camp I instructed the teens to not run to the shower yet. My lesson was on Jesus and washing the disciples feet. I had each of the teens sit at the picnic table as Dave and I prayed over and washed each of there feet. They were nice and grimy too, considering what activity they just went through.
The next morning we headed to our check in station for our whitewater trip. Several youth and adults were a bit nervous about rafting, while some of the others were pretty excited about it. After the long bus ride to the river, our group was split into two rafts. Both groups had fantastic guides. I was very impressed by the professionalism and knowledge of the guides. We hit the river and enjoyed the time working as a team, riding the whitewater, and coasting through the calm spots. That afternoon when we arrived back to the campsite, Dave taught his lesson on listening to the guide. I won’t spoil it, since he will be presenting it to the church soon. Then that evening after dinner, Kelly spoke to the group about discipleship and putting others ahead of yourself, among other things.
The next day, we went rappelling and rock climbing. I am terrified of heights, so I was really nervous about this event. The guides gave us clear instruction on what to do, they were very informative and helpful. We rappelled first, I nervously waited my turn and determined that I would conquer this fear ready or not. They clipped my harness, gave me a quick re cap on what to do, and I slowly lowered myself off the cliff. I didn’t look down, I kept my focus above. When I started hearing the cheers from the others who went before me and the onlookers, I was thankful I was close to ground. It wasn’t that bad actually, I’m very glad I did it. When it was time to rock climb though, I didn’t do as well. I attempted it. I climbed a little, it was really hard to position yourself and the rocks were a little slippery. Plus, I was a big chicken! Brian, Heath, and Thorne did a great job on the rock climbing, they climbed like Spiderman! Whitney did a good job too, she was like me, a little afraid of heights.
That afternoon we spent time at the lake, playing on the water toys, sliding down the waterslide, zipping into the water, and bouncing on the trampolines. It wore me out, but was a lot of fun. If you are ever looking for an awesome place to do some extreme adventures, Ace Adventure Resort in Oak Hill, WV is the place for you. They have excellent guides, great food, nice lodging, and nice facilities.
That evening Kelly, Dave, Jonathan, and I shared in the lesson for the evening. We talked about sacrifice, obedience, and change. I hope the kids got a lot out of the trip. My heart is that we all will come closer to God and develop the heart of Christ for others. We can make a difference in our community, schools, and workplace if we allow the holy spirit to guide us and teach us daily.


Posted by on July 2, 2012 in Youth


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