August 31, 2006

It's over! Woo Hoo!

I wanted to give those of you who have been faithfully praying for me and our worship team, (thank you SO much!) a report on the CD recording Sunday. Some of you don't know but our worship team did our first live CD recording this past Sunday.

First I have to say this- I was so proud of our team. I have been in many churches and on many teams over the years due to our travels with Keith's military career. They truly are the most humble, friendly, no-agenda, servants-hearted, TALENTED group of musicians, sound technicians and vocalists I've ever been associated with. We truly are a family... I deeply love these guys and am so honored to minister with them! And I have to mention Eileen, our leader. She is the Momma of the family, no doubt. And what a good Momma she is! She truly puts us before herself in every way. She sang only one song for this CD and we had to nearly make her do that! And she was AWESOME! What a blessing she is. What an example. I want to be like Eileen when I grow up! :^)

After all of the weeks of cramming and jamming, crying, praying, time spent away from family- it's OVER! Hallelujah!!!! The anointing was definitely there yesterday. Our precious church body was there, supporting us- dancing, singing, crying, running, shouting, worshipping... It was beautiful. And the best thing was that during altar call, after the morning service- FIVE PEOPLE GOT SAVED! Praise God! The Lord had given me this scripture (from Psalm 40) Sunday morning before the service and was it ever applicable-

"He put a new song in my mouth, a song of praise to our God. Many will see and fear and put their trust in the Lord...I proclaim righteousness in the great assembly. I do not seal my lips..."

Praise God! That's exactly what happened. We did not seal our lips (although the enemy was definitely intent on silencing us) and many DID hear, fear and put their trust in the Lord!!! And many more will hear when the CD comes out!

Vocally, several of us singers had sore throats and colds beforehand and asked for prayer (thanks to you all for your prayers for us, they were felt!). Poor Stephanie was the sickest. But when she sang, my goodness- you would have never known it! I felt vocally weak on a couple of my songs, definitely not my best, but not horrible either. However, the anointing was there on all of the songs. In our weakness, HE was strong. And thank the Lord for the wonders of modern technology in recording studios. We are planning to fly to St. Louis in October for over-dubbing. Hooray for overdubbing!

This has personally been a difficult season for me and others. In the process of dealing with this CD, the Lord has been dealing with our hearts. Several of the songs we sang have this theme and these words- Purify our hearts; Purify, consuming flame; Consuming fire of God; Holy fire, consume us all as we fall; We bow; You are holy; I want to burn with passion for You and only You... That's what He's been doing in MY heart along with many of us. We've all been in the fire... But like Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego, He's been in it with us. He has burned off our bonds and we are coming out without even the smell of smoke- hallelujah- but with a testimony of His love and faithfulness and with a deeper place of fellowship with Him than ever before. Praise God, He IS faithful and HE is worthy.

Again, I want to thank you all for praying for us. And please don't stop even though the live part of the recording is over. Please pray now that in the editing, arranging of the flow of the songs, that in the "capturing" of the worship and anointing that our producer (Kent Henry) will be Spirit-led. We want God's intention for this to be fulfilled more than we want to sell CD's. We want only His will. Please pray for us when we fly up to St. Louis in October, that the over-dubbing will be successful and will still capture what took place on Sunday...Thank you all so much.

This coming weekend my family and I are going to Gulf Shores to chill out, and reconnect... Keith and the children have been so supportive of me during this entire process but it's time to get back to normal. Even though this has been an overwhelming and exciting experience- and I hope and pray that this venture was successful in advancing His kingdom to His glory- home is where the rubber really meets the road. If we are on the stage ministering in the anointing before hundreds or thousands but our home is neglected, I would have to say we missed our higher purpose. This was an awesome season, and I am thankful for it, but now back to REAL life... Back to what may be viewed as "the ordinary". But it is here that the kingdom is advanced most, before His eyes only. This is what is eternal... As awesome as this CD experience was, this CD will one day be forgotten, (although it's results will hopefully be eternal). But relationships are eternal... Our relationship with God and with each other. Yes, the CD was a God thing and an exciting experience, but now let us not look down on what the world would deem as ordinary. For this- our day-to-day lives, serving Him- is what, I believe, excites the Lord the most!

God bless. KHJ

August 4, 2006

The Uncreated One!

As I've been reading Tozer, I have had this thought mulling about in my head today- the self-existence of God. Have you ever thought of that? Children do, when they ask, “where does God come from?” Whoa! It really staggers me to the core and twists my brain into knots when I think of this. It’s an uncomfortable thought.

Like eternity.

This concept used to scare me as a child. With our human existence dictated by time, by beginnings and ends; the thought of no end, of eternity, was (and still can be) overwhelming and unsettling. No time; no beginning, and no end. Unfathomable!

Yet we are created in His image. In HIS image- the Uncreated, Eternal One. No other creature has this distinction. What an honor. Definitely we are the created and not the Creator since we have a beginning- but what a staggering thought. Those who had the privilege of gazing into heaven and beholding His throne and likeness (Ezekiel, Daniel, Isaiah, John the Revelator, etc), described Him as best they could using words based on their experience… “He was LIKE this or that”, “in the likeness of…” Yet their experience of Him was still so far above anything they'd known in the created realm. Finite human words could not express the exactness of Him. Although He was similar to this or that, still He was not EXACTLY like anything their human senses had ever experienced or could put into words.

A.W. Tozer says in THE KNOWLEDGE OF THE HOLY (which I highly recommend), “’What is God like?' If by that question we mean ‘ What is God like in Himself?' There is no answer. If we mean ‘What has God disclosed about Himself that the reverent reason can comprehend?' There is, I believe, an answer both full and satisfying ...That God can be known by the soul in tender personal experience while remaining infinitely aloof from the curious eyes of reason constitutes a paradox best described as, ‘Darkness to the intellect but sunshine to the heart’.”

But back to the self-existence of God… Does that not just take your breath away? Does that not just cause Him to be magnified in your mind? The more I think on this, the more I want to worship Him. Not because I understand it, but because I do not! He is SO far above what I can even imagine. As high as the heavens are above me, His ways and His Being are just so much higher! Who am I to question such a God. He is no god, He is GOD! Who am I to doubt Him, to not trust Him, to not walk in complete confidence and security. He is GOD! He is MY God! And oh the wonder of it, I am His beloved child. Whoa! The Uncreated One…! May we, His children, bow before Him in holy fear; with amazement and gratitude. Wonder of wonders- He, the Uncreated, loves us; and we who have believed on Him, who have called on His name, the created, will live eternally with Him. Unfathomable, unthinkable! Yet gloriously beautiful! God bless. KHJ

-Please keep our friend George Waites in prayer, who has pancreatic cancer. His faith in the Uncreated One keeps a song in his heart, even in this difficult season he and his family are in. They are a blessing to so many.

“Here we are gathered in Your name.
We long for more, to never be the same
Moving towards the Uncreated One

Overwhelmed as You invade our space
Take us in, to that Holy place
Purify, consuming flame
We love Your name

You are awesome and frightening
Beautiful God
Consuming fire and lightning
Holy One
Enthroned, eternal Love
You are Good; and we bow
We bow down”

August 1, 2006

Conquering Jericho!

Well, it’s been so long since I posted anything, I figured that I ought to post SOMETHING before people give up on checking this blogsite altogether.:^) I guess one reason I haven’t posted is that I haven’t had time. And I tend to wait until I have something really on my heart- something complete and well thought out; something I deem as worthy to be read. I guess I’ve had too many things on my heart to really narrow it down, sit down and write about it. I tend to like to categorize things, and when I can’t put my thoughts in a box, label them, and clearly say, “this is what it is”, I tend to keep them to myself. Perhaps that’s unwise. But as Popeye says, “I yam what I yam” (wasn't that Popeye?). But my Father won't let me stay like Popeye -as "I yam"- Praise the Lord!

So if there is something to share, this is it- God is purifying me! And wow am I seeing lots of dross! Too much it seems sometimes. At times I want to say, “Stop! That’s enough! Don’t show me anything else!” But thankfully, HE knows when to stop! Praise Him for that! As Pastor has preached on the walls coming down, I’ve definitely seen some walls coming down in my life. Okay, maybe not all of the way down… I’m not sure the state of the walls… but I DO know that some mighty big cracks are showing. You’d think that would make for an exciting, joy-filled time, wouldn’t you? Ha! As walls come down, they EXPOSE what’s behind them! When Jericho’s walls came down, the Israelites didn’t just throw a party because the walls were down and then that was it. They had to go in and continue the conquest of Jericho. They had to put to death the inhabitants of the city. The Lord showed me this after Pastor’s sermon. But I wondered how to fight, and Pastor shared the answer the next Sunday- We don’t battle with natural weapons, we put those things to death through the cross--through dying. So if I MUST put it in a box and label it, that’s where I’ve been. The walls ARE coming down (hallelujah), but I’m seeing ugly things behind those walls. Things in me that need to die! And they’re not dying easily… Some of them are fighting to live on! But I am determined! I will not go round this mountain again. I will not jump off this altar again. Jumping off may give me a temporary reprieve, but rest assured- I'll be back at this same place one day again if I do not remain and let God finish what He's begun.

I believe there is an anointing, RIGHT NOW, for breakthrough- to deal with deep-seated strongholds we’ve dealt with for years. Strongholds we’ve become so familiar and comfortable with that we’ve ceased to even fight them. Yes, we hate them, but it’s easier to live with them in the land than to fight them and put them to death. I’m reminded of so many of Israel’s kings who may have been good and who destroyed the idols of the land, but who left the high places… or left some of the inhabitants in the land and didn’t deal with them. And those inhabitants are still a thorn in Israel’s side to this day. The descendants of the children of Israel are today, battling those same enemies who were not dealt with back then. If I continue to leave the high places in my heart and life, if I continue to leave certain strongholds and open doors to the enemy- am I not hurting more than just myself? Am I also leaving that door open to my children? My grandchildren? My great-grandchildren? This go-'round, I feel a determination in my heart that I’ve never felt before when I’ve faced familiar strongholds once again- This time I will not stop fighting and dying until the walls are down and Jericho is conquered. This is the last time I will face this. Because I am going to not only face it, but conquer it in Jesus name! If I won’t do it for me, then I’ll do it for my children; for my generations. As I said before- there is an anointing for breakthrough right now! And it’s not just for me. It’s for everyone. Perazim- breakthrough! Yet we have a choice. Will we respond to Him in this season? Or will we jump and run before He’s done? Lord, help us to remain in the flame! (That sounds like a song! :^). Well- I guess I did have something to share after all. (Let me get out my marker and label this box! :^) If I've seemed not myself lately, just know, I am in the fire. It hurts and it isn’t fun. But I have hope in my heart that after the breakthrough, there will be more of Him! What more could I ask!? HE’s gonna be worth it all!

If I still have your attention- please keep our CD project in your prayers. For those who don’t know, our church, Hosanna First Assembly, is making our first worship CD, produced by Kent Henry. Please keep Eileen our Pastor’s wife and head worship leader in prayer as she organizes, plans, and deals with all of the many details of making a CD (much more details than I ever imagined) and as she deals with us (sometimes more trouble than the all of the details :^). Pray for wisdom and peace for her. Pray for each of our worship team members as God deals with our hearts. We’re all getting the purifying treatment :^). Pray for our unity. For out of unity, flows the anointing- YES! And please pray for joy and peace in the process!

Thanks so much and God bless. I'll try to not wait so long to blog again! KHJ

"Purify our hearts
Cleanse us from our sin
Open up the doors
And let the King of Glory in"