INDEPENDENCE: An Acrostic

Independence

by JE Lillie

Innocent

100_2622Native son

statue in blue

Driving back lethargy

Engaging the world about

Mel 5Prevailing darkness wearing carnival masks,

Ensnaring hapless men. “Everything’s just fine,”

Nattering poppin-jays proclaim.Without knowledge lies reign.

Duplicity doesn’t dupe  truly free slaves of righteousness.

100_0510

Every step they take frees the land from bondage.

Native sons and daughters rising up. With truth ignoring through

Charity the carnal call to embrace an existence  proclaiming freedom yet

Ending in nothing but a pop of smoky fire. This is independence!

firecracker (1)

Pastor Wrinkles: Shaken & Stirred Pt. 4

Here is the next excerpt from Sunday morning’s sermon.

If you missed any of the earlier portions they can be found here:

http://wp.me/p39vIx-zf

Here

http://wp.me/p39vIx-zt

And here

http://wp.me/p39vIx-zz

We were  discussing the believer’s need to receive the baptism of the Holy Spirit. I have often heard it said that the baptism in the Holy Spirit is not for everyone. Yet Peter said, “Repent and be baptized, every one of you, in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins. And you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. The promise is for you and your children and for all who are far off—for all whom the Lord our God will call.” Acts 2: 39.

The baptism in the Holy Spirit is for everyone!

Hear me Christian, if you will receive His baptism you will also receive His freedom  from condemnation sin and failure: For where the Spirit of the Lord is there is freedom.

The final point I want to make today is … being filled with the Spirit involves releasing the Spirit through our lives. Many believers will recognize God’s ownership of their lives and will receive His baptism but they never come to know the Christian life that shakes and stirs because they never release the Spirit through their lives in faith. So many are living dull, drab, lukewarm lives even while believing and receiving because they are not releasing the gifts in living and ministry. We can have great powers of recognition and wonderful willingness to receive from God the free gifts of salvation and supernatural power but these gifts were never meant to be held in a reservoir. They are meant to be poured out like a river and only when we pour the gifts out through faith-filled victorious living and ministry will our Christian lives be shaken and stirred with the vitality that Jesus desired.

You say, ‘I am baptized with the Holy Ghost.”

Great! I would ask,  “What are you doing with the baptism? ”

Your answer should not be, “Well I am a prophet to the pastor.”

You know what a prophet to the pastor is don’t you? That’s someone who comes to the pastor and says “ Pastor I think God wants you to do thus and so…. Have fun!”

Releasing the Spirit doesn’t involve you telling other people what to do. It involves you living and doing everyday according to the giftings God has poured out in your life. Paul the apostle said,

 For by the grace given me I say to every one of you: Do not think of yourself more highly than you ought, but rather think of yourself with sober judgment, in accordance with the faith God has distributed to each of you. For just as each of us has one body with many members, and these members do not all have the same function, so in Christ we, though many, form one body, and each member belongs to all the others. We have different gifts, according to the grace given to each of us. If your gift is prophesying, then prophesy in accordance with your  faith; if it is serving, then serve; if it is teaching, then teach; if it is to encourage, then give encouragement; if it is giving, then give generously; if it is to lead, do it diligently; if it is to show mercy, do it cheerfully. Romans 12:3-8

So Christian…

Have you recognized Jesus as Lord and have you recognized His Spirit’s ownership of your life?

Have you received the powerful baptism in the Holy Spirit?

Are you releasing the gifts of the Holy Spirit through faithful living and the ministry He has directed you to?

Let’s pray: Father God, I thank you for sending your son Jesus to die for my sin. Forgive me of all I have done wrong in this life and come into my life as my personal Lord and Savior. Send your Holy Spirit to live in my heart and cause me to be born again so that I can begin a new life with you. Lord I willingly open myself to your Spirit and all the gifts He has to offer. Lead me in using your gifts as you direct I declare right now I am willing to be used by you in any way that you desire. In Jesus name A-men

Did you just pray that prayer for the first time or as a rededication of your life to Christ? Drop me a line and tell me about your experience!

Pastor Wrinkles AKA Pastor J

Pastor Wrinkles: Shaken & Stirred Pt. 3

I want to jump right in where we left off with yesterday’s session…. If you missed the last two sessions they can be found here:

http://wp.me/p39vIx-zf

and here

http://wp.me/p39vIx-zt

Shaken & Stirred Pt. 3

Being filled with the Spirit mean recognizing that Holy Spirit lives in us 24/7 and owns us 24/7. But  being filled goes beyond just recognizing those two facts. It means recognizing and receiving the Spirit… by

Receiving the baptism of the Holy Spirit with the initial evidence of speaking in other tongues.

I want to share with you the testimony of Florence Crawford founder of the Apostolic Faith Mission in Portland Oregon.

When I was a girl, brought up in a home of unbelief—never knew what it was to hear a mother pray, never laid my hand on a Bible till I was a grown woman—the God I serve looked down into my heart and saw that I wanted something real.
One night as I was dancing in a ballroom I heard a voice speak out of Heaven and said, “Daughter, give Me thine heart.” I did not know the voice of God the first time and went on in the dance. Again the voice spoke from Heaven, and it seemed that Heaven came down into that ballroom and my feet became heavy and the place was no longer beautiful to me. Again the voice spoke much louder, “Daughter, give Me thine heart!” The music died away and I left the ballroom; and for three days and nights I prayed and wept and wrestled for my salvation. If ever I realized my soul was a sepulchre of dead men’s bones, I did then. It seemed there was no hope for me, but I thought: Why did God speak out of Heaven if there were no hope?
At last I remembered a woman I knew was a Christian, and I went directly to her home; and when she looked into my face she said, “You want God.” I said, “I want Him more than anything else in the world.” I fell on my knees right there, and she prayed for me—and God came into my heart.
Oh, it was wonderful, the rest, the peace, the quietness that flooded my soul! And as I wept for joy, I said, “I must go and tell the others.” I went into the house where my friends were. They had cards on the table ready to play, waiting for me; but I lifted my hands to Heaven and said, “No cards for me; I have found Jesus whom my soul has hungered for so long.” When they looked at me they saw the light of another world on my face. The cards were put away and we sang sacred songs, and oh, how God blessed my soul!
The flowers went, the feathers and the fine clothes. Everything I had loved that was of the world was taken out of my heart; but, oh, how I loved lost souls and wept as I saw those who looked sad, and many times I would stop and tell them the story of Jesus.
And when I heard that God could sanctify wholly, for years I sought that experience. I went from place to place where they taught sanctification, willing to kneel at any altar, no matter how humble, if only I could find satisfaction to my hungry soul. I consecrated my life to God, hoping that that would bring it, and thought consecration was sanctification. But oh, it is not! While it takes consecration, laying your life, your all, at the feet of Jesus, it is more than that. You surrender your will, your innermost soul and being to God for time and eternity; and that brings the fire of God, the holy, sanctifying flame down on the sacrifice, and your whole being is saturated with the presence and power of another world. Question it—doubt it? You never can! Depart from it? Never! It is the very choicest treasure your life holds, for it is the purifying of your life, the preparation for the bridehood. It is the purity that God demands for the wife of His Son. It stands like the Rock of Ages against every false thing that could rob Christ’s Bride of her purity. The holy living flame burns through every fiber of your being. Oh, how I thank God it was for me!
When evangelists would come to the city, I found my way to get a private interview with them, if possible, and told of my hunger. They would say, “But you are sanctified.” But I knew I was not. The hunger, the craving, the thirst that was in my heart, no human could know unless he had it. And while I lived a consecrated life, yet the fire had not fallen on the sacrifice.
How I thank God that when I heard of the latter outpouring of the Holy Ghost, He led me to that little mission. It was not a fine hall, just an old barnlike building with only an old board laid on two chairs for an altar. The floor was carpeted with sawdust; the walls and beams blackened by smoke. I looked around to see if anybody saw me go in, but I would not have cared if the whole world saw me go out. I had found a people that had the experience I wanted. The first “hallelujah” I heard echoed down in my soul. When I went out of there that day I felt so little. The only thing I wondered was, can I ever get From Monday morning till Friday at four o’clock, I lay on my face, between my duties (you can do your work and do it well and seek God, too). I lay on my face and shed tears and read my Bible. That Friday afternoon at the mission, the preacher stopped and said, “Somebody in this place wants something from God.” I pushed the chairs away in front of me and fell at the altar. And the fire fell and God sanctified me. The power of God went through me like thousands of needles.
“He sanctified me” were the only words I could speak for days after the fire fell on my heart. If you get the real experience you will never deny it. It will stand when you face all hell. It can weather any storm.
Three days later, after living with Jesus alone, a great hunger seized me and down I went before God. He showed me I must be baptized with the Holy Ghost and fire. He showed me that the temple was clean, that the Holy Ghost could come only on clean vessels. And how I pled with Him and prayed and praised God and consecrated! Yes, I consecrated again, deeper and deeper, and sought for the power to tell the world what great things God had done for me. I sought till the following Friday.
As I sat in my chair in the mission, the Holy Ghost fell from Heaven and a rushing mighty wind filled the room. This tongue that never spoke another word but English began to magnify and praise God in another language. I was speaking in Chinese, and it was the sweetest thing I ever heard in my life. The power of God shook my being, and rivers of joy and divine love flooded my soul. Oh, it was wonderful! But the greatest joy to my heart was that I had received the power to witness to lost souls that they might find Jesus.”

I would love to hear your stories about how the Spirit of God has moved in your life.

Pastor Wrinkles: Shaken & Stirred Pt. 2

We ended yesterday’s excerpt by stating… ” God’s desire is for you enjoy your relationship with Him! ”

This is borne out by Scripture for God has said,

“You have not come to a mountain that can be touched and that is burning with fire; to darkness, gloom and storm; … ou have come to Mount Zion, to the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem. You have come to thousands upon thousands of angels in joyful assembly, 23 to the church of the firstborn, whose names are written in heaven. You have come to God, the Judge of all, to the spirits of the righteous made perfect, 24 to Jesus the mediator of a new covenant, and to the sprinkled blood that speaks a better word than the blood of Abel.” Hebrews 12: 18, 22-24 NIV

For that reason He has commanded us to, “stir up the gift of God which is in you through the laying on of my hands. For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind.” I Tim. 1:7          

How do we accomplish this? By coming away from the world’s way of doing things “excess” as Paul tells us in Ephesians chapter 5 and by being filled with the Spirit of God.

I want to share with you three keys to being filled with Spirit and for the sake of memory each key begins with the letter R

Being filled with the Spirit involves…

Recognizing the Spirit. Specifically we need to recognize that if we are born again then the Spirit of God now lives inside of us. Born again is not a term we use a lot anymore. Maybe we should use it more because it helps us to understand what actually happens when a person becomes a Christian. Christianity is not just a decision of the mind. It’s not just a changing of philosophies. In fact, at the heart of it becoming a Christian is not about us deciding anything at all. It is more about us accepting and receiving the truth and the truth is that we are all born dead in our sins. It is about accepting the fact that from our conception we are sold under sin and we are completely helpless to change that fact no matter what we decide. Truthfully, as a non- Christian the best I can do is trade socially unacceptable sins for socially acceptable sins. It makes me look better to other sinners but it never changes my standing with God.

Becoming a Christian is about realizing that the only way I will ever become acceptable to God is if I let Jesus into my life to do His work. And when I accept and invite his work He sends the Holy Spirit to live in me and I am born again. Paul tells us that when we are born again by the Spirit of Christ we are no longer counted guilty of sin because we are no longer the same people. We have literally been spiritually born again and we have become new creations in Christ capable of doing and being things we were never capable of doing or being before. The time has come for us to start being filled with the Spirit by recognizing that as we are born again we are lived in by the Holy Spirit of God. The Holy Spirit doesn’t live in a building. He doesn’t live in Cornerstone church. He lives inside the people of Cornerstone church. For this reason Paul the apostle said in I Cor. 1:19 19 Do you not know that your bodies are temples of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own; 20 you were bought at a price. Therefore honor God with your bodies.”

Not only does He dwell in us, He owns us. Holy Spirit is not a renter. God does not sublet. He owns!

For you were bought at a price; therefore glorify God in your body  and in your spirit, which are God’s. I Cor. 6:20

 

But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, God’s special possession, that you may declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light. I Peter 2 :9

When you were born again you became the renter and Holy Spirit became the landlord. How does that change your view of your relationship with God?

Join us for more tomorrow!

Stella

100_1269I took to calling her Stella after the girl who taught me English and the way. One reminded me of another: pale, luminescent, and a faint intoxicating romance that was central to both beings. Stella was both friend and foe that night. Friend because she glistened more brightly than usual. She made for less chance to stub our bare toes as we wound through the dusty streets barefoot. She was foe for the same reason. Pale lunar brightness sucked up the shadows we normally used to skitter our way unseen to the city walls.

Not that anyone really cared what we were doing. Urchins were generally beneath the notice of the Basji. We were  dogs to be kicked when in the way or starved out of existence. But not all of our friends were urchins. The police had their eyes on bigger snakes in the desert and if we could lead them to those bigger snakes then we would be temporarily worthy of a watchful eye.

I thought more than once about staying away that night because Stella was so full. I couldn’t stay away. My soul cried for its food and I knew my brother and sister still needed to hear and know the truth that the English Stella had taught me. She was gone now deported along with her parents back to that far away country of bogs and lakes. I was left alone in my hot dusty world to lead my family to the truth. So we clung to what shadows  were left and made our way to the city wall. My sister gripped  my shirt tails with one hand as we sidled along the rough stone until we found the dark brick. Fearful eyes peering out of the tiny  burka made her old beyond her years. My brother, the youngest, held her hand bravely pretending to comfort her while his own palpable fears consumed his features.

We found the dark rock that marked the way and in the distance I could see the shadow of the big dome lit by Stella’s soft glow.

“Ready?” I asked.

They nodded in Stella’s half-light.

We ran.

The  half mile to the big rock left us winded and sweating in the heat of the desert night. Still I began to sing the familiar hymn I heard in the distance through my panting. We were at Big Dome, our secret church in the desert outcropping. The little congregation looked up with fear as we approached. Then Afareen broke ranks from the little group and greeted us.

“Come children. You are welcome! Abdullah was just about to begin the reading.”

Abdullah stepped into the center of the little circle and opened the Bible and began to read by Stella’s light.

This story was born out of Lilith’s prompt, “Fly Me To the Moon”. Check out her work and the work of her crew at http://becausewerepoets.wordpress.com/2013/06/26/thursday-short-story-prompt-9-fly-me-to-the-moon/