This past week my husband and I attended the Open Heavens Conference at Bethel Church in Redding. What a divine experience!

Each of us yearns for that special, unique touch. I want to be the one who is healed from my chronic pain, or whose fillings God replaces with gold. Or better yet, restore the missing and imperfect ones! I want to be the one on whom the gold cloud rests. But alas, that old spirit of rejection whispers, “He won’t choose you. Just wait – you’ll see. You aren’t special.” I recognize that nasty old spirit – it’s relentless.

So once again, I tried to quell my spirit when I wanted to ask God to touch me, to show me that I’m special, that He chooses me. During our first evening’s worship time, I felt excited inside. I wanted to ask Him to choose me, but I told myself, “He won’t do it for me.” I wanted to give Him an out, just in case He wasn’t going to choose me. Limiting God once again!

Then I heard His Spirit tell me to, “ASK. Don’t be afraid.” He told me to put a demand on His love. So I asked, and I waited, peacefully. Looking back, I don’t think it was the request itself that mattered. It was letting go and letting God out of the little box I keep trying to stuff Him into.

Every message of the conference seemed tailored to me, and it was pleasing to pray for the wonderful people around me. The last message was ending when the young man sitting next to me turned to me and asked if he could pray for me. He told me that Jesus gave him a single word for me – reassurance. WOW! If I could receive only one single word from the Lord, I could not have chosen a more perfect one.

The Lord has been encouraging me for months now, reminding me that He is my Everything. I’ve felt bad for continually needing Him to tell me He’s got my back. But He hasn’t grown tired of telling me He loves me and that He’s taking care of the chaos in my life.

That young man blessed me by his obedience; I hope my excitement and joy in hearing his prayer for me blessed him. Thank You, Jesus, for Your perfect word in Your perfect timing. And thank You for placing that radically obedient young man next to me. I enjoyed worshiping You with him and watching him grow more and more excited by Your Presence. Bless him, Lord. Let Him feel Your love pour over him like warm honey, warm and thick and sweet! Thank You, Jesus!




an evening with Francois du Toit

Listening to Francois was like drinking from a fire hose. It was intense and wonderful, and left me with a lot to ponder.

There were several points that Francois made that were significant to me:

  • Jesus canceled the delay and the distance between God and us.
  • Jesus ended the challenge of constantly requalifying for redemption, justification, and righteousness.
  • Truth awakens; error empowers delay and distance.
  • Shepherds were tending the next year’s lamb sacrifices when the angel visited them to announce the birth of Jesus.

The idea that the shepherds were tending to lambs that may serve as the next year’s sacrifices really struck me. Jesus came to cancel that sacrificial system, the system of delay and of requalification.

More powerful thoughts:

  • Father God found us in Christ before He “lost” us in Adam.
  • Isaac was born of dead womb; we are born from a dead tomb.
  • Joy is the official voice of faith.

Romans 4:15, Mirror translation

I do like the Mirror Translation of Rom 4:15. “The law system is bound to bring about disappointment, regret and anger; if there is no law there is nothing to break; no contract, no breach.”

This verse very much resonates within me; it heals me. It gives me glimpses into the depth of God’s love and grace for me. I still mess up and I still handle situations poorly, but God’s love allows me to forgive myself and love myself in spite of the mess.

“No contract, no breach” does not mean I can behave any fleshly way I wish; in fact, it makes it all the more desirable to do better the next time. It frees me from dwelling on my failure and helps me get my eyes back on Jesus. Instead of dwelling in the pit of failure and self-punishment, I am taking my messes immediately to God. I don’t have to fear His response. When I do act in a fleshly way, I know that I am still loved unabashedly. Bless God!