Sunday, August 29, 2021

The Supernatural Body of Christ

This summer, we have been studying the book of Proverbs. I told Jeff the other day that it's probably a bit dangerous to be studying this book in the current world we live in. The more I read and study, the more my heart has become discerning of things. I'm not saying this to boast, I am saying this because God's Word is TRUTH! 
 
Over the past week, I have started reading the book of Acts. Years ago I wrote it down as an acrostic: A-Always, C-coming, T-to, S-serve, A.C.T.S. 
 
Jesus, throughout His time on earth, often told his disciples that the Holy Spirit was going to come after he left. In the second chapter of Acts, the people gathered in Jerusalem waiting for Him to come. When they were in "unity" He arrived in full power. 
 
Acts 4:13 says this about Peter and John, "The members of the council were amazed when they saw the boldness of Peter and John for they could see that they were ordinary men with no special training in the scriptures." I would say I am an ordinary woman with only a high school diploma. But the more I study the Word of God, the more I tap into Truth.
 
It is later in this chapter that caught my attention, verse 27 says, "For Herod Antipas, Pontius Pilate the governor, the Gentiles and the people of Israel were all UNITED AGAINST Jesus..." Then skip down to verse 32 and it says "All believers were UNITED in heart and mind. And they felt that what they owned was not their own, so they shared everything they had." Now I do know this is about sharing their material goods. But "everything" made me think of a movie that I had just seen on TV. I only caught the end, but it grabbed my attention. The movie was "Glass."
At the end, Glass, the narrator who is the mastermind behind the superheroes he created, says something that made me think about this verse and how it connects to our spiritual gifts when we are filled with the Holy Spirit. He says this: "There are armed forces that don’t really want us to realize what we are truly capable of. They don’t want us to know the things we suspect are extraordinary by ourselves are real. I believe that if everyone sees what just a few people become when they wholly embrace their gifts, others will awaken. Belief in oneself is contagious, when we give each other permission to be superheroes or we will never awaken otherwise. “ – The movie “Glass”
 
I had this lightning bolt moment after hearing this that the Holy Spirit prompted me to think about. First Corinthians 12:1-11 says, "Now, dear brothers and sisters, regarding your question about the special abilities the Spirit gives us. I don’t want you to misunderstand this. 2 You know that when you were still pagans, you were led astray and swept along in worshiping speechless idols. 3 So I want you to know that no one speaking by the Spirit of God will curse Jesus, and no one can say Jesus is Lord, except by the Holy Spirit. 4 There are different kinds of spiritual gifts, but the same Spirit is the source of them all. 5 There are different kinds of service, but we serve the same Lord. 6 God works in different ways, but it is the same God who does the work in all of us. 7 A spiritual gift is given to each of us so we can help each other. 8 To one person the Spirit gives the ability to give wise advice; to another the same Spirit gives a message of special knowledge. 9 The same Spirit gives great faith to another, and to someone else the one Spirit gives the gift of healing. 10 He gives one person the power to perform miracles, and another the ability to prophesy. He gives someone else the ability to discern whether a message is from the Spirit of God or from another spirit. Still another person is given the ability to speak in unknown languages, while another is given the ability to interpret what is being said. 11 It is the one and only Spirit who distributes all these gifts. He alone decides which gift each person should have."
If we want to see the power of God at work, then the Body of Christ has to "unite"! We need to stop working in our flesh and allow the Holy Spirit to take His place in our lives, bring us together as ONE body (not denominations) and give each other permission to be and use the spiritual gifts that have been placed within us. Yes, imagine the power in the Church if we stopped comparing ourselves and dividing ourselves on political stances and spiritual beliefs, but come together in unity and awaken the Church to the power it truly has in Christ! 
 
I felt the Holy Spirit direct me in posting this as we see today, there is much sadness and grief upon the whole earth. It is time for the Church to stop conforming to the world's system and step into the power we have been given by Jesus when He ascended to the right hand of the Father, through His Holy Spirit! I can't shout this loud enough. We can overcome, it's promised in the word. It just takes each one of us recognizing the power in us through the Holy Spirit to walk in our spiritual gifts and give each other permission to do so and stop envying each other, comparing to one another, walk in the gift we each have been given. We are called the Body of Christ for a reason, we each help the other function and fulfill the purpose of the Kingdom through these individual gifts! 

 
My prayer is you hear my heart and will start encouraging one another and build each other up as it says in 1 Thessalonians 5:11. As I said in the beginning, we as the Church need to "A.C.T.S." Let's rise up in UNITY using our gifts, AWAKEN other Believers by encouraging them in their gifts, and see the POWER of God at work in this sick and broken world, bringing salvation and healing to those who are perishing! WE NEED TO GIVE EACH OTHER PERMISSION TO BE SUPERNATURAL OR WE WILL NEVER AWAKEN OTHERWISE! In the name above all names, JESUS! 🙌


Friday, June 18, 2021

The Road That Leads to Life


 Today I turned 55! I cannot believe that I am actually this age. The past few weeks have really been a time of pondering the things I've accomplished in these 55 years. All I keep seeing is the speed limit sign which reminds me that I've reached my limit in the area of dreams and goals. I know that is not true, but there is something about this age that haunts my soul.

One of my goals in life was to make it to 50 without being on any kind of medication. I come from a family history of heart disease, high blood pressure, and diabetes. In my early 20's I decided to change that direction with diet and exercise. But after getting married, moving to the south (where the food is delicious, but not healthy), having children, and planting and pastoring a church, all of my good health issues went out the window.  Although there have been seasons Jeff and I would get back on the health wagon, but for the most part it's not been consistent. 

It really wasn't until I turned 50 that I began to pay attention to this area of my life.  I realized that it's more than just being in good physical health, it's about being emotionally and spiritually healthy.  You see, by the time both of my parents were 54, they both had had bypass surgery and defibrillators.  I watched them both go through this journey and deep within my soul, my goal was to bypass 54 without any heart issues. I know that I can only do what I can and it's about my genes and the plans God has for me.

It wasn't until I turned 50 that I realized I needed to deal with some "heart issues" and the "weight" that I had been carrying for so many years. It was not only scale weight, it was emotional weight of past hurts, forgiveness, and lost relationships. Especially as a pastor's wife, there are so many things I take personal in others processes, that I end up carrying that weight too. I discovered in the past few years that I am a person who needs unity and often times I can't control that. I especially feel this when I am unable to help them in their journey. One of my downfalls is that I am a people pleaser. If I can't please someone or make them happy, I feel I have failed them. That doesn't even sound right because the truth is, I'm not God. But when you give your life to serving others and you can't serve them fully, and sometimes they blame you, it becomes an issue in your life. Then you wonder if you missed God or didn't hear God right. I realize now that this is a scheme of the enemy to keep me from being who God created me to be and doing what He called me to do.

Looking at the past 25 years, I reached some of my goals. Goals like getting married, moving out of state, which in itself is ironic. At 25, when I was still single with no hope of marriage in sight, I had this plan that by 30 if I was still single, I'd move to Tennessee and start over. Why this is ironic is by 26 I was married and at 28 Jeff and I moved to Tennessee! So that was in God's plan. Another goal was having children, and specifically two, one of each. God worked that out as well as He blessed me with an amazing son, Justin and daughter, Jordanne. Being a wife and a mother was a dream since I was a little girl and played house with an imaginary husband and my dolls. 

But along the way, other dreams began to grow in my heart. Dreams of writing a book. On what subject? I'm still struggling through that one. I never dreamed of being a pastor's wife, but over time my dream has been to create events that speak visually and spiritually to the heart of women. There was a season that that dream was being fulfilled and growing, but due to unforeseen circumstances, those dreams got hijacked. Even now with our post COVID world, I am not quite sure how that will get re-initiated. 

As I began to start thinking a few months ago what 55 looked like, I realized that there are dreams that have been aborted and dreams that I just can't see how they will happen. I know as a follower of Jesus, that "nothing is impossible for God," but at 55, if they haven't happened by now, the question is, will they and how? 

It really was when I turned 50 that I decided that getting healthy emotionally was going to be key in my physical journey.  I really needed to deal with my stuff, unpack the forgiveness issue boxes that were stored in my heart, and begin remodeling my soul. I am often intrigued with the television show, "Hoarders."  Watching these people as they collect unnecessary items that fill their homes so much so that they cannot do basic things like, cook a meal, use the restroom, shower, or even sleep.  To some degree, this is what happens inside of us when we fill our heart with unnecessary hurts, pain, and regret. In many ways, I try very hard to keep the world around me in order because of the mess that I'm climbing over inside my mind and soul. The question like "what if I missed it" and the phrase "I'll never" seem to be what decorate the walls of my heart that I constantly battle in my mind on a daily basis. 

The day the Lord showed me that I was carrying too much emotionally and spiritually, I literally can say a weight lifted.  As I began to release seasons, people, hurts, disappointments, regrets, the physical weight began to come off as well. It was amazing at how that "demo day" began to change me from the inside out. The Holy Spirit began to reveal things all the way to my childhood that have shaped me and who I am today. He helped me clean out the corners of my heart that needed a complete remodel.

As I write this today, I am thinking about how I've learned to serve others dreams and call to ministry well, while setting mine on the shelf to work on later. To be honest, I don't even know what they are anymore because I haven't even visited the idea. I can't say either when I will know when it will be time for me to open these gifts that God has given me, but if I keep my eyes on Him, He will give me the go. Also, I can say that because of getting an emotional handle on my eating, I am still medication free! Hallelujah!

In California, the speed limit for most freeways is 65.  This is good news for this 55 year old woman.  That means dreams and goals don't slow down or stop here! This means that I can exceed from where I am now and that there's more life to be lived. My goal this time is to pay more attention to what the Holy Spirit is speaking to me, to obey Him without arguing, and to live with more intention and not miss a thing! 

I don't know where you are today or what you may be facing. Life can throw us all kinds of detours, road blocks, and accidents along the way. Trust me, I've definitely experienced all three and then some. But there is One who is constant and consistent. He's the "cruise-control" for everyday life. When we put our hope and trust in Him, He truly "works everything for our good" (Romans 8:28). He is the "same yesterday, today, and forever" (Hebrews 13:8).  And even better, "He knows the plans He has for you; plans to prosper you and not to harm you; to give you a future and hope" (Jeremiah 29:11). My prayer for you today is that wherever you find your self on this journey called life, that you would surrender your heart to Jesus and allow Him to lead you every day from now on. That He will turn your life around and you will live a life that is limitless because of where He will take you. In the mighty name of Jesus! Amen!

Sunday, May 23, 2021

It's Time to Wake Up - Happy Birthday to the Church!

It's Pentecost Sunday and I believe with all of my heart God wants us to wake up. Waking up is NOT about fighting for our rights in this country. The Church has survived much worse through the centuries, but to "be" Jesus by loving others and leading them to the Truth and eternal life.

Yesterday I went to an event where we said farewell to our District Supervisor, Pastor Fernando Castillo. He shared a message and we took communion together. He shared on those hours in the dark of night when Jesus was praying in the garden of Gethsemane. When Jesus asked the Father if it was possible for this cup to pass from him. 
 
This was probably one of the most human-like moments in Jesus’ life. When the Father was silent. It was then he went to his disciples. Jesus had invited them to keep watch while he prayed. When Jesus went to them, he found them sleeping. It says, "Then he returned to his disciples and found them sleeping. He said to them, “Couldn’t you men keep watch with me for one hour?” he asked Peter. 41 “Watch and pray so that you will not fall into temptation. The spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak.” (Matthew 26:40-41 NIV)
 
I felt the Holy Spirit nudge me and remind me of an earlier incident when the disciples were in the midst of a storm. They thought they were going to die. After all, it was Jesus who told them to go to the other side, so where was he? Mark 4:37-38 says, "A furious squall came up, and the waves broke over the boat, so that it was nearly swamped. 38 Jesus was in the stern, sleeping on a cushion. The disciples woke him and said to him, “Teacher, don’t you care if we drown?” Jesus immediately got up and told the storm "Peace. Be still!" (Mark 4:39)
 
Jesus knew that it was not his time to die and that nothing was going to happen to them. Jesus, being God, knew that it was not going to be the end of them. But now, that night had finally come and Jesus knew it was his time.  And when he needed these men, the men he had shared life with for 3 years to be there for him, they were asleep.
 
The Holy Spirit then prompted me with the passage in Romans that says, "And do this, understanding the present time: The hour has already come for you to wake up from your slumber, because our salvation is nearer now than when we first believed. 12 The night is nearly over; the day is almost here. So let us put aside the deeds of darkness and put on the armor of light. 13 Let us behave decently, as in the daytime, not in carousing and drunkenness, not in sexual immorality and debauchery, not in dissension and jealousy. 14 Rather, clothe yourselves with the Lord Jesus Christ, and do not think about how to gratify the desires of the flesh." (Romans 13:11-14 NIV) 
 
The common thread in Matthew 26 and Romans 13 is it's time to wake up and our flesh is weak! At that moment during Fernando's message, my spirit awoke! It was like literally a light bulb turned on! I realized that Jesus is inviting us now to keep watch, to partner with Him now.
 
Today, we celebrate the birth of the Church known as the Day of Pentecost. The history of the beginning is found in Acts 2. Jesus had ascended and the Holy Spirit arrived. He has been with us for centuries. The Church, even through history is still thriving, yet many of us are a sleep. We've become comfortable being served so much that we don't know how to serve. The early Church met the needs of one another. Today we choose churches that meet our needs instead of where can we serve. Especially now that we are beginning to regather after being quarantined to our homes for over a year. 
 
I felt the Holy Spirit say to me, "It's time to wake up Jayme! You've been a sleep too long." It's like in 2020 we were taking a nap (a COVID coma) and it's one of those naps that when you wake up you're still tired because you really didn't rest. We've been doing things in our own strength. It's time to invite the Holy Spirit to wake us up and turn on the light so we can shine in this fearful dark world. If there was ever a time for the Church to be the church, it’s in this hour! 
 
There are many who aren't returning to church, some that have found that Sunday mornings are better for sleeping in and brunch. Just as it was that night in Gethsemane, the hour has come for us. When Jesus comes to get us, lets not let Him find us sleeping! It's time to watch and pray and be Jesus to a world that's dying.
 
In name of Jesus, wake up and let your light shine so that men may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven! (Matthew 5:16)
AMEN!