On Fire for All Things Christ

Archive for August, 2010

Less Salsa Seasoning

For the past five years of my life, I was very involved in salsa dancing. I loved the music! I listened to it all day at work and sometimes I would even practice my shines and shoulder isolations while at my desk. I often amused my coworkers as they passed by and saw me jamming away. When I went to events and socials, I danced my heart out for hours and hours. I was even on a dance team. We practiced regularly and performed locally and throughout the country.

I loved the feeling of belonging that the salsa community seemed to bring. It felt good to have so many friends who shared the same interest. I also loved that it was a popular and fun activity and that it was something my sister and I enjoyed together. I enjoyed the community, the dancing, the culture, the music, the relationships and all else that came along with it.

Now, I knew that this wasn’t a hobby I would do forever. I knew that some day I would get to a point in my life when priorities would change and cause me to step away from the salsa scene. Even before I knew Christ, I had these thoughts, I just didn’t know when it was going to be time to let go. And even after turning to Christ, God didn’t immediately change me to let go of the salsa dancing. It was a process. I often prayed for God to make His desires my desires, and slowly, those prayers surfaced into actions. He changed my passions and heart to be less and less involved with dancing.

Several times I actually felt I was compromising with God… just a few more months… after this performance… when we finish this choreography. I would even say to Him, “What kind of a sister would I be if I leave my sister’s dance team?” I already attended less salsa activities. And over time, I even started a sort of salsa ministry. It was my own unique way of evangelizing into this dark world. After all, God calls us to be a light in a dark world, not a light in an already lit world. I knew I was not of this world, but I still had to be in it. So I thought, as long as I’m at these events, I’m going to do God’s work and get a little dancing out of it too. It was as if I wanted to justify my desire to go dancing. Were my motives right? My answer is a sure no.

One way I would evangelize is that I would write random scriptures on small sheets of paper and hand them out to the people I danced with. It was my form of feeding the Word to others in an unconventional way. I actually received good feedback when I did this, and after a while, some dancers even came to expect it. How awesome was that??!!! Some gave me thanks, others gave me encouragement, or even better, others asked me questions about my faith. It was an open door to a conversation about Christ that may not have been there otherwise.

Some other ways I would evangelize was by flyering cars outside the studios with gospel tracts. (You can read more about this in my older post, Tract Record). Or, praying with the performers before their dance shows. Occasionally, I would even bring my Bible to dance practice and read scripture passages. However, I never did any of these things for too long. I would always change it up and let God work through me differently in fresh ways.

Recently, I got to the point where I felt God was saying, “Edmee, I’ve been letting you compromise with Me for far too long. I want you now to leave the dance team and open yourself to the other promises that I have for you.” Knowing this, I still took my time in letting go. I fought God for weeks, until one day, I just said, “Yes Lord.” It wasn’t easy to bring the news to my sister and my dance partner, but it needed to be done. It was a sort of bittersweet experience.

It’s been 4 months now since I said Yes to God, and 3 months since I left the dance team. At the time when I said yes to God, a few other things in the vine of my life were also pruned away. Things I wasn’t quite expecting or ready to let go of, but I know and trust God in His plans and timing of these things. In faith I stand to the promises He will bring forth and in honor I offer my life to Him. That I may die to my flesh so that I can have life in Him.

Be blessed my beloved brethren and join me in transformation to a life in the perfect will our loving Father has paved for us.

Speak Deliverance

The Bible Study
Every other Monday evening I attend a really great Bible study at Generations Church. Before we go into our time of study, we fellowship, worship and pray. Two weeks ago, I remember asking for prayer for deliverance. I didn’t know specifically what I needed deliverance from, but I knew I needed it. Ironically (it’s just like God to do this) part of our Bible study that evening involved deliverance. At the study, we went through an exercise where we each wrote down our sins on a sheet of paper and then brought them before a large wooden cross laying on the floor. There, we were to literally hammer the paper of our sins to the cross. It was a very emotional and moving experience. To recognize that our sins have been nailed to the cross.

The Prayer
This past Thursday night before going to bed, I knelt on the floor beside my bed and started praying. As I prayed, an old friend came to mind, so I decided to pray for him. While in prayer for my friend, I felt a large burden of guilt and resentment about some of the things I wish I would have said to my friend before our relationship came to an abrupt end. The self-blame I was feeling about this was so heavy on my heart that I cried as I prayed. I had Godly sorrow for those things left unsaid and I felt deep remorse. Several times before I had repented, but I guess I had never hammered God’s forgiveness from this into my own head.

The Deliverance
I knew I needed release and deliverance from those thoughts. I knew God didn’t want me to continue to live in that unresolved guilt and unforgiveness. I felt like the enemy wanted to keep weighing me down with those thoughts and things I could no longer change. In recognizing of this, I cried out, “Come out of me Satan, in the Name of Jesus!” and immediately, that burden of blame and guilt was lifted off of me. I stopped crying and went into praise from the deliverance. Then, a few minutes later, I started crying again. But this time, it was in thanks to God for the release. It was as if the Holy Spirit had surfaced these thoughts so that I could receive the deliverance and know that I no longer needed to dwell on that.

The Continuing Spirit
What continues to amaze me is that these past few days, I’ve continued to feel deliverance from other weights and burdens. It really brings new life to the scripture: let the Spirit renew your thoughts and attitudes (Ephesians 4:23). What’s also interesting to me is that just a few nights earlier, I had woken up in the middle of the night with a scripture in my head. I rubbed my eyes, opened my Bible and looked up the scripture. Mark 8:33 … “Get behind Me, Satan; for you are not setting your mind on God’s interests, but man’s.”

These past few days after deliverance have been amazing as I continue to walk in more of the freedom that the Lord has for me! All praise, honor and glory I give to my God in Heaven, the healer of our hearts, minds and bodies!!! The God who delivers us from evil! I love You too Lord, and thank You for reigning in my life!!

The Stir

One night, after getting home fairly late from work, I prepared myself a bowl of cereal for dinner. I know… not much of a dinner, but I didn’t mind. It wasn’t much, but I still gave thanks to God that I had food in my pantry to satisfy my stomach. After giving thanks, I stood there in my kitchen, eating spoonfuls of milk and cold cereal, looking at my patio door. In that moment, a scenario came to my head.

I thought to myself, how humbling and honoring it would be to go to another country and tell others about our savior, Jesus Christ. To be able to bring this knowledge to those who have never heard the glorious name of Jesus before! How I would give up the luxuries and riches I have for the chance to tell the Good News to others. Then I thought… how would the people respond? Would they be as unbelieving as our own self-dependent culture? Will their thoughts fight back with legalistic issues? Will they let their hurt and tainted hearts stand in the way of receiving the gift? What if one of these natives asks me, “Why did you give up all that you had in America to come here and tell us about Christ?”

Tears immediately started to fill my eyes at the thought of why I would give up all the things I have in America for the chance to tell someone about Christ? I would say, “Because, none of those materialistic things in America matter! Those things aren’t important! My fullness comes from the chance to tell YOU about Christ! I left my riches and comforts in America so that YOU too can know who Christ is… YOU were WORTH HIS BLOOD, so YOU are worth me leaving what I had in America!”

Then I thought to myself, that is exactly what Christ did for me! He left all He had in Heaven. He left His Dad, He left His angels, He left His Home, to give me the choice to know Him as savior! Jesus endured the accusations, the beatings, the ruthlessness, the pain, THE CROSS, because I was worth it!! I was worth the beatings, I was worth His pain, I was worth every drop of blood that was shed from His body!

Every time I hear stories about missionaries spreading the Word and Love of God, it stirs something inside my heart. A tension to want to take immediate action. This is an emergency (as songwriter Leeland sings in Tears of the Saints)! Am I doing enough Father? Although You are using me to harvest the fields here, in Houston; in my work place, in my home, in my community – something deeper is also stirring. You have planted a seed deep within my heart and I can sense it growing with passion! When the time comes for You to call me into unknown fields, my arms will be up and waiting. Lord, your servant is here, send me!!

2 Corinthians 8:9
For you know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ,
that though He was rich, yet for your sake He became poor,
so that you through His poverty might become rich.

Third Day Ties

If you are reading this post in sequence to my previous posts, you may be wondering why so many of those previous posts have been to daily songs. My thoughts are that this may be momentum as God prepares me for more in depth posts later. Maybe He’s having me play a little in the shallow end before I start swimming into the deep end. A sort of preparation for things to come later. But, setting aside those thoughts of future development, I know there is something God wants me to see here and now. It’s just like God to tie together these day’s posts in a sequence to draw deeper meaning. For He has just now given me a revelation that my previous post, To Know You More, led to I Will Exalt You, which now leads to this message on the third day, with the scripture below that brings these topics together: knowing God, stillness and the word exalt. I am in awe of You, My King!! Thanks for showing me this, which no doubt means more to me than to my web audience, but I have no shame in sharing!! Thank you for growing my patience and stillness as I bow my will to You!!

Psalm 46:10 (emphasis added)
“Be still, and know that I am God;
I will be exalted among the nations,
I will be exalted in the earth.”

I Will Exalt You

Hello there beloved! I hope you have started your day filled with the cup and love of Jesus Christ. I am in worship today to my loving King, and I ask you to join me! I woke up this morning with a melody in my head and these lyrics:

My hiding place My safe refuge, My treasure Lord You are…

I think the Holy Spirit is trying to tell me something between this song and yesterday’s song, In the Secret (see post). There is something very divine and spiritual about coming into the presence of God in your own place. In a time when you seek Him alone when you are alone. In thankfulness for His complete holiness and majestic being. In knowing He listens to your cries, He meets you where you are and that you worship Him in spirit and in truth. (John 4:24)

I couldn’t recall what song the lyrics came from, so, I looked them up. My song for the day is I Will Exalt You by Hillsong. Be blessed by the beauty, sincerity and capture of this song! In Jesus’ Name!

I also wanted to define the word exalt for us…

Exalt (verb): to hold (someone or something) in very high regard; think or speak very highly of, raise to a higher rank or a position of greater power, make noble in character, dignify (from the Oxford American dictionary)

Verse 1:
I will exalt You
I will exalt You
I will exalt You
You are my God

Chorus:
My hiding place My safe refuge
My treasure Lord You are
My friend and King Anointed One
Most Holy.

Verse 2:
Because You’re with me
Because You’re with me
Because You’re with me
I will not fear

To Know You More

When You said, “Seek My face,” my heart said to You, “Your face, O LORD, I shall seek.” (Psalm 27:8)

I woke up this morning with this song in my head, In the Secret, particularly the chorus section:

I want to know you
I want to hear your voice
I want to know you more
I want to touch you
I want to see your face
I want to know you more

Below are the full lyrics, and here is a link to the video: In the Secret

In the secret,
In the quiet place
in the stillness you are there
In the secret in the quite hour I wait, only for you
Cause i want to know you more

In the secret
In the quite place
In the stillness you are there
In the secret in the quiet hour I wait
Because i want to know you more

Chorus
I want to know you
I want to hear your voice
I want to know you more
I want to touch you
I want to see your face
I want to know you more

I am reaching for the highest goals
That i might receive the prize
Pressing onward
Pushing every hindrance aside
Out of my way
Cause i want to know you more

Chorus x2

in the secret in the quite place
in the stillness you are there

Chorus x2

Sermon Song

I’ve had this album, Spirit Water Blood by Hearts Afire, in my music library since even before I became a Christian. I came to have it because some of my friends from school had designed the album artwork for it. I even remember going to the album release party 6 years ago at Gloria Dei Lutheran Church to support my friends in their achievement.

I remember sometime last year hearing the song, Hallelujah (Your Love Is Amazing) from that album. Hearts Afire’s version of this song is different in that it has a sermon message in the middle of the song. For a long while, I had been wondering who speaks the sermon in the middle of that song. It was a powerful sermon and I had never heard anything like that before. Earlier this year, I came to recognize that it was the voice of Pastor Tony Evans. I recognized his voice because for the past 8 months, I’ve enjoyed listening to his broadcast messages on 105.7 FM. But it was today that I heard the actual sermon, apart from the excerpt in the song. I was thrilled, it is a powerful sermon!

Here is the link to the online sermon from today’s broadcast:
The Expansion of the Battle (Part 2)
by Dr. Tony Evans

Here is the song, with lyrics below:

Your love is amazing, steady and unchanging
Your love is a mountain, firm beneath my feet
Your love is a mystery, how You gently lift me
When I am surrounded, Your love carries me

Chorus:
Hallelujah, Hallelujah
Hallelujah, Your love makes me sing
Hallelujah, Hallelujah

Hallelujah, Your love makes me sing
Your love is surprising, I can feel it rising
All the joy that’s growing deep inside of me
Every time I see You, all Your goodness shines through
And I can feel this God song, rising up in me

Chorus:
Hallelujah, Hallelujah
Hallelujah, Your love makes me sing
Hallelujah, Hallelujah

Sermon Excerpt (by Tony Evans):
Every man is going to fall to Satan,
because every man belongs to Satan
So the question is, who’s going to go?

The second member of the Trinity says,
I’ll go
But I need somebody perfect,
I’ll go
But I need somebody who’s willing to be a man,
I’ll go
I need somebody to be born of a woman,
to come down a woman’s birth canal,
I’ll go

I need somebody to meet him in the wilderness
and allow Satan to do with him
what he did with the first Adam
Jesus says, I’ll go
I need somebody who’d be willing to go to the other tree
The first tree got him kicked out of the garden
I need somebody who will hang on another tree
To bring them back in the garden
Jesus said, I’ll go
Then I need somebody to rise from the dead
To demonstrate our God victory over
Jesus said, I’ll go
And then I need somebody
who’s going to empower sinful man
to become like me
Jesus said, I’ll go

And in the nick of time
Jesus was born of a virgin,
came into this world, why?
So you and I could get back into the garden
Jesus Christ is the second Adam who will do
what the first Adam failed to do
You haven’t seen the man,
Jesus Christ
He is our deliverer
He is our savior
He is our solution
He is our covering
He is our hope

Chorus:
Hallelujah, Hallelujah
Hallelujah, Your love makes me sing
Hallelujah, Hallelujah

Bridge:
Yes, You make me sing
Lord, You make me sing, sing, sing
How You make me sin

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