“Angels can Herald Beginnings”

20 10 2007

– Colin McCahon

Today was such a nice day! I woke up at 7.15, my muscles being too sore from lack of Magnesium and excessive running to get up at the prescribed time. 

I did the traditional get-dressed-as-fast-as-possible-because-you-idiot!-you-slept-with-the-window-open-and-it’s-COLD. Then came breakfast and the dash out the door to the prayer room. Dennis did Devo (which I love) and Kristi did intercession with Ang and Jess on a team for the first time. They did really well. I know because I didn’t notice them which means that we were all moving in some anointing.

The prayer room was really good this morning. God brought me back to the Garth Brooks song and I just had to weep a little. Then He let me draw for a while and illustrate Psalm 1.1-3, which turned out pretty nifty. Then it was back to Nehemiah.

So, I don’t know about you all, but I definitly have a favorite biblical character. (Jesus doesn’t count. He’s EVERYONE’s favorite. And by that I mean that He counts way more than all the rest.) Mine is Nehemiah. I’ve spent the past week and a half in just the first chapter. I went through and read the whole thing but I’ve been digging into the first chapter of late. And, for those of you who have no idea what it is that I do here, I will copy and paste my study notes at the end of this. See what you think.

During my “elevensies” which are actually “tensies” Anna Lifsey came over and asked if I wanted to come to their house and hang out for a while after the prayer room. I was actually really excited about the idea. I’ve been reading Dalton (her husband’s) blog but I’ve never actually hung out with either of them. I admire them both heaps and was completely stoked. 

So after the prayer room Anna picked me up and I went over to their house. (Dalton went home with the Mayfair gang so that they could go climbing. )She gave me a bowl of Daniel-fasting-approved fruit and nut mix and we settled into her couch. I would have liked to have taken off my coat during all of this but I havent been warm in a week. For the entire 2 1/2 hours I wore my huge brown coat. Dorkish but neccesary.

Anna is a super cool person. She asks good questions and is really genuine in her desire to get to know you. So I told her “Meghan” the abbreviated version and then made her tell me her and Dalton’s story. Because, while I am not the girl who wanders around going ‘I want a husband!’ at odd hours, I often need encouragement in that area. And boy howdy was it encouraging!

Seriously. This matches right up with Jen & Aaron among the great ‘here is how God put us together’ stories. I would love now to hear Dalton’s side of it sometime.

Anyway, it was a very hope-full story and I liked it heaps. We even looked at pictures of their wedding (in Scotland!). Good times.

Then she brought up the singing thing. (This is what comes of having musical directors who also happen to read your blog. Thanks Dalton!) She encouraged me that I really do have a good voice, but they didn’t want to put me in a situation until I had some more practice. I looked her dead in the eye, through tears ’cause I cry alot here, and said, “Anna. I trust you.” And the crazy thing is, it’s true! I completely trust Anna and Dalton not to put me in a situation that will crush my fledgling singing-ness. I kind of feel like God said no just so that I would have to persevere. The problem with everything in life coming easily is that you tend to give up when things get difficult. Moreover, I hated singing at home because everyone around me was so talented. I mean, please, if Patrick Shelton is always there, what idiot is going to break out into song? Not I said the fly! So now I am faced with a situation where I want to sing, badly, but I have to persevere. God is stinking sovereign, ya’ll.

Anyway, after that I came home and slept for two hours. Tonight we’re having the THOP family over for Dana’s birthday so I’ve gotta run and take a shower. Miss you all.

Nehemiah Notes- The italics are my commentary, the regular script is the verses.

Neh 1:2 That Hanani,2607 one259 of my brethren,4480, 251 came,935 he1931 and certain men376 of Judah;4480, 3063 and I asked7592 them concerning5921 the Jews3064 that had escaped,6413 which834 were left7604 of4480 the captivity,7628 and concerning5921 Jerusalem.3389 Nehemiah sought out information regarding his brethren and Jerusalem. He didn’t wait for the info to come to him. He was concerned with the affairs of Jerusalem, God’s city. The indifferent would not have made inquiry as Nehemiah did.Neh 1:4 And it came to pass,1961 when I heard8085 (853) these428 words,1697 that I sat down3427 and wept,1058 and mourned56 certain days,3117 and fasted,1961, 6684 and prayed6419 before6440 the God430 of heaven,8064

Nehemiah understands the economy of God’s kingdom. He didn’t go out and try to fix the problem. Indeed, the outflow of his heart was sorrow unto fasting and prayer. It wasn’t a planned thing. He did not think ‘huh, that sucks, I should do something’ and THEN decide that fasting/prayer might be an ok idea. It says “when I heard” which indicates that it was an immediate or almost-immediate reaction.

Nehemiah goes on to remind God of his promises, both the bad and the good. He quotes His words back to Him. Then he asks for favor and prosperity. “Prosper” here means ‘to push forward (literally or figuratively, transitively or intransitively) -break out, come (mightily) go over, be good, be profitible’. Perhaps he is asking for the battle. He wants to do something about the state of Jerusalem and his people and he knows that he can’t do it without God. Therefore he asks for an ‘increase of his territory’. He is a cupbearer who wants to be effective for the glory of God so he asks for it.

1 Chronicles 4.10-“And Jabez called on the God of Israel saying, “Oh that You would bless me indeed, and enlarge my territory, that Your hand would be with me, and that You would keep me from evil, that I may not cause pain!” So God granted him what he requested.

Pro 10:24 The fear4034 of the wicked,7563 it1931 shall come upon935 him: but the desire8378 of the righteous6662 shall be granted.

How much hope there is in that! It says that Jabez was more honorable than his brothers and that he was ‘born in pain’. Jabez’ honor was not enough for God to throw blessings into his lap, he had to ask. Likewise Nehemiah did not have men placed under him until his heart was moved to sorrow and he asked. It’s the asking!!!

And, just as the Holy Spirit will not move in us without an invitation, we must ask for blessings in our life. We must ask and position ourselves to recieve that which the Lord wants to give us. Then He will open His hands and grant over and abundantly what we ask Him for. (Note- God is God and He can do whatever He wants to. This is not to put God in a box but rather to examine one facet of His brilliance.)

Eph 3:20 Now to him who is able to dofar more abundantly than all that we ask or think, according to the power at work within us,

God is powerful. He can work things in the world that are far beyond what we could have come up with. But it is a working that is in accordance with our inner man. By positioning ourselves before the throne, desiring only to worship God, we become conduits for His power to work mightily. It’s not about us anymore and so He does great things.

Eph 3:21 to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, forever and ever. Amen.

He does it for a reason. To bring himself glory. Therefore all the glory of our blessings belongs to Him. If we pretend for even a second that they are ours we are foooling ourselves mightily. More than that, though, we bring condemnation upon ourselves.

(Deu 8:17 Beware lest you say in your heart, ‘My power and the might of my hand have gotten me this wealth.’) He blesses not only because He is Love but because it is what will bring Him honor. And, since He is God, there is no pride or falseness in that. He brings upon Himself that which He is.

Exo 9:16 But for this purpose I have raised you up, to show you my power, so that my name may be proclaimed in all the earth.

Exo 15:6 Your right hand, O LORD, glorious in power, your right hand, O LORD, shatters the enemy.

Deu 8:18 You shall remember the LORD your God, for it is he who gives you power to get wealth, that he may confirm his covenant that he swore to your fathers, as it is this day.

Wealth is given some, it is true. But it is not a wealth unto their own glory or esteem. It is a confirmation of God’s character as evidenced in His covenant with Israel.

Psa 62:11 Once God has spoken; twice have I heard this: that power belongs to God,

Ha ha! How many world leaders would cringe to hear those words? Even hearing them is offensive to the human ear. Those who believe and know it to be true grovel in the dust- it is the only possible reaction to such revelation. What are we that you are mindful of us? You to whom all power belongs.

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6 responses

20 10 2007
Mother Smith

Dearest Daughter,
I was feeling your heart over the singing for sure….I think because that is a wound in my heart as well.
Yea for Anna and Dalton and their sensitivity!
I think it is a very good thing that you take all the practice you can. I believe God has you in this ‘safe place’ for a very specific reason….setting the foundation for what will come later!
Anna and Dalton, thank you for your love and care for Meghan and for what you are sewing into this generation.

20 10 2007
walkingintherain

Hooray for the Lifseys!

And now I kinda wanna get married in Scotland, just so that they can come.

22 10 2007
dalton Lifsey

And we will come! To the Smith’s, thank you for releasing your daughter here. You already know this but she is of utmost quality and we are very privileged to have her in our midst. Anna and I are very aware of the uniqueness and the value of your daughter in the Lord’s eyes.

Dalton

22 10 2007
Jennifer James

Perhaps the fear of singing is something generational we need to break off then?

22 10 2007
walkingintherain

I think yes. I think muchly yes.

We are in the midst of spiritual warfare here at Mayfair. So far it’s been over Israel and the Maori but we might get to generational curses before the end. I’ll keep you updated.

I miss my sister!

22 10 2007
Jennifer James

I miss my sister! Your brotherinlaw put a package in the mail for you today!
Treats from me!

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