Monday, November 29, 2010

Day 323 - Wesleyan Fellowship; The Early Days

When Julia and I left NE Metro, we both felt that we heard from the Holy Spirit to pull back and go slow when it came to using Spiritual Gifts. WE knew that most all of the people there didn’t have any grid for the prophetic or for almost any manifestation of Spiritual Gifts. We were in agreement then that we were to go in low, and just watch and pray. We weren’t involved in leadership of any kind and didn’t seek any agenda. Our job was to pray for the church and to lift up Tom and Melissa when they needed encouragement. Charles had a group of men around him that formed a “board” so to speak. They were the main ones in control.

It is funny though. As we were just starting at Wesleyan Fellowship, I was complaining to God about having to leave my position as associate pastor. Ht told me that that time had passed, but that I would become an Elder at Wesleyan Fellowship and be used to help shape the church. I thought it was funny because they didn’t have elders at the time, and there was no hint of any government like that. It took three or four years, but that word came to pass when the first official government was established. I had hung onto that word, and I wasn’t to surprised when it happened, but it still amuses me.

What Julia and I did do was to team up with John and Biddie and start a cell group when the church started. There we taught about the Kingdom of God and slowly began to talk about healing and other spiritual gifts. We did this in small group settings for at least a year. Julia was asked to join a small group of women, and then she was asked to lead them. This group became strong intercessors for the church. Julia was in her element. She was passionate about intercession and was able to take everything that we had learned with Tony and begin to teach it to the women’s group. I don’t remember when it became an official intercessory prayer group, but they were hooked on God’s presence and the group slowly began to grow. I really believe that this group is responsible for paving the way for Wesleyan Fellowship to survive and finally to thrive.

The church itself was an interesting mix. We met on Thursday nights for a long time. Terry and then Tom did the preaching because Charles was waiting for his retirement from the Methodist church before he could join us. The Thursday night services were nicknamed “the River”. Worship was pretty good, and Tom’s messages were good, but there wasn’t really much ministry. It was like we had stepped back in time about 10 years. The mix in the congregation was not good. Think about a church of 800 that the only thing they could agree upon was what they didn’t like about where they left, and that’s what we had.

There was a group that wanted a choir, another group that didn’t. There was a group that wanted traditional music and hymns; others wanted contemporary worship. There were people that wanted Sunday school, and others who wanted cell groups. The prophetic word that we had gotten about the church blowing up looked very strong. It was obvious that until a single vision was cast and embraced we were going to be in constant conflict. It wasn’t going to be pretty.

But we were still in the honeymoon phase, and there wasn’t much complaining, yet. Then Charles Sineath retired and came to the church as Senior Pastor. That left a dilemma; Tom had been preaching, and now Charles was going to be preaching. What were they going to do with Tom? The decision was to let Tom continue to preach on Thursday nights and Charles would preach on Sunday nights. I saw that as a bad mistake. I told Julia that they were making two churches and there were going to be problems. I had seen this before, and it wasn’t pretty them, it wouldn’t be pretty now. In My opinion, even though I wanted Tom to preach, this was the worst mistake they could make. Surly we were going to blow up now. It was just the beginning.

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Day 322 - Balance, What is it?

So here I am in Ft. Lauderdale. I can’t believe that the time has past so fast. I spent almost 48 hours in Virginia with Lisa’s family and almost 48 hours in Florida with Jennifer’s family. I leave on a 5:40 flight in the morning back to Atlanta and to school tomorrow night. Life just goes buy way to fast. I realized early in the year that I can’t take Julia’s place. I find myself time and time again wishing that I could, but I can’t. All I can do is be me. I love my girls and my granddaughters with all my heart and they know that I would do anything for them, but I can’t replace their mom. I guess that is the source of my greatest pain as I walk through this process. I see their loss, and it tends to magnify mine.

Seeing their needs makes me want to retire and be there for both of them. Of course that is impossible with them so far apart. But even if it were possible, it wouldn’t work. As much as I love them and want to be with them, I know that I have a calling and a destiny to fulfill. To stop and retire would be to turn away from all that I know I have been called to do. Plus, I am just not wired to totally retire. I would rust out if I slowed down. So I guess this is how it will be for me over the remaining years.

But by no means does that take away from my love and passion for my children and grandchildren. They really are my life and my heritage. So there is a balance that I must learn to maintain. Everything is always about balance. Balance doesn’t mean staying in the middle. Sometimes you have to run to one side, and then run to the other side to maintain the balance. In balance you do what you need to do to keep both sides whole.

So, tomorrow I go home, but I leave again on Wednesday morning for Redding and The international Sozo Leaders Summit. IT will be a time of networking and learning. It will be fun, and definitely something that I feel that Papa wants me to do. But I have to fly back on the redeye Friday night to work on Saturday. Yes there is another area that has to be balanced in my life. I still have to work, and I am so blessed to have my job with Delta.

So how do I maintain balance, and what is it. I believe the definition of balance is to allow yourself to walk in the Spirit. As you walk in the Spirit, you have to look at all the areas that have needs. Then you have to just ask Holy Spirit to help you prioritize. Sometimes, things change in a minute and you have to be ready to adapt. One of the reasons that I can do this is that I am flexible. I have always been ready to adapt and change at a moments notice. That, I believe, is just a gift from God. I know that many people can’t adapt like I can. I used to get mad and frustrated with them. Now, I just realize that I have been given a gift that many don’t have.

So, I guess that I have to just live life as I can. I know that Papa will give the girls the things that I can’t give them, the things that only their mom could give them. I can’t try to make up for her loss. But what I can do is make sure that they know that I love them. I can also do all that I can to make sure that they are connected to Papa. This is my main job. I love them and want to see each of them reach their destiny. It’s been a good weekend, and Christmas is coming soon.

Day 321 - Georgia Luck

I have to ask myself, is it luck or are they just that much better. I sometimes wish I were a Georgia Fan. Shoot, when I was at Tech, I wished on many occasions that I had gone to Georgia. But alas, if you were to cut my arteries and the blood started to flow it would look red, but if you separated it out in a centrifuge, it would separate out into white and gold. From my earliest memories I was raised on Ga Tech Football and Bobby Dodd. I can remember dad listening on the radio to all the Tech games. I used to go outside and relive the games with my football, throwing passes high in the air so that I could catch them and run for touchdowns. When I became a Boy Scout, I got to go to all of the Tech home games and help usher. I did this for at least four years. Then I was in the Explorers and I was president so I got to usher in the VIP boxes in the West stands. So really I was set up. It’s hard to change and become a Georgia fan just because they win. I don’t hate Georgia. I used to, but not anymore. I really don’t mind them winning except for this weekend.

Losing nine out of the last ten is not good. Tonight it was a missed extra point. But it was more than that. It was two turnovers inside the red zone. It was a team that doesn’t even know how to spell the word Defense, let alone play it. I mean if you have over 400 yards rushing, you think you should win the game. But I digress. The title is Georgia Luck. I have seen almost every GA – GA Tech game since 1960. It is unbelievable how Ga always seem to find a way to win. A fumble recovery, a pass interference call, a missed extra point. I’ve seen it all. Is Georgia that much better? Not really. Do they recruit better players? Yes. Are they lucky? Definitely. All Tech people have seen it. If you are a Ga fan, you have to admit, you have seen it too. So here it is again,

When I married Julia, I didn’t realize that her Dad and Brother were big GA fans. They were like most Ga fans, they didn’t go there, but they chose the big university to pull for. It’s even worse in South Ga where every farmer and laborer wears a Ga hat. Anyway, if I had known that they were such rabid Ga fans, I might not have asked her to marry me. I’m glad that I didn’t know, because I would have missed knowing a wonderful woman if I had. But over the years we had some interesting times together. Now my best friend is a Ga fan. I can’t believe it. I’ve been outnumbered all my life. When a school graduates 5000 a year vs one that graduates over 10000 a year it’s hard to catch up; especially when every redneck in Ga is a fan of the red and black.

Anyway, it was a good game. We played better than I expected. If Nesbit, our first string quarterback, was playing, we would have one. But as Julia told me more than once: “If a frog had wings, he wouldn’t bump his butt”. Yes, that was one of her favorite sayiings, and she always told me that when I complained about losing to GA. She never cut me any slack, although as the years progressed she did mellow and begin to pull for Tech. But she still would bring me down and back to reality when I started complaining and doing the what if game. So, the bottom line is we lost, but we played well. There is always next year. That’s what college football is about. But I still believe in Ga Luck. I’ve seen too much of it.

Friday, November 26, 2010

Day 320 - Happy Birthday Julia

November 26, Today is Julia’s birthday. I wonder of they celebrate birthdays in Heaven. I bet they do, and I know that there is a big celebration gong on there today, and every day. I love Birthdays, I always have. I think that they should be celebrated to honor the one who is having the birthday and to honor the one who created them in the first place. I always used to love Julia’s birthday, and although we didn’t ususlly have a big party, we normally went out for a nice quiet dinner with friends. Last year her birthday was on Thanksgiving. That’s one of the hazards of having a late November birthday.

It’s even neater if someone else in your family celebrates their birthday on the same day. Julia’s and Allene, my Dad’s wife whom we love dearly, share the same birthday. My Dad and Lisa share the same birthday. It seems like there is a special bond formed between them because they have the same birthday. Today Julia got one of the best birthday presents that she could ask for. And ask for it she did, many, many times. Today little Addison Edge was born to my nice Jodie and her husband Jeff.

I’ll tell a little of the story. Jeff and Jodie have been trying for years to have a child. Julia and I have been praying for them for years that they would have a child. Julia especially spent much time in intercession over Jodie, and we knew that our prayers were going to be answered. I don’t know what Julia did when she got to Heaven, but I have a feeling she talked face to face with Papa and asked Him to intervene on their behalf. It was only a couple of months after she left here that Jodie became pregnant. We have been praying for her ever sense, but I knew that it was a done deal, and that she was going to have this baby. Well, today, on Julia’s birthday, little Addison was born. What a birthday present to Julia; and what a blessing to Jodie, Jeff and all the family. God is so good.

Today was a lot of fun with Anna Roan and Julia Anne. I got to play with, hug and hold both of them a lot. I was thinking when we were at the playground that Julia would have loved today. We were celebrating her birthday the way that she would have loved to do it, with her granddaughters, at least two of them. It was really a good day, and emotionally I was doing good until later tonight.

Lisa and I took the girls to buy a little live table Christmas tree. She only wanted a little one because they will be coming to Hilton Head with me on the 18th of December. Lisa and I used to go and get the tree. For years and years, we always had a real tree. Some years Jennifer and Julia would go, but most of the time it was Lisa who went with me in the cold as we looked for the perfect tree. It was fun tonight although we didn’t have to look very hard to find one. There were not a lot to choose from. After that we picked up Hernan, and we went to this great Mexican place about a mile away from their house. The dinner was great. When we came back, we put Christmas music on and Lisa made some hot cider.

As I was holding Julia Anne and singing White Christmas to her the impact of the loss of Julia came over me. As I continued to sing and smile, tears began to gently run down my cheek. Lisa’ probably noticed, but I tried to keep it from her. Anyway she didn’t say anything, which was good. Since then, my emotions have been in check, although I can feel that loss right under the surface. It’s like at any time I could just be overcome with loss. But I really have no loss. I know where she is, and I have such good vivid memories. I know now that some of the memories might fade to the background, but they can be brought right back to the surface if there is a need for them. I know now that I will always celebrate Julia’s birthday. It might only be in my mind or with a prayer, but she will always be right with me. I also know that she is cheering for me to press on and run the rest of my race. At almost every marathon that I ran, she didn’t run, but she was my best cheerleader, waiting for me at the finish line with a smile and comforting words. It’s funny, I can see her doing that now.

So, I will keep on going, and I will run the race to the finish. She is still cheering me on, just like she was cheering Jodie on all day in the delivery room, even when things got tough. My goal is to run to the best of my ability, and I know that she is still helping me do that. Happy Birthday Addison, welcome. I know that you have a great destiny. Happy Birthday Allene, you are loved by many. Happy Birthday Julia, I can almost sense your presence beside me right now.

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Day 319 - A Green Bean Day

Tonight I’m sitting at the Dining Room table at Lisa’s Condo in Suffolk Va. I left this morning on an 8:25 flight to Newport News. Hernan and Anna picked me up at the airport at 10am and we were at the house by 10:45. It was so good to see them all. I hadn’t seen them since Labor day, almost three months. Anna just laughed at me when she saw me, I could tell that she was glad to see me and as soon as we got to the house and out of her car seat, she wa in my arms hugging me. That was a big relief to me. I didn’t know how Anna was going to react to my mustache. She had never seen it, and didn’t know I had it, butr she was cool with it, feeling of it and laughing. Lisa was taken aback a little, but she was fine with it too. I had come prepared to shave it off if Anna wouldn’t accept me. I started growing it in Australia. Julia and I had always had this running battle. She said I couldn’t grow one, and I said that I could. True, I probably couldn’t grow a full beard; but I knew that I could grow a mustache. I also knew that she didn’t want me to, so I didn’t. In Australia I decided to try and grow it and see I really could.

Well, I have had it since I have been back, and I have decided that if the granddaughters accepted me then I would keep it for a while. How long is a while, I have no clue. Anna was fine, but Julia Anne would have nothing to do with me at first. Every time I would look at her, she would cry. At first I thought it was the mustache, then I remembered how Jennifer when she was about that age would have nothing to do with my dad when the came to visit us in Hawaii. So I played it cool and didn’t press her. Well, by the afternoon, she was in m arms and playing with my mustache, trying to pull it out. So, I guess I passed the test and the mustache stays for a while.

It’s really fun being around Anna especially. She is always coming up with funny phrases and sayings. Her mind is constantly at work and she processes things in a way that I could never imagine. We were on a walk this afternoon before dinner, and we were talking about the turkey and what all we were going to have with it when she came up with this. She said that it was a “green bean day”. So I had to ask her; what kind of a day is a green bean day? If I remember correctly she said it was a day when you cooked and had fun getting ready to eat. Those might not have been her exact words, but the meaning was one of a day of excitement and preparation for something good to happen. That is what today was for all of us. I was excited to see them and share with them, as they were just as excited to see me. So I guess it was a green bean day. The funny thing was that when we had dinner, Anna hardly touched her green beans,

Family is so special! I am so thankful for all the blessings that I have and have received over the year. Just to be able to see Anna and Julia grow so much this year, and to see Lisa thrive in the midst of some adversity is such a blessing. But then add all that God is doing in Jennifer and to see Adair and Meleah grow as well. I am truly a blessed man. I am so blessed to be able to work as an instructor at Delta and to be able to make the money I make for the hours I work. I am doubly blessed to be able to get on an airplane and fly anywhere in the world for nothing but taxes for the ticket. It allows me to see my children so often, and gives me freedom to minister and bring the Kingdom of God anywhere in the world. I am so grateful for my God and His love for me.

My niece, who Julia and I prayed for for years to be able to have a child is about to give birth, probably tomorrow, on Julia’s birthday. What a blessing! I know that Julia is watching and cheering Jodie on as she goes through the birth pains bringing forth new life. I am so grateful for all my friends and family and for all the support that they have given me. I am so grateful for RiverStone and the family that they are to me. I am also very grateful to Bethel Atlanta, which has become a second home over these past two years. I am such a blessed man. I end with this tonight. I am eternally grateful to Julia and her love for me that helped God to change my heart and make me more into His image. I thank her for the 38 and a half years that she gave to me. It has helped set me on His course, and will forever define me.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Day 318 - The Fog Rolls In

The interesting thing about getting up at 3AM to drive down to the airport is you never know what kind of weather you will have that early in the morning. I usually have some idea of what the temperature will be, so I can dress appropriately. But as far as rain or sometimes even snow it is usually a surprise. That was what happened this morning. As I raised the garage door and drove my Miata out into the driveway I was engulfed in a thick fog. It was as thick as I have seen it in a long time. I had to slow down a little to make sure I wasn’t going to run up on any other car. Then to add more fuel to the fire, traffic was extremely heavy for that time of the morning. I guess there were a lot of people leaving town early for Thanksgiving.

I was able to make it down to work in plenty of time, even though it did take almost ten moreo minutes than normal. Fog isn’t pretty until it starts to lift. When you are in it, you can still get where you are going, it just seems like you have to slow down and be more methodical. Fog hides the beauty of the trees, and keeps the sun form shining through. Foggy days are normally sort of blah. It’s hard to get stuff done. Fog is no fun whey you are flying. It soles down traffic because of increased safety margins and the precision approaches that you have to fly. Taxing around in the fog is dangerous and complicated. Fog doesn’t stop, it just hinders.

Just as the fog rolled in in the natural this morning, it seemed to roll in over me in the spiritual this afternoon. I really had a lot that I wanted to do. I wanted to run or work out. I needed to pack and look at flights. I wanted to read. But it seemed like from the minute I got home from work I was just in a fog. I couldn’t get motivated to do hardly anything. I was able to do some things for Lisa that I had promised to do. But what normally would have taken an hour, wound up taking about three hours. I didn’t get my run in, and I didn’t get a nap. At first I thought it was because I was tired from being up early, and that might have been part of it, but later I realized it had a lot to do with Julia. Grief had slipped up on my like a fog rolling in from the sea. I found myself spending time reading old emails from last year, and thinking about last Thanksgiving and Christmas. It wasn’t the grief that brings pain and tears. Instead it was like a fog. It just hindered all that I was doing. I didn’t really realize it until I was caught up in it.

But just as in the natural, the Sun can burn off the fog. So it is in the Spiritual, the Son burns off the for of grief when you call on Him. But I found myself waiting, almost wanting to stay in the fog for a little while. Finally I did focus on things that I should have been focusing on and finally, tonight the Son broke through and the fog was burned off. As I look back on the day, I just wonder how much sooner I could have been free of thes foggy grief. I know it could have been sooner, and I know it will the next time I feel it rolling in. I have to makd choices, and today some of my choices were not as wise as they shoule be. But you know what? He still loves me and says I’m special. I don’t have to work for His love, He just releases it, He loves me that much.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Day 317 - Furious Love

Tonight was dinner and a movie with John, Biddie, Bud and Cathy. It’s the first one we have been able to have since I started school. It was a fun time to get together, but more on that later. This afternoon, I went to the Y and then I came back to Starbucks to do some reading and check emails while I sipped on a Latte in a ceramic cup. It’s really a nice treat to sit and slowly sip on a hot Latte. I was listening to the new Jesus Culture album again. The words to the new songs are incredible. “Blow Mighty Breath of God, move into this place”. They were singing Rain Down when it started pouring down. I knew there was a reason that I had sat inside rather than outside.

Starbucks was an interesting interlude to my day. I had worked early this morning then I came home and washed some clothes before I went to the Y to work out. I wanted to blow leaves in the back yard, but the rain came early and the leaves were already wet when I got home. Well, maybe when I get back from the girls this weekend. After Starbucks I came home and got the house ready for dinner. It wasn’t hard, there wasn’t much to do. Biddie and John cam over a little early and Biddie made up the hamburger patties while John sliced onions and tomatoes. Bud and Cathy came over and we had a great dinner with Hamburgers and Cole slaw. Cathy had a surprise, a coconut “birthday” cake in honor of Julia. It was great and we all ate way too much. It is hard to believe it will be Julia’s birthday on Friday.

Then we watched the movie “Furious Love”. It is a documentary showing how the Love of God is fighting and winning against the forces of evil and darkness through out the worked. It is a powerful testimony of the power of love. It really highlighted some of the things we have been hearing, and seeing in our own areas. I have slowly been changing over the years. Changing from a religious Christian who would isolate myself from evil, to a person so in love with Papa that all I want to do is spread that love as I go through life. It’s not about me preaching or even prophesying. It’s really about me just living a life of love, as Christ lived. We are not called to judge, we are called to love. As we release His furious love, people will come to know Him. He is the only one that can change them. We can’t get mad at sinners for sinning. They are just fulfilling their job description.

The weapons of our warfare are not carnal. We don’t wage war against flesh and blood. We wage war against darkness. The most powerful weapon that we have is love. We must be willing to listen to people, release God’s love to them. We must begin to speak His truth over them. The truth that they are worth something; they do have a destiny. As I watched this film tonight I couldn’t help praying to Papa to help me feel His heart for everyone I med during the day. I was also praying that as I saw them through His heart, that I would be able to tangibly be able to release His love into their life and situation.

I am just tired of seeing the church releasing judgment instead of love. I hate abortion, and I grieve the fact that so many babies have been killed in the name of “choice”. But changing the law isn’t going to stop abortion. The only way to stop abortion is to change hearts. Hearts are changed when people realize how much they are loved and how powerful the God who loves them is. Love is really the answer. Transformation will come when people are set free by the love of Christ. Well, I’m preaching now. Really I just want to learn to release His love. How can I best do that? I think the first and foremost thing is that I have to receive His love into my life. The overflow of His love in my life will affect all those around me. I have to realize who I am in Him, and that His love in me changes everything in me and around me. I need to accept and then release His furious love. You know something? I think that is something that I can do. That is what I am going after; I just have to be more intentional.

Monday, November 22, 2010

Day 316 - She's Not There

Today I went to the cemetery where Julia’s body is buried. It was a beautiful day and I wanted to ride my Harley so I decided to ride it down into Marietta to the cemetery and check out the marker on Julia’s grave. It was placed a couple of weeks ago but I haven’t had time to go buy there and see it. So, I rode down the back roads bu Kennesaw Mountain. It was a beautiful fun ride and when I came to the cemetery, I parked outside. It just didn’t feel right riding up to Julia’s grave on my motorcycle, plus it’s very loud and I just thought all the dead might have a hard time with the nise. : > ) Seriously I did park outside and walk because it was so beautiful and I really didn’t know exactly where the grave was. The last time I had come out I didn’t find it. But I did find it fairly easily this time. It helps when it has a name on it.

The marker looks nice, they did a good job except for one thing: they didn’t put the right things on it. They made it from my first revision, not the second. Otherwise it looks great. I came home and checked my email and I am right. I’ve contacted them and I am sure they will make it right. I know it will be replaced, but it will probably take about six weeks. It’s OK, a marker is there for other’s to find if they want to stop by. That’s good, with her birthday and Christmas coming up. I’ll go back to check it out when it is replaced. But I don’t know how many times I will go back after that.

When I came today, I didn’t know what to expect with my emotions. I didn’t know if I would be drawn to her grave, if I would want to stay and talk with her or what I would feel. You see, until now, graves haven’t meant too much to me. They have never brought out emotions. I am a very emotional guy, I cry at movies and sometimes at weddings. But nothing about a cemetery and a grave have ever pulled at my emotions. So I was wondering if today would be different. I really hoped it would. In some ways, I wanted to get closer to her and maybe this would be the place. It didn’t.

She’s not there. The cemetery is like any other place. It’s where her body is, and it has a marker noting that she was loved. But she is not there, and nothing about the cemetery attracted any emotion from me today. I don’t know whether that is good or bad. But that’s the way it is. I feel much more connected to her here at the house, or at RiverStone. I feel attached to her when I drive down Stilesboro next to Button Hill. That was our place, our life. The cemetery is nice and quiet, but it will not be a place that I will go very often. There is not much for me there.

The ride back to the house was just as much fun. I was able to get a run in afterward, so it was a good day. I went to my Chiropractor/Nutritionist today. I was just talking with him. I’ve done very good in pretty much all areas. The main area that I have not done good in without Julia is in my eating and taking my supplements. She was my support, and kept me on a good diet, encouraging me to go after divine health and long life. Since she has been gone that area is the one that has gone downhill the most. I still eat probably better than most people, but I can tell a difference. I think the time has come to take control of this area too. However it is Thanksgiving and Christmas, and I will enjoy the holidays with the kids. But I will take control. She would want me too.

Tonight I’m listening to the new Jesus Culture album “Come take me away” it is very good, and I think it might become a new favorite for a while. “ I want to know You, Let Your Spirit overwhelm me, let our presence overtake my heart”. That was a verse to one of the songs. It’s going to be good. Well, it’s an early get up for work in the morning, so I think I will go to bed early tonight.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Day 315 - "It's All Good"

I’m sitting here next to the fire in my rocking chair listening to Love Came Down. How many times this year have I been right here, thinking about my day and all that happened? How many times just thinking about my years with Julia and how much she meant to me? I went to Bethel Atlanta for church this morning. I wanted to hear Steve Thompson. I haven’t heard him speak in many years. Steve came and spoke to our leadership at RiverStone in the early days and had a tremendous impact on us as a church and individually.

Today he had a great message. I definitely want to hear it again. But in all messages, there are some things that are highlighted just for you by the Holy Spirit. Today was no exception. Steve was talking about how God uses all things for good. He doesn’t cause all things, but when bad things happen, we have a choice. If we choose to press into His love and to not question His goodness, that positions us to allow Him to work in our behalf. Steve said that he believes that when we suffer loss, and stay close or draw closer to God, we are positioned for an upgrade in our ministry and power and in the presence of God. I believe Him. I believe that I am walking right now in the beginning of an upgrade in every area of my life.

I consider it a miracle that I am where I am right now. But at the same time I know that my choices, deliberate choices at times, have positioned me to receive this miracle. Some of the choices that I had to make were these. I had to choose to let some things go and not demand answers to every question. I had to choose to believe that despite my circumstances; God is good and always be good because it is His nature. I had to choose not to question Him or get mad at Him. I don’t think I was ever mad at Him. I’ve been mad at myself and some of the doctors, but I can truly say that I was never mad at God. I had to choose to look at what He is doing and not what He ois not doing. There are probably many other choices, but those are the ones that came to mind right now.

So, where am I today, on day 315? I believe that I am continuing to be healed. Healing for wounds like these is a process, but I believe that Papa has allowed this process to be speeded up in my heart because of the choices that I have made. Iknow that there is more to go, especially in the next month and a half, but He will give me the grace to both enjoy and to endure. I truly do love Him, so much. His love is what has sustained me in the hard times. Sometimes His loves comes directly from Him, but many tines it comes from family and friends. That’s love with “skin on”, and we can all be his conduits for that kind of love.

I am so blessed and so grateful to have family and friends. I am so blessed to have my four granddaughters. Each one gives me blessing in different ways. The same can be said for my daughters ans son-in laws. I guess the people that get noticed the least are my friends. They have all stood by my family in prayer and in love all year. Truly I am a blessed man, and I hope that you all will receive the heartfelt thanks. Writing this blog has helped me heal, and I pray that it has helped heal others as well. So as I close tonight, rest in this fact. It’s all good when we know God and trust in His Goodness.

Day 314 - Priceless

I love the old MasterCard commercial. Today my version would go something like this. Hotels – 84.00; Rental car – 40.00; Watching Adair run a new PR of 20:10 and leading her cross country team to 6th place in the FL Sate finals – PRICELESS. It really was priceless, not only to see Adair run, but to spend time with Meleah and Jennifer last night and this morning. It was such a beautiful morning to watch the sun rise, and see the fog out in the field at the farm where the races took place. The only thing that would have made it better was to have had Julia by my side cheering with me. I know that in the Spirit, she was right there, but sometimes you really need someone you can touch and talk to whenever you want. I still miss her so much. I am so blessed by God to have everything that I need, and everything that I could possibly need. I guess the question is what about our wants. I know that I often want something that I don’t need.

I went over to the Cones for dinner tonight. It was all of the old gang. It’s before Thanksgiving and it was good to be together. We probably won’t be able to get together for Christmas anyway. We were to busy last year, and I’m sure it will be the same again. It was good to see and talk to everyone, it really was. But in tines like these, I really miss Julia. I miss her because I know how much she would have enjoyed tonight. I made Guacamole, and it turned out pretty good. I guess Julia did teach me some things about cooking, but I don’t think that means that I am up for making a cake. But it is Thanksgiving and we do need a Coconut cake sometimes during the holidays. I wonder if I could make it. Probably not, but it would be fun trying.

It’s really amazing that such little random thoughts can have such an influence in our lives. This afternoon I was ready to come to work and take care of the house when I heard a radio commercial about visiting Legal Seafood over by the Olympic Park. It was just nice listening to them talk about the restaurant. As I though about how good Legal Seafood is, I realized how much Julia was a part of anything that we did tonight. That little add made me remember going with John and Biddie to that same restaurant this time last year.

We had eaten at Legal Seafood in Washington, and loved it. The waiter there had told us about a Legal Seafood in Atlanta. We were shocked, but when we got home, we decided to look for it. We did find it, down by the GA Aquarium. It was a great night out and we really enjoyed ourselves. It’s hard to believe that it’s been about a year since we went there. Just little memories have the ability to flood my emotions and bring back such vivid memories. All day, especially the party tonight has stirred up such good memories. The memories are all good. Sometimes they just hurt a little more than you think that they should. Well it’s very late and I have been up almost 21 hours and it’s time to get some sleep.

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Day 313 - Tampa

Well, I am here in the Hilton Gardens Hotel, sitting at the desk. For the first time this year, I almost totally forgot about the blog. It’s been a long day and it is going to be a very short night, so this post might be pretty short as well. I had to work this morning. It was a ‘B” period; the time was from 9:20 – 2:50. I really don’t like these perioda because I have to leave so early because of traffic. Anyway I finished work at about 3:15 and then went to the Delta parking lot to take the bus over to the terminal. My rules for non-rev travel say “never fly on Friday afternoon”. But when your grandchildren are involved, rules are made to be broken. So here I was at the airport trying to catch a 4:30 flight down to Tampa. Everything looked pretty full, but I figured that I would get on the last one that left at 10:30 that night as a last resort.

True to form, the 4:30 flight left the gate withoug a single non-rev. That meant that I was at least number 12 on the list for the 5:35 flight. As I walked from B-25 to A-4 I was wondering how many times I would have to walk all over the terminal tonight. The least Delta could do was have the gates close together. When I got there, I found out that I was number 13 on the list, not to bad considering. To my surprise it looked like there were 13 extra seats. I might just get on. Well it was still too early to get my hopes up. I was getting hungry. All I had eaten wastoday was a couple of packs of crackers. But I really didn’t have time to eat. I didn’t worry because if I missed this flight I had an hour and a half to get something to eat before the next flight. Well God is good, and I did get on the flight. I got to Tampa at seven and after getting the car and driving to the hotel, it was about 8:20 when I saw Jennifer, Sean, Adair and Meleah. Sean and Adair were going into a team meeting and the rest of us were just hanging out until it was over and we were going to get something for me to eat. I was getting hungry by then.

I’ll spare you the details, but it was about 9:45 when we got to Applebees and I was really famished by then. It’s not the best time to eat, but I really didn’t care. The Fajitas really tasted pretty good, and so did the beer. We sat around and talked enjoying the company until we realized it was 11PM. Adair was fast asleep back in the hotel, but we have to get up at 4AM tomorrow morning. Adair runs at 7:50, but it takes over 45 minutes to get there and they have to be early. I can’t wait to see her run; I am so glad that it worked out for me to come down. Her goal is to run somewhere in the 19 minute, less than 20 minute range. The team’s goal is to finish in the top 5 for the state. It will be amazing if they do. But they do have a chance. This is a good stepping-stone for Adair, another chance to see how to compete at the top level. She doesn’t have a chance to win, but she is only in the 7th grade. She can only get better if she keeps focused and trains. But no matter what she runs, just the privilege of being able to watch her in person is enough for me. I guess that’s why I didn’t mind flying down today and then back up tomorrow afternoon. It’s all worth it. Now to get some sleep so I won’t sleep through the 4AM alarm.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Day 312 - A Seed Falls to the Ground

Julia and I have been leading small groups for over 25 years. It has been a great part of our life and ministry. The current group that we led along with John and Biddie has been meeting in some form for over five years. Tonight we let it go. By we, I mean John, Biddie, Julia and I. I know that Julia has been gone for over ten mong=ths, but she was still a big part of that group, just as she is still a big part of my life. It was time, probably past time in many ways.

You can only do so much, and when new things and priorities come on the scene, sometime old ones have to be released. That’s what happened to me with this group. I love all the people in it, and I do love leading it. I love the teaching and the ministry along with the worship. But I love what I am doing I school and traveling more. It’s just a matter of time. I wasn’t able to do it all and give the group my best. For the past 6 months, I have probably been missing from the meetings almost half the time. You can’t continue to lead like that. Sure God kept showing up. I know that we normally had between 30 – 40 people. But it was time. When I first talked with John and Biddie, I thought that maybe they would keep it going, but it was time for them too.

So, tonight was our last meeting except for a Christmas Party. It was a great night. Acts 7 was a great chapter to end on. We had a great time of discussion about Stephen and the Glory of God. The discussion was deep and detailed. It was obvious that everyone was really into this chapter. Then I taught and shared, mainly what I wrote in my blog. But I added this point. I can only imagine the passion that Stephen spoke with as he gave that message to the Jewish leaders. His heart was overflowing and I believe it was his passion as well as his words that infuriated the Jews so much that they had to kill him.

Then we worshiped and David, Julie, Suzanne and me formed a fire tunnel to impart and release people into their calling and destiny. It was powerful, Holy Spirit showed up and we were able to impart prophetically as well as spiritually as they went through. Each person went through slowly and we probably took almost an hour for everyone to get ministry. It was a great night.

I truly believe that as this group dies, the embers from it will fan flames of life into many other groups at RiverStone; life that will bring more love and passion as well as more of the Holy Spirit into the church. We have been living the book of Acts for over 5 years in our group. It’s like the church in Jerusalem; until it was scattered, Christianity never went to the nations. So, we will end with the Christmas Party in Dec. That will be fun. I’m sure that there will be Thursday nights when I will miss being with the group. Someday I will lead another, I know that. But for now, that season is closed and I will enjoy whatever God brings my way.

Well, tomorrow night I will be in Tampa to watch Adair run in the State Cross Country finals on Saturday morning. It will be fun to see the kids. It’s also the beginning of a season of travel for me that will last until Jan 1, 2011. It should be a funtime. But I know that I have to rest and pace myself to make it all work. Stephen was full of faith and power. That is what I want said about me. Make it so Lord, I a am willing to do what it takes.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Day 311 - "Full of Faith and Power"

Tomorrow night in our small group I am discussing Chapter 7 of Acts. It deals with Stephen’s sermon and his stoning and death by the Jews while Saul (Paul) watched. In chapter 6 there is a verse that has always captured my heart. “And Stephen, full of faith and power, did mighty works and miracles.” That verse has pushed me into more of God than almost any verse I can think of. Who was Stephen? He wasn’t an Apostle or one of the original disciples. He was an ordinary person like you or me. How did he get to the point in his life where in his death he saw Jesus standing next to the Father? The scripture says that Jesus is seated at the right hand of God. What would make Jesus stand? I think with all that Jesus sees and has seen it would have to be something so great and so amazing that He would just want to stand to honor what had happened.

The apostles were in a mess. They had too much stuff going on and they needed help sorting out the day-to-day things with the believers. In order for them to continue to pray and teach, they had to find some men to help with the day-to-day workings of the church. What did they look for? I mean these men were going to serve tables, divide up food, and make sure everyone got equal shares. These were mundane task. Anyone could really do them. They chose men “full of the Holy Spirit” for these task. These men accepted these task and didn’t theink themselves above serving the body in whatever way that was needed. This is a real example for us today. So many times if we are filled with the Spirit, we feel that it is beneath us to actually serve to meet physical needs. We want to meet spiritual needs, but surly others can meet physical needs. I know that this has been a problem for me. I had much rather prophecy over some one than feed them a warm meal when they are hungry. I have had to repent and ask God to use me wherever He wants me. The pay is the same. I get more of Him. Stephen and the others were full of the Spirit. They were obedient in their task and God rewarded them by releasing signs and wonders in their midst. Stephen was full of faith and power. That’s what I pray will be said of me when I die. I want to do the little things well but I want more. I want the favor of God to rest upon me and to release faith and power. I want to see miracles and might works. But how do we get there? We get there by serving where we are called to serve, to do what we are called to do and to continue to cry out for more. As we serve we need to look for opportunities to release the greater works. We constantly need to realize who we are and what it is that we carry. Serving is good, but the ultimate goal is to release the Kingdom through our service.

I look at Stephen as a role model. Of course Jesus is the ultimate role model, but Stephen did something that I can relate to when it’s hard to relate to Jesus. If he can do it, we can do it. I’m excited about group tomorrow night. I really feel that God is going to release something that will touch many people in many different groups over the next year. Full of Faith and Power! Don’t you want that? I can almost taste it. He is so good.

Day 310 - Break the Box!

Do you have God in a box? I do. It’s a bigger box than it used to be, but it’s still a box. I don’t want to, and I constantly do everything I can to tear down the box, but I think that most all of us have God in a box. In many ways it’s the only way that we can understand Him. He is so big, and so awesome that we put Him in a box to define him and try to understand Him.

The quickest way to tear down the box is to realize that “His ways are not our ways, and His thoughts are not our thoughts”. That’s our problem. At least that’s my problem most of the time. I want to understand; probably we all do most of the time. But there are many things that we can’t understand. Sometimes we just have to believe. We have to believe in His goodness. We have to believe, choose to mix our faith with what we know. Tonight in our bible AMT we were talking about the covenant that God made with Abraham. The only thing Abraham had to do was believe. That covenant is the basis of the new covenant. We must believe. Believe that He is who He says He is and that He died not only for our sins, but total salvation (sozo). He died so that we could be saved, healed and delivered. But to do this, we need to allow Him out of the Box that we have Him in.

Tonight I am going to ask Holy Spirit to show me the boundaries of the box that I have made for God. I know that He will. I’ll ask Him to tear the box down and help me to believe in the areas that I have not believed. Sure, probably in another month I will have built another box. It’s something we do. So we constantly have to evaluate how we are limiting God in our life. We constantly have to break the box and allow God to move in ways that we haven’t seen before. I think it’s just human nature to rebuild the box, but it is by the Spirit of God that we break the box. So I challenge you as well as myself. Break the Box!!

Tonight was a fun night at school. In advanced prophetic we listened to songs and tried to perceive what was going on in the writers mind and spirit. We also practiced giving prophetic words based on pictures that we saw. It’s amazing what the Holy Spirit will use to release a word for someone. Then we went to our AMT and like I have already said we were focusing on Galatians 3 and Genesis 12 – 15. We were bringing the correlation of the covenant of Abraham and how it ties to the New Covenant. It was a good night and I learned a lot. Well we don’t have school next week because of Thanksgiving. I will miss it, but I’m so busy next week I’m sure I won’t miss it. Well, it’s late, and I have to go break a box!

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Day 309 - Much Needed Rain

During the drought I said that I would never complain about the rain again. I almost did last year when we had so much, but we really need the rain right now. So even tough I’m off, and would love a beautiful day to run, ride or do other things, we really do need the rain, so I’m glad it did rain most of the day. Of course we have a 100% chance of rain tomorrow too. I guess I’ll spend the morning reading and doing laundry. I have class tomorrow night. I’ll probably go run on the treadmill at the Y sometime tomorrow morning. It’s late now so I’ll probably sleep in until 8 or so.
Today was spent much like I just wrote about tomorrow. I got up this morning to the sound of rain. To be honest, I tried to get up at 7, but wound up getting up at a little after 8. I did go to the Y and then I cam home and read. I left early for school because I had dinner with Steve Hale and some of his staff. It was a good time just to get together and talk. Then I went to school. This afternoon I listened to a message by Bill Johnson and the Holy Spirit just put in my heart the need to continue to press after more. Of course the prayer for more has been my prayer for years, but sometimes you get comfortable, and I believe that is where I had gotten over the past few weeks. But now I am continuing to press into more: more of His presence and power; more of His love and more of His passion for all people.

It’s after midnight; I got home around 11 and started watching Bill O’Rilley. The next thing I knew it was super late. The good news is that I got my preliminary schedule for December and I have all the days off that I wanted. It will be a small paycheck; I’m only working 6 days. But it will be worth the cut in pay for a month to have all the days off that I need. So, right now the plan is I fly to Tampa on Friday night to see Adair run in State. Then I fly home Saturday afternoon. Then next week I will be in Norfolk and Ft Lauderdale. It’s even hard for me to keep up with myself.
It will be fun to see all the girls

I really wish that I would dream tonight. I would love to dream about Julia, but also I would love to have an encounter with Holy Spirit. Well, it is late, and I’m just rambling, so I guess I’ll call it a night.

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Day 308 - Prophetic Art in Little Five Points

Today’s outreach in Little Five Points was fun. We had everyone bring paper and pen, or crayons or pencils; anything that they could draw with. Then when we went out, each of us was to find someone to draw a picture for and then give it to them and explain it to them. It’s called prophetic art, and you don’t really have to be a good artist, you just have to be able to explain what you draw. The idea is to ask Holy Spirit what to draw that will mean something to the person, draw it and then give it to them. You can usually tell by the reaction whether it means anything or not. I’ve done this a couple of times on a mission trip to Nicaragua and then during a couple of Sozos. But it was the first time for most of the people on the team today.

The object of our outreach is twofold. First is to release the Kingdom of God and its love in a dark and hurting place. The second is for us to push out of our comfort zones and learn more about ministering in the power of the Holy Spirit. This exercise was designed to do both. It was so successful today that we will try to do it again, or better yet, improve on it. Another thing this exercise does it it gets us to talk with people we might not talk with. If we get to pray with them that’s great, but that is not a requirement. The requirement is to bless them, and let them know that they are loved.

As we all divided up, I could tell that there was a little apprehension, but a lot of excitement. I knew that it was going top be a good day. As we walked up to the main area, a few of us saw a man who normally is there. He knows some of us, and he approached us, wanting to recite poetry. He makes up his on poems and is pretty good. He is not homeless, he has a room to stay in, but he is on the street all the time panhandling money for food, and probably other things. I jus saw him bringing so much love to that area so I drew a picture of the fall colored trees and the fence nearby with purple hearts rising up around the area. I knew his name, so I just wrote on the card that he brought love to the area and he was needed and loved himself. I know that another one of our team drew a picture for him to. It’s funny, I think the picture was different, but similar in meaning.

We did this for about an hour and a half. I drew a couple of more pictures for people and gave them to them. Everyone that I talked to thanked me for the picture and said it had meaning. I saw a couple of our group and we walked back together. One of my jobs as leader is to get the group together at the beginning and the end. The beginning time is to give directions and pray. It is a time of encouragement and exhortation. The ending time is a time of debriefing and making sure that everyone is OK. What we do is fun and we have the Holy Spirit with us, but it is never to be taken lightly. We are bringing the Kingdom of God right into one of the darkest areas in Atlanta. Little five is a haven for New Age, Wicca, Satanist and any other type of occult and witchcraft. It is not a place that is friendly to Christians, but we know that we have been called to release God’s love and power into the area. Every time we give a picture, build a relationship, pray for someone or see someone healed, the enemy is pushed back and we take a little ground. This is the third year that BASSM has been ministering out here, and we are beginning to find more favor as we try to change the atmosphere.

So as we came back for debriefing this afternoon, we were all sharing testimonies of giving away our pictures. Everything was positive, as it usually is. Some of the last of the group came up and I could tell that one of the women was upset. She had been walking around with her husband so I knew that nothing physical had happened to her. She had drawn a card for this guy, and had gone over to give it to him. He received the card and thanked her. She then began to talk to him. She said that he had liked “normal” until she looked in his eyes. They scared her, and what he said to her scared her even more. He told her that his name was “King David” and he was old, very old. In fact he was over 467 years old. He just moved from body to body. As he took her hack he started talking “in another language”. It seems that she had just run into one of her first cases of either acting or truly a demonic spirit. I wasn’t there, but it could have been either, or both. My feeling is that he truly was carrying around other spirits with him, and she might have been talking to one. Anyway, she was very traumatized, but we began to pray for her, break things off of her and clean her up from anything that might have gotten on her. We reminded her that she got a lot of God on him, and he was probably not dealing with that too well either. AS we prayed, we asked Holy Spirit to flood over her, and almost at once she was laughing and filled with joy. We have to know how we are in Christ. She does, but the reason we meet at the end is to come along side each other and spiritually cleanse one another off. Today was a great example of that. So yes, Little Five Points is fun, because releasing the Kingdom is fun. But we can never forget that we are in a war. Not a war with the people, but in a war with the enemy and his influencers.

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Day 307 - Lost the Bet

At the beginning of the season when I thought that Ga Tech would go 9-2 and win the ACC, I bet my Sean that Tech would beat Miami. The “U” as they like to call themselves had drilled us last year, surly we would get them back this year. The bet was this. The loser would have to wear the hat fo the winning team around for a month. I could do this with Sean, because I sort of like Miami anyway. I could never do that with the bullpups. I couldn’t bear to wear a hat with a big “G” on it. Anyway, I began to have my doubts when we lost to Kansas. My doubts increased tremendously last week when our starting quarterback broke his arm. Well, I lost. Miami blew Tech out of the water today. The funny thing is that the second string quarterback did pretty good. It was everybody else that stunk. I should know better than to get caught up in a game played by 18 year olds, but I still do. So, I guess that Sean will give me a hat to wear. If you see me wearing it around, you will know that it’s just a bet. I really haven’t changed allegiances from Ga Tech.

The rest of my day was OK. I didn’t get a ride in this morning, By the time I got up and got moving I felt that I would be too time compressed to ride before work. So I spent most of the day at work. I came home and watched some football tonight. I’m definitely looking forward to tomorrow morning at RiverStone and then outreach at Little Five Points. As I think back about the day, nothing remarkable comes to mind. I don’t really like the afternoon periods because it seems like the morning gets away and then it is so late when you get home.

I had a couple of different coworkers ask me how I was doing tonight. I tell them I’m doing fine, but I don’t think they really believe me. One of them said that he didn’t know what He would do if he lost his wife, and I’ve told him more than once that if I didn’t have my belief in God, I didn’t know what I would do either. Still I don’t really think that he understands. But really, how could he understand? How can anyone really understand? I have to give them grace. They are only trying to be nice and I know that they really are concerned about me. But it’s funny, you can tell that part of their asking is trying to understand. They see me all the time and know that I am enjoying life and work, and that they can’t understand. I just have to keep reflecting the Kingdom; maybe they will get it sooner or later. Well that’s all I have for tonight, it’s a busy day tomorrow.

Friday, November 12, 2010

Day 306 - Planting Pansies

Well, here I am again sitting by the fire listening to love came down. I haven’t listened to it for a few days, but today was a different kind of day. In many ways it was a really good day, but there were a couple of times during the day when a level of grief snuck up on me that I wasn’t expecting. I’ll try to explain the reasons I think it occurred. But no matter, as I sit here tonight, I do know that God loves me, and that I have good friends and family. I know that even when I feel alone, I’m not alone. Those are the facts, and I will focus on them and not on some feelings that come and go like the wind.

Today was really a beautiful day, and I had a lot to get done. I had bought something through Amazon that didn’t work right, so I have been meaning to take it back, so this morning I finally got to the post office over at Brookstone. After that I went to Home Depot. I needed some light bulbs to replace some on the bathroom and I needed to by some pansies. It’s late fall, and frost has already come. This is the time that Julia and I would go and pick out the color of pansies that we wanted to plant for the winter. We both loved pansies. Give them a little fertilizer and sunlight and they would thrive. They bring color into a drab winter world. They normally last well into the spring so they are the perfect flower to plant in the areas of your yard that you like to highlight.

Normally, I would pull the old plants up and Julia would get the soil ready. Then we would go to Home Depot. I’m partial to bright yellow and bright blue. That’s what I planted this year. Julia was usually more partial to some of the pastel colors. Some years we would do the yellow and blue, but normally it would be a yellow and maybe a rust or peach color. I didn’t mind, my goal when working in the yard was to make her happy. I don’t really like yard work. OK, I know that I have said that before, but it’s true. So anytime I was working in the yard it was to either be with her as she worked, or to please her. I guess it’s the same noe. I just want to keep the yard up because she would want me to and because the HOA would get mad if I left the yard a mess.

So I got the pansies, and then I planted them in the front. I figured that I would have more than enough, so I was going to plant the rest in the back yard near the patio. I went back and I prepared the soil and planted them. As I was planting the ones in the back I began to get such a longing for her. It was like she should have been there with me, but she wasn’t. After I planted the ones in the back I sat down in one of the chairs on the patio and began to reflect. I don’t know whether that was a good idea or not. The next minute I was almost overwhelmed with grief. Not the piercing hurting kind, but the slow drowning kind. The kind where it just seems to get worse and worse, but you know that you could stop it. But you really don’t want to stop it. So as tears rolled down my cheeks, I realized why I hated yard work more now than I did when Julia was alive. Now, I am alone doing it and it just magnifies the fact that she is not here. If she were here, she would be out here with me. Once again I had to release the fact that she is not coming back to me in this life. Once again, I didn’t want to go there. But I had no choice.

The rest of the day was pretty good. I did get an hour long run in after the planting. Tonight I went to dinner with John, Biddie, Bud and Cathy. We went to Aspens, and we used the gift card that the Sozo team had given Julia and I for Christmas. It was a lot of fun, but in some ways bittersweet too. Sometimes I find myself with nothing to say. That’s not like me, normally I do have plenty to say. But lately sometimes I find myself alone in the midst of friends. I know it’s not right, it’s rude and I don’t want to do it. I’m not really thinking about Julia. I think it’s like a pause button. I’m going constantly and when I am with my closest friends is the only time I can hit the pause button. But it’s not right and I need to not do that, or at least explain it. But how do you explain to someone something that you can’t explain to yourself?

Anyway, overall it was a good day, and it was really fun to have dinner with good friends. I work tomorrow at 1PM. I think I will ride the Harley in the morning. I want to go into Marietta and see Julia’s grave marker. It’s up and I haven’t seen it yet. It should be a nice sunny day. A good day to ride.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Day 305 - Shopping (For Me)

Today was another beautiful day in Atlanta. Although I didn’t get to ride the motorcycle, I did get to drive around with the top down in my Miata. Since the fuel pump has been replaced, she has run like a champ. There are still things that need to be fixed eventually, primarily the speakers in the radio and the left power window. They are on their last legs, but it’s almost been 12 years, what can I really expect. I’m blessed that she is a reliable and fun ride. That car was made for days like today. Since I drove over 150 miles today, that’s a good thing.

I had lunch with Jeff Whitmire today. On the way there I stopped at RiverStone to see Tom and Terry. Lunch was great, Jeff is making great progress on his new church. He has found favor with a lot of people and even the city council in Woodstock. I fell the wind of the Spirit on this venture, and it’s going to be a great thing. Today we were talking with a friend who is very prophetic and is helping Jeff come up with some protocols on how to release and pastor the prophetic. That’s great that he is thinking about that already. I was excited as I left the lunch.

I had to work tonight and instead of coming home I drove down to the Harley Davidson dealership in Newnan. I was told by a couple of people that I they had probably the best selection of clothes and jackets around. I needed a warmer jacket to wear, and every one that I had seen was super expensive. So since I had to work down at the airport tonight anyway, I decided to go down and check it out. Well they were right. I shopped for a good while, but finally found a jacket that I liked and saved a lot of money. It was a great day to go because they were discounting everything 15% if you were a veteran. So I got my Christmas present top myself today ad a great savings. At the same time I remember that Julia would always have me focus on how much she saved when she had spent a lot. I guess she did teach me some things after all. : > )

Work was easy, I was seatfilling (acting as First Officer) for one of the Women in Aviation Scholarship winners as she got her check ride. Originally I was supposed to be giving the check ride with the FAA watching me to make me a “TCE”. That would mean that I could give check rides unsupervised to anyone in our contract-training program. But the FAA cancelled out for some reason and I couldn’t give the check. Not problem for me, it will just happen another time.

I’m of tomorrow and it should be a great day. I could spend all day doing yard work, but I know that is not going to happen. I will get a run in, and maybe at least a short ride. I do work Saturday afternoon, but then I have three days off. It’s going to be different. I’ve been working so much I’m not sure if I will know what to do with all this time off. I know: yard work! Well, thanksgiving is around the corner and I am anticipating seeing all the girls. It’s going to be a busy month even with the time off.

Day 304 - It's a Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood

I was off today. This is one of the first of days I have had in a couple of weeks where I didn’t have somewhere I had to go, and the weather was nice enough to do something outside. The good thing about November and December is that there can be some nice warm days. Today was one of them. I had three things that I really wanted to accomplish today. First I wanted to get a run in. Second, I wanted to get a ride on my Harley, and third I wanted to get some yard work done. Today, for a change, I was able to do all three. It was a very good day.

I wanted to get my run in first, so I went to the Y around 10AM to run on the treadmill. I had really rather run outside, however it was still sort of cold and I felt that I would do better on the treadmill. It was fine, but not as exciting as it would have been. When I got back, I got on the computer and began to plant out the ride that I wanted to take. I wanted to ride on the back roads up to Cartersville Airport and then go towards Rome. Then I would come back down. I figured I would ride for about 60 miles. Well, I did ride for 60 miles. I just missed a couple of turns and wound up going to Rockmart. It really wasn’t that much out of the way. So I went to Rockmart and then down to Dallas and back home. Perfect ride as far as miles go. It would have been a little better if I could have kept off some of the main roads. The good news is that there was no traffic, the weather was great and the trees are turning all the fall colors and I was just glad to be able to feel the wind in my face.

I have been looking at the yard for the past month, knowing that work needed to be done. I can almost hear Julia giving me a list of things to get done. Well, I did get started today and I got the two major things that I wanted to get done today. First, I did get the dead plants in the front pulled up. They were driving me batty. So, here I am outside and I pulled up these dead plants. I will get some pansies and try to get them planted on Friday afternoon. I’m coming to there part of the month where I get more time off, so I’ll have time to work in the yard. Also I was able to get all the roses trimmed down to where I left them. They will be fine like this to the winter.

So, it really was a beautiful day in the neighborhood, and I was blessed to be able to handle things that weren’t really a problem. It was great to be able to ride on a warm day. Hopefully there will be more to do as the weeks progress.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Day 303 - Angels

The past two days have been very busy. On both days I left home at 7:30 in the morning and got home late. Last night was around 11PM and tonight was around 11:45PM. It’s after midnight as I sit here by the fire writing this post in my blog. Both afternoons I got off from work around 3:15, changed clothes and then went to get an early supper/late lunch and then to Starbucks to catch up on email and make some phone calls. Then it was off to school. I love school, worship on Monday nights and then our second year class is amazing. Monday night was interesting. We had a campus ministry leader from Ga Tech talk to us about leadership. He is totally opposite from most of us. He is very animated and loud. In fact he pushed every button of mine he could push. I didn’t realize that I had so many religious spirits still in me, but he made me see them. What he said was good, how he said it made me mad. Then I realized that he was doing it on purpose, trying to make us mad. We didn’t bite. Instead, we asked him questions and got some wonderful insights into leadership. We honored him for who he was, not for how he behaved. We passed the test. It was a test; he was poking at us, trying to get us upset and into a fight. It was an interesting night in many ways.

Tonight was totally different. Blake talked to us about the prophetic. He is the one that led my AMT about seeing in the Spirit. We were talking about the importance of making sure that we were hearing God, and not just moving in our gifting. Somehow the conversation moved to angles. The question was asked about our personal angle. Everybody has one. Anyway, what happens to them when you die. Blake was telling tis story about what he saw once concerning this angel. The angel basically told him that when you die, they get another person who is born. They then love and take care of them just like they did you. That got me to thinking, and as I thought, I silently began to cry. What happened to Julia’s angel when she died? I don’t really know, no one does. But as I thought, I asked myself almost out loud; “Could Julia Anne have Julia’s Angel? Wow, that would be great. Just think if Julia Anne had Julia’s angel, it could help teach her things in the Spirit that no one else would be able to teach.

Almost immediately I got this answer in the Spirt. It was a strong yes, Julia Anne does have Julia’s personal angel, and it can’t wait to tell Julia Anne about her grandmother. I almost broke as I pondered this. This is great! I can’t imagine her having anyone else’s Angel. I didn’t get a chance to ask Blake what he thought about iit, but I’m sure he would say that it should be true if I heard that strong from the Lord about it. I know that you can’t think logically about angles, but it makes sense. Julia was born so soon after Julia’s death, and in her room as well. So, I’m still trying to see Angles. I saw one in Nicuragra last march, and I think I saw one last week, but just barely. For those of you who think I’m crazy, that’s OK. Crazy is a relaive term anyway. Well, it’s late and I need to get some sleep so I can enjoy my off day tomorrow.

Monday, November 8, 2010

Day 302 - Grow Where You are Planted

We had five great years at NE Metro, but in 1999 some things began to shift. God had given us grace for the drive to Norcross. We were averaging making that trip about 3 times a week. At the same time, Julia’s mother had died, and we were thinking about selling our house on Button Hill and moving. It made the most sense to move over to Gwinnett county. Afterall, all of our ministry was over there, an most of our current friends. Although we still had good friends in Marietta, time and distance had caused us to grow apart. The problem we this; no matter how much we looked, neither Julia or I could bring ourselves to by a house over there. We just couldn’t find anything that we liked.

The more we thought and prayed, the more we felt that we were to sell our house and build another on the land we still had on Button Hill. The thought of building again was exciting, and pretty soon Julia and I were working on our dream house. We decided on a builder, our good friend Nelson Jones, and then we started looking at plans. It was an exciting time for both of us as we worked together to make this house special. It was a lot of work. We had to relocate the road, bring in county water and natural gas. We also had to have power lines relocated. The costs began to rise, but I was making good money at Delta, and we had sold 4 acres of the land to a friend, so it was within our budget. I was happy to see Julia so excited. I really thought this was doing a lot to take her mind off the loss of her mother. Her mother had lived with us for about two years, and died at our old house. I thought it was time for a change of scenery, but we loved Button Hill too much to leave.

But the grace for the drive over to Norcross began to wane. We began to find ourselves trying to limit our trips across town. It seemed that God was “unfeathering” the nest in other ways as well. At the same time we heard that a group from First Methodist Marietta were leaving the church and about to start their own church. They were going to call it Wesleyan Fellowship. We heard that there was going to be an organizational meeting at Mt Paran North. We both decided that we wanted to go, mainly out of curiosity. I had felt long ago that God told me there would be another church that would come out of FUMC, and this was it. So, we went to the first meeting, and it was like old home week. All of our old friends were there. Everyone that we had ministered with at youth camp, and many of those in our old home group were there. It felt really good to see them. Julia and I both were being pulled into old friendships. Our good friend Terry Cantrell was going to be one of the pastors, in fact the first pastor until Charles Sineath, the senior pastor at FUMC, could retire and join us. The worship band was pretty good, and they said all the right things that Julia and I needed to hear about a church.

We went back to NE Metro, and things went along, but in the back of or minds, and growing in our hearts was a passion for this new adventure. There were a few more meetings at Mt Paran and other locations and then it was obvious that they were about to formally start as a church. It seems like there were about 800 people. That’s a big church plant. I knew that God was up to something. We were really torn because we loved Tony and Sandy. I loved being an associate pastor and really didn’t want to give that up. The Holy Spirit was still moving strong at NE Metro, and it was still fun. We continued to pray. As we were praying, we had a big prophetic conference at NE Metro. I remember that Saturday morning. We were sitting down, and then we were called out and given a word by one of the people who had come. The word was this: “Grow where you are planted”. Although it’s a pretty specific word, it had tow meanings to us. First, where were we planted. Well, we had helped plant this church. Did it mean that we were to continue to stay and grow there? Or did it mean that we were to leave NE Metro and go back and grow where our roots were, in Marietta. If that was the case, it was probably telling us to move to Wesleyan Fellowship. It was hard to know, but the time for a decision was near. I left the conference and went and called a good friend, Tommy Fraley. I gave the word to Tommy and told him that I really felt that we were to move back to Marietta and Wesleyan Fellowship. He almost started crying with joy on the phone. He said that he had been in a dry season with the Lord, and had a was having a hard time hearing, but as I spoke, the Lord was telling him that we should do just what I had said.

So, with great sadness and great joy, we asked release and blessing from Tony and Sandy. Many of our prophetic friends warned us not to go. They said that Wesleyan Fellowship was a church that was going to blow up, that it would never make it because there was too much division. We were warned, but we had heard God and our eyes were set on going back, so we did. Littlw did we know all that was going to jhappen over the next few years. Those friends were exactly right. We were stepping into a powder keg, but it was where God wanted us, and He had a plan.

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Day 301 - Eastern Standard Time

This morning we “fell back” off Daylight Savings Time back into Eastern Standard Time. While I admit that I enjoyed the extra hour of sleep this morning, it was a high price to pay for the early evening darkness that we will have to suffer through until mid march. Sure, it get’s light earlier in the morning, but it seems like it doesn’t get light that early, but gets dark so much quicker. Each year at this time Julia and I would have this conversation between ourselves. We both hated going to Standard time and always lamented the fact that we had to change. It just makes winter seem that much colder and that much gloomier. Well since I didn’t have her to complain to, you got to hear my annual complaint. Well, there is nothing that I can do about it anyway, so tomorrow night it will just be dark before I get to school. It will get darker sooner and sooner until Dec 21st when it will slowly begin to get lighter. But the real shift won’t occur until mid March when we finally come to our senses and go back to Daylight Savings Time. I can’t wait.

Today was another very busy Sunday. 11AM church at RiverStone was good and ended at 1PM then the drive over to Little Five Points for outreach. The teams had a good day. There were a number of healings, and a lot of love released in the area. We left there around 4:40 and went back to RiverStone for FaceDown. FaceDown is our monthly Sunday night meeting where we focus on worship and prayer. It is a two-hour service that consists of a lot of worship with focused prayer. The prayer focus tonight was for our nation. It was great and I am glad I went, even though I was very tired. So here I am about to start another week. I work four days this week: Monday; Tuesday; Thursday and Saturday. Hopefully it won’t be too tiring. The good news is that I don’t have any early mornings for the next few days. I really like them most times, but on the days that I have school, they are very hard.

I am sitting here by the fire resting as I write. The Holy Spirit’s presence is really strong and I really feel more like listening to the music and reflecting than writing. I wish that everyone could know the goodness of God and feel His pleasure the way I do right now. There is no way that they couldn’t believe if they could experience this. His love for us is just so great, and for the most part, we never really understand the depth of it. I think I understand it best when I think of my children and grandchildren. I would do anything for any of them, and I know that I God’s nature, He loves us.

Just thinking about His love, makes me miss my girls even more. I am really looking forward to seeing all of them at the end of the month. Julia is starting to walk and I haven’t seen her do that yet. Adair is running and I haven’t seen her race. There are things that Meleah and Anna are doing that I am missing also. But just to be with them for a few days will be so great. I think that’s it for tonight. I need to get ready for the week.

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Day 300 - 300 Days

It is just almost impossible to believe that it’s been 300 days since Julia’s celebration service. It’s even harder to believe that I have been writing this blog every day since. When I felt the Lord tell me to write this on the day before her service, I thought to myself that there is no way that I can do that. What can I say, where does it go after the first week? At that time I had no idea what I would say, or how hard it would be, or how easy it would be.

I didn’t realize that many nights I would be fine until I started writing and then I would just lose it. I also didn’t realize that many nights when I was just so lonely and hurting that writing about her and our relationship would bring such peace. So, where am I here at the 300-day mark? We are drawing close to the end of a full year, where will I be then? Tonight as I once again sit by the fire in my rocking chair, listening to Love Came Down, I feel that I should do some evaluation of what has happened, and what needs to happen.

I guess the first thing to say is that I still love and miss Julia very much. Not a day passes that I don’t find myself thinking about her and how much I loved her. I think about what we had, and I miss her presence. But just as important is the fact that I am moving on. I am living life, and living it to the fullest. I know that is what she would have wanted for me. I am involved in ministry in so many levels, and my intimacy with Papa, Jesus and Holy Spirit is stronger than it has ever been. I am learning who I am in Christ, and as I learn more and more about His goodness, I grow stronger in the Spirit. I know that I carry the Presence of the Kingdom wherever I go, and that I don’t have to fear anything. These are all positives and I am so grateful to Him for giving me the grace and strength to press on into my destiny.

Although I am still working out what that Destiny is, I do see Holy Spirit moving pieces like a chess game. He is rearranging my life and the priorities of ministry. I can’t accomplish a new destiny by doing the same things, and as my focus shifts, some things that are dear to me have to be left behind. Julia and I were walking in our destiny. Everything we both did was a part of it. Now, as I shift into a new destiny it makes sense that things will change. I believe that Holy Spirit has shown me some of the changes, but others will follow in the coming months, and they are not in focus yet. I just know that they are there. Priorities might change, but my love for all my friends will never change. Friendship is something that should last a lifetime. I have learned that over the years, so no matter what I do, I will never stop loving my friends. But sometimes seasons do change, and the places where we meet and hang out might shift over the years, but the friendships will remain.

I have healed in many, many ways. I truly believe that this blog, and my firm belief in the goodness of God, along with the support of friends and family have helped me to heal much faster than most who are in my situation. But I know that the healing is still going on, and these next two months are critical in the healing process. I have to embrace everything they will bring: Thanksgiving; Julia’s birthday, Sean, Jennifer’s and Anna Roan’s birthdays and then Christmas. I have to embrace the smiles and the tears, the joy and the sorrow, the bitter and the sweet. It is so important that we as a family allow each other to grieve and also to laugh and have joy. Neither one is the only way; we will need both to get through these next days.

How can I fail? I can’t, Papa won’t let me. He has already shown me that the way to healing is to embrace all that we had, but to move forward toward the new. Like I said before, it’s all about change and no matter what happens to me, I can’t fail as long as I stay in His arms. This is my job, to model this to my girls and to all those who know me. This is the Kingdom way, and I am a releaser of His Kingdom. So, I do look forward to the next 65 days of mystery and purpose that He has for me. I think I will be alright.

Day 299 - Greenville SC

Well, it’s after midnight, but we just got back from church. I’m part of a team of 11 students that came with Scott Thompson up to Greenville SC tonight. The name of the church is Kingdom Culture and it is a very appropriate name. It meets right in the heart of Greenville in an old art theater. It’s almost like theater in the round. The stage is in the center with three sides of chairs in theater style seating. There is an area for ministry in front of the stage and the ceiling is all black with stage lights. It’s just the way that I would have done it if it were my church.

We left around 1PM from Atlanta. Instead of driving down south to meet everybody, I drove over to Suwannee and we met at a Wal-Mart where I left my car. The drive up was fun, and we got to the church around 4PM. It wasn’t as bad a drive as I remembered. We met the pastor at the church and then went to where we are staying. The guys are staying at a Holiday Inn Express and the girls are in a guest suite at these neat lofts. It is an old factory that has been renovated. Anyway, I’m just glad to have access to Internet.

We ate in downtown Greenville at a so-so Mexican place and then got to church around 7. I think it started at around 7:45. You could just tell tht all the people were hungry. This was a very young crowd; mostly young professionals and college students. It was also a very creative and artsy group. But you could almost see the hunger for more of God on them. During worship, we sung some songs that I hadn’t heard before. One in particular really drew me in. I don’t remember all the words, but the chorus went like this:
Fill us up with Holy Fire; Fill us up with Holy Fire; Fill us up with Holy Fire; We want more of you.
That was really the theme for the night as during the prayer before we started some of us saw a fire being released and coals resting on the hearts of many of the people.

We started off the meeting with the prophetic as we spoke different words over people that God highlighted. It was a lot of fun, and the words were well received and on target. Then Scott spoke about our spiritual DNA and how the Light of God changes us. After the message we went around praying and prophesying over most everyone there. The ministry time was very good, but very long. There was a time of just talking and fellowship afterward so it was well after 11 when we left the building.

Tomorrow we are going to meet with the pastor at Starbucks and then go to breakfast. We will get to pray and prophesy over him then. After that we will drive home. This seems more like a commando raid in the Spirit. A quick in, attack, then quick exit exercise, but it is fun and it will be good to be able to go to RiverStone on Sunday morning.

I did hear about the Miata today. It’s fixed and I will get it Monday afternoon. It was the fuel pump as I suspected. It could have gone out anywhere. God really was watching out after me to keep me safe on the expressways. Well, it’s late, and tomorrow is going to come early. So back to Atlanta we go in the morning.

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Day 298 - Va Tech 28 - Ga Tech 21

I don’t know when I have enjoyed a game more than this game tonight, even though we lost. For the first time this year I saw passion and drive from this Ga Tech team. It was the best game that they have played this year, and I truly believe if their quarterback (Joshua) hadn’t been injured at the end of the first half they would have won. Sorry John, for the first time this year I think that GT has a chance to beat the dogs if Joshua gets well by then. Next week against Miami might be tough if he isn’t ready though. I do truly believe that if Joshua comes back, we will beat Ga or in other words, cross over into the promised land : > )

So much for football scores, but there is much to learn form the commitment and passion that the teams play with. Why can we get so passionate about a sport that is played by 18 – 22 year olds. In the south especially, football is really more of a religion than Christianity. Don’t get me wrong, I love college football. It’s my favorite sport to watch. But how does it effect my destiny. It doesn’t. I really regret my early years at Tech. I was given a great singing voice by God, but in two years at Tech, I had ruined it by yelling too much at football games. Even now when I think about it, I wasted a great talent that God had given me, for what? Sure, I still have a pretty good voice, but any hope of the real destiny that I might have had was wasted long ago.

We do this all the time; we get so caught up in the moment that we don’t realize that we are selling out our destiny. The good news is that our Papa can redeem anything. I may not be able to sing, but I can worship! When I worship, iti’s like I get the voice I used to have, but when I try to sing anywhere else, it’s terrible. Does this make sense, of course not! But what happens in the Kingdom is not normal. We need to learn to expect the unexpected as we worship and call forth the Kingdom of God.

Today was a good day, but I was totally exhausted. I got home at 12, and really didn’t do anything all day. I kept falling asleep. I did take a couple of naps. It’s funny, I feel more alive now at 11:46 than I did all day. Tomorrow I leave for Greenville. It will be fun, but we probably have too many people going, so I probably won’t get to minister too much. But just hanging out will be fun.

Well it was a good day, and although I didn’t do much I was just glad to be in the presence of the father. Truly God is good, and we really need to learn to understand how good he is.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Day 297 - Let Down by my Trusted Miata

This morning started early for the second day in a row. I got up at 3:30 and was at work at 5:30. The good news was that I finished at 10AM. Then I had to drive over to Alpharetta to see my Chiropractor. My appointment was at 11Am and I figured that I would be able to get back home and have time to go to the Y to work out in the afternoon. Today’s total driving was probably about 130 miles. I usually put over 100 miles a day on my cars. Maybe more, especially when I drive back home and then down to school. Anyway, it was just like any other day. I normally drive my Miata back and forth to work. First it gets 30MPG while the Envoy only gets 17. But really it is a lot of fun to drive. Now today wasn’t a “top down” day, but it’s still fun to drive. I ought to know, I have been driving it for almost 12 years. Sure, it has over 170,000 miles on it, but it has almost always been very reliable. I think that in all this time, I have been stranded on the road only about 3 times. Well, today makes 4.

As I was driving up 400 to the office, I felt the power die and kick back in. It was almost like I had taken my foot off the accelerator for a second. In fact, I looked down at my foot to make sure it hadn’t slipped off. Anyway, I didn’t worry about it and proceeded to my appointment. Everything was fine until I tried to leave to go home. Then it wouldn’t start. It would try to start, but it was like it wasn’t getting any fuel. Being the fine mechanic that I am, I did the only thing I knew to do. I laid hands on the hood and prayed over it. Seriously, I’ve seen it healed before. But today it was not to be. In the past in this situation, the first thing I would do would was call Julia. She could either come get me, or at least encourage me. I remember the last time I broke down; it was on I 75 going to work on a Sat morning. She came and took me to work and then waited for my simulator to be over to take me home. She loved me that much. It pulled her out of her plans for a full day, but she was there. Well, she’s not here now, and once again I really realize just how much we depended on each other. So the question was this. I know that my friends love me, but who will I have to impose myself on. I know that they will gladly help, but I just really didn’t want to have to ask and receive.

Well, after I had talked myself through that, I realized that John and Biddie were doing a Sozo and Bud was at home waiting on the results of his granddaughter’s surgery. First I called my mechanic and arranged for the car to be picked up, then I called John. I knew that if John could, he would pick me up. Shoot, I knew that he would pick me up even if he couldn’t. The truth is, even if Julia was alive, there was a good chance that it would be John picking me up instead of Julia. But it sort of made it hard to call him just knowing that Julia wasn’t there. There are sometimes when life is lonely. Good friends really help, and I don’t know what I would do without their support, but the loneliness still remains.

But, I got to spend the afternoon with John and Biddie. We went to Trader Joes and Costco and then I had chili with them tonight. So, in the midst of being let down by my trusty Miata, friends were there to surround me and help me get home. This is really a pretty prophetic picture. It’s your friends that will help you get home, where ever home is. Who you surround yourself with really helps define your destiny. I’m grateful to be surrounded by good friends who just want MORE, and have young hearts, seeking after the Kingdom.

In all this, I do see the goodness of God. The Miata could have died at 4AM this morning on the way to work. It could have been on 400 this afternoon, or anywhere along my route the past few days. But to have it die in a parking lot is such grace and mercy. My mechanic has promised he will fix her and get me back in the saddle soon. I know that she still has at least another 170000 miles in her, and I plan to keep her going. She’s too much fun to drive to get rid of now. Besides she’s like an old friend too.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Day 296 - Good Days at NE Metro

As I look back on Julia and my life together, there are many years of growth in the Spirit. Our last years at Wesleyan Fellowship/RiverStone together were awesome in many ways, but what prepared us for these years, and what prepared me for where the Lord is moving me today was the five years we with Tony and Sandy at Northeast Metro. Tony and Sandy were our best friends as well as mentors. I know that I learned so much about the things of the Spirit, and we had so much fun doing it.

Tony Cavener is one of the most prophetic men that I know and he and Sandy were a team that Julia and I could model our ministry and life after. We loved the things of the Spirit, and as long as I can remember, every Sunday the Holy Spirit would show up in power. We were in renewal for years after most other churches had “moved on”. We didn’t want to move on, why would you ever move on away from the Holy Spirit. NE Metro is where I first learned that I could give a word of prophecy for someone. It is the first place that we realized that we could be used in ministry by the Holy Spirit.

It was Tony who encouraged me to preach. I didn’t think that I had anything to say, and really felt shy about speaking in from of people. But he had me start preaching at our evening service. I think the crowd at that service was always less than 75, but it was still preparing sermons and praying that I would hear the Holy Spirit for a word in season for the church. Later I started speaking on some Sunday mornings, and pretty soon I was loving the opportunity to be used by God to release His word to the people. Julia really didn’t want to preach of speak, she had rather stay in the background, but that was soon going to change.

It was at NE Metro where we began to realize the difference between the Church and the Kingdom. We were all about releasing the Kingdom of God and creating an environment for Him to move. At that time, there wasn’t any thought of evangelism and taking all we learned outside the church. We were all about the Kingdom, but we didn’t realize we could release it in our everyday environment. Our idea of outreach was going downtown every Saturday morning with Blood and Fire. We would work with David Van Cronkite and his team in the projects of Atlanta and at the “warehouse” where the team would feed and disciple the homeless of Atlanta. I don’t remember how many years I did this on Saturday morning. It wasn’t really Julia’s thing, but she would go help occasionally. I really think she was discerning and knew that David really wanted me to quit my job, move down there and minister. He did, and I was tempted, but I knew that I was called to be with Tony at NE Metro.

Another area that we learned about and really grew into was the area of Prophetic Intercession. We were connected to Word of Love Ministries through Tony, and a new world opened up right in front of us. I had always thought prayer to be boring, but prophetic intercession was anything but boring. It was exciting and alive. This is when Julia really came into her own. This was her calling. She was an intercessor as soon as she began to understand the power and the calling. Her prophetic nature began to blossom as did her leadership skills. I would watch her in awe as she began to connect in the Spirit with what God wanted to do. She was passionate about it. We were in an incubator for intercessors. We went to numerous Jim Goll Conferences, and bought all his books. Everything we learned and all the passion that was nurtured was for a reason. We didn’t know the reason, but it was for later at RiverStone, so we could teach and release all that we had learned.

We were happy and content. Things were going well at NE Metro. The church was around 250 – 300, but we weren’t about numbers. It was deep worship and deep teaching. The prophetic was very strong and intercession was the fuel that powered the engine. We were deeply involved in ministry and were hooked on being in the presence of Holy Spirit. I think that I remember saying that I would never leave. I really felt that we would be there the rest of our life. These were good times, but there were hard times in the middle. Julia’s mom died of cancer during this time after living with us for over two years. It’s funny, but I really don’t remember the hard sad times, but the good times, these memories are so strong. Holy Spirit just showed me that it will be like this in years to come about this time. Interesting. Anyway, I’ve learned never to say never and never to say always. The Holy Spirit is like the wind, you never know which way He will blow you if you are open to His leading.