Friday, December 07, 2007

Shine, shine like crazy


Tonight was our Christmas women's event, the "Christmas Extravaganza" - which is a Victorian Tea, served by our Men's Ministry. Our women hostess tables and invite their friends, particularly their unchurched friends.

I hardly got any sleep last night. I was just restless with a lot on my mind and anticipating what's coming up, both good things and things I feel a little overwhelmed by. I spent most of the night in prayer, wishing I could go to sleep. I slept for 2 hours (all night long) then got up and got Savanna up for school and went back to bed for 3 more hours. So I was running on a whopping 5 hours sleep today.


Before I give some insights into what I shared at the tea, let me share the best part of the evening...a guest I invited this evening, Alexa, received Christ as her Savior tonight! Yippee! She is a friend of Dustin and Jordan's from school and has come to my home for tea several times as well. She has also been at various parties we've had for the kids here at the house, and on top of all that, she's Casey's best friend. Anyway, she's just a precious girl and I've always enjoyed her so much and decided to invite her as my special guest tonight. Imagine my joy to see her come to the altar tonight and pray the prayer to accept Christ as her Savior. Laura (another friend from school who Dustin led to the Lord) prayed with her tonight. (The photo of it all happening is at the very top - the first photo above. Alexa is on the left, Laura on the right.)

I'm so excited! Afterwards she was so overjoyed...just "giddy" sort of happy, laughing and smiling so much and said, "I can't wait to come back here...this was so awesome...it didn't feel like "church" but more like a talk about life that really made sense and I'm just feeling so wonderful right now, having just prayed the prayer..." She went on to say she has never been "religious" in her life, and would have never imagined prior to tonight making this decision or wanting to come to church, but she was so compelled. PRAISE GOD!!! Of course I explained, it's not about religion, but relationship.

This is the beginning of something wonderful for her. God has huge plans for her, if she will continue to press in and follow Him. We actually had a group hug and jumped up and down we were so happy. Isn't God good? I just love it, love it, love it!!! There's nothing greater than this. I can't wait to see what He will do next. Isn't the love of Jesus something wonderful?

There was a great atmosphere tonight and women sharing around the tables...one woman (who came with a friend) came up to me with tears running down her face and said, "thank you so much for your weekly devotional/emagazine. You'll never realize how it's changed my life." Then she went on to tell me that she gets up in the middle of the night many times with her child who is disabled, and at 2 and 3 am she reads my cup of coffee e-zines. She calls me her "2 am girlfriend". (GRIN) I love it!

It's so good to hear testimonies like this and know that what I do makes a difference. Some other ladies (who were guests of NS people) told me, "we're daily blog readers...and you bless us so much." Aw, thanks! (SMILE)

Honestly, I'd never quit writing altogether - because it's as vital to me as breathing. People reading has never been a pre-requisite for me to write. It's something that's always been part of my daily life. Even if it just stayed in the dresser drawer, so be it. It's like singing...I sing alone in my house in the dark at night with nobody but God listening, and it'll always be that way. But when somebody tells me they listened, and were changed - WOW. That's the amazing work of God!

Speaking of lives changed - Alexa received Christ, but in addition to that many other women were touched and came to the altar. I've included some photos here of the altar time, and also some more from the other various aspects of the evening. Much of what took place at the altar I cannot share details of because people were there with many personal needs that are confidential. But suffice it to say, GOD IS SO GOOD and many were able to release burdens they have been carrying.

I didn't anticipate it to be this way when God gave me this message for tonight a few months ago, but most of the night I was basically preaching to myself. The message tonight was, "Surprised by God" and I talked about things we can learn from Luke 1:26-35 . I didn't realize until today - as I was going over it again this morning and talking to the Lord ~ how much it really applies to me at this time. Listen to the six points of the message and maybe you'll see the correlation with some things I've been blogging lately.

1) God looks for people He can trust.
2) The scripture says Mary was "thoroughly shaken."
3) Mary had nothing to fear.
4) Mary was "surprised by God".
5) The Holy Ghost came upon Mary, and hovered over her.
6) Mary rejoiced - she considered her surprise an honor.


The message concluded with one of my favorite scriptures:

"Seest a man who is diligent in his work? He shall stand before kings..." Proverbs 22:29

God has great things for those willing to press through and not quit. Mary was willing to go through anything to fulfill the role God had for her. Wherever we are placed is the highest honor we can ever imagine, if God has placed us there. God is looking for women who are fearless and courageous, those who can be trusted, like Mary, to do the work of His Kingdom even in the face of difficulties. It has been said, "Women are like teabags. You don't know what they're made of until they're in hot water!" God needs women who are willing to face hardship, sacrifice and challenges...women who are willing to be chosen for a significant work. Remember that although we are often surprised by God, He is never surprised! He is always in the future, waiting to show us around.

Those who know me know that I seek God and prepare my messages well in advance. But I never realized months ago how much this would apply to me, tonight.

I have been tempted to look around me and say, "Not fair, God! Look at so and so and how they have such a lack of diligence..." (and quite honestly many times they do...) But this is what I'm hearing God say...


What someone else does or doesn't do has nothing to do with where you are headed in your life. Mary was "chosen" out of all the other girls/women on the face of the planet, for her destiny. She "got God's attention."

I hear God saying to me right now that I need to let it roll off of me when I see other people lacking in commitment -- even when it presents challenges for me in my work. I have to realize that SOMEBODY out there is going to get God's attention. And I want that somebody to be me!!! For somebody to get God's attention they have to do at least two things to rise above the rest - be purehearted, (Mary was pure) and show an uncommon diligence. If everybody were giving the same amount of effort there would be no rising above. I am realizing that uncommon favor follows uncommon diligence.

Yes, some things are happening that make my life more difficult. However, rather than look at it as a life sentence and a devastation I need to see it as a "God-opportunity" to rise above and be noticed by God. In other words - THIS IS AN OPPORTUNITY!!! I say that being a very tired person right now, but nobody ever said we wouldn't be tired sometimes. IT'S TIME TO TAKE OUR OPPORTUNITY FOR ALL IT'S WORTH AND SHINE! As the song says, "Shine, shine like crazy..."

God is saying that we need to remember II Chronicles 16:9 where the Word says the eyes of the Lord run to and fro throughout the earth, seeking those whose hearts are fully toward Him, so that He may strongly support (endorse) them. That's what I want, how about you? I want God's eyes to roam the earth and suddenly STOP and look at me and say, "There's Deanna, rising to the occasion that I have presented her with..." and strongly endorse and support me.

This doesn't mean it's not going to take a whole lot of prayer to do it. Of course nothing happens without God making it happen. Because it's going to take a lot of prayer and the empowerment of God - it will obviously be a "God thing" when accomplished. People will have to stand back and say, "look what the Lord has done!"

I'm starting to see things different, through a little of my own preaching. :-) God showed up today and surprised me with that. Always love it when I feel prompted to answer my own altar calls.

By the way, here are the lyrics to Shine Like Crazy by Out of the Grey.

What, what's keeping us from moving?
What happened to the passion in our lives?
Look, see what he's been doing
Stirring up the fire deep inside
We're like diamonds in the dust
But our beauty's covered up
Gotta throw the shadows off to catch the light
I know we can shine
Shine like crazy
And shimmer like the sun
Free, that's what we're meant to be
To run and laugh and love and dance and sing
A volatile concoction of gratitude and grace
(It's contagious) That's a beautiful thing
So don't go entertaining doubts
Just pack them up and throw them out
We're making room for love to live inside
I know we can shine
Shine like crazy
And shimmer like the sun
This is where it gets exciting
When love has struck like lightning
It starts a fire that burns across the sky
I know we can shine
Shine like crazy
And shimmer like the sun

4 comments:

Melody said...

Thanks Pastor Deanna you are a role model to me. God Bless.

Michele said...

I am going to rise up and shine- I want to be that person God stops to look at- I will keep pressing on and be diligent even in the not so god days with Marcus- I know we both were chosen and God has a wonderful plan. Your words in this blog came right to the heart
Love ya
M

Missy said...

Thank you for sharing your message and all that took place last night! How wonderful! All of heaven was rejoicing with you ladies last night! Your message was exactly what I needed to hear and I only go what you wrote. God is faithful to use us when we are faithful to Him!
God bless
Melissa

Angie said...

What a beautiful event you put on for your ladies!