Sunday, November 21, 2010

Healing and Miracles

As the kids and I made our journey to Abilene I was in worship and prayer asking the Father "would you please reveal to me my role here {in Abilene}".  His response was "You already know because I have written it on your heart".  Instantly I understood the purpose I would fulfill here. To live a life that demonstrates and testifies that I believe the FULL word of God; everything He said was purposeful, and He meant every single word of it.  For example: in Matthew Chapter 6, verse 9 Jesus says "Pray like this... Thy Kingdom come, Thy will be done on Earth as it is in Heaven".{emphasis added}

Ok, so especially since Jesus himself said it, I am going to believe that the Kingdom of God is here on Earth. Period.  AND that we will see Gods will done on Earth as it is in Heaven.  Sounds simple, right? It is!

What is in Heaven? Past the gold, jewels, angels, rejoicing etc... Maybe it's easier to ask what's NOT in Heaven? Is there pain? sadness? divorce? violence? sickness? disease? NO!!!

So, then I am going to live my life by the word and promises of God.  As Jesus commands in Matthew 10:8, I will go and announce to the people {the lost} that the Kingdom of Heaven has come. I will heal the sick, raise the dead, cure those with leprosy, and cast out demons.  For God has given this power and authority to me freely, so freely I will give it away!

So what was written on my heart?
1. to see believers grasp the power and authority that the death of Jesus has already paid for. {so much more than the initial salvation from sins!}
2. to heal the sick.  not pray for them, not comfort them. To give them back their inheritance!
3. to build up the church through prophetic words {hearing from God in the moment for the edification of all who see and hear}

How did I arrive at this point? Well, to be honest, I was stuck in a rut and simply believed that there had to be something better.  As I write this, I am sort of giggling because the Father has made such divine appointments for me since I arrived that is makes me smile!! He knew where I'd be, the conversations I'd have with people etc. It's really awesome.

Before our house was ready to move into I was staying with a dear friend.  We were getting into a late night discussion about our faith, and what we'd like to see God do in Abilene.  She says "I have this movie we should watch".  My life has not been the same since then!!  She shared with me the Finger of God documentary that has captured some amazing footage of miracles and healings across the globe. It was exactly what I needed to catapult my faith to the next level!! If you feel like there is something more in life, I strongly recommend you watch the DVD with an open heart and mind.  It made me realize that I had put God in such a small box, but that night the box was burned up and consumed by a MUCH bigger God!! Praise the Lord!

Bill Johnson is pretty famous for saying something like "Signs and wonders are supposed to be a normal part of a believers life. They should be a daily, natural occurrence.  We need to be concerned when they are not." {sorry, this is very paraphrased!}

I agree, and that is what I am in Abilene, Texas fighting for!  The enemy has made us so numb to his lies and way of life that we start to question the miracles that happened in biblical times instead of questioning why they aren't happening now!!

Grow your faith and spend some time reading and watching testimonies from places with incredible breakthrough in these areas! Here are a few links that I like to visit to see what God is doing so that I can believe He will do that here too!

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Returning to Abilene

I don't even know where to start!  We've been in Abilene since October 23 and the time is flying by! It's been really hard because we haven't had internet until recently and I've really been trying to catch up on the major points between leaving and arriving. Time to move forward!

I like to start with the God things in our life.  Anyone who has moved a couple times knows how expensive moving can be.  Lots of little costs adding up. In our case it is lots of big costs adding up quickly!  Instead of just accepting this as "normal" we decided to pray over it and ask God to move on our behalf.

We needed to set up 2 new cell phone plans, electric, gas, water/sewer, and internet services we were worried that deposits were really going to add up, especially since our foreclosure last year.  Mike prayed in Nebraska and I prayed here in Abilene and God answered.  Most of our deposits were waived!! This is a HUGE praise report for us since we are in the process of rebuilding our credit. God is so good, He cares deeply about every detail of our lives, even the small ones!

I can't remember if I've written this previously but I feel I need to share it again.  Some of you reading will know this already, but when we were looking for a house in Abilene to rent, I looked online first and found a few that seemed suitable.  Thankfully I have really great friends here that were willing to go and check them out for me.  Kristen and Carter selflessly viewed 3 houses for us that never did work out.  I just didn't have God's peace about any houses that she'd gone to. At the same time I felt I couldn't keep asking her to go here and there!  I was beginning to feel discouraged.  The same day that Kristen viewed the third house for us, another friend wrote me immediately after finding out we were moving back and put me in touch with her mother-in-law, who happened to have a house possibly for rent.

The big thing is that we were about to put ourselves in a place of compromise based on pressure to find a house, instead of asking God to provide a house for us. Hmmmm.  In the end, I spoke with my friends mother-in-law and we were both blessed in the process.  She never intended to become a landlord, but God has created these opportunities for her.  We really needed a suitable house, in the right location and it's exactly what we found.  The only catch was that I wasn't able to see any pictures of the house, just what could be explained to me.  Yet I had this surreal peace about it, that it was meant for us. 

Fast forward to our arrival... remember that I am moving to a new house sight unseen...  We arrived at the address and were immediately encouraged.  The location is literally 5 minutes from our church, which was important to us. It is located on a fairly busy road but has a nice front garage that will keep the kids from running out on the street, another blessing.

I was blown away as soon as I stepped into the entry way!! Vonnie and Katy had both been so modest in their descriptions of the house to me.  It is absolutely beautiful! Spacious, clean, open, and logical.  The layout of the house is wonderful.  It is even painted in colors that I enjoy! What a gift from God!  My faith has really been stretched and has grown immensely through this amazing experience!

And the icing on the cake:  When Vonnie gave me a tour and we were about to leave the last thing she said to me that day was "I know this is my house but I really want you to be able to make it your home". God spoke to me in that moment. All the decisions that lead to this point have all paid off.  It was the confirmation that I needed. Thank you Father!

{more adventures from Abilene to follow...}

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Nothing Short of Miraculous!

So the logistics of our trip were absolutely amazing!  After visiting with Jill a couple days before we were about start our big trip, we had dinner the night before going with Grandma, Grandpa, Uncle Blair and Aunty Daniel.  We said our good-byes that night because we were leaving early in the morning.  It's always so hard to say good-bye when you don't know exactly when the next time you will see each other again.  It was especially hard knowing that Harrison didn't know exactly what it meant to say good-bye this time.

We started the day with another beautiful sunrise! I love how God encourages me with the beautiful things that make me smile!  We drove to the Canada/USA border and crossed over without any issues, and continued onto Great Falls, Montana - first 350 km of our trip under way.  We stopped at Target to stretch our legs, purchase a GPS unit and have some lunch.  I pre-booked our hotels for this trip, so we had to push towards our destination every day.  We were aiming for Billings, Montana for the first night.

Back in the van, and off we went!  I am so grateful that we had a DVD player to entertain Harrison.  Grandma and Aunty Jill bought him some new movies for the road trip so he was excited! He loved all his Bob the Builder dvds so much!

We arrived in Billings around 4:30pm, found our hotel and settled in.  Harrison was so funny! As we arrived at the hotel room, he ran in and practically started himself a bath. This became our new nightly routine for every hotel we stayed at.  We jumped on the beds, had our dinner, then settled in for our sleep for the night so we could get an early start the next day. Day 1, 700 km, not a single cry or fuss, praise God!

Our sleep was awesome!  Both kiddos were awake at 6 am so I packed up and took them downstairs for some breakfast. Heidi had her baby food and Harrison wasn't quite ready to eat so we grabbed a milk and a muffin for the road. Back in the van, we made our way through the rest of Montana, and all of Wyoming into Colorado.  We stopped in Casper, Wyoming to get gas, pick up some Subway sandwiches, and then we found a park to have a picnic at.  The kids had a wonderful time eating lunch on the grass.  Harrison ate and ran, then ate some more.  He played and played on the equipment and after about an hour break it was time to go.  This was about the only time the entire trip that Harrison fussed, only because he didn't want to stop playing! First stop, 444 km under way.

Back on the highway, we had fun singing "Silly Songs with Larry" on the Veggie Tales dvd.  I love this because it makes Harrison laugh!!  Then Heidi started laughing at Harrison and I was laughing with them and I could feel the joy of the Lord resting sweetly on us. Another little yet significant encouragement from God. 

We arrived at our destination, Loveland, Colorado around 4:30 pm and went straight to the outlet stores so I could pick up some clothes for the kids.  There were some fairly good bargains, but I knew the kids were tired and that we needed to get into our hotel and have dinner soon, so I didn't look super hard to the best deals.  Just when I thought we were in, out and off to the hotel my debit card was declined at the Carter's store.  I instantly knew it was because I had been using it all over the country side!  I called the bank and answered the questions and unlocked the card.  At least they were looking out for me! The end of day 2, 819 km. Whew!

Another hotel, another dinner, more jumping on the bed and another bath.  Both kiddos crashed by 7 pm and were up again at 6 am.  No fussing, no crying; only happy, well rested babies. Thank you Jesus! What an amazing blessing!  I packed up again and took the kids for hotel breakfast.  Staying at hotels with breakfast made our trip SO much easier!

On Friday morning we headed out from Loveland towards Amarillo, Texas around 6 am because the kids were wide awake at 5am (thanks time change!). Yikes. TONS of construction.  I did not anticipate these delays.  Thankfully Harrison was engrossed with the big trucks and tractors working on the road, and Heidi slept through most of it.  After an hour of construction delays we were jaunting across south-eastern Colorado and Oklahoma.

I didn't really anticipate my reaction as we neared the state line and crossed over into Texas. This big flood of relief, thankfulness and joy washed over me and I began to cry happy tears.  Way up in the panhandle there isn't much to see or look at, except oil wells.  Sort of a desert wasteland.  I saw my first gnarled mesquite tree and cried some more.  Isn't it funny the things we have associations with?

We pulled into our hotel in Amarillo around 3:30 pm with plenty of time to relax, play, eat and rest before our final day of traveling.  Another bath and story time and we all crashed early after our amazing dinner from Pacific Rim. Yum!  I was as excited as a kid on Christmas Eve knowing what was in store for the next day! The end of day 3, 769 km.

On our fourth and final day of travel we had an early breakfast with about 200 seniors, no exaggerating. We were the only family awake as they had their breakfast and reboarded the big tour bus.  I think that would be a fun way to get around and meet people when I'm a bit older! That, and a cruise! It seemed like every single person stopped at the table to talk to Harrison and gaze into Heidi's sparkling blues.  It was a fun way to start our morning!

Day 4, off to Abilene!  We were up at 5 am again, so we got an early start on the drive, which was going to allow me time to stop at the big Target in Lubbock. Hooray!  It was a good place for us to stretch our legs. I grabbed 2 drinks at Starbucks.  Maybe a sign that I'm ready to be done the big adventure? Yes! 

We pressed on and arrived in Abilene around 12:30. It seemed like such a short day with only 460 km driven! We met Vonnie Crumpton at our new house, where she toured us around.  Believe it or not, it was our first time seeing the house!! When my friend Katy put me in touch with her mother-in-law about the house a complete peace washed over me and I knew we would be happy there, sight unseen!

Our home is absolutely wonderful! It is very large and spacious, more room than we really need.  It actually has two 2 car garages and a great fenced yard for Harrison to play in.  We love it!  God is so good!! The kids absolutely love it, which is what matters most to me.

That is the abbreviated version of our journey, all 2,748 km of it, but all to say that there was not a single meltdown, by the kids or me! No trouble, no worries, just joy!  Over all I would describe our trip as long, but fun and enjoyable! I've had 4 hour flights with Harrison that I wouldn't say that about! What a God gift!

If feels so good to be home.  I have been struggling to put words to it really.  I just know that this is where the Burnett Bunch belongs.