Keep Showing Up

Buzz…

My phone rattled on the counter as I continued unloading the dishwasher and cleaning up the spills and crumbs for the millionth time that day. I grabbed it, pushing the wisps of hair off my forehead. Glancing down at the text, I read “Keep Showing Up” … along with other words from a dear friend. Tears filled my eyes as I grabbed the nearest pen and wrote it on a 3×5 card… a memorial or sorts in a moment of the every day, a sacred space to carve out the divine and remind me to show up. That’s it. Show up… and keep on showing up.

It may feel hard right now, it may seem hopeless for you quarantined in your homes. You may be overwhelmed at times, but we need you to keep showing up. We need you. So dig in deep to the peace that passes all understanding, all comprehension, all reasoning and logic… dig in and show up. You are so valuable, even in the everyday moments!

Rest. Reset. Restore.

While working in my home office yesterday, I was distracted by my friend’s instagram… the one and only creative ninja, Jenny Randle was on live! I popped on to hear her say. “the pressure’s off” and I immediately hit the request to join live button.

Instantly regretting that choice, because I didn’t want to interrupt her, now there was no turning back. So we had a 1 minute convo before my daughter burst through the door with tears streaming down her face and I had to log off. I thought the new baby chickens had all died. But no, she had just pinched her finger and needed a Mama hug.

All that to say, I went back and rewatched what Jenny & I had briefly discussed and wanted to share my heart here in this space. The world is on lockdown and you are all confined to your homes, except for the essentials. Some of you may enjoy this “free time” and others of you may be losing your ever-loving mind. I can’t blame you. I have one homeschooled child, one public school child and one baby. So I was in all spectrums. I work from home, but my husband travels for a living. It has been an adjustment, and my only “free time” is at 11pm after all the things have been done.

I strongly feel this is a time for creatives to deep dive into their process and produce beauty. I know it is a reset from the hustle. Rest is essential to your productivity and now is the time to reevaluate what path you were on. For many there is a heaviness, but know that you have hope in Christ. For those that want to create, the world needs you. Carry on in your humor, your light, your divine purpose. Carry on in your love, your craft, your essence. Be you in the dark, be you in the gloom. Keep your eyes focused on God.

Isaiah 26:3 says, “You will keep in perfect peace all who trust in you, all whose thoughts are fixed on you!”

Allow God to restore your peace if you are feeling worry, anxiety or fear. At the beginning of the year I gave it a name. I do this every year, excluding 2019, because… well, I was just mad. Plain old mad and I didn’t want to do it. So when 2020 was rolling around, I settled on Shiloh. Shiloh in Hebrew means “His gift” and possibly “peace”. I named my year this, and so I settle into it- finding a place to reside in peace. This year is God’s gift to me and so I hold fast to my faith, my promise.

Today, take the time to rest and reset. Pressure is off. You don’t have to produce, but you can. There is a grace for your gift and God will meet you in the middle of the messiest moment in your life. He will pull you out and make you to shine.

The Overshadowing

In the matrix he was formed, in the overshadowing he developed. In the light he dwells and darkness can not understand it. He is the Christ. Emmanuel, God with us. And if He is the God with us, he can never be the God without us. Deep in the dark cloud, deep in the wings of the Most High. Rest in Him.

Luke 1: 28-35, depicts a glorious encounter where the virgin Mary is visited by an angel. It goes like this… Gabriel appeared to her and said, “Greetings, favored woman! The Lord is with you!”

Confused and disturbed, Mary tried to think what the angel could mean. “Don’t be afraid, Mary,” the angel told her, “for you have found favor with God! You will conceive and give birth to a son, and you will name him Jesus.He will be very great and will be called the Son of the Most High. The Lord God will give him the throne of his ancestor David. And he will reign over Israel forever; his Kingdom will never end!”

Mary asked the angel, “But how can this happen? I am a virgin.”

The angel replied, “The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you. So the baby to be born will be holy, and he will be called the Son of God.”

 In the last section of this passage, verse 35, we find the word overshadow. This word is so significant, because the scripture itself speaks of three types of power. We find within the sacred text; Exousia, Dunamis and Epikaizo. These Greek words have varying meanings and it is important to know each one and how it applies to you.

Exousia is the power to act, authority, weight, influence. It is delegated empowerment or operating in a designated jurisdiction. This is the authority of every Believer, given by God through Christ Jesus. (1Cor. 9:18, 2 Thess. 3:9, John 10:18)

Next we have Dunamis which means strength, power, might, efficiency, energy, marvelous works. It is the ability to perform and power to achieve. It is the inherent power, or power residing in a thing by virtue of its nature. It is the super-human energy of the Spirit. (Acts 1:8, 1 Cor. 4:20, 2 Cor. 4:7)

The third form of power is what I want to focus in on. The overshadowing or Epikaizo, as found when Mary was visited by the Most High, is comprised of two Greek words.  EPI and KAIZO.  KAIZOmeaning to block something, and has similar meaning to the word shadow. The word shadow basically being described as the absence of light. EPI simply meaning over.

Therefore, the word Epikaizo in all, is the full manifestation of God’s power where the natural laws are cancelled in obedience to God who is Spirit. This is the power of the Highest (God the Father), where the Holy Spirit has to manifest it when it comes upon someone. With Epikaizoeternity is revealed at a place or on someone. This is what we find in Mary’s situation. We have a fourteen-year-old girl who has never known a man in the natural. Yet she is obedient to the Word from God and allows the epikaizo to brood over her and cancel out all the natural laws in order to allow the creative energy of God to create in her womb and produce Emmanuel, GOD WITH US. 

Often we can find ourselves identifying with Eve and her disobedience, when we must acknowledge that we are not daughters of Eve. We now must identify with the new supernatural prototype, one who will carry the presence –Christ in YOU the Hope of Glory– and give birth to, or produce solutions! See, you are not the problem; you are the answer. We must become so impregnated with the epikaizo that it changes our circumstances; allowing God to cancel out all the natural laws surrounding us and envelope us with eternity. Once Mary was overshadowed with the Most High and became impregnated with the Emmanuel Seed… the God with us… He has never left. For the Kingdom of God is within.

If we continue on our journey through scripture, we find the next place with the word for power (epikaizo) used is in Luke 9:34. We can see in vs. 28-36 a story familiar to many, Jesus is on the Mount of Transfiguration. See Peter, James and John went up the mountain to pray with Jesus, but fell asleep. As they were deep in sleep, Moses and Elijah came and spoke with Jesus concerning his death. When they awoke, they saw the glory so they said let’s build three tabernacles. Yet before they knew it the (epikaizo) overshadowing had come upon them and they all went into the cloud upon the mountain. It is in the high places, on the mountain, above the snake line where we can go deeper into the cloud of God’s presence. In the mountain there is full manifestation of God’s glory. 

Lastly in, Acts 5:12-15, We see the Apostles on Solomon’s Porch in a spirit of unity. Unity had previously been released in Jesus’ prayer in John 17:20-23.  

I am praying not only for these disciples but also for all who will ever believe in me through their message. I pray that they will all be one, just as you and I are one—as you are in me, Father, and I am in you. And may they be in us so that the world will believe you sent me. I have given them the glory you gave me, so they may be one as we are one.I am in them and you are in me. May they experience such perfect unity that the world will know that you sent me and that you love them as much as you love me.”

So you can see here in verse 12 of Acts 5, that there was already power demonstrated. (The apostles were performing many miraculous signs and wonders among the people. And all the believers were meeting regularly at the Temple in the area known as Solomon’s Colonnade.) That means that there was already Acts 1:8 power demonstrated. You will never have epikaizo or the overshadowing presence until you move into Acts 1:8 first and it becomes normal with you. 

As you walk with God, it is normal for you to know authority over diseases, germs, viruses, sicknesses, and over demonic power. It becomes normal for your life. Wherever you go demons are afraid of you. You have the authority to lay hands on the sick. It is a normal part of your life. You live in divine health and you know God’s power upon your life. You become familiar with exercising your God-given authority, your exousia. You function daily out of the dumanis of God, the super human energy. Then as you continue to walk in this degree of power and anointing, you develop a deeper communion with the Lord. You walk further up into the mountain and deeper into the cloud. You enter the realm of the Most High, the epikaizo.

Many Miracles, Signs and Wonders happened at the hands of the Apostles. In Acts 5:15, many even thought it was just Peter’s natural shadow that healed the sick in the streets, but here we see the word overshadow or epikaizo. It becomes more than the mere human shadow, following you about in daily life. You become overshadowed with His divine presence and can not help but transform atmospheres and circumstances you come in contact with. Wherever that shadow was, the natural world was CANCELLED

Every natural law becomes subjected to the spiritual and higher law. Under that law, there can be no sicknesses. There cannot exist any demon. There cannot exist any disharmony or discord. There cannot exist anything that contradicts the presence of GodSee Once you go into the cloud, you never actually come out and you begin to carry it with you wherever you go. Peter was on the Mount of Transfiguration with Jesus and went into the cloud and from that day forward began to carry the very life-giving presence of God with him every where he went. 

My prayer is that we become a people of his presence, through prayer, intimacy and worship that we are so overshadowed by the Almighty that no natural circumstance can stand in the way. Today, let the EPIKAIZO of God come over you and touch your physical body, touch your finances, touch your marriage. Learn to dwell inside of the cloud, because it is there that we have everything we need!

Psalm 91

Those who live in the shelter of the Most High
    will find rest in the shadow of the Almighty.
This I declare about the Lord:
He alone is my refuge, my place of safety;
    he is my God, and I trust him.
For he will rescue you from every trap
    and protect you from deadly disease.
He will cover you with his feathers.
    He will shelter you with his wings.
    His faithful promises are your armor and protection.
Do not be afraid of the terrors of the night,
    nor the arrow that flies in the day.
Do not dread the disease that stalks in darkness,
    nor the disaster that strikes at midday.
Though a thousand fall at your side,
    though ten thousand are dying around you,
    these evils will not touch you.
Just open your eyes,
    and see how the wicked are punished.

If you make the Lord your refuge,
    if you make the Most High your shelter,
10 no evil will conquer you;
    no plague will come near your home.
11 For he will order his angels
    to protect you wherever you go.
12 They will hold you up with their hands
    so you won’t even hurt your foot on a stone.
13 You will trample upon lions and cobras;
    you will crush fierce lions and serpents under your feet!

14 The Lord says, “I will rescue those who love me.
    I will protect those who trust in my name.
15 When they call on me, I will answer;
    I will be with them in trouble.
    I will rescue and honor them.
16 I will reward them with a long life
    and give them my salvation.”

Chronicles of Grace & Glory

Within the walls of quarantine, whether self-imposed or mandated… we dig through the treasure boxes of our past. We unearth the tender moments, the tranquil and the turbulent. This relic was penned over 4 years ago, never published… perhaps a bit raw at the time. Yet now, the edges softened and the aches relieved… may it encourage and inspire.

I’m just gonna take a dive right off the deep end…

Have you ever given so much, that it physically hurts? I mean, your insides heave with the pressures of the day and the weighty amount of responsibility you’ve shouldered… you feel as if your heart would burst. There’s this precise moment in each day, yes each day, where I feel as if I could collapse. A moment where I recite, 2 Corinthians 12:9, in some jumbled up paraphrased expression of “your Grace, God, is sufficient for me”… feeling more like a cry for help instead of an actual declaration. With an air of questioning I may loudly recite the Fruit of the Spirit while gathering up children’s toys that seem to have exploded out of their bedrooms, down the hall and into the living room.

Again, I make up my own translation… So it goes, “Oh Lord! Thank you that I am full of LOVE today. Thank you that the JOY of the Lord is my strength. You ARE my PEACE, my Prince of Peace. I thank you that I have bucket loads of Patience today. Kindness, always kindness. Goodness, because you are a GOOD God. You are so Faithful and I thank you for Faithfulness. Oh and I am so glad that I have self-control…” I may go about my day, blurting aloud at random the aforementioned fruit of the Spirit (Galatians 5:22-23).

Mostly, it’s at the end of the day when the children are surprised that it is once again bedtime. Oh the ghastly looks of shock I receive when I announce its arrival. The moans and groans of defiance. The sloppy teeth brushing, face washing and toilet using. Once I have tucked and kissed and hugged until I fear my limbs will fall off, I slip into my secret hiding place…

Not really, there are no hiding places when you’re a Mom. Even trips to the bathroom are no longer a solitary event. Perhaps I flop my listless body onto the sofa, or crumple up on my bed… it’s then I feel a physical ache inside, and I dig deep. I reach for Love. You see, there are times in my life where my husband is gone more than he’s home.

Maybe you have just stumbled across my blog and are unsure of why. He’s a Preacher. More specifically an Itinerant Minister, which is one who travels and preaches. So no, I’m not a traditional Pastor’s Wife and I do not have a congregation gathered around me in support while he is gone. Yet I have a lovely team of intercessors who pray faithfully for me. With all his travel comes unwanted and sometimes unwarranted sacrifices in the name of ministry. So often there are times when I am ten days into a fifteen day exploit and I feel an ache in my heart for the love of my life to be near.

It’s a pain I am sure very few could understand. Or perhaps you all can totally relate and I have misjudged you. But whatever this emotion, it moves me to pray. I dialogue and review my case before God… feeling like a selfish child at times. Day and night counting the cost. I weep over souls, praying for miracles and searching for wisdom.

It’s a balancing act, on a tight rope of sorts. When people ask, “How do you do it all?” or the polar opposite by saying “Well, I know what your husband does but what do you do?” I take another step out… I never said I was the perfect example of a Mother or a Wife. I never labeled myself a “do-it-all” with the utmost of grace and beauty. I am not trying to be a cookie-cutter Minister’s wife. I refuse to be the fake shell of a human existence that glides in and out of green rooms. A stepford-esque pageant queen who simply smiles and waves as she greets the people.

Someone once said when speaking to Charlie, “You’re wife was built for ministry… she doesn’t get in the way of you traveling.” At first I thought it was a compliment in it’s own demented way and simply smiled at the thought of me being “built” for this sort of lifestyle. Then I mulled it over and was repulsed. First of all, I am built for ministry because God placed a call on my life at the age of 12 which led me to 4 overseas ministry trips before I even turned 18. Second, I am built for ministry because of encounters I have had with God that set my life on a destiny course which will not be de-railed. Last, I don’t “get in the way” of my husband traveling because I “am the way” my husband travels. Not, only do I run my Home but I run the Administrative Office of our 501(c)3 Ministry. I work alongside my husband, his counter-part as a co-laborer in Christ. We are a team. Though both are not always visible, we are two parts that make up a whole unit. We operate out of a spirit of Unity.

So join me on this journey, I promise it will be imperfectly glorious. Remember, this is the Diary of a Preacher’s Wife and these are the Chronicles of Grace and Glory.