sarahcali

Valentine’s Day, Zombies, and Trust

February 24, 2011
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Shoot.  I’m not sure where time escaped to since my last post.  It has been on my mind to write, but alas, time is an evasive culprit.  But I’m back with quite a few items on my agenda.

Valentine’s day.  I’ll spare you the details of my actual Valentines Day (though it did involve one of my roommates rebuking a guy who came to our party).  The Friday before Valentines Day we took 120 roses to our usual bar.  Our team got together before we went and wrote notes with encouraging words to attach to each rose.  We gave half of the roses to the bouncers to hand out.  We gave them the roses with  non-religious notes.  Throughout the night we gave away roses to women (and men!) and started conversations with people about their roses.  Everyone was so blessed.  A couple quick stories:  The first girls I talked to had received their roses from the bouncer and they didn’t know who they were from.  My friend and I explained what we had done and they gushed.  They said that was the best thing that happened to them all day.  Yay!  As we were talking to them, one of their guy friends came up.  During our conversation, my friend ran off and came back with a rose.  She encouraged him to read the note.  I watched his face as he read the note about how much Jesus loves him and he looked on the verge of tears.  The simple words cut straight to his heart.  His countenance changed to a more sober and serious one.  Then he launched into telling us about his life.  All night there was story after story of people getting a card that said exactly what they needed to hear.  I had written one note that said something like, “You are turning over a new leaf, this is a time of new beginnings for you.” That was the only one I wrote like that and I thought, “Weird, where did that come from?”  The girl who received that rose said, “No way!  I was telling my friend that yesterday!”  Isn’t that amazing?  We had no idea, but God did!  God even had the tiniest details taken care of.  The store we bought the roses from ran out of red roses.  So we substituted one bouquet of yellow roses with red edges.  You can see it in the picture above.  (Those were our roses, they looked nice in my kitchen for a night.)  Anyway, a woman came up to us, staring at the roses.  She had always wanted yellow roses with red edges, but had only ever received red or yellow.  We gave her two of the unique roses and she was thrilled!  That was my Valentine’s Day.  It was fun to bless people on a day that can be hard for so many singles (and non-singles, I suppose).

Bethel is starting a new ministry and I was privileged to be a part of the inauguration.  This past Sunday was the first time that prophetic booths offered after a Sunday night service.  There were 16 pairs of students/ interns/ ministers in a room and people would sign up to come in for a 15 minute session to receive a prophetic word.  If you’re not familiar with prophetic ministry, it’s simple.  We ask God what He wants to say to the person, listen to what He’s saying and tell the person.  We have all been trained and the words are only encouraging, edifying and comforting (1 Corinthians 14).  No exposing sins, directional words or dates, mates or babies.  It’s so fun because, in this situation, the recipients were complete strangers so it’s clearly God talking.  My partner and I were having a good night.  God’s first language isn’t English and He talks in a myriad of ways: pictures, sounds, songs, phrases, Bible verses, just to name a couple.  I saw one of the strangest things I’ve ever seen over one woman.  It was a zombie.  Yup.  I told God, “No.  That couldn’t have been you.  I’m not telling her I see a zombie.”  Saw it again.  It was God.  Seriously!? I asked Him for an interpretation.  I mean, come on, that’s weird.  He told me that she was going to minister to people who have been so wounded that they are like the walking dead.  She will bring life to them and set them free.  Wow, I’m getting chills just typing that.  So I told her, “This is going to sound strange, but I see a picture of a zombie.”  I saw my partners’ head jerk in my direction.  “But God is saying…”  and after I gave her the explanation she started crying.  Thankfully they were happy tears because the word hit home for her.  Phew!  Believe me, I would never tell someone I see a zombie over them unless I’m sure it is God and have an edifying interpretation for it.

Trust.  I had to trust that that word was from the Lord.  I would say that trust is a theme in my life right now.  A couple weeks ago, a friend gave me a word where she saw that I’m in a crazy season of life where everything is whizzing by  and around me, and God is telling me to be still in the midst of the storm.  Unfortunately, I keep forgetting this word and then wonder why I’m feeling crazy and like I lost my peace.  But God is good and keeps reminding me.  Numerous times He has taken me to Mark 4 in the scriptures.  In that passage Jesus and his dudes are on a boat in a crazy storm.  Jesus takes a nap while the disciples totally freak out about the storm and think they’re going to die.  I’ve been doing a whole lot more of the, “Hey, Jesus.  Don’t you see all of this going on!? I’m gonna diiiiiiiiieeeeeee!!!!” OK, that’s a little dramatic.  But I miss His invitation, “Be still with me.”  So the last few days I’ve been trying to be still with Him.  Instead of taking all my problems to him (not that there’s anything wrong with that), but I’m letting the storm rage around me while in the safety of His Presence.  Of course there are seasons to fight and intercede and weep on the floor, so it’s always nice to know what season you’re in.    In my own life in the last couple weeks I started a new job, I have been trying to finish the other projects I had been working on, then I thought the conferences I’ve spent months planning for my internship were falling apart for reasons outside of my control.  On top of that I continue to go to school, lead a Bible study, bar ministry, juvenile hall ministry.  And every time I turn around another friend is moving away or getting a boyfriend or girlfriend while I deal with my own stupid guy drama.  Then there’s all the typical financial woes and just trying to stay on top of everything and everyone in my life.  In talking to some other people, it seems like this is a common trend of crazy life seasons.  Everyone is in transition and many are encountering God in new ways they don’t understand and it  feels… like a storm.  But it’s OK.  I’m just gonna chill with Jesus and wait this one out.


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House Church Video

February 7, 2011
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Just wanted to share this video with you all.  I edited it and mentioned that I was working on it in some past posts.  It’s a promo video to recruit students to live in designated neighborhoods in Redding and host house churches.

 

Credits: Music by Ian McIntosh.  Footage by Julie Peters, Elizabeth Kelley and Sarah Meng.  Edited by Sarah Meng.

 


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An Unexpected Week

February 7, 2011
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If you had walked through the hallway in my house this weekend, you probably would have seen the door to my bedroom closed and heard the subtle songs from IHOP’s Prayer Room streaming through my speakers.  Last week was quite unexpected.  The things that occurred, that is.  Unfortunately, some for the bigger things that happened aren’t quite official yet, so I must restrict myself to vagueness.  (For those of you whose minds immediately go there: no, not a boyfriend.)  I did learn a bit about what I’m made of and what I believe amidst those “unexpecteds”.  Let’s journey back through my week.

Just for a bit of context: I’ve been doing a bit of freelance graphic design and quite overbooked myself on accident.  That combined with school work and my internship culminated in an intensely busy week for starters.  Keep that in mind as you read.

I went for a walk with a friend on Tuesday morning. (Our weather has been gorgeous.  Just rubbing it in a bit.)  We began to talk about identity and knowing who we are.  That is something I have been ruminating about quite a bit lately because I have found myself in an new territory in that area.  I have a good grasp of who I am and my giftings and talents, etc.  However, I’m discovering lately that there are many things within me that I’m not aware of. Those discoveries have come in the context of conversations with other people.   And they are a bit uncomfortable.  Even when they are pulling out good, quality things in me, it has the effect of sandpaper.  This is just another part of community.  I’ve come to this place where I know who I am, but to become the person I’m supposed to become I need people to help pull me in that direction.  I’m not talking about sin or anything (though accountability is important), but about potential.  One of those conversations happened on my walk.  My friend (metaphorically) stuck her fist in my chest, pulled out some gold and said, “Hey, what are you going to do with this?” She saw an attribute in me that I was created to walk in.  God showed her how I was made to be and how it was deferred.  She saw what I didn’t and told me.  Now I am working with God on that area.  This is why I love the prophetic.  All it is is seeing what God has to say about someone, who they were created to be, and telling them.  The prophetic tells us that those little hopes and gleams we’ve seen in ourselves of who we want to be, God declares, “Yes!  Yes!  I did create you to be that way!”  Identity.  Good stuff.

On Tuesday, something really good happened that I can’t tell you about yet.  Sorry.  That got me pretty excited.  Thursday was the opposite.  I was running around church trying to get a DVD burned and ready to show in the afternoon.  Then there was an emergency meeting and some things started to fall apart.  Yup, can’t really talk about that either, but the direction things are heading are pretty disappointing for me.  It would have been easy to get upset, to point fingers, to cast blame, but I didn’t.  I just sat and thought, my mind telling me I should be mad.  But the closer I get to God, the less things shake me.  All week, through the good and the bad, I kept thinking, “It really doesn’t matter how any of this shakes out.  I know that I’m where I’m supposed to be, I have God, and that’s all I really need.”  He’s taken me on this journey in the last week, months and years of being grounded in Him and knowing that nothing can shake me.  I can have peace in the storms because I’m with the one who calms the storms.  There’s an old fable about King Solomon and a jeweler.  King Solomon had a ring and he wanted an inscription put on it, but he didn’t know what he wanted.  He did know that he wanted to wear the ring all the time. He handed the ring over to the jeweler and let him decide.  The jeweler came back.  When the king looked at the ring it said, “This too shall pass.”  The jeweler explained that in the difficult times he could find courage in knowing that it will pass.  Also, when things were going well he could find humility in knowing that it will pass.  I don’t want the good things to pass particularly, but in the long term all of this is temporary, whether good or bad, and we are left with the One Thing.

The highlight of my week came on Thursday though.  I was at church and had just dropped off the DVD I had been working on.  I knew that Georgian and Winnie Banov were in first year.  Holy Spirit whispered, “Just pop in for a minute.”  So I did.  I ran into a few friends and then sat on the bleachers.  All of a sudden I heard my friend Chelsea laughing across the sanctuary.  Holy Spirit whispered again, “Go find Chelsea.”  So I did.  She was laying on the floor amidst a mess of people.  We said, “Hi”, and I joined her on the floor.  Well, I didn’t get up for over an hour.  Lots of laughing and encouragement and fun.  Just what I needed.  I love the way God encounters us.  Sometimes it is fun like that, other times it is intense and I can’t wrap my mind around it.  But either way, I love interacting with Him.

The rest of my weekend was thrown off by a last minute babysitting job on Friday night, so no bar ministry for me.  On Saturday, I spent most of the day in my room with God, which I hadn’t planned at all.  Sunday was ended with an amazing night at church.  Banning Liebscher talked about what I had been learning on Saturday.  He talked about how the foundation of everything we do is our time in the secret place with God.  It’s the things that no one ever sees or knows about.  All of a sudden, it didn’t matter that my week was crazy, that I hadn’t gone to bar ministry or church at juvenile hall, but God was pleased that I had chosen to take my day off and spend it with Him.  He’s the only one who is worth it anyway.

 


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