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Posts Tagged ‘encounter’


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Me playing for a city-wide concert in 1970.

December 1st is the day I call my “spiritual birthday.” It marks the moment when Jesus surprised me with His invitation into a deeper relationship. This morning I wrote this in my journal as I considered the past 44 years of my spiritual journey.

THANK YOU!

Abba, Jesus, Holy Spirit —

Thank You for invading my life with Yours.

Thank you for purpose — my reason to live well.

Thank you for joy. No more mourning.

Thank you for making all things new.

You put me on a fast track into the pleasures of Your presence — a road that no one or nothing could hinder the pre-established course You determined for me long before time began.

Thank you for the Cross, and Your blood — my default position and fountain of cleansing.

Take me lower — into the heights of Who You are.

Take me deeper — into the mysteries and treasures You have hidden for me to discover.

Take me wider — to the know the breath of Your love.

Take me further — way beyond what I hoped for or imagined possible…by Your immeasurable grace.

Thank You Abba, Jesus, Holy Spirit — for adopting me permanently into Your home. I love belonging to You and I love being loved by You.

Let my life be a song of gratitude to You that always — in every situation — says, “Thank You!”

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My face turned upwards in stunned silence,

I am starring into pure Glory

Beyond the veil—

A crystal clarity

And blinding brilliance—

The flames of Love’s Fire

Are in Your Eyes.

A gasp escapes my lips,

And joy erupts

At this fresh invitation

To come,

Explore,

Discover,

Encounter,

And experience

An ecstasy of delight—

A colorful burst of unimagined breathtaking vistas

Set to the ongoing musical score:

Eden—

Revealed in one Word

You speak.

Every cell of my being

Responds

In the adoration chorus

To

Majesty unveiled.

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by Ron Cantrell

Heaven has a different idea about our lives and choices. When you come to the end of a self-made man (or woman) and see that it is empty and destructive in and of itself, heaven invades and creates a life-transformational encounter with God Himself. He actually wrote a different life-script for us, and when we are ready to embrace that manuscript, powerful changes in the depths of our being deliver us from the hell-hole of destruction to a wellspring of life. And though those changes are deeply personal, we are then empowered to impart freedom to others.

My husband Ron was praying one day, and pretty much just took dictation from what He felt God was saying about his life. I believe this will be echoed in your heart as well . . . here it is . . . THE BOOK OF YOU . . .


I LOOKED on you in great love before you were formed in the womb (Psalm 139:15). I saw the number of your days and the day of your turning away from Me.

IN PATIENCE, I waited for you. My Father’s heart yearned for you, yearned for your wholeness, the wholeness I had already written in My “book-of-you” (Psalm 139: 16).

I SAW the chains you chose above My jewels. I watched the bonds you forged take you far away; but, I knew and I waited. I knew you had My justice deep in your heart. I saw you cry out and I loved what I saw. I loved your heart, though chained and dark. I knew you would come through. Because I had written it in My “book-of-you.”

EVEN IN chains you loved holiness. Even in chains you cried for My purity.

THE DAY dawned; I danced (Zeph. 3:17). I sang the longed-for song, the song I wrote in my “book-of-you.” I sang the song, I took your chains and forged a crown that will be yours forever. I took cold iron and I made gold.

HEAVEN gasped at My deed.

THEY SPOKE your new name fresh on their lips; first like a whisper in the trees, then like rushing water. They spoke the name I wrote in the book. Then they shouted it.

THE DAY dawned, the book now sheds its mighty power over you. Heaven’s genetics now crowd out earth’s.

MY NURTURING heart will now nourish you – strengthening you to step into the fullness of whom I wrote.

THE CROWN will be your testimony for your days down there, but here – near My throne – it radiates glory, healing virtue, strength of character, right character – My character – My law of you, written before you were formed.

BEHOLD THE person I made. Love the person I made as I love.

PATIENTLY I waited until you laid down your will; that strong seed of Me that makes you like unto Me. I placed that surrendered will as the crown jewel in your crown to bear witness to all heaven, for eternity, of the victory over what you thought an unchangeable, immutable character flaw.

FORGIVE “YOU” now as I do. Don’t avoid you. Look straight into your own eyes and love you as I do.

_________________________________

We have made this into a 9 1/2 x 12 color Giclee Print and it is available for sale. Contact us for details or visit Ron’s Sacred Space Art Prints website.

The Book of You, Ron Cantrell

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Birthday Surprise


Three months previous to my 18th birthday, I had a life-changing encounter with God.

Senior High School

It really turned my world upside down and immediately altered what I would do with the rest of my life.

Jesus Freaks

Jesus People Movement 1970

This was the Jesus People Movement, 1970, and God was sweeping through young people my age on every school campus and church denomination around the world. It resulted in a remnant of radicals that changed the course of history in many ways. It didn’t seem to matter what church you were going to during those days, because the fire of God was after the hearts of the next generation . . . specifically, my generation. At the age of 17, I was looking to experience God in a supernatural way, as were most of my peers. The drug culture of the 60s had set the stage for God’s answer to young people searching for life significance and spiritual experiences with a real encounter with Him.

For three months now, I had been enjoying such a newness in my walk with God, and each day was better than the one previous. I was seeking out “Jesus Freaks” everywhere they gathered, and it was not within the walls of the established churches! Sadly, long-haired Jesus Freaks were just not welcomed there in many cases! So, the Jesus People (as they were called) set up coffee shops, gathered on the beaches of southern California, and booked the Hollywood Palladium for Sunday “concerts.”  Though I was regularly attending my Catholic church on Sundays, and a Baptist Church on Wednesday nights, these other places became my extended local church body from which came a whole new inspiration. One of my favorite publications at the time, targeting Jesus Freaks especially, was the Hollywood Free Paper. Looking back I realized that what we really wanted was to get back to grass roots Christianity – you know, doing it like Jesus did. There was a strong belief in the supernatural ways of God in those days, with a simple faith in The Bible, miracles, healing, and prayer. We, the revolutionary new church, clearly wanted to get back to basics, very much like the radical revolutionary Hippie Movement we were birthed from. We were emerging whether or not society was ready for us.

I feel we are at that place once again . . . don’t you? May we never settle for the status quo, but rather, desire to press onwards and upwards in God.

Back to Basics

The Bible was my companion everywhere I went. I was convinced the world would not be around another ten years and felt it was my personal mission to warn everyone I met that Jesus was coming very soon! They must get ready!! I had many convincing signs, arguments, and a backpack full of Chick tracts, to be sure!  I was singing “I wish we’d all been ready” right along with Larry Norman.

I had joined the Jesus Freaks as a radical and could be seen any day of the week at a local beach joining in a baptism of scores of long hairs! We often took communion together there on the beach with a loaf of unsliced bread and a bottle of grape juice . . . just like Jesus did it. It was heaven on earth, as far as we were concerned.

A Costa Mesa California Calvary Chapel Baptism where I used to go

Jesus People Music

With each move of God in history came a unique musical expression. The Jesus Movement was marked with taking modern rock music to another level in praise and worship of Jesus. Like Larry Norman used to belt out, “Why should the devil have all the good music?”

Because music has always been such an important part of my life, I was happy that God was raising up worship leaders, songwriters, and musicians to write the music that would express the hearts of those of coming into the Kingdom outside of the walls of the organized church. And, He is still doing that! I love the new music as well.

Not long ago I came across this video that showed two generations attempting to come together. Kathryn Kuhlman, representing the mothers and fathers of her generation from the move of God of 1948, invited leaders from the present Jesus Movement so she could experience their worship and testimonies first hand. In this clip, the leader of the music group Love Song shares his testimony and then they sing one of the first songs they wrote.

My 18th Birthday

I believe the Holy Spirit loves an opportunity for a celebration! His personality is all joy, and He had a surprise birthday gift for me on this big occasion that I had no clue was coming.

The weekend custom of my group of friends was to pile in someone’s VW Van and head off to a Jesus concert being held somewhere. This particular weekend was my 18th birthday and the concert was being held at the Hollywood Palladium with a lineup of our favorite Christian groups: Love Song, Larry Norman, Randy Stonehill, Barry McGuire, and others.

We headed off that evening with a mixed group of Catholics, Baptists, non-believers packed in the van – all friends – excited to be together for my birthday celebration, and ready for another God-adventure.

Hollywood Freeway God-Encounter

I don’t remember how it began, but we were soon all singing a familiar song, worshiping the Lord as the Van drove 65-miles an hour down the LA freeway. Someone began to sing “Amazing Grace,” and there we all were – eyes closed, hands lifted up in praise of salvation through Jesus.

At some point we finished singing all the verses to that song, and we then began to sing a “new song” to the Lord with the melody of Amazing Grace. I was really enjoying this free expression of worship to the Lord and found myself transported into God’s Presence as I continued to pour out my heart of love to Him in my song. By now, I am not even aware of anyone else in the car.

With an ease of water flowing down a hill, I began to sing to the Lord in a heavenly language and felt myself slip into a deep place of worship. At this point, I was before the Presence of God Himself and He was speaking things to my heart that were so deep – and healing. All around me, I began to hear others also singing to the Lord in a heavenly language, and there was now much joy, and laughing, and excitement as God’s presence washed over us in that old VW van. I was experiencing a personal expression of God’s deep love and peace in a way I had never known before. It was like He was drawing me very near to His Heart in an embrace . . . a sweet kiss from Heaven  . . . and it felt really good to be loved in such a way.

In this moment, I felt like all the pain of my life thus far had been drawing me to this one meeting place on my 18th birthday. The Holy Spirit was celebrating my life tonight and giving me a revelation of my eternal place in the heart of Father.

I belonged here.

I have been adopted by God Himself  . . . into His family;

His name was my now my name.

My Father created me . . . I was never abandoned or rejected.

In this moment, I saw that I had always belonged to God Himself, and He had reestablished the value of my life. Out of His love for me, He had actually placed me in the care of all the adults of my life, including the caretakers at 13-different foster homes where I had lived and experienced abuse. (It was a sobering moment when God showed me years later that one day, each one of those adults would stand before Him to give an account of the God-opportunity to love a needy child. I prayed for mercy upon them.)

There would never be any question to whom I belonged from here on. The Holy Spirit had sealed the deal on this my 18th birthday. With His manifest presence came proof of His ownership.

I have no idea how long I was in this place with the Father on the Hollywood Freeway, communing through the Holy Spirit. I only remember that we had finally arrived at our destination and my friends were trying to get me out of the car! But, I never wanted to leave this place of God’s Presence . . . not ever!! I resisted for quite some time, but finally went in to the concert with them.

This was the most glorious birthday celebration I have ever had . . . just to think that God would manifest Himself to me in such a powerful way. This night — my 18th birthday — actually became my default line.

This year, on my birthday, I will be remembering 40 years ago when the Holy Spirit came to celebrate my life with me. He still does . . .

Heaven's Ecstasy

Ode to the Holy Spirit (written 2009)

Shimmering bursts of Color

Transparent and dazzling

Movements of Light

You draw near.

Spirit of Jesus

I feel Your warmth –

Living Words of Comfort,

A Passionate kiss of Mercy and Truth,

Waves of Love  –

Announcing Your Presence . . .

Your eternal Friendship.

I welcome You

Holy Spirit . . .

Come live with me here.

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