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Posts Tagged ‘kiss’


Everything you do

We do

As one—

I in you,

You in Me—

Held together

In a tight embrace.

We’ll make an exchange now

(Heartbeat to heartbeat)—

Of Life-energizing faith.

Where I go

I bring you with Me.

You hear My heart-whispers—

The thoughts I think

Are in your mind.

The secret mysteries

Are unfolding

As fresh revelations

Made clear

From My heart

To yours.

My dreams are desires in your heart—

Dramatized in the night seasons.

Your words are Mine…

A kiss of encouragement passed on,

A Spirit-song I breathed into you.

We are one,

As Father and I.

The attention of your heart

Arouses My love response—

Your gaze captivates Me—

And my eyes are locked on you

Forever.

You have fallen helplessly

Into the ocean depths of My Love,

And you will never escape

Its grasp.

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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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Arrested by Love


Maui (Photo: Heather Cantrell)

Naked, laid bare,

His eyes blazing,

I feel Him

Turn towards me.

I feel no pain . . .

Only love’s intensity.

An intentional moment

Of Truth’s sharpened sword

Piercing through

The growth so thick,

So deep,

Only the Master Surgeon

Could remove its

Ravages from my heart,

With a precision

And keen vision

To detect every hidden

And well-worn groove

That led down pride’s deadly path.

I closed my eyes

To divert His gaze

But felt it bore deeper,

Deeper still.

I could not escape Him –

I never wanted to.

I have been arrested

By love again

And brought to His

Surgical bed to uncover

And forever remove

All traces of death –

And its ugly scars –

To be healed by

Esh Shalhevet YAH*  אֵשׁ שַׁלְהֶבֶתְיָֽה  .

I turned myself in

To my Friend, my Lover,

My Surgeon,

The One whose

Scalpel digs deep,

Deeper still.

I feel pain,

The sting of arrested pride,

Burning, hot tears fall –

There is no anesthesia for this moment . . .

I feel it keenly.

Shame overwhelms me

At its full disclosure,

And I turn my face.

He moves close and

Takes my face in His gentle hands

Turning me towards Him –

Full face –

I opened to see Him so close as

He kisses me.

“Don’t ever turn away from Love.

Shame is not yours . . .

It is mine.

No one can hurt you

In this place —

Our secret place.

It is over,

It’s Covered.”

I feel the heat

Of His Presence move in

With a flood of peace.

“It is finished  . . .”

I heard those ancient words

Ring loudly in my heart.

“Now, let us take our

Fill of love.”

He draws me close,

Closer still.

I am quieted

By His Love

Once again

And take hold of

His red robe

Of Humility,

Drawing near —

Nearer still —

To rest upon His breast.

My soul sings . . .

_______________________________________

*Song of Songs 8:6: The fires of the vehement (jealous) Flame of the LORD.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HMtG0p5aw_I

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At Morning’s Light


 

Greet the Son!

His voice awakes me

at morning’s light

and spreads its rays across my face

to see His glory shining brighter

than any other

in my life.

 

Kiss the Son . . .! 

And let Him be

the Chief Lover

of my heart, and soul, and mind —

Who heals my body and draws me nigh

to His heart

Where I belong

and am transformed

by His loving words.

As I listen,

bending low

to hear the ancient song

from eternity —

“You have always belonged to Me!”

Hear the heart

of God’s sweet love

poured out this day

in a thousand ways —

His breath in the trees,

the red rose glistening in His brilliance,

the ferns transparent in varied hues

of reflected light,

the songs of my heart in praise of Him

Who is my song.

The comfort He brings to this heart

wearied by sadness

over one so far away

from the Helper,

the Healer, Restorer,

Deliverer, Savior.

His creation reminds me

that all His goodness is alive today —

glistening gloriously —

a testimony of what’s to come:

All is concluded

in GOD alone —

through Jesus’ blood

before the Throne —

brought together,

knit perfectly,

by the Spirit

of GOD.

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Adoration


Adoring God (photo: Heather Cantrell)

I have been teaching praise and worship for quite some time now, but it is only this year that I have come to appreciate the level of worship that happens as we adore God. It is a much deeper place of worship that I have come to discover engages my whole being in a way I never experienced before.

There is a significant difference between praising God and adoring Him:

Praise expresses  thanksgiving for what God has done; adoration revels in who God is.

Praise focuses on God’s deeds; adoration focuses on God’s character.

As we commune with God in adoration, we are declaring back to Him Who He is . . . describing His very nature, really. And, as we behold Who He is, we are transformed into His image. Thus, adoration is a vital part of our worship.

Adoration of the Lord often happens spontaneously after a season of praise and worship, but not necessarily in that order.

Anyone can praise God; but only lovers of God can adore Him.

Adoring someone is only possible because of an intimate relationship where love is exchanged and a trust has been developed over time; it has been proven and tested.

The Kiss

A kiss is an exchange between two people, and in most cultures it is still a common greeting. Consider the various kinds of kisses:

  • Kiss of a Family member or friend: This is a warm and friendly exchange of greeting, affirming love and/or a common bond.
  • Kiss of a Servant: This is a kiss of obeisance where the servant is vowing to serve his master and be faithful and true.
  • Kiss of Betrayal: This is a kiss such as Judas gave Jesus when he was turned over to the guards.
  • Kiss of Intimacy: This is an exchange between two lovers where each receives pleasure in the exchange of their love.

Contrast the kiss of Mary when she washed Jesus feet with the kiss of Judas. One was incredibly grateful for receiving forgiveness and mercy, while the other was deceitful, selfish, and pretentious.

Perhaps you are familiar with the kiss of betrayal by a family member or friend even. It left a painful scar that may have caused you to be cautious in trusting others to come close to you. Jesus knows that betrayal, and He is the only one who can heal that scar and remove it forever.

One day, everyone will “Kiss the Son;” but not everyone will kiss Him in intimacy.

I always want to be one who is responsive to the Lord and pursues a deep intimacy with him all the days of my life. And I will kiss the Son in intimacy . . . because I know Him and He knows me.

Adoration by Definition

Adoration can be simply staring at the wonder and awe of God Himself and expressing what we see in Him. Mostly it is the delight to be with Him — in His Presence  — full of joy, as He fills us with His love and hope that stimulates adoration.

Adoration can be birthed out of a heart exploding in release from a long-awaited prayer finally answered. For me, it often happens when I see God’s direct engagement in my life — even in small ways — and it is then that I recognize, “Wow . . . You are right here with me!”

I never cease to marvel at His presence with me and in me.

Often, in times when I am seeking the Lord in a season of prayer and fasting, I will enter into adoration after revelations of His Word and His character have been made real to my heart. I find when I am unhurried, alone, and in peace, I have a much better environment in which to enjoy God’s delightful presence where I will experience a saturation of communing and adoring Him.

Adoring His Person, The Wonder of Him

Adoration is being taken up with God Himself as we find ourselves lost in His beauty and character, recalling His faithfulness in my life.

The Psalms are filled with passages of the worshipper adoring the Lord as they are examining the many varied facets of God’s character. Praise erupts in the heart of the Psalmist and spills out in joyous descriptive songs of adoring praise. Psalms like these are taken up with the wonder and awe of God Himself.

My Secret Weapon of Choice

I discovered the power of adoration in my life one day by accident. I remember I was in a lot of pain in my body. But, at the same time, my heart was flooded with thanksgiving to God for His presence, His engagement in my life, and so my praise went up another level . . . into deep adoration of God. I was soon captivated as the Holy Spirit was revealing the depths of God’s love to me, and my emotions were spilling over in response. This went on for quite some time.

Somewhere in that period of adoration, the pain in my body completely left . . . it was dramatic!

Eventually I fell asleep . . . adoring God.

In another instance, my emotions were in great agony. I was overcome by sadness and grief over a family member I was praying for. I felt as if my heart would break and I was quickly sinking down into a very dark place. The Holy Spirit suddenly burst through my misery and suggested I employ my “secret weapon” of adoration.

It was a moment of brilliance for me really as I recalled my previous joyous experience. So, I began to adore the Lord — even though I could hardly speak for the grief and pain I was feeling. Before long, however, the grievous pain of my soul left completely and soon I was once again taken up with the glory of God’s beauty and Presence. His peace washed over me and I was once again at rest in His love. All traces of my agony . . . gone. I was stunned, and overjoyed.

Over the next weeks, I began to enter into periods of adoration whenever I was in any kind of physical pain, emotional grief, mental anguish, or satanic attack. Each and every time, I was delivered into freedom from pain and sorrow.

The secret is this: The mind cannot have two opposing thoughts and emotions! One will displace the other.

Adoration Displaces Obsessive Thoughts

The Lord said to me one day when my mind was ruminating and overanalyzing a recent conversation that involved an unresolved and difficult situation:

“Enter into adoration!”

Once I did, I discovered the impossibility of entertaining two conflicting thoughts at the same time. Once I began to exercise adoration of God, I was taken up with His beauty and the truth of Who He is and was immediately consumed with Him. All else faded away . . . the issue had lost its importance.

Adoration Replaces Misery

In fact, adoration replaces all negative emotions and concerns.

When I am overwhelmed by grief, regrets, sorrow, sadness, worry, shame, discouragement, I can begin adoration of Him and it immediately displaces everything else.

You just cannot have two competing emotions. One will replace the other.

This, then, became the key for me to overcome mental and emotional anguish from past memories that would arise now and then.

Adoration takes away Physical Pain!

There are times when my body is wracked with pain, and I have opted to enter into a season of intense adoration — alone with Jesus in my secret place! — and I have discovered that my physical pain goes away!

I take much less Tylenol for pain relief now.

Adoration Sees God For Who He Is!

Seeing God in the midst of my situation will cause me to trust Him even though I do not see evidence that God hears me or that the answer is on its way. Adoration trusts His love and recalls the generous and miraculous blessings received by Him. This worshipper will not accuse God during the long wait. Rather, she will say, “I trust Your love Jesus; for You have been faithful to me all of my life.”

Let us adore Him!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OlnocCnoT8Q

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