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(Drawing by Ron Cantrell – “Shal-Hevet-Yah”)

I had a beautiful revelation while reading Psalm 19:4b-6 the other night:

“In the heavens He has pitched a tent for the sun.

“It is like a groom coming from [his] bridal chamber; it rejoices like an athlete (lit. in Hebrew, “hero,” or “champion”) running a course.

“It rises from one end of the heavens and circles [its circuit is] to their other end; nothing is hidden from its heat.”

As I read this, I was suddenly transported into a picture of Jesus’ celebration over His Bride.

I saw an Olympic champion having just completed the long, long marathon, he enters the stadium, crosses the finish line with his hands raised high in the air, and grinning from ear to ear, he runs his victory laps while the whole stadium crowd stands wildly to their feet, screaming their deafening cheers. The champion runs from one end to the other, giving thumbs up to the cheering crowds.

This is Jesus when he captures the heart of His bride in holy union-communion!

As I shared this with my husband on our deck the next morning, Ron wrote this meditation from this particular Scripture passage:

“In them He has set a tabernacle [tent] for the sun [Son], which is as a Bridegroom coming out of His chamber [wedding tent] rejoicing as a Hero-Champion who won His race [union with His bride].

“His victory laps are from the end of the heavens and the circuit to the very ends of it; nothing is hid from that heat [passion].”

In ancient Jewish tradition, the bridegroom emerges from the union tent with the wedding sheet (proof of the purity of the bride) and the families go wild with glorious joy at the new couple’s future. Their holy union stands in sharp contrast in an unholy world.

Who comprise “the crowd?” All the hosts of heaven cheering wildly, ululating angels doing the wave, cartwheels by the heavenly host, cherubim braying fire, seraphim blowing a fire canopy over the couple…wild celebration.

The Son is married and in holy union with His Bride forever.

The above drawing was done by my artist husband Ron as he meditated on this. The Hebrew word שלהבתיה  “Shal-hevet Yah” is from Song of Songs 8:6 which is the vehement flame of God – the furious, phosphorous-like, fiery passionate love of God, which once ignited, cannot be extinguished, not even by water.

Written around the couple in the drawing:

I have bound a thousand hearts into a temple of passion for you, my love.

I’ve enshrined you there in glorious bliss.

Set me as a seal on your heart,

Furious love,

Unquenchable fire,

Shalhevet-Yah.

There is nothing more powerful in all the universe than the intimate exchange of the Lover and the Beloved. All of Hell will unleash its forces against this union and its power. But Jesus is our Champion with a vehement passion for us…He always wins.

The Lord is the Bridegroom celebrating His love over you today. You are forever His, and nothing – or no one – will ever separate this unquenchable love.

Jesus Culture – “You Won’t Relent”

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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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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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Wheat fields in Egypt

Not long ago I dreamed I was walking through a huge field. It seemed to go on for as far as the eye could see. It was at night, but the full moon was so brilliant and so huge, it took up much of the sky so that it seemed to be as bright as day.

Full moon over the ripe wheat fields

I was walking within the field of ripe wheat, my hand stroking the tops of the kernels. In my mind I knew that tomorrow the combines would come and harvest all the ripened wheat. The stars above me were so brilliant, the sight of them took my breath away. They seemed unusually close to earth.

Passing through the field, I came to a dirt road where a large white van was parked, the side door opened. I climbed in, closed the door, all the while my eyes never left the white field of grain.

Why didn’t I take a few stalks of wheat with me? I thought as we pulled away from the field. I could have kept some with me as a reminder of this place.

Upon awakening, I immediately thought of the symbolism in my dream. I considered their significance. I also felt God was showing me the harvest fields of the Middle East that were on my heart, particularly Egypt. It seems when God puts a nation – or nations – on your heart, He will make sure that you receive all you need to fulfill His purposes.

Egypt is certainly on the verge of an incredible harvest, even in the midst of their storm.

We believe this harvest will affect the whole of the region and we are privileged to be engaged in this process.

In addition, we have been engaged with the people of South Sudan for several years now, beginning in Israel when refugees began to flood in. Since the birth of the Republic of South Sudan recently, God is highlighting this nation with its potential in the whole of Africa as well as the coming harvest.

African Wheat Harvest

Whenever God highlights a nation, I believe it is always an invitation for us to be engaged with God’s purposes.

Ron’s Vision

At breakfast, I began to describe my dream to Ron. Then he relayed to me what happened as he awakened just that morning. He had a vision of a ripe wheat field that was completely white – ready for harvesting! Because he grew up in Wichita, he recognized a ripened wheat field.

Ready for Harvest

We both sat there stunned at the realization that God had given us the very same image within a few hours of each other. This was truly significant, and God had our full attention!

Green Light: GO!

I like what Graham Cooke says: “You have a green light from God, unless He gives you a red light!” In other words, permission has been granted to you, unless you hear otherwise.

In regards to the nations of the world, Jesus already gave us a green light.

Anything other than a fully engaged response to this mandate is an excuse!

I read a blog entry this week by David Sitton that really arrested my attention in regards to our partnering with God’s purposes in the nations.

I was never called to be [a Christian worker in a foreign land], nor was I drafted. I volunteered. No special call was needed. I chose to go; I wanted to go; I was compelled to go. And where I go is always determined by an open Bible and a stretched-out map of the regions where Christ is still unknown and un-praised!

I chuckle when I hear [foreign Christian workers] and pastors talk about “surrendering to the call” of ministry. I always want to ask, “After you surrendered, were you water-boarded, or just hauled off in handcuffs and leg irons?” Was it really necessary for you to be abducted by a heavenly vision before you would go into the work of the gospel?

The [foreign Christian worker] call is not like a prison dog that tracks us down, sniffs us out, and hog-ties us for the nations. That is silly-talk and really bad theology. Nowhere in Scripture is a mysterious (supernatural) call a prerequisite before we can respond to the Great Commission. The opposite is actually true.

No aspect of mission is more bogged down with extra-biblical baggage than the “…call.”  The clear command of Christ “to go” should be, by itself, sufficient to set you on your way “into all the world . . . proclaiming the gospel to the whole creation” (Mark 16:15). You can’t go wrong by trying to go. Trust the Lord to direct your moving feet . . . If you have it in your heart to go, then go. Then, lean on the sovereignty of God to get you where he wants you in the harvest. Don’t worry about “running ahead of God.” You aren’t that quick! (Read full article. Note: David Sitton is the founder and president of To Every Tribe Ministries.)

The Wheat fields in Ethiopia

What’s Your Nation?

God has put a nation (or a people) on your heart . . . I know He has because He wants to love people through you. Perhaps you are unable to go to that nation, but, if you ask Him, God will bring the peoples of that nation to you!  And, with technology today, you can easily plug in and find the peoples on your heart! God will do this for you in surprising ways, but you have to go after it.

I’ve learned that when you are intentional about following through with what God shows you, you can expect to see Him answer supernaturally.

Yesterday I was considering that everything in my life given to me by God is for this intent and purpose: The Harvest. God has provided every possible thing I could need to be succesful in this task that He is passionate about. And Jesus set the example:

“Then Jesus went to all the cities and villages, teaching in their synagogues, preaching the good news of the kingdom and healing every disease and every sickness” (Matt 9:35).

Jesus’ whole message was about good news; He didn’t frame God’s intentions to Israel with a description of how undeserving they were. Rather, He gave them the good news of the kingdom, and then demonstrated it by healing everyone of their disease and sickness. The kingdom of Heaven had just showed up to displace the enemy’s kingdom of darkness and suffering. That’s our message too: The Good news of the kingdom of God, and healing the sick and oppressed.

“When He saw the crowds, He felt compassion for them, because they were weary and worn out, like sheep without a shepherd” (vs 36, 27)

Jesus was compelled to displace their sadness and misery with joy and healing from His kingdom.  Satan had worn them down long enough.  When Jesus showed up that day, he didn’t wonder if God wanted to heal anybody! It was his mission to destroy the works of the enemy. He demonstrated how to lead like a Good Shepherd: Lovingly care for the sheep by anointing them with healing oil, and lead gently them to eat to their satisfaction.

“Then He said to His disciples, ‘The harvest is abundant, but the workers are few. Therefore, pray to the Lord of the harvest to send out workers into His harvest'” (vs 37, 38).

In other words, the fields are white, boys! Let’s go! Come on . . . Get out the combines . . . put on your work clothes! Gather the volunteers, hire some workers to get this harvest in! And, pray to the Lord of the Harvest to send out the workers into the hot, dry fields to finish this work!

Lord of the Harvest: Send out workers into Your harvest! Fill them with your compassion!

Then pray this prayer:

Here I am!! Why don’t you send me?

Compelled by Passion!

I volunteered to go to the nations and serve in the harvest over 40 years ago. My service has led me to many, many nations and people groups. Over the years, I became much more motivated by a deep compassion and love for people of all nations, tribes, and languages. Today, I have to say that I am compelled by Jesus’ passion to mine the fields for the treasures that are His inheritance alone. I long to see people love Him passionately and exclusively with all of their mind, heart, strength, and soul.

My passion is to create an environment where His presence and healing are manifested.

When I see the fire in His eyes, I want to embrace someone with that  love. There is no valid excuse not to go when you have a fresh revelation of who He really is.

Unless I see a red light, my bags are packed, my passport is current, and I am volunteering to harvest the next ripe field.

Children From Bethel Church, Redding California, praying for the nations.

A beautiful song called “Serving You.”

http://youtu.be/gZoEnrIelIM

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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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