Monday, April 14, 2008

God is on the move - hasn't He always been?

Amidst all the concern over the blanket of false teaching that is billowing over the whole world via the internet and Oprah, people are seeking and finding the truth.

In considerable numbers and odd places like Boulder, CO.

Less than a month ago, I finally surrendered to God's call into a new realm of ministry. For years, I refused to give in b/c I was content where I was. I'd been attending the same Community Bible Study group for eight years. Deep study of the scripture and the relationships were and still are of high value to me. Why change?

God is using the Big D (depression) to rebuild my ruins. I committed to following His plan vs. mine earlier this year.

I let go of my "blankie" and stepped into Psalm 42 - a vocal/ministry ensemble that operates out of Green Mountain Christian Church in Lakewood, CO. One of my bffs, Susie, has been on my case to join for - oh - five years or so.

Two weeks into this new adventure (and only 2 rehearsals) the group was asked to sing at a memorial service in Boulder. The People's Republic of Boulder, Land of Fruits and Nuts. My apologies to the normal folk who live in that gorgeous place. I'd live there if I could afford it...

Anyway, Boulder is known as Berkley East. Some of the most liberal, immoral ideology eminates from that place.

The woman we memorialized was the sister of a Psalm 42 member. This sister who died, lived in the mental health system. She suffered from paranoid schitzophrenia. The family prayed for her salvation for decades. It wasn't until after her death, the evidence of her salvation revealed itself. This woman, deemed crazy by society, led people to the saving grace of Jesus. Contrary to popular thought, Jesus was able to make sense to her in the delusions of her mind. He got past the illness to the heart of the person.

On the drive up highway 93, we knew God was gonna do something big. I was on crutches, another member of the group blew out a disc in her back and was doped on prescription pain pills, and others had serious trouble slam into their families.

As we sang, the Holy Spirit filled the room. It was overwhelming! Pain and trials were forgotten as we tried to sing through tears of Joy from our Savior's presence. When the pastor gave the salvation message, people responded! Person after person after person - in Boulder!

Aside from the immediate family, many of the folks there were mental patients and mental health workers invovled with the woman who passed. NINE people recieved Christ and since have followed up on their commitment though Hope Boulder, the tiny church that held the memorial.

A few weeks earlier, the same weekend the Big Stink happened at MOPS b/c of my Dark Side of Christianity post, Susie had me tag along w/ Psalm 42 to the Mount View juvenile detention facility. I didn't want to go. At that point, I didn't want to join the group b/c I was tired. Wasn't I in the process of clearing my plate of Things To Do?

Half the group was sick, none of the men could sing. Ps 42 was hurtin' for voices, but that didn't matter to the incarcerated teens. The quality of music wasn't great either, that day. But, NINE kids responded to Jesus b/c of the testimony and song of this group. They responded to Susie as she belted out "Shakles" - a Mandisa tune.

In that moment I knew. I leaned against the cinder block wall next to the sound guy and bawled. This is for you. God whispered.

Yesterday, Psalm 42 sang at the Adams County Prison. John and I couldn't go b/c the prison only allowed 8 people in. Susie and Kendall stopped by our house on the way home to tell us all about it. They said God's presence was even more powerful in that max security place than in Boulder. Lives were changed, faith exploded. Prisoners and singers were blessed through three back-to-back concerts.

This coming Saturday, John and I will be part of the group that goes to the prison for the rest of the inmates (they only allow 25 in a room at a time for safety reasons). We can't wait!

But, with ministry comes attack. It's a war. Bad things happen to Ps 42 members - things that should make us bow out of a concert. You know a ministrie's power by the suffering its servants endure.

The director of the group introduces us as broken people mended by Grace. In our group there are testimonies of drug use/abuse, abortion, prison, theft, depression, suicide, suicide attempts, broken marriages, sexual abuse victims, etc. A collection of folks many churchies would brush off as "soiled".

Pray for Ps 42 as we rehearse tonight. Pray for the three or four concerts we'll be doing at the prison. Pray protection over our members. A family was whacked last night by a massive injustice after they ministered. Pray for more opportunities to go into places where few ninistries dare tread. We're trying to get into the immigration prisons to share Christ with illegal aliens waiting for deportation. We're also trying to get into the mental health system to minister to the mentally ill. Pray for my husband's sister, Debbie. She's very much like the woman who died. Pray Jesus can cut through her fog and bring her Hope.


Jan Parrish said...

Wow. That's incredible!Praise God!

Megan DiMaria said...

I'm glad to hear you active in such a powerful ministry. Bless you!

A prisoner of hope,

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