Saturday, December 23, 2006

The Messiah

The other evening Denbigh and I were invited to a most exquisite Christmas party at the home of the Mohon family. It was refreshing and beyond lovely. As we were departing, a gift was handed to us. That gift was Handel's Messiah. I have been in love with this oratorio since a friend played violin in it several years back. This year the Holy Spirit kept telling me to get a copy and I was just about to buy it off ITunes when the generous Mohons handed us the cd set. Marcus Mohon always has a great story (that is beautifully embellished to get you excited) to accompany everything. He was telling us how Handel composed the Messiah. If you know me, you know I had to study up on the story. What I read I know is the message the Holy Spirit had for me when He told me to seek out the Messiah (and was so graciously handed it by the Mohons)...

Over the last few months, I have been terribly discouraged, attacked, and beat down by the enemy. This enemy has been using Christians to do his work and I have become quite familiar with what I look like at the end of myself. All of this is on the tails of and in the midst of great spiritual victory and breakthrough. God has opened up many new avenues for me to minister. More cunning and hateful than our enemy is how powerful and romantic our Lord God is. I have sought out the Messiah and in no way found him wanting....

As I read the story of Handel, I was greatly encouraged. In the year before Handel composed the Messiah he performed what he believed to be his last oratorio. He was discouraged, knee deep in debt, and ready to hang it all up. If you are unfamiliar with The Messiah, it has been lauded as the greatest muscial score of all time. The opportunity to write this piece for charity was given to Handel with much support from a wealthy benefactor. Personal attack ensued him by the church for performing this religious piece in a secular venue. Church people were attacking him. (I read once that the only place Jesus ever got into a fight was at church with religious people. Irony.) The beautiful part to me is how Handel composed this piece in 24 days. A friend came to his door at the end of writing it and found Handel weeping uncontrollably. He said it was such a rich experience that he did not know if he had composed it while in his body or out. Years after it's inception there was an article written about the famed Messiah and it's generous composer who gave most all the funding to charity. It read:The Messiah has housed more poor, clothed more naked, and fed more hungry than any other score in all musical history. The Messiah did.

The church he attended called him a radical. You could find him there every Sunday on his face weeping. He was discouraged and beat down and that is the moment God used him to do the most powerful work of his life.

  • Read More about Handel

  • From Wikipedia

  • Thursday, December 21, 2006

    HO HO NO

    I was just reading a comment about how the devil loves to play dress up and it made me think of Santa. This is something that comes to my heart and mind every year. Please do not be offended if you "do" Santa. It is just something we are personally convicted about and I thought we would share some of the reasons we feel this way. Mostly, I do not like the idea of lying to children - even in the spirit of holiday fun. Here is the post,
  • No Santa For Us
  • , from Justin Childer's blog.

    Just FYI, in case you want to share instead that Santa is from a Catholic saint, the Catholic church says he never existed.

    Another Great Article:
  • The Great Imposter

  • Wednesday, December 13, 2006

    Real Ministry is Messy

    December 13 from A.W. Tozer

    Trials and Pain: The Sharp Blade of the Plow

    Sow for yourselves righteousness; reap in mercy; break up your
    fallow ground, for it is time to seek the Lord, till He comes
    and rains righteousness on you.
    --Hosea 10:12

    The fallow field is smug, contented, protected from the shock of
    the plow and the agitation of the harrow.... But it is paying
    a terrible price for its tranquility: Never does it see the
    miracle of growth; never does it feel the motions of mounting
    life nor see the wonders of bursting seed nor the beauty of
    ripening grain. Fruit it can never know because it is afraid of
    the plow and the harrow.

    In direct opposite to this, the cultivated field has yielded
    itself to the adventure of living. The protecting fence has
    opened to admit the plow, and the plow has come as plows always
    come, practical, cruel, business-like and in a hurry. Peace has
    been shattered by the shouting farmer and the rattle of
    machinery. The field has felt the travail of change; it has been
    upset, turned over, bruised and broken, but its rewards come
    hard upon its labors. The seed shoots up into the daylight its
    miracle of life, curious, exploring the new world above it. All
    over the field the hand of God is at work in the age-old and
    ever renewed service of creation. New things are born, to grow,
    mature, and consummate the grand prophecy latent in the seed
    when it entered the ground. Nature's wonders follow the plow.
    Paths to Power, 31-32.

    "Lord, make me a cultivated field. I suspect the price will be
    high, but I long to bear fruit for Your glory. Do the hard work
    of the farmer in my life today. Amen."

    *photo from Vail, Colorado last week

    Sunday, December 10, 2006

    Great Headlines

  • Austin Family Wins Home Makeover

  • This show has never failed to make me cry and you consistently see the people thanking God for their new home (as seen in this article). I want to run over there and see the progress!

  • Protest of Victoria's Secret Spreads

  • As you all know, I have been boycotting Victoria's Secret and the mall! I am glad to see that others are willing to stand up to Victoria's vile ways.

  • Has Rocky Balboa Been Born Again?

  • I'd tell you that this is for my husband, but I am secretly a huge fan of Rocky!

    Sunday, December 03, 2006

    Copper Mountain, Colorado

    The Village at Copper

    We have the blessed privilege to go to Copper Mountain, Colorado this week courtesy of Current Elijah Ministries. We anticipate a week of blessing, encouragement, prayer, great food, and joy! Please be in prayer for us as we travel and hear from God on our retreat.
    May God pour out His blessing and favor on you this Christmas season!

    Miscarriage | Infertility | Hope

    I encountered Jesus as a young child in a church pew in the balcony of an old country church. Through a lifetime of trial, I knew he was the...