*Our "pet raccoon" has babies!
Monday, December 17, 2007
*Our "pet raccoon" has babies!
Tuesday, December 11, 2007
Monday, December 03, 2007
Last week I was driving along to a Bible study and something happened to me. I wish I could explain it. It was a physical and spiritual feeling simultaneously. I felt as if I had broken a high fever and been transported to another world all at the same time. I was trying to explain it to my husband and the best thing I could come up with is to liken it to spiritual Super Mario Brothers.
It was as if I had made it to another level of a game. As you look around on the level everything around appears the same, but the stakes are higher. Your adversary is quicker. The prize is bigger and you have more power.
Well, it's day five and I want to go back to level two. I have wanted to quit ministry, speaking, teaching about 10 times each day. I have also wanted to sell everything to do whatever God wants. This emotional roller coaster makes me tired. When do we get to take a break? Where are the angels that are supposed to come and minister in this desert? Where are all the people encouraging me to fight the good fight? They are not coming. God is. He is jealous to be the lifter of my head and will not let anyone else do this.
Several years ago God told me that I was going to be a conference speaker. At first I thought, "how exciting!" I realized that God did not have in mind what I did. I thought I would tell cute stories and the people would love me. That very well could have happened, but it did not. God has taken me down roads that are so unbelievably hard I cannot muster the strength to talk about the intensity of them most of the time. I can however tell you how He relentlessly delivers me to the next place to tell someone else. He opens the door to more people to encourage to do more things and He casts vision. Every time we have an event, I want to throw in the towel by the end of the night. I always end up on my face telling God the lie the enemy told me and that He has to carry me on.
The enemy is a liar. God is truth. Whatever God has told you to do, write it down. Write out whatever God says you are or that you will do. Every time the enemy seeks to lie to you, get that out and tell him to take it up with God because this is what He says about you.
You are a conference speaker.
I don't care if you are introverted.
You are an exhorter.
I don't care if you are debilitatingly shy.
You are a leader.
I don't care who is trying to make you follow them.
You are called. You are significant. You are relevant.
You are purposed.
You are the real thing. Press on.
A Prophecy to the Mountains of Israel 1 "Son of man, prophesy to the mountains of Israel and say, 'O mountains of Israel, hear the word of the LORD. 2 This is what the Sovereign LORD says: The enemy said of you, "Aha! The ancient heights have become our possession." ' 3 Therefore prophesy and say, 'This is what the Sovereign LORD says: Because they ravaged and hounded you from every side so that you became the possession of the rest of the nations and the object of people's malicious talk and slander, 4 therefore, O mountains of Israel, hear the word of the Sovereign LORD : This is what the Sovereign LORD says to the mountains and hills, to the ravines and valleys, to the desolate ruins and the deserted towns that have been plundered and ridiculed by the rest of the nations around you- 5 this is what the Sovereign LORD says: In my burning zeal I have spoken against the rest of the nations, and against all Edom, for with glee and with malice in their hearts they made my land their own possession so that they might plunder its pastureland.' 6 Therefore prophesy concerning the land of Israel and say to the mountains and hills, to the ravines and valleys: 'This is what the Sovereign LORD says: I speak in my jealous wrath because you have suffered the scorn of the nations. 7 Therefore this is what the Sovereign LORD says: I swear with uplifted hand that the nations around you will also suffer scorn.
8 " 'But you, O mountains of Israel, will produce branches and fruit for my people Israel, for they will soon come home. 9 I am concerned for you and will look on you with favor; you will be plowed and sown, 10 and I will multiply the number of people upon you, even the whole house of Israel. The towns will be inhabited and the ruins rebuilt. 11 I will increase the number of men and animals upon you, and they will be fruitful and become numerous. I will settle people on you as in the past and will make you prosper more than before. Then you will know that I am the LORD. 12 I will cause people, my people Israel, to walk upon you. They will possess you, and you will be their inheritance; you will never again deprive them of their children.
13 " 'This is what the Sovereign LORD says: Because people say to you, "You devour men and deprive your nation of its children," 14 therefore you will no longer devour men or make your nation childless, declares the Sovereign LORD. 15 No longer will I make you hear the taunts of the nations, and no longer will you suffer the scorn of the peoples or cause your nation to fall, declares the Sovereign LORD.' "
16 Again the word of the LORD came to me: 17 "Son of man, when the people of Israel were living in their own land, they defiled it by their conduct and their actions. Their conduct was like a woman's monthly uncleanness in my sight. 18 So I poured out my wrath on them because they had shed blood in the land and because they had defiled it with their idols. 19 I dispersed them among the nations, and they were scattered through the countries; I judged them according to their conduct and their actions. 20 And wherever they went among the nations they profaned my holy name, for it was said of them, 'These are the LORD's people, and yet they had to leave his land.' 21 I had concern for my holy name, which the house of Israel profaned among the nations where they had gone.
22 "Therefore say to the house of Israel, 'This is what the Sovereign LORD says: It is not for your sake, O house of Israel, that I am going to do these things, but for the sake of my holy name, which you have profaned among the nations where you have gone. 23 I will show the holiness of my great name, which has been profaned among the nations, the name you have profaned among them. Then the nations will know that I am the LORD, declares the Sovereign LORD, when I show myself holy through you before their eyes.
24 " 'For I will take you out of the nations; I will gather you from all the countries and bring you back into your own land. 25 I will sprinkle clean water on you, and you will be clean; I will cleanse you from all your impurities and from all your idols. 26 I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit in you; I will remove from you your heart of stone and give you a heart of flesh. 27 And I will put my Spirit in you and move you to follow my decrees and be careful to keep my laws. 28 You will live in the land I gave your forefathers; you will be my people, and I will be your God. 29 I will save you from all your uncleanness. I will call for the grain and make it plentiful and will not bring famine upon you. 30 I will increase the fruit of the trees and the crops of the field, so that you will no longer suffer disgrace among the nations because of famine.
Tuesday, November 27, 2007
Sunday, November 18, 2007
Brokenness. Surrender. Holiness.
"I know that the Lord set apart the godly for Himself;
Tuesday, November 13, 2007
"And if you pour out that with which you sustain your own life for the hungry and satisfy the need of the afflicted, then shall your light rise in darkness, and your obscurity and gloom become like the noonday."
Tuesday, November 06, 2007
My husband is tucking in our little girl after a long night. Denbigh is an amazing man. As I speak, teach, lead, organize, or whatever it is God tells me to do..there he is coming alongside. I laughed and told him tonight that he does more serving for women's ministry than most women do. Thank you, lovely husband.
Monday night the Holy Spirit fell on us at our first women's worship service, Shiloh. It was phenomenal. It seemed otherworldly at times. The voices were angelic. Angela delivered a powerful word to us. I believe with all my heart freedom came to us in that place. Marla, Janet, and Marj were anointed as they led worship. Thank You, Jesus, for Your presence. Thank You.
My word from God I keep hearing of late is Surrender. He has told me to let go of something and I am being pushed to the limit on this one. Relentlessly throughout the past few months God keeps showing me that when you let go of something that He will restore it like He did for Job (twice as much was returned to him). Cars, computers, & even can openers (Thanks Sharee!). This is the biggest thing yet. I am praying for wild obedience on this.
Let me be found faithful, Lord.
So, you are wondering what happened at "the Cup" this week. Well, I am sad to say I did not go. We were leading worship at Carolina Creek Christian Camp. I decided instead to share with you the first time I went to "the Cup." It all starts with Denbigh having a crick in his neck. He led worship that morning and then we were going to lunch with some friends. He was in quite a bit of pain and so our friend offered to give him a "mild muscle relaxer." My husband hardly takes Tylenol so you can imagine where this is going. We decide to go to "the cup" and check it out. We are all having somewhat normal conversations and Denbigh starts giggling uncontrollably. Then I get up to go get a cup of coffee and I look over from the line and there is my husband hanging off the chair he was sitting in and his head is resting in a Yucca tree. He passed out. It's been fun times ever since. Denbigh is also never allowed to take medication again. (Side note: Denbigh asked if it would make him tired and was assured it would not. If you want to know who it is, come ask me.)
Random: Next Shiloh is December 4th. Someone I have been praying for a year to get pregnant is pregnant! Praise Jesus! Please Keep praying for Kyle Sherrill. I am adding the link to their blog in my links on the left. http://www.prayforkyle.com/
Tuesday, October 30, 2007
Alright, baby photo below. Quit emailing me! ;-) I remember having a writer's callous when I was five years old. In my adolescence I hated it. Now, I find it fascinating. Almost as long as I have been alive I have borne a mark that declares I am passionate about something in such a way that it bores into my skin. I have been blessed with wonderful Apple products to use and I still prefer writing things out. I heard Michelle Pfeiffer say David Kelley writes out all of his award winning shows on yellow legal pad. I like that. I prefer a journal and a real wood pencil (the kind that are stained, not the yellow ones.) There's something romantic about it to me.
Below: For all you who complained that the above baby did not appease them.
Tuesday, October 23, 2007
This being the 7th unusual person we saw, I told Anne that there was a theme emerging. These are the people Jesus wants us to share Him with.
The week didn't stop there. I was praying about my part in a new Bible study emerging in our area and I didn't really want to be involved at first. I like my own "brand" of things. None the less God told me I was to head it up. Surely, I misheard you, Lord. He took me on a seven year journey in my mind and I realized He had already told me this multiple times. He had also fully equipped me and allowed me to see the fruit of that equipping. I still wasn't sold on it. Watch out. I watched the screen on my Mac crack. He said I could get a new computer after I go to the desert place He is sending me for the next few months. Believe it or not, I still wasn't ready and asked for a sign. The next morning I get up and my kitchen clock had flung it's hour hand way out in the middle of the floor. I just stood there staring at it and wondering how the clock had done this. Then I realized that 'it' was not the One that flung it. That is when I heard God say, "The hour has come. Rise up." In my spirit I feel a year of Jubilee coming to us. Jubilee was a period when debts were forgiven and slaves were set free. God is ushering in a year of healing for us. I believe it started at Loving Well and will continue on. The hour has come to us. Who is going with me!!!?
On Sunday I kept hearing the same thing over and over. "Rise up." I had Denbigh's Bible and started scouring the back pages for the Greek word meaning for Rise. Here is what I found:
Tuesday, October 16, 2007
Just about every week a book arrives at my house. I am a reading junkie. Denbigh is always saying, "What have you bought now!?" Well, I love to read. I explained to my dear husband whom I love and cherish that this is all the fault of Levar Burton from Reading Rainbow. Butterfly in the sky indeed. Take a look.
It's in a book. Reading Rainbow.
I dearly love to read. I am a studier. I want to be well informed. I think we as an American society just do things because other people do them. We never stop to ask ourselves if something is God honoring or even appropriate. Driving around our neighborhood a few years ago at Halloween, I had a thought. I thought that if someone from another country came over here who did not understand our customs, they would all think we were Satanists. One drive down the street my friend Christine lives on would convince you of that. One of her neighbors puts out a life-size demonic clown with a smoke machine annually. The whole thing creeps me out. When discussing the odd holiday with some friends the other day, Denbigh made an interesting point. He simply said to look at what Scripture says about it. I will post that below. I honestly don't see how glorifying witchcraft, demons, or fear can be God honoring. (editors note: this is my personal conviction that I am posting to cause others to think. It is not my condemnation.) God's Word says to test all things. I have read countless articles on the subject. One Christian woman who is a former witch told how she began in witchcraft was at a Halloween party playing with a Quija board. She was even knocking Harvest Festivals. She says it sends the message that we are missing out on something when we try to provide an alternative. That is her take.
Read the Scripture and make your own conclusions:
Don't imitate evil. : "When you enter the land the Lord your God is giving you, do not learn to imitate the detestable ways of the nations there. Let no one be found among you who...practices divination or sorcery, interprets omens, engages in witchcraft, or casts spells, or who is a medium, or spiritist or who consults the dead
I don't want you to become part of something that reduces you to less than yourself. And you can't have it both ways, banqueting with the Master one day and slumming with demons the next. Besides, the Master won't put up with it. He wants us—all or nothing. Do you think you can get off with anything less?
1 Corinthians 10:21-22
"what fellowship can light have with darkness?"
2 Corinthians 6:14-17
You have not been given a spirit leading to fear. Romans 8:15
"train a child in the way he should go" Proverbs 22:6
I am not going to go on and on trying to be your holy spirit. I just thought I'd throw some things out there to get some lively discussion going. Hopefully, it will do just what it is intended to: cause you to test what you hold as truth.
You can do your own
Some more to read:
The retreat was phenomenal. The Holy Spirit filled that place. I know that several women were set free in our midst. Praise God! I could go on and on about how well everyone did everything, but To GOD be the glory for the things He hath done.
I am thinking about starting a talk show online.
Me, Christine, and Anne.
I laugh just thinking about how funny we will be.
Guess who got her ears pierced!
Tuesday, October 09, 2007
Ray Henning's Heart of Texas Music. Who waits on us, but ol' Ray Henning himself. There he is. A legend in his own right. He sold Stevie Ray Vaughn his famous guitar. He befriended Willie and Waylon. He's old now and can't hear well, but he's still a fireball. He offered me 5 Martin guitars for Laomai. His wife was in the background laughing. That would be about $15,000 in guitars, but rest assured, I didn't take them. I still have my daughter. The whole thing made me think of people in the
Middle East buying women in exchange for camels.
My friend Anne was reading the society column in The Statesman the other day and noticed all these names in bold. She said they were bolded as if we should know who they are. She didn't know. So, she started doing it on her blog. It made me giggle and I dearly love to laugh. So, I shall also do it on mine.
Anne Smith makes me laugh.
I find myself looking at some people's blogs and they are an unending chain of theory, interpretation, commentary on the Bible. That's wonderful and all, but I find myself bored to death. I just want to leave comments like, "But who are you?" "What is God doing in your life?" What is God doing in your life?!!!?! Are we like the priests and scribes in Matthew 2 that wouldn't even go 10 miles to see the Messiah? Who is God to you?? Is this head knowledge to you or is yours an experiential faith?
I was discussing some phraseology with my husband,
Denbigh Cherry, the other day. Why do people say, "I don't want to overspiritualize it?" If God is truly sovreign, He must be in control of everything. I think He allows lots of things we try to underspiritualize. Another one that bugs me is "It's easier to act your way into a feeling than feel your way into an action."
Um, obedience doesn't require emotion. Quit whining.
This weekend we are putting on a Women's event in the Kyle/Buda area. We are showing Beth Moore's Loving Well series and having free brunch. We are also having some fabulous Women lead worship for us. Janet Sanders, Marla Rice, Marj Oaks, & my dear friend Tiffany Atwood. We are also starting a monthly women's Night of Worship called Shiloh. Shiloh is another name for the Messiah.
It means tranquility and to whom it belongs.
The scepter shall not depart from Judah,
Nor the ruler's staff from between his feet,
Until Shiloh comes,
And to him shall be the obedience of the peoples.
Do you ever notice that when you pray for someone that you feel closer to them? A friend and I have a local business owner that we pray for. We both talk about him like he's a dear friend and comment when we think he's doing things we deem inappropriate. It makes us laugh because he doesn't know us from any other customer..yet there we are lurking, praying, & drinking a fine brew. That's it. I don't want to underspiritualize it. God has obviously sent this guy two kooky intercessors.
He must be destined for greatness!!
Monday night we went to a seminar in San Antonio by the people who wrote To Train Up A Child. Michael and Debi Pearl are Mennonites. They have child training techniques that are completely against what the world teaches and we love it! They also have a strong Pentecostal following. When we arrive, there are scads of women in skirts, no make-up, and scarves on their heads. I tell Denbigh I want to go home. He says, "Now Stephi, if these women love Jesus they won't care that you have jeans on." I laugh and tell him that when I walk in they are all going to start shouting "Hallelujah! Another hooker come to Jesus!"
There were some other people there with pants on.
Tuesday, October 02, 2007
Please keep us in your prayers. This has been the year of severe attack. The enemy keeps trying to take all of our resources. I just keep remembering that you cannot outgive God. He is so faithful. He has far more than we could ever need. Also we have a retreat coming up in 2 weeks. Please be in prayer for what God will birth that Saturday. We still have a few seats available for anyone who would like to attend.
This week my husband was sick and he would not stay away from me. Now I am sick. I hate sick. I used my sick time to do what all people do with it. I rearranged the furniture. Perhaps you heard Denbigh with elevated voice saying,"Stephanie Cherry!!!!! What do you think you are doing!!!" I also watched 12 minutes of The Bachelor. This is a big deal. We don't even have a t.v. in the livingroom. We are anti-t.v. I found myself staring at this Austinite who seemed almost nice...then the Chrisitian girl who says she is high up on her morals is doing body shots and getting naked. I turned it off. Well, that was my 12 minutes of t.v. for 2007. I'll go back to living real life and enjoying my family. Why can't they ever show Christians on television that are not hypocrites? Or ones that have a personality?
Tuesday, September 25, 2007
If you could do anything with your life, what would it be? I challenge you this week to turn off your t.v., computer, or other distraction and do one thing you always say you'd like to do. Read. Write. Paint. Laugh. Don't find yourself saying "I wish I had made time to do that" when your life is coming to an end. Do the thing now. Raise the bar for your own life. Better yet, set the bar down and do some dancing.
If I could do anything, I would do much of what I am doing now. I think I'd like to quit trying so hard for things to be done and just enjoy life. I would like to lay aside lists and "to do." I would like to curl up on the couch more at the coffee shop and enjoy someone's company.
The other day I was out on my parent's property. I sat on the swing under a big oak tree just breathing. I realized I need to do that more. My dad has a small dry erase board on his fridge (Ice Box to my southern friends). On it, he had his to do list. It had two simple words on it. "Bake cookies." I decided to have a day like that last week. It was a blessing for me. I actually even marked out "bake cookies." I just enjoyed the day of nothing. I highly recommend it.
Our week was marked by a profound miracle. I wish I could tell you all about it, but I have promised not to. God answered a prayer of mine that I have been petitioning Him for 2 1/2 years. He did it in such a way that I have no room to doubt that it was Him. Maybe someday I can share. Just praise Him with me! At the end of my miracle, I was blessed to give away my car. I never thought that would be possible. God allows us to do things that we are far too selfish to do if left to ourselves.
My husband spent a few days at a leadership conference in Dallas. He got to see Voddie and talk with him....and bring me home his new book, "Family Driven Faith." I can't wait to dig into it! Denbigh stayed at Al Denson's ranch. He says it was one of the most amazing places! I can't wait for my turn to go.
On Sunday, we went to church with my mom and heard Brother Roy give a word about being a Barnabas..an encourager. They called this man Barnabas because he was so encouraging. I thought that I'd like to be conformed to Christ so much so that people say my given name just won't do. I am praying toward that end. On a sidebar, I am dealing with some negative people in my life and I have no idea how to handle it. Is your anger righteous if someone's negativity is effecting your husband...when all you do is pray for and try to build him up? I found this book called
Living With Eeyore. It is a Christian book on how to deal with negative people. I just ordered it. I will let you know how it plays out.
She is currently chewing on the backside of a purple lamb.
Great article by John Piper
What I'm reading:
Tuesday, September 18, 2007
Following in her father's footsteps:
It has been a whirlwind week with the Cherry family. We spent 3 days at Carolina Creek leading worship. On the way home, Denbigh dropped me at Camp Tejas in Giddings. Sunday we are at church all morning, pack up our bag again and head to Waco for Denbigh's brother's ordination as a deacon where my husband sang. Monday morning we pack back up and come home for my doctor's appointment after the fall. I sit here now wishing I were taking a nap, but my brain won't stop spinning.
Thank you to all of you who prayed for the River of Life group. We got on the floor and the Holy Spirit descended on us during prayer. I know beyond a shadow of a doubt that people were healed and set free this weekend. I know it was not my speaking or our worship. God had informed me He was coming and to get out of His way. What a sweet and beautiful Savior we have that meets us in the most intimate ways. We praise you, Lord Jesus.
Thank you for allowing us to see and partake in Your glory.
I was laughing about all the things that happened to my family during the few weeks I was working on the retreat, but they weren't funny. Here is the rundown:
*oven caught fire
*car broke down
*took a horrible fall (now in physical therapy, likely had mis-carriage)at Texas Cinema
*Mom fell down our stairs
*Denbigh fell down our stairs
*Computer cord sparked and caught on fire
*Vase fell and broke
*Denbigh charged by a raccoon
*Denbigh almost stepped on a Copperhead
*Got into a car accident
I know the enemy had much worse plans for us, but GOD. But God saw fit to deliver us into the place and descend on us like a dove. When we were a mile away from the camp I was saying,"Thank you for getting me here, Lord Jesus. I could walk the rest of the way." I fell prostrate on the floor in my room and thanked Him for whatever He was going to do that the enemy wanted to stop.
He moved. Praise Him!
I had a wonderful time with these women. They are the most unassuming group of women I have ever met. Beautiful! It is my joy and my honor to intercede for them.
Here are some random thoughts: Has the entire population of American parents gone completely insecure and tried to find their worth in how fast their kids do things? How does your child doing something, like getting a tooth, reflect on your genius? Seriously, it doesn't. Stop talking about it. The statistics for prodigies are that they are reluctant to talk and are late bloomers. If you have this issue, I would like to tell you that you have more worth than your children's speed of teeth cutting, words forming, or walking. Pursue your worth in Christ.
Lastly, Denbigh went on and on about this phraseology the other day..."give them the hairy eyeball." What! I didn't think it existed. I argued with him, but I Googled it and there it is all over the place. It means to give them the "stink eye." Giving someone the "hairy eyeball" sounds disgusting to me. I keep saying it now though.
If you do something weird or uncouth,
I might just give you the hairy eyeball!
Peace and blessing to you all. I love our daughter's big blue eyes. I prayed that she would either have my dad's green or my Papa Cooper's striking deep blue eyes. I prayed that because I thought seeing my Papa's eyes would minister to my mom. She definitely has them. It's an amazing thing. She definitely loves on and ministers to my mom (her Nonni). I love that God did that for her.
I just saw something by Voddie Baucham about insincere worshippers. Do you pray or worship to be noticed by others? I get embarrased for people when you can tell they are obviously trying to do things to draw attention to themselves. I am praying that we each have humility in prayer and worship.
May we not make a spectacle of ourselves.
May God get the glory forever and ever.
View from my room at Camp Tejas and the chapel:
Tuesday, September 11, 2007
Early this morning I was sitting on my bed with my beloved daughter who is now a beautiful 6 month old. She is playing with her pony that Shelley brought her back from Wyoming (because every girl needs a pony). I am reading. I glance at her and a huge amount of white foam is coming out of her mouth! I start freaking out thinking my first born is having a seizure. She had stuck her hand in her mouth (chewing it) so far that she made herself start throwing up! I still have not recovered from this moment.
I just turned white writing out the story.
Keep us in your prayers this week. We are off to Carolina Creek to lead worship and then I am speaking at Camp Tejas for
River of Life Community Church. I know I won't make it through my talks without singing that childhood song atleast once.
Sing it with me:
"I've got a river life flowing out of me
It makes the lame to walk and the blind to see
Opens prison doors and sets the captive free
I've got a river of life flowing out of me
Spring up, O well! Gush! Gush! Gush! Gush!
within my soul
Spring up, O well, splish, splash!
and make me whole
Spring up, O well
and give to me
that life abundantly!"
So, now that I have said nothing spiritual or even really worth reading, I thought I'd talk to you about the
The Big Five.
Denbigh and I are confessed Mexican food snobs. There is only one place that meets all the criteria (besides Emily's Mama who makes a mean taco!). That place is Garcia's in Buda, Texas. It is in an old restored home on mainstreet. All the waitresses know us by name and comment each week we go there how Laomai has grown in the past seven days! What are the big five you ask.
Let me break it down for you.
1. Good beans. You can hardly find authentic, home-cooked beans.
2. Good rice. Rice that is not drowned in that weird red sauce and actually tastes like a Mexican made it.
3. Chips. Thin. Crispy. Salty. Warm.
4. Salsa. Must be puréed and have a little kick!
5. Dr Pepper must be perfectly blended and on tap...not in a can. (Garcia's also serves the best sweet tea!)
The best thing...you can easily leave there for 15 bucks for 2 people.
So, my props for my talks are a box cutter, some black face paint, and a pair of snake skin shoes. I am going to try to record some of it so that I can put it on You Tube. I truly feel like the Spirit of God desires to bring healing and revival to this group of women.
Please keep us in your prayers!
Our sessions are at 9:15 and 4:15 on Saturday.
Pray that God shows us the land we are to buy and provides the money to get it. I am praying many blessings on you. Spring up, O Well, within your soul!!!!! (Rebecca, did you have that baby yet?)
Below is the mean goose that attacked my husband.