Growing up we did not frequent church on a regular basis. We were sort of like the holiday Christians, going to church on some major event. All this changed when I was fifteen. My mom got a harebrained idea and decided we needed to go to church again. The idea didn’t consist of merely going back to church on a regular basis, the idea was going to include keeping the Sabbath as well. This involved not only the omission of my Saturday activities but the omission of my Friday night activities because it was “Sabbath”. The realization that I was not going to be able to play volleyball the following year angered me and I rebelled against this idea with all the passion that a teenage girl can muster. Needless to say this was not a pretty sight or time in our home, but I caused my mom to break down and allow me to play at least one sport. I of course chose volleyball. Before you start questioning the apparent hypocrisy of my mom who said we were going to keep the Sabbath and then she turns and lets me play one sport as if all the other days cover the breaking of those 3 months; read on because God had a bigger plan. It was really hard for me to give up my sports because this was my place of escape, an escape from the trials of my life. It was a place that I felt like someone because of the team around me. I was half way decent therefore I felt like I contributed to something which gave me a good feeling. With my sophomore year starting and the volleyball season approaching I was feeling guilty because of playing on the Sabbath and not keeping the day Holy unto the Lord. So at 15 years old I made a “deal” with God. I said that if he didn’t want me to play on the Sabbath then allow me to get hurt and then I would know He wanted me to keep the Sabbath. It just so happened that our first game of the season was a Saturday tournament. Can you guess what happened? On the first game of the tournament and one of the first plays I went up to spike the ball and came down and landed on one of the opponent’s foot which was over the midline. This of course caused me to role my ankle and I was out for the rest of the day. You would think that this would have been at the very least a clue that God was trying to tell me something in regards to my deal that I made with him. I said to myself that this was not from God because I was not hurt bad enough and was not in a wheel chair so this must mean that I can still keep on playing. So I continued to play and the coach made everyone where ankle braces from that point on. The following year, my junior year, the conviction that I was sinning and not keeping the Sabbath Holy tormented me again and I just said to the Lord,
“I am not strong enough to tell my friends and coach that I can not play. They need me and I don’t want to let them down. So Lord you are just going to have to cause us to move because I can’t say no. I know this is not going to happen because we have no money to move and where would we go?”
My mom was laid off at the time, we lived in government housing, and the food bank was like our grocery store. What money would we have to move with let alone set up a new home? Thinking that I stumped the Lord and backed Him in a corner because I perceived that this prayer was impossible, God showed me that nothing is impossible with Him. About a month before the state tournament my mom informs my siblings and I that she has contacted my dad (they had been divorced since I was about 3 and I saw him only a hand full of times since then) and they are getting back together and we are going to move! Keep in mind that I have forgotten all about the second prayer I had made with the Lord, probably because I thought it was impossible so I discredited it. Because of this second absurd idea my mom had I become enraged and dumbfounded at the same time. I have but a matter of weeks before my world is turned upside down not to mention the fulfillment of this idea is supposed to take place around the time I am supposed to play in the state tournament. After I made another teenage girl explosion it was decided that we would leave after the tournament when the season was over. The situation in regards to our volleyball team looked like this: predictions made in the papers were that we should take first at state. This came about because we were undefeated for the entire season, not only did we win every match but we won every game within those matches. We also took first at districts leading to the thought that we would come out 1st at state. So upon my return from the tournament I walk in the door to see my mom and dad sitting at the table talking and they ask me how we did and what place we got at state; I annoyingly mutter, “seventh”. My dad bursts out laughing. I snap back saying I don’t see how that is so funny and he says, “Don’t you get it? You were supposed to be ranked first but you got seventh, the Sabbath not the first day of the week”, and he proceeds to laugh some more. Extremely annoyed about this correlation I grab my bags and march to my room while he is still laughing. It was not till some time later, after our move, that I remembered my prayer to the Lord. It was then that an added realization of His power was revealed to me. It took me a while but I got what the Lord was trying to tell me which is the Sabbath is important. I played volleyball at the new school I attended but told them from the beginning that I would not play on Sabbath. In God’s mercy He was patient with me and I did not have to end up in a wheel chair for the point to be made. This was my first experience with being tested with the Sabbath and it was not my last. I know that there will be more to come. Even now there are those who think it ok to make a law that all should worship on Sunday. It will only be by God’s grace and truth that we can stand in the face of persecution; defining ourselves with the maker of heaven and earth. I have heard that those who keep the true Sabbath are called legalistic but out of their same mouth they will say that we need to be obedient to the Lord. God instated Sabbath and obeying Him is not legalistic. Legalism is applying “men’s” rules to God’s rules.
Exo 20:8 Remember the sabbath day, to keep it holy.
Exo 20:9 Six days shalt thou labour, and do all thy work:
Exo 20:10 But the seventh day is the sabbath of the LORD thy God: in it thou shalt not do any work, thou, nor thy son, nor thy daughter, thy manservant, nor thy maidservant, nor thy cattle, nor thy stranger that is within thy gates:
Exo 20:11 For in six days the LORD made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that in them is, and rested the seventh day: wherefore the LORD blessed the sabbath day, and hallowed it.
Exo 31:16 Wherefore the children of Israel shall keep the sabbath, to observe the sabbath throughout their generations, for a perpetual covenant.
Exo 31:17 It is a sign between me and the children of Israel for ever: for in six days the LORD made heaven and earth, and on the seventh day he rested, and was refreshed.
Joh 14:15 If ye love me, keep my commandments.
Joh 16:7 Nevertheless I tell you the truth; It is expedient for you that I go away: for if I go not away, the Comforter will not come unto you; but if I depart, I will send him unto you.
Joh 16:8 And when he is come, he will reprove the world of sin, and of righteousness, and of judgment:
The study of water and the Holy Spirit in the Bible is quite interesting to say the least. The Bible is written in symbols and codes using itself to unlock those codes by searching other passages. The seeking for the wellspring of truth when it comes to the Spirit of God is very deep but the fountain that I have found is refreshing. The dichotomy is for some it will be hot like the burning of fire, searing the conscience of one who is unwilling to repent. It will be as the arctic ocean, cold and freezing the heart of the one who turns from the truth. The very saving power that we have and are promised now, can be a destructive power to those who reject it. The Bible says, "Wherefore I say unto you, all manner of sin and blasphemy shall be forgiven unto men: but the blasphemy against the Holy Ghost shall not be forgiven unto men" Mathew 12:31. The story I now share with you uncovers how I almost met the sleep of death by water but I now have met the hope of life eternal through the word of the Spirit, John 16:13.
Delivered From the Water
In my adolescent years, around 8 or 9, we lived in an area where the popular place to swim, at that time, was called “the lagoon”. My sister and brother and I had found a large rock under the water about a foot in height and we were jumping off of it pretending it was a diving board. Regardless of the fact that three fourths of our bodies were submerged under water, our active mind and imagination kept us busy with a rock. Our fun inspired a couple of other children to migrate our way and observe the game from a closer view. The problem arose when they did not want to play but wanted to take over. One girl in particular decided that she was just going to stand on this rock so no one else could jump off. She just stared at me with a look in her eyes that said, “This is my rock and you can’t use it”. I wanted another turn to jump off the rock and was not ready to relinquish the fun and so I proceeded forward to stand on the rock with her; and jump off on the other side. This made her mad and she dunked me under the water. She did not only dunk me but held me down and was quite successful since she was quite a bit larger in size compared to me. I of course blacked out from lack of oxygen; no one remembers how long I was under the water. My mom, now rushing to the water and yelling, “Let her up, let her up”; but to no avail. The vicious girl did not listen until she saw my mom enter the water. When she released me it was out in the deep where she left me there for my mom to come and fish me out. Still unconscious, my mother recalls grabbing my limp body and pulling me towards the shore. Miraculously as we got closer to the shore I start walking out of the water. I have no recollection of walking, what I do remember vividly is standing on the sand dazed, wondering how I got there and staring at my mother who had such rage in her eyes. She then commands me and my siblings to pick up our things to leave. When we arrived home I just laid down on the couch feeling quite exhausted and took a nap. The question is how was I walking in the water if I was blacked out? I am sure some will give reasons as to how this could happen. I believe that I should not have been able to walk to that shore, I know in my heart that an angel saved me that day. The flood gates of heaven are beginning to be poured out right now and there are those who will drown in them by their rejection of the Spirit of God. While others who will be saved by the dropping of the water. Saved by receiving that still small voice telling you that even though you are a sinner you can be save through the blood of the lamb, walk in His ways, and He will purify you and make you white as snow.
Psa 31:2 Bow down thine ear to me; deliver me speedily: be thou my strong rock, for an house of defence to save me.
Mat_3:11 I indeed baptize you with water unto repentance: but he that cometh after me is mightier than I, whose shoes I am not worthy to bear: he shall baptize you with the Holy Ghost, and with fire:
Mat_7:24 Therefore whosoever heareth these sayings of mine, and doeth them, I will liken him unto a wise man, which built his house upon a rock:
Mat_7:25 And the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and beat upon that house; and it fell not: for it was founded upon a rock.
This month marks three years from my Nicodemus experience. I have to say that I am having a rebirth experience every day. Like Paul who said, "I die daily"; I too desire this for my life, relinquishing the lusts of the flesh to walk in the Spirit, which in turn brings about a rebirth daily. I love feasting on the heavenly manna which sustains my life. I have been told by some that they enjoy me sharing the miracles of my past. I will share few in these last weeks of March, rejoicing in the month of my spiritual birth. If you wish to read about my rebirth experience then go to the tab at the top of this cite titled, "About Me".
I have shared this in my newsletter before, so for some it will be a repeat but it seems appropriate to start with this story in the series of miracles to follow.
My Birth Marked With a Miracle:
My mother has had many miracles and answers to prayer manifested in her life. The one that I will now share has to do with my entrance into this world. The delivery seemed to be routine when it comes to births. The nurses fulfilling their duties to clean this new babe while the doctor is waiting for the last events of birth to be completed. When all of a sudden there seems to be a vast amount of bleeding that began proliferating from my mother. A state of panic suddenly arose in the room as additional doctors flood in trying to control the hemorrhaging. The state of panic spread to my father, who was waiting outside, as he was told that his young wife is dying. Meanwhile inside the delivery room my mother could feel the life leaving her as she became weaker and weaker with the sleep of death beginning to drown her. In the depths of her soul there was a raging storm while she cried out to the maker of heaven and earth to spare her life. This plead for more time came with a promise, that she would dedicate her first born to Him. That this child would be His child and not hers, for she would just be the caretaker. Suddenly the sense of panic and bustle in the room came to a halt and one of the doctors cried out, “it stopped, the bleeding just stopped”. God, our healer and maker, is truly in charge of our life and has a plan for each one of us. He wants to give us life. More than merely life on this earth, God wants to give us eternal life; He wants to make us sons and daughters. Why did it take me so long to realize that life on this world is nothing compared to the gift He wants to give each one? Not all stories end with the temporal life for death plagues both the believer and the non-believer. My hope lies in a better place, a place of promise. Where does your hope lie?
1Co 2:9 But as it is written, Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love him.