Going Beyond: Deeper Surrender to God’s Purposes
Updated: Oct 28, 2021
Sharing a true story, with permission, from our second Living Room Encounter, which was earlier this month (October 2021):
As she made a beeline for the bedroom door, she suddenly wheeled about and stood with her back to me, worshiping. The rustic living room, warm but unfamiliar to me, vibrated with the sights and sounds of praise music pouring through the television above the stone fireplace. I worshiped with eyes wide open on her swaying figure, arms raised, and quaking.
Her arms were shaking.
As these nine women, some familiar and others not, shared a meal earlier in the evening, she confided to us she’d never experienced God in “that way.” So I was surprised at her ecstatic response to God’s presence and happy for her. The weekend had barely begun.
In a sudden movement, she jerked forward like someone sucker-punched her in the gut. Her back arched as she fell into my quickly outstretched arms. I lowered her to the floor, her hands still raised and quivering. All the ladies turned in response and several moved toward us to make sure she was okay. As she lay there worshiping in the Spirit with a newfound heavenly language, we were reassured.
“No one even touched her,” I whispered. I’m constantly amazed at what one encounter with the living God can do.
She laid on the living room floor for about 30 minutes, and when she sat up, all she could say was, “He said there’s so much more. Don’t stop. There’s more. Don’t stop.” She has no recollection of her words, but eight other women do. She only knows she slept like a baby that night and woke up lighter, more open, more expectant.
As her story of childhood abuse emerged over the next three days, and she continued to feel God’s touch at the depths of her pain, her countenance transformed. Peace. Acceptance. Joy. His transforming power wasn’t surface level, but bottom-of-the-ocean deep.
Nine women from four states gathered at a rented VRBO home for three days. Living Room Encounter is what we’re calling these gatherings, and this was our second one. The first was in Little Rock, Arkansas, in June 2021 (eight women from five states) and then this one in Heber Springs, Arkansas, in October 2021. The gatherings are intentionally small and intimate. We laughed, listened, ate, talked, worshiped, explored, and prayed.
The biggest and most wonderful part – God showed up, the Holy Spirit fell, and Jesus walked among us bringing hope, healing, and wholeness.
How did this true story make you feel? Delight? Skepticism? Joy? Annoyance? Awe? Indifference? I pray this story releases a desire in you to know God even deeper through his Son Jesus. He desires to bring freedom and wholeness to our inner being, but we must be willing to encounter his fullness.
If you would like to receive notice when we schedule our next Living Room Encounters, please let me know by responding to this email with “I want to know more about the Living Room Encounters!” (Or you can leave a comment under this blog post, or sign up on the form at the bottom of this website page.) The only encounter we have set so far is March 17-20, 2022, in Mountainview, Arkansas, at a beautiful VRBO home, and we are praying about other 2022 dates. When we determine costs, we will send you the details!
We would like to offer these three-day Living Room Encounters across the country, four to twelve times per year. If you know of a good location for one, or a church that would like to sponsor one, let us know. We will need a house with beds for 12 up to 25 people. We do expect these intimate encounters to grow a little larger than the 8 to 10 we’ve had thus far, but not much.
Our current ministry team includes six ladies from five states: me (Oklahoma), Kristie Nichols (Louisiana), Parletta Erickson (Georgia), Rachel Trant (Louisiana), Melissa Richardson (South Carolina), and Kristi Manzanares (Arkansas). The team will grow as we move forward.
Pray about joining us to go deeper!
"Legacy," the cover photo, is my latest painting. See my ART GALLERY for more paintings.