APage at a Time

APage at a Time

Living A Page at a Time

Gate City Gatekeepers "Arise and Pray"

As a writing prophet and scribe, I have been anointed by God to write what I hear and see. I have felt a sense of urgency to do so regarding the events of this past weekend with Releasing Heaven Ministries (based in Charlotte, NC). Thus I offer my experience from Releasing Heaven Ministries' time in Greensboro, North Carolina on February 19-20, 2016. Divine energy flows through my spirit and I am compelled to write this follow up release so that our spiritual history might be remembered here on earth as it is recorded in heaven.

 

Over the past weekend Soul Care Ministries (SCM) and others had the dynamic privilege of participating in a ministry event facilitated by Releasing Heaven Ministries (RHM) under the anointed leadership of Yvonne Hicks who is an in-time, in-season, in-touch prophet and prophetic intercessor. Words fail me for an accurate and apropos description of our experience. Yvonne and her team of worshipping giants are in tune and instep with the sound of heaven and the voice of the Father. Releasing Heaven Ministries ministered with both an ease and a grace that make Kingdom work look easy. They created a presence and an atmosphere that invited our "wholeness" to worship God, not just a single part of us. So many of us try rushing to the throne room with little thought and less preparation, but not RHM. RHM intentionally walks with deliberate timing more like one keeping step with a waltz than sprinting with a run. How beautiful it was to dance with God in body, soul, and spirit.

 

Much like a press release that is planned before the speaker addresses his audience, I find myself carefully pausing for planned words. I was recently introduced to Releasing Heaven Ministries by Ministry Leader Darrell Nicholson of Kingdom Builders Solutions, who believed that God wanted him to facilitate the connecting of both Soul Care Ministries and RHM. There is no doubt within me…he heard God. RHM was planning one of their prayer events for Greensboro/Guilford County and God saw fit to divinely connect us for the purpose of releasing  prayers and blessings over the region. This event commenced on Friday evening (February 19, 2016) primarily with representatives and affiliates of the three ministries, RHM, SCM, and Kingdom Builders Solutions, coming together. WOW! Phenomenal things happen when people come together to agree, especially when that purpose is to obey God and honor the LORD Jesus Christ as His Son while lead by Holy Spirit. Immediately we all began to sense the presence of God by the sweetness in the atmosphere. We prayed together and the LORD Almighty united us in thought, intent, and mission in a deeply abiding and visceral way. We felt shift and we experienced healing and release.

 

Saturday morning (February 20) opened with an urgency to worship and a determination to hear. Our ministry spends a great deal of time encouraging and urging each other to reach higher and climb up but RHM did no such thing. They simply began to worship the Father as though they had simply hit pause or taken a short break from the last time they had worshipped (or did they ever stop?). They seemed to step effortlessly into the Father's arms without fanfare or applause or struggle. Those present quickly took advantage of this access and dived in without regard to the shore behind. How refreshing to jump into an open river knowing that the safest place to be was in the open water and not on the predicable bank. The sound of the flowing waters were refreshing and fulfilling as we moved graciously and gracefully toward the throne of God.

 

As the day progressed, RHM managed to effortlessly maintain the atmosphere of worship while teaching and offering the testimonies of prayer and its power. I've never heard testimonies like these which focused so purely and totally on God and His power that you almost had to stop and ask if human beings were present when God did what He did, but indeed human beings were present and/or affected greatly by these documented accounts. Too often in the church, the body of Christ, when individuals offer testimonies, no one can really discern the power of God beyond the ego of the tell-er. I was honored at the humility and reverence to God that RHM demonstrated over and over throughout the event.

 

As evening ensued, we prayed for many things connected to the seven mountains (which we at Soul Care have been calling marketplaces for some time) related to our region and the other regions represented by attendees from South Carolina and New Jersey. What a breaking…I knew that our prayers were shifting events and lives. It made us WANT desperately to pray and to have evidence that God intervenes in the lives of people and the affairs of humanity when we align our wishes to His and speak heaven's language of release. We long to hear in the days and seasons to come how the region has shifted toward God's true alignment as we align our voice with His redemptive purpose for people and places…and prayer.

 

Many other things occurred during this powerful release event. As God releases me I might write other things at a later date, but as for this writing I simply want to document the life and vitality that has been infused into our city, our ministry, and prayerfully in the lives of others who attended, by these well-timed intercessory visitors who ushered in an angelic host of help to pray. The anointing of the sons of Issachar is upon Releasing Heaven Ministries to know the appointed time and season for strategic prayer. Theirs is not a work for the faint of faith, rather it is the work of the faithful gatekeeper. Greensboro and Guilford County are better, far better for their arrival. Their work left a charge for the Gate City's gatekeepers, "Arise and pray." May we be obedient to align ourselves to this redemptive charge.

 

What a glorious time to be in God's Kingdom!!!

 

Written by Pastor Dr. Angela Bailey Page - A Gatekeeper of a Gated City

3-D Thinking

I received a challenge last week from my AWOL Fitness Life Coach Lynch Hunt, who has now figured out, that like himself, I too like assembling words for the purpose of building people. Each day he challenges us mentally by giving us his unique version of "listen & learn." He usually begins with "listen up" and then goes into his pre-workout spiel for the day. Sometimes he lectures in this no-nonsense tone that has us afraid to breathe loud enough to be heard. Sometimes he waxes sentimentally and memorably hoping he will inspire us to learn current lessons from his previous mistakes and successes. At other times he is straight-up comical with the entertainment skills and stage timing of a comedic actor. But no matter what the format, the message always flows from the same stream of consciousness...tighten up!  

An innocent bystander might think that "tighten up" in this context is only meant for the bodybuilder (which we are progressively becoming) but a wise person under the consistent tutelage of this prolific stream of consciousness has learned by now that "tighten up" is a three-dimensional contemplation. Let me explain. For anything to exist in three dimensions it must have height, width (or breadth), and depth. In one of our morning "listen ups", Coach Lynch used construction vs. destruction as a metaphor for thinking about personal progress and mental fortitude. As he was talking, it was especially meaningful to me that day (I actually value these daily listen ups) as I reflected on how many contexts I have for the word construction. Then he looked in my direction and repeated his listen & learn theme of the day, and said, "construction takes time-destruction happens in an instant. Blog about that"...so here we go...challenge accepted! 

As I mentioned, I could take this construction vs. destruction concept in many directions not the least of which being that one of my favorite biblical topics to study and present is the Kingdom of God and what it means to be a Kingdom-builder. Or, as a technology education teacher I thought about teaching Construction Technologies to help my students understand how we use technology to design, construct, and manufacture our world. As a former general contractor who literally built houses, I remembered what was required to get a family from the architect's blueprint to the day they crossed the threshold with their first footprints. This myriad of concepts creates the marriage of thoughts that bring me to share my insights for this blog.  

Let's reflect back a bit. Remember when we were kids, one of the first things we learned to draw was a refrigerator (or bulletin board) picture of a house shaped like a rectangular box with a triangular roof. We drew a sun in the corner, a tree on the ground and one or two stick people, etc. Our loved-ones or teachers praised our picture and made us feel like budding young artists. The pictures were cute and very child-like, but as we grew older, we began to move from the basic picture to images that needed more. The flat 2-D drawings began to have less and less appeal as we began to experiment with making things look more realistic. As our perceptions changed, so too did our need for depth. Consider this. When teaching students to draw using technical sketching techniques, they must be taught the value of depth, both numerically with measurements and aesthetically, how it looks. You see, in theory only stick people can live in two-dimensional houses that exist in one geometric plane. Human beings are built 3-D.  

The process of constructing a house, a building, a body, or a mind takes a great deal of time. The time required to build is relative to the structure being erected and thus varies from one thing to another, but despite varying construction times, destruction often happens in an instant. One storm can level a house, one wrecking ball can bring down a building, one accident can destroy a body, and one wrong thought believed will debilitate a mind.  

In August 1968 construction of the World Trade Center's North Tower began in New York City. The first tenants took occupancy in December 1970 but the idea of establishing a World Trade Center in New York City was first proposed in 1943. The construction of the first World Trade Center was conceived as an urban renewal project, spearheaded by David Rockefeller to help revitalize Lower Manhattan, but it was destroyed on September 11, 2001 by a terrorist act that began as one evil thought in a debilitated mind. Thus one might say that it took two years to build the World Trade Center, however the Rockefeller family understood that it took about 25 years from conception to building, and today the whole world knows it came down in one fateful day. 

The time required to construct begins long before the ground is broken. Much like a building, a mind is built a belief at a time. Beliefs are like bricks that interlink and overlap cemented by the thoughts which precede them. In order to change our lives, we much change not only what we think but how we think. Shallow thinking is like the 2-D houses we drew as children. These thoughts actually allow us to see the surface as though looking at one plane. But managing how we think requires depth and also requires that we evaluate more than the surface or the front. Dimensional depth has nothing to do with how deep a building's foundation goes into the ground, but rather how far back the building consumes or takes up the lot or acreage upon which it sits. In other words, depth is about how far on to the ground the building sits NOT how deep into the ground it goes. The site of the World Trade Center was located on landfill with the bedrock located 65 feet below ground with 1.2 million cubic feet of excavated earth removed to begin, but the greatest construction battle for erecting this magnificent structure was that of dealing with the soon-to-be-displaced residents, businesses, the legislature, the Port Authority, and a case won before the United States Supreme Court to secure the 13 city blocks required to build. That's dimensional depth!  

If we want lasting results, we must allow the process of mental construction, sometimes mental reconstruction. To tighten up means to begin, then manage the mental process of building dimensional depth. It also involves the physical ability of strengthening muscle through the gradual process of tear and repair. And ultimately, it is the spiritual discipline of regulating one's inner being through self-actualization (another blog for another day). In other words, work to construct a mind that rejects destructive thoughts and builds healthy ones. Thus our goal should be to build belief that constructs a mind that structures a life. We need height to stand, breadth to span, but depth to expand. Tighten up because your mind is a terrible thing for you to waste!

Wishing Ain't Working

I have never dedicated one of my blog writings before but I dedicate this one to my A.W.O.L. Fitness family and to Folice, the one person chosen to be my sister.

www.itsawol.com

http://www.facebook.com/awayoflifefitness/

 

Tighten up!

 

It might yet be premature for me to be writing a blog entry about my weight loss but it is well pass the time for me to express that my life has changed, if not for others, for myself. Last year around this time I took a look at myself as I often do in the springtime and I was miserable. Spring is my favorite season because it is the season of new life, hope, growth, new beginnings, and fresh starts …and it's my birthday season. The saddening irony was this, while I love Spring as a time of year I loathed the realization that I am a year older and I am still dealing with the same issues I dealt with last Spring, the Spring before that, and the Spring before that, and the Spring before that…you get the gist. In fact, I couldn't remember a springtime that I hadn't been miserable about my weight, ever. What's most sad about this is that I am over 50 now and I could not remember a single year in my forties, thirties, twenties, or teens that I was pleased with my weight which means I have been unhappy about my weight for almost 40 years. This gives personal credence to "circling aimlessly in the wilderness." WOW, how many times can you actually circle the same mountain and remain sane?

In March, I went to the doctor and had to face the dreaded scale. Nothing is worse than the scale at the doctor's office because they write it down. Thus it becomes part of your history, documented evidence that you are fat, overweight, obese, and all the other names we've given this miserable condition. Sure enough the scale reported the horrific truth that I could not deny. As a reasonably intelligent person, I began to think about the foolishness in my thinking, the lack of discipline in my life, and the insanity that somehow my wishing I were thin was going to work another year.

My second great irony?…to be this intelligent and yet practice this degree of wishful insanity was unbelievable for a person that practices faith and believed that I believed God for everything, yet this continued to insufferably plague me. I actually realized that if I did not stop I was going to be morbidly obese now, next year, and forever. I don't know what clicked that day in March 2015 but I finally made the connection that the problem for me was not weight but belief. You see, my belief problem produced a weight issue. Weight was my issue, belief was my problem.

Two of the definitions of problem strike me: 1) "a difficult situation, matter, or person," and 2) "a question or puzzle that needs to be solved." In all fairness I had to look up insanity. Under the category "lack of reason or good sense" it is defined as "extreme foolishness, or an act that demonstrates such foolishness." And finally, belief. Under the heading, "acceptance of truth of something" is the meaning "acceptance by the mind that something is true or real, often underpinned by an emotional or spiritual sense of certainty."

Clearly my insanity had reinforced the belief that I could not lose weight in a healthy way and be pleased with myself. As a writer, I can write a book from this point describing my seemingly endless battle, but that in fact is not my point at all. Moreover this is not even about the amount of weight I have now lost or what I have done to get here. My point here is to express the tremendous peace that I have as I approach a new spring season, this time with the belief that I HAVE CHANGED. I still get up each morning facing my fear. I still try on my now oversized clothes and shoes to make sure they really don't fit anymore. I still face Fitness Coach Lynch Hunt wondering what he will say to me that cuts into my unbelief and old patterns of insanity held together by the delicate threads of my fragile feelings. But what is different about me now is that I keep getting up, I keep facing those fears, and I still keep going. When I'm tired, even exhausted (5 days a week ain't no joke), I still go. When I don't feel like it, I still go. When my knees are aching or my sinus issues inhibit my ability to breathe efficiently or effectively (we need all the air we can get), I still go. Coach Lynch's methods have transformed me from the insanity of wishing to the reality and results of working.

Wishing ain't working is a bit of a double entendre for me. First, the act of wishing for something to happen that requires actual work is ludicrous. It reminds me of the Disney fantasy movies we watch believing that a fairy god-mother will tap us with a magical wand and we become the illusion of our own fantasy. Clearly it's easier to fantasize than to work, but at the end of the fantasy NOTHING has changed. Work on the other hand is as real as it gets. Each day's work produces mental and/or physical results no matter how small while each day's fantasy only feeds further disillusionment.

The other thought regarding "wishing ain't working" is that sitting around wishing just ain't working for me anymore. Neither is wishing that the work will just happen for you someday without effort. From a mental perspective, the work or mental acumen that goes into wishing is futile. It takes little to no energy to wish aimlessly letting our thoughts fly to whatever corners of the universe they can, but to practice the mental discipline of positive self-talk once you change your mind and your perspective requires concerted, intentional energy and stamina. One must deliberately choose between fantasy and focus and this must continue long after you've left the gym. For the first time in my life, I am approaching spring with the real optimism I need to live a healthier life. Losing weight is no longer my god or my idol. It has moved down a bit on my list of priorities following peace of mind (no more fantasies or unnecessary spiritual warfare), learning to love myself, a healthy life, and a fit body. Just as Jacob wrestled with God, I too am transformed like Israel which means, "he who struggles and prevails." Gen 32:28 NKJV states, And He said, "Your name shall no longer be called Jacob, but Israel; for you have struggled with God and with men, and have prevailed." I now focus on the belief that as I continue to make the right choices, and do the real work that continuously equips me to make those choices, I will arrive at any destination of my choosing. Losing body fat while increasing lean muscle mass is one of my new goals and hard work is its own reward.

So for those of you inspired by my results, for those who have known me for all or part of these 40 years, the real victory is that I have adapted my thinking and my actions to this motto that God spoke to me during 2015: "Face your fears, fight your demons, start NOW, WIN soon! I still have a lot of work to do but A.W.O.L. Fitness is God's tool for retooling me to think like a winner from a mind that had been perverted to belief that I was a failure. I thank God for Lynch Hunt and I know that facing him every day means dying to the old me and living for the new and improved version of myself. Let's get ready for Spring 2016! I look forward to the next 40+ years of my life healthier and stronger. I finally believe that I am a BELIEVER!!! Tighten up!

 

 

Faith to Win

 

 

 

Deliverance can seem to be a tricky thing. Today I had a bit of a meltdown, not a pity party, a full-fledged "where's my faith?," frustrated-with-myself meltdown. Don't get me wrong. I did not lose my faith or forfeit my hard won deliverance, I just felt lost in a place that challenged it. In times like these we are very hard on ourselves. We think that our faith is weak or that our response to the stimulus that prompted it was a result of having no faith, or worse, having it but not having enough. Nothing feels worse to a  seasoned, mature Christian than the accusation of being faithless. We want to be faith giants like faith heros (not empty like zeros, I know…corny). For some reason one of the effective tactics of the enemy is the way he influences us to question our faith WHEN we need it most. I guess if we think about it, it makes sense. When we are feeling confident his chances of getting us to question our faith would be far less fruitful but if he carefully and meticulously plans a strategy or crafts a weapon from our own soul's DNA, making us question whether we are really or fully delivered in an area, it is far more likely that we would succumb to what looks and feels familiar. It works like this…The enemy watches us, predicts the steps we will take next based on watching our previous steps, then plants a well concealed stumbling block in a planned path. We are less attentive to our steps because we pay less attention to routinely taken paths. We then stumble and fall. While we are down and hurting and feeling foolish, he begins to whisper the death whisper attacking our faith. True to his nature, the accuser of the brethren begins the accusation…you can't, you didn't, you don't, you aren't, you couldn't, you stink…you get it…until we feel so attacked that what we know seems more a question than an assurance. In this weakened state, we begin to wrestle with ourselves. After a while ("while" is relative, obviously different from person to person) we emerge from the wrestling match with our enemy subdued once again but left with the conundrum, the inquiry as to why our faith wasn't strong enough. Garbage and lies! Rubbish, I say! INQUIRY IS NOT INIQUITY! There was never a faith issue neither a faith challenge but a faith triumph. Christian faith is about WHO we put and keep our trust in, not in the stuff that challenges our soul. The undisciplined soul or sometimes the soul in a weakened, tired state reacts to negative stimuli negatively. Our feelings convey disappointment which our minds interpret intellectually as faithlessness. In the struggle we make a choice to believe the false evidence and feel like our faith in God is altogether absent or not enough. There are many definitions, explanations, interpretations, etc. of what faith is to the human being but I have come to believe that faith is embracing the decision (the soul's will) in the soul to believe God, to become engulfed in His ability to care for us no matter what (the emotion of the soul) and to rehearse the beauty of this reality while meditating and remembering previous times of success (thinking in the mind). Thus the whole soul (will+emotion+intellect) must actively engage in the triumph of faith. We must expect that champions are always challenged by contenders for the title and realize that a weakened state does not unseat us as the reigning conqueror. Finally, every round that weakens our flesh strengthens our resolve. No matter how fast I get up, how reluctant I am to return to the fight, or how slowly I heal from the blows, I rise a champion. Join me beloved, in celebrating your faith in Christ and practice encouraging yourself to win. #apageatatime, #healingeveryday

Final

Analysis

I

Trust

HIM

Teaching & Learning

As I prepare the documents and write the discussion material for my first class of ministers (which begins February 2015 by the way...sooooo excited to be teaching adults and ministers again), I continue to be amazed at how much I have learned myself over the years. Ministry is such a dynamic part of my life I think I had forgotten how entrenched its components have become in my person. As a teacher it is still amazing to me how knowledge is a continuum like a river and not ever an isolated entity like a pond. For example, as I study to prepare to teach ministers, I find myself using examples from teaching high school students engineering and technology concepts. Likewise, when I am in the classroom focusing on understanding engineering concepts (which ain't nearly as easy as studying the Bible) I find my mind reaching into the principles of biblical understanding to break things into manageable, bite sized pieces of knowledge. I am becoming more and more convinced daily that my purpose is to teach. It is what I breathe. I gives me energy. It is as though learning is in my proverbial DNA shaping the organism that I am. More than anything I want to inspire people through the love of learning, not just studying (unless of course you are about to sign up as one of my new students in the ministry class :)...but seriously, learning has been cast aside for the pursuit of study. This should never be the case. Life is a classroom which opens us to learn any possible thing at any given time. Students are so focused on having to learn one way that they forget that they learn in all kinds of ways. What happened to learning without worry or caring whether you learn at all? Why must so many negative things be associated with the discipline of learning? I am concerned that this generation will forfeit all learning in frustration because it is associated with teaching. Teachers seem to be losing momentum instead of gaining ground. Students seem to care little about learning because it is connected to thinking and don't get me started on my "what's wrong with thinking" soapbox. Learning and thinking are related and need each other for sure but we need to encourage these young learners that they are capable of both and can enjoy either. At any rate, I seem to be called to inspire the love of learning, to encourage the possibility of thinking and to implore the plausibility of both as an end and a mean. I might not get far but I'm determined to share not just what I know but the joy in the journey of learning and the mental exhilaration in thinking.

Here is an excerpt from my book untitled as yet with a few of my premises on teaching and learning. One of my favorite ways to learn is from the students that I teach.... God's way of keeping me humble...my way of paying it forward! Enjoy.

Premise/Philosophy on Teaching and Learning by Angela Bailey Page

Anyone is apt to teach what they enjoy knowing to those interested in learning it. Possibility

Everyone is influencing someone actively or passively, intentionally and unintentionally. Probability

No one can teach everyone everything. Reality

Someone is waiting for the right person to teach them something. Humanity

Only ONE can teach anyone anything. Divinity

We are the ones who learn from the ones we teach. Humility

 

Fast for Real

Many Christian churches use the month of January as a month/time of fasting. While it is commendable to encourage members to increase praying while abstaining from eating and/or drinking, many churches neglect the sound teaching and instruction that accompanies fasting. Perhaps the leaders believe that members are mature enough to research and learn without the aid of pastoral guidance. While this might be the case for many, it is likely not the case for most. Fasting should be a joyous time in strengthening our relationship with God but often lack of knowledge sets the stage for great discouragement, dreaded activities, erroneous focus and minimal results. One of the things I have learned from teaching students in high school is that discipline is learned through training not one-time instruction. For example, students who have not been disciplined to sit for 30 minutes cannot simply be instructed to do so with the expected outcome that they will be able to successfully do so without being reminded or told again during that same 30 minute timeframe. Observation has shown me that my dog is more disciplined than many of my students. While this might be offensive to many, it is true. Not that I relegate my students to canines but to make the point that dogs that are disciplined are dogs that are trained to be disciplined. The converse is also true. Dogs that are not trained are never disciplined in positive behaviors but default to undisciplined undesired behaviors because they do whatever comes natural to them. In other words, negative behaviors are just as trained in animals and humans as positive ones if no intervention or instruction is applied. My observation shows the same behaviors of humans whether they be students in the classroom or members in the church. So after all these insulting observations (or opinions), what is the correlation to fasting? Fasting is a discipline to be practiced toward the end of drawing our hearts closer to God. But like any worthwhile discipline it must be learned through practice. Learning requires study, practice and guidance not just instruction. It stands to reason that if God wants us to draw closer to Him through any discipline that He would give great instruction on HOW to develop the practice. If simple abstinence apart from understanding was required God could accomplish this through depriving us of something but that is not God's desire at all. The abstinence of food represents the act of demonstrated suffering to remind us to intensify our prayers. It further reminds us to actively be hungry for God AFTER the fasting period is over in that fasting presents obvious hunger to the natural body DURING the time of actual fasting. We need God's supernatural strength during the period of fasting in addition to our natural strength, but most of us do not get that memo. We have been erroneously taught that all we need is supernatural strength to fast thus we do not disciple our bodies to deal with the strain of functioning physically and mentally without the fuel of food. I believe corporate fasting should to be planned to include instructions and recommendations for how to handle daily responsibilities for family, work and church. Most churches do not slow down a bit during seasons of fasting. Members do everything they usually do at home, work, community and church, add missing meals and/or changing diet to the mix, then beg God for supernatural strength and long for the fast to be over. Wow! How horrific to take one of God's most sacred seasons and reduce it to mere activity that results in the satisfaction of knowing that you got through it again this year. No wonder the church is so limited in power. Okay, I'll admit that cynicism is not the kindest way to make the point but if it encourages us to awaken to a better way, I'll take the risk. If your church is fasting corporately this year for the first time or as a time-honored practiced tradition, take the time to fully activate the power of fasting in your life. Recommendations: Limit activities, conserve natural energy, get MORE sleep and rest not less, omit all unnecessary tasks and prioritize true responsibilities. Pray on the go, on the spot, in the car, in the shower and any other time that your mind finds the space to think or meditate. Significantly increase your water intake so that it can take out the toxins released from the abstinence of foods. Talk less. Listen more. Work less. Sleep more. People less. God more. Find a focus and focus on it. Scripture is truly supernatural food. Mediate on scripture more but read the Bible as instructed. It is better to have read one verse throughout the fast that changes your mindset and your future than to boast of how much of the Bible you read during the fast (Please keep this in context. I would never discourage anyone from reading the Bible). Finally, don't just abstain from food, rather abstain from the temptation to overindulge in something that takes the place of food. The idea is not to distract yourself from eating but to focus your soul on worship and praying. Blessings to you as you participate in your next fast as a life changing season. May you and your church members fast your way to a victory you can both see and proclaim. Here's to no more fake fasting!

 

Focus (destroys faintheartedness)

Abstinence (destroys apathy)

Sleep (destroys slothfulness)

Truth (destroys tradition)

What's Wrong With "Me"?

What's wrong with me? Not me the person, me the pronoun. Seems a few years ago everyone was chastised for using me when they should have been using I. So instead of people using me appropriately, they tossed out all the me-s and replaced them with only I using expressions like, "it was for John and I" which should be "it was for John and me". If John goes home you wouldn't say "it's for I", you would say "it's for me". Before me was so sadly tossed out, me was a perfectly good English word that served well as the object of a prepositional phrase. I is never the object of a prepositional phrase but since me was so mistakenly mistreated, it has apparently left the building and the vocabulary of even the very well spoken and the very educated masses. Even news reporters are saying it. The other side of the coin is when someone says, "Jill and me are coming." You would never, ever say, "me is coming" but rather, "I am coming" so if you and Jill are coming, simply say, "Jill and I are coming". Or if someone asks, "who's coming to the party?" You wouldn't respond, "me am" but rather "I am." The simple, and I do mean simple rule for I and me is to take out the other name and use the pronoun "I" or "me" then say what you plan to say by adding the other person's name back into the phrase. I is never the object of the phrase. I'm hoping me is allowed back into the English language and if I could talk, it would be screaming, "Give me, "I" a break and use me." One can only hope that this balance of inappropriate language would swing back to the center of reason but right now, the "I"s still have it!

PS--I offer myself as a candidate for the misuse of italics and quote marks above. For the good of grammar, I too am willing to be corrected on the best way to use them. If I can dish it, I can take it!

My "Gathering Experience"

GATHERING—Giving All To HIM, Extravagant Repose—I Need God!

I love worship—no doubt about it—and each time I have the opportunity to join others who do, I do all to ensure that I can. I recently had the opportunity to join other like-minded individuals in a worship experience under the anointed labor of Pastor Cassandra Elliott. It changed our lives. We entered as commoners and emerged as kings. I say like-minded because it was apparent that the desire to worship God was what drew us, what brought us and what kept us. Immediately we were caught up and swept into the compelling force of expectation that awaited us. It moved like an ocean with waves influenced by heaven’s currents. As the tide began to sweep us out to sea, with the shore of worldly concerns growing fainter in the distance behind us, we sailed together toward the promise that God would never leave nor forsake us. How could He after all when it was He who was calling us to this inevitable sea of forgetfulness and forgiving. I could feel God releasing me from binding ties that wrenched me, that tore at my soul. I knew that He wanted me to know that this was the kind of worship He adored and that if I could believe Him for it, He would deliver me to it. Like a UPS driver ensuring delivery to destination by Christmas Day, He promised to deliver and He did.

 

The Gathering has come to be not just a place where we gather to worship—though this would be fulfilling. It has not just become a place where God is present—which is always phenomenal. It has come to be the setting for a culmination of intimate expressions awakened by artistry. Like Mary we become pregnant creators and then partakers of what once was within us—we birth an atmosphere. I witnessed the reactions of birth-givers as Heaven opened her gates and spilled mercy upon us… I was awakened to see: dancers dance with elegant ease but glorious power; mime artistry that spoke more silently than I could express audibly; banner-bearing flag carriers whose heartstrings exploded from their chest through arms that shouted “Glory in the Highest”; psalmists who were willing to worship without song but in “grateful-to-serve-Him” harmony; prophetic people declaring God in praise without prose; intercessors clinging to the scarlet thread of the Savior’s talit; worship leaders who willingly forfeited fame for His favor and our freedom; virtuoso musicians who strummed zeal and drummed, “we will worship HIM!” and ultimately desire from all to gather again. And so until then…in the peaceful wake of this mighty 2012 tide, the earth rejoices and eternity records that there is a remnant of Christians who gathered together in Greensboro, North Carolina to declare to the world, “Thy Kingdom Come!” What an EXPERIENCE…Selah.

Beloved, now are we the sons of God,

and it doth not yet appear what we shall be:

but we know that, when he shall appear,

we shall be like him; for we shall see him as he is.

1 John 3:2 KJV

 

Scribed 12-12-12 by Angela Page 

God, Puppies, Answers and Waiting

My daughter has been begging me for a puppy. I have been holding her off for a couple of years now, but now the requests are more thought out. She has begun to have a strategy and an approach and it is getting more challenging to say "no" to her without a reasonable explanation. I recently made the mistake of telling her that I would talk to God about it and she should too. My sister warned me of the gross error of my ways. Everybody knows that God hears the sweet innocent prayers of a child. Sure enough it was a mistake to take this one to prayer. Now she simply walks up to me and asks if God has said anything yet. Well, now that I have milked that as long as I can, I have to give this child an answer from God least I give her the impression that either He ain't speaking, I ain't asking or I ain't hearing. What a fine mess I've gotten myself into. I really don't know if our family should get a dog and to be honest, I haven't really asked because He just might take her side (ok super holy people--I know God doesn't take sides). Now I really do want an answer because I do trust Him for everything--even getting or not getting a dog. So as I pondered these things, I heard these words that I had offered someone in a counseling session coming home to me..."You do not have to have all the answers. Have peace in knowing that answers exist that you don't need yet! God downloads on need not demand!" Now that I feel the pressure of making God look good (as if I could) to my daughter, as One who loves us, hears us and answers us, I started putting a demand on Him for answers. Guess I'll have to trust Him to give me the true guidance my family needs instead of using Him to delay the inevitable...can't you hear the barking already?

Review of "End Time Warrior"

This is my review of a wonderful spiritual experience through the artistry, talent and anointing of Veronica Talton. Enjoy the read and buy the CD. You can find her at http://www.veronicatalton.com 

 

End Time Warrior

By Psalmist Veronica Talton

Anointed songwriter, Psalmist Veronica Talton’s release of End Time Warrior, her latest CD is indeed a sound released from heaven. End Time Warrior is a compilation of prophetic messages intertwined together by vocals, lyrics, chords and instruments that strike the heart in a breathtaking way. It has the power to draw both the unsuspecting worshiper and the intentional one. The clear sound is refreshing and the lyrics are inspired by scripture and the breath of God. As a worshiper who serves God as a prophet, I long for a fresh and simple yet profound way to express my heart and my love for God to Him. Veronica has been granted access to a special portal to the throne of God that releases healing and revelation. End Time Warrior is an express lane that allows the worshiper to quickly climb through that seemingly insurmountable often unreachable height in God we long to ascend. The music invigorates the senses, the lyrics heighten the conscious, the clarity stills the airwaves, and the revelations quicken the spirit. I hope you will give this fresh voice of contemporary worship, ancient words and timeless love an opportunity to refresh your personal worship. It will open your heart to new dimensions of Christ’s love.

 

Elder Angela Page

Prophetess, Founder & Ministry Leader

Soul Care Ministries

Greensboro, North Carolina

http://www.angelapage.info

 

Testing the Tested

http://www.angelapage.info

I teach at a middle school and recently, like most schools within the nation, our students were required to take End of Grade tests, more infamously known as EOGs. These tests test students in certain subject areas supposedly to determine what they have learned. For weeks staff members have tested students providing all kinds of special accommodations for various needs. Now all of this was going on at school (on my job), but meanwhile back on the farm (at my house) my own elementary aged children were gearing up for the same tests, while my high school junior was taking the ACT one Saturday to see how he would fit into college, the SAT another Saturday to see if he would score high enough to go to college and then two AP exams to see if he could get advanced credit toward college. If you don’t know what these acronyms mean, don’t worry about it—you don’t need to know to understand my point.

     Now, while all this is not really about me, I found myself in a whirlwind of testing—I was administering tests at work some days, proctoring tests on others; my children at home were being made to go to bed early and eat hearty protein-rich breakfasts to be ready to do their best; my high school son needed to be dropped-off at locations away from school early on the same mornings that the other kids had to take EOGs. Everyone was trying to remain calm and stress free. I in turn was trying to get to work on time so as not to create stress at work (principals tend to freak out when teachers don’t show up during EOGs). My husband was running around like a madman chauffeuring children to destinations with a smile on his face so that no one could see his stress. Not to mention that my sister, a high school administrator, is dealing with things like prom, graduation and yes, you guessed it, testing which high school calls exams. This week I get to participate in re-test EOGs AND prepare my son for his 5th grade graduation at high noon on one of these EOG re-test days. When I say I am sick of testing, I mean it!

     Life has a funny way of testing us with real issues that relate to survival. The question is, “are we really learning anything relevant from testing?” Are we really preparing our students for living in a real world with global issues by testing abstract concepts under time restraints with “read instructions to the letter” bogus constraints incorporated to keep testing fair for all, which would likely not exist if an individual really needed to solve a problem?

     Testing is not true problem-solving. Solving a problem is problem-solving. It seems that testing people within limits of exhaustion and frustration fuels stress that would likely skew the results of most any outcome. Most students hate testing. Teachers are often loathe to think about what is required to ensure that nothing drastic happens which would result in restaging the test again. Parents who care are hoping desperately that their children do well and teachers who are concerned about pay and performance and of course student growth are cautiously optimistic that those they’ve taught will do well. Districts compare scores and numbers in hopes of rising above the fray.

     Being tested is a necessary part of our experience as human beings whether we are Christians or not. But God’s tests are aimed at improving us for the purpose of making us better—better people, better parents, better problem-solvers—just better. It is challenging not to become testy (sorry for the pun) as we encounter such madness, at least for those who are affected by it in some way because you are the tester, the tester watcher, the tested or you live with one of the aforementioned. It is a trying season and it presents challenges which require one to pass other tests in matters like patience, kindness, tolerance, alertness, temperance, endurance, etc. No one really scores these (except God because He really does watch us if you believe that). But who keeps the real scores and who determines who really passed? I have a sinking feeling that God ain’t at the center of all this.

     As I considered that in all of this, the real test is that of not allowing my mind to take me to dark places or to allow my mouth to openly agree with things chattered by others, I realized that of all the things I could have been doing, there were worse and that I could challenge myself to become a champion who would survive with soundness of mind. Mental activities which keep us from being numbed when we are not allowed to read or write or touch or sit or make noise or go to the bathroom or eat or drink or use our mobile and electronic devices, have to be especially effective if we are to remain alert, awake and positive. It’s not much, but we have to find something to keep our minds during times like this.

     So, as you are doing your grocery list in your head or reciting verses of poetry or remembering that one ingredient in that recipe that you left out or recanting Bible verses or inspirational thoughts (my personal favorites), determine to pass the test of keeping your head clear and your mind strong. I have more testing coming this week (and a graduation) but thankfully my “I’ve been tested” t-shirt is on backorder and my “let it go” vanity plate is being stamped. Here’s hoping that all your tests end well with results you can use to become better, not bitter.

     Love to read your comments. Comment on fb or www.angelapage.info or email me at livingapageatatime@gmail.com

The Knowing Place

Tonight I experienced the ministry of a wonderfully anointed vessel of God in the person of Pastor Donnie McClurkin. I was blessed by his humor, his candor and his bold, forthright honesty. I am not one who is starstruck by famed names in the gospel world, in fact, I have to repent for swinging purposely to the opposite end of the spectrum. I really want to know if your ministry is simply camera friendly and a lot of hype or do you really know God. I was struck by the intimate authority that eminated from a knowing place. It is a place where you know that God is real because you have had experiences that only He can give. The knowing place creates assurance. It is the kind of assurance that one never debates, nor negotiates. It is real. Pastor McClurkin ministers out of this place in a way that bores deep into the soul like some kind of spiritual auger that cuts through the deepest muck. And just as the words of life that he speaks penetrates, the resonance of his spoken voice commands an authority that God responds to filling the augered hole with His love, His peace and His Spirit. I am thankful for the experience of receiving God's love through this anointed vessel and I pray that others who have behaved like me--less than kind or generous in thought toward the "rich and famous," will actually do as I did--repent, humble themselves and be greatful that God uses whomever He chooses (including us). I offer honor to this gift and pray that God uses him mightily in this war for freedom.

God Gives Us...A-Z

http://www.angelapage.info

Years ago I began a mental activity to help me stay alert in business meetings or seminars when I would feel myself getting sleepy or lethargic. I would mentally begin to go through the letters of the alphabet finding various lists of words or places or animals or whatever seemed interesting at the time. That's how I memorized the fifty states and their capitals, books of the Bible, etc. One day as I was meditating and thinking about God, I started using the ABC or A-Z method to think of as many different ways and words as I could to describe Him. As a result, this practice has become a wonderful way for me to practice my joy of words and worship God. I have now written many of them over the years in journals and on scraps of paper while waiting. I plan to share some of them via the blog just for fun. Here is an example of one I pondered today while proctoring a 3 hour exam. It got me through the morning. Here's hoping that it will get you through something too.

 

This A-Z is inspired by the simple thought of how much God gives us and how generous He is. Have fun with the words then read it again with your thoughts toward Him.You are rich beyond measure. Enjoy! 

 

He gives us...

 

Amazing love, Benevolent blessings, Creative power, Delightful days, Endless mercy, Faithful justice, Gracious favor, Heavenly worship, Impervious protection, Just laws, Kind truth, Lasting hope, Majestic beauty, Noble authority, Open communication, Perfect peace, Quality time, Restful Sabbath, Saving grace, Total acceptance, Unspeakable joy, Victorious life, Wondrous revelation, eXtraordinary gifts, Yearning hearts, Zealous jealousy

 

Words scarcely describe Him...

 

Please note that these are original works, though humble they may be, so if you feel like sharing, please do but give credit where credit is do! 

written by Angela Page

"How Did You Learn to Love Him Like That?"

Recently I was taken aback when someone asked me the question, "How did you learn to love Him like that?' The young lady who asked the question said to me that she had recently seen me worshiping during a service. She was sitting behind me and according to her she began to watch me, apparently very closely. She said to herself, "This woman really loves God." She said she later called the pastor and asked if he knew how to get in touch with this woman. He obviously obliged her with my number and that's how I found myself to be on the other end of a phone call contemplating how one answers a question like this.Those who know me would find it hard to believe that I was speechless so I won't go there but I was struggling for the right thing to say. I didn't want to be theologically deep but I also didn't want to appear pious as if I had some mystic inroad that "you too can find Him if you search for Him."  Many things came to my mind but it didn't take a prophet to know that God was opening a door to minister to someone who longed to trust Him more.

 

Ironically I often feel as many others do that my worship is not enough. My heart burns to find fresh ways to show God my love and my spirit starves without this exchange. As a minister I have often had such beautiful things said to me when I was in front of the crowd but this day someone was watching me from behind. It was my personal worship on display and not me pulling or tugging others to worship Him.

 

I began to gently minister the love of my precious Savior to her over the phone. As she began to talk about not trusting anyone and how she had been hurt, God began to speak and I was able to share how I'm learning as I'm living. The conversation ended as most such conversations do with sharing and praying.

 

In retrospect of it all, I praised God for two very wonderful things: First, that I was able to convey to her how much God loved her and that she began to trust and receive, and finally, I was blessed to know that in the painful place I remembered myself to have been when she saw me, that God used that place to not only deepen my love but to bless someone who desperately needed to trust Him that day. The real question is: "How awesome is our God to love us like that?"

Working at Working

http://www.angelapage.info

Someone once said something like, "love what you do and you'll never work another day in your life." The problem with that is that we don't always get to do the "love what you do" or the "love what you do" has restraints that draw heavily upon the creative energy that fuels our true passion.

 

It has come to my attention that most of us are working hard at working. We spend so much time preparing to work that often that's all we actually get done. I am sitting here at an unreasonable hour enjoying a labor of love to avoid preparing for work. How many times have I thought about and dreaded preparing for work knowing that I should be getting into bed? But going to bed puts me too close to the inevidable--getting up to go to work. Night becomes the dwindling barrier that separates me from what I really wish I could do and the necessary work I often feel destined to do.

God surely must have known that we would have days like this and yet He expects that we will pull up our attitudes, lift up our hands, shut down our negativity, roll back our issues and continue to plow. Sometimes the work we must really do has little to do with the work at hand and yet its Kingdom consequences are immeasurable. So if you, like me, are suffering through a plowman's job with seemingly little effect, remember that your real labor is a labor of love that touches lives and changes destinies. Your avocation of joys and delights may have to fuel your passion for a season. Work as unto the LORD and His delight will be found in you as your delight in Him encourages others. The work is only a venue for Him to work through you!!!

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