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This is from one of our blog contest winners, run by Mark Showalter!

Bearing Witness; My Uncut Hair by: Nancy Watrud

https://i0.wp.com/www.gospelgifs.com/art_pages_19/images/trans3s.gifI was praying. Tears were streaming down my face as I let my long hair down and draped it over my hands.  I studied it carefully, noticing the deep browns and the glistening auburn where the sun was shining on it. I pulled the length of it through my hand, then I held it out and studied the varying shades from the ends upward. It had been almost thirty-five years since it had been cut, thirty-five years of an unwavering conviction that the Word of God desired women to not cut their hair.* This standard had been strongly upheld within my organization for generations, but now this rich heritage; this unexplainable blessing was fading in relevance in the churches and rarely preached or taught over the pulpits.  It was becoming simply a tradition passed from generation to generation. The trouble is, convictions cannot be “caught” or “passed along”, convictions are a matter of an individual’s beliefs as they grow in faith and are convicted by the Word of God.  Families may plant the seed of these beliefs in their children, but they are not convictions until the individual owns them.  True godly convictions are the moral rudder of an individual and are rooted deeply in the Word of God.  How do I explain to someone the power that is in a woman’s uncut hair that has been consecrated to God?** How do we explain the power in a handkerchief that has been prayed over and anointed with oil?*** or how do we explain the power of Peter’s shadow to heal?**** Some things must be spiritually discerned. *****

It may be, those of us who were not raised in this way are more hungry for it because many of us have experienced the coldness and emptiness of a life without the peace and power of the Holy Ghost. Once we experienced it, we desperately want it in our homes and in our lives. Those that have lived in their own hell already, gladly count the cost of dedicating their life to God and do not hold any price too dear. I had already lived in such a hell and knew that this life of consecration to God was a good life. It was the way I wanted to raise my children and I wanted it for my children’s children. I remember the moment I consecrated my life to God.  I was standing in my kitchen at the foot of the stairs and was praying.  I said to Jesus, “There’s a lot in my life that needs to change and most of it’s going to take a while, but there are some things that can be changed this very night.”  I was ruthless. I packed up all of my slacks(ref i), leaving me with very few clothes. I knew I had to get them out of the house and I did. I packed up all of my jewelery except a few sentimental pieces that loved ones had given to me; the rest went into the trash along with my makeup(ref ii).  You see, I was not just hungry for God, I was desperate for God. I never wished for any of it back. These were the easy changes, but important none the less. No one had twisted my arm or held me over the fire of hell to do this. I knew it wasn’t going to buy my way to heaven. Jesus had done that for me on the cross. They simply showed me the scriptural basis for it in the Bible and that was all I needed. Because I was desperate for God and desperately wanting to consecrate my life to him.

I wondered, as I looked at the ends of my hair, if I was looking at hair that had laid on the altar in that old church where I first repented. I also thought of the many years my tears had fallen on my hair as I prayed in my home for my lost loved ones. Memories flowed before me as my hair slid through my hands and it occurred to me that my hair was a witness of my years of striving to live for God. I thought of the different times in my life that I had struggled with personal failures but had hung onto the grace and mercy of Jesus. Inch by inch my hair bore witness to times of  heartache and times of joy, times of power with God and times of great weakness.

 Then I stood and held my hair up to God.  It would once more bear witness.  I prayed, “Jesus, I will not remove the old landmark, let my hair be a witness today and may it testify to man and to the angels that I will continue to live for you every day for the rest of my life.  Let my hair declare it!”

Proverbs 22:28 “Remove not the ancient landmark, which thy fathers have set.”

*I Corinthians 11:15; **I Corinthians 11:10; ***Acts 19:11-12; ****Acts 5:15; *****I Corinthians 2:14-15; ref i Deuteronomy 22:5; ref ii I Timothy 2:9-10

 

 
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Posted by on December 1, 2012 in Uncategorized

 

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Passing the Mantle Conference

Just some thoughts for this week. I was so privileged to go to the Passing the Mantle Conference in Bartlett, IL this past week. It was so…amazing. From morning until night the Lord spoke through great men of God words of conviction, encouragement, and enlightenment.

This is one of those times that I will be digesting for months. I have 16 pages of typed notes. (I’ll be sharing some of them with you in the weeks to come. 🙂 ) The preachers were so anointed. They included great men like Pastor Gonzales, Pastor Sisco, Pastor Hernandez, Pastor Black, Pastor Hoffman, Pastor Yonce, and Pastor Boettcher.

The thought that I want to share with you this week is this: Your future is not based on your failures. It is based on your Faith.

It is so easy to fall prey to Satan’s attacks when you fail. When you make a mistake, Satan whispers words like ‘Failure, You’ll never get it right.’ ‘You’re so stupid.’ The list goes on. And we fall for it. The thing is, we don’t have to listen. God doesn’t care about our failures so much as our faith. He doesn’t want a perfect vessel for His service, He wants a WILLING vessel.

Jesus loves you and that’s why He came here to die for you. He conquered from the cross for YOU. He conquered the grave and rose from the dead all for YOU. He gave YOU His Spirit and His power (Acts 2:38). He even gives you His mind (I Cor 2:16). And, as you press nearer to Him, He shares His heart with you as well.

Remember, it’s not about your failure, it’s about your Faith. Your Faith determines your future!

 
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Posted by on March 14, 2012 in encouraging posts

 

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Looking for a Lynchpin!

Noun 1. lynchpin - a central cohesive source of support and stabilitylynchpin– a central cohesive source of support and stability; “faith is his anchor”; “the keystone of campaign reform was the ban on soft money”; “he is the linchpin of this firm”

support – something providing immaterial assistance to a person or cause or interest; “the policy found little public support”; “his faith was all the support he needed”; “the team enjoyed the support of their fans”
2. lynchpin– pin inserted through an axletree to hold a wheel on

pin – a small slender (often pointed) piece of wood or metal used to support or fasten or attach things
Based on WordNet 3.0, Farlex clipart collection. © 2003-2011 Princeton University, Farlex Inc.

lynchpin linchpin

noun driving force, director, chief, principal, co-ordinator, cornerstone, mainstay He’s the lynchpin of our team.

Collins Thesaurus of the English Language – Complete and Unabridged 2nd Edition. 2002 © HarperCollins Publishers 1995, 2002

Recently, my husband and I have been talking about the importance of the lynchpin in our church. Having a lynchpin is like the first domino. When it is pushed over the whole thing falls. Indeed, a lynchpin is a driving force.

I saw a YouTube video on the effects of a single good deed. One person did something nice and in turn another did something nice and so on. The first person was the lynchpin.

What change for good can we do as lynchpins in our churches? I’ve read so many stories of great men and women of God doing amazing things. I’ve interviewed people across the country doing amazing things right now. However, one person, in one place can only do so much. What if an entire church took on the power and authority given to them by God and worked together to make a difference in our cities, our countries, and our world? Can’t a church be a lynchpin? What could we do?

Back on the Day of Pentecost as recorded in the book of Acts in the Bible, it all started with just 12 men who finally realized just Who Jesus really Is–God, all powerful, all knowing, all present. When they were filled with His Spirit they couldn’t contain themselves. They had to worship, they had to preach, they had to share what they had been given. It wasn’t given to just the 12 Apostles. The Holy Ghost was given to over 120 that day. Those people went out and did amazing things, starting churches, doing miracles, changing lives. Then, over 3000 were filled with that beautiful Spirit of God and baptized in His name–Jesus. (This all happened on that same Day of Pentecost!) It kept snowballing from there. Soon, there were churches all over the known world.

The original Lynchpin was Jesus’ Spirit poured out. From there, many lynchpins were born even up to today. My God has placed you and I here for such a time as this. (Yes, even Queen Esther was a lynchpin in her time, saving the lives of thousands of her people.)

Our God has called each and every one of us to be lynchpins, driving forces to bless the lives of those around us. As we submit to the authority God has placed over us, pastors, leaders, teachers, etc, we are set free to be a blessing to all those around us. We can, by a simple word of encouragement change a life for eternity.

You’ve heard it said, ‘It is more blessed to give than to receive.’ I say, ‘Start giving what you have been given. You will see that this is true!’ You will indeed be blessed!

The Lord has so much for us, but we must go out and give and live like we believe His Word. Then, we will see those signs and miracles following us. We will become the lynchpins in those lives around us and see lives changed, including our own!

Don’t wait for the Lord to tell you to bless someone. Seek to do it right now! You’ll never be the same.

 
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Posted by on February 29, 2012 in encouraging posts

 

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