How does God speak to you? The Bible is filled with stories of God communicating with His children. If He did it then, why would we not believe He still speaks today? Naysayers could be waiting for a burning bush; believers listen and hear answers in different ways.
Jesus spoke at a revival in Charlotte in 2008, nudging my heart to have one in Clinton and fill up the Agri-Exposition Center for Christ. Sharing the signs and sagas of the journey to ‘Rise Up, Recount Love’ sends shivers down my spine. One thing’s for sure, it is all about God. He speaks what He wants; we are wise to listen and do our best to deliver. When we don’t, misery moves in to stay. Scheduling and cancelling the event twice and allowing the enemy to fill my mind with doubt tested me. God was speaking; I was thinking, ‘not me Lord, this won’t work’! So, God gave more signs and gently tugged, until I finally decided to step in faith, follow my heart, and give my best in planning a community event focused on right relationships with our Lord and loved ones.
Are you listening to what God speaks to your heart? Do you feel He has called you to do something to glorify Him? Growing closer to the Lord is a green light to His guidance. Prayer is a hot line to the ‘Great I Am’ speaking and showing the way. Staying closely connected to the Vine, through the burdens and blessings of being and doing what He asks, gives confirmation that we are on track.
Through this story, I pray God speaks to the hearts of every reader, blessing you, showing what He wants from you, and convicting you to be bold in your witness. God is no respecter of persons. He is looking for people with willing hearts and working hands to rise up and do extraordinary things, to share the good news and make a positive difference in our world.
I pray you will come to the Civic Center on Feb. 4 for a full day of worship and wonderful experiences: seminars on right relationships; Karry Godwin leading praise and worship;Tyler Jernigan preaching; Bonecrusher Smith and Tawana Williams testifying; Elanor Bradshaw leading prayer, with a prayer room opened throughout the day; The Marksmen singing; PH Church Youth Band; Elevated; praising and playing; and Beth Best and Learning Station teens teaching children. Wakai, a Native American instrumentalist from Nashville, Tenn. is driving to Clinton to share his music, and there will be testimonies from local people ready to rise up and share what God has done in their lives. There will be good fellowship, fun, and food. My prayer is for His sweet, sweet spirit to sweep through the place and bring us all closer to the Lord and our loved ones, for people of all ages coming together for Christ, ready to Rise Up and Recount Love.
God instructs and expects our obedience. If we chose not to follow His calling, then someone else will be chosen to do His work. I am humbled and thankful for the opportunity to have this event, but most of all for all the people God has put in place as supporters, sponsors, volunteers, prayer partners, and encouragers who are giving their best to make Rise Up, Recount Love happen.
This all day Christian event is a platform that God can use to bring healing, hope, and people into the Kingdom in ways that only He can do. I don’t understand how this is all happening, but I sure believe and expect miracles as people gather to praise and worship the Lord and to enjoy fellowship and food. People don’t understand Tim Tebow, who has been thrust into the spotlight because of his stand for Christ and his outstanding performance in his job. Amid those who praise and those who persecute, Tebow proudly proclaims, “I’m just very thankful for the platform that God has given me, and the opportunity to be a quarterback for the Denver Broncos.”
We, too, should be proud of the platform God has given to each of us. Recently, people gathered at the Civic Center for the Martin Luther King Celebration. I listened as the speaker, Dr. Jerry Corbett, (who grew up in Sampson County) shared wise words and challenged everyone to rise up and make a difference in our world. Our mayor, Lew Starling, encouraged all to keep taking our good deeds to the next level.
These challenges can be met with all of God’s children coming together in one accord, looking back but not being buried in the past, enjoying and making a difference each day, and believing in tomorrow with God speaking and showing the way. Not everyone can be an NFL quarterback, mayor, or have a doctorate degree, but anyone — at any job, any age — willing to rise up boldly and keep God first can do great things to glorify Him and make a difference in our world.
Did Rise Up, Recount Love fall into place perfectly because it is of God? No way! Sharing the saga of three years of preparation isn’t the focus, but reality shows the enemy’s persistence in trying to stop what God wants. Many times fears and frustrations could have caused it to be cancelled completely. During a recent meeting, I felt like screaming. Instead, I placed my hands on the table and declared I was gonna’ cry. And I did! Being overwhelmed with details and delegating (not my gifts) made me think of getting in my car and leaving it all behind. Have you ever felt that way my friends? You feel like Moses, stuck in a desert, desperately searching for ways to quench the thirst, to do what is right and good. Yet, you don’t know which way to turn, so quitting or running seems easier. That’s when God shows up. He has given more signs and wonders to show He is in this and to keep pressing forward in this journey than I could possibly share in several stories.
Bringing Tawana Williams to Clinton looked doubtful when her fee was bigger than our budget. Yet, we kept talking. She stopped me mid-sentence and said, ‘Becky, don’t worry about the fee. I feel God speaking to my heart to go to Clinton; the message is more important than the money.’
Last summer, I was writing cards at Tim’s Gift and listening to the radio; the announcer kept talking about Karry Godwin. God spoke to my heart. Did I hear Him say, ‘call Karry to come’? Not verbally, but throughout that day, I kept seeing Karry’s face pop up, remembering school days when he sang with The Musical Four, and God kept nudging my heart that Karry was to be a part of this conference. I called. He was scheduled to lead a weekend seminar in Virginia. We prayed. Karry called back. He rearranged the schedule to finish his work in Virginia on Friday night. He accepted the call to come to Clinton and be the worship leader for Rise Up, Recount Love. We are still praying and praising God for working it out and sending another sign.
God does speak to His children and works out all things for good for those who love Him according to His purpose. My prayer is that people throughout our area will pray and come together for Christ in all things that we do, let His presence be seen, and rise up boldly. The Youth Group from Corinth Church is proof that a small thing can make a huge impact. We are challenged to boost our prayer life because leaders and youth of their church envisioned ‘Just Pray’.
Denver’s quarterback, Tebow, is a compelling story of how God is equipping people to rise up and give God glory in times when being a bold, Christian witness has taken a back seat. Tebow kneels to pray, sharing his love and honor for God openly. How many people would be willing to kneel and pray with the world watching? Do you pray at restaurants before meals? Do you pray with your family regularly? Do you pray at work? Do you pray with friends? Do you pray when you’re blessed or only when you’re burdened? Do you pray prepared or heartfelt prayers? One of my favorite Dove Brother’s songs reminds us …We Can Pray. The question is, Do we?
I ask for your prayers for Rise Up, Recount Love. I believe it will be just what God wants it to be. We give our best and He takes care of the rest. Next week, I will share the rest of the story of how God speaks to His children.