Has God been speaking to you through signs and wonders? He really does speak, giving guidance and wisdom when we take time to listen. He has led the way for a time of revival and renewal here in Clinton. I am humbled to give honor and praise to Him and many people who have helped make Rise Up, Recount Love happen.
This first, all-day Christian conference, retreat, revival, whatever word fits, is a step of faith with signs from God lighting the way. This gathering is a calling, a dream, a desire to bring all of God’s children together for worship and wonder, enjoyment and excitement, praise and prayer right here at home. My plea is that people will come and God will be glorified.
Last summer, my friend, Elanor, and I traveled to Christmount for a weekend retreat. We met a native American who played flutes and gave testimonies of God’s love and blessings in his life. His unique music and witness for Christ soothed our souls. We stood beside his vendor spot squalling and seizing the opportunity to invite him to our hometown. We asked if he would come to Clinton, a small town in eastern North Carolina? I gave him my card; we left with a blessing, believing that God would work it out. For months, we could not make contact. Elanor and I kept praying. Three weeks ago, I answered my phone to a voice I could barely understand. He said, ‘this is Wakai. I hold your card and plan to come to Clinton on February 4th if you still have the conference.’
I screamed with delight. My southern drawl and his native accent made communicating with one another a challenge. Though we talked with different dialects, we were in one accord and understood clearly what stirred in our hearts — love for the Lord. He spoke how love in any language brings us all together. Wakai testified how God has blessed his family through his gift of music. He said, ‘I come to Clinton because God has called me to share a message with his children; love is the universal language that will bring unity, the time is now for us to come together, to rise and shine for the Lord.’
I thought,’is this really happening Lord? His message is what’s on my heart too. You’re awesome God’! I hung up the phone and praised my Lord for an answered prayer and sign that shows God is still speaking and seeking bold believers to rise up in faith.
Writing and self-publishing a book was a childhood dream and part of God’s plan for my life. Everyone has a story to share, a book inside waiting to be written. I encourage you to take a journal wherever you go and jot down things that touch your heart, record memories, write messages of love that time can never erase. Aren’t we thankful for great literary works from ordinary people who wrote words that became classics and changed lives forever? Anne Frank wrote while the world was at war, thinking she would never see sunshine again. Yet, the message of hatred toward her people, hope in her heart, and help that saved some — while others perished, lives today through her book.
Tawana Williams, the keynote speaker for Family Revival, has written four books. Her best seller is, Unarmed but Dangerous. She shares life’s trials and triumphs from the heart of a woman born with no arms. When it seemed her world would end, she rose up and met the challenge to live for Christ — sharing a bold testimony that has been heard around the world. Writing a book would seem impossible for this lady; she is proof that nothing is impossible with God.
Writing a book stirred my heart like a merry go-round, until I finally stopped doubting, started believing and doing something to make it happen. Remembering the little engine that thought he could, the wheels started rolling in my mind and the passion to ‘just do it’ grew in my heart. The journey has been slow but steady. Strength to cross the finish line came from my faith and words from the Good Book that promises we can do anything through Christ who strengthens and from a little book that reminds us to remain steadfast , ‘ I think I can, I think I can, I think I can.’ These words deliver a powerful message for mankind to embrace and a challenge to do what you know God has called you to do.
‘‘Rise Up’ was the name God stirred for the book inside my heart. A lifetime of triumphs and tragedies, years of writing, long nights and lots of hard work kept me pressing forward when quitting beckoned. God empowered and put people in my path to encourage. Reading forwards in books intrigues and introduces the book to readers. I wondered if my book would have a forward; asking someone to write about me didn’t seem right. So, I planned the book’s contents without a forward and prayed God would send an answer. And He did! One week before the final deadline, Cameron asked, ‘Mom, who’s writing your forward for the book’?
I said, ‘no one, son’. He asked if he could write it. Within the hour, he laid a story on my desk that brought tears and confirmation that writing this book was worth every minute of toil and trials. Cameron’s words are stored in his mama’s heart: a priceless gift, a kiss from God, a treasure that can’t be taken away, a blessing that will keep me reading his story and remembering — until my last day here is done.
I promised God to finish this task and give all proceeds back to Him. Any money from the sale of this book will go to Tim’s Gift Inc., enabling the ministry to move forward, glorifying God and giving hope and help to those in need. The words in this title remind us that God is ready for His children to rise up in bold witness, to renew our minds, restore our faith, and rejuvenate a spirit of love in hearts, homes, and headlines.
The word ‘recount’ kept popping up in my mind, a sure sign God’s getting one’s attention. ‘Recount Love’ stirred my heart morning, noon, and night. Cameron questioned, ‘what in the world ‘recount’ means, certainly not a ‘catchy word’ for a book title’? I grabbed a dictionary; Webster told me recount means- to give details. ‘That’s it’, I cried joyfully! God wants details of our love for Him and one another, not just saying ‘love you, or ‘sorry’ with little depth and devotion. I was convinced, but God had one more sign to seal my choice.
Karry Godwin and I met to plan for the conference. We talked about the title and powerful message of the words, rise up and recount. My reservations of using ‘recount’ spewed forth, ‘does it make sense; will people understand it’?
Karry smiled and shared words from the Bible. He told stories of the Levites recounting as they worshipped God in 1 Chronicles; they were commemorating and remembering. This word was right for their worship and is right for the book and this revival. He confirmed the word God wanted. So, the book I dreamed of writing since a little girl and the Christian Celebration-Revival in my hometown had a title: Rise Up, Recount Love.
Please pray for this hometown Christian celebration of God’s grace and goodness to be a spark that gets a fire going and spreads like wildfire. When you awaken tomorrow, the chilly weather and busy schedules will tempt you to stay home. Rise up, remember how much God loves you and come out to the civic center to warm your heart and hear Him speak.