Sing With Joy

isaiah541 For nearly twelve years, the inspired words scribed in the 54th chapter of Isaiah have ministered to my weary, barren, yet overcoming heart. So much so that in 2009, I even designed a tattoo with musical elements and “Isaiah 54” engraved like a wrap around my upper arm. All these years later, after much adversity, growth, waiting, weeping, and joy, Yahweh has divinely orchestrated a unique opportunity to love others by singing and making joyful music in an upcoming special worship service.

It was most difficult when Yeshua/Jesus invited me to follow Him to Myrtle Beach and by doing so leaving behind my worshiper friends. 27748047_1579022115485598_3880365538067107960_oOh, how we would make music, sing till there was no breath left in us, pray, and prophesy much like the musical prophets mentioned in I Samuel 10:5-11! To leave behind such a special group of people was indeed a sacrifice, but like all purely motivated living sacrifices, there is blessing in obedience.

“Learning to worship Yahweh solo, without assistance from others or various props, in the privacy of my home and heart, was a valuable lesson of long-suffering and perseverance, all of which further produced an authentic, purely Spirit-led, heart of worship.” Carrie Renee Turner

Upon relocating South, I had to learn how to sing and play my guitar without my beloved sisters and brothers. Learning to worship Yahweh/God solo, without assistance from others or various props, in the privacy of my home and heart was a valuable lesson of long-suffering and perseverance, all of which furthered produced an authentic, purely Spirit-led, heart of worship. I earnestly prayed and longed to unite with worshipers of Spirit and truth, but what I found in the process is, He is in the wanting and waiting.

“You will seek me, and you will find me because you will seek me with all your heart. ” Jeremiah 29:13

In time, through a move of the divine Spirit of Grace, the Ruach/Spirit introduced me to a few like-minded, all-in, worshipers. Eventually, after a few more months, we formed our own little small group that gathers every Friday night, every Shabbat, Lord willing. We catch up on what has unfolded through the past week, share whatever Yah is teaching us, sing, pray, and encourage one another as the Ruach/Spirit invites. The purpose Yahweh plotted in bringing this group of Spirit-led sons and daughters (Romans 8:14) together is becoming more clear… We are to gather, to sing, to make music unto the LORD, and to invite His presence into our lives and the lives of others. We will be spreading seeds of authentic worship, which we pray the Ruach of Yeshua will take root producing healthy, beautiful blooms and eventually emulating an insatiable fragrance of Christ – where we cannot get enough of His aroma of truth and love.

Sing with joy.

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Activated Abilities

After relocating my struggling climbing rose known as ‘Florentina’, I discovered she simply needed to experience a new environment in order to grow into her full potential. Previously, Florentina was residing in a pot on my north facing balcony at the beach. However, after months of failing to produce even one bloom, I finally decided to transplant her to a sunny east facing garden bed within the condominium community I reside in (with permission of course). Although it has only been a few weeks since I relocated her, the conditions seem to be beckoning her to bloom. She has already produced numerous new leaflets and I assume in appropriate time, she will eventually put forth luscious layers of crimson colored petals.

activatedabilities

Upon meditating on such a enlightening transformation, I realized our God-given abilities react to whatever environment we find ourselves planted in. Put another way, depending on the environmental conditions, we may or may not manifest the spiritual DNA embedded deep within us. I’ll never forget the bizarre spiritual giftings that manifested in me when I started attending a small, but flourishing Spirit-embracing body of believers in 2008. Having been a believer in the saving grace of Jesus Christ since I was just a little girl, this was the first time I experienced such foreign abilities. In fact, I was always advised such “abilities” were not relevant in today’s modern, new and improved type of faith. Initially, upon experiencing such unexpected, unwanted, and frankly, at times, inconvenient abilities,  I was alarmed and unsure of what was unfolding within and from His Spirit buried in me. Nevertheless, I quickly discovered such manifestations were for the benefit of those around me as well as helped nurture my seed like faith.  Much like a rose blossoming for the first time, she may find herself reluctant to share such a sacred and beautiful gift, but in time, she will understand and therefore, willingly produce something beautiful to better bless those around her. As I saw others reaping the benefit of my flowers, the fragrance of Christ, and eventual fruit, I learned to not fear, nor to reject the spiritual DNA manifesting as crazy or ridiculous. Instead, I eventually chose to embrace my environment and the love emulating through such Spirit-scaped blooms or abilities.

Through the ongoing seasons, having been transplanted in different gardens of believers, even in the soil of different states, some familiar flowers have bloomed while different ones provided fresh opportunities of growth. Had I not been open to relocation or refused to allow new leaflets to bud out due to uncomfortable fear, I would have missed out on unique opportunities to love others all the while learning more about God’s loving nature!

If you hear the Master Gardener discussing plans of relocation, whether to a nearby sunny spot or distances far and wide, fear not! He may be creating an environment ideal for cultivating the beautiful rose He intended you to be… A rose ever-blooming in this abundant garden of life!

Ever-Learning

aphid

{photo credit: Kathy Keatley Garvey}

Now that it appears Spring has fully sprung, I discovered an influx of aphids enjoying my aspiring rose buds. Aphids are tiny insects that smother the tips of rose canes, foliage, and buds while sucking the life out of any given plant. Left unchecked they can damage a rose bush and therefore, prevent a hopeful bud from blooming. Aphids often camouflage with the greenery of many plants, although they can come in a variety of colors. Perplexed as to why an abnormal amount of aphids were clinging to my canes this Spring, I reached out to my local rose society for answers. Despite my roses’ healthy foliage, nutritious soil, and lack of disease, most likely the mild winter didn’t suppress the previous year’s aphid population and their eggs allowing for more to flourish this year. Thankfully, with rose gardening comes an informative community of rosarians ready to help one succeed in growing beautiful roses whether through your local rose society or online. Facebook groups offer a fun way to see blooms from all around the world while getting answers fast! Regardless if one is educated through the web, books, experience or all of the above, gardening, particularly rose gardening, requires an attitude of ever-learning!

Similarly, I have found as a rose in God’s garden, we too need an ever-learning attitude for there is always more to learn about God, His Word, and His principles. After all, it shouldn’t surprise us that there is an infinite amount to learn about an infinite God. If you aren’t growing in God, then you probably are shriveling just as the aphids do to the foliage of a rose. Perhaps now is the time to reach out to your local body of Christ, being the church, to get the answers, accountability, and the encouragement you need to thrive just as I needed to reach out to my local rose society for help.

To learn more about treating aphids and other insects commonly found in the garden, get a copy of my book Ever-Blooming During the Good, the Bad, and the Bugly.