Tom took the week off. Yeah! We combined my Illinois speaking engagement with a mini vacation to Branson where we went to the Sight and Sound Theatre to see the show, Jesus. Amazing show! The opening scene started at the Sea of Galilee and looked very much like what Tom and I saw when we were on the Sea of Galilee just a few years ago.
Anyways, before taking the trip, I began praying that the words I speak be words given to me by the Holy Spirit. The night before I was to be in Illinois to speak, I was given a vision while I slept. I believe the visison was from God showing that He would honor my request. As I explain the events that unfolded over the course of the week, I’ll let you determine if He did.
In my vision, I saw a burger cooking on a griddle over an old cast-iron cook stove. While it was still cooking the griddle was pulled out from under the burger, as if by some invisible hand, and the burger flipped up and over onto the open flame. End of vision.
The event for which I was going to speak, the theme was Jesus, the Thread of Time. Jesus is the Ancient of Days. The antique cast-iron stove represented God, the Ancient of Days!
The burger represented both me and the message I was going to go and deliver–His Story through Names of Jesus, the design of a quilt, and the Word of God. Scripture refers to the Word of God as solid food good for the soul. I was the meat (the fleshly soul) going to deliver the Word of God good for the soul. God showed me that my words would not fall flat (flat griddle), but that He (the arm of the Invisible God) would flip them so that they would be char-broiled (open flame) Words from the Spirit.
To fifty people at the Concordia Lutheran Church Women’s Ministry League dinner, I told His Story in a unique quilt. The comments I received was thanks for speaking of the Holy Spirit.
The next morning at our hotel, one of the workers was outside on his break while we were loading our luggage back into the truck. The young man, who looked to still be in his twenties asked where we were from, and where we were heading. When I told him I am a speaker and was in town for an engagement the previous night, he asked what I speak about. I told him about this traveling ministry of which he said, “Oh, man! God just keeps doing this to me!”
I learned Ryan is a believer. He and his friends get together every week to pray. He said he would be praying for the Immanuel Quilt Ministry. What Ryan meant by his comment is that God keeps putting people in his path who have ministries. God placed me there in his presence for the Spirit to iniate a conversation and affirm for Ryan that he is being called into ministry!
At the Sight and Sound theatre, an unexpected opportunity arose for me to talk about Jesus with my elbow neighbor seated next to me. The tall Texan and his wife while waiting on the show to begin, passed the time by looking at one of the postcards of the Immanuel Quilt and trying to figure out which Names of Jesus the blocks represent. Jesus was playing before the show began.
On Saturday I had a booth at a craft fair where to several folks I spoke about Jesus sharing tidbits of the Immanuel Quilt story. To a veteran, the Faithful and True tugged at his heart. To another, the border of the quilt spoke Jesus’ Name, Banner. To another the Name, Dwelling Place resonated great reverance for the Lord. One after another, the Spirit was speaking to individuals through the Immanuel Quilt.
It seemed everywhere I went last week I was seeing the hand of God at work.
As uplifting as it was to witness all these encounters, what brought me the most joy was meeting two girls who separately came to the craft fair.
The first was a fourteen-year-old who showed maturity beyond her years in her walk with the Lord. She just kept coming back to the booth to hear more of the Immanuel Quilt story. In the end, she purchased a book for her brother telling me that she knew it would help him draw closer to Jesus. She already hears God speaking to her, and he is telling her she will have–a ministry!
The other girl was around five or six years old. I had Grandma Puppet with me and when I saw her approaching, I put the puppet on my arm. As she got closer to me Grandma Puppet spoke to her and said, “Hi! What’s your name?” The bright-eyed girl engaged in a conversation with the puppet. Grandma Puppet sang Jesus Loves Me for her. The girl shouted, “Sing it again!” I asked the girl to sing along with the puppet, but she said she didn’t know the song. So, using my raw ventriloquism talents I started another round of Jesus Loves Me, and to the girl’s surprise and mine, her mother and grandmother joined the puppet in singing the song! With much delight the girl one more time said, “Sing it again!”
Though I no longer blog the journey, I couldn’t wait to tell you << Test First Name >> about all these encounters of God at work. There is hope for the future! There are people hungry for the Lord and a young generation who is excited to sing His praises!
Thank God for char-broiled burgers!