Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Ponies and Precious Jewels

Three years ago I traveled to my very own Mt. Sinai.  I journeyed to Redding, CA nestled in a very HOT valley of 10,000 foot piney mountains.  I attended a writer's conference featuring Paul Young, the author of The Shack.  Here's my testimony that I posted on their website:

I hear some people find precious gems in the bookstore at Bethel.  For me, I found out that I am His precious jewel in the bookstore at Bethel!  A friend told me about the conference whose pastor did indeed find a gem on the bookstore counter last December.  I wondered as I went if God had gems and gold dust in mind for me.

Early Monday morning before the conference, God brought me beauty and stillness at the Arboretum and a shining smile on the Sundial bridge.  A gifted musician saw the sparkles on my shirt and sang, "Jesus, you are a precious jewel."  As Abba so often does, He held up a mirror and reflected this praise offering back in my direction.  "You are a precious jewel Elaine, and I love how you sparkle for Me," He whispered to my heart.

After the conference I got in my car to leave, but then I remembered I wanted to buy yet another book.  Deborah behind the counter graciously chatted with me and then offered to pray.  When she took my hand, she bowed her head, then looked at my wedding ring and jerked her head back up.  God projected an image from the movie Aladdin onto her heart's screen.  She saw the lion roar, "Only the diamond in the rough can enter the sacred cave!"  Deborah proclaimed, "You feel like a diamond in the rough.  But that suggests a process yet to be finished.  God wants you to know you are completed.  You're polished and shining, a perfect one-of-a-kind cut.  A God-cut, not man made.  You are so precious to Him, a very precious jewel--a diamond.  He wants you to live in His smile."

Deborah laughed a bit because she worried how I might receive a word from Aladdin.  With tears streaming, I reassured her that I tell my friends if I could be reborn, it would be in my daughters' fairy princess movies!  I thanked her and headed for the prayer chapel.  I guess I wanted an encore.  I sat at Jesus' feet in that transcendent place, and I happened to open my Bible up to Revelation 21.  I don't really know how I landed there.  I caught my breath when I read, "And He . . . showed me the Holy City, Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God.  It shone with the glory of God and its brilliance was like that of a very precious jewel" (Rev. 21:10-11).  Could there be any doubt?

Getting up to leave, I noticed a couple sitting behind me.  I had seen them earlier and overheard that they traveled all the way from Florida.  The man wanted prayer for his diabetes.  I sensed God speaking again, but this time He called me to encourage them.  In the thin air of Bethel's heavenly places, I didn't even question His call to obedience.  I got up and positioned myself outside the door, ready with His affectionate ambush.  They stepped through the door and I declared, "This may seem a bit strange, but Jesus calls you His cowboy, and He's telling you, 'Let's ride!'  But I don't know if He means horses or motorcycles.  I see both.  He really loves you, and He's going to heal you.  Now it's time to ride with Him."

I paused, a bit unsure how my Bonanza word would resonate with them.  I glanced at his wife, tears spilling freely onto her cheeks.  "I know exactly what He means," she said.  "My husband just retired from long haul trucking.  Seven years ago before he got diabetes and almost died, we used to ride motorcycles.  And I loved it best when he wore his cowboy hat and boots!  And God showed me years ago a vision of Jesus and I riding up a mountain on a white horse.  It's time for us to move with Him."

My jaw flew open.  I told them I was a bit new with this prophecy-thing.  Recently when I shared with my church life group that I was a bit bored with my old spiritual gifts of mercy and exhortation, and I wanted to move in prophecy, miracles, and healing, a man sitting next to me retorted,"It's not like it's a wish list you know!"  But before I came to Bethel, a prophet at my friend's church declared that God was about to release His prophetic voice into my life, and a breakthrough for my family would result. 

So when my new friend cowboy Chuck offered to pray for me, I accepted eagerly.  "You are a diamond in the rough," he began . . . and now I felt like I was IN a movie!   "But God has made you His perfect diamond, a pure cut precious gem."  Linda exclaimed, "I see it too!  a marquis-cut diamond!"  I don't know how I remained standing.  They continued to pray that God would awaken the dead places quickly within me and release me into His prophetic flow.  "A shifting in the giftings is taking place," Linda said.  I began to laugh after we finished, and I couldn't stop for several minutes sitting in my black rental car.  So this is what a testimony is!

My denoument occurred when I got stranded in Denver due to a delayed flight.  I had a quiet moment at the hotel to reread over my notes from the conference (that's all I had to read; all those books I bought were in the bowels of the airport).  At the first session I had written in the margin of my notes about hearing the guitarist sing that Jesus was a precious jewel.  I looked again and immediately to the right of that scribble I noticed the words, "You do have something to say," spoke Kris Vallotton.  "You need others who see a diamond in the rough!" 

After coming home and adjusting to another altitude, I opened the door to the children's wing at my church.  I have to admit feeling some sadness after being 'ruined for ordinary.'  The door trudged open and before me as far as I could see on the carpeted hallway were silver, sparkling flakes glinting in the light!  "I go before you Elaine.  I have prepared the way.  I AM here and I know your heart--your shining, sparkling diamond heart.   Do not lose heart or grow weary," Abba shouted!  What on earth possessed the children's minister to celebrate the fourth graders' promotion with thousands of foil flakes?  Who knows, maybe he loves Barbie's Diamond Castle too?! 

"Oh Lord, You are my God.  I will exalt You and praise Your name . . . You have done marvelous things."  (Isaiah 25:1)

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