Childbirth and the baptism of fire

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Thanks for tuning in to this edition of “Monday Morning Thoughts” :) It was an extremely busy weekend, and yes, I am glad it’s over! It would be nice to have another weekend off just to recover from it, but I don’t have to go in to work today so I plan on taking it easy. Sort of… I’ll catch you up though. We had Wade Paton, a C&MA missionary from Canada, in to speak at a breakfast on Saturday morning and it didn’t take me long to recognize him as a “kingdom thinker”! It’s awesome to hear testimonies of how God leads and directs people into His will. It wasn’t so great to hear about all the darkness on the island of Phuket, Thailand. Phuket is a tourist hot spot in the world and as such seems to be a hub for prostitution (which brings a host of problems). Wade said that in the rest of Thailand AIDS is on the decrease, but not in Phuket, where it continues to rise. He told stories of abandoned children and the vision that God gave him for ministering to these children and their prostitute mothers. There are also other issues, like actual slavery (yes, it still goes on in the world). Beautiful place to visit, but very dark spiritually.

Saturday afternoon I spent a few hours cooking food for the Thai meal we were having at the church on Sunday. In the evening I went to a wedding reception here in town (a friend’s daughter was married at their home). It was a lovely day and not as hot as they were predicting, and so awesome to see her married. You see, a few years back she was almost literally at the altar when her dad said no. She reluctantly broke it off (and she was in her mid-20s then I believe), trusting that God was speaking to her through him. Fast forward to last year, where she met the best man at the wedding of a friend (in which she was the maid of honor!). It was love at first sight for him (but took her a few weeks I think ;) He’s a strong Christian, and they’re both very musical. They shall make beautiful music together :)))

Sunday I awoke early (which usually happens when I know I’m going to have a busy day) so I decided to go to the church earlier than planned. I got there around 8:30. I am grateful for that early wake-up call, because it allowed me to work without rushing (I don’t rush well, lol). The pastor’s wife came and helped me make the rice, and basically it was she and I in the kitchen all morning. I don’t want to give people the impression that no one was willing to help because they were, but I had most of the work done ahead of time and knew the two of us could handle it. Besides, I suspected the message was going to be challenging (and that was confirmed by everyone who talked about it afterward) and I didn’t want anyone to miss it. I hated to miss it myself, but it was taped and the AV person burned me a CD so I can listen to it today! Anyway, everything went very well, and the missionaries were appreciative of the effort made to have a Thai meal. It just added something special to the day for them and for us.

By the time I got home at 2:30 my feet ached. This is why you don’t see old waitresses, lol. But after a few hours off of them I felt better so after dinner Kevin and I hopped on the bike and took a ride north to visit friends. We had a great time with them and ended up going for ice cream on the way home. Some of our discussion included my time at GSI. Not sure how it was received. Their daughter and son recently got back from a trip to New York City to minister to homeless people. During this trip the Lord met the daughter in a big way and brought some healing into her life!

So now you’re caught up and probably wondering, what’s with the blog post title? I have been slowly coming to an understanding of what a baptism of fire means. John said that Jesus was the one who would come to “baptize with the Holy Spirit and with fire” but I’d never really thought about the second part before. Or maybe I just wrote it off thinking that yeah, He did that on the day of Pentecost and it was a one-time event. But I saw two young men receive this baptism at GSI a few weeks back. To the unprepared, it would be frightening (and still was somewhat!), but I have no doubt it was a life-changing event for them! It gave new meaning to “being on fire for the Lord”! So does every believer receive this? No. And probably most don’t want to receive it! In fact, the second young man said as much. Do I want to? Let’s just say I have reached a point where my love for Jesus is overtaking my fear. What I want and what I need are often two different things.

When a woman gives birth she reaches a point where she feels as if she’s going to die (or at least utters something to the effect of “I can’t do this anymore”). I remember reading about Heidi Baker and her experience in Toronto when the Holy Spirit came upon her. I think she said something to the effect of “I can’t take this, I’m dying!” when she heard God say, “Good, I want you dead!” If that’s what it takes to die to self, to be totally sold out to Jesus, then yes, I do want to receive this baptism of fire. In fact, I had my husband pray as much over me today before he left for work. And in the middle of GSI I’d had a talk with a woman I admire and told her I wanted what she had (I could see she was totally sold out and on fire herself). She prayed for me, and during the prayer told me that I was going to wake up in the middle of the night sometime thinking that I was having a heat flash but that “it ain’t no heat flash, honey!” :) God’s timing though, always, but I am His, and He is mine. And I trust Him and want to be totally sold out, too.

For some reason “putting this down for the record” feels somewhat risky. Right away thoughts come like “What if it doesn’t happen? Wouldn’t that make you look stupid?” Well, first off, I’m not terribly concerned with how I look (and in fact would like to reach the point where I’m not concerned about that at all, where my only concern is whether I reflect Christ). This blog is all about trying to be genuine in the hopes that others who are at different stages in their own journey can watch, learn, grow (hopefully!), and if they’re led, pray for me as well. That said, readers who have been following know that I’m waiting for something else as well, and despite instruction, coaching, and prayer by others, I still have not received it. I’ve come to a point of rest over that, knowing that the Father withholds no good gifts, and that He is the one who works in Me to will and to do His good purpose. Again, it comes down to a matter of trust, something I am learning to do more and more. “May God himself, the God of peace, sanctify you through and through. May your whole spirit, soul and body be kept blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. The one who calls you is faithful and he will do it.” (1 Thessalonians 5:23-24) Yes, He will :)

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