A Word from the LORD


There was a girl who had an office across the hall from me in the English department. Let’s call her Darla. Well, Darla was one of the few Christians in the program, and she went around passing out Benny Hinn tapes and casting demons out of the water fountains. Sometimes she would come to me and ask that we pray together, and she would go on forever yelling, praying for every single body she had ever met her whole life long. I honestly loathed it (and that was horrible of me, by the way).

And then there was Rhema Bible College and the friends I made in Tulsa when Seth was a youth minister. Once, at the Clinique counter (yes, I wore the lab coat), I started into a coughing fit while restocking a shelf low to the ground. One of my friends slammed her palm to my forehead, and yelled for me to not claim that cough. She held my neck bent back for a good 20 seconds while she prayed in tongues that the demon of my cough would go away. 


When I was in sixth grade, a classmate with fire-red hair told me that I should get the Holy Ghost. (Side Note: The poor thing could barely walk up stairs because her mama had sewn up the slit of her long blue-jean skirt). Red told me that I needed to pray hard for the Holy Ghost to come down on me with tongues of fire so that when some giant scorpion comes I would know where the secret mountain is so I could hide there. That scared me to death. Where in the heck did she get that?

I type all that to say that I grew up believing that “charismatics” are not Christians. I never understood Jesus and His buddies to act that way, and I was taught that folks like the afore-mentioned were just making it up. We like to call them cooky. Of course, I also don’t know why I thought that Jesus and His friends did church the way we did it growing up – you know, steeple and people and perfect attendance charts. Shrug.


I didn’t believe until I was 19, and somewhere along motherhood I graced up only a little bit, put on some tolerance, and started going to church with a few cooky people but also with other Reformed believers and some old-school Church-of-Christers. We’re a bunch of mutts, and I love it. I’ve struggled to reconcile my understanding with the others, but these different perspectives blend into the most beautiful acting body I’ve ever seen – how I imagine Jesus and His buds to have acted. Because of this, I’ve spent the last three years asking God some questions I thought I never would.

I started asking God for answers about the Holy Spirit, about sheeping behind Jesus. “I can’t hear YOU!” and then I waited.

I started understanding prayer to sometimes be about hushing up instead of talking so much. I started to understand Resting in the Lord to mean silencing that tornado of fuss whirling around my brain. 


…



And the more I asked to hear, the quieter it got. 


…


I just kept resting because that was so good, and I even started sleeping more through the night; and, THEN I HEARD HIM (and He didn’t sound like James Earl Jones.) He didn’t make much of a sound at all except for what reeled through my head as knowledge about things I didn’t even ask to know. 

BY GEORGE … I AM COOKY!

I have a few stories, but I’ll only tell one, and that can be my next post.

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amberhaines
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4 Comments

Jenni
Reply March 6, 2008

From one Kook to another...welcome to the club!

I never cast demons out of a water fountain, though.

brooke
Reply March 6, 2008

True Confessions: In the 7th grade, I faked speaking in tongues. I had been praying and praying to "receive the Holy Spirit," and couldn't understand why He wasn't "falling upon me." Especially since He had "filled" a gal we'll call M., who drank and slept with boys. I mean, come on, I was doing everything right! And she was a, well, you know.

See, Amber, you're not the only one who had some major growing up to do - I was a real Christian snot.

One night, at an altar call, all these people came up to pray for me, including the youth pastor and his wife. So, I did what any 12-year old does under that kind of pressure. I started muttering a bunch of gibberish...

A few hours after I got home that night, I was so consumed with guilt and fear (I thought that by faking it I had committed blasphemy, the one unforgiveable sin) that I broke down crying and confessed everything to my parents.

PS...when I was seven, I came home from school to find the tv on, cookies in the oven and the house empty. For a good 15 minutes, I was sure the Rapture had happened. And I hadn't been taken. What's that terrible 70s song? "The Son has gone and left us all behind..."

Amber
Reply March 6, 2008

Oh my goodness, that's hilarious. It kind of makes me want to laugh until I cry myself to sleep.

This is screwed up, but I totally remember being scared to death that Jesus would come back and I would have just had a bad thought.

Some of my worst guilt came from trying to receive my parent's faith, too. I wanted what they had instead of what Jesus had and gave.

Praise God for Grace. Really. Really.

Rachel
Reply December 27, 2008

Wow, Amber. I never thought I'd say this, but I wish I lived in Arkansas! No offense, Arkansas... I've just always vowed to never leave Michigan. Probably should have my examined... I digres... My point is - we need to have coffee! I love "meeting" people, or reading their thoughts, rather and finding that we are so alike!

I've recently started blogging about my journey with this very same sort of thing! Check me out at thetrystingplace.blogspot.com.

I plan to attempt to catch up on your blog and follow faithfully. I may give up on any reading for enjoyment that doesn't involve a computer...

Rachel

PS - I'm the same Rachel (p.199) that commented on your current post. 12/27 I suspect there will be more comments to follow! :)

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