Monday, September 16, 2013

My First Holy Spirit Night service in Urbana

Yesterday we had a very full day. After Chinese lessons before the worship service, I then had a chance to hear Dan Paxton tell his story in Urbana. Before they went into worship I ducked into the Chinese Fellowship meeting to hear Ray Lu speak (no translation :)). After eating lunch with the people there I was invited to a Visiting Scholar’s Lunch where we heard a lesson on Genesis 1 by Steve and Ruth Wegman. That was interesting. During the morning and lunch time activities I had a chance to meet many Chinese scholars and PhD candidates. They were all very kind to me, making me feel like my Chinese was good and that I was welcome to join their lunch activities. I felt it was very significant. Finally I made it to Lowe’s where they cut up a 4x8 sheet of plywood for me. The shelf pieces were just a tad too long, so I will have to hand sand them a tiny bit. No big deal. But some hope that I will be able to get a few shelves built before my books arrive. With just five minutes to rest we turned around and went to the School of Kingdom Ministry. After an hour of teaching there we had a chance to attend the Holy Spirit Night. This event had some talking, but was mainly an extended worship set by the Vineyard worship band. It lasted about 2 hours. Then afterwards we talked for a long time. Turned out a homeless young man was left waiting around for a ride to the library. We ended up dropping him off at Super 8 where he got a room for $35. I think Amy and Johanna gave him the cash to check in. By the time we got home David was feeling sick and I was so tired I could barely get into bed. All this on a day where I was supposed to be on vacation. >> So let me share the part of my day that remained on my mind the next morning when I got up. During the Holy Spirit Night at The Vineyard Church in Urbana I had a revelation during the first song they did. I saw a fountain shooting up about 15 feet into the air...right at the center of the front and center aisle. As I worshipped the Lord I noticed this fountain continuing to shoot a lot of water. It resembled the Summer Palace fountains in St. Petersburg, except this fountain was a stronger and wider stream of water (about 15” in diameter).
September 16, 2013 Journal Entry As I looked at the fountain, I had a growing sense that the Lord was moving on the Holy Spirit Night more than I had seen in other meetings in quite awhile. I was encouraged and began to wonder what it was about. The water continued to shoot up into the air (this was all in a vision while I was awake and while I was worshipping the Lord). Somewhere early in the worship time I decided to move over to the area where the fountain was. I stood immediately behind it because a young lady was standing right in front of she moved away I stepped directly into the flow of the water. Slowly I could feel the Lord refreshing my spirit. It was not as powerful as I thought it would be, but it was transforming. Then a song began by one of the leaders named Kyle. As he started a new song (all of them were totally new up to this point), I saw two angels flying across the sanctuary. They started from the other side and they slowly flew through the air, about 25 feet in the air or so...flying across the front over the ministry area. They each had two torches that were lit and burning brightly. As they slowly flew I thought to myself, if this song is from the Lord something about fire will come up as they open up this song. Sure enough, a theme that could relate to fire developed. I could really sense the presence of the Lord in that song. Then I noticed that the angels were holding a banner (perhaps about 8 feet long and 3 feet tall or so), however I could not make out what it said on it. I kept thinking it might have something to do with the Kingdom of God or the gospel, but I just could not make it out.Then one of the angels, the second one, looked at me and could tell I was seeing them. He smiled at me and continued flying. As the song continued I realized we had torches in the hands of two angels flying above a powerful fountain. It was quite a spectacular encounter. And the banner continued to intrigue me. Still I pressed on to worship the Lord. Then sometime after that another song started and the angels with the banner left. But the fountain continued to stream water. I’m not sure when it happened, but the band did a Jeremy Riddle song, cannot remember the one they did. But it was the first song they did where they did not write it. At the precise moment that the electric guitarist did his power strokes three additional fountains on each side of the center fountain suddenly did quick bursts of water into the air. I was surprised and totally loved it. That didn’t happen a lot, just a few times. Then it stopped. The first fountain continued to shoot water up...and by this time I had moved directly onto it. I was standing in the middle of the fountain. Just hungering for more of God. Several times I thought of the old song I wrote in the early 90’s called “The Lord is a fountain of living water”. The song was written after a Friday Night Worship meeting much like the Holy Spirit Night, except it was in Olathe, Kansas. Not knowing that the Lord calls Himself a fountain of living waters, the Holy Spirit gave me this verse by revelation (He spoke the reference to me) one morning many months after I had already written the song. I was totally encouraged by that. Jeremiah 2:13 13 “For My people have committed two evils: They have forsaken Me, the fountain of living waters, And hewn themselves cisterns—broken cisterns that can hold no water. Also, this verse comes to me as I write about the encounter. “For as the rain and the snow come down from heaven and do not return there but water the earth, making it bring forth and sprout, giving seed to the sower and bread to the eater,” Isaiah 55:10 ESV The lyrics to the song I wrote are: The Lord is a fountain of living waters. The Lord is a fountain of everlasting life gushing forth within my soul, His Spirit overflows my banks. gushing forth within my soul, His Spirit overflows my banks. And I drink from the fountain of life, I bury my face in you Lord. Yes, I drink from the fountain of life that refreshes the heart of this saint. For a year or two the Holy Spirit moved powerfully on us when I led this song in worship. As I worshipped and experienced all these things, last night I realized that the fountain represented the fresh revelation being released from the new songs. That the new songs were revelatory songs. That God had inspired them and that He was moving powerfully through them. And after standing in the fountain I was seeing, after several songs, I felt the Lord doing something to me. The fountain of life that had been in me years ago was being restored. I was being reactivated. The fountain I had been looking and and then had been standing in, was now being implanted into me! I suddenly had a fountain of living waters bursting up within my soul. And it was powerful. After the service we were hanging around talking. Someone named Tamara came up to us and asked if Amy and I would pray for her. As I began to pray for her I immediately saw a vision of a train. I remembered my own train story and thought to myself, this lady has a calling to do something with missions and training. Amy got the word professor. And she asked her about it. Tamara (Tam) said she was nicknamed ‘professor’ and that was her license plate. We both feel she was called to do some sort of training for people who are called to missions. Then she shared with us that she had a long time desire to train missionaries in nutrition, which was her field. I would not normally share the fountain story, but the worship leader for the entire evening heard about it from the only person I shared some of this with. He asked me to write it down, and so here it is. My final thoughts: The Lord truly is a fountain of living waters. He truly wants to fill you with an overflowing presence of His Spirit. And Jesus himself declared this in John 7 when he said to us: Living Water 37Now on the last day, the great day of the feast, Jesus stood and cried out, saying, "If anyone is thirsty, let him come to Me and drink. 38"He who believes in Me, as the Scripture said, 'From his innermost being will flow rivers of living water.'" 39But this He spoke of the Spirit, whom those who believed in Him were to receive; for the Spirit was not yet given, because Jesus was not yet glorified. We are thirsty for the Lord. And because of the finished work of the cross, we have full access to the Spirit of God. So come and drink freely.

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