Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Francesca Battistelli - New Artist and I LIKE HER!

Thanks to WayFM Nashville, I was introduced to Francesca Battistelli the other day. This video from a few years ago is of the song I heard her perform live in the studio with just her voice and guitar. It was raw and edgy and that is how I like my rock music. The released version however possesses the polished quality of studio production which somehow loses that "edge", but it is still very good, just more pop. I'm hoping that one day the acoustic version will be released as a "bonus" or something. I recommend the songs "Free to Be Me" and "The Time In Between", although "I'm Letting Go" is currently getting airplay on Christian stations.

Her voice timbre is similar to Nelly Furtado mixed with some Natasha Bedingfield, yet at times her voice inflection and tone reminds me of Shania Twain, with that clarity in the higher range and especially when she "bends" notes. The melodies are infectious and you'll find yourself humming them at various points throughout the day. It's good stuff. I think her music will have wide appeal with the youth as well as the older generations, which unfortunately I am now apart of. Ugh. When did that happen? LOL

One listen of the album "My Paper Heart" on Amazon was all it took and within minutes I had her music streaming into my ears from my mp3 player. It's sooooo good! It has been a really long time since new music really excited me, I think the last time was DecembeRadio, who by the way, has a new album being released toward the end of August. Yes! Family Force 5 has a new one coming too!

Anyway, I wanted to pass along my discovery and encourage you to check out Battistelli's music and maybe you will enjoy it as well!

Francesca Battistelli Sites:

Official Website

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Sleepless In Humboldt

For some time now I have been suffering from severe sleep deprivation. I don't know what is going on but it has caused enough concern to make a doctor's appointment. I started a new sleep aid tonight. I'm nauseated and It's 12:23 a.m. I don't think the new sleep aid is working.

Friday, July 25, 2008

Daily Puritan Quote

I am not normally a quote reader, but I saw one today as I perused my Google Reader that caught my attention. I followed it to A Puritan at Heart and it reads:
Murmuring is a great is the scum of discontent or the vent of impatience, or such bold expostulations and complaints as flow from an exulcerated mind ...First men mutter, then complain. The heart boils with impatience and then the froth is cast out in passionate speeches and complaints. Humble complaints are not murmurings, else there would be no place for prayer; but bold expostulations are murmurings when we complain rather of God than to God. [Thomas Manton]
I read this and was immediately under conviction. One thing that emerging from my spiritual depression has shown me is that my spirit has become critical and cynical. I do way too much murmuring, and much of it has led to complaining.

There has been a discontentment in my heart and this is not a good thing.

At first I thought it interesting to connect murmuring with impatience, but when I read this, it dawned on me how absolutely true it is.

I think Thomas Manton worded some of what I learned in my prayer time last week very well.

So, being under that conviction I confessed and apologized to my friend and she replied "Praise God for conviction that frees us from bondage!"


Monday, July 21, 2008

Kay Arthur - Famine and Calamity

Many people are Googling for: "Kay Arthur" "prophecy" "famine and calamity" "Deeper Still" and "Atlanta" among other things because they have heard pieces parts of the message Kay Arthur delivered at the Deeper Still Conference in Atlanta on June 27 and 28, 2008. I've posted about what Kay Arthur said at the conference here, but because of all the interest her message stirred, I have received a couple of emails from readers asking for more detailed information.

I have been asked by a few readers "Did she say anything about 'famine and calamity'?"

The answer is yes, yes she did speak of these things.

She warned us by beginning her talk telling us that "Our nation is in grave danger".

Arthur told us that she was made physically ill preparing for this message, that it was a hard one to deliver and something we probably don't want to hear. At various points she seemed to stumble around in her notes apologizing and explaining that she had written them and rewritten them three different times. At one point she even stated she felt she had "not done a good job" with her message, which of course the women in attendance denied and then encouraged her with a round of applause. She was not fishing for recognition, but you could tell that some were taking her message to heart, and it seemed some were fidgety and getting up out of their seats. At one point I was asking Katie why people were leaving their seats, and she said "this is a difficult message, it is too heavy for some" which seems to make sense. Regardless, it was an impacting message.

These are some additional notes that I took that didn't make my first post...partly because some are incomplete, and partly because I'm not sure I go for some of what Arthur shared.

Here are the rest of my notes, which are kind of random and all over the place:


The scripture references she used at various points:
  • Amos 3:8
  • Jeremiah 5 "find one seeking truth"
  • Jeremiah 6:27,28 "speaks lies and deceit, shall I not avenge myself?"
  • Jeremiah 9:1-6
  • Isaiah 59:14 "Truth has stumbled in the streets. He who turns aside from evil, makes himself prey."
The prophecies:
  • Judgement is here!
  • There are no absolutes
  • There is no truth
  • Famine in the USA - Midwest floods destroying crops, not only gas prices rising, so will food prices. Ezekiel 14:13 "send famine - cut off bread supply"
  • Lack of Knowledge - Isaiah 5:13, Hosea 4:1-6 Lack of knowledge of God. Arthur says we don't know the character of God because we aren't studying the OT. Jeremiah 6 - no delight in the Word
  • Apostasies in USA are many
  • People prefer false prophets - Jeremiah 7:1-11
  • Word of God has gotten lost in the House of God (Josiah) - It is NOT the church's responsibility to teach children the truth, it is the parents!

Hope that helps, I think the rest was in my post. She had A LOT to say, it was hard to get it all, grasp it all, and notate it.

The part about the famine she spoke of was reminding us that "it is not the desire of God to bring judgement -- it is the necessity in His character when we will not obey". She claims that our nation is in danger of God's Judgement right now, and we could see the current natural disasters as part of that. She used the verse and prophecy in Ezekiel 14:13 about "cutting off the bread supply" when she spoke of the flooding in the Midwest (IA) destroying the crops, including wheat and corn. That is where the famine would come in and it will start to show in our food prices as supply decreases, not only in rising fuel costs. Katie also reminded me that Arthur told us about Walmart/Sam's Club limiting rice purchases. I had heard about that on the news prior to her message, but forgot she used that to support her reasoning.

I believe that the apostasies are many in our nation and that evil is made to seem good, and good made to seem evil. People do seem to easily follow false prophets and teachers rather than dig in the Word themselves and see what it really says. There was a lot in her message that I could relate with and understood what she was saying and it had me take a hard look at my role in some of those things.

What I don't go for necessarily is that God's Judgement comes through natural disasters. Natural disasters have always existed. I'm not sure that they suddenly have increased. I would argue that with the media available to us today (tv, Internet, print) that we are simply more aware of what is going on when disasters hit; when the hurricanes come in, the recent destruction of the tornadoes, the floods of the Midwest, the fires in California, etc. Arthur may be making a prophetic announcement about God's Judgement being here, but she did not ever say "God told me...blah blah blah" and never presented this as a "revelation" but more as a lesson and something to take seriously because our nation IS in danger. I see judgement more in the way that God would turn us over to our sin and we would have to face the consequences of our own immorality and poor choices, not necessarily an earthquake or some other natural disaster. I'd go for the fact that our greed and materialism might be catching up with us in the form of an economic crisis, but not so much famine...but, then much as I know the Word, Kay Arthur has many more years of intensive study than I! In fact, Arthur's message came more as a warning of what could happen if we don't turn from sin, then what is happening I think.

If you are sincerely interested in what Arthur has to say on this subject, I also recommend checking out America at the Crossroads; A Call to Corporate Prayer. While she has a daunting message to bring, she also provides The Answer. (Read this post and scroll down to read the "7 Things to do in Light of This Message")


Friday, July 11, 2008

You've Got to be Real

The other night as I was praying, I felt God replying with "blah blah blah...Sue, you are not being real. You are saying what you think I want you to tell me what you think I want you to ask. Uh, that is not what I am here for. I know what you are really thinking/wanting/feeling,...My question is, 'do you?'"

There were quite a few moments of reflective silence as I tried to NOT control my thoughts. Then I realized that I really do control my thoughts more than I thought. Then I started getting confused in all of the jumble, sorting out what I was really thinking/wanting/feeling from what I should be thinking/wanting/feeling. I really tried to let go and allow my own thoughts regardless of if they are "right" or "wrong" bubble to the surface, kind of like "no holds barred".

God isn't there to listen to my "should be-es", He is there for my reality.

You've got to be real!

Adoption Connection

A woman came into my store yesterday looking for a blank CD and after talking with her I learned she was using the disc to copy a video of a child to send to a person helping to handle her adoption.

I enthusiastically asked "you are adopting"?

She said "yes" and smiled.

I then reached to shake her hand and as I did I explained "I'm adopted, so I'm all about adoption!"

Then we got to chatting and I asked her all sorts of questions. At one point we both had our eyes swelling with joyous tears.

I learned she was adopting a child internationally. He is from a region near Russia, Kazakhstan I think is what she said, near China too. He is nine months old now and recently received a video of him she was very excited about.

When I asked her when she was to be able to get him she told me he should already be here but changes in the court system there have delayed things immensely and that it frustrated her. I said "it is all part of God's Perfect Timing" and she acknowledged that as well. She has two daughters that are older and they are excited and impatiently awaiting the arrival of their new brother too.

I just thought it neat that we had a connection immediately because of this thing called adoption! I could tell she was enjoying sharing about it and I was definitely enjoying hearing about it! I congratulated her as she went on her way. Adoption connects people.

Thank God there are people willing to adopt children who otherwise would not have a family.

God is all about adoption! He invites everyone into His family and because of that, and the fact that I too am adopted into my earthly family, I treasure adoption!

Saturday, July 05, 2008

Deeper Still: The Event - Beth Moore

After lunch it was the panel discussion. The three women answered questions that people had for them and questions ranged from asking Beth Moore "How do you get your hair so big?" to "How do you keep from becoming prideful, after all you are admired by so many?" The discussions were frank and funny at times! We were all rolling when Beth talked about the "critical hair moment", that moment when while fixing your hair it could go either way...a bad hair day, or a good hair day. Her household apparently is very aware of that critical moment and know that it is no time to disturb her! LOL The answer to the pride question was basically "I remember where God brought me from." After a wild, funny and honest panel discussion with the three women speakers of the Deeper Still event, Priscilla Shirer, Kay Arthur and Beth Moore, it was time for Moore to deliver the Word God gave her to share.

First, Beth Moore reminded the audience about the important message Kay Arthur had delivered that morning. She said it was impactful and called for a time of repentance, so she gave some time for reflection and prayer. Moore said "We have the authority in scripture to leave this place 100% pure. Leave this place in forgiveness and victory --- NO condemnation!" Then while the worship band reprised "Mercy Seat" an invitation was given for those in need of prayer and having need to repent and a desire to leave 100% pure. It was a time of reflection, prayer and tears.

After that time of personal worship and prayer, Moore took the stage to deliver her message from John 1:14:
The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the One and Only, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth.
When Moore spoke of the Word, she was basically affirming the message Kay Arthur gave which is that doctrine matters. She talked to us again about how the Word is Truth and we can easily become legalistic if we don't hear from God, or seek God, and/or we have sick "want-tos". She explained that some people don't want to be delivered, too often we are happy in our sin. She suggested that we pray that God will change our "want to". A "want-to" is our selfishness, how we want to do something, or have something. These are our "want-tos" and if we have a sick "want-to" we are not in God's will. Our "want to" should line up with what God wants to do.

Moore had a couple of interesting points to ponder. She talked about the transfiguration of Christ on the mountain when "His face shone like the sun, and his clothes became as white as the light. (Matt. 17) She was emphasizing that We have seen His Glory (John 1:14) and that Christ was transfigured on that mountain because His Glory was bursting forth from the shell of His flesh. I thought that a cool thought.

She went on to talk about the fact that sometimes when we see the backside of something that is when we most see God in it. She compared this idea to the fact that Moses couldn't see God as He passed by and so God hid him in the cleft of rock, but Moses could see God on the backside. Neat comparison.

She had much to share with us, but here are a couple statements I am taking out of my notes that need little explanation:
  • Jesus will not share His glory! He is the One and Only!
  • Satan is only allowed to sift us when we need sifting.
  • Relationships with false saviors end badly, you can't be somebody's all.
Jesus is full of Grace and Truth (John 1:14). What really struck me as Moore dug into the end of this verse of scripture she had us going over and over was that when scripture says Jesus is FULL of Grace, that means He is ALWAYS full of Grace. When Grace leaves Him, it is automatically replenished. It is a never ending supply. Grace upon Grace, Grace replaced by Grace perpetually. When we receive His Grace, we can and should go back for more!

Did you know that John never mentions Grace again after the beginning of His gospel? I never noticed that until Moore pointed it out and she thinks it is because John told the reader about Grace, and then the rest of his book is an expression of His Grace.

After Moore's message there was a short time of prayer and praise and worship. Then, with solo piano and his single voice, Travis Cottrell prompted the audience to sing. When all the women began to carry the music, he backed away from his keyboard and the musicians quietly left the stage almost unnoticed. 19,000 women in attendance sang "Shout to the Lord" a cappella and it was a sweet sound. A lump in the throat, goosebumps moment of awe. A beautiful and appropriate ending to a wonderful event. To God be the Glory!


For More Information:

Deeper Still Blog

Beth Moore - Living Proof Ministries

Friday, July 04, 2008

Deeper Still: The Event - Kay Arthur

I have heard Kay Arthur on the radio numerous times and over the years have read a few of her books. She refers to her listeners and/or readers often as "precious one" or "beloved". She has that motherly tone in her voice that is comforting, gentle and just makes you feel special and very loved by a caring Father. She has a love for the Word of God that is very evident whenever you hear her, and her passion for the Bible inspires her to teach others how to read it and study it for themselves. She started her ministry in 1963 and has been going strong ever since. Some might even call her the matriarch of modern women's Bible studies and she has obviously set the standard.

I had preconceived notions about what I would be hearing when it was time for Kay Arthur to speak on Saturday at the conference. I imagined a message peppered with the kind of stuff I had always heard from her in the past. I was totally off base, totally and completely. The message Arthur delivered was a hard message to hear. It was convicting and it was spoken with passion and through tears. That woman can preach! Whew!

She can also "break it down"! Check out this agile 74 year old woman dancing without "Shackles"!

Deeper Still from on Vimeo.

While there were many fun and humorous moments during the weekend, Arthur gave a very sobering and prophetic message. It obviously weighed very heavy on her heart, so much so that she confessed she was physically ill. I started thinking about the prophets of the Old Testament, like Jeremiah, who had the not-so-wonderful job of telling Israel that she better get her act together or else. He wasn't very appreciated in his day, and Kay Arthur is delivering the same kind of message this day.

"Our nation is in grave danger."

She repeated the warning emphasizing each word slowly and deliberately "our nation is in graaaave danger".

The 19,000 women in attendence at once were quieted.

Much of Arthur's message came out of Jeremiah, and some from Ezekial and Isaiah. What I found interesting is that while the text of her message was from the Old Testament, she used all of it to support her "answer" to the disconcerting Word God gave her to share.

My notes from this weekend are rather scattered, so this post may be as well, but there was so much information being dished out, it was hard to get it all down on paper. I've been able to take the past week to absorb it, and now I'm going to attempt to put it out there for everyone, because everyone needs to hear it.

After the crowd was stunned into silence, Arthur reminded us that "Truth is a Person, it is a Book, anything else is sinking sand."

The basic message was one of warning, that America is in danger of losing it's heritage and that this nation is under God's Judgement. She gave some examples about how in our country there is no absolute truth and that apostacies are many. She used some examples of how the media often distorts truth and that we don't know what to believe anymore. Right and wrong are clouded. She recommended a book by David Kupelian called "The Marketing of Evil: How Radicals, Elitists, and Pseudo-Experts Sell Us Corruption Disguised As Freedom".

She spoke about the "Word of God being lost in the House of God". In some American churches we are being taught untruths and all kinds of stuff contrary to the Word of God. There are many false teachers and prophets out there teaching things like health, wealth and prosperity, the word of faith movement and all sorts of other things. She used 2 Kings 22 when the Book of Law was found in the temple after having been "lost" and forgotten. We need to return to the Law and make a covenant to obey His Word, live in the light of the Word, gird up our loins and proclaim the Word. It is spiritual warfare and Arthur said "I could retire...but, there is no retirement in a time of war."

Arthur said "it is not the desire of God to bring judgement -- it is the necessity in His character when we will not obey".

She used some of what is happening in today's America to support her statement that we are experiencing a level of God's judgement, from the natural disasters, such as the Midwest floods that will cut off our bread supply (Ezekial 14:13), that we have a lack of knowledge of the Word of God (Isaiah 5:13, Hosea 4:1-6).

Arthur says we don't spend enough time in the Old Testament and encouraged us to dig deeper in the OT to understand God's character. Because we lack knowledge, and show no delight in the Word (Jeremiah 6), we too easily start to prefer false prophets. ( I see this in the way people are spellbound by Joel Olsteen and Oprah Winfrey.) What is so dangerous is how "good" their messages sound.

After delivering this very difficult message, Arthur gave us "7 Things to do in light of this message":
  1. Break up the fallow ground, the hardness of our soul. (Jeremiah 4:3). We need to ask God to break our hearts with the things that break His.
  2. Mourn (Jeremiah 9:17-18). We should be brokenhearted over the state of our churches and the state of our nation, and send out "destroying angels".
  3. Pray (1 Timothy 2). Pray for our nation and those in authority.
  4. Love God's Word (Jeremiah 20) Love it above yourself.
  5. Love others as Jesus loves them (Jeremiah 31:3, John 13). The church should exemplify unconditional love and show kindness to hurting people. We need to help each other through our struggles.
  6. Introduce people to Jesus Christ (Jeremiah 31:31, Jeremiah 33: 1-9, 15, 17). God will heal a nation that repents and returns to Him.
  7. Rest "Believing God is with you is the rest of faith." (I like how she made "rest" a noun in that statement.)
Interesting side note Kay Arthur shared with us that day is how she hopes to die. She said she prays to die of a quick heart attack on stage in front of a large crowd such as we were, 19,000 people. She then went on to say that her hope is in the moment she drops to the stage floor that someone, most likely from the ministry team she happens to be with I suppose, would run out and give an invitation! LOL

I was blessed having had the opportunity to hear the wisdom and prophetic proclamation come forth from an anointed mouthpiece of God. Kay Arthur delivered a daunting message that was hard for her to give, and hard for us to receive, but it was so necessary. God gave it to her for a reason, let it not be lost in the House of God.


For more information:

Deeper Still Blog
Kay Arthur: Precept Ministries International


Wednesday, July 02, 2008

Deeper Still: The Event - Priscilla Shirer

I had never heard Priscilla Shirer speak/teach before, but after hearing her at Deeper Still in Atlanta, I know that she has an anointing and she is a teacher that I will be listening to again and again. You should too!

This weekend was packed with insight and teaching and a LOT OF IT! It has taken me a few days to digest it all, going over my notes and sharing with my friend to keep things fresh. Unfortunately some of this may seem all over the place, but I'm going to share it anyway, so bear with me. There is good stuff here and somebody may just need to hear/read it!

Shirer's message on Friday night was from Exodus 19 as she explained that God personally invites us to HEAR and SEE Him. It is a Divine Personal Invitation, a "divine treasure" and it is one we already have so we should celebrate it!

She divided her talk into two sections: Context of Divine Invitation and Preparation of the Invitation

Context - God calls us into the wilderness

The context of the invitation as Shirer explained is the desert, the wilderness, that God calls us into. This spoke volumes to me because I myself have recently emerged from a desert experience and could relate to much of what she was saying. "God leads you into the desert when He is ready to reveal Himself" she said and it is in the desert that "intimacy is ignited"! How do we know it was God sending us into the desert, that God chose the wilderness for us? We know it when we get through to the other side! When we camp at the foot of the mountain! Exodus 3:12 says:
And God said, "I will be with you. And this will be the sign to you that it is I who have sent you: When you have brought the people out of Egypt, you will worship God on this mountain."
She also pointed out that Job was able to really see God AFTER his desert experience, the experience of losing his family, friends, wealth and health. It was only after all that Job said "now my eyes have seen Him." God will choose the wilderness for you (Exodus 13:17-18) as He did for the Israelites when He led them around the long way toward the Red Sea.

The Blessing of Pain

At one point in her talk, Shirer told the story of a child who was born without the sensation of touch, her nerve endings were deadened. She had heard the parents of this child talk about how they thought this was a good thing because their child would not ever experience physical pain. What they learned as the child grew was drastically different than their original thinking.

Their young girl suffered severe burns on her arm when coffee on the table she was lying beneath spilled and began to trickle down the girl's arm. Feeling nothing, the child didn't move away, or cry for help. The scars of that trickle remain. Later as the girl started learning to use her hands, she became enamored with her eye and started playing with it, so much so that she scratched at it and dug it out of its socket. A patch now covers her eye. Her teeth have been removed because she would chew her tongue and bite her lips so that they bled and were being destroyed. The child's parents now say that they wish their child had the blessing of pain.

Ever notice that when we are down flat on our back the only place we can look is up to Him?

So when we are feeling the most pain in our lives, suffering through our desert, the wilderness, Shirer was quick to point out that Mt. Sinai was the furthest possible place from the Promised Land, but it led the Israelites to the biggest internal blessing they would experience. "Everything is not always as it seems" she said.

It is in the desert of Sinai that you find the mountain of God.

At one point Shirer also had us consider something. She observed "what is our first reaction when it starts to rain?" Do we run for cover? She had us think about how we often ask God to show Himself and "rain" down on us. She wondered if our reaction to God when He starts "raining" on us is the same as when the sky opens and the downpour begins. Do we run for cover?

Preparation - How God gets us ready to experience Him

1. God calls us to remember - We need to remind ourselves what He has already done for us
  • Remember what He delivered us from
  • Remember that He has lifted us up "on eagles wings”
  • Remember that He drew us to Himself, that He knows how we really are and still wants to be our friend.
2. God calls us to recognize our spiritual identity – God is the only one Who has the credentials and the authority to name us. They can call us whatever they want, but only God can name us.
  • We are His people
  • We are a Holy nation
  • We are a Kingdom of Priests
  • We are Proclaimers of Jesus
Also during this section Shirer named each book of the Bible and shared the name of God from each book according to His Character as revealed in that book. It was profound to hear her quote the words to a song called, "He Is" and you can find them here, or watch/listen to the video below.

3. God calls us to submit to new levels of surrender – To experience God, we must be willing to surrender to His Will. When God takes up residence in you, He empowers you to surrender.

Shirer ties it all together and reminds us again of the context in which God calls us into the desert, and the preparation through the desert and then gets us to the final result which is that God makes Himself able to be heard and seen by us!

She had some final thoughts and one that stuck out to me was what keeps us from going to God for ourselves? The Israelites in Exodus 20:18-19 chickened out and just wanted to send "Moe" to God to hear Him, and "get a Word". Do we depend too much on our Bible teachers, our pastors, our parents/spouses/friends, Beth Moore, Kay Arthur or Priscilla Shirer to go to God for us?

Are we sending others to "get the Word" for us?


For more info:

Deeper Still Blog
Priscilla Shirer: Going Beyond Ministries