Sunday, May 29, 2005

The prodigal's return ... part two.

i do not know how to feel.

for five years my focus has been upon praying very specific prayers for Robby. i've prayed that the Lord would keep him safe, protect him, guide him, bring people into his life who would model Christ and finally in the last two years ... Lord, just get his heart. that's all that matters ... when You get his heart, everything else will fall into place. please, don't bring him home until then. i don't know how i would take it. also, please, prepare our hearts!"

since Robby has contacted me and we've had two very good and positive visits, i can only thank God that He has indeed turned Robby's heart ... that was my prayer after all and God would not have allowed this had it not been time.

now i find myself feeling an unusual lack of emotion. i know from my training that what i am feeling is most probably shock. it is not really a lack of emotion, i have this deep, gut level, abiding peace that i know from experience can only be Holy Spirit. He is carrying me ... your prayers are carrying me. all of my prayer focus - well at least a good part of it - now has to be redirected.

how do i pray for him now?

yes, i continue to pray the same things as above. but his needs are so different. he's looking at jail time. is this a good thing? from what he has shared, it was not a good experience for him. geee, that is the whole purpose, isn't it? he says that he is now considered a dangerous offender. ("don't ask mom. i've made a lot of mistakes") *sob* he says that he cannot stand the thought of returning to jail. oh Lord, keep his heart, strengthen him.

Lord, once again and in a completely different way, i commit to You this precious child that you gave to me 20 years ago. in my mind's eye, i still see him as a newborn ... looking very much like a puppy with his huge hands and feet and little body. we knew when he was born that he would be a big man and he certainly is.
i thank You for Robby. he is beautiful as ever and when i see him, i thank You that You give me the ability to see into his heart and to see the man that you are preparing to minister unto You. i do not see a criminal, i do not see a drug addict, i do not see a violent man, but i see my little boy with his precious mischeivous grin and his quick, sparkling eyes. i couldn't understand why until i remembered the awesome gift you give me with my clients ... how You told me You would give me the ability to see them through Your eyes.

how desperately and perfectly You love Your children, Lord. every one, no matter where they are in their journey and no matter how accomplished in ministry they are. You love them with a perfect love and i thank You for that ability and gift.
Lord, please anoint me to minister to my son in the capacity You have called me to and no more. Tie my hands where i might want to wipe away a perceived tear or make things all better like a mommy wants to do. give me disernment and wisdom to let You complete Your perfect work. if you have brought him back to me for this time and season in his life then You have a plan for me to minister to him in some way. please, let it be clear.
i love You Lord, and i thank You with everything i have for the incredible experience of this week ... to talk with and then see my son. hugging him once again was such an amazing experience and i think my heart needs a chance to catch up with my head. this is overwhelming and i don't even know how to feel.
please Lord, protect my heart. protect his heart. protect all of our hearts and lead us in the way everlasting for Your Name's Sake. In Jesus' Name I pray, Amen.

Friday, May 27, 2005

today ... it is the day i have waited five years for

oh my goodness, i had lunch with Robby today!

he called me this morning and asked me what i was doing this afternoon. since my first client cancelled, i had a little bit of time so i dropped by his house and took him and his girlfriend out for lunch.

oh my goodness

my boy ... my boy.

it went really well. he is not as big as kelly said ... only [i]only[/i]6'4". he's beautiful tho even if he does have four tattoos and three earrings. he's still my little boy.

and he is so tired. everything that he said ... even when he was telling me the trouble his is and was in ... tells me how tired he is of the life he has chosen. he wants out. he wants to change.


i told the Lord that i didn't want to see him until He had his heart and although Robby did not say as much, i believe He has. He's so prime for getting straight. at least i think so.

i've been praying that the Lord would heighten my discernment meter and not allow the enemy to dull my senses or keep me in denial. but we had such a good time. his little girlfriend is really sweet, they seem to get along really well. she seems straight and a good kid and was very respectful with me.

i brought the camera with me but didn't take any pictures. i regret it right now, but i'll wait until sunday when we meet with Kelly.

when i dropped him back off at where he is staying we stood outside the car and talked. he didn't seem to want to let me go and every time i tried to go toward the car he would ask another question or say something else.

finally i took his face in my hands and looked deep into his eyes and said "thank you". he asked why and i said how thankful i was that he contacted me and came out for lunch and that i have missed him soooo much. his eyes filled up with tears.

so i asked him if i could have a hug and he opened his arms wide and said sure. i told him i loved him and he said i love you too mom.

*sob* *sniffle*

it was so difficult to leave.

since i left him i have had the most amazing peace that only God can give so deep in my heart. i'm grieved at the trouble he is in but so thankful that i believe God has captured his heart again and no matter what we have to go through in the future, it will be God's plan and He will keep Robby safe.

i'm so overwhelmed that our God is such a great God!

Wednesday, May 25, 2005

Hear Ye Hear Ye News News News!

i only have a moment to post and i'm already hours behind on my bedtime. it's almost midnight and my first client is at 10:00 tomorrow morning, last at 9:00. *sigh*

so much has happened ...
not the least is ...
drum roll ...


Happy dance,thunk (that's the crutch and cast) happy dance, thunk, happy dance, thunk, happy dance, thunk.

i'll talk to you later when i have settled down and get a moment to spend at the computer.

Thursday, May 19, 2005

more drama

i had an endoscopy/gastroscopy yesterday and thankGod it showed nothing more than an infection and some inflamation. the doctor, who i was quite impressed with ... chose to take a look around that way before he chose to take the gallbladder. he was 99% sure that it was an infection in the gallbladder because the symptoms had subsided. he was right and my gallbladder is happy for it.

as for the ankle ... after the surgery i was wheeled over to the fracture clinic to the ortho surgeon on staff. he took one look at the ankle and shook his head. it should have been casted 6 weeks ago ... i should have gone back before this. so .. i was fitted with $175.00 worth of cast to immobilize the ankle for four weeks and then they'll take a look to see if i need surgery. ack. no wonder it was hurting so much, the dratted thing was disloacating and reinjuring with every step.

oh well.

the cast is one of those foam filled, air pocket things that weighs a ton. it's quite a sight, but at least with the ankle still, i'm not in as much pain ... now i'm just sore because i can move around a little more.

so i go to the hairdresser to get my nails done and my hair coloured. the technician gave my one foot a beautiful pedicure because there is so much attention on that part of my anatomy. i thought it was cute. and it's a pretty colour too...

Monday, May 16, 2005


I did the most lazy thing this morning. Is that an oxymoron? I did ... lazy thing? lol.

I stayed in my PJ's and snoozed on the couch until 2:00 this afternoon! Oh my. This little workaholic actually rested! lol.

Seriously, I've been so tired the last few days with my ankle being so sore. Actually, I did great damage to it again yesterday. I was sitting here at the computer and Bill had dinner going on the stove. (I am one very, very blessed woman to have such a great cook and all around great man for a husband)

I can hear the potatos boiling ... and it sounds like there is little water in the pot. Bill is no where to be seen or heard. (He was out in the garden). So I get out of the chair and decide that I can easily walk the 20 feet to the stove without my crutch.

Right. Well, I could walk, but the foot didn't. I got up and over on the side went the ankle. It looks like I keep disloacating it or something. So now I am walking around - after 6 weeks - with the stupid thing bruised and sore again. I tried to walk down the stairs this morning and - same thing again - it hurts like it did when I first sprained it.

I hate to sound like I am whining. Where is my cheese?

It's kind of cute, but a little frustrating as well. As soon as the hospital and the specialist's office saw that I had the big "D.R." in front of my name, guess what they did? They arranged for me to go to the fracture clinic at the hospital after my surgery on Wednesday to be seen by the top ortho surgeon. With less than a week's notice?!! They did this so I would not have to work my schedule around another day as they understand how busy I must be.

I'm glad, but am frustrated because of all of the other people in Canada who are not getting that sort of medical care. It is sad how our "free" medical care works.

In the hospital for the morning and out in the afternoon after general anesthetic.
You cannot go home unattended and cannot be alone for 24 hours.
Call us if something goes wrong.
Call us if something goes wrong?


I will be glad to see this sick thing over. I don't have time to be sick.

*moan* where is that cheese?

Sunday, May 15, 2005

demoninational differences

no, it is not a spelling error. i do mean demoninations! i'm glad this is a little out of the way blog and that few people read it because i have some things i need to say. it is not out of offense, although through this medium, it could be taken this way easily, so let me get that out of the way. it is out of grief. sheer, deep, grief.

my dear friend, martha2, who is a precious sister in the Lord, posted a comment about denominational differences. her question was ... does it make a difference? since we attend two different churches with quite vastly different doctrinal beliefs, i can understand her question. these differences cause such great division in the body of Christ. these differences cause such sadness to my heart.

would we have become friends if we were limited to our demoninations? hers believes that i am not saved ... some in mine believe she is not saved. both suggest that either are not "in the fullness of Christ". ack what's with this? "how this must grieve Daddy" as my friend anne says so often.

it sure grieves the Spirit of Daddy in me.

John 17:21 That they all may be one; as thou, Father, art in me, and I
in thee, that they also may be one in us: that the world may believe that thou
hast sent me.

Psalm 133:1 A Song of degrees of David. Behold, how good and how
pleasant it is for brethren to dwell together in unity!

Ephesians 4:3 Endeavouring to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of

i have failed so much at this. a comment was made today that truly cut me to the quick and i responded in a manner i should not have ...

i read it three times ... on the original poster's blog, on pennis, and on another's.

I just cringe when denominational lines are blurred and we act as if
the Eucharist is the same every where. Its not, and I feel like we turn Jesus's
sacrifice into a Triscuit.

if i understand the writer correctly, and from other posts she made i believe i have ... the context was that 'other denominations' (read into this, non Catholic) reduce the work of Jesus on the cross into a triscuit in Communion because 'they' (remember that faceless 'they' of my earlier post?) refuse to believe that the elements become the body and blood of Christ.

pardon me while i step outside to have a small, short rant. arghghghhghg, sob ... sorry, the flesh got in there.

how can this be? how can an experience of "do this in remembrance of me" be reduced to a triscuit when the 'doer' is truly thanking the Lord Jesus for His work on the Cross and loving Him with all of their lives and their hearts? why such fighting?

someone in one of the other threads made a point during her response to the ensuing discussion (to call it a discussion would be polite) of stating she has a Masters in Theology. she was trying to point out that she has studied the Bible and if she has a Masters, she has ... of that i fully understand. but, we all study the Bible from our own theology and that of our demonination ...

Well, i have her beat ... i have a doctorate and am working on a second Ph.D. in theology/psychology. i have visions of Paul outlining his credentials and how useless they are in the work of Christ. (Philippians 3 always makes me giggle at our pride) does that make me better than her, more educated, more understanding in the mystery of Christ, the Church? Nope, but what it says about both of us is that we have devoted our lives, energy, strength, love, heart and soul to His work. and with maturity - another excellent point i think she made, the division will not be the guiding factor in any relationship, but the fact that Christ died for the other person and none of us have it all down. (I apologize, i cannot remember her name at this moment and i'm so challenged in this blogging stuff yet)

i guess the point is ... i wish we could all play nicely and love each other as Christ called us to love each other. i've got so many spots and wrinkles (hence my blog name) that i need to have pressed and bleached out of me ... it is not my job to try to iron them out of others. that's Holy Spirit's job! and He does a far better job of that than i ever could.

and even though i am a college professor, my purpose is to teach those who come to me, not chase them down and bonk them over the head with what i believe is 'their' faulty doctrine/theology.


all of this from a woman who has the nerve to be ordained. (that's me) and that's another ost that would cause a real 'discussion' if i were to open that one up. maybe that's the root of my grief and sadness. my heart aches at the lines and boundaries and division people place around the work of God. He's so much bigger than gender, race, history, pharisees.

world, LET HIM OUT OF HIS BOX, you cannot box Him into your piddly little idea of what He should be or what we should be following Him. or how we should follow Him. He made the rules.

ok, i am now off the pulpit - or soapbox for those of you who think i should only be cleaning the pulpit. sigh. how this grieves my heart.

Saturday, May 14, 2005

my ankle

i'm still on crutches. as i went to see the doctor to get pre-admission forms filled out for a minor procedure next wednesday ... the gallbladder is finally going to go 'bye-bye' ... my dear doctor asked me about the crutch. i saw him a few days after i had injured it and he was questioning why i was still using the crutch.

he examined it and said ... oh, it should have been casted right away, this is a more severe sprain. ack. now i have to see an orthopedic surgeon as it appears that the ligament was either torn right through or almost.

the continual bruisng on my foot suggests that i am damaging it again with every step i take. i wondered why it was still hurting so badly. i cannot walk around the garden without the crutch ... i was wondering why my ankle was so unstable! it appears that it is dislocating anew with every unstable step.


you think the Lord is trying to tell me to rest?

well, we'll see when i see the specialist this next week. they initially booked me an appointment on the same day as my surgery, so unless the specialist is in the hospital, i'll have to go on another day.

oh the trials and tribulations of carolyn.

you think this will be part of the 'dash'? see below.

and life goes on

i cannot believe it has been five days!

my best friend's mother died this week. she had a heart attack last friday and we buried her this friday. another funeral. almost the same anniversary as my own dear mother's death. my precious friend, anne, is struggling so much with this. it has really taken her by surprise and i have spent almost all of my free time the last week being with her and helping her through this.

the funeral was interesting.

Sr. Pastor and i went together to the church ... amazing RC ceremony, i just LOVE the liturgy .. and to the cemetery. she was 87 and now there were very few people left to go to her funeral. what a small group we were standing in the cold wind around the coffin and committing her to her resting place.

interesting ... the emotions.

many other funerals remembered. tears shed for a woman i barely knew and for a woman i love as much as i ever could love a sister and a friend.

from where dear josephine is buried, if you just turn and look over the hill, you will see where my dear mother was buried, 13 years ago, almost to the day. we buried her the monday after mother's day. sigh.

there i was, standing .. well attempting to stand on my crutch ...

wondering ... what is it in the dash. you know the one, between birth and death. josephine macdonald. april 18, 19.. - may 10, 2005. that dash. it represented her life, her children, her joys, her sorrows, her failures, her successes. and on the gravestone, it is only a dash. i wondered about the person who would chisel that dash. does he ever wonder what it represented?

what will mine represent? what will yours represent?

i asked pastor if he would mind driving me over to my mom's grave. there we hobbled on the soft ground, the trip well worth the additional damage to my ankle (more on that later) to stand at the grave.

more of my family is represented in that plot than i have contact with right now.

uncle = 1942
grandfather = 1972
grandmother = 1985
brother = 1987
mother = 1992
aunt = 2002

i didn't even realize that my aunt had been buried there a few years ago. no one told me she had died.

all those dashes. pastor didn't know any of them, but i sure did. memories flooded my mind. sweet ones, sad ones ...

oh Lord, please take these remaining days, no matter how long and make them matter for you.

Monday, May 09, 2005

On Call Chaplains

I have just taken the position of an on call chaplain for one of the local hospitals. they ask all of the area pastors to volunteer one night a month to be on call from 5:00 pm until 8:00 am to deal with emergencies and impending death when the chaplaincy staff are off. so today we had our quarterly lunch and catch up time.

what a hoot we had.

there are many denominations - actually, religions - represented in the group of about 20 or so. only the Christian ones were present at this meeting, which is quite unusual, but it allowed us a rare time to share without being concerned about using the "J" word. it's funny how the precious Name of Jesus is such a stumbling block to some.

well, there was this one pastor - actually an Anglican Priest. what a hoot. he was one of the funniest men i have ever met. he had us all in stitches the entire time we were there.

i was sitting there thinking how awesome it was to sit around a table with such a precious group of men and women who are called in ministry and who love Jesus so much. it's a rare thing for me and i really enjoyed the time.

so my first on call is may 31st. i go at about 5:00 and get to go all over the hospital and visit and pray for people or the staff who need it ... then i go home at about 10:00 understanding that i could be called back if there is an emergency.

what an honour. sometimes i want to pinch myself when i think of all the great opportunities the Lord is bringing my way. after years and years and years of ministry, it's so neat to be doing this full time and getting paid for it. i love it. i am really one blessed lady.

Sunday, May 08, 2005

Mother's Day 2005

This is number five without Robert. Funny, it's 10:38 and he hasn't called. i guess he will not. Three weeks ago he leaves his business card in my screen door. i thought for sure by now i would have been in contact.

sigh. this waiting is almost worse than it was when i didn't know were he was!

today i sang a song at church ... He's My Son. i think i posted the words to it somewhere back in the earlier part of this blog. i sang it for my little Cleansing Stream group several weeks ago when we were discussing the consecrating or 'commiting everything to God' section.

have i had experience in that area! ack. sigh.


sometimes it is so tough being a mom.

one of my best friends called and left a message on my answering machine this morning. actually, by 8:00 am, i had three messages on my answering machine and none from my kids. three precious friends who know how difficult this day can be just called to say they loved me and they would be praying for me today. especially since i was singing. one precious woman said i am such a precious friend, i must have been a wonderful mother. not to let this get me down.

you see i am not a singer. usually, i try not to belt out in praise and worship because i can be a little flat. but not when i am singing 'robert's song'. it never ceases to amaze me how God anoints me to sing.

not a dry eye in the house.

one of the rough and tough guys at church came up to me and quietly took me aside. he said, 'i never cry, but i shed many tears while you were singing. i could hear your mama's broken heart singing. i pray he shows up very, very soon.'

this is the attitude i came home from church with. he did not call .. but ... one day soon. very, very soon.

it is a bittersweet day. let me tell you about the sweet, you've already heard about the bitter.

i did have dinner with my precious Kelly and Jadzia. they took me out to a great restaurant. oh my, you cannot imagine how i felt when that little sweetie, Jadzia came through the doors of the restaurant and caught my eye! she jumped up and screamed at the top of her lungs



she ran around in circles and then jumped into my arms with her precious little arms out and a big kiss for me. this is at only two and a half. what a doll. later we went over to wallymart to pick up some craft supplies, etc., and every time they turned a corner or i was out of her sight, Jadzia would yell 'grandma! where are you, grandma!' then Kelly chimes in. it's so cute, people all over are giggling at this tiny little sweetheart. she steals everyone's heart.

my heart swells and it bursts with love for these two precious girls of mine.

another sweet part? precious Bill. My darling man. he had my customary fuscia basket for me. kelly started this tradition ten years ago. every mother's day i get a fuscia basket for the garden ... not just any ... they have to be that soft pink and white. what a sweet man he is. he came to church and stood up and clapped the loudest and burst his buttons. he never complains when i spend hours away from home and said ... go off with kelly and have dinner, i'll see you when you get home. we only have two meals a week together and he sacrificed one for me today. he's a real treasure this man. a true gift from the Lord.

so, a bitter day ... a sweet day. when you think about it, i've had all of the experience of a mom and a wife today.

Never take Dristan when ...

you have a full case load of clients to counsel today.

What a day. whew.

i've been fighting a bit of a cold or sumpin. so saturday morning i decide to take a dristan (no offense intended to the company who produces it). what i didn't know was that my body does not like dristan. either that or i was not coming down with a cold but was having my physical chain yanked because i was going to sing in church on sunday. doh.

i pick up my first client ... i know, not supposed to do that, but it's a long story and i am a Christian after all ... and we get to my office. i've got them booked really tight so we get right to work. well, about fifteen minutes into our session the room starts to buzz and spin. oh no. i'm stoned. i'm having a reaction to the dristan.

*i'm shaking my head in grief*

this dear young man had to drive my car with me in it to go to my second client's house around the corner ... i know, don't tell me, see above. we decide that it might be a good idea for me to go through mcdonald's and get something to eat. i had forgotten i was fasting, i guess that doesn't help much when you're taking cold meds.

we get something to eat. i can barely stand in the restaurant. i'm still on crutches ... good thing, i probably would have crawled into the place without them.

so my second client gets to the office and we decide this would be a really good time to have something to eat and just have a visit. we put on some great soaking music and just yakked. didn't help my accounts receivable much, but that's just the way the cookie crumbles.

well .. so far i have not betrayed professional ethics other than to shine the light upon what is sometimes the silly story of my life.

where God really comes into this is with my third client. who came in while i was still trying to recover. the really cool part about it was ... i was trying to get my second and my third clients together as one can really help the other through a tough time. it has been awesome how God has brought it together and they just couldn't coordinate a meeting. But ... God did it for them. i sat - stoned all the while - and watched these two precious women talk. what an honour. i cannot and will not share the details, but marvel at how God knows it all.

even the fact that i took that stupid pill. it was that stupid pill that allowed these two women to finally meet and God's purpose for them meeting to be fulfilled.

i'm happy to report that by the time clients four, five, and six came along, i was somewhat sober again ... well, mostly ... and was able to pick up the therapist hat once again and do my job. actually, four was quite happy as it was their first session with me and they were concerned that the Christian therapist would be a little ... well ... pious and stiff. *snort* not me at the best - or is that worst - of time.

isn't our God something? i'm so thankful to be used of Him even if it does completely destroy whatever pride i've got left over. hmmmppphhhhhh ... He's a good God.

Thursday, May 05, 2005

Information on Soaking

Instead of me trying to put this together myself, I ran to the TACF website and found this article by John Arnott. Good stuff ... enjoy. It's worth the read ..

Is ‘Soaking’ in the Bible?
This is what the Bible has to say (NKJV):

Psalm 23:1-3 - "The LORD is my shepherd; I shall not want. He makes me to lie down in green pastures; He leads me beside the still waters. He restores my soul ..."

Psalm 131:2 - "Surely I have calmed and quieted my soul, like a weaned child with his mother, like a weaned child is my soul within me."

Psalm 4:4 - "Meditate within your heart on your bed, and be still."

Psalm 37:7 - "Rest in the LORD, and wait patiently for Him."

Matthew 11:28-30 - "Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For My yoke is easy and My burden is light."

Hebrews 4:9-11 - "There remains therefore a rest for the people of God. For he who has entered His rest has himself also ceased from his works as God did from His. Let us therefore be diligent to enter that rest."

Isaiah 40:29-31 - "He gives power to the weak, and to those who have no might He increases strength. Even the youths shall faint and be weary, and the young men shall utterly fall, but those who wait on the LORD shall renew their strength. They shall mount up with wings like eagles. They shall run and not be weary; they shall walk and not faint."

Psalm 27:14 - "Wait on the Lord; be of good courage, and He shall strengthen your heart. Wait, I say, on the Lord!"

Proverbs 1:33 - "But whoever listens to Me will dwell safely, and will be secure, without fear of evil."

Luke 10:39 - "And she had a sister called Mary, who also sat at Jesus’ feet and heard His word."

Hosea 2:14 - "Therefore, behold, I will allure her. I will bring her into the wilderness and speak comfort to her"

What is soaking?
During previous revivals people referred to it as "waiting on the Lord" or "tarrying" as they lingered expecting God’s revival blessings. Although "soaking" includes waiting on the Lord, in this present move of the Spirit it means much more than that. To "soak" in God’s presence is to rest in His love rather than to "strive" in prayer. As the person receiving a touch from God begins to connect with the reality of the Holy Spirit’s presence, he often responds by falling or simply lying on the floor. As he rests expectantly in God’s presence, often the Holy Spirit hovers over the person to reveal more of God’s love and to renew and repair areas of a person’s life. As the believer soaks in God’s presence, the Lord takes control and begins to draw his attention to God’s word either in the scriptures or through internal audible impressions or pictures he sees in his mind’s eye.

Carol likes to compare soaking to making pickles. A few years ago, I found a classical Greek word study on the Greek words bapto, meaning to dip, and baptidzo, meaning to immerse. The article used the illustration of making pickles. The recipe called for the raw fruit to be dipped in boiling water to blanch or sterilize the cucumber, using the word bapto, which means "to dip in and out quickly." Then it called for the cucumber to be immersed, using the word baptidzo, and soaked in the brine and the pickling solution for several weeks.

What happens during this soaking time is that the marinade or the pickling solution soaks deep into the flesh of the cucumber until it takes on the flavor of the pickling solution so that it no longer tastes like a raw cucumber.

This is what we mean by soaking. May you be so marinated in the presence of the Holy Spirit, soaking in the River of God, that you no longer "taste" like your old, raw nature any longer, but you have taken on the flavor of the Holy Spirit. "Pickle us, Lord, in the marinade of the Holy Spirit. Soak us in your wonderful presence until we become more and more like you."

Why do I need to soak?
There is a deep need in every one of us to be close to God. Experiencing God is something to be sought after and not avoided. While we base our theology on God’s Word, our experiences with God make it all come alive. The Bible is a book of experiences of men and women of God throughout history, whose lives were changed through divine encounter. Your life will be changed as well as you encounter Him.

Where can I soak?
At the local church in Toronto, they conclude every meeting with a time of soaking prayer. People stand for prayer on the prayer lines and the ministry team will come and minister to them, praying such things as "Lord, come and give them more of your presence; more of Your love." They may stand there or often rest in the Spirit as they fall in God’s presence. Because of the many people who experience this phenomenon in the meetings, every prayer team member is assigned a "catcher" to assist the person receiving prayer by standing behind them as the prayer team member prays for him. This allows the person receiving prayer to relax and be less anxious about what might happen if he falls.

Soaking prayer is something that you can also do in your own home. You can be alone, or just with your spouse or children, or you can invite several friends over who can take turns praying for one another. Steve Long, one of the local pastors at TACF, was one of the first on staff in Toronto to begin soaking at home by himself. He would put on a CD, lie down on the floor and let the intimate worship draw him into a beautiful refreshing time with the Lord.

Jeff Metzger, a pastor from Akron Ohio, was one of the first to have group "soaking prayer" going on in his home, and he’s been doing it for over seven years. People are free to come and go as they please, yet they are encouraged to enter quietly, lie down on the floor and experience a restful revitalizing time with the Lord. Many changed lives have resulted from attending the soaking times at Jeff’s home. Recently I met a man from Germany who started inviting friends over to his house just to soak in the presence of God. He has been doing it for years, because he couldn’t find a church near him that was flowing in the River.

How do I soak?
Although you don’t have to lie down, you may sit in a chair or lie on your bed, the main thing is to be in a safe place so you can be vulnerable. Set your affection on Jesus. You might like to soak while listening to intimate worship music with meaningful words that quiet your soul and help you draw near to God. As you reflect on the cross and all that Jesus has lovingly purchased for you, begin confessing your sins to Him and longing to be close to Him. After a few moments, you will become aware of the Holy Spirit’s unseen presence. People experience Him in many ways: a weight upon your body, an electric tingling upon your hands or face, or a warm sensation of love going through your heart which connects you to Him. This is how you grow to love anyone, by a series of several encounters that bond you together. It is not only a rational process; your heart must be engaged.

Experiencing God’s presence is what will cause you to love the Lord with all your heart and soul. (Matthew 22:37) Humble yourself before Him. Give all your worries and cares to the Lord talking to Him about them. Pray a prayer like this. "Lord Jesus, I invite You to come and search my heart. Come close and let me know your love." Let worship rise up inside you and give yourself to the Lord. If you become distracted, then re-focus on Jesus. Remind yourself why you are soaking and listen to the worship music.

Can I trust that it is the Holy Spirit working?
Yes you can. Remember, everything we receive from God we receive by faith. Faith must be positive and focused on God. (Not negative and fearful, focused on the enemy.) Jesus said in Luke 11:11-13, "If a son asks for bread from any father among you, will he give him a stone? Or if he asks for a fish, will he give him a serpent instead of a fish? Or if he asks for an egg, will he offer him a scorpion? If you then, being evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to those who ask Him!" The key is intimacy. It is not a program to be run and managed, but a relationship to be maintained.

How long do I continue soaking?
It usually takes about fifteen minutes to quiet the business of life and enter into rest. But Jesus is the Lord of the Sabbath, and He wants you to enter into His rest. The fruit of the Spirit is love, joy and peace, so we need to take quality time with Him. You cannot force or hurry this. The idea is not to "get" something but to "be" with someone. Take time just to be with Him; to love Him and let Him love you. If you fall asleep, that’s OK. If you are interrupted, you can always come back for more. You will know when your time is finished. You will feel a satisfaction in your heart and a release to go and get on with life.

Occasionally people can become quite emotional during soaking prayer. God may want to touch deep places in the heart. There are often areas of past wounding where we are very reluctant to go. That is often the very place that the Lord wants you to revisit so that He can bring freedom and healing to areas of fear and pain. It is helpful to have friends and even experienced ministry people in the room so they can love you through this and help reassure you to go ahead in faith in order to, so as to bring closure to these areas.

Time ..

I had quite a laugh with my Senior Pastor yesterday. I don't know if I even posted it here, but almost a month ago, I tore ligaments in my right ankle. it has been a frustrating journey because all it has done is slowed me down. i know the Lord has been calling me to rest ... this has been the vehicle He has used to do so.

So .. back to my laugh. I was coming into the office yesterday for a full load of clients to be followed by Cleansing Stream and then by a visiting Pastor. (wowzers, that is another post, her message on The Cross was amazing! Look for further info on Cathy Ciamitaro's book. amazing)

Sooooo ... back to my laugh time two. I am coming into the office, crutch in hand. I have my purse, my briefcase, my coffee, the cream and treats for Cleansing Stream and I'm trying to balance them all because i do not want to go back down the stairs to the car and make a second load.

in order to get through the door, i have to place them all down on the floor and open it. then i dropped the cream so i attempted to prompt it through the door with the bum foot ... need i tell you what that did to the foot? i'm whining, and whimpering and not so pastorly sort of cursing (you know, of course that Pastors do not curse!) i was just asking the Lord for angelic help to assist me through the consequences of my not so smart choices.

pastor hears me from his office and laughs at me from his computer. i hobble over to my office, put everything down again, muddle through my janitor's stash of keys (you know, home, three offices,k two churches, ... etc., etc.) and finally manage to get my office open. i throw my briefcase, purse, cell, coffee cream, treats, etc. on my desk and proceed to his office.

clunk, clunk, clunk.

here she comes ....

he looks up and motions me to the chair infront of his desk and gives me that look that only those who know him really well know. you know .. even though he is almost 10 years younger than i am, it is that Father's look of ... well, Carolyn, you did it to yourself.

so .... i proceed to tell him that i am not impressed that God did not give me an extra hand and an extra leg and an extra at least six hours in my day. afterall ...

we just about fell off the chairs in laughter.

Lord, You're trying to teach me to be a better steward of everything You've given to me. Thank You that You gave me what You did. Please teach me to better organize my time and my energy. There needs to be a balance and I know You're trying with everything I have to show me, but I'm squacking and mummbling and whining and whimpering too much to hear You.

Now is a really good place to insert *soaking*, but I've run out of time. tee hee. That's what I am going to do. *soak* in His presence for the strength, discernment, strategy and peace I need ... I'll talk to you later.

Sunday, May 01, 2005


I can't believe I have lived outside of Toronto all these years and I haven't had time to spend a week at the Toronto Blessing ...

That's why I haven't been around for the last week ... wow.

I spent the entire time doing *carpet time* or *soaking*. Oh my, I'm undone.

Now I know why I couldn't get satisfied in my time with the Lord. It seemed that no matter how much time I spent in prayer and worship, Bible reading or teaching, I was still starving for the presence of God. I couldn't understand it. I asked the Lord to show me why and He seemed silent.

What I didn't realize was that He had answered me, I just didn't know it yet. He had told me to go to this retreat/conference months ago and I was awaiting it with great anticipation. I didn't realize that it was to be an answer to so many prayers.

More on this later .... dinner calls ...