Hello friend, It’s been coming for the last several hours… These thoughts: How can we be clothed in Christ (Wear Me)… or say we are… when we choose to ‘take off’ Grace, Mercy & Love, and ‘put on’ self-righteousness? In any given situation, or sin? Can you see how the outside world views us as hypocrites… from the top down? The real question here is: CAN YOU SEE your sin, first, before you see it in others? Do you see how we do not represent His Grace or Love when we are self-righteous? Are we LIVING OUT His Grace, Mercy & Love, or are we giving lip service to the world… and worse… giving lip service to God? I can speak of this because… on occasion… I partake in this sin of self-righteousness as well… so we are in company here, together. Jesus did not mince ‘words’ for all of us on this… in the Book of Matthew, chapter 23. I urge you to marinate on it. It’s convicting. There is NO Godly leadership… unless we are clothed ‘in Christ.’ Anything less… is fraudulent. It requires our total surrender and buy in. We don’t get to choose when we want to be this way. We are just to BE this way… clothed in Christ. Period. Dear Lord, You always know the path ahead & prepare me abundantly when I yield to You… You hem me in, and remind me consistently to remember You… and ‘wear You.’ I realize it’s not about how I want to do things or what I think, but how you want me to represent You in this broken world. It’s Your way always and 24/7, not mine. You ALONE are Teacher, Master & Life Leader. Thank You for the loving way you reveal this to me. Thank You for the gift of the Holy Spirit… who is my best friend, and confidante… for without You, I am lost. In Jesus’ name I pray, Amen. ~ maribel #IWanttheHookup #SoLookup #JesusisKing
This morning I am reflecting on divine Love… and sometimes the ‘cost’ of it.
Here is a thought: It’s very hard to grasp a devout Christian.
Do you know why?
… because our humanity cannot wrap its mind around submitting to something other than ourselves, & our agendas (loving something more than ourselves).
Our plans need to be submitted to God, for approval. Ask Him for direction and discernment on all your plans. Submitting to His direction can and does come at a cost. Are you willing to pay its price?
Be prepared to be misunderstood when doing God’s work. Be willing to risk displeasing others, for Kingdom’s sake, as you stand for God’s truth, direction, and decisions. Take heart in your standing, for you are never alone… He is with you. It’s the way of the ones who are in this world, but not of it. (refs: John 15, Romans 12)
This tension is required in His way.
Settle in, and welcome it when it comes. It’s a sign that God is at work in your life.
Marinating on these blessings… these markings…
Peace and much Love,
As I lie here sick in bed, I feel a ‘push‘ to share this short thought with you today… and it’s so awkward. In fact, I feel quite vulnerable… it’s very personal… but I am going to #doit anyway.
Here it goes:
As I go about my days and nights, I many times hear #truth resonate within my soul, FIRST. It occurs in most every situation… whether I am very still/quiet, studying, or in deep conversation with others. I am simultaneously listening for His direction/guidance/revelation. Some who observe me might conclude I am a little ‘spaced out’. Know that I am not aloof, whatsoever, in these moments. Rather, I am intensely concentrating… I am living in two realms, the earthly and the divine… at the very same time (did I just see you pull away from your screen? 🙂 It’s ok. Please hang with me here for another minute).
Many times I am then guided to the Word (The Bible), for what God is trying to reveal/say to me in that moment/situation. It’s like the Word is somewhere inside of me… then I go to visually see it in biblical letter form. I am not one who has hundreds of verses memorized. I am one who feels scripture living inside of my soul… thus creating a more exacting/fulfilling life.
How does God engage your soul? Have you felt His nudging, lately?
The Holy Spirit takes up residence in ALL who are open and willing to receive Him. He loves us so much!
May your day be full of His love, grace and peace.
That is all…
So much has happened over the last several months… I am not going to go into great detail at this time. It will be unraveled… Let’s just say I have been through a series of tests/trials, etc.
Some are still ongoing.
I have spent the last few weeks over Christmas/New Years marooned on a somewhat deserted island, and looking forward to spending some quiet time with God. He is so faithful. In my trials, I have been asking for specific direction on what I should do/say/not say/not do.
I was/am in NEED of HIM, badly.
A quick sideline: 3 years ago, at Christmastime, He gave me a strong rebuking for withholding myself from Him, specifically in worship. Although noone could see this, He did/does. That revelation/rebuking immediately left me face planted & seeking forgiveness… and giving Him my word that I would boldly/shamelessly walk through every door He opened no matter how scared I was. In essence… I would slay myself… at the risk of looking foolish to the rest of the world.
Two things did happen over the break:
1- I received a specific ‘Word’ in the middle of the night Sat/Sun morning. I woke up and immediately talked to my husband about it. It had been the same word I felt ‘pushed‘ on me by the Holy Spirit last Fall… and I told a godly woman in my home church about it at that time. What’s interesting is that our visit transpired only because the Holy Spirit spontaneously led her to drive to my house, then text me to see if I was home… to talk. She told me that the Holy Spirit had directed her to come. So grateful for my friend’s obedience! This is how God works in my life and yours… beautiful welcomed interruptions… 🙂
2- What I also received over the break, listen:
If GOD sets you on fire, & man says be but a spark… which master do you serve?
Strong winds fan/feed the one, and extinguish the other. To serve The One means to unseat the ‘other’.
Dear brother or sister, what is your ‘other?’ May I ask which one are you… a spark or a fire?
Which one do you think God made you to be?
Let’s begin with The Word. 2 Samuel 22: 47 “The LORD lives! Praise be to my Rock! Exalted be my God, the Rock, my Savior!”
Wow. What a week it has been… full of learning curves, deadlines and meetings. You may know the feeling.
Tomorrow my first single, Hold On, will be released on iTunes and Soundcloud. The lyrics are the message, the music the vehicle. It will also be my 45th birthday. Yes… I am no spring chicken, brothers and sisters.
Lately, the music questions often asked have been: What is the direction you are taking with it? What is the music’s purpose? Who is your audience?
I have been in diligent prayer about this for over a year, intense prayer for the last several months. God is so faithful and generous with His time. I am grateful… because His direction, not mine, is the key.
To begin with… my audience is anyone willing to listen… and especially the younger generations. It’s for those who want to hear what’s real, not a sales job, or the preaching of condemnation. I enjoy spending time with all peoples. What I am hearing from the younger generations is that they are tired of the hypocrisy they have been raised in… in our churches.
What I gather is they want to hear the truth, even if it’s uncomfortable, or perhaps socially unacceptable. They desire to be on missions of their own … being activists for God. Actually doing Godly work on earth, in their immediate environments, which they see are full of pain and suffering. I can identify with them.
The lyrics/music is the starting point in my Kingdom assignment.
It is about encouragement and hope… that God is still here… very real… very present… and He loves us to no avail. There are no limits to His Love.
The music will point to Him and Hope in Him, no matter where it will be played, through Christian or secular avenues, although its contemporary jazz funk style will most likely not be played in more conservative churches, for it’s upbeat and soulful.
And that’s perfectly ok. It’s meant for outreach and out here… for those not yet in the pews, or the ones who have given up on community life. It’s meant to draw individuals to any church that looks like a cross section of the people in its village, town, or city. All tribes… all peoples… so authentic Godly defined Unity is seen, felt, encouraged, and not what man’s idea/agenda on Unity is.
Thoughts that often preoccupy my mind:
How does God see His community? And what might He think of our current condition?
How does God see you/us?
How did Jesus live out His life, and asks you/us to imitate Him?
How do we authentically live out His Truths?
How does God define humble servant leadership, and how are we living it out?
Indeed, it is not the opinion of man that counts, but God’s. You can stand on that 24/7, no matter what comes your way.
My prayer is that the music is a seed that encourages you/us to see ourselves and others through the eyes of Jesus, and thus move in to living in real freedom. A freedom to be who God designed you to be, and not what this earth keeps trying to sell you, or tell you. Freedom is the opposite of oppression. Freedom is the opposite of condemnation. Freedom is the opposite of personal imprisonments. These things have already been conquered through Jesus… through His unrelenting Grace and Mercy. BOY! Is that a reason to worship Him, or WHAT!?! For me, reminding myself of how God sees me allows me to breathe a sigh of relief in this dark world.
The thing about music is that most everyone is open to it. And we can connect with Him through music, anytime. I believe that God built us for worship of Him, first and foremost. Singing and giving praise are fundamental elements for adoring our God… a pathway to help us connect… in order to open our hearts and minds to receive His freedom gift. Music as a primer…
The beautiful thing is… music is as accessible as popping in earbuds. Perhaps taking encouraging words to the ears might begin watering thoughts… that in community… in essence worshiping and listening to the Word together… is God’s plan for us as His people. Although we may each have individual Kingdom assignments as soldiers for God, we come together to celebrate and encourage one other. Remember, His mission can be tough, and the world doesn’t recognize it as good. And know that the world may be sitting next to you in the pew, at times. Take heart… God is good. Stay focused, no matter what.
Thus, the purpose of the music is to encourage community… pointing them toward the body of Christ… any church community that encourages unity… the kind The Bible talks about… of all peoples… all nations… all tribes.
You may be in a church family that is far from this picture. If you love the body of people, I encourage you to stay and pray. Pray that God’s will be done, on earth as it is in heaven. It may be the very reason why God has you there in the first place. As our Dear Preacherman, Senior Pastor Neil Tomba often says, God’s Truth over our opinion.
If you are ambivalent about your community, I encourage you to visit other churches, and when you find the community God calls you to, get involved. Plant yourself there… and bloom! God is faithful to all that seek Him. Remember this.
May ALL the Glory be to God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit!
May you find hope, strength, & peace in The One… The ONLY ONE… who has designed you for His unique Kingdom assignment…. and then have the courage to boldly live it out. In Jesus’ name I pray, Amen.
p.s. I leave you with the words to the new single:
Sing to me let Me be
All that you need to see
Tell Me that you can’t believe
That I am always what you need
Cling to Me there you’ll see
That you are Mine and I’m with thee
I tell you that there’s nothing else
I am The One who has prevailed
Let My Light shine on you
I give My strength to break you
When you feel you can’t go on
Bring to Me those in need
Of perfect love that comes through Me
There’s nothing on this Earth more free
My loving arms are here for thee
Dream of Me speak to Me
Show your heart in its insanity
I will be your sacred place
So we can one day be face-to-face
So shine My Light in your life
Let My love be your guide
With open arms lifted high
Take this cup for you are Mine
I said darling I’m The One
So hold on
lyrics: Maribel Hill
… I met a woman last week, a massage therapist, who has the gift of healing hands… and let me preface it with this: I have been to countless massage therapists since college.
… like I see/feel souls when I look into ones eyes… she feels the body and knows where to go… and the first time I was there, I noticed that she prays/meditates as she moves around the body in search of pain…
Mathew 18:20-For where two or three gather in my name, there am I with them.
… My second visit was today. She greeted me as a Christian spiritual sister, and told me that the instant she laid her hands on my broken body… she knew I was a slave to God… & she knew we were ‘family’ since last week. She told me other things as well… about my spirit… and how I operate…
… I want you to know… I was there 90 minutes. This time, she spoke Truth… the Word… the entire time as she was working on my body. There was mutual sharing… raising my hand over and over again… she saying things to me that God has specifically been talking to me about… over the last 3 weeks… EXACT words I have heard the Holy Spirit speak to me in the dead of night…
… We were ‘Hallelujah Jesus & Amen & Praising’… over and over again… it was exhilarating…
Jesus was in the room, I am certain of it.
This is how God works in my life. Have you had an encounter with Jesus through someone, or through an incident?
Please don’t dismiss Him.
… Be ready and open to Hear God speak to you through others. He is very present in this world. He is ready and waiting for you to INVITE Him in.
… She said something to me as she finished… about something soooo specific… only God could have revealed it to her.
… So grateful for the blessings that others bring to my life…
Thank You, Jesus, for Your amazing relentless LOVE!!!
I feel it over and over again… through the peaks and valleys of my life… You are there… You are always there…
Blowing you kisses from earth,
I received this message as I was cleaning my house the other day.
If you worry, look up.
If you are broken, look up.
If you are lost, look up.
If you are running away, look up.
If you are sinking, look up.
If you are a wretch, like me, look up.
If you are angry, look up.
If you feel inadequate, look up.
If you breathe, look up.
Get a crick in your neck.
He is watching.
He is for real.
He sees and hears all.
He wants to help you, always.
Our suffering points/directs us to look up and stay focused there… on Him… otherwise we concentrate on all that is broken… still… here and in this place… earth… and therefore remain lost… until we look up.
Marvel at His Majesty!
It’s just a glimpse of who He is.
He is The Light in the skies…
The Beauty all around us… and in us through The Holy Spirit.
Give Him The Glory… He shed His very blood for you… and He would have done it, JUST FOR YOU.
That’s how much He loves you (us).
I want to share another story with you.
It occurred in front of the entire congregation of www.Northwestbible.org during the 10:35 a.m. service, on June 1, 2014.
I am best described as a (non-classical) Contralto in the choir, and worship team, at Northwest. It was the last Sunday before our summer break. It had been a fast and furious four months. I had just finished telling the worship team during rehearsal that I could not sustain my grueling schedule, and I would be making changes.
As the second service was coming to a close, our Dear Senior Pastor, Neil Tomba, was wrapping up on the platform. We, the worship team, were coming down the stairs and onto the platform to get into position to finish the last two songs, and we were going to sing one of my all time favorites, ‘Made Me Glad’ by Hillsong (listening to it right now).
I was wearing small heels. Since our Preacherman was still speaking, I lifted my heels up so my shoes wouldn’t clack.
And that’s when it happened.
I heard a loud SNAP!!! I instantly felt a huge explosion on the backside of my right lower calf, like I had been shot or something.
The first thing that crossed my mind: God, HELP ME!!!
Here’s what happened next:
I never stumbled, bent over, or fell down. Instead, it was like I was uprighted, and then I slowly walked to my spot on the platform. Only the people who study me during worship noticed that I was slightly off… in my movements. You see… I love to move and groove as I serenade our God!!!
I was able to sing and finish the worship set… with Joy and Peace! Mind you… I was in excruciating pain, however, I forgot about it during the moments of Praising!!! I believe He gives us His strength to carry out His mission… in every circumstance.
After service was over, I spoke to one of my fellow worship leaders, Andrea B., a nurse, and told her that I probably needed to go home because I hurt my right leg. I was hobbling/limping a little… but did not need assistance from any person. I walked slowly all the way to the parking lot & got in the car.
I then went home, and iced the leg. I also put my leg into an old removable boot I had in storage (from a 2005 operation to correct a broken left foot… broken since age 5).
A few days later I was seen by both my primary internal doctor & an orthopedic surgeon… an MRI done… the result: I had a torn right Achilles tendon (I have RA, so that complicates things). Surgery seemed imminent. They decided to cast first… hoping & praying that it would heal.
All in all I had three Doctors monitoring the tendon… went through 2 casts and a removable boot this summer. I was freed of all those by the beginning of August.
Those are the facts.
I return to the platform for the first time this Sunday… since the incident.
How ‘ON FIRE’ do you think I’m going to be? I pray our congregation is ready, because ready or not, here I come! I will be holding nothing back… from now on… for I have been designed by our God FOR worship!!! And so have you…
The question I have today for you is this: Do YOU KNOW what happened that day?
I know who carried me.
I know who sustained me.
I know who protected me.
I know who watched over me.
I know who healed me.
If you are still wondering what I think happened, please grab a Bible and read a few of the passages below. It will shed Light on the situation.
Dear Heavenly Father, words and song could never fully express the depth of my gratitude. I am so blown away… still. Thank You for the rest this summer. Thank You for the rapid healing, against the odds. Thank You for Your generous provisions. Thank You for Your grace and mercy! But most of all, thank You for Your Love. I can’t imagine my life without You. In Jesus’ name, I pray, Amen.
#JesusisKing forever and ever…
Tell me of your despair
I know you’re weary
Nothing has gone as planned
Even the stars are dreary
So come to Me
I’ll set you free
in every way
you won’t believe
I love you.
… you know… it isn’t about how many punches you can throw in life… it’s about how many you can take… ‘cuz even the devil gets tired…