Vision and Extradimensional Prayer

This morning as I prayed (specifically during my prayers for Europe and for her missionaries and pastors), I had a vision:

I was kneeling at the side of my bed, and behind me I saw in my spirit a very bright ball of light about a yard in diameter, and at a distance of about 20 yards.  The light suddenly sped toward me and then suddenly I was riding it (in the same kneeling posture) like on a motorcycle, only it was much faster.  And it went zipping here and there.

It was thrilling!  But what did it mean?  As I continued praying, I remembered the advice I had recently heard: that we are to pray more and more in tongues in these last days.  Why?  Because that’s the only way to guarantee that we are praying the will of God: when the Holy Spirit is doing the praying for us.  The world is becoming so infected with the enemy’s deception that there are times when he’s able to deceive us, too.  So praying in tongues becomes more important for us now than ever before.

Now, for me the only problem is that my prayer language is very limited.  It started as a single three word phrase that was expanded to five brief phrases, repeated again and again.  Of course, all this is a matter of faith, and I shouldn’t try to analyze it with my human understanding.  But analyze is exactly what my mind did and continued to do.  For me there was the problem of Matthew 6:7-8:

When you pray, do not keep on babbling like pagans, for they think they will be heard because of their many words.  Do not be like them, for your Father knows what you need before you ask him.

Instead of the word babbling, the King James Version says “vain repetitions.”  So this was a problem for me because a few words or even phrases repeated and repeated, especially in a language I don’t know, felt like babbling and vain repetition.  So today I just asked the Lord why and what value do these few phrases have when repeated and repeated.

His answer stunned me: He said that as Heaven is extradimensional (that is, existing outside of and beyond our three dimensions plus time), so the language of Heaven is extradimensional.  Thus, the cherubim eternally repeating, “Holy! Holy! Holy!” is not the repetition it seems to be to our ears.  Instead what we are hearing as repetition is actually an extradimensional echo of Heavenly language.

Immediately I remembered a recent vision that I had of the Temple in Heaven.  (I did not physically go to Heaven, but instead, Heaven’s veil was opened for me to take a peek at the Temple.)  What I saw almost defies description, but I’m going to attempt to explain it as best I can from my limited three-dimensional perspective.  For those who do not have an understanding of extradimensionality, follow this link to see visual representations of what one step up in dimensions would look like: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Four-dimensional_space (especially instructive is the diagram halfway down the page that shows a cube from different angles in three dimensions and a four-dimensional cube (or hypercube) from the same angle).

What I saw was the Temple as represented in drawings in the back of many Bibles: the Outer Court, the Inner Court, and the Holy Place.  But instead of being set on the ground, where you enter by walking in, it was sort of like concentric cubes (cubes within cubes), the Outer Court cube, the Inner Court cube (completely inside the Outer Court cube), and the Holy Place cube (completely inside the Inner Court cube).  And I went through the court cubes from above at an angle.  It felt strange and familiar at the same time, sort of like how dreams feel.

So today’s lesson is to pray in tongues.  It’s more important now than ever before.  And don’t be bothered if it seems repetitive, that is just Heaven’s echo effect.  God is good!

Pocket Dialed Bible Verse

Get Back on that Horse!

pocket dialed

God is calling!

On New Year’s Day I wrote a post titled Unposting in which I made a public apology for having inadvertently hurt someone I love.  The offense was in something I had written in my blog, which is also published on my Facebook page.  At that time I took a voluntary hiatus from both blogging and facebooking.

Soon after that, we met to talk, and I apologized in person.  We cried together, and the relationship was restored—perhaps better than ever before.  Slowly I began posting again, but to be honest, it has been really hard to get back in the swing of writing again.  Part of the reason is that I know I need to write about this painful episode.  In my writing I take Hemingway’s advice to write hard and fast about the things that hurt (and everything else, for that matter), so I’ve been somewhat blocked because of avoidance.  Plus, there’s a sort of rhythm you develop when you write daily that, once interrupted (and especially for this long) is really hard to get back.

Then yesterday I checked my phone upon returning home.  You know how sometimes the phone in your pocket inadvertently dials one of your contacts.  Well, instead of pocket dialing a person, my phone had opened my Bible app while in my pocket.  I figured that maybe God was calling me, so I looked at the passage it was opened to: Deuteronomy 27, in which Moses built an altar on Mount Ebal and was about to pronounce the curses that would come if the Israelites did not follow God’s command when they crossed over the Jordan River into the Promised Land.  The verse that stuck out for me was verse two:

When you have crossed the Jordan into the land the Lord your God is giving you, set up some large stones and coat them with plaster.

They were to set up large stones in plaster as a memorial of God’s Law.  Immediately I understood that what God was telling me is that I need to get back into writing because with my writing I am setting up a memorial, not of God’s Law, but of God’s Love in our New Covenant with Him.

I had hurt and been hurt through my writing, but writing is also a holy task for me.  So I need to get back on the horse that had bucked me off (pardon my Texan analogy, but I can’t deny my roots!), and write again.  God is good!

writing cafeHere’s the cashier’s post at my new favorite writing cafe.

Surprises

I have just gotten back home to Italy almost two weeks ago. After a four month absence, I had several things that had to be taken care of immediately. Once those things were taken care of, I could do my favorite thing: visiting the people who are important to me. These are dear friends who pray for me daily. I do the same when I’m in the US, but sometimes I have to be content with a phone call, mailing a card, or sending e-mail because of the vast distances involved—I have praying friends in the US on both coasts and from north to south, so going to visit is not always an option.
My first visit was to my favorite church in the whole world: the church of Biella. Biella is a small city north of Turin, and this church has the friendliest people of any church anywhere. They actually argue over whose turn it is to host me. The pastor is a good friend of many years, and his preaching is so full of the Holy Spirit anointing that nobody could ever complain that going to church is boring.
Last year the church bought a bar. What they call a bar in Italy is as much a coffee shop and sandwich joint as it is a bar, and more than that, it functions as a meeting place where often you can also enjoy live music. So when friends decide to get together for a coffee, they will go to their local bar. The church’s bar is far more than a typical Italian bar because in addition to indoor and outdoor coffee shop space, it has two big rooms with tables for eating (with a foosball table for the kids in the room farthest back), a good-sized courtyard and beyond that, a large gravel bocce court.
When I told Felicity about going to Biella (she and the core of Biella’s worship group came with me in September to bring Italian worship to the Feast of Tabernacles in Kalisz, Poland), she wanted to come, too. I admit, I told Felicity, hoping that she would come with me. I travel alone most of the time, and I’m fine traveling alone. But having the company of a dear friend is so much better. So Felicity brought her guitar, and it turns out that God had an assignment for us at the church’s bar.
But first there was a divine appointment on the train. The train to Biella can go either to Novara and change or to Santhia and change. Either way takes about the same amount of time. I usually go by way of Santhia because it costs something like twenty cents less, and I used to be a coupon-clipping housewife, so twenty cents saved is something I appreciate. When I bought the train tickets, I had on my walking glasses and not my reading glasses, so I didn’t notice that the tickets said via Novara. The conductor pointed it out as he checked our tickets just past Novara, so we were already committed to going by way of Santhia. If I had noticed, I would have made sure that we changed trains in Novara, but I hadn’t. But that turned out to be not so much because of the wrong glasses as it was a divine appointment on the train from Santhia to Biella. I had seen a woman get on the train and ask in Italian if it was the train to Biella. She sat by herself near where Felicity and I sat. We were speaking English, and as an American, her ears perked up. When she heard Felicity say something about music, she couldn’t keep to herself anymore. It turns out that she is a singer/songwriter and she’s touring, playing in bars all around Italy. We spoke to her about our faith and she was so touched that she gave Felicity a couple of CD’s.
We arrived in Biella around lunch time, but everyone who usually picks me up from the train station was busy, so Pastor Fabio sent Silvestro to pick us up. I had never met Silvestro before, and he had only enough time to take us from the train station to the church’s bar, then he had to go because his son was getting married in a couple of days. It wasn’t until I talked to Giuseppe (the bass player and leader of the worship team) that I put it all together: Giuseppe told me that his daughter is getting married in a couple of days . . . to Marco, who I then realized must be Silvestro’s son.
Anyway, Silvestro dropped us off at the bar and went to finish the wedding preparations. Pastor Fabio had told me that he wouldn’t be able to come pick us up from the bar until around 4 that afternoon. So Felicity and I enjoyed a nice piadina (sandwich wrap) in the sunny courtyard. Just as we were finishing lunch a man came into the bar who was very clearly drunk. He ordered a beer and sat near us, scrutinizing us because he had never seen us before. When he heard us speaking English with each other, he began interrupting. I don’t normally mind someone interrupting a conversation like that—in fact, it’s often a divine appointment, as with the woman on the train. But his interruptions became increasingly disruptive and we even noticed a hostile undertone to them.
Felicity looked at me and said, “I think we need to do some spiritual battle.” So she pulled out her guitar and started to sing praise songs. I immediately felt like I should be dancing, but aware of how weird my holy dancing looks, I hesitated. But then I got up and danced, and I felt the flow of the Holy Spirit as I danced and Felicity played. I sang along with her, sometimes in counterpoint, sometimes in harmony. The drunk tried several times to stop our worship, but seeing that we were not going to stop, he gave up. He went inside and came back out with another beverage: water! He made a few feeble efforts at stopping the worship, but his heart wasn’t in it.
Please understand something: the decision to do spiritual battle was not against the man.

For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. Ephesians 6:12

We recognized the spiritual forces at work in his drunken combativeness. As we worshiped, he settled down—an outward sign of the enemy retreat. At that, Felicity began singing in Italian so that the man could understand that we were singing about Jesus. Because silencing the enemy was not the entire point, sharing the love of Jesus was! But we couldn’t do that until we had the enemy silenced.
Giuseppe told me that he is taking the whole Biella worship team to Poland in October for this year’s Feast of Tabernacles. He didn’t invite me, and I didn’t expect him to. I felt like I was the midwife who helped this baby be born, but now that it was walking, the baby didn’t need me anymore.
Upon our return to Milan, Felicity told me that I should tell Bogdan about my upcoming trip to Albania. Bogdan is Albanian and he is very committed to praying for his country. She also said that he would probably be interested in going to the Feast of Tabernacles as Albanian worship. So she set up a meeting with Bogdan for the next day, and I told him first about going to Tirana to pray for the capital, and then I told him about Tabernacles, and how there was no Albanian worship there. He was very excited about both prospects, checked his calendar, and found that both time periods were open. So it looks like I will be midwife now to Albanian worship at the Feast of Tabernacles. God is good!