I need a miracle! Isn’t that exciting?

UPDATE 12/14/10

Sweetly, all I have left to pay toward my tuition is…

drumroll please…

$347!!!!!

It was due November 9 and needs to be paid ASAP.

If you want to give, here’s the link:

https://www.ibssm.org/?action=donate&target=tuition&student_id=209452

Thank you with a parade tumbling from my heart, to ALL who have contributed! You inspire me!

THANK YOU with a jump and a hug to everyone who has given!!!

In other fantastic news: I just found out that a woman I prayed for IS PREGNANT!!!! She HAD (past tense) poly cystic disease, and had been trying to get pregnant for years. I prayed for her a couple months ago -actually she was in England, but I prayed for her via her husband in Redding! And a month later, TADA!!!! pregnant!!!!!! hahahahahahaha! God loves BABIES!!!!! And dreams coming to reality! YAY!!!!!!! Hoodalolly! Jesus is King of Kings and Lord of Lords and Doctor of Doctors and Healer of Healers!!!!  I love the way He loves us!

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As many of you know, I’ve decided to do another year of Bethel School of Supernatural Ministry. For months I really didn’t want to, mainly because I didn’t want to do more support-raising and I didn’t want to do more school – because I’ve been in school most of my life. Well, a friend approached me about a month ago and said that while he was praying for me he really felt like God wanted him to tell me to reconsider doing another year of school. Initially, I was annoyed. Then I went to the prayer house at church with my guitar (whose name if Jehoshaphat : )  ) and Jehoshaphat and I worshiped my favorite Person together. By the time I left I strongly felt I was to do second year. I was stomping anxiety with praise. And lifting my head to see higher. I committed again to be fully equipped for what the Lord has for my life and destiny.

So, I’m getting ready for school now. As part of my summer homework, I’m reading an absolutely incredible book with sermons and stories from the life of John G. Lake –  a radical believer in the early 1900’s who carried an outpouring in Africa for five years and then established a famous healing home in Spokane, Washington where thousands were healed of all forms of sickness and disease.  The book is giving me fresh vision and fire for healing and making the kingdoms of this world the kingdom of our God!!!! I dream of every tongue, tribe, and nation madly in love with Jesus!

http://www.amazon.com/John-G-Lake-Sermons-Boldness/dp/0881149624/ref=sr_1_3?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1282068429&sr=1-3

I’m excited about second year. Yesterday I was at my revival group pastor’s house to pray for a couple passing through Redding on their way home to Southern California. The woman had about ten years of severe back pain and was on the brink of making a decision about a very invasive surgery. She got healed yesterday! She left pain free and able to walk more than the 150 yards or so she’d previously been limited to!! Actually, she and her husband walked up and down a hill and she was completely pain free!!!! HOORAY!!!! That time of ministry really stirred me up with expectation for this next year! I’m excited to see more breakthrough in healing and bringing freedom to people the world over!!!

YAY! I want Jesus to get His full reward in the nations!!!

Last year was the best year of my life, this year will be even better!!!! God is powerfully, sweetly on the move in my life. I am learning SO much and seeing things I dreamed of since childhood – healings, miracles, and nations being discipled!!

This year I’ve been selected to be a Student Developer, which means I will mentor, counsel, and coach other students toward fulfilling their goals and dreams. Also, I will take an elective on leadership coaching as I am led in how to lead. I’m really looking forward to seeing people grow into their own fullness. What an honor!

As I watch others’ dreams grow, I’m expanding my own dreams – to go to every single nation and set them on fire for Jesus – to show the Bride she is beautiful, powerful, and important. I want to lead teams in the nations and I want to focus on the Middle East. I’m not sure what quite it will look like, but I know there will be lots of healing, prophecy, deliverance, and speaking to world leaders. I’m going to see nations transformed and I am going to be an integral part of that! YEEEHAW!

 

I’m wide-eyed and looking heavenward today as I expect a miracle of provision. It’s a nice place to be – wildly dependent on God and training myself not to worry, but to be FAITH-FILLED in looking to see His goodness pour out over my life in a new way. I really love God. And I really want to do what He beckons me to. That’s where the most LIFE is. haha. He is infinitely good, always good, fully good. I love being able to walk through life with Him and to praise Him no matter what. It’s a burning place of love and intimacy. And it sets those around me ablaze too. <deep sigh> I’m so thankful for God’s provision: financially, relationally, spiritually, physically etc. He’s amazing. And He absolutely deserves the highest praise and my full devotion. Wow, I feel insanely blessed to know Him.

So, I need a miracle, which is awesome because everyone who gets a miracle NEEDS one first. Hahaha. So, I’m well set-up for a miracle!

Blessings as you gaze into heaven today. Your Father loves you more than you could ever imagine. He is your biggest fan! He’s cheering you on constantly!

Lastly, I do send email updates monthly. If you or someone you know would like to receive that, let me know.

 

Here’s a new song I adore. It’ll bless your socks off.

I hold you in high esteem- even if we’ve never met- because I know you are amazing… because everyone is amazing!!!! hahahaha! And I’m so grateful for your part in this gorgeous story the Author is writing. Be blessed with healing NOW, new vision, and sweet rest in Him today. Easy Jesus-y does it! tada!

VICTORY – something I’m wildly excited about!

I just got home from Rite Aid, ten minutes ago. As I was getting into my car in the parking lot I noticed an elderly man trying to get out of his car. He was struggling to lift himself out of the driver seat. “Excuse me, do you need help?” I asked. “Oh, no, I’m okay, just having a harder time than usual,” he answered. “Oh, do you have back trouble?” I asked. “No, it’s actually a neurological and muscular disease. It usually doesn’t bother me this much, but, you know, there are just times when I get stuck in a position.” “Mmmm… well I’ve seen people healed of diseases when I pray for them. I prayed for a woman with arthritis in her hands two days ago and the pain left her hands. If you want I can pray for you.” “Oh, well, if God wants to heal me, He’ll heal me.” he replied, “mmmm….. but if you want to, I guess anything might help.” At this point he was standing so I said, “okay, so can I pray for you now?” “Well, I’ve got to go inside and pick up my medication right now,” he said. “Could you wait just a minute so I can pray for you here?” I asked. “Um, yes, yes, okay.” “Can I touch your shoulder?” “Yes, sure.” And there we stood and he inserted, “You know there are people all over the world a lot worse off than me. You should pray for them more than me.” “Well, I’m happy to pray for anybody, but God is really really in love with you and He wants to heal you.” I explained. And then I commanded the pain and the disease to leave. He said he didn’t feel differently, but he was encouraged, “and well, you never know” he tacked on — causing my own mental images of him instantly healed in line in Rite Aid or in front of the tv tonight. haha. Then he thanked me intently, “What you just did is great. thank you.” And he smiled and went on his way.

I got in my car. I felt victorious. And I felt indignant.

Why did I feel indignant?

I felt indignant because of the man’s miscontrued beliefs. He said, “If God wants to heal me, He’ll heal me” and he said, “You know there are people all over the world a lot worse off than me. You should pray for them more than me.” I was upset with holy indignation. THIS SHOULD NOT BE. THIS VIEW IS WRONG WRONG WRONG. It’s a lie. And it doesn’t do Jesus any favors.

Jesus told US to “Heal the sick, raise the dead, cleanse those who have leprosy, drive out demons. Freely you have received, freely give.” That’s in Matthew 10:8. Many other times Jesus gave similar COMMANDS. Luke 9:1-2 reads, “When Jesus had called the Twelve together, he gave them power and authority to drive out all demons and to cure diseases, and he sent them out to preach the kingdom of God and to heal the sick.”

These are COMMANDS. NO WHERE does Jesus say to let depression fill your head and just wait for a sovereign healing from God. He gave us AUTHORITY to do what He did. This is part of what His death and resurrection PAID for. For us to ignore this command and keep this gift stuffed in our closets is horrible, lazy, and it’s just really really FAR from the abundant life Jesus bought for us.

God wants us living victoriously. Even the idea that “Oh, so many people are worse off than me so, I’ll just suffer through this disease/discouragement/injustice” is contrary to the power of the cross. WHAT?!? It doesn’t help anyone for you or anybody else to be less than what you are supposed to be. You believe you have a purpose and a destiny, yes? Well, wouldn’t you be better able to fulfill it and be joyful while fulfilling it if you were walking in health, joy, and abundance? And wouldn’t that reflect the beauty of God more?

And the idea that healing isn’t for today is a lie. And the idea that only certain believers are able to heal people is a lie too. Every single believer in Jesus already has the power to heal, but you know what… if you don’t pray for sick people, you won’t heal them. It’s pretty simple.

AND if you are praying, “Oh God, if it’s your will, please heal this person” prayers, that’s pretty half-hearted and probably hasn’t led to many astounding results. WHY? Because that’s not the model Jesus gave us. He commanded people to be healed. He said, “You are healed.” He just did it. He knew God wanted to heal every single person and he acted in line with that belief.

T.L. Osborne, who led a movement which sent over 30,000 missionaries and established over 150,000 churches around the world said,

“Never ask God to do what He has already said he has already done,

Never ask God to do what he has already told you to do.”

Some of you are reading this and thinking, “Well, yeah, but it’s not that easy.” Yeah, maybe it’s not that easy, at least at first, but is it easy to live under the grey clouds of powerlessness, struggle, and anxiety you are often stuck beneath? Moreover, it gets easier and easier. And as you expect it to be easy, it will be easy. Your faith really will move mountains.

Some of you are thinking, “Well, okay, but how do I get there? How do I get to this confidence you have, Dawn?” To that, I’ll say, “Well, yeah, I haven’t alway been this confident in the area of healing. It has been a journey, but it’s easier than you think. Mostly, it comes down to JUST DOING IT.” Stop talking about it, theologizing about it, and trying to understand how it works, and JUST DO IT. Just find someone and heal them. And then you think, “Well, what if the first person doesn’t get healed?” Firstly, EXPECT THEM TO. Secondly, so what if they aren’t? You might feel embarrassed or awkward for five minutes, but SO WHAT? Thirdly, if you pray for nine people and none of them get healed at that moment, but the tenth person does, HOORAY for the tenth person! They’ll be glad you didn’t stop at number nine. haha. You’ll be really encouraged when number ten is healed and you’ll realize the power of Jesus really really really is WITHIN you. “Oh my goodness! All the things Jesus said were TRUE! Healing is literally healing! It’s not a metaphor! And it’s not just an antiquated picture of spiritual and emotional healing! Jesus meant for us to PHYSICALLY HEAL PEOPLE!!!!! This is awesome!!!”

Okay, a bit more of my own journey. Starting when I was sixteen I usually spent at least an hour daily praying for the Middle East – God would show me specific people and places and I would declare the heart of God to those people. As I got closer and closer to God’s heart for people, I became overwhelmed with compassion. By the time I was twenty I would see people out and about town and I would know automatically what was going on in their lives and in their bodies. When I was twenty-one and living in Southern California, I told God, “You know, You are showing me all these things about people, I should be doing something about it. I should probably go up to them and pray for them. So, if you want me to go up to people, help me do that.” Hahahaha! That was one of those “you don’t know what you are getting yourself into” prayers. Immediately, I was approaching people. I remember one day I was in line somewhere and I knew a woman standing by the wall had stomach problems and some relational struggles. I went over to her and asked if those things were accurate. She began to cry. “Yes,” she said. I asked if I could pray for her and encouraged her that God is aware of her life and loves her very much. She was really touched. I actually don’t remember if I prayed for her there, but I do remember her name was Sandy. And I know she could feel the love of God in a fresh, powerful, accepting way.

Anyhow, that’s probably when approaching strangers for prayer began to be normative for me. I didn’t have any human example of that. I didn’t know anything about “words of knowledge” and I had never heard a teaching about praying for people in public places OR about healing people. I just talked to God a lot, felt His heart for people, and my love for Him provoked me to believe Him and act on that belief.

That grew, and then I got too emotionally involved in the troubles I was seeing in people. If they felt sad, I felt sad. If they were wounded, I felt their pain – not merely compassion, but I got bogged down by others’ negative emotions until I had little joy to give. I told God I felt like it was too much. And it stopped – for a couple years. I was horrified, and brokenheartedly repentant. “I’m sorry, God! I never want to shut down the Holy Spirit’s flow in my life! Help me! I want to love people as You love them!” I lacked the maturity to feel compassion and not sympathy, and unfortunately I stopped praying for strangers for a while.

Eventually, the insight and compassion returned. And I learned how to harness my emotions, to give strength to others, without getting pulled into their own gloom. It was glorious!

It was a few years ago, living in Bethlehem, Israel that I really constantly started stepping out and healing people. I approached people on the streets, those with crutches, the mute man who sells gum, people in wheelchairs, and people started bringing the sick to me or asking me to go pray for their loved ones. Many, many people were healed. And many of those I healed, went on to heal other people. And they are still healing people. It’s a revolution. In the midst of that I became familiar with Bethel Church in Redding, CA (where I am presently in ministry school). In 2006 a friend loaned me two books by Bill Johnson. Then I started listening to the free podcasts on line. During our first year in Israel two teams from Bethel did ministry in Israel. And we became friends with them.

They demonstrated to me that it was truly a movement- that God was raising up a global family to walk in the things Jesus walked in. I wasn’t alone. I had found my tribe. Since childhood I dreamed of a community of believers like that existing. In high school I read “Azusa Street” which is about the Azusa Street Revival in Los Angeles in the early 1900’s, and I was forever ruined. I would lay on my floor and weep, declaring and committing to God that I would be a part of a movement infinitely greater than that! I felt that if I did not see heaven on earth in power, if I did not see miracles become common, I would die. I craved revival: city-wide, state-wide, nation-wide, universe-wide REVIVAL. The world over fully alive and walking in the GLORY of God continuously – signs and wonders of all kinds. And so, in knowing the people from Bethel Church, I was immensely encouraged by them. And I was mightily blessed by the breakthrough they brought to Israel. We were seeing breakthrough, but to have teams come and really BLAZE for a week or two was absolutely INCREDIBLE!!!! It felt like the world’s largest gift. haha. In the years that followed, they came to Bethlehem as well and we saw the churches begin to understand more clearly that they too could heal – in fact, they were meant to! It was a time of deep sighing, no longer feeling like it was just a few of us revving up our engines and ramming holes in walls, but there was a momentum.  Transformation was happening.

Victory was becoming more palpable. And that’s one of the most enigmatic things about victory in Jesus – it’s always present, we just need to INCREASE OUR AWARENESS OF IT! Become mindful of how victorious you are, in every moment. Welcome Holy Spirit to show you victory, and you will see it more than you’ve ever imagined.

About a year and a half ago I stayed at a friend’s house in America. When I met her sister I felt like God said, “There’s something I want you to pray for her for before you leave.” Well, I forgot about that until about a week later when my friend said, “Hey, I feel like you should pray for my sister before you go.” “Oh my goodness! Yeah, I felt God prompt me to that when I met her, but I forgot. What’s wrong with your sister?” “Well, she and her husband have been trying to have kids for five years, but haven’t been able to and the doctors don’t know what the problem is.” “I’d love to pray for that! Let’s do it!” I exclaimed. She privately asked her sister if that would be okay and her sister agreed. Amazingly, even though this family follows Jesus, no one ever laid hands on her and prayed for her about this. People prayed, but never laid hands on her and commanded healing!!! In five years!!! Well, we laid hands on her and commanded healing.

Five weeks later she was pregnant!!!!!! The baby was born last December. And I was one of the first people they told about the pregnancy and the birth because they knew she was healed in that prayer time. hahahahahahahaha! Beautiful! Glorious!!!!!!!! And just like God!

Those are the things God wants to do, but He wants us to carry them out. That’s why Jesus had disciples. That’s why Jesus commissioned them and US  as recorded in the last verses of Mark,

He said to them, “Go into all the world and preach the good news to all creation. Whoever believes and is baptized will be saved, but whoever does not believe will be condemned. And these signs will accompany those who believe: In my name they will drive out demons; they will speak in new tongues; they will pick up snakes with their hands; and when they drink deadly poison, it will not hurt them at all; they will place their hands on sick people, and they will get well.”

After the Lord Jesus had spoken to them, he was taken up into heaven and he sat at the right hand of God. Then the disciples went out and preached everywhere, and the Lord worked with them and confirmed his word by the signs that accompanied it.

This is the joyful, wonderful, adventure God has put together for us!!!! It’s fantastic!

And another thing, some of you are thinking, “Well, what if I just don’t feel like it? what if I’m having a bad day?” Let me say two things, God likes it when we do things He wants us doing even when we don’t feel like it. That’s the discipline of rejoicing and having HEAVEN’S perspective and not earth’s. The more you line your thinking up with heaven, the more naturally you will think and live like heaven. ALSO, we are not supposed to be controlled by our emotions. I stopped believing in “bad days” about two years ago and I haven’t had a bad day since then. hahaHA! I expect every day to be awesome. I am going from strength to strength and glory to glory, every single day. Every day is better than the one before, because His glory is expanding in my life. Paul said, But we all, with open face beholding as in a glass the glory of the Lord, are changed into the same image from glory to glory, even as by the Spirit of the Lord.” (II Corinthians 3:18)

That’s a promise. That’s the set-up: increasing in glory, in joy, in strength, in victory, and in abundance in every single area of our lives. That said, the kingdom of God works on faith. If you have faith for increasingly glory, you’ll see it. If you have faith for sorrow-to-sorrow, you’ll probably see that. God wants us to get rid of our mediocre expectations and expect GREAT things!

Your family, your neighborhood, etc are waiting for you to really truly KNOW who you are and act like the powerful son or daughter of God you are!!!! Besides, imagine how much happier you will be when you are living in fullness of freedom, authority, and joy daily! You’ll be more fully you! You’ll sleep better, love better, dream better, serve better, and LIVE better.

Yesterday, my housemate and I went next door to invite our neighbors to a bbq and we ended up praying for our neighbor who was told she has cancer. She was really blessed and encouraged by our faith and joy. And I believe she is being healed. In fact, she said she gets mad at the doctors’ prognosis, because she says, “No man is going to tell me to expect bad things. Only God has the say in how I feel about my life!” Wow! I thought, “The church could sure use some of that positive outlook fire!!!”

hahahahaha. What if you expect every single thing in your life to go well? What if you expect it, not only to go well, but to go amazingly well? What if you take your biggest dreams and then move them into the size of impossibility? Then you’ll really need God to accomplish the dreams! haha! I encourage you to smash every box of expectation in your life, dream bigger than you’ve ever dreamed! You want to lead your neighborhood in worshiping Jesus? Well, how about believing for leading your whole CITY in worshiping Jesus? You want your friend’s baby delivery to go well? How about believing and declaring it will be pain-free? (It’s possible! And I’ve heard several stories!) You want a job that gives you x amount of money annually? How about declaring the release of a job that gives you twice that? haha! You want to see one person healed by your hands in your lifetime? How about expecting to heal one person every week? You want 6 hours of good sleep every night? How about expecting 8? You want your allergies to be less severe? How about commanding them to FULLY leave?

How about it? How about instead of the occasional victory, daily victory? Constant victory?

How about believing you are worth God lavishing blessing on and through?

How about grabbing a hold of the authority Jesus gave you and transforming your community?

How about living a life more GLORIOUS, JOYFUL, JESUS-FULL, and FUN than you’ve ever imagined?

HOW ABOUT IT?

hahahaha! Such beautiful mischief we get to make with God when we stir things up and bring victory to our lives and the lives of those around us continuously! It’s so much fun!

Oh, one last thing, there was a time in my life when I was struggling with gloom, so I wrote “fear” “anxiety” and “death” on three separate pieces of white paper. Every day for a month I cranked up worship music and danced and stomped on those stupid words. So much breakthrough and freedom came as a result. I was confidently proclaiming, “I WILL NOT LET THE ENEMY TELL ME WHAT TO DO!! NO WAY! NO HOW!!! NO SIREEEEE!!!! NEVER!!!!” Feel free to the same. HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!

If you’d like some teaching on the authority you have in Jesus, I recommend this series by Andrew Wommack:

http://www.awmi.net/extra/audio/1017

If you’d like an INCREDIBLE teaching called “Overcoming Negativity Through Rest” by Graham Cooke, you can find it here:

http://www.brilliantbookhouse.com/product_info.php?products_id=41

If you’d like some sound bytes of encouragement, I recommend these messages mixes by Bethel Church’s youth movement, Jesus Culture:

Especially “Invitation to Victory”  It will stick some dynamite in ya!

http://www.jesusculture.com/m/message-mix

Yippee-ky-ay-AAAAA!

He’s better than you think!

Yeehaw!

Jesus is alive and well!

And so are YOU!

I am writing a book that will set the universe on fire.

“You have to believe it to see it.”

– from the film “Mr. Magorium’s Wonder Emporium”

I was born somewhere I’ve never seen. I was born in the invisible realm of heaven, before I ever materialized on earth in a hospital room in Livermore, California at 10:54am on Tuesday, October 16 1979. I was a dream of God, a seedling dropped from the tree of destiny and God’s love. And so I was born to Jim and Shirley Richardson. And so I was/am/will be ME.               ME. An individual fully loaded in destiny, dreams, and the life-giving power of Jesus. A person full of purpose, like every person – and a person with a unique place in God’s beautiful plans of redemption. There will never be another me. There will never be another YOU.

haha.

Isn’t that lovely?

And so, fully-employed in ME-ness in the great factory of love, by my generous Creator King,

I get to write a book.

haha.

As a child I read voraciously, I was the kid tucked under her covers with a flashlight after being put to bed, reading books late into the night. I always won the “most pages read” award in school without even making an effort, I simply read and read and read. In the midst of my reading, I wrote – in my little blue and pink journal with the brown plastic bear tied onto the key. And for school, I wrote. Teachers said I was gifted. I should pursue writing. So, I talked to God about it. Yeah, I felt like I was supposed to write books one day. And so, I told God I would wait until He specifically told me to do so to begin writing a book. That was one of several covenants with God I made as a kid.

Fantastically, in fourth grade I won a writing contest sponsored by a radio station. The prize was an all expense-paid trip for four to Yosemite for three days, including ski lessons (thus began years of skiing together as a family); and an all-expense trip for my teacher and her husband! haha! It was a sweet experience in the potential to be rewarded for writing. And as I stood on a chair in the beautiful Ahwahnee Hotel’s restaurant that weekend reading my work to the gathered 100 or so people, I felt supremely in my element – it was a glimmer of “I was made for this.”

Well, I grew up, went to college, and then backpacked Europe with a friend for 7 weeks. I made an email list of friends and family so I could send updates as I journeyed. That was in 2001. A lot of people relished the updates. “You should write!” they said. “Thank you. Yes, one day…” I would reply, mentally trailing off into those childhood moments when I covenanted with God.

In fact, a lot of those people are still on my regular email update list. They continue to journey with me through life – through seminary; through starting a ministry house in Salem, MA; through teaching at a community college; through three years in Israel; and now through a year of ministry school. And others have joined the update mailing list along the way. It’s a pleasure to journey with people. A high honor. And often, in response to email updates, there is the response, “you have a gift with words. you should write.”

This is glorious affirmation, confirmation, and a forward investment into the invisible realm of heaven that’s a treasure chest for all God’s kids. Even with those words people were investing in my destiny. Hooray!

And so, plunk plink plunk. Encouragement, prayer, and dreams have been dropped like gold coins into the wooden box of my life.

And then about two years ago God began speaking to me about beginning to write a book about Bethlehem, where I was living at the time. Soon thereafter I started receiving prophetic words about writing a book, Holy Spirit sync was in motion. I asked God to make it very clear by the end of the year that I was to begin. The tick-tock happened over Mexican food with some friends of mine on December 30, 2008. One friend, suddenly spurted out, “you’re supposed to be writing a book!” I laughed, “Yes, I know.” “No, reeeeeeally. You need to begin” he added. “Yes, I will. Actually, this is just the confirmation I was asking God for – something before the year’s end, which is tomorrow, so that settles it. I will begin very soon.”

And technically, I did. I began writing down stories from life in Bethlehem and keeping my heart attuned to testimonies that really stood out. However, it didn’t feel like there was much fire on the writing commission until this spring (2010). Someone gave me a prophetic word about writing a book and a domino effect took place: every few days someone came up to me and said they felt like God showed them I was supposed to be writing a book. I was giving in to the next step in my calling. I was getting excited about FINALLY really doing it – with devotion, His Presence, and hot n’ spicy cups of Promised Land milk & honey.

Of course, I had no idea what that diving in looked like or when the season of diving in would officially BEGIN. And then I was lying on the grass one day, hanging out with Holy Spirit and my small group. Instead of our usual day of BSSM school, we had an “encounter day.” We met with our small groups and simply set aside time to meet with Holy Spirit. For my group that looked like laying down on the grass in the sunshine and asking Holy Spirit to come. God began to speak to me about the summer. As I lay there, I knew I was to focus on writing this book. 

Wow, He’s so sweet. I’m tearing up just thinking on it. His goodness! The robe of His goodness that He dresses us with!

You know, there are times when you walk through your day and you are really quite satisfied in the abundance you live in, the radiance on your face, and the environment you are blessed to be flourishing in – you’re just happy. And then, things get BETTER. hahahaha! Quiet dreams of your heart are stirred. Genesis stirs in your spirit and you feel nothing being called in to SOMETHING.

“Now the earth was formless and empty, darkness was over the surface of the deep, and the Spirit of God was hovering over the waters.

And God said, “Let there be light,” and there was light.”

Genesis 1:2-3

And this is altogether thrilling. You remember that to live with God is to always live on the brink of sweet surprise and quickened blessings.

You remember that God knows you better than anyone, loves you more than anyone, and is He is always drawing you into fulfillment. And as you pause in meditation, you become drunk on His love. Just as the thought, “could it get any better than this?” enters your head, you interrupt yourself with, “yes.” haha.

God lucidly invited me to step into my destiny. To not be intimidated. And to WRITE.

I know His plans are best and it is time to stare down the dogs of doom that stand at the door to my destiny (Kris Vallotton).

And so, onward I go. And I must say, I am ridiculously excited!

This book is very important. Not only will it release the many testimonies of my time in Bethlehem, and therein activate more faith to believe for miracles in the Middle East, but it is crucial to agree with Bethlehem’s prophetic destiny! Bethlehem is a city of birth. It’s name means “house of bread.” It’s a place of global supply!! Jesus was born there; and there are many more things to be born there that are critical for global revival!!! It’s not a coincidence that Bethlehem has become a crib for suicide bombers and a culture of death. Cities are often overtaken by the opposite of their heavenly identity. It’s time to stand up and take Bethlehem’s hand, like a toddler’s, and help her learn to walk again!!!! This is part of the message of the book, the revelation God has given me about Bethlehem.

For example, a couple years ago I was praying for Bethlehem with some friends and as I was pacing in the room I had a vision of myself walking into a spiritual wall in the city. I saw exactly where it was, across a major road. It struck me as strange – I typically thought of spiritual oppression being more like a dark cloud, not like a boundary wall. I asked God about it and He said, “it’s an inverted prophet, priest, and king.” “Whaaat?!” I replied. He explained, “the mosque on one side is the priest, the government/city hall building is the king, and behind that is a large limestone memorial to four terrorists who were killed in that intersection – that’s the prophet.” Whoa. My spirit quaked. A deep reality became apparent in the value system and spiritual strongholds in the city. Those three entities represented where the people invested their allegiance and their hope. I saw why that place was a boundary line. And that revelation altered and strengthened the way I prayed and prayer-walked the city. These truths and more are to be put into writing and distributed throughout the universe! haha!


Ironically, two days before my planned full-time writing start date of June 1, 2010 my laptop died! Stupid dogs of doom, thinking I will be daunted by technological difficulty. Noooo sirreeeeeee. So after a couple weeks of back-and-forth with a friend who repairs computers, we discovered the fan needs to be replaced and it’s a common problem so Sony will replace it at no charge!!! Hooray! Now to send my laptop off this week and then welcome it back: whole and happy.

In the meantime, about two weeks ago I was concerned about finances and one evening said to God, “maybe I should find a babysitting job, should I?…” thinking that I needed a miracle to make it through the month, well… God is always ON time. Amazingly, I was in a “praying with Muslims” one day seminar the following day and at one point I was going to go out of the seminar to the restroom, and I felt like I was supposed to wait twice and I knew there was specific timing to when I was going to the restroom. haha. Well, lo and behold, I saw a friend in the restroom and she immediately asked me if I was free the next week and would be interested in taking care of her friend’s kids!!! HAHAHAHA!!!! So, I’m presently looking after five kids for eight days. And celebrating, not only miraculous provision, but the golden opportunity to wholeheartedly invest in several families all at once. These six days have been a great practical exercise in REAL love, really being present, really seeing people from God’s perspective and championing them to their own destinies.

Amazingly, it is great preparation for the writing endeavor ahead. A book is like a child. And championing Bethlehem’s destiny is a bit like raising a child.

A number of friends call me “Mama Dawn” because I remind them of Heidi Baker and she is often called “Mama Heidi.” haha. And I do feel very much a mom to this book, as well as to the city of Bethlehem as a whole. That place is deep, deep in my heart. And I long for its flourishing and for it to vibrantly live in the fullness of its identity! I can hardly wait for Bethlehem to graduate from high school. haha.

So, here we go! I’m don’t know what I’m in for, but I know WHO I’m in it for!


<God YOU, YOU, YOU it’s all for You! You will receive every drop of praise and glory in my life! hahaha! This book is for Your renown! You are the Author of Life. You are the model author. We will write, and laugh and spin throughout the nations, drawing them in and up into heaven! Thanks for taking the lead and dancing in this splendid ballroom of life with me!>


whoooooooooosh! and LOVE to all of you!

 

~~~

Also, my book is available for pre-purchasing. In fact, I need to raise money to pre-purchase my own books from the publisher. Every $20 contribution you make reserves you a copy!

 

Check it out and spread the word!

http://www.youcaring.com/fundraiser_details?fundraiser_id=934&url=dawnsbookpublishingprepurchasingbooks

Also, please “like” my author page:

https://www.facebook.com/DawnRichardsonAuthor





I’m selling my photographs online! yippee!

Yesterday I was going through thousands of photos I’ve taken and I was compelled to listen to Arabic worship music. That’s just how wonderfully nostalgic these windows into memories make me. It’s really quite lovely. I do hope it pulls others in between the sandwich of God’s eyelashes, to see the Middle East through His eyes.

Furthermore, my summer is, at this point, devoted to writing a book about Bethlehem (more on that in a future post). And thus, selling photos is an income source for me. So, THANK YOU for sowing into my life. And THANK YOU for loving people all over the world by placing their faces and places in your home.

31 photos are up now, more to come. Bon apetit to your eyes.

http://gammarays.etsy.com

Jesus is not a broken record, or a CD on repeat; so keep listening.

I wrote this on June 24, 2007; but the “do you love me” chorus has been chirping in my heart this week, which made me think of this and decide to post it. Enjoy.

____________________________________________________________________________________

Jesus is not a broken record, or a CD on repeat; so keep listening.

“Miss Dawn, Miss Dawn! Can you help me?” the dark brown eyes despair, pleading, scissors in hand, for some help cutting the outline of a large sunflower on a paper napkin.

Naturally, I promptly took the scissors, slung the 10 year old boy over my shoulder, and placed him in the greenest pocket of the indoor pasture – keeping a watchful eye out for any wolves or other dangerous beasts, lurking beyond this upstairs classroom at Bethlehem Bible College.

The boy’s eyes had hunger behind them. So, like a shepherd would a sheep, straight to the yummy grass he went.

That is to say, I smiled my heart back into Jawaad’s eyes, taking the scissors, carefully cutting out the sunflower so he could glue it to the outside of his decoupage box in-progress.

His hunger wasn’t physical. Neither was the grass.

In the 21st chapter of John

Jesus asks Peter a question three times, in fact, we are told Peter was “hurt because Jesus asked him a third time.” (vs 17)

“Do you love me?”

“Do you love me?”

“Do you love me?”

It feels like Jesus’ form of that maddening knock-knock joke:

knock knock

Who’s there?

Banana

Banana who?

Knock knock

Who’s there?

Banana

Banana who?

Knock knock

Who’s there?

Orange

Orange who?

Orange you glad I didn’t say ‘banana’?

By the end, there is an irritable blend of “what sort of idiot do you take me for?” and “enough already”

Almost as if the standing of the friendship is in question due to the redundancy of the question.

Yet, Jesus is clearly driving his point home: like the chorus of a popular song that irrevocably sticks in one’s head all day because of its uncanny repetition.

Like the simple refrain of “silent night, holy night, all is calm, all is bright”

Or the catchiness of the Beatles’ “it’s been a hard day’s night and I’ve been workin’ like a dog”

Jesus’ self-echo is a rhythm, percussion to Peter’s thoughts – and to Peter’s heart.

And so, as Peter hears the question three times, he hears Jesus’ response three times:

“Feed my lambs.” (vs 15)

“Take care of my sheep.” (vs 16)

“Feed my sheep.” (vs 17)

That upstairs classroom at Bethlehem Bible College was like a cave or a magnificent cathedral with near-perfect acoustics.

The reverberations were impeccably lucid: “do you love me?”

In the form of “please help me” or “Miss Dawn, Miss Dawn!”

Bouncing around the room – from as many as thirty-something voices all at once.

Sometimes maddening, yes. Tiring, certainly. Sometimes it’s hard to focus on a single thing when the ruckus, the cacophony of melody and lack thereof, is caught in the necessary here-and-there of kinetics – in one moment thrown from the mouth of a child, then poing –against the table, the wall, the ears of the one’s neighbor – and, at some point, poing a single note of the wild melody slides into the ears of my heart.

“Ana!” “Ana!” “Ana!” (basically “I!” “I!” “I!” or “me!” “me!” “me!”)

This is the instantaneous requiem, the rise-and-fall to every, “who needs help?” or even the basic action of handing out glue sticks or paint brushes.

Sometimes I would stand still, in the splay of so many “ana” and silently ask God how I was supposed to deal with the incessancy of the questions. I wanted to say, “okay, okay, I heard you,” and sometimes I did, but the echo was still asking me for a real response to the same question Jesus asked Peter.

“Do you love me?”

And, in my certainty, but frequent exasperation, I wanted a mere “yes” to be enough.

A mere “yes” is almost never enough.

We must feed His sheep. This is the “yes” that Jesus’ echo beckons.

Do you love Him?

Feed his sheep. Meet their needs. Cut out their sunflowers. Be patient with them. Look them in the eye. Nurture them.

Let the incessancy of Jesus’ question irritate your complacency.

Ask Holy Spirit to tell you this sort of knock-knock joke throughout the day.

“Do you love me?”

“Do you love me?”

“Do you love me?”

Over these last 3 weeks, the initial auditory clash of so many questions at once has lessened. I am learning to focus more. To look at the one sheep in front of me, and to feed it. Not the whole flock at once, of course. Simply one-by-one. Jesus’ question still overwhelms me regularly – lots of sheep to tend to here.

It is as if Jesus’ echo was a real example of how it would be to have so many sheep asking the same question all at once: “Do you love me?”

And Peter’s response shows our own irritability.

Yet,

But still,

Knowing this,

Jesus commands us to demonstrate our love for HIM with the words: “Feed my sheep.”

So, I can say I love him, but then, I must ask, “Am I feeding His sheep?”

And, if I love him (which I do – more than anything imaginable), I must then,

FEED HIS SHEEP.

love explosions (contents will explode under pressure)

I might as well face it, I’m addicted to LOVE.

Jeremiah 20:9 exposes Jeremiah’s own addiction,

But if I say, “I will not mention him
or speak any more in his name,”
his word is in my heart like a burning fire,
shut up in my bones,
I am weary of holding it in;
indeed, I cannot
.”

He could not hold in the love that God ignited within him. He was a man perpetually on the brink of a love explosion. And I am a woman lost in love. The boat of my control has capsized in the ocean of His goodness, no longer just on the waters of love, I’m swimming in it.

Over a month ago I went with my Arabic teacher’s sister (Sameera) to a hospital in Jerusalem to accompany her on her daily radiation treatment. She has cancer in her cheek. In the shuttle from Bethlehem to Jerusalem, we were chatting and I asked her if she had any pain. “Yes, I have pain in my cheek now. It comes and goes, but now it hurts a lot.” I told her a story of praying for someone who then got healed and added, “God wants to heal you. Could I pray for you?” “Yes.”

I prayed. All the pain left her cheek. I yelped a “woohooo!” there in the back of the shuttle. Heads turned. I smiled and laughed! JESUS IS BEAUTIFUL! Sameera was thrilled!

And when we arrived at the hospital I found myself in the cancer ward surrounded by people with cancer. haha! It was a Holy Spirit stake-out. God knows I can not resist a room full of terminally ill people. I get overcome with love and I am compelled to pray for them. So, I said, “Holy Spirit, send me a translator.” Instantly a woman walked into the room and sat in the empty seat next to me (despite the presence of several other empty seats). She spoke English fluently.

The Holy Spirit told me to ask her what her name (Wael’a) means. “The Courageous One,” she answered. haha! Wow! Perrrrrfect! So, we talked for ten minutes or so and I told her about the pain leaving Sameera’s cheek in the shuttle, Wael’a immediately said, “will you pray for me?” “Yes, of course.” She didn’t have present pain, but I did pray and she felt God moving. Then I told her I wanted to ask all the people in the room if they want prayer, would she translate for me? “Oh no. I can’t. no, no, I’m too afraid” she replied. “But your name means “the courageous one” I reminded her. “Yes, but no, these women are Muslim, they don’t want prayer.” “You would be surprised. I’ve prayed for a lot of Muslim women and many of them have been healed.” “No, no, I’m sorry. I can’t,” she stated. “Okay, that’s fine. I’ll do it on my own” and with that I turned to the two women on the bench to my left and said, “excuse me, I’m Dawn, and I came with Sameera. I prayed for Sameera in the van and the pain left her cheek. Do you want me to pray for you?” “Yes, YES!” they answered in unison. So, I moved seats to be near them and Wael’a burst out, “okay! I will translate for you!” haha! I prayed for both women individually and the second one, afflicted with cancer in her throat, felt fire on her throat, the pain left, and she began to cry as she was overcome with God’s presence. AMAZING!                                    HALLELUJAH!

Then I moved back to my original seat and asked Wael’a if she would translate for everyone else in the room. “No, no, I can’t,” she said. Then suddenly, she did. She leaned over and said, “she wants to know if any of you want her to pray for you.” I laughed, “please tell them about Sameera’s cheek becoming painless and this other woman’s pain leaving her throat.” So, Wael’a did. One woman’s arm shot up, “pray for me!” she exclaimed. I switched seats and prayed for the woman and then she and the man next to her asked questions about Jesus. It was gorgeous!

A woman in her seventies walked in with heavy countenance and her eyes appeared on the brink of utter despair. The Holy Spirit gave me a picture: I was kneeling on the floor simply holding the woman’s hands silently. I obeyed and knelt at the woman’s feet and took her hands in mine without words. She began to weep. Minutes passed. I asked her name and told her mine. I told her about Sameera and the other woman’s pain leaving and asked if I could pray for her. She said yes. I prayed. The Holy Spirit clothed us in weighty, golden presence. In time, family members came to say they should get going; and then the woman’s son appeared and I found out he is a doctor in the hospital! He was touched to see me praying for his mom. “Take as long as you want with my mom. We don’t need to hurry. Thank you.” he said. The family is from Gaza. And so, I sat for a while, even when another family member came over and began to pray a Muslim prayer over the woman’s head (which made me say, “Holy Spirit, it’s on!”) Eventually, I finished praying, the woman showed me her scar from her breast cancer surgery, and she got up to leave with her family overflowing with gratitude and verbal thanks.

It was just in time to go into Sameera’s appointment with her. Her treatment was quick.

Thereafter, we visited Sameera’s friend in the hospital (they were also from Gaza). And later took the shuttle back to Bethlehem.

Healing happened in those women that day. I don’t know what or how much, but I know the Son of righteousness has healing in his wings. And all of those people in that room had a GOD encounter and a love encounter. And they were changed by it.

And I know it was A GOOD DAY. And God is always in a GOOD MOOD. And He always wants to heal.

Be blessed today. Step out in boldness – even if you’ve never done such a thing before. God will respond. He will honor your faith and love. And He will heal people through your hands. And heaven will come to earth. Yaaaaaay! May Jesus get His full reward! Everything He paid for!

Have fun! It’s fun to be a laid down lover of Jesus! The most fun!

“A City Called By Name”

a song of promise for a city of destiny in HIM. Most of the lyrics are straight from Micah 5. And it’s recorded sitting on a balcony in the Bethlehem area. C’mon! Let’s agree with heaven for the FULLNESS of Bethlehem’s purposes in Him! YAY!

“The greatest revival the world has ever seen is coming to Bethlehem!” – Pastor Surpresa Sithole

Vodpod videos no longer available.

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Good Morning, Beit Sahour!

last night on a rooftop in Beit Sahour, some friends and I prayed for the city and the bits of this song swept together. (The words “Beit Sahour” basically mean “those who stay and see the dawn, or those who stay up all night”)

Vodpod videos no longer available.

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Baghdad, ALL THINGS NEW!

This is a somewhat spontaneous song I wrote in response to the July 13, 2009 bombings of 5 churches in Baghdad, Iraq. And AMAZINGLY, this song is being translated into Arabic and there is a plan for it to be played at the churches in IRAQ!!!  Hooray! the very people the song was written for will hear it and be inspired to live out their powerful destinies!!!

My apologies for the reverberation from the guitar. I was a barrel over a waterfall rushing with joy and hope while singing… It’s a prophetic proclamation: Baghdad, ALL THINGS NEW! Join with me and declare: BAGHDAD: ALL THINGS NEW! You will live and not die! You are beautiful! You are a fountain of healing! Your streets will be filled with joy and hope!

(In the future there will be a website gathering prophetic songs for cities and regions all over the world. People will be able to look up their region (ie. Middle East) and listen to all the prophetic songs therein! It will be a mighty clarion call and powerful battering ram in the spirit into nations, bringing freedom, hope, and TRUE identity! YAY!) (God showed me this. I don’t plan to make it myself, but I believe someone will. Yippee!)

ALSO: check out this prophetic song for Egypt:http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uIaNoBpyljQ

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for water or for worse, for richer or for poorer

The Judean Desert has never been known for its abundance of water. The same goes for Bethlehem which sits on the perimeter of the Judean Desert. And so it is that every summer in recent history Bethlehem experiences a water shortage. The people of Bethlehem expect it and especially those living in the refugee camps.

I think I was short on water for a day or two last summer, that’s it. Well, this year I had the privilege of learning a deeper lesson – the lesson that came from a week without water.

It began one normal day when a father and his son from Aza Camp in Bethlehem showed up in their worn out white four-door Datsun-ish car that certainly predates my 30 years. It was around noon and it was quite hot – around 90 degrees with the fiery desert wind pushing the  flame into my eyes. The father explained they were without water and asked if they could take some of mine. I know the family, all 8 or so of them, and I was happy to bless them with water. Moreover, I’ve never known of a water shortage in my building.

So, they emptied their car of its many canisters and began to fill them up. The image reminded me of Elisha filling the jars with oil in 2 Kings 4. As they filled their “jars” I went inside to grab leftover eclairs that a friend brought the night before from the fridge. I put them on a paper plate and handed them off to the son. He smiled big. I was reminded of months ago when he and his friend (both 12 years old) spontaneously showed up at my apartment to ask for help studying for their English exam the next day. His face carries delight like a ripe apple carries the glow of the sun.

Well, they went on their way and I was so thankful to the Lord for the easy chance to serve this family. Easy took a turn the next day when I turned on my faucet and discovered I was out of water. Neighbors in my buiding assured me the tank would refill itself within two days so, since my landlord is out-of-country, I waited. Two days later my friend Natalie and I were on the roof of our four story building trying to siphon water from her tank to mine using a garden hose! Two hours later, gravity still stood in our way: the tanks were at the same height so, the water would begin to transfer and then halt.

So, I called the building handyman. And a few days later he showed up. Unable to determine the problem, he left saying he would return in an hour. Three hours later I called him. Despite saying he was on his way, it wasn’t until the next evening (Sunday) that he returned and the water returned with him. Granted, the hot water still has yet to makes its appearance, but I’m honored to have water again!

And it was amazing to me the thoughts that went through my head in my waterless week. It was amazing how the lack of water threw me off-balance. Sure, I could still shower by going upstairs to my friend Natalie’s place, and sure, I could still water the flowers using the building’s outside faucet, and sure I was touched when a friend came over to use my computer and ended up filling up my plain ol’ store bought water bottles with water. I was happy to have different sorts of blessings that the usual, but I was also off-sync. There was a large pile of dishes next to my kitchen sink because I had a game night at my place the day before the water left. I was washing my hands with water-bottle water. And my showers had to be planned ahead.

I felt like I was on a long walk with one barefoot and one shoed foot. I talked with God a lot: “Father, I must be able to be unaffected by my surroundings. I must be able to live without water, or electricity, or internet, or even in a time of war. I must be able to keep my peace, YOUR peace, in all circumstances. Help me understand how to better keep my peace. How to have your anointing IN, ON, and AROUND me ALL THE TIME regardless of the detours in my life. Help! Holy Spirit, teach me!”

I kept thinking of Sudanese refugees who trekked from Sudan to Israel in search of home. I kept thinking of the sacrifices they made, the strength they exhibited to simply keep their families and their own psyches in one piece, and how they lived in tents, in the open, in the homes of strangers for years. I thought about what my peace would look like in that environment. As much as my peace has grown in steadfastness over the last three years through overcoming: language gaps, culture gaps, financial stretching, lack of close friends, experience gaps from friends and family in the USA, physical hardship, and living in a place known for it’s lack of peace – I have so much more I desire in His anointing and the Holy’s Spirit’s habitation.

A week without water made me insanely thirsty. For more of the Holy Spirit.

I want to always surrender to the Holy Spirit, to always make a place for Him, to live in the righteous, joyful, fullness of John 7:38,

“He who believes in Me, as the Scripture has said, out of his heart will flow rivers of living water.”

I believe the Holy Spirit within me makes me a well, for myself and for others. I believe my joy as the bride of Christ in my wedding vows to Him, include “for water or for worse, for richer or for poorer.” I resolve to perpetually be filled and re-filled by the Holy Spirit – always flowing with water – even when my apartment, my city, my nation are not. Thank you, Holy Spirit that you make the impossible possible! Thank you for carrying out the Father’s faithfulness and Jesus’ atonement! I will spend the rest of my life getting to know you and surrendering to your wind.  I love you, Holy Spirit!

Andrea and I on Herodian: Herod's summer palace (2006)

Andrea and I on Herodian: Herod's summer palace (2006)