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I am going to McDonald’s

Posted by on Sep 4, 2015 in Holy Spirit leading, My testimony | Comments Off on I am going to McDonald’s

A little over a year ago, a godly Bible teacher, Charles Capps, passed into Heaven. He was well-known for his teachings on the power of the tongue and the importance of believing and speaking the Word of God.

The Lord used Brother Capps in a very unusual way at a critical moment in my life, in a very tense situation long ago—and he wasn’t even there!

When I was born again, I jumped in with both feet. In my twenties, I frequently went out to the streets, along with other young Christians, to witness—sharing the Gospel and praying with the lost. The joy and freedom of expressing the good news with someone who was hungry for Jesus motivated my friends and me to continue going back, weekend after weekend.

As the church I attended grew to mega-church proportions, we were blessed to sit under the teaching of some of the finest Bible teachers in the country. One of those teachers was Charles Capps. At the same time that we were hosting a growing number of national speakers, just about everything else we did in that church was becoming more and more structured and organized. This included the weekend street-preaching jaunts.

Interest in this personal evangelism had spread in the church I was attending, and leadership was put in charge of this radical group of teens, twenties, and thirties for the sake of safety, oversight, and training for those who were new to one-on-one evangelism.

One weekend evening in my late twenties, we were ready to “hit the streets”. Small teams were assigned for the evening’s adventure, and two newer believers, a young man and woman, were assigned to accompany me.

When we arrived downtown, we met under the Gateway Arch and prayed together as a large group. We then made arrangements to meet back at McDonald’s—housed on a riverboat and anchored opposite the south leg of the Arch on the Mississippi River.

My little group took off together and each of us shared with various individuals as we walked along the cobblestone road that ran parallel to the river. Toward the end of the evening, we climbed up the wide set of steps that arced toward the south leg of the Arch and began sharing the gospel with a young woman we met near the top.

She was receptive to the message, and as I was about to ask her if she would like to pray with us, I noticed that my two companions had ditched me in favor of McDonald’s—an obvious Big Mac attack. Let ‘em go, I thought; this lady wants to receive Jesus.

But just as I was about to pray with her, her eyes nearly bugged out of her head, and backing away quickly, she just took off. Huh? I was wondering, perplexed. And as I turned around, I understood why that young woman had skedaddled so abruptly.

I found myself surrounded by six to eight young men, circling closely in on me. But before I had time to get frightened, something very unusual happened.

Suddenly, I was at my church. Oh, yeah, my body was still standing on the steps going up to the south leg of the Arch and I was still surrounded by six to eight strange young men, but in my spirit I was at church. I was at a meeting in which Charles Capps was speaking, and I could see and hear everything with crystal clarity. There he was, standing behind the pulpit preaching, and I could see the scalp on his head through his familiar crew cut—that’s just how vivid this “vision” was. And he was preaching a message about Jesus in a boat in the middle of a storm.

With my body still standing on the steps leading to the south leg of the Arch, Brother Capps was preaching in his Arkansas twang, “Jesus said, ‘Let us go to the other side of the lake’ and my brother, sister, if Jesus said, ‘Let us go to the other side of the lake,’ then nothing—no devil, no storm, no wind, no waves—nothing could stop Him from goin’ to the other side of the lake.”

And with that, there I was, back at the Arch, surrounded by this group of men. I noticed Riverboat McDonald’s, and I said out loud and with great authority, “I am going to McDonald’s.”

I don’t have a clue what those guys thought when I said this, but I passed through the midst of them without so much as a finger touching my body. As I stepped out of the circle and down the steps, the Holy Ghost spoke very clearly to my heart, “Walk, don’t run. Hold your head high, and don’t look back.”

I did as I was instructed, and walked, step by step, down that wide, curving stairway. Boom, boom, boom, my steps pounded decisively as I marched to the street below.

“Oooh, baby! You got fries with that shake?” they called out after me, along with other unmentionable “compliments”.

I never looked back. When I got to the street, I crossed it with my head held high. Boom, boom, boom, my marching feet blasted as I stomped across the gangplank bridge to McDonald’s. Walking tall and in the authority of Christ, I reached the threshold. Never before had the Golden Arches looked so good.

I opened the door and stepped into the wonderfully lit, French fry-soaked atmosphere. There, seated inside, were my two young team members and everyone else. “Hi, Dorothy! What took you so long? We’ve got a seat for you!”

And as the reality of what just happened dawned on me, my knees turned to Jello and buckled beneath me—and then I got up and ordered some fries.

Brother Capps returned to that church years later and I had the opportunity to share my story with him. He didn’t say a word; he just smiled, nodded his head, and then walked away.

May the help you need be made abundantly plain by the Holy Spirit in your time of trouble. The Lord is faithful.

Dorothy

God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble. Psalm 46:1b

 

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My own personal Pentecost

Posted by on May 12, 2014 in My testimony | Comments Off on My own personal Pentecost

And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit was giving them utterance. Acts 2:4

I plan to continue discussing the shift in prayer direction God gave me in April, but May 10th is a very important anniversary for me in my walk with God. Therefore, I would like to share about it with you before I pick back up on last week’s topic.

It was Saturday night on the 10th of May, 1975. I had just finished finals and was back in my hometown to prepare for my camp counseling assignment starting in June.

I was visiting a church in town that night with a friend from the college Bible study and her mother. This church had been experiencing power of the “Jesus Move”, and I had heard a tale (confirmed since then by many unrelated witnesses) about a strange phenomenon that had happened there sometime before the evening I attended.

According to what I heard, it happened something like this. At some point in one of the worship services, while the congregation was praising God in song, flames of fires were seen—not inside the building by the congregants, but outside, shooting up from the roof—by individuals in the neighborhood and folks passing by on the highway. Those inside worshipping God were oblivious to the sign from God until their service was invaded by the local fire department after several calls had come in to the station, alerting them to the church fire. I’m imagining that the leadership of that church could have paraphrased Peter in Acts 2:15-19, “This building is not on fire as you suppose, but this is what was spoken of through the prophet Joel…I will pour out My Spirit on all mankind…and I will grant wonders in the sky above and signs on the earth below, blood, and fire, and vapor of smoke” (emphasis added).

The night I visited was relatively tame in comparison, but first, let me backtrack before I describe what took place that evening.

I had gotten saved at the end of December, ’74, and was water baptized in April. I was sold out to Jesus who had visited me, saved me, and landed me in a fervent, intimate body of young believers. But I lacked something that I desired with all my heart—the baptism of the Holy Spirit with the evidence of speaking in other tongues.

I knew about it because when my Bible study friends worshipped God and communed with Him, I sometimes observed their mouths moving quickly but I couldn’t hear what they were saying. Just about all of them did it; it intrigued me, so I asked one of them about it.

“Oh! We’re just praying in the Holy Spirit!” she explained. “We’re speaking in tongues. You can read about it in Acts 2.” That’s all she said, and I went away all the more hungry, on a mission from God to learn about this mysterious baptism of the Holy Spirit and speaking in other tongues.

I read Acts 2 and everything else in the Bible I could find about the subject and kept straining in the meetings to hear what it sounded like. But these young people were “stealth” tongues-talkers; they did it regularly, but no one could hear their heavenly language! To this day, I enjoy praying that way at times when I’m in a crowd—a stealth tongues-talker in the midst of the world!

I lived on the seventh floor of my dorm and often sat on the heating register that was by the window as I looked out on the campus. More times than I can count that semester, I sat in that spot, mirror in hand, and said to the Lord, “Fill me with the Holy Ghost now!” And I would look in the mirror to see if He was moving my mouth at all. Nothing. That only resulted in this: I became even hungrier for the baptism in the Holy Spirit.

And there I was, on May 10, 1975, sitting in this vibrant church next to my friend and her mom, worshipping God, when a very strange thing happened. My tongue started “jumping around” in my mouth and I began to make quiet clicking noises. It didn’t scare me at all; it was soothing, but I thought it was odd.

I leaned over to my friend and whispered, “My tongue is clicking around in my mouth.”

She began punch-slapping me in the arm and whispered enthusiastically, “Oooo! Ooooo! Ooooo! You’ve got the Holy Ghost!”

So this is what it’s all about, I thought and kept on clicking quietly, still rather puzzled by the clicks.

After the meeting, I told my friend’s mom what I had experienced with the clicking, and she repeated her daughter, verbatim, “Oooo! Ooooo! Ooooo! You’ve got the Holy Ghost!” But she added a bit of wisdom to that and said, “Keep practicing. You can speak in tongues whenever you want now as you pray, and as you practice, it’ll sound more like a real language; you’ll grow in it.”

So my personal Pentecost launched me into a new avenue of prayer and communion with God. I practiced whenever I was alone, my language started sounding more real to me—not just clicks—and I grew in it, just like Mrs. Belt said would happen.

But then, five or six years later, as a young teacher, I went to the movies and watched a quirky comedy. It was about an empty Coke bottle falling out of a plane over Botswana, Africa, and landing on the head of a sweet bushman who lived a primitive life there with his tribe. The chaos and comedy and national crisis that unfolded were memorable enough (I love good comedies), but what gripped my gut with holy awe was this: the bushman’s language—clicks made inside his mouth by his tongue “jumping around” in there—was the very language I spoke on May 10th, 1975, when I was first baptized in the Holy Spirit!

Thirty-nine years later I’m still praying in the Holy Ghost, and I am still deeply grateful for this wonderful gift!

Dorothy

For these men are not drunk, as you suppose… Acts 2:15a

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