Down to the River

This is going to be short and sweet.

No extra pictures. No filters. Nothing but the most beautiful thing that has ever happened to me in my life up and to this point.

I am a youth leader at my church and recently we just took our kids to summer camp. When we researched the camp before hand I just knew that not only the kids would be changed forever, but also the leaders would be.

Prior to leaving I was having trouble, I was growing hardened and more and more distant. I don’t really know why maybe it was because of the nature of my work or maybe I was just falling prey to complacency either way I felt I was becoming increasingly farther away from JESUS.

So as we embarked on our 8 hour journey to a camp called the ramp, in the middle of no where Hamilton Alabama, I began to be filled with anticipation. The ride there was long but the van I was in had so much fun en route it seemed like it was only a short time and we had arrived. We immediately hit the ground running going to the first service. Holy Spirit moved in me in such a way almost instantly and the first message was so timely. However even though I was able to witness these teens all around me just abandon themselves in the spirit  and as fire was falling all around me and the spirit moved within me I still felt numb.

It all changed for me the next day when we were going to get baptized. Now I had actually been Baptized, twice actually, at this point. After they gave a message on baptism that allowed me to view it in a completely more powerful way and being in a new season of my life I felt like it would be good to get baptized. So we drove to a river even farther in the middle of nowhere. On the way there we had 3 boys the were just acting a fool and who would not listen to any of the leaders at all. So as we began to walk down to the river agitation began to set in. I did my very best to not let it steal my moment but it just seemed to get worse and worse. They began feeding off each other and grew increasingly more disrespectful.  Each step that took us closer to the river brought anticipation and just before I was about to get in the water I felt the spirit just shift the whole atmosphere and overtake me. We all got in to be baptized as together and as I was walking up to a couple of the staff there were people all around praying and speaking life. Just then seemingly out of nowhere a butterfly swooped down and landed on my face and just stayed there for a moment and flew away. The woman and man about to baptize me were telling me the significance of that and how there was just fire all around me and within me and how that everywhere I go I carry the presence of GOD and shift atmospheres, which I have been told before but never really believed it until this moment. The water was cold, but it seemed the deeper we got the warmer it became. When they baptized me I didn’t even feel wet but as I emerged everything I had carried into that river, all chains all bondage all the yuck was broken off of me and I emerged brand new much like a butterfly coming out of a cocoon. My whole body began to tremble as I began weeping with Joy and exited the river with our youth group.

The best part was how each one of the kids had a similar hear jerking experience, and in the days that followed looking at life through this newness I saw these kids just on fire with worship, and miracles manifest. And everything that I have been learning about the way of the spirit all clicked and fit together unlocking in my mind.  (stay tuned for I’m going to write something called ONE)

and it just occurred to me that I was no different than these kids I was just as on fire dancing and praising. That’s when I asked GOD “why have you been so quiet? why haven’t you been talking to me recently?” GOD’s reply was staggering. The lord said into me “Joshua you haven’t been talking to me.” and in that moment I was flooded with memories of how I was doing everything else but not reading my word. He instantly brought this scripture to my mind.

John 1:14

14 And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we beheld His glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth.

the word is always there and the word will always be there, it is our direct line to JESUS to word is better than any prescription medicine, it’s better than any tips or tricks, its better than any twelve step process, the word is better than any short shelf life advice. The word is JESUS and all he wants is for us to use it and speak with him.

Sometimes it takes a youth to remind you who you are.

and sometimes it takes being dunked in a river in the middle of nowhere Alabama to make you remember why you are alive.

Stay safe

Stay real

Laugh to heal

-Love Joshua

Its okay

 

 

 

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