Uncategorized

Making a Wish

gktw cafeteria copy.jpg

Today is Maegan’s birthday. Hard to believe she would have been 26 today! This picture was taken at Give Kids the World, where we went for Maegan’s Make a Wish trip the year before she died. It was a dream come true for all of us. Unlike many of the children there, Maegan felt exceptionally well that week. I remember writing her name on a star on the ceiling there and that week, truly she SHINED. Jeff and Savannah and I have an opportunity to take a volunteer vacation trip this summer to minister to other families with children facing terminal illness at Give Kids the World. This has been a challenging year for our family, traveling back and forth from Kansas City to be trained and equipped as forerunner messengers, but God’s grace has been on us and we can see Him leading and guiding us every step of this journey. We are looking forward to the summer together but on a missionary budget it is very difficult to take a vacation. Would you pray about making a donation to help us fund this trip so that we can share God’s love and hope with hurting families of terminally ill children? We would leave on June 25th, the anniversary of the day Maegan went HOME to heaven. We need to raise $4,000 to be able to go on this trip. Any amount will help! Please mail tax-deductible donations to: Frontier Missions, P.O. Box 374, Coweta, OK 74429 or give online here through paypal. Thank you so much!

with love and much HOPE,

\m/, Vanessa

Uncategorized

Connecting the Dots . . .

“Hey while praying for you I’m reminded how when the Lord gives a vision sometimes that vision has to die so it can be reborn even stronger to complete the work. Look at all the things I have gone through. . . he birthed it (the vision), it died only to come alive again. But it’s not without a fight. He is able to keep that which you commit to Him. . . hold onto the word of the Lord. . . even if it looks like it will never happen. He will make a way where there seems to be no way. . .” 

This was a text I received from one of God’s “messengers” this month. It came on an emotionally difficult day and I clung to it like a drowning woman to a life raft. The truth is I have had an extremely difficult time “letting go” of the dream God placed in my heart for Remnant House of Prayer—for a 24 hour place of worship, for a forerunner arts academy to train up warriors from the place of night and day prayer. . . especially when I felt so strongly that God had told me to “hold on” so many times. I realize now, though, that sometimes you have to let go of a dream with your hands, while still clinging tightly with your heart. Remember that scene from Titanic when Rose is letting go of Jack? Even as his cold body slips into the ocean, she whispers, “I’ll never let go…” Then we hear the haunting music “the heart will go on…” And why is Titanic the second highest-grossing film of all time? Because it is our story, yours and mine, for while the “ship has gone down” so to speak and all seems lost, our Beloved Jesus has given His life so that we might live and urges us to “stay alive” until He returns to restore all things. And so the movie does not end with death in a frozen sea of despair, but with a ship restored, a radiant bride prepared for a wedding. It gives us hope, does it not?

On Good Friday this year, Savannah had a vision concerning RHOP. She saw “scenes like in a movie” of bringing her toys to the prayer room on 24 hour prayer weekends, prayer walks, learning to play drums, etc. The last “scene” was the last prayer set we had where all the kids were onstage leading the prayer meeting on Aug. 31st. (One year ago today) “You know how sometimes it will say at the end of a show, ‘To Be Continued, then dot dot dot? That’s what I saw, Mom, the words ‘To Be Continued . . . then dot dot dot. . .”

On the same day I received the text I shared earlier, my friend Angela  (remember Angela means “messenger”) approached me before a prayer meeting with a gift. “This is not the box they came in,” she said shyly, “but a dear friend of mine gave me these turquoise rings when I was going through a very difficult time in my life and I believe I am supposed to give them to you.” I had just asked the Lord for a ring to replace one I had lost and the ring that looked like a turquoise flower fit perfectly! When I got home, I kept looking at the other ring and the box, feeling there was a “message” in it. Then I remembered Angela had whispered as she left, “I am supposed to tell you that the woman who gave these to me—her name was Dot” And there it was—the message from God’s heart to mine. “You’re in the dots…” I heard Him whisper to my bleeding heart. It’s still not over. Any time you see that (. . .) in a book or text, it means more is to come. This is His message to you today as well. Remember the dream He gave you? The ministry, the career, the book, the home, the marriage, the child? I love the Message translation of Romans 4, “When everything was hopeless, Abraham believed anyway, deciding to live not on the basis of what he saw he couldn’t do but on what God said he would do.

Here is a pic of the rings. . .

20140815_105815

Angela later told me, “He’s also connecting the dots.” Hmm… think of the dot-to-dot coloring pictures we were given as children. The dots looked like a big mess until we started connecting them one at a time to reveal a picture. Like me, you may have to “let go” of a dream with your hands for now, but hold on with your heart because He is making a beautiful picture with your story (HIS story) and well, it’s “To Be Continued . . .”

 

donate button

Uncategorized

How He Loves Us

light shines

“We’ve just been singing a song about how much God loves us and I feel like I am supposed to tell you that. . . ”
I had gone into Country Mart after one of our worship and prayer meetings at RHOP and noticed a woman holding her neck with one hand while pushing her grocery cart with the other, visibly wincing in chronic pain. Now, I’d like to say that I acted just like Jesus and went immediately over to minister to her, full of power and love and anointing to heal, but the truth is I acted more like Jonah, ducking my head and heading for Tarsus—er, the chip aisle, arguing with the Holy Spirit. “Lorrrd…..can I pleeease just get my chips? I mean, I’ve been praying for people for the past TWO HOURS and since I prayed for everyone in Coweta, that means I already prayed for her annnyway….” But He wouldn’t relent and since I’ve been “in the belly of a whale” more times than I care to admit, I decided to take the risk of feeling foolish and “put feet to my prayers” as Lou Engle often says. Sometimes God will use us as part of His answer.
On that particular night, we’d sung “How He Loves Us” so many times that I had been tempted to slide a new chord chart over onto the worship leader’s music stand as a “hint”—but thought better of it, and remembered that the reason we need to sing the same thing over and over is not because God didn’t hear us the first time, but because WE didn’t hear us the first time. And if ever I would need to remember singing about how much He loves me, it would be in those coming months that would be full of change and transition and uncertainty. Sigh. But I digress…I watched the woman walk out with her groceries and had to leave my bag of chips with the cashier to go out after her. “I’ll be right back, I promise!” I ran out to find the woman about to get into her car, still holding her neck. “Excuse me, Ma’am? I couldn’t help but notice you are in a lot of pain. Can I pray for you?” She hesitated, taken aback and then nodded weakly. I prayed a simple prayer asking God to heal her body and nothing seemed to happen except that I felt like a nut ball and almost wished a whale would come swallow me up, but I felt led to ask her name and she said, “Angela”. I smiled, “You know, Angela means messenger and I feel like I am supposed to be your messenger tonight. I’ve just come from a prayer meeting where we’ve been singing about how much God loves us and I feel like God wants you to know that—that He loves you and your life has value.” She began to weep then, and told me how she had contemplated suicide that week and had asked God to show Himself real to her. As we talked about His love for her, she suddenly started twisting her neck from side to side and looked at me incredulously, “My neck! It doesn’t hurt!” Then she stopped and stared at me for a second and asked, “What church do you go to???”
Many people think the prophetic has to be some spooky-spiritual thing where we tell people things about their past or future that we couldn’t possibly know and while that may happen occasionally, Revelation 19: 10 says that “the testimony of Jesus is the spirit of prophecy.” I didn’t need to see a vision or have a giant scroll unroll from the sky to tell this woman God loved her. I simply shared with her the testimony of what Jesus had already done in my heart that night—told me how much He loves me.
A couple weeks ago, I took a picture of the sun breaking through the clouds. It gave me a burst of hope and since He has sent me “pictures of His love” many times, I decided to print it and share it. The woman I gave it to held it to her chest and with tears streaming down her face said, “you have no idea what this means to me…I’m gonna hang this on my mirror so I can see it every day and remember that breakthrough is coming…
Another young mother recently told me that she had kept a text message with a verse and encouraging word I had sent on her phone two years ago and kept reading it over and over again during tough times. She had been ill at the time and recently divorced with two young boys, one with special needs. She has since graduated and has a new job that she loves. “I literally don’t think I would have made it through nursing school if it hadn’t been for that word of encouragement you sent me…thank you so much.”
One definition of prophesy is “to speak as a mediator between God and humankind or in God’s stead.” Why not send a verse or a picture to someone today to “prophesy” life over them? You are God’s messenger. 

Would you please consider partnering with us in this work of prayer and missions by making a tax-deductible donation to our ministry? We have several specific needs right now such as 1) Savannah’s tuition to Forerunner Christian Academy; 2) A fence that is in need of repair; 3) a Mac laptop so I can continue to send out newsletters while I am in Kansas City.

You can donate here by clicking on the button below, or mail donations to: Frontier Missions, Vanessa VanCleave, P.O. Box 374, Coweta, OK 74429. Thanks so much!

donate button

Forerunner, Prayer, Purpose, Uncategorized

Training Up a Forerunner

IMG_8443

Jesus, I plead Your blood over my sins and the sins of my nation. God, end abortion and send revival to America.

It is a prayer Savannah has prayed hundreds of times over the past several years. She even wears a red bracelet with the word “LIFE” to remind her to pray. But on the night before the last presidential election, God showed her just how powerful that prayer can be.

It was November 6, 2012 and I remember being a little concerned about how she would respond if President Obama was re-elected. She adamantly opposed his Pro-Choice position and since she is sometimes  stubborn (i.e. bull-headed) and quick to speak her opinion, (I believe she gets these things from her father, of course) I have had to have SEVeral conversations with her about honoring and continuing to pray for our leaders even when we do not understand their decisions. Sigh.

On election day, she told me very matter-of-factly, “Mom, President Obama will win today but God gave me a dream and showed me how important it is that we keep praying for him. In my dream, he came into our prayer room at RHOP and he was wearing a red suit. (now, a few people, who I won’t name, have interjected at this point in the story, ‘was he holding a pitchfork too?’ These people are a tiny bit angry I think and we should definitely pray for them.) He sat down beside me and as I told him about abortion, he started to cry really hard and he kept saying, “I didn’t know…I didn’t know….” I think God was showing me with the red suit that we need to keep praying and pleading the blood of Jesus over him…” Can you think of the name of a leader today that you can pray for and plead the blood of Jesus over? Do that now.

As I shared last month, our family is being led to enter into a season of equipping in Kansas City over the next few years. We will continue our ministry of intercession and evangelism, and Savannah will attend Forerunner Christian Academy. She recently sent out her own support letter and since I am highlighting the training of forerunners this month, I will share part of her letter here:

. . . While we are there (in KC), I will be attending Forerunner Christian Academy. At FCA I am going to be able to play the drums on a worship team. I will also be attending the prayer room at least 4 hours each week. Forerunner Christian Academy believes it is critical that children learn and interact with Scripture on a daily basis to build proper foundations. Students there study the major themes of Scripture in Bible class every afternoon. In addition, musically gifted students have the opportunity to join a student worship team. The daily worship time creates a context for students to sing the Bible in addition to studying it. I believe God will use this school to help me grow in my studies and be closer to His heart. Part of the curriculum actually includes spending time in the Global Prayer Room worshiping Jesus and studying His Word! My mom and I have visited this school and after the tour and visiting with some of the leaders, we sat in the car crying tears of joy because as soon as I set foot in the building I felt God’s presence and well, it felt like “home”. In addition to drumming, I have a calling to pray for the ending of abortion. At the prayer room at IHOP-KC I will get to exercise my calling by joining (and sometimes even leading!) the Life Initiative prayer meetings each week. When we were there in January, I prayed LIFE over China on the live web stream that is broadcast to 200 nations!

I know I am called to pray for life and to be a messenger who will prepare the way for Jesus’ Return….

If you are a parent or teacher or have any sort of influence on a child or young person, I am praying today for you (and me!) to have God’s wisdom and guidance as we train up and encourage this next generation. The pull of the world is so strong that it will take fasting and prayer to “turn the tide.” Stay encouraged and keep praying!

In order for our family to fully give ourselves to this calling of intercession and training forerunner messengers, we need to raise up a team of friends like you who will “link arms” with us in prayer and financial support. Would you prayerfully consider joining our ministry team? 

We need 10-12 more monthly partners and approx. $5,000 in special gifts to pay for her tuition and moving expenses. We love and appreciate you and will continue to pray…….night and day until He comes!

donate button

Uncategorized

Who I Am and Why I Am Here

Image

A few years ago, I helped coordinate a 24 hour prayer tent outreach in the middle of our city during it’s annual Fall Festival. The theme for that year’s outreach was “Like Me” inspired by the hymn “Amazing Grace, how sweet the sound that saved a wretch like me.” A local musician and artist (also my brother and partner in ministry) painted this picture and another with spray paint cans while people gathered to watch and we asked them how we could pray for them. I feel like it best describes who I am because indeed I am a “wretch”, the worst of sinners saved by grace and faith in Jesus Christ. Song of Solomon 1:5 says it this way, “Dark am I, yet lovely…” When we think of how our hearts must look to God, we see images of darkness and brokenness. Imagine right now if you had to describe what your heart “looks like” with a word picture, what image do you see? Do you see lava spilling from a volcano or a broken-winged bird that was a victim of an oil spill? Do you see a desert or dry bones or broken pieces of glass? Sigh…I know, me too, but that’s why I love this picture! This is how my Beloved Jesus sees my heart. He says it is lovely and overflowing with life, butterflies and flowers. Vanessa means “butterfly” and while I often feel like a caterpillar inching along in the mud and mire, I was made to fly.

Who am I? Aside from the wretched-worm-made-beautiful-butterfly, I am a wife and mother, a writer, musician and teacher. My mission is to inspire, encourage and motivate others to spend time with God (prayer) and to find and fulfill their unique purpose. My life is about prayer, passion and purpose. I believe the world would be infinitely less hostile and ridiculous if more people had a personal, passionate relationship with Jesus Christ, knew their purpose and were equipped and empowered to walk in it. That is why I pray and write and speak and teach. And breathe, I suppose. It is why I started this blog. What about you? Do you know who you are and why you are here?

Take action: Spend some time in prayer asking God these very questions: “Who am I? Why am I here?” Write down the response in a journal or on an index card to post where you can see it every day. Share it with a trusted friend.