"And there will be throngs of people
gathered in the center of the city
to praise and worship Me."
"There will be people on their knees
being delivered of every evil thing."
"There will be repentance and salvation beyond anything you have ever experienced."
"There will be fountains of living
water for all those who thirst."
"Who will lead them to drink?"
"Call out the Five Fold Ministers into their position, for now is the time of their awakening."
"Pray that the chains of the religious spirits that have bound denominations and ministries for years would be destroyed."
"Pray for the leaders of this city."
"Root out corruption
and proclaim that Godly wisdom
enters in every decision they make."
"Pray that the judges would balance
compassion with integrity and
Holy Spirit discernment."
"Declare that law enforcement officers
would be safe as they walk
in an honorable fashion."
"Call in a spirit of adoption, forgiveness, and healing for the youth in the city."
"Declare and decree
that the financial institutions
would be strong and good stewards,
allowing greater prosperity
to flow into this city."
"Get yourselves into a position
financially and compassionately
to take care of the homeless,
the widow and the fatherless..."
Won't you join with me
in taking the land,
allowing the Holy Spirit to flow
into the streets and
usher up a sweet incense to the Lord?
Wednesday, January 13, 2010
A two edged sword must cut and there are no exceptions.
Though I know what the Lord showed me. Perhaps this site and the facebook site was an example of me trying to make it happen. That would be in error.
The astounding lack of support, attendance and absolute dessimation of my confidence in what I know to be true, has done nothing but affect my relationship with the Lord, my pastor and my friends in the ministry. This has caused a sense of abandoment to rise up, that I have not shared with any of you.
It has also caused me to second guess everything I think or feel, wondering if it is really God or not. This has filtered into every area of my life for the last year and a half.
Truth is, to interceed for the city is of God... you don't need to pray that one out to know it's true.
Some are called to be different and do things in a way that others have not. This has been true for me and my personality for years, so it should be no surprise that it would be me, praying in the rain, snow, wind and heat on days that others were enjoying thier weekend by sleeping in, or spending it with family.
I do not say these things to be judgemental in any way, but to cut it off at the knees before it takes root. I say them to be vulnerable and truthful. There are others, (thank you Raymond for sharing what you did a few months ago) who have shared in the fight at different times, in different areas than me during this time when I thought I was alone. This proves that the Lord is calling whom HE desires for the purposes He desires in a time that He desires. Whatever part of that I can fulfill, so be it.
I think this site was an opportunity to understand online networking and to sift out some things in me. I did not realize that abandonment had such tendrils... but it has choked me.
Everytime I'd come by the Facebook site to add a discussion topic, or update how things went in a current week, it would hit me like a ton of bricks... smashing my heart to pieces, that there were 22 folks who were all members... but not one of them would tarry with me for an hour... for over a year. I found my self lashing out under my breath in anger... forgeing a pit for myself. I have never been a "pit dweller" but I found myself there almost every week. That had to stop.
Truely, it is nothing that members did or did not do, but it is what came to the surface of my mirror that is the problem. So, having said all that, I appologize if anything I said offended anyone. Please know I tend to type first, edit too late. There may be some tinges of brokeness in what I wrote; if it hits you the wrong way.. please know that that is why I had to deal with it NOW, before it got worse.
I will not bow to my design, but His. I will not allow Satan to destroy the vision and heart that God has given me for the city. The despirate need for companionship in the fight has overtaken my desire to pray effectively and with purity.
So please understand my actions of closing down this site. I will remain open to the Lord's leading, and Maranatha Project will continue, but I will do so without trying to get others to assist. Whoever God calls He calls... It's not my issue. It can't be..It's all about HIM...
Posted at 06:56 am by Sarah Fiorentino
Tuesday, December 08, 2009
You Want Honest? Here You Go...
So I was a little hyped up about this week. It was going to target the violence in the city specifically. First I invited my entire friend list from facebook. I never do that, because there are folks who are specifically in other states, dormant Christians who really just like getting in to heaven without the responsibility and full on pagans. By the time I came to and realized I had invited everyone of them, it was too late to change my mind. It was like I was observing the invitation list without being able to make changes. God said "Send them." "Seriously, some will be offended, some will be annoyed that I reminded them of their savior, and some will probably barter for equal time for other gods and goddesses in the prayers." I replied silently to myself and Him. "Send them." Man, you gotta appreciate the Lord's way of being tenacious. Okay, here goes...
The results were, that the "Enough Violence in Springfield" facebook group creator, (James Villalobos) who happens to be 14 years old replied that he was not only going to be there, but that he wanted to post the event on his website, which has a membership of 5200 people. Some of which may very well be Christians. This site has attracted community leaders, students, lovers of peace and activists against hate. James himself has connections to Mayor Sarno and has been interviewed by latino press organizations, CBS 3 television, radio stations.. you name it. James actually wants to be part of Maranatha Project? Really?? Okay... even if only 10% of the members of his site shows up, there would be 520 people there. I began to wonder if we would then need a "gathering/event" license for the day because of the amount of people that could potentially show up. Even if only 100 folks showed up from that group, it would be quite a bunch compared to my ONE. I was stoked! Shoot, I'd be thrilled at 10 people out of 5200 showing up.
It also has an administrator, Maurice "Soulfighter" Taylor. He has a Poetic Recovery site on facebook. He does free style and open mic's locally. (There's a huge list of things he is involved in.) Maurice had stated that he would like to attend and share a poem at the "event."
This seemed to really be shaping up into something more like what I had seen in the vision. Only the praise and worship would be brought by a free style, "slam", rap person with a poem. And instead of praying over the buildings normally filled with current leaders, I'd have a chance to pray for and with a future one.
I got a little nervous, but gave the whole thing to divine order and didn't worry about who was going to come, what the Lord would fill my lips with. I just "rolled" with it.
When I wrote back to Maurice and asked for a copy of the work he was going to use that morning because it was, after all, a faith based prayer gathering and he is admittedly not "religious." Without going into the exchange, he soon changed his status to "not attending."
Then I head down town this Saturday morning. It's cold, expecting snow and I was a little unsure of myself. James was coming and I didn't know with how many people. I end up being 15 mins late because I had my kids this weekend and they didn't want to come with me this time (and I didn't know how I would navigate them and a "meeting"), so they stayed home. Unfortunately, they woke up as I was leaving... hence the late part.
I saw a bunch of cars lining the street where city hall is and Main Street was packed too. I have no idea what was going on there, but for a brief moment I thought it might be folks there to pray. As I approached the Gazebo, there was no one mulling around at all. When I called James, he informed me that plans had changed and he would not be coming.
So, there I was... just me again. Not 5,200. Not 500. Not 10... just me. Kind of goes along with one of the scriptures that came up when I got the whole revelation about the Maranatha Project where Abraham barters with the Lord to not destroy the city if there were 10 righteous people in the land. Well, I know I am not righteous... simply obedient. Looks like our city it going to hell......
Now, although my pastoral oversight thinks that Maranatha Project is a good thing, he has never once come down with me.
It just gets discouraging when the prayer warriors, praise team members and the folks who all had a heart for evangelism and healing ministries... have never come down. Not once. Even the homeless man I took in and gave shelter to for the last 2 years only went once... and even then, he just hung out and read to himself. The Maranatha Project has 21 members and only 2 have ever come down.
So I can't get anyone from my church to go there except one 70 year old lady who nearly broke her back walking the ice in February.
In 50 Saturdays, I have had 4 days where there was someone else besides me there. Vinny, Andrew, Betty, Barbara and Matt H. I fully understand that I will be down there weather anyone else ever shows up or not. Perhaps there is not supposed to be anyone down there. Maybe it's supposed to be just me. But out of accountability, someone else should be there so I don't go squirrely or get into pride or anything. I seldom get squirrely, or prideful but I am not above sin. Besides, I know the vision I saw, and I was not alone
I feel like Jonah at times. I DON'T WANT TO BE DOWN THERE. I DON'T HAVE A EVANGELISTIC GIFTING. DON'T MAKE ME DO IT.
God says: "I never told you to evangelize, I said there needs to be evangelism. I told you to stand in the gap. I told you to call forth the troops into their assignments. I told you to declare and decree my manifestations into this city. I called you because of your heart, not your giftings."
Well then... yay... It still leaves me in a very cold Winter, inside a whale looking for the air spout to get out.
Do I turn away from the destruction that is pending and save myself... or stay in the midst and hold back the hand of wrath by praying in mercy? Do I stand in the gap, keeping my eyes on the Lord, or do I look back in bitterness and turn to salt?
I go forward, eyes fixed on HIM and that's all....
Posted at 10:40 pm by Sarah Fiorentino
Thursday, December 03, 2009
Should I Park My Car Further Up Just In Case?
I don't really know what to say about this week. I felt like I was supposed to stay put and not really walk around. It was strange. At one point I did actually walk and pray, but it was very forced and was fully in the flesh of "I have to or should do this thing."
I decided to stop. I sat on the side of City Hall where there is a globe light thing at the top of the stairs. I was like "God, what do you want me to do today?" He said nothing in response. It was after a few moments of closing my eyes, breathing in the cool air that a peace settled on me. Then the vision happened.
I had perfect side view of the City Hall, Symphony Hall and the tower in between them. I then saw in the spirit the tower breaking apart in the middle like a broken crayon; half staying in the ground and the other half falling and crushing the Old First Church. It demolished it. The tower and the First Church were destroyed. I then saw the pillars of City Hall and Symphony Hall snap backwards. The roofs then slid onto the stairs below as the rest of the buildings crumbled on to the streets.
That was not what I wanted to see. But as is customary with me... I generally get the "unfluffy" version of the truth. I still don't have an interpretation. Could mean a shift of power in the city. Could mean transition. I don't know. I am way too analytical to have the gift of interpretation. My flesh would get in the way all the time. That's why I know that I am not in that "office" so to speak.
My conversation with God was of course "Cut it out, man... seriously, what does this all mean? Should I park my car further up just in case the tower comes a crashin' down on me?"
I will be praying for discernment and interpretation.
Posted at 05:13 pm by Sarah Fiorentino
Saturday, November 21, 2009
The next wave of evangelism will be a Prophetic/Healing ministry. Why do I say this? Simply put, today's people are far too time conscious. People's daily lives are being run as businesses. Priorities, however off kilter, are the goal. No one wants to waste time. No one cares to look outside their "business" because they don't care about things on the outside because it means less time achieving their goals.
Some people's goals may be to get home and relax at all costs. "I don't want to miss the game." "I've got to go the club tonight! I've worked all week and I deserve it!" Some goals may be to get to the next meeting, create the next ad campaign, fulfill a deadline, pick up Susie from basketball practice. So many things can be time pressing priorities. The only thing that will stop someone in their tracks is something directed at their portion of this life.
The term "Jesus Loves You" has been utilized for years by evangelists and Christians to usher folks into the Kingdom. The generational concern for modern evangelism is: which word do you place the emphasis on?
"Jesus" is the whole point, but in modern terms, He's an external in a world of internal priorities.
"Loves" is a word that many people seek to understand, but internally one can't easily wrap their mind around. They've placed barriers to their capacity to love due to hurts, abuses and walls created to keep their heart close to themselves. In many cases they've added barbed wire around their hearts to keep people out.
But the word "You." Now that there will get someone's attention. "Are YOU feeling okay to day? Can I pray for YOU?" "How can I bless YOU today?" "I feel like YOU have a real struggle with finding a job right now." "Do YOU have a daughter about 8 years old? I hear God saying to YOU that she will be okay."
When you enter into THEIR priority zone, it is to the point and it is all about them. The Lord has just bypassed their protective shields and gone straight for what He can do for them. For some "seasoned" Christians, you may say that this is rather immature and catering to the sinful nature of selfishness. Immature?? Would you feed a newborn steak? Selfishness?? Is a crying baby being selfish because he doesn't understand anything beyond his wet diaper needing to be changed?
Am I putting unsaved people down? No, just directing a cure to the cause.
If I am trying to shove a Christian theology down someone's throat and do not notice the gaping wound in their leg, I am not living by the very theology I claim to be "one" with. Accessing the situation is the first rule in First Aid and CPR. NOTICE the wound. Care for it appropriately.
If we as Christians are cruising around proclaiming a loving God, shouldn't we represent Him as well? That's where the prophetic and healing ministries come in to modern evangelism. It is Jesus' compassion that the multitudes followed. It was His miracles and wonders. It was His wisdom that people sought. Why? Besides the obvious, He met them where they were at. Right there in their sin, disease, and ungodliness. For those of higher spiritual knowledge, He met them in the Temples. For those of a simpler faith, he met them at the Mount of Olives.
It is a lesson in Humanity as well as Evangelism.
Prophetic ministry, in a pure flow, can break down the walls and cast demons into the abyss with a few simple words, directed at the heart of them who listen. Healing, miracles, signs and wonders are specifically for the unbelievers to show that God is a living God full of wonder and majesty. That God is a good God. It shreds the years of lies cast upon the mind that "I'll pray for you" is just words with no action. That God is dead. It helps turn the hearts of the sons to the Father. (Please know that when I say that miracles are for unbelievers, I am focusing on the subject of evangelism. We as believers lead a prosperous life where healing and wonders are the norm and happen daily. )
One notable miracle can save a thousand. Out of that thousand, a hundred will pursue God beyond the "Show of Power." Out of that hundred, ten will become disciples. Where is your time line? What is your goal? How do you get there? No, it's not about numbers, it's about eternity. I will never judge weather the thousand who initially recieved Jesus are truely saved. I'd never judge the hundred as being any more valuable for pursuing Christ further. However, my goal is to be a disciple; manifesting the Glory of God for others to take part of.
Evangelism needs to happen, but it has to be genuine, direct and open to the Holy Spirit's leading. To talk just to hear yourself is not effective or an accurate reflection of the Lord's Plan.
Oh, yeah, the update about today...LOL
There was a great deal of activity down town today. I am not sure what was going on at the Mass Mutual Center, but they were all in business attire so it wasn't a sporting event.
The unfortunate part of this is that it was an incredible opportunity for anyone wanting to evangelize. I learned two things from this. One, get an event's listing for down town so we know what and when things are happening, that way we will be prepared for the "type" of evangelism that would be most effective. And Two, I am pretty intimidated by people in suits and heels that seem to be on a mission, are late or anything that would cause me to be an inconvenience.
I have been cornered by well meaning Jehovah's Witnesses, Mormons and other Christians when I used to work downtown several years ago. They always started a conversation with me as I was trying to wait (and not miss) my bus, while I was trying to cross a street to get to work on time, or some other pressing issue I had to attend to.
While I know that going to hell is horribly inconvenient to anyone's future directives, therefore worth the interruption, the write up at work and/or a longer waiting time because you missed the bus...I can't bring myself to be a "inconsiderate evangelist."
If I need deliverance from this, please pray for me. However, there needs to be a certain degree of respect given for the affairs on earth as well as heaven. It's a two fold thing. That's why I firmly believe that the wave of evangelism that God is preparing is of a prophetic/healing nature.
I regret not evangelizing to anyone today. There was more activity down town than usual and I did nothing. Sure, I prayed over buildings and government. I called in the evangelists and integral ministries. Declared salvation and glory to pour over the city. But I didn't speak to anyone except for Vinny and Andrew Desjardins, who joined me today.
They prayed loudly with arms outstretched and I stayed fairly silent, having already done my rounds by the time they arrived. What causes my silence? My prayer time has been solitary for the most part, now there is someone to help me, and I still don't evangelize?
Lord help me to be what you want me to be. Lead me in all things. Release your words from my lips to those you direct it to. Send those believers who are called to evangelize from an integral place to the hurting world.
I have always been a "gap filler." What ever needs to be done, if there's no one there, I'll do it... because otherwise it won't get done. Is that my issue today? That I am not an "evangelist" by mantle, office or personality. I just know what needs to be done. I am open to the Lord directing me... but am also very hard on myself for seemingly failing at an opportunity.
I was encouraged by those who showed up today, but I was uncomfortable as well. I have been solo for so long, that I guess God needs to teach me how to work as a team... Pray for me.
Posted at 04:14 pm by Sarah Fiorentino
Saturday, November 14, 2009
Let me start by saying thank you for the interest there has been by those in support of what God is doing down town Springfield. I really do appreciate it. There are two folks who have signed up to receive the updates by email so far. That is an invisible, unspoken support and means more than you know.
This week was different, as always. As soon as I arrived, I walked determinedly to the Hall of Justice. I didn't know what God was doing in me, but I felt like I was on a mission. Perhaps I am. However, it wasn't me causing the urgency. He brought me up to the top of the stairs and on the ledge where it looks out onto State Street. I was pacing back and forth and speaking in tongues. Then He broke me. I looked out from that little wall and immediately began to repent of things I had in my heart. Judgment, hatred and worry.
I usually take care of miscellaneous static before I get out of the car. Today, the Lord urged me to take a look at what was at stake. I was looking at road work, decaying buildings, litter, and fences. I saw the highways and the Springfield Rescue Mission as well as the alcohol rehab place. How were my prayers going to manifest in the people of Springfield when I myself couldn't let go of hurt? Couldn't let go of abandonment? Couldn't let go of hatred and anger?
If I, someone who wants to see Springfield restored and for there to be an end to the senseless violence, can't knock the chip off my shoulder... how was anyone else who doesn't have Jesus going to find victory?
The roadwork and broken buildings were symbolic. They were the hopes and dreams I've had. They represent all the things I've been trying to build in my life that were inadvertently demolished over time. The fences were my heart. Sure, I could see through the chain link fences, but they were strong, they were established. So much so that they held things in as well as kept things out. I suppose I thought I was doing rather well going from a wall to a fence... but God decided it wasn't good enough.
So I had to get through my personal restorative demolition/construction, before He would allow me to proceed with the external. You gotta love God for that stuff. I have learned very well, if he stops you in your tracks... it's best to listen..LOL
After He dealt with me, I continued on. It was much more powerful. I felt my voice rising, not to be noticed, but because I couldn't be quiet. I literally could not just whisper under my breath. The authority over that area came with a cloud of intensity.
I didn't even spend much time at each building. I just walked with a purpose, laid hands on the buildings and walked off. "Let it be Done" was the extent of my prayers for the most part.
At one point, there were a group of 4 men in all black with the white "father" collar on that walked by me. The three younger were looking down at the ground, while the older gent was talking. I knew I couldn't lower my voice so I said "Hello." The older man said "Hello", but the others stayed silent, except for one who looked up, realizing his senior had trailed away from their conversation to acknowledge me. I bring this up because they are apparently part of the spiritual authority in this place. They may have been looking at the first church to rent it or something, I don't now. It was just odd seeing them. My first reaction was "Pharisees are pissed at me." I quickly repented of my judgment and continued on.
There was also a gentleman in a trench coat and hat that I noticed walking around court square. He seemed to be wandering randomly much as I was... so I don't know if it was someone doing the same thing as I was... or if it was just random. But my spirit tells me he was on a mission of sorts too.
Summary: It was cold and rainy. It was just me, as always. If any of you did come out and just couldn't find me I apologize. I will only be at the gazebo for a few minutes after 9:00, just as a meeting place if anyone should happen to arrive.. .but for the most part I will be walking the area. I usually come back to the gazebo before I leave to sing and give thanks. I do appreciate Betty trying to be there. I know that if circumstances were different she'd be right there with me. I know she still is.. even if she doesn't pray at that time, I know her heart and spirit are lining up with the Holy Spirit. I can feel her support even without the physical representation.
Thank you all so much for your thoughts and prayers for Springfield. Together we can take the streets back and declare that "This is the City that God has Saved!"
Posted at 06:43 pm by Sarah Fiorentino
Saturday, November 07, 2009
Hope, Life, Faith and Love
Well, how did today go? It was a beautiful Autumn day. Cool and bright. My two kids joined me and we started right off at the Symphony Hall praying in God's Glory to be displayed in the creative arts. Then we went to City Hall.
This was the first time I was ever in fear down town. I saw what looked like a purse strewn on a step to City Hall. As my son approached it, everything went in slow motion for me. I immediately said "Don't go near it!" Can you guess what fear struck me? Terrorism. I immediately thought that there must be an explosive in that bag randomly placed there. There was an unusual number of cars there this weekend and traffic was being rerouted because of some work that was being done. The experience was seriously like in the movies where the background becomes a blur as the subject spins around in slow motion looking around to see where the person was who planted it.
I am not an alarmist by any means. So this was an irrational fear. I pulled my son back to get a better look. I noticed it was an empty black plastic bag as it rolled away with the wind. Whew!
Why would I feel such a thing? Why would I react like that? I know society is running a little on the edge, but I have remained stable until today.
I think it has a little to do with listening and reading others perspectives on the city and how it is run. There is so much hatred towards leadership and government that I think the anger infiltrated my self-conscious. It has illuminated a manifest spirit of death/murder that has been dancing around in this city.
From the anger towards the government and police to the shootings/stabbings and murders in this city lately. It is all connected. For my mind, it culminated in a fear of an explosive going off at City Hall. Why? Because it would be unexpected, harm innocent people and be an attack on a place I have called home most of my life. This is what has been happening to this city. It has been under siege by a demonic principality and power placed in assignment over this city to destroy anything it can. Hope, life, faith, love. Tear apart these foundations and you have a crumbling house.
If your always on edge your spending all your time on the external variables that may be out of your control, then you're not focusing on the Creator of All to assist you with a peace that passes all understanding.
I felt really silly afterwords. However it did sober me to the times that we live in and how close it really is, and how much ground we have lost to a demonic stronghold in this area.
We must call a spade a spade. We have got to stop being so physically minded and look with our spirit. There are things that you don't want to know about. There are very real forces that battle in an unseen realm. But there is a savior who has the keys of death and hell! We have got to plead his love and life over this city!
I love this place and want to see it become all it was destined to be. But it will never get there if we operate in fear, judgment and control. It has to be faith, hope and love.
Posted at 08:01 pm by Sarah Fiorentino
Saturday, October 31, 2009
My Son and daughter came out today despite the rain and wind. I started reading from a book called "Prayers the Route Demons." I usually do the confession stuff first, the rebuking of things in my life that I may hold on to like bitterness, hatred and the like. To my surprise, my son and daughter said amen after each section. The fact that they were praying with me in agreement was awesome. That means they were not just there because I had to drop them off at their dad's after prayer, but that they were active participants.
When we were done doing the "book work" stuff all snug in my car, we ventured out to the gazebo. Just in case anyone else showed up. When no one did, we headed over to the Hall of Justice. The kids love looking at the buildings and reading things that are on them. I prayed, while they tread their feet all over the place. I told them that as they walk around, Jesus is taking that ground for His Kingdom.
We wound around everywhere and ended up in my car where I got an impression.
I asked my kids to tell me what they see when I say a couple of words. I said "Police man" The responses were very detailed, yet different for each one. We always pray for the safety and integrity of officers and law enforcement. Alyssa said she saw a darker skinned police officer and Nathan said he saw a husky white one. They wanted to know why I asked. I told them that God wanted us to pray for specific people today, but I wasn't sure who and that they were going to be the one's to identify them. So we prayed for the officers protection, for their families protection and peace.
Then I said "Firefighter." They both had the same description. A balding, muscular, white man in his uniform standing in front of his fire engine smiling. They said he seemed happy. When I asked them what he needed prayer for they said "to be fireproof and that no disease like swine flu would come on him or his family." So we prayed for that and other specifics.
It was really cool having that experience. I hope they learned from it, to trust their visions and impressions, that it could make a difference in someone's life for them to agree with them, pray for them and to stand in the gap for them even though the person is totally unaware. The angels are aware, the devil is aware, the saints and the Holy Spirit is aware and Glory Hallelujah the Father and the Son are ALWAYS THERE!! Even when you don't notice...
Posted at 10:47 pm by Sarah Fiorentino
Saturday, October 24, 2009
Today's prayer started in the car on the way there. I was on the highway and felt waves of tears pouring out of me. I almost had to pull over. I wasn't weeping like someone crying over a break up... I was silent, but water just poured. I felt the pulling in my spirit. I heard the sound of anguished people. Their cries reflected in my emotions. It is not the first time I have encountered such a thing. But often it is when I am praying for someone, when I lay hands on someone, or when I look into someone's eyes I sometimes see and "feel" what they won't show. Not all the time.. but occasionally. So this experience was out of the blue so to speak.
Anyone who knows me understands that I am not one to break down easily. I have actually been trying to be more vulnerable around those I care about. So for me to cry randomly is not the norm. ONLY WHEN PRAYING, and worshiping does it come up. Now, if I were to have "shaken" it off and "pulled" myself together, would I have been disobedient to God? After all, I was going downtown to pray and intercede for the people of Springfield. If I held back the tears, would I have held back His grace and healing for that moment?
I guess what I'm trying to say is that we have to be open and flexible to what the Holy Spirit wants to do and how He wants to do it. Rainbows come after the storm. Promises are manifest after the trust is established.
The rest of the day went pretty normal. As I was walking between the rain drops, I noticed the tree at the gazebo was full of seeds that looked like overgrown green beans. They are so heavy they are weighing the limbs down. It looks like million of seeds. The two weeks ago they were hard and green and new. Last week they began to get softer and ripe. This week some were starting to shrivel, some were beginning to rot, some were still okay.
That tree is significant to the state of Springfield and our commission to send laborers into the harvest. If you don't send the laborers to reap the harvest, the fruit will rot and turn bad. It will fall to the ground and people will look at the fruit and remember how beautiful the tree was when it bloomed in the spring, how hopeful they were to see the seeds forming; only to wave their hands at the stink of the rotten fruit that has just soiled the bottom of their shoes. They will scrape the residue off and walk away complaining about the tree.
That is not where the complaint should be filed!! Where are the laborers?! Where are the harvesters!? We are letting the seeds that have been planted rot and decay!!! If you don't offer Jesus to those in this city whose seeds have grown to ripe fruit; ready to make that decision... then you damn well better not complain about the state of the city. Have you yourself walked on the remnant of seeds sown but never reaped?
We have a responsibility to do what Jesus commanded his disciples to do. In our own way, with our own gifting as He leads. I guess the question I'd like you to ask yourself is "Am I being obedient at this very moment? When I give an account at judgment day will I be ashamed?"
This is not meant to be a religious, beat yourself up comment. To do something merely because you "should" is works without faith. Worse yet, if it's not done in love your wasting your time.
Whether it's rain or tear drops that well in your soul, be sure to ring it out so you can be refilled and poured out again, that you were a useful vessel and not just a pretty decoration.
I wish I could say it nicer, but if I did - would you get it and make a change?
Posted at 07:53 pm by Sarah Fiorentino
Saturday, October 10, 2009
Today was a beautiful day outside. There was a cool breeze and the sun was playing behind the clouds. It was about 62 degrees.
I began my route at Soverign Bank, then City Hall, Symphony Hall, Court house, juvenile court. I then wound around the court square building. This beautiful building is jacked up. So much potential but quite an investment. I had heard that UMASS was considering it for research and development offices or something like that. I don't know if it went through or not. All I could think of was how incredible it would be as apartments. Remember the apartments you would see in N.Y. on movies that actually have door men?? That's what I see there. So I prayed that the space would be utilized in a way that would benefit the community best, according to His will.
What was out of the norm was that I saw a pelegrin falcon taking a bath in the fountain. It allowed me right up to the fountain. It had a few wing stretches, as if to say back off. But for the most part, it was an amazing experience. That was near the end of my time there.
However, to back up a tad, when I arrived this morning, there was a man searching the trash receptacles for cans and bottles. Because I live in my car during the day, I had quite a few rolling around my backseat. I gathered them and put them in a bag for this guy. He had gotten quite far by the time I got everything ready for him. I walked quickly until I had caught up with him. I said "I noticed you were collecting these. I just happened to have some in my car. They are yours if you'd like them." He looked up at me and then continued on while he put my bottles in with the others. He didn't say anything.
From what I've seen there are a few folks who collect bottles and cans this way, one by one, with a single bag. Those who have shame issues about it. Resentment about it. They shy away from me. They keep their heads down. They don't say a word.
Then there's the folks who need the money, but it has also turned into an environmental cause. It gives them temporary purpose. They may be homeless, but they are saving the earth one bottle at a time. These are the folks who if you invested a small amount of time talking, offering them some solutions, programs and the like...they will take what you give them and run with it.
Then, of course, are the folks who have carriages they cart around. Some have almost broken down vehicles, but in the back of their minds, they have hopes of a higher purpose. Some have created redemption centers and have secured their futures, all from an unfortunate series of events.
This Saturday reminded me of the parable of the talents given. The ones who bury it would be the ones with the shame issues. They are doing what they have to do but not getting anywhere because they have not dealt with the real problem yet. They still have their circumstance, but nothing changes. The other two had an increase percentage of return based on their vision.
We need to instill hope, vision, and practical help in our local communities. What is YOUR vision...???
Posted at 10:10 pm by Sarah Fiorentino
Thursday, October 08, 2009
Since that first day, many interesting things have happened and have come to light.
Through my job supporting clients, I found a brother in the Lord who knew of a minister, Gregory Dyson of Sixteen Acres Chapel, who also was in the midst of taking the enemy's territory. His college outreach was going into the entertainment district in the evenings. His directive had just ended as mine was beginning. (Please note, his Lions Den outreach in Indian Orchard is still active.)
There was also another person who had been walking the streets of Springfield during the day with her daughter in law, praying for the city in earnest. Some of you may recognize her as being a sister in the Lord; Betty Myers. Her assignment changed shortly before ours began.
So, the support I had been looking for may not have been walking next to me physically, but it was in the form of several different people, catalysts in their own right, walking against the wind of apathy into the rewards God has for them. Not to forget to mention that there are countless ministries in the area who have laid their prayer coverings on the floors of their sanctuaries, secret places and car dash boards praying God's doors open up in Springfield.
Each Saturday has been different. Sometimes there is just worship. I remember leaning up against the post of the Gazebo just singing "I love you Lord, and I lift my voice, to worship you..." I stared up at the sky the whole time. It was incredible. (I wasn't loud and drawing attention to myself, it was quiet and to myself... but it was awesome). Sometimes there is weeping. Sometimes there is silence and I have claimed that "Everywhere my foot shall tread is yours." Sometimes its just talking to people walking by. Whatever God has on his plate that day is what I chew on.
In February, Betty actually joined me the same day that Barbara Williamson did. Barbara had been praying for me every Friday night and decided to come out one Saturday. It was cold... as it had been. I offered to stay in one spot out of respect for the fact that she is a senior sister and there was crazy mad ice where I was walking. But she hung in there. Thank you for that support Barb. Thank you Betty for standing with us before, after and on site when you can.
Even my kids joined me a couple of times. One time we played with a ball in front of First Church. Each time we bounced the ball to the other we prayed for something specific. In a city where violence and fear, poverty and depression are heavy...that day felt like we were in God's backyard. There was such a peace and safety we felt there, we never wanted to leave.
Most times I feel led to walk and lay hands on the buildings, claiming God's purpose and destiny will arise in this place. But other than that, there has been prophetic symbolic activations... like when the gazebo steps were covered in Ice, God reminded me of the soldier who was told to strike his weapon on the ground and in the end that was the number of victories he was given. God had me call out West Springfield, Agawam, Southwick, Wilbraham, Hampden, Indian Orchard... all the surrounding areas were represented by a step that I was told to smash the ice off of. Different subject matters for each city, but it was so powerful. Destroying the strongholds that have left believers dormant and cold. Calling them back to life. I must have looked like an odd duck.. but I am pretty used to that by now. To be honest, when your in the midst of the Holy Spirit's movement, you generally don't notice or care..LOL Yay God!
As the weather got better, more folks started to come around. I have seen homeless folks bundled up in corners of Springfield. I'll not say where because they need that place to be safe for them, so I will not compromise that. But seriously, you have no idea what life is like in the center for some people.
There was a man who was dealing with mental illness, being homeless, and he was washing his clothes in the fountain. God bless him, I would probably do the same thing. And there was a man who was staying in the background. He was keeping an eye on him. Like a protector of a fragile child. This man was also homeless, but without the illness.
There was a couple of men, who I have seen on the Sex Offender Registry as being level three's. They were sitting on a curb by the first church. One of them snuck up on me as I was walking up the steps to one of the court buildings to pray. He asked me for some matches. His friend was still at the curb. I could have panicked but instead had given him the unfortunate answer that I didn't have any, but that perhaps the convenience store in Tower Square may have some.
I continued on my walk, when I noticed he was behind me again, his friend following slightly further back. I noticed his footsteps and walked up to him (which startled him) and said that I didn't have any matches but we can try my car lighter. ( By the way, this was what the Holy Spirit prompted me to do. I had no fear when I heard the suggestion so I went with it. I do not recommend you act in any unsafe manner without His leading. ) Anyway, while walking to my car he began talking about the state of the city and how it's a hard place to live. All I could think of at that moment was how beautiful the city was. I empathized and said something about forgiveness opens doors to new opportunities and asked if he wanted prayer. He looked at me like I was crazy then rattled on about how messed up the city was again. The conversation ended with me encouraging him to believe that things will turn around because thinking about all the crap doesn't help find solutions. He and his friend followed my steps at a good distance away and time delayed. For instance, I prayed after that conversation, at the City Hall. When I had moved to the bank, they moved from the gazebo to City Hall. And it continued on like that until I left.
Even then, fear could have messed with my head. A physical threat. All the stereotype issues one could be afraid of, being alone down town. God had me in his arms the whole time. Again, I do no condone running off all nilly willy doing stupid stuff because you HOPE God will have your back. Please use wisdom. For me though, life has been full of statistical anomalies, wound around my "different" personality. God must know what He's doing.
There have been times that I have been directed to go to the Hospital and pray instead of stay down town. One time when I was there, I had no idea what direction I was going. I actually got lost and ended up in the Children's Brain Trauma unit or something to that effect. I have to believe that because I was led there, that the prayers had purpose.
The benefit to being alone during all this except for the three times someone joined me, is I have the freedom to go where He leads without fear that it won't witness with someone else.
I do feel that there will be changes or additions to locations as this continues. The Bus Station is one, the entertainment district another. But I have been told in my prayer time with the Lord, that I am not to go alone to those places. That I am to call in the troops and begin the second phase of this assignment.
There is lots to tell, and I will offer much briefer updates now that the site is up and running.
For now though, please check your heart and spirit. Have a conversation with your creator and see what your part may be. I welcome the assistance out here in the field.
Thank you, Bless You, Be Well,
Posted at 02:10 am by Sarah Fiorentino