I had another incredible experience this past Saturday at a friend's house a few days ago, the same day I met Miss Angela (by the way, Sunday afternoon we picked up the bed - we hadn't yet, obviously - and set it up and I love it!). After church, Mom and I went to a huge, beautiful home that our friends had invited us to, because a man named Dennis Jernigan was going to be there. I had never heard of Dennis Jernigan, but Mom told me he was a worship leader. I immediately pictured a young, blond-haired guy playing a guitar.
I was wrong.
This amazing guy is in his early fifties and plays the piano...and, oh, it is gorgeous. He said first thing, "I'm not a songwriter...I'm a song receiver." And the lyrics that he writes - they are totally directly received from God (he’s the guy who ‘wrote’ – received – the famous song All in All).
The lyrics of the songs that he sang that night were in two forms, one where we are talking to God, another where God is talking to us. One time, before he sang the latter, he said something like, "This is what I have heard from the Holy Spirit...so, please, completely disregard me and listen to God." He was so humble and gentle yet so fierce in his worship for God - it was incredible.
By the way, we were all sitting in chairs in rows outside on the porch - we didn’t stand because some people wouldn’t be able to see over those in front of them. There was a screen in the front that had the lyrics for each song on it, and next to the screen Mr. Jernigan was playing on his piano and singing. He usually sings with his band (he was actually at Bellshoals on Sunday at the service, though we were busy that morning), but it was incredible just to listen to the lyrics.
And I experienced the Holy Spirit like never before. Seriously…I have never, ever heard any other lyrics so true and pure and powerful. I was amazed. I broke down crying, sobbing, shaking, within the first song. Seriously. That’s never happened to me before…I’ve never heard the Spirit so clearly before. His love was just poured out on me, and I felt so unworthy, but not in a rejecting way – in a grateful way. It was incredible (did I mention it was incredible?).
I talked to some wonderful God-followers after the worship time with my mom – very encouraging people – and the environment was just so Christ-filled. I loved it.
Last thing about that: Dennis Jernigan’s website is www.dennisjernigan.com (surprise!). Here’s an excerpt from his events page:
December 5, 2011
9 PM CST Worship from the Living Room
Listen and watch Dennis Jernigan as he ministers live from his living room.
To join in this intimate time of worship simply click on the following link:
This ongoing event is on the first Monday of each month.
That’s going to be at 10pm our time – I know, kind of late, especially because it runs for an hour (I’m pretty sure), but I think if you can ‘be there’ you’d really like it. I don’t know exactly what it is, because I’ve never watched one before, but I’m excited about it.
And, everyone, remember….live in love. Really. Don’t live in constant punishment and fear, chained up in sin and guilt and condemnation, a life void of nourishment and joy. Live in Christ…He first loved us. He loves you. So live freely in His grace and mercy and joy and….love.
“And live a life of love, just as Christ loved us and gave Himself up for us as a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God.” --Ephesians 5:2
“This is how God showed His love among us: He sent his one and only Son into the world that we might live through Him.” --1 John 4:9
“And so we know and rely on the love God has for us. God is love. Whoever lives in love lives in God, and God in him.” --1 John 4:16
P.S. It’s my birthday!! :) As of 8:10 this morning, Nathan, Noah, and I are now fourteen years old.