Joyful Anticipation- Merry Monday By Parris Bailey

“Rev. 12:11 And they overcame him by the blood of the Lamb, and by the word of their testimony; and they loved not their lives unto the death.”

This past Sunday in service Frank got up to share a vision he had during worship. In this vision, He had seen heaven getting ready for its soon return. He saw horses and our coming king acting as if the end was eminent. As he was sharing, I saw horses panting and an army being made ready. Frank described a huge barrier holding them back, they were longing for release. I begin to feel joyful anticipation. Frank then asked the question, “what are you doing to prepare for this joyful anticipation”? The sanctuary became a still quiet hush….
I began to reflect back on my life as I thought about this joyful union of the bride meeting with her bridegroom.
Like most people, I am just an ordinary person. If you saw me in a crowd I guess I would just blend in. Someone once remarked “how totally American I look”? Growing up, I had no artistic talent so to speak, or gifted singing voice and I never was an athlete. When I look back at my achievements before I was saved, there isn’t much to talk about.
But then 1973 came, I was sixteen and I had already hit bottom. In August of that year my life drastically changed. I met the Lord, married Frank and left Slidell for good, enrolled in bible school in California. This became my new life.
For the next four years we were either going to bible school, living in tents, tree-planting in Oregon, or church planting in Phoenix, Arizona. This was my life.
In 1978, in a quick turn of events, we found ourselves heading for New Orleans to take over the fledging little church there just for a few years till we would go onto the mission field. Our hearts were full of adventure and faith. This was my life.
A few years turned into decades. We planted ourselves into the city of New Orleans with the scripture- “Shout! For the Lord has given you the city!” We built churches; started schools and our personal family grew at the same time. We had four children, each one of them we named biblical names and marked them for God. This was our life.
From the years 79-92 I guess you could say we grew into one of the mega churches in the area. Good years, fast years, we traveled all over the world sharing on church growth. For years we did 6 o’clock morning prayer at the church. I found fulfillment raising our children and working in our women’s ministry. When we moved to our Airline Drive location and the economic conditions changed in the city we started reaching out to the poor in our desperation. This was our life.
Since 1994 we have been graced with revival. God came down and met us when we had grown tired and dull. It wasn’t uncommon to have nightly meetings, daily meetings, classes canceled at our school because of worship, worship cd’s were made and a production called Beyond the Grave gave us huge altar calls filled with young people. Excuse my repetition, this was our life.
What is our life? What was all the fuss about? Why, of course, it is the joyful anticipation of meeting that One that loved me, that gave Himself for me. It never was suppose to be about my marriage, our kids, or the school that we built or the churches we created, the missionaries we supported or the congregation we pastored. All those are but shadows, as Jonathan Edwards so eloquently put it but He is the sun. He is our life and we lay our life down so that we might have His. No, I was meant for another world. I wasn’t made to be in this one. Like I said, I never really fit in to this world. Someone bought me with a price, ransomed me to live in another world. He gave me a new life, and despite it’s hardships, it gives me a cause worth living and fighting for. This is my life!
How about you? What are you living for? Earth is groaning and all of creation groans with it, longing to meet our Bridegroom in the sky. Love not this life and you too will see Him face to face!


  1. That is a nice capsule of your earth life. You have both been great stewards, pastors taking care of your flock and you have aewsome children and grandchildren. All of this while living in the glass bowl of public scrutinity and all the garbage that goes with that. God is Faithful and God is Good. There has been a little story around on the net for years called “The Dash”. It is about what your life held between it’s earthly beginning and the earthly end. You have an awesome dash.

  2. The dash poem, by linda ellis

    This was read at my friends funeral this morning. Thought-provoking and inspiring – think about your dash.

    The Dash Poem, by Linda Ellis

    I read of a man who stood to speak
    At the funeral of a friend
    He referred to the dates on her tombstone
    From the beginning to the end

    He noted that first came the date of her birth
    And spoke the following date with tears,
    But he said what mattered most of all
    Was the dash between those years

    For that dash represents all the time
    That she spent alive on earth.
    And now only those who loved her
    Know what that little line is worth.

    For it matters not how much we own;
    The cars, the house, the cash,
    What matters is how we live and love
    And how we spend our dash.

    So think about this long and hard.
    Are there things you’d like to change?
    For you never know how much time is left,
    That can still be rearranged.

    If we could just slow down enough
    To consider what’s true and real
    And always try to understand
    The way other people feel.

    And be less quick to anger,
    And show appreciation more
    And love the people in our lives
    Like we’ve never loved before.

    If we treat each other with respect,
    And more often wear a smile
    Remembering that this special dash
    Might only last a little while.

    So, when your eulogy is being read
    With your life’s actions to rehash
    Would you be proud of the things they say
    About how you spent your dash?

    It isn’t spiritual but it is good food for thought.

  3. Luke 10:42 – but only one thing is necessary, for Mary has chosen the good part, which shall not be taken away from her.”

    I strive to be Mary! I strive to be found in that rest and peace which is in His presence. I realize I live to sit at His feet. The “I” is my soul. No matter what my body may be doing my soul sits at His feet, quietly, awaiting the slightest gesture. I am swallowed up in Him.
    Psalm 46:10
    Be still, and know that I [am] God: I will be exalted among the heathen, I will be exalted in the earth. (KJV)
    “Be still, and know that I am God! I will be honored by every nation. I will be honored throughout the world.” (NLT)
    “Be still, and know that I am God. I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth!” (ESV)
    “*Cease striving and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the *nations, I will be exalted in the earth.” (NASB)
    Desist, and know that I [am] God, I am exalted among nations, I am exalted in the earth. (YLT)
    I greatly thank my church family (victory fellowship) for obediently taking part in my maturing as a Christian. I thank everyone, from the pastors to him or her that think themself unimportant; each has played a role in my growth and I am joyfully thankful.
    \o/ Empty hands raised high

  4. So excited about this New Chapter of my life. Jacob is focused about school,and I’m finally done with my course work at Delgado-it took 11 years on n off to finish. It’s really something though, when planning for tomorrow may never end up the way we thought it would. But letting God guide us can take us to places that seem impossible. Looking back I can see how protected and blessed I was from the beginning of my acceptance of Christ. I’m so blessed to be called by God!Thanks Pastor Parris for your ever inspiring Testament of God’s unfailing Love!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s