Defining Moments Part One
Merry Monday by Parris Bailey
Psalms 32:7 “You are my hiding place; you shall preserve me from trouble; you shall surround me with songs of deliverance.”
In 1974 Dick Mills (a wonderful man of God) pulled me out of the audience and gave me this word. This word became a defining moment in my life. At that time I would have been 17 years old, and needed much deliverance from my past. In the years to come and even now, there has been many times the Lord has led me by the Spirit to the precious word of God to give me a defining moment, the moment when life as you know it changes—that paradigm shift that I have mentioned before.
The next defining moment came to me when I would have been 27. By then, I had my three boys and the church was experiencing unusual growth. I can remember washing dishes at the sink, feeling depression and having thoughts of suicide. The Lord begin to rewind the tape so to speak and show me I had fought suicidal thoughts my whole life and it was time to deal with it. The verse that came into my spirit was out of the book of Esther, it said “Yet who knows whether you have come to the kingdom for such a time as this?” (Esther 4:14) He told me that I had been “crawfishing” my whole life and it was time to step up to the plate. He told me to begin to minister to all the “Parris’s of the world” and as I do, the overwhelming thoughts of suicide would subside. It definitely became a defining moment. I packed up the 3 boys into my car and started having women’s bible studies. I may not have been very brilliant or much of a theologian but I gave it my best shot!
In 1988 I found myself pregnant with our 4th child. We were also building that huge monstrosity of a building and the economy was slowing down. During that time we were having 6:00 am morning prayer every morning. When I woke up that Friday morning I instantly remembered that I had dreamed of angels singing over me the scripture “break forth to the left and the right, and stretch forth your tent pegs” out of Is.54. When I told Frank about it the next day, he said that was the message the Lord had given him to preach for Sunday. That same day, I went into labor and had Grace (23 years ago almost to the day). We named her Grace, because we so needed Grace to finish the building on Airline and grace to live another day. That birth became a defining moment of his grace in our lives. When Frank went home to study later in the day, he quickly called me back exclaiming that the word break forth in Hebrew is perez or paras and many other variations of my name. My defining moment came when I felt he was calling me out by my name. He loves us with a everlasting love!
When revival came in 1994, God had more for Frank and I. We were to return to our first love. He spoke to me out of the book of Song of Solomon about His kisses. I so needed to step outside and learn about His love for me. I was told to turn off all the faucets in my life and go to the bottom of the ocean. Love was to be the only thing I was to study. He wanted me to understand what it meant “the Lord is my portion.” He also instructed me to let “everyone off the hook”. Being married to Frank at such a young age, I would find myself blaming him and feeling like I was in a yoke. It was during one of the many services we were having that I realized that God himself had “yoked” me all along because I was such a rebel. Those years in revival there has been many times the Holy Spirit has come in such a special way. I have learn to thank God for those defining moments.
What do you do with the many times God speaks to you? They are to be hid in your heart, documented, rehearsed and shared with others. As we retell those moments they are once again sealed into your spirit that God has a plan for your life. Our lines have fallen into pleasant places, how great is our inheritance. What are your defining moments? Have you kept up with them, stirred them up like the Apostle Paul was telling Timothy? I thank God for that word in 1974, it truly has been one long song of deliverance!


  1. Since being born again 9 months ago I have had a handful of defining moments.As I sat in bed watching live stream last night I began to feel stirred.Remembering an encounter Jonathan and I had with an angel on St Charles a month into our salvation,all the moments we have had pastors speak words over us(one who had no clue who me husband and I were),defining moments in a fire tunnel that I didn’t come out the same,change in season where it was very clear for me to turn my attention on something or to learn something,when I thought I was gonna just help out leaders in a recovery program and inturn am asked to lead the addictions part…it was a refreshing moment that God does have a plan for me and steps that looked huge 9 mo ago are mere stepping stones track baby steps 😉 guess that’s like speed walking.Im a yielded vessel he clears my field i will continue to follow..Glory to God for defining moments.So happy I watched last night since we weren’t able to make it..I definitely need it!

  2. At the Sunday evening service you were describing this to us and said, “defining moments” several times. One of these times, you said, “DIVINING moment” which I thought was a great “slip”! Good word Paris. Thank you.

  3. Late part of 2010 the Lord nudged me to visit the alters in my life. You can replace ‘alters’ with defining moments. I think it was just after a time when I had a knee jerk reaction to news which didn’t line up with what God spoke to me. I knew I was to be in Bethesda and He said “You do your part and I will handle everything else.” I can remember telling many people beyond a reasonable doubt this is what I was to do and I didn’t know how it would work out but God was handling the rest.
    Then I got the unsettling news and I was anxiously looking around for answers (fretting). He settled me down with Isaiah 41:10 (NASB) ‘Do not fear, for I am with you; Do not anxiously look about you, for I am your God. I will strengthen you, surely I will help you, and surely I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.’
    God spoke to me saying, “Mark, haven’t I proved I know what is going on in your life time and time again? Am I not faithful to deliver on My promises over and over again?” It got me looking back and reviewing those precious moments (His alters in my life) So much so I studied about God’s alters and WOW – what an awesome study! I shared one alter at our family’s Feast of the Prodigal Son’. I have since gone back and turned each alter (defining moment) into a book mark and they are in my study bible. I can read these in those times when I am all alone and doom seems inevitable and before long I realize I am far from alone and all around me are the fiery horses and chariots of God and if not, God is with me Himself. I especially like when He doesn’t send a messenger but comes personally! I am far from done making these bookmarks; it is a lifetime activity.
    Shoot – just writing this has a few of those alters running through my mind and a bit of praise seems in-order!!!!!!!
    Empty hands raised high.

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