MERRY WEDNESDAY BY PARRIS
“With joy you will draw water from the springs of salvation”
Lately I have been seeing our church services filled with angels carrying watermelons. They must know it’s that time of the year when the miraculous happens, the hungry get fed and Christ walks among us because he goes where the hurting are. Our 30th year of Feed the Multitudes is upon us. Each year we watch wide eyed as we see the heavens open and people come from far and wide to offer “their 5 loaves and 2 fish” for the biggest free food festival held in New Orleans ever! Presently our pews are filled with bags of groceries, empty shoe boxes lay scattered in disarray, red white and blue wave all over the property. Latrines, tents, barricades, and the sound of chopping sausage for the red beans are all repeated sights. But who sees the angels flying around with watermelons in their hands?
Mark Twain once said about watermelons, “It is chief of this world’s luxuries, king by the grace of God over all the fruits of the earth. When one has tasted it, he knows what the angels eat.” Somewhere in this chaos Victory and our church lays aside all talk of business, conference updates, church growth principles and our own real life issues and we begin to watch the angels swirl over our heads. The watermelons are necessary because from days of old these delicious vegetables have an unbelievable root system that makes it 96% water. The angels come to bring us living water because without the living water we become just another meal for just another day.
July 4th is not only about our great country remembering its roots in God and coming together in celebration of our freedom but July 4th, to Frank and Parris, is a reminder that Christ really comes to bring life and as we pour, he pours back into us. I have had my stormy days and will continue to have them. The angels with the watermelons always remind me to pause, laugh and look up to join in the sweetness of all that God has to offer. Just maybe as you wash someone’s feet that day or serve them food you can find something to be thankful about and love on your brother/your sister. Oh don’t forget to grab yourself a watermelon.
Therefore with joy shall ye draw water out of the wells of salvation.
(Is 12:3 KJV)
When I was touched with joy in 1994 and begin to experience the new wine outpouring of the Holy Spirit, I had no idea that this type of outpouring had been happening since the earliest days of the church. From the Day of Pentecost to Azusa Street, the outpouring of the Holy Spirit is very similar. Recently I was reading through prophesies and testimonies I had received from Dick Mills over the years. I was struck with the testimony of how his grandmother had been baptized in the Holy Spirit in conjunction with the outpouring at Azusa Street. Here is part of her testimony.
“1906 started a revival at Azusa St. in Los Angeles that now totals 600 million believers worldwide. In 1908 a couple came to our town and ministered to a prayer group that Sally Mills (Dick Mills Grandma) was heading up in the local Methodist Church. Sally told me that when she heard the couple sharing their experience she said to herself, “I always felt there was something more for all of us than what we currently experience.” She went forward for prayer and had a dynamic encounter with her Saviour and Lord. He imparted to her the infilling and indwelling gift of the Holy Spirit. It satisfied her spiritual thirst immensely. She and several other newly filled Methodists went to the Pastor and asked him if they could start a skid-row mission. He not only gave them permission but offered his services in locating a facility. The only building available was a saloon whose owner was retiring. His last night of business was Saturday. After he closed down a dozen people went in a changed a saloon into a place of worship. Their first service was Sunday afternoon. They sang over and over- “You ask me why I’m happy? You ask me why I’m free? I’ve been drinking from the wells of full salvation. Won’t you come and have a drink with me?” A lot of local winos didn’t know the saloon was gone and came in hearing a gospel song… won’t you come and have a drink with me?”
So maybe you are like Sally Mills and you recognize your need for more of God. You can see in this short testimony that the Holy Spirit satisfies and anoints for ministry. So if you are thirsty for the new wine of the Spirit, don’t be surprised when you receive the double blessing, plenty for you and enough to pour out on others. So come on, come have a drink with me.