SURROUNDED

PSA. 32:10 ¶ Many are the sorrows of the wicked,
but steadfast love surrounds the one who trusts in the LORD.

Have you ever felt like you are surrounded? I’m not talking about surrounded by your troubles, I’m talking about being surrounded by God’s love. That’s exactly what today’s verse describes, being surrounded by the steadfast love of God. Actually you don’t have to go by your feelings or even take my word for it; you can take God’s word. The wicked person’s life is filled with sorrow, those who fear the Lord are surrounded by love. Here is how Spurgeon describes it.
“Faith is here placed as the opposite of wickedness, since it is the source of virtue. Faith in God is the great charmer of life’s cares, and he who possesses it, dwells in an atmosphere of grace, surrounded with the bodyguard of mercies. May it be given to us of the Lord at all times to believe in the mercy of God, even when we cannot see traces of its working, for to the believer, mercy is as all surrounding as omniscience, and every thought and act of God is perfumed with it. The wicked have a hive of wasps around them, many sorrows; but we have a swarm of bees storing honey for us.”
We all choose to live in some kind of environment or atmosphere. The atmosphere created by an ungodly lifestyle results in sorrow and disappointment. For the Christian, even his toughest battles are saturated with the love of God. We never go into anything by ourselves, He is our constant companion and His love never leaves us. Albert Barnes describes this kind of life as if it the very environment that we live in, here are his thoughts on today’s verse.
“Mercy shall compass him about. He shall be surrounded with mercy—as one is surrounded by the air, or by the sunlight. He shall find mercy and favour everywhere—at home, abroad; by day, by night; in society, in solitude; in sickness, in health; in life, in death; in time, in eternity. He shall walk amidst mercies; he shall die amidst mercies; he shall live in a better world in the midst of eternal mercies.”
While you are sleeping or when you are awake, His love is steadfast and tangible. He is not far off but is nearer than our breath or even our skin. You can put on His love like a coat and stay wrapped in His warmth through everything that today will bring. Don’t leave home without it.

HIDING PLACE

PSA. 32:7  You are my hiding place; You shall preserve me from trouble; You shall surround me with songs of deliverance.

Years ago when Parris and I still lived in California we went to see a movie called ‘The Hiding Place’. It was a  powerful movie about the Nazi persecution of the Jewish people during WWII. It was also about a simple Christian family who chose to hide some of the Jewish people and the horrible price their love cost them. They had a hiding place in their home that was ultimately discovered. Not only were the people who were being hidden taken away, the entire family of Christians were also taken away. The movie was ultimately about our true Hiding Place, that place that is found by faith in the cleft of the Rock. David had a cave which was his hiding place from King Saul. It was in that cave that David found his true shelter. It was in the presence of the Lord that David hid himself. He had access into that place with his songs of deliverance. Here are some thoughts from Spurgeon on today’s verse.
“What a golden sentence! The man is encircled in song, surrounded by dancing mercies, all of them proclaiming the triumphs of grace. There is no breach in the circle, it completely rings him round; on all sides he hears music. Before him hope sounds the cymbals, and behind him gratitude beats the timbrel. Right and left, above and beneath, the air resounds with joy, and all this for the very man who, a few weeks ago, was roaring all the day long. How great a change! What wonders grace has done and still can do! Selah. There was a need of a pause, for love so amazing needs to be pondered, and joy so great demands quiet contemplation, since language fails to express it.”
Do you feel like you are encircled by your enemies? The world is dark and cold and the enemies are abundant.That same hatred that drove Saul to chase David and caused the Germans to execute millions of Jews is still active in the world today. It despises the Lord and His people and will stop at nothing to hinder God’s work. What shall I do ? I have no choice, I must dance and sing like David and run quickly to the place of refuge. The Hiding Place is calling out to you, there is protection and rest there from the enemies of your soul.

MY FRIEND DICK MILLS -Parris Bailey

My friend Dick Mills
by Parris Bailey

Psalm 32: 7 “Thou art my hiding place; thou shalt preserve me from trouble; thou shalt compass me about with songs of deliverance.” Selah

Dick Mills homecoming at the age of 90 is a God story. I am sure he was special to all of us, but somehow he made Frank and I feel like we were the only people on the earth. He ended up being one of the very few folks that “stuck it out” with the Baileys for over 40 years. I first met him when I was seventeen, newly born again, newlyweds and attending bible school with Frank (yes, the 70’s). He gave me a beautiful word about having songs in the night and songs of deliverance. I had just left everything I knew, my family, the south and headed to the west coast. Peace describes exactly God’s word to me. Dick found us again when we went to New Orleans in 1978 and I would easily say came to visit us every year or so at our church for THIRTY YEARS! His typical question was always this, “Frank, where do you see yourself in 5 years?” By the end of his visit he would treat us and our kids to a gift from the local Bible book store and say, “I am so proud of you guys.”
He could really embarrass me with comments like that dress looks really good on you. He meant well of course but it was just Dick. One evening while at dinner, he grabbed a paper napkin and drew a house and simply said in one year, God is going to give you a house like this and worth a certain
amount. I wish I still had that paper napkin. Exactly within the year, someone gave us a house just like the diagram and worth the amount he said. We really didn’t think much of that little napkin drawing, but Dick always seemed to nail it right on the head.
In January 2005 while at Copeland’s Restaurant in Metairie, he started talking about a prophecy that someone said about a great flood destroying much of this region. I remember that I really challenged him and basically said “thanks a lot” and I remember really having to sort it out in my spirit if such a thing like he described happened I would have to “just trust Jesus”. Once again we really didn’t think much of it, until Hurricane Katrina burst the levees and yes we had to “trust Jesus”. You just had to know Dick.
One of our children really had a rough time in life, and Dick and Betty said they begin to pray for him daily in their prayer time. This particular child went through years of bad choices. I am thankful for those prayers, I believe those prayers kept my child not only alive, but brought salvation.
Just over a year ago, Frank and I were able to fly to Hemet, California to personally visit with Dick and Betty and family. They wanted our church to purchase his library. I wish he could see his books in our “Dick Mills Research Library and Laymen’s Library” that we have made available to so many to study, research and enjoy. In fact, Frank and I made it our offices!
He has gone home, but the moment we open those doors into that precious library, in our world, Brother Dick is larger than life.

UNPRECEDENTED ACTS OF GOD

Unprecedented Acts of God are Always on the Horizon!
Merry Monday by Parris Bailey

Psalms 32:7 “You are my hiding place; you shall per-serve me from trouble; you shall surround me with songs of deliverance. Selah”

Dick Mills gave me this scripture verse when I was a 17 year old brat, trying to raise a child and go to Bible School with my husband Frank. I laugh when I think about what it meant to me back then. Would I be able to sleep better or something? haha- or not have nightmares? But 37 years later this scripture holds so much more. I guess after all these years I have found the hiding place, or it has found me. It is the secret place of His presence which protects a reviving soul from plots, expectations, and destructive proud attitudes which could destroy the soul. In the Old Testament, His presence was practiced and found in the Holy Place of the tent of the tabernacle of worship. There, in that candle-less environment, the glory of God brightly lit the secret dwelling and the person was oblivious to anything and everything that would contradict his Shekinah glory. Christ and Christ alone becomes a shelter from the howling wind, a rock in a shaking world. He encircles us with a song, and it becomes the song of life. It is learning to find the hiding place in our everyday, storm filled life.
Let’s read in Spurgeon’s Treasury of David, “In that he will not be content only with thanks, but also will have them conjoined with songs, he letteth us see how high all the strings of his heart are bent that he cannot contain himself for the mercies of God to his church, and for his manifold deliverances for the same. Many sing praises to God with an half open mouth; and, albeit, they can sing aloud any filthy ballad in their house, they make the mean, I warrant you, in the church, that scarce can they hear the sound of their own voice, but David bent all his forces within and without to praise his God.” Archibald Symson.
He also gives us “songs in the night”- Job 32:7. I believe that in order for us to “run through a troop and leap over the wall” we have to learn to find the song in the night seasons. Some call it the silver lining. I love to look through scripture and see “coincidences” but you know they are not. In Esther 6:1 there is a good one, “That night the king could not sleep, so one was commanded to bring the book of the records of the Chronicles; and they were read before the king. And it was found written that Mordecai”….. and the story goes on to say that Mordecai wasn’t honored for saving the king. Esther and Mordecai were Jews and were facing annihilation but the king couldn’t sleep. Another time was in 2 Kings 7:3 Four lepers were facing starvation and decided to go into the Syrian camp to surrender only to find that the Syrians had fled for their lives leaving behind a wealth of food, clothing, and riches. He surrounds us with songs of deliverance and gives us songs in the night. Spurgeon says that “Providence ordered it.”
There will have to come a point in your life that you give your life over to the hiding place. It is hard to live your life kicking so hard against the things in your life. When you are in the night seasons you have to learn not to treat even the little things small. In Isaiah 48: 6, “You have heard; now see all this; and will you not declare it? From this time forth I announce to you new things, hidden things that you have not known. They are created now, not long ago; before today you have never heard of them, lest you should say, Behold, I knew them.” Unprecedented acts of God are always on the horizon-unprecedented, lest his own people treat his deeds dismissively. I pray as you move into 2012, that each day becomes an overflowing song of deliverance and a wonderful act of God!

DEFINING MOMENTS

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!