I started this specific blog eight years ago but I've been blogging and sharing on various message boards for much longer than that. I have often used this blog to share my deeply personal feelings about various topics, often times sharing probably TOO deeply for a personal blog... but at the same time, it's me, it's my mind, my thoughts, my heart.. and no one is making you come here and read it. Of course I'm grateful that you are. ;)
If you didn't know, I am somewhat of a digital hoarder so it's not uncommon at all for me to find pictures dating back several years sparking memories of all sorts. When I came across this picture recently of Brian Pruitt and myself, I just stared at it for what seemed like hours. In many ways it was representing a completely different time in my life. In fact, it represented what felt like was a completely different version of myself.
The picture is from about a decade ago when two of my driving passions were Internet Radio and leading live worship. My ministry (Healing Stream Media) was still growing and we would stream live to those stations several times a week. Every couple of months we would do larger online conferences where I would be joined by special guest speakers or guest musicians,
I had such a hunger to see God's Presence flow and touch others back then.
An inescapable question comes to my mind and that is "what happened?" How did I get from there to where I am today? The answer to that is both simple and complex so for the purpose of this blog I'll use the simple one.
My passions were slowly replaced with wounds.
Many wounds were inflicted by the local church, specifically many local leaders. Still other wounds came from friends and ministry partners who would start to use our friendship as leverage to get me to make ministry based changes that they wanted to see even if I didn't feel God wanted it done that way.
Over the last few years, the deepest woundings of all came from my personal family. My wife's decision to hide her feelings for another man devastated me at the core of who I was back in 2018. Once THAT bomb was dropped on me, all of the other woundings up to that point paled in comparison.
I went from a conservative Christian ministry leader with an amazing family to a devastated and betrayed husband who didn't know which end was up with that news.
I plan on sharing in much greater detail about the things I have learned over the past four years because I believe that God has a plan to include me in some very wonderful things that will ultimately help a lot of other people... so more on that stuff soon... but back in 2018 when I first got that news, I instantly pulled back away from any and all public ministry stuff. I stopped blogging nearly as regularly as regular readers would likely already know.
I took the radio stations that I had created and made them all 100% automated so as not to feature my music or my voice. I shut down the radio shows I was doing and I did it all largely because I didn't know what else to do.
In the middle of this private emotional hell for me came the lovely pandemic with all of the stresses and drama therein. I'm sure I don't have to tell you all about that as everyone has their own stories of woe about that... but it was just more sauce for the goose for me.
In the last four years I have walked roads that I previously did not even know existed. I THOUGHT I knew what emotional pain and suffering was but this season has shown me I didn't really understand just how dark and painful the human condition can truly become. I engaged in activities that I'm not proud of and after walking on the darkest of dark sides I can report back to all who care that God's Grace IS stronger and greater than any and all sin.
In coming weeks I plan to share more and do somewhat of a reinvention of myself. God has been talking to me about living "Victoriously" and what that actually means in our post covid, hypersexualized world. In the meantime, remember that Pure Love is the cure for Fear.
Forgiveness doesn't give you amnesia. Instead it (often slowly) destroys the pain that is connected to the memory allowing you be driven less and less by retaliation or revenge￼.
Forgiveness is not about the person who wronged you and in that we see the trap. So long as the focus is on THEM, escaping the bitterness prison is impossible.
￼￼Forgiveness is between you and God alone, no one else. That is why you can forgive ANYONE... even if they are dead.. because THEY have nothing whatsoever to do with YOUR forgiveness and healing.
Forgiveness is returning proper timing to your life.￼￼ The price you pay to relive what happened in the past is your focus in the present. Said a different way, you can’t concentrate on what you’re doing right now or even in setting goals for what is to come if you are focused on what happened to you in the past. Forgiveness ￼￼leaves what they did to you in your past where it belongs and hands you back your personal dignity, authority and power.
I often hear people say something like “you don’t understand how bad they hurt me…￼￼”. When we are wounded￼, we always seek agreement on that level of woundedness. There’s nothing wrong with seeking agreement of course but A spirit of wisdom will enter your life and teach you to seek agreement to your strengths and agreement towards your healing￼s, away from that woundedness.
￼Forgiveness let’s you hand the reigns of retaliation back to God Himself and trusts that He will repay on your behalf setting you free of the burden of revenge and ushering in a confidence that God can do what you cannot. This also sets you completely free from the power and the wounding that the original perpetrator did to you.
Consider this… When the devil can’t kill you he will try to stop you. When he can’t stop you the only thing he has left is to try to distract you and few things are more powerful as it relates to distractions than personal offenses. If ￼the enemy can just get under your skin with a little demon of retaliation or revenge,￼￼￼￼￼ he knows that he has distracted you away from what you really want be doing.
￼Now I want to talk to some of you who have carried some anger or bitterness against others for years and years. Instead of revisiting the original offense, come with me to a higher place and see the bigger picture. See that you are being played and you have been tricked into trading today’s focus for yesterdays offense.￼￼ God gave you a memory primarily to replay pleasures,￼ but the enemy has got in and hijacked your memory and is forcing you to replay offenses.￼ Today the invitation comes from the Lord ultimately to take your life back by changing your focus.￼￼￼
That person that hurt you really doesn’t need to be in your life any longer. They are taking a precious space and taking mental and spiritual energy that they don’t deserve.
As you read this today, let the Holy Spirit grow and magnify your future.￼￼￼￼ Let the dreams begin to come alive.￼￼￼￼ Fresh vision, fresh excitement about what is to come, literally let God begin to dream through you and you will see the words of Paul, come alive in your life as you forget what lies behind but instead press on, forward toward the mark of the prize of the high calling which is in Christ.
When Jesus was on the cross most of us remember the account when he says father forgive them, they don’t know what they’re doing. Let me translate that verse a different way for you using our modern language today… When Jesus on the cross he actually looks out and says Dad,￼￼ they don’t understand what’s really going on here￼ and if I focus on them I’ll lose track of what you and I are doing here together.
Forgiveness helps you regain personal focus, it keeps you productive and it restores freedom in your soul to love others like you were really created to love￼ others.
You are created￼ in the image of the master lover of the universe. If your soul can come in to freedom and offer blanket forgiveness for everyone who has ever harmed you in your life, you will be set free to be an image of that master lover and not only will the lives of everyone around you change, so also will your own life change for the better. Your heart will actually match the unoffendable heart of God.￼
Just a handful of thoughts to get your Sunday off to a nice start
Seven years ago I was living a completely different life. I was a worship leader and regularly ministered everywhere from home groups to churches and live events. I also enjoyed supporting other worship leaders by often playing on stage with them at their events. It was the culture back then for others to help each other like that.
In 2014 I was privately going through some spiritual frustrations just not feeling like God was really with me so I sat down to play at the keyboard and began to pour myself out to the Lord about it. What came out of me was my 2014 CD called "Never Gone Before" which would be my last full project I ever did (not counting a couple of singles in 2015 and 2017).
God has been slowly drawing me back into His Presence more and more as of late and earlier today I was reminded about this song, "Never Gone Before". I went to the keyboard to play it and could not remember all of the words so I played the original track and wrote out the words, which I am now going to share with you on here.
Reading this today I am amazed at how my heart still today severn years later STILL cries out for this. It's a hunger, a deep itch that has yet to be scratched...perhaps soon it will be.
Where I Have Never Gone Before
2014 Mark Kenney Music
I know there is more, I’ve seen it from afar off
I’ve seen the distance and I’ve wondered how to bridge the gap
I wanna come with you, I want to answer the invitation
It's written in your blood, it’s the power of the Revelation
(Chorus) I wanna go where I have never gone before and all I know is you alone, you are the door. Wont you take me with you, where I have never gone before.
Bring me to that place, bring me to your face where I will see like I have never seen
I wanna go with you, I wanna feel you inside of myself
I wanna be with you, I wanna realize that I am never alone
I wanna go where I have never gone before and all I know is you alone, you are the door. Wont you take me with you, where I have never gone before.
I want to hear what I have never heard before, I want to see what I’ve been blinded to before. I want to feel you in a way that’s fresh, a way that’s fresh and new
I wanna know what I’ve never known before, as this moment in time resonates with your presence, I wanna be, I wanna be what I have never been before
I wanna go where I have never gone before and all I know is you alone, you are the door. Wont you take me with you, where I have never gone before.
Bring me to the place where your face and radiance glows, where your glory is on display at all times, I wanna see it, show it to me now, reveal yourself to me. Reveal yourself, reveal yourself to me.
Take me to the place, take me to your place where you alone are.
Where you are always there waiting patiently, patiently on my surrender
I want to take that step and leave this world behind, I wanna be with you and step outside of time, Bring me to yourself, bring me to yourself, I wanna be with you in a way I never have before
As we join ourselves, we become one anew. As we join ourselves, committed to see it through, Show me yourself and I’ll walk through you as the door, I’ll come with you where I’ve never gone before, I’ll be part of you, I’ll let you be so much more, I will come with you and you will be with me forever.
I have seen your face a thousand times, in my dreams and in my mind without ,my human eyes now I need to go with you, I need something I’ve never had before
I need your heart to manifest inside of mine, I need your wisdom to come and guide my life and I need every part of you to come and take every part of me where I have never gone before
I will submit myself, I will come with you, I will be your bride and let you be my groom
and you will live through me and I through you where I have never gone before
I will submit to you to see your face, I will let you do a work of Amazing grace
and I will see you inside my own face like I’ve never seen before, I surrender my perception to you.
I wanna go where I have never gone before and all I know is you alone, you are the door. Wont you take me with you, where I have never gone before.
I was adopted at 3 days of age by a middle class family who already had a little girl. They found out they could not have any more kids of their own yet they wanted a boy to complete their family so in 1969 they contacted an attorney and the wheels were set in motion to legally adopt the first available boy.
On January 25th I was born and on January 28th I was adopted by Allen and Carolyn Kenney in Sunbury, Ohio.
I was raised in Florida the first few years of my life but Mom and Dad worked hard to put the money together and and in the early 80s we moved back to Ohio as they purchased an NAPA Auto Parts store on the square in Sunbury. A few years later they purchased a true Value Hardware store and ran a hybrid of both stores for many years.
The economy began to slip and they ended up selling the stores and going into business working from their home as Kenney Painting. Mom and Dad worked very closely together for decades and moved from Sunbury to Westerville and eventually back to Sunbury and then down to Florida again. As Mom's dementia worsened and the end became painfully unavoidable they moved back here to Ohio.
The Big Family Secret
Roughly 20 years ago, my sister Kim became jealous of me and decided that she didn’t want me in her life any longer letting it be known she didn’t want mom or dad to have anything to do with me either. She went so far as to misquote me from a certain Facebook post to make me sound like I was attacking Mom and Dad who of course asked me about it. When I shared copies of the posts in question, it was obvious that Kim had lied and was just trying to create division in the family. Mom and Dad were disappointed in Kim and obviously felt trapped in the middle of a sibling rivalry and they didn’t know exactly what to do.
As I prayed, I felt I had a Word of Wisdom so I suggested a solution that Mom, Dad and I all three agreed upon. They would lead Kim (and if necessary anyone who sided with her) to believe that they were upset and/or not having anything to do with me to preserve their relationship with her and they would keep their relationship with me secret, hidden away from Kim and more private in general.
This made sense for a lot of reasons, not the least of which is that Kim lived very close and I lived the better part of an hour away so it would be an easy thing to pull off and relatively a small price to pay to keep both the relationship with their daughter and their relationship with their son in tact.
In short, we all agreed to let Kim believe she was successful at ostracizing me when she really wasn't. I was willing to fall back and be painted as the bad guy in the name of keeping the larger peace. I promised them that I would keep this secret until both of them were in Heaven and I have done just that.
The Beautiful Passing
When Mom was in her final days, she couldn't talk or move on her own. She could barely turn her head but I sat with her holding her hand as she sat perfectly still, sometimes with eyes open, sometimes asleep. When it was time to go I leaned over to her, kissed her cheek and said "Mom, it's Mark, I love you and our secret is still safe". She cracked the smallest of smiles as her tired eyes met mine one last time and just as quickly she slipped back into her detached from reality state.
Dad shared with me that later that night Mom broke her normal motionless routine by rolling over, hugging him and saying "Allen, I Love You". Just as quickly she again slid back into non-responsiveness and a few hours later she was gone.
Dad and I would talk in person and on the phone for hours on end about all sorts of things. We prayed together. The boys and I visited dad several times always being careful to call or text ahead to make sure that no one else was going to be over and “catch us” actually visiting. Dad always hugged us, he always told each of us he loved us. I have pages and pages of text messages back-and-forth with Dad and I including pictures and all sorts of wonderful memories that I will treasure forever.
After Mom's passing Dad struggled but he also had a plan that very few people knew about. He was going to return to Florida because he had met someone special along the way that began to bring him joy and happiness once again. I won’t name her out of respect for her privacy but she is an absolute angel who brought dad so much Joy and Peace over these last few months. I remember commenting to the kids at how their grandfather sounded like he was in High School again with such joy in his voice. It was another relationship that Dad kept close to the vest to not upset Kim because she didn't approve of the idea that he could see anyone that close after Mom had passed... but of course he told me about it and Dad invited her to move in with him in Florida and she did. They were truly happy until earlier this month Dad began to have trouble breathing. The hospital said he had some issues and they also diagnosed him with Covid.
The hospital told me he was in poor condition and they didn't expect him to make it but they were treating him, though recovery was unlikely. We all started to pray here but a bit later they called back and my sister who had power of attorney told the hospital to stop treatment and to just try to make him comfortable. Within another few hours he was gone.
Kim certainly didn't do anything illegal, and to be clear, Dad said multiple times over the years he did not want to be kept alive artificially but people were still praying and he had not died yet...so if it were me, I would have waited longer but that was not my decision to make.
Dad, thank you for coming after me in 1970. Thank you for bringing me into your home and treating me like I was your own. Thank you for every life lesson, thank you for every precious memory, thank you for every powerful example and thank you perhaps more than anything else for being a father to the fatherless... because I was that fatherless child and partially because of your unselfish sacrifices, I now have a hand in helping others heal.
Dad, you offered yourself to God and God accepted that offer and used you in ways you may only now be starting to understand.
I love you, dad... hug mom for me, and tell Grandpa Cliff I miss him too.
I haven't been following the Christian music scene as closely as I had in years past so I was a little late to the game as it relates to Hawk Nelson's frontman John Steingard made his now infamous post about no longer believing in God. Before I could find an opinion on all of it I wanted to hear from John himself as most of the noise about it was vague and well, lets be honest, Christians love to make stuff up and tear each other to shreds... been there, done that.. so I wanted to hear from the horses mouth... and I did that by watching a very good interview with John where he made his case in a very powerful and compelling way.
John told of having a moment that challenged and changed him where he was made aware of suffering children who were often dying lonely and abandoned and he just couldn't square how God would allow that sort of thing to happen while appearing to bless others so abundantly. The apparent hypocrisy from Heaven was too much for him to process but as usually happens when i get involved, I didn't just hear what John said, I also heard what God was saying with, through and about John... so if John happens to make his way here to my humble blog, here is what I want to publicly say to John...
Let me first say thank you for sharing your talents and gifts with the world as you have so far. I was never a big Hawk fan until a few years ago when I saw you guys in concert in Columbus, Ohio and man, even though you were an opener for the Newsboys, you guys simply stole the show. There was an undeniable anointing on the music itself and God's Presence rested on your collective efforts. I like what you said in your recent interview about not letting our personal experiences be diminished by your new found season of searching... that is wisdom for sure.
I'm sure you are aware that there have been a pretty long line of people who have come and gone in the Christian music industry over the decades. For many of those people the hypocrisy of the industry itself got to be too much. For others the burden of fame itself did them in while still others couldn't square the teachings of Jesus and the Bible with their own sexual appetites. When I heard your sharing, I didn't get the feeling that any of those things applied to you. In fact, I was a little suprised at the humility in your voice after hearing how harshly some have painted your recent comments.
As a prophetic voice in the modern body of Christ, here is what I heard as you shared...
The Lord is not put off or upset with you at all. In fact He is the one setting all of this into motion. Your public questioning is a very real reflection of the private questioning in the hearts of countless other believers who simply did not have the courage that you do to stand up for what you believe is right. Through your own perception you view this as something of a a departure away from God but it is not that at all. It's much more of a personal challenge from God taylor made for you. The questions that have brought you to this place... are not yet answered in your heart and mind... and that is a good thing because answers hide from us and as you said in your interview, the normal "evil is in the world" answers just didn't ring with you this time...
God is saying to you personally John, you have been given a special invitation to no longer learn about Him, to no longer sing about Him, to no longer lead others about Him.. but instead this time the invitation is to get away from the human realms and begin to explore the PERSON of the Holy Spirit for yourself. God has baited your heart with questions that no man can satisfactorily answer. Only hearing answers directly from the Holy Spirit Himself will bring you peace and resolution.
So many years have been spent being about the work of the Lord... now the Lord has issues a holy "hit" on you, a term I use when God targets a person for an individual and unique encounter with Him alone. I personally have had two of these in my 50 years.. so they are not common, but they are life altering and that is what is happening right now. Your desire for order in the Earth is absolutely God's desire as well... but that is what God is using to get you in the door to meet with Him alone. Once you are alone with Him and conversations begin back and forth, He will speak such deep things to you about HIMSELF that it will bring resolution to your questions and reveal a new, fresh chapter and season of life for you.
I prayed if I was supposed to share any scripture with you and the only verse I felt to share was Philippians 3:12... my paraphrase of that verse to you right now would be this... "it's ok that you are shaken and don't have the answers because you are about to be overtaken and captured by the person of the Holy Spirit who has set his sights on overtaking and capturing you." It's really a personal manifestation of the lyric "you can't face this kind of Grace and leave the way you came". It will be like stepping inside of Love and Grace together.. and even those two words will be redefined to your human understanding.
I believe in you John and I bless what God is doing here in all of this. Most of the world is judging or not understanding... don't sweat them at all, just know those of us who see with spirit eyes see what's really happening and we bless you as you journey through life.
Thanks for reading.
September 11th, 2001 will go down in history as the day America changed forever. Countless blogs, vlogs, posts and pictures have been shared over the last 19 years but one thing I'm not seeing anymore is the real reason it took place to begin with and that is radical Islam.
Many are saying that even Fox News doesn't allow anyone to talk about radical Islam any longer on its air and ask yourself when the last time you heard anyone even mention it.
Islam can be practiced peacefully when done as part of the western world's watered down version of it as millions do but just like some fringe or radical Christians blow up abortion clinics, there are fringe or radical Islamists that take the Quran literally when it calls for death to those who will not be converted. These radical Islamists were the ones who drove the demonic ideology that in their warped minds justified the 9/11 attacks.
When then President George W Bush gave his now famous bullhorn speech, it unified this nation in a way that had not been seen for generations. There were no red states or blue states, there was just the recently attacked United States.
I've debated for a good bit if I wanted to bring this part of my life out in my blog but after much consideration, here goes.
A little over two years ago my life changed forever when personal problems with my marriage exploded. I went on a quest to find myself afresh and I began to be open to new things i had never tried. One of those things was going to a casino.
Being raised so conservatively, casinos were off limits. They were "the devil's playground" as one elder in my early church told me. That answer was fine when I was 14, but at 48 with life falling apart, it seemed to ring a bit shallow of an answer so I poked my head in the door to have a look at least.
I'm not sure what I thought I would find but what I saw was a well oiled, money making machine. The business model itself stood out to me quickly... the house provides a number of electronic and table based games, all with a house edge to make the house more money, but why would people play games where they knew the house had an edge? I believe people are drawn in largely for two reasons. One, to be entertained.
Modern Slot Machines are electronic marvels giving the user all of the sights and sounds of a personal and somewhat overwhelming encounter making them feel immersed in the game. Even when they do not win money, the lights and sounds trigger similar sensations in the mind as some people sit and play for hours on end. Table games offer a more personalized experience with a live dealer. Games like Craps (dice), Roulette and Baccarat all offer familiar experiences for the casino faithful but one table game stands out by far to most and that is Blackjack.
The second reason most go to the casino is the possibility of becoming one of the winners. Similar to the lottery, casinos offer the hope (however distant) of getting what feels like free money. of course, while casinos do pay out millions in games and jackpots, they rake in tens of billions from the overwhelming majority who are not winners.
As a child I played Blackjack, then called "21" with my sister growing up so i remembered the basics of the game. I bought in for a whopping $15 which was the table minimum bet and immediately lost. I reluctantly bought in for another $15 and won the next several hands in a row. Once I reached $85 I cashed out very proud of myself and very aware that I had done what very few people ever do, namely I left the casino with more money than I came in with.
I began to study the game of Blackjack in detail. Most dont realize it but there is a good amount of statistical data and probable simulations that go into what is called Blackjack Basic Strategy. When a player uses this basic strategy for every single hand played, they whittle the house advantage down very close to 51%. I may do a follow up blog in the future about how to beat the casino in Blackjack because it IS possible to do....but for today, the larger point is that I began to go regularly to the casino and regularly win more than I lost.
God has always protected me throughout my entire life and I am well aware that my casino experiences have not been typical. No one should misconstrue my blog here as an endorsement to look to any casino for anything more than entertainment. If you need money, do something else. Do NOT gamble to make money. If you are going to gamble, gamble for the fun of it expecting the house to always eventually win... because in the overwhelming majority of cases, they do.
Here is my personal advice for new casino goers...
If you have any addiction issues in your life, I would simply not go to a casino. They are designed to do one thing, separate you from your money. You are not smarter than they are and they have been at this for generations now. For every person like me with beginner's luck, there are millions world wide who have lost everything they wagered.
If you do decide to go, set aside a certain amount you can afford to part with for entertainment...and here is the critical thing.. once that money is gone, you are done. Period. Full Stop. If you can't walk away after losing the reasonable and predetermined amount, in my opinion you have a gambling problem.
I've documented much of my life's journey on this blog including my discovery of my birth mother some six years ago now. Now it looks likely that I have found my birth father as well.
I'm not going to get into much of that publicly until I can verify that down to a scientific certainty with DNA but that testing is in the works right now and when that comes back, I will have plenty to say on the topic.
I will also soon be talking about this whole pandemic mess that we find ourselves in the midst of... and before I forget, Happy New Year some 8 months late... lol
As 2019 winds down I wanted to do a blog post about the recent passing of my adoptive mom, Carolyn Kenney. The only phrase that seems to fit is "The End Of An Era" and it's still a bit surreal.
Back in October my adoptive mother who raised me passed away. I know my adoptive father is probably not that far behind her. My sister (their actual child) has been an instigator for years now trying to create trouble in the family telling lies about me to them and with my mom's passing, any real family reconciliation has likely died with her.
I was adopted at 3 days of age and they had me in the Church of Christ (with instruments) three days a week for the first eighteen years of my life. Every Sunday morning, every Sunday night, every Wednesday night, every youth group function, every special event, the church was our second home...and when we weren't attending church, whatever else we were doing was being done with people we knew from the church.
At 12 years of age, I got saved meaning I understood that I was a sinner having no way to get to God by myself and I needed to accept what Jesus did in my place. I also felt the Holy Spirit come upon me in call me personally to Himself and the way that the church I attended at that time handled that was to have you come forward at an altar call and be water baptized...so that's what I did.
I was taught The Bible from the time I was a little boy but in my later teen years I began to read The Bible for myself and the more I read the more it began to consume me. A few verses were never enough as I read several chapters a day everyday for months on end. It was the first time that the book came alive to me and I realized I could read the same thing 10 times in a row and the Holy Spirit would reveal something different about it each time. It's also when I 1st began to figure out the Holy Spirit's touch and voice in my life but it was in those early years when mom's input was most valuable.
When I was in my early teens I was always on my church's bible bowl team. Bible bowl was a game show style contest of questions where one youth group would compete against another local youth group for prizes and bragging rights. My mom would scour over the relevant chapters hand writing out hundreds and hundreds of questions on individual index cards for us to use and then after working during the day she would spend her evenings working with all of us on the team. Thanks largely to her efforts, we usually came in first place... of course the real rewards would be felt for the rest of our lives as the word of God had been planted in our minds and hearts.
Mom carried a lot of hurt from her own upbringing. She was abused by her brothers and was an eyewitness to her father's untimely death in the mid 60s. She would often recall those stories and how she knew she would see "daddy" again someday. Her mom (my grandmother) had a rocky relationship with her at best with a nasty legal battle unfolding over money a few years before grandmas passing and mom never forgot about that, mentioning it often in later years.
Mom's body is in the same cemetery as my grandpa’s up in Delaware County. My Grandpa whom I loved dearly passed away in 1982 when I was just 12. Now their bodies rest in the same location along with several other extended family members and others I knew while growing up.
Mom and I had our differences as I was growing up too. She had some ideas for how I should turn out that didn't quite go how she wanted them to. For example, she always wanted me to play southern gospel piano so she had me in piano lessons from the time I was about 3 years old. Instead of going Southern Gospel, I went into Rock keyboard, Christian music and Worship stuff.
She had no way of knowing the incredible mental struggles that I went though as my prophetic giftings began to surface...and I sure didn't know how to communicate them to her, or to anyone else for that matter, but she stayed consistent in her support of me through the years.
When I learned of mom's inevitable passing, I immediately went to be with her and dad. I spent about four hours with them both and she had already deteriorated to the point thats she no longer spoke and rarely moved. I talked to her as if she could understand every last thing I was saying even though she showed no signs of that. FInally when the time came to leave, I knew I would not see her alive again so I leaned in extra close to her ear and said "Mom, I have to go now but know that I love you and I believe you hear and understand me just fine. Thank you for everything over the years".. she brought a tear to my eye as she tilted her head up and over about an inch toward me and cracked a small smile. Then as soon as she did, it was gone again but that was ok, that was all I needed to know beyond a shadow of a doubt she heard and understood.
The preacher at her funeral said it best... we didn't lose her, we know exactly where she is, and one day we will all see her again.
for those like me who have been blacklisted by the modern church, take heart. One of the reasons Jesus was so overwhelming to the church leaders of His day was because He was bypassing them entirely. The church leaders needed people to NOT have a close, personal relationship with God for themselves because that made those same leaders irrelevant. Their money, their fame and their power would be gone if Jesus really was the Messiah... and that is why they tried to slander, belittle and even kill Him. The more miracles He preformed, the more people believed He was the Messiah and thus the more people unplugged from those leaders making them more and more desperate as time went on, even to the point of justifying murder.
Prophets do the same thing to religious leaders today.
Seasoned prophetic people move powerfully in such a way that it draws people into a closer personal relationship with Jesus for themselves. That threatens the modern church leadership who count on believers NOT having the close of a relationship with God for themselves. They need you to not know what God is saying directly so you will come to them to hear.
For YEARS I could never understand why the local church celebrated me with my prophetic gifting for a season but would then always turn on me, slander me, assassinate my character and run me off. I now understand it is because I am dangerous to them. If people actually listen and apply the prophetic word of the Lord, they will draw in close to God's Presence for themselves and so anyone (not just me) who is anointed to open that door for others is automatically blacklisted once that is discovered.
Of course, most believers are quite content in letting "Moses" (their Pastor) go to the mountain of God and bring down the bread to them once a week. Its operating under the Old Covenant with the Lord but hey, it's easier to let someone else do it. Taking real spiritual dominion and authority is a life changer after all and just plugging into the religious system where church attendance replaces real relationship with God is so much easier
See, Judas and John had the same mentor. They had the same Master. They had the same opportunities. The difference was that Judas had been AROUND Jesus... but John had been WITH Jesus. So it is today... most modern believers go to church and are AROUND Jesus.. but then their are a few, a small handful who have been WITH Jesus. The strain of the religious system caused Judas to kill himself. The anointing on John was so deep and intense that they tried to murder him multiple times and he simply would not die. In fact the anointing on John is SO strong that he ends up being banished but in that exile he receives a special and intense extra Revelation of Jesus that we now know as the Book of Revelation.
Here's another little nugget... when Mary found the empty tomb, she went and told the others. Peter and John raced to the tomb and John got there first BUT he did not go in. This is significant because to John there was no reason to go in. In John's heart he already knew that Jesus was going to rise from the dead as He said. Peter ran with cautious uncertainty not knowing what he would find which is why Peter went INTO the tomb... but John ran with Joy knowing exactly what has already taken place.
To be clear, I am not "anti church". I believe the church is supposed to be like a school. A place of learning, impartation, a gathering place. It should be a safe place of refuge where everyone is welcome... but within that, when a church (or a church leader) tries to put itself between you and God, that is heresy and you are placing yourself back under the Old Covenant. Be like John... be WITH Jesus for yourself. It will unlock your greatest life potential.
Write something about yourself. No need to be fancy, just an overview.