What is happening right now?

Let me give you a zoomed out perspective that may offer you someone hope during this time.

  1. I went into the spring of this year knowing God was setting each builder in place, in their callings, in order to fully mobilize the body of Christ this year.
  2. Then COVID-19 happened. The arrangement of destiny placement happened anyway despite of this, and sometimes in part, aided by it.
  3. The wave of restriction that hit our nation in March brought a blanket over every activity not worth fighting to resurrect again. Many things still lay dormant that no one will ever exert the effort and energy to resurrect. Only activities that are pertinent to life and families has endured. Everything that was an old ritual still in motion has fallen away.
  4. You, right now you are placed. Some part of how you have been created is being set in place, is growing beneath the surface, is in the formative stages. You are walking out your destiny today, you are on the path of your destiny today.
  5. If it doesn’t feel great, don’t worry about it. Sometimes we think when we lay ahold of our dreams or purpose everything will be clouds and pillows. Not always so; sometimes exactly the opposite. But there will be growth and growth can be uncomfortable and painful but it will always be worth its reward.
  6. Nothing may comfortable. This is 100% okay. God has every minute (mynoot) detail of society poised and positioned for his glory. Every little hinge and door and window and hallway of culture is intentional. Sickness and disease arn’t intentional, but your lack of ability to trust what you used to is.
  7. God is at peace. He is comfortable with your discomfort and certain in your uncertainty. He’s not doing things happenstancely in your life. When we feel completely dependent on him, it’s because it is real. We ARE completely dependent upon him.
  8. When you are positioned in circumstances that you feel you cannot change, he always retains the ability to change them. This ultimately comes down to his Lordship over your life and how you feel about that. This doesn’t mean joy isn’t set before you or that it is not worth the outcome. On the contrary, its just what your destiny ordered.
  9. You’ve been prepared for this. All that history, all that experience, all that wisdom you’ve been carrying around with you? It is for now.
  10. Your presence in your country matters. That’s why you are there!  Everyday you chose to show up, not let go of kindness, hope for peace, dare to laugh, and love anyway, these all matter…a lot.

I never have answers, only inklings. The course of a world is being altered at this time before our very eyes. We no longer can see our future anymore clearly through the lens of where we’ve come from.

Everything is about relationship. The fastest advancing front of the kingdom in this hour is family, even helped in-part by COVID circumstances. Everything God does is unshakable and preservable. You are a living collection of a lifetime of experiences of love that came in so many forms and fashions. You have experienced kindness and have the ability to continue to give it without condition.

Despite any trouble around you, he is oh so kind, oh so near, oh so excited about you just as you are. He never postpones delighting in you. I hope you feel connection with him despite any lack of understanding or confusion about what’s going on around you. He is not cold or harsh, he is not hurting you, or abrasive.

Nothing that happens for the remainder of this year has not been foreseen by him. Nothing that happens in the next two months will catch God off-guard or cause him to come off kilter. He is firmly placed, unmovable, unshakeable. Not only is he not undeterred, he is expectant and confident. He has seen the end from the very beginning. He is so good at conducting the orchestra of time and humanity.

You are hedged in by blessing right now and beloved of the Lord. Trust is the road that will bring you to the resting place of peace.

Blessings!

Dusting off the Stories of what God has Done

God is always the same and what he did once he would do again.  God is not a respecter of persons and what he would do for one he would do for any.  These two statement encourage the hope and possibility of what God did once for someone else, he would do for me.  In saying that, something he did twenty years ago for me, he can do for you now.  So I’m walking down the memory lane of life as it is always the front page of who God still is today.  Take anything as hope of what can do for you.

  1.  I trusted God with my love life and he brought me the most amazing husband any woman could ever dream of.  As I’m writing this he is charging my cell phone for me and asking if I have water because he was going to refill it for me as I’m sitting in bed on a Saturday typing this about him.
  2.  I’ve never made over $10,000 a year in my entire adult life yet God has financed sending me to 23 different countries over the course of my life. For whatever reason, the way my heart is wired is that I feel most romanced by God when he sends me to travel somewhere. I know I couldn’t, and wouldn’t want to do anything without him sending me.
  3.   I’ve screwed up, meaning I’ve failed at something he’s asked me to do, and yet he’s never fired me, punished me, abandoned me or quit being kind to me.  Because of this I really realized the grace of God is truly a gift.  It is not earned.
  4.   God redeemed the ending of my family when we were younger.  My parents separated and both happily remarried.  My siblings are all risking love in some measure in their life.  This sometimes requires the greatest courage.  I am proud for the measure they continue to risk being known and loved despite how we’ve seen it can possibly end up.
  5.   God has given me peace.  In different seasons of life due to different things I have different measures of peace but in all of life I have a strong underlying trust in God that always imparts to me a steadfastness that I feel all the time.  Like I’m being held, or embraced, or hugged and I feel safe and sturdy.  I love God for imparting this feeling to me on an ongoing basis.
  6.   I realized through frequency to get over myself, my understanding, my ways, control, anything I would hold on to for fear or security.  From plans to stuff, he really does take care of everything and often, when I let him, way better than I could ever put things together.  Like I really am blind and dumb compared to all he sees and knows.  It is wisdom to trust him, let him lead, and put everything in his hands.
  7.   Unity, relationships, connection, obedience, service, humility, love, faith, truth, these things really are the majors in life and everything else is truly unimportant and meaningless in comparison.
  8.   I really feel like my death is in God’s hands as much as my birth was. I didn’t control my birth, God did.  In the same way, I don’t think anything is random and he knows all of the days of my life and will work out the plans and dreams he has for sending me here in the first place.
  9.   I don’t fear death in any way.  Almost daily I feel the fragility of this realm of life and time.  It is such a thin veil and my true self is timeless and in an always state.  I do not want to miss what he wants to show me and teach me and also truly enjoy the day with him as this is me loving to be alive with him.  This is living.
  10.   I feel humbled by God’s goodness and love.  I definitely don’t deserve any of it, but he shows me that I’m worthy because he says I am.  Who am I to disagree?!   😉
  11.   I thought I was going to go into tangible stories about specifics God had done for me–
  12.   Oh-my father’s transplant was an answer to prayer-he met my husband and is still alive!
  13.   And also my grandfather’s life was spared in a time where he was being killed by being given the wrong medication in the hospital but the error was found out and he became himself again to pass in peace at a later time.
  14.   Also I was filled with the holy spirit, a tangible experience in my body that overcame me that I still feel today and a way I interact with God directly spirit to spirit rather than just mind to mind, early morning alone in a gymnasium in a Lutheran church!
  15.   I received God’s forgiveness and being made right with God through what Jesus Christ suffered on my behalf on the cross, making a way for me to stand blameless and confident before God because he has made me his family and his friend.
  16.   I thought I was going to write more specific stories like the ones above, but it appears God is an active living miracle in my life.  I am so grateful to have the ability to see and breathe and feel and taste and express myself and sit in peace and have freedom.  I am so thankful to share life with my husband and spend the passing of time in his company.

These are a few thoughts that come to mind when thinking about what God has done for me in my life.  May it be an encouragement and blessing to you.  Oh yeah – don’t waste your time overly concerning yourself with what other people think of you.  It is not your responsibility nor does it matter beyond your upright heart before the father.  Acceptance or praise of man is not the bread that that gives life but rather the word of God.  Blessings!

Joshua the Unlikely Ruler

Are you familiar with the feeling of doing something you’d rather not do?  Are you familiar with the feeling of having to fulfill an obligation no one could pay you enough to fulfill?  Have you felt like the victim of your own barrage of thoughts that are zapping your energy?  These are tiny of glimpses of slavery and are foreign to your true self.  You, in essence, are created to live without any other king but you and your God as the best of friends basking in the glorious responsibility of true freedom.

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There’s a man named Joshua in the bible, torah, and koran who is Moses’ right hand man while the whole clan of Israelites have just been divinely freed from slavery in Egypt for 430 years.  We are introduced to Joshua in the desert after their release and we see him believe God when few others did, in the tent of meeting with Moses.  We are introduced to him as a free man, but Joshua too, grew up as a slave.  Just like every other short-sighted, fear-based Israelite who couldn’t believe in God’s goodness beyond their own past experiences, Joshua grew up a slave.  However this man, unlike Moses and almost all Israelites, did cross over in to the promised land.  Joshua was able lead others that had only tasted freedom into God’s promises, despite having grown up in a culture of slavery.

We often eliminate ourselves for so many things.  We look back at our lives and say, “But I’ve done this, or this happened to me, or I endured this,” and we have these road blocks in our minds to believing our own happiness, our own strength, our own victory.  We tolerate slavery in little ways, we endure being emotionally or mentally kept into places we want to leave, but why?  Joshua is a man that had every excuse like everyone around him had to stay in his slave mentality.  All of his peers.  Comparison.  Justification.  Do you see how we’ve been treated?  Do you see what we’ve been through?  But he carried no excuses in his soul to not believing God was everything he imagined he could be and more.  You see God never joins in slavery with us.  Even as Christ in flesh, Jesus was not a slave to anything.  God never tolerated being pushed around.  It’s not who you are even if its where you’ve come from.

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Your experience with slavery does not disqualify you from leading yourself and others into God’s promises.  It does not disqualify you from achieving the impossible.  It does not negate your unearned inheritance.

Joshua, the slave who acted like a king.  The man who had slavery as the norm in his culture of origin.  But he spent time with the never-slave God.  The free God who spoke, interacted, and existed without being forced to be or do anything but who lives as love and calls us to the glorious freedom of the same.  Your origins are free of all slavery.

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Moses!  Of course Moses was chosen to lead the exodus, he grew up in the kings house, he experienced the kings freedom, he saw the world from the perspective of ruling since birth.  But the one who led the people into the land of inheritance, Joshua, was the one born a slave who believed God enough that he became a king in his inner man.  By that I am inspired.

Maybe Joshua was given the command of being courageous because he doubted.  Maybe was given the command of being strong because he was familiar with feeling weak.  “Be in my likeness,” God was inviting Joshua, “You don’t have to stay in the likeness you’ve come from or see being displayed around you.  Listen to me, I’ve invited you, come and lead in what it feels it feels like to be free.”

Start Again

Last weekend I heard Bobby Conner speak.  He said Jesus showed up to him and his face was sad and when Bobby asked why, Jesus replied, because my people don’t want to spend time with me.

After we left the meeting that night I had a long stream of thoughts in my head that I thought I would share here.  Can I say I already knew this?  Can I say that because it applies to me?  Holy Spirit’s kinda scary.  Let me explain more below.

A decade ago I was in the heart of everything extreme regarding Holy Spirit experiences.  Prayer rooms, conferences, communities, ministry, missions trips, prayer meetings, extravagant poverty and generosity, new adventures, preaching, ministering to the poor, etc.  Its safe to say many many of us remember those times of waking up to everything supernatural, unseen, giftings, refinement, and faith challenging.  Literally on the the floor, taken over by God.

Then I noticed another season.  I noticed it but hadn’t articulated it, until someone else did that for me.  An old fatherly preacher said first you are a part of a move of God and so is everyone else.  Then you fall flat on your face, and that’s a move of God too, and so did everyone else.

Between the years of 2013-2016 or around there I noticed so many people encounter very challenging or hard circumstances.  I’m referring to the sold out crowd.  The whole-hearted ones.  We had followed God–Holy Spirit–to the best of our growing ability and it led us right into heartbreak, setback, disappointment, confusion, or disillusionment.

So people are still figuring out which way is up, many people are forever changed through these experiences.  And we should be.  That’s why we have them.  But pain is a hard thing to choose willingly.  I know for myself I wondered how I had heard wrong, or gotten off track, or the lingering question of why?

God works healing, restoration, recovery, strength, and endurance in the midst of our inability to fix things, mend things, turn back time, or undo what’s been done.  Sometimes this happens overnight but more often than not it happens as the seasons pass by one after the other and the sting is gone and we can hear truth in the peace.  Or at least feel love in it again.

This may be the time to start again my friends.  Us, the family of God that has been learning so many things with our paradigms, communities, and living situations having changed so dramatically since back then.

So do we dare to open up ourselves again to a God that seemingly led us into a crash course with something we didn’t sign up for?  Will we be wholehearted again when it feels like we don’t even have our whole heart anymore or don’t know where we lost pieces of it along the way?

Our minds know he’s good.  Our minds know he’s faithful.  Our minds know he has a plan.  It’s the time of our hearts thawing towards him again.  We may look more secular, we may speak more secular, we may live lifestyles where religion can’t be detected much anymore but we are right where he’s invited us all.

He really is a wise orchestrater and he knew all the outcomes before all this happened.  You’re not off track.  You’re not lost, because he knows right where you are.  Myself included, I feel like this is the time for affections to be repaired and emotions to be restored.  In him, towards him, for him, and with him.

You have overcome.  You are equipped.  You are gifted.  You are included.  You are loved.  Maybe your dreamer got broken.  Maybe your believer ran out of power.  But there is life within you.  There is purpose in your breath.  There is glory in your experiences, maybe the failures more than successes.

God never invited Jesus into comfort, acceptance, celebration, the loyalties of those around him, freedom from pain, or glory among men during his life.  God has a much different value scale than you or I.  You may not know that every purpose that God had in the midst of your experiences has been accomplished.

He doesn’t want you as a worker anymore.  He does miss me.  He does miss us.  Maybe we are ready.  Maybe we are ready again to say yes.  All of us just know we will never say yes again to the mistakes or pains of our past.  There is glory in that.

We’ve heard all along in our involvement with Charismatic circles that God is moving towards doing wonders and miracles beyond our wildest imaginations.  We carry the memory of the hope we had of being in the center of that.  I think we still are.  I think you still are.  God knows what he’s doing on a global scale in exact timing.

Don’t respond to him in duty.  Don’t turn him away from a place of pain.  He is a lover.  He wants to share his love with us.  He wants to experience our presence.  Share our excitement and our pain.  He wants to comfort us and cause us to believe in ourselves again.

The winter perhaps is over and gone and new leaves are sprouting again.  The warmth is returning, the river is thawed, and life will grow. And we will see it and feel it in our own lives.  A lot is accomplished during the winter and you prime for fruit bearing in your renewed surrender.

The pain, the disappointment, distrust, or broken normal may not ever repair itself to life as it once was but we will have a different understanding of who God is and who we are in its occurrence.  Hope, Faith, and Love have become even more untouchable within us by the circumstances without us.  We have grown.

I can’t promise it won’t hurt again.  Continuing to follow him without understanding or being able to see what he sees about yourself.  I can’t promise you won’t experience or disappointment again.  But I can assure you your fullest life–not coasting by denying your numbness as time passes–the reason you were created as you were, lies in your renewed yes, your renewed faith through confusion, your willingness in your weakness, your availability in expressing and receiving love once again.

Beautiful army bearing the scars of maturity, dare to feel safe in his arms, rather than our avoidance or control once again.