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!

Two-Fold Mature Spirit Partnership

I wanted to write a brief piece mentioning walking with God in everyday life that is two-fold in living life that springs from the spirit of God.

The first part is hearing.  I don’t always hear a phrase or words or a song from God unless I’m being intentionally reflective or asking God a direct question in my mind and thoughts.  I do often notice inspired thoughts as I am just going through life open to direction.  This can come as a reminder to do something I have completed forgotten, or it can be an inspired way to encourage someone or do an act of service or it can be a solution that previously you couldn’t see or something that requires your attention.  I notice these thoughts when they come into my head are not my own and they often feel more like an invitation for partnership that has life and glory on the other side of it rather than a command or requirement.  These are the types of communication I believe Jesus referred to when he says I do what I see my father doing.  These can come as pictures in your head or ideas in your imagination but they truly are powerful and divinely inspired even if they don’t feel revolutionary or earth shattering.  Obedience always results in lasting fruit.  And sometimes this just looks like your character choices in maintaining or pursuing connection in relationships.

This is the first step of hearing and living a life flowing from the river of God.  The second part is where the wisdom of maturity comes in.  Just because you’ve received inspiration doesn’t mean to run and execute it immediately.  Often there is freedom to when you are inspired to respond at leisure or right away in peace.  But there can also be a shelf period when hearing from God.  I recognize this in other believers I respect and admire.  They receive a thought but then carry it within them until God orchestrates circumstances and timing for its release or execution.  For instance, you may feel inspired to say something to a certain individual that would be encouraging to them but perhaps don’t feel peace about writing it through an email or calling them on the phone.  Perhaps the Lord has you run into them by chance two days later and God brings that word of encouragement you had for them to mind and you share it in that moment.  This often is the best way to pursue obedience.  God really often does not need our initiative when taking care of kingdom business, often he just is looking for our response in the midst of his continuous divine orchestration.

One caution in this is when things have sat so long on the shelf or get pushed to the back they fall off and never happen.  Keep in mind the world doesn’t end when this happened.  There is no condemnation in walking in the spirit with the Lord.  Everything, including our learning and failure, carries value.  But perhaps there is an act or a word or a communication or a thought or a creative idea that the Lord has invited you into once that maybe is still ripe with glory available for you to bring to earth from the heaven in your mind.  The waiting on God to create the opening is a part of the maturing process of hearing from God and walking hand in hand with him.  Friends influence each other and what a privilege share life with a living, intimate, kind, forgiving God.

One way you may have to listen beyond your understanding is in regards to your own self worth.  God will tell you a million times that you are worthy, lovely, righteous, worth his love, and full of nobility but somehow we continually need to be reminded to believe it!  Often we are our own worst critique and rarely cut ourselves some slack.  Jesus continually reminds me of his undeserved favor, and his kindness and affection is something you need to be open to hearing, and not only that, but believing it!

Blessings on your adventures is hearing and walking with Jesus!

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!

What Has Happened the Last Four Years in the Body of Christ in the U.S.??

Okay, this piece may not resonate with everyone but it hopeful resonates with someone.  So you’re a person who loves God with all your heart.  If that has been the overwhelming cry of your heart for the past few decades some of us have been taken on a wild ride.  Let me review in a tiny synopsis a general progression one could observe in the body of Christ before I make my point.  Early 1500’s reformation of the concept of earned placement in heaven through the church – Martin Luther.  1700’s evangelism had the wind of heaven behind it on a number of people abroad and in America – Johnathan Edwards, George Whitfield, John Wesley, etc.  Mid-nineteen hundreds we have healing and miraculous through Billy Graham, Smith Wigglesworth, A.A. Allen, Oral Roberts, etc.  1980’s Kansas City Prophets with a new normal being establish in hearing from God. 1990’s we have Toronto Outpouring that really redirected the lives of Apostles like Randy Clark, Heidi Baker, Bill Johnson, etc.  In late 2000’s we have Lakeland and IHOP in glory and presence and miracles and grace with Todd Bentley and Mike Bickle and others.  Then in the early 2010’s it was the seven mountains, going out, taking position, reigning and influencing.

We’re now in the late 2010’s.  WHAT NOW?!?  What is God doing?!?  How are we growing??  What are we learning??

I know for the last four years in particular there are SO MANY people surrounding me that were the crazy-on-fire-for God type a decade ago that now look drastically different.  But I don’t want there to be misunderstanding and so I write.  Let me start off by saying I don’t see the devil.  What I mean by this is that God is not in some cataclysmic warfare against an almost equal opponent in the sky.  God has no enemy that provides any sort of threat and is writing a love story and an expression of himself that we get to be gloriously wrapped up in.  Moving on.

I don’t see the drying up (on a corporate level) of the last jumping-around-in-the-river-season as human failure, performance blunder, and now the body of Christ is supposed to get back on the work-up-the-glory-treadmill to try and conjure up some past experience so that we can roll around and go back to where we were.  I think that those crazy corporate times ended large-scale because they were meant to.  There was purpose accomplished in them and now we are moving on with new experience and fuller understanding.  There was no mistake, no failure, or “drying up.”  When I say moving on, I’m not saying abandoning anything or that anything was wrong.  On the contrary, we’re learning, we are moving on to the greater.

Let me summarize some things for you.  The last for years has brought so much tumult to so many people riding the top of the waves of the last season and has left some people not recognizing the glory saturating their lives now but I see and want to share.  I know a number of people who have been shaken to the core.  Literally the thing that is most important to them was destroyed, has ended, was taken away, or has changed to the point where even we ourselves at our core are hardly recognizable to ourselves.  I too am included in this group.

Unfortunately, (but it was not unfortunate because there was purpose in the experience), I spent so much time thinking I was broken.  After way too many attempts to fix myself with old tools without success the unknown and unrecognizability continued.  I met with a group of people I know intimately this past weekend and asked so many inquisitive questions.  I almost universally have found people in the same position as I: the way we used to operate in certain gifts operate that way no longer, the certain relationships I grew up in operate that way no longer, health or body do not operate how they used to any longer, that person I loved is alive no longer, how I viewed reality before didn’t cut it and I had to change, the entire life I’ve known up until this point looks so different.

So if you in the body of Christ are out there wondering why this growing hurts so much, or why those relationships ended, or why you were allowed to be disappointed or fail there, or why you feel like you aren’t really experiencing Christianity as you once knew it, IT’S BECAUSE CHRISTIANITY IS CHANGING.  Let me clarify; CHRIST ISNT CHANGING, WE ARE.  Especially in the lives who literally would abandon everything for God’s will in any moment of their lives.

I used to say that the latest thing God was doing was family— strong, firm, and free— which is partially true, and a glorious expression of God himself, but incomplete as far as an explanation of what I see going on around me.  So many people are in marriages, raising babies, working hard for them, but there were always those that are not, and how does that fit I used to ask.

Yes we are in a season where we are operating with the creator inside us all and living our dreams but there is more.  Things that the body of Christ are learning in any season have already been true in every season, we’re just learning through experience now more fully.

So many people I know and love are going through their days entirely unobservable as “Christians” to their own eyes, hearts, or to others in outward culture or ritual.  BUT.  But I am wholly excited for God in the NOW.  Productivity has stopped on so many other levels so that that which has always been important to God is what remains.  There really is no separation of heaven from earth.  They are one and the same place.  God is not in some ethereal distance place, or movement, or teaching, HE IS YOU.  God is not in some sign or doctrine or CHURCH.  GOD IS YOU.  There is taking place a complete melding of holy and secular.  YOUR WHOLE LIFE IS HOLY.

God wants each of us to see that the only thing that matters to him is our connection with him, not our PERFORMANCE FOR HIM.  He really doesn’t need us in the way we think he does.  Us being ourselves is the most powerful and clearest expression of himself.  Even though you don’t see all those Christian practices, even if you don’t feel all those holy spirit power feelings, even though you don’t influence people the way you used to, even though you don’t have those relationships you used to, YOU ARE NO LESS POWERFUL.  YOU ARE NO LESS HOLY.  Your communion with God is no less complete.

God gave us rivers and signs and glory and then transitioned out corporately on a wide scale because he wants us to look in another direction with him.  Quit looking for him in the past signs, experiences, and external stuff.  One of the leaders I’ve worked with that I respect the most listened to people when they came up to him about healings and deliverances that happened in his meetings but never gave them a further mention or time or attention.  He remained entirely unimpressed with SIGNS because everything is about Christ, the person they’re pointing to here, now, inside of us.

So many have moved away from religious people, structures, places, or experiences because it was exposed that their foundation was something other than love and we can’t tolerate that anymore.

Family is included in this concept because LOVE is the only binding force between any family unit.  It is the purpose of shared life.  There’s no ulterior motives and so family as a structure remains and thrives, even through the messes that happen within them.

God is in the moment, this moment, the conversation, this conversation, in the now, and here.  So much of the glory of Christian culture is fading away.  Christ is in no way fading away, the culture we’ve created around him that does fade is NOT HIM.  Language, doctrines, titles, hierarchies, separation, exclusion, condescension, none of them have been missed by me now that they’re gone.  DO YOU REALIZE SOME CHRISTAINS NOW LOOK LIKE SECULAR PEOPLE BECAUSE EVERYTHING THAT WAS RELIGIOUSLY DEAD IS NOW GONE FROM THEIR LIVES?

What if ONLY LOVE REMAINS??  What if all those glory experiences, all those hours in prayer, all those encounters of love, all those hard times, our identity being shaken to the core, all those structures, all that revelation, were meant to build this one thing in us; our ability and capacity to love one another.  To love our families.  To Love ourselves.  And everything else was a circumstancial tool to that end of being unconditional love.  And not in the fluffy performance sense but the gritty steadfast kind that people are changed by, including ourselves.

I believe God is reducing the glory of everything that is not love.  If something, anything in life, religious or not, is rooted in anything other than love it has lost its taste in our lives.  And ANYTHING, whether religious or not, that is ROOTED AND GROUNDED in LOVE is breathes fresh air into our spirits in this season.

Love isn’t some vague idea, it is practical connection between ANY two human beings or any human being and God.  This is the boiled down essence of everything that is the person of God and his kingdom.  Everything God does is in the purpose of building or preserving that.  If anything remains in our life for any reason–religious or not (especially religious ideas and concepts fostering any amount of rejection)-that actually threatens connection, it is moving counter to the kingdom of God and the living expression of love itself; heaven on earth.

This is just a view from my slice of the pie.  Hope this encourages someone.  Peace.