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January 2023 Monthly Summary

In January, I finally internalized my bus route to and from church…and then moved!

January in a Nutshell

In December, I described the specific goals I felt God highlighting to me for the next 6-18 months, namely: quality of life + balance, community, expanding skill sets, developing maturity, and holding salt + developing resources. Since so much of my current season relates to these choices, I wanted to give a quick recap of January through the lens of those goals.

  • Quality of Life:
    • Moving to a new apartment in another part of Seattle (more below!)
    • New job (more below!)
    • Museum Days at Seattle’s National Nordic Museum
    • Finishing up doctor’s appointments + health checks
    • Scripture: Enjoying reading Psalm 119 as if it were a reflection of different stages of life-long discipleship, different things the author gleaned across life seasons
  • Community:
    • More time spent hanging out with local friends
    • Connecting with new housemates over a game night
    • Zoom catch-ups with friends overseas
  • Expanding Skill Sets:
    • Outreach Ministry: Walking as a team towards a greater emphasis on Worship + Prayer in homeless ministry
    • Instructional Design: Finishing a simple portfolio of work samples, setting aside time next few months to work on more expansive projects, instructional design outside of Higher Education
  • Developing Maturity:
    • Celebrating ministries who prioritize the holistic well-being of the Church
    • Considering different approaches to Spiritual Warfare
      • “Jesus, what kind of Warrior do you want me to become? What is the outworking of that warfare?”
      • “How do you want me to steward my gifts?”
      • “Who do you want me to learn from in this particular season (the only season I’m letting myself focus on right now)?”
      • “What counts as growth?”
    • Worship: In January as I waited for God to give me a new song and a new expression for life in ministry, I spent a lot of time in stillness simply worshipping him for who he is. These are some of the names that I called God, based off of the routines for worship and connecting with him that I described in December.
      • “God, the Dauntless”
      • “God, the Oil that Doesn’t Run Out”
      • “Jesus our Truth, who was called “Deceiver”” (John 7:47)
      • “Jesus our Peace, who was accused of being demonized “(John 8:48)
      • “Jesus, the Resurrection, and the Life “(John 11;25)
      • “Jesus, whose word is Whole”
      • “God who finishes what He started”
      • “God, who is creative in his Leadership”
    • Major Themes in Dreams: Leadership, Boundaries in ministry (becoming better at articulating to others what they can and cannot expect from me), Thriving relationships in the Church
  • Holding Salt + Developing Resources:
    • As a Prophet: Teambuilding amongst a group of Prophets I’m gathering called to Youth work
      • Starting to develop rhythms for scribing prophetic words to support my Prophet friends in South Africa
    • Locally: Auditing/Observing a Class on the gift of prophecy taught by friends at my local Church to understand their philosophy and culture. Continuing to focus on building relationships and learning about Seattle as a city.
    • As a Seminary Student: Positive feedback from friends, and professors as I test out the direction I hope to take my thesis in advance of writing a 10-12 page research proposal. Agreement that the area of emphasis (understanding contemporary Christian mysticism, framework, and common language for encounter) is timely, important, and strategic work.

Embracing Weakness

Embracing Humanity, Human Limits

Honestly, January was challenging, and felt a bit like emotional fracking, grit, and endurance through the tension between where I am and where God is taking me. In January, Jesus used my weakness mysteriously to help me relate to a variety of people as a person and in ministry more effectively than I would at full capacity. I had to intentionally dismiss messages I’ve received in charismatic ministry contexts where people use the Holy Spirit as an excuse to try to be superheroes, disregarding their own limitations and the limitations of other humans. I’m inspired by the way that Jesus embraced his humanity, and didn’t let being fully God stop him from being fully human.

Empowerment vs. Usury

As someone who has often come off as more mature for my age, resetting expectations with elders continues to come up, not just in the family but related to experiences I’ve had with leaders in the church. There are times when at work and church, my gifts have been used to serve leaders’ visions in ways that are draining and unhealthy. And as someone who often comes off as strong despite being very sensitive, I’m choosing to simply be a woman and celebrate my sensitivity as a God-given gift. Resetting boundaries with people who are not careful to value my limits has therefore been a theme this month. As I let external events and outcomes belong to God, I’m just focusing on the part that belongs to me. In this season, God keeps bringing me healthy leaders who are able to invest in my life. As someone who is very community and structurally minded, God has given me rest by bringing me leaders who do not need me to build anything for them but have healthy structures and systems in place already. I’m choosing to remain in a posture of receiving instead of leading for as long as it takes to thrive and as God reclaims these gifts.

More Effective in Relational Ministry

Many times this month, I physically felt like half-strength coffee, and allowing God to use my weakness seemed unnatural. I’m not used to simply receiving from people, but I was beyond shocked by the degree that God used my need to help me connect with people who were experiencing homelessness, loss, family disruption, or drug addiction. By the end of January, simply receiving and allowing God to use my weakness has felt gradually less awkward, gradually more refreshing, and ultimately like being rooted and covered.

New Job: The Strategic Wisdom of Doing Less (This Season)

In January, I also interviewed for some part-time positions that would give me flexibility while I finish my doctorate. For me, this act of finding a low-pressure employment atmosphere is part of the process of coming out of chronic-over-functioning and unhealthy expectations I faced in the classroom and in earlier life.

I have ultimately accepted a job working at a Bubble tea shop just a 7-minute walk from my new house. The business doesn’t open til noon, which will give me mornings free for prophecy, seminary, developing Instructional Design portfolio projects as I have energy, and writing. It’s run by an alert and kind Taiwanese Christian businesswoman who appears to value her staff well. I believe that by working alongside her, I will become that much savvier at following the leadership of Asian elders and leaders. I’m hoping that whatever measure of gifts I possess will add to her work, like Joseph. She is trusting me to start out in a slightly more challenging role, brewing the tea and making the boba for about 30 hours/week. I’m excited for the creative aspect of this work, and how it will give me the freedom to keep growing in ministry/studies.

Quality of Life: Next Steps More Generally

In the coming months, as I settle into rhythms for work, life, and school, I’m hoping to gradually start volunteering with teen’s ministry at church, investing in the work my church is already doing. I’m also looking to spend more time adventuring with friends on weekends. In general, I am hoping to fill in gaps in my knowledge/experience that exist as a result of growing quickly. Based on the specific timelines I’ve seen in dreams, the next 6-18 months is a season of gathering a variety of pieces to continue exploring new expressions for ministry, like collecting items off a buffet.

I am believing that as I continue to walk through the process, I will experience gradually less tiredness and the life that God establishes in my insides will work itself outwards into open opportunities for ministry. I am choosing to move at an intuitive pace and to trust my own sense of timings. As with other life seasons, I will know when I’m ready for more, and organically feel the need for a challenge. I don’t sense that I will want to move again until my doctorate is completed, and perhaps will look for a position pioneering things God has placed on my heart for Holy Spirit-led Youth Ministry. I don’t know how much or when Instructional Design will factor in again, but will sense more as I walk out the process. When restlessness turns into birthing, God will prepare the right doors to open and send me off in clarity.

You hem me in behind and before, and you lay your hand upon me.

Psalm 139:5

Your ears will hear a word behind you, “This is the way, walk in it,” whenever you turn to the right or to the left.

Isaiah 30:21

Moving to a New Apartment

Just last weekend, I had the chance to move into a new apartment that has been a healthy change of scenery. Just as it became clear that the next season of wellness would require more independence in living arrangements, a friend shared a listing for a Christian group house with women from churches around the city. My next step in moving to a new city was to seek out such an opportunity, in order to make new friends, and because living in a Christian shared house has been on my list of things to try for a while. I didn’t expect the opportunity to come so soon, but it’s been a welcome adjustment. House responsibilities are organized and divided fairly, the women seem to be friendly and laid back, my room will be freshly repainted soon, and the location is ideal.

I was happy to discover that at 15×17 ft my room is more than large enough to lay down several air mattresses for when guests come to visit, should they wish to stay here. Generosity and hospitality are important values of mine, so this really matters.

Lastly, the rent is more affordable than I would have dared dream of (half of what I’ve seen for comparable places). Having more affordable rent is what will allow me to work fewer hours and in a less intense role.

God is Reforming His House: Declaring a Standard of Investment in the Well-being of the Church

Last month, I shared about ways God has spoken to me through dreams about Jesus as the Bridegroom of various nations in ways that are specific to what the Holy Spirit is currently doing in those cultures. I began to share how the season of receiving and embodying these ideas has been weird, beautiful, and painful. In hindsight, because of my early calling experiences that relate to the well-being of the Bride symbolically (habitually finding wedding rings, anyone?), I probably shouldn’t be surprised that as I actively stepped into my calling, some of these dreams and events would kick off.

This month, Jesus has been loudly sharing about how he will make the holistic Well-being of his Church a foundational part of the second wineskin of the Prophetic Movement. I hope to share a word on that topic soon as I lock into rhythms for work, school, and ministry. As the Lord has unpacked things I’m still processing, it’s caused me to reflect on dreams and experiences I’ve had about the spiritual and emotional well-being of the Church in different nations.

A Year of Solidarity with the Bride

Around this time last year, directly after leaving my job in obedience (January 20th), I had an intense encounter that set the tone for the work of gathering and scouting God had me do in later months in the nations and future ministry. In the dream, I heard specific personal instructions for ministry and I saw imagery of God collecting sheep and some words in Spanish. The message felt un-openably sealed until God showed me the specific portions of scripture out of Ezekiel 34 in my Spanish bible that carried the same imagery.

“‘Therefore, you shepherds, hear the word of the Lord: As surely as I live, declares the Sovereign Lord, because my flock lacks a shepherd and so has been plundered and has become food for all the wild animals, and because my shepherds did not search for my flock but cared for themselves rather than for my flock, therefore, you shepherds, hear the word of the Lord: 10 This is what the Sovereign Lord says: I am against the shepherds and will hold them accountable for my flock. I will remove them from tending the flock so that the shepherds can no longer feed themselves. I will rescue my flock from their mouths, and it will no longer be food for them.

 “‘For this is what the Sovereign Lord says: I myself will search for my sheep and look after them. 12 As a shepherd looks after his scattered flock when he is with them, so will I look after my sheep. I will rescue them from all the places where they were scattered on a day of clouds and darkness. 13 I will bring them out from the nations and gather them from the countries, and I will bring them into their own land. I will pasture them on the mountains of Israel, in the ravines and in all the settlements in the land. 14 I will tend them in a good pasture, and the mountain heights of Israel will be their grazing land. There they will lie down in good grazing land, and there they will feed in a rich pasture on the mountains of Israel. 15 I myself will tend my sheep and have them lie down, declares the Sovereign Lord. 16 I will search for the lost and bring back the strays. I will bind up the injured and strengthen the weak, but the sleek and the strong I will destroy. I will shepherd the flock with justice.

Ezekiel 34:7-10

Since around that time, I began to experience increasing dreams about the welfare of the Church in different nations.

For example, in January 2022 I had a dream about the Church as a woman getting mauled by an unhealthy Shepherd in Germany. Just a month ago, I had another dream about the Church in South Korea getting assaulted by spiritual warfare from a spirit of sexual perversion. I am intentionally not sharing the majority of the nature of these Watchman dreams, but suffice it to say that the Lord is coming in power to deal with the abuses against his Church, now and increasingly over the next several years.

Implications for Ministry Partnerships

The journey of sensitivity the Lord has formed in me for the Church’s well-being has overlapped with my passion for supporting immigrants and refugees, current ministry with individuals experiencing homelessness, concerns for youth and young prophets, women, and safe-guarding work as a whole. For this reason, in the future, I believe an enormous factor that will determine what ministries God does or does not allow me to partner with will not be about denomination or doctrine, but the level of commitment organizations have to the wellbeing of the Church. At this critical hour, I believe that God is calling his Apostles and Prophets to a more central place in Church leadership to guard the witness of the saints as the Church globally experiences more persecution. We cannot afford to fail to invest more greatly in common people in the Church.

During this time of wars and rumors of war, of endurance and the faithfulness of God, we must have healthy Apostles and Prophets who are committed to the wellbeing of the Bride. For that reason, as I evaluate ministries and models of leadership, I cannot afford to partner with groups that see the physical, emotional, or spiritual needs of common people as secondary. These are the people for whom Jesus died, and if we aspire towards Christlikeness, we cannot build ministry structures built on celebrity or disconnected ministry offices/appointments that are divorced from other parts of the Body.

In Leadership for General 5-Fold Ministry, I am impressed by:

  • Servanthood instead of Celebrity
  • An empowerment/investment model of relational ministry (applying a Latin American cultural lens).
    • Commitment to deep honesty + authenticity as well as the messy reality of serving people.
    • Walking a long process of inner healing, deliverance, and thriving with people vs. transactional ministry appointments.
    • Embodied, in-tune leadership and structures that follow in holistic alignment and support a relational approach.
  • Intergenerational, lasting faithfulness vs. a solitary, generational moment
  • Finishing instead of starting
  • Celebrating Christ’s power in weakness

In my current church, I admire how leaders do not hide or hold back their emotions from the people. I watch as they own their limits so others aren’t expecting too much, but position themselves to be celebrated for what they do have to share. Their approach to brokenness is to be relentlessly human. Clarity, compassion, humor, fun. They are mature and love maturity in others. The outworking of their vision is nearly inevitable because they embody their vision and remain in their first love with Jesus. First love and deepening intimacy can’t be faked.

In Leadership for Apostolic and Prophetic Ministry, I am impressed by:

If embodiment is important for leaders within 5-fold ministry, how much more is it important for the Apostles and Prophets whose decrees shape nations? These are things that impress me in Apostolic and Prophetic ministries.

  • Embodiment When an Apostle or Prophet gets perceives the “life words” (identity –> calling) that they are called to embody by God AND know how to diligently apply it in healthy and life-giving ways. Healthy embodiment demonstrates a marriage of revelation and stewardship that heals nations and groups. Because a leader has taken time to perceive and own the implications word has for every aspect of their life, it bears increasing fruit in multiple seasons. They have been formed by the word; it is magnified in their life and a cornerstone of their integrity.
    • I’m using the word “Embodiment” instead of Integrity because if you’ve chosen Jesus, integrity comes by the Transfiguration, embodying more of him. You’re called to increasingly embody the one who is living inside of you. 
  • Relational Grace When an Apostle or Prophet can find the gold in a challenging person or group or nation, and call it forth instead of getting distracted by the mess. When Prophets know how to leverage relational grace to build bridges and extend the Kingdom. 
  • Humility + Servanthood When Apostles or Prophets can rightly relate to others in the 5-fold rather than needing to be the loudest voice. Reformation for legacy, for worship, for leadership that starts in the inside and works its way outward. Lord, let Reformation start inside us.
  • Prophecy as Revelation of Jesus When Apostles and Prophets use prophecy to reveal Jesus to a region, an ethnic group, or an individual, in continuation with the historic witness of the prophetic Church. Addressing matters of national governance only to the extent and in the ways that point people towards his Kingdom, his standards, his heart for wholeness, and his purity.
    • Personal prophecy as a fruit of worship, grounded in God’s love for and vision of the person. Giving words out of the overflow of God’s heart vs. disconnected, transactional words.
  • Empowering + Covering Youth Standing as a community of wise elders to model, support, cover, and release children and youth to hear Holy Spirit. Like a friend in Texas who recently shared how his church covers children to prophecy and do healing ministry with the homeless, leaders who want to create safe ministries for youth to be supported and sent out.

God is Reforming His House: Relational Strategy for Spiritual Warfare and Apostolic Building

Understanding Spiritual Warfare: Four Views by James Beilby, Paul Rhodes Eddy, Walter Wink, David Powlison, Gregory Boyd, Peter Wagner, and Rebecca Greenwood

This month, I read Understanding Spiritual Warfare to process my own beliefs about methods of spiritual warfare. As someone with an apostolic bent within a personal and global reformation season, I felt the need to do a deep dive into these ideas. This text is academic with some accessible ideas, and was a treasure trove for my thesis.

Partnering with the Spirit of Adoption through Story-telling and Releasing Relational Grace

As I read this book, I kept reflecting on my own beliefs about building in healthy ways. In general, in a post-colonial restoration age, I believe that God is inviting prophets and apostles to learn how to work more effectively with the Spirit of Adoption. The Spirit of Adoption is what drives out the Orphan spirit. Both the people group and the apostles/missionaries must choose to surrender to the Spirit of Adoption for successful relational alliances to be formed.

When you start building in a region, it should start by love and relating to a people group as a servant and guest. As God opens a door to build and grow there, you should proportionately grow in Christlikeness as your ministry flourishes.To release grace for a region when you speak with audiences or individuals, I would start by telling stories of people I love in that region that reflect how much God loves them.

Pet Peeve: Spiritual Warfare without Proportionate Building or Corresponding Structures

As someone with an Apostolic bent, I get irritated when Prophets do spiritual warfare but do not reflect changes in their ministry’s policies or structures. Without aligning the structure to displace whatever principality you want to dismantle, you provide room for the demonic to increase and harass the vulnerable. And without aligning your ministries’ policies and procedures to your overall ministry vision, you get increasingly fragmented, disconnected ministries that do not pull together as a team. To borrow a sports metaphor, “the best defense is a good offense”. When Prophets do spiritual warfare without the healthy, corresponding apostolic building, it feels lazy and reckless.

In order to model God’s long-standing faithfulness, I believe that Prophetic ministries need to have a proportionate balance of inner healing (cleansing) and deliverance (fire). There must be deep, long-term relationships with people established, to give permission and credibility to that work.

Direct power encounters with the demonic are necessary but should be just a fraction of the work, employed at strategic times to set a region/church free. They should focus on principalities and leave individual people out of high intensity crossfires, regardless of their good or bad choices.

On Active Participation

“History belongs to the intercessors, who believe the future into being. If this is so, then intercession, far from being an escape from action, is a means of focusing for action and of creating action. By means of our intercessions we veritably cast fire upon the earth and trumpet the future into being. It is no accident that the seven angels of the Apocalpyse make ready to announce the scenes that follow as a direct result of prayer.”

pg 67 –> I personally found Walter Wink’s views on the nature of Satan to be 100% off, but he hits something meaningful here in his description of the Church’s responsibility for active engagement in God’s work.

On Resisting or Receiving Reformation

“The Word of God must be found and heard among all the welter of voices of Scripture, tradition, creed, doctrine, experience, science, intuition, the community; but God’s word is none of these alone, or even all of them together. Jesus is being nudged by God toward a new, unprecedented thing, for which no models existed. No one else could have helped advise him. Scripture itself seemed loaded in the opposite direction–toward messianic models of power, might, and empire…What irony: everyone in Israel knew the will of God for redemption–except Jesus. He was straining to hear what it was as if he did not know.”

pg 55

“Satan’s task was far more subtle. He presents Jesus with well-attested scriptural expectations that everyone assumed were God’s chosen means of redeeming Israel. Satan presents to Jesus the collective messianic hopes and by doing so, brings them for the first time to consciousness as options to be chosen rather than as a fate to be accepted. Tested against his own sense of calling, they did not fit. Jesus could perceive them to be “yesterday’s will of God”, not what was proceeding out of the mouth of God.

pg 55

Making Peace with the Circumstantial Necessity of Consequences and Loss

Run with the Horses by Eugene Peterson

The more I read this book, the more God used it to heal me from a situation of watching individuals descend into exile in plain sight. In Chapter 12 and 13, the Lord comforted me with a picture of how he creates beauty and flourishing from challenges.

For a long time, I have wondered, “What do I do when I have to watch someone [an individual or a group] go through an exile?” This is a question I’ve struggled with a lot in the past as I watch family members go from bad to worse, and something that the enemy used a lot to wound me in earlier life. Given how sensitive I am, I have often found myself crying tears for people who are not yet crying for themselves, in anticipation of what I sense is already here or coming. I am much happier when God exposes sin and the people simply address it, but I recognize that extreme circumstances are sometimes a necessity when people ongoingly harden their hearts. It’s tragic because I want so much better for the people I love than exile.

In Eugene Peterson’s unified teaching on loss and wholeness, he helped me understand and accept the necessity of God using circumstantial consequences for people’s good. In these chapters, God revealed the proportionate necessity of extremes and his sovereignty in determining outcomes. This has made it easier to worship God as the God of the Long Process at a time when I have to let go and receive restoration for myself.

As I read these chapters, Jesus told me, “When you aren’t called to be part of the solution, don’t be”. There are times when God separates us (like Jeremiah), so we don’t have to watch. Related to my own difficulty watching, Jesus simply said, “You enjoy safe pasture. You leave the reformation work to me.” I am trusting that God will continue to walk alongside people even when I can’t.

Another Great Quote – On the Relational Nature of Jeremiah’s Ministry

The theological ideas, historical forces, and righteous causes that touched Jeremiah’s life never remained or became abstract but were worked out with persons, persons with names. He never used labels that lumped people into depersonalized categories. It can come as no surprise to find that there are more personal names in the book of Jeremiah than in any other prophetic book.” 

pg 164

Favorite January Media

Movies + TV

Love it or List It, 2008-2023

This month, I found myself watching a lot of Love or it or List it as I contemplated how God was reforming his house in the nations. It’s not just the friendship between the co-hosts that I admire, but the visuals of transformation and hope.

After Earth, 2013

This month, I saw After Earth as an allegory about a father guiding his son to safety through the dangers of the fallen earth (sin). There is a lot in this movie (even to an extreme) about overcoming fears and surrendering. Still, some of the meditative practices seem more related to Eastern spirituality than Christian mysticism (think Jaden Smith in Karate Kid meets sci-fi). Nevertheless, a lot of good ideas in this film.


Here is just one more book I didn’t reference yet but was valuable this month:

A Non-Anxious Presence by Mark Sayers

On the Inevitability of Change in Our Current Global Moment

Historians arrange passages of time into eras. Eras traditionally are shaped around the rule of an empire or ruling class, which establishes an overarching big story or narrative. Big stories are created and communicated primarily by those in power to justify their rule. History shows us that an era tends to be dominated by influential individuals who shape its thinking, key events that determine it’s direction, movements that embody it’s longings, and artists who capture it’s mood.

However, there are moments when ages overlap and eras mingle in a hybrid transitional moment. Thus, gray zones contain the influence of more than one era.


Following the leadership of my friend who runs our church’s Outreach ministry, I found myself focusing on listening to testimonies as a way to defy this month’s sense of increasing spiritual warfare, discouragement, and tension. In particular, these were really lovely.

Worship This Month

Prayer Requests

  • Favor for humility, teachability, and joy as I start a new job in February
  • Clarity and healthy balance for work + school + life + ministry
  • New growth at the right time, courage to remain in receiving mode for as long as Jesus thinks is necessary
  • Joy (across the board)

Published by Haley Nus

Hello! Formerly of Kansas, and Washington, DC, I am an emerging voice in Holy Spirit-led youth ministry. This site contains emergent apostolic strategy, prophetic words, and tutorials for the interdenominational, international, and charismatic Church and Educational Sector. Check out more on my journey with 5-fold ministry, doctoral study, and travel through my Monthly Summaries. I take Jesus's invitation to welcome children in his name (Luke 9:48) and Jesus's exhortation to become like children literally (Mathew 18:3). In order to shape the world well for adults, we must serve the youngest among us so that we will truly understand who we are as sons and daughters (2 Corinthians 6:18).]

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