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November 2022 Monthly Summary

Seeing Friends in Glasgow

Roots in Seattle

Worshiping God for his Capacity

As November comes to a close, I’m taking time to focus on worshipping God for answered prayer.

In May, I decided that for my birthday, instead of focusing on the mind (another degree program), I really needed to focus on the heart (finding healthy community). This month, I found such a robust church community that it took my breath away.

In July, God redirected me to Seattle after nearly decade of praying for restoration in my family relationships. I’ve been in Seattle since August, and for anyone who knew my family in the past, the transformation God is doing is explicit evidence that there is a God (lol).

In both of these situations, Jesus went before me to do things I couldn’t do for myself.

This month, I went to Scotland for one last training before I graduated from the Global Prophetic Alliance’s Emerging Prophets Program. Graduation marks the end of a 2 year journey that has left an indelible mark on my life. During this program, I met and befriended some wonderful people, started a training nest for people interested in Youth + Young Prophets, developed a social group to keep in touch with prophet friends, and explored my calling across contexts and countries.

Balanced Pace

As this program comes to a close, this month I processed some of the highs and lows that my journey as a prophet has taken over the last calendar year (not necessarily related to this program, but in general). While there were many beautiful things that happened in 2022, I faced others’ jealousy, competition, usury/consumerism, rejection, and bitterness periodically. I saw both loss and risk, even when risk was worth it.

Part of me feels like I’m experiencing Revelation 12:14, in finding a new Church community and being tenderly nurtured by God.

The woman was given the two wings of a great eagle, so that she might fly to the place prepared for her in the wilderness, where she would be taken care of for a time, times and half a time, out of the serpent’s reach.

In finding Mosaic Church, I’ve found the balance my spirit has been craving. It feels like an outworking of a word God gave me in October about a season of more relaxed, buffet style pacing regarding growing in the prophetic.

I love how this church is quietly apostolic and missional. I’ve joined a small group where worship and practicing the gift of prophesy are routine, and am excited to continue practicing the gift of prophesy while on team outreach to Seattle’s homeless population. I’m also hoping to start volunteering with their ministry to teens. I am still continuing to develop national prophetic words and resources related to Youth and Youth Prophets with friends, but this Church gives me a grid for how prophets can function within an Apostolic Center setting. In general, I feel like this Church has more opportunities for robust ministry than I could possibly explore, and seeing the hyper-abundance of good choices feels like grace after feeling like I was lacking room to expand for so long. I feel that God has brought me to this church to learn from how fluidly (and subtly) they do apostolic ministry, as part of developing range, especially for regions of the world who need a gentle introduction to prophetic ministry because the Prophetic Movement hasn’t yet touched them.

As I worship Jesus, I’ve been delegating some responsibilities and my timeline back to God. While it’s true that my faith has taken me through so pretty wild experiences of God’s power to rescue and provide over the years…

As I process where I’m going and where I’ve been, I’m finding a new degree of acceptance of the unknown that outpaces all of my previous seasons. It’s wonderful, and feels a little bit like freedom and floating. While I’m still getting used to this degree of peace unknown, I feel a greater measure of trust developing. It feels like the beginning of a period of seeking and finding, where God intentionally conceals part of the solution in order to have greater dialogue about the process.

That being said, in order to stay present in this season, I’m needing to push back performance pressure and rigid expectations (externally from others, internally from myself) about my development process. I’m looking for work, but am hesitant to not rush timings, even though taking control and forcing something that isn’t God’s best is tempting.

Defining the Time and Season

In this specific season, I’m still primarily focused on allowing God to reset and redeem family dynamics. Apart from themes of quality of life, balance, and community, I sense God calling me to hold salt and develop resources, develop maturity, and expand skill sets. In general, it’s a season where I’m letting the ground lay fallow so that I can gain strength to keep swimming up current.

Direction for Doctoral Thesis

Another focus of this season is laying the groundwork for my doctoral thesis. When I started my Doctor of Educational Ministry in Educational Leadership degree (D.Ed.Min.), I was 25, working out of my apartment in DC, and really hungry for Jesus. I applied and was accepted to doctoral program just a year after finishing my Master’s in Early Childhood Ed because, even though I had set out to not get another degree for a decade, I was just too hungry to learn.

I’ve met some wonderful friends and have loved the historical grounding and focus on cultural engagement of Virginia Theological Seminary’s doctoral programs. The way they teach students to engage with society should be a standard for the Church and in the Prophetic Movement.

It feels really good to come to the point in my studies where I can lay the foundation for my thesis (which will take another 1-2 years). I’m grateful to be so aware of my own interests and identity that I can use the final assignments in my other courses to already start to explore potential topics.

As of today, I’m hoping to build a framework based on interviews that bridges a Contemplative, Traditional understanding of Christian Mysticism and a Charismatic, Active understanding of Christian Mysticism, asking individuals to “describe a time when they were near to God.”

This framework will hopefully:

  • provide common language for encounter
  • provide a sense of balance/counterbalance to both groups AND
  • provide an on ramp for charismatics and contemplatives to understand one another’s mystical experiences

I will likely focus on themes of vocation and childlikeness. I hope that this thesis ultimately strengthens charismatic’s focus on identity, community, mentorship, and comprehensive individual internal robustness (Deut 6:5).

New Seeds

As I stay in the peace of God, I am noticing God draw my interest towards several new subjects.

  • Foreign Policy and War: How do nations prepare for war? How does a nation’s culture influence it’s tactics?
  • Governance How can leaders subtly respond to high intensity situations? In positions of high ranking national governance, what does discretion, collaboration, and a right use of networking look like?
  • Business How do governance and business administration overlap? How does discretion, strategy, producing a quality product, and leadership look similar and different within these spheres?
  • Embodiment and Connections between Nations How can God form the internal dispositions of an apostle/prophet to be an embodied bridge between countries? How do we as individuals become the highway?
  • Prophetic Cooking (more to share soon) How can traditional storytelling through ceremonial foods be a model for contemporary prophetic words through cooking?

Worshipping God Who Doesn’t Rush Me

As learn to slow down, I can’t get away from worshipping God who isn’t rushing me towards an outcome or the things he’s prophesied over my life. This month, I listened a lot to Travis Greene’s “You Waited”, in awe that Jesus waits until his Bride is ready instead of rushing the Church’s timing on the earth for his Second Coming. You never rush your Church to be fully ready, but you warn her that she is responsible for making herself ready (Rev 19:17), because the time is short (1 Co 7:29).

I remember when I was in my early 20s, I hated this song because it seemed like a let down. Truthfully, I hadn’t lived long enough to learn to appreciate process and understand that good things have to be built slowly.

Navigating Gender and Healthy Ministry Friendships

As I reflect on Jesus’ unwillingness to rush me, I’ve also been reflecting on the healthy friendships I have with guy friends in the Church. As someone who has dealt with stalking and sexual harassment in the church as a woman, I’ve had to think more than I like about gender, safety, and healthy masculinity.

I used to wonder how I would keep myself safe (especially while traveling) from questionable men in the church. Yet as I look back on the supportive friendships and ministry alliances I’ve developed with healthy guy friends, they all have similar traits:

  • Purity of heart that leads to sincere words and actions
  • Honoring right boundaries for friendship; purity and honor as a standard
  • Appreciation and respect of women’s limits (ie, respect for emotional sensitivity), value for women’s strength
  • Solidarity without sameness, true cooperation

These men have allowed me to be feminine while authoritative at the same time. It has been awesome to be able to support one another in ministry in healthy ways.

Reflecting on Leadership

As I reflect more on leadership this month, I can’t help but quote my favorite leadership quote of all time, from Boundaries by Henry Cloud and John Townsend. The analogy between stewardship, marriage, and church governance is powerful. It makes me think of Ezekiel 34, about what it looks like to develop resources, protect people’s weaknesses, help them invest their talents, provide inner healing, support them under trial, and restore them from failure.

What does Leadership look like? It is basically leadership Christ provides the Church:

  • He died for her and makes her whole
  • He looks out for her growth and best interest
  • He cleanses her from guilt
  • He provides resources for her growth
  • He protects her from the world, the flesh, and the devil
  • He helps her to invest her talents
  • He heals her hurts
  • He takes her suffering on himself
  • He supports her in trials
  • He comes alongside of her when she falls

Favorite Books

This month, I read Escaping the Maze of Spiritual Abuse by Dr. Lisa Oakley and Justin Humpreys, and was blown away by it’s wisdom. It helped named some trends I’ve noticed in former experiences with healthy churches, and made me more aware as an emerging leader of how authentic leadership guards people from manipulation and usury. The authors cite several other authors (like Margaret Bailey) whose books I’ve read for seminary, in Ethical leadership or Governance and Mission courses. I would recommend this book to anyone who wants to raise healthy organizations and values safeguarding for adults and youth.

This book reaffirmed my conviction that sincerity is the ultimate witchcraft antidote. Because sincerity requires purity of heart, exudes servanthood instead of toxic manipulation and control, and focuses on relational investment, it heals. Love that surrenders its own agenda for the sake of others can’t be faked. 

Worship this Month

Prayer Requests

  • Practical: Clarity, direction, right pacing, and favor to find a new job
  • Intangibles:
    • New levels of purity → in prophecy, in friendships, and pursuit of God in general
    • Even more curiosity to seek and find, finding God in mystery
    • To remain expanding and remain led by the Lord in the midst of tremendous change
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Watchman Prophesy: Navigating Timings and Seasons

Today, in response to the current season many of my friends face in building new things, I’m going to be writing about navigating timings with Watchman prophesy. Like the post I wrote on strategic ways God has increased my measure of faith across life seasons, I’m choosing to write this article from the measure of experience I do have, accepting what I don’t know, as part of a call to authentic scribal ministry.

What is Watchman Prophesy?

Some of the best definitions of Watchman prophesy I’ve found come from Dr. Joe Ibojie’s book, The Watchman.

In a nutshell, Watchman are:

  • a particular kind of Seer Prophet (Office of a Prophet) (Ch 3).
  • individuals who receive “a great percent of dreams and other revelation about non-personal issues…pertaining mainly to areas of a Watchman’s call.” (Ch 3)
  • “Spiritual lookouts” who have a future-oriented prophetic leaning, “peer[ing] into the distance, spy[ing], keep[ing] watch” regarding both the plans and purposes of God Almighty and the Enemy (Ch 3)
  • Strategically organize and “prepare the people to receive the coming King” when revelation is related to God’s future plans. (Ch 4)
  • Issue well-timed warnings to leaders and individuals when revelation is about the plans of the Enemy. “Watchman ministry has the potential to bring strategic revelations and insightful knowledge of the exact time, name, and place of operation of specific evil forces or principalities that come against the people of God.” (Ch 4)
  • “Postman and not enforcer of the warning” (Ch 5)
  • Named examples are Jeremiah, Ezekiel, and Habakkuk, with other prophets performing a Watchman function throughout scripture (for example, check out Amos and Isaiah)

The specificity of Watchman revelation means that much of the call is related to timings (hence, this article). The “Issachar anointing” discussed in charismatic circles relates to a collection of individuals in the Office of a Prophet within Issachar who functioned in a Watchman capacity.

From the tribe of Issachar, there were 200 leaders of the tribe with their relatives. All these men understood the signs of the times and knew the best course for Israel to take.

1 Chronicles 12:32

As prophets mature, they tend to develop other areas of prophetic gifting, so that they become a mix of different elements of the Office of a Prophet (Seer, Nabi, Watchman, etc). Therefore, if a prophet does not mainly receive Watchman revelation, they may still periodically. It’s good to know about the gift in context.

Making Peace with the Puzzle

Both the sense of urgency and the future-focused revelation that Watchman receive make it absolutely necessary to know your timings. For example, Watchman prophets may steward puzzle pieces for regions, organizations, and individuals that relate to 1, 3, 5, 10, 30+ years out all at once. Making peace with the puzzle requires both personal responsibility and surrender to God who keeps watch as a Master Watchman (Ps. 127).

Instead of abdication or overwork, it’s better to learn exactly what is your seasonal assignment regarding each of the part of the puzzle. Some of the revelation will require no inquiry and no present action. That’s because Heaven likes to teach us about the puzzle pieces that correspond to the particular (thematic) lesson we are learning right now, not necessarily those events that will happen most immediately. For example, I had a long term calling/inheritance dream related to Supernatural Youth Ministry in April 2021 when I cried out to God, saying, “How exactly do you want to use all these skill sets?” I’m still in the midst of the outworking of that word, somewhere between where I’ve been and where I’m going. But Heaven decided to give clarity well in advance because God wanted to paint a picture that would relate to those deepest desires and questions, not external circumstances. Glory to God, I don’t need that dream to come true overnight. I’d probably panic if it did. But because I know where I’m at in the process and am making proportionate steps towards that dream in accordance with the objectives God has for this season, I have peace.

It is very common in the life of a Watchman Prophet to perceive or communicate an event happening well in advance of it’s natural timing, with a sense of extreme urgency. For example, when I got this word on increasing witchcraft requirement among youth in the UK this April, I felt the urgency of parsing the word. However, I’ve mostly just needed to have it on hand for conversations so far. I am glad that I did the work in season to prepare the word, even if I’m still waiting to see how God will use it.

Heaven Uses Different Language and Different Metrics

As I’ve gotten more timelines and maps in my dreams, I’ve needed to rely on Jesus and accept partial understanding.

“For we know in part, and we prophesy in part.”

1 Corinthians 13:9

God shows us as much as we need to know for the timing we are presently in. When the puzzle pieces come together, they often do so in a sequence or by methods we don’t initially perceive.

“But when that which is perfect is come, then that which is in part shall be done away.”

1 Corinthians 13:10

Furthermore, Heaven will highlight details about the spiritual significance and meaning of events without over-focusing on their natural appearance.

“Look beneath the surface so you can judge correctly.”

John 7:24

What God highlights to you about a person or situation may still be emerging (such as character traits). For me, this has most often been an awareness of mantles or anointing on individuals’ lives, that don’t yet have any natural evidence. It can be a little disorienting in that you show up to talk with someone and recognize that they don’t se themselves yet through the lens of word. And that their insides still need time to come into formation for them to be able to walk it out.

Just as David was anointed as King ~15 years before he ruled, gifts need to be nourished before their time of maturity. The Lord shows us these things in advance so that we will know how to rightly act in the present timing, with wisdom. Just like the Angel of the Lord greeted Gideon as a mighty warrior while he was still hiding in the threshing floor, the word of the Lord requires us to use revelation to motivate present wisdom.

If God has shown you future-reaching revelation about a region, a ministry, or an individual, what role do you need to take in this current moment to respond appropriately? Is this information future oriented or present oriented? Is it conditional or certain? Remember, this is about proportionate action. As you go, the tension between living outside of natural timings decreases because you get better at navigating your role in the moment.

The Further the Scope, the Greater the Need to Stay Grounded

The further out in time the revelation, the more you have to stay focused on the present moment. God will have you conserve your energy, which can be wasted in pressing in for information that is too distant. At the same time, he can timings effortlessly through word of knowledge if you are rightly positioned. It shouldn’t feel exhausting, but conversational. At the beginning of new assignments, I have found special grace to ask and answer questions, just as Mary did in receiving the news of her pregnancy (Luke 1:34). Some questions God will answer when you explicitly ask (sometimes that same day, sometimes over time). Other times, God knows what is on your heart and will fluently share information because he knows that you’ve quietly been “pondering them in your heart” (Luke 2:19). He loves you, and he doesn’t want you scared. Those who seek will find (Matthew 7:7-12). And if you’ve been seeking and haven’t found the specific answer yet, you probably don’t need it (or need it yet).

In the following paragraphs, I’m going to share three types of historical context, ministry, yourself as a leader.

Ask about Your Historical Context

While a great deal of Watchman revelation relates to the future or present, some relates to pieces of the past (former spiritual wells, assignments over regions) that need to be changed or restored. Since God layers his present work on past action, knowing the specific timings for your labors in a greater context of his story is useful.

Questions for Your Historical Context:

  • What is the larger context of ministry that you are called to?
  • Why has he put you on the Earth at this particular time period, as compared to the past or future?
  • What is the larger tapestry of activity that he’s producing on the earth, and how can you come under the scope of that vision?
  • What other trends or movements currently on the Earth do I need to be aware of, either because this calling is connected to them, or in opposition?

Example: Youth and Young Prophets Movement

In preparation for some of the work of intergenerational ministry God will have me do with Youth and Young Prophets, God has been showing me glimpses of what he is preparing for 0-18s, but from a long distance. If the revelation is accurate (ie, specific words related to time lengths in dreams), the Youth Movement he’s building will rest on about 200 years of history, and will affect the next 210 years of history.

Ask about Your Ministry

God in his context may reveal various puzzle pieces to help guide the formation of your ministry. Again, he will do this gradually as you have the capacity to handle more information and are at the ripe maturity level to hear it. Like nearly everything in the Office of a Prophet, it presumes that you are co-laboring with God and remain in conversation with him.

Questions for Your Ministry:

  • What are your “front line” sectors, regions, and age groups? Where are you currently called to invest your energy, and what seeds is God currently adding to you that you need to begin to explore?
  • Which individuals are you called to partner with, and in what capacity? For each person, are you called to support their leadership, co-minister with them, mentor them, or develop an alliance between five-fold or regional structures?
  • What strategy has God highlighted, to build each aspect?

Example: Thirty Years of Building

Glory to God, he has been gracious in sharing timings, strategy, regions, people alignment, and sequential details about the ministry he will develop through me and others.

I believe God counts 2022 as my first year in ministry, based on the abundance of imagery related to ministry vehicles and him telling me, “Well done for stepping into the story” when I left my teaching job in February. In a series of dreams in October, he mentioned that building my ministry will take 30 years.

If I’m 28 now, I will be 58 in 2052, when the ministry will be established. Isn’t that nuts?

I have a rough sense of where we’ll be in the world (including some surprises), some of the languages we’ll need to incorporate, and some of the sectors it will intersect with. While it’s not exhaustive, I put together a circle map of some of these elements because visualizing the information helps.

Ask about Yourself as a Leader

Lastly, it’s important to know what dispositions God will cultivate in you as a leader as part of your journey. In which ways do you need to transform in order to hold the position and develop the right community?

Questions for Yourself as a Leader:

  • What attitudes do I currently have related to working with people or managing my responsibilities?
  • Which attitudes need to change? What new, healthy seeds of disposition is the Holy Spirit planting in me?
  • If I continue on the exact same trajectory I’m on right now for the next ? years, what will be the fruit? Will that honor God? What little adjustments can I make now to honor him even more throughout my career in ministry?

Example: At Middle Age

You know, when I was about 9-12, I was so nervous to grow up. I spent my last years in elementary school scanning adult leaders in my vicinity and considering which aspects of the adults I admired. I was well aware of some traits from role models I didn’t want to emulate, and other aspects I loved. When I was about 11, God actually used this period of soul searching to speak to me in a vision, where I saw an older version of myself (20-30s) who was involved in youth work. This experience powerfully shaped my identity.

Well, now I’m in my late 20s and doing the same kind of soul searching. It’s a season of examining different apostolic and prophetic ministries and leaders, and gaining vision for who I want to be as a mature leader (at a slower pace). Just like when I was young, God in his grace has been pouring out the same grace to see older versions of myself. These characters aren’t just cool older women, but they carry the same resonance, texture as myself in the Spirit. As in, they feel like it’s the exact same cloth, the exact same tone and perspective as me, just older.

In one episode, I saw a version of myself in my 50s. She understood my longing for open space and to grow quickly, and was a writer, a prophet, and an academic. She was relaxed, open minded, legitimately humble, and had enough experience to not need me to translate much. She just understood. It was awesome.

In another, I saw a version of myself in my 60s. She was a public speaker who was authentic, but no nonsense. I saw her in the middle of giving a lecture encouraging people to surrender and let God work out his formation process in them. She reminded me of the straight-talking culture of the Midwest, of Kansas where I was raised.

Lastly, I saw a version of myself in my 80s. She was relaxed. In seeing the long but positive arch of her story, I felt a new degree of freedom just to lean back and leave the timings to God.

Seeing these women made me legitimately excited to embody a more mature version of myself. It made some of the pressing, crushing, and clay molding that God’s been doing on my insides seem more worth it. And it made me more aware of the amount of permission that I have to let go and simply trust. In his kindness, God wants that degree of freedom for everybody.

Know Your Specific Assignment, Role, and Timing

This month, I graduated from the Global Prophetic Alliance’s Emerging Prophets Program, a 2 year long training for individuals called to the Office of a Prophet. As people prepared for graduation, it felt like some of us were scrambling to come up with a plan for the next steps of our journey.

One man asked very earnestly, “How do we find opportunities in [insert area or geography of ministry here]?”

I held myself back, but nearly said, tongue in cheek:

“Be the Bride. Wait for men to open doors for you.”

You will need both God and other people’s support to reach places you can’t get on your own.

It’s a dumb joke, but it’s the same as saying:

Going through the process with God matters.

More seriously, I’ve been asking the same question myself, but in different words. You see, after two years of gathering puzzle pieces, it can be easy to feel overwhelmed. A question I’ve struggled with is, “How do I make peace with all this information?” And as I’ve stayed listening, I’ve found that the answer is:

“Know your assignment and stay within your present timings.”

You have got to know your season, because strategy follows season. In Ecclesiastes 3, there are timings for everything and specific actions that suit each timing.

For example, this Spring as I left Washington, DC and got rid of all my stuff, I was in a season of casting stones apart.

Now as I settle for the foreseeable future in Seattle, Washington, I’m in a season of gathering stones together.

This next dream demonstrates the importance of knowing your season.

I saw a man in clothing that was all wrong for the weather. When it rained, he wore no protective clothing. When it was sunny, he wore heavy clothes. He was out of continuously out of step. I wondered what could be done to help him get in season.

The man that I saw in that dream struggled in real life to take proportionate action, which put him at risk of missing his timings. However, we all are in danger of missing our timings if we don’t know our role and remit (assignment) for the season we are currently in. Know exactly what is required, and let go of the rest.

For every crop, there is a growing season. A good farmer learns to visually estimate the progress of his crop. Jesus compares the capacity to visually estimate the progress of something to discernment.

But He replied, “When evening comes, you say, ‘The weather will be fair, for the sky is red,’ 3and in the morning, ‘Today it will be stormy, for the sky is red and overcast.’

Matthew 16:2-3

If knowing timings relates to discernment, proportionate action belongs to wisdom. Jesus rebukes the Pharisees and Sadducees because instead of discerning that he was the Savior and rightly responding, they expected clarity to drop from the sky as a sign.

You know how to interpret the appearance of the sky, but not the signs of the times.a 4A wicked and adulterous generation demands a sign, but none will be given it except the sign of Jonah.” Then He left them and went away.

Matthew 16:3-4

Are you waiting for things to just magically work out? Or are you committed to going on the process?

God is gracious. He isn’t going to give up on you or the promise if you remain seeking after him. However, missing your timings can put you out step with what he wants you to build in the moment. For example, if you focus too much on a future season, you will not know how to build the right friendships and trust so that future ministry and relational alignments can happen. Moral of the story: Discipline yourself to respond to your present timings well so that you don’t botch your present opportunities. From there, just continue to be led. Focus on taking just the next right step. It will accumulate.

If you’re seeking, he’s speaking. It’s not rocket science. Sometimes, it’s about being okay with listening to what God wants to share, and not forcing him to talk about an irrelevant puzzle piece. Have you ever been talking to someone, and they made you tired because they needed to relentlessly steer the conversation, instead of letting it emerge organically? God can change the subject, and for good reason.

Let him.

Example: My Current Season

In this season of growing in Seattle, I am legitimately thrilled to rest. After a year of rapid growth, I need to move at a slower, more moderate pace.

God called me to Seattle to focus on restoring relationships with family. After praying for this for nearly a decade, it surprised me in July when the time had finally come for there to be accelerated grace on family healing. But after all that time waiting (and setting boundaries so that things could come to the surface), you better believe I jumped at the opportunity. As I have spent time with my mom, sister, and our 2 dogs, I’ve noticed surprising improvements all around (in me too). They are my primary ministry focus right now, and everything else is secondary.

Around May, I told God that for my birthday, instead of more studying and focusing on the mind, I really needed community and to focus on the heart. Recently, I found a local Church that feels like a breath of fresh air, and the beginning of that promise.

In addition to Family and Community, some other themes for this season are: Balance, Holding Salt and Developing Resources (including designing my doctoral thesis), Blessed Expansion, and Developing Maturity.

Like bark stripped back, I need time to change and mature. I will still remain involved in facilitating a small group of prophets interested in Youth and Youth prophets, in participating in another small group to receive, in friendships with my prophet community and in passing trainings. But generally, it’s a time of exploration and formation, not intensity. The ground needs to remain fallow for a while, and stillness is what progress looks like.

In the stillness, there are things that I’m realizing I value as a leader that I might not notice otherwise. For example, I’m watching myself gather people based on character instead of gifting.

I know plenty of talented people, but the people I’m bringing closest in this season and investing in the most are incredibly pure of heart. I value their sincerity and want to be the kind of leader who can go on a long term process with people, as lifelong friends. The forbearance God formed in me as a child is something that I can draw from when people need more time to grow. I knew that long term investment based on character was my natural inclination from years in the classroom, but it’s cool to see that become a pattern. God willing, it will become a legacy one day.

God wastes nothing. During “waiting” periods, you aren’t really waiting, you are transforming and allowing God to add parts of the puzzle that you did not previously realize that you need. Relationships, regions, and skill sets. None the process goes to waste if you remain engaged.

Let yourself be led.

Just in Case it Comes Up: Naming the Timings

As God trains you and brings you into greater co-laboring partnership, there may be times where he asks you to name the timing of something, and then backs you.

I had a dream recently where God told me to name the time frame of a process, and made it clear that he trusted me drive. I was in awe. And shocked. But mostly, awe.

My suspicion is that maybe greater authority to set timings is God’s way of empowering people when there is a power imbalance.

In the story of Elijah, Elijah was a prophet of Yahweh in a context when the religious state had given itself over to Ba’al worship. In this context, Elijah makes his recorded debut by informing Ahab that he had sole authority over the time period of the drought.

A prophet named Elijah, from Tishbe in Gilead, said to King Ahab, “In the name of the Lord, the living God of Israel, whom I serve, I tell you that there will be no dew or rain for the next two or three years until I say so.

1 Kings 17:1-7

Later in the story, the word of the Lord comes to Elijah, and provides specific instructions directing him to confront Ahab. Elijah has a show down with the prophets of Ba’al, the prophets of Ba’al are killed, and Elijah calls in the water (1 Kings 18:42).

Looking at the story, now I wonder:

Did Elijah just sense (estimate) the time period? Or did God give him the authority to name the range of time, and then back him?

I don’t have answers necessarily, but either way, the trust that developed between Elijah and God is beautiful. God, would you give us the same grace to be trustworthy.

Pitfalls

For the sake of the fact that we are all still learning, I want to devote this last section to talking about some common mistakes it seems prophets make in navigating timings. I’m hoping that we all can recognize our own natural inclinations in this list and if necessary, pivot. I’m sure my closest friends could tell you which of these I tend toward. That’s okay, we need each other.

Going too Fast

One of the simplest ways you botch your timings is by rushing them.

Restricted Vision, Restrained Fruit: Rushing will keep you relying on Your own strength. It will make you myopic and focusing only on what you already understand. You will fail to notice additional puzzle pieces that God wants to add before you pass on to the next thing. Like trees that produce before they have been sufficiently pruned, your fruit will suffer if you fail to receive all that he wants to give you.

Goal: Receive what you need to receive and let God expand your vision.

Lack of Worship, Lack of Mirroring Jesus: Rushing causes us to place ourselves instead of Jesus at the center of the process. It is no surprise then, that what we build mirrors our personal weaknesses more than it mirrors Christ.

No matter what you build, there will always be some weaknesses. However, when you build on Christ as your foundation and pursue his timing by pursuing him, you start to worship idols of performance, popularity, and human strength. Intimacy suffers, and revelation becomes an idol instead of a means of revealing Jesus.

Goal: Pursue ministry as a fruit of loving Jesus. Let his strength be the source.

Undervaluing Relationships, Not Investing in People: If you go too quickly, you can alienate people. A good leader knows how to take a moderate pace so that he or she can enlist and bring people with him/her. They know that their strength is in numbers, and that preparing the Church for Christ is ultimately a prophet’s mission. If you go too fast for the Bride to align with what you are doing, they will not be ready.

Jesus’ ministry was relational. He was a prophet sent to Jerusalem, and Apostle sent to build the Kingdom of God. In spite of the eternal and salvic importance of his work, he focused on building people and let structure develop from community. He only selected his twelve disciples after he had collected a crowd (Mark 3:7-19). From gathering people, he sent others to gather people (Matthew 28). People were always he mission (Isaiah 54:13, 60:4).

Without bringing the people with you, you can risk creating an echo chamber where aren’t able to rely on others support or sharpening. Ultimately,

Success comes through many advisors.

Proverbs 15:22

and

In an abundance of counselors, there is safety.

Proverbs 11:14

When a leader is very passionate, people drawn to that passion. But in order to truly influence the world, leaders must invest in empowering people to participate in their measure of the outworking of the vision.

Passion alone will only attract 2% of people. The rest of the Body of Christ needs us to be an accessible friend. They need us to be balanced, emotional robust, and friendly. These are the people for whom Christ died. They are worth the effort.

I know that as a person, I am so passionate about my areas of calling that if I don’t intentionally slow down, I will burn others out. Lately as I’ve been working with friends, we’ve talked a lot about personal limitations with pace and timing, and balancing other responsibilities. The majority of my friends are between 40-60, and have responsibilities with family to juggle. I’ve found that we do more meaningful work when I discipline myself to keep pace with what they can manage. By keeping in pace with older people, I find that I leave more room for myself to grow at a reasonable rate, instead of the the tendency to rush that comes with youth.

Goal: See your mission as a prophet in submission to Christ’s mission of gathering the lost. Make serving, loving, and empowering them the foundation of your ministry.

Undervaluing Relationships, Not Building Bridges: There is no movement than can be successful without creating alliances between various people, networks, and territories.

When we rush timings, we can prejudge people instead of going on the process with them in long term friendship. We may dismiss them based on their surface level deficits and fail to see the gold that God has put in them. We may fail to honor them or recognize how we have room to learn from them. Over time, that can limit a ministry’s remit.

The thing about people is, they have a context. They have communities, regions, resources, wisdom that we lack. Building bridges starts small, with individuals who are closest to us. When we choose to go the distance with people and press in to understand people we don’t yet understand, we advance the Kingdom of God. As ambassadors, we should always be asking, “Is there a way I can bring this person on board?” It may not *always* be possible, but trying will grow you quite a network. When you grow with people over various years, walk alongside their families, their kids, you establish a level of trust that you can’t otherwise easily replicate.

Goal: Connect with a variety of people, relying on them as you develop long term friendships. Let alliances emerge organically.

False Responsibility

Another way to botch your timings is by taking on false responsibility.

Letting Other People Rush You: Especially within a North American context, sometimes it feels like speed is all that modern Christians care about. Instead of letting wine mature, we’d rather train people to talk loudly, quickly, and without developing substance.

North America, we have got to learn a deeper value for process.

When you take on false responsibility, it can relate to fear of man and people pleasing. Maybe you’re feeling pressure to go quickly after a few early successes in ministry. Maybe you’re surrounded by a community of people who are eager to take advantage of your gifts, who don’t know their own limits.

This isn’t always true, but many of the people challenging you to rush are likely to be those who avoid going on their own process.

It is better for those people for you to model what long term process looks like. By abstaining from toxic pressure, your actions challenge them to do their own internal work. Model healthy expectations. You were not created to be consumed. Let Jesus kill the part of you that responds to toxic pressure and set a different standard.

Furthermore, there is a such thing as false responsibility for God. God doesn’t need your help to make things happen [artificially]. He has his own ways of doing things and will send you more details as you need it. God doesn’t need you to give him ideas. He’ll let you know.

Goal: Set a healthy, flourishing, vibrant pace for yourself and the people around you. Go on your own journey with the Lord and empower others to glean from observation.

Unclear about Assignment: Another aspect of false responsibility is that you make yourself responsible for everything, because you don’t actually know what to focus on and where your responsibility ends.

Consider assignments through the lens of school. Assignments have specific starting and ending points. They have guidelines, and they will relate to specific subjects. If you don’t know what the perimeters of your assignment is, you will be in hyper-vigilance. You will not be able to check out, because you wont know where to focus, and when you have permission to check out.

In order to not become burned out as a Watchman, you have to know exactly when a situation is no longer your problem. Just as actual Watchman sleep, eat, and generally relax at the end of their shift, so should prophets. Ask Jesus to show you the limits of your assignment, and savor your life when you’re not on the clock.

Everyone should eat and drink and take pleasure in all his toil—this is God’s gift to man.

Ecclesiastes 3:13

Goal: Less is more, know when to let go.

Over-sharing Information: When you feel too responsible for others, you will feel like you have to report back to them. That is ultimately insanity.

Apart from trusted few, most people can’t handle more information. They are great observers of the process, but cannot logistically help you make decisions because they aren’t called to take that role in your life.

Privileged information is precious. Most people cannot handle timings. Timings fall under the category of privileged information that also includes names, dates, mates, babies, regions, countries, denominations, organizations, and length of assignments. As you mature, less is up for public consumption. That way, you can celebrate sharing with those who can both handle it and have earned your trust. Either way, recognize that first and foremost, you are accountable to God. Steward your revelation accordingly, and seek council from those who will help you obey him.

Goal: Celebrate sharing with the right people. Don’t feel the need to overshare with others.

Fear

Now, you may be aware of your need to go through the process with God, but feel paralyzed to action it. Believe it or not, Jesus stands poised, ready to help. You will need to put words on your fears and bring them before God. You will have to admit that you need help, to yourself, to God, and to others. You will have to stop relying on your own capacity over overcome and ask for God to be God, making a way. He will empower you to face your fears if you let him. Let him show you how his strength is sufficient in your weakness.

There are two main kinds fear-induced avoidance that we see in the bible.

Avoidance as doing the WRONG thing: Jonah as example of actively running from what God told him to do in Nineveh by getting on a boat to Tarshish (John 1:3).

Avoidance as not doing the RIGHT thing Barak as example of hesitating when God through Deborah told him to lead an army against Sisera (Judges 4:8).

These examples demonstrate that sin can be in both what we do and fail to do. However, if your fear of the Lord is greater than your fear of loss or fear of man, you will ask God for help, and he will give you give you the grace to overcome.

Goal: Ask God for help when you get scared, and name your fears. Fear the Lord and rely on his strength to overcome your fears.

Poor Record Keeping

Ultimately, poor record keeping is related to stewardship. Poor stewardship can relate to fear and chaos, so I’ve put it last.

Poor stewardship can happen when life gets chaotically busy. You have a sense that you need to move forward, but loud external voices and circumstances get in the way of your capacity to commune with God and respond in proportionate action. Yet in communion, you find both the clarity and the endurance for the road ahead. God will give you the capacity to diligently steward what he says, but first you must make seeking him first a non-negotiable rhythm. Whatever it takes, staying close to Jesus must be the first priority.

Side Effects

Miss your Visitation: With enough neglect, you will fail to inquire about important puzzle pieces (of revelation) God sends you. Not doing the internal work will cause you to miss the time when God is expecting you to respond. Or, you may miss opportunities to participate within your present timing. You must do your internal work to be aware of opportunities to build trust, to network, to dialogue with the Lord about your questions/concerns, or generally scout out the territory.

Delay: Furthermore, God will often delay telling you things or allowing things to happen until you are willing to put in some elbow grease. Actioning a word, even dipping your toes in the water, comes from faith. Faith is the currency of the Kingdom of God (Hebrews 11:6, Mark 11:22-24, 2 Corinthians 5;7). If you stay tuned into his voice and diligently track your revelation, you will be in position and ready for appointed times.

Goal: Stay close no matter what the cost. Ask God for help to block out distractions, redirect your schedule and rhythms, or free up time.

A Secret…and a Solution

Can I tell you a secret?

Usually when we think that God’s timing, God’s methods, or God’s purposes are insufficient, it’s more about our insecurity than God’s ways.

Are you insecure about your capacity to wait?

Are you insecure about your capacity to lead?

Do you believe that he will equip you to be the person you need to be to participate in this part of the process?

Jesus knew that you would need incredible amounts of help. Life as a Christian, from day one of salvation onwards, is a life of dependence. How much more so as a pioneer, trying things unprecedented?

The virgin birth is a classic example of God providing for a young leader going through something unprecedented. Mary was always going to have a potentially harder pregnancy than most women. When she went into labor, her body wouldn’t just be passing an infant through the birth canal for the first time, but it would do so without having any former experience of penetration. God let her spend time with Elizabeth, who would have had a better grid to understand what Mary because she was also going through a prophetic birthing experience. Mary continued to develop physical symptoms, she went through the potential loss of her betrothed, traveling extensively during her third trimester. And yet, God’s grace really was sufficient. Even when they had no community nearby, no one to confide in, no where to stay, and were figuring it out in the moment.

God’s power to help you through a challenging situation will always be greater than your power to untangle it. Learn to rest in his chords of love for you. Learn to trust the process and know that he wont put you in danger that he cant rescue you from. If you let him do the heavy lifting, the mountains really will move. But you have to let yourself be treasured and internalize that he will help you.

Do you need a fresh revelation of sonship, to know that God cares? Ask him to meet you again today in the process. He knows the exhaustion of the birthing process. Allow him to meet you in the fatigue, just as Jesus relied on the strength of his father.

Closing Thoughts: Accept the Unknown

Ultimately, as much as these puzzle pieces are helpful, they are not as beautiful as simply trusting God.

Love never fails. But where there are prophecies, they will cease; where there are tongues, they will be stilled; where there is knowledge, it will pass away.

1 Corinthians 13:8

You know, I bet Jesus chose not to know all the details sometimes. He had all access to information, as part of the Trinity. Even in his humanity, he could probably press in and discern just about anything he wanted to know with a little inquiry. And yet, I bet there were times that he preferred to not know and simply trust the Father.

If he is laid back enough to not even know his own wedding date (Matthew 24:36), he probably took the same posture in his time on Earth.

Jesus, would you give us the capacity to be like you, and welcome the unknown? Would you help us define our lives not by what we know or don’t know, but how much we trust you. Amen.

A Blessing for My Friends

May the Lord woo you into a spacious place and deliver you from all your fears,

May he give you such nonsensical faith

That your joy carries you into the outworking of the promise.

When there is nothing to do but wait, may you just celebrate in advance,

Disregarding all earthly sense of timing. 

May you find freedom in the mystery, and cherish the Unknown

Longing to welcome it like a visit from a long anticipated friend.

May the Lord honor you for the tremendous cost

And reward you more than you could have asked for. 

When you receive gifts you didn’t ask for,

May you simply stand there, blissfully bemused.

When the Lord tells you a beautiful dream,

May you be able to receive it unquestioningly like a child does,

And focus on just that day’s provision,

And focus on just that day’s obedience.

When the long obedience feels scary and overwhelming,

Would the Holy Spirit divide the time into small pieces,

And feed you one right-sized spoonful at a time.

May the Holy Spirit be the Head Chef in your kitchen,

Nourishing each person according to their needs,

Braising the meat so that they can receive it,

Giving you wisdom to rest and speak well.

When you expectantly throw yourself off a cliff,

May you feel his hands catching you.

May the Lord work out such glorious redemption from your inevitable missteps,

That your fear of failure disintegrates.

And may you dance upon the edge of the knife.

May all of the hard-to-express challenges be gracefully translatable,

And your listeners have clarified ears to perceive your right intentions. 

May you not have to work hard to be accepted in unlikely contexts,

May the Lord take you on a cruise.

May you be unafraid to cry in public,

Or laugh in public,

Or dance in public.

May the Lord make your sincerity even more charming to the people on the street.

May they want to know your God in wanting to know you.

May you be so focused on the mission that you fluently get over yourself,

And live a life that is committed to the people you are serving

Instead of the size of your fears.

May he give you grace press in until you love your adversaries like your best friend,

Talking about them like they are already perfect.

Believing earnestly that you are lucky that God put them on the earth.

May your unorthodox approval convince them that they are worthy of his love.

May the people who you have lost come back to you,

May everything be better than it was before.

May you have the security of knowing that you always have a home to come back to,

Even as the Lord expands you across the world. 

May the security God builds in your Kingdom family rival the security of Heaven. 

May the bones that the witches dared bury under your shed be the seeds of Youth and Young prophets reformation in Scotland and in the nations,

May you drink deeply and dine out on God’s redemption.

May you be unafraid to say goodbye to your loved ones,

And know that they are so proud of you, looking back from the other side.

May God bridge the unbridgeable distance,

While you continue your best work in memory of them,

And they continue their heavenly rulership,

Elbowing all of their new friends 

Eyes gleaming, boasting, 

Declaring, “That one is mine.”

May you not be offended by the right timings of Death,

When God decides that they would be more useful in Heaven.

Would you ultimately have the most satisfying hug when you see them,

But be able to rest peacefully now,

Knowing that your best days are still to come.

May you never undervalue what God can do with your life, and the extravagant plans he has for you.

May it never even occur to you to sell yourself short.

October 2022 Monthly Summary

He Overcame the World

This month, Jesus just kept showing countless ways he he had overcome the world. As I contended for Jesus’ light yoke, he kept showing me just how narrow the door has been for so many people in the last season. He helped me develop better balance and boundaries in processing intense emotions privately so that I can be more authentic with friends, from a place of clarity. Overall, developing better boundaries has helped me recognize more readily when groups of people are facing spiritual intimidation vs. when assuming the issue is just mine.

God bless the narrow road! Even as I consider the challenges my friends have faced lately, I am grateful for the process. Because the narrow door belongs to God, and he is good, it will be worth it.

I consider that our present sufferings are not worth comparing with the glory that will be revealed in us.

Romans 8:18

At the same time, I want to be sensitive to honor my friends for just how hard things have been. No matter how well individuals have responded to challenges, there is no denying that this last year has been difficult. Even still, I believe that God has fresh insight, fresh courage, and fresh mercy available if we need his help.

Singing over Jesus

When things have become difficult this month, one of my favorite things to do in private is to meet Jesus on the cross, and sing over him. While I sometimes see images him visually on the cross, more often I just sense him near to me in my room. Adoring him for everything he was willing to go through, seeing him delight in that cost being acknowledged, watching it sink deep and him just rest in knowing that he has my heart. When nothing else is going well, I love knowing that I can still make him smile in the “uneventful” moments.

Letting Go of Fear

This month, the most challenging work God did in me was bringing me out of fear.

I sought the Lord, and he answered me;

he delivered me from all my fears.

Psalm 34:4

I realized that when it came to worrying about the future, fear was what kept me in self-defense and shadowboxing against accusation. After a year where accusation came from so many unexpected sources, finding the root was powerful.

In these moments, God keeps reminded me that he is the same “God who Keeps by Heart Safe” from June.

So far this year, God has brought me out of:

  • Fear of Loss
  • Fear of Being Misunderstood/Disappointing People
  • Fear of Lack
  • Fear of Failure/Inability to perform
  • Fear of the Unknown
  • Fear of Isolation

I have a few more fears that I still need delivered from, but I know the Lord will finish his work.

As I do the inner work to be fully well, I love the preaching by Bill Johnson near the 11 minute mark on this song. So helpful!

As God continues to bring me out of fear, he has been talking to me a lot about the courage to lead from the heart. I have some things that I have been processing and writing, but am waiting to get a little more perspective before I share.

Offering God Our Hearts

This month, I have noticed several instances where individuals or groups struggle to meet God in his deep emotions. With numbness or fear cluttering their capacity to connect, they seem conflicted in the desire to give more of their hearts, not entirely sure how.

I think the solution to this problem is simple. In worship, we need to offer him our hearts.

My heart has heard you say, “Come and talk with me.” And my heart responds, “ LORD, I am coming.”

Psalm 27:8 NLT

If you offer God your heart, he himself will pour out the grace to transform it. You don’t have to try harder to stir up emotion. He knows that you desire to connect with him. Give your heart away and know that he will keep it.

 I WILL give you a new heart and put a new spirit in you; I will remove from you your heart of stone and give you a heart of flesh.

Ezekiel 36;26

You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart.

Jeremiah 29:13

If that feels too scary, an intermediate prayer would be: “Lord, show me how trustworthy you are.” When we struggle to trust God because of our past experiences with people, we can trust that he knows exactly how to redeem all of it. If you invite him to show you that he is good, he will.

Taste and see that the LORD is good; blessed is the one who takes refuge in him.

Psalm 34:8

Internal Shifting Again

What an adventure it is to follow God! Next week, I will be in Scotland again visiting my friends, and I could not be more excited to spend time with them. Getting a chance to travel again makes me think about this concept of movement and transition more generally.

Earlier this month, I had a dream where I was literally shaken awake by the reverberating words of an angel, telling me to remain alert. Following this dream, I became more aware of internal shifting happening in me that feels like preparation for whatever is happening next. Essentially, I feel like I’m gearing up to start over, but waiting on instructions. Moments like this, I’m glad I gave God permission to make me into a blank page and write a new chapter.

Favorite Things in October

Favorite Books

I borrowed copies of all these books from libraries.

The Autobiography of Eleanor Roosevelt

This month, I found unexpected solidarity in reading The Autobiography of Eleanor Roosevelt. While I didn’t initially expect to have a lot in common with Eleanor Roosevelt, it was a surprise and pleasure to realize that she actually started life as a timid person. However, God kept putting her in challenging circumstances, she was motivated by the needs of the people around her to work towards change. Among various social reforms, she helped develop the United Nations out of her lasting conviction that war is fundamentally evil. Reading this book this month helped me process fears that I didn’t realize were there. She is so transparent in talking about how she developed much of her confidence in her 30s and 40s, and that for her, it was about time and exposure to risk. I know so many people who disqualify themselves too soon, and wonder why God would have included them in his master plans. Her story reminds me that we don’t have to feel strong to make a difference.

Her transparency reminds me so much of my friend Robin. I met Robin back when I was just 20 and studied abroad in Chile. It was my first time leaving the US, and where I met Jesus. Robin is one of my longest term friends, and I think it works because we are opposites held together by silly memes.

Robin is one of the most legitimately patient people I know. She is so deliberate that it drives me nuts sometimes. She has taught me a greater respect for the process that change takes. And in some small way, I’ve helped her relate to her husband, who is a lot like me in temperament. She tells me that in knowing me, she’s become more direct and less easily intimidated.

When I have friends who baffle me, Robin is one of the first people I go to in order to unscramble what could be going on. In the time that I’ve known her, I watched her meet her husband in Chile, start and end different jobs, move multiple times across continents, and have a baby. I’m looking forward to the day I can see them all again in person.

Storyworthy by Matthew Dicks

Another book that left a deep impact this month is Storyworthy by Matthew Dicks. This book immediately caught my attention because telling dumb stories is such a big part of my relationship with my dad. When we talk on the phone, we normally give updates on projects we are working on, I tell him a little about my seminary homework, and we share a few dumb stories (the weirder, the better).

Beyond just the topic, this author is a former teacher who regularly experiences nonsensical things. While he has found that his crazy life has given him plenty of material, he actually believes that the every day moment stories have the greatest healing/emotive power. As someone who also has had a crazy life, I agree.

This book is the most accessible book I’ve ever encountered on writing. It’s about as accessible and small pieces as Duolingo (for language learning). He goes back and forth between instruction in writing short stories and telling stories with exemplars from his own life. Reading this book has helped me slow down and be more present.

Befriending Our Desires by Philip Sheldrake

Initially I noticed Befriending Our Desires because it was the most controversial read on the list of potential book choices to read for a seminary course. When I encountered the book later on while searching for another resource, I decided to check it out.

I was not expecting to find such a vibrant discussion of vocation and how God draws us by our own interests to not just relationships, but meaning more generally! Sheldrake’s use of language is masterful and respectful in discussing sexuality. The author uses imagery of intimacy and mystery to holy-challenge the emotionally numb and those who gnostically reduce the body as an object versus something that God created intentionally. I would recommend this book to any adult who wants to understand God, relationships, and vocation more holistically.

You and Me Together Forever: Marriage in Light of Eternity by Francis Chan

I am rereading You and Me Together Forever: Marriage in Light of Eternity by Francis Chan because it is singlehandedly the best marriage/relationships book I have found to date. God has clearly been preparing me for marriage at some point in the future, yet I can’t say that it’s my focus right now. Nevertheless, I love Francis Chan’s eternal focus for marriage and ministry. He openly owns that neither he nor his wife are particularly similar people, but their marriage works because they are both so focused on their shared mission that they don’t have time to get derailed in division and selfish motives. I remember that when I first read this book in 2019, it revolutionized the way I did friendship because it made me really consider how much friend drama I was facing was because friends were simply not aligned to God’s plan for my life. As I’ve progressed in ministry, I have noticed that the friendships that flourish are ones who bless and celebrate the new callings God is developing in me (and vice versa). The friendships that fail are the ones where individuals simply cannot bless what God is doing (for a variety of reasons, including immaturity). Especially at a time when I’m thinking about responsibilities so far outside of my own individual capacity, I’ve been encouraged this month by friends who have a similar mission OR simply can share in the excitement of what God is doing among Youth and Young Prophets. My most precious friends are those who know their calling well enough so that we can mutually co-endorse one another, and use whatever gifts we have to support one another’s calling in the Kingdom of God. While some of these alignments may have initially seemed unlikely, God has used them to produce fruit that neither I nor the other person expected at the time. Based on what I’ve been seeing in the Spirit, I believe that God will put increasingly favor on unlikely ministry partnerships in the future.

Favorite Quotes and Verses

You know, it’s been years that I have been looking for a vocabulary word that would describe how God woos people into the right direction as he pulls them with cords of love. I have watched God form and reform us to fit into his ultimate purposes more often than not. I love witnessing that reformation work! This month, Jesus invited me to know him as Witness, delighting with him in simply in being an observer of what he is doing.When I think of the grace and truth Jesus flowed in, I think of Leadership as simply witnessing his life emerge in them.

The word “prevenient grace” describes God’s work of wooing us before we are even aware of his activity.

This quote describes how God pours out grace to make himself available to children long before they have any capacity to respond to him. This is the grace that rests on communities of faith to share Jesus with children who haven’t yet made the external decision to prefer him.

I led them with cords of human kindness, with ties of love. To them I was like one who lifts a little child to the cheek, and I bent down to feed them.

Hosea 11:4

This is the same grace that is available to adults to seek and find him. To find him again and again for the rest of their lives.

Draw me after you; let us run. 

Song of Songs 1:4

Source: Karen Yust, Nurturing Child and Adolescent Spirituality, pg 99, “A Child’s First Dance with God”

This activity of being wooed and made to be an object of delight before you have done anything makes me think of Proverbs 8:30-31.

God’s Wisdom in Proverbs’ 8 is often portrayed as a Woman who considers human beings as her own children.

Wisdom as a Child

While the marriage imagery in Proverbs 8 between Wisdom and God is beautiful, I actually prefer the alternate translation.

You see, in verses 8:30-31, Wisdom is described as a child!

I can just imagine God’s childlike wisdom flitting around with him throughout the earth. If delight is available, a child will find it. I love this translation because it shows us that maturity is childlike.

Favorite Dream

One of my favorite dreams this month had to do with imagery about maturity and immaturity.

In the dream, I watched a man and a woman singing in synchrony a soul music/R&B style duet. They sang:

“Then we were intentional / then we were knowing,

Then we were thriving, and listening, and growing…”

After the couple finished the duet together, a redeemed, mature Kanye-like character picked up the song without dropping a beat. He flowed into a section of rap about wisdom, learning from mistakes, society, and maturity in general. He wasn’t arrogant, but was simply invested in the flow of the lines and in music and a story bigger than himself.

This month, I’ve literally wept over my lack of maturity in some areas. As God gives me grace to keep growing into adulthood, I know he is making it available to others too. I loved this dream because I personally believe that Kanye is a textbook example of an immature prophet/prophetic person who needs a lot of inner healing/help. So to see Kanye flowing in a song that was much bigger than himself was glorious. God can do that for all of us.

Favorite Silly Videos

This month, I’ve been watching Pasta Grannies videos. I once found these videos during the pandemic, and have continuously watched them since, as the grandparent characters are so lovable. Essentially, a British film crew goes through various regions in Italy and records older Italian men and women who prepare their region’s signature dishes. It’s a delight.

Probably because it relates to that sense of generations and family, God used imagery of Italian food this month as I developed more balance. This spring, he used imagery of fast food to talk to me, because of the accelerated pace. In the summer, he had me practice asking for the food I wanted and leaving the wrong restaurants. In the summer, I also had dreams about asking people to share their food or bringing food from faraway places (like Asia) to share with a group. This fall, I dreamed that he was sending various people to bring me food and other necessities while I rested and focused on wellbeing, with the tone of “let me provide for all your needs.” Since January, I’ve had dreams of cooking with Jesus, and lately, I have been cooking to serve a crowd. In my most recent dreams, I’ve been passing through a buffet line and receiving plenty, but in a more relaxed sense. I’m excited to see what provision looks like in the next season, as Jesus and I continue talking about food.

Secondly, I spend plenty of my cozy winter/fall time with fireplace sounds playing on the background. When I’ve needed to do homework or write blog posts this month while tired (*cough cough*), the sound of the flames licking up the wood helps me stay grounded.

Favorite Worship Music

Prayer Requests

  • To have a joyful, delightful, restorative time with my friends next week in Scotland
  • Agreement that God will continue kicking out all my fears
  • Blessing on whatever the next chapter holds

In Christ,

Haley

Canada: Safe to Risk and Encounter the Fullness of God’s Joy

The Spirit of the Lord says,

“Canada, these are the words of the God Who Makes you Safe. I have watched with twinkling eyes as you have made yourself a refuge for refugees and vulnerable people. Your generosity and warmth has earned you invitations and favor among the nations. Even at times when you have not noticed, I have quietly used your steadfast support for one another as an exemplar of Christian community. 

Yet in spite of the favor I have placed on your relationships, you have been afraid to embrace favor’s fullness. Today, I am coming to teach you how to enjoy risk.

In spite of your patient service and steadfast love, there has been a growing sense of disquiet and discontent on your insides. You have wondered if perhaps you simply were not grateful enough for what you have. You have felt guilty for wanting more, and wondered about the effect your appetite will have on your relationships. Will you alienate others if you step out? 

Just like the wrestle between Judah and Perez in Tamar’s womb, I have been the God of your Internal Wrestling (Genesis 38). I have caused Discontent to break out against First Fruits. I have planted a holy discontent inside you so that you will break out of the boundaries the enemy placed on your previous season. In the last several months, you have felt growing dissonance as your desires come against your previous models and approaches for ministry. 

I, the Lord, have never been offended by your desire for more! I know the plans I have for you; you were never meant to remain small. I have caused Holy discontent and even Holy jealousy to burst upon you so that I could burst you out of the ways you have partnered with self-rejection. You have been like a child wondering whether I would remember you, watching while all the other nations received good gifts. You have wondered if I have loved you less than others, to give you so little influence. The enemy enticed you with predictability at the cost of greater effort, and you wondered how it was possible to get so little returns on such great generosity. Oh nation who has loved serving others, my freedom is more than service! I am a God of justice! I will give you the better wine, but I want you to openly desire it (John 2:10). I have not forgotten you! Desire the better fruit! I will not just redeem each and every place where the enemy called “Fruitless”, I will change your entire paradigm of what fruitfulness looks like. 

I am God the Father, who makes you safe to risk. In a time of shaking, I am the God of Perfect Safety. I am coming to heal your trauma, and ways you have falsely defined safety as comfort. Watch as I make uncertainty feel safe, and comfort feel too restrictive. I am bringing you into a spacious place where your joy, freedom, and peace will transcend your circumstances (Psalm 118:5). I am standing so close, attending to your cries. I will never leave you (Hebrews 13:5). 

Today, I am coming to break off the fear of disappointment that has kept you from risk. I do not consider your small beginnings small (Zechariah 4:10). I am not afraid of the possibility that you will make mistakes (1 John 4:18). I do not expect perfection. If you rely on my grace to make the individual and structural changes I have highlighted, you will find ease in transformation. However, if you continue to cling to the past, you will become isolated communities that lose their social relevance. Do not let the enemy cause your communities to harden into smallness!

Surrender! Make peace with your desires. When you rejected the part of yourself that wanted more, you were really rejecting more of me.

It was always my intention to answer the hidden desires of your heart. In a previous season, I withheld greater opportunities from you so that you would dare to long for more. A child is satisfied by simple pleasures, but an adult longs for more! 

I want you to partner with me in the exploration process! If you will admit your longing for more and better, I will bring you into maturity so that you can be an equal yokemate for the things I long to do through you. My works will not be small, but extravagant; not stale but overflowing with abundant life. If you are willing to admit that the previous season no longer suits you, I will dress you in new garments. You will know what it feels like to walk confidently in colors more audacious than you would have chosen for yourself! You will be like children grinning at one another, each sitting in front of slices of cake much bigger than you can comfortably eat. You will know me as the God of Abundant Joy. 

As you let desire turn into direction change and are marked by the new season, your courage will heal your elders. Older people will come to you with stories of longing for more and better, and repent of their self-rejection and fear. You will be a nation who is unafraid to want more, and openly encourage one another to risk bravely. Within your borders, there are many people who have become like Ghosts stuck in patterns of discontented waiting. When you allow me to call you out, they will come to you to come alive again. As you allow me to become God Your Safety, your embrace will teach your nation what it means to be truly safe.

Written 9-14-2022

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