Friends Outskill

Isn't it a great thing when your childhood friends learn a technical skill that you could never understand—and you learn another technical skill that they could never understand.

The concept of "mutual non-understandability" seeds the source of respect.

How many people fight because they think their ideas are better than everyone else's! Everyone's an expert referee at a sports game—the ref isn't there because he's smart, he's just the idiot in charge. We treat each other that way.

No one can fully understand a fellow human; advanced, specialized knowledge helps us to realize that just a little more.

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Believers Who Find Fault

A favorite activity among some (not many) Christians is fault-finding. When someone makes a positive comment about certain topics, the faultfinders are quick to point out all the reasons we shouldn’t be positive, all the bad things that are associated there. 

Favorite targets for these people include:

a) Famous Christians (“Did you know that this famous leader once sinned? Gasp!”),

b) Politicians (This doesn't need much explanation; there aren’t many Christians who can say positive things about all three: Trump, Clinton and Obama),

c) Poignant Facebook posts (“Martin Luther is an evil man because some of his followers did bad things!”)

I’m convinced that this is a model given to us by the accuser of the brethren, since these are indeed accusations, and it’s aggressively marketed to us by the secular (and, to a lesser extent, Christian) news media.

When I run across people who have to begin their conversation with criticism or “We need to know both sides of that!” then I’m afraid I make the assumption that this is a person who is more influenced by the news media than by the Spirit of God. (I don’t like assumptions, particularly in myself.)

Our Instruction Book gives us certain standards for our behavior, and for our conversation with each other, standards like “Let your conversation be always full of grace, seasoned with salt.” (Colossians 4:6)

And one of those standards is not fault-finding: Proverbs 11:12 “People without good sense find fault with their neighbors, but those with understanding keep quiet.” & Jude 1:16 “These people are grumblers and faultfinders; they follow their own evil desires; they boast about themselves and flatter others for their own advantage.”

Another of those standards is the solution: fixing our attention on whatsoever is good and right. Philippians 4:8: “Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things.”.

Faultfinding is a fundamental failure to meet Scriptural standards, I’m afraid. It’s also something I aggressively discourage in conversations on this page (as I am doing in this post).

Off the record, my motivation for discouraging this is not Scripture: you are responsible for your own response to that standard; that’s not my job.

I speak up because being around that particular work of the enemy (the “accuser of the brethren” Revelation 12:10) is like swimming in a sewer for me: it’s incredibly distasteful, and more importantly, it’s really quite dangerous to my own health.

If you want to find fault with people, living or dead, do it somewhere else. If you to take a crap, don’t use my swimming pool for that purpose.


Let Good things Be

When someone finds something good, let them be and do not take it from them. Don't be the police of which good things other people should be enthralled with.

If someone has a genuine, harmless excitement about something you think isn't so important, maybe you should think that person is more important than you do. Isn't it good enough just that your neighbor is happy?

Be happy with those who are happy. Be with those who are sad. Keep relationships with people different from you. You might never know the difference you make or when you won't see them again.

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Cadence of Conflict: Asia, February 19, 2018

Conveniently, Axios breaks a story from Trump's November visit to China. There was a scuffle and a tackle over the "nuclear football"—AKA the nuke code bag. At first, it seems like relations are breaking down between the US and China. At second glance, the timing of the report is outright suspicious. Stepping back and giving it a third thought, the scuffle almost seems prophetic and poetic about the American-Chinese situation. The Chinese didn't touch the "nuclear football", though there was an ignored or unreceived memo. The US entourage kept moving. The Chinese official in charge kindly apologized. And, it was all over in an instant and without incident. That seems to have a figurative application on a literary level.

China is expanding in science and other areas. Underwater drones capable of making military maps were told to be for science only. Mischief Reef's new missile-defense equipped naval-air bases were only for a fishermen's shelter. And, the first aircraft carrier, the Liaoning, was purchased from Russia to be nothing more than a floating museum. Those kinds of stories get drummed up by the West as reasons not to trust China.

The Philippines have effectively made peace with China on some level. China is capable of preserving peace if it wants to. But, the Western press often points to grandiose statements that rub Westerners the wrong way. President Xi referred to the belt road project as the "project of the century" and that it will "add splendor to human civilization". The West cares about taxpayer efficiency, freedom to have children, and welcome open dissent against their own government. Westerners value humility from leadership. The Chinese grandiose remarks from Xi Jinping command respect in China, but are off-putting to Westerners. Rather than seeking to reconcile the differences in rhetorical preference, press reports exploit the shock value and sell-out peaceful understanding for caustic sensationalism. The divide grows. Whether China should tone down its language is a Chinese-internal decision. So is the opinion and response by the West also a purely internal decision.

So, at the same time Axios reports a non-incident story of a conflict that didn't happen over a "football" last November. It is framed as a sign of shaky US-China relations. Others are reporting on the US, Japan, Australia, and India collaborating competition against China's infrastructure. There is also news of Trump buckling down on trade with China. Then, Quartz publishes a review of China's great threat as a rising military power, a collection of old news.

Truth or lie, propagandized or unbiased, the timing is a tell-all. The Western press is preparing the public for war.

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Encore of Revival: America, February 19, 2018

No one likes to read about school shootings. I was in high school when a student shot himself in the head, right in the hallway, Vinnie Garofalo, February 1998. I remember when a college classmate told our student body the reports from his former classmates at Columbine. "They're dead," she told him. "They're all dead." Now, the Editor needs to write about it and Americans need to read about it, yet again.

The Florida shooting is complicated, it always is. This one has a story behind the shooter that seems more personal than other times. No one claims his story is any alibi. Many heroes were made, both victim and living. One libriarian, Diana Haneski, was inspired by her friend's heroism from Sandy Hook and protected 55 students by locking them in a media room. An assistant coach, Aaron Feis, protected three girls by shielding them with his own body, he did not survive.

Tragedy strikes. We reflect and ask why. Then we second guess ourselves and wish that we would have loved each other more and sooner. We go home. We cry ourselves to sleep. Then we wake up the next day and prepare to march for action. So, let's talk action.

Emma Gonzales is right, in a sense even the minds of gun owners. To the gun owners, the NRA has been largely useless. They aren't effective at protecting gun owner rights, only at rallying people up. At Columbine and with Michael Moore, the NRA's reaction was generally useless. Rather than helping the nation navigate through the challenges, they just acted insensitive. The NRA's Twitter account hasn't posted since Valentine's Day, when the Florida shooting happened, not even sympathy to the families. This seems to have been a "silencer" for the NRA. Politicians who receive money from that over-spiced "nothing burger" organization should be ashamed.

As for action, since we act like we're ready for a candid conversation, let's take off the gloves. Before you decide to click "next", finish the following two paragraphs.

Why are we in deadlock about guns? As strong—and correct—of an argument as Emma Gonzales makes, there is another strong point that must be included in our united path forward. It's the "elephant" in the living room, the reason we can't finish the debate, which no one wants to so much as even mention. The dirty, politically incorrect, and inconclusive—mind you—little secret about why guns remain widely available on the market has three big beans: Russia, China, and ISIS. The wide-availability of guns in America is the only reason those countries—ISIS is a country—have not already invaded and killed millions of Americans—just as their governments have killed millions of their own people who aren't allowed to possess guns. That's our excuse that keeps us in deadlock over the gun debate—a deadlock that killed 17 people last Valentine's Day.

The problem is not the Second Amendment itself, but that we only enforce half of it. We need the rest of the Second Amendment—the Militia army of civilians—a high school class with accommodation for handicapped and learning disabled, different standards for different gender, and it would be a requirement for every student in order to graduate and in order to vote in elections. The high school Militia course would teach self-discipline, readiness, hand-to-gun combat, safety in every situation, gun handling and discharge, emergency response, teamwork, and, like all military training, self-respect and self-sacrifice for others. If Nikolas Cruz had been required to graduate high school before he could buy a gun, he wouldn't have been able to. If he had been required to get the mentoring a high school Militia class would have provided, he wouldn't have wanted to.

That idea has been presented before by many people before. But, we don't hear about it from the NRA. We didn't want to have such a candid discussion about applying the whole of the Constitution—which would keep us safe from enemies, both foreign and domestic, if we would simply obey it to the full. We were too distracted with other news. So, since those other news items that we bicker about were worth the lives of 17 students, let's take a review of the news items atop headlines in the days before the Valentine's Day Massacre...

The Obama portraits, while acceptable, are intended to draw attention. The Smithsonian has more expressive art of Ford and HW Bush, more radical than the Michelle interpretation. Contrary to folk wisdom, the woman in the painting does resemble Michelle in those rare moments when she drops that goofy, fake smile for her natural "serious" face. It's not that strange, as strange as it seems. But, the hue of the leaves in Obama's piece and the street-art worthy style of Michelle evince an intent to use the presidential portraits as an opportunity to make some kind of statement. Whether that is right or wrong is up for debate, but they are trying to make a statement.

As for the leaves, to claim that they are marijuana is to claim either that the artist is botanically inept or that oneself is. The leaf in the picture more resembles the Ohio State "buckeye leaf", which has been confused by the botanically inept in the past.

Michael Flynn was pursued by Obama's leftover administration as retribution for endorsing Trump. It is said one should never hire friends. Hiring Flynn was a mistake, not because Flynn wasn't up to the job of fighting in the wolf den—which he apparently wasn't—but because it promoted him from being a target to being an easy target. In the end, however, Michael Flynn will learn just as Sarah Palin did, after being tossed to the wolves. And, the hostile takeover of Flynn's life will be an alarm in itself to call out the folks to find out just what in the world was going on in the Obama administration that allowed this to happen. Flynn will come back to haunt the Democrats and bureaucrats.

George Soros has been dumping money into local DA elections that would normally elect Republicans. His candidates have been winning. Democrats and their voters who don't stand against Soros will lose all credibility when next time they complain about the Koch brothers. While many Republican voters will be alarmed—and probably roused to a wrath those DAs will not want to face—the more interesting effect will be their tendency to self-destruct. People artificially propped into power rarely last, especially when they come from different stock.

...But, there's nothing like a school shooting to put our priorities about the news in perspective.

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Learning the Organic Line

There is a line with an arrow connecting cause and results. That line is invisible to most people.

It's difficult to know how to manage a farm, for example, from one year to the next. Every year's weather is different. The line between good farming and good crops always moves.

It's always changing, always surprising. We never stop learning how to find the line no matter how old we get.

Some never master the art of learning the line. Success doesn't occur according to a checklist or multiple-choice test. Life's line is organic, so must be our understanding of it.

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Cadence of Conflict: Asia, February 12, 2018

There are those who know Asia and those who don't. There are those who know political gaming and those who don't. Last week, Symphony said that China wouldn't compromise in a "Sino-Vatico" deal. This week, a retired bishop in Hong Kong said basically the same thing: That if the pope vetoes Beijing too often, Beijing will tell the world the pope is unreasonable.

The pope is no fool. The Vatican knows to listen to a Hong Kong bishop concerning China. The deal is hotly debated in the Church and by no means unanimously supported as motherhood or apple pie. If the Vatican goes through with this controversial deal with China, then it indicates that the Vatican is counting on a popularity war against China, in which China loses respect, both among Catholics in China and everyone in every economy everywhere else in the world, except of course among Russians who always like a good fight.

If war breaks out between the West and China, and if China loses to a fierce West, China ought hold the Vatican partially responsible for playing the complex popularity mind game which is this deal. This agreement was always a cloaked plan to harm China. It seems that the retired bishop in Hong Kong hasn't figured that out.

The Vatican would have us believe that they haven't figured out China when they actually have things figured out all to well. That's what makes the Vatican arguably the greatest danger to China. No wonder China is so concerned, but still not concerned enough.

Equally concerning, Taiwan is seriously talking about moving their Legislative Yuan and their Executive Yuan offices with it. The new location would be Taichung, the center of Taiwan. That would put the central government seat in two locations and the frequent target of democratic demonstrations between the ideologically conflicted north and south. While this is purported to help connect the central government more closely to local governments—and to provide large, open plazas so that demonstrations don't interrupt local commerce—and to provide for an "earthquake" not disrupting the entire central government, that word "earthquake" carries symbolic meaning without mention. A change of cartography will also date any invasion rehearsals.

More than implicating an airborne "earthquake" from, say, China, promoting democracy demonstrations along with a united island of 23 million are the greater, yet more subtle, messages that may insult some offices on the other side of that Taiwan strait. Few in the West will understand how Taiwan's central government creating a "second seat" could spark the war that the Vatican is already piping the popularity to fuel.

Just as much, there are those who do and do not understand North Korea.  Every time the West is shown media coverage of North Korea, journalistic commentary doesn't know what to say. Look at them, they all clap in unison. Doesn't it look strange? They can't be happy; after all they never stop smiling. It's all fake. And, look at all of the crying at the Kim Jong Il funeral. That's either fake or it's radical support.

The press, wholly unqualified to explain events in Far East Asia, can't help but flaunt their own ignorance.

North Koreans are part of a tightly-controlled, cult-like, nannied-and-mommied play script. They are neither happy nor sad. They are caught in a culture of mass group think. They cry at a Kim funeral because that's what you do, much like taking your shoes off at the door. They cheer in choreographed unison at a sports arena because that's what you do at sports arenas and, more importantly, all cheering is choreographed anyway, right?

They aren't cheering from any obligation. They're like a bunch of Sunday Morning micro-church minions parroting their microcosm lingo because that's the only thing they have ever learned to do. A similar comparison would be to tone-lexical native language speakers—such as Cantonese and Mandarin—trying to use the free-form tone flow of Romance sentences, or asking someone who only reads sheet music to improvise for the first time ever. Singing spontaneously from the heart just isn't something they have ever known. And, all the Western press can do is gawk, but not understand.

It just shows how far we still have to go to get to know each other.

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Encore of Revival: America, February 12, 2018

The budget deal in Congress celebrates two myths, one from time travel budgeting, the other from silence. When the "experts" project a deficit based on the current spending plan, 1. none of the money has been spent yet and 2. none of the spending tax money has come in yet. They aren't only counting chickens before they hatch, they already have them buttered on the Christmas dinner table.

The spending projection assumes the previous year's tax income. If tax rates drop, so does the projected income drop, proportionately. There is some "trickle down" account for the assumption that consumers may spend more and employers hire more since they have the funds not taxed, but they don't consider synergy. They don't use AI simulations to project the slew of companies who haven't announced—but will anyway do—investment within the market. New companies will be capable of coming into being which weren't able to without the new financial ecosystem. Those aren't accounted for because they can't be predicted. The forecast we have is based not on synergistic outcomes—AKA reality—but on comparing last years results against this year's new methods—AKA time travel.

The second myth comes from silence, namely renegotiating trade agreements. Adjustments making the US market part of a two-way street will also bring new revenue sources—rather than a one-way street that screws the US economy into the ground. These are part of separate agreements already promised, already underway, but largely unfinished and unreported. Budget forecast about those factors are simply silent.

The budget forecast isn't any accurate prediction of the future, but a kind of comparison for number geeks in black-tie offices. What actually happens is never known until it happens.

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Home & Garden

Changes to Our Living Room

Hi Friends!  We've been having a cold, white winter here in Michigan. I joked with a friend recently, who was hibernating like me, that we would just have to skype until Spring, because neither one of us wanted to venture out in this weather! Ha!

The last time I posted pictures of our living room, it was filled with blue and white toile and blue and white porcelain. But recently I decided to change it up and use a lot more neutrals. The nice thing is I didn't spend any money making these changes. They're all things I already had.

Oops! Except the two tables in each corner - they're new since I've posted! (new-used)
I put the jute rug that's been in the family room in here. I like the casual feeling it gives with everything else so romantic and feminine. I also like the neutral color.
I've had this coffee table for a couple of years. I found it at an indoor flea market and chalk painted it to match the end table that's in here.
The little cabinet on the left I found at my favorite used furniture store in Grand Rapids. It had kind of a funny paint job and so I gave it an update with chalk paint. I've moved it around a couple of times but if ends up staying here, I may paint it again. 
I've had a desk in this corner of the room for several years but I've liked this change.

I found this table on Craig's list. It's a reproduction but I love all the beautiful carving and curves. I left the finish and didn't paint it but it sure would be pretty painted to show off all the detail. 

This chaise was in our bedroom for a couple of years but I recently moved it here. I've really enjoyed having it in this room and often sit here in the mornings to read my Bible and drink my coffee. 
Or to enjoy a book in the afternoon. 
I got the art above the fireplace from Joss & Main a couple of years ago but could never find a frame for it. I found this one recently at Hobby Lobby. I've really been in love with these traditional gold frames lately and have been grabbing them when I find them. 

The love seat, chairs and chaise in this room I recovered with drop cloths. They were all bought at different times and had different mismatched fabrics. I unified them with paint and washable drop cloths.

I'm really enjoying the peaceful feel of this room after the busier feeling it had with all the blue and white.

And that's what's so nice about changing a few things. It feels like a whole new room.
I'm getting ready to repaint our family room. It's been a soft blue for several years and I'm going to start painting it "Antique White" by Sherwin Williams today. I'll try to post some of my progress on Instagram.

Have a warm Wednesday!

love and blessings~

"Blessed are the pure in heart for they shall see God." Matthew 5:8

love seat, chairs and chaise all bought second hand and recovered with drop cloth
coffee table and end table bought second hand and chalk painted
rug - HomeGoods 
fireplace screen - Amazon
pillows - home made
vase on coffee table - Joss & Main
candlestick on coffee table - Tuesday Morning
wooden bowl - HomeGoods
grandfather clock - second hand
art on fireplace - Joss & Main with HobbyLobby frame
gold candlesticks in corner - HomeGoods
mirror- Joss & Main
vase by mirror - HobbyLobby
candleabra - HomeGoods
cement angel - garden store many years ago
basket with wood - HomeGoods

Cadence of Conflict: Asia, February 5, 2018

Writing about China is difficult. On one side there is the Western push toward the false narrative that "all things China are bad", then on the other side pulls gravity from an invisible black hole gobbling up the truth. China is a yeah-boo, more yeah and more boo than most other countries. Anyone expecting a narrative—West or East—while reading the truth about China might instinctively think that the truth supports "the other side".

But, Symphony doesn't take that stance. China is just China. It makes wise moves, it makes foolish moves, just like every other nation on Earth.

This week was a week of economics. China is cracking down on cryptocurrency—just as it cracks down on anything it can't control with externally-applied force. The cryptocurrency market in China is fleeing from the crackdown. Yet, China is reaching out to Europe and Britain.

While the economy in Europe is big on China's list, so is the Vatican. Now, the Vatican wants an unholy marriage with China similar to the one with Medieval Europe: Beijing and the Vatican choose Chinese bishops and the underground Church gets pulled out from underground. In other words, both Western and Eastern powers crush the little guy. This will actually cause the underground Church in China to grow even more.

Just how control is driving away cryptocurrency, so will Sino-Vatico control drive the underground farther underground. Like jell-o in the hand, tightening the grip makes them slip through the fingers. A better solution would have been, more or less, status quo: Let China keep doing whatever they want and let the Vatican excommunicate whomever they want. But, the Vatican knows that would be the better solution. Does China know that the Vatican knows?

Any kind of agreement between the Vatican and China is pointless since China doesn't plan to ever compromise anyway, especially on the Vatican's human rights agenda as well as Taiwan. In the end, Catholics worldwide will hate China more. China should avoid all talks with the Vatican because any Westerner can foresee that it will only reap ill will in the West. Perhaps that is the Vatican's deeper agenda in "making a deal with the dragon", as it were. If China is the tiger then the Vatican is the monkey; the tiger has been warned.

China making infrastructure and economic inroads to Europe, is a good thing, but not on most levels people consider. Firstly, it is an indication that China feels a squeeze from the US and is looking for new trading partners. Secondly, it will cause the Westernization of China more quickly. Europe and Britain don't like dishonesty. Many of the dishonest practices Chinese businessmen are notorious for—which the Communists are cracking down on for the record—won't be tolerated. In terms of "ethics", China will have to Westernize in order to do business with the West. Perhaps that is why Beijing is pushing it—to help with the crackdown.

The second matter is more militarily strategic. To governments, all infrastructure is military infrastructure. If China has a roadway into Europe, that is a roadway that can be used by an army—in either direction. So, finances between China and Europe carry two approaching stigmas: 1. China's power is morphing into economics and 2. China is laying-in wartime infrastructure.

Changing to an economic power will weaken China's ability to use military force. Taiwan is making economic power moves of its own by positioning itself to become an AI development hub for the world—which China's customers could likely be dependent on if they aren't already. No one wants to drop bombs on customers, yet China is busily making both.

These economic relations will "tame the dragon", as it were, which may not be what China wants. Secondly, Europe is inviting China to become a stronger military power in their own back yard. China is no traitor, but nor are the Chinese loyal to anyone but the Chinese. Russia should try to halt China's relations with Europe for Russia's own good. Believe it or not, China may hold Russia in check before this is all over. Making inroads for China might be Europe's salvation in decades to come.

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Encore of Revival: America, February 5, 2018

Machines are trying to take over. They aren't winning. And, they aren't mechanical machines made of steel and iron alloys—or in GM's case also aluminum. These are machines of "big money". Some of them are political, some of them are from the entertainment industry, others are in the business world.

Ultimately, the machines run round and round by creating problems, then solving them.

Nestle has been taking water from Springhill in Osceola County, Michigan for nearly two decades. Locals have battled with the water-relocating giant almost as long; the State often comes to Nestle's defense. We'll see how much longer that lasts. The current battle seems to include no third-party scientific research, only claims by locals that water levels are lowering vs claims by Nestle that Nestle isn't hurting anything and that local water costs would rise without Nestle—which is at the same time accused of causing the water shortage in the first place. It's almost a self-inditing argument in Nestle's defense. Now, Nestle wants to take more water.

Then, there's Uma. Perhaps "Kill Bill" should have been renamed to include something about a guy named "Harvey", at least if the title reflected the emotions of "what the movie advertisements called a 'roaring rampage of revenge'" from what happened on set and behind the scenes. To this point, Symphony has not focused on Weinstein stories because, so far, they didn't seem to include news. Uma's story in the New York Times, however, introduces the video of her injury during a stunt she was intimidated into doing. After 15 years, she finally got her hands on the video. Uma just might mark the beginning of Vol. 2 in brining down scandal-filled Hollywood.

Then, there's the machine that's after Trump. According to the president, it's a disgrace, people should be ashamed, and Congress will do what Congress will do, which is fine. Bias against Trump is "yuge". In one man-on-the-street video by Campus Reform, people react negatively to State of the Union comments—until they realize they were made by Obama. Democrats and the mainstream media can't halt the assault against Trump as long as that widespread bias against Trump exists in such a large segment of the voting population. But, that bias is driving the anti-Trump machine to uncover more and more dirt—not on Trump, but dirt—on Democrats.

While Nestle seems to solve problems it causes, the Left caused the problems it's solving. As for Hollywood, the movies describe it best.

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Money Walls

The poor don't how the rich get money. It's a mystery to them.

To the poor, wealth is a far, distant country on a far, distant continent with a foreign language that they have only heard about in movies and bedtime stories. They fear it, ponder it, covet it, yearn for it, run from it, loath it, love it—but they never know it's secret:

Wealthy people, the good and the bad, make their money through hard, smart work.

Scaling the walls and crossing the oceans to adopt that truth is as priceless as it is hopeless; yet some do.

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ACPE Word of the Lord for 2018

Compiled by Cindy Jacobs

I hope you all had a wonderful, happy new year. This is the season where we like to share with you what God has been saying for 2018, and I’m very excited about this year.

What I have with me is a compilation of some words that came from the Apostolic Council of Prophetic Elders and the Global Prophetic Consultation in November 2017, which people say was one of the most historic events they have ever been to in their lives. It’s so good, and we know that God has given us a great harvest. We had prophets from around the world sharing together prophetically what they’re hearing for the upcoming season. There’s a theme that developed for 2018, and this common theme is that it’s gonna be a good year.

You know, 2017 was a very difficult time of uncertainty for so many of us. There were terrorist acts, riots, political unrest, and division. As we look on the world news, we have the threat of North Korea looming over the world. We had natural disasters here in the U.S., with fires and flooding across the nation. But, in the midst of it, I found myself starting to feel really good, and people looked at me like, “Are you crazy? Why are you feeling good right now?” Because I’m seeing what God is bringing.

God is doing a new thing. As you may know, as we prophesy, we often look for a biblical connection. Why do we do this? Because the Bible is a book of Hebrew thought. It’s not a book of Western thinking at all. So, if we’re going to understand the Bible, we need to understand the numerology. There are very important things that are hidden keys in scripture. People can say, “Oh, it’s an occult thing”. No, it’s a Hebrew thing, and if we want to understand what is written in the context of what is written, we need to look at the keys that have been given to us.

Possessing the Gates

On the Hebrew calendar, 2018 is the year 5778 and, if we see the pictorial emphasis from this, 5778 forms a gate. In fact, this gate can look kind of like a bridal canopy. So, as I was asking the Lord what is going to happen in 2018, I felt the Holy Spirit saying it’s the year to possess the gates of your future.

This is very important. I’m going to use the text Genesis 22:17-18, “Blessing I will bless you. Multiplying I will multiply.” Whenever the scripture reiterates something, such as “blessing I will bless you”, this is a form of emphasis meaning it’s superlative. It’s going to be greater than you can imagine. “Multiplying I will multiply your descendants as the stars in the heaven and as the sand washes on the seashore and your descendants shall possess the gates of their enemies, and your seed, all the nations of the earth shall be blessed because you have obeyed my voice.” I feel those descendants are not just our natural children, but also our spiritual children—people we have mentored or movements that we have started.

Some of you know that I wrote a book that came out in 1991 called Possessing the Gates of the Enemy, and I’ve just finished the 4th edition for it, which is coming out later this year. It’s a new update with a fresh, new look at prayer and spiritual warfare. As I was writing it, I didn’t even think about the significance of gates. But, this year will be a time where we are going to possess these gates—opportunities that are before us that we haven’t been able to reach before. In other words, we’ve not been able to go through the gates of opportunity.

It’s very interesting that this promise was given to Abraham around 2018 BC, which was 2018 years before Christ and 2018 years after, so it’s like a double full-circle time. We are children of Abraham, since we have been grafted into the vine, so promises given to Abraham are promises for us. Now, let’s talk about some ways to possess those gates.

Number one, you have to be prepared. Sometimes people just take life day by day, like, well, whatever comes I’m going to deal with it, but this is a year to possess your future. So, you need to look and say, “What does God want me to accomplish this year? What is it that I am supposed to possess? What are those things that have been dreams that you have longed to fulfill?”

It’s a time to dream again. It’s a time to sit down and say, “Maybe we had a business failure, or maybe we had something happen to our family, or maybe that dream didn’t come true,” but don’t give up on your dream. Possess it. This is a special year with special promises. We need to get ready for it, but how do we do that? One way is to surrender to God. Just surrender everything to God.

What Gates Has Satan Closed?

Where has Satan closed your gates? Don’t just let life pass you by. Think about where Satan has come in to those gates. Maybe it’s been friendship gates or family gates. Maybe there are some things that happened in your family and they were really painful. Don’t let Satan just win. Say, “No! Satan, you can’t win. You can’t have my family.” It’s time to stand and declare and decree.

As we sought direction together for the year, we kept hearing that “Glory” is going to be a significant word in 2018. There are going to be so many incredible miracles that God is going to show us. Habakkuk 2:14 says that the Earth shall be full of the knowledge of the glory of the Lord, as the waters cover the sea. God is going to show himself as the great God, the glorious God.

We are to live from the glory down, not from the problems of our life up. In other words, if we’re seated with Him in Heavenly places, and He’s a glorious God, He has all the solutions. He has all the answers. He has everything you need. So, when you’re looking at a situation, don’t look at what the current situation says. Don’t look at the problems of it. Seek God from the Heavenly, being seated with him in Heavenly places. Ask him to give solutions and bring those solutions down into the problem. God is full of wisdom. He’s a kingdom administrator. He knows how to do everything.2

I can’t tell you how many times I could not figure out what to do until I finally just calmed myself inside and said, “God, you know what to do”, and all of the sudden, I had the solution. It was like I suddenly realized that I was seated with him, talking to the Lord and He gave me the solution. I knew what to do, and I brought that into the current situation. You can do this when you need wisdom with your children, wisdom with teenagers—praise God that’s a very interesting time of life, isn’t it—or whatever it is. If you’re married, you might need wisdom regarding your spouse.

There are gates that Satan wants to shut—gates of relationship, gates that will slam in your face—and Satan will say to you, “You’re never going to have a good relationship with your family. You’re not going to have good times. The things that have happened have caused irreparable damage.” No, that is not true, because it’s not God’s will, and God created your family. He meant it to be good. Don’t give up your battle. Now, maybe it won’t come about in 2018, but don’t give up the battle. God will turn it. Begin to shift to fully embrace the truth that God is calling you to be an overcomer. I challenge you to take this truth and run with it.

A Season of Suddenlies and Acceleration

God is moving us into a season where He just does something suddenly for us. Like, one day everything’s terrible, and the next day you’re just shocked that everybody loves each other. It’s as if nothing bad ever happened, and you’re just kind of looking around, and you’re going, “Wow. Yesterday we were all at each other’s throats, and today it’s like it never happened.” You know, God can do that.

Salvation came to the Earth suddenly when Jesus was born, and you know that Moses came as a liberator seemingly suddenly after all those years of captivity. God spoke after hundreds of years of being silent. The suddenlies will come in your life, and that should give you hope in the midst of all your problems that suddenlies are coming.

Another word that was corporately given across the board was acceleration. This is a time when your wealth will accelerate. Blessings will accelerate. Prosperity will accelerate. You need to believe for it. The Bible says the word did not profit them not being mixed with faith.

You need to believe God that He’s going to give you that prosperity, that He’s going to give you blessing, and you know you say, “Well, what if I believe and nothing happens?” If you don’t believe, I can assure you nothing will happen. Whenever God says ‘I will’, that’s a powerful promise, and multiplying ‘I will multiply you’. So, let’s believe for acceleration, suddenlies, and for God to multiply you suddenly.

God is going to give business opportunities to many people. Maybe you are in poverty right now, or maybe you’re not able to make your bills, but God will download something to you that you’re good at. You’re not going to have to work harder, but you’ll work smarter, and it’s going to bring you the funds you need. You’re going to be able to do what your main thing is, and these other things will not take you over, but yet it’s going to give you the income you need.

Suddenly, that gate of favor is going to open up for you, and that gate of honor. Where there’s been dishonor, there will be honor. Somebody was telling me how Billy Graham used to be dishonored in the city of Charlotte, North Carolina, and now there is a highway or a freeway named after him there. That can happen. You can outlast your enemies. You can live longer, do better. Keep your heart right, and one day honor will come into the place of dishonor.

These are all very significant things. God is saying something to us.

A Moral Reformation

God is exposing immorality. There is going to be a moral reformation, and this is going to happen in Hollywood. Many, many people in Hollywood are going to understand that biblical values are important. I see many, many in Hollywood being interested in what we call good moral programming, and I’m just thankful for the people in Hollywood. You know, we always diss them, but they work so hard, and I just want to put in a good word for them right now.

After the Reformation, there was a counter reformation, where a lot of the work that had been done was undone. It was a very dark time. Well, the Lord spoke to us that if we are attentive, there will not be another counter reformation. If we don’t evangelize the Millennials with a biblical worldview, if we don’t speak to their hearts, in a decade, we’re going to see all that we have gained in this time of going into the seven spheres, or mountains of authority, start to be undone again. We want to reach the Millennials. We want to listen to the Millennials, and God is going to anoint people to do this and pray. It’s time to pray for the Millennials, and I prayed about that, too.

There’s a Revival coming—a revival of a magnitude worldwide that we cannot imagine. There’s a reformation coming, and I want to say something about that. We are in the midst of the Great Awakening now. The Great Awakening worldwide has begun. It’s not going to begin. It has begun, and it’s going to begin in different stages. We have seen great revivals come before, the Welsh Revival, different Revivals, but they didn’t last. However, we know with this reformation, there’s going to be a marriage between evangelism and reformation, and we’re going to see nations changed. We’re in the process.

The Isaiah 19 Highway

Another word that God gave us is about the Isaiah 19 highway. You may not be familiar with that, but it’s talked about in Isaiah, the 19th chapter, that there’s a highway of holiness that will be built from Egypt to Assyria to Israel. What is going on right now in Iran and the unrest there, what happened recently, there was such a reformation of Saudi Arabia. God is preparing a highway.

God is preparing a way for nation after nation after nation to be touched through religious freedom with his power, and there’s going to be a connection that will happen even with Israel. Sometimes people say, “Well that could never happen.” It’s going to happen, because the Bible says that it will happen.

The Great Transfer of Wealth

Another thing that God spoke to us about is a transfer of wealth. This will happen in more of a season than a one-year time frame, but we see the beginnings where believers are going to open their eyes and they’re going to see opportunities for wealth. They’re going to know how to go through the gates, how to go through the doors of opportunity.

There will be great financial blessings start to come to the U.S. Things are already beginning to turn around. God also showed me that for all the Middle East there are going to be blessings come for the believers there too, because what God is doing is all part of this Isaiah 19 highway.

I remember when we met with the Apostolic Council of Prophetic Elders, God spoke to us a number of years ago that the EU would fragment, and it has happened. We know there was Brexit. The Lord also showed us that the dollar would remain in a stable place for investing when things were shaky. This was around 5 years ago, and many people are saying it was going to crash and it’s going to go down. Well, the stock market is going up and up and up.

There will be some course corrections, but I do not at this time see a major crash, where it’s going to completely plummet, as long as we continue on the current path. But, if there’s compromise, it will go down, and you will see this directly correlating with what’s happening with our connection with Israel.

I also want to mention the Middle East. The Middle East is very important, as is China. Asia’s a very huge part, and the Chinese people in particular, but all of the Asians with this Isaiah 19 highway. Look to1 numbers of people going to Egypt. Numbers and numbers of Christians will start going to Egypt to pray, because this move of God, it’s happening now. It’s not something just beginning. It’s been happening, but we’re going to see it’s going to be on a greater and greater scale.

Africa is going to experience an explosion of God’s power, but the nations are going to be transformed, as well. At the meeting of prophets we had recently, we had prophets from all over the world pray together, and we were decreeing that the evil dictator Mugabe of Zimbabwe was going to come down immediately. At the exact moment that we were taking authority over the spirit that had held Zimbabwe bound by this dictator, the tanks were rolling into Harare. We have to keep praying that it doesn’t go back into the same way. We have great authority through the name of Jesus, and God has been speaking to us that we are going to go through gates of authority. It’s time for the Daniels in Babylon to arise.

Daniel captured Babylon, instead of Babylon capturing Daniel. God allowed Daniel to be captured, but then he became head of all the soothsayers. The Lord showed us that, as prophets, we are going to go into many, many doors and places in secular society, governmental places, where there’ll be those that are psychics there, but God is going to give us words that outshine them all through signs, and wonders, and miracles. We see this in the case of Moses and the Pharaoh with the serpents and the rod that Moses threw down.

We prophesied a lot about North Korea, that they are going to have a suddenly, where God is going to deal with Kim Jong-un. In fact, the word was, “I’m dealing with the evil dictators of the world, and these evil dictators are going to shake.” Maduro’s gonna shake. He’s gonna come down, and some of the others. We’re seeing Iran shaking right now. We saw what happened with Zimbabwe. We’re going to see it with Kim Jong-un. There’s going to be some turmoil, but Kim Jong-un is going to come down. God is hardening his heart like Pharaoh’s heart. He’s not going to allow Kim Jong-un to stay in that position. He’s not going to allow compromise to come. Something is going to dramatically happen, because his time for being a dictator is over, unless he turns his heart to the Lord.

Kim Jong-un, if you’re reading this somehow, turn your heart to the Lord Jesus. There are people praying for you, and if you will completely change, God is going to help you on a path that will not be destructive. So, you can choose, Kim Jong-un. You choose who you’ll serve. If you serve God, and if you change your ways, God will protect you. He will protect North Korea in a unique way and make peace with South Korea. However, if you continue on your path, it will lead to your destruction, and the sad thing about that is your destruction will lead to the path to hell. So, I just pray that somehow God will get that message to Kim Jong-un, because God cares about him. He doesn’t want that anyone should perish.

One of the words the Lord gave us is the word amplification. God wants to amplify your voice, and then it’s going to be a wave that’s going to be love-motivated. God is going to give us that love motivation, and we’re gonna prophesy in a new way. We’re gonna prophesy innovative strategies.

Now, not all of these will really touch everyone’s heart as I’m sharing this, but take notes and go over it again, because there will be parts of this that will stand out for you, and you’ll say, “This is my part. This is what I need.” It’s a lot of information, but go over it again and again, and believe it, declare and decree it.

So, this is the beginning of strength coming. There’s humiliation that has happened to some of the body of Christ. Maybe it happened to you on your job or maybe you’ve been persecuted in another way. Maybe you’re a student and it happened at school. Listen, God is going to cause you to shine. He’s going to take you to the top of the heap. He’s going to show you what to do to be the best of the best. There are spiritual confrontations coming, but God is going to anoint the business leaders. God is going to anoint those who, like Nehemiah, will be able to build walls of culture and change things in every way.

Prayers and Declarations

So, Father, I pray for those who will possess the gates of their future. Father, I pray that there will be strategies, and that there will be a new levels of intimacy. Father, I pray for those who have felt overwhelmed.

The Lord says, “Don’t be overwhelmed. Calm your spirit. Calm your spirit. Be still and know that I am God, and as you just take time in stillness just abiding with the Lord, just be still.”

You’ve asked Him so many questions. Now let Him talk back to you. Give time for the Lord to speak to you as well as you speak to him. God will show you which are your gates.

So, Father, I pray for those doors of opportunity. Father, I thank you, Lord, that you’re going to give innovation, strategies, acceleration, suddenlies, favor, and honor in the name of Jesus.

Let’s go through the gate of 2018. Let’s possess the gates of our future. Let’s do it with excitement, joy, and happiness. It’s going to be a great year. Now just go do it!

With Anticipation,
Cindy Jacobs

Generals International

Comment: You'll notice that we have posted remarkably few "2018 prophecies" this year. It was our conclusion that these are less valuable than they have been in previous years, and many people are offering their own prophetic words for the coming year.

In a real way, this is good: the saints are learning to hear God for themselves. I encourage you: hear God for yourself for 2018.

Having said that, this word stood out: the source is credible, we have a track record with this prophetic council, and they both offer specific words and present specific application. 


Cadence of Conflict: Asia, January 29, 2018

It was a week of protests in both Hong Kong and South Korea. Neither side of any controversy rose above the fray. For the powers that be, it was PR gone bad. For the masses, it was spitting in the wind. When the governed don't want the ambitions of the controlling few, the solution is not Delphi method, but re-evaluation at the fundamental level. When the disgruntled masses reject the powers that be, peaceful boycott can make more lasting changes than any message sent by heated protest.

No one forced students to attend Baptist University in Hong Kong. If 90% of the student body objects to the mandatory Mandarin classes then 90% of the student body would do better to simply find another school. If the leadership at the university believes Mandarin classes can help students, then one would think the students would volunteer for them. A better way would be to make the classes both optional and tuition free for students and alumni of up to four years. If leadership is correct that the most widely-spoken language in the world, right in Hong Kong's back yard, would be useful for Hong Kongers—and classes with university credit were free for students and alumni—the university would see an influx of enrollment.

No one is forcing South Koreans to attend the Olympic Games. If South Koreans don't want the Kim Dynasty to participate in the games, they can save themselves the expense and either save the time of going or replace that time with a public stand-in, carrying educational signs during the Olympics, whether on-sight or off. If the democratic South Korean government wants to promote a unified stance with North Korean athletes, they can use the abundance of Internet technology to poll the public on what would make the people happy to that end. Since South Korea's new president is so popular, he should not have lacked feedback when asking his many supporters what they want to do.

Taiwan made it's own—and likely most aggressive—move. By entering the world of AI development, Taiwan is entering the ring with other big players, such as China. Few will see it as the bold move that it is. The miracle of Taiwan's AI venture was that the move did not insight protests.

The only positive communication seemed to be between China and Japan. They are communicating about communicating. That's always a good thing.

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