Letters

Prophetic Exercise: The Chair by the Fireplace

Here’s an exercise, if you’re willing.

Imagine a comfortable room, a quiet room. There’s a big fireplace in the room, with a roaring fire, and next to the fireplace is a big chair. A Papa chair.

Father is sitting in that chair, relaxed. His eye, with a sparkle in it, is on you. He reaches a hand out toward you.


You can curl up on his lap, if you like, and rest your head on his mighty shoulder. Or you can curl up at his feet if you prefer. But this is a good time to be quiet and to rest with him, however that works best for you.

In the silence, you can hear his heart beating gently, peacefully, strong. His hand is on the back of your head, fingers in your hair, caressing gently.

You can feel the stuff of your day drain out of you, like dirty bath water vanishing down the drain: gone, never to be seen or heard from again, and in its place, you feel the presence of peace on you, like the warmth of the crackling fire.

Be still. Shhh…. Maybe you drift off to sleep for a bit. The quiet is all around you.

After a long time, you realize it’s not quite absolutely silent; you can hear his soft, deep voice whispering your name, over and over. Do you hear him?

Then he speaks to you, quietly, his words like a warm blanket over you. That feels nice.

What do you hear him saying to you?


Standard
Letters

Prophetic Exercise: The Chair by the Fireplace

Here’s an exercise, if you’re willing.

Imagine a comfortable room, a quiet room. There’s a big fireplace in the room, with a roaring fire, and next to the fireplace is a big chair. A Papa chair.

Father is sitting in that chair, relaxed. His eye, with a sparkle in it, is on you. He reaches a hand out toward you.


You can curl up on his lap, if you like, and rest your head on his mighty shoulder. Or you can curl up at his feet if you prefer. But this is a good time to be quiet and to rest with him, however that works best for you.

In the silence, you can hear his heart beating gently, peacefully, strong. His hand is on the back of your head, fingers in your hair, caressing gently.

You can feel the stuff of your day drain out of you, like dirty bath water vanishing down the drain: gone, never to be seen or heard from again, and in its place, you feel the presence of peace on you, like the warmth of the crackling fire.

Be still. Shhh…. Maybe you drift off to sleep for a bit. The quiet is all around you.

After a long time, you realize it’s not quite absolutely silent; you can hear his soft, deep voice whispering your name, over and over. Do you hear him?

Then he speaks to you, quietly, his words like a warm blanket over you. That feels nice.

What do you hear him saying to you?


Standard
Prophecy

Word of the Lord For 2016: The Year the Tide Turns

Cindy Jacobs, Red Oak, TX

Since 1999, the Apostolic Council of Prophetic Elders has met annually before the New Year to pray and seek the Lord for a word. In 2011, we added a group of emerging prophetic leaders that we now consider fully seasoned members of our round-table; their input is included into this word of the Lord.

The ACPE has the conviction that we are to function as an Acts 13:1-3 group. This passage notes that it was the Holy Spirit releasing a prophetic word as a consensus of the prophets, as opposed to the exclusive utterance of any one prophet. In the same way, even though this is a compilation of the prophecies that we each brought to the roundtable meeting, it was the general consensus of the ACPE members that the Holy Spirit was speaking the following prophetic words to us.

While we are calling this a prophecy for 2016, it should be noted that the ACPE believes the Lord speaks more in seasons, rather than our calendar years. In the past few years, we have observed that the trend of some of the prophetic words is continuing for several years and intensifying.

It is also important to note that intercession can diminish the severity of some of the words that speak of potential judgment–and, in some cases, may avert the judgment all together (see Genesis 18:17-32; Amos 7:1-6). In any case, all prophecies should be bathed in intercession, both the ones that speak of harvest and blessing, as well as the ones with the admonitions attached to them.

As prophets, it is always wise to go back and look at the words we have given in the past. We did this for the years 2011-13 and noted that the Lord continues to speak some of the trends given in those years. Let us reiterate, the timing of prophetic words should generally be understood more as a season than a calendar year. The words given are not fate or karma but can be changed subject to how God's people respond.

One additional disclaimer–our meetings for 2016 took place November 16-18, 2015, and some of the events have already transpired.

Weather Patterns and Revival

There is going to be flooding in various parts of the United States, but in the midst of the tragedies, there will be a visitation of God to the affected regions. The Lord particularly spoke to us about flooding that would take place along the Mississippi River basin.

California is going to be significantly touched by the Spirit of the Lord as well. Even as the Jesus Movement was birthed there, this is also happening again. (At the time, we were not aware of the 1,000 year rainfall on Death Valley, CA! The desert is going to bloom like a rose!) The weather pattern, El Nino, is a sign that Christ, the anointed one, is birthing new moves of God in this state. This will even affect the political structures.

The Body of Christ will come into alignment with God's design for gifts to be released through His people. We will see the Church step into her fullness as the roles of prophet, priest, and king are manifested in our nations.

U.S. Politics

2016 is a tipping point year, and the Lord gave us a word that we were given another chance to recover the lost greatness of the nation.

The Lord strongly spoke to us that it was up to the Church taking our responsibility to pray and vote righteously that will determine the outcome. The Church must awaken, pray, and act (see 2 Chronicles 7:14).

We sought the Lord about the upcoming U.S. elections, and the Lord did not speak to us about who would be the next president. He did indicate that He was preparing a patriot, but we would have to pray earnestly.

The Lord also spoke that a conservative revolt would shake up the elections and cause even the months leading up to the elections to be tumultuous. Also, several words came forward about more surprising shake ups in the next three to six months (remember this was given in mid-November), including disfavor falling on one liberal leader.

There was a prophetic concern expressed that we have not done our job to steward the earth and have let others attach ungodly agendas to what should have been our job as creationists.

Justice issues are coming to the forefront, and the candidates that will fully please the Lord will speak to the marriage of righteousness and justice (see Psalm 89:14). A particular concern for the poor and human rights issues was emphasized (see Galatians 2:10). Judicial reform is on God's docket.

Racism and Riots

Hidden agendas will be revealed in those who are inflaming rioting, and it will shock the United States. Satan has a plan to stir up old pains to such a degree that it could cause a disruption at voting sites. An admonition to pray for peace before the elections is important to note.

Abortion is rooted in racism, and there will be even greater advances toward the overturning of Roe vs. Wade in the coming days. God has a case that, once presented in the courts, will make it extremely difficult to get an abortion in the nation.

OPEC

Several words were given about the future dissolution of OPEC, which the Lord would allow to shake up the Middle East. There is a division coming between oil-producing nations; past cooperation is going to deteriorate and, in some cases, unravel. For the first time, we had words about the oil reserves being opened up in North America, which would shift the global scene significantly.

New Alliances Against Terrorism in Europe

New alliances will form between such nations as France, Germany, and England. Italy will come into this alliance at one point as they stand together against terrorism. All of Britain must stand guard, as should Germany–there is danger on the horizon from radicalized individuals.

The churches must pray; they are soft targets and need to move to be vigilant in protection.

Protecting the World Against War

For several years, we have been warned that satan wants to inflame a regional war into a world war. ISIS has become the new threat to the world and has declared itself to be at war with all the apostate nations. We must stand against this taking place on the scale that they desire. The world wars have always been about global domination, and this is no different–only the tactics are not engaged on traditional battle fronts as they were in past times.

We were given Psalm 37–where God deals with evildoers–in regards to ISIS, that the Lord will allow them to move for a season but will suddenly stop them. They will even penetrate Saudi Arabia in a significant way.

The Chinese will come on the scene as a great force against Islam in the coming days.

A great harvest of souls will take place in the Middle East as the Lord reveals His love and nature to those who are Muslims (see Joel 3:13, Luke 10:2). God loves the nations of the Middle East.

Appeal to Heaven

The prayer movements around the globe will stand up and make an "appeal to Heaven" to see God release both a reformation and revival that will produce awakening transformation. Many fasts will be called leading up to national elections.

There was a prophecy given about great political shifts taking place across Latin America, and we are already seeing that happen. New economic policies will be implemented that will start to break the back of poverty off the Spanish-speaking nations on a broad scale.

Flood of Violence

A flood of violence has been released across the earth. The enemy wants to stir up any unhealed places in people's hearts.

The riots are not over in the United States. We must pray for the United States, so there will not be mass riots that disrupt the elections.

Racism must be dealt with on all levels. The Church has been given the authority and the responsibility from the Lord to heal the nation and release the supernatural ministry of reconciliation.

There is a major clash of kingdoms taking place and a battle over whose throne will rule–God's Kingdom or the spirit of the anti-Christ. This clashing of kingdoms will work for good in that it will create a new unity in the Body of Christ on levels not previously seen. A sweet koinonia will develop between Church leaders and those in many other parts of society, as a result of the enemy's onslaught, such as took place in the book of Esther.

In the midst of a very difficult season for many and new levels of spiritual battle and oppression, the good news is that, as we claim Isaiah 59:19b, "When the enemy shall come in like a flood, the Spirit of the Lord shall lift up a standard against him," the tide will turn against the enemies' plans, and a divine reversal will take place.

This is, in fact, one of the major reasons that the theme for this year is 2016: The Year the Tide Turns!

Kingdom Alignments

This is a season when there will be global Kingdom connections made; leaders from across the world will begin to function together behind the scenes. (This is not to be taken as a subversive, radicalized movement.)

"Daniels and Josephs" who have been preparing for years will step into places of favor and visibility in all seven mountains (spheres of society, for those unfamiliar with this terminology).

The reformation of nations is well on its way, and new ideas on how to establish Biblical economics on a national scale will be implemented. Africa will be a leader in this.

We also received the word Kingdom Church, as old independent spirits are put aside and new alliances are formed as one to stand for Kingdom purposes against ungodly agendas.

There will be connections between apostles and prophets that will result in prophetic words not only being released, but also implemented to see their fulfillments.

Major media outlets and secular businesses will call on prophets for insight and direction, instead of calling on mediums and psychics. A new level of visibility is coming to God's leaders that will influence the secular fields.

Renaissance

A renaissance is coming that will bring great change and cause nations to come alive! There is a hope revival where those who have been greatly discouraged will find a new grace and purpose for their lives. Prophetic Kingdom changers will bring about a renaissance, not only to the arts, but also to innovation and the way Believers function in society. Great visibility will come, and great glory will be given to God as this happens.

Wisdom

The Body of Christ will begin to manifest new levels of supernatural wisdom. Business leaders will be recognized for their wisdom and will be sought after–even by the world–as the "Issachars;" they will come into visible prominence as leaders in nations (see 1 Chronicles 12:32).

The Transference of Wealth and the Prophets

Dramatic Kingdom connections between the prophets and business leaders were reported, leading us to say that this is a new season. Prosperity will come with these alliances.

These connections will impact the formation of alternative economic paradigms that will both influence world markets and systems, as well as form new ones. For many years, we have prophesied about a coming "Lion's Market"–an alternative economic structure formed within the Body of Christ.

As has been the trend for the past several years, volatility will continue to be the new norm.

Concerning the Church, a shift in understanding of the connection between tithes and offerings and blessing will cause poverty to be broken off many Believers (see Malachi 3:8-10). Pastors will become bold and unashamed to teach on the subject of finances, and both the people and the Church will be blessed.

Prophetic Evangelists

We have been prophesying about the raising up of "Philip-type" evangelists who will go to areas where no one else wants to venture. There was a specific admonition about not being afraid to minister to the Muslims (see 2 Timothy 1:7).

There was a call for evangelists to go as missionaries to the refugees. Acts of compassion will be linked with the unashamed preaching of the Gospel. The Lord called these evangelists ambassadors of Kingdom kindness.

The prophetic evangelists are the revivalists of today. Many will be touched through street preaching, and those who go out of the Church into the highways and byways will boldly manifest the goodness of God through supernatural signs and wonders. The Heartland of the United States will be affected by this revival moves all along the Mississippi River.

Legacy

There is a legacy awakening as current influential leaders are looking to leave a legacy behind and establish succession. Legacy conferences and teachings will abound as this is a current theme being released by the Holy Spirit.

Reformation unto Transformation

2016 is a hinge year where we are approaching the 500th anniversary of the Great Reformation, beginning in 1517, when Martin Luther nailed the 95 theses in Wittenberg, Germany. What was once a reformation will now be the great transformation.

Angels, Angels, Angels

Whole armies of angels are being released into the earth to see these things prophesied come to pass. Many dreams were given about angelic hosts, and the good news is that angels will be sent to minister to individuals and nations (see Psalm 103:20-21; 1 Corinthians 13:1a; Hebrews 1:7, 14).

Native Americans

The whole group expressed a great excitement about the role of the Native Americans in the upcoming revival. An awakening sound is coming to the First Nations peoples; villages already are seeing revival, and this will continue on an even greater scale. The voice of Native Americans will sound as an awakening bell.

The Blood Moon is a Harvest Moon

The Blood Moons which occurred last year were a sign of a great harvest (see Acts 2:19). Many nations will start seeing tremendous awakenings and visitations from the Lord.

This year, there will be a significant increase in the clashing of kingdoms. California will be a prophetic picture of this clash. Persecution of Christians will continue, but we will see God start to release supernatural interventions. There is, in essence, a "conflict of thrones," as to who will rule in certain mountains or sectors of society. Deeply entrenched politicians who are corrupt have ruled in some of these areas for a long time and will not give up their influence without a fight.

Children

A great move of the Holy Spirit upon children (ages 2-12) began in 2014, but will spread to other nations this year and will grow rapidly in intensity. They will be the "Samuels" of this generation and be very accurate in hearing God's voice.

Spain

Spain will become a focus for Islam. The Islamic spirit that ruled there during the times of the Moors will try to regain control but will be rebuffed.

Japan

A youth movement will arise in Japan. Great awakenings will happen on campuses. This once-hard-ground nation for the Gospel will begin to produce signs and wonders, and young revivalists will appear. In the midst of the economic shakings ahead for Japan, God's power will be evident.

India

India is going to see a great harvest of souls that will continue to increase in coming years.

Europe

The clash of kingdoms will manifest in Europe. The nations of Germany, France, and Scotland will begin to burn with great passion for the Lord. Europe's re-evangelization has begun!

Russia

A move of God among the Orthodox community will become evident. Cities such as Vladivostok will see the apostolic emerge and will affect the rest of the nation. Moscow will see a move of God among the youth, and large gatherings will take place to pray for the nation.

Pacific Rim

These nations will start to develop missions-sending ministries that will impact the rest of the world. The power of God will become evident in the Pacific Rim, like a spiritual tsunami that will begin to break down the strongholds of Buddhism, Hinduism, and Islam.

Israel

Visitations, visitations, visitations! God is uniting Believers in Messiah from the Jewish and Arabic-speaking communities. This has released a powerful force of unity that is a "firewall" against the tide of terrorism and evil. Even though there is still a violent spirit in the region, this group together has great authority to pray and stop it in its course.

A new wave of those making Aliyah (when Jews from the west immigrate to Israel) will be seen (see Isaiah 11:11-12).

Middle East

Egypt is in a season of mercy where God wants to use this nation to be a voice against terrorism and violence. It is called to be a refuge nation even for those experiencing religious persecution.

The conflict of the different Islamic factions over who is going to rule the Middle East, Sunni or Shia, will sharply increase, and ISIS will become a greater thorn in the side of nations, even such as Saudi Arabia.

The Global Church

The connections across the world of the Global Church will increase and break down the political spirit. The love and unity of the Body of Christ is going to bring a manifestation of God's power to change nations. They will support the "Daniels and Josephs" who are moving into elected offices. This will be seen in a surprising way in Geneva and in the EU.

This connection between the Church and society led us to this quote from Winston Churchill:

One of the signs of a great society is the diligence with which it passes culture from one generation to the next. This culture is the embodiment of everything the people of that society hold dear; its religious faith, its heroes...when one generation no longer esteems its own heritage and fails to pass the torch to its children, it is saying that the very foundation and experiences that make the society is no longer valid. (Never Give In: The Extraordinary Character of Winston Churchill, p. 190)

In the midst of all of this connection between the Church and society, there will be an "agitation of old wineskins" and persecution of leaders who are trying to bring reformation. They will be accused of going "into the world" and abandoning their position in the local church. An admonition that the Church should not participate in this persecution is important to heed.

However, this will not be the predominant view, and denominational churches that have been historically opposed to Christians becoming involved in politics will be given an opportunity from God to make a shift.

Partnerships between born-again Believers in many denominations will develop as the Church truly becomes one. God will "rightly position" His people into strategic places of responsibility, and the church will support them in their societal roles.

This will include some divine interventions in which God will save and cause "game shifts" where people who could not seem to do anything right will seemingly not be able to do anything wrong.

Local Church

Pastors will begin to prioritize based on current events. Rather than planning based upon one local congregation, there will be an understanding that there are issues that the Body of Christ, in general, needs to deal with, and they will teach and train their people accordingly.

One of the key issues that the Lord prophetically spoke to us was that pastors are to be a major voice to deal with racial divides.

In addition, an admonition to be crisis-prepared and find a way to be the redemptive answer to the needs of society was brought by the Lord as an important issue.

Families

The restoration of the family unit was also brought to the forefront. As the Body of Christ matures, so will family relationships. Fathers and mothers will teach their children to hear the voice of God.

Closing Exhortation

Jeremiah 27:18 states, "If they are prophets, and if the word of the Lord is with them, let them now entreat the Lord of hosts." Prophets do not only pronounce the word of the Lord; they in turn pray the revelatory promise back to the Father in Jesus' name! Let us bring the two hands of prayer and the prophetic together to see the birthing of God's promises in our generation.

Cindy Jacobs, Generals International
Email: generals@generals.org
Website: generals.org

Cindy Jacobs is an author, speaker, and teacher with a heart for discipling nations in the areas of prayer and prophetic gifts. She and Mike – her husband of 41 years – co-founded Generals International in 1985. She is a respected prophet who travels the world, ministering not only to crowds of people but to heads of nations. 
Standard
Prophecy

Word of the Lord For 2016: The Year the Tide Turns

Cindy Jacobs, Red Oak, TX

Since 1999, the Apostolic Council of Prophetic Elders has met annually before the New Year to pray and seek the Lord for a word. In 2011, we added a group of emerging prophetic leaders that we now consider fully seasoned members of our round-table; their input is included into this word of the Lord.

The ACPE has the conviction that we are to function as an Acts 13:1-3 group. This passage notes that it was the Holy Spirit releasing a prophetic word as a consensus of the prophets, as opposed to the exclusive utterance of any one prophet. In the same way, even though this is a compilation of the prophecies that we each brought to the roundtable meeting, it was the general consensus of the ACPE members that the Holy Spirit was speaking the following prophetic words to us.

While we are calling this a prophecy for 2016, it should be noted that the ACPE believes the Lord speaks more in seasons, rather than our calendar years. In the past few years, we have observed that the trend of some of the prophetic words is continuing for several years and intensifying.

It is also important to note that intercession can diminish the severity of some of the words that speak of potential judgment–and, in some cases, may avert the judgment all together (see Genesis 18:17-32; Amos 7:1-6). In any case, all prophecies should be bathed in intercession, both the ones that speak of harvest and blessing, as well as the ones with the admonitions attached to them.

As prophets, it is always wise to go back and look at the words we have given in the past. We did this for the years 2011-13 and noted that the Lord continues to speak some of the trends given in those years. Let us reiterate, the timing of prophetic words should generally be understood more as a season than a calendar year. The words given are not fate or karma but can be changed subject to how God's people respond.

One additional disclaimer–our meetings for 2016 took place November 16-18, 2015, and some of the events have already transpired.

Weather Patterns and Revival

There is going to be flooding in various parts of the United States, but in the midst of the tragedies, there will be a visitation of God to the affected regions. The Lord particularly spoke to us about flooding that would take place along the Mississippi River basin.

California is going to be significantly touched by the Spirit of the Lord as well. Even as the Jesus Movement was birthed there, this is also happening again. (At the time, we were not aware of the 1,000 year rainfall on Death Valley, CA! The desert is going to bloom like a rose!) The weather pattern, El Nino, is a sign that Christ, the anointed one, is birthing new moves of God in this state. This will even affect the political structures.

The Body of Christ will come into alignment with God's design for gifts to be released through His people. We will see the Church step into her fullness as the roles of prophet, priest, and king are manifested in our nations.

U.S. Politics

2016 is a tipping point year, and the Lord gave us a word that we were given another chance to recover the lost greatness of the nation.

The Lord strongly spoke to us that it was up to the Church taking our responsibility to pray and vote righteously that will determine the outcome. The Church must awaken, pray, and act (see 2 Chronicles 7:14).

We sought the Lord about the upcoming U.S. elections, and the Lord did not speak to us about who would be the next president. He did indicate that He was preparing a patriot, but we would have to pray earnestly.

The Lord also spoke that a conservative revolt would shake up the elections and cause even the months leading up to the elections to be tumultuous. Also, several words came forward about more surprising shake ups in the next three to six months (remember this was given in mid-November), including disfavor falling on one liberal leader.

There was a prophetic concern expressed that we have not done our job to steward the earth and have let others attach ungodly agendas to what should have been our job as creationists.

Justice issues are coming to the forefront, and the candidates that will fully please the Lord will speak to the marriage of righteousness and justice (see Psalm 89:14). A particular concern for the poor and human rights issues was emphasized (see Galatians 2:10). Judicial reform is on God's docket.

Racism and Riots

Hidden agendas will be revealed in those who are inflaming rioting, and it will shock the United States. Satan has a plan to stir up old pains to such a degree that it could cause a disruption at voting sites. An admonition to pray for peace before the elections is important to note.

Abortion is rooted in racism, and there will be even greater advances toward the overturning of Roe vs. Wade in the coming days. God has a case that, once presented in the courts, will make it extremely difficult to get an abortion in the nation.

OPEC

Several words were given about the future dissolution of OPEC, which the Lord would allow to shake up the Middle East. There is a division coming between oil-producing nations; past cooperation is going to deteriorate and, in some cases, unravel. For the first time, we had words about the oil reserves being opened up in North America, which would shift the global scene significantly.

New Alliances Against Terrorism in Europe

New alliances will form between such nations as France, Germany, and England. Italy will come into this alliance at one point as they stand together against terrorism. All of Britain must stand guard, as should Germany–there is danger on the horizon from radicalized individuals.

The churches must pray; they are soft targets and need to move to be vigilant in protection.

Protecting the World Against War

For several years, we have been warned that satan wants to inflame a regional war into a world war. ISIS has become the new threat to the world and has declared itself to be at war with all the apostate nations. We must stand against this taking place on the scale that they desire. The world wars have always been about global domination, and this is no different–only the tactics are not engaged on traditional battle fronts as they were in past times.

We were given Psalm 37–where God deals with evildoers–in regards to ISIS, that the Lord will allow them to move for a season but will suddenly stop them. They will even penetrate Saudi Arabia in a significant way.

The Chinese will come on the scene as a great force against Islam in the coming days.

A great harvest of souls will take place in the Middle East as the Lord reveals His love and nature to those who are Muslims (see Joel 3:13, Luke 10:2). God loves the nations of the Middle East.

Appeal to Heaven

The prayer movements around the globe will stand up and make an "appeal to Heaven" to see God release both a reformation and revival that will produce awakening transformation. Many fasts will be called leading up to national elections.

There was a prophecy given about great political shifts taking place across Latin America, and we are already seeing that happen. New economic policies will be implemented that will start to break the back of poverty off the Spanish-speaking nations on a broad scale.

Flood of Violence

A flood of violence has been released across the earth. The enemy wants to stir up any unhealed places in people's hearts.

The riots are not over in the United States. We must pray for the United States, so there will not be mass riots that disrupt the elections.

Racism must be dealt with on all levels. The Church has been given the authority and the responsibility from the Lord to heal the nation and release the supernatural ministry of reconciliation.

There is a major clash of kingdoms taking place and a battle over whose throne will rule–God's Kingdom or the spirit of the anti-Christ. This clashing of kingdoms will work for good in that it will create a new unity in the Body of Christ on levels not previously seen. A sweet koinonia will develop between Church leaders and those in many other parts of society, as a result of the enemy's onslaught, such as took place in the book of Esther.

In the midst of a very difficult season for many and new levels of spiritual battle and oppression, the good news is that, as we claim Isaiah 59:19b, "When the enemy shall come in like a flood, the Spirit of the Lord shall lift up a standard against him," the tide will turn against the enemies' plans, and a divine reversal will take place.

This is, in fact, one of the major reasons that the theme for this year is 2016: The Year the Tide Turns!

Kingdom Alignments

This is a season when there will be global Kingdom connections made; leaders from across the world will begin to function together behind the scenes. (This is not to be taken as a subversive, radicalized movement.)

"Daniels and Josephs" who have been preparing for years will step into places of favor and visibility in all seven mountains (spheres of society, for those unfamiliar with this terminology).

The reformation of nations is well on its way, and new ideas on how to establish Biblical economics on a national scale will be implemented. Africa will be a leader in this.

We also received the word Kingdom Church, as old independent spirits are put aside and new alliances are formed as one to stand for Kingdom purposes against ungodly agendas.

There will be connections between apostles and prophets that will result in prophetic words not only being released, but also implemented to see their fulfillments.

Major media outlets and secular businesses will call on prophets for insight and direction, instead of calling on mediums and psychics. A new level of visibility is coming to God's leaders that will influence the secular fields.

Renaissance

A renaissance is coming that will bring great change and cause nations to come alive! There is a hope revival where those who have been greatly discouraged will find a new grace and purpose for their lives. Prophetic Kingdom changers will bring about a renaissance, not only to the arts, but also to innovation and the way Believers function in society. Great visibility will come, and great glory will be given to God as this happens.

Wisdom

The Body of Christ will begin to manifest new levels of supernatural wisdom. Business leaders will be recognized for their wisdom and will be sought after–even by the world–as the "Issachars;" they will come into visible prominence as leaders in nations (see 1 Chronicles 12:32).

The Transference of Wealth and the Prophets

Dramatic Kingdom connections between the prophets and business leaders were reported, leading us to say that this is a new season. Prosperity will come with these alliances.

These connections will impact the formation of alternative economic paradigms that will both influence world markets and systems, as well as form new ones. For many years, we have prophesied about a coming "Lion's Market"–an alternative economic structure formed within the Body of Christ.

As has been the trend for the past several years, volatility will continue to be the new norm.

Concerning the Church, a shift in understanding of the connection between tithes and offerings and blessing will cause poverty to be broken off many Believers (see Malachi 3:8-10). Pastors will become bold and unashamed to teach on the subject of finances, and both the people and the Church will be blessed.

Prophetic Evangelists

We have been prophesying about the raising up of "Philip-type" evangelists who will go to areas where no one else wants to venture. There was a specific admonition about not being afraid to minister to the Muslims (see 2 Timothy 1:7).

There was a call for evangelists to go as missionaries to the refugees. Acts of compassion will be linked with the unashamed preaching of the Gospel. The Lord called these evangelists ambassadors of Kingdom kindness.

The prophetic evangelists are the revivalists of today. Many will be touched through street preaching, and those who go out of the Church into the highways and byways will boldly manifest the goodness of God through supernatural signs and wonders. The Heartland of the United States will be affected by this revival moves all along the Mississippi River.

Legacy

There is a legacy awakening as current influential leaders are looking to leave a legacy behind and establish succession. Legacy conferences and teachings will abound as this is a current theme being released by the Holy Spirit.

Reformation unto Transformation

2016 is a hinge year where we are approaching the 500th anniversary of the Great Reformation, beginning in 1517, when Martin Luther nailed the 95 theses in Wittenberg, Germany. What was once a reformation will now be the great transformation.

Angels, Angels, Angels

Whole armies of angels are being released into the earth to see these things prophesied come to pass. Many dreams were given about angelic hosts, and the good news is that angels will be sent to minister to individuals and nations (see Psalm 103:20-21; 1 Corinthians 13:1a; Hebrews 1:7, 14).

Native Americans

The whole group expressed a great excitement about the role of the Native Americans in the upcoming revival. An awakening sound is coming to the First Nations peoples; villages already are seeing revival, and this will continue on an even greater scale. The voice of Native Americans will sound as an awakening bell.

The Blood Moon is a Harvest Moon

The Blood Moons which occurred last year were a sign of a great harvest (see Acts 2:19). Many nations will start seeing tremendous awakenings and visitations from the Lord.

This year, there will be a significant increase in the clashing of kingdoms. California will be a prophetic picture of this clash. Persecution of Christians will continue, but we will see God start to release supernatural interventions. There is, in essence, a "conflict of thrones," as to who will rule in certain mountains or sectors of society. Deeply entrenched politicians who are corrupt have ruled in some of these areas for a long time and will not give up their influence without a fight.

Children

A great move of the Holy Spirit upon children (ages 2-12) began in 2014, but will spread to other nations this year and will grow rapidly in intensity. They will be the "Samuels" of this generation and be very accurate in hearing God's voice.

Spain

Spain will become a focus for Islam. The Islamic spirit that ruled there during the times of the Moors will try to regain control but will be rebuffed.

Japan

A youth movement will arise in Japan. Great awakenings will happen on campuses. This once-hard-ground nation for the Gospel will begin to produce signs and wonders, and young revivalists will appear. In the midst of the economic shakings ahead for Japan, God's power will be evident.

India

India is going to see a great harvest of souls that will continue to increase in coming years.

Europe

The clash of kingdoms will manifest in Europe. The nations of Germany, France, and Scotland will begin to burn with great passion for the Lord. Europe's re-evangelization has begun!

Russia

A move of God among the Orthodox community will become evident. Cities such as Vladivostok will see the apostolic emerge and will affect the rest of the nation. Moscow will see a move of God among the youth, and large gatherings will take place to pray for the nation.

Pacific Rim

These nations will start to develop missions-sending ministries that will impact the rest of the world. The power of God will become evident in the Pacific Rim, like a spiritual tsunami that will begin to break down the strongholds of Buddhism, Hinduism, and Islam.

Israel

Visitations, visitations, visitations! God is uniting Believers in Messiah from the Jewish and Arabic-speaking communities. This has released a powerful force of unity that is a "firewall" against the tide of terrorism and evil. Even though there is still a violent spirit in the region, this group together has great authority to pray and stop it in its course.

A new wave of those making Aliyah (when Jews from the west immigrate to Israel) will be seen (see Isaiah 11:11-12).

Middle East

Egypt is in a season of mercy where God wants to use this nation to be a voice against terrorism and violence. It is called to be a refuge nation even for those experiencing religious persecution.

The conflict of the different Islamic factions over who is going to rule the Middle East, Sunni or Shia, will sharply increase, and ISIS will become a greater thorn in the side of nations, even such as Saudi Arabia.

The Global Church

The connections across the world of the Global Church will increase and break down the political spirit. The love and unity of the Body of Christ is going to bring a manifestation of God's power to change nations. They will support the "Daniels and Josephs" who are moving into elected offices. This will be seen in a surprising way in Geneva and in the EU.

This connection between the Church and society led us to this quote from Winston Churchill:

One of the signs of a great society is the diligence with which it passes culture from one generation to the next. This culture is the embodiment of everything the people of that society hold dear; its religious faith, its heroes...when one generation no longer esteems its own heritage and fails to pass the torch to its children, it is saying that the very foundation and experiences that make the society is no longer valid. (Never Give In: The Extraordinary Character of Winston Churchill, p. 190)

In the midst of all of this connection between the Church and society, there will be an "agitation of old wineskins" and persecution of leaders who are trying to bring reformation. They will be accused of going "into the world" and abandoning their position in the local church. An admonition that the Church should not participate in this persecution is important to heed.

However, this will not be the predominant view, and denominational churches that have been historically opposed to Christians becoming involved in politics will be given an opportunity from God to make a shift.

Partnerships between born-again Believers in many denominations will develop as the Church truly becomes one. God will "rightly position" His people into strategic places of responsibility, and the church will support them in their societal roles.

This will include some divine interventions in which God will save and cause "game shifts" where people who could not seem to do anything right will seemingly not be able to do anything wrong.

Local Church

Pastors will begin to prioritize based on current events. Rather than planning based upon one local congregation, there will be an understanding that there are issues that the Body of Christ, in general, needs to deal with, and they will teach and train their people accordingly.

One of the key issues that the Lord prophetically spoke to us was that pastors are to be a major voice to deal with racial divides.

In addition, an admonition to be crisis-prepared and find a way to be the redemptive answer to the needs of society was brought by the Lord as an important issue.

Families

The restoration of the family unit was also brought to the forefront. As the Body of Christ matures, so will family relationships. Fathers and mothers will teach their children to hear the voice of God.

Closing Exhortation

Jeremiah 27:18 states, "If they are prophets, and if the word of the Lord is with them, let them now entreat the Lord of hosts." Prophets do not only pronounce the word of the Lord; they in turn pray the revelatory promise back to the Father in Jesus' name! Let us bring the two hands of prayer and the prophetic together to see the birthing of God's promises in our generation.

Cindy Jacobs, Generals International
Email: generals@generals.org
Website: generals.org

Cindy Jacobs is an author, speaker, and teacher with a heart for discipling nations in the areas of prayer and prophetic gifts. She and Mike – her husband of 41 years – co-founded Generals International in 1985. She is a respected prophet who travels the world, ministering not only to crowds of people but to heads of nations. 
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Devotionals, Letters

What Covenant are They Under?

Old or New?

You can tell a whole lot about whether someone is walking in the New Covenant, or if their thinking is still grounded on the old. It's especially important that we understand which covenant prophets and other declarers of truth are working from.

The Old Covenant was all about blessings & curses (Deuteronomy 28). So Old Covenant prophets speak a lot about blessings and curses, or people who are blessed and people who are under judgement. That’s why Jeremiah & the others were declaring judgments and curses and such over the nations and the peoples who had defied what they knew about God.

That was the Old. That’s dead and gone (Hebrews 8:13 & others). If you have trouble with that, you might want to stop here and work this out before going further in this; the rest will just make you stumble.

The New Covenant is all about blessings and forgiveness (1Corinthians 14:3 and others). Therefore, that's what New Covenant prophets speak about: it’s the work of the New Covenant prophet to declare God’s blessing, God’s forgiveness, God’s Kingdom, to declare that they way to God is open!

You can tell a whole lot about what covenant someone is operating in by the words they speak (or write).

·         If someone regularly talks about needing to avoid this activity or that place or those people, or if they talk about needing to honor this festival, that holiday, they’re working under the Covenant that’s about works and whose end-game is about blessings and curses. They’re under the Old Covenant. Don’t go with them, unless you want to walk away from what Jesus has already done for you.

·         If someone regularly talks about how this preacher is wrong, about how that doctrine is heretical, or about how this country or that people-group deserves judgment, then that person is working under the Covenant that’s about works and whose end-game is about blessings and curses. They’re under the Old Covenant. Don’t go with them, unless you want to walk away from what Jesus has already done for you.

·         If their message is more about “Change how you think about God so that you can participate in the Kingdom of Heaven, which is right here among us!” (Matthew 4:17, Mark 1:15) then they’re working under the New Covenant where the Kingdom of God is “at hand” (or “within reach”) of all of us, and where the King of this Kingdom literally “became a curse” (Galatians 3:13) in order to remove curses from us, and from our words.

Here’s the short version: generally, if someone is preaching about “you need to change!” they’re preaching the Old Covenant. If they’re preaching about “Come to Jesus and be changed!” then they’re preaching the New Covenant.

Come to Jesus and have your mind renewed.
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Prophecy

What Covenant are They Under?

Old or New?

You can tell a whole lot about whether someone is walking in the New Covenant, or if their thinking is still grounded on the old. It’s especially important that we understand which covenant prophets and other declarers of truth are working from.

The Old Covenant was all about blessings & curses (Deuteronomy 28). So Old Covenant prophets speak a lot about blessings and curses, or people who are blessed and people who are under judgement. That’s why Jeremiah & the others were declaring judgments and curses and such over the nations and the peoples who had defied what they knew about God.

That was the Old. That’s dead and gone (Hebrews 8:13 & others). If you have trouble with that, you might want to stop here and work this out before going further in this; the rest will just make you stumble.

The New Covenant is all about blessings and forgiveness (1Corinthians 14:3 and others). Therefore, that’s what New Covenant prophets speak about: it’s the work of the New Covenant prophet to declare God’s blessing, God’s forgiveness, God’s Kingdom, to declare that they way to God is open!

You can tell a whole lot about what covenant someone is operating in by the words they speak (or write).

·         If someone regularly talks about needing to avoid this activity or that place or those people, or if they talk about needing to honor this festival, that holiday, they’re working under the Covenant that’s about works and whose end-game is about blessings and curses. They’re under the Old Covenant. Don’t go with them, unless you want to walk away from what Jesus has already done for you.

·         If someone regularly talks about how this preacher is wrong, about how that doctrine is heretical, or about how this country or that people-group deserves judgment, then that person is working under the Covenant that’s about works and whose end-game is about blessings and curses. They’re under the Old Covenant. Don’t go with them, unless you want to walk away from what Jesus has already done for you.

·         If their message is more about “Change how you think about God so that you can participate in the Kingdom of Heaven, which is right here among us!” (Matthew 4:17, Mark 1:15) then they’re working under the New Covenant where the Kingdom of God is “at hand” (or “within reach”) of all of us, and where the King of this Kingdom literally “became a curse” (Galatians 3:13) in order to remove curses from us, and from our words.

Here’s the short version: generally, if someone is preaching about “you need to change!” they’re preaching the Old Covenant. If they’re preaching about “Come to Jesus and be changed!” then they’re preaching the New Covenant.

Come to Jesus and have your mind renewed.

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Devotionals, Letters

What Covenant are They Under?

Old or New?

You can tell a whole lot about whether someone is walking in the New Covenant, or if their thinking is still grounded on the old. It's especially important that we understand which covenant prophets and other declarers of truth are working from.

The Old Covenant was all about blessings & curses (Deuteronomy 28). So Old Covenant prophets speak a lot about blessings and curses, or people who are blessed and people who are under judgement. That’s why Jeremiah & the others were declaring judgments and curses and such over the nations and the peoples who had defied what they knew about God.

That was the Old. That’s dead and gone (Hebrews 8:13 & others). If you have trouble with that, you might want to stop here and work this out before going further in this; the rest will just make you stumble.

The New Covenant is all about blessings and forgiveness (1Corinthians 14:3 and others). Therefore, that's what New Covenant prophets speak about: it’s the work of the New Covenant prophet to declare God’s blessing, God’s forgiveness, God’s Kingdom, to declare that they way to God is open!

You can tell a whole lot about what covenant someone is operating in by the words they speak (or write).

·         If someone regularly talks about needing to avoid this activity or that place or those people, or if they talk about needing to honor this festival, that holiday, they’re working under the Covenant that’s about works and whose end-game is about blessings and curses. They’re under the Old Covenant. Don’t go with them, unless you want to walk away from what Jesus has already done for you.

·         If someone regularly talks about how this preacher is wrong, about how that doctrine is heretical, or about how this country or that people-group deserves judgment, then that person is working under the Covenant that’s about works and whose end-game is about blessings and curses. They’re under the Old Covenant. Don’t go with them, unless you want to walk away from what Jesus has already done for you.

·         If their message is more about “Change how you think about God so that you can participate in the Kingdom of Heaven, which is right here among us!” (Matthew 4:17, Mark 1:15) then they’re working under the New Covenant where the Kingdom of God is “at hand” (or “within reach”) of all of us, and where the King of this Kingdom literally “became a curse” (Galatians 3:13) in order to remove curses from us, and from our words.

Here’s the short version: generally, if someone is preaching about “you need to change!” they’re preaching the Old Covenant. If they’re preaching about “Come to Jesus and be changed!” then they’re preaching the New Covenant.

Come to Jesus and have your mind renewed.
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Devotionals, Letters

Learning From the Past Year

It has been said that “Those who fail to learn history are doomed to repeat it.” If we apply this personally, we could say, “Those who fail to learn from their history will find themselves making the same mistakes all over again.”

I don’t know about you, but I’d like to not make those particular mistakes again. It’s not that I’m afraid of mistakes, but I’d sure like to learn from new ones, instead of repeating the old ones.

And so I try to reflect on the year behind me, and I try to learn from the year I’ve just finished, with the hope that I’ll actually be more mature, not just older, next year. If you’d like to join me, here are some questions you might reflect on. Hint: this is a great time to get out your journal and write:

What was your biggest triumph in the past year? What does God say about it?

What was your most costly mistake in the past year? What do you learn from it?

What was the smartest decision you made during the year?
  
What was the greatest lesson you learned during the year?

If you could repeat one day of the last year, what day would that be, and why?

If you could forever forget one day from last year, what day, and why?

What one bit of Scripture best describes last year?

What are you most happy about completing during the last year?

Who are the three people that had the biggest impact on your life? Have you thanked them?

Who are three people whose lives you impacted for good? Have you thanked God for them?

What area of your life have you best taken responsibility for?

What area of your life did you leave to someone else to be responsible for, and why?

What was the most loving service you performed? What effect did you see from it?

What was the biggest risk you took? How did that turn out? How could it have gone even better?
  
What important relationship improved the most? What made the improvement?

What important relationship took a hit last year? What can you learn from that?

What compliment would you have liked to have received?

What compliment would you like to have given last year? Can you give it now?

What else do you need to say or do to be completely finished with the year?


What would you like to say to your Father about last year? 
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Prophecy

Learning From the Past Year

It has been said that “Those who fail to learn history are doomed to repeat it.” If we apply this personally, we could say, “Those who fail to learn from their history will find themselves making the same mistakes all over again.”
I don’t know about you, but I’d like to not make those particular mistakes again. It’s not that I’m afraid of mistakes, but I’d sure like to learn from new ones, instead of repeating the old ones.
And so I try to reflect on the year behind me, and I try to learn from the year I’ve just finished, with the hope that I’ll actually be more mature, not just older, next year. If you’d like to join me, here are some questions you might reflect on. Hint: this is a great time to get out your journal and write:
What was your biggest triumph in the past year? What does God say about it?
What was your most costly mistake in the past year? What do you learn from it?
What was the smartest decision you made during the year?
  
What was the greatest lesson you learned during the year?
If you could repeat one day of the last year, what day would that be, and why?
If you could forever forget one day from last year, what day, and why?
What one bit of Scripture best describes last year?
What are you most happy about completing during the last year?
Who are the three people that had the biggest impact on your life? Have you thanked them?
Who are three people whose lives you impacted for good? Have you thanked God for them?
What area of your life have you best taken responsibility for?
What area of your life did you leave to someone else to be responsible for, and why?
What was the most loving service you performed? What effect did you see from it?
What was the biggest risk you took? How did that turn out? How could it have gone even better?
  
What important relationship improved the most? What made the improvement?
What important relationship took a hit last year? What can you learn from that?
What compliment would you have liked to have received?
What compliment would you like to have given last year? Can you give it now?
What else do you need to say or do to be completely finished with the year?

What would you like to say to your Father about last year? 
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Devotionals, Letters

Learning From the Past Year

It has been said that “Those who fail to learn history are doomed to repeat it.” If we apply this personally, we could say, “Those who fail to learn from their history will find themselves making the same mistakes all over again.”

I don’t know about you, but I’d like to not make those particular mistakes again. It’s not that I’m afraid of mistakes, but I’d sure like to learn from new ones, instead of repeating the old ones.

And so I try to reflect on the year behind me, and I try to learn from the year I’ve just finished, with the hope that I’ll actually be more mature, not just older, next year. If you’d like to join me, here are some questions you might reflect on. Hint: this is a great time to get out your journal and write:

What was your biggest triumph in the past year? What does God say about it?

What was your most costly mistake in the past year? What do you learn from it?

What was the smartest decision you made during the year?
  
What was the greatest lesson you learned during the year?

If you could repeat one day of the last year, what day would that be, and why?

If you could forever forget one day from last year, what day, and why?

What one bit of Scripture best describes last year?

What are you most happy about completing during the last year?

Who are the three people that had the biggest impact on your life? Have you thanked them?

Who are three people whose lives you impacted for good? Have you thanked God for them?

What area of your life have you best taken responsibility for?

What area of your life did you leave to someone else to be responsible for, and why?

What was the most loving service you performed? What effect did you see from it?

What was the biggest risk you took? How did that turn out? How could it have gone even better?
  
What important relationship improved the most? What made the improvement?

What important relationship took a hit last year? What can you learn from that?

What compliment would you have liked to have received?

What compliment would you like to have given last year? Can you give it now?

What else do you need to say or do to be completely finished with the year?


What would you like to say to your Father about last year? 
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Devotionals, Letters

It’s Christmas Eve


It’s Christmas Eve. My home is filled with laughing children. My son is making something wonderful in the kitchen. My wife has forbidden any entry into the bedroom until the last few presents are wrapped. A video game is blaring in the living room, and power tools are finishing up a last-minute gift in the shop.

My home is a very busy place. And honestly, I love it.

But as much as this night is about family, it’s even more about a Birth. I stepped outside to visit with Father about it, to remember that Birth with Him.

Immediately, I had an image of Him, as eager as a grandchild would be, clapping happily, dancing from foot to foot: this is His Happy Dance!

For me, the laboring woman and her not-quite-husband are separated from me by twenty centuries. But as God is Lord of Time (among many other things), He is right this minute, dancing with joyful anticipation over this impending Birth.

God, being omniscient, knew of the failure of man in the Garden before He even spoke the words, “Let Us create man, in Our image…” Before he ever even scooped up mud and shaped it and prepared it to hold His Own breath, he knew that man would fail the test, would eat of the wrong tree, would submit to the wrong voice, and would be doomed to death.

But God, being the best in the universe at planning ahead, already knew that He, Himself, in the flesh and blood of humanity, would die a gruesome death in a backwater, occupied nation in the geographical armpit of that planet in order to establish a New Covenant with them. How he looked forward to that!

And He knew that before God could die for man, God would have to become a man. And this! He looked forward to this with such joy!
And tonight is the night!

The most patient Father that has ever existed has been eagerly, joyfully anticipating this night! This is the beginning of the Covenant that He’s longed for since the Garden: when he would have a nation of Kings and Priests who would know his Father’s heart and love Him as freely as He loves them!

The cross? That torture, that pain, that indescribable humiliation? That was nothing! Nothing! Less than nothing! He would pay ANY price for the privilege of whispering of his love to his wayward children. If there could have been a greater price that could ever have been paid, He would have paid it without hesitation for the children that He treasured above even His own eternal, omnipotent life!

And tonight is the night that it all began.

Tonight! As Mary is breathing hard and sweating heavily, as Joseph is wringing his hands and feeling nearly (but not quite) useless in the face of The Birth, God Himself is dancing with joy! Angels are ministering to the new mother and anxious dad, but God is laughing and jumping and shouting his joy to the heavens!

Tonight it begins. Tomorrow He gets to walk – well, to crawl first – among his wayward children! The beginning of the Via Dolorosa begins in this little, sweaty barn, on the unknown edge of a tiny, powerless nation. This is the beginning of walking among them, and even more, this is the beginning of setting them free from everything that holds them back!

This is the night! This is THAT night.

Do you feel his joy? Can you feel his anticipation? 


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Prophecy

It’s Christmas Eve

It’s Christmas Eve. My home is filled with laughing children. My son is making something wonderful in the kitchen. My wife has forbidden any entry into the bedroom until the last few presents are wrapped. A video game is blaring in the living room, and power tools are finishing up a last-minute gift in the shop.
My home is a very busy place. And honestly, I love it.
But as much as this night is about family, it’s even more about a Birth. I stepped outside to visit with Father about it, to remember that Birth with Him.
Immediately, I had an image of Him, as eager as a grandchild would be, clapping happily, dancing from foot to foot: this is His Happy Dance!
For me, the laboring woman and her not-quite-husband are separated from me by twenty centuries. But as God is Lord of Time (among many other things), He is right this minute, dancing with joyful anticipation over this impending Birth.
God, being omniscient, knew of the failure of man in the Garden before He even spoke the words, “Let Us create man, in Our image…” Before he ever even scooped up mud and shaped it and prepared it to hold His Own breath, he knew that man would fail the test, would eat of the wrong tree, would submit to the wrong voice, and would be doomed to death.
But God, being the best in the universe at planning ahead, already knew that He, Himself, in the flesh and blood of humanity, would die a gruesome death in a backwater, occupied nation in the geographical armpit of that planet in order to establish a New Covenant with them. How he looked forward to that!
And He knew that before God could die for man, God would have to become a man. And this! He looked forward to this with such joy!
And tonight is the night!
The most patient Father that has ever existed has been eagerly, joyfully anticipating this night! This is the beginning of the Covenant that He’s longed for since the Garden: when he would have a nation of Kings and Priests who would know his Father’s heart and love Him as freely as He loves them!
The cross? That torture, that pain, that indescribable humiliation? That was nothing! Nothing! Less than nothing! He would pay ANY price for the privilege of whispering of his love to his wayward children. If there could have been a greater price that could ever have been paid, He would have paid it without hesitation for the children that He treasured above even His own eternal, omnipotent life!
And tonight is the night that it all began.
Tonight! As Mary is breathing hard and sweating heavily, as Joseph is wringing his hands and feeling nearly (but not quite) useless in the face of The Birth, God Himself is dancing with joy! Angels are ministering to the new mother and anxious dad, but God is laughing and jumping and shouting his joy to the heavens!
Tonight it begins. Tomorrow He gets to walk – well, to crawl first – among his wayward children! The beginning of the Via Dolorosa begins in this little, sweaty barn, on the unknown edge of a tiny, powerless nation. This is the beginning of walking among them, and even more, this is the beginning of setting them free from everything that holds them back!
This is the night! This is THAT night.

Do you feel his joy? Can you feel his anticipation? 

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Devotionals, Letters

It’s Christmas Eve


It’s Christmas Eve. My home is filled with laughing children. My son is making something wonderful in the kitchen. My wife has forbidden any entry into the bedroom until the last few presents are wrapped. A video game is blaring in the living room, and power tools are finishing up a last-minute gift in the shop.

My home is a very busy place. And honestly, I love it.

But as much as this night is about family, it’s even more about a Birth. I stepped outside to visit with Father about it, to remember that Birth with Him.

Immediately, I had an image of Him, as eager as a grandchild would be, clapping happily, dancing from foot to foot: this is His Happy Dance!

For me, the laboring woman and her not-quite-husband are separated from me by twenty centuries. But as God is Lord of Time (among many other things), He is right this minute, dancing with joyful anticipation over this impending Birth.

God, being omniscient, knew of the failure of man in the Garden before He even spoke the words, “Let Us create man, in Our image…” Before he ever even scooped up mud and shaped it and prepared it to hold His Own breath, he knew that man would fail the test, would eat of the wrong tree, would submit to the wrong voice, and would be doomed to death.

But God, being the best in the universe at planning ahead, already knew that He, Himself, in the flesh and blood of humanity, would die a gruesome death in a backwater, occupied nation in the geographical armpit of that planet in order to establish a New Covenant with them. How he looked forward to that!

And He knew that before God could die for man, God would have to become a man. And this! He looked forward to this with such joy!
And tonight is the night!

The most patient Father that has ever existed has been eagerly, joyfully anticipating this night! This is the beginning of the Covenant that He’s longed for since the Garden: when he would have a nation of Kings and Priests who would know his Father’s heart and love Him as freely as He loves them!

The cross? That torture, that pain, that indescribable humiliation? That was nothing! Nothing! Less than nothing! He would pay ANY price for the privilege of whispering of his love to his wayward children. If there could have been a greater price that could ever have been paid, He would have paid it without hesitation for the children that He treasured above even His own eternal, omnipotent life!

And tonight is the night that it all began.

Tonight! As Mary is breathing hard and sweating heavily, as Joseph is wringing his hands and feeling nearly (but not quite) useless in the face of The Birth, God Himself is dancing with joy! Angels are ministering to the new mother and anxious dad, but God is laughing and jumping and shouting his joy to the heavens!

Tonight it begins. Tomorrow He gets to walk – well, to crawl first – among his wayward children! The beginning of the Via Dolorosa begins in this little, sweaty barn, on the unknown edge of a tiny, powerless nation. This is the beginning of walking among them, and even more, this is the beginning of setting them free from everything that holds them back!

This is the night! This is THAT night.

Do you feel his joy? Can you feel his anticipation? 


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Devotionals, Letters

The Waiter

Imagine with me, please.

Imagine that you’re a minimum-wage waiter at a small, private restaurant. The owners are nice people, and it’s pleasant work, even though you don’t make much money. Most of the employees have worked there for a while, and know each other pretty well. The rooms are worn, but homey and comfortable. The food is not fancy, but it’s prepared well and served with pride.

Their banquet room stays pretty busy, with anniversaries and birthdays. Today, there’s a wedding reception, and it’s turned into kind of a rowdy bunch. In fact, a number of the guests are getting tipsy. They’re still nice, but their words are slurred and they walk funny. There’s been a line at the bar all night, and now there’s a line for the toilets.

The best man pulls you aside. “Yeah, we didn’t expect this many people! The beer is running out. Do you have a spare keg in your cooler? I’ll pay retail for it!” You check with your shift manager, and there’s no spare keg. The best man nearly panics. His eyes dart around the room.

At that point, one of the grandmothers interrupts. “Relax, John. I’ve got this.” She gestures for you to follow her, and walks off. John does NOT relax, but he’s got no options.

The grandma walks up to the young man who stands out among the crowd of rough men in the corner. You overhear a brief argument before she turns to you: “Do whatever he says to do,” and walks off. This is a woman you don’t argue with.

The guy – he might be thirty, and he looks rough, like it’s been a hard thirty years – turns to you and asks politely, “Where’s your dishwasher?” You lead him to the back.

“Excellent! Just what I was looking for!” He grins as he points at a stack of empty five gallon buckets draining on the drainage rack. “Fill all of these with water please. And this, too,” as he dumps the last pickle out of another bucket. He turns to continue his conversation with his friends.

You check to make sure all the pickles are out of the buckets and then you fill them from the dishwashing station. The guy is still talking. You tap his shoulder. “They’re full of water, sir.” You smell sardines on some of the guys.


“Perfect! Thank you! Now take this, please,” and he grabs a coffee cup from the dishwasher, and dips it into the pickle bucket, “to the best man, and ask him if it will do.” And he turns back to his buddies again.

You stare at the back of his head for a moment, mumbling to yourself, “Take dish water to the best man? Seriously? This guy’s not all there, is he?” But what else is there to do? The lady said to do what he told you.

The best man is behind the bar, nervously explaining to yet another bleary-eyed guest that *this* beer keg is empty, but they’ve sent someone out getting them another one. You tap on his shoulder and hand him the mug. “Will this do, sir?” He doesn’t even acknowledge your presence, but he takes the coffee mug from your hands while he repeats the same thing to a woman with smeared makeup.

He doesn’t look at the mug, but takes a sip, still talking to the bar patrons. You cringe: you know where that mug came from.

It takes a second to register, and you get ready to run. He pauses mid-sentence, and then he stops moving altogether, his eyes open wide. He looks down at the coffee cup, and you see that the water is unmistakably brown now. Oh no! It’s not even cleandishwater! You cringe again, as he slowly turns to look at you for the first time, his eyes bright.

“Yes. Yes, this will do very nicely! This is very good! Why did you save the best keg for last?” 

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Meditation on John, chapter two.
/nwp



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