Prophecy

A Season of Bumbling Around

One of the things that I do is I look at the seasons, the “big picture” view of what’s going on in the Spirit.  

This is an interesting one.  I call it the Season of Muddling Around. My brother Craig refers to “fuzzy-fog of not-quite-sure-what's-next.”

It’s a season where God doesn’t seem to be giving as much direction as he has in other seasons. You may experience it as “OK, what do we do next” in your home group or your church gathering. Or you may be having a hard time finding clarity in life choices or in addressing perplexing situations.

Paul went through a similar season. In Acts 16, Paul and his traveling ministry team finished one project, and had trouble finding the next one. They were “kept by the Holy Spirit” from ministering in Asia, and “the Spirit of Jesus would not allow them” to minister in Bithynia. This was a challenging transition season for him.

What’s this? The Holy Spirit is preventing them from preaching the gospel? That’s the Great Commission; God can’t be stopping them from obeying what they’re called to do! Yep, that’s what it says.

It seems like a number of believers are experiencing this sort of thing: just trying to do the thing that God has called you to do, but God’s not blessing it, God’s presence isn’t in it, or he stops you before you ever get started.  

So a lot of us are in a season of “bumbling around.” We’re trying this new thing, or that tried-and-true thing, and it’s not working. It’s easy to get frustrated in this season.

If you’re feeling some of this, let me say a couple of things to you:

  1. No, there’s not something wrong. God does different things, or does the same things in different ways, in different seasons. This is that season. This isn’t because of sin, or because you’ve “missed God.” Remember, this is a transition period. It’s temporary.

  1. This is actually a season of promotion. You’ve been maturing, growing up. You don’t need as much direction from Daddy as you used to need. You can make more decisions for yourself and for your place in the Kingdom. Think of this as a season of taking new “baby steps” and learning to walk as mature sons and daughters.

  1. Of course we stay plugged in with God, we stay intimate and connected, eyes on Jesus and ready to hear. Paul eventually had a dream that told him where to go, and it led to a surprising new ministry.  The end result of his transition was pretty awesome.

  1. Don’t be shocked if God leads you in a surprising new direction. Don’t freak out if he takes you in an entirely new and unexpected direction. Likewise, don’t choke if he takes you in the direction you expected, but it turns out to be completely different than the way you thought it would be, or than it has ever been before.

  1. In the meantime, keep doing what you’re doing, and keep your ears open. Stay in healthy relationship with solid people, and keep talking together about what God is doing, what he’s saying.

  1. And stay ready to change gears, quickly if necessary.

So congratulations on the new place in God! Well done! Now, are you ready for the next step? 

nwp


Standard
Prophecy

A Season of Bumbling Around

One of the things that I do is I look at the seasons, the “big picture” view of what’s going on in the Spirit.  

This is an interesting one.  I call it the Season of Muddling Around. My brother Craig refers to “fuzzy-fog of not-quite-sure-what's-next.”

It’s a season where God doesn’t seem to be giving as much direction as he has in other seasons. You may experience it as “OK, what do we do next” in your home group or your church gathering. Or you may be having a hard time finding clarity in life choices or in addressing perplexing situations.

Paul went through a similar season. In Acts 16, Paul and his traveling ministry team finished one project, and had trouble finding the next one. They were “kept by the Holy Spirit” from ministering in Asia, and “the Spirit of Jesus would not allow them” to minister in Bithynia. This was a challenging transition season for him.

What’s this? The Holy Spirit is preventing them from preaching the gospel? That’s the Great Commission; God can’t be stopping them from obeying what they’re called to do! Yep, that’s what it says.

It seems like a number of believers are experiencing this sort of thing: just trying to do the thing that God has called you to do, but God’s not blessing it, God’s presence isn’t in it, or he stops you before you ever get started.  

So a lot of us are in a season of “bumbling around.” We’re trying this new thing, or that tried-and-true thing, and it’s not working. It’s easy to get frustrated in this season.

If you’re feeling some of this, let me say a couple of things to you:

  1. No, there’s not something wrong. God does different things, or does the same things in different ways, in different seasons. This is that season. This isn’t because of sin, or because you’ve “missed God.” Remember, this is a transition period. It’s temporary.

  1. This is actually a season of promotion. You’ve been maturing, growing up. You don’t need as much direction from Daddy as you used to need. You can make more decisions for yourself and for your place in the Kingdom. Think of this as a season of taking new “baby steps” and learning to walk as mature sons and daughters.

  1. Of course we stay plugged in with God, we stay intimate and connected, eyes on Jesus and ready to hear. Paul eventually had a dream that told him where to go, and it led to a surprising new ministry.  The end result of his transition was pretty awesome.

  1. Don’t be shocked if God leads you in a surprising new direction. Don’t freak out if he takes you in an entirely new and unexpected direction. Likewise, don’t choke if he takes you in the direction you expected, but it turns out to be completely different than the way you thought it would be, or than it has ever been before.

  1. In the meantime, keep doing what you’re doing, and keep your ears open. Stay in healthy relationship with solid people, and keep talking together about what God is doing, what he’s saying.

  1. And stay ready to change gears, quickly if necessary.

So congratulations on the new place in God! Well done! Now, are you ready for the next step? 

nwp


Standard
Prophecy

Prophetic Words for 2017

A new gate is opening in the spirit as God is releasing a backlog of revelation and blessings. 

Prophetic Words for 2017

2017 is going to be a time in which many of the least likely people begin to awaken to God’s love. A long-awaited start of global awakening and revival will take place. Many of these people have been rejected by the Church, but God is saying, “I have not forgotten them and their cries have reached my ears.”

Praise the Lord, all you nations; extol him, all you peoples. For great is his love toward us, and the faithfulness of the Lord endures forever. Praise the Lord. Psalm 117:1–2 (NIV)

The world is going to awaken to the awesome power of the Lord. There is a reason for all the turmoil and attacks. It is the enemy not wanting us to see what God is about to do. God is more powerful than Satan and some people have fallen into the trap of looking at the storms and believing this is judgment against us. God has a solution in the midst of it all that will unfold in 2017.

Due season is now overdue

The lives and ministries of people were brought into the Courts of Heaven over Rosh Hashanah last October 2016. Last year, the Lord examined our lives with the highest level of the heavenly court system. Daniel 7 Ancient of Days court sessions were held over us all. This is similar to the level of the Supreme Courts on Earth.

Everyone went through an assessment to see if we are ready to advance to the next level with the Lord. Many people were promoted spiritually this year and the Lord is now releasing special plans and assignments for those who have walked through the painful preparation it takes and are crying out for mercy and not judgment.

And let us not grow weary while doing good, for in due season we shall reap if we do not lose heart.Galatians 6:9 (NKJV)

I heard the Lord say, “This is your due season and it is overdue for many.” Do not give up as this is a season to reap. It is not far off. Things are going to begin lining up for you over the next few months. The Lord has not forgotten you! For many, the very reason you came to Earth is about to be revealed in 2017.



Wind of Change coming

Expect to see backlogs of blessings and unanswered prayer come to you over the next 3 months. Between now and March things will start to line up with greater clarity. What currently looks like losses will suddenly turn around for many people. Though it seems that darkness is winning, after March this is going to take a quick turn for the good.

I have observed that the Wind of Change angel from Heaven shows up March through May each year. Expect the Wind of Change to blow heavy this year. It will help remove debris from our lives and uncover new hidden treasures.

I will give you hidden treasures, riches stored in secret places, so that you may know that I am the Lord, the God of Israel, who summons you by name. Isaiah 45:3 NIV

Angel is ready to dance

God spoke to me that many forgotten prophetic words from the past are coming to us in 2017.

I had a spiritual experience at Rosh Hashanah on September 28, 2011 in which I saw an angel that was in position and about to dance. In the vision the place where I saw the angel standing looked like a combination of San Francisco, Las Vegas and Hollywood.

The Lord said that when this angel dances it will shake things open and release finances, favor and an anointing to bring people into God’s Kingdom. In the experience, many of us had been waiting a long time for this angel to dance. Then without warning, it danced and the ground shook and golden coins filled the streets.

This is the release of Kingdom finances that will be needed to impact the world for God. It is also a shaking coming in the way we do things. Watch for this angel to dance over your city!

Two moves of God coming

There are going to be 2 moves of God.

1. The first is going to be inside the Church and in the lives of Christians—it is designed to awaken and prepare us.

2. The second is a wave of revival that will be geared to those who have been rejected by Christians or have been considered unclean or even an abomination. What is coming might seem to be a stretch to many people, as some of our current ways of doing things will not work to reach those who have been rejected. I have been prophesying this for a number of years now and I call this group the spiritual outcasts. They are the ones that did not fit into churches or had a bad experience and went away, never to return.

Billion Soul Revival

This year will be the start of the Billion Soul Revival—though it will not look like it on the surface. Do not despise humble beginnings. The late prophet Bob Jones prophesied this revival would happen. Sadly, Bob died in 2014 without seeing the fulfillment of it.

On September 22, 2016 I heard a counsel meeting in the Courts of Heaven. It was about Bob Jones’ life and ministry and his prophecy of the Billion Soul Revival. Many people have forgotten about it, but God has not forgotten this prophetic promise and plans are being made now to fulfill it on Earth.

During the counsel meeting, the tasks of fulfilling the revival were split into thousands of assignments. No one man or woman could carry this mantle alone. Bob carried the strategies; but now the actual fulfillment plans are being released to us.



A new Jesus People movement coming

The Jesus People movement of the late 60s–early 70s was the last known revival in North America. This was a theologically messy movement as many hippies turned on to Jesus and became Jesus Freaks.

The Jesus People movement started in San Francisco and was taken to Southern Californiaand then to the world. This movement had a strong belief in miracles, signs and wonders, faith, healing, prayer, the Bible and powerful works of the Holy Spirit. It changed the face of Christianity and broke the religious spirit of that day. Sadly, it was rejected by the majority of the Church.

There is a new Jesus People movement that is going to start in San Franciscoagain. It will not start with the hippies as it did then, but it will be among the sexually broken and the Fatherless generation crying out for God’s love. 2017 will mark the start of something new in San Francisco that will go to Southern Californiaand then to the world.

A Golden Gate opened

The Lord spoke to me to go to San Francisco on New Year’s Eve 2016 and open a gate in the spirit that will release the strategies for the next coming revival. I tried that night, but it would not open until the next day when I repented on behalf of all the people who have cursed and judged San Francisco.

As I removed these curses, the gate opened over the city of the Golden Gate. This is a key to opening revival and blessings over your house, church, business, city and nation.

The Glory of God is returning in 2017

During the Jesus People movement in the early 1970s there was a strong presence of God’s Glory. It was like a liquid anointing or tangible atmosphere that could be felt by many people. Without God’s greater glory and power, we will not be able to be part of a revival and movement as big as what God has in store for us.

In 1975, the Lord spoke to Bob Jones that the greater Glory of God was going to leave the Church because it was used for man’s gain instead of for revival and the Lord’s work. On March 17, 1977 Bob saw this glory lift from the Church and it has not returned since. Yes, there are people who still carry portions of it, but overall, the glory of God has not been on the Church at large since that time.

March 17, 2017 is the 40th anniversary of the Glory departing. This is the year that the Glory of God is going to return to the Church. Like the glory of the 1970s it will not be limited to the four walls of a Church. Similar to the Jesus People movement, the Glory of God is coming with signs and wonders, healing and miracles and will begin to touch those outside the church and into the streets.

In closing, I am not saying all of these things about the big revival will take place in 2017. But God is planning and positioning us for them.

This will indeed be a year that started out looking evil and dark but will end with greater hope and more of the light of the Lord being released.

Get your hopes up as God has not forgotten you!

Blessings,


Doug Addison
Standard
Prophecy

Prophetic Words for 2017

A new gate is opening in the spirit as God is releasing a backlog of revelation and blessings. 

Prophetic Words for 2017

2017 is going to be a time in which many of the least likely people begin to awaken to God’s love. A long-awaited start of global awakening and revival will take place. Many of these people have been rejected by the Church, but God is saying, “I have not forgotten them and their cries have reached my ears.”

Praise the Lord, all you nations; extol him, all you peoples. For great is his love toward us, and the faithfulness of the Lord endures forever. Praise the Lord. Psalm 117:1–2 (NIV)

The world is going to awaken to the awesome power of the Lord. There is a reason for all the turmoil and attacks. It is the enemy not wanting us to see what God is about to do. God is more powerful than Satan and some people have fallen into the trap of looking at the storms and believing this is judgment against us. God has a solution in the midst of it all that will unfold in 2017.

Due season is now overdue

The lives and ministries of people were brought into the Courts of Heaven over Rosh Hashanah last October 2016. Last year, the Lord examined our lives with the highest level of the heavenly court system. Daniel 7 Ancient of Days court sessions were held over us all. This is similar to the level of the Supreme Courts on Earth.

Everyone went through an assessment to see if we are ready to advance to the next level with the Lord. Many people were promoted spiritually this year and the Lord is now releasing special plans and assignments for those who have walked through the painful preparation it takes and are crying out for mercy and not judgment.

And let us not grow weary while doing good, for in due season we shall reap if we do not lose heart.Galatians 6:9 (NKJV)

I heard the Lord say, “This is your due season and it is overdue for many.” Do not give up as this is a season to reap. It is not far off. Things are going to begin lining up for you over the next few months. The Lord has not forgotten you! For many, the very reason you came to Earth is about to be revealed in 2017.



Wind of Change coming

Expect to see backlogs of blessings and unanswered prayer come to you over the next 3 months. Between now and March things will start to line up with greater clarity. What currently looks like losses will suddenly turn around for many people. Though it seems that darkness is winning, after March this is going to take a quick turn for the good.

I have observed that the Wind of Change angel from Heaven shows up March through May each year. Expect the Wind of Change to blow heavy this year. It will help remove debris from our lives and uncover new hidden treasures.

I will give you hidden treasures, riches stored in secret places, so that you may know that I am the Lord, the God of Israel, who summons you by name. Isaiah 45:3 NIV

Angel is ready to dance

God spoke to me that many forgotten prophetic words from the past are coming to us in 2017.

I had a spiritual experience at Rosh Hashanah on September 28, 2011 in which I saw an angel that was in position and about to dance. In the vision the place where I saw the angel standing looked like a combination of San Francisco, Las Vegas and Hollywood.

The Lord said that when this angel dances it will shake things open and release finances, favor and an anointing to bring people into God’s Kingdom. In the experience, many of us had been waiting a long time for this angel to dance. Then without warning, it danced and the ground shook and golden coins filled the streets.

This is the release of Kingdom finances that will be needed to impact the world for God. It is also a shaking coming in the way we do things. Watch for this angel to dance over your city!

Two moves of God coming

There are going to be 2 moves of God.

1. The first is going to be inside the Church and in the lives of Christians—it is designed to awaken and prepare us.

2. The second is a wave of revival that will be geared to those who have been rejected by Christians or have been considered unclean or even an abomination. What is coming might seem to be a stretch to many people, as some of our current ways of doing things will not work to reach those who have been rejected. I have been prophesying this for a number of years now and I call this group the spiritual outcasts. They are the ones that did not fit into churches or had a bad experience and went away, never to return.

Billion Soul Revival

This year will be the start of the Billion Soul Revival—though it will not look like it on the surface. Do not despise humble beginnings. The late prophet Bob Jones prophesied this revival would happen. Sadly, Bob died in 2014 without seeing the fulfillment of it.

On September 22, 2016 I heard a counsel meeting in the Courts of Heaven. It was about Bob Jones’ life and ministry and his prophecy of the Billion Soul Revival. Many people have forgotten about it, but God has not forgotten this prophetic promise and plans are being made now to fulfill it on Earth.

During the counsel meeting, the tasks of fulfilling the revival were split into thousands of assignments. No one man or woman could carry this mantle alone. Bob carried the strategies; but now the actual fulfillment plans are being released to us.



A new Jesus People movement coming

The Jesus People movement of the late 60s–early 70s was the last known revival in North America. This was a theologically messy movement as many hippies turned on to Jesus and became Jesus Freaks.

The Jesus People movement started in San Francisco and was taken to Southern Californiaand then to the world. This movement had a strong belief in miracles, signs and wonders, faith, healing, prayer, the Bible and powerful works of the Holy Spirit. It changed the face of Christianity and broke the religious spirit of that day. Sadly, it was rejected by the majority of the Church.

There is a new Jesus People movement that is going to start in San Franciscoagain. It will not start with the hippies as it did then, but it will be among the sexually broken and the Fatherless generation crying out for God’s love. 2017 will mark the start of something new in San Francisco that will go to Southern Californiaand then to the world.

A Golden Gate opened

The Lord spoke to me to go to San Francisco on New Year’s Eve 2016 and open a gate in the spirit that will release the strategies for the next coming revival. I tried that night, but it would not open until the next day when I repented on behalf of all the people who have cursed and judged San Francisco.

As I removed these curses, the gate opened over the city of the Golden Gate. This is a key to opening revival and blessings over your house, church, business, city and nation.

The Glory of God is returning in 2017

During the Jesus People movement in the early 1970s there was a strong presence of God’s Glory. It was like a liquid anointing or tangible atmosphere that could be felt by many people. Without God’s greater glory and power, we will not be able to be part of a revival and movement as big as what God has in store for us.

In 1975, the Lord spoke to Bob Jones that the greater Glory of God was going to leave the Church because it was used for man’s gain instead of for revival and the Lord’s work. On March 17, 1977 Bob saw this glory lift from the Church and it has not returned since. Yes, there are people who still carry portions of it, but overall, the glory of God has not been on the Church at large since that time.

March 17, 2017 is the 40th anniversary of the Glory departing. This is the year that the Glory of God is going to return to the Church. Like the glory of the 1970s it will not be limited to the four walls of a Church. Similar to the Jesus People movement, the Glory of God is coming with signs and wonders, healing and miracles and will begin to touch those outside the church and into the streets.

In closing, I am not saying all of these things about the big revival will take place in 2017. But God is planning and positioning us for them.

This will indeed be a year that started out looking evil and dark but will end with greater hope and more of the light of the Lord being released.

Get your hopes up as God has not forgotten you!

Blessings,


Doug Addison
Standard
Prophecy

FOR SUCH A TIME, Kris Vallotton

For Such a Time: Prophetic Insight for 2017

I don’t know about you guys but I’ve been noticing that in the last year or so some very unusual things have happened in the world. Many of these occurrences are unexpected and have got me thinking and praying about the time that we are living in.


In the Bible we can see how God directed specific seasons in time for specific ways He wanted to lead His people. I know God continues to deal with us in the same way today, and I feel a shift in our season. 

The ancient Greeks had two words for time; chronosand kairos. Chronos refers to clock time—time that can be measured in a quantitative way, whether that be in seconds, minutes, hours, and years. 

Kairos, however, is qualitative. It measures moments in time by what they encompass; the right moment, the opportune moment or the perfect moment. I believe that we have just entered one of the most exciting kairos moments in history!

In 1 Chronicles 12:32 we can see that the Sons of Issachar understood the times, “Of the sons of Issachar, men who understood the times, with knowledge of what Israel should do…” Not only did they understand the times, or season they were in, but they also understood what they were supposed to do. God has given us prophetic insight into what kind of season He has taken the world into— it’s an exciting one at that! We must understand the new kairos moment God is bringing us into, so that we can partner with the grace He’s releasing on the earth!

THERE’S SOMETHING UNUSUAL IN THE AIR

Here’s what I’ve noticed: there have been unusual, against-all-odds-moments across the professional sports, political and religious realms that we can all learn from. For example, on June 19th, 2016 the Cleveland Cavaliers won the NBA Championship in Game Seven. The Cavs came back from a 3-1 deficit to defeat the Golden State Warriors, which had never been done in the history of the NBA! Furthermore, the Warriors set the regular season record for the most games won in a season by winning 73 games. The Warriors’ Stephen Curry made a record 401 3-points shots the same season. So how did the Cavaliers end up beating such an amazing team like the Warriors?

This could be an isolated incident, but it’s not. On February 5th, 2017 the New England Patriots won the Super Bowl, beating the Atlanta Falcons in overtime. No team has ever come back from a 21-point deficit to win a super bowl but the Patriots did! Beyond that, there has never been an overtime game in the history of the Super bowl! There’s something to this!

These unusual occurrences aren’t just happening in the sports world. Nobody predicted that the British would vote themselves out of the EU, but against the odds on June 24th, 2016 England voted to leave the European Union. Once again, this is not an isolated event. 

Let’s take a look at the United States. Donald Trump became president of the U.S. defeating 15 other Republicans candidates for the nominations. He went on to beat Hillary Clinton in the final race for president. There wasn’t a single straw poll that predicted Trump would win. The day of the election he was down in the polls as much as 12 points. But once again against all odds, Trump won 3084 of 3141 counties! 

Whether you voted for Trump or not, the facts are clear that this was unusual and unpredicted. I’m not saying this was a fulfillment of a prophecy, and I’m not endorsing Trump, but I’m simply saying this was a sign of the unusual time we are living in.

In the religious realm we also see breakthrough moments that are outside of our ordinary experiences. 2017 marks the 500th Anniversary of the Protestant Reformation. Last year, Pope Francis declared that Catholics and Protestants are one church in Christ, ending 499 years of division! This year begins a year of unity between the Catholic and Protestant churches! 

Today I want to propose to you that we are in a very special kairos moment, an opportune moment when divine favor is meeting divine opportunity. This is not only a moment for sports, government or church leaders, but it’s a moment for the entire world!

WHAT’S OUR EPOCH SEASON?

I believe that there are three specific things that mark this moment in time:

1) Acceleration – I believe that things that normally take years will happen suddenly. Just as Nehemiah only took 52 days to rebuild the city walls (Nehemiah 6:15), there will be supernatural grace to get things done quickly and even suddenly.

2) Unusual occurrences – I believe that things that never happen will occur against ridiculous odds. Just as we see in 1 Samuel 14:6-15 when the Lord delivered Israel by the hands of two very young men.

3) Supernatural interventions – In this season, there will be things that come about in ways that make no earthly sense. We can see an example of this in Judges 6 and 7, when Gideon defeated a massive army with simple trumpets and breaking of jars.

Could it be that you were born for such a time as this? (Esther 4:13) Today I want to encourage you to align your spirit with what Holy Spirit is doing on the earth! I believe He will show up in your life through acceleration, unusual occurrences and supernatural interventions for the benefit of the world! 

Where do you see yourself in this kairos moment? What is God speaking to you in this moment in time? 

--------------

Kris Vallotton is a prophet with Bethel Church, Redding, California.
Their iBethel.tvwebcasts reach around the world.
Though in California, Redding is considered to be part of the Pacific Northwest, both socially and geologically.


Standard
Prophecy

FOR SUCH A TIME, Kris Vallotton

For Such a Time: Prophetic Insight for 2017

I don’t know about you guys but I’ve been noticing that in the last year or so some very unusual things have happened in the world. Many of these occurrences are unexpected and have got me thinking and praying about the time that we are living in.


In the Bible we can see how God directed specific seasons in time for specific ways He wanted to lead His people. I know God continues to deal with us in the same way today, and I feel a shift in our season. 

The ancient Greeks had two words for time; chronosand kairos. Chronos refers to clock time—time that can be measured in a quantitative way, whether that be in seconds, minutes, hours, and years. 

Kairos, however, is qualitative. It measures moments in time by what they encompass; the right moment, the opportune moment or the perfect moment. I believe that we have just entered one of the most exciting kairos moments in history!

In 1 Chronicles 12:32 we can see that the Sons of Issachar understood the times, “Of the sons of Issachar, men who understood the times, with knowledge of what Israel should do…” Not only did they understand the times, or season they were in, but they also understood what they were supposed to do. God has given us prophetic insight into what kind of season He has taken the world into— it’s an exciting one at that! We must understand the new kairos moment God is bringing us into, so that we can partner with the grace He’s releasing on the earth!

THERE’S SOMETHING UNUSUAL IN THE AIR

Here’s what I’ve noticed: there have been unusual, against-all-odds-moments across the professional sports, political and religious realms that we can all learn from. For example, on June 19th, 2016 the Cleveland Cavaliers won the NBA Championship in Game Seven. The Cavs came back from a 3-1 deficit to defeat the Golden State Warriors, which had never been done in the history of the NBA! Furthermore, the Warriors set the regular season record for the most games won in a season by winning 73 games. The Warriors’ Stephen Curry made a record 401 3-points shots the same season. So how did the Cavaliers end up beating such an amazing team like the Warriors?

This could be an isolated incident, but it’s not. On February 5th, 2017 the New England Patriots won the Super Bowl, beating the Atlanta Falcons in overtime. No team has ever come back from a 21-point deficit to win a super bowl but the Patriots did! Beyond that, there has never been an overtime game in the history of the Super bowl! There’s something to this!

These unusual occurrences aren’t just happening in the sports world. Nobody predicted that the British would vote themselves out of the EU, but against the odds on June 24th, 2016 England voted to leave the European Union. Once again, this is not an isolated event. 

Let’s take a look at the United States. Donald Trump became president of the U.S. defeating 15 other Republicans candidates for the nominations. He went on to beat Hillary Clinton in the final race for president. There wasn’t a single straw poll that predicted Trump would win. The day of the election he was down in the polls as much as 12 points. But once again against all odds, Trump won 3084 of 3141 counties! 

Whether you voted for Trump or not, the facts are clear that this was unusual and unpredicted. I’m not saying this was a fulfillment of a prophecy, and I’m not endorsing Trump, but I’m simply saying this was a sign of the unusual time we are living in.

In the religious realm we also see breakthrough moments that are outside of our ordinary experiences. 2017 marks the 500th Anniversary of the Protestant Reformation. Last year, Pope Francis declared that Catholics and Protestants are one church in Christ, ending 499 years of division! This year begins a year of unity between the Catholic and Protestant churches! 

Today I want to propose to you that we are in a very special kairos moment, an opportune moment when divine favor is meeting divine opportunity. This is not only a moment for sports, government or church leaders, but it’s a moment for the entire world!

WHAT’S OUR EPOCH SEASON?

I believe that there are three specific things that mark this moment in time:

1) Acceleration – I believe that things that normally take years will happen suddenly. Just as Nehemiah only took 52 days to rebuild the city walls (Nehemiah 6:15), there will be supernatural grace to get things done quickly and even suddenly.

2) Unusual occurrences – I believe that things that never happen will occur against ridiculous odds. Just as we see in 1 Samuel 14:6-15 when the Lord delivered Israel by the hands of two very young men.

3) Supernatural interventions – In this season, there will be things that come about in ways that make no earthly sense. We can see an example of this in Judges 6 and 7, when Gideon defeated a massive army with simple trumpets and breaking of jars.

Could it be that you were born for such a time as this? (Esther 4:13) Today I want to encourage you to align your spirit with what Holy Spirit is doing on the earth! I believe He will show up in your life through acceleration, unusual occurrences and supernatural interventions for the benefit of the world! 

Where do you see yourself in this kairos moment? What is God speaking to you in this moment in time? 

--------------

Kris Vallotton is a prophet with Bethel Church, Redding, California.
Their iBethel.tvwebcasts reach around the world.
Though in California, Redding is considered to be part of the Pacific Northwest, both socially and geologically.


Standard
Prophecy

The Dancing Signs of God


Recently, I was walking along under a covered sidewalk in a small town known as a tourist destination. Hanging above my head were signs advertising each business along the sidewalk.  

These signs hung on chains. A sudden breeze began to blow causing all the signs to sway in opposite directions in perfect cadence. It was like someone had reached up and set the signs in motion in opposite directions on cue. This produced the impression that the signs were moving in a precisely choreographed dance sequence.

As I passed under the dancing signs, I turned and looked back. I sensed the Lord say, “I have just set in motion signs that will draw your attention. I will cause a sleeping culture to look up to see my spiritual signs like you just looked up to see the natural signs sway in the wind above your head.  What is coming will cause people to look up beyond the familiar surroundings they have assumed to be the only reality. I am releasing my breath to move the signs that will announce a coming change.”

For a few days after I saw those dancing signs above my head, I carried an unsettled feeling. In retrospect, I realize that unsettledness was not negative. It came from the Spirit asking me to not settle for a shallow interpretation of what I see playing out around me as if it were the only reality.  God can create a new reality as easy as He created the Earth – with just a word or by the breath of His Spirit. 

I am sensing a coming interruption to our status quo. This will happen by the breath of God. When the signs begin to sway look up. These signs will advertise the will of God in clear and simple terms just like the signs that danced above my head that day and pointed me in the direction of a particular business. Heaven is moving and so are the signs announcing a coming shift.

July 2016,
Garris Elkins

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Prophecy

The Dancing Signs of God


Recently, I was walking along under a covered sidewalk in a small town known as a tourist destination. Hanging above my head were signs advertising each business along the sidewalk.  

These signs hung on chains. A sudden breeze began to blow causing all the signs to sway in opposite directions in perfect cadence. It was like someone had reached up and set the signs in motion in opposite directions on cue. This produced the impression that the signs were moving in a precisely choreographed dance sequence.

As I passed under the dancing signs, I turned and looked back. I sensed the Lord say, “I have just set in motion signs that will draw your attention. I will cause a sleeping culture to look up to see my spiritual signs like you just looked up to see the natural signs sway in the wind above your head.  What is coming will cause people to look up beyond the familiar surroundings they have assumed to be the only reality. I am releasing my breath to move the signs that will announce a coming change.”

For a few days after I saw those dancing signs above my head, I carried an unsettled feeling. In retrospect, I realize that unsettledness was not negative. It came from the Spirit asking me to not settle for a shallow interpretation of what I see playing out around me as if it were the only reality.  God can create a new reality as easy as He created the Earth – with just a word or by the breath of His Spirit. 

I am sensing a coming interruption to our status quo. This will happen by the breath of God. When the signs begin to sway look up. These signs will advertise the will of God in clear and simple terms just like the signs that danced above my head that day and pointed me in the direction of a particular business. Heaven is moving and so are the signs announcing a coming shift.

July 2016,
Garris Elkins

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Devotionals, Letters

Reflections On American Political Candidates

Election Thoughts

This has been the strangest presidential election season I can remember, and I remember back to JFK in the 1960s. Fair warning this is going to appear really cynical, but stick with me to the end before you write me off. 

If nothing else, the campaigns of this political season have given us nearly endless material for sardonic memes and twisted humor. But our laughter is mostly sad, not humorous, and it’s without hope.

We can easily find a thousand reasons why Mr Trump is not fully qualified to be Chief Executive of America. And his opponents are right: he really is crass and thoughtless, maniacally egotistical and he lacks any political experience whatsoever.

And just as easily, we can find a thousand reasons why Ms Clinton is not fully qualified to be Chief Executive of the United States. And her adversaries are right: she really is power hungry, committed only to her own aspirations, and she lacks any experience whatsoever other than political experience.

There appear to be a small number of people who are honestly confident supporting one candidate or the other, and there probably are a few more who are so blindly loyal to their ideology that they could not conceive of not voting for the candidate of their favored political party. And I’ve met individuals who are convinced that it’s “God’s will” that whichever candidate they support should defeat the candidate that they demonize, and anyone who disagrees is obviously opposing God.

I find myself considering the two options in terms of which choice is less unthinkable. Would I despise myself less if I voted for Hillary to be my president, or would I forgive myself sooner if I cast my ballot for The Donald to be my president. I can’t decide.

I don’t think that’s a very good way to make decisions anyway: which would I hate myself less for, should I support them? Neither candidate is tolerable from my viewpoint.

Well then. If I don’t vote for the candidate, then perhaps I could vote for one party or the other.

But that doesn’t offer to help much either. One party says they support the business and economic foundation of our country, and that’s a good thing, and they speak about certain moral choices that I’m used to supporting. The other party says they support the social foundation for the country, and that’s a good thing, and they want to help people that can’t help themselves and I'm used to supporting that.

That’s what they say. But when I watch what they do, I observe that there’s not so much difference between the two parties. Both of them seem to have sold out their collective souls for campaign contributions and Political Action Committees. And certainly, both parties have let any opportunity to create actual change slip through their fingers, as they have both of them lined their own pockets, secured their own retirements, and exempted themselves from the rules they demand everyone else shall live under.

Worse, both parties in our two-party political system appear to be on somebody’s payroll, and it looks to me like they’re on the same somebody’s payroll. And if I look closely, it appears that this real power behind them, if I were judging by what their handsomely-paid minions actually accomplish, that someone seems to hate my country and despise my faith.

So I can’t, in clear conscience, vote for either party. More specifically, were I to vote for either party, for either candidate, it seems to me that I’d be completely wasting my vote. The “powers that be” would accomplish their own agenda, regardless of who sat in the oval office and took their orders.

Maybe I’ve been gazing into Heaven for too long, but the “halls of power” of this earth sure look pitiful and powerless to me recently. And it dawns on me that our electoral process serves the same purpose in our generation that the Coliseum served in Rome’s day: cheap entertainment for the masses, keeping them distracted from the real issues in the country, in the world.

All of this has led me to this strange thought: If casting my vote for Donald or Hillary is a wasted vote, a meaningless gesture, then is there something that I can do with my vote that is not a waste, that is instead meaningful?

When you begin to think outside the box, all sorts of opportunities begin to show themselves.

Here are some of my thoughts about what I could do instead of investing myself in a political process that revolves around choosing the less despicable of two despicable candidates for a increasingly powerless position. (Note that I am not saying that the presidency is “powerless,” merely that is it has less real power, less ability to effect real change, than it used to have.)

·         I could decide not to participate in the political charade at all, choosing to invest my time, money and energy into something useful. Perhaps I could pray, not so much for “my candidate” to win, but for the values of the Kingdom (love, for example, or humility) to be present in those who lead my nation or yours.

·         I might choose not to participate in the political process at all, choosing instead to invest that time, money and energy into something that brings peace, rather than supporting tension, division and outrage. Perhaps I could plant a garden, or begin volunteering at the food bank, or take a vacation, or teach someone to read, or sit with my family in the evenings. Maybe I could write a story or make pottery or just dig a hole and fill it back up again.

·         I could participate in the political process, but do it in a new and different way. Perhaps I could cast my vote for candidates not affiliated with the two main parties: it’s time we were done with the two-party system anyway. There are competent candidates from the Libertarian party and the Green party. Maybe it’s time to vote for them, since my vote would be meaningless if I squandered it on Donald or Hillary anyway.

·         I could ignore the national political scene altogether, and invest myself in my city’s government, or police force, or port commission or fire department or school board. Instead of being a tiny voice among millions of tiny voices shouting in favor of the despicable candidate or the unconscionable candidate, maybe I could be a real voice, maybe one that has a chance to actually get heard, in a much smaller and infinitely less-glamorous arena in my own neighborhood.

·         Instead of giving donations to candidates or committees or other political tomfoolery, perhaps I could give my money, and maybe even (gasp!) my time, to the local street mission, or to foreign missions, or to that business that’s trying to create jobs for the otherwise unemployable members of our society. 

·         Instead of participating in the time-honored tradition of blindly defending my candidate and pouring out my outrage on their opponent, perhaps I could choose to invest in words that heal, words that encourage. These could be distributed anywhere: public transportation, local businesses, local government. Some of these places – some of these people – haven’t heard a real “voice of reason” for longer than they can remember. Maybe I can be that voice of reason, or maybe I can aspire to be a voice of encouragement and hope.


I’m interested in your opinion – certainly not your opinion about candidates – but about how you could defy “the system,” how you could get out of “the box” and do something meaningful. 

The best part of the conversation will be on Facebook. Come join in.
Standard
Devotionals, Letters

Reflections On American Political Candidates

Election Thoughts

This has been the strangest presidential election season I can remember, and I remember back to JFK in the 1960s. Fair warning this is going to appear really cynical, but stick with me to the end before you write me off. 

If nothing else, the campaigns of this political season have given us nearly endless material for sardonic memes and twisted humor. But our laughter is mostly sad, not humorous, and it’s without hope.

We can easily find a thousand reasons why Mr Trump is not fully qualified to be Chief Executive of America. And his opponents are right: he really is crass and thoughtless, maniacally egotistical and he lacks any political experience whatsoever.

And just as easily, we can find a thousand reasons why Ms Clinton is not fully qualified to be Chief Executive of the United States. And her adversaries are right: she really is power hungry, committed only to her own aspirations, and she lacks any experience whatsoever other than political experience.

There appear to be a small number of people who are honestly confident supporting one candidate or the other, and there probably are a few more who are so blindly loyal to their ideology that they could not conceive of not voting for the candidate of their favored political party. And I’ve met individuals who are convinced that it’s “God’s will” that whichever candidate they support should defeat the candidate that they demonize, and anyone who disagrees is obviously opposing God.

I find myself considering the two options in terms of which choice is less unthinkable. Would I despise myself less if I voted for Hillary to be my president, or would I forgive myself sooner if I cast my ballot for The Donald to be my president. I can’t decide.

I don’t think that’s a very good way to make decisions anyway: which would I hate myself less for, should I support them? Neither candidate is tolerable from my viewpoint.

Well then. If I don’t vote for the candidate, then perhaps I could vote for one party or the other.

But that doesn’t offer to help much either. One party says they support the business and economic foundation of our country, and that’s a good thing, and they speak about certain moral choices that I’m used to supporting. The other party says they support the social foundation for the country, and that’s a good thing, and they want to help people that can’t help themselves and I'm used to supporting that.

That’s what they say. But when I watch what they do, I observe that there’s not so much difference between the two parties. Both of them seem to have sold out their collective souls for campaign contributions and Political Action Committees. And certainly, both parties have let any opportunity to create actual change slip through their fingers, as they have both of them lined their own pockets, secured their own retirements, and exempted themselves from the rules they demand everyone else shall live under.

Worse, both parties in our two-party political system appear to be on somebody’s payroll, and it looks to me like they’re on the same somebody’s payroll. And if I look closely, it appears that this real power behind them, if I were judging by what their handsomely-paid minions actually accomplish, that someone seems to hate my country and despise my faith.

So I can’t, in clear conscience, vote for either party. More specifically, were I to vote for either party, for either candidate, it seems to me that I’d be completely wasting my vote. The “powers that be” would accomplish their own agenda, regardless of who sat in the oval office and took their orders.

Maybe I’ve been gazing into Heaven for too long, but the “halls of power” of this earth sure look pitiful and powerless to me recently. And it dawns on me that our electoral process serves the same purpose in our generation that the Coliseum served in Rome’s day: cheap entertainment for the masses, keeping them distracted from the real issues in the country, in the world.

All of this has led me to this strange thought: If casting my vote for Donald or Hillary is a wasted vote, a meaningless gesture, then is there something that I can do with my vote that is not a waste, that is instead meaningful?

When you begin to think outside the box, all sorts of opportunities begin to show themselves.

Here are some of my thoughts about what I could do instead of investing myself in a political process that revolves around choosing the less despicable of two despicable candidates for a increasingly powerless position. (Note that I am not saying that the presidency is “powerless,” merely that is it has less real power, less ability to effect real change, than it used to have.)

·         I could decide not to participate in the political charade at all, choosing to invest my time, money and energy into something useful. Perhaps I could pray, not so much for “my candidate” to win, but for the values of the Kingdom (love, for example, or humility) to be present in those who lead my nation or yours.

·         I might choose not to participate in the political process at all, choosing instead to invest that time, money and energy into something that brings peace, rather than supporting tension, division and outrage. Perhaps I could plant a garden, or begin volunteering at the food bank, or take a vacation, or teach someone to read, or sit with my family in the evenings. Maybe I could write a story or make pottery or just dig a hole and fill it back up again.

·         I could participate in the political process, but do it in a new and different way. Perhaps I could cast my vote for candidates not affiliated with the two main parties: it’s time we were done with the two-party system anyway. There are competent candidates from the Libertarian party and the Green party. Maybe it’s time to vote for them, since my vote would be meaningless if I squandered it on Donald or Hillary anyway.

·         I could ignore the national political scene altogether, and invest myself in my city’s government, or police force, or port commission or fire department or school board. Instead of being a tiny voice among millions of tiny voices shouting in favor of the despicable candidate or the unconscionable candidate, maybe I could be a real voice, maybe one that has a chance to actually get heard, in a much smaller and infinitely less-glamorous arena in my own neighborhood.

·         Instead of giving donations to candidates or committees or other political tomfoolery, perhaps I could give my money, and maybe even (gasp!) my time, to the local street mission, or to foreign missions, or to that business that’s trying to create jobs for the otherwise unemployable members of our society. 

·         Instead of participating in the time-honored tradition of blindly defending my candidate and pouring out my outrage on their opponent, perhaps I could choose to invest in words that heal, words that encourage. These could be distributed anywhere: public transportation, local businesses, local government. Some of these places – some of these people – haven’t heard a real “voice of reason” for longer than they can remember. Maybe I can be that voice of reason, or maybe I can aspire to be a voice of encouragement and hope.


I’m interested in your opinion – certainly not your opinion about candidates – but about how you could defy “the system,” how you could get out of “the box” and do something meaningful. 

The best part of the conversation will be on Facebook. Come join in.
Standard
Devotionals, Letters

The Fighter’s Regrets

Have you ever woken up with a song floating through the fog in your mind? Sometimes I think that’s just an echo of a dream or a memory, particularly if it’s a song I’ve heard or sung recently.

How about a song from your ancient history in your mind as you woke? I actually pay more attention to these; there’s less chance that it’s just my subconscious expressing itself.

I’d like to share one of these with you. You may find the process interesting, but I believe the lesson might apply to several of us.

Recently, I woke up with a song from my youth playing in my mind, and trust me, that’s from a long time ago. The song had nothing to do with the dream as far as I could tell, and I could only remember snippets of it – really only one phrase.

But that phrase kept replaying in my mind: that caught my attention. And as it replayed, my memory of the lyrics grew. This also suggested to me that this might be from God. So I spoke with Father about it, acknowledging that I thought he might be up to something; I asked for insight, and I paid attention as the memory of the song replayed and expanded in my mind.


Some themes began to stand out in the lyrics that kept playing in my memory. One of them definitely seemed to have the fragrance of my Father about it, so I meditated on that one. That is, I thought about it; I let it roll around in my mind to see what might come from it.

When my mind began to warm up (you know, I really appreciate the fact that God invented coffee!), I fired up Google and looked into it a bit more. And I realized that even after my memory had been playing it back for an hour or two, I had remembered only one verse out of five; the rest hadn’t come back to me, though those verses had actually been more important to me when the song was new.

Here’s the song: https://youtu.be/MYPJOCxSUFc. It’s called The Boxer, by Simon & Garfunkel. It was the last verse alone that spoke to me through the morning fog:

In the clearing stands a boxer
And a fighter by his trade
And he carries the reminders
Of every glove that laid him down
And cut him till he cried out
In his anger and his shame
“I am leaving, I am leaving”
But the fighter still remains*

This verse had literally never made sense to me, but suddenly, there was a message in it for me.

It speaks to me, but I’d like to share it with you, because I suspect it might speak to other, too, and maybe that includes you.

I confess: I’m a man of fairly strong conviction. I stand up for those convictions, and it’s not inappropriate to say that I fight to maintain them. If I believe something to be true, I’ll fight to defend it.

Father gently pointed out that I, too, carry reminders of those fights, reminders, I suppose, every glove that laid me down or cut me till I cried out. I’ve paid a price to defend my convictions. Like the fighter in the song, the price has been paid in several areas of my life: in my memories, in my body carrying the stress, in the solitude that comes from having lost relationships.

Then he drew my attention to the fighter’s vow, and that I’ve made vows like that as well: “I am leaving, I am leaving” but I don’t leave. I remain. I still defend my beliefs, my convictions, and I’m still laid down and cut up sometimes. I’m still wounded from the fights that I am convinced are right and good. And they still bring the fruits of “anger and shame” into my life, just like they did in his.

(Didn’t someone say “You shall know them by their fruit”?  Hmmm....)

This is something that’s come partly from my character (I believe that standing up for “what is true” is important), partly from my youth (I was taught that truth is important and should be stood up for).

But this fight may have been fanned into the biggest flame from my years in Bible-believing churches. “This is what I believe to be true, so I must defend it at all costs.” We teach that, we believe that, in many evangelical churches, and while we defend different truths in denominational churches, we still defend them vigorously.

Think about how Christians respond when a movie comes that we don’t like out (remember Russell Crowe’s Noah?). Consider how Christians respond to “The Homosexual Agenda” or to political candidates, or to the abortion issue.

We’re taught to fight. And we do fight. Vigorously.

And let’s be honest. We don’t win these fights. Hollywood’s marketing now counts on “Christian outrage” as a publicity tool for their controversial movies, and they’re always right. Christians have not affected “The Homosexual Agenda” that we’ve stood against, abortion is still a very big business, and we’ve never once had an Evangelical believer in the Whitehouse, despite our fights on those issues.

The world knows: Christians are fighters. They don’t win, but they sure will fight. Behold how much they fight.

Father hasn’t been talking to me at this time about the issues in themselves. He’s only been using them to illustrate the fight, to illustrate the blows and the cuts that so many of us have taken in the fights.

Then he drew my attention to the refrain:

“Lie-la-lie. Lie-la-lie-lie-lie-lie-lie, Lie-la-lie
Lie-la-lie-lie-lie-lie-lie, lie-lie-lie-lie-lie.”*

Oh my. It’s right there. I’ve sung this haunting refrain with Paul Simon and Art Garfunkel, and I never saw it: there’s a lie here, and the refrain rubs my nose in it. That’s a lie, lie lie!

There’s perhaps some room for discussing what the lie is. The song itself identifies one:

“He cried out
In his anger and his shame
“I am leaving, I am leaving”
But the fighter still remains.”*

And I’ve done that. I’ve declared that I’m quitting this fight. But I haven’t really done it. I’ve lied. I’ve gotten tired of being beaten up, tired of the anger, tired of the shame, and I’ve tried to quit the fight. And I’ve failed.

As Father comforted me in this, I realized that for a fighter, the fight is a choice. It’s an option, but only one of several options. I don’t actually need to fight.

As he held me and murmured his love for me, I realized that these are not fights that have helped me, or have helped the Kingdom, not even a little bit.

I occasionally have “won” a fight, but what was the result? Maybe I could say I won, that I defeated someone who believed differently. So what? Now they’ve been defeated, now they’re wounded, too. And now they resent me, and worse they resent my message, and they resent the truth that I fought for.

You know, I don’t think anybody’s ever been bullied into receiving the truth, have they? Oh, sure, we’ve bullied people into actinglike they know the truth, but that’s just equipping them for hypocrisy. That’s not a win, not really, not for anybody.

For myself, I’m going to reflect on this for a while. I’m wondering if I might actually defend my beliefs better by walking them out than I would by fighting for them. I don’t know. I’ll think about it.

I may not need to be a fighter, alone in the clearing. I may not need to be laid down, cut open. I may not need to subject myself to the anger and shame.

The Kingdom is not about any of this, is it?

Lie la lie….

----

* From "The Boxer," by the American music duo Simon & Garfunkel from their fifth studio albumBridge over Troubled Water (1970) ©1969
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Devotionals, Letters

The Fighter’s Regrets

Have you ever woken up with a song floating through the fog in your mind? Sometimes I think that’s just an echo of a dream or a memory, particularly if it’s a song I’ve heard or sung recently.

How about a song from your ancient history in your mind as you woke? I actually pay more attention to these; there’s less chance that it’s just my subconscious expressing itself.

I’d like to share one of these with you. You may find the process interesting, but I believe the lesson might apply to several of us.

Recently, I woke up with a song from my youth playing in my mind, and trust me, that’s from a long time ago. The song had nothing to do with the dream as far as I could tell, and I could only remember snippets of it – really only one phrase.

But that phrase kept replaying in my mind: that caught my attention. And as it replayed, my memory of the lyrics grew. This also suggested to me that this might be from God. So I spoke with Father about it, acknowledging that I thought he might be up to something; I asked for insight, and I paid attention as the memory of the song replayed and expanded in my mind.


Some themes began to stand out in the lyrics that kept playing in my memory. One of them definitely seemed to have the fragrance of my Father about it, so I meditated on that one. That is, I thought about it; I let it roll around in my mind to see what might come from it.

When my mind began to warm up (you know, I really appreciate the fact that God invented coffee!), I fired up Google and looked into it a bit more. And I realized that even after my memory had been playing it back for an hour or two, I had remembered only one verse out of five; the rest hadn’t come back to me, though those verses had actually been more important to me when the song was new.

Here’s the song: https://youtu.be/MYPJOCxSUFc. It’s called The Boxer, by Simon & Garfunkel. It was the last verse alone that spoke to me through the morning fog:

In the clearing stands a boxer
And a fighter by his trade
And he carries the reminders
Of every glove that laid him down
And cut him till he cried out
In his anger and his shame
“I am leaving, I am leaving”
But the fighter still remains*

This verse had literally never made sense to me, but suddenly, there was a message in it for me.

It speaks to me, but I’d like to share it with you, because I suspect it might speak to other, too, and maybe that includes you.

I confess: I’m a man of fairly strong conviction. I stand up for those convictions, and it’s not inappropriate to say that I fight to maintain them. If I believe something to be true, I’ll fight to defend it.

Father gently pointed out that I, too, carry reminders of those fights, reminders, I suppose, every glove that laid me down or cut me till I cried out. I’ve paid a price to defend my convictions. Like the fighter in the song, the price has been paid in several areas of my life: in my memories, in my body carrying the stress, in the solitude that comes from having lost relationships.

Then he drew my attention to the fighter’s vow, and that I’ve made vows like that as well: “I am leaving, I am leaving” but I don’t leave. I remain. I still defend my beliefs, my convictions, and I’m still laid down and cut up sometimes. I’m still wounded from the fights that I am convinced are right and good. And they still bring the fruits of “anger and shame” into my life, just like they did in his.

(Didn’t someone say “You shall know them by their fruit”?  Hmmm....)

This is something that’s come partly from my character (I believe that standing up for “what is true” is important), partly from my youth (I was taught that truth is important and should be stood up for).

But this fight may have been fanned into the biggest flame from my years in Bible-believing churches. “This is what I believe to be true, so I must defend it at all costs.” We teach that, we believe that, in many evangelical churches, and while we defend different truths in denominational churches, we still defend them vigorously.

Think about how Christians respond when a movie comes that we don’t like out (remember Russell Crowe’s Noah?). Consider how Christians respond to “The Homosexual Agenda” or to political candidates, or to the abortion issue.

We’re taught to fight. And we do fight. Vigorously.

And let’s be honest. We don’t win these fights. Hollywood’s marketing now counts on “Christian outrage” as a publicity tool for their controversial movies, and they’re always right. Christians have not affected “The Homosexual Agenda” that we’ve stood against, abortion is still a very big business, and we’ve never once had an Evangelical believer in the Whitehouse, despite our fights on those issues.

The world knows: Christians are fighters. They don’t win, but they sure will fight. Behold how much they fight.

Father hasn’t been talking to me at this time about the issues in themselves. He’s only been using them to illustrate the fight, to illustrate the blows and the cuts that so many of us have taken in the fights.

Then he drew my attention to the refrain:

“Lie-la-lie. Lie-la-lie-lie-lie-lie-lie, Lie-la-lie
Lie-la-lie-lie-lie-lie-lie, lie-lie-lie-lie-lie.”*

Oh my. It’s right there. I’ve sung this haunting refrain with Paul Simon and Art Garfunkel, and I never saw it: there’s a lie here, and the refrain rubs my nose in it. That’s a lie, lie lie!

There’s perhaps some room for discussing what the lie is. The song itself identifies one:

“He cried out
In his anger and his shame
“I am leaving, I am leaving”
But the fighter still remains.”*

And I’ve done that. I’ve declared that I’m quitting this fight. But I haven’t really done it. I’ve lied. I’ve gotten tired of being beaten up, tired of the anger, tired of the shame, and I’ve tried to quit the fight. And I’ve failed.

As Father comforted me in this, I realized that for a fighter, the fight is a choice. It’s an option, but only one of several options. I don’t actually need to fight.

As he held me and murmured his love for me, I realized that these are not fights that have helped me, or have helped the Kingdom, not even a little bit.

I occasionally have “won” a fight, but what was the result? Maybe I could say I won, that I defeated someone who believed differently. So what? Now they’ve been defeated, now they’re wounded, too. And now they resent me, and worse they resent my message, and they resent the truth that I fought for.

You know, I don’t think anybody’s ever been bullied into receiving the truth, have they? Oh, sure, we’ve bullied people into actinglike they know the truth, but that’s just equipping them for hypocrisy. That’s not a win, not really, not for anybody.

For myself, I’m going to reflect on this for a while. I’m wondering if I might actually defend my beliefs better by walking them out than I would by fighting for them. I don’t know. I’ll think about it.

I may not need to be a fighter, alone in the clearing. I may not need to be laid down, cut open. I may not need to subject myself to the anger and shame.

The Kingdom is not about any of this, is it?

Lie la lie….

----

* From "The Boxer," by the American music duo Simon & Garfunkel from their fifth studio albumBridge over Troubled Water (1970) ©1969
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Devotionals, Letters

Maximize Your Strengths

We all have strengths. It's more effective to make maximum use of our strengths rather than trying to turn weakness into strength.

There's a line of thinking in the western education system that has also influenced the western church that says if we're not good at something (say, math), then we need to develop our skills at math until it's one of our strengths, which necessarily means we don't work at our developing the areas that are already our strengths (say, writing), so they don't develop so much.

We tend to think that it’s best to be a pastor or a teacher, because that’s what we see modeled. But if that isn’t you, then you have a choice: either try to fake it, or be who you really are, even if it’s something that isn’t as well recognized.

Exercise your strengths.
Consider the Seattle Seahawks. Applying that line thinking would teach us that quarterback Russell Wilson needs to learn how to block a blitz from 275 pound linebackers, that defensive corner Richard Sherman needs to learn to learn how to function as a quietly confident offensive lineman, or that “Beast Mode” Marshawn Lynch, the best running back in the league, needs to develop his public media and publicity skills, and stop focusing so much on running the football.

That’s pretty ridiculous, isn’t it?

What took the Seahawks to the Superbowl twice recently was each member recognizing that they have a gift that is different that others' gifts, and each member developing their strength, and trusting others' strengths in places where they are not strong.

You've seen how Marshawn treasures his offensive linemen? He buys them gifts, sometimes expensive gifts, because they do very well what he cannot, and it makes the way for him to do (very well!) what they cannot.

Yeah, that's how it works. We don’t ignore the gifts we don’t have, but neither do we focus on them. It’s absolute foolishness to ignore the gift that God has given us in order to develop what someone thinks is a more important gift.

Don't be a copycat.
It never works, anyway.
If the gift is from Holy Spirit, it’s as valuable as He is (that’s kind of a big deal). If the gift is from skill or practice or sheer determination, instead of from the Holy Spirit, then it qualifies as “wood, hay or stubble,” and it will make a nice bonfire in the day or reckoning.

I’ve got more important things to do than prepare for Heaven’s bonfire. So do you.

Use the gifts God has given you, even if you don’t know another soul with those gifts. Be you! God doesn’t need copycats.

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Prophecy

Maximize Your Strengths

We all have strengths. It’s more effective to make maximum use of our strengths rather than trying to turn weakness into strength.

There’s a line of thinking in the western education system that has also influenced the western church that says if we’re not good at something (say, math), then we need to develop our skills at math until it’s one of our strengths, which necessarily means we don’t work at our developing the areas that are already our strengths (say, writing), so they don’t develop so much.

We tend to think that it’s best to be a pastor or a teacher, because that’s what we see modeled. But if that isn’t you, then you have a choice: either try to fake it, or be who you really are, even if it’s something that isn’t as well recognized.

Exercise your strengths.

Consider the Seattle Seahawks. Applying that line thinking would teach us that quarterback Russell Wilson needs to learn how to block a blitz from 275 pound linebackers, that defensive corner Richard Sherman needs to learn to learn how to function as a quietly confident offensive lineman, or that “Beast Mode” Marshawn Lynch, the best running back in the league, needs to develop his public media and publicity skills, and stop focusing so much on running the football.

That’s pretty ridiculous, isn’t it?

What took the Seahawks to the Superbowl twice recently was each member recognizing that they have a gift that is different that others’ gifts, and each member developing their strength, and trusting others’ strengths in places where they are not strong.

You’ve seen how Marshawn treasures his offensive linemen? He buys them gifts, sometimes expensive gifts, because they do very well what he cannot, and it makes the way for him to do (very well!) what they cannot.

Yeah, that’s how it works. We don’t ignore the gifts we don’t have, but neither do we focus on them. It’s absolute foolishness to ignore the gift that God has given us in order to develop what someone thinks is a more important gift.

Don’t be a copycat.
It never works, anyway.

If the gift is from Holy Spirit, it’s as valuable as He is (that’s kind of a big deal). If the gift is from skill or practice or sheer determination, instead of from the Holy Spirit, then it qualifies as “wood, hay or stubble,” and it will make a nice bonfire in the day or reckoning.

I’ve got more important things to do than prepare for Heaven’s bonfire. So do you.

Use the gifts God has given you, even if you don’t know another soul with those gifts. Be you! God doesn’t need copycats.

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