Monthly Archives: February 2012

When prophetic words go wrong….

Earlier this month, I posted on an encounter I had with the Holy Spirit in January, which — among other things — involved prophetic words delivered to me by a number of individuals.  A few comments — and a few private notes to me on the subject — prompted me to consider writing about “Why prophetic words aren’t always fulfilled.”  As I formed the post in my mind, I thought, “I’ll have Kathy look it over before I post it.”  Then, I had a better idea.  Why not just ask Kathy to write it in the first place???

Kathy Beal heads up the thriving and active prophetic ministry at our church, Vineyard Phoenix.  She also leads and teaches with the International Prophetic Community.  She has a lovely, insightful blog at Wisdom Town.  I have known Kathy for nearly 20 years, and have considered her an inspiration, a teacher, a mentor, and a precious friend.  I am confident that, no matter your interest level in the prophetic, you will find something of value in this thoughtful, wise post.

Prophetic Unfulfillment
by Kathy Beal

What a delightful opportunity to address the question of why some prophetic words go (seemingly) unfulfilled. I’ve participated in a prophetic ministry for over twenty five years, and have carried responsibility for training others in the prophetic both in my local church and in other nations. Suffice it to say, I’ve talked to a LOT of people about this question. Through all the years, in all the locations, I find the problem usually boils down to one of the following areas:

Who gave the prophetic word? Personally, I would just not open my spirit to receive a prophetic word from someone who is not planted in a local church. I want to know that any person “prophesying” to me is well known in their local church and that their ministry is under the covering of a Godly pastor. I would go so far as to ask: Who can I talk to about your ministry? Who holds you accountable for accuracy and character? If they can’t answer this, with accompanying names/church location/contact information, then I’m not integrating the prophetic word into my life. If it does contain some accuracy, I may note it. I may share it with my own pastoral covering, for their input. I may wait for confirmation from the Lord. But I won’t be holding my breath. If you receive a prophetic word from an untested, “wild card” of a person, don’t be surprised if it goes unfulfilled.

It is just the simple truth that some folks believe they have a prophetic “anointing” because they can flatter people well. They can garner a little attention, get a little following, and feed their egos through manipulating people. It is a wise thing to discern true spiritual authority, humble character and pure motive from such “players.” You will protect yourself from much harm.

Discerning the soul from the spirit: The truth is, all of us can get worked up in our emotions. I’ve talked to so many people who became ensnared by their own immature desire for something. Sometimes it is a “thing” – i.e., a person, position, provision, etc., Sometimes it is the timing of the fulfillment of that desire. When we want something really badly, we tend to exchange “wishing” for the truth. It goes something like this:

“I really wanted to get married, and that guy prophesied to me that it would happen in the next year. So when it didn’t I stopped believing that God cares about how lonely I am.”

“And why did you believe that you could trust the timing part of that prophetic word?”

“I don’t know. Didn’t the guy prophesy from God?”

“Was there any confirmation from any pastor, or any spiritually mature person who is involved in your life and caring for your spiritual health?”

“No.”

“So how do you know if that was really a word from God?”

“Well – it was what I really, really wanted.”

There is something I call “magic fairy dust” – and it is the enemy of a true prophetic word.

Prophecy is hearing the mind and heart of Jesus for a particular situation, and speaking what we hear. Prophecy is not discerning a need, and tickling a person’s ear with the promise that the need will be met in a particular way, or in a particular time. In our relationship with a Savior who fervently loves us, is ardently desirous of meeting our needs in His timing, in His resource, and in a method which includes character development and cementing our dependence on Him – there is no magic fairy dust. There is nothing we can sprinkle on each other that, when it lands on our eager hands and sparkles in the moment, transfers – poof – a trial, longing, or need into a fairy tale solution. It just doesn’t work that way.

Jesus offers us the Truth. He is the Truth. It is in HIM that we get the (sometimes painful, difficult, challenging) truth that sets us free.

We want relief. He wants maturity.

Sometimes, a prophetic word evaporates in the harsh light of day. Why? Because it was never a true prophetic word in the first place. It was something else.

How do we discern the difference? Here are a few questions to ask:

  1. Did the prophecy cause me to focus on Jesus, the word itself, or the giver?
  2. Did the prophecy pass the test of time? Did time prove its accuracy?
  3. Did the prophecy cause a desire to rise up in me for the character response required to see the thing fulfilled? Or, was it delivered as a simple “just sit back honey, and wait to see your dreams come true.”
  4. Have I been giving my due diligence to seek after God? Do I seek Him with all my heart? Do I spend regular time seeking to deeply understand His Scripture, and how I can live it out obediently?
  5. Is there ongoing sin in my life about which I’m unwilling to repent? Anything I refuse to give up? Something I know God asks me not to do in His Word – but I don’t want to think about it? Truthfully, am I opening a door to the enemy, to his deception? If so – I may very well welcome a soulish word.
  6. Did the person usurp my own, or another’s authority? Is their motive clear? Are they, and am I, willing to be accountable for how the word was given, and received? Is Godly authority involved in this process?

If we go back to our example above, it would be wise to carefully, lovingly ask the still-single person something like:

 “What have you been doing to demonstrate faithfulness to God for what He currently has on your plate? How about that anger issue your pastor has been trying to help you with? Is there progress?”

It’s very, very possible that God is holding back the marriage partner because He knows that the still-single’s anger problem would destroy the desired marriage. Honestly, the loving, truthful input of a Godly friend is more useful to God’s purposes in our example’s life than a super-“spiritual” unknown “prophet.” We can prophesy to one another, humbly, truthfully…and remove mountains.

Scripture teaches us time and again to walk after the Spirit, not the flesh. We are to stand in the counsel of God, to seek His face, to listen to His voice, to pray continually…. To skimp on these things opens the door to the flesh, and to the enemy’s influence in our ministries. Too many people have been deeply hurt by spiritual laziness that led to false prophecies.

It’s often about time. I’ve learned that God loves to use time. Time is not God’s enemy; it is His friend. With time, God can test our faith, arrange circumstances so that He ensures the most glory for Himself, grow and mature character in us, deepen our patience, fill the gap between longing and fulfillment with His own Presence, and tie up details with a bow. Sometimes, a prophetic word was indeed the heart and mind of Jesus for a particular situation, but time has not yet proven its accuracy. If you surrender the thing to God, act on the character issues required, and stand fast in prayer – time is on your side. Rest in Him while you continue to wait on Him.

Invitation and not pronouncement. Prophecies are invitations from God, and not, necessarily, pronouncements. Many times I’ve seen God call something out in a human heart that the human had never (or only lightly) considered. Those people that responded to the word with faith – the kind of faith that invested with “watering the seed” – enjoyed the fruit of that word, in time.

People that don’t respond with faith and obedience don’t reap fulfillment.

If we don’t apply ourselves with the character requirements, accountability, faith and obedience God requires…then we can say “it was not an accurate word” – but we may discover the problem was with us, not the word.

Relationship is required for trustworthy revelation. Jesus prioritized relationship with Him. See Him first, and then trust Him to release the right revelation, at the right time, through servants (or methods) He chooses. The prophetic “package” includes revelation, interpretation, and application. Revelation is what He releases (through His servants, through dreams, through that “inner knowing”, through His Word…), interpretation is how we are to understand what we hear, and application is what we do with what we hear. In our local ministry, we are very firm about keeping all revelation under authority. Why? Because you need the protective measures of loving authority, and caring community around you to properly walk out a prophetic package. You may receive revelation, but you interpret it incorrectly. And/or, you may apply it clumsily. Every single one of us is most in danger when we abandon the healthy accountability of the local church and its accompanying Godly relationships. Accurate, life building prophetic ministry requires relationship first with the Shepherd of our souls, and secondly, with those who bow the knee to Him. We need people around us who have paid the price for wisdom and counsel so they can help us interpret and apply revelation in our particular circumstances. God designed it this way. Lone wolves are unhealthy, vulnerable wolves.

There is nothing more helpful than to walk through life in the company of a group of people who pursue God with all their hearts. When committed to such a group of people, we can rest assured that whatever revelation comes our way, the collective love and discernment of God’s friends will help us see truth from falsehood. We can trust that they will speak the truth we need to hear, help us with faith and obedience responses, call out growth in Christ-like character and provide the protection we need.

It is only in living our lives in humility, transparency, accountability, and submission in a healthy local church that we can accurately discern whether prophetic words given to us are truly from the heart and mind of Jesus, for us, in this particular situation.

There is no “easy” answer for testing prophetic words. It takes the whole package: God’s presence, His Word, and His church to discern the real deal from falsehood. The rewards are very much worth it. So much so, I wouldn’t choose any other way.

 

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Things I’ve learned about composting

  1. This morning, as I turned over the contents of my compost bins, I thought, “Composting really isn’t for the faint of heart.”  You really have to be the sort who gets all warm and fuzzy over:  Internal heat (which means that the contents are decomposing), mold (ditto), and bugs — but the right kind of bugs.  Fruit flies and roaches are troublesome.  Armadillidiidae aren’t.  Seriously, it makes me grin when I diiiiiiiiiigggg my pitchfork in, and with the application of some shoulder muscles, and some hope that the tines won’t un-attach — again — I turn over some compost, and that good, earthy, rich dirt smell wafts up, and I see a healthy mixture of moist, dark brown almost-soil, with last week’s avocado peels, a hundred crushed egg shells, and last week’s now-moulding grass clippings mixed in.
  2. Plus, this one is made in England, which is much farmier than the Arizona desert. An English pitchfork. Dreamy.

    It’s a true garden nerd who dreams of a better pitchfork.  I need one like the one on the right, where the tines are attached through the shaft of the pitchfork.  Mine is forever coming apart;  it just wasn’t made all that well, which is a shame.  But, the reason I have mine, and not the beauty on the right is because that tool is $93 + shipping.  I think mine cost less than $30 at Home Depot.  My hubby just gave me $100 from a bonus he received…  I’m thinking I might just buy a better pitchfork.  Maybe this one.

  3. One needs at least two composting bins.  I’m thinking about getting a third, actually.  Once a bin is full, you have to keep tending to it — turning the contents over, watering as necessary — until it’s ready, without adding new material.  So, what do you do with all your yard trimmings and carrot tops and onion skins??  Add them to the second bin.  And what do you do if your second bin is near-full?  That’s why I’m considering a third bin.
  4. I mentioned this before, but the $5 compost bins, which are really repurposed City of Phoenix trash bins have got to be the steal of the century.  I walked by the $99 compost tumbler at Costco a couple of nights ago and internally gloated.
  5. Composting instructions, no matter the source, always instruct the newbie composter about the importance of the proper level of moisture.  However, it has taken me the last year+ to really figure out the balance.  Too dry:  Things just sit, and don’t rot.  Too wet:  Things just sit, and don’t rot.  Also, one needs to turn the compost over to mix in new material and to (I think) introduce oxygen.  However, if you turn the compost over too soon, it interrupts the heat-generating composting process, and slows everything down.  I’ve found that I need to water and turn about every five days in the hot months, and about every eight-ten days in the winter.  And… you need a balance of “brown” to “green” compost materials.  Too much “green” (like kitchen veggie trimmings) and the compost attracts flies and starts to stink.  Too much “brown” (like shredded newspaper or dried leaves) and there’s not enough fuel for the composting process.
  6. Like all other lessons learned in the garden, lessons from composting are slow.  I mean, when you see the error of your ways, it’s an error that’s been several weeks in the making, then the correction takes several weeks to have its effect.  Then, the next time, you’re a little faster on the uptake.  Hopefully.  🙂
  7. My fruit fly trap is now even more low-tech.  (I made it when my ill-managed compost bins attracted too many fruit flies, which were finding their way into the house.)  I have taken out the funnel, and am now left with a jelly jar about 1/3 full of apple cider vinegar with a small squirt of dish soap in it.  It turns out that fruit flies don’t need the funnel.  The trap makes my kitchen smell faintly of ACV, but I’m OK with that, especially when fruit flies are now non-existent in my home, except for dead ones.  The idea of it is a little gross:  On my countertop is a jar of swill and dead flies.  If I were crafty and inventive, I’d come up with an attractive cover for it.  Maybe I’ll just put my five-year-old on it.  Hmm…
  8. The fruit fly trap was so successful, I thought, “I wonder if I could catch the flies outside, before they decide to visit my kitchen??”  So, I got a quart jar, filled it about 1/4 full of water, another 1/4 full of apple cider vinegar, added a squirt of dish soap, and placed it atop a five-gallon bucket, between the compost bins, outside.  Within an hour, about 30 fruit flies were dumb enough to drown in the trap.  A week or so later…  there are a good couple hundred flies in the trap, and almost none in the bins.
  9. When composting instructions specify that woody trimmings shouldn’t be larger than 1/4″ in diameter, believe it.  Too-big twigs have been the bane of my compost, and it’s no fun picking them out.  I need to learn that lesson, instead of saying, “I’m sure they’ll break down, this time!”

How I manage my time…

So, a mom with three young children recently asked me how I manage my time.  I may have covered that here before, but I thought my response to her would be worthwhile to post.

I guess my one tip is:  You can’t do everything.  You just can’t.  So, you pick and choose.  If a clean house is a high priority, then you probably won’t get that book read, or meet a friend for coffee, or take your kids to the park much. Or… whatever.  Or, if supplementing your family’s income is a super-high priority, then other things in your life will suffer. You just can’t do it all.

At least, you can’t do it all, all at once.  During the school year, I mostly keep to a “six weeks on, one week off” schedule, so for a week or two every six weeks, my house looks fabulous, because I get caught up on cleaning and special projects. The intervening time… not so great.

In general, I tend to do things in “seasons”.  Sometimes, I do really well at staying on top of ironing.  Sometimes, I get a lot of writing done.  Sometimes, I’m able to sneak out for lunch with a friend… but all of that and more seems to be in cycles.  I’m virtually never on top of EVERYTHING all at once.

It keeps me dependent on Jesus.  And it humbles me, because I would LIKE to stay perfectly on top of everything, but I’m just not able to.  That’s just not the season in my life, and part of that is because I have chosen it.  I’d have a lot more time to myself if all my kids were in school, or if I had fewer children, or if I didn’t serve in my church, or if I didn’t work so hard to have our family eat cheap AND healthy… but those are the choices I’ve made, and while I’m glad I make them, daily, it automatically means that other things are squeezed out.

Something that has also helped me in the past, and I think I’m going to do again, is a daily schedule of household tasks.  I’ve used Motivated Moms. They have a variety of schedules, all printable pdfs, to help you keep track of what should be done each day. It’s a bit of a struggle for me, because I NEVER get done all the schedule says that I “should” get done… and then I feel like a failure, but when I follow a schedule, I do get more done than when I don’t use one at all…

(Almost) Grain-Free, Sugar-Free, Low-Carb Bran Muffins Recipe (GF)

Yours will be slightly larger, as I made 13 muffins with this recipe, instead of 12.

This morning, I whipped up a batch of these.  It was my hope to make a gluten-free, low-carb muffin that everyone in our family can eat.  Both Fiala and I are on a super-low carb, no-starch, sugar-free diet to combat Candida.  The results were quite successful, both in taste, and in the fact that these are quite bread-like, but super-low carb.  The tops brown nicely, and have a nice crust.  The insides are moist without being soggy or gummy.   The muffins hold together nicely — they aren’t crumbly.

Those who can eat sugars in our family slathered on some raw, local honey.  Those who couldn’t (Fiala and me) still relished our tasty muffins with a pat of butter.

Since I used garbanzo flour, these aren’t quite Paleo-compliant, if you’re on a Paleo diet.  I’m mostly Paleo, but I do use a bit of dairy and I still love my legumes.  🙂  For the curious, quinoa is considered a seed, as is guar gum.

Small disclaimer:  This recipe uses rice bran, which is from a grain.  If you want to be 100%, completely grain-free, you’d have to double the flax seed meal or something like that…  Flax seed meal can mess with the texture and moisture of a recipe, so proceed with caution.

OK, second small disclaimer:  The only thing that I’m really not pleased about is the fact that these stick to the paper liners.  If I had some silicone muffin “tins”, I think these would be a good candidate.

Per muffin:  7.8 grams net carbs, with an additional 4.8g dietary fiber.

Grain-Free, Sugar-Free, Low-Carb Bran Muffins (GF)

Click here for a printable PDF
makes 12 muffins

Dry ingredients:

  • 1 cup garbanzo flour
  • ½ cup almond meal
  • ½ cup coconut flour
  • ¼ cup quinoa flour
  • ¼ cup flax seed meal
  • ¼ cup rice bran
  • 1 tsp guar gum
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • ¾ tsp baking soda
  • ½ tsp sea salt
  • ¼ tsp cream of tartar
  • 4 level scoops dried stevia extract (I use stevia from Trader Joe’s.  Each serving is a tiny, 45mg scoop.  If you’re using stevia drops or another form of stevia, adjust as necessary, and make sure if you use any form of liquid stevia to add it with the wet ingredients, below.)

Wet ingredients:

  • 2 large eggs
  • ½ cup plain, whole milk (REAL) yogurt
  • 1½ cup water
  1. Line a 12-cup muffin tin with paper liners.
  2. Preheat oven to 375°F/190°C.
  3. In a large bowl with a whisk, combine all dry ingredients well.
  4. Add the wet ingredients and stir briskly to combine well.
  5. Using a ¼ cup measure as a scoop, and using a silicone spatula as an aid, place a gently rounded ¼ cup measure of batter in each muffin liner.
  6. Bake for 22-24 minutes, or until lightly browned, and the tops of the muffins don’t feel spongy.
  7. Enjoy!

Fiala health update. :)

It appears we’re on the right track with Fiala’s health.  She isn’t healed up quite enough for me to have full-on hope, but the hope is glimmering.  Last night, I talked with a woman who, 30 years ago, almost died from a systemic Candida infection, and comparing her story to Fiala’s was a confirmation.  Not that Fiala almost died.  But, much of what Fiala is experiencing, the lady had, too.  And she knows Fi well enough that, once I suggested to her that Fi may have Candida, it was like a light switched on for her, “Oh, yes… of course… why didn’t I think of that???”

We see the naturopath next week.  I’m going to ask for stronger antifungals.  Nystatin is working juuuuuussssst well enough to help, but it really has only made a small dent on Fiala’s head-to-toe symptoms.  Although — I know this is a little strange — I do know that fungal infections can be very slow to heal, and I know this because our dog suffered from Valley Fever, which is also fungal.  It took her most of a year to come back to full health.

At our favorite restaurant (the only one where everyone likes the food and there's something everyone can eat), Fiala's normal meal of plain refried beans and plain lettuce has been upgraded to having cheese on top, and a side of sliced avocados. She's in heaven.

The place which has had the most improvement is on her scalp.  From ear to ear, across the top of her head, Fiala had crust, a good ¼” thick in places, like the worst bout of cradle cap you’ve ever seen.  She lost quite a bit of hair from it, and for the last couple of months, when we go any place public, most of the time, I have her wear a hat, because it’s just scary/sad to look at, and freaks people out.  I was looking at hear head last night, and though her hair is thin, it is probably 80% healed, which is just amazing.

Fi’s chin is significantly better, as well.  It’s red and rashy, still, but not oozy, crusty, and bloody.

Other places on her body have slightly improved, and some not so much.  That may be because we could use up the 30g tube of Nystatin in a day or two if we followed the instructions to apply it to “all affected areas” three times a day.  Instead, we have to make the tube last for at least a week.  So, she’s not getting great coverage on “all affected areas” which is virtually every square inch of her body.

Fiala is still on a sugar-free and starch-free diet, minus a small ration of blueberries daily — her one joy!  I’ve even tried some protein-type foods, just to see how she’d handle it:  chicken, hard cheese, almonds…  I’m still leery of pretty much everything, and it’s hard to tell often when something has an ill effect.  But, so far, so good.  Fi doesn’t like chicken, though, we’ve discovered.  She adores cheese.  “Orange cheese?  Can I have orange cheese?”  And we’re only two days into an almond trial, so it’s too early to tell, but she does adore them, and is very excited to be eating almonds.  🙂  Precious girl.

Unrelated to health, the other day, I was making dinner, and my girl who lives to “snug” came up to me with arms upstretched and said, “Mama, will you please hold me?”  Now, normally, I would plop right down on the kitchen floor for a few snugs, at least, but I was in a terrible hurry, and said, “Oh, Fi.  I’m so sorry, but I can’t hold you right now.”  She flopped down in despondency, and wailed, “But I can’t hold myself!”  Ha!  So true.  We can’t hold ourselves.  That’s why we need Jesus, and the Body of Christ, and the support of family and friends….  She’s a good reminder of all of that, to me.  I’ve been giving much thought lately to how the things that the enemy has meant for our destruction, the Father — as is His specialty — turns it into a blessing, and for the benefit of many.  I feel like that, even though our three-year battle with Fiala’s health is not over.  She is so worth it.  So very, very worth it.

What God spoke to me.

I was recently thinking that, for all I have disclosed on this blog over the last 6+ years, so much of the most significant events in my life go unrecorded.  Some things are inappropriate to share, some defy my attempts at explanation, some I just never get around to…

I’ve been considering that anew, this last week.  I just don’t even know if I could — or perhaps even should — convey all that happened to me.  It’s hard to explain.

New Irish friend Azman & me, having a really good conversation.

The short version is that I went to a three-day International Leadership Summit — a retreat in the cool pines of Prescott, Arizona.  Back down the hill into the Valley of the Sun, the following day, is what we call International Super Sunday, with an extended church service in the morning, and a nearly five-hour event at night that features a dinner, some amazing speaking, and worship, followed up by a prophetic presbytery, where leaders with prophetic gifting (30ish or so) will give a personal prophetic word to anyone who wants one, and pretty much all the attendees want one.  🙂  Or two.  Or three.  Or as many as there is time for.

My love and me, taken by a different new Irish friend, Claire... I don't look this good in real life. 🙂 Bless God for the occasional use of makeup and supportive undergarments.

The whole Leadership Summit started about 15 years ago with just the leadership team of my own church — 20-30 good folk (and their spouses, as appropriate, most of whom are also leaders) who lead a specific area of ministry within the church.  Then, we expanded to invite a few of the pastors/leaders of various international ministries/churches with whom we minister, or over whom we have some apostolic leadership.  (See?  I bet I just lost a good 50% of you with that last sentence, and I’m just not going to explain it, either.  Unless you ask.)

Of the Summit — which is three jam-packed, meaty days of teaching, worship, and ministry, the most significant to me was Friday night.  On that night, I was praying for some friends when the Holy Spirit came powerfully upon me.  At first, I just bent over and put my hands on my thighs, kind of holding myself up.  Then, I sat.  After a while, I had to lie down.  It wasn’t that sort of dramatic thing you may have heard about (and which I repeatedly have witnessed) where the Holy Spirit performs a “smack down” and a person slumps to the floor or falls backward.  It was a little more subtle than that.  But not by much.

For… a time… at least more than an hour, but I don’t know how long, I was prayed over and ministered to, both by my dear, dear friends… co-workers in Christ… and by the Holy Spirit.  I was trembly, deep in my core and up into my shoulders and arms, as the Holy Spirit was on me.  My abs are still sore, nearly a week later, I was shaking so long.

Everyone who yields to the Holy Spirit and comes under His power finds a different experience.  Some shake violently.  Some laugh.  Some weep.  Some experience a profound calm.  Another dear friend, Paul Min, an apostolic 77-year-old powerhouse from Irvine, California (originally from South Korea), experiences his legs shaking, and he knows the power of God is residing in him.  I tend to quiver/convulse in my core.  It’s been like that for my whole life.

I know that a great many of you may think that odd and/or unbelievable, and that you’d not care for it, and you’re having second thoughts about me, right about now.  Frankly, that doesn’t matter so much.  Well, the part that doesn’t matter is what you think of me.  It does matter a great deal to me how you consider the God of all creation.  But, you can think I’m a looney, and I’m all right with that.  Even if you stop reading my blog.  😉

Anyone who has read here for any length of time is well-aware that I’m a Christian;  I don’t hide that, though not every post is about JESUS JESUS JESUS.  It’s more like, “This is my life, and Jesus is an integral part of it, of me.”  I often don’t want to post on the more God-oriented events of my life, because its so hard to communicate effectively and so easily misunderstood.  But, I felt like this last week was too significant to just pass by.

See what I mean by that first paragraph?

So.  What happened to me in that time can be broken down into

  1. What others prayed over me.
  2. What the Holy Spirit spoke directly to me.

In the past, when I “go down” under the power of the Spirit, I — to my remembrance — have never heard His specific, direct words.  Instead, what I usually experience is more like a… sense, an overwhelming sense of whatever it is I need most at the time:  His love, His power, His mercy, His forgiveness, His whatever.  This time was different in that I felt very strongly that I heard His voice.  It wasn’t loud.  More than a whisper, but not loud.  But, there were some specific things, some specific words and thoughts that I have never had, on my own, and I feel very strongly that they were beyond “impressions”;  they were the Word of God, to me, addressing some very specific needs.

Another thing that was different…  Sometimes, I have become a wee bit confused over others’ prayers over me.  Everyone, even those with maturity, doesn’t always hear from God 100% right, and the things that come out of their mouths aren’t always the pure, unadulterated Word of God.  For that reason, Scripture teaches us to “weigh carefully” what is spoken by prophecy.  In the past, I’ve had some difficulty at times, sorting out what’s what.  This time, among the 7+ people who prayed over me, and the many things that were spoken, there were two specific instances where God said, “That’s immature and inaccurate.  You can toss that.”  And silently, I returned prayer for the the person who was praying, thanking God for their willingness to minister and pray, but asking Him to increase the clarity of their spiritual ears, so that in the future, they could pray with more effectiveness.  It is my observation that in situations like that, the pray-er is often speaking out of what they know about that person, and their own personal views, rather than led by the Holy Spirit.  That doesn’t make God’s word less powerful, though those who minister prophetically should be continually seeking greater clarity, accuracy, and maturity.  I Corinthians 13:8-10 tells us “Love never fails. But where there are prophecies, they will cease; where there are tongues, they will be stilled; where there is knowledge, it will pass away. 9 For we know in part and we prophesy in part, 10 but when perfection comes, the imperfect disappears.”

When the whole Friday night episode was over, I got up and wrote down everything I could remember.

Here are some of the things that God showed me — I’m not sharing everything.  Some of it is too personal, and some of it doesn’t quite make sense to me, and I have to hash it out, to seek God on it, still:

  • God showed me that some of the interests I have pursued — specifically writing and birthing stuff — I have done because I am afraid that I am too old to have prophetic singing/worship stuff fulfilled in me, things that have been prayed and spoken over me repeatedly — countless times — for the last 20+ years.  Writing and birthing are not bad and they may be pursued later, but for the right reasons, not out of fear or distraction.
  • I am to go to bed when my husband Martin does.  He is an early riser and I’ve always been a night owl.  In addition, I am an introvert, and I crave that time, late at night, when the house is still and no one needs me.  That is my “recharge” time.  However, it saddens my husband that I will not go to bed with him when he does, except maybe once a week.  I have thought he’s unreasonable/uncaring that he wants me do do/be something I’m not, and he thinks that I am unreasonable/uncaring because I won’t value his tender heart and the fact that he is restless until I come to bed.  I have been beyond stubborn, when what I really need to do is to obey.  I need to value him.  It is a “little” point of contention to me, but it is HUGE to my husband.  God the father affirmed to me that He will take care of things I fear I will lose in the process, and will make their replacement worthwhile.
  • I must be intentionalabout investing in both my guitar-playing and my singing.  I am a fair guitar-player and I have a great voice.  I’m not bragging;  it was a gift of God that I’ve known about since my early childhood.  However, for my whole life, I’ve just been expecting God to DO SOMETHING about my voice, with my voice.  And He has, to an extent.  I am one of the core vocalists on my precious church’s worship team.  I lead worship (playing guitar and singing) weekly in a home group.  I am one of the three worship leaders for our church’s 6-12 year-olds.  I have been maturing and growing in spontaneous prophetic singing.  Yet, I know that that is not all God has in store for me.  I know I’m not living up to my potential, to His calling in me.  However, I have just expected Him to drop some bomb, some opportunity, to hit me over the head with some profound and specific direction, and He hasn’t done that.  He said that, instead, I need to be intentional about working that gift, investing in it, prioritizing it, furthering it, developing skill…  I totally have NOT done that in the past.  I’ve just coasted on what I have.  To that end, He gave me two imperatives:
    • I am to play guitar and sing for a minimum of an hour, daily.  If I do other things — read, blog, pursue other interests, etc. — it is to be after that hour is completed.
    • I am to take a voice class.  (I’m not sure why about this one, and I have looked into it — the community college that is very close to my home, however, is an extension campus, and does not have voice.  The other location is REALLY far away, spring classes have already started, and the schedule doesn’t seem like it would work at all.  So, I’m not sure what I’m going to do about that.)
  • I felt indescribably strongly that smallish but mighty Vineyard Phoenix, my home church for 17+ years, will always be my Favorite House.  With capital letters.  My husband just got done reading a book by Tommy Tenney called God’s Favorite House.  I have not read it, though I know it is about building the local body of Christ, the local church.  I was FILLED with love and thankfulness and tenderness for the people who have poured themselves out for the Kingdom, for Jesus, and for me personally.  Even though about half (or more?) of those at the Summit were from other nations, those who prayed for me on Friday night — minus one — were all from my local church, Vineyard Phoenix.  I felt that was specific and intentional.  I have long loved the people of my church, especially those on the leadership team, with whom I have served for these many years, and whose pure, vibrant hearts for ministry and the  Gospel of Jesus I have been endless witness to.  But, especially on Friday night, I was filled with a… beyond-strong love for each.  Vicious, almost.  Abandoned, intense, jealous over, consuming, zealous love for my co-laborers in Christ.

I was going to next describe the things that were prayed over me by individuals, but I think that, instead, I will save that for next time.

Until then…  🙂  My love to all readers who have made it thus far.

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