Wednesday, February 8, 2017

Refugees

Last Sunday was the fifty-first (LI) Super Bowl.  I couldn't watch it at home because I worked until 10 p.m.  I don't regret that.  I like the hours, but my team lost though the victors' QB is my favorite player to watch.  I don't necessarily root for that team, but I appreciate how he plays.  Anywho . . . .

Last week, I read a blog post from Doug Addison, A New Prophetic Sign of the New Move of God.  If you click the link, you can read it for yourself.  I wanted to highlight some things about it for my post which, I believe, connect with our lives.  The Super Bowl reference earlier is relevant because Doug references a Super Bowl game in his post.  This is the time of year for the Super Bowl and, perhaps, signs of pending displays of God's power and glory for many.  I'm willing to believe that.

Doug was watching Super Bowl XLVII on February 3, 2013.  Earlier that day, he believed he heard God tell him a prophetic sign will be seen around the world.  This was the game in New Orleans when Beyonce performed at halftime, and at the start of the third quarter, the power went out in half the Superdome and suspended the game while my team, the Ravens, had the 49ers on the ropes.

When play resumed, the 49ers got their second wind and nearly eclipsed a 22 point deficit.  Thankfully, that didn't happen.  The Atlanta Falcons, last night, were not as lucky.  Maybe they wish, now, the lights went out in the fourth quarter to slow down the Pats.

For Doug, the power outage was the sign.  You can read his post as he details the coincidental nature of the number 34 to that game and the playoffs this season.  The significance for me was the connection he shares of this event with Ezekiel 34 which the Lord showed him.

Ezekiel 34 is a prophecy about the weak sheep that were wounded and driven away by uncaring shepherds and mean sheep, Doug wrote.

Doug continued, On June 9, 2016 I had an encounter and was caught up in the Spirit. I was shown parts of Ezekiel 34 that are now God’s agenda for those who have been wounded and need God’s love. They are those who have been driven away from churches. This does not mean that all churches and Christians are guilty of this.

2017 is the start of a new movement from God in which He is drawing in those who have been wounded and rejected by Christianity. These are the outcasts or the ones the late prophet Bob Jones (NOT from Bob Jones University) referred to as part of the Billion Soul Revival.

This group includes women who are now being appointed by the Lord and are stepping up into leadership roles, people associated with various liberal political parties that are not accepted by many Christians, those with tattoos and piercings, the ones who are into zombies and vampires, New Age people, LGBT and minorities, to name a few.
 

God is raising up forerunners to go after the wounded sheep and God is releasing a new spirit of reconciliation for this new revival that is coming.

While Doug had his encounter regarding Ezekiel 34 in June of last year, April had a word come to her while we worshiped at a church in August last year.  Will you care for my refugees? was the message April received.  She said yes.

There's a lot of talk about governmental policies regarding immigrants and refugees (they're not the same).  Its curious to me I'd bring this up now, but it relates to what Doug wrote and our experience and subsequent discussions.

I count this as another opportunity we've had over the years to yes to God.  Refugees are relocated, even dislocated, from home due to war, bigotry, natural disaster, etc.  Chances are they've lost their homes.

The outcasts from this prophetic reflection have lost a spiritual home and live with wounds from rejection.  This year begins a season of healing and reconciliation through forerunners pledged to the will of God.

Will we care for the refugees and outcasts?  Doug was shown by the Spirit what was coming to the wounded and mistreated.  We were asked if we'd participate in the heavenly sent reconciliation project for the sake of the same.

This is another simple message to bring encouragement to those wanting to see and participate in a gracious move of God's Spirit.  God has a lot planned for many of us.  Find hope and inspiration in this for you who believe God is yet to display more of his glory in this world.

For you who feel you've been wounded, abandoned or outcast from the church because your past or lifestyle or relationships preclude you from being accepted or loved, God is at work to open doors for your entrance into communities of peace and grace.  Have hope and believe God has not forgotten you.

What will it all look like?  Oh, it will be a beautiful creation, a tapestry of God's loving handiwork.  Amen.

Sunday, February 5, 2017

The World Is Really Changing

I read from Psalm 71 this week.  A set of verses encouraged me to believe afresh in the purpose of this blog.

But I will hope continually, and will praise you yet more and more.  My mouth will tell of your righteous acts, of your deeds of salvation all day long, though their number is past my knowledge.  I will come praising the mighty deeds of the Lord God, I will praise your righteousness, yours alone.
O God, from my youth you have taught me, and I still proclaim your wondrous deeds.  
So even to old age and gray hairs, O God, do not forsake me, until I proclaim your might to all the generations to come. Psalm 71: 14-18

The Lord is one who acts like no one nor anything else can or will.  I've learned that, at least.  We've seen and witnessed some wonderful manifestations of the goodness of God over the last couple years - answers to prayers and displays of grace and mercy through words of faith declared and trusted.  Such signs have raised the tide of our hearts to hope afresh in days when we wondered out loud how God will do what he's promised us, but I'm meant to proclaim your might to all generations to come.

This past Sunday, Anna, our daughter, attended a worship service with friends in Auburn, AL in a church she hasn't visited before.  The guest preacher for the morning was David Wagner, a prophet and preacher from Pensacola, FL.  After his morning sermon, our daughter put her bold boots on and approached David at the front of the sanctuary at the close of worship and after an invitation from David for those needing prayer to come forward.

Anna asked him to pray for her and her family.  "We've been promised land."  That's where she left it.  David agreed to pray and commenced to declare some prophetic things she didn't tell him ahead of time.  A friend of Anna's recorded the word on his phone.  I ended up with the file and compiled a transcript which a portion I'll share here.

Lord, I just thank you, right now, that even as they've been in transition that you would take them from transition to transformation, that you would transform the world around them.

Lord, every place of your work, or frustration, or just feeling like, 'When, Lord, when,' I just heard you saying like you said to Daniel, 'I heard you the first time, and the answer's on the way. I heard you the first time.'

. . . Lord, I thank you for moving and for every hold up to be removed, and whatever the hold up is with the land, Lord, I just ask, right now, that it would be removed.

Just as soon as we started talking I saw a big barn. I saw it filled. I just feel like the Lord is clearing things out; he's making space, but I also felt like its going to be a season that is filled with harvest like never before.

Anna never told him about the vision of stewarding a farm on which we'll have a barn where we'll have worship and the Lord's presence will abound and display glory and power in lives healed, delivered and made whole.

My wife, April, believes the Lord told her years ago while we worshiped, "There are a few today, but in a few days, there'll be thousands."  Here, David sees a full barn.  Alleluia!

And, Lord, I thank you for the faith that they left where they were . . .  on the way they were going.  You're bringing them like Abraham to the place called 'There.'

Lord, there's seed time and harvest, and, Lord, this has been a family that's sown – sown in the Kingdom, sown in the house of God, sown in the nations, sown in other people.

Lord, I just thank you, right now, you're actually teaching them some things in the process.

And, Lord, I thank you for the demand they can put on the Holy Spirit . . . 

I feel like he said he's made covenant with the land.  He's made covenant with you.  And, I feel like the Lord is tearing up some contracts.  There were strings attached to them.  

. . . Delays existed for both protection and provision.  But I feel things are about to shake loose and break through and break loose like never before.

So, Lord, I just thank you for your faithfulness . . . 

Anna, the Lord just spoke to me. You've been going through some things the last couple years. The fruit of his faithfulness is rooted in the pain of the process.

So, Lord, I ask that Anna and her family be able to eat of the fruit of your faithfulness that will cause them actually to forget of the pain of the process.

Would you accelerate, Lord?

Would you be a winter of wonders and a spring of supernatural surprises?

Lord, I thank you, right now, for moving every hindrance, obstacle out of the way and that there's about to be blessing and miracle around every corner, in Jesus' name.

We've known there've been delays fixed intentionally to impede our progress of movement. These delays have not been a weapon or tool of an enemy all the time.  Some of the delays we've witnessed have been gracious acts of a God who knows of the proper time to do anything.

We've also known there have been strings attached to our past that needed to be removed with age or deliberate action.  So be it.

David sensed in the Holy Spirit accurately there has been pain in the process.  There's always pain in labor and birth.  There's always pain in surgery and rehabilitation.  We trust today we'll begin to taste of the sweet fruit of the Lord's faithfulness toward us.

Yes, winter of wonders manifest!  Yes, spring of supernatural surprises come!  As he prayed and we pray today, I believe.  Alleluia!

This word from David to Anna follows what I heard in January from my new friend, Daniel by the banana table. We've believed for the last couple years we've been hidden amidst the delays.  Now, we're looking and hearing and wondering if we're no longer hidden.  The prophets are being told first (Ephesians 3:5) what the Lord is about to do.  Alleluia!

Mulling over whether to write this post or not a couple days ago, I sat in Paneras writing in my journal.  A couple of tables away, a gentleman sat in a wheelchair accompanied by a female companion.  Another gentleman of a different race stood beside him with his back to me.  He spoke in a friendly tone, but I couldn't hear what he was saying.  The man in the wheelchair smiled at him, spoke affirming words in response and thanked the stranger.

The man in the wheelchair then said, "Oh, you mean right now?" and looked to his companion.  He then said, "Ok."  The man standing then began to pray, thanking God for all blessings and evidently prayed for his new friend's health and healing.  It wasn't a long prayer, but afterward, the man standing asked if the wheelchair bound man felt any different.  He said he still felt good.  There was no evident change in his condition or situation.  The three exchanged pleasantries and the praying man took his meal in a bag and left.  I didn't stare to try to determine or overhear what the two at the table might say in the aftermath of that experience.  I simply smiled a silly grin.

I had just texted Anna asking how she was and for some clarity regarding David's prayer last Sunday.  After the prayer for blessing and healing I witnessed nearby, I texted her again giving an account of what I'd witnessed and concluding, "The world is really changing."  She responded, "That's so awesome!!! Add that to your blog :) The world is changing."

I decided then to write this post.  Our world is about to change significantly.  God is sending people with prophetic insight into our lives to speak to us and freshen our hope and beliefs about our future.

The world is changing.  In the past, I would've been the one looking odd, praying for the man in the wheelchair.  That evening, it was somebody else's mission and passion.  The Lord is at work.

As you read this, your world is changing.  I'll trust and believe with you God will send friends and strangers into your life with words of blessing, spiritual insight and encouragement to inspire your faith and awaken dreams and visions deep in you.  Our Lord has things to unveil and return to you in these days to make your life an example of his deeds of salvation and might to the generations to come.  Amen.